My heart's salutation to Australia, part 2

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Peace

I have come to you today as a seeker-brother, a lover of humanity. We are all seekers here; we are all aspiring for the highest Truth. You are aspiring and I also am aspiring. Aspiration is the climbing flame within us and, at the same time, a connecting link between you and me, between your soul and mine. When we seek, when we cry, we feel that prayer is not only hope but certainty: certainty that the human world is entering into the world of divinity.

I happen to be a seeker at the United Nations. My sole aim there is to serve the body and soul of the United Nations in silence with my prayer and meditation. I do not know anything about politics, but I do know about oneness with the Highest. In the United Nations there is a small group of genuine seekers who come two times a week to serve the U.N. with their soulful prayer and meditation. We feel that this inner prayer and meditation can and will help in boundless measure to bring Peace, Light and Bliss to the world. It takes time, but we see that it also takes time for the U.N. to achieve its goal. Right now, the achievements of the U.N. are far from satisfaction.

But we feel that still there is hope. The United Nations is a symbol of man's inner cry, inner oneness. Outwardly, the members of the U.N. do commit mistakes. Again, if we make mistakes that does not mean that we shall never arrive at the truth. No, mistakes are merely rungs in the ladder of our inner progress. If we have an inner urge to do the right thing, to grow into the right thing, to fulfil the divine within us, then there comes a time when we do become perfect instruments of God. So we cannot judge the U.N. on its present appearance. We cannot judge the U.N. by what it has already offered us. Only we can judge the U.N. on its soulful promise, its promise that it will one day flood the world with boundless peace.

God has countless children and countless divine qualities, but I wish to say that His fondest child is peace. Everything this world of ours has save and except one thing, and that is peace.

What is peace? Peace is satisfaction. Each individual has his own way of discovering peace or defining peace. A child breaks something or makes a clamorous noise and that gives him satisfaction and makes him feel peace. He breaks the thing and then he is satisfied and peaceful for a few seconds. Again, the destructive vital of a particular nation may come to the fore and destroy another nation. The victorious nation gets joy; it feels satisfaction and peace.

Each individual and each nation has a way of defining peace, appreciating peace and achieving peace. But most of the time this peace is false peace; it is peace that is inevitably followed by frustration. A child breaks something; then a few minutes later he wants to break something else. One thing is not enough; he wants to break ten things. Constantly his hunger to break things is increasing. A nation destroys another nation, but it is not satisfied. The nation wants to destroy a few more nations. In this way there is no end to its hunger. Frustration follows achievement and abiding peace is never found.

Julius Caesar said, "Veni, vidi, vici": "I came, I saw, I conquered." He conquered, but inside him was nothing but a barren desert. By conquering we cannot have happiness. If he had said, "I came, I saw, I became," then he would have had real peace. Real peace comes only if we say, "I have come to serve you, I am becoming part and parcel of your existence-reality." Then we will feel perfect peace.

Right now fear, doubt, anxiety, tension and disharmony are reigning supreme. But there shall come a time when this world of ours will be flooded with peace. Who is going to bring about that radical change? It will be you: you and your sisters and brothers, who are an extension of your reality-existence. It will be you and your oneness-heart, which is spread throughout the length and breadth of the world. Peace is unity. Peace is oneness, within and without.

India's greatest poet, Tagore, wrote a soulful poem: "In front of me is the sea of Peace …," Samukhe shanti parabar.

[Sri Chinmoy sang this soulful song.]

Wayside Chapel
Kings Cross
Sydney, Australia
6 March 1976

Disciples' questions and answers

Question: Why is it so hard for us to become one with you, Guru?

Sri Chinmoy: Why is it so hard? Do you try hard? Everything is hard. But the thing is you have to work hard. It is like turning on a stove. You have to turn the handle to a certain point and then only you get the fire. In your case, one day you try and the next day you give up. Then you start again at the beginning. But you have to continue, and then it will come to a certain point where you will establish oneness. Why is it so hard? Just because you don't try. We have to try daily, devotedly; then it won't be hard at all to establish our oneness.

Question: Guru, does the soul cry?

Sri Chinmoy: When the soul goes into manifestation, it touches the vital and at times it may become one with the suffering of the vital, with the suffering of the mind, with ignorance. The soul in its own right will not cry because it has established its oneness, its inseparable oneness, with the Supreme. But when it becomes one with the weaknesses and shortcomings of the vital or the mind, then it feels sorry because the vital and mind are starving their own possibilities. But the soul in its true birthright, the soul in its divinity, will not cry.

Question: When we have feelings of 'my' and 'mine,' how can we make that 'I' feel as small as an ant?

Sri Chinmoy: You should not feel that you are an ant. If you feel like an ant, then you will always remain an ant. When you have a little 'I', you have to try to expand it. You have to make it as large as possible, make it the universal 'I.' You have to feel, "I am the Supreme's daughter." If you think that you are the Supreme's daughter, immediately you become as vast as the universe. Then all your undivine qualities will go away. You are not fooling yourself, but on the strength of your devoted oneness with the Supreme, when your little 'I' comes forward, you make yourself feel, "I am God's daughter, so it is beneath my dignity to be jealous of this person, or to doubt someone, or to be insecure or frustrated." In that way you can enlarge your little 'I' into the Vast, into the Infinite. But if you keep it and try to make it smaller and smaller then it is difficult because at that time superiority and inferiority will come. You are the smallest, you are useless; this kind of thing you will feel.

So it is best always to take the positive side. But it has to be done on the strength of your aspiration; otherwise it will just be your vital ego that is coming to the fore. Caesar, Napoleon and others thought they were very great. From the little 'I' their ego became very big. That kind of impure, undivine ego you don't want. You want to be able to feel, "I and my Father are one." Two thousand years ago the Christ said he and his Father were one. "If he can say that, what is wrong with my saying that? If he realised God, then tomorrow I can realise God." This is what you have to feel. The Christ said, "I and My Father are one." The Vedic seers said, " Brahmosmi — I am the Brahman, the One without a second." If they can say that, you also can say that. But in their case they prayed and meditated: that is why they are one with the Highest. In your case also, you have to pray and meditate and become one with the Highest. It is the only way. Otherwise, if you say, "I am useless, I am hopeless," then you will always remain useless and hopeless.

Question: Guru, what should we do about our pride?

Sri Chinmoy: If you think that you are beautiful, really beautiful, and that's why you are proud, then just ask your sincerity whether you are really the most beautiful person in God's creation. Your sincerity will say, "Impossible, impossible." If you feel pride that you are very tall, whereas your friends are short, then ask yourself sincerely whether you are the tallest person in this creation. You will laugh at this. No matter what you are proud of, ask yourself whether there is anybody who is superior to you. You will be surprised that there are many, many people that you even know about who are far better than you in any aspect of life you pick. If you know that there are ten, twenty, thirty people that are better than you in every aspect, then rest assured that there are many you do not know who are far superior to those you are thinking of. So how can your pride come?

But there is also something called divine pride. "I am God's son, so how can I act like this, how can I make friends with ignorance, how can I wallow in the pleasures of ignorance? I can't do it because my Father is God, the Supreme Absolute." That kind of divine pride is good. On the physical plane you look around and are embarrassed that you thought you were really something. But in the inner plane you try to feel divine oneness, divine pride. "I am God's and I can't make friends with falsehood or ignorance." Divine pride is excellent.

Question: Why doesn't the mind listen to the heart and the soul?

Sri Chinmoy: Why doesn't it listen? You have to ask the mind to listen. If it doesn't listen, blame yourself. You know you have a mind, you know you have a heart, you know everything, but you don't ask your mind to listen to your heart. You make friends with your mind. Every seeker blames the mind, but I blame the seeker. The mind is like a knife. With a knife you can stab someone; again, with the knife you can cut fruits and share with others. The mind is an instrument. If you utilise the mind properly, the mind will listen. But most people don't use the mind properly and then they blame the mind. The mind will listen if you compel it to do the right thing. But if you want the mind to guide you, which it has been doing for several centuries, it will try to guide you in its own way.

So, all of you should feel that it is your duty to direct the mind; not the other way around. You can't blame the mind. We are all fond of blaming others; we never blame ourselves. But it is our fault totally if the mind has become unruly. If we really wanted the mind to listen to us, the mind could not do anything we didn't want it to do. But we enjoy the mind's supremacy, and then we are caught. The best thing is to direct the mind ourselves instead of asking the mind consciously or unconsciously to guide us.

Question: What is humility and how can we achieve it?

Sri Chinmoy: Humility is not humiliation. Humility is miles and miles away from humiliation. Humility is the oneness-light within us. I always say a tree becomes humble when it bears fruit. Mother Earth is really humble. A blade of grass is all-humility. If you try to possess something in a divine way, then you will become like a tree. When you really possess something in a divine way — Light or Peace or Bliss — then you are bound to offer it to the world. For you see that the rest of the world is part and parcel of your own existence.

We become humble only when we really have something; again, only when we are humble can we really have something. This is true for spiritual people. But in the ordinary life, a person sometimes becomes proud just because he doesn't have something. Human pride is so precarious. If you can't do something, you are proud; if you can do something, you are proud. It's like that. Some Indians are so proud that they don't have enough money to eat properly. They take pride in their poverty. It is not that they have money and just don't want to live a luxurious life. No, they are poor, poverty-stricken, but they enjoy their poverty to such an extent that they make everybody feel that it is the greatest blessing to be poor. Again, in the ordinary life rich people are not always humble. Far from it. What the Christ said is so true, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to Heaven." I tell you I have lost quite a few disciples after they have won a lottery or gotten a large increase in salary.

Question: Guru, could you explain the difference between God-revelation and God-manifestation?

Sri Chinmoy: God-revelation and God-manifestation. First you realise the truth with your inspiration and aspiration, then you reveal it through your eyes or through your actions and finally you manifest it. Take realisation as something inside you. Manifest it here on earth: then it becomes others' possession. When you reveal it, others become aware of it, but still your truth does not become their possession. But when you manifest it, your truth becomes the possession of the entire world. At that time it is Mother Earth that gets whatever you have manifested. That's why I give so much importance to manifestation. So first you have to embody, then reveal and then manifest. Embody the truth, reveal the truth and manifest the truth. It is like a bird. First the bird has realised. Then the realisation-bird stretches its wings; this is revelation. When the bird flies, this is manifestation. Spreading its wings is important, but the bird has to fly.

Question: What is the difference between divine authority and human authority?

Sri Chinmoy: Human authority exists only for the sake of pleasure. Here it is the blind leading the blind. Divine authority comes on the strength of oneness with the Highest. The boss is superior to the ordinary worker; therefore, he has the authority to scold him. He knows perfectly well that the people working under him are different from him: that's why he is the boss. This is human authority. But in divine authority, there is no superiority or inferiority. Here it is the Highest in us leading the rest of the family. In divine authority, we do not feel that the higher authority is some stranger; we feel it is our own highest Self.

The eternal seeker

The seeker is a divine lover, a supreme lover. He loves himself divinely, he loves humanity devotedly, he loves God unconditionally.

He loves himself divinely. This love is not self-flattery: this love is not self-centred love. This is not the love that he has for the individual ego-consciousness. This is not the love that he has for the body or the vital. This love is not in the mind, where it would be full of suspicion, doubt and separativity. No, this love is in the heart, of the heart. The seeker loves himself because he wants to become a good, divine and perfect instrument of God, so he can play the role that God wants him to play, so God can act in and through him.

He loves humanity devotedly. This love is not an imperfect, selfish love of humanity, but his own self-offering to humanity. In this kind of love, the entire being is a manifestation of divine self-giving. He loves humanity because he feels that each human being is a member of a large family, the universal family, to which we all belong.

He loves God unconditionally. Why does he love God unconditionally? He could easily love God conditionally. He could tell God, "I shall pray to You for five minutes in the morning if You give me abundant Peace, abundant Light, abundant Bliss." But the Real in him, the soul in him will not be satisfied by loving God conditionally. It will not be satisfied to say, "If I do this God, will You give me this?" or, "God, if You do this, then I will do that." The Real in us, the seeker in us, will always try to please God in His own way. Only then can we actually achieve satisfaction, abiding satisfaction in life. If we walk along the desire-road, no matter how much God gives us, we desire more. Each time one desire is fulfilled, another desire comes. Our constant begging and begging never stops, for the beggar in us will never get satisfaction.

But the seeker in us is a divine prince. He knows his father is the King. Whatever his father has, he also shall have; whatever his father is, he also shall be — at the Choice Hour when he reaches his maturity. When the Golden Hour strikes, the child comes to his father and the father endows him with all his wealth. In the spiritual life, when we have attained spiritual maturity, God gives us everything that He has and everything that He is. What is spiritual maturity? Spiritual maturity is our unconditional love for God, our unconditional devotion to God, our unconditional surrender to God's Will.

Each individual seeker has an intimate friend, a constant companion, a friend who is always with him. Who is his best friend? The Real in him. The Real in him is the eternal seeker, who has an eternal longing for Truth, Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure.

A seeker discovers inside himself his best friend. His best friend is the Inner Pilot, his own soul. He discovers the Inner Pilot with his aspiration, the inner mounting cry that is constantly reaching towards the highest Reality. As it is climbing, it is illumining the seeker's unlit ignorance with the Reality-existence. While the seeker's own ignorance is being illumined, he realises that time is of the utmost importance. Each second is a portion of life; life and time go together. When the seeker thinks of time, he sees it as a most precious portion of his own life, and vice versa. His existence is in time and his existence is in life.

There is an earth-bound time and a Heaven-free time. When we live in earthbound time, in each second we have to aspire to see the Reality. In earth-bound time, each second misused is a curse; each second properly used is a veritable blessing. When we enter into Heaven-free time we see that Heaven-free time is nothing other than eternal Love. In Heaven-free time we see Eternity in our hearts: eternal Consciousness, eternal aspiration. In Heaven-free time, everything is here and now. When a seeker makes considerable progress in his spiritual life, he comes to realise this eternal Now. He establishes a free access to this sole Reality, the eternal Now. Then, no matter whether he is on earth or in Heaven, he sees every second as part and parcel of his own illumining Vision. Every moment of God's Divinity, God's Perfection, God's Cosmic Plan and God's ever-transcending Reality is being manifested in and through humanity's success and humanity's progress within each seeker's life.

At this time, the seeker clearly sees the difference between success and progress. In his inner life, he cries only for progress. He sees that success in the mental plane and the vital plane can create unnecessary problems for him. If he is successful, he may be touched by pride. When he is successful, unconsciously or consciously he may try to lord it over others and claim his successes as his very own.

Progress, which is founded in self-giving, is something continuous. This progress does not offer pride to the seeker in us. It only makes us feel that we are moving on our spiritual journey, walking along Eternity's road. Each time progress touches the goal, it sees a new goal farther beyond. It is constantly transcending its own Reality-existence. Eventually, when this ever-transcending process reaches God, it finds that God also is progressing, ever transcending His own Reality-existence.

Soulful, hopeful and fruitful the seeker becomes because his goal is not success; his goal is only progress. While he is making progress, he sees that he is not competing with the world around him, but only with his own unaspiring existence.

Each of us will reach our goal. But each discovery that comes, each goal that we reach, is not and cannot be the ultimate Goal. The ultimate Goal is the realisation of the inner Reality. After that Goal is reached comes the revelation and manifestation of the Goal. So these are three Goals and none of these three Goals can ever be the finished product. Inside realisation is the ever-mounting inner cry, the ever-transcending expansion of consciousness and the constant expansion of the limited self into the divine Self. Similarly, inside revelation is the constant inner urge to reveal Eternity's Goal. And inside manifestation are realisation and revelation; so in manifestation there also is the same process. It is an endless process of the universal Self-transcendence.

Who is our best friend? The seeker in us, our constant inner cry, inner urge. Inside this inner urge, we discover and become aware of the expanding self within us. In this part of ourselves, we eternally remain in God, with God, for God. We remain as Eternity's seekers, the eternal treasures of mankind's aspiration. There comes a time when the seeker in us sees that his entire existence is composed of the inner cry of aspiration. In aspiration is our very existence. At that time, we experience total aspiration. Then the outer reality becomes one with the inner reality. The outer reality is the plant, the tree, the fruit. The inner reality is the seed, the inner seed. Inside the seed are the plant and the tree and the fruit; and inside the plant and tree and fruit is the seed.

In the outer life, aspiration plays the role of the tree. In the inner life, in the inner existence, aspiration is the Reality-Source. The inner world is of realisation. The outer world is of manifestation. The inner world is for realisation. The outer world is for manifestation. By striking a synthesis between the inner world and the outer world, we achieve complete satisfaction and perfect Perfection.

Common Room
University House
Australian National University
Canberra, Australia
8 March 1976

The reality within

Dear friends, dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers, here we are all spiritual people. When I say we are all spiritual people, what do I actually mean? I mean that each individual here has a conscious inner cry. The difference between an ordinary, unaspiring person and an aspiring person is this: the aspiring person does everything consciously, devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally. In the normal course of development we pray to God, meditate on God, contemplate God and love Him soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally. But ordinary people are not conscious of this. When we pray and meditate consciously, we expedite and shorten our journey: we walk along a sunlit path. At that time we are pilgrims, eternal pilgrims, walking along Eternity's road.

Each individual seeker has to struggle inwardly to overcome his inner enemies: fear, doubt, limitations and so forth. Here we are all seekers on the sunlit path, the path of faith: faith in the spiritual life and faith in our existence here on earth. We have faith that what is unknowable today will become unknown tomorrow and known the day after tomorrow. Just because something is unknowable today, we can't say that that very thing will forever remain unknowable. No, in the inner realm we see there is a higher Force that we shall not only one day know but actually become. Right now we feel there is not an iota of light or wisdom within us. But we have to know that we started from Light and Delight in the inner worlds, we travel towards the highest Light and Delight and, at the end of our journey's close, to Light and Delight we return.

A child is one who has faith in the unknown future and also in the past. This same child, when he grows up spiritually, is still not afraid of the past; neither is he afraid of the Unknown, for he has established an inseparable friendship with the Unknown.

Why are we afraid of the Unknown? We are afraid precisely because we feel that the moment we see the Unknown or the Unknown sees us, we shall lose our individuality and personality. On the one hand we are afraid to establish oneness with the reality of the Unknown. On the other hand we feel that the Unknown has no reality and we are afraid to become one with that non-reality. So we are mistaken twice.

The Unknown is not a tiger; the Unknown is not a stranger. The Unknown is our own inner Reality; it is our own, our very own Self. Unfortunately, we do not have a free access to the unknown Reality, so very often it appears before us as a stranger, as something threatening, very frightening. But once we dive deep within and try to establish our oneness with the soul, with that strange and unknown Reality, we come to realise that that very Reality is ours, absolutely ours. Then, in a very limited way, we begin to have some feelings about this Reality; we begin to have some experiences. Just because we do not know a way to other places or other realities, we cannot say that these realities do not exist or that we will create problems for ourselves if we come to know them. Let us think of these realities as secret treasures along the sunlit path. Only for those on earth who aspire will these realities have something absolutely special to offer.

So far we notice that we doubt our inner experiences, we doubt that our Goal can be reached, we doubt our own aspiring existence. In the spiritual life doubt is our worst adversary. Everyone is sometimes assailed by undivine forces during the course of his progress. But when doubt attacks us, when we are assailed by doubt, we are weakened in our entire spiritual system.

When we doubt others, we do not weaken them; but when we doubt ourselves, we can easily see that we are weakened. Each time doubt is allowed to enter into us, into our minds, and make problems for our own spirituality, our inner cry is weakened. Doubt is slow poison. When this poison enters into our system, we don't aspire and we actually lose our inner cry. Therefore, let us try to walk along the road of faith. Slowly, steadily, unerringly we have to walk along the road of progress. With aspiration, slowly, steadily and unmistakably we make progress towards our destination.

We must realise that within us is our Source. There is Eternity within us, a world within us. Without fear, without doubt, we are free to establish our oneness with this Source. Once oneness is well-established, fear and doubt are abolished. At that time, not even an iota of doubt can be visible in our whole life. So it is obligatory for each divine soldier to conquer both fear and doubt. If fear and doubt loom large in our life of aspiration, then we cannot make any progress whatsoever.

After conquering fear and doubt, we notice that impatience with our spiritual progress is our next obstacle. Each seeker at times wants to discover and realise God in the twinkling of an eye. He becomes a victim of impatience. But he has to know that for everything there is a choice hour. We pray and meditate and work devotedly in our selfless service to create a life of aspiration and dedication within us. But he who wants to discover his inmost Reality overnight, or he who wants to discover the highest transcendental Truth in the twinkling of an eye, is bound to be frustrated.

In its own way, in its own time, everything will happen. Everything has an hour of its own. This inner awareness at times goes away and then we make friends with impatience. Each time impatience attacks us we find that we lose something very precious; we lose our inner joy. Wisdom is something very precious. Faith is something very precious. Faith in God's own Hour is very precious. With our faith, with our unshakable, indomitable faith, we discover boundless Peace, boundless Light and boundless Bliss.

Each seeker must develop his own capacity and his own receptivity. Receptivity houses all capacity. Capacity is our growing Reality. When we enlarge our inner reality, we call it receptivity. And when we look about and notice a higher Reality, we have to know that this Reality is bound to increase our inner prayer, inner meditation, inner awareness. Receptivity within us increases and expands when capacity enters into us. Both capacity and receptivity make us a divine instrument of God. Each time we awaken our existence by invoking Peace, Light and Bliss from above, we increase our capacity; and this capacity can again increase our receptivity. This is why we say our receptivity and capacity are inseparable.

Of all the capacities we have, one capacity is of paramount importance and this capacity is peace of mind. This world of ours is wanting in peace of mind. If we are endowed with peace of mind, if the members of our being are endowed with peace of mind, then with this power the darkness I that is within us can easily be transformed into total inner Peace. Light and Bliss.

In each seeker, there is a promise to God, a promise to the inner Reality, to the Highest Reality, that he will become a perfect, unconditional instrument of God to play the inimitable role God has created for him. As the seeker advances in his own spiritual life, he becomes more aware of his promise. Inside our promise we see God's transcendental Vision and God's universal Reality, the Reality that we eternally are. Once we are aware of this undeniable Reality, we notice that we are progressing most satisfactorily. Then God, the author of all Good, showers His choicest Blessings upon our devoted heads and our aspiring and surrendered hearts.

Open Stage Theatre State
College of Melbourne
Melbourne, Australia
9 March 1976

Simplicity, sincerity, purity and divinity

Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, let us try to be simple. Simplicity is a simple word, but everyone knows how difficult it is to become simple in life. Each time a seeker becomes simple in his life-activities, in his life-achievements, in his life-successes, he feels that he has achieved self-discovery. And each time he becomes complex or complicated in his nature, he feels that God-realisation is a far cry. A simple heart runs fast, faster, fastest towards the Goal. In the seeker's list of life-desires, when one item is removed and the list becomes more simple, the seeker gets an abundance of inner illumination.

Let us all try to become sincere. Sincerity is unparalleled in the spiritual life. Each time a seeker tells a lie, in order to justify the lie he will tell ten more lies. And each time he tells a lie he consciously gets an additional burden on his shoulders. The seeker has to run fast, faster, fastest towards his destination. If he is carrying something heavy on his shoulders, he can never go fast. Sincerity expedites our journey. Sincerity shortens the road. Sincerity offers us a short cut to our Goal. He who is sincere is bound to discover his Reality-Self infinitely sooner than the person who is not sincere.

A child's sincerity conquers the heart of all human beings. A sincere heart conquers the length and breadth of the world. A sincere seeker sees, feels and realises that God-realisation can never remain a far cry. There are people who say that spirituality is nothing short of mental hallucination, nothing but building castles in the air. But a sincere heart knows and feels that spirituality is something spontaneous and natural, for the Source — the Ultimate Source which is God — is natural and simple. Therefore, at every moment, right from the journey's start, the sincere heart feels that his is the way and his is the Goal, the destined Goal.

Let us all try to become pure. Purity is nothing short of self-expansion. It is inside our purity that we see the real Self of all. Purity expands and enlarges our consciousness. The whole world we can claim as our own, our very own, when we have a pure heart. If we do not have a pure heart, we can never claim anything as our very own. Inside our purity-existence we see our oneness-light, our universal oneness. When we do not have purity, we feel a sense of separativity. Each time we are wanting in purity we feel that there is nothing on earth that can satisfy us. But when purity enters into us, we feel that our entire being is surcharged with light. There is no darkness either within or without. Our whole being is flooded with Light and Delight.

He who has purity feels God's loving Breath at every moment, and his life's multifarious activities offer him fruitful realities. He opens his eyes, he observes the beauty of nature and he adores it. He closes his eyes and in the inmost recesses of his heart he observes the inner beauty. With outer beauty he fulfils the outer realities. With his inner beauty he fulfils the inner realities. It is he who sees the world of illumining Vision and fulfilling Reality. God's Silence-Life and God's Sound-Life he claims as his own, very own.

The seeker then dives deep within and enters into the world of divinity. There he sees God as Soul-Reality; there he sees God in His infinite manifestations, which are both Sound-Life and Silence-Life. In this world of divinity the seeker accepts everything as a form of God's manifestation. Today's world is far from perfect. But inside each material object, each creation of God, he sees and hears the message of ultimate perfection. The seeker who sees divinity in unmistakable terms inside each creation of God notices the sea of perfection in each human nature, in each human life.

Divinity is the Source. When the seeker is fully aware of his Source, he feels like a running river going towards the universal Sea of aspiration. The seeker's divinity makes him constantly conscious of the promise he made to the Absolute Supreme before he entered into the world-arena. At that time he made a solemn promise that he would manifest the Absolute Supreme here on earth. Realisation, revelation, manifestation and perfection: these divine achievements are what the seeker of the highest Absolute Truth achieves in the course of time. In the process of his own evolution, at God's Choice Hour he embodies, reveals and manifests God here on earth.

As he learns many things, the seeker of the Highest Truth also unlearns many things in the course of his journey. What are the things that he unlearns? He unlearns fear, doubt, anxiety, jealousy, insecurity. He unlearns the teachings of the earth-bound life, of the sophisticated mind with its disproportionate ego. He unlearns everything that the physical world has taught him. He comes to realise that the physical mind, which is full of doubt and suspicion, has taught him quite a few things which are standing in the way of his God realisation. Each time he uses his mind he sees clearly that the mind is creating an additional obstacle on his way. Therefore, he tries to unlearn everything that the physical mind has taught him and he uses an illumined mind.

This illumining and illumined mind comes into existence in his life only when he becomes a loving and aspiring heart. In his loving and aspiring heart he sees the effulgence of his soul. The soul's effulgence illumines his heart totally. Then the heart brings this effulgence of light into the mind and illumines the mind. When the seeker's mind is illumined, the seeker receives and achieves peace in boundless measure. This boundless peace the mind brings into the vital, strengthening the vital. There comes a time when the illumined mind is successful in transforming the restless, destructive vital. The illumination of the mind changes the aggressive vital into the dynamic vital. Then, the illumining and revealing vital enters into the lethargic physical body, the body that enjoys wallowing in the pleasures of lethargy, darkness and ignorance. For countless years this physical existence of ours did not care for the inner light. It wanted to remain with ignorance-life and swim in the sea of ignorance. But after some time, the illumining and illumined vital enters into the emotional physical. Slowly, steadily and unerringly our physical existence is transformed and illumined and becomes a perfect instrument of God. When the body-existence of the seeker's physical reality becomes a perfect instrument of God, God-manifestation becomes an elevating, illumining and fulfilling experience in the seeker's body. The seeker's very presence illumines and inspires those who happen to be around him. At this point, the seeker realises that each thought of his reality-existence is a world of its own. Previously, when he was living in the desire-life, he was not aware of thought-power. But now he sees that when he was in the desire-life, each thought destroyed a real divinity in him. Each thought was a form of destruction, conscious or unconscious. Each thought wanted him to maintain a sense of separativity or wanted him to lord it over others. Each thought made him feel that his was the life of superiority, his was the life of supreme authority.

Now the seeker sees in each thought a world of divine creation, a world of illumination a world of perfection. Each thought creates in him a world of progress, a world of satisfaction. And each time he grows into the satisfaction-tree, he feels the ultimate Absolute Lord, author of all Good, showering His choicest Blessings upon his illumined mind, aspiring heart and self-giving life.

Simplicity, sincerity, purity and divinity.

With sincerity the seeker starts his journey and with divinity the seeker completes his journey. But the journey never ends; the Goal is an ever-transcending reality. Each time the seeker reaches a Goal, that Goal becomes the starting point of a higher, brighter, more illumining and more fulfilling experience and reality.

The seeker starts with simplicity and goes along the road of sincerity, purity and divinity. Inside divinity, at every moment he realises a Goal, a Goal that is constantly transcending its own Infinity, Eternity and Immortality.

Melbourne Assembly Hall
Melbourne, Australia
10 March 1976

Happiness

Dear friends, dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers, I wish to give a short talk on happiness. You want happiness. He wants happiness. I want happiness. Everybody wants happiness in life, from life. Each creation of God wants happiness. God wants happiness for Himself in and through His creation.

We want happiness and we need happiness. In this life of ours there are many things that we want but actually do not need. But when it is a matter of happiness, we not only want it but we also need it. There is no happiness in mere seeing. There is no happiness in mere feeling. There is no happiness in mere achieving. Happiness can be found only in our conscious surrender to God's Will.

Right now, here on earth we enjoy false happiness, perverted happiness in the body, vital, mind and heart. The body enjoys happiness in the world of pleasure and lethargy. The vital enjoys happiness in the world of aggression. The mind enjoys happiness when it doubts and suspects. The heart enjoys happiness when it treasures insecurity. This is the way we enjoy happiness in the beginning. But there comes a time when real happiness, divine happiness, dawns. At that time the body is fully awake and consciously offering its service-light, the vital is dynamic, the mind is calm and quiet and the heart feels its oneness, its inseparable oneness with the rest of the world.

We have two main instruments: the mind and the heart. The mind finds it difficult to be happy, precisely because the mind consciously enjoys the sense of separativity. It is always judging and doubting the reality in others. This is the human mind, the ordinary physical mind, the earth-bound mind. But we also have the aspiring heart, the loving heart. This loving heart is free from insecurity, for it has already established its oneness with the rest of the world. This heart carries the message of self-offering, and self-offering is God-discovery.

Robert Blackwood Memorial Hall
Monash University
Melbourne, Australia
11 March 1976

Spirituality

Dear sisters and brothers, you are all seekers and I am also a seeker. We are all seekers of the transcendental Truth and Light. We practise spirituality according to our inner capacity and inner receptivity. Each individual knows what spirituality is. Each individual can say something about spirituality according to his own personal experiences. Such being the case, I wish to share with you my personal experiences with regard to spirituality. People have many different opinions with regard to real spiritual life. I do not want to say what others think of the spiritual life. I wish to share with you my experiences in the spiritual life.

To start with, spirituality is not austerity. Spirituality is not aloofness. Spirituality is not indifference. A life of austerity God can never appreciate. God is all Love, all Compassion, all Sympathy, all Concern. He does not want the seeker to lead an austere life in order to please Him. A seeker who denies himself food, sleep and so forth is leading an unnatural life. Spirituality is natural, spirituality is normal, just as God is natural and normal.

Aloofness can never be the mark of spirituality. A sincere seeker can never be aloof. He has to discover the presence of God inside every human being. He has to live in the world with his friends, relatives and acquaintances and find spirituality in the world.

Indifference can never be the qualification of a seeker. His life's indifference takes him away from his true reality-existence. God is at once the Creator and the creation. If a seeker shows indifference to the world at large, then he can make no spiritual progress, for he is rejecting God the creation. The genuine seeker has to establish his oneness-life with all human beings, for this is real spirituality.

Spirituality is simplicity, sincerity, purity and humility. A simple life helps the seeker grow. A sincere life helps the seeker fly and dive. A pure life helps the seeker become one with God's Vision and God's transcendental Reality. A humble life helps the seeker embrace the length and breadth of the entire world.

True spirituality starts with love, divine love. The seeker loves God the Creator and God the creation. The seeker also loves himself. If he does not love himself, if he is critical and hyper-critical of himself, then he will not be able to make constant progress. Here we have to know that his love for himself is not a conscious aggrandisement of his ego. No, he loves himself because he sees the presence of God within himself and because he sees himself as an instrument of God.

The seeker realises that there are two beings inside him. He himself is one being and inside him is another being. Again, the same seeker, when he loves himself, sees that there is only one being within and without; he is both. When he lives in the inner world, he is a flood of poise and tranquility. When he lives in the outer world, he is the ever-glowing life, the energising life, the fulfilling life-cry.

Spirituality is not impatient. The seeker has to know that he cannot realise the transcendental Truth overnight. There is no short cut. It takes time and it demands constant effort. The seeker walks along Eternity's road and, when he reaches his destination, he finds that it is now only his starting point. Each time he reaches his destination, that destination becomes the starting point for a higher destination.

When we follow the spiritual life, we dedicate ourselves to a divine cause, the supreme Cause. It is not possible by hook or by crook to realise the sublime Truth, but only by constant self-giving. We realise the Real in us, the transcendental Truth in us only through self-giving. At that time we swim in the ocean of Love, the ocean of Light and Delight.

Each seeker is destined to reach the Goal, the Goal of the ever-transcending Beyond. Each seeker has an hour of his own, which we call God's Hour, God's Choice Hour. At God's Choice Hour, each seeker becomes a conscious instrument of God. He becomes inseparably one with God's transcendental Vision and universal Reality. The seeker prays, he meditates, he aspires; aspiration is his prayer, aspiration is his meditation. When he aspires through his prayer, he elevates his consciousness high, higher, highest to the transcendental height of Reality. When he aspires in and through his meditation, he brings down the high, higher, highest Reality for manifestation here on earth. Prayer, soulful prayer, reaches the highest Height; and fruitful meditation brings the highest Height here to earth.

Each seeker is God's choice instrument. Each seeker is God-preparation growing into God-satisfaction. While playing the role of God-preparation, he enjoys the divine fulfilment of God's Will in and through him. While playing the role of God-satisfaction, he reveals and manifests God-perfection divinely and supremely.

Brougham Place
Congregational Church
Adelaide, Australia
11 March 1976

Possession and satisfaction

Dear seekers, dear Australian brothers and sisters, I have been here in Australia for the last twelve days. Tomorrow I shall be leaving Australia for India, where I shall be for two weeks. Then I shall go back to America. During these twelve days I have been blessed unreservedly by the soul of Australia. I have also been blessed by the Australians. Their affection, love, concern, sympathy and feeling of oneness have touched the very depths of my heart.

Geography taught me that Australia is vast, a very vast continent. On my arrival I most sincerely felt that Australia is not only vast, but also one; not only one, but also illumining; not only illumining, but also fulfilling. Vastness, kindness, magnanimity, a sense of responsibility: all these things I have felt right from the beginning in the soul of Australia.

Tomorrow when I leave Australia, I shall leave behind my soulful gratitude, my ever-growing gratitude, for here I have been given ample opportunity to be of devoted service to the sincere and genuine seekers. Nothing gives me more joy, delight and sense of satisfaction than to be of service to sincere seekers.

My students have just sung a song that was composed by me. It is my salutation to the soul of Australia: that is to say, my salutation to the real in you, the divine in you. Now I wish to give a short talk on possession and satisfaction.

Possession and satisfaction are like the North Pole and the South Pole. The sense of possession enters into our earthly existence right from our birth. A child wants to possess his parents. When he grows up, he wants to possess his village. Then he wants to possess his province, his country, the world. Right from the beginning he wants to possess his parents and the other members of his family, but he finds no satisfaction in this. When he grows up, he finds no satisfaction in trying to possess the length and breadth of the world.

Then he decides he wants to change the process. He decides to please his parents, his village, his province, his country, the world at large, on the strength of mutual giving. He will give to them something of his own and he expects something else in return from them. But he finds no abiding satisfaction in this mutual give-and-take, and what he wants is abiding satisfaction. Finally he realises that abiding satisfaction can be received and achieved only if he gives himself unconditionally to his parents, to his village, to his province, to his country, to the world at large. In unconditional self-giving, satisfaction looms large.

Possession is our desire-life. Our desire at every moment wants to possess something more. Each time we possess something more, we become a greater beggar. Although we accumulate, we end up with no real possessions; in the inner world we have become a great beggar. When we walk along the road of renunciation, each time we renounce something we get tremendous joy. But renunciation cannot give us real satisfaction, abiding satisfaction. If we renounce everything — body, vital, mind, heart and soul — how are we going to realise the highest Truth? If we renounce society, if we renounce everyday life, if we renounce our near and dear ones in the name of spirituality, then we cannot achieve pure, lasting, immortal satisfaction. The real answer lies in the transformation of our nature, the perfection of our human limitations, shortcomings, imperfections, bondage and death. Abiding satisfaction comes into existence only when we can transform our sense of possessiveness into self-giving.

The life of possession constantly makes us think at every moment of success, success in life. In order to arrive at the door of success, many times we adopt foul means. Even if we do not adopt foul means, we are always in the world of competition. By competing with others, even by defeating others, the joy and satisfaction that we get cannot last. When we feel that we have become something on the strength of our success, our sincerity tells us that there is someone better than we, someone superior to us. Somebody becomes a great poet, a great sportsman, a great singer; he is bloated with pride. But when he looks around, in the twinkling of an eye he sees that there is somebody who writes far better than he does, somebody who plays sports or sings far better than he. In every walk of life he sees somebody better than himself. So success finally becomes frustration, and frustration is bound to be followed by destruction.

In material possession we find a sense of want, not need. There are many, many things, countless things we do not need, but when we walk along the road of possession, we want these things. Everything we want. But there comes a time when we feel we need something to satisfy our soul's inner cry for God, our inner cry to manifest the divine reality within us. At that time we realise that there is another road we can walk along, and that is the road of progress. On this road at every moment we walk forward. Here we are not competing with others; we are competing with ourselves, with the ignorance we have inside us. Ignorance is another part of our own existence. We are divided into two parts: Ignorance-night and wisdom-light. We and ignorance are running side by side; we have been doing this since time immemorial. But now we are awakened and we are trying to run fast, faster, fastest to reach our destination. When consciously we become one with wisdom-light, we run fast, faster, fastest to our destined goal, which is our ever-transcending Reality, the ever-illumining and fulfilling Beyond. Once we reach our destination, ignorance is defeated. This is the meaning of competition with ourselves.

The seeker gets satisfaction not by exercising his own will but by surrendering his earth-bound will to his Heaven-free will. The seeker is he who has received the message of surrender to a higher force, a more illumining force within himself. By praying and meditating and aspiring, he realises he can grow into his own highest reality. His is not the surrender of the slave to his master. His surrender is founded upon inner wisdom. He realises that he is composed of both the highest reality and the lowest reality. He is not surrendering to another person, to somebody else; rather, his own unlit, unconscious part is surrendering to his most conscious, illumined existence. The finite in him is surrendering to the Infinite in him in order to grow into the transcendental Reality. And in this surrender he finds abiding satisfaction.

The same seeker also discovers something else that gives him ceaseless satisfaction, and this is his gratitude. Each time the seeker offers his soulful gratitude to his Inner Pilot, the Absolute Reality within him, he gets abiding satisfaction. This gratitude-flower he places at the Feet of the Inner Pilot. At that time, God-Satisfaction embraces his heart and God the Satisfaction embraces his entire being.

Napier Lecture Theatre 5
University of Adelaide
Adelaide, Australia
12 March 1976

Meeting with the Bishop of Adelaide

On 12 March ]976, Sri Chinmoy met with Bishop Phillip Kennedy of Adelaide. Also present were Sister Patricia Fox and two of Sri Chinmoy's disciples — Syandan (Ian Johnson) and Sipra (Ellen Lloyd)

Greeting

Bishop Kennedy: When did you arrive here?

Sri Chinmoy: I arrived here just yesterday.

Bishop Kennedy: Just yesterday, and you will be here for how long?

Sri Chinmoy: Until tomorrow morning. At 9:30 I shall leave for Perth and then I shall go back to America.

Bishop Kennedy: You actually live in the United States?

Sri Chinmoy: I have lived in the United States for the last twelve years.

Bishop Kennedy: And your work in the United States has been mainly with members of the United Nations?

Sri Chinmoy: I also serve the Westerners, the Americans and the Canadians who come to me. It is a part of my dedicated service. Also, I hold special meditations and prayers twice a week at the United Nations and once a month I give a lecture at the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium.

Bishop Kennedy: Sister Patricia is doing work of…I was going to say, of the same nature. It might be interesting if you spoke about your work for a moment.

Sister Patricia: My work comes from the same root. I would be interested to hear why you went to the States.

Sri Chinmoy: I just listened to an inner Dictate. I listened to an inner Voice. This Voice is for me the Voice of my Inner Pilot. My Inner Pilot commanded me to come to America and to be of service to the aspiring Americans. So I had no choice. Tomorrow if the same Voice tells me to spend the rest of my life in Australia, I shall be obliged to do so.

The West

Sister Patricia: Your arrival in the West coincided with a resurgence of meditation, isn't this so?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it is absolutely true. Since 1964 I have been serving the West according to my capacity and I have been telling the seekers that there are two approaches to the Ultimate Reality. One is the way of prayer and the other is the way of meditation. In the West, we give most importance to prayer. In the East, especially in India, we give most importance to meditation. But ultimately, both serve the same purpose, although there is a subtle difference between prayer and meditation. I tell my students that when we pray, our inner cry, our aspiration, goes up to the Ultimate Father. We talk to Him: "Lord, grant us Light, Peace and Bliss." We ask God to grant us Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure and He listens to us. When we meditate, at that time the Lord speaks and we listen to Him. It is like a conversation. Now I am talking to you, and then you talk to me. This is a proper conversation. So when we pray, we talk to God; and when we meditate, God talks to us.

Bishop Kennedy: And your work here in Adelaide will be to serve those who come to hear you at Adelaide University. Would you describe it as teaching them to meditate?

Sri Chinmoy: I do not teach in the outer sense of the term. Only I pray and meditate and they get some inspiration. Then my role is over. I have come into the world to be of service and this service takes the form of inspiration. If someone gets inspiration from my talk or from my meditation and if for five minutes, he leads a better life, then I feel that my presence in Australia has been worthwhile. I cannot expect anything more. In Perth, for example, I spent two days. I gave talks and seven or eight hundred people came each day. Out of seven or eight hundred, if one person got some inspiration from my talk and decided to lead a better life for five minutes, then I feel that I have done important work.

Again, if not one person received anything from my talk, from my prayer, I shall not feel sad, precisely because I know I have come here to be of dedicated service to the Lord. So I have to place the results of my actions at the Feet of the Lord Supreme. My task is to pray and meditate and serve Him, and His task is to grant success or failure, whichever He chooses. There is no such thing as failure, no such thing as success. They are both only an experience. I am not interested in success; I am interested only in progress. Success may come in the twinkling of an eye. Somebody becomes famous, but then the same person may drop from a tree and break his legs. But when it is a matter of progress, it is a slow and steady process. Slowly and steadily we are making progress towards the ultimate Goal.

Meditation

Sister Patricia: I would be interested in knowing how you lead a meditation. How do you go about doing this?

Sri Chinmoy: I just enter into my own highest meditation. [For a few seconds Sri Chinmoy meditates.] In this way I enter into my highest. I keep my heart's door wide open and then everybody enters and together we go to our Goal. Here inside my heart we all go together. Otherwise, individual egos will go in entirely different directions and then we will be lost, totally lost. But if eternally we can walk along the same road, we will have a harmonious, peaceful, fruitful journey together. It all depends on receptivity.

Bishop Kennedy: Do you actually judge the receptivity of the audience?

Sri Chinmoy: I do not actually judge, but I do notice that if they are receptive, they receive more from me. I have not come here to judge anybody. If they keep their heart's door wide open, then the Peace, Light and Bliss that I bring down on the strength of my intense prayer and meditation will enter into them. But if they keep their heart's door closed, then I remain a stranger and what I try to offer they do not receive.

Bishop Kennedy: When you are serving, are you conscious of them moving with you as you go deeper into meditation? Is this something that you recognise?

Sri Chinmoy: It is like touching an object. You touch this object and immediately you get the conscious vibration of that object. When I see a person, I come into contact with that person and I get an immediate reaction: I feel whether that person wants to take some service from me. Out of one hundred people, perhaps only two will be taking my assistance; the others have come out of curiosity. If they come out of curiosity, I can be of little use to them. When we pray together, meditate together, we feel the necessity of collective prayer and meditation. It is of paramount importance. Today I am in a high consciousness and I can lift you. Tomorrow I can be in a very, very low consciousness and you can be in a high consciousness; so you can pull me up. That is why we give importance to the collective meditation. One day your consciousness may be very high and her consciousness may be very low. So you come and save her; you become her saviour.

Bishop Kennedy: If we are meditating together and you are in a state of high consciousness, then if I open my heart, you are going to help me?

Sri Chinmoy: It is like an elevator. An elevator can lift you up and, again, the same elevator will bring you down. It is like climbing up a tree. Some people cannot climb up a tree. others can climb up but they do not know how to climb down, and there are also those who can climb up and also climb down. These are the real champion climbers. They climb up and pluck the most delicious fruits and then come down and distribute them.

The path of the heart

Bishop Kennedy: It seems at face value that what you are offering is very simple. There aren't things to learn, intellectual things. It is an attitude of the heart.

Sri Chinmoy: I tell my students that they have to follow the path of the heart. The mind doubts, suspects, judges. It always wants to maintain a sense of separativity. It always wants to remain an inch higher so it can lord it over others. But the heart is not like that. The heart is all oneness. When we live in the heart, we have a feeling of inseparable oneness. Wherever I am, you also are; wherever you are, I also am. The heart is oneness-light. The heart is like the mother. The mother is inseparably one with her child — with his suffering and joy, with all his multifarious activities.

Right now the mind that we have is the earthbound, physical mind. Its very nature is to doubt and suspect others, to remain aloof. But the mind will not all the time remain unillumined. Nothing will remain untransformed. Everything will be illumined and perfected at God's Choice Hour. The heart is more illumined than the mind because it has received Light from the soul. Now this very same Light the heart is trying to offer to the mind. Then the mind will offer it to the vital and the vital will offer it to the physical. This room is now illumined, whereas the other room may be dark. So we take light from here to the other room, which is dark. But first we have to come into that room which already has light. If we go into the room that has no light, how are we going to bring light?

I tell my students that there is only one teacher and that teacher is God. I say, "I am not the Father, I am only the elder brother. I know a little more about the Father than you, because you are younger than I in terms of spirituality, so I will take you to the Father. That is the job He has given me. Once I have taken you to the Father, then I will let Him deal with you directly. At that time my role is over." Then, the Father and the younger brothers and sisters will directly deal with one another.

Studying with Sri Chinmoy

Bishop Kennedy: Your disciples come to you and stay with you for a length of time?

Sri Chinmoy: It depends on them. If they want to stay permanently, indefinitely, they can. But after a time some feel they have received whatever they want and they leave. For them it is like a course they are taking. They learn for a few months or a few years, and then they go to some other subject. But others feel that it is an eternal Journey, an eternal course. It is not like getting a Master's degree or Ph.D. — in twenty-two years you complete your studies and then you need have nothing more to do with your professor. But there is an eternal connection between the Master and the true disciple. In this case, someone wants to stay eternally inside my heart and I want to stay inside his heart eternally. So it depends on the seeker, whether he wants to establish a permanent, eternal oneness with me or a temporary connection for just a few years.

Bishop Kennedy: For people here in Adelaide, would they meet together to meditate?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, at Sipra's house. She is our leader. She has been in Adelaide only one month. But she has been to our Centre in New York a couple of times, each time for a few months, and she knows how to run Centre activities. Under my inner and outer guidance, she will serve the people who come to meditate with her. She is my younger sister; I have to take her to the Source. And people who come to her house will try to keep an inner connection and outer connection with me, since I am the elder brother. She is the one who will organise meetings here and meditations. Syandan and his wife Lalita are leaders of our Perth Centre. We also have Centres in Melbourne and Sydney.

Bishop Kennedy: Speaking about meditating together reminds me of the problem of meditating alone. If one of your followers is in an area where he is quite alone, what does he do?

Sri Chinmoy: I have quite a few disciples who are scattered in remote areas. But they do write to me and they have kept an inner connection with me. If there are three or four people at one particular place, then we advise them to start a Centre. But if there is only one person, say, in a big city, that person keeps direct connection with me until he or she has found a few more to sail in the same boat.

Bishop Kennedy: That person who is alone would spend some time in meditation alone each day?

Sri Chinmoy: Early in the morning and in the evening, twice a day. And if it is at all possible, during the course of the day also — three times. In the morning, the first thing we usually do is to have breakfast and feed the body. But before we feed the body, we have to feed the soul. We have to do first things first. On the spiritual plane, God comes first: so we have to have inner food first. So we pray and meditate and then take the outer food. I tell my disciples they have to pray and meditate every day. Yesterday they ate, today they eat, tomorrow they will eat. On the physical plane, if one week they eat and another week they don't, they will starve and become weak. They have to eat every day. In the spiritual life also, if they pray and meditate regularly, they will become very strong. Otherwise, if one day they pray and meditate and for three weeks they don't pray or meditate, then they will not develop their inner divine qualities. Regularity is of utmost importance in the inner life.

Bishop Kennedy: Do you go so far as to give them a certain length of time for which they should meditate?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, I tell them in the beginning they have to meditate for at least five or ten minutes. Then gradually they increase it according to their capacity. It is just a waste of time to sit for two or three hours if they cannot meditate for even two or three minutes. It is like exercise. If we take exercise regularly, we develop powerful muscles. Then we can exercise for two or three hours. But in the beginning, if we want to take exercise, we get tired after five minutes. When they feel they are not aspiring at all, but just sitting there, then they should stop meditating and do some other activity. But if they have the capacity to pray and meditate for half an hour or an hour soulfully and devotedly, they should do so.

Bishop Kennedy: The person who has some skill in meditating, when that person ceases his period of meditation, will the consciousness of the Divine that he has experienced carry over until the next meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the seeker. If the seeker has meditated for a half hour and then enters into his multifarious daily activities, his consciousness may totally descend and he will forget all that he has experienced. If this happens, he has to feel that his consciousness is acting like a pool; the water is stagnant. But if he remembers even in the midst of his multifarious activities that early in the morning he has prayed and meditated most sincerely and devotedly, then he is carrying the same vibration inside him. It is flowing like a river. And tomorrow, when he prays and meditates again, his consciousness will be renewed and redoubled and flow even more powerfully. So it all depends on how much he consciously thinks of his early morning meditation during the day. Some people pray and meditate for half an hour in the morning and the rest of the day they never think of prayer and meditation. For them it is very difficult to feel the continuance of their meditation. But if they can remember for a couple of minutes what they did early in the morning, then they become a running river, flowing continuously, and tomorrow there will be a new life for them.

Bishop Kennedy: So ideally this river flows all the time, and the period of meditation in the morning and the period of meditation in the evening are the same process?

Sri Chinmoy: It is the same, the same. The river is flowing, but if one is not aware of it, he is acting like a fool. If one is aware of the river, then he becomes the river's continuation.

Public meditations

Sister Patricia: When you hold a meditation, do you pre-plan it? Do you have a form before you start?

Sri Chinmoy: No. Sometimes I hold meditations for seven hours, and we also have had a thirteen-hour meditation. Once my students meditated with me for thirteen hours and two or three times they have meditated with me for seven hours. Just a few months ago I invited the general public to come and meditate with me for seven hours, in three sessions. But there is no preconceived idea.

Sister Patricia: Is there any verbal communication?

Sri Chinmoy: No, there are very few words. I may sing one or two songs and for five minutes I may give them some instructions on how to concentrate, how to meditate, how to contemplate. In seven hours, I may speak for fifteen minutes, or not even that. The last time for nineteen minutes I talked; the rest of the time I remained in silence.

Most of the time I will meditate. Sometimes they will just observe me, and sometimes they will dive deep within.

Sister Patricia: Are you conscious of how attentive they are?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, because they are inside my heart. When I am in my highest consciousness, if you enter into me at that time, you will be able to feel whether I am able to house all these seekers. As you expand your heart, you welcome the aspiration of humanity. You expand, you become receptive and the rest of the world is inside your heart.

Bishop Kennedy: So you will be instructing people in Adelaide by actually meditating?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, by meditating; that is the way. Not by verbal instruction, because then it becomes mental instruction. Each one has his own way of praying and meditating. I try to bring to the fore each seeker's inner consciousness. Then Consciousness itself will tell them how to meditate. I help them find the key to the treasure chest within each one of them.

Other teachers

Sister Patricia: Do you think people see you as different from some of the other spiritual teachers?

Syandan: There have been controversial sects coming into Australia, causing a commotion, and unfortunately a lot of the public have got a distorted view of spirituality because of this. It is very rare for them to be able to see a sincere Indian spiritual Master and read his books.

Bishop Kennedy: I think it must be the essential simplicity which seems to attract them.

Meditation is natural

Sipra: Guru always tells us that meditation is a very natural thing. It is not something that has to be forced. It is something that we do spontaneously, just by opening our hearts. It gives us a feeling of satisfaction and fulfilment. It is something we all really want inwardly, but we just don't know where to look.

Pope Paul

Sri Chinmoy: You will be happy to learn that on the 9th of June, I will have an interview with Pope Paul. This half-hour private interview will be my third interview. The first time was three years ago. Then I had an interview a second time, but he was not well, so I could only see him for a few minutes. He is aware of our activities at the United Nations and I have received some letters from him inspiring me and encouraging me in my activities. So I will speak with him on the 9th of June.

Bishop Kennedy: He understands English, but does not speak it very well.

Sri Chinmoy: He is full of love and compassion.

Each religion is a house

Sister Patricia: Do you do any work with Christians?

Sri Chinmoy: We say each religion is a house. You are a Christian, I am a Hindu, someone else is a Moslem. You stay in your house; I have my house. But if you say your religion is by far the best religion, people will disagree. The only thing we can say is that our own religion is perfect for us and that all religions lead us to the same Ultimate Truth. In spirit they are all one; all are branches of one Reality-Tree. I am on one branch, you are on one branch. The tree needs all its branches, or else it is not a tree. Again, the branches need the trunk and the roots; otherwise, they cannot exist.

Bishop Kennedy: It was very kind of you. Thank you very much.

Sri Chinmoy: Thank you, thank you.

Interview on This Day Tonight television show

Adelaide, Australia

Introduction

Compere Geoff Michells: The answer when tension and strains of life become too much is "to seek Heaven inside our pure hearts." Well, that is according to a visiting Indian Yogi and spiritual Master, Sri Chinmoy. With his brand of meditation, on any given day he might dictate fifty pages of a book, write one hundred poems or so and hold a meditation at the United Nations and perhaps give a university lecture or two. It's all in a day's work for the man whose press handout describes him as "A 20th Century Yogi-Executive." Well, he spoke with our interviewer today, and it's fascinating to note that he appears to be going deeper into meditation as the interview progresses.

Interviewer: It is an extremely hectic life you are leading, flying all over the world to give your lectures. It must be a change for you from the twenty years you spent in the spiritual community.

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it is a great change, but at the same time I do enjoy doing it.

Interviewer: What part do you most enjoy?

Sri Chinmoy: I enjoy most the dedicated selfless service I am offering to mankind.

Interviewer: So which life do you prefer?

Sri Chinmoy: I prefer the life of activity, dynamism and self-giving to humanity to remaining closeted in a Himalayan cave.

Interviewer: You have probably heard of the fate of another famous Guru, Guru Maharaji, who was admitted to a hospital with an ulcer. Do you think that could ever happen to you?

Sri Chinmoy: I don't think so.

Interviewer: You don't. Have you found that people here are generally hospitable towards you?

Sri Chinmoy: They have been extremely kind, and their hearts of magnanimity have touched the very depths of my heart. I am going back to the States and leaving behind me a heart of gratitude.

Interviewer: They are not seeing you as just another Guru, then?

Sri Chinmoy: I do not know what they are seeing in me, but I am seeing in them my real brothers and sisters.

Interviewer: How is your message different from any other religions?

Sri Chinmoy: My message is not different from any religion. If it is religion, if it is spirituality, if it is philosophy, then there is only one message: discover yourself, what you would call self-discovery. If we can discover our true reality, then we shall not quarrel, we shall not fight; we shall have only the Kingdom of Heaven inside us.

Interviewer: Now, meditation is a crucial part of your teaching. Do you think one can reach a state of inner perfection without meditating?

Sri Chinmoy: No, it is not possible. If somebody has a headache, then he needs some medicine. If somebody has a stomach upset, then he needs some medicine in order to cure himself. Similarly, we are wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance, so meditation is the only medicine that can cure us from the disease which we call ignorance, suffering.

Interviewer: Then our traditional religions are in trouble, in your opinion.

Sri Chinmoy: No, no. Traditional religions talk about prayer and we talk about meditation. Prayer and meditation.

Interviewer: Is there a difference between them?

Sri Chinmoy: They are practically the same; they both arrive at the same Goal. When we pray to God, we talk to God; and when we meditate, God talks to us. It is a two-way conversation. At times you are talking, at times I am talking. When we pray, we talk and God listens to us. When we meditate, God talks to us and we listen to Him.

Interviewer: As well as a Guru you are also an artist and a prolific writer. I understand you wrote 800 poems in one night. Why do you write so many poems?

Sri Chinmoy: It is not I who write; I get inspiration from Somebody within me, my Inner Pilot. He inspires me according to my capacity and receptivity. I just execute His Will.

Interviewer: Do you feel that if you wrote perhaps a few less, you might reach even a higher standard of poetic quality?

Sri Chinmoy: That is a human way of judging the Truth. If I were asked to write one poem now, I would not be able to do it. But there came a time when I was highly surcharged with inspiration; therefore, because of God's Grace, it was possible for me to write 843 poems in one day. So it was all a matter of God's Grace.

Interviewer: You live from donations, I understand, and from the sale of your books. Is that enough to live on?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. I have quite a few students and they are very, very generous to me. I entirely depend on love offerings, and on the proceeds from the sale of my books.

Interviewer: Mr. Chinmoy, thank you very much.

Sri Chinmoy: Thank you, thank you.

Compere Geoff Michells: Sri Chinmoy and tranquility and serenity, indeed!