Consciousness: God-Journey to man, man-journey to God
Consciousness-LightOur love of the Consciousness-Light can and will expedite our achievement in the body.
Our devotion to the Consciousness-Light can and will expedite our achievement in the vital.
Our surrender to the Consciousness-Light can and will expedite our achievement in the mind.
Our constant and inseparable oneness with the Consciousness-Light can and will expedite our achievement in the heart.
ConsciousnessConsciousness is our real teacher, our dear friend and our sure slave. As a slave, consciousness carries our teeming ignorance to God. As a friend, consciousness tells us what the supreme Knowledge is. As a teacher, consciousness reveals to us the undeniable truth that today’s imperfect and unfulfilled man is tomorrow’s perfect and fulfilled God.
Consciousness sings. It sings the song of universal Oneness. Consciousness plays. It plays the game of cosmic Manifestation. Consciousness dances. It dances with God’s fulfilling Vision within and God’s fulfilled Reality without. Consciousness acts. It acts through man’s crying, climbing and surrendering aspiration, and God’s descending, protecting and illumining Compassion.
When consciousness is all activity, it bows to God the Mother, its Source. When consciousness is all silence, it bows to God the Father, its Source. From the Mother, it gets the mightiest Power to make the supreme sacrifice for the unconscious earth. From the Father, it gets the highest Light to illumine the unlit earth. Consciousness itself is at once Light and Power. As Light, it identifies with the pure inspiration and deep aspiration of our inner world. As Power, it exercises its divine sovereignty over the darkest bondage and the wildest ignorance of our outer world.
The consciousness that the unaspiring body uses is called the hopeful consciousness. The consciousness that the unyielding vital uses is known as the hurtful consciousness. The consciousness that the uncompromising mind uses is called the doubtful consciousness. The consciousness that the uncovering heart uses is called the truthful consciousness. The consciousness that the unlimited soul uses is called the fruitful consciousness.
“O Mother Absolute of Existence-Consciousness-Delight!” This triple consciousness is the longest length, farthest breadth and deepest depth. The longest length is Infinity. The farthest breadth is Eternity. The deepest depth is Immortality. When consciousness lives in Existence, humanity devotedly receives what Divinity soulfully offers. When consciousness lives inside its own domain, humanity and Divinity lovingly yet surprisingly share each other’s experience. When consciousness lives in Delight, humanity is realised and transformed and Divinity is manifested and fulfilled.
Blind is he who does not see the Consciousness-Light. Deaf is he who does not obey the Consciousness-Right. Poor is he who cannot eat the Consciousness-Fruit. Foolish is he who denies the existence of the Consciousness-Sea.
Consciousness-sea, Light-skyO Consciousness-God,
I need Your Power.
Don't forget me.
If You forget me
I shall die.
I tell you,
You will be embarrassed.
For Your sake, for my sake,
Give me Your Consciousness-sea.
I need Your Love.
Don't forget me.
If You forget me
I shall die.
I tell you,
You will be embarrassed.
For Your sake, for my sake,
Give me Your Light-sky.
If youIf you
Love man in God,
The adventure of consciousness-light
Will embrace you without fail.
Serve God in man,
The consciousness-light of adventure
Will claim you and treasure you.
Question: What is the relationship between consciousness and the spiritual heart?Sri Chinmoy: The spiritual heart embodies not only the individual consciousness but also the universal Consciousness. We have two hearts. One heart is a tiny muscle and the other is the possessor of the universal Consciousness. The spiritual heart is much larger than the universal Consciousness. This may be difficult for you to believe right now, but once you realise God, you will see that the universal Consciousness is perfectly housed in your spiritual heart.
Question: Is there an ultimate consciousness or can consciousness always be transcended?Sri Chinmoy: From the strict spiritual point of view nothing is ultimate. Everything is transcending. We call something ultimate according to the realisation of our goal. The Supreme Himself is constantly transcending His highest Height. The Supreme is He who is singing the song of self-transcendence all the time.
What is ultimate today need not be and cannot be ultimate tomorrow. Today’s goal is tomorrow’s starting point. There is no ultimate reality. The ultimate reality is for today, for today’s present achievement. But tomorrow we can climb up and stand on top of the reality which we yesterday considered as the ultimate and perfect it. Today’s ultimate consciousness has to be transcended by tomorrow’s more intense aspiration.
Question: Does happiness in the outer being reflect the inner consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. If it is sincere happiness, not false happiness, then it does reflect the inner consciousness. Here the consciousness itself reaches a high degree of perfection. But if what you call happiness is actually a form of so-called earthly pleasure, then it can never reflect the inner consciousness.
We have to know what we mean by happiness and pleasure. Most of the time the majority of human beings consider pleasure as happiness; but pleasure and happiness are actually two different things. When we have pleasure we feel that our pleasure is immediately captured by frustration and inside this frustration we see a real sense of destruction. But when we have happiness we see there is a constant and conscious expansion of the real reality within us.
Question: Other than the mind, with what faculties of our being can we be conscious?Sri Chinmoy: It is true that we can be conscious with the help of the mind. But the mind cannot be conscious all the time. The mind is a very poor instrument; this moment it remembers something and the next moment it may forget. The mind is not a trustworthy friend. But the heart immediately identifies with both the subject and object. Identification is oneness. Oneness is infinitely more than mere mental awareness, so the heart is by far better than the mind. Once we have established our oneness with something we don’t have to use our mind to know what it is, what it looks like or how many times we can enjoy it. The very fact that we have become one with something is more than enough. Oneness is our actual aim.
Question: Can the mind help us to maintain a high level of consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: No, the mind can never help us to maintain a high level of consciousness. If the mind is searching and crying, it can help raise the level of consciousness. But the mind cannot help us maintain a high level of consciousness. Only the light of the soul has the capacity to do that. The soul has given this capacity to the heart and the heart can do it on behalf of the soul. If the soul itself helps us, then our consciousness remains perfect. But if the help comes from the heart which is not yet fully illumined, then our consciousness does not remain on the same high level. Nevertheless, the heart has far more capacity than the mind to help us maintain a high level of consciousness.
Question: Which is more important, consciousness or surrender?Sri Chinmoy: If you do not have consciousness, how will you surrender? Consciousness is like life. If you do not have life-energy, then how are you going to regulate that life? If there is no life inside you, then of course you will be dead. If there is life, only then can you have your existence either to enjoy pleasure and so forth, or to surrender devotedly to the Supreme. So the most important thing is to have consciousness. Then it is up to you how to deal with your consciousness, whether to surrender your life or hold it for yourself.
The goal is not just to have consciousness, but to have dedicated surrender. First things must come first. Aspiring consciousness must come first; only then can surrender come.
Question: Why is there a difference between Christ-consciousness, Krishna-consciousness and God-consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: There is no basic difference between Christ-consciousness, Krishna-consciousness and God-consciousness. They are all one. But when the Christ lived on earth, he adopted some qualities and capacities from earth-life, and Krishna also adopted some qualities and capacities from his earth-existence. When we think of Christ-consciousness we do not separate the human in Christ from the divine in him, and also when we think of Krishna we do not separate the human consciousness from the divine consciousness. In Christ’s case and in Krishna’s case the human itself is divine, and divinity is immortal.
In our human, day-to-day life, we may try to separate Christ-consciousness and Krishna-consciousness, but when we go deep within, we see clearly that they are both the same consciousness. But when this same consciousness accepts human life, it enters into the field of form, and the different experiences that are going to be revealed can and must take different forms.
God-consciousness, which is the source, is always acting in and through each human being and each individual consciousness, but it is only when it acts through manifestations such as the Christ-consciousness or the Krishna-consciousness that it is able to act most powerfully. This is because the Christ-consciousness and the Krishna-consciousness have already established their constant and inseparable oneness with God-consciousness, whereas we ordinary human beings are still far, far away from realising our oneness with God-consciousness.
Question: What is the effect of transcendental meditation on our consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: Transcendental meditation is to some extent a vague term. We use the word “transcendental” right and left at every moment, in season and out of season. But from the strict spiritual point of view, “transcendental” meditation is the meditation of constant self-giving. It is not like meditating on some very high and vague idea, like imagining the Himalayas and feeling that our consciousness is rising up to their topmost peak. That type of meditation is only a kind of deception.
Only if we can surrender ourselves totally and integrally during our meditation, only if we can feel that the Absolute Supreme is meditating in and through us, is it the real transcendental meditation. The Supreme meditates only in His highest transcendental Way, so if He meditates in and through us, we will feel the transformation of our lower being and the divination of our human existence.
Question: Guru, what do you see when you see a person's consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: When I see a person’s consciousness I see his hope, I see his promise; his earthly hope that wants to carry him to the Highest, and his Heavenly promise that wants to manifest the Supreme through him.
Question: What is inconscience?Sri Chinmoy: Inconscience is a state of consciousness where there is no light, not even a streak of light.
Question: Is divine Delight the highest level of consciousness and how can we most directly reach it?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, divine Delight is the highest level of consciousness because it is the Source Supreme, the Source Eternal. And how can we most directly reach it? We can reach this consciousness through constant, conscious and unconditional self-giving.
Question: Does love have a particular consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, Love has a particular consciousness. If it is human love it will possess. If it is divine Love it will only expand.
Question: How does hope affect consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: If hope is just a mere wish, if it is just like making friends with fantasy, then consciousness will not respond to it. But if it is something significant, like a vision that is trying to blossom inside the heart of an individual, then consciousness will be elevated. If it is real hope and not mere fantasy or false hope, then there is every possibility that the consciousness-flower will blossom petal by petal with its nourishment.
Question: How can someone new to meditation tell whether his consciousness is rising, steady or falling?Sri Chinmoy: Someone new to meditation can easily tell whether his consciousness is rising, steady or falling. If he feels purity inside his heart, inside his entire being, then his consciousness is steady. If he feels sincerity, then his consciousness is rising. But if he becomes a victim to doubt concerning what he is feeling or observing, then his consciousness is falling.
Question: Does a child naturally have a high consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: No, not necessarily. Because the child does not have a developed mind, the loving consciousness of nature’s spontaneous beauty can be seen in him. We love the child because of his loving and loveable consciousness, but that does not mean this consciousness is very high.
Question: Can a parent guide a child to a higher consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: Certainly, a parent can and must guide a child to a higher consciousness; otherwise what is the use of bringing children into the field of creativity from God? It is deplorable when parents do not want to take the due responsibility to guide, mould and shape the child here on earth for God-realisation and God-manifestation. When it is God’s Will for the parents to bring children into the world, they must feel that this kind of guidance is their very purpose as parents.
Question: You have said that animal consciousness enters into us when we eat meat. Are we affected in the same way when we must take vitamins containing animal by-products?Sri Chinmoy: I maintain the conviction that animal consciousness enters into us when we eat meat. But we have to know that vitamins do not have the same animal consciousness. We can see that when an animal is butchered and cooked fresh the animal consciousness remains in a most powerful manner. But when it goes through all the chemical processes to make vitamin pills it loses considerably its strangling animal quality. The animal power still remains to some extent, but it will not affect the consciousness the way eating meat will.
Question: How can we raise our consciousness when we feel threatened by negative forces?Sri Chinmoy: When we are threatened by negative forces we have to feel that we have the strongest friend within us, and that friend is the soul. Let us take shelter under the wings of the soul. Let us invoke the soul and pray for its guidance. And if we call on this friend, naturally he will fight against the negative forces on our behalf; the soul will save us, protect us, illumine us and perfect us.
Question: Do the levels of consciousness correspond to the higher worlds and the lower worlds?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, the levels of consciousness correspond to the higher worlds and the lower worlds. The earth-bound consciousness corresponds to the lower worlds and the Heaven-free consciousness corresponds to the higher worlds.
Question: How can we hold ourselves steady in our Guru's consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: We can hold ourselves steady in our Guru’s consciousness through our conscious and constant remembrance of his Compassion-Light and the unavoidable necessity of our devoted, dedicated and surrendered life to the Supreme in him.
Question: In meditation I experienced myself flying in a limitless expanse above a broad ocean. What consciousness does this represent?Sri Chinmoy: This is a vital consciousness — not the lower vital — but the vital that is at times dynamic, at times enthusiastic. This vital consciousness wants to go beyond its present limit, but it need not and cannot be the highest type of consciousness.
Question: What is the relationship between the soul and consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: The soul may be taken as a sheet of ice, and consciousness as water.
Question: What is the relationship between consciousness and oneness?Sri Chinmoy: Consciousness is a tiny seed. Oneness is a tree. In due course the seed germinates and gradually becomes a huge banyan tree. Consciousness can be personal and individual. Consciousness can be egocentric. But once oneness is established in our aspiring consciousness on any plane of existence, then the seeker starts tasting the delight of freedom from his earth-bound life.
Question: Is the Supreme Being the very height and depth of consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it is absolutely true; the Supreme Being is the very height and depth of consciousness.
Question: How does one experience consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: One experiences consciousness by loving the Real in himself, by loving the Divine in himself, by crying for the Divine in himself and by constantly giving to Divinity his own reality, which is an inner cry.
Question: Does being conscious of former life experiences help us in our road to self-discovery?Sri Chinmoy: It does and again it does not. If you discovered that you were a thief in your previous incarnation, you would be horrified. You would not be inspired at all. You would think, “Oh, I was a thief; I was stealing all the time. In this incarnation it is simply useless for me to aspire.” And if you discovered that you were a great saint in a previous incarnation, then you would blame yourself. You would think, “Oh, I was a saint in my previous incarnation and in this incarnation I have done so many undivine things; it is a hopeless case. In this life, spirituality is not meant for me.” You would be doomed to disappointment and again you would not aspire. If you discovered that you were bad, you would be disturbed, and if you discovered that you were extremely good you would also be disturbed when you compared your past to your present state.
But suppose you discovered that in your past incarnation you began your spiritual life but were not sincere or serious enough, or that you were afraid to dive totally into the spiritual life or make a total commitment to a spiritual Master. Since in this incarnation you have made a total commitment, you are making progress. In your last incarnation you were on the first rung of the spiritual ladder and in this incarnation you have climbed up quite a few rungs. This would give you tremendous inspiration and this time you would think, “Oh, I have climbed up quite a few steps, now only a few more remain; let me try.” In this case, it is a great advantage when you come to know what you were, what you are now becoming and what you will eventually be.
If you see a gradual progress in your inner life, then it is a great blessing. But if you don’t notice this inner progress you will be miserable. So the best thing is to pray and meditate. If it is God’s Will, He will show you your gradual inner progress. If it is not God’s Will, you must wait for the moment when you become totally divine and perfect. Otherwise the past may create unnecessary problems for you.
Question: Guru, when you talk of mineral, plant, human and divine consciousness what exactly do these terms mean?Sri Chinmoy: In mineral consciousness there is practically no light and in plant consciousness there is a streak of light. In human consciousness there is or there can be limited light, which again is capable of housing unlimited light. Finally the divine Consciousness embodies boundless, infinite Light.
Question: What is the body consciousness, mind consciousness, heart consciousness and soul consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: Body consciousness is earthbound. Mind consciousness is also earthbound. Heart consciousness is earthbound and at the same time cherishes and treasures hope. This hope is for a Heaven-free consciousness and it is eventually transformed into reality. Soul consciousness is always free, eternally free. It is like a bird flying in the firmament of Eternity.
Question: Is the term "awareness" used by the psychologists synonymous with the term "consciousness"?Sri Chinmoy: No, it is not synonymous. Awareness and consciousness are two totally different things. In awareness you become aware of something. If I talk with someone, then I observe him, his qualities, whether he is a good man or a bad man. That is awareness. In awareness we have to approach the person; without mixing with him we cannot know his nature or anything about him. But in consciousness, immediately the nature of the person or thing will be revealed to us. The light is already there, the wisdom is there. Consciousness is something infinitely deeper and more inward than awareness.
Question: Does consciousness have a sound vibration?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, consciousness has a sound vibration, but this sound vibration one can feel and hear only when one is highly advanced in the spiritual life or is on the verge of realisation. One can have a sound vibration reverberating in one’s own day-to-day life, but it need not come directly from the soul’s consciousness. It can come from any part of the being.
Question: Is there any relationship between colour and consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: As colours have consciousness, even so consciousness has colour. But it is infinitely easier to see the consciousness of colours than the colours of consciousness.
Question: How do I manifest the highest consciousness within myself and for others?Sri Chinmoy: We manifest the highest consciousness within ourselves and for others only by seeing the ultimate Reality within ourselves and in others.
Question: How many different kinds of consciousness are there in the ordinary human being and to what extent can they be controlled?Sri Chinmoy: There are many kinds of consciousness in the ordinary human being but there are two main types of consciousness that regulate a human being. If he is in the desire-world, then earth-bound consciousness dominates him, and if he is in the Heaven-free world, then the divine Consciousness inspires him, energises him and immortalises him.
To what extent can consciousness be controlled? It entirely depends on the seeker’s inner achievement; how much Peace, Light and Bliss he has already established in his life of aspiration and dedication.
Question: You have used the expressions "the Face of God" and "the Smile of God". Is there a particular state of consciousness associated with each of these?Sri Chinmoy: In “the Face of God”, consciousness tries to inspire and awaken, awaken and inspire. But in ”the Smile of God”, consciousness tries to feed and immortalise the seeker.
Question: If water represents consciousness, what effect does living near water have on our consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: Water represents consciousness. Now water has a most intimate friend called vastness. This vastness at times resides inside consciousness and at times consciousness resides inside vastness. So if a seeker is also a friend of consciousness, naturally consciousness will show the seeker its best friend, which is vastness, vastness within and vastness without. But if the seeker is not sincere, consciousness will not show him this vastness. A fisherman is all the time in or around water, but his consciousness is not necessarily in touch with vastness. Only if one becomes a sincere aspirant will consciousness the friend take him to another most important friend, which is vastness.
Question: In divine Consciousness what is the relationship between the face and the heart?Sri Chinmoy: The relationship between the face and the heart in divine Consciousness is this: the face reveals what the heart is; the heart is what God gives.
Question: What is the relationship between will-power and consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: The relationship between will-power and consciousness is like the relationship between a gun and a divine bullet. But this gun and this divine bullet are used not for destruction, but only for the transformation of ignorance.
Question: What is the relationship between consciousness and realisation?Sri Chinmoy: Consciousness is like a plain green field and realisation is like the topmost peak of Mt. Everest. The field is directly connected to the mountain and the foot of the mountain is directly connected to the top of the mountain. But Consciousness and realisation are both part of the same unbroken flow of universal Consciousness.
Question: Is consciousness the entire creation?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, consciousness is the entire creation. At the same time, consciousness is inside the creation and the creation is inside consciousness. Consciousness is beyond the creation itself, for consciousness houses creation.
Question: Should one realise or reach the highest consciousness before mingling with unaspiring people?Sri Chinmoy: First, you have to realise the Highest. Then only can you dare to mix with unaspiring people. When you mix with unaspiring people, it is as if you are going to visit a mental hospital, and unless you yourself are very powerful you will also be affected.
If you are aspiring, you need not reach the Highest in order to help other aspiring people. While you yourself are going high, very high, you can help your younger brothers who are aspiring but not climbing up fast enough. But it is stupidity for you to try to help people who are not aspiring at all because you cannot change their nature.
To a seeker who is still unrealised, God usually says, “You aspire, and while you are climbing up, if you see that somebody is a little behind you, then help him, inspire him, guide him so that he can also come up to the place where you are. But do not mix with unaspiring people, for if you do, then you will never aspire. If you don’t aspire, then how will you realise Me?”
So let us be wise. First let us reach some height and mix with those who are aspiring. Then when you reach the Highest, if it is God’s Will you can mix with those who are unaspiring.
Question: Are consciousness and thought the same?Sri Chinmoy: No, let us take consciousness as a table and thoughts as flies. The flies are constantly sitting on the table, or seeking and flying from one place to another. The table will not be permanently affected, but it has to be cleaned. Now, how do you clean your consciousness? You clean it with your heart’s light.
Question: Does earth have a consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, the earth has a consciousness. It is the consciousness of constant self-giving. The earth is crying and crying for the Infinite, and at the same time offering itself to the Infinite.
Question: Are one's soul's qualities present in his consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, the soul’s qualities are present in one’s consciousness, but they are noticeable only when they are manifesting there. Otherwise the qualities remain dormant. When the qualities remain dormant, it is as good as not having them.
Question: What do the terms "low consciousness" and "high consciousness" mean?Sri Chinmoy: The term “low consciousness” means an unaspiring and strangling consciousness. “High consciousness” means an elevating, illumining and fulfilling consciousness.
Question: What is the relationship between intuition and consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: Intuition is the arrow and consciousness is the bow. When the arrow is released it enters into the target. If there is no bow, the arrow cannot play its role, and vice versa. Both are indispensable.
Question: Is purity or impurity a direct result of the consciousness from which we are operating?Sri Chinmoy: Purity or impurity is not a direct result of the consciousness from which you are operating. On the contrary, it is purity or impurity that enters into the consciousness. When purity enters, consciousness is elevated; when impurity enters, consciousness descends. Consciousness sees impurity as a culprit and purity as a friend. Consciousness is affected by the presence of purity or impurity, but consciousness does not affect purity or impurity.
Question: Is there power in consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, there is power in consciousness. Consciousness itself is a form of power. In consciousness there is power, and in power there is consciousness. They are inseparable.
Question: Is there a limit to consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: If it is earthbound consciousness, then there is a limit. If it is Heaven-free consciousness, there can be no limit.
Question: How does the animal or destructive consciousness affect us?Sri Chinmoy: With our destructive consciousness we try to destroy others and destroy ourselves. Unfortunately, in the animal we see the destructive quality looming large. But it is better to have this animal consciousness, to fight and struggle, than to remain in the stone consciousness where there is no movement, no progress.
Now the animal has played its role, and we have come to the human consciousness. We know that movement is necessary; but it has to be dynamic movement, not aggressive movement. In the human consciousness we try to go a little farther with our dynamic movement, but unfortunately, the animal consciousness still lies dormant in us. We try to purify the destructive animal quality through our human dynamism. Then, from the human dynamic movement, we try to go to the Divine. When the human enters into the Divine, we get perfect Perfection and the animal consciousness leaves us totally.
Question: How is consciousness related to cosmic energy?Sri Chinmoy: Cosmic energy is flowing consciously and constantly through consciousness, but at times the earthbound consciousness does not allow the cosmic energy to flow through it. At that time the seeker in the human being cannot make any progress.
Question: When you say that a child is the extension of its parents' consciousness, what do you mean by "the extension of consciousness"?Sri Chinmoy: The extension of consciousness means the extension of the dream-reality of the parents. Parents are constantly dreaming in and through their child, so the soul of the child is consciously assimilating the dream-reality of the parents. When the child assimilates the parents dream-reality in the inner world, then in the outer world we will see the extension of the parents’ consciousness in the child.
Question: How can I consciously find my soul-mate, my shakti?Sri Chinmoy: You must try to do the first thing first. First you must take the trouble to find God. If you take the trouble to find God, then God will take the trouble to find your soul-mate, shakti. First please Him, first make Him feel that you care for Him. If you can feel that God is your friend, then He will take much better care of you. You must try first of all to please God.
Question: Can one reach the subtle planes of cosmic consciousness as quickly through Raja Yoga as through Bhakti Yoga?Sri Chinmoy: It entirely depends on the seeker. One seeker will say Raja Yoga helps him. Another seeker will say Bhakti Yoga helps him to reach God the fastest. But if you feel that as a seeker you are a little child, and that Raja Yoga is your father and Bhakti Yoga is your mother, you will have more fondness for your mother. Naturally you will have more faith in your mother than in your father, because your mother brought you up and mixed with you much more than your father did. Please forgive me for saying this, all fathers. It will be easier for the child, the seeker, to go towards the Goal through Bhakti because of his intimate connection with his mother. He will be able to make better progress because of his faith in her. When the child grows up, if he sees that his father has more knowledge, or more wisdom, then he will come to have more faith in his father and will mix more with him.
Since you are a child, the best thing is to mix with the mother and run with her to realise the Highest. When you realise the Highest, you will see that what your father knows and what your mother knows is the same.
Question: How can we enter into the consciousness of another person or object in order to more fully understand him or it.Sri Chinmoy: Here we have to be very, very careful. Most of the time it is not at all necessary for us to enter into the consciousness of another person or object in order to more fully understand him or it. Why? Very often when we try to understand someone we unconsciously or consciously bring upon ourselves the unlit and ignorant parts of that human being. There is no assurance, no guarantee, that by understanding someone we are throwing more light on him or that our own conscious being is receiving more light.
But if it is the Will of God, then we should try to invoke more light into our own system and try to see more divinity in the person whom we are trying to understand. The more we can consciously see light in another person, the sooner we are bound to understand him. But first it is most important to know whether or not it is the Will of God for us to understand someone more fully. Very often when we try to understand someone, we only fathom, we only explore unlit and undivine qualities in him. Today we observe these qualities and tomorrow, in spite of our best intentions, they enter into us and create unnecessary problems for us.
Question: We know that your name, "Chinmoy", means "full of divine consciousness". What does it mean to be "full of divine consciousness"?Sri Chinmoy: “Full of divine consciousness” signifies a most powerful, muscular man in the inner world. In the spiritual life everybody has consciousness. When one is aware of having divine consciousness, he is on the verge of realisation. But if one is “full of divine consciousness” and fully aware of it, that means that his oneness with God is inseparable and also permanent.
When one becomes the possessor of divine consciousness in his inner life to the fullest degree, then he not only feels that God’s Promise to mankind is his promise, God’s Dream is his dream, and God’s Reality is his reality, but in his inner life he becomes God-Reality itself. In the beginning when he deals with consciousness, he feels that God is the Master, God is the Creator, God is everything. But when he becomes fully divine or when he is full of divine consciousness, at that time it is not his ego, but his inseparable oneness that makes him feel that God and he are partners. He gets this realisation directly from God; if he tries to deny it out of humility or false modesty, then God becomes really displeased with him.
God is constantly trying to make all seekers feel that He is not their Master but their partner. When we live in the world of desire, God is helpless. At that time we make Him feel that we are the servants and He is the Master, and He has to accept this fact. But when we become fully aware of our oneness with Him, then God begs us to realise the true Truth, the supreme Truth, that He and each individual are partners working for the same cause.
It is very easy to have relatives and to have all kinds of relationships with human beings, but to have a friend, a true friend, is the most difficult thing. God always tells spiritual Masters and spiritual seekers of the highest height that what He needs is friendship. If the seeker can sincerely feel that God is not his Father, Mother, Brother or Sister but his Friend, then God gets the greatest joy.
Question: Relative to you, Guru, what percentage of your total consciousness does your average disciple possess?Sri Chinmoy: At this point I will be misunderstood but let me brag a little. I have two consciousnesses, two types. One is human, one is divine. The human consciousness you know very well: I shout, I bark. I do many things undivine according to your understanding. But my divine Consciousness, which has realised the Highest, the Absolute, is a different story.
Now, if you want to know what percentage of my divine Consciousness you have, then I wish to be very frank with you and say that you do not have even one per cent. This is because here I am dealing with Infinity. Unfortunately, to be very frank with you, you have not realised God — which you will do tomorrow or some time in the future. So until you have realised the infinite as I have done, there cannot be any question of percentage. We cannot enter into percentage. Again, I am a human being like you, so naturally you can possess a percentage of my consciousness.
Now here also let me be very, very frank with you. I am a human being that aspired, and still aspires, or a divine being that constantly sings the song of self-transcendence. There is no end to my aspiration. There is no end to my transcendence. I always say, “self-transcendence.” The Supreme Himself is transcending Himself. So naturally my divine Consciousness is also transcending. A few years ago I declared my highest transcendental Consciousness and three years later that Consciousness, that picture, fell down at my feet because I went much higher than my previous transcendental Consciousness. So there is and there can be no limit.
I wish to say that if one can realise twenty-five per cent of my human consciousness, I will tell you that that person is really something. I had a disciple who is still a disciple in the inner world. In the inner world she is extremely close, closer, closest to my heart and soul. When that individual used to get twenty-five per cent of my human consciousness, people used to see in that person my face. Although I am a man and she is a woman, her whole face used to radiate my face. And when she used to meditate people used to see in her my face, absolutely my face. And that experience happened three or four times. You know my face is totally different from hers. I am a man first of all, and God has done a very good job of taking away all my hair. But that person had plenty of hair. In every way our faces were totally different — mine a man’s and hers a woman’s face. But when she used to enter twenty-five per cent into my consciousness, my human consciousness, which is aspiring, which is in its own way extremely mature, then my physical plane also entered into her heart; with aspiration, of course.
When she was successful in entering into my human consciousness with her own heart’s most intense aspiration she did that kind of miracle. And it has been experienced, not by me, but by the disciples of that Centre, three times at least. And I used to receive letters saying that I, my physical presence, was physically there.
Why I am bragging, is that it was my physical consciousness, human consciousness. Only on very rare occasions when one has the kind of human consciousness that she had, is one ready to receive twenty-five per cent of my human consciousness. Then again, seventy-five more that person has to get of mine, and that seventy-five per cent more one has to get not for a fleeting second, but for a few seconds. To be very frank with you, it was only for a fleeting second, five or ten seconds or one minute that she had my consciousness. So if you possess one hundred per cent of my human consciousness constantly, then I assure you, you are becoming ready for the divine Consciousness. And then, when you are ready for the divine Consciousness, naturally you will realise God.
I am telling you this. Perhaps I am bragging. But if you are very sincere, then you will see that I am still underestimating. God-realised people are like that. No matter to what extent they brag in their intimate circles, they underestimate themselves. Not deliberately, of course, but because that is what God wants them to do.
Well dear ones, as the Supreme in me forgives you when you do something wrong, even so the Supreme in me will expect you to forgive me if I have said something wrong. Needless to say, He does it out of His unconditional and infinite Bounty.
Question: Can anyone surpass God's Consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: Chandra is the youngest member at our Connecticut Centre. She is fourteen years old. So she will answer this question. Let us see. Chandra, can anybody surpass God’s Consciousness?
Chandra: I don’t think so.
Sri Chinmoy: Very good. That is true, but now you can elaborate it. We are all fools, so we have to know it more convincingly. “Yes” or “no” we can say, but why it is “yes”, or why it is “no” — that we have to know from you. You have said that nobody can surpass God’s Consciousness; now you justify this.
Chandra: No one can surpass God because who created us? God. He is our Creator. So who can surpass the Creator’s Consciousness? He is the Highest.
Sri Chinmoy: Absolutely true. You get a hundred out of a hundred. One hundred out of a hundred you get. You have told us the supreme philosophy in a few words.
Now, I wish to tell you from my monkey consciousness another supreme philosophy. Vivekananda used to say, as well as all other spiritual Masters, something that you will one day say: “Who is God if not you yourself?” Tomorrow when you realise God, you will see that you are God, your mother is God, your father is God, I am God, everybody is God. Before we realise God we can doubt Him. We can be atheists and say, “There is no God, there is no God.” But when we realise God, we then believe that there is no one or no thing which is not God.
Before realisation we may have the audacity to deny God. Then when we make a little progress we say, “Oh, Guru has realised God, he is divine. And I have not realised God, I am undivine.” Then gradually, gradually when aspiration grows, we will say, “Oh, if he has the capacity to realise God, what is wrong with me? If he can do it, why can’t I do it? If he has done it, then I can do it.” So this is how aspiration grows and how our capacity grows.
Now, a few minutes ago I said that when we realise God we see that everybody is God. You are God, I am God, everybody is God. The philosophy of God is self-transcendence. He cherishes an eternal hunger for self-transcendence.
Who can transcend himself? Vilupti has asked the question, so Vilupti, who embodies God, who is God in terms of the supreme philosophy, naturally will transcend herself. What Chandra said is one hundred per cent true; we can’t deny it. But if we examine the question from another angle — what God has and what God is — then we will know that all is sufficient for Him. But at the same time He says that this sufficiency is not pleasing Him. He wants always to transcend Himself.
It is like somebody who has many millions of dollars and somebody who has one dollar. The person with one dollar says, “Oh, if I could only have two dollars.” Although he knows that his capacity is to have only one dollar, he is trying to have one more. And again, the multimillionaire tries to have a little more as well. So God is infinite, but still He wants to grow. With the mind, we can’t fathom Him, but with the heart we feel Him, we become one. He is static, and He is dynamic. God is the highest Height. He does not grow. And at the same time He grows. It is said correctly in our Indian philosophy that God moves and He moves not; that He is far and He is also near. Now, how will the mind be able to recognise two things at the same time? If something is moving, the mind will say, “Yes, it is moving.” But the mind will not be able to say at the same time, “No, it is standing still.”
But in God’s case, He is standing still and moving everywhere. This is His Goal. If you use the third eye you see that He is at once nowhere and everywhere. God means self-transcendence. Constant self-transcendence is God.
Now let us take Chandra. You as God are constantly transcending yourself. This is from the highest spiritual point of view. But what you have said, from one point of view, is also absolutely true. God, our Creator, is Absolute; how can we transcend Him? It is impossible! How can we transcend Him when we are two separate individuals? When God is one and you are somebody else, how can you transcend Him? Because He has created you, you are the creation and He is the Creator. Now how can the creation surpass the Creator? It is only the Creator who will constantly create. If you are an artist, you constantly create. If you are an artist, constantly you will go on creating something. It is you who have the capacity, not the creation, not the piece of paper or pencil with which you create. This is the truth.
But if the creation becomes devotedly and soulfully one with the Creator, if the consciousness of the creation becomes one with the Creator, then it can transcend Him.
Now, your parents are here. You are their creation. Now, in terms of their knowledge and wisdom, you are nowhere. Your father and mother know much more than you. But if you become inseparably one with them, with your boundless love, then whatever they have is yours. You become one with them.
Your father is sincere, so naturally he will see tremendous progress in comparison to what he was ten years ago. That progress is his transcendence, self-transcendence. So you see, God, who is our eternal Father and our eternal Mother, also makes progress, which means He is constantly going high, higher, highest. There is no end to His Progress. Since He is progressing, we too are progressing, because we are one with Him. We are all the time with Him, inside Him; we are part and parcel of His existence. As He is climbing we are climbing automatically. In His case, there is constant satisfaction and this satisfaction is in transcending. In our case, the vision of transcendence comes into being in our self-giving. And today’s self-giving is nothing short of tomorrow’s God-becoming.
My body-lifeMy body-life
Enjoy mutual recognition.
Enjoy simultaneous recognition.
Enjoy constant recognition.
I sing, I smileI sing because You sing.
I smile because You smile.
Because You play on the flute
I have become Your flute.
You play in the depths of my heart.
You are mine, I am Yours.
This is my sole identification.
In one Form You are my Mother and Father eternal,
And Consciousness-moon, Consciousness-sun all-pervading.
My Lord heard my prayerThere was a time
When I lived in the cave
My Lord heard my prayer-cry;
I now live in the palace
I am sure
My Lord shall continue to hear my prayer-cry;
I shall one day live in the kingdom
PrefaceThis book consists of Sri Chinmoy’s answers to various questions on the subject of consciousness. These questions were asked by the disciples of the Ottawa Sri Chinmoy Centre.