A God-lover's earth-Heaven-life, part 2
31. Question: How can I see the Light of my soul?Sri Chinmoy: You have to feel that you are not the body, you are not the vital, you are not the mind, you are not the heart, but you are the soul itself. In order to have this experience you have to feel that you need God and God needs you. You need God to raise your consciousness as high as possible — high, higher, highest. God needs you to manifest Himself in and through you here on earth.
32. Question: Can Bliss be experienced by man on earth?Sri Chinmoy: Certainly Bliss can be experienced by man on earth, but not by an ordinary man. It can be experienced by spiritual men who know that God is the only Reality and who try to experience God in and through everything. A seeker of the highest absolute Truth is bound to experience Bliss in the course of time, when the God-Hour strikes. Bliss can easily be experienced, but for that experience real preparation is necessary. Otherwise it happens that many times we confuse pleasure with Bliss. When we have real Bliss, we get an inner sensation inside our heart, a kind of ecstatic peak inside our heart.
33. Question: Does creation continuously renew itself?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, creation continuously renews itself and, at the same time, it is in constant evolution. Creation is evolving; that is to say, God is evolving in and through His own creation. In our own life we make constant progress, which is our gradual transformation. So in God's creation we see constant transformation, we see gradual progress.
Each new dayEach new day
Is a gift.
Each new day
Is opportunity's revelation-sky.
Each new day
Is reality's manifestation-sun.
34. Question: Is physical weariness an indication of lack of aspiration?Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes it may happen that lack of aspiration is the cause of physical weariness. Otherwise, there are many reasons why one experiences physical weariness. But if one can aspire soulfully, consciously and constantly, then there can be no physical weariness because aspiration itself embodies new life, new energy, new hope, new dawn, new fulfilment. Such being the case, if one constantly remains in the world of aspiration, there can be no physical weariness.
35. Question: Why did God curse men with the lower vital?Sri Chinmoy: God did not curse man with the lower vital. God gave us the dynamic, energetic, all-conquering vital to use for a divine purpose. But God also gave us limited freedom, and in the vital world we did not use this freedom properly. We entered into the world of ignorance-pleasure. God is like the father who gives his child a penny because he wants to see what the child will do with it. If the child uses it properly, then the father gives him a nickel, a dime, a quarter. When God gave us the vital, He wanted us to expand the vital, not use it to dominate others or to destroy others. He wanted us to spread the wings of dynamic energy so that we could put an end to the life of ignorance. But instead of putting an end to the life of ignorance, what do we do? We consciously cherish the life of ignorance; we wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. On the one hand, we are crying to come out of the sea of ignorance, and on the other hand, we are just jumping into the sea of ignorance.
From the highest spiritual point of view, everything exists with God's approval and sanction. But we have to know that God, being the Author of all good, originally gave us only good, divine gifts. He gave us a little freedom so that we could also be like Him — good, divine, supreme beings. But instead of that, with our limited freedom we tried to destroy His creation, the everlasting, ever-illumining creation. The lower vital movements which we indulge in only increase our ignorance and bondage until finally we are devoured by them. God wants and needs us to use our capacities, potentialities and possibilities in a divine way so that at every moment we can make progress.
36. Question: Can God reveal Himself to the human mind?Sri Chinmoy: Certainly, God can and does reveal Himself to the human mind, just as He reveals Himself to the human heart and the human soul. The only thing is that the mind has to be fully illumined first. Once the heart is awakened, it is possible for God to function satisfactorily in and through the aspiring heart. Similarly, if the physical mind, intellectual mind, sophisticated mind is awakened and illumined by the light of the heart, which comes from the soul, then God can easily reveal and manifest Himself there, too. But the physical mind has to aspire consciously. It has to invoke light from above. Once it is illumined, then God will definitely reveal Himself in and through the human mind.
It steals into my heartThere was a time when I loved
The fantastic fabrics of the mind.
There was a time
When I lived my life
Based on culled fictions.
There was a time
When I was satisfied
With a fragment of reality,
Splintered, broken and smashed.
But now a lucid illumination
Steals into my heart.
The eternal Presence
Of Infinity's Light
Feeds my Vision's Dawn.
37. Question: Can a crying heart ever displease God?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it can. Unless it is perfect, it can displease God even while it is crying. It can cry for Peace, Light and Bliss for half an hour and then it may not cry any more, or it may cry for earthly gifts, for earthly name and fame. While it is crying for Peace, Light and Bliss, definitely it is pleasing God. But how long does a heart cry for Light, Truth and Bliss? For half an hour or so. Then the same heart will mix with the impure mind, or the aggressive devouring vital will enter into the heart. Then the heart becomes a victim to the undivine members of the family. At that time, naturally the heart will displease God. But while the heart is crying for Peace, Light and Bliss, definitely it will not displease God. It will always please God at that time.
38. Question: What prevents the soul from manifesting its divinity?Sri Chinmoy: When the physical, the vital, the mind and the heart are not co-operating with the soul, the soul finds it difficult to manifest its divinity. The soul has infinite Peace, Light and Bliss, and the soul has the potentiality and capacity to manifest the Light of the Supreme. But if the body, the vital, the mind and the heart consciously refuse to accept the soul's Light, the soul's mission will be temporarily delayed. But all the unruly members of the family are bound to surrender to the soul's light eventually. We can expedite this event by consciously trying to become one with the soul's Peace, Light and Bliss through our prayer and meditation.
I becomeSlowly and steadily
With silver tears
I see the Head of God.
Lovingly and silently
With gold tears
I breathe the Heart of God.
Constantly and unconditionally
With diamond tears
I become the Feet of God.
39. Question: Can there be any life without spirit?Sri Chinmoy: No, there cannot be any life without spirit. Here spirit refers to the divine, the transcendental Spirit with a capital "S", and not to the vital beings that we call spirits. The transcendental Spirit is all-pervading: It is light, life-energy, silence. Without that, nothing can exist on earth. Without having a connection to the transcendental Reality, the transcendental Spirit, there cannot be any life either on earth or in Heaven.
40. Question: How can I learn to speak with God?Sri Chinmoy: You can learn to speak with God by constantly feeling that there is Someone who is ready to talk with you, only you are not paying attention to Him because you are so fond of hearing the sound of your own voice. If you can start to feel that you have heard the sound of your own voice millions of times, and now you want to hear a much more meaningful and fruitful voice, then you will hear the Voice of God very clearly.
Again, there is a great difference between hearing and listening. You can hear the divine in me now, but you may not listen to it; you may not apply it to your day-to-day activities. If you hear what somebody says, its importance lasts for a second or two, or it may not last even for a second. But if you really listen, then the words are recorded on the tablet of your heart, inside your aspiring being. Then spontaneously that divine message will be manifested in your inner or outer activities. So if you want to learn to speak to God, I wish to tell you that you have to allow God to speak to you. You have to stop talking all the time. Then, when God speaks to you, you have to listen; you have to apply God's divine Message in your day-to-day life.
The only waySometimes I must be silent,
For that is the only way
To know a little better,
To think a little wiser,
To become a little more perfect,
To claim God a little sooner.
41. Question: Can true meditation ever become an escape from reality?Sri Chinmoy: No, true meditation can never be an escape from reality, for true meditation is the real acceptance of life-reality. And it is only in the manifestation of the divine consciousness totally and integrally in the life-reality, that God-Satisfaction can and will take place on earth.
42. Question: Can enthusiasm and ignorance go together?Sri Chinmoy: Enthusiasm and ignorance can go together, but they need not necessarily go together. Very often, when a person gets inspiration, it is not founded upon something which is higher or deeper; it is an ignorant force. In this case enthusiasm and ignorance go together. When enthusiasm comes directly from a deep inner source as a result of inner awakening, or when it comes from a divine guide, then ignorance cannot disturb enthusiasm.
When one gets advice from an illumined authority, his entire being becomes surcharged with dynamic light. At that time enthusiasm is a revelation of an inner awakening which is trying to come to the fore for manifestation.
43. Question: How can I fully receive Guru's divine force?Sri Chinmoy: You can very easily receive this divine force if you can constantly feel that this force is not going to hurt or torture you. It tries to operate in and through the disciple to transform his outer nature. If you can remember that the more the divine force enters into your aspiring vessel, the more assurance you will get from your Master and the more spiritual progress you will make, then you will be a more receptive instrument.
I came to himI came to him doubtful.
He smiled and said:
"Stay with me for three minutes."
I came to him uncertain.
He caressed the sleeping Eye between my eyebrows and said:
"Stay with me for three years."
I came to him with a student's eagerness.
He blessed my devoted head and said:
"Stay with me for thirty years."
I came to him with the heart of a child.
He embraced my surrendered life and said:
"Stay with me for eternity."
44. Question: What is the relationship between character and spirituality?Sri Chinmoy: Spirituality encompasses everything; therefore, it includes human character, too. To have a good character is to have honesty, simplicity, spontaneity, absence of anger, pride and so forth. When an ordinary human being possesses all these qualities, we call him a man of good character. But although spirituality is inside these qualities and these qualities are also inside spirituality, real spirituality is something infinitely higher and deeper, for it deals with life-transforming and God-becoming aspiration. A man of good character need not care for the highest absolute Truth — he may remain quite satisfied with his moral achievements — but a spiritual man goes far beyond the domain of morality with his heart's inner burning cry, in order to reach the highest Truth and bring it down to illumine himself and the earth-consciousness.
45. Question: Can human nature experience divine love?Sri Chinmoy: Human nature can experience divine love. But human nature will not be able to give due value to divine love unless the human nature is divinised and purified to a considerable extent and the divine love exercises an extra amount of compassion.
In the dark and dense nightIn the dark and dense night
You cast Your benign Eyes upon me.
Take me and make me Your very own,
Offering Your Compassion.
I am Your innocent child.
Alone do I walk on a thick, dense path.
With Your two Arms, embrace me.
Allow me not to be drowned and
By the turbulent currents of life.
46. Question: What is the significance of gratitude?Sri Chinmoy: Gratitude is a living reality. A seeker has to know that his most powerful capacity is gratitude. What God has is infinite Compassion and what we have is gratitude. God's gift to man is infinite Compassion and our gift to God is an iota of gratitude to be placed at His Feet. Gratitude-power can never be surpassed. It is the only satisfaction we can offer God. This is not because God needs our gratitude but because He needs ample opportunity to enter into us in a more effective way, and gratitude increases our heart's receptivity.
47. Question: Are the "I am" and the "inner being" one and the same?Sri Chinmoy: On the lower plane "I am" represents the ego-consciousness. This can never be the same as the inner being. The real "I am" is infinitely superior to the ego-consciousness. It is the silent Brahman, the highest Reality-Consciousness. Now, there are many inner beings, but the best inner being is the one which is like a child. The inner being is the receiver of the message of the Absolute Supreme, who is the real "I am" consciousness, but the inner being is far inferior to the "I" in the "I am" consciousness. We all have quite a few inner beings. Like a manager in a factory, their capacity is very limited. They are not the highest authority, but they are the agents, the representatives, of the highest authority, who is the real "I am" consciousness.
My younger self and my older selfMy younger self, ego,
Tells me that I can be happy
By being separated from the oneness-soul.
My larger self, oneness universal,
Tells me that there is no such thing
It is all oneness-song,
I and my older self together shall stay,
Together shall sing,
Together shall dance.
48. Question: Is patience a cure for anxiety?Sri Chinmoy: No. Patience is ready to wait for the cure, but the real cure is inner peace and light. Inner peace and light cure or lead us through anxiety and other undivine forces that operate in and through us. Patience can be used by divine light when it is illumined. It is something necessary in our spiritual life. But patience deals with the length of time which it takes for any inner achievement, and not with anxiety.
49. Question: Is the reasoning mind capable of sincerity?Sri Chinmoy: It is quite possible for the reasoning mind to develop sincerity. The reasoning mind need not be the deceptive or self-deluding mind. The reasoning mind can easily feel the necessity of light when it looks into the heart and sees that the heart is happy because it always receives light from the soul for its illumination, perfection and satisfaction. The reasoning mind can also be inspired to do the same. Everybody wants satisfaction; everything wants satisfaction. There is no other way to have satisfaction than by one's own constant and conscious submission to the illumining and fulfilling operation of the soul's light. If the reasoning mind can do this, then it will definitely have sincerity.
50. Question: Can there be freedom without discipline?Sri Chinmoy: No, there cannot be any freedom without discipline. Discipline is self-control; self-control is self-perfection. In self-perfection only does the real freedom abide. One thing we have to know in regard to discipline — discipline is not something austere or demanding. Discipline is something self-illumining and God- fulfilling.
FreedomWhat is real freedom?
Real freedom is not to strike someone
At one's sweet will.
Real freedom is one's mastery
Over the attachment-world,
Over the temptation-world,
Over the uncompromising,
Unaspiring human world.
Real freedom lies in acceptance of reality
And in perfection of reality.
Accept, transform, perfect:
That is the real freedom.
51. Question: What is the specific purpose of my life here on earth?Sri Chinmoy: The specific purpose of your life here on earth is to offer to the Supreme what you think you are — a sea of ignorance — and to receive from the Supreme what He knows you are — a sea of light and delight.
52. Question: How can I best manifest the Supreme?Sri Chinmoy: You can best manifest the Supreme by constantly feeling in the physical plane that you are hopeless and useless without Him, for the Supreme is unfulfilled and incomplete unless and until He has manifested Himself in and through you in the spiritual plane.
53. Question: What is the key to purity?Sri Chinmoy: There are many keys to open the door of purity, but there is one key which is the most effective, and that key is the absence of thought-waves in the physical mind. When the physical mind is calm and quiet, purity automatically dawns in the entire being of the seeker.
PurifyHow can I purify my mind?
I can purify my mind
Only by looking at a flower
And praying to God
To make me as pure as the flower.
How can I purify my mind?
I can purify my mind
Only by looking the moon
And praying to God
To make my mind as peaceful as
How can I purify my mind?
I can purify my mind
Only by looking at a candle flame
And praying to God
To make my mind as one-pointed
As the flame.
By looking at a flower,
By looking at the moon
By looking at the candle flame
I can purify my mind.
Once purification takes place in the mind,
Slowly and steadily
The body and vital become pure.
Mental purity comes first
For the illumination
Of the entire body-consciousness.
54. Question: How can I recapture a child's wonderment?Sri Chinmoy: You can recapture a child's wonderment by believing in the loftiest realisation of the spiritual Masters: that God is an eternal child swimming in His own Eternity's sea of Peace, Light and Delight.
55. Question: What Is the highest Truth?Sri Chinmoy: The highest Truth is that man and God are eternally one and inseparable although man is right now an unrealised God and God is right now an unfulfilled, unmanifested man.
56. Question: What can one do when the mind is confused?Sri Chinmoy: When the mind is confused, one must try to inundate the mind with a flood of simplicity. This simplicity one will get only when one feels that his heart, his aspiring heart, is not only of the Supreme but also for the Supreme.
57. Question: Why is it so difficult to listen?Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes we do not want to listen because our ego comes to the fore. Listening implies the superiority of somebody else, and it is very difficult for us to accept our humble position as listener. But if we can take the other person as our very own, if we can feel that the other person is our own reality in a more illumined and fulfilling form, then we will have no problem listening. If we don't feel like listening to someone else, or if we don't want to give credit to somebody else, or if we are incapable of admiring the truth just because someone else saw it before us, we can try at least to listen to our soul. If we dive deep within, we can hear the dictates of the soul.
58. Question: What is the best way to achieve oneness?Sri Chinmoy: The best way to achieve oneness is to give unconditionally. Then you are bound to feel that you have achieved far beyond your imagination. Giving means receiving. Giving means becoming. The moment you give unconditionally, you feel that you have already become God the universal Life and transcendental Height.
UnionUnion with God
Is not and cannot be total satisfaction.
But oneness with God
Is total and constant satisfaction.
Union is not oneness.
Union can be withdrawn.
Union is not and cannot be always safe;
It cannot be eternal.
But oneness can never be withdrawn.
Once oneness is established,
No matter on which plane,
Everything is established.
Then abiding satisfaction takes place
In the aspiring heart.
59. Question: What is the difference between being dogmatic and divine about one's principles?Sri Chinmoy: When one is dogmatic one uses his earthbound mind or his demanding vital in order to convince others that this is the truth incontestable and unalterable. But when one is divine, he sees that what he believes is true and what others believe may also be true. He accepts the fact that each has to believe in his own experience and realisation. What he feels is right for him he does not try to force upon others who may feel that their belief is equally right. He feels that his faith in his own beliefs is like staying in his own room for his own safety. He does not say to others, "Either you have to stay in my room or you will be devoured by the tiger." He says, "You are right and I am right, but I wish to remain in my own consciousness. I am not condemning your realisation, but I wish to live by my own realisation. "
60. Question: Will Self-realisation fulfil my life?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, Self-realisation will fulfil your life, since Self-realisation is nothing short of God-realisation. But Self-realisation or God-realisation cannot fulfil your life for good. It can fulfil your life for some time or for a long time, but not forever. Only God-manifestation, Self-manifestation, can fulfil your life for good.
61. Question: How can I best learn from my mistakes?Sri Chinmoy: You can best learn from your mistakes by feeling that they were something necessary for you at a particular time in your spiritual evolution, and God sanctioned them. Anything that God sanctions has a value of its own. If something is done in accordance with God's Will, His Vision, naturally one gets more benefit from it and derives more sense of fulfilment. The second best way to learn from your mistakes is this: when you do something wrong, you must feel that it is an experience — fortunate or unfortunate — that God has had through you so that you could learn the message of reality in a convincing and profitable manner.
SlowlySlowly my heart ascends
To kindle the flame of love divine.
Slowly my heart descends
To plumb the life of beauty's mine.
Slowly my heart transforms
The ceaseless pride of ignorance-night.
Slowly my heart fulfils
The Golden Hour of God-Delight.
62. Question: How can life become more real?Sri Chinmoy: Life can become not only more real but the only reality if we consider life as an embodiment of God the Eternal Player.
63. Question: Is my soul's will the same as God's Will?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, God's Will and the soul's will are one and the same. But we have to know the difference between our soul's will and the urges of our demanding vital. Sometimes we take pleasure-desires of the demanding vital as the soul's will. At that time we cannot say that the soul's will and God's Will are one. But if we dive deep within, we are bound to know the real will of our soul, and that will and God's Will are inseparable. That will is the seed that germinates and becomes a plant. We call it the soul's will. When it grows into a huge banyan tree, we call it God's Will. This Will eventually manifests itself in and through the soul, heart, mind, vital and body.
64. Question: Is the best way to teach through example?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, the best way to teach is through example. But sometimes one may not be in a position to show something. One may advise what he himself cannot do. At that time the student has to have implicit faith in the advisor's sincere wish. The father cannot stop smoking, but it is his sincere wish that his son not smoke. The poor father is sick emotionally and physically, but he wants his son to be well. He stumbles and stumbles. He cannot lead a good life. But he has a sincere wish for his son's life. At that time the son has to be a real jewel and learn by advice only, not by example. The poor father did not have the capacity, but his sincere wish is for his son to climb up to the highest rung of the ladder of knowledge and get the highest degree. Here the father cannot be an example, but the son can be the father's reality. The son is the fulfilment of the father's dream.
Editor's introduction to the first editionThis is the second of three volumes of a series of 100 questions asked by D, president of the New York Sri Chinmoy Centre. Questions 1-30 appeared in Part I.