A hundred years from now
God will give you what you actually needWhat do you need? You need divine love. How can you get divine love from God? You can get it only when you feel that God is entirely yours, yours forever. If you can have that kind of feeling, you are bound to receive divine love from God.
What you need is divine joy. God will give you divine joy when you feel that the entire world is a playground where you can play, sing and dance. In God's playground you sing and dance to fulfil and to manifest God. There is no vital pleasure, no vital excitement in this dance; it is the expression of the individual soul in the cosmos. Each soul plays its part to fulfil the Divine in collectivity.
You badly need peace. God will give you peace only when you feel that you are not indispensable, either to your family or to the world. Only God is indispensable, for God is both the Creator and the creation. But that does not mean that you will neglect your earthly duties. No! But you will regard them as divine duties. When you do this, you will see that God is responsible for the fruit of your actions. He is responsible on the strength of your surrendered will to Him. If you have surrendered to God all that you have and all that you are, then only can you feel that God is responsible for all your activities. If you feel that you are responsible for your children, for your parents, for your friends and if you feel that you have to kindle the flame of aspiration or illumine their unlit nature, then you are mistaken. If you feel that you are responsible for them, you will not get peace for yourself nor will you be able to offer peace to any of God's children on earth. God is responsible; God is indispensable. But you have to work soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally to see God in each human being at every moment. It is through conscious and constant surrender to the Will of God that you will be able to feel this.
God will make you one with Him if you know the meaning of silence and know how to cultivate the bumper crop of silence. You have to work on your inner life in your outer life's silence. No matter how soulful, how divine, how significant or momentous your words, talking will have to surrender to silence. When you don't talk to anyone, when you simply keep your mouth closed, this is the outer silence.
But you also have to practise the inner silence. For inner silence, the mind must not talk either. The mind is constantly producing and receiving thoughts, ideas, fears, doubts and worries. The mind is talking to many persons in the mental world. In order to have inner silence, you have to silence the mind. The mind has to become calm and quiet, a sea of tranquillity. Without this inner silence you cannot make any satisfactory progress in the inner life. There are many people who do not talk for hours; they observe outer silence. This outer silence is good, but it cannot lead you very far unless and until you have established inner silence.
In order to become one with God, you have to consciously start your spiritual journey. Each one has to start without further delay. "Here and now" is the soul's motto. Your soul wants you to start your spiritual journey at this very moment. If you have doubt with regard to God's existence, no harm. Doubt as much as you want. Eventually you will become tired of doubting God. If you doubt the existence of inner peace and bliss, doubt as long as you want. When you act in this way, you will feel the presence of truth and reality just because you are making such a sincere effort to deny them. Denying means trying to prove the truth in your own way. But the ultimate Truth will not allow you to see truth in your own way forever. It will show you its true form in its own way for your own good. So if you have doubts with regard to the spiritual life, the inner life, or God's reality, then it is best to start your inner journey anyway.
If you are curious to know what spirituality is, accept spirituality with your utmost curiosity. See what it is. Is it just superficially fascinating or is it something deep and vast, to which you can devote your entire life? You may start with curiosity, but soon your curiosity will turn into real aspiration. Or if you enter the spiritual life because others have done so, this is also fine. If you see that somebody's life has become peaceful and happy after he has accepted the spiritual life and you try to imitate him so that you can also get peace of mind, there is nothing wrong with that. If somebody sitting beside you is doing a better meditation, please try to do as he is doing. Imitation is not your goal, but from imitation you may receive a little inspiration.
Just by becoming inspired, you will not get all that you want. But you will get all that you want and need from aspiration. Your own aspiration is the answer. It not only solves your problems, but it solves others' problems as well. From the very depths of your heart it climbs up like a mounting flame and touches the highest pinnacle. When the Highest descends into your inner life, you will radiate divine light all around. At that time, there can be no obscurity around you; all will be illumined by your light.
I wish to tell you a favourite story of Sri Ramakrishna's. Once a thief entered into a palace at midnight and overheard a conversation between the King and the Queen. The King said to the Queen: "I wish my youngest daughter to marry a holy man so that she will have some peace. All my other daughters have married kings and generals, but their lives are miserable. The holy men have a very peaceful life, so if she marries one of them her life will be full of peace. Tomorrow, early in the morning, I shall send my ministers to the banks of the Ganges where many holy men meditate. I am sure that one of them will agree to marry my daughter."
The thief overheard the conversation and thought, "My God, a poor monk will get the Princess? Let me go there and meditate with the monks. Who knows, perhaps I may be selected. Now I have to steal in order to get a little money. But if the Princess is satisfied with me, then I will become rich overnight. I will be flooded with material prosperity."
Early the next morning, dressed in the garb of a holy man, the thief went to the Ganges and started meditating with the other monks. Soon the King's ministers arrived and began going from one monk to the next seeking one who would marry the Princess. The monks became furious. "We are crying for infinite Light, infinite Truth, infinite Joy, and you want to bind us to this world again? We don't want the material life; we don't want the material world or material possessions!" they shouted.
The poor ministers got rebukes and scoldings from all the monks. They cared not for the Princess; they cared only for the highest Truth and inner wealth. One by one the monks gave their refusals. Finally when the ministers came to the thief, he agreed to accept the King's daughter. They went back to the King and narrated the whole story.
On hearing that one monk had showed some interest in the Princess, the King was overjoyed. "Tomorrow I shall bring my daughter to the banks of the Ganges where the holy men are praying and meditating," he said.
But during the night a divine thought entered into the mind of the thief. He thought to himself, "I am only pretending to be a holy man. Just by pretending, I am getting the Princess and much wealth and material prosperity. If I really and sincerely become a monk, I am sure that I will get infinite Power, infinite Light, infinite Bliss, infinite Peace, as these genuine monks will also eventually get from God. Why should I be attached to this finite material wealth when I have the opportunity to get infinite Light, Bliss and Power from God's infinite Wealth?"
So the thief changed his mind during the night and when the King approached him the following morning, he showed no respect for the King. He flared up and said, "King, do not bind me to this material world. I want God and God alone. I don't need your daughter." The poor King went back to his palace, and the thief became a sincere holy man.
This story makes it very clear that at any moment we can start our spiritual journey. The thief began with imitation. But he received inspiration when he saw the real holy men crying sincerely for God and God alone. Then from inspiration he entered into aspiration. He was not satisfied with his desire to have money and material wealth because he felt that there was something even greater and more fulfilling than that. When he began crying for infinite Wealth, which is God, he went beyond desire and entered into aspiration.
If you still cherish doubt or curiosity, then start with doubt, start with curiosity. But start! Step by step you will be able to march towards your goal. God is already eager to have you. You may not be eager to have God, but God the eternal Father, God the eternal Mother, is crying for you. You must make the decision that you want God. If you really want God, then start where you are — here and now — and yours is the Goal of conscious oneness with God the infinite Light and infinite Truth. Start now!
What are you doing?"What are you doing?"
I am looking for a new path.
"I have one."
May I walk along your path?
"Certainly you may,
But first you must offer me
Your soulful cry."
Ah, you can have it immediately.
"What are you doing?"
I am looking for a new Master.
"I am the one."
May I have you as my Master?
"Certainly you may,
But first you must offer me
Your soulful smile."
Alas, it may take a little time,
But I shall definitely give it to you.
Sincerity, purity and certaintySincerity, purity and certainty: these three divine qualities perfectly rhyme. Sincerity is of paramount importance in the spiritual life. Sincerity and spirituality always go together. We are all in the spiritual life; we are all spiritual persons, or at least we claim to be. An aspirant can be sincere to his friends, relatives, neighbours and to the world at large, but he may not be sincere to himself. It is infinitely easier to be sincere to others than to be sincere to oneself. In his day-to-day life in the outside world, an aspirant almost always speaks the truth. But unfortunately, that very aspirant constantly tells lies to himself.
The aspirant is supposed to meditate early in the morning and he does meditate. What is his meditation? His meditation is his invocation of infinite Light, Peace and Bliss. It is his conscious effort to have nothing to do with the obscurity, impurity, imperfection and ignorance which he sees all around him. He is beyond it; he is above it. During meditation he makes a promise to himself that he will be pure, that he will be detached, that he will constantly aspire. It is his ardent promise to himself that he will not doubt himself, he will not fear anything, he will not be a victim to impurity and anxiety. But the moment he comes out of his room and enters into the wide world, consciously or unconsciously he falls a victim to impurity, anxiety, jealousy, fear and doubt. All his promises are broken as the day advances. Every day he makes an inner promise to his soul, to God, that he will be divine, he will be a chosen instrument of God, that he will listen only to the dictates of his inner being. Although he makes all these inner promises, he does not fulfil even one of them. His outer promises he very often keeps, but the inner promise to himself he cannot keep. Yet the inner promise has to be fulfilled first and foremost. When we can fulfil our inner promise, we will become our own true self; we will become our unparalleled inner divinity.
We have to breathe in purity as we breathe in air during our meditation and during our day-to-day activities. We have to think of purity consciously. We have an inner existence and we have an outer existence. Our inner existence is bound to be suffocated when it is impossible for us to breathe in purity. The cosmic Self, the universal Self, is always eager to supply us with purity in infinite measure. But we do not have the time, the necessity or the inclination to have it. If purity is not established in our inner life, our outer life is bound to fail sooner or later. In purity our divinity can grow; in purity our true life can flourish and have its fulfilment here on earth.
Purity in thought is extremely difficult to attain. Purity in outer action is easier, but purity in thought has to be achieved first. How can we have purity in the mind, in our thoughts and ideas? We can easily have this purity if we feel that we are not the body but the soul. The word 'soul' immediately brings purity to our mind in abundant measure. Purity will come to us; it has to come to us the moment we feel that we are not the body but the soul. Even if we do not know what the soul is, the very word 'soul' brings to our mind a sense of luminosity, a sense of divinity, a sense of unalloyed joy. And these divine qualities spontaneously give birth to purity.
The soul utilises the body to fulfil its mission on earth. When the body consciously becomes one with the soul, the body realises its purpose and significance on earth. Otherwise, the body will always remain blind, obscure, imperfect and, to some extent, undeserving. But on the strength of the body's absolute oneness with the soul, it becomes the greatest pride of the Absolute. Let us offer the body to the soul and become one with the soul. Let the physical mind become merged with the universal Consciousness which we are aspiring for. Let the physical mind that cherishes jealousy, fear, doubt and ignorance be offered to the soul which is the emblem of perfection in both the inner and the outer world.
Where is our Goal? It is not in the blue skies, it is not in the vast ocean, it is not in the distant desert; it is deep inside us, in the inmost recesses of our heart. Our spiritual heart is infinitely larger than the world. The world grows and flows inside the spiritual heart. If we can feel that our aspiring heart is the living Breath of the Supreme, then we are bound to feel that our cherished goal is within and not without.
In order to realise the goal, in order to reach the goal deep within, we have to renew our life and make it fresh every day. Each day early in the morning we have to revitalise our outer life with golden hope. This hope is not an idle dream; it is the precursor of the divinity which will manifest in and through our outer nature. It is our dynamic divine quality, our golden hope, that sees the Beyond even when it is still a far cry.
To see the Beyond, what is absolutely necessary is our certainty — our implicit faith in ourselves. We have to feel that we are God's chosen child. We have to feel that we embody infinite Light, infinite Truth and infinite Bliss and that now we have to reveal and manifest these divine qualities. Revelation and manifestation are absolutely necessary. The moment we start revealing and manifesting our inner divinity, we will see that we already embody infinite Truth, infinite Light and all the other divine qualities of the Supreme.
The supreme Goal is within. The Goal is crying for us, but we are looking for it elsewhere, where it does not exist. We cry for our own existence, which is full of fear, doubt, ignorance, pride, vanity and selfishness. But if we cried for God every day, if we meditated early in the morning for harmony, peace, bliss, plenitude and fulfilment, then only would we see, feel, realise and grow into our Goal. We would discover that our transcendental Goal is within and grow into its very image.
When we reach the transcendental Goal, we see that God and we are one and will forever remain one. Man and God, the aspirant in man and the saviour in God, are totally one. Each fulfils the other. One fulfils through his soul's gratitude; the other fulfils through His Soul's infinite Compassion. Gratitude and Compassion fulfil each other — gratitude from the aspiring soul of man and Compassion from the illumining Soul of God.
A hundred years from nowA hundred years from now
My highest Goal shall bow
To me, to me, to me.
A hundred years from now
My silence-breath shall cow
Dark earth's ignorance-sea.
A hundred years from now
My single Eye shall plough
The soil of Eternity.
A hundred years from now
I shall, I shall endow
My Lord with my Spirit's key.
Everyone should and must meditate to realise the Highest here on earth in this life. Then everyone can sing, A hundred years from now my highest Goal shall bow to me, to me, to me. That is to say, at that time each person will transcend his own highest Goal.
A hundred years from now my silence-breath shall cow dark earth's ignorance-sea. That is to say, the ignorance-sea of earth will bow down to the breath of inner silence. When you enter into your highest meditation and reach your Goal, the breath of silence will compel the ignorance-sea in you to surrender.
A hundred years from now my single Eye shall plough the soil of Eternity. The third Eye, the Eye of transcendental Vision, shall plough the soil of Eternity where infinite Peace, Light and Power grow. You will be the divine farmer who cultivates the soil of Eternity where infinite Peace, Light, Bliss and Power will grow for you in infinite measure.
A hundred years from now I shall, I shall endow my Lord with my Spirit's key. When you endow the Lord Supreme with your Spirit's key, you will unlock the universal Consciousness and spread the universal Consciousness all over the aspiring world. You will have in your possession the key that opens the door to the Supreme's peerless treasure within you. You will offer this treasure to the Lord and to the aspiring souls on earth. Only aspiring souls will receive Light from you; the unaspiring ones will ignore you, misunderstand you, doubt you and hate you when you want to offer them your soul's transcendental Light. Therefore, you will offer this treasure only to those who aspire, who cry for the Light of the Beyond. They need you. They are hungry, and it is you who have to fulfil their need.
What you needYou do not need the trophy
Of your life-victory.
You do not need the appreciation
Of your life-story.
You do not need the recognition
Of your earth-bravery.
What you constantly need
Is your soul-flower.
What you breathlessly need
Is your heart-fragrance.
DeterminationWhat God has in infinite measure is descending Compassion. What man has in a very limited measure is ascending determination. Even though it is very limited, ascending determination is very well worth having.
God has countless divine qualities. Of all His divine qualities His Compassion is by far the best. Similarly, man has quite a few good qualities. Of all these good qualities, his determination is by far the best. In the fulfilment of his determination he gets what he wants to achieve.
When we see a man of determined will, we feel that he has no humility, that he is arrogant, egotistic, autocratic, self-asserting and so forth. We feel that humility and determination are poles apart. But this is because we do not understand the meaning of humility. When we use the term 'humility', we often feel that somebody has been humiliated by someone else. But humility is the feeling of sweetest oneness. It has nothing to do with humiliation. Humiliation means that somebody is trampling on us and looking down upon us; but true humility means that we can become one with the consciousness of anything or of anyone. If we are humble, then the other person will immediately open his heart's door so that we can enter into his heart and he can enter into ours. If we are humble, the whole world will open its heart to us because the world feels that we have the willingness or receptivity to hold it within our own heart even though it has countless undivine qualities. In divine humility we can see a true determination which is founded on simplicity, sincerity, purity and humility.
This quality which we call determination in our day-to-day life is called will-power in the inner or spiritual world. Real will-power comes from the inmost recesses of our heart, where the soul is located. It is not the product of the physical mind; it comes directly from the soul. The soul's light operates in our outer life as will-power to achieve or manifest something on earth. And this soul's will-power is full of divine humility, which comes directly from the Supreme.
What can will-power do? Will-power can remove all our confusion — confusion in the physical, the vital, the mind and the heart. How is it that everyone has not realised God? Why are there very few spiritual Masters and realised souls on earth? There is just one reason. It is because of confusion in either the mind, the vital, the physical or in our inner existence. The moment this veil of confusion is removed, we see the golden Face of the Supreme within us.
What else can our will-power do? This will-power, which is the soul's light, can enter into reality sooner than at once. We knock at the door of reality with our sincerity, our purity, our aspiration, our dedication and our devotion. We knock at the door of reality, but it may take a few days or months before this door actually opens for us. But when divine determination, divine will-power, knocks at the door of reality, immediately the door opens wide. Why? Is reality afraid of man's determination? No! Reality opens its doors immediately to will-power because it sees two things at once. It sees that will-power has the capacity to embody reality, whereas other qualities may not have the necessary strength to immediately embody reality when it is thrust upon them. Reality also sees that when it wants to manifest itself on earth, it is human will-power transformed into divine will-power which takes up the challenge to help. Man's other divine qualities hesitate; when reality wants to manifest through them, they feel that the time is not ripe. They say, "We are preparing ourselves. Please give us a little more time." But when reality comes to will-power, reality feels tremendous joy and delight because reality sees that human will-power is ready to place it on its shoulders and carry it all around.
If God comes and stands right in front of us, with our purity we will say, "O God, I am most grateful that You have given me purity." With our humility we will say, "O God, I am most grateful that You have given me humility." With our peace we will say, "O God, I am most grateful that You have given me peace." We will offer gratitude, but we will still feel some hesitation about using these qualities. We will feel that perhaps we are not humble enough, perhaps we do not have enough peace. Instead, either outwardly or inwardly we should say, "O God, I have this quality; now You utilise me." But when we have will-power we immediately say, "O God, You have given me purity, peace and other divine qualities. Now I am ready to serve You. Please tell me what I can do."
No matter how feeble our will-power is in comparison to God's adamantine Will-power, human will-power will say, "God, I am ready to fulfil You. Please tell me what I should do. I want to be Your instrument, I want to be Your dynamic hero and warrior. My power may be limited, but this limited quality I am ready to use. Do You want to sit on my shoulder? Then sit. Do You want me to run for You? Then I will run. If You want to bring me something to do, I will do it. On the way I may break my legs, but I will do my best for You." This determination, this will-power, is never, never afraid of doing anything or saying anything. It knows that its strength comes forth from the soul, and the soul has God as its very own.
Open your heartIf you want God,
open your heart and run.
If God wants you,
open your eyes,
close your ears and run.
If you want God, open your heart and run. What does it mean to open one's heart? Let us take the heart as a flower, a lotus. A lotus has quite a few petals. Each of these petals we can take as a divine quality: love, joy, peace, bliss, harmony and so forth. Right now the love that we have is very limited, the peace that we have is very limited, the joy that we have is very limited. We have all the divine qualities, but we have them in limited measure. But if we run with our limited divine qualities towards God, the Source of all divine qualities, the One who has these divine qualities in measureless measure, then only will we be totally safe and completely fulfilled.
When we open our heart to the entire world, we are not safe. The evil and destructive qualities of the world can enter into us and utilise us for their own purposes. They can do so precisely because our love, which is our strength, is very limited; our joy, which is our strength, is very limited; our peace, which is our strength, is very limited. All that we have, we have in very limited measure. But at the same time we have to have confidence in ourselves. Although we are not now measureless and infinite, a day will dawn when we will be measureless, infinite and transcendental. How? By going to the Source, to God.
Even though the ignorant world can destroy the lotus in us, that does not mean that we shall have no faith in humanity in general. India's greatest spiritual politician, Mahatma Gandhi, said something very striking. He said not to lose faith in humanity. We have to take humanity as an ocean. There are a few drops in the ocean that may be dirty, but the entire ocean is not dirty. According to him, we must not judge humanity by the limited experiences we usually get when we associate ourselves with limited persons around us. We have to be careful, but at the same time we have to have faith in humanity. If we lose faith in humanity, then we are doomed, for humanity is an actual limb of our body.
Since we are spiritual seekers, we have to have more faith than an ordinary human being has. We have to have faith even in unaspiring persons although we are not going to try right now to transform their nature. Why? Because we do not have the necessary capacity, or because it is not God's Will. Even if we do not have the necessary capacity, God can give us the capacity. He can make us strong so that we can help humanity. But that is not God's Will. God's Will is for us to help those who are already awakened to some extent, those who are aspiring or who want to aspire, but not those who are fast asleep. God does not want to push them. To them God says, "Sleep, My child, sleep." But to those who are already awakened and who want to run, God says, "Have faith in My creation which is humanity and have faith in yourself, for it is you who are ultimately going to represent Me on earth." We have to have faith in ourselves in order to realise and fulfil God. We have to have faith in God because it is He who has inspired us and awakened us and who is going to fulfil us in His own Way.
If God wants you, open your eyes, close your ears and run. We have to be fully awakened and alert; we have to stop living in the world of sleep before we can find God. We must look all around, not to see the ugliness of the world, but to see the creation in its purest form with our purest eyes. Open your eyes. We must sleep no longer! We must look at the world with the purity that we have and see the purity in God's creation.
Close your ears. Why have we to close our ears? Because there are things we may hear that will bother and disturb us, such as criticism, jealousy, flattery and praise. When somebody criticises us, how should we regard him? We should think of him as a dog barking right in front of us. If a dog barks right in front of us and we pay attention to it, the dog will not stop barking and annoying us. Then we will have difficulty in reaching our destined goal. We have to take criticism in the same way. People criticise us in every way. They say, "He is useless. He spends all his time meditating and he does not help society the way society needs help." But what does society want? Society itself does not even know. Nobody can tell us what to do with our life. When we are ready for God, when we are awakened and have opened our eyes, God wants us. At that time we don't have to pay attention to anybody's criticism. We have to know that what we are doing is best. It is best even for those who are criticising us, because a day will come when they will give up their ignorance and be inspired to follow us.
If we pay attention to someone's jealousy, what will happen? Our life will be blighted. Jealousy is poison, nothing else. If we listen to someone's jealous words, then their stained and impure emotions will enter into us. We will breathe in the poison and our own lungs will be affected. Jealousy is the monster we ourselves harbour if we pay attention to others' jealousy.
If we know that somebody is flattering us, what happens? If we are sincere to ourselves, we know that the other person is speaking of a height that we have not yet reached, so we are not affected. But if we become one with the person who says that we have reached that great height, we are only deceiving ourselves. Right now we are only at the foot of the tree. If we feel that we have already climbed to the top of the tree just because so-and-so is telling us we have, this does not make it true. We are still struggling at the foot of the tree; if someone is injecting into us the idea that we have already reached the top, then we will stop trying to climb up and we will never reach our destined goal. Self-deception is self-destruction, because in self-deception there is no light. We will remain in darkness at the foot of the tree if we listen to flattery,
If we have really done something good and others are praising us, again we are in danger. If we pay all attention to their praise, what happens? Pride comes to the fore and our precious aspiration, our inner mounting flame, cannot climb as fast as it would otherwise have done. When we are praised sincerely or appreciated deeply by someone, if we pay much attention to his praise, some part of us which is very precious goes out of us. Then we will not be the same until that special something comes back again. It comes back only when we again enter into deep meditation and regain our inner poise. When we are completely whole, we can run faster. But if something is missing inside of us, our being will not function properly. So we have to be very careful when people go on and on appreciating us. If we pay too much attention to them, we will be in great danger. Praise is very nice to hear but the after-effect of praise, if not put in its proper perspective, is fatal. We have to be as careful of sincere praise as we are of criticism, jealousy and flattery.
What is behind all this criticism, jealousy, flattery and praise? Human ignorance! And what is this ignorance, after all? It is the dark outer coating of knowledge or truth. Transform ignorance or pierce its veil and immediately we will see all knowledge, all truth. We have all heard the name of Aldous Huxley. He once said that ignorance is vincible. If we want to know the truth, we can. We do not know it precisely because we do not want to know it. When we sincerely want to know something, we will eventually know it. If we don't want to know, we will never know.
We have seen in our inner history and outer ordinary life that when the time is ripe, even if the person is not fully aware, the divine forces in that person do the right thing. A child is hungry. He is not aware of his hunger and says he won't eat. But the mother knows that it is time for the child to eat and she feels that the child is hungry, so she compels him to eat. In the spiritual world also, someone may be prepared for the spiritual life but in his outer mind he may not know that he is ready. Since he feels he is not ready, we can say that he does not want to know the truth, that he does not want to see or feel the light. But God knows that the person is ready. So God comes and compels him to accept the inner life. Even if he does not care to know the truth, God compels him to know the truth.
There are some people who are afraid of God, afraid of light, afraid of truth. That is, they are not fully conscious of their spiritual life. Whether or not you are afraid of God is up to you. But a day will come when God will feel that you are fully prepared inwardly even though outwardly you are not aware of it. At that time God will push you; He will compel you to know the truth. God will give you the truth in spite of your outer mind's lack of preparation.
But if we are prepared within and without, if we are meditating inwardly and we are outwardly conscious of what we are doing, naturally we will get the best benefit and the quickest result. At that time, our inner life and outer life have consciously become one. Our inner world and our outer world are consciously running towards the same goal. When this happens, naturally God will be proud of our conscious awareness of truth and our conscious achievement of the highest Light.
Each aspirant has to go to God or God has to come to him. It is best for each aspirant always to be ready to be completely at God's command. If He says, "Stay where you are; don't enter into ignorance. I am coming to you," immediately we have to be fully prepared to stay where we are and await His coming. But if He says, "Don't stand still! Run towards Me; I am waiting for you," we shall start running towards Him. When we are conscious of our inner existence, only then can we be guided by God's Compassion. When we are guided by God's Compassion, inner obedience and outer obedience to His Will will be at our disposal.
Immortal dawns, immortal nightsImmortal dawns
Of supreme excellence
I enjoyed with God in Heaven,
Unreservedly and unconditionally.
Here on earth
Ignorance-sea has forced me to enjoy
Of perpetual destruction-death.
O Compassion-Lord Supreme,
Where are You,
Where am I?
Ignorance and knowledgeIgnorance and knowledge are taken aback when they discover that they have the same teacher: experience. Experience is the result of an act of ignorance or an act of knowledge, so how can experience be the teacher of ignorance and knowledge? When we do something wrong we have an experience; this is the result of a wrong action. When we do something right or divine, we also have an experience; this is the result of a good action. Experience is the result of one action, but it becomes the teacher of the next action. Experience is like a spiritual Master, a realised soul. It has gone through both ignorance and knowledge and is beyond both ignorance and knowledge. Experience leads ignorance and knowledge to a higher light.
In the Upanishads it is said,
He who knows and understands knowledge and ignorance as one, through ignorance passes beyond the domain of death, through knowledge attains to an eternal Life and drinks deep the Light of Immortality."
How can ignorance and knowledge study together? In this world of relativity it is very easy. At our spiritual Centre there are a few spiritually experienced and advanced seekers who started their spiritual journey in previous incarnations. There are also some who launched onto the spiritual path for the first time a few years ago. There are still others who started only six months or four months ago. And there are a few here today who have not yet entered onto the spiritual path, although they will eventually do so. In terms of spiritual achievement, where does each individual stand? One is undoubtedly by far the best and one is undoubtedly by far the worst. I am only one teacher; but when I speak, each of these seekers will receive light from my talk, from my presence and from my consciousness according to his individual capacity and receptivity.
God is the real experience; we receive Him according to our own capacity and receptivity. Receptivity is inside, capacity is outside. The more we can receive, the greater capacity we shall have to manifest His Light here on earth.
Ignorance does not see light and truth in everything. Knowledge does see light and truth in everything and in everyone. This light and truth one person may have in infinitesimal measure and another may have in infinite measure. Each human being is full of ignorance, but some have more than others. To free oneself from the meshes of ignorance is not an easy task. For that one has to enter into the spiritual life. Spirituality is the answer.
There comes a time when one has to go beyond duality, beyond both ignorance and knowledge. When one reaches the Highest, he sees that the Highest encompasses both darkness and light and, at the same time, transcends both darkness and light. The Highest is the ever-transcending Beyond.
Spirituality and ChristianityIn the West and in the East there is deplorable ignorance. In the West this ignorance revolves around a very great spiritual Master: the Christ. No Christian will doubt the realisation of the Christ or his oneness with his Father, God. No real Indian spiritual Master, either, will deny the Christ's spiritual height and his inner oneness with his Father, God. But some of the Christ's followers have created a philosophy of their own. They feel that every seeker has either to go to God through the Christ or to be condemned to hell: the Christ is the only door and the Church is the only salvation. The Christ is definitely a great world-saviour and the Church is certainly a source of inspiration. But to say that the Christ is the saviour and the only way to salvation is a mistake.
An Indian spiritual Master or a non-Christian seeker will not be able to abide by this opinion or assertion. He will have the utmost admiration, reverence and adoration for the Christ, but he will not say that the Christ is the only saviour. Long before the advent of the Christ, was there no salvation? Will an omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent Creator create only one instrument, one path through which His infinite seekers and lovers can find Him? No, certainly not!
If we study the Vedas, we will know that four thousand years ago, long before the Christ, the Vedic Seers cried to the highest Absolute Supreme most soulfully and communed with Him on the strength of their intense inner aspiration. Was their realisation, their sublime experience founded on imagination? No! Before the Christ was born, many seekers had reached the Father. Since he left the physical plane, many more have reached the Father, both with and without his inner guidance. To say that he is the only saviour is a mistake. There have been, there are and there will continue to be many other spiritual Masters in the world who are spiritually realised and who will also help to carry the ignorant world to the world of Light. Here in this world we have to know the necessity of inspiration. Without inspiration we can do nothing, we can achieve nothing. When a spiritual Master comes into the world, he need not be our teacher or our Guru, but he has tremendous inner capacity and Compassion and this he uses to inspire everyone.
I have the deepest love and admiration for the Christ. At the same time, I can say that I have the closest oneness and intimacy with him. He laughs when his followers say that he is the only saviour, for he sees that they do not know about the Krishna-consciousness and the Buddha-consciousness which he also embodied. When he said, "I and my Father are one," he said this on the strength of his highest spiritual realisation. When he said that no one could go to the Father except through him, he meant that the seeker has to go through Christ the infinite Consciousness, not through Christ the physical person. We are utterly mistaken if we think that the Christ meant anything else by that declaration. We are dealing with the infinite Consciousness expressed through the Christ. His Consciousness is still in the world because he represents and embodies the infinite Consciousness. He calls the Supreme his Father, even as I call the Supreme my Father. The Supreme is the Father of each and every soul on earth.
When others try to convert people, it is because of ignorance. I am a Hindu. I have not come to the West to convert anybody; far from it. I am a spiritual person. In me is Hinduism, in me is Buddhism, in me is Christianity, in me are all religions. A spiritual Master is far beyond the barriers of religion. At the same time, on the strength of his absolute realisation and oneness with the Supreme, he houses in his heart all true religions, living and dead.
Some Christian missionaries used to go to India and say, "Either accept our saviour Christ or you will be condemned to hell. He is the only salvation." Many Indians believed them and were converted. But no great Indian spiritual Master has ever said such a thing or encouraged his disciples to say such a thing about him. The great Indian spiritual Master Sri Ramakrishna never said that we had to accept only him. One of Sri Ramakrishna's dearest disciples, the great Swami Vivekananda, never even pronounced his Master's name when he first came here to the West. Vivekananda felt that if he uttered his Master's name the world would misunderstand him. The message he carried was not in the person of his Master but in his teachings. Sri Ramakrishna's teachings represented the union and synthesis of all religions.
We make a mistake when we try to show others that our religion is the best or our path is the best. Each path, each road, will lead a seeker to the goal. At the end of the journey we all arrive at the same goal, but each individual has to follow his own particular path, the path that suits him. Here at our Centre, we never say that if you go to church you will not be able to realise God. As a spiritual Master, I do not have the least objection if anyone goes to a church, a synagogue or any other spiritual place. As a spiritual Master, I am here to inspire you. Then, when you are inspired to go deep within, you enter into the realm of aspiration and feel the necessity of following a path.
You may feel that the church is your path, that the priest is wonderful and his sermons are inspiring and full of God-intoxication; you may feel that this path will enable you to reach your Goal sooner than any other path. That is wonderful! But someone else may feel that the church and the priest are not helpful and that what he needs is a living spiritual Master in whom he has total confidence. Just because the priest is the representative of a big church, that does not mean that he will satisfy you if you are not meant for him or for his path. But if he pleases and satisfies you, undoubtedly he is the right teacher and his church is the right path for you. I do not wish to take any of you away from your church or your belief. I come here only to inspire you. If you want the Christ, I have the capacity to inspire you to have more faith, abundant faith in the Christ. But if you feel that you are making a Himalayan mistake by coming here and accepting a path like ours in order to approach God, or if you have no faith in any path, then you will sink into the sea of ignorance. Please always try to follow one path and one teacher with sincerity and aspiration.
If you want to increase your capacity in the form of sincerity, aspiration and conscious awareness of the divinity inside you, then you have to be under the guidance of some Master. He may be a spiritual Master, he may be a priest, he may be a teacher or mentor, but he must be one in whom you have absolute confidence. If you do not have confidence in a spiritual leader or a spiritual path, then you are merely wasting your time. Unless and until you have confidence in him and in his path, please do not listen to any Master or spiritual figure and do not follow any path.
You may ask, "At the very beginning how can we have confidence in a path, a Master, a church or a priest?" But I say you can have faith. You don't have to wait two months or two years to have faith or confidence in a particular path. In one brief second you can have faith in someone or in some path. If you are not meant for him, then you will never have complete faith in him. You are not the loser; nor is he. You may ask yourself, "How is it that I do not have faith in him when so many adore him?" It is just because he is not meant for you. Do not curse yourself because he is not meant for you. Immediately forget about him and look elsewhere. The teacher will not feel miserable. He will not say, "Oh, you have a wonderful soul, so you have to become my disciple!" No! The teacher will smile and immediately give you his loving inner concern so that you may reach God in some other way. He will offer gratitude to the Supreme because he knows that the Supreme knows what is best for you.
A real teacher will always feel that the most important thing is for an aspirant to realise God. He does not want to be the only illuminer, the only saviour. He wants only to be a faithful instrument of God. When I say that I am an instrument, I really mean it. I am not God; far from it. God is your Father as much as He is mine. God is not anybody's monopoly. But I am a conscious instrument of His, while unfortunately you are not. But tomorrow you can be a conscious instrument if you follow the inner path of spiritual discipline.
There are some students who do not immediately see the light, but they see it later on. Those who see the light immediately do not see a better or a higher light than those who see the light a few months later. If you do not have the capacity to determine which is your path at the very first moment, then what will you do? Will you stop going to a place just because you are not sure of your path or your teacher? No! You have to continue your inner search with all the sincerity at your command. If you are not certain of your inner spiritual path, please try to continue with one path for at least three months. Days run into weeks and weeks into months very quickly. If for three months you follow a particular path continuously, faithfully and devotedly, and if you come to the conclusion that the path is not meant for you, then I can agree with your decision. If you immediately feel your inner oneness with the Master and the path, undoubtedly you are lucky. But in case you are not so fortunate, then during the three-month trial, the path and the Master will test you and you will test them. After three months you will be in a position to make your decision wisely, to judge yourself and also to judge the spiritual path and the spiritual Master. If you are sincere and patient in your search and if the spiritual teacher has true power, then you will know within three months whether or not a particular path is meant for you.
But if you go once to this place, once to that place and once to some other place and then make your proud decision that this or that path is not meant for you, at that time you are making a deplorable mistake. You will simply move from one place to another like a fly. No path will satisfy you because you are not really giving any path a chance. If you continue moving in a restless way, who will be the loser? Not the path or the teacher. The true spiritual guide will never be the loser if you do not accept him, because he is totally one with the Highest. The loser will be the one who is wasting his precious time by not realising the proper path, the proper teacher and the ultimate Goal. Some who do this kind of thing will continue to search sincerely, but many will totally lose interest in the spiritual life. Out of many, perhaps one or two will actually find their path but most are forever groping in the dark.
If you really want God, then please stick to one path for a considerable amount of time. A sincere student is bound to get something from each path and from each teacher. That benefit is called inspiration. But the seeker's own teacher will be able to take him beyond inspiration and kindle the flame of aspiration in him. This is something momentous. The fact that the teacher has kindled the flame of aspiration in the seeker shows that the teacher has considerable concern for the aspirant's realisation, which must be achieved. The teacher will play his role through his inner Concern, Compassion, Love and Blessings. The student has to play his role through his inner dynamic sincerity and his constant cry for a better life, a truly spiritual life. This is the life that makes us genuinely happy, the life that enables us to have peace of mind, the life that finally makes us one with the highest Absolute.
I have given youI have given you,
Already given you,
I am ready to give you even more,
In case you need more,
My dear friend.
You have never shown
Any sign of gratitude
For my God-manifestation,
God does existGod exists. We don't have to
Our mouth at least dares
to prove God's existence.
But alas, peace does not exist
Let us try to invent peace.
We all know the difference between discovery and invention. We discover something which already exists within or around us, but of which we are not consciously aware. Columbus discovered the new world. This world already existed but he came to discover it for those who did not know of its existence. An invention is something that never before existed. But once it comes into existence it becomes part and parcel of the world.
God exists. We have not to invent Him. The existence of God has been discovered by many great realised souls of the hoary past and many sincere and dauntless seekers of the present. They have told us that God does exist. There are many now who believe in the existence of God but who do not practise the spiritual life in order to discover Him for themselves. They constantly preach to others about the existence of God but they do not have five minutes to concentrate, meditate or pray to God sincerely and wholeheartedly.
These people do not have to invent God. They have heard of God's existence from others. No doubt they do not have the heart to feel God's existence right now, but God has given them the mouth to speak about His existence. If they do not want to realise the Truth that they are speaking of, then naturally they are not fooling God; they are only fooling themselves. There are many insincere people, even atheists, who have inspired truly sincere seekers. They themselves do not pray to God; they have nothing to do with God or the inner life; but they tell others what God is, what God looks like, what God can do. From the mere talkers, others come to know of the existence of God, the Capacity of God, the Compassion of God, the Power of God and the Love of God and are inspired to discover God for themselves. They try to go deep within because their inmost hearts know that what they are hearing is true.
The inner raceThere is great joy in achieving something, doing something and becoming something. If we can do the most difficult things, naturally we achieve the most, offer the most and become the most. The easiest thing on earth is to become jealous of somebody, to feel insecure or depressed, to become proud or undivine. These things anybody can do. But to see God inside someone else is a most difficult thing. The easiest thing everybody can do and almost everybody does it, but the most difficult thing — how many people are doing it or have done it? How many people have realised God since the beginning of creation?
You are wise enough, all of you, to know the value of God-realisation, the most difficult thing to do. That is why you are here. To realise God is like completing the 400-metre dash, whereas to act undivinely or to harbour undivine qualities is like running one metre. The moment you start your journey, you reach your goal. But if you continue running in the 400-metre dash, then immediately one metre goes away, then two, then three, four, five and so on, until you reach your goal. On your way, you leave behind the one metre which was your jealousy. You leave behind the second metre, which perhaps was your insecurity. You leave behind the third metre which was perhaps your pride and vanity; and so on. The moment you reach your goal and become one with the goal, all the metres that you covered on your way are far behind you.
The problem with many seekers is that although they have started their journey, they do not feel the necessity of reaching the goal. They are just taking a morning walk and enjoying fresh air. Only if you feel the necessity of arriving at the goal will you be constantly and dynamically on the move. The goal is four hundred metres away, but after covering one metre, if you feel afraid that you will not reach the goal, if you feel that the goal is quite far away and you decide to give up, then you have to start again from the very beginning. Next week or next year when you want to run again, you have to start back where you began.
In the spiritual life also, if you stop your journey for a sizeable length of time because of jealousy, insecurity or any other undivine reason, you are lost. In the ordinary life, when you stop at a particular place, very often you stay there for a few months or even for a few years. But in the spiritual life it is not like that. If you have made considerable progress in the spiritual life, ignorance becomes terribly afraid of losing you. Then if you stop, ignorance pulls you so hard that you go back farther than your original starting point. Why? Because ignorance is like a tiger. It wants all the time to devour you and it is only waiting for the opportunity. One who has accepted the spiritual life has threatened ignorance; now ignorance is waiting for its revenge.
Ignorance is like somebody who is in charge of a room where you have lived for many years. When you want to come out of that room ignorance stands guard at the door and threatens you. It says, "Where are you going? You have stayed here for so many years. You can't go!" It is threatening and frightening you, but at the same time it is afraid that you will actually come out of the room; it is really afraid that tomorrow you may disappear and rob it of some of its power. Once you are totally out, ignorance knows that it will not be able to catch you and lord it over you again. If you stop fighting and surrender to it for a little while immediately ignorance slams and locks the door and makes everything more secure, so that next time you try to escape you will find it even more difficult.
If ignorance sees that somebody is very weak, it doesn't pay any attention to that person because it knows that he is not going to try to come out. He is so weak and lethargic that it is useless to bother with him. Ignorance knows that as long as he is sleeping, the best thing is not to bother him. But the moment he wakes up, ignorance will try to frighten him because his very awakening frightens ignorance.
Now that you people have entered the spiritual life and are somewhat awakened, please feel that you are threatening to come out of the meshes of ignorance, to come out of the sea of ignorance. That is why ignorance is trying to grab you most powerfully. When you skip your meditation one day, please feel that the strength of ignorance increases. You may think that one day is not important, but you are wrong. When your aspiration falters for one day, your inner strength decreases and the strength of your enemy, ignorance, increases. When you aspire regularly and faithfully, the strength of ignorance decreases. If you can feel this, you will never be careless about your spiritual discipline. You will take your spiritual life seriously and be very, very regular.
Meditation and dedication are of equal importance. Sincere and soulful dedication is in no way inferior to meditation. Again, if you can do good meditation, this is also a form of dedication. They go together, like the obverse and the reverse of the same coin. If you serve your spiritual Master devotedly in the outer world, you are doing the best form of meditation. When you are doing dedicated service, at that time feel that you are meditating on the practical plane, in the physical world. Again, if you meditate most devotedly and soulfully, you are doing dedicated service to his mission by serving God in the inner world.
You people are not sleeping any more. You are awake, but you do not remember that you have a goal, a destination. You have totally forgotten this fact. When you are not running towards the goal, ignorance feels that you are hesitating, faltering, weakening. This is the best time for it to grab you and put you to sleep again. This is what ignorance is trying to do. So please try to be very careful, very brave, very constant in your aspiration. Please meditate regularly and serve the Supreme in humanity regularly. If you do this, you will win the battle against ignorance; you will reach the goal in your inner race.
The eyesThe eyes of night
My vital life tempted the whole world.
The eyes of light
My heart-life is illumining the whole world.
The eyes of God
I shall be.
My perfection-life shall immortalise the
My seven eyesI have seven eyes. Two eyes, my physical eyes, I need to see the outer world.
I have one eye in between and a little above the eyebrows. This inner eye I use to see the farthest, the highest and the deepest regions of consciousness. Whatever I see with this eye, I can eventually become. Whatever particular expression of the highest divinity I see with this eye, I can grow into.
I have one eye inside my heart. This eye tells me that merely seeing the Truth is not enough. I also have to feel that the Truth has to be realised. I have to feel that the Truth is verily mine and that I belong to the Truth.
I have two eyes inside my feet. These eyes tell me that to see is to believe. These eyes tell me that to see the past is to see the backward race. These eyes tell me that to see my unfulfilled past is to see the goals of frustration, limitation, bondage and death all waiting for me.
I have one more eye, inside the crown of my head. This eye tells me that to believe is to see. To believe the highest Truth is to see the future, my forward race. If I believe in the highest, ultimate, transcendental Truth, then I will see the golden All, the place where Infinity, Eternity and Immortality play together and where I can grow into the Song of absolute Fulfilment. This is what my seventh eye tells me.
All of us have these seven eyes. I wish to say that these seven eyes are real eyes. If we enter deep into our inner being, we will see that these seven eyes really exist. Let us try to open them with our aspiration. Then we shall use only the eyes that are necessary for the fulfilment of our realisation and for the fulfilment of our manifestation. We shall aspire, but we shall offer our aspiration at the Feet of the Lord Supreme. Each individual seeker has to offer his or her aspiration at the Feet of the Supreme. Then it is up to the Supreme to open our inner eyes. It is He who helps us in our forward march, in our inward and upward journey. Naturally, if He feels that it is not necessary to open our inner eyes right now, then by other means He will lead us to the Highest.
The BeyondThere are hundreds and thousands of sweet, meaningful and significant words and phrases in our dictionary, but 'the Beyond' surpasses them all. We have to live in the Beyond. If someone wants to live without food, he is a fool. If someone wants to live without air, he is a greater fool. If someone wants to live without the life of the Beyond, he is the greatest fool.
Some say that the Beyond is unknown to them, but I say that they have merely forgotten the Beyond. They say that the Beyond is far away. I say that they have hidden the Beyond. They say that it is easier to realise the Beyond than to live in the Beyond. I say that God-realisation can make us feel that it is not at all difficult to live in the Beyond consciously at every moment of our existence.
If we want to live in the Beyond, then we have to love God and be loved by God. The love of the physical, the vital and the mental will always bind us. But the love of the soul, divine love, will free us from the meshes of ignorance. I said to God, "O God, what do You do with Your divine Love?" God immediately answered, "I shape you, mould you and illumine your nature with My divine Love. Finally, with My divine Love I liberate you from imperfection, ignorance and death." God asked me, "What do you do with your love?" I said to God, "With my love I bind You constantly, as a child clasps and binds his mother with his snow-white affection and love." God cried with joy and I cried with gratitude.
If we want to stand face to face with the Beyond, if we want to know what the Beyond looks like and want to see the face of the Beyond, then we have to accept spirituality consciously. Spirituality is not theoretical knowledge, but practical wisdom. Spirituality is not satisfied just with God's Heavenly existence. Spirituality wants to prove to the world at large that God can be seen, felt, realised and manifested here on earth. Earth as well as Heaven is the home of God, and spirituality is the language that both God and man, and Heaven and earth, use to converse with each other.
We must know the difference between desire and aspiration. Very often even sincere seekers are confused. They feel that desire and aspiration are one and the same. But desire always limits our consciousness, whereas aspiration always expands our consciousness and takes us to the Highest, to the Infinite. Aspiration expands our mind's horizon, our heart's joy and our soul's illumination. He who stays with desire must stay in the night of ignorance. He who stays without desire can and does stay in the dawn of knowledge. He who stays with aspiration sees through the adamantine world of ignorance and looks into the luminous windows of knowledge. His is the Goal of goals; the Feet of the Supreme.
The Beyond is in the Eternal Now. If we can dare to feel that we are God's chosen children, then we can without fail live in the Beyond. We have to feel that we are everything and that in us is everything. God is within us; God is without us. We must know that our human existence is meaningful only when we become a perfect channel for the Divine to manifest the ultimate Truth on earth.
Life Eternal is ours but ignorance is not ours. No matter how much we cling to ignorance either consciously or unconsciously, ignorance will one day leave us. Even if we don't want the ultimate transcendental Truth, a day will come when the transcendental Truth will dawn on us. It is destined. But if we consciously aspire for the highest Truth, the Light of the Beyond, then we can hasten our progress.
The life of the Beyond beckons us. The life of the Beyond is the Light of the Beyond and the Light of the Beyond is the Truth of the Beyond. Unspiritual light has an outer glare that obscures our inner life and exposes our outer life. But spiritual light has an inner glow that illumines our outer, obscure life. We shall one day glow in the Light of the everlasting Beyond.
God has infinite children, but His dearest child is Truth. We have to see the Truth, feel the Truth and grow into the Truth. Unfortunately, most of us want to be supported by the Truth although we do not care to live the Truth. A spiritual man will always soulfully, wholeheartedly, unreservedly and unconditionally try to live and defend the Truth. Truth has to be lived and defended at any cost by a sincere seeker of the Highest. Let us grow into the Truth. Then we shall see that the life of the Beyond is not a far cry but is here within us. Let us practise the spiritual life and fully accept the soulful message of spiritual consciousness.
Editor's introduction to the first editionHere is a collection of some of Sri Chinmoy's oldest and some of his newest unpublished lectures. These talks range in date from 1967 to 1974 but are not arranged chronologically in this volume. All of them were delivered to the disciples at his San Juan, Puerto Rico Centre.
The talk entitled "My Seven Eyes" may seem familiar to those readers who are acquainted with Sri Chinmoy's early published works. A much-shortened version of it was printed in his book entitled Songs of the Soul, published in 1971 by Herder and Herder.