God-Life: is it a far cry?

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Author's introduction

"When I cry, God weeps. When I weep, God peeps. When I peep, God flings.
— Sri Chinmoy"

"When I cry." Each sincere seeker must feel that his inner cry is something to cherish forever. This cry actually comes from within us, from the very depths of our heart. Our inner cry is our strength. When this cry comes from the depths of our heart, it has to be accepted and embraced by something higher. This inner cry is not for name and fame; this inner cry is for deep awareness of what one truly is. This inner cry needs its manifestation. Inside this burning cry is our realisation, and inside our soulful weeping is our manifestation. Manifestation comes when we actually weep. Manifestation takes the form of weeping, and God comes to fulfil this weeping. We start the journey and God completes it. God comes to cherish and manifest what we have within.

We always have to feel that God's actions are more meaningful, more fruitful than ours. But when we go deep within, we feel that God does everything for us. Our journey's start is God and our journey's Goal is also God. As an individual human being we start our journey with crying and God the Divine Being completes the same journey with weeping. In this weeping we feel God's Concern for us. He says, "My child, at last you are crying for Me. Better late than never. You are crying for Me consciously and I am most proud that you are crying for Me, for Light." This is why God is weeping with joy and the sense of satisfaction.

"When I weep, God peeps." Here we have to understand who God is. If we feel that God is a very old man, like a grandfather or great-grandfather all the time picking at our mistakes and errors, then we are mistaken. We must feel that the omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God is our real eternal Friend and Comrade. We are all children and He is of our age. In terms of our realisation we are all beginners, because our goal is infinite Light and infinite Bliss, and we have yet to come near the threshold. If we are sincere with ourselves and feel that we are all beginners, all children, then we feel that God is coming to us as a Child because His Purpose is to play with us. Grown-ups won't play, but a child constantly wants to play, all the time and everywhere. If we feel the necessity of always remaining children, then God can come to us in the form of a Child. He is the eternal Player in His eternal Garden; today he plays with our desires, tomorrow he plays with our aspiration, and the day after tomorrow he plays with our realisation.

Now at this point, when we are consciously praying, concentrating and meditating, God peeps at us like a child. He sees whether we are actually meditating or not. It is like a child peeping through the window to see what his parents or older people are doing. When the child sees he is going to be caught, he runs away.

God the divine Child wants to play His Cosmic Game of hide-and-seek with us. When God hides, we have to seek Him; when we hide, God will come and seek for us. In that way we become the sweetest of friends, eternal friends. If God is one-pointed, if He is always catching us with His Knowledge, Wisdom and Vision, then there will be no Game. If one party in a game is by far stronger than the other party and always wins, then the loser will not continue playing. So God comes in the form of a child and peeps at us, His children.

God wants us always to act like children, divine children. Every day a divine child renews his thoughts, his ideas, his aims; everything that he has he changes. When the day dawns he will not stay with yesterday's hope, desire or achievement; he will not be satisfied. And as soon as tomorrow dawns he will again have new hope, new prayers and new goals.

Divine children play innocent games. Their spontaneous inner joy and innocent play gives us delight. Real divine children do not get joy from boxing, fighting or other kinds of games that grown-up people play. Divine children try to become one with Mother Earth, and from nature they try to get joy. But grown-ups are unfortunately misusing the concern, compassion and capacity of Mother Earth. They are violating the Cosmic Law and obstructing the path of their own inner realisation.

Now, "When I peep, God flings." Why? God is in His Room of infinite Joy, Peace, Bliss and Power, and He sees that some poor fellow, some lone individual has come all the way to see Him. This poor seeker is not sure of his present achievement. He feels that he may be caught by God and that God may be displeased with him because of his inferior capacity, because of his inferior understanding of Light and Truth. We run towards God, but the moment we feel that God is looking at us we feel ashamed of ourselves because we have committed untold, teeming mistakes in our lives. When we stand in front of the Light, very often all our darkness, imperfection and impurity come to the fore. We are crying and trying to see the Light, but when we are about to face the eternal effulgence of infinite Light, we are horror-struck. We feel that our abysmal impure nature will be exposed. So, like a thief, we try to see the Truth stealthily. At the same time, we try to get joy by feeding our eyes with the vision. So when we peep into God's Eldorado, God's infinite Treasure-room, He flings around and says, "My child, at long last you have come to Me, and now you are so afraid of Me that you have to peep? No. I won't let you go. You have not yet recognised your eternal friendship with Me; that is why you are hiding. But now I wish to tell you that I have taken you as My very own. You and I are one, eternally one. I am conscious of the fact that we are one; unfortunately you are not." Saying this, God flings around and captures the child. Why does God do it? He does it on the strength of His oneness. He feels that His highest identity has to be revealed. God starts his journey as a child. He will play with us human beings and make us feel that He is in no way superior to us. If God remained in his highest Consciousness, we human beings would not approach Him. So He dons the human cloak in the form of a child, and He becomes one with us.

Then he has to elevate us. He mixes with us, but just by mixing He cannot elevate us. To elevate us He has to bring to the fore His own highest qualities and capacities within us. So when God finally catches us peeping at Him, He says, "You have come to Me from a very far-away land. Now the time has come for Me to make you feel that you are My very own." That is why God flings and captures our human aspiration, our human urge, our human cry. In the beginning of the journey God became a child, and He Himself was peeking at us. But at the end of the journey, God feels satisfaction in making the aspirant feel that he is as great as God. Now hide-and-seek is no longer necessary. The game is over. The game starts when there is separativity, duality. Two players try to get joy from each other and give joy to each other. And when the game ends, it ends in one supreme Consciousness.

In the beginning there was One, but the One wanted to become Many: Ekam bhusyama. By becoming Many, the Supreme tastes His own Truth in millions, and billions and trillions of forms, in infinite forms. And finally, when He has manifested and fulfilled Himself fully in infinite forms here on earth, the Supreme goes back to His original Source. The Game is complete.

My questions

My clever mind asks
The unanswered question:
Why do I love God?

My sincere heart asks
The unanswerable question:
Why does God love me?

My desire-life asks
The unanswered question:
Why do I need God?

My aspiration-life asks
The unanswerable question:
Why does God need me?

Question: Do you personally believe that God is one Entity, or that possibly God is you, I and everybody; that we are all really God?

Sri Chinmoy: My philosophy is: God is man, yet to be manifested, and man is God yet to be realised. Man is God, but he has yet to realise the transcendental Truth. God is man, but He has yet to fully manifest Himself; God is man, yet to be completely, totally fulfilled on earth.

Again, God can be anything and in any place. God is not necessarily some picture we revere of a holy person or some power up in the sky. God is also in an insect, in a cloud, in a tree, in energy. I am God; you are God; we are all God. God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, but God must be manifested and fulfilled here on earth. That is why we are here. Our goal is to eventually fulfil God and manifest God.

Question: What is the difference between man and God?

Sri Chinmoy: Man is tomorrow's God. Man is God yet to be supremely realised in the highest plane of consciousness, and God is man yet to be totally manifested and fulfilled here on earth. When we go deep within we see that God's manifestation, perfect manifestation, has not yet taken place. If His perfect manifestation had taken place then human beings would not remain half animal. Man has not yet realised the highest truth. Our Hindu philosophy says that there are as many gods as there are human beings or souls. This is our conception.

Each individual represents God on earth. When we enter into the spiritual life and make progress, we see in our inner life infinite Peace, infinite Light and infinite Bliss. When we go to a spiritual Master, physically he may be only 5'8" or 5'10" tall. His form is limited, but spiritually he will be able to show us unlimited Peace, Joy and Love. In his inner consciousness he is infinite. Physically he is earthbound but spiritually he is not. When we say that man is God yet to be realised, this is the inner reality that we are referring to.

Question: Who is God?

Sri Chinmoy: God is your own highest, most illumined, most perfect part. You have two parts: one is higher, one is lower. Most of the time you stay in the lower part. When you become fully aware of your higher part and your lower part is totally transformed and unified with the Highest, at that time you are none other than God. Although it is not yet recognised or revealed, your own highest, most developed, most perfect and illumined part is God. But what you are now is not perfect; it is far from perfection.

Today's preparation is tomorrow's realisation. If you prepare yourself for God-realisation today, then tomorrow, in the near or distant future, you can grow into your own highest Divinity.

Question: I don't understand what the word 'God' means. Can God be equivalent to energy?

Sri Chinmoy: God is not only equivalent to energy, God Himself is energy. But we have to know what aspect of God appeals to us. If God in the form of energy appeals to us, then God will come to us in the form of infinite energy. But if God in the form of a human being appeals to our mind and heart, He will come and stand right in front of us as a human being in a most luminous form.

The Buddha did not use the word 'God'; he used the word 'Nirvana'. Nirvana is Bliss, transcendental Bliss, and this Bliss is none other than God Himself. Again, we have to know what we actually want, what we care for. If we care for peace, then peace brings us satisfaction. This satisfaction brings still more peace that we can use in our daily life satisfy ourselves and to bring forward our divine perfection. This divine perfection we can call God, or Peace, or any other divine quality.

I touched God

I touched God's Arms.
They are too strong for me;
I shall not be able to operate them
Properly.

I touched God's Eyes.
They are too beautiful for me;
I shall not be able to appreciate them
Adequately.

I touched God's Heart.
It is divinely beautiful and supremely fruitful.
At last I have found my home,
Eternal home.

The eternal watcher

My soul is the eternal watcher
Of my life-experiences.
My God is the eternal watcher
Of my life-realisations.
I am the eternal watcher
Of my God-dream within me
And
My soul-promise to God.

Question: If a person feels that God is all-forgiving, won't that make it easier for the person to commit mistakes?

Sri Chinmoy: You feel that if one goes to the Father after committing something wrong and sees that he is forgiven then he will be tempted to keep doing wrong things, with the feeling that he will always be forgiven. Now even the human father, not to speak of the divine Father, the Almighty Father, will tell the child, "Look, you have done something wrong, you have struck another child. Just because I love you I have forgiven you, but you cannot go on doing wrong things." If the child for a second time strikes another child and then comes back to the father, the father will protect the child. Afterwards, secretly and silently the Father will say, "This is the second time that I am telling you the difference between good and bad, but it is not entering into your mind." Each time the father will forgive but at the same time he will try to convince the child that he is doing something wrong. Gradually the child's aggressive qualities will enter into the father, and consciously or unconsciously the child will feel that he has been doing something wrong. Then he will throw his mistake into the father's protection.

But in the case of the spiritual Father, the divine Father, it is different. When the aspirant makes a mistake and runs towards the spiritual Father, the spiritual Father will protect the child, the aspirant, without doubt. Then immediately the Father will try to enter into the heart of the aspirant with Light. The human father will scold secretly, but the divine Father will not scold; He knows that scolding is of no use. He tries to see what is wrong in the aspirant. He sees that darkness is there, ignorance is there, and says, "Now, if I enter into the aspirant with Light, the Light will chase away the darkness. Then the Light will illumine the ignorance and transform it into knowledge and wisdom." This wisdom will make the aspirant feel that he should remain peaceful, calm and quiet, and not run into conflict or strike anybody. The divine Father accomplishes this with Light, inner Light; by pouring inner Light into the aspirant. The human father will protect openly and then scold secretly because the human father does not have that pure Light, divine Light to illumine our darkness or chase away the wrong forces in us.

In both ways the temptation will be conquered: the divine Father will conquer it through Light, and the human father through strict discipline. But that does not mean that we will continue committing mistakes and then go to our Father for forgiveness, because some day we will shed bitter tears if we hear somebody say that our Father was partial to us.

Question: Is the Presence of the Supreme in our minds and in our bodies the same thing as the soul?

Sri Chinmoy: The Presence of the Supreme is anywhere in the body, the vital and the mind. But it is the soul that is always conscious of the Presence of the Supreme. From time to time we are conscious of God's Presence in the heart, but in the mind we very rarely feel it and even if we do, we doubt it. In the vital, even if we get some inner strength from God, we try to use it in a wrong way. We try to destroy the world in an aggressive manner. In the physical, we are so dull and inert that we do not feel the Presence of the Supreme. But when we go deep within, we see that His Presence is always in the physical, in the vital and in the mind. God's Presence pervades our existence, but one part of our existence is more illumined than the rest, and that is the soul. The soul, being fully illumined and in constant touch with the Highest, feels the Presence of the Supreme all the time. If we make considerable progress in the spiritual life, our heart, like the soul, will become consciously and constantly aware of the Supreme's Presence. Then gradually this awareness will dawn in the mind, the vital and the body.

Question: Is God inside everybody?

Sri Chinmoy: Everybody has God inside, but not everybody is able to see God within. One can see God only when one cries for Him. Those who cry for God and pray to God can realise God. Everybody has hunger, but the one who has the money to buy food can eat. If he does not have money he cannot eat. Similarly everybody has God inside, but only he who has an inner cry can see God.

Question: If everybody has his own God, how can there be only one God?

Sri Chinmoy: He is one but He is at the same time many. A tree is one but it has so many branches. When you look at a branch you feel it is the tree. When you look at the leaf you feel it is the tree. Similarly you may see God differently from different angles. But He is the same God.

Question: When you take a leaf of a tree you can say that it is the tree, but if you take one man individually can you say that he is God or he has God?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, because the one God is spread everywhere. When you look at a leaf you can feel it is a tree. When you look at one of my fingers immediately you can feel that it is my body because the finger cannot be separated from the body. In the same way, a human being can never be separated from God.

Question: Is it extremely easy or extremely difficult to visit God?

Sri Chinmoy: It is extremely easy to visit God if you realise that you belong to God and that He is yours to visit. But it is extremely difficult to visit God if you think of Him as a foreigner, as someone unrelated to you. In that case, the door is shut and it is extremely difficult to open it. If you are going to your father's house, naturally it is easy to get in; the door is always open to you. But if you are going to a stranger's house you are not always sure if you can get in.

The greatest obstacle in our contact with God is fear. But we must not enter into this cave of darkness, fear. We must not try to hide because of fear: fear in the mental, fear in the vital, fear in the physical, fear in the psychic. We must keep ourselves in the open. Doubt, mistrust, anxiety: these are the children of fear. Doubt keeps us in this cave of darkness, but we must not doubt the possibility of manifesting the Divine in our own lives. Many aspirants have found inner peace quickly as soon as their fear was put aside.

Question: When God thinks of me what does He really do?

Sri Chinmoy: God thinks of you all the time, whereas somebody else may only think of you at a particular time. God, being all awareness, is always thinking of you. While we use the mind to think of someone, God does not need the mind. So, whether we think of God or not, God is constantly thinking of us. God has been thinking of you and will always think of you because deep within God lives your existence and at the same time deep within you lives God's Reality. So God does not need to think of you as such, since He is all-awareness and since we are deep in His Heart all the time.

Question: If all creation and all interplay between man and his environment are nothing but the manifestation of God, then the whole universe is, in truth, divine. If this is so, then what about the problem of evil?

Sri Chinmoy: Here we are making a mistake. God is in everything. The universe is God's manifestation, but it is not yet God's Perfection. By His Self-revelation God is proceeding towards His Self-perfection. Perfection has not yet taken place. Everything else has taken place, but perfection has not yet taken place, in my body, in your body, or in anyone's body. The harmony is not yet perfect; nothing is perfect yet. God is acting, He is moving, He is doing everything, but perfection, divine perfection, has not yet taken place. Divine perfection is the transformation of our entire being, of our entire existence. Perfection, transformation and Immortality: these three go together. God is revealing Himself in and through His Manifestation. He has descended into matter. The Spirit has descended into matter. Now with aspiration, the Spirit has to go to its highest sphere. When it goes to its highest sphere and brings down infinite Light, Peace and Bliss into the physical, then a transformation can take place. And when this transformation takes place, perfection is bound to dawn on humanity and the universe.

Question: What is the name of the song that God sings?

Sri Chinmoy: When you become one with God's Will, at that time the name of God's song will be your own name. When I become one with God's Will, the name of God's song will be my name.

When you become one with God's Will, the song that God sings is your universal Self. Any song that God sings in you and through you is your universal Self. God's universal Self and your universal Self are the same. If you can identify yourself with God totally and inseparably then you, not as an individual but as the universal Self, will become God's song. At that time, you, the universal Self, will be the name of God's song.

Question: Guru, have any of your disciples already achieved God-realisation in a previous life?

Sri Chinmoy: Please do not be under any false illusion that you were realised souls in past incarnations, and in this incarnation you are wandering in the deserts of life. No, no, no. If you were a God-realised soul, why would you stay here as my disciple? I would tell everyone that you are another realised soul and they would believe me. But if you start with sincerity, you will say that you didn't have realisation. But just because you didn't have it, it does not mean that you are not going to one day achieve it. If yesterday you didn't drink milk, it does not mean that today or tomorrow you are not going to drink it. But once you are under the impression that you did have God-realisation yesterday, then that will only feed and aggrandise your ego, and tremendous misunderstanding will enter into your mind. One day you will think, "Oh, Master is not allowing me to be in my realisation-consciousness so people won't recognise me." This way you will be tortured. Or you will feel, "Since I was God-realised in my past incarnation, how is it that in this incarnation I have so many defects? I feel so much inferiority, so much obscurity? That means I was not realised." Here you will start to doubt yourself. So, in no way are you nearing your Goal.

Only keep in mind that your Goal is there, and you have started your journey. You have left the starting point. All of you without fail have left the starting point. Now you are going to realise God. You have left the starting point and the Goal is there ahead of you. But if you feel that you have already reached the Goal, and because of this reason or that reason you are not properly recognised, then you are making a mistake. I am not throwing cold water on you. But I wish to say that if you know this Reality, you will be able to run very fast.

Question: How do I know that God loves me?

Sri Chinmoy: The Supreme has given you as a human being the capacity and potentiality to realise God, the real God. If He is not kind, why does He give you this human life? He has given you this life, He has given you the aspiration, He has given you the opportunity and He has given you the capacity to realise His highest Height. Would He have given you all this if He did not love you? The Supreme loves you, He does love you; that is why He has given you the aspiration to seek His Love.

In your daily life

Where is your temple?
Is it not in your daily life?

Where is your shrine?
Is it not in your daily life?

Where is your duty?
Is it not in your daily life?

Where is your God?
Is He not in your daily life?

Who is God?
He who sings the song
Of self-transcendence
At each hush-gap.

A God-Man

Not what you receive,
But what you give
Makes you a God-Man.

Not what you conceive,
But what you achieve
Makes you a God-Man.

Not how many times you try,
But how soulfully you cry
Makes you a God-Man.

Question: When I have problems I can't seem to really solve them. Even my friends and parents don't always know what is best.

Sri Chinmoy: There is somebody who knows what is best for you and that person is the Supreme. The Supreme is not a mental hallucination. You will be able to see Him, you will be able to speak to Him, you will be able to dine with Him. He is not only your Father, He is your eternal Comrade. You have to give Him responsibility for yourself. If you feel that your family or friends are not guiding you properly, then the first thing is to offer them at the Feet of the Supreme as well. Each time you are attacked by a problem, instead of trying to solve it yourself with your limited capacity or wisdom, please offer it to the Supreme.

His Eyes have better vision than ours. His Ears hear more quickly than our human ears. We talk to human beings who have no time to hear us; they have so many things to do in the outer world. But we very often forget that there is somebody else who is eager to listen. The Supreme is always eager to hear from us, but we do not speak to Him.

Sometimes we speak to our own mind, to our own dissatisfied vital, but very rarely do we try to speak to our inner being. If we discover the secret of speaking to our inner being, we will solve all our problems and discover the true meaning of our human existence. This human existence is a golden opportunity that the Supreme has granted us. We say that we don't have an opportunity but it is a sheer lie. The Supreme has given us the opportunity, but we do not avail ourselves of that opportunity.

Question: Was God born?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, God was born, and God is born. God is constantly taking birth at every moment inside you — in what you say, what you do and what you become. God is constantly coming into you in a new form. With each new thought, each new idea, you will feel that a new God has dawned, a new God has taken birth. And what is He doing? He is taking you from lesser knowledge to greater knowledge. Perhaps right now you know only the names of your parents and your grandmother and a few friends. This is your lesser knowledge. But tomorrow or a few days later, you will see that you know more names, more people, more countries. With each moment and with each new thought feel that God in a new form is giving you more knowledge, more wisdom.

I wish to tell you that at your birth God was born inside you. God is now at every moment taking birth inside you, making you better, nicer, wiser and more fulfilling. Who is God? God is yourself, inside you. Your best qualities are qualities from God. God comes and stands in front of you and sees what you do — whether or not you are quarrelling with your brother and whether or not you are obeying your mother. When you don't quarrel with your brother, you will feel that God is most pleased with you. When you listen to your mother, you will again feel that God is most pleased with you. Every day you have hundreds of opportunities to please God or to displease God. I know you are very obedient to your mother, so God is pleased with you. And I am most proud of you two brothers who never fight. I have seen you so many times yet I have never seen you quarrelling or fighting. So in that way also God is most pleased with you. Every day early in the morning I meditate and concentrate on you and I see that God is most pleased with you. When I think of you, concentrate on you, it is all joy and all bliss. So when I am pleased with you, most pleased, you can rest assured God is also most pleased with you. If God were displeased, I would have been displeased. Just because God is most pleased with you, I show you all my love, all my affection and all my concern.

Question: How do you define God?

Sri Chinmoy: Everybody has to define God in his own way. God is above and beyond all description. We have come out of the animal kingdom and since we have a developed mind, we have to use it. We do use it, but very often in the wrong way. Each one is competent enough to give an explanation or definition of God according to his own understanding and inner light.

You may say God is an infinite expanse of Consciousness; the one who is sitting beside you may say, "No, God is infinite Light," and a third may say, "God is all Power." Now here everybody is seeing God as impersonal, but a fourth person may say, "God is personal. He is like a human being; He has two hands, two eyes, a nose and so forth." He is also right. Everybody has to feel or realise God according to his own inner capacity. Each person will define God in his own way.

My definition is this: God is man yet to be fully manifested, and man is God yet to be fully realised. We are all men, we are all human beings, but at the same time we are God.

Question: What can we do for God the Almighty?

Sri Chinmoy: What can we do for God the Almighty? We can offer Him all our outer wealth as well as our inner wealth. When we offer Him both our outer and inner wealth, we see that He immediately gives us His Wealth in infinite measure. If early in the morning we offer to God just one divine thought, one pure thought, then He will immediately give us thousands of divine thoughts to spend daily.

This is our inner wealth that we are offering. But how can we offer Him our outer wealth? When we are doing even the most minor, insignificant act, such as sharpening a pencil, we should feel that the capacity we are utilising to hold the pencil and sharpen the pencil has come directly from God. When we dedicate all our outer actions to God, then the capacity that He has given us we are directly giving back to God. When we do this in our minor activities, then immediately we see that God gives us infinitely more power when we enter into more difficult, more meaningful, more purposeful activities.

Question: Is it terribly easy or terribly difficult to communicate with God?

Sri Chinmoy: When we regard God as our very own, it is very easy to communicate with Him. When we think of Him as remote and unattainable, it is most, most difficult — and no matter how often we appeal to Him, He will not answer us. When we are aware of our oneness with Him, there can be no problem in communication. But when we permit our doubts to separate us from God, that separation will persist, despite our most determined efforts to bridge it.

God is all for you

Fear nothing,
Not even the wild laughter
Of lightning.
Remember,
God the Compassion is all for you.

Fear nothing,
Not even the ceaseless roaring
Of ignorance-night.
Remember,
God the Compassion is all for you.

Fear nothing,
Not even the unalterable laws
Of the universe.
Remember,
God the Compassion is all for you.

God-Perfection

Truth is God-Birth,
Peace is God-Life,
Love is God-Ascendence,
Light is God-Perfection.

Question: I sometimes experience great anguish and cry to God for help. After crying, why do I feel a great peace and safety?

Sri Chinmoy: You must know that it is because God has answered the prayer. When your son was a child, he was often hungry. If he needed milk or something else you came running to him. When you fed him, his desire was fulfilled and his thirst was quenched. Anything that he needed he got. Here he was hungry in a physical sense. When you are in pain or you are suffering, you also need something: God's Consolation. The medicine for suffering is consolation in the form of Light, Peace and Bliss. When I am suffering, if somebody comes and consoles me, that means he has brought for me Peace and Light. When your son was in need of something, you came to him because you had the capacity to please him, to satisfy him and to fulfil him. Since God is infinitely more capable than you are, you cry to Him because you know that He alone can fulfil your desire. As you answer the prayer or the cry of your child, so God answers your cry. God comes. He alone responds to your cry.

Question: It seems to me that at the start of the spiritual path we see God with form, and that as we grow into oneness He starts to lose His Form. Is this true?

Sri Chinmoy: No, unfortunately you are mistaken. I have realised the highest, topmost Absolute. I have reached, I have realised, I possess and I embody the Absolute. When I commune with the Supreme, I can commune with Him with form or again without form. It is our own mental conception that the formless is something superior to the form. We feel that before the creation, the Supreme was formless and only later He took a form to come to us. But look at the sun. Although it is so vast, when we look at it it has the form of a tiny disk. Why? Because it is coming from very, very far. Similarly, when spiritual Masters, great spiritual figures or God-realised souls come down, they embody the highest infinite Consciousness inside them. But when they come into the world of form, they are 5'8" or 6' or 5'4" or even of less physical height. Do you think they have then lost their inner height? Do you think they have lost their depth? No. It is like the vast sun that looks tiny here.

When consciousness descends into the physical, the physical takes a form. The individual is actually the soul, and the soul is the representative of God. The soul is infinite Peace, Light and Bliss inside God. But we don't see the soul, we see only the very limited frame of the body: this much height, this much length, this much breadth. We feel that something beyond the body or form is vaster. True, it is vaster, but it is a mistake if we say that the formless is more meaningful than the form. The idea that the higher we go, the more we are in touch with the formless is not true. When we go higher it need not be towards the formless. It can be towards the supremely divine God with form, who possesses boundless Affection, boundless Love, boundless Concern — everything in infinite measure. We can go beyond the form of the mind, but not beyond the supreme Form.

Real spiritual Masters can easily meditate on the formless — Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. But when you are in the body, you are in the mind. The mind can never meditate on Infinity; the mind can meditate on a tiny picture, a candle, an incense stick, a flower and so on. When you meditate, it is always better and safer to meditate on the form. You want to treasure God, you want to love God, you want to divinely possess God and be possessed by God. If you meditate on an infinitely luminous form having infinite divine Consciousness, Light and Delight, you will try to grow into it. You will feel that if you can see a thing, you can grow into it.

But you will not feel able to grow into something formless right now. Once you have realised God you can grow into anything. But before realisation, if you meditate on the formless, thinking it is something higher, I tell you that the day after tomorrow you will get a very vague, uneasy feeling. Try to meditate on the formless for two or three days. You will feel miserable because you will not get a reciprocal feeling. When you meditate on a spiritual Master, you immediately feel affection, concern, love and blessings. It is spontaneously mutual. You are offering your dedication and he is offering his compassion. But when it is something formless, like the boundless ocean, you are totally lost; your focus of concentration is totally lost. In the beginning you need concentration. It is easier for you to concentrate on something that has a form on which you can focus all your attention. Then you can enter into it and get the utmost from it. When you enter into the form, you get the consciousness of the formless. Again, to say that the form does not have the same capacity as the formless is a mistake.

Let us take the body as the form and its strength as the formless. The entire body has strength, but if you want the strength you can approach any portion of the body. You can touch the head, you can touch the foot. You can touch any part of the form to enter into the formless. If in that way you can feel the form and the formless as equally important, then you will realise God sooner.

You must never underestimate the value of the sweet feeling between God and the seeker, between the Master and the devotee, between the divine eternal Father and the divine eternal Son. Think of the sweetest feeling the Christ had when he said, "I and my Father are One." Or look at the relationship between mother and son. When you say 'mother', immediately you think of a form. When the mother is alive, you see all divine qualities inside her; inside the form you get the formless qualities. She embodies perfection, love, concern and compassion, everything. But if you think of her as formless, then where is she? It is all vague. If the mother dies, where do you get affection? Where is it?

Again I wish to tell you that it is a mistake to feel that the formless is superior to the form. They are equally important. And especially in the beginning, before you realise God, it is advisable to go through the form. You can go through the form to the formless quality. Then you will be happy. But if you try to go through the formless to the form, you will find it impossible. First you have to enter into the water and swim a little. Then when you become a great swimmer you can cross the sea. But if you try to cross the sea without knowing how to swim, you will drown.

At times if one wants to get joy from the formless, he can. If one wants to get joy from the form, he can. But I wish to say that even after you have realised the Highest and Absolute, you will get more joy from the form because you care for manifestation. The spiritual seekers who cry for the manifestation of the Divine on earth will get abundant joy, much more joy, from the Absolute with form than from the Absolute without form.

Question: Because so many violent things are happening in the world today, and because the world is so full of imperfection and quarrellings, many people say that God is angry with the world. Do you think that God is angry or is satisfied with the world?

Sri Chinmoy: When we think of God as Compassion, as Love, we immediately feel that God is satisfied with us. But when we think of God as Justice, we feel that God is dissatisfied with us for our imperfection, our quarrelling, fighting and so forth. If we go a bit deeper we feel that God is all Love and that His Love is everywhere: it is all-pervading. It is His Love that pervades Heaven and earth and everywhere.

There is a famous chant in the Hindu scriptures wherein we observe that God is Delight. It says that from Delight the creation has come into existence, in Delight this creation, this world abides, and into Delight each individual soul will retire. So if God is all Delight, if He is in Delight, then He cannot be angry with the creation. When somebody is in joy, in true joy, he does not find fault with anything or anybody.

Finally we come to see that it is not we who are actually doing anything. It is God who is the doer and who is the action, and it is He who is having the experiences that we are seeing all around us. So God the Compassion is not angry with us. God the Love is not dissatisfied with us, for it is He who is acting in and through us. He is the experience and He is the experiencer.

We are happy

You are happy
Because
You share with God
All the happenings,
Little and big,
In your life.

He is happy
Because
He loves God
Untiringly and unconditionally.

I am happy
Because
I have a real need for God.

Personal and impersonal

O personal God,
Why are You everywhere?
I can't freely walk,
I can't freely talk,
I can't even freely sleep.

O impersonal God,
You are so clever.
You know how to think,
You know how to play hide-and-seek.
For my sake,
For Your sake,
Stay more with me,
If not always with me.

Question: What is the relation between God and our sense of time?

Sri Chinmoy: God's Vision is not something to be fulfilled in the future. God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. God's perception and manifestation are simultaneous.

Man, being God's instrument, plans; and later he sees the unfoldment of his plans in time. However, God's play is more like a child's play in that it is spontaneous and without motive, and it does not seek a future result. God is a Divine Child but His play, unlike that of a human child, is responsible, conscious and divine.

It is good for man to have a plan. God manifests Himself through man. With our finite consciousness, Truth is revealed gradually as ignorance melts into Light. But in God's world, Truth and Revelation exist together, so that perception and manifestation occur simultaneously. For man the vision of the future must be fulfilled through plans so that God may reveal through man what has always abided in Him.

Question: Jesus was the Son of God, but God Himself did not come to earth, did he?

Sri Chinmoy: God did come, God has come, God is already here. Your concept of God is that He is somebody unlimited. Yes, He is, but He is also deep inside you. If you go deep within, you will see that inside your body is God. Then as you go deeper still, you will see that your outer body is also God. You have to see with a different eye, not with these physical eyes. If with these physical eyes you see God, you will deny God. You will say, "What! Is God like that? That cannot be God." If Christ were standing right in front of you, most of you would say, "No, how can that be the Son of God?" When you see somebody in a physical frame, ninety-nine persons out of a hundred will disbelieve because the very nature of the human mind is to suspect. But when we approach Truth with our aspiration, with our soul's inner urge, we see that God is everywhere. God is inside you, God is inside this wall, God is here in this room.

Paths to God

What is Life divine
If not a straight path to God?

What is Light divine
If not a sunlit path to God?

What is love divine
If not a straight, sunlit short-cut,
A supreme short-cut
To God?

Editor's preface to the first edition

Millions have cried for God and fought over God since the dawn of human civilisation. Millions speak about God day in and day out. But how many people have really seen or felt God? How many people actually know who or what God is?

Sri Chinmoy is in constant touch with God's inner and outer Reality. In this volume, he offers illumining answers to questions on the nature of God. These inspiring revelations can answer humanity's age-long query about God and bring the God-Life within our aspiring grasp.

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