My golden children

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I challenge myself!1

I challenge myself! If I have done something, I want to go beyond it, so I go beyond. That gives me tremendous joy, tremendous joy. When I lift weights or do anything else, quite a few times I make very, very fast progress. According to my capacity, it is almost astonishing progress.

Again, at times it takes me months to make a little progress. When it takes a long time, I get more joy than when I do it very fast. When I make rapid progress, I do not get that much joy. But when it takes a very long time for me to succeed, even two or three months, I get more joy.

1. 16 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground Jamaica, New York.

God makes the decision for me2

We all have desires. When I came to America, I had the desire, out of the blue, to write two hundred books. Then God said, “You fool! Why is your hunger so limited?”

God makes the decision for me in everything. This is called spirituality. Before sincere spirituality starts, we say, “I will do this, I will do that.” But once we enter into the field of spirituality, at that time our sincerity comes to the fore. When sincerity comes to the fore, we surrender. We say, “God, if you want me to write hundreds of books, or only two books, I am more than happy.”

In human life there is always a tug-of-war between desire and aspiration. We start with desire. Then, when we enter into aspiration, God gives us the fruits of our aspiration. He may even tease us. He said to me, “You wanted to be satisfied with only two hundred books! If you are going to pray to Me, if you are going to please Me in My own Way, then even the desire-life which you had once upon a time, in a very spiritual way I shall fulfil.”

God will fulfil our desires, but in His own Way. When we surrender to His Will through our prayers and meditations, we say, “I do not need the fulfilment of my desires. I only want to please You in Your own Way. Only give me the capacity to please You in Your own Way.” Then we see that He enters into our desire-world, which we want to bury in oblivion, and from that mud, clay and sand, He tries to bring out a diamond. That is why I say that, if we enter into the spiritual life, we do not lose any capacity.

If God gives us the divine capacity, then we go on, go on making progress. Even in our human capacity, which is so limited, God creates miracles. We start with desire-life. Then we come to learn that desire-life is nothing but hurdles and obstructions. But when we enter into the spiritual life, everything is unlimited, unlimited, unlimited.

2. 16 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground Jamaica, New York.

Childhood joy3

We may get a Master’s degree or a Ph.D., or by some other means we may amass world-knowledge and information. Then sometimes we see that God in a very clever way takes us back to our childhood. At that time the little books that we read in our childhood again give us tremendous joy.

The books that I studied in class four and class five I have now bought once again. Whenever I go to Calcutta, I buy those books. I have fifty or sixty of those little books. Little children are still studying them. By now, I have read many, many thousands of books, but I get so much joy from those little books which I studied sixty years ago — perhaps much more joy than I get from the complicated books that I have read.

3. 16 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground Jamaica, New York.

Pain becomes sweet4

Your dear one is now far away, in a dangerous place. Try to feel that definitely he will come home safe. Only offer him your good thoughts. He is always inside your heart, twenty-four hours a day, but you have to be conscious of it. God is inside our heart: everybody knows that philosophy. But how often are we conscious of God’s Presence inside us?

You will be having a serious medical treatment. While you are having the treatment, even if it is painful, try to send your good wishes, love and concern to your dear one. At the very moment when you are receiving an injection, let us say, if you can think of your dearest one, no matter where he is, then the pain becomes sweet. Pain itself becomes so sweet when we think of our dearest ones, whether they are near or far. I always say that when we are in pain, at that very moment if we can think of our dear ones, then it becomes all sweetness, sweetness.

4. 16 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

I am always at his behest5

I wanted to please God in my Sri Aurobindo Ashram life, and even in my Chittagong life. Still I want to please God in His own Way, but as my consciousness is evolving and evolving and evolving, my outer life also is progressing.

Not only the inner life progresses. In our inner life we pray and meditate. But while we are paying all attention to the inner life, the outer life also is being fed. It is not starving!

During one of our Christmas Trips I completed twenty-seven thousand poems.6 That evening I became the happiest person! I thought, “I am not going to write any more poems.” I heaved a sigh of relief. But then, my Inner Pilot, whom I call the Supreme, stood in front of me and said, “Seventy-seven thousand!” This was not my promise to the world; the Supreme Himself compelled me to embark on seventy-seven thousand poems after I had completed twenty-seven thousand. I am always at His Behest. I may say that something is over, but then He says, “It is not over!” He does not believe in retirement.

I tell my disciples that retirement is the worst possible thing. Never retire! Has God retired? He created everything. This is His world; this is His universe. Since the Creator has not retired, how can we retire? We cannot retire. We must go on, go on.

5. 16 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York .

5,3. Sri Chinmoy completed Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants in Cancún, Mexico, on 24 January 1998.

My heart comes to the rescue7

Age is descending upon me. As I advance in age, I make progress. There was a time when I could not lift four hundred pounds, but now I can do it. If we live in the heart, it is possible.

When I see somebody very heavy whom I am going to lift, before I get frightened, my heart comes to the rescue. Before fear can enter into me, I immediately take that person inside my heart. Then I do not feel any heaviness.

6. 16 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

When I first realised God8

A few weeks ago I was tempted to tell when I first realised God. Again, God-realisation is a very complicated matter. We can sit at the foot of the God-realisation-tree, and then we can climb up. When we sit at the foot of the tree, that itself is God-realisation. And when we climb up a few metres, that is also God-realisation. Then we go on, go on, go on.

When we look at the God-realisation-tree with our third eye, we see that the tree has no end. It goes up and up. With our human eyes if we look at a tree, we see that there is a limit. We know that we can see the topmost branch. Beyond there we cannot go. But when it is a matter of the God-realisation-tree, the third eye laughs at the human eyes.

Three weeks ago, I think it was, I was tempted to say when I first sat at the foot of the God-realisation-tree. Then of course I climbed up, and God knows where I am now. But my Inner Pilot immediately commanded me to keep silent. I know for certain when I saw God face to face for the first time. It was not in this incarnation. But God said, “No! Make this date absolutely uncertain.” I knew for certain, but He said, “No, I want you to keep it absolutely uncertain.” That is why I did not say.

Some spiritual Masters declare their God-realisation, like Sri Aurobindo, who gave the date when Lord Sri Krishna entered into him permanently. Before, Sri Krishna used to come and go, come and go. But from the 24th of November, 1926, Sri Krishna remained permanently inside him. That is the date Sri Aurobindo gave for his God-realisation.

Like that, some other spiritual Masters have declared their God-realisation. In my case if I have to be very honest, I will say that it was not in this incarnation. I realised God long before, long before. But as I said, first you sit at the foot of the tree. Then you climb up, up, up, up, up. According to what you see with your human eyes, you say, “Oh, this is the highest!” But as soon as you use the third eye, you will simply laugh at that so-called highest, because there is no limit to God-realisation.

7. 17 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

If you show occult power9

Unfortunately, some people show their occult power right in front of the public. When they show occult power, immediately people feel or think that they are God-realised. God-realisation has nothing to do with occult power. When you realise God, if God gives you occult power, that is one thing. But some people say, “If I amass occult power, then I will realise God.” That is absurd; it is impossible.

Swami Vivekananda was so great. When Sri Ramakrishna wanted to give him occult power, he said, “Will it help me in realising God?”

Sri Ramakrishna said, “No, it will not help you. But by showing occult power, you will be able to inspire people and work for humanity.”

Swami Vivekananda said, “I do not want it. First things first: I want to realise God.”

Some spiritual Masters never, never cared for occult power. While they were in the process of realising God or after they realised God, sometimes they compared occult power with cats and dogs. Cats and dogs come and bother us. Like that, occult powers can take away the seeker who is on the verge of God-realisation. Even for one who has realised God, these occult powers can stand as absolutely real obstructions. Those individuals cannot think of God; they can only display their occult power.

Sometimes God-realised souls do not want occult power. But just because they have been showing it, they continue. One of my uncles realised God, and he always used to use occult power in his village. He did millions of things. Finally he cried and cried to Mother Kali, “What am I doing? I am only feeding people’s curiosity.” He did not want to be bothered by people any more. Then deliberately he started saying wrong things. He knew what was true, but he used to make false statements. Then people stopped coming to him.

Some spiritual Masters are very wise. They use occult power secretly, inwardly, so that nobody can see it. They do not make any outer statement. As a matter of fact, there is not a single spiritual Master of the highest order who does not use occult power inwardly. But outwardly if you show occult powers, then you will be in serious trouble. You will not help anybody; you will only feed people’s curiosity. And tomorrow if you do not show or cannot show occult powers, then you will lose those followers.

Again, some people come to the Master not for a display of occult power. They love their Master so much. They say, “Who cares for occult power? Will it help me?” Never, never has occult power helped anybody to realise God. While one is realising God if occult powers come, then that individual will not misuse them. But some people pray to God only for occult power, not for spiritual power or spiritual wisdom. They pray and pray only to get occult power, and sometimes they do get some occult power, But that occult power has nothing to do with God-realisation. So many spiritual Masters are of the same opinion. Occult power if you use, you can make serious blunders. You can commit absolutely the worst possible blunder. But spiritual power does not do that. Spiritual power is totally different. Spiritual power will always take permission from the Absolute Supreme. Without permission, spiritual power one does not use. When people use occult power, they show off. They do not find the time to ask permission from the Highest, whether they will listen or not. If somebody comes to them with an immediate need, they want to show their compassion or their capacity.

Quite often I say that occult power is a mad elephant. But spiritual power is not like that. There is such a difference between occult power and spiritual power!

8. 17 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

Everything is a mystery10

Everything is a mystery in life. It may happen that, in order to expedite the inner, spiritual evolution of an individual, the Guru can appear to be very, very unkind on the outer plane. Perhaps the Guru wants renunciation from that person, because this world has played its role in his life. Now it is time for the seeker to go higher. We do not know when that time is going to come. If God wants to expedite an individual’s journey, if He wants to give faster progress to that person, outwardly the Master can seem to be very unkind. The human way is to find fault with the Master. We say, “Why did he not show compassion or consolation?” But we do not know what is happening in the inner world.

Look at Sri Krishna in the story about the widow and the cow. She had only the cow. Arjuna asked Sri Krishna to grant the old lady a boon, and Sri Krishna said the cow should die! Outwardly, how cruel Sri Krishna was! How could he wish for the cow to die? It was only with the cow that the old lady sustained her life. But Sri Krishna knew that she would pray to him much more if she did not have the cow. By pleasing her, by giving her an outer boon, Sri Krishna would not be able to expedite the old widow’s inner progress.

We have no idea at what point the Master will take this kind of action. We cannot understand, because we do not know the future. The so-called outer callousness can be inner compassion. We do not see the future, we do not know the future; but the spiritual Masters do know. They do everything for our good. Unfortunately, in our human life we always want affection and compassion in a human way. But these so-called boons can create real bondage. They may not help us in any way.

The spiritual Masters can definitely appear to be unkind, from the human point of view, on the human level. On the higher level, they are doing the right thing.

10. 17 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

My wrestling experiences11

This first story took place at the end of 1944. Most of my disciples were not yet born!

At the Ashram we had many sports: volleyball, football — you call it soccer — athletics, and a kind of stick dance which Gujaratis call a garba dance. Everything was compulsory! On Saturdays we had wrestling and boxing, the two things that I disliked most. Boxing, I thought, was not in the human world. About wrestling I thought the same.

I was ready to watch, but not to practise. At the end of 1944, in 1945, 1946 and even 1947, boys were compelled to participate in wrestling and boxing on alternate Saturdays: one Saturday there would be boxing, and the next Saturday there would be wrestling.

On these Saturdays, nobody could defeat me in fabricating excuses. On a Saturday at five o’clock in the morning, immediate inspiration from Heaven used to descend: I had a serious stomachache, a headache or a fever. There was no ailment left for me to claim. But the teacher was very, very strict. His name was Biren Chandra. He has since passed away. On Saturdays we always had to practise. He never believed me; nobody believed me. But two times I did have to do wrestling.

One of my very dear friends was named Nikhil. He was of my age. A few years ago when I used to visit my sister in the hospital, his mother was also there. His mother was at least twenty or twenty-five years older than me — perhaps even more. His mother used to grab my hands and put them on her head for blessings, in front of her son! My qualification was that I had disciples. Since I had disciples, that meant for her that I was a spiritual Master.

There was a time limit for the wrestling match. After three minutes it was over. But for Nikhil and me, three seconds was longer than the longest; three minutes was endless. The first time we wrestled together, God knows what we did; we did not fall down. The second time, both of us decided that as soon as we started we would fall down. In two seconds, perhaps, both of us fell down. That was absolutely a mock fight. Then Biren Chandra scolded us. He said, “I shall never again allow you to fight!” What a blessing, what a blessing! He knew that we had done it intentionally.

On boxing days, sometimes I used to go two or three miles away. I was meditating and singing and doing all kinds of things. Biren Chandra forgave me, because he knew that it was too much for me.

Wrestling I did two times. But this is my greatest wrestling story.

I was, I think, seventeen years old. A boy named Krishna came to the Ashram from Bihar. He was by far the Ashram’s best wrestler. His physique was very powerful, and he was very, very strong. He could throw me into the air. Again, he was simplicity incarnate. In my case also, simplicity was not a difficult task. In simplicity I could get very high marks, but sometimes my mischievous nature came to the fore!

One evening I wanted to go and meditate in a park in front of the Governor’s palace. Krishna wanted to accompany me. He had respect for me, tremendous love and respect, and I also loved him so much. We sat in the park on a bench, side by side. I meditated and he meditated. Then we entered into conversation. He said to me, “Chinmoy-da, all sadhus are fake! They pretend to have occult powers. I tell you, they are fakes! All these religious people do not have occult power. There is not even one sadhu who has occult power.”

I said to him, “Do not say that, please. Yes, there may be some liars, but there are many who have occult powers.”

He said, “No, no! Nobody has occult power! Nobody — they are all liars, liars, liars!”

Then I said to him, “Tomorrow morning at ten o’clock, come to the international library.” I used to work in the Ashram library. I was the assistant of the librarian who was in charge of the Bengali sections. There were three small rooms with thousands and thousands of Bengali books and thousands of magazines, and I used to work with them, specially the Bengali magazines.

The next day he came punctually at the appointed time. I told him to stand against the wall, and he listened to me. I faced him. Deliberately I wanted him to stand against the wall, because I knew what was going to happen. I looked at him. I do not think it took more than five seconds. Then what happened? He fell down, right on top of me, and made me fall. Both of us fell down. Then he fainted — whether he really fainted, God knows. For about two or three minutes he was lying on the ground. I stood up and he was still lying there. Then he said to me, “Rascal!” and he ran away.

Where did he go? He went to the Director of Physical Education, about three blocks away, or even farther. He ran and ran. There were a few people gathered together. Before, Krishna always used to call me Chinmoy-da, but on that day it became Chinmoy. He said to the Director, Pranab-da, “Chinmoy wanted to kill me, kill me!”

Now, Pranab and the friends who were around him all laughed at Krishna. They said, “How could Chinmoy kill you? You are much stronger than he is!”

“No, no, he wanted to kill me!”

They said, “How? Did he have a gun?”


“Did he have a sword?”


“Did he have a knife?”

“No, nothing, nothing.”

“Then how could he kill you? Physically you are much stronger than he is. How could Chinmoy ever be able to kill you?”

He said, “No, no, no — with his eyes! His eyes, his eyes!” Everybody laughed and laughed at him. What could eyes do? They did not know that I had the capacity to open up my third eye. Who was going to believe that in the Ashram?

Alas, he became a laughingstock, and in my case, I lost my dearest friend. Since that day he would never come near me. If he saw me on one end of the street, he would just run away.

I used to call him fondly “Krishna Bhagaban.” And how affectionately he used to call me Chinmoy-da! This is what happens: show occult power and lose friendship.

This was my wrestling career. Twice I wrestled, and boxing I never did — never! But now I have watched some great sumo wrestlers. The world champion came to see us.

This is the story. In the future, whenever I invite you to narrate this story, you have to tell it right from the beginning. It is not a difficult task — not at all! — if you pay attention to what I say. If you are going to tell the stories that I have told over the years many, many, many times, please try to tell them right from the beginning. If you tell a story right from the beginning, then it gives me tremendous joy. Otherwise I miss the sweetness of the story, or some juicy parts right from the beginning.

10. 24 July 2005, Boat trip from World's Fair Marina in Queens to Long Island Sound.

Those who are still going on12

I am so proud, so proud of those who have completed our 3100-mile race. I am also proud of those who are still running. Bill Rodgers once said that he had tremendous admiration for people who take a very long time to complete the marathon — even seven or eight hours — because to stay on the ground for so many hours is so difficult. Those who stand first, second and third naturally deserve our tremendous, tremendous admiration, gratitude and pride. And also those who are still going on, going on, going on relentlessly, deserve our tremendous, tremendous, tremendous appreciation and admiration.

Even if there is only one divine soldier who continues to run, I will definitely go to the race in the morning and in the evening to give prasad, and some evenings I will play music.

11. 3 August 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

Crisis during a peace concert13

Yesterday, while I was playing during our Peace Concert, 14 someone gave me a note about a very serious crisis, and I had to do my inner work. I was absolutely dealing with life and death. I was invoking my Mother Kali and the Supreme to save somebody’s life. It was very serious, very serious.

Now I wish to offer the oranges which I was supposed to give yesterday. At that time I had to deal with life and death, so I could not bless you with the oranges, but today it is all right; there is no crisis.

12. 7 August 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York .

12,1. The Peace Concert was held at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, New York.

When you pass by me15

The first time when you pass by me during our walking meditation, I greet the human in you with all my heart’s love and sweetness.

The second time when you pass by me, I greet the divine in you and I try to lift you with my soul’s blessings. According to your receptivity, I lift you. At that time I keep my third eye open. I can see each and every one passing by me. You may think that I am not looking at you with my human eyes, so I do not know who is passing by. But please have faith in me. At that time I keep my third eye open and I do the divine work in and through you. On your part, receptivity is needed.

The second time you pass by me, physically I may not be looking at you, but spiritually I am looking, looking, looking at you and doing my inner work. The first time I am offering my love and sweetness to the human in you. The second time I am approaching the divine in you, so you have to be much more spiritual the second time. Both times, please look at me. If you look at me, then I can enter into your heart-garden. Kindly keep your heart-garden ready for me.

The first time when you pass by me, please make it a point to smile at me, while I am smiling and offering you love and sweetness. The second time if you do not smile, no harm; kindly be in your own highest consciousness, your absolute highest. The higher you are, the more divine blessings, divine love and divine concern you will get from me. At that time I am not in the physical; I am in another world.

13. 7 August 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

I enjoy competition!14

I enjoy competition! I have enjoyed competition all my life. Now I talk about “self-transcendence,” but I still enjoy competition. I take all my spiritual children as one family. If any group defeats another in a competition, I take it as oneness in the family. I do like competition, but when my children perform, I definitely take it as a family affair. If one country’s team wins, I never take it as an ordinary competition. I only see which country, on the strength of its oneness, has surpassed other countries. In this way I keep my philosophy intact!

We start with competition. If there is no competition, lethargy reigns supreme. If there is a competitive spirit, then one tries to perform his very best, her very best. If there is no competition, self-discipline is the most difficult thing! If there is some competition, then our inner spirit comes to the fore.

Again, we take everything as a oneness-experience. We are wise, so we start with a competitive spirit. Then it becomes all oneness and self-transcendence. This is how we make progress.

Personal self-transcendence means that if I now get up at seven o’clock in the morning, I shall try to get up at six-thirty or a quarter to seven. That kind of self-transcendence is good in any field. But there are many other things that we can do. We can shine in many, many fields if we have a little bit of competitive spirit. Again, our competitive spirit does not mean that we shall destroy somebody. Our competitive spirit we bring forward on the strength of our brotherly and sisterly feelings.

14. 7 August 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

A soul on the telephone15

The other day, just a week ago, I called our Dublin Centre. There were about thirteen disciples present. Our Centre president’s parents and sister were also there. They were very, very nice to me. I blessed them, all of them, and then to my greatest joy they were able to sing for me. When they sang, I was so deeply moved. Then I blessed them individually over the phone and gave them joy by cutting jokes and chatting.

When I hung up, right on the telephone that I was holding, I saw so clearly Subarata’s soul. She said to me, “Guru, what about me? You have not blessed me!” I was not thinking of her at all! I was blessing our Dublin disciples. Then, with such joy, love and affection, I blessed her, and she was so happy. Subarata came from Ireland, and from the soul’s world she has kept a connection with her Ireland. Even as the leaders of our Auckland Centre, she and Jogyata have worked very, very hard to bring disciples to our Dublin Centre.

15. 7 August 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

My mountain-climbing experience16

I never dared to climb mountains in this incarnation, but in some of my previous incarnations, I lived inside mountain caves. At the foot of a mountain, inside mountain caves I lived in quite a few incarnations. But mountain climbing I was not brave enough to attempt in this incarnation. A few hills I climbed up. This is to my credit! In Athens, where the marathon was born, there are most famous hillocks. There I climbed.

This is my mountain-climbing experience in this incarnation — not real mountains, but hills and hillocks.

16. 13 August 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

Devotion and eagerness, love and faith17

When I invite you to come and sit on the tennis court, those who can come down to meditate will perhaps receive more. Some people who remain in the bleachers are very sincerely and seriously praying, but there are also some who want to enjoy a comfortable meditation. Comfort and meditation do not rhyme! If you are too old and you cannot sit down on the ground, that is one matter. But if you want to be farther than the farthest and enjoy your meditation in your own way, then you are making a deplorable mistake. When you sit on the ground in front of me, automatically one thing comes to the fore, and that is your devotion. Whether you fold your hands or not, the fact is that you have taken the trouble of coming down and sitting in front of your Master.

In the Vedic eras, this time of day is what we called the twilight hour. Again, when the night is heavily descending, or in the small hours of the morning, these are the best times for meditation. Fortunate are those who try to receive their Master’s blessings, love, concern, joy, gratitude and pride. They will not waste a minute by remaining away from their Master. Each second they value.

I was also a student, like you. For two or three seconds at a time — I do not think it was four seconds — I was fortunate enough to stand in front of my Master. The Mother we saw in the playground with hundreds of people. But Sri Aurobindo we saw four times a year, for three seconds each time — not four seconds. There were two guards who would very gently either push or pull us away after a couple of seconds. Even the first time, when the Mother was introducing me to Sri Aurobindo, it was too long for the two guards. They put their hands on my shoulder, because they wanted me to leave. Now, one of them has disappeared from the earth-scene, and the other is one hundred and four years old.

I am fortunate to have you right in front of me. You are fortunate as well to come and sit in front of me. This is exactly what the Vedic seers of the past used to do. In this present day also, many spiritual Masters have fixed hours when they allow their disciples to meditate and pray in front of them. I am one of those. I try again and again, sincerely, lovingly, blessingfully and gratefully, to be with my spiritual children as often as I can, as long as I can.

Develop, develop, develop the devotion aspect, and develop eagerness, eagerness, eagerness, eagerness. Many disciples come from afar for our Celebrations. If you are wise, then you will take as much as possible from the Master. Your third eye is perhaps still dormant, but the human eyes, if they are aspiring, do receive from me when I enter into a very high, sublime consciousness.

Two things we all badly need: love and faith, love and faith. It is quite easy to love some human beings, but it is not so easy to have faith in them. You have many friends. You like them; you may love them. But when it is a matter of faith, alas, you will be the first person to have no faith in them. Even in outer activities, your faith in those persons perhaps will be next to none. Where is your faith when it is a matter of something spiritual, something serious, something of the inner world? Again, at times we have faith, but we do not love. We enter into a garden, let us say. The garden is very beautiful, with many, many beautiful flowers. In this case, we have faith in the gardener, but we have love for the flowers. The gardener can make the garden beautiful, so we have implicit faith in him. But we love his achievements, the most beautiful flowers. Again, we have tremendous faith in the modern-day science and technology, which can create tremendous destruction in a few moments. But do we love them? I do not think I love the computer and modern technology. I admire the capacities of science, but it is simply impossible for me to love modern technology and scientific achievements.

If we can have faith in our own spiritual life, then our road is very clear, very clear. If we have no faith in ourselves, if we only depend on the Master, that will not do. Your faith and my love must go together: your faith in me and my love for you. My faith in you is also of supreme importance. When you lose faith in me, you descend considerably. But when you lose faith in yourself, that is the end of your spiritual life. If you doubt your Master, you can look around and see that so many people have got such lofty experiences from the Master! That means he is real. But once you feel that you yourself are useless, that you cannot climb up any more inner Himalayas, that becomes the end of your spiritual life.

Love and faith are two different things. They are indispensable spiritual qualities. If we cannot have both love and faith, at that time we are walking with one leg or running with one leg. True, one leg may be stronger than the other. My right leg was stronger when I was a young boy in my adolescent years. When I used to hop with one leg, I was able to cover forty or fifty metres more with my right leg than with my left leg. But again, after covering some distance, I used my left leg also to walk. How long can we go forward with only one leg? We need both the legs, even if one may be considerably weaker or a little weaker. Similarly, our love may be weaker than our faith, or our faith may be weaker than our love, but we need both. But if our faith is strong and our love is strong, then we run the fastest. Please keep both your faith and your love very strong.

17. 13 August 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

If one wants to have disciples18

The immortal song He Partha Sarathi was composed by Kazi Nazrul Islam, a Muslim. He stood second to Tagore in the poetry-world and in the song-world. He stood next to Tagore in composing. In singing and music he was unparalleled. I learnt this song when I was fifteen or sixteen years old.

If you want to hear a sad story, I can tell you about the singer who taught me this song. He was a great, great singer; sweeter than the sweetest voice he had. But once a strong desire entered into his mind. He wanted to become a Guru. He saw that we were all touching the Mother’s feet and praying to her with such love and devotion, so he wanted to become a Guru.

It seems that God wanted to fulfil his desire. How did God fulfil his desire? From Sri Lanka, five or six seekers came to the Ashram. Those seekers became great admirers of this particular singer-swami. He used to wear an ochre cloth.

I do not wear an ochre cloth. My sister Lily did not want me to be called “Swami.” She wanted me to be known as Sri Chinmoy. She sent me blue, green, red and other coloured garments. I started wearing them, although I wanted to have only a white dhoti and white shirt. She said, “If you wear coloured garments, people will pay more attention to you.” What could I do? She was very adamant in this matter, so I started wearing all kinds of coloured garments. But today I am wearing white cotton. Had I worn silk, I would have suffered much, much more from today’s heat.

To come back to my story, the five seekers invited this swami to come to Sri Lanka. They all became his most devoted disciples, but alas, their devotion did not last more than six months. They could not approve of his lifestyle, which was nothing other than an undivine life. All the five disciples punished him. They struck him ruthlessly, and they beat him black and blue. Alas, he came back to the Ashram only to be refused by the Ashram authorities. He was not allowed to join the Ashram once more, and God alone knows where he went.

This is what can happen sometimes if one wants to have disciples!

In my case, the devotion of so many of my disciples is lasting.

18. 13 August 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

My golden children19

I am so lucky! Dear runners, you are the ones who have run 3100 miles, and from you I get the utmost appreciation! In this life there is something called luck. I would like all of you to have that golden luck.

These are my golden children. When they run, every breath of theirs enters into my heart-affection, love, sweetness and fondness for them. How I appreciate the runners! How I admire them! God alone knows the depth of my appreciation and admiration.

Dear runners, I will have to take many, many incarnations to offer you all my gratitude and pride. But from next time on, when I give you prasad or look at you, if you can give me a smile, even if you are dying of tiredness and exhaustion, I assure you, immediately your smile will enter into me. Your smile means the increase of your receptivity. You know that when I give you prasad, such affection, joy, love and pride I offer. I know you are literally dying, but before you die, please give me your smiling breath. Smile at your Master! At that time I will be able to help you more. To one runner I said, “What are you doing? Can you not smile?” Since then he has started smiling, smiling and smiling! Even now he is smiling!

Dear runners, while taking prasad you have shown me most sincere, spontaneous love and devotion — all of you, absolutely each and every one. But one runner’s sincere devotion was most remarkable, most of the time. I know what false devotion is. False devotion we see here, there and everywhere. All the runners have shown sincere devotion, but one runner showed his most sincere devotion many, many, many, many times. At those times he received the utmost.

There are many ways to receive from the Master; but if you want to receive the utmost, either smile at me or offer your sincere devotion. When you smile, you give me everything. All your suffering-poison enters into me and I replace it with my affection, love, sweetness, pride and gratitude. Again, if you can show your sincere devotion, then also you are getting the utmost from me. Devotion is like a magnet. When you offer devotion, I get from you a magnetic pull.

When the Master speaks, you may say, “I can keep my hands relaxed and still I can keep my consciousness very high.” Unfortunately, that is not the case. You have to come to a higher stage of consciousness to do that. If you can fold your hands when I speak to you, there is a great difference. When I talk to you, please fold your hands and try to maintain a very, very high, sublime consciousness. When I talk to you directly, you have to feel your heart-breath. If you hear the “tick-tick” of your heartbeat, then you are bringing forward your utmost devotion. This applies when I am giving a serious talk. When I am cutting jokes, it is not necessary for you to fold your hands. But when I am giving a serious talk, when divinity is involved, if you fold your hands and feel your heartbeat, then you will get the utmost from my talk and your progress will be very, very fast. Immediate progress you will make. I do not get a thing when you offer me your devotion. It goes to the Absolute Supreme, who is your Guru, my Guru, everybody’s Guru.

Today we are celebrating your great achievement. Today is the happiest day for you and also for me, believe me. But we can increase our happiness in our inner life. You have completed the race, you have covered the distance, and now you are the happiest and the proudest. I am inside you. I am also the happiest and the proudest inside you. But our philosophy is progress, self-transcendence. There are ways to make faster progress, both inwardly and outwardly. Outwardly you know if your timing is better this year; that is your outer progress. But inwardly, how will you know? Inwardly you will know when you have devotion — devotion, devotion, devotion. Of course, the highest stage is surrender. You will try your very, very best. Whether you cover the distance the fastest or you take ten more days, you will do your very best. I shall never stop anybody from running for taking a longer time, right up to the end of the race.

This is our personal goal. Let the world think of us in a laughing manner. We know how easy it is to laugh. Even if the world laughs at us, we have our inner joy and our love of God. The Supreme alone knows how difficult it is for you to run such a long, long distance.

I have tried to be at the race twice a day, and sometimes even more often. When I look at you, the first thing that comes forward is my concern. CONCERN is the word, all in capital letters. I ask myself, “How are they doing, how are they doing?” It is like the mother and the little child. When the mother sees that the child is doing something difficult, the first thing the mother offers is her concern. In my case, I am your spiritual father. The very first thing I offer to you is concern. I may look at you for only a fleeting second, but in that fleeting second my concern-flooded heart I offer you. Then I pour my compassion, affection, gratitude and pride.

When I come near you, even if you feel that you are dying, please give me the most beautiful smile or the most devoted consciousness, one of the two. Some runners, even though they were suffering so much, said to me, “Thank you.” They uttered the words, “Thank you.” At that time I was not imagining that they would thank me outwardly. Their very eyes and hearts were thanking me for coming to offer my blessing. When one or two runners outwardly thanked me, I said to myself, “Where is it coming from? Is it not from the inmost recesses of their heart?” One runner quite a few times came up to me and said, “Thank you, thank you!” Others thanked me with their heartbeat or with their eyes.

When it is a matter of a smiling consciousness, one boy stands first. So many times he gave me a smile while going around the course! I saw him smiling, smiling, smiling.

One runner shows his suffering when he is thirty metres away. I can see it. But when he approaches me, he comes quite smartly, running a little bit, and he gives me a very good smile. Everybody’s case I know!

Some runners are very, very serious. Among the serious ones, two boys, when they come to me, show me their dynamic spirit. I know how tired they are, but when they come to me, they are absolutely straightforward, like heroes. They come with such determination and seriousness, as if they have already won the race. One runner takes prasad very humbly. He bends completely. One boy is quite tall, but he bends very low and says to me, “Thank you.” Each runner has his speciality. Everyone I appreciate.

Suprabha’s heart knows and her heartbeat knows my concern for her. I give her much more time and much more concern, because her body does not run; it is her heart’s love for me that runs. Her heart’s love for me and her surrender to me say, “Guru has said that I can do it, he wants me to do it, and I want to do it.” Right from the first day it is her heart that runs.

Each runner has so many special qualities. When I looked at this year’s champion, from the very beginning, on very rare occasions he walked. Most of the time he was running — really running! Some long-distance runners carry their bodies with such difficulty. But our fastest runner was almost all the time really running. Almost like a marathon runner he was running!

Now I wish to say something about the main helpers. I am trying desperately to find some fault with our race organisers, but nothing is coming to my mind!

When some helpers came to take prasad from me, I was very, very pleased, very pleased.

I know the value of cooking. I may not be an excellent cook, but when I cook, all my love, concern and affection I pour into my food, into my meals. Those who cook for the runners have to be spiritually evolved. This is my very serious statement. The role of consciousness is all-important. My name, Chinmoy, means “consciousness.” Spirituality itself means consciousness. These are my disciple-cooks. If the consciousness of the cooks is not high when they offer consciousness to others in the form of food, it does not help. If the cooks remain in a high consciousness, it will be of help to the runners.

My dear disciple-runners, it is your love for me that runs, runs, runs and runs. I am telling you how you can make more progress, both in your inner life and in your outer life. I am your teacher. To each of you I wish to say that, for this month and a half or two months, in the inner world I am giving you the highest, highest, highest marks. No matter how many miles you ran per day, whether it was eighty miles or forty miles, according to your capacity you did your utmost. There is no runner who intentionally did not exert his full capacity.

Alas, one runner left the race after one day. For him to go without informing me I feel is a serious mistake in the realm of spirituality. Our longest distance he came to run. During our marathon or a shorter race, if you give up because you are tired, exhausted or injured, I will not mind. But our longest-distance runners have to take my permission before they give up the race. This is absolutely our longest race, our greatest joy and our greatest pride. If your mind is disturbed or something is dislocated in your inner life, I will be the first one to help you most sincerely and unreservedly. Then, if I see that you are not receptive, if you are not getting from me what I am trying to offer, I will say that you can leave; you do not have to continue. Again, after completing the race and informing me, does a runner need my permission to leave? No! After completing the race if someone leaves because he has to go back to work, there is no problem.

All of you here have completed the race. Right from the very beginning, how sincere, how dedicated, how serious you have been! During our marathon or one of our shorter races, many of the runners are jokers, including our disciples. When they run our races, except for those who are going to be first, second or third, many enjoy talking and joking. All right, enjoy, enjoy! I also enjoy our races. They feel that they can relax. Perhaps some people do not practise throughout the year. Some do not do even a seven-mile run before entering the marathon. They are like morning walkers. Many do not take the marathon seriously. For the marathon I am desperately trying to increase the number of runners. Now I am concentrating only on the number. No matter how long people take to complete the marathon, when the number increases, I get tremendous joy. But during our longest race, such seriousness is involved. You were all showing me such seriousness.

I am so grateful to each and every runner here for this seriousness. Seriousness I was seeing right from the beginning. Nobody was joking, nobody was laughing; everybody was serious, serious, serious. For two months to maintain this kind of seriousness is a most remarkable achievement, a most remarkable achievement. Some of you were concentrating so intensely. The way you were concentrating, I felt that you were going to run a sprint! The kind of concentration that is needed to sprint, to run the fastest, I have seen many times in your faces. Your faces were shining so brightly. I am very, very, very grateful to you and very, very, very proud of you.

If possible, next year also please join the race! But if it is not possible, I shall not impose on you. I shall never say, “You must run.” That I will not do. No! I will only beg everybody, all the disciples, to run the marathon. There I need the greatest possible number of runners. But if you can run our 3100-mile race next year as well, I will be the happiest and proudest person.

Indeed, you are my supremely chosen long-distance runners. When you run such a long distance, I feel and I know that in the inner world you are also running a very, very long, unimaginably long distance. For that I am extremely grateful to you all and extremely proud of you all.

To a few individuals who served the race I have given some criticism. It is for their good. This is my way. If outer softness does not work, then I become strict, with the hope that I will be able to be successful. When love fails, power comes into the picture. I know that power never wins. Ultimately power fails, fails, fails and fails. It is love that succeeds right from the beginning to the end. But when love does not work for some time, power comes to awaken the dormant souls. Some get up cheerfully, feeling that they are doing the right thing, while others become upset and annoyed, because they have their own plans, their own way, In some cases when I use power, it works so well. Then the disciples again enter into the world of love. My power does not hurt them. They enter into a very right consciousness and again they start to love. My love they accept with their own love.

Dear runners, when you go around the course, try to discover two or three special places where you feel that you are getting joy. Even on a 400-metre track when you do long distance, there will be a few special places. You do not know why, but when you reach those places you get automatically a new burst of energy. Try to remember where you get energy or joy. At that spot, Mother Nature is helping you. That is the spot where you are receptive to the Mother Earth and the Mother Earth is also feeling your receptivity. Have you ever had this experience? If you have not observed it, next time try to see at which corner or in which place you are automatically getting joy. You have no idea why you are getting joy there, whereas in other places you do not get joy. If you can find two or three special places while running, there you can express your own joy and receive joy from the ground, which we call the Mother Earth. Try to find two or three places, and each time you pass by those places, you will be consciously happy and receptive. You are bound to feel it! Even long-distance runners who do five or ten laps around the track find one or two special places, at least. There your life-energy will be replenished.

Very good! Always try to keep your mind happy and cheerful, cheerful! Cherish all your sweet memories. Since you joined the path, how many good things you have done in your spiritual life! You can memorise these things. Every day, the way seekers recite from the Upanishads and the Vedas and slokas from the scriptures, you can also do the same by recalling your divine experiences. And if you are a singer, then inwardly sing and outwardly sing. In as many ways as possible, keep yourself happy, happy, happy, happy! Just see in how many ways you can make yourself happy. This happiness is of utmost importance. When you are unhappy, no matter how sincere you are, no matter how hard you try to improve your time, you cannot do it. But when you are happy, your timing automatically improves. Happiness is strength, a new supply of energy.

My divine pride, divine pride, divine pride in boundless measure I am offering to each of you — my divine pride, divine pride.

19. 15 August 2005, Ceremony for the runners Self-Transcendence 3100-Mile Race Aspiration-Ground Jamaica, New York.

Songs for my brother Chitta20

Now is my wish to offer you seventy-four extemporaneous songs. One after another I shall sing seventy-four new songs, and then I shall sing twenty-six songs without using the music. I do not think that twenty-six songs I have ever sung without using the music, and these are all absolutely new songs.

These songs I am offering to my brother Chitta, because it was he who taught me how to write poems. When I was eleven years old, not even twelve, he started teaching me how to write poems.

Chitta told me once that our father had written between sixteen and twenty poems. He told me about our whole family. Ahana wrote, I think, about fifteen or sixteen poems. Mantu wrote between twenty and twenty-five. After Mantu comes Lily. She wrote about forty poems, in one notebook. Hriday wrote a little over a hundred poems. I am sure that Chitta wrote more than one hundred fifty. Their youngest brother’s songs number in the thousands. It is all their blessings, all their affection.

My eldest sister, Arpita, never, never wrote a poem. She knew only how to cry for me to become a man of wisdom.

She wrote me many, many, many letters, only begging me to come back to the Ashram to give her joy. Even after I had hundreds of disciples, she wanted me to go back, so that she could live her life peacefully. My desire was to set to music some of her beautiful prose lines, but so far I have not been able to succeed.

20. 16 August 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

President Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana21

Our beloved President Bharrat Jagdeo, I am extremely, extremely grateful to you for coming to our Aspiration-Ground and blessing the citizens of many countries.

Something most significant took place between your soul and my soul in 1964. You saw the light of day in 1964 to bud, bloom and blossom, slowly, steadily and unerringly, to be of service not only to your beloved country, Guyana, but to the whole humankind. For that, my heart is all gratitude to you and all pride in you. Something quite significant happened in my life as well: I came to America in 1964 to offer my service to America, and then slowly and steadily I was able to be of service to many, many countries of this world. So, I feel in the inner world there is a most significant inner bond between your soul and my soul.

May God, the Author of all good, shower His choicest Blessings upon your devoted head and self-giving heart and life. I am extremely proud of you and extremely grateful to you. Already you have done many, many, many good things to elevate the consciousness of your country and to raise the standard of your country. In our humble way we wish to congratulate you on your country’s stupendous success and tremendous progress, which is all due to your sleeplessly self-giving life.

21. 23 August 2005, "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart" Ceremony Aspiration-Ground Jamaica, New York.

Our prayerful, soulful, humble efforts22

God the Creator has inspired us to serve God the Creation. The World Harmony Run is a prayerful and soulful journey to enter into the world of universal peace. We are praying to God to guide us, lead us and make us feel that we belong to one home, one heart and one life.

This world of ours has everything save and except peace. There are many ways to bring about world peace, but our way is the way of prayers and meditations. Our prayers and our meditations are helping us to arrive at the destined goal, and this goal is a universal oneness-heart-home.

May God bless us with His infinite Bounty so that we can fulfil His own Vision in and through our lives. What He expects from us is a oneness-heart-home. We feel that inwardly, and outwardly as well, our World Harmony Run is serving the world community so that it can become a oneness-heart-home. Not only the participants and well-wishers, but also those who are not yet born will be able to receive the beauty and fragrance of our prayerful, soulful, humble efforts.

At the beginning of our journey’s start, millions and millions of years ago, we were one; and we feel that, at the end of our journey’s close, again we shall become one, one, one.

22. 24 August 2005, World Harmony Run Closing Ceremony, United Nations Plaza, New York.

Our hearts can never be divided23

When East Germany and West Germany became one, under the kind guidance of my beloved President Gorbachev, it gave so much joy. One Germany, one Germany!

Division is always in the mind. The heart is always for oneness, oneness, oneness. We aspire to go to the Source, and our real Source is God. Does He believe in division? Never, never, never, never!

When I say “Yugoslavia” now, I get such joy when my children from all the countries that belonged to Yugoslavia are together, together, together. The Soviet Union was cut into pieces, but I have given it the name Oneness-Dream-Boat-Shore. When I say “Oneness-Dream-Boat-Shore,” I get such joy. When I say “Yugoslavia,” I get such joy. Other countries also give me joy when they are together.

We need oneness, oneness, oneness. Our hearts can never be divided. When I see you all as one soul, as one heart, as one life, it gives me boundless, boundless, boundless joy and pride.

23. 27 August 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

Scotland's achievements24

Let us never forget that two divine Scottish “soldiers” were the discoverers of Italy for our manifestation, and they were responsible for a few of my meetings with the Popes. The first Pope with whom I met, Pope Paul VI, said something so significant: “When we die, you and I die, we shall be together in Heaven.” Scotland has done something really, really great.

In Milan I had the funniest experience. I entered a big church. I had such admiration and adoration for the church. Then I saw a little room. There somebody was telling a priest all about his sins. I was very curious. I went near and looked at the priest and the one who was confessing. I was observing and observing both of them. This was an unusual experience I had in Italy.

When I was leaving for the airport in Scotland, I left my Tote-a-Tune in my hotel room. I was already inside the car. The Scottish disciples went upstairs to my room. My Tote-a-Tune was missing. Not even three minutes had gone by!

I am very proud that I wore a Scottish outfit once. When it is a matter of the Scottish bagpipe, this instrument charms me immensely. Every time I hear it I get tremendous joy. But I do not dare to try this instrument!

24. 21 August 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

Eight out of four25

I wish to read out a few short articles in Bengali. This one I wrote when I was seventeen years old, in 1948. It is called Sathi. Sathi means “eternal companion.” Lord Krishna and I were having a conversation. [Sri Chinmoy reads out his article.]

This one is about fear: Bhoi bibhikshikha… [Sri Chinmoy reads.]

Now I shall read out two very, very deep philosophical articles. These I wrote in 1952, so I was a little more mature. I believed in philosophy! I studied philosophy — not only Indian philosophers, but all the Western philosophers whom I admired deeply. The title of the first article is Abhipsa, which means “aspiration.” [Sri Chinmoy reads.]

Now I will read out two more articles. First I shall read out “The Strength of Bengal” — Bangalir baler katha balte giye… [Sri Chinmoy reads.]

I am ending with one more. This article is about Shivaji, the great king who fought against the Moguls. Shivaji was a Maharashtrian king. He was a very, very great soul, and he did not want to rule the country. He wanted to offer his crown to his Guru, Ramdas. Ramdas said, “No, you have to rule. Under my guidance you will rule the country.” Now I shall tell you the story about this article. In our school at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram we used to get marks out of four, not out of one hundred. A perfect mark was four out of four. I happened to be an excellent student in Bengali, so quite often I used to get four out of four. When I submitted this article, my Bengali teacher fortunately or unfortunately gave me eight out of four! That created a very serious problem! The headmaster of the school was very upset. He said, “What kind of joke is this?” Alas, the headmaster was my enemy, because his friend, who was, I think, thirty years older than me, did not like me.

At recess time we had to study. The boys and girls would study together. The headmaster came while we were studying and insulted the teacher for giving me eight out of four. Then he said, “The poems were not written by him! They were written by his elder brother Chitta.”

The school teacher was so fond of me. When I had been in his class for only six months, he wrote an article of twenty-six pages about me, because by that time he had seen my poems. Many times in front of him I wrote Bengali essays and articles.

The teacher invited the students to meet together. We accepted, on condition that he would give us a large quantity of milk and bananas. He said many, many nice things about me. He was the greatest Ashram writer.

Next to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother was Nolini Kanta Gupta, the Ashram Secretary, who asked me to translate his Bengali articles into English. There were many, many MAs in the Ashram, even triple-MAs, but Nolini chose me to translate his writings from Bengali into English. I translated many, many, many books. Tagore said, “Nolini Kanta Gupta’s contribution to Bengali literature is unique.” Again, this very short article of mine about Shivaji created a problem! In front of the students, the headmaster gave me two poems to write: one about a river, and one about a mountain. Then he left. He said that he was going to come back. So in five minutes, in front of so many students I wrote one poem about a river and one about a mountain. My teacher was overjoyed! He was so pleased. But the headmaster did not return. The teacher sent for him, but he did not come back.

Tagore had great admiration for Shivaji the king, and he wrote an immortal poem in which he urged the Bengalis to follow the Marathis. We Bengalis do not follow anybody; we always lead. But in this case Tagore begged all the Bengalis to follow the Maharashtrian leader Shivaji. A few extremely, extremely significant lines I quoted from Tagore. When I read, your heart has to feel what I am saying. Our Bengalis will be able to appreciate fully this immortal utterance of Tagore: “Oi itibrittakatha…[Sri Chinmoy quotes from Tagore’s poem “Shivaji-Utsav”.]

My article on King Shivaji was very short, but it created serious problems!

25. 27 August 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

Bali: a sacred feeling26

It is said that the world’s most attractive place is Bali. Many years ago the astronauts or the cosmonauts found that Bali was the most beautiful place on earth.

As soon as I hear the word “Bali,” I get such a sacred, sacred feeling in the depths of my heart.

26. 1 October 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

My connection with the Lord Buddha27

My connection with the Lord Buddha is stronger than the strongest. It is all oneness, oneness. The Lord Buddha and I are on very, very good terms.

Only last year, when we were in Borobudur, the Lord Buddha came out from his highest stupa and started playing on the drum for my victory. He said, “You are the only one who appreciates other spiritual figures so openly, so sincerely.” The Lord Buddha was playing my victory-drum.

My connection with the Lord Buddha in the inner world is inseparable.

27. 2 October 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

God the farthest and god the nearest28

There are two aspects of God: God the visible and God the invisible. Again, we can say the two aspects are God the farthest and God the nearest. God the visible and God the invisible; God the farthest and God the nearest.

The outer run takes us to God the farthest. While we are going to the farthest, God shows us the beauty of nature, the beauty of Mother Earth. And when we go to God the nearest, as soon as we breathe in and breathe out, we feel in the very depths of our heart the nearest one, God the nearest. Both are the same.

In one aspect, God is God the visible; in another aspect, God is God the invisible. Similarly, in one aspect, God is God the farthest; in another aspect, God is God the nearest. They are the same.

When you run outwardly to cover the length and breadth of the world, you meet with God the farthest. At that time, nature’s beauty helps you. Mother Earth comes with her boundless compassion, affection, love, joy and pride to bless you. You have a very beautiful soul, Jesper, a very aspiring soul. When you pray and meditate, the way we are praying and meditating, you approach God the nearest, right here. Inside our heartbeat we feel the presence of God the nearest. What can be nearer than this?

We need both God the farthest and God the nearest. With our outer run we want to see how vast God’s world is. When we see the outer world and all its beauty, we are very pleased. Then again, we also want to see God the nearest, the dearest, the fondest. He is also so fond of us. That is why we see Him right here. Because He has tremendous Sweetness and Fondness for us, He has chosen to be right inside our heartbeat. This is God the nearest.

God the farthest and God the nearest are one and the same Person. This moment He is farther than the farthest; next moment He is nearer than the nearest. When we see Him here, He is nearer than the nearest; when we see Him on the other side of the world, He is farther than the farthest. This is how we take part in God’s Cosmic Game.

When we feel God in the very depths of our heart, while we are breathing in, we are so pleased, so happy. We want to see the quality and capacity of our dearest One, who is inside us. Then He shows us His infinite Capacity. He encompasses the whole world, the entire universe. We see someone whom we love, and then we are curious to know how good He is or how great He is. Immediately He tells us, “Do you want to see My Greatness? Look!” Then He shows us His entire world and His entire universe.

This is how God’s Cosmic Game goes on. He is the nearest; He is the farthest. He is the dearest, sweetest and fondest.

28. 10 October 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York. Sri Chinmoy offered this soulful message after honouring Jesper Kenn Olsen of Denmark, who was soon to complete a run of 26,000 miles all around the world.

My Puerto Rico29

Tomorrow I shall go to Puerto Rico: the island that has given me unimaginable joy, the island that was first in accepting me as a spiritual Master. This is the island where I was able to receive blessings from four Governors: the founding Governor, Luis Muñoz Marín; then his successor, Roberto Sanchez Vilella; his successor, Luis Ferré; and Ferré’s successor, Rafael Hernández Colón.

Luis Ferré and I became very, very close friends. Governor Colón and I became very, very, very, very, very close friends and brothers. While they were in office, I was able to meet with them. When they were no longer in office, they came to our Centre.

Governor Ferré was an accomplished pianist. He played for me three or four times.

Governor Colón blessed me with all the honours and awards that Puerto Rico can give. He was the first one to give me the honour of being an honorary citizen of Puerto Rico, and many more awards he bestowed upon me. Every time I went to his palace, the first thing we used to do was to meditate for ten or fifteen minutes. At times his wife joined us. We talked and talked and talked.

Now Governor Colón’s secretary of state and chief adviser, Juan Albors, is very, very eager to come and meet with me. He lives in Ponce. He will come and spend some time with me. I will give him the “Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart” Award without lifting him, because we will not be able to take our apparatus.

Twice or thrice I participated in the Masters Games in Puerto Rico. Those were the golden days! Disciples from New York also went, and they sang a song composed by me to open the Games.

The Puerto Ricans loved me and they still love me. I love them, I love them. Most affectionately I speak about my Puerto Rican children. Sometimes I find fault with them, but when they look at me with their helpless eyes and helpless hearts, I swim in the sea of sadness, and I become all soulful and sorrowful oneness. Their incapacities in various fields I take as my own incapacities, with utmost sincerity. They remind me of my India, so we belong to the same category.

Their love for me shall forever remain unparalleled, unparalleled. The Puerto Ricans’ love is at once pure and sincere. It is simply unimaginable. God gave them some so-called incapacities, but He also gave them love, love, love. No other country has accepted me the way Puerto Rico has accepted me. Long before others, before the Americans, the Puerto Ricans accepted me as a spiritual Master with their heart’s literally boundless love, affection, sweetness and fondness.

Over the years, hundreds of stories and anecdotes I have told about their love, and about their challenges. Their love for me will remain inscribed in golden letters on the tablet of my heart. My Puerto Rican disciples are good in the purest sense of the term.

29. 14 October 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

A marathon in under two hours30

Paul Tergat, the world’s fastest marathoner, covered the distance in two hours, four minutes.33 His record is four minutes over two hours, so my prediction is still hanging in mid-air!

I am praying that one day he or somebody else will run under two hours. Whoever runs under two hours will be given by me a very special honour, plus I shall meet with his plane fare and all his expenses, whether he comes from Kenya or anyplace else. I shall honour him most lovingly, cheerfully and proudly.

Who knows, who knows? There will be someone in the near future. I do not want to say in the distant future — no! In the near future, someone will be able to fulfil my prediction.

30. 14 October 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

30,1. Sri Chinmoy honoured Paul Tergat with the “Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart” Award on 2 November 2005.

My predictions31

With regard to predictions, I have opened my mouth many, many times. Now silence is my prediction!

I went to the Berlin Wall many years ago. Facing the Berlin Wall with folded hands, I predicted that in twenty-five years East Berlin and West Berlin would again become one. God laughed! In three years, God made them one, and he made President Gorbachev the instrument. This is how God fulfilled my prayerful prediction. Instead of twenty-five years, it took only three years for East and West Berlin to become one.

At that time I made another prediction. I said that within five years somebody would break the world record for the marathon and run under two hours. Again God laughed! This time, instead of five years, how many years have passed? At least fifteen or twenty years have passed. God paid no attention to my prediction. Even now, God alone knows when it will happen.

Now I can make another prediction. This time I am declaring that within ten years it will be done. I am giving a long time! Somebody is bound to do it. In ten years, somebody is bound to run the marathon in under two hours.

One prediction came true so miraculously. Instead of twenty-five years, it took only three years. In my marathon prediction, I said five years, and at least fifteen years have passed.

Over the years I have made many, many predictions. Most of them, if not all, came true. I was God’s instrument. In many, many extremely serious cases with regard to the physical body, I predicted that individuals would be cured. In some cases doctors gave them one week to live; in some cases, three months or six months. I told the patients, “Do not worry — God will save you. You will not die.” Like that there are many, many cases of people who have been saved. They had cancer, or very huge growths inside their brain. Many cases are recorded and documented, while others remain unrecorded. You can take it as my prediction that they would be cured, or you can say that God was very kind to me. When I declared that they would be saved, God said, “All right, let him not be embarrassed.”

I believe right here there are some individuals like that. They had cancer, or some other very serious diseases.

Lotika’s mother was very sick. She saw my physical presence during her surgery. Afterwards I spoke to her on the phone. Then she cried and cried and cried. The family members asked her, “Why are you crying? Now you will be all right.”

She said, “I spoke to God, I spoke to God!” She spoke to God, and that is why she was crying.

31. 14 October 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

My Ft. Lauderdale experience32

Many, many years ago I was a marathon runner. My best performance was 3:55:07. I ran twenty-two marathons, and I also did ultramarathons.

Once when I was in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, I went out to run in the evening, because the New York City Marathon was fast approaching. I ran four or five miles, or even more.

Then I was very, very hungry, so I went to a restaurant. They would not allow me to enter because I was wearing running shorts that were high above my knee. I went from one to two to at least three different restaurants, and they did not allow me to eat. I was very, very hungry, but they did not honour my outfit. They said, “No, no, no, no!” Then I came back to the place where I was staying, tired, hot and hungry. That was my Ft. Lauderdale experience!

The tennis champion Chris Evert comes from Ft. Lauderdale. Once I went to see her tennis court, where she practised. She was not playing at that time, but I went to see her court only to offer my admiration to her.

32. 14 October 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

My tennis coach, Ron Rebhuhn33

I am doing something quite unusual. Usually my students introduce the persons they invite to be lifted by me. Today I have invited my dearest brother-friend Ron, and I wish to introduce him.37 He was my tennis coach.

I am a man of prayers and meditations. In the spiritual life, we need compassion, concern and self-giving. These three divine qualities are of paramount importance, and Ron, my coach, blessingfully offered me all these three divine qualities. He inspired me immensely to play tennis well. I have tremendous love and admiration for him, and also I have tremendous, tremendous love for tennis.

I am very happy to share with you my experiences with some of the world-famous tennis stars. The very first one to visit us here was Ilie Nastase. I lifted him, and as usual, he was in his own way cutting jokes. He said that if I had lifted him a little higher, he would have touched the vault of the sky! All kinds of things he said. And he was very kind to play with me.

India’s then number-one player, Ramesh Krishnan, came here and played with me. Monica Seles also came, and she was kind to play with me here. Steffi Graf came. Owing to her ankle injury she could not play, but she was lifted by me. The Swedish champion Mats Wilander also came and played with me. After I was forced to give up tennis owing to my knee problems, I lifted Billie Jean King. She was very, very kind to me. India’s present number-one player, Leander Paes, has visited us a number of times. Quite recently Martina Navrátilová came, and I lifted her. I still have tremendous love and admiration for tennis!

To come back again to my dearest brother-friend Ronnie, he is a philosopher, a psychologist and the possessor of many, many divine qualities, and he is a host in himself in offering his good qualities to the world at large.

I am very happy, very delighted and very grateful to have you here, my dearest friend-coach Ronnie.

33. 22 October 2005, "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart" Ceremony, Aspiration-Ground Jamaica, New York.

33,1. Ron Rebhuhn, a long-time USTA Eastern tournament director, tennis coach, and USPTA Master Professional, left this world on 26 August 2012.

My brother-student Bholanath34

Let me say just a few words about my dearest brother Bholanath. His other name is Clyde. When my life in New York was only two weeks old, he came to visit my sponsors, and there we met. He saw something in me — something good, I am sure. He became my dearest brother and friend. I depended on him for everything. He helped me far beyond my imagination. He served the Supreme, who is my God, in every possible way for years. My heart shall forever remain grateful to my brother-student Bholanath, Clyde.

His sweet children, Mark, David and Michael, are now grown up. I was fortunate enough in those days to lavish my affection and love on these three sons of his. Today I am very, very happy and delighted to have David here with his family.

34. 22 October 2005, "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart" Ceremony, Aspiration-Ground Jamaica, New York.

Ambassador Siddhartha Shankar Ray35

America’s largest audience for my Peace Concert was perhaps 10,000, and that was because of a Bengali. The Indian Ambassador to America at that time was a Bengali, Siddhartha Shankar Ray. The Ambassador invited so many people.

Ambassador Ray once said to me, “We are all politicians. We go up and then we go down. In a few years, our career is over. But you are our India’s cultural Ambassador, so you will last forever.” The day I got the Mahatma Gandhi Award with Coretta Scott King,40 he told me that I was the cultural Ambassador from India. He was very, very kind, very kind.

Four of Ambassador Ray’s aunts lived in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. They begged and begged him to come, but he did not want to go to Pondicherry. They begged him even when he was Chief Minister and when he was holding other high posts, but he did not come. All the aunts were very familiar to me. One of them was one of my Ashram “mothers,” Sahana.

To my great surprise, Ambassador Ray lavished so much kindness and affection on me.

35. 23 October 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York.

35,2. Sri Chinmoy received the Mahatma Gandhi Universal Harmony Award from the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan on 28 October 1994.

If you feel your heart-breath41

If you fold your hands and touch your heart, if you feel your heart-breath, you will do infinitely better meditation. Sometimes you will be able to hear your heartbeat. Then you will do the best meditation. If your folded hands touch your chest, you will do far better meditation. Inside the chest is the heart, and inside the heart is the heartbeat.

Please make it a point to touch your chest. Some people are holding their hands away from their chest. If you want to have the best result, please put your hands right up to your heart.

In my Ashram days I always, always held my hands like that. Now I do not; perhaps I have achieved something. When we were meditating inside the meditation hall at the Ashram, we did it. When we were in a long queue, with two hundred people in front of us, we also held our hands like that. When people came to the meditation hall, all their aspiration they brought forward in this way. I was one of those, and like me, many, many used to do the same. Most of the disciples came with folded hands, folded hands.

Spirituality is heart, not head. I am not telling you to put your hands on your head! Put them right here, on your heart. Heart and spirituality cannot be separated. They are inseparable. Inside the heart is the living Presence of God.

36. 2 December 2005, Pangkor Island, Malaysia.

Sincere appreciation for genuine spiritual Masters37

The disciples of one Master may not appreciate another Master, but I do not want my disciples to be like that. You should have the deepest appreciation and admiration for other spiritual Masters if they are of the highest rank, like Sri Krishna, the Lord Buddha, the Saviour Christ, Sri Chaitanya, Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo and Ramana Maharshi. Of course, when I say Sri Aurobindo, the Mother is included; and when I say Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi is included. These are real, real Masters. Swami Vivekananda is also included. Although he is not of their calibre, he is a real spiritual giant.

If you have most sincere appreciation, admiration and even adoration for these genuine spiritual Masters, I will not mind — on the contrary!

37. 2 December 2005, Pangkor Island, Malaysia.

As soon as you see devotion38

We read books about spiritual Masters, and so many stories are true, absolutely true. If you read them, you have to believe them. You may not be able to go up to reach their spiritual height, but what they say outwardly, you have to take seriously. When God chose them at a particular time to be His representatives, His direct representatives, God definitely said many, many, many things that were absolutely divine and supreme.

Some seekers are disciples of one Master, let us say, and that Master has written many books. It may happen that somehow those particular seekers are sulking, they are depressed. At that time, alas, they may not read their own Master’s books, but they may read books written by other Masters, or books containing the utterances of other spiritual Masters of lofty heights. When they read those books, what happens? The disciples of the first Master start shedding tears. All their love and devotion for their own Master comes back. Then their aspiration is renewed, their dedication is renewed — as a matter of fact, it goes even higher. One can get that kind of help by reading the books of other genuine Masters.

Let us say that your path is not fulfilling your desires, so you become very sad and depressed. All of a sudden you snatch up a book written by another spiritual Master. As soon as you see the devotion of the disciples of that Master, all your own devotion and everything else that is good and divine in you comes to the fore. Then you no longer think of that book, you no longer think of that Master; you come back to your own Master with renewed aspiration, dedication and love. Everything divine in you is not only renewed — it increases.

Some may find it difficult to believe; but I am sure there will be people who have had this experience.

38. 2 December 2005, Pangkor Island, Malaysia.

The sweet, emotional Bengali feeling39

The national anthem of Bangladesh is sweeter than the sweetest, and most difficult! Please come and sing it. It is such a sweet song, and it was written by a Bengali, Tagore. He is the only one who can claim two national songs to his credit. No other poet can make that claim. Tagore is the only one who has two national songs to his credit — for India and for Bangladesh.

Such a sweet song, such a sweet song! It is a sweet and melodious description of Mother Bengal.

When you sing my song Amar Sonar Bangla, you have to get the sweet, emotional Bengali feeling. Please read the translation and get the feeling, so that it will appeal to the Indian and Bangladeshi ears. Sweetness has to be flowing; tender feeling has to be flowing. It has to be very tender. It does not need at all the power-aspect. There is no power involved — not even one line is powerful. It is all a description of Mother Bengal. It is all sweetness, softness and mellowness. It does not need power at all.

The boys should use their natural voice, and the girls should show their sweet aspect. The real feminine voice is sweeter than the sweetest. Boys should not adopt a feminine way of singing. That becomes unnatural. You are all excellent singers. Boys should sing in their normal voice and girls should use their normal voice. Do not interchange your voices.

39. 2 December 2005, Pangkor Island, Malaysia.

It is God alone who teaches us40

I wish to say a few words. There is only one spiritual Teacher, and that spiritual Teacher is God. My students and I call Him by one Name and you may call Him by a different Name, but it is the same Person.

Some people are good in a particular subject. Somebody is an excellent soccer player, let us say; somebody is a great musician, and somebody else shines in a different field. When it is a matter of spirituality, prayer and meditation, in this incarnation I started at the age of seven. In previous incarnations also I studied, so perhaps I know the subject well. After practising spirituality for many, many years, one can know one’s previous incarnations. From spirituality we get this capacity. If I am a good basketball player or volleyball player or any other sports player, I will not be able to know who I was or who you were in a previous incarnation. This is an advantage that we get from spirituality.

Spirituality will be able to give us peace of mind. No matter how great one is as a sportsman, as a musician, as a singer or as a champion in any field, that person will not have peace of mind. For peace of mind we have to pray and meditate. Nothing else will give us peace of mind. If you are the greatest manager of the world’s greatest hotel, you will have so many problems! The greater you become, the more responsibility you get. But if you pray and meditate, then worries and anxieties will not assail you.

I have nearly seven thousand disciples in at least sixty countries. I am fully responsible for them. At the same time, I place their problems at the Feet of God. I pray to God. I am offering God my prayers, and all the problems I place at the Feet of God. In that way I get peace. This is what we learn in our meditation: peace, peace.

There are three families for each person. Your own family, with children, father and mother, is one family. Your small family includes your own relatives. Then comes your beloved country, Malaysia. You have to take Malaysia as your family. This is your beloved country, which becomes your second family. Suppose you were born in China. Then your beloved country will be China. Some people here were born in India. Their beloved country will be India. For each individual, a particular country will be his second family. Whether you are Malaysian, Chinese or Indian, first comes your own family. Then comes your country as your second family. Your third family is the whole world.

I was born in a tiny village. I went to South India to pray and meditate for twenty years, and then I went to America to be of service to the spiritual seekers. Whatever I do, I do not say that I “teach.” It is God alone who teaches us; we only serve. I serve you. Your God, if you are a Muslim, is your Allah. If you are Chinese or Indian, you also call your God by a particular Name. It is the same God, whether we call Him Allah or any other Name.

We pray to God to give us joy. We pray to God to keep us always physically in good condition and morally and spiritually awake, so that we do not make mistakes. Many, many mistakes we have made. We all make mistakes. Some people do not pray to God for forgiveness, while others do. If we pray to God for forgiveness, He will forgive us. Some people do the wrong thing, but they do not pray to God for forgiveness. They feel that it is not necessary. But if we do not pray for forgiveness, it will be very, very difficult for us to be happy in life.

I am very grateful to you all. My blessing is my prayer, my meditation. I do not use my hands to bless an individual in the traditional way. I feel that only God can put His Compassionate Hands on our head. I know a little more about spirituality than you do. You know much more than I do about business and other subjects. I am praying to God to bless you. Again, I do not bless anybody in India’s traditional way, and I do not want people to touch my feet. I am not worthy of it, but sometimes people come up to me and touch my feet. That is traditional, but I do not want it. I take you all as my young brothers and young sisters. The older brother knows a little more than the youngest ones in the family. The one who was born first knows where the father is, where the mother is. He tells the little ones, “Come, come — I will be able to show you where our parents are.” At that time his job is over. Then the little ones will be able to speak to the mother and to the father, and they will be able to learn many, many things about the inner world and the outer world.

Again and again I am saying that when I pray with you, you will get Blessings from God. I call Him the Absolute, and I use the term “Supreme.” It is the same God, but I like that Name. Your children call you by one name, like “Daddy” and “Mommy.” When they grow up, they will call you “Father” and “Mother.” And other people, your friends, will call you by your proper name. Whether you are a magistrate or a senator, or you hold some other important post, you are the same person, but for someone you will be a friend, for someone you will be a parent, for someone you will be a sister or brother. But you are still the same person, same person. Like that, God is the same, no matter what Name we use for Him.

Now I am inviting each of you to kindly sit in front of me and meditate with me for one or two minutes. If your relatives are with you, if your wife or husband is with you or your child is with you, then you may come together. But if you are alone, if you have not brought your wife or your husband or your children, then do please come alone.

Now please come, one by one, and kindly look at me. Rest your hands comfortably. Our prayer, our meditation is not severe or austere — no, no, no! God does not appreciate it if I go to Him in an austere position. God will say, “You fool! Who asked you to become unnatural?” We should approach God in a normal way, a natural way. Some people torture their body when they pray, and God feels sorry. If I want to go to my Father, do I have to suffer? That is sheer stupidity. God will say to me, “My child, come to Me as you are.”

40. 5 December 2005, Pangkor Island, Malaysia. Sri Chinmoy invited the staff of the hotel where he and his disciples were staying on their Christmas Trip to meditate with him.

How God saves us!41

One day Vinaya was driving me. First we went to Kennedy Airport, where I take exercise by walking inside one of the terminals. Afterwards in the car I said, “Today let us go this way.” We went a totally different way while coming back. Alas, in fifteen minutes, while we were still in the car, Vinaya heard on the radio that a plane had crashed in the place where we usually drive. How God saves us! The following day we went to see how much destruction had taken place.

Our Indian theory is that whomever Lord Krishna wants to save, nobody can kill. And if Lord Krishna wants to kill someone, nobody can save that person. Rakhe Krishna mare ke, Mare Krishna rakhe ke: “Whom Krishna saves, who can destroy? Whom Krishna destroys, who can save?” If God wants to save us, nobody can put an end to our life. But if it is not God’s Will, if it is time for us to leave this world, then nobody will be there to save us.

41. 6 December 2005, Pangkor Island, Malaysia.

There are some trustworthy people!42

The other day, I do not know how or why, I left my wallet on my bed here in the hotel. I know I was taking out some bills, and I left it open on my bed. I was out for at least three or four hours. When I came back, I saw the wallet on my bed. It was still slightly open. Then I concentrated and concentrated on it. My inner being told me that the lady who cleaned my room had not touched anything in the wallet. The wallet was there, where I had placed it. She had not touched anything. She is Tamil, and I know her language very well, but only the language for the servant class. My Tamil is not for the upper class! At the Ashram we dealt only with Tamilians of the servant class. This lady is of that class, so I was able to speak to her.

She said, “No, no, no, I did not take anything!”

I was very pleased. Then I said to her, “On the day I depart, I will leave a very large amount of money for you, since you are so honest.” She was very, very happy. Today she saw me when I was leaving my room. She came up to me and said, “Guru, please give it to me in my hands. Here people steal money, so please do not leave money for me on your bed. Somebody else will come and take it away.”

I said, “I left so much money on my bed, and it was not stolen! All right, before I leave I shall give you money. I shall place it in your hands.” Then she was so happy. She had absolutely not touched the money. My wallet was open, and she did not remove one bill. There are some trustworthy people!

On our departure day, this lady was looking for me and I was looking for her, because I did not want to leave without giving her money. When I went into my room for the last time, I saw her. In Tamil I said, “Please wait, wait, wait a short time!” I said to myself, “How many ringgit should I give her?” I decided that I must give her 800 ringgit.48

On the top of the envelope I wrote “800 ringgit.” When I gave her the envelope, her eyebrows touched the ceiling! She was so sincere, so sincere.

Yesterday this lady came to meditate with me, with the hotel staff. She came with the last batch. I recognised her, but I was desperately trying not to give her more attention than the others, so that they would not be disturbed. The manager was also there! He was seated in the front row. The way I smiled at the others, I smiled at her also — exactly the same way. She is such a nice lady.

Some of the hotel workers meditated very well. They looked at me and they went into a very high world.

42. 6 December 2005 Pangkor Island, Malaysia; 14 December 2005, Kuantan, Malaysia.

42,5. 800 ringgit was over US$200 at the time.

My "Invocation" and "Supreme" notebooks43

Every day I play “The Invocation” and “My Lord Beloved Supreme,” and I also write “The Invocation” and “Supreme.” In one notebook I write “Supreme” in two columns, side by side, and I write the date. In another notebook I write “The Invocation.” I have decided that I am supposed to do it every day, the way I play the music and sing. But I play a nice trick! I tell my Lord Supreme that I want to go a little faster. I go on, past the actual date. I go five, six or seven days ahead, for both “The Invocation” and “Supreme.” Then I am very happy. After all, it is I who am writing it, so there is nothing wrong if I go ahead of the actual date.

The funniest thing happened! When I came to this place, for the first few days I was writing “Supreme” and “The Invocation.” But my table had so many things on it: my artwork, my largest Tote-a-Tune, my picture of Mother Kali, and my acrylic paints. All kinds of things were on my table. It was absolutely a jumble. I said to myself, “I am sure I have gone a few days ahead,” so I put those two notebooks inside the drawer. I said, “I will remember them. I will take them out every day.” But my remembering became all forgetfulness! When I finally remembered the two notebooks, I said, “O God, what have I done? Why did I put them inside the drawer? I should have kept them on top of the table!”

I was finding fault with myself. I said, “How could I do this?” I opened up the drawer and saw the two notebooks. I got the happiest surprise when I saw where I had stopped. Can you imagine — both days I had stopped at the page dated December 7th, which is tomorrow! I was so thrilled to see that I was still ahead by one day. Again tomorrow I will fool myself and go four or five days ahead, and in that way I will save myself. But I am not going to keep my notebooks inside the drawer any more. Then they will draw my attention.

For three or four years Minati was the one who kept the account of my repetitions when I was doing japa. It started with Minati. Then Paree used to take down the number. I started with 4,000, then I went to 6,000 and 7,000. Finally I did japa 15,000 times.

43. 6 December 2005, Pangkor Island, Malaysia.

Swimming in the sea of happiness44

Yesterday one of our boys was running. He should have seen his noble self! While he was running, I was seeing such ecstasy inside his head, neck and shoulders. I said to myself, “My God! Everything is dancing — his shoulder is dancing, his neck is dancing, his head is dancing. They are all dancing with joy!” Such happiness I was seeing in him, here, there and everywhere! I did not even see his face — otherwise I would have given the description of his face also. I saw everything from behind. Here, there, everywhere in his body he was dancing, dancing with joy. That joy he will not get at home. At home there are only problems!

Most of the disciples here on our Christmas Trip are swimming in the sea of happiness. It pains me when I see that people are not fully happy. There will always be some who are miserable. Even if you take them to Heaven, they will find something wrong inside Heaven. What can you do? But most are swimming in the sea of happiness.

44. 7 December 2005, Pangkor Island, Malaysia.

My omnipresent soul watches45

For me it is a great relief when I compose songs! The higher the number of songs, the greater is my joy, and the greater is my relief that my task is done. Then I see people are practising the songs here and there. In a sense, it is joy right from the beginning. After I have set my words to music, you are learning, learning the songs. Learning means that you are identifying with my inner presence, my joy and my gratitude.

When you practise, I tell you most sincerely, my soul’s presence will always be there. I have many, many, many inner beings. They will be there. When my disciples do anything to please me, either my soul or one of my inner beings will be there, to add to their joy. When you sing a few songs most soulfully, most soulfully, my inner beings take my soul to hear them. It has happened many, many times. When some groups sing most sincerely and correctly, plus soulfully and self-givingly, my soul watches them. Believe me! My omnipresent soul watches them inwardly and appreciates and appreciates them. I do not tell, I cannot tell who they are — that will create serious trouble for other groups. I know that some groups in general practise very, very soulfully.

Some groups simply shout! They sing, but soulfulness and selflessness they need in greater measure. Again, all the groups that are practising deserve my very, very special attention, affection and gratitude.

These songs are helping you. Outwardly it may seem very difficult or tedious or monotonous to practise. A monotonous feeling unfortunately comes into some singers even when they start singing. From the outer point of view, after fifteen or twenty songs, that kind of boring, monotonous feeling is understandable. You feel that if you can do something else, you will get more joy. But if you can continue, if you can sing for five or ten minutes, then you will get back your joy. In the beginning, perhaps you are lacking in joy. But after five or ten minutes, I am sure you will get joy. While you are singing, instead of feeling that it is monotonous, you will see that you are getting joy. It is the presence of one of my inner beings that is giving you joy.

In the case of some singers, as soon as they start singing, all their hesitation comes forward. It is not unwillingness; that I do not want to say. But they hesitate at every moment. They do not know if they are doing the right thing or not. In one part of their existence they want to sing, but another part finds it difficult to be absorbed in the music-world. Even here, where so many disciples are singing, some do not sing soulfully. Alas, they sing like parrots! They look at the music in their notebooks, but soulfulness is not there, eagerness is not there. Again, some people, I must say, do have eagerness and soulfulness. They are singing correctly, singing soulfully, and everything that is needed for them to make inner progress is definitely there.

You have no idea how much progress you make when you sing my songs soulfully. Even if you do not meditate well, your singing helps you tremendously, tremendously. My inner existence keeps a record of who is singing soulfully. Inwardly I give marks when I hear the reports from my inner existence, or when I see you singing right in front of me. Singing means identification with my soul or my inner existence. If you can identify yourself with my inner existence, do you think my inner existence will give you nothing in return?

You are giving me such joy by singing the songs! You may not know the meaning of the Bengali words, but your soul and your heart know the meaning. That is why you are able to sing these songs so beautifully, so soulfully. Your heart and your soul know the meaning. They are singing in and through you all, singing and singing. Soulful and prayerful singing is in no way inferior to prayers and meditations.

Music is so important. Our songs are so important. On our path, each and every singer deserves my gratitude and gratitude, my pride and pride.

45. 7 December 2005, Pangkor Island, Malaysia; 15 December 2005, Kuantan, Malaysia.

Emotion and imitation46

Tagore wrote in one of his immortal books that the Japanese people are not emotional. I read his book, and I also formed that belief. Then, when I went to Japan, I saw the young children greeting me while I was at their school. How they were expressing their emotional joy! In other places also I saw that kind of expression. Tagore said that the Japanese people are not emotional, but in my case I feel it is just the opposite.

The Japanese showed tremendous respect and love for Tagore. Once he was drinking tea with them. Others were using their cup, but Tagore was inspired to pour a little bit of tea on the saucer. Then his Japanese friends at the same table started drinking in Tagore’s way. Finally somebody asked Tagore, “Why are you drinking like this?” He said, “That is my way, my traditional way. But why do you have to follow my way?” They said, “Because you are so great!”

When I drink or eat in an unusual way, I do not think my disciples will imitate me. Many times I use my hands to eat. I do not think my disciples will use their hands instead of a knife and fork. This is our Indian way. The fingers are part of the body. When the fingers touch the mouth or tongue, immediately we know that one part of the body, one limb, is touching another. If you eat with your hands, when you touch your mouth you get such a familiar feeling, a oneness-feeling. But when you use a fork or a spoon, you know that it is not on the human level. These instruments serve us. They are on the mineral level, so their standard is quite low; but we need them at every moment. When a spoon places food into your mouth, it is like a foreign element.

In India we do not get the same feeling from a spoon or fork that we get from our hands. I myself do not get the feeling. The metal object takes away my joy. When we can use our hands to eat, we get tremendous joy.

46. 7 December 2005, Pangkor Island, Malaysia

What else is a mantra?47

What is this morning’s early prayer? [The disciples repeat:]

“My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!
My heart is all tearful gratitude to You
Because You have given me
An aspiration-heart
That never fails You and never falls.
My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!”

Some of the prayers you should remember and remember. The ones that really inspire you, you should learn by heart. What else is a mantra? Anything that you like, anything that makes you feel joy within, must be repeated, repeated, again and again.

47. 7 December 2005, Pangkor, Malaysia.

In the early days48

In the early days, my stories were performed by the disciples with utmost devotedness. Each and every line they learnt by heart. There was no joking involved, and no embellishment. This way lasted for quite a few years. Only my words they repeated, and with such love and respect they performed. It seems that those days are buried in oblivion now. Now, the performers fly into the sky with their imagination. What can we do? In those days, perhaps the modern kind of performances we would not have appreciated. Life changes; our taste changes.

I have written many, many, many stories: spiritual stories, instructive stories, even some funny stories. I am begging you to read the stories that I wrote thirty or thirty-five years ago. Many original stories I wrote, and many are my versions of traditional Indian stories. In my books called Great Indian Meals, there are stories about spiritual Masters. I tell you, they are really authentic. Please read them and perform them.

48. 8 December 2005, Pangkor, Island, Malaysia.

My most affectionate strictness49

The strictness that you observe in me is not coming from the mind. This strictness is from the heart. When strictness comes from my heart, your heart accepts the strictness. I am not involving your mind; I am involving only your heart.

Please abide by my affectionate, affectionate, most affectionate strictness. If you cannot abide by my most affectionate strictness, then what can I do for you?

49. 9 December 2005, Pangkor Island, Malaysia.

"Singapore" — a magic word50

To me, “Singapore” is a magic word. Each time I hear “Singapore,” each time I say the word, I feel a magical touch. There is magic behind the word, plus sweetness, of course. The word “Singapore” has both power and sweetness.

50. 11 December 2005, Kuan Can, Malaysia.

It starts with a gratitude-seed51

Always cultivate gratitude, gratitude, gratitude.

It starts with a gratitude-seed. A tiny seed becomes a banyan tree. But to get this seed, to sow it and to nurture it properly is a most difficult task. At any moment, at any stage, the tiny plant can be destroyed by the wind.

In this case, “wind” means wrong forces, undivine forces, wrong movements and misunderstandings that can destroy our sweet connection with others.

51. 11 December 2005, Kuantan, Malaysia.

Maestro Pablo Casals52

I met Maestro Pablo Casals in Puerto Rico. He was on the wrong side of ninety, and I had perhaps scarcely crossed the barrier of forty.59 I was quite young. I still had a considerable amount of hair!

The rumour was circulating that Pablo Casals’ wife had been his mother in her previous incarnation. That rumour I had been hearing from the Puerto Rican disciples. She played the violin and another musical instrument with him. There was a great difference of age. She was quite young and he was over eighty when they got married. Some people said she had been his mother, and others said no, it could not be. I said, “All right, one day if I can see him, I will request him to show me a picture of his mother.”

I was able to see Pablo Casals. I folded my hands. He stretched out both his arms and placed his hands on my shoulders. I was much taller than he was. He put his palms on my shoulders and started shedding tears. I bent forward, and hot tears were falling from his eyes onto my garment. He said, “You have come in the very evening of my life.”

At that time I had never thought of playing the cello. He said, “Do you want to hear a piece? I will play a piece by Bach.”

He was an expert, a real expert — a maestro of the highest order. He started playing, and I was listening most devotedly, with deep feeling. He wanted to play another piece, so he played and I appreciated him.

Then we started talking. He wanted to talk all about children, little children. He said that they are our future, they are our dream. I most sincerely agreed with him.

I asked him if I could see a picture of his mother. I said, “Please, would you kindly show me a picture?” His wife overheard me and she brought the picture to me. It was hanging on the wall. I very sincerely, seriously and powerfully concentrated on the picture for three or four minutes. Then I smiled and said, “Those who say that your mother has reincarnated in the form of your present wife are absolutely correct. I am a man of prayer. I do have the capacity to enter into previous incarnations.” He definitely believed me. He was so happy and so relieved! Then his wife came and sat beside him. It was very, very moving. We talked and talked, all about children.

One or two years after his departure from the earth-scene, Pablo Casals started coming from the soul’s world when I gave Peace Concerts. He would sit always facing me, about a metre away, when I was playing. He would meditate very deeply. Other musicians who came from the inner world used to converse. They even brought their instruments. They were in their own world! But Pablo Casals never brought his instrument. His only request was to meditate, meditate with me. He was the only musician who always wanted to meditate. Others meditated a little, but Pablo Casals made it a point only to meditate in front of me. Of all my instruments, he said he liked the esraj best. Had he known, when he was in the physical, that I play the esraj so well, he would have wanted it to open his symphony orchestra!

Many, many times Pablo Casals has come to me in the inner world. Others also have come — even people whom I never knew, as well as some that I saw in the physical world. Occasionally Bach’s soul, Beethoven’s soul and others have come. A few times Leonard Bernstein has come. He really appreciated me when we met! He is always very exuberant. He plays the cello so charmingly. Sometimes he is almost dancing, because of his familiarity with me.

Pablo Casals asked me not to forget him when I give very serious concerts, so I have kept my promise. Whenever I know I am going to be performing in a very serious, soulful concert, I invite him. He has come many, many times — more than any other musician. Meditation: soulful, prayerful meditation. He says that is the thing he should have done. When he was in the world of the living he did not meditate, so now he wants to meditate, meditate, meditate with me.

52. 11 December 2005, Kuantan, Malaysia.

52,1. Sri Chinmoy’s meeting with Maestro Pablo Casals took place on 5 October 1972.

The imagination-bird is within our reach53

If you want to have the inspiration to write a beautiful poem, just imagine a bird, any bird of your choice, right in front of you. Then let your imagination go a little further. Feel that the bird you saw for a few seconds right in front of your eyes has flown away. Your vision has improved to such an extent that you can see how far the bird has flown. Then imagine that the bird is now seated on a branch of a tree. Imagine that the bird is now flying from one branch to another, and it looks very, very beautiful when it is amidst the leaves.

When it is almost hidden by the leaves, please bring your consciousness back to your physical body. When you reached the bird with your eyes, you imagined the bird on a particular tree, amidst the leaves. Please feel that you yourself are on the branch, by the side of the bird. Now you are the soul-bird.

If the bird sees your physical body, any human body, it may fly away. But when it sees your soul-bird, it is completely astonished at how beautiful your soul-bird is. The physical bird, the earthly bird, is no match for your soul-bird. Then the bird begs you to make it as beautiful as your own soul-bird, because your soul-bird is so divine, so beautiful, so pure. At that time you start feeding the bird with your own soul and make it very, very beautiful and very soulful. Then you come back to your physical body.

If you can do everything that I am saying, lovingly, seriously and faithfully, then you will be able to compose a very, very beautiful poem. Even if you have written many unsatisfactory poems, God will give you another chance, another capacity, since you have been begging Him for so many years to grant you the capacity. At that time you will be able to command any bird from any place to come right in front of you. Then you look at the bird, and a beautiful poem will come to you.

In my case, I do not need to beg for a bird to be seated in front of me. I do not imagine; for just three or four seconds I enter into the world of poetry. There, everything is written. Like a thief, I bring it to this world and write it down. When I was fourteen years old, I wrote quite a few poems while lying down and resting. I did not need the electric light to see. In the inner world I saw Bengali words, line by line, right in front of me, while I was lying on my side, and I copied them. I thought, “Nobody has claimed them,” so I myself wrote down those poems.

Some of my most significant poems I wrote like that, in 1946 or 1947. They were already written very beautifully in the inner world. It is absolutely true! I just copied them. Then they became my poems.

I read that this has happened in some other cases. Other people also have done it. Tagore spoke about it. In my case, at least ten poems I have written like this. The words were already written in the inner world, and I copied them. I set them to music, after many, many years, in America.

Imagination! We can play with imagination. The imagination-bird is within our reach. When we become a little bit agitated or restless, that bird is so smart — it hides! But when we are calm and quiet, at that time the little imagination-bird surrenders, because it sees that our silence and our peace of mind is infinitely stronger. Then it comes and helps us in every way.

53. 13 December 2005, Kuantan, Malaysia. Sri Chinmoy's remarks to Amritananda, who felt that he could not write another poem to equal his prize-winning verse dedicated to Sri Chinmoy. Amritananda (Dr. Russell Barber), was a prize-winning religion editor for NBC television and a long-time friend of Sri Chinmoy; he left this world on 5 June 2007.

To the self-giving manifestation-lovers54

There is a saying that failures are the pillars of success. Today’s failure is not a permanent failure. Today’s failure is the beginning of a grand success. Our manifestation-lovers and self-givers at times have outwardly failed, but there is something called the inner world. In the inner world they have definitely succeeded with regard to their determination, aspiration and self-giving.

At times, failure-bell rings most powerfully and most deplorably. But I am telling the self-giving manifestation-lovers who have such eagerness to manifest their Guru’s world-light, do not give up, do not give up, do not give up! That is not the way you have chosen.

I wish to make a most sincere request from the very depths of my heart: please do not dwell in the world of blame. Do not say that because of some individual you did not succeed. Let us take the experience as God’s Will. Without God’s Will, we can do nothing. If individuals blame one another, that will be a very painful experience, a very destructive experience in your heart. If something unfortunate has happened, just forget about it. The past is dust, the past is dust: that is our philosophy. Even if something for which we have worked very, very hard does not give us the joy of success, we must utter our mantra: the past is dust, the past is dust. And this experience happily we shall place at the Feet of our Lord Supreme. Once we place our failure at the Feet of our Lord Supreme, that failure does not remain a failure. It becomes a lovable and cherishable gift that we receive from our Lord Supreme.

Do not be doomed to disappointment. Arise, awake! We shall not stop until the goal is won. This is the message of Swami Vivekananda, the champion, the supreme hero who fought against ignorance-night mightily. Arise, awake! Stop not until the goal is won. Let this message reverberate in our aspiration-hearts and dedication-lives.

54. 14 December 2005, Kuantan, Malaysia.

The heaven-ambassador of peace and the earth-ambassador of peace55

My dearest Amritananda, I appreciate your poem, I admire your poem and I adore your poem.

One individual can be both the Heaven-ambassador of peace and the earth-ambassador of peace. A single individual can be the Heaven-ambassador of peace and the earth-ambassador of peace. And that ambassador is your soul, that ambassador is your heart. Your soul and your heart are both peace-ambassadors. You are the peace-ambassador of Heaven and the peace-ambassador of earth.

Not as a great educator, not as a great religious newscaster, but as an individual who has combined the mental approach and the spiritual approach to new peace-building, you are at once the hope-bearer and promise-fulfiller. You start with hope and you enter into the promise-world. Then you keep your promise.

This world of ours should have known much, much more about you, for in you I find a real synthesis of the mind and the heart. The wisdom of the heart and the knowledge-intelligence of the mind you have in infinite, infinite measure.

You are telling the world, “Do not give up hope, do not give up hope!” Hope is there. Hope is inside our heart, hope is inside our mind, hope is inside our life; and this hope eventually takes us to our promise. Hope shows its sweetness-beauty, and its slow and steady progress to promise. Promise says, “If you are with me, O hope, then I am destined to bring about world peace.” Hope and promise are like two wings of the same bird. This bird is constantly reminding us, “Stop not! Do not think you are a failure, even for a fleeting moment. You are the eventual winner of the peace-world.”

My dearest Amritananda, your soul is flooded with hope and promise. Similarly, your hope permeates each and every cell, every limb of yours. We feel that your message to the world is something beautifully blooming, sacredly blooming, and soulfully and powerfully blooming. Now you are in the blooming stage, but there shall come a time when your soul’s promise and your heart’s love for the world will be manifested here in the heart of the world.

I am all love for you, all love for you, all gratitude, gratitude, gratitude to you and all pride in you, pride you, my dearest Amritananda.

55. 14 December 2005, Kuantan, Malaysia. Sri Chinmoy's comments after Amritananda read out his award-winning poem about the oneness of all God's children and the single mountain-top at which all paths converge, concluding with "Dedicated to Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations, who has climbed the mountain, and understands, and teaches well."

What did a three-year-old girl see?56

The day before yesterday, on the elevator, I saw a little girl of three. She was very cute. She was perhaps from India. This little three-year-old girl was only looking at me and looking at me. I was going to the first floor, and she came out with me. Her parents were in the elevator, and they were holding the door open. She went back into the elevator, only to come out again and look at me. Then once more she went inside the elevator. The door was closing, but again the little girl came out. Her parents were begging her to come inside. They were holding the door.

What did a three-year-old girl see inside me?

56. 15 December 2005, Kuantan, Malaysia.

If you throw your heart and soul into a project57

To those who work for manifestation, again I wish to say that if you have not succeeded, it is not your fault. It is not due to lack of inspiration, aspiration and dedication on your part. When you do not succeed, at times you feel that you are a complete failure. You are not a complete failure! God wanted to give you a special experience. If you know that you have worked very hard, sincerely and self-givingly, then the result can never be your failure and it can never be God’s failure. It is only an experience God has given you, and God Himself has experienced that failure. But there is no such thing as failure. There is only one message: more enthusiasm, more dynamism, more self-giving.

You may say that you have given your utmost, and yet your sleepless selfless service was not able to bring about success. But who is the Giver of your success? God. If He does not give you success, then there is some special reason. It has nothing to do with your aspiration and dedication.

At times you make yourself feel that a particular thing has to be done. That feeling is absolutely wrong. The most important thing is to abide by God’s Will. God has given you the capacity to throw yourself into a project. I have not told you that if you do not succeed, then I will lose faith in you, I will be displeased with you. This kind of wrong feeling please do not harbour. I know who serves me soulfully and self-givingly twenty-four hours a day.

God wants your sincere, most sincere efforts. He does not expect and He does not want anything else from you. You feel that your success will glorify you or glorify your Master, which is true. But from the spiritual point of view, when we have surrendered, you and I and all those who are doing manifestation work must realise that God will not be more pleased if we bring Him success. Never! God will remain pleased with you in the manifestation-world if you throw your heart and soul into a project.

Success depends upon Him; failure depends upon Him. If you cherish wrong feelings, frustration looms large and you feel that you are useless. No! People who work for manifestation are all useful, extremely useful. There are people who are doing manifestation work day in and day out. I am extremely, extremely proud of them. I see their sincerity, I see their readiness, I see their willingness, I see their eagerness. What more do I need? Those people who are working very, very hard towards the manifestation are extremely, extremely pleasing me, to say the least.

If you do not work on manifestation, please keep yourself happy on our Christmas Trip by singing my songs, mixing with your friends and enjoying the beauty of nature. If you can keep yourself happy, then I am extremely, extremely proud of you. Those who do not do manifestation work should have only joy and pride in their brother and sister-disciples who are all the time thinking of manifestation. Do not be jealous of those who are day in and day out sleeplessly doing manifestation work. And those who are working prayerfully, soulfully, day in and day out must not think ill of those who are not involved in outer manifestation.

Each individual has a way of keeping himself or herself happy without interfering in others’ activities. Anything that you do, please try to remember that you are doing it with a view to giving me joy.

57. 16 December 2005, Kuantan, Malaysia.

When I give a special message58

Earlier I gave a very, very nice talk, and many people were not here. Their souls and their hearts have heard it.

When I give a special message, you do not have to be in my physical presence. My soul conveys my message to your hearts and souls. Then it is up to you to utilise my advice.

58. 16 December, 2005 Kuantan, Malaysia.

Obedience has sweetness in it59

I am so, so grateful to the disciples who go faithfully to Pujaloy. Minati sends me the report. I look at each and every name, and I bless each individual. Sometimes there are even forty disciples present, in spite of the fact that so many Germans are now here on our Christmas Trip.

Obedience has sweetness in it, tremendous sweetness. The people who are satisfying me by going to Pujaloy are really true disciples, true disciples. In my physical absence if people do the right thing, I get much, much more joy than I get when they do good things in my physical presence. In my physical presence, out of love or for various reasons people try to make me happy. Some people who are with me physically have taken me very seriously and are doing absolutely the right thing. But if I am not physically with some disciples and they please me, believe me, I get much, much, much more joy, because they are carrying my message inside the depths of their heart. They are proving that they really, really love me, and they have taken me very seriously.

59. 16 December 2005, Kuantan, Malaysia.

Soulfulness first and foremost60

Any time you sing my songs, please use your heart-feeling first, not your mind-brilliance. Some disciples are excellent singers, but they do not sing from the heart. They sing from their forehead or from some other part of their existence. That is a disheartening experience. If they do not sing from the heart, at that time they do not sing with confidence; it is overconfidence.

When people are overconfident, they feel that they know everything. Confidence is excellent, and so many of my disciples are super-super-excellent singers. But when overconfidence comes into the picture, it ruins each and every song. Again, some are full of hesitation when they sing.

No matter what you do, please keep soulfulness first and foremost in your heart. Soulfulness, soulfulness! Then you can show your power or brilliance or other divine qualities. Soulfulness has to be at the forefront. Among my disciples, whoever sings any song of mine must give importance to soulfulness first and foremost. I am a composer of soulfulness. Inside soulfulness, if some songs are supposed to have power, then kindly sing with power; but no song should be sung without soulfulness.

60. 28 December 2005, Kuantan, Malaysia.

The heart of the United Nations61

Former Secretary-General Javier Peréz de Cuéllar said a very nice thing about me: “I am receiving the inspiration of Sri Chinmoy, who is actually, I would say, the heart of the United Nations.”69 This remark by the Secretary-General will shine bright, brighter, brightest in the galaxy of the immortals.

The soul of the United Nations and the heart of the United Nations, I feel, spoke through the Secretary-General.

61. 2 September 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York

61,1. The Secretary-General offered this comment on 26 May 2005 in Paris, after receiving the U Thant Peace Award and the “Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart” Award from Sri Chinmoy

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