Flame-Waves, part 9
Part I: Questions and answers on religionFW 208-224. Sri Chinmoy invited members of the Meditation Group to submit questions on religion which he would answer at the Group's Friday meetings. These questions were answered on 31 October and 14 November 1975.
Question: Why is there religion and what role should it play in our lives?Sri Chinmoy: Religion plays a significant role in the life of the aspiring seeker. Religion is our spiritual home. We start in our spiritual home and then go to the Home of God. Religion is the home we live in until we enter God's Palace and establish our conscious oneness, constant oneness with God.
It is not good to be afraid of God. God is all-loving. But if someone thinks of God only with fear, then I wish to say that it is better to think of God in this way than not to think of Him at all. Most people who are practising religion are afraid of God. If they do something wrong, they feel God will punish them. That is often why they think of God. First they approach God with fear, and only afterwards they approach God with love, innocence and oneness. This is called religion. In religion, most of the time an unknown or unconscious fear looms large in us; and this fear compels us to think of God and to pray to God. This is the situation most of the time, but not always. People follow a particular religion because they love God and they are afraid of God. But when we practise spirituality it is never out of fear. Where there is oneness, there is no fear. It is out of sheer necessity that we practise spirituality. Necessity compels us to love God. He loves us unconditionally and it is our bounden duty also to love Him.
Question: What is the goal of religion?Sri Chinmoy: The goal of religion is to bring God into one's multifarious activities. God has to be felt as a living God. Otherwise, if we are just believers in God, we cannot and will not accomplish much. The role of religion is to make each person feel that God is somebody living, or that God is infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. That also is living. If an individual wants to feel that his God is a living God, this conviction must be brought to the fore by religious feeling or by following a religious faith.
Question: What is the original significance of religion?Sri Chinmoy: The original significance of religion was to have man see, feel and consciously dedicate himself to the existence of the One in the existence of the many: to see the One in the many. There are many countries, many faiths, many creeds many sects. Religion has to combine everything. Religion has to make a synthesis; among all countries religion has to establish a sense of oneness. The length and breadth of the world have to sing the song of oneness. This is why religion came into being.
Question: The family has always been seen as the centre of both the religious and the social formation of most religions. Can you explain the sacred and divine purpose that the family is supposed to have?Sri Chinmoy: The sacred and divine purpose of each family lies in the discovery of the real reality of each individual. You may ask why each individual has to discover his real reality. If one does not discover the real reality in himself, then he denies the promise that he made once upon a time in the soul's region. When the individual was in the soul's region, he chose a particular family out of the millions of families on earth in order to fulfil the promise he made to God, in order to do something special for God. He promised to realise God, to reveal and manifest God. This sacred promise can come to the fore only when the individual becomes conscious of what he is going to become. If he claims God as his very own and feels that one day he shall become one with God, then he is destined to reach his goal. If he claims some higher reality which he will achieve only by transcending himself, then he is doing the right thing. While transcending, himself, he comes to realise the sacredness and divine purpose of his own existence and of the family that he belongs to.
Question: Can religion help mankind to achieve a world of true brotherhood and love?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, but one has to know here what religion is. Religion is a code of life that connects one with the rest of humanity. If one feels that his life has a special connection with others' lives, then only can he achieve or try to achieve oneness. First he has to feel an inner connection. If he starts with this connection, then only can he think of establishing his inseparable oneness with others.
So, if you follow any specific religion, then you will feel that you have something in common with others, that you have an inner connection with others. Then, from this connection you have to go deep within in order to establish your inseparable oneness with others and with the rest of the world. And when you establish your oneness, naturally what you see inside you and around you is brotherhood and love.
Question: How can religion overcome a narrow outlook and develop a real acceptance of all other religions as true and necessary?Sri Chinmoy: Religion as such cannot overcome this narrow outlook. Only when religion takes help from spirituality, its elder brother, does it become possible to overcome this narrow outlook. Religion sees God, but spirituality makes the seeker become God. Religion can go as far as believing in the Light or even seeing the Light. But spirituality goes much higher, much deeper. It helps the seeker or the votary of religion grow into the Light itself and become one with God-Consciousness and God-Light.
Religion stops at seeing the reality; it does not want to grow into reality. Spirituality, like religion, sees what the reality is, but then it goes one step ahead and wants to grow consciously into the reality itself. So if religion takes help from spirituality, then it is quite possible to overcome all the narrow outlooks found in religion.
Question: What does God like best about religions?Sri Chinmoy: What God likes best in each religion is a big heart. Let each religion tolerate the others. If tolerance is there, then let each religion go one step further. Let it recognise other religions also. Once recognition is given, each religion has to feel sincerely that other religions are as good and as nice as itself. It has to feel that each religion is right in its own way, that all are equal in this way.
Tolerance of others exists as long as there is a sense of separativity. Once a particular religion gives due value to other religions and sees their existence as an expression of truth, then that particular religion can go high, higher, highest and deep, deeper, deepest. Seeing and establishing its conscious oneness with all other religions, it can claim that there is only one religion — not two or three, but only one religion. When a religion once comes to realise that all religions form one religion, one eternal religion, one eternal eye of Truth, an eternal heart of Truth, then that religion is perfect. This kind of discovery and achievement God likes best in the world religions, not only in one particular religion but in all religions.
Question: What is the difference between religion and spirituality?Sri Chinmoy: Religion tells the seeker that undoubtedly there is someone known as God. Spirituality tells the seeker, "I can not only show you where that Person is; I can also help in making you a conscious, constant and inseparable friend of that Person."
Question: Why should one give his time to God in the first place?Sri Chinmoy: Wonderful question! One gives his time to God in the first place because he sees that, unlike him and unlike others, God is the Alpha, God is the Omega. He is the beginning. He is the end. He is this. He is that. At the same time, He transcends what He eternally is.
God is all-pervading; He is everywhere. Whatever we do, whatever we say, whatever we grow into is nothing short of His own expansion of His own Reality-Existence. Right at the outset, at the very outset, we have to know that He alone exists. Just because He alone exists, no matter what we do, we know that our action is motivated by Him and also finds its result in Him. Our action fulfils itself, our capacity is increased and our realisation is strengthened just because He exists and He is. Therefore, either consciously or unconsciously, either cheerfully or dolefully, God has to come into the picture.
Question: When the follower of one religion meditates on the ideals of his religion, will this produce the same results as when the follower of another religion meditates on the ideals of that religion?Sri Chinmoy: Each religion has an ideal of its own. All religious ideals cannot be of the same type and the same standard. Also, the meditation cannot be of the same height and the same standard in every religion. The result will depend on the type of meditation and the ideal of the particular religion, the height of the ideal. If the ideal is high, and at the same time the meditation is very soulful, the result will be extraordinary.
Question: What are the major obstacles to praying meaningfully?Sri Chinmoy: There are two major obstacles. When one does not have enough feeling for one's own religion, one cannot go very far. So first one has to develop a sincere feeling. Then he has to make his religion a living reality, just as the body, the vital and the mind are living realities. Unless one knows and feels that religion is a living reality, he will not be able to make progress through his religion.
Question: Why don't religions love and respect each other more?Sri Chinmoy: They do not love and respect each other more precisely because the capacity of their heart is limited and not unlimited. They do not care for the universality that is in the heart; they care only for the individuality in their existence. If they could feel universality, then automatically all religions would have abiding love and respect for one another.
Question: If each religion claims to teach the truth, which religion is the most true?Sri Chinmoy: Each religion not only claims to teach the truth but actually teaches the truth. But merely teaching or preaching the truth is not enough. If the religion can live the truth — that is to say, if it can bring to the fore the living breath, the reality-light of truth — then that religion is the most true. The religion that lives the truth in all its aspects — in its height and depth, in its universality and transcendence — that particular religion is the most true. The religion that embodies and lives the ultimate truth of love and oneness is by far the most significant, the most important and indispensable religion.
Question: If one has great faith in one's own religion, how should he view other religions and those who follow other religions?Sri Chinmoy: If one has great faith in his own religion, then he should cultivate the same type of faith in other religions, only he should not follow all the religions. Religion is like a road. If one tries to walk along all the roads while heading towards his destination, then his progress will be very slow. This moment he is on one road, the next moment he is on another road and the following moment he is on a third road. Each time he changes roads in order to reach the destination, naturally he is losing time. So the thing to do is to feel that each religion is true in its own way but that he prefers to walk along the path of the particular religion that he has. But all religions in God's Eye are equally significant and equally important.
Question: Is a mutual understanding and respect possible between the different religions of the world?Sri Chinmoy: It is not only possible but practicable and inevitable. If there is no mutual understanding, then there can be no respect; if there is no mutual respect, then there can be no mutual understanding. Mutual understanding and mutual respect go together. If there is mutual understanding and mutual respect, then only can the different religions feel an abiding harmony.
Each religion has to realise that in order to be complete, perfect and whole, it has to feel its presence in the heart of other religions. Likewise, the other religions also have to feel the presence of that particular religion. Each religion must feel its presence in the heart of other religions. Also, each religion has to feel that it is only a branch and not the whole tree. The tree is God or Truth. Some religions do not believe in God or find it difficult to reveal the existence of God, but they do believe in the existence of Truth. There is no religion on earth that does not believe in the existence of Truth. So if a religion believes in the existence of Truth then that is more than enough. This Truth-existence is the Reality-tree in life on earth. If Reality is a tree, then naturally it will have a few branches, and each branch is a religion.
Question: Can one be extremely devoted to a religious figure such as Jesus or Buddha and to a living spiritual teacher as well, or is it better just to follow one teacher?Sri Chinmoy: If the seeker fails to feel and understand that the living teacher is an embodiment of Jesus or the Buddha, then it is advisable for the seeker to have faith either in Jesus or in Sri Krishna or in the Buddha or in another spiritual Master who is not in the physical. If the seeker finds it difficult to feel or see the presence of the previous Masters in the living Master, then he should meditate on the one who he feels is best, according to his inner capacity, inner receptivity, inner devotedness, inner surrender. But if the seeker can feel that the living Master embodies Krishna-consciousness or Christ-consciousness, then he has no difficulty in approaching either the Christ or Sri Krishna through the living Master. The living Master is also the son of God, who has assumed a different name and different form. And the new form means a new personality, a new divine personality. Sri Ramakrishna declared, "He who was Krishna, he who was Buddha, he who was Rama, in one form is Sri Ramakrishna." Only the name or the form will change. The inner reality is one and the same.
So if the seeker is advanced, then he is bound to feel that if the living Masters are real, then they are serving the same purpose. They are leading humanity to one goal.
Question: How can we as individuals encourage a world-wide recognition of the basic unity of all major religions?Sri Chinmoy: There is only one way we can encourage a world-wide recognition of the basic unity of all major religions. First we have to become perfect ourselves, as individuals. If we become God-loving and all the time are serving God in humanity, then our perfection will automatically encourage others to become perfect. When we become perfect, automatically our perfection will permeate the votaries of other religions. So, as individuals, we have to become perfect no matter which religion we belong to. Then our perfection will spread the perfume, the fragrance of the divinity-flower which is meant for all religions and lovers of religion. That flower is for everyone to appreciate and to grow into. Once everyone grows into his own divinity-flower, then everyone will see and feel the basic unity of all religions for the worship of the ultimate Truth in life.
Part IIFW 225-227. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions after his talk to UNDP staff members on 19 November 1975.
Question: What is the difference between Yoga, Zen and Hinduism?Sri Chinmoy: The root was Hinduism. Then from Hinduism came Buddhism, and from Buddhism came Zen. Let us take Hinduism as the grandfather, Buddhism as the father and Zen as the son.
Let us think of Hinduism as an eternal religion, or we can take it as a form of self-discipline that will one day allow us to feel boundless joy, boundless peace, boundless love. When we think of Buddhism, immediately the compassion-aspect of reality comes forward into our mind. The world needs compassion badly. I show compassion to you, you show compassion to me and with our mutual compassion we live on earth. When I am in need of your compassion, you show me compassion; when you are in need of my compassion, I show you compassion. In this way we exist together. If we don't show compassion to humanity, then we don't exist.
When we come to Zen, what we need is awareness. We have to be fully, consciously and constantly aware of what we are doing, what we are seeing, what we are growing into. Zen requires constant, conscious awareness. If we are meditating, we are aware of it; if we are eating, we are aware of it; if we are talking to our friend, we are aware of it.
When we come to Yoga, we sing the song of oneness. Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means oneness. Yoga says that if we establish our oneness with something or someone, with an incident or an experience, then we get everything. If I am one with you, then I know what is happening inside your heart, inside your mind. If I am one with somebody else, them immediately I have a free access to him and I know what is happening in him. And if I can establish my oneness with an incident or experience, then I become part and parcel of that incident or experience in life.
At the highest point in Zen there is something called satori or illumination. If once you are illumined, then there is nothing and no one on earth with which or with whom you cannot establish your oneness. Before illumination there is darkness on one side and light on the other side. This side of the sea is darkness, the other side is light and you are in between. But if you go and take shelter in illumination, then your own inner effulgence envelops and encompasses the whole world.
Before illumination takes place, you are in ignorance and you feel that the world is in ignorance. But once illumination takes place, which is called satori in Zen, you become one with the Vision of the Absolute. At that time, you live in silence-life, you live in sound-life, but everywhere is illumination and you grow into this illumination. Once you are illumined, you are freed from the meshes of ignorance. For millennia you lived in ignorance, but once illumination has taken place, then there is no ignorance in you at all. This room is dark, but then an electrician brings in some light. For days and months and years this room has remained unlit, unillumined, dark, but then the electrician comes and the room is illumined. So the greatest gift of Zen is illumination: the highest illumination, all-illumining illumination, all-fulfilling illumination.
Yoga's greatest contribution is not only illumination, but also perfection in our constant oneness with what God has offered to us, what God is going to give us and what God Himself is. If somebody is suffering, then Yoga becomes totally, inseparably one with that sufferer. If somebody is in the seventh heaven of delight, then Yoga becomes one with him in the seventh heaven of delight. Illumination, on the other hand, is a process, a regular process in which we come out from ignorance-night and enter into wisdom-light. Once we grow into wisdom-light, then we are totally freed from bondage, from limitation, from imperfection, from so-called death.
If we follow the path of Zen, then we go from ignorance to illumination: and when our whole consciousness is illumined, we derive boundless satisfaction. If we follow the path of Yoga, then on the strength of our identification we feel that we are that which we want and we actually become that thing. So Yoga is oneness and perfection, whereas Zen is illumination and liberation.
Question: Does this mean that Zen and Yoga have different goals?Sri Chinmoy: No. They are like two members of a family. They belong to the same family and they deal with the same basic thoughts and ideas. Only in practice each may apply something a little new, although in a sense it is not new at all. Here is the goal. The father is reaching the goal from one direction and the son is reaching the goal from another direction. In going towards the goal, they may use different methods to some extent. But the goal always remains the same. If one becomes liberated from ignorance as a result of spiritual discipline, then naturally he is illumined. And if one identifies himself with Light and Illumination itself, then naturally he also is liberated and illumined
I touch water and immediately I get the consciousness of water. I touch a wall and immediately I get the consciousness of the wall. Again, if I touch the feet of a saint, then immediately I get the consciousness of the saint. This is Yoga: oneness, oneness, oneness. But you don't have to touch anything. Just through identification you can get the consciousness of the person who is a saint, the person who has illumination. In the Zen process, you get what the saint has by concentrating on what you want. The process in Yoga is to identify oneself with the goal. But the goal that you reach by concentrating in Zen and the goal that I reach by identifying myself with someone is the same.
There is a very good Zen teacher in Rochester named Philip Kapleau. He is a friend of mine and a great authority on Zen. He wrote a book called The Three Pillars of Zen. If you are interested, you can learn from him. Again, if you feel like coming to our meditations on Tuesdays and Fridays here, you can see what we get from our meditation. If you can come and join us, I assure you that you will feel something.
I am in no way trying to take you away from Zen; far from it. Let us take meditation as one shop and Zen as another shop. If you come into a shop, there will be some items that may please you. Basically, these two shops offer the same thing: love of Truth. You enter into one shop and it has the thing that you need; you enter into another shop and it has the same thing. It is you who have to make the choice from which shop you want to get the thing that you need.
Question: Is there no sense of strong discipline in Yoga?Sri Chinmoy: The Zen process demands a strict discipline, almost like military discipline. But the Yoga process is relaxation based upon confidence. It is like a child's confidence that comes from his oneness with his mother and father. A child does not have a nickel with him. But if his father is very rich, then he feels that he also is very rich. Even if right now he does not have a single dollar, in a few years time he will be able to utilise all his father's riches. He feels his oneness with his father, with the members of the family. Whatever the members of the family have, he rightly and legitimately claims as his very own. If his father has a car, then immediately he feels that it is his car. He does not think that it is his father's car or that it belongs to his family. No, he will tell his friends, "Look, this is my car." He is absolutely right on the strength of his oneness. And a day will come when he is older and he is going to be the one to drive that car.
The child feels that the father is everything for him and a day will come when he will be able to claim everything the father has. Even now he claims it. Since he is a child, he may squander his father's money, so his father is not giving it to him. But when he is mature, since he has established his oneness with his father, he will be able to get his father's property and utilise it properly.
In the Yoga process, you just feel that God is yours, that He loves you and you love Him. You feel your oneness with the Almighty. And if you feel your oneness with the Almighty, He is bound to give you what He has and what He is.
In the Zen path you have to prepare yourself. If you do this, then you will get something. But if you are not following strict discipline, then you are not going to get anything. In Zen it is personal effort, personal effort. But in Yoga we believe in grace. We feel that the father will show his affection, love and compassion and the child will reciprocate. When the child gets love from his father, he himself gives love, when the child shows love to his parents, they give him love in return. Always there is give and take, give and take. But with Zen, first you have to become something and then only you will get something. And you become something, you grow into something by following strict discipline. If you follow strict discipline in your own life, if you do this, if you do that, than you become something. Once you become, then naturally you deserve, and illumination takes place.
Part IIIFW 228-231. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions during a meeting of the Meditation Group on 21 September 1976.
Question: How can we stay in the heart when we are doing tasks which involve the mind?Sri Chinmoy: We can remain in the heart, even when the mind is necessary to perform specific tasks, if we know that we are not the mind or the body or the vital, but the heart. If we know that we are nothing but the heart and that we have nothing but the heart, then automatically everything that we do is being done in and through the heart. Now we feel that we have a mind, we have a vital, we have a body, we have a heart and we have a soul. But if we feel that we have only one thing, the heart, then naturally we will use only that one thing when we want to achieve something or give something.
If we feel that we have many levels of being then naturally we will be tempted, we will be inspired to use all these when we feel it is necessary. But if we can make ourselves feel that what we have and what we are is the aspiring heart, then the consciousness of the heart will come to the fore and inundate the whole body from top to bottom, from the sole of the foot to the crown of the head. If I repeat, "I am the heart, I am the heart," then we will only have the heart's consciousness no matter what we do. Then the problem of the mind's involvement in our activities will not arise. For we are not using the mind as such; we are using only the thing that we claim to be our own, our very own, and that is the heart.
So if you always think of yourself as the all-loving heart, all-illumining heart, then the heart itself will take care of the so-called problems that we face every day in our multifarious activities.
Question: What are the major qualities of the United Nations soul?Sri Chinmoy: There are many, many qualities but universal oneness is the most important quality that the soul of the United Nations wants to offer. This universal oneness houses both the one and the many. The United Nations is like a tree with countless branches. Here many have become one and, again, one has become many. This moment the United Nations is the tree; the next moment it is the countless branches. A tree without branches is not a tree. Again, if the branches do not belong to a tree, then they cannot exist. Many become one for realisation and one becomes many for manifestation.
Question: What do the delegates and ambassadors who are participating in the General Assembly offer to the United Nations spiritually?Sri Chinmoy: I am giving only my own inner feeling. Since all the delegates, all the diplomats, have a heart and a soul they have the best intention to serve mankind as such. From the practical point of view, they may not succeed. But their intention is always good. Otherwise, they would not come to the United Nations to be of service. Their inner motive is excellent. However, when we try to do things on the outer plane, we often meet with countless problems. If we give way to these problems then we don't succeed.
But all the diplomats and delegates have something spiritual to offer. They have come, first of all, to serve their country, their nation. Their nation is not one person but thousands and millions of people. They represent their nation, so millions of people are inside them, speaking through them to the world at large. So the message that the ambassador of a nation gives is something that the nation wants the whole world to hear. It is the nation's collective freedom or collective contribution to mankind that the ambassador is offering. Therefore, we must realise there is something deep or meaningful inside him, something fruitful inside him. This very thing, on the outer plane, may not bear fruit all at once. But just because it does not bear fruit immediately, we cannot say that the nation does not have a good motive or that the individual who represents the nation has a bad intention.
Each delegate is a human being and each human being has a soul. That means a solid portion of God's Consciousness-Light is inside each individual. Each individual has the capacity, the potentiality, the needed power to serve mankind spiritually. But it takes time. Some individuals open up to the light sooner than others. But nobody — no diplomat or delegate or individual — can live without in some way offering to the Source the love, concern, sympathy, compassion, devotedness and all the other good qualities that come from the Source.
Question: What should our attitude be towards working at the United Nations?Sri Chinmoy: Our attitude should be one of conscious self-giving. This self-giving can take various forms on the outer plane. Here we are dealing with many individuals. If we find it difficult to give ourselves to many individuals, many countries, at least we can have an attitude of forgiveness. We forgive in order to make forward progress.
If we have so-called enemies, then we will all the time harbour evil thoughts towards our enemies. When we feel that we have enemies around us we actually forget our own goal. We think only of our enemies — how to conquer them, how to annihilate them. This becomes our goal. Then what kind of progress are we going to make?
So the best attitude is to always think of the goal. The goal is always found in self-giving. The more we can give soulfully, the sooner we shall get satisfaction in what we are doing or what we are growing into. Each individual knows how to offer some things to the world at large. Each individual knows how to offer something to his body, vital, mind, heart and soul. Only we have to do it.
We create thoughts, ideas and ideals. Let us say that a thought has entered into our mind. Immediately if we want to nourish that thought, we can put a good feeling into the thought. And that feeling comes from the heart itself. If we do not nourish the thought with our heart's psychic feelings, the thought remains powerless, it remains unfulfilled. Here we are talking about attitudes on the mental plane. But the real divinity, or the real essence of anything divine, lies only inside the heart. So anything that we see in the form of creation or anything that we create ourselves must be nourished by the feelings of the heart.
At every moment we can be attacked by negative thoughts, assailed by undivine thoughts. Again, at every moment with our inner will we can create good thoughts, loving thoughts, illumining thoughts, fulfilling thoughts. These thoughts can only function properly when we have an inner feeling from the heart.
The feelings of the heart we can increase only by self-giving. Right now we use the term "self-giving" precisely because we have not sufficiently cultivated or developed the capacity that makes us feel that we are of the one and for the many. We have not yet discovered our universal oneness. But once we have discovered our oneness with the rest of the world, then it is not self-giving; it is only the fulfilment of our own inner awakening. When my hand does some thing for my leg or vice versa, they do not take it as self-giving. Hand and leg are part and parcel of one reality; they are one reality.
Unfortunately, at the present state of our evolution, our limited vision has not granted us the capacity to feel everyone as our own. So let us start with the idea of self-giving. We shall give what we have and what we are; we shall give our good thoughts.
So the best attitude right now is the attitude of self-giving. If there are adversaries, wrong forces or others who do not see eye to eye with us, then we have to move forward on the strength of our forgiveness-capacity or our forgetfulness. We shall not forget our ideal, no. We will forget only unhappy, unhealthy experiences that we get from others while we are trying to serve the divine purpose within us.
Part IVFW 232. Sri Chinmoy answered this question at a special meditation for delegates on 1 October 1976 in Conference Room 14.
Question: How can you overcome feelings of resentment and anger that you feel when your superiors appear to be unfair?Sri Chinmoy: When we work in a group, there are many individuals, many ideas, many thoughts and propensities working together. But we have to do our best to feel that all the individuals in the group, all the ideas and propensities, are part and parcel of our own existence. We have to feel that they are all limbs of our own body, and that all our limbs are working together.
We feel that our superiors do not understand us, do not value us, do not appreciate our sincere effort and dedication. By arguing with our superiors, by trying our utmost to convince them that they are wrong or that they have no feeling of oneness and sympathy with us, we cannot change their way of life. But if we take them as part and parcel of our own existence and feel that we belong to them and that they belong to us, then we can change them.
If we consider our superiors as human beings who are totally different from us, who are perfect strangers to our ideals, ideas and goals, then we shall never be able to get happiness from life. We have to consider our superiors as limbs, or as branches of the one reality-tree. Then, if we notice that one branch is not functioning well, we try to cure that particular branch with our inner love, inner concern, inner light. If today our arms are defective, or if any part of our existence-reality is suffering from a particular shortcoming, what do we do? We focus all our concentration on the defective part and show it all our concern, love, sweetness and affection. We try to muster the rest of our being and show all concern to the defective part. And we eventually cure the defective part.
By a mere wishful attitude we cannot bring this about. In order to do this most effectively, we have to pray and meditate in silence to the Author of all good. It is He alone who has the capacity to cure a defective limb, and He is more than willing to listen to our prayer for the transformation of our so-called "superiors". So, it is only our inner prayer and meditation that can eventually and radically change their life. But before that happens, we can try to feel that they belong to us and we belong to them. We can feel that their misunderstanding, their lack of faith in us and lack of appreciation for what we do, is a fault, a defect, in our own existence-reality.
Again, we have to know that the appreciation of our so-called "superiors" is not of real importance. In the long run, in the plan of our evolution, it may be of no avail at all. If we get joy from our own service to the body and the soul of the United Nations, then only we are doing the right thing. What matters is not what our superiors are telling us, or what opinion of us they have. No, what is of paramount importance is how sincerely we are trying to serve the United Nations. When we work at the United Nations, we are trying to please the body and the soul of the United Nations, and not just our superiors. If we can please the Real in us, God, then we are also pleasing the same real Existence that is in our superiors. If we are only for the satisfaction of the Real in us and in all human beings, then our superiors are also included. So, automatically a day will come when the Real in us will change the minds and attitudes of our superiors. As a matter of fact, there is only one superior and that superior is our inner cry for perfection, more perfection, most perfection, continuous perfection in our own life, in each human life and in each creation of God. Our cry for perfection is the only superior reality in us and for us.
Part VFW 233. At a meeting of the Meditation Group on 5 October 1976, Mr Le Kim Dinh, United Nations Correspondent for The New York Times asked Sri Chinmoy this question.
Question: Sri Chinmoy, how do you view the problems of the world and how do you think these problems can be solved?Sri Chinmoy: The problems of the world are nothing but teeming clouds in the sky. It is only a matter of time before the sun disperses the clouds. We use the term "God's Hour". This God's Hour is the combination of humanity's aspiration and Divinity's Compassion. When humanity's ascending aspiration meets Divinity's descending Compassion, God's hour strikes, and all our problems are solved.
Problems are everywhere. Each country has hundreds of problems. Each individual has hundreds of problems. But problems can be solved, should be solved and must be solved by individuals first, for it is the individual mind, or brain, or capacity that rules each country. If each individual sees that he has hundreds of problems of his own, then he will dive deep into his own problems. When he dives deep into his own problems, he sees and feels that there is only one problem, and that problem is lack of oneness.
Very often we notice this lack of oneness, inseparable oneness, even in our own individual being. We identify ourselves with a particular part or limb of our body more than we identify ourselves with the rest of the body. If somebody says that our eyes are beautiful, then we focus all our attention on our eyes and feel that we don't need anything else. We neglect our arms, our feet, our nose, our head, and we forget that God has also made them members of our physical existence. Only the eyes have become part and parcel of our existence, and we consciously and deliberately ignore the existence of other things in our day-to-day life. At this time we have to know that we have lost our sweet, inseparable oneness with the arms, legs and the rest of our body. We do not consciously establish our soulful and fruitful oneness with all the limbs of our physical body proper.
The world is composed of many, many countries. If an individual can become inseparably one with the inner cry of his own nation, then he is bound to feel that his nation is nothing but a tree. If I belong to a country, then I should feel that my nation-tree has countless branches, which are the other countries. And if you belong to a country, then you can also feel that your country is the tree and the rest of the countries are all branches.
A tree without branches is no tree at all. When we see that there are quite a few branches, we appreciate the tree. And if we see that the tree is bearing flowers and fruits, we deeply appreciate it. So, from the human point of view, we can solve our problems by thinking that we are trees and that others are the branches. If we can feel this way, and if others also can feel exactly the same way — that they are the trees and we are the branches — then there will be a feeling of inseparable oneness. This is the human way that we can solve world problems.
But the divine way is to feel God's entire creation as our very own and to feel our oneness with the Will of the Supreme. I come from India; you come from some other part of the world. But everything is in God's creation and God is both creation and manifestation. He is Silence and He is also sound. Silence we see in His Vision-Reality and sound we see in His manifestation-Reality on earth. So, from the spiritual point of view, from the divine point of view, if we want to solve the problems of the world, then there is only one way. That way is to pray and meditate for our conscious oneness with the Will of the Absolute Supreme. On very rare occasions, the Will of the Supreme is being executed through us even though we are not consciously praying and meditating. But if we consciously pray and consciously meditate, then without fail God's Will will be executed in and through us.
Prayer and meditation are nothing short of our constant communion, or conversation, with God. When we pray, at that time we talk to God; and when we meditate, God talks to us. Two persons are here: God and us. When it is our turn, we have to pray and offer our soulful cry. What we want from God is Peace, Light and Bliss. And when God meditates on us, we just listen. He has a Message for us. He wants to give us the Message. And also, He will tell us how we can share His Message with the rest of the world.
So, prayer and meditation can solve all the world problems. If we can become soulfully and constantly one with God's Will, then we can make no mistakes. It is because of our mistakes that we create problems for ourselves. And what is the mistake that we have already made, and from which we are constantly suffering? Our only mistake is that we have made friends with ignorance. We are swimming in the sea of ignorance. But we can change our friendship. God is there to help us and guide us. We can make Wisdom-Light our friend, our only friend. Then we will be able to swim in the sea of Wisdom-Light instead of swimming in the sea of ignorance-night.
So, from the human point of view let us think of ourselves as a tree and the rest as branches. From the divine point of view, let us feel our constant oneness with the Will of the Supreme Absolute Pilot. And this Will we come to know and discover within us only by constant prayer and constant meditation. This is how we can solve all the problems that are in the world.
Part VIFW 234-258. In November, Sri Chinmoy asked members of the Meditation Group to submit spiritual questions for him to answer during the Group's regular meetings. These questions were answered on 16 and 26 November 1976.
A supreme honourSri Chinmoy: I have repeatedly said, to work at the United Nations is not like working at any other place. To work at the United Nations, to serve the United Nations in any capacity — whether in the highest role or the lowest role — is a supreme honour. Each nation here is a solid branch of God's Reality-Dream or Dream-Reality. Therefore, here we get the opportunity to discover and realise that we are of the One and for the many and, again, that from the many we have come to please the One. When we come out of the One for the many, we carry the Dream of the One for the many. While we are away from the Source, we try to please the Source and fulfil the Source. And from the many when we come to the One, we come with the hope of adding to the Source.
I shall be extremely happy and grateful if one by one you could ask your short and soulful questions. My answers will be my dedication, as your questions will be your dedication to the soul of the United Nations. Very soon we shall offer our soulful aspiration-book to the soul and the body of the United Nations, to all the members and all those who are aspiring to unite the world into one body and one soul, to all those who truly love not only God the Creator but also God the creation. God the creation has the greatest opportunity here at the United Nations to flower into a most illumining Reality.
Question: What is the seeker's responsibility at the United Nations?Sri Chinmoy: The seeker's responsibility at the United Nations is to pray and meditate — to pray for and meditate on those who have served or are still serving the United Nations most devotedly and soulfully. Former Secretaries-General Dag Hammarskjold, U Thant and those who have served or who are serving the United Nations in any capacity should receive soulful prayers and gratitude from the seekers who are now serving the United Nations. Also, the seeker must pray for all the countries that are singing the unity-song at the United Nations, for each individual member of the United Nations. Again, the seeker at the United Nations should pray for those who will serve the United Nations in the future. That is to say, they should try to connect the past, present and future — past glory, present promise and future achievements. Glory, promise and achievements must be united together by the seeker, and to do that the seeker has to pray for the departed souls or for the souls who have served the United Nations in the past, and for those who are still serving, and for those who will join the United Nations and sing the unity-song in the future.
Question: Some nations accept the United Nations as their own. Other nations would even deny the United Nations. What are the differences in the soul-growth of the nations that have not yet become one with the United Nations?Sri Chinmoy: In spite of knowing that the United Nations is not all-powerful, in spite of knowing that the United Nations on very rare occasions may do things which may not satisfy the world at large, if the nations accept the United Nations as their own, very own, it means that they feel their oneness with the body-reality and the soul-reality of the United Nations. It means that they have accepted the United Nations as the United Nations because they have true love for the United Nations, and they would have accepted the United Nations even if it were not, let us say, as meaningful or as fruitful. So, I wish to appreciate and admire those nations that feel that the United Nations is an integral part of their own existence-reality. Their souls are undoubtedly fully awakened. The nations that have consciously accepted the United Nations as their own are undoubtedly the nations that are awakened. And the nations that have wholeheartedly accepted the United Nations as their very own, the nations that feel part and parcel of the United Nations existence-reality, are fully awakened.
Unfortunately, there are some nations that find it difficult to accept the United Nations, that even go to the length of denying the United Nations. I wish to say, from my own experience and point of view, that these nations are not awakened. Either they are not awakened, or they have consciously and deliberately taken the side of ignorance-reality. Just like an individual human being, each nation has a physical personality or reality, a vital personality, a mental personality and so on. At times it is very difficult to say whether a nation is not accepting the United Nations existence because its soul is not awakened, or whether it is because the physical-reality, vital-reality or mental-reality of that particular nation is not sufficiently awakened. If those are not awakened, then the nation as such will not want to help or serve the United Nations or be illumined or guided by the United Nations. In most of the cases, I can see that it is the undisciplined vital, the uncontrolled mind and the unaspiring physical-reality that do not allow the nations to see the reality, the divinity, the sincere willingness of the United Nations to be of service to mankind.
Again, there are some nations which neither deny nor accept the United Nations. They do something else; they try to remain neutral. From the inner point of view, neutrality is not good. Let us say that two persons are at daggers drawn, two persons have different opinions, and one is right and one is wrong. If we know who is right and who is wrong, and in spite of knowing, if we remain silent, that means that some weakness on our part is preventing us from taking the side of the right. We don't say that one side is all ignorance and the other side is all wisdom-light. No, only there is lesser light and higher light, lesser truth and higher truth. One side can have an iota more of light than the other side. If we remain silent, automatically we weaken the possibilities and potentialities of the side that has more light. The one that embodies more light should be encouraged and inspired so that he reaches the destination-goal. There he will be flooded with the light of the goal, and then he can come back to the unillumined who are still struggling, still wallowing in ignorance. So, it is always good to take the side which has greater light, abundant light. It is very easy to deny the sun. At night we can deny it, but in a few hours' time the sun comes out. Even while facing the sun we can deny its existence, but the sun does exist. What in us denies it? It is the ignorance in us that denies. But our inner sun immediately responds to the outer sun. Similarly, we can deny our oneness with the supreme Reality, but it does exist.
I am sure that most of you have read India's Bible, the Bhagavad Gita. There was a conflict between darkness and light, or we can say between lesser light and greater light, which eventually ended in the battle of Kurukshetra. Lord Krishna said outwardly, "I am not taking any side," because he represented God, and for God everybody is equal. But in the very depths of his heart, he did take the side of the righteous Pandavas. To the other side, the Kauravas, he gave his own army, and he was only a charioteer for the Pandava side. But twice there were occasions when he came out of the chariot to fight against the unaspiring forces. Again, there were one or two among the unaspiring forces who were really aspiring. They knew who Sri Krishna was, but they were morality-bound to fight on the Kaurava side. They were brought up by the undivine forces; they were fed and nourished by the undivine forces, like Vishma. That is why they did not surrender fully to the light of Lord Krishna.
So here also, if some nations are in touch with undivine nations, if they get some help financially or otherwise, then they are caught. They do not want to voice forth their sincere opinions with regard to the United Nations. But we feel that it is always better to take the side of the nation that has more light and that is willing to reach its destination. We should not try to discourage the other nations in any way. But if we feel that the nations that are not aspiring so sincerely or deeply will be sad if we take sides, and if we stop encouraging the one that is promising, illumining and fulfilling, then we are standing in the way of world perfection in general and of our own aspiration. So, being seekers we should always try to take the side of those nations that are trying to unite other nations and that are crying and aspiring for more illumination and perfection here on earth. And we should always try to convince the nations to take the side of the nations that represent or embody more illumining and fulfilling light. All those who deny the truth, all those who do not want to see the truth, should be given a chance to see and realise the truth in their own time. Right now only those who want the truth and need the truth desperately should be given the first and foremost chance to come to the fore and be inundated with Truth and Light and Delight. Let us not remain neutral; let us be all for those who desperately cry for and need Light, Truth, Beauty and Delight.
It is very difficult to determine the soul growth of the nations which have not yet become one with the United Nations. In their case, the soul has not come to the fore. Right now the physical part, the vital part, the mental part of these nations are not allowing the soul to come to the fore. When the soul is covered by layer after layer of the vital-reality, the mental-reality or the physical-reality, then it is not possible to determine the growth because the soul remains in seed form. Only when the soul comes to the fore, only when the soul germinates like a seed germinating into a tiny plant, a sapling and finally a huge banyan tree, only then does it radiate an iota of light all around. If the soul does not have the capacity or the opportunity to come to the fore and radiate even an infinitesimal amount of light, then it is impossible to determine the soul-growth. But we can safely say that there shall come a time when the soul will be able to come to the fore, for creation is meant for perfection. Nothing on earth, nothing in God's creation, will remain imperfect. Eventually, everything has to see the face of perfection, for that is what God wants from us and that is what God eternally is. Therefore, the soul will come to the fore and at that time it will be quite possible to determine the growth of the nations that are not yet one with the United Nations.
Here we are all seekers of the Absolute Truth. We should soulfully pray and meditate for the nations that are still wanting in light so that they can also see the all-loving Beauty and all-fulfilling Duty that the United Nations has. Again, we have to know that the goal that we have been seeing in the United Nations is not the ultimate goal. Right now we are only thinking of union, of a world filled with union reality. But union is not the ultimate thing. There should be something else: oneness. The United Nations is dealing with unity right now. We are trying to establish unity on the physical plane, vital plane, mental plane and psychic plane. But then we have to go one step ahead to oneness. Oneness-reality we have to achieve by virtue of our sincere prayer and our sincere dedication to the body-reality and the soul-reality of the United Nations.
What we are aiming at is something great and good, but that is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is oneness-reality which the United Nations will offer to all nations, to all the world, to all aspiring human beings that are here on earth. So the ultimate goal of the United Nations right now we will not be able to place before the comity of nations. But a day will come when we shall have to offer that ultimate goal. Right now, the goal that we have placed before the United Nations and before the world at large is union-song. A day will come when we will have to seek and become the oneness-dance. And for that we shall have to prepare ourselves slowly, steadily and unerringly.
Question: Can you describe the stage of evolution of the United Nations soul?Sri Chinmoy: There are three ways to look at the evolution of the soul of the United Nations. One is the human way, another is the divine way and the third is God's Way.
The human way is the way that our physical mind understands the evolution of the soul of the United Nations. Right now, when we assess something, when we try to determine something, we use our physical mind, our earthbound mind. But the human mind, the earthbound mind, cannot see the soul of the United Nations. If the physical mind tries to see the evolution of the soul of the United Nations, then it sees it as a seed that is quite uncertain of future growth. It feels that the seed may not germinate at all; there will be no plant, not to speak of a tree. This is how our physical mind regards the evolution of the soul of the United Nations.
Then there is the divine way. The divine way is the way of the heart, which identifies itself with the soul of the United Nations according to its loving capacity. On the strength of its identification with the soul of the United Nations, the heart sees and feels clearly the actual growth, evolution, progress and success of the soul of the United Nations. When the heart observes or feels the evolution of the soul of the United Nations, it sees a tree, a powerful tree. This tree is the soul-tree of peace, harmony, light and delight. And it sees that there are countless human beings consciously or unconsciously seated at the foot of this tree. These human beings who are seated at the foot of this tree have an iota of aspiration in the inmost recesses of their hearts. If they consciously try to become one with the soul of the United Nations on the strength of their most sincere prayer and most sincere meditation, then the soul of the United Nations cheerfully, unreservedly and unconditionally shares with them its wealth, which is universal love, universal light and universal delight.
From God's point of view, from the highest, absolute point of view, the United Nations embodies the seed that the mind observes; it embodies the tree that the heart feels; and also it embodies the fruit. From the highest point of view, this tree of peace, light, bliss and harmony has already started bearing fruit, the fruit of oneness, universal oneness. This fruit some God-lovers have already seen and felt. Let us use the term "Truth-lovers", since there are many people who do not consciously admit the fact that God exists. But for them, Truth exists. We know perfectly well that God and Truth are identical, inseparable; they are like the obverse and reverse of the same coin. But if someone likes the idea of Truth as the only reality, as the ultimate Goal, let him remain with his realisation. Your realisation that God is the only Reality is exactly the same.
When we see the evolution of the soul of the United Nations from the point of view of the Transcendental God, then we feel that the soul of the United Nations is quite mature. It is evolved to a considerable degree. We who love the principles, the ideals, the goals of the United Nations are consciously aspiring to eat the fruit, which the soul of the United Nations has already become. Again, since we believe in the process of evolution, we feel that there is no end to the progress that the soul of the United Nations will make. Evolution is from within and without, whereas transcendence is something that we grow in as we achieve great, greater, greatest perfection in life, in nature and in our multifarious activities. So, if we believe also in the process of transcendence, then we feel that the light, the peace, the bliss that the United Nations has already received and achieved and become is being transcended every day, every hour, every minute, every second.
Question: What does the outer world need in order to accept the real significance of the United Nations?Sri Chinmoy: The outer world needs a broad mind and a sympathetic heart in order to accept the real significance of the United Nations. When the outer world uses its broad mind, then the thought-world that is operating in and through the United Nations will be accepted by the outer world. Here the thought-world is the idea-world. And when the outer world uses its sympathetic heart, it will be able to accept the ideals of the United Nations. The idea of the United Nations is universal peace, universal brotherhood, and the ideals of the United Nations are one family and a oneness-heart.
Question: There seems to be a movement towards a mental realisation where countries are starting to work with parapsychology and mind control. Is this a step towards the heart or away from the heart?Sri Chinmoy: Parapsychology and mind control need not help a sincere seeker. We cannot say that they cannot help, but we can say that they need not help the seeker who believes in the heart. One can control the mind, but from mind control or parapsychology one may not get even an iota of oneness with reality, which the heart can easily acquire by virtue of its aspiration.
Mind control is one subject and the heart's acceptance and the heart's oneness are a different subject. By controlling the mind, one can make fast progress in almost every walk of life. But that is not enough in order to have supreme oneness with God the Creator and God the creation. Undoubtedly it helps the seeker to some extent, but that is not the direct way to establish oneness with the supreme Reality. In order to establish the supreme oneness with the highest Reality, one has to aspire, one has to meditate and one has to dedicate oneself totally.
Question: How can we help people in the undeveloped countries?Sri Chinmoy: We can help only by becoming soulful and fruitful as individuals. If our conscious day-to-day existence becomes soulful and fruitful in our thought-world, in our speech-world and in our self-giving-world, then we can easily help people in a physical way.
Question: How do we best deal with people who are actively opposed to the United Nations?Sri Chinmoy: We have to deal with people who are actively opposed to the United Nations with perseverance, tolerance and forgiveness. If we have perseverance, then that is our first step towards world harmony. If we have tolerance, then we have put forward the second step; and if we can forgive then we have made the third and ultimate step.
So, with perseverance, tolerance and forgiveness we can eventually illumine people who are actively opposed to the ideas and ideals of the United Nations.
Question: How can we work with dynamism and confidence at the United Nations?Sri Chinmoy: Here we have to know that patience itself is dynamism. If we separate patience from dynamism, then we are making a mistake. Now, in patience there is confidence, in dynamism there is confidence. We can safely say that confidence is the hyphen between patience and dynamism. Dynamism is in the vital proper, patience is in the heart and confidence, let us say, is in the mind. If the mind is inundated with confidence, if the heart is inundated with patience and if the vital is inundated with dynamism, then we can easily have a far-reaching vision of the United Nations. At that time, we will know that we embody patience, because embodied patience is already there inside our aspiring heart. And we will know that we have confidence in our mind, because the mind is constantly challenging a higher reality than what it has already achieved. That means the mind already has some capacity which we call confidence. As for the vital, we have to know that there has always been dynamism and aggression in the vital. It is up to us which of these qualities to accept, aggression or dynamism. But just because we are seekers, our vital is bound to be flooded with dynamism.
Question: What is the best way to serve the United Nations: through meditation or action?Sri Chinmoy: There is no basic difference between soulful action and soulful meditation. Meditation and action are one, provided they are done in a soulful way. If one acts soulfully, then he is doing a really good meditation. And if one is meditating soulfully, then that person is also acting in a divine way. So, it all depends on how we meditate and how we work. If there is a soulful reality inside our action and if there is a soulful reality in our meditation, then we are serving the same purpose.
At times our mind separates action and meditation. But we can easily convince the mind by becoming the embodiment of a true seeker, by reaching a certain height with our morning meditation and by again reaching the same height through our daily actions during the day. So, in the morning let us call what we do meditation, and during the day let us call what we do dedication. This soulful dedication is undoubtedly soulful meditation.
Question: How can both staff members and delegates of member nations understand that spirituality is a true base to build their goals upon?Sri Chinmoy: Staff members and delegates of member nations can understand that spirituality is a true base to build their goals upon only by your own personal example. If you can grow into a flower, then naturally you will emanate fragrance-reality. If you become a flame, then automatically you will spread light. So it is not by talking but by becoming. If you can become a torch-bearer of truth and light, then automatically the world around you will see light. And if you have in your inner heart flowers of oneness, flowers of peace, flowers of divinity, and if you can bring them to the fore, then automatically the essence of these flowers will emanate all around you and enter into those who are around you.
Question: Is it best to try to bring new seekers to our United Nations meditations, or just let them discover it on their own?Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the individual. There are some individuals who are afraid of bringing others to the Meditation Group here. They feel that by doing so they are wasting their precious time, which they can utilise by doing something more valuable. Again, there are some people who have felt something in our meditation here. They feel that they have got some delicious fruit and now their wide heart, their kind heart, their sympathetic heart wants to share this fruit with others who are near and close to them. It is like the mother. When the mother gets something nice, immediately the mother wants to share it with her child. So, if one has a oneness-heart, then it is advisable for that individual to bring seekers here to meditate.
But unfortunately there are some who feel that the Peace, Light and Bliss that we bring down is measured, limited, so naturally they feel a certain kind of loss when they bring others. For they feel that the more people that are here, the less there is for everyone. But this is a deplorable mistake. Here all of us are meditating most sincerely and soulfully, and what we bring down is measureless in every way. Spirituality cannot be measured. Spiritual Peace, Light and Delight can never be measured. And these qualities are not the sole monopoly of an individual either. All those who sincerely cry for spiritual Peace, Light and Bliss will be granted the same opportunity and the same reality.
Question: How has the consciousness of the United Nations affected America as a country?Sri Chinmoy: According to my inner feeling the United Nations has definitely contributed something very sublime to the consciousness of America. At every moment the United Nations is aiming at world brotherhood, world peace, world harmony and world oneness. America is undoubtedly the right place for the United Nations to be, for America is constantly offering hope and promise to the world at large. America embodies at once humanity's hope and Divinity's promise.
On the one hand, the United Nations is getting ample opportunity from America as regards hope and promise. On the other hand, the United Nations itself, through its inner capacities, is transforming hope into reality and promise into fulfilment. The United Nations needs a few things from America and it has found them. Again, America needs a few things from the United Nations, and the United Nations is more than willing to offer them. The soul of America is promise and the soul of the United Nations is the fulfiller or, you can say, co-ordinator of that promise. They go together. The soul of the United Nations looks around and offers the reality to those who need it and care for it. And the soul of the United States, from above, looks down to the foot of the tree and offers Divinity's promise to all those who are aspiring to climb up to the topmost branches.
Question: How can one best serve the ideal of the United Nations when not working at the United Nations?Sri Chinmoy: One can best serve the United Nations even though one is not working there by keeping in one's heart the main principles of the United Nations. What are these principles? World peace, world harmony, world transformation and world oneness.
Question: How can we instil a spiritual feeling in the work that we do, so that it will be conveyed to the people we work for?Sri Chinmoy: You can instil a spiritual feeling in the work that you do if you keep in mind that you are always working for one body and one soul. You are not working just to please your boss. You must please your boss without fail, but the ultimate goal is to please the soul of the United Nations. For that, every day you should try to increase your own aspiration; and your own aspiration will automatically convey its strength to the people you work for.
Question: Is the United Nations destined to obtain spiritual power as well as political power?Sri Chinmoy: The United Nations has already obtained spiritual power along with its political power. Unlike the political power, the spiritual power works in silence. Therefore, it is not noticeable to our human eyes, but it is being constantly felt in the hearts of those who are crying for a better, more illumining, more fulfilling life on earth.
Question: Are the people who work at the United Nations especially chosen to work at the United Nations by some higher force?Sri Chinmoy: In some cases, some of the workers in the United Nations are specially chosen by some higher forces to work at the United Nations. Again, in some cases it is mere chance. But if one works devotedly and soulfully, no matter what brought him to the United Nations or how he came to the United Nations, then by virtue of his selfless service he becomes a chosen instrument of the soul of the United Nations.
Question: How can we consecrate our lives to the soul of the United Nations?Sri Chinmoy: We can consecrate our lives to the soul of the United Nations by constantly feeling that the goal which the United Nations has placed before us is something unprecedented. The United Nations is desperately trying to unify the weak and the strong, the small and the big, the unfortunate and the fortunate, the mind-power and the heart-power, the body-power and the vital-power. To unite and then elevate everything to a higher plane of consciousness is undoubtedly the unprecedented promise offered by the United Nations to the world at large.
Question: How can we best inspire the people we work with?Sri Chinmoy: You can best inspire the people you work with by becoming a constant flame of aspiration that illumines all those who are still cherishing, consciously or unconsciously, ignorance-night, which is a lesser form of light.
Question: How can we meditate on the soul of the United Nations?Sri Chinmoy: You can meditate on the soul of the United Nations either by imagining something that you feel is most beautiful, or by praying for the soul of the United Nations itself to reveal its presence in your conscious mind. Once your conscious mind sees or feels the soul of the United Nations, try to keep the experience constantly alive in your aspiring heart.
Question: How can the strong and developed countries offer their guidance to the less developed countries without incurring resentment?Sri Chinmoy: It is entirely a matter of love. When the developed countries offer their guidance, sometimes the less developed countries show a kind of unfortunate resentment. Some countries feel miserable that they are not already endowed with the qualities and capacities that they have been crying for. Their resentment is almost akin to a rebelling, sulking nature. When this occurs, the developed countries must invoke the qualities of earthly parents. They have to bring to the fore the parent-child relationship when dealing with the little members of the family who are at times unconscious, ungrateful or resentful.
Question: What is the main problem or quality in the countries of the world which keeps them from acting according to the ideals of the United Nations?Sri Chinmoy: The main problem is the problem of superiority and inferiority where the sense of separativity looms large. The feeling of identification is wanting. Therefore, the receiver and the giver are not willing to stand on the same footing of inseparable oneness.
Question: How can I work with true spontaneity and sincerity at the United Nations?Sri Chinmoy: You can work with true spontaneity and sincerity at the United Nations if you yourself constantly discover your own heart's spontaneity and cultivate your own life's sincerity at every moment of your conscious existence on earth.
Question: What is the best way to bring a divine consciousness to everyday activities at the United Nations?Sri Chinmoy: The best way to bring a divine consciousness to everyday activities at the United Nations is by making yourself consciously and soulfully feel that you are of the one Source and you are trying to manifest the Source in order to create a new world in the heart of the present-day world.
Question: How can the delegates and representatives at the United Nations best convey the ideal of the United Nations to their people in their countries?Sri Chinmoy: The delegates and the representatives can best convey the ideal of the United Nations to their people by making the people of their nations feel that the United Nations is the reality-tree and that their own countries are solid branches of that reality-tree, which are destined to bear all-nourishing, all-energising fruits.
Editor's preface to the first editionFor a number of years, Sri Chinmoy has been serving the United Nations as spiritual leader of the United Nations Meditation Group, recently re-named Sri Chinmoy Meditation at the United Nations. In this capacity, he has been offering regular meditations and lectures for United Nations delegates and staff since the spring of 1970. At these sessions, members of the United Nations community have often asked him spiritual questions, which he has answered extemporaneously. This book is part of a series which compiles all of these questions and answers.