Inspiration-Garden and Aspiration-Leaves
Author's introductionIf you want to make the fastest progress, then the first thing that is required is a normal, balanced life. There are many things that a mad person does, but you must not do anything that is abnormal. You are an aspirant, a seeker. You cannot do the kind of things that mad or insane people do.
There is a great difference between a seeker and an unaspiring person. The ultimate aim of a seeker is to realise God. If your aim is to realise God, and if you want to make the fastest progress, then the first thing which you must have in your life is simplicity. If you feel that you don't have enough simplicity, then you have to cultivate it.
After simplicity, you have to have sincerity. If you feel that you are not sincere to yourself or to God, then immediately you have to become more sincere. Gradually you have to be absolutely simple, absolutely sincere in your life. After simplicity and after sincerity comes love. You will come to realise that the love that you have for God now is not enough. I am not saying that you don't have any love for God at all. But you have to have more of everything. You have to have more simplicity, more sincerity, more love, more devotion and more surrender. Then, a day will come when this kind of measurement will stop. There will be no more comparison: much, more, most. You will simply be complete. Your simplicity will be complete; your sincerity will be complete; your love will be complete; your devotion will be complete; and your surrender will be complete. When you are complete, you will make the fastest progress.
Inspiration and aspirationAspiration is nothing short of God's Compassion. God's Compassion is nothing short of God's Satisfaction. God's Satisfaction is nothing short of God's Perfection. Compassion becomes Reality and Reality becomes Satisfaction and Satisfaction becomes Perfection. What we call aspiration is God the Compassion in us and for us.
Your desire tells you that the world has to be at your feet. Your aspiration tells you that the world does not have to be at your feet, only you have to be where God wants you to be. If God wants you to be at the foot of the reality-tree, then you will be there. If God wants you to be at the top of the tree, then you will be there. Aspiration is God's Satisfaction in us. To please God in God's own Way is real aspiration.
Question: Who is a real fool?Sri Chinmoy: He is a real fool who thinks that there can be a compromise between the aspiring life and the unaspiring life.
Question: Is there any contradiction between seeking worldly possessions and riches and seeking the Absolute Truth?Sri Chinmoy: There will always be a deplorable contradiction between crying for outer name and fame and caring for inner Light, abundant Light and infinite Light. One way is to feed the desire in you. From one house you want two houses, from a little fame you want more fame. The other way is the path of aspiration. There you want to enter into the Infinite. You don't want to go little by little: you just want to enter into the Infinitude. When you go through desire, there is no end to it. Today your desire is fulfilled: tomorrow you become the victim of another desire. Today's desire is increased tomorrow in infinite measure. Today you are fulfilled, but tomorrow again desire comes.
But in the case of aspiration it is not like that. There your very nature, your very soul, your very existence wants to remain in the Infinitude. If one remains in the highest Light, in the all-fulfilling Light, then it is for the Light to decide whether the Light wants to give a specific experience to an individual seeker by giving him name and fame and so forth. But if the seeker wants to have both desire and aspiration together, both worldly name and fame and true aspiration for the Highest, then he will be neither in the spiritual path nor in the ordinary material path because constantly he will be pulled by two contradictory forces. One will immediately say that the other is useless. Desire will say, "Aspiration is useless. You are only building castles in the air." Aspiration will say, "Desire is stupidity. There is no end, there is no end." It is like a camel in the desert. All the time the camel is eating thorns. His mouth is bleeding, but again and again he starts eating thorns.
So these are two contradictory forces in us. On the one hand we see realisation and aspiration, and on the other hand we see desire. But there is another pair of so-called opposites: the material world and the spiritual world. This is the material world. We cannot reject the material, physical world in order to live in the spiritual world. The spiritual world is inside the material, physical world. We have to be in the inner world, and the realisation of the inner world has to be expressed in the outer world. We cannot separate the inner world from the outer world. If we leave the world and stay in the Himalayan caves and say, "Oh, people are very bad. My neighbours are very bad. Let me just escape," then we are not realising the truth here on earth the way the truth has to be realised.
Our philosophy is that here on earth we have to enter into the inner world. The outer world has to be an expression, a manifestation of the inner world. But in order to manifest the Truth, one has to have the Truth first. And for that, what is necessary is aspiration.
If we want to unite both aspiration and desire, then we will be ruined. Aspiration will not fulfil us and desire will not care for us because they are like north pole and south pole. They cannot go together. But once realisation has been achieved on the strength of aspiration, then the field of manifestation is thrust upon us. At that time we are not to be blamed for our outer life because it is the higher power that is bringing us the so-called outer achievement. But if the higher power does not care for it, if the higher power cares only for our realisation, our oneness with the Highest Absolute, then we have to be satisfied with that. That is what God needs and God wants from us.
A true seeker has to go through inspiration and not through desire. Then again, if one has both desire and aspiration right now, will he leave aside the spiritual path? No. He has to go through his desire. Today he has to see the percentage. If today he has fifty per cent aspiration and fifty per cent desire, then what can he do? He does not have to give up his ordinary human life. No, he has to pay more attention to the path of aspiration. Gradually, gradually, the percentage of desire will decrease. Then a day will come when he will really see that it is aspiration that is fulfilling him and will fulfil him forever. At that time, automatically the desire in his life will drop off and the life of aspiration will carry him to the end of the road, to the goal.
Question: How can I maintain the inspiration that I get here when I go back to Sweden?Sri Chinmoy: When you came from Europe to New York, your pocket was full. You had a wallet with money inside. You covered thousands of miles and used your money. Now you are going back again and you will earn money so that you can come here next time. Material wealth you have brought here to spend. Similarly, you have brought spiritual wealth to your spiritual life. You have aspired most intensely, so naturally you have got Peace, Light and Bliss. Again, you have come here to get more inspiration and to increase your divine qualities. So please feel that you have another wallet inside your heart. There you have stored Peace, Light and Bliss. Whatever divine qualities you have got here in New York you can keep inside your heart the way you keep a bill inside your wallet. Now you can go back to Europe and try to utilise your spiritual wealth in a wise manner.
But there is a difference between spiritual wealth and material wealth. When you use money properly, you can enjoy it for some time, but gradually it disappears. But if you use spiritual wealth, which is Peace, Light and Bliss, properly; if you give it to the right person, then automatically the Supreme fills your receptacle, the vessel inside your heart. If you start with an iota of Peace and you use it in a divine way, then the Supreme is bound to give you abundant peace. But again, you have to use it properly. The Supreme observes whether you have done something properly. It is like a child who has got a penny from the mother. When he uses it properly, the mother gives him a nickel. Then, when he uses the nickel properly, she gives him a dime. Similarly, from here you are now receiving some Peace, Light and Bliss. If you start using these qualities properly, then when you are disturbed or agitated by the wrong forces of the outer world, I assure you that the Source will supply you with more Peace, Light, Bliss and all other divine qualities. So please feel that you are carrying all the things that you have received here inside your heart when you go back to Sweden.
Question: I don't understand the connection between aspiration and manifestation. When I was at home, I was so inspired. But now that I have come here to visit, it seems confusing.Sri Chinmoy: Many things have puzzled you. But you have to know that our life of manifestation and our life of aspiration are inseparable; you can't separate them. Early in the morning you meditate. This is your life of aspiration. But you can't remain inside your room. For twenty-four hours it is not possible for you to remain inside your room. If you don't go to work, then you can't earn money to buy food and support yourself. If you stay only with aspiration and meditate, meditate, remaining always closeted, then who is going to bring you food and support you? You have to support yourself. Aspiration you have done; now go outside for manifestation. Aspiration and manifestation cannot be separated.
Unfortunately, when you were in your own country, you thought that here in New York we were acting like the seekers in the Himalayan caves. In New York there are no caves. I am a twentieth century Yogi, an ultramodern Yogi. If you expect the Himalayan caves from this modern Yogi, then I must say that hundreds of years ago I have gone through the experience of the Himalayan caves and all that. I do not want to repeat the same old stories. I am fond of new notions. Newness is absolutely necessary. How can we appreciate the old stories? The old will not be appreciated; we always need new stories.
So, now that you have come here, please try to do one thing, and that is to discard or abandon all your ideas about spirituality. Since you have accepted my path, kindly try to see through my eyes. Then there will be no confusion, no uncertainty.
Question: You told us that aspiration and manifestation have to go together. My problem is manifestation. What can I do? When I am in my own country I feel that everything is so difficult.Sri Chinmoy: You are making a serious mistake. Your problem is not manifestation. Manifestation is not creating any problem for you. Manifestation is creating a problem for another disciple. He has some misunderstanding about our manifestation. In your case, you are dying to manifest the Supreme in me, only you are not getting the opportunity to manifest, to meet people. Your problem is totally different. His problem is that he is unable to accept our manifestation. You have fully accepted it, only you don't have ample opportunity. You are crying to manifest; you are dying to have a good Centre, but nobody is helping you. You do appreciate, admire, adore and need manifestation, only you are not getting the right people. That is why you are suffering. You are not getting the right people to open up a good Centre.
So in your case, I sympathise with you. We are in the same boat. You don't have the right instruments and I also don't have the right instruments. Your case is different from his. Manifestation is not confusing you, only you are not getting the right people to help you out.
Question: What is the difference between an ordinary mind and heart and a mind and heart that have been transformed?Sri Chinmoy: The difference between an ordinary mind and a transformed mind is very simple. If it is just an ordinary mind, then that mind is quite often assailed by fear, doubt, anxiety, worry and so forth. Also it is quite often a victim to limitation. But if it becomes transformed, then the mind becomes vast, vaster, vastest. It becomes an infinite sky, an infinite ocean. So here is the difference between the ordinary mind and the transformed mind. It is the difference between the limited and the unlimited. In the limited there is the dance of confusion, with conflicting ideas and negative forces; whereas in the unlimited only the children of Peace, Light and Bliss are singing and dancing.
Now with regard to the heart, if it is an ordinary, unaspiring heart, then it is bound to suffer from insecurity and a sense of separativity. That heart will not dare to unify itself with other people or other hearts, for it thinks that it will lose everything that it already has. An ordinary heart feels that the moment it shares something with others, it will lose a part of the reality. It feels that if it becomes one with the world, it will not be able to possess the whole world in its entirety. But the transformed spiritual heart feels that the more it identifies itself with other hearts, the sooner it will get Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure. A transformed heart is the heart that has established its inseparable and eternal oneness with all and sundry. It feels that the moment it becomes vast, it will have satisfaction and it will be able to claim the entire creation as its very own. Instead of losing, it feels that it will gain everything: the entire creation plus the Creator Himself.
Question: How can you obtain a love for humanity in a true practical sense? That is easy to say but difficult to practise.Sri Chinmoy: It is true that it is easy to say that we love humanity, but in reality we do not love; it is all self-deception. How can we acquire the true love of humanity? In order to love humanity we have to go to the Source. The Source is not humanity: the source is Divinity. If we really can go to the Source and love divinity, then we see that divinity is not something apart from our real existence.
First we have to love God, who is Divinity itself. If we can love God, then we will feel that our inner existence cannot be separated from God. Our true divine existence and God are one. Then we will see what our outer existence is. Our outer existence, which is divine personality, is the entire humanity.
If we love ourselves in an egotistic way, then we are killing and binding ourselves. But when we love ourselves divinely, not emotionally or egotistically, we love ourselves jut because God is breathing inside us, because God wants to fulfil Himself in and through us. In this case our inner existence and God's Reality are one and the same thing.
If you are fully aware of this truth, then you will see humanity inside you. Humanity is not around you or outside you; it is inside you. If you become one with your divine existence, then you will see that inside you is the entire humanity. Whatever is inside you is yours; whatever is outside you is not yours. You can help to fulfil and illumine only that which is inside. So you have to feel that humanity is inside you. Then you will be able to help humanity truly and effectively.
Let us do the first things first. God-realisation is first for a spiritual seeker and not philanthropy, far from it. Philanthropy is a very good word, but real philanthropy starts inside. As it is said, "Charity begins at home", so spirituality, philanthropy and everything else start deep inside yourself. And what is there? Only God, the Real Reality. Realise God. Then you will see that the world is inside you. If you don't realise God, then you will see the world and humanity apart from you. The moment you realise God, you will feel that humanity is yours. So first realise God and then you will feel that the rest of the world is in yourself.
Question: Guru, how can I always love with wisdom?Sri Chinmoy: You love human beings. Two human beings are in front of you and both of them have come to you for a favour. Each wants one dollar and you have two dollars. Because you have love, you give a dollar to each. One immediately takes a subway and goes to his friends, who are praying and meditating in a group; the other immediately goes to a bar and drinks and loses consciousness. Just because you had love, you gave them both equally. Now who will be responsible for the first one who did well, who went to his spiritual friends and prayed and meditated? You are one hundred per cent responsible for his spiritual life at that time, because he has gone to God. But in the case of the other one who has gone to a bar to drink, you are also equally responsible for his false life. You have offered your love, so your part is over. But your love for one was divinely ordained and your love for the other was unfortunately undivinely ordained. So how will you offer your divine wisdom in your love?
You have to know what kind of love is divine wisdom and what kind of love is not divine wisdom. One kind of love makes you feel that if you do this, then you will be happy and the person to whom you show love will also be happy. In this love the giver and the receiver will both be happy. In the other love, whether the giver or the recipient becomes happy or not is of no importance. God wants you to give to someone or God wants him to receive from you: that is the real reason for the gift.
In the first kind of love, by giving to me you are happy and by receiving from you I am happy. This love is not wise love; it is just making someone happy, with who knows what result. You have given me the dollar that I wanted and with that dollar I have ruined myself. I was happy the moment you gave me the dollar and you were also happy. But the after-effect of your giving and of my receiving is a real disaster in my life.
In the second love, when you are about to give me money, you will go deep within to be sure that your love is absolutely pure. Where does this love come from? It comes from your soul, from your heart. It is not actually your love; it is somebody else's love. It is your soul's love, your heart's love. The object that you are giving with your hand is a dollar. But you have to know that it is not the willingness of the hand that is giving the money; it is the willingness of the heart, of the soul. So before you give anything, you should go deep within and ask your inner being or your soul or your heart, "Am I doing the right thing? He needs money, that is true, and I have the capacity, that is also true, but is his need the real need?" His need may not be God's need inside him. God's need is one thing, and someone's personal need is another thing. So you have to feel that if it is God's Will inside you, then it is God's Willingness to fulfil that person's need. Then you will do it.
Human love or any other love that we offer is only for our own sake. We feel, "If we can make man happy, what else is necessary on earth? If we can become happy, then there is nothing more to do. But only if it is God's Happiness inside us and inside others can we offer our true wisdom. So before we do something, before we say something, before we become something, we have to ask our inner being. We have to go deep within and ask our soul whether it is God's Will, whether God wants it to be done. At every moment when we do something we have to ask whether God wants it or not. Otherwise there are many ways in which you can please me and I can please you on the basis of our own mental understanding. Giving is a very good thing; receiving is a very good thing. But again, it is God who is supposed to inspire us to give and to receive. Action can be done without asking God's Wisdom, but if we beg of God's Wisdom to guide us and then we act, then it is God's responsibility.
This applies to everything. I may want to go right now to pray and meditate, because I feel that this is a good thing. But if it is not God's Will for me to meditate right now, then I will just be showing off that I know how to meditate. If it is God's Will right now for me to sing a spiritual song, then the best thing is for me to sing a song and not to meditate. Meditation is very good, but if it is not God's Will for me to meditate, then I tell you I will not enter into my highest consciousness, and the people whom I want to inspire with my meditation will not be at all inspired. But if it is God's Will that at this moment I should sing, then I will sing. Although singing is not purest meditation, just because it is God's Will that I sing, most of you will have a more elevated consciousness while I am singing than when I am actually meditating.
So love is wisdom, but inside this love we have to feel God's Presence first. If we feel God's Presence in each action, then automatically it becomes Wisdom because God is all wisdom. So before we say anything, we need approval. If we don't get approval, then we shall remain silent. Our direction we will get from within. God will not remain silent; He will not be indifferent. God does not remain silent, only we do not go deep within in order to hear His voice, His dictates. He is not like an indifferent human being whom we ask again and again without getting any answer. Go deep within. Immediately God will answer either yes or no.
The best thing is not to use the mind to execute anything unless and until you have heard from the inner Source what you should do or what you should say. If you are prompted to do something, but you have not gone deep within, do not do it. Before we actually execute what we feel like doing, let us go deep within. When it is an important matter, the best thing is not to even think of doing anything without going deep within. That is wisdom.
Love is wisdom only when it comes from within, from the inner Source. Otherwise the mind can use love and love can use the mind, but there will be no abiding satisfaction. Love is fruitful and meaningful only when it comes from the soul through the heart.
Question: Would you clarify, Guru, the difference between compassion and love?Sri Chinmoy: There are two divine qualities or divine aspects of the Supreme: Love and Compassion. Now love, from the human point of view, is something general. Everybody loves or tries to love another person. Love is very mixed. In the physical world, love has been misused to such an extent that it is no longer love; it is something dangerous. Romantic love never lasts. It immediately meets with frustration. But divine love is very soothing; it is all concern and the feeling of true oneness. This oneness can enter into an animal, into a flower, into a tree, into a wall.
Compassion is something different. Compassion is a spiritual magnet. It pulls the object. When a divine person or a spiritual Master shows compassion, or when the Supreme shows Compassion through the spiritual Master, he expects that the disciple will immediately come close, closer, closest to him. Through compassion alone the disciple can become the closest to the Master.
Love is very often misunderstood. If a Guru shows love, then immediately we think that there is some motive behind it. We think that he is showing extra love because in that extra love an extra favour is expected. As regards the feeling of oneness, if the disciple is fifty per cent good and the Guru is fifty per cent good, then together they make one hundred per cent. This is human love. But when it is compassion, the Guru is one hundred per cent good and the disciple is zero per cent or at most one per cent good. With his one hundred per cent the Guru is trying to enter into a field of ignorance or a field of doubt, a field where nothing has been planted and nothing has germinated.
When compassion flows, it flies like an arrow and pierces the very veil of ignorance. Love touches ignorance. Love can even stay with ignorance. But compassion will not stay there. Compassion has to be successful, otherwise compassion will withdraw. Compassion will last for a few seconds, a few minutes or a few years; then compassion will have to withdraw, because it has to send a report to the Highest Authority about what it is doing in the lowest plane. Whether it is successful or not, it has to send the report constantly. Then there comes a time when the Highest Authority says, "It is a barren desert. Come back." Compassion at that time has to fly back to the Highest Authority.
Now, there is a great difference between Compassion and Grace. Here in the Western world, Compassion is used as a synonym for the word Grace. But Grace is universal, while Compassion is individual. Compassion has to be deserved and individually Compassion has to be accepted or rejected. Compassion is only for the select few. But Grace is like the sun's rays; it is for everyone. Grace always comes; it is bound to come. But again, through Grace, gradually, gradually one comes close to the spiritual Master. First he receives Grace from the Master and then, if he becomes really sincere in his spiritual life, he can enter deep into the Master's inner life. From that point Compassion has to come.
Question: How does concern differ from compassion and love?Sri Chinmoy: Concern, compassion, love: these are three rungs in one ladder. Compassion in the ordinary sense of the term, when it is given from one individual to another, always has a sense of separativity and inferiority. He who has compassion is superior; he who receives compassion is inferior. He who has the capacity uses the compassion-power, and he who does not have the capacity receives the compassion-power from the superior. But in the spiritual life, compassion is nothing other than oneness itself. Compassion does not mean a sense of pity. Compassion is the expansion of what one eternally is.
On the physical plane, when one has concern, there is always a reciprocal feeling. We feel that we are concerned and the other person also has to show his concern. On the spiritual plane it is a different matter. When we show concern, that means the other person has pulled us. On the human level, we feel that it is so difficult to help someone. But the Supreme Plan is that when we use concern-power, we see that there is already an inner magnet operating. Although we don't see this magnet, it is pulling us to go towards another person. The other person may also be unaware of it, but real, true concern is like a magnet.
So many times I have said that if there is love, then there is concern; and if there is concern, then there is compassion. It is like the seed, the plant and the flower or fruit. This moment love can play the role of the seed, and then from the seed comes the tree, which is concern. Then from the concern-tree comes the compassion-fruit, which flowers into oneness.
These qualities can also change their roles. Compassion becomes the seed, concern becomes the tree and love becomes the fruit. First there is oneness in the inner world. Then it manifests its compassion-seed in the outer world. When it becomes a tree, it serves in the form of concern. Then the concern-tree bears love-fruit. The seed, the tree and the fruit must go together to complete their evolution. Whether we call them concern, compassion and love, or the other way around, they always have to go together to make a complete whole.
Question: How can one keep focused on the dimension of love and be protected from the external forces in order to let the power come through?Sri Chinmoy: We have to feel only the love that expands, the love that fulfils and the love that does not allow the negative forces to come into the picture. This love comes only from the soul. "Soul" means the effulgence of light. A seeker must consciously feel the presence of the soul. Right now a beginning seeker may not see the soul. But a seeker is bound to see the soul at some point in his journey. At the very beginning he cannot see the soul, but he can feel the presence of something or someone inside his heart. The very presence that he feels is the presence of the soul. Now you may say, "How do I know that it is the presence of the soul and not of an undivine force?" But I wish to say that inside the very depth of your heart, only something divine can exist, something illumining, something fulfilling, something immortal. That place is meant only for the soul to abide and not for anybody else.
If you have faith in me, or if you have faith in some other spiritual Master, then you will believe that it is the soul that resides in the heart and that the light of the soul, which is divine love, will always conquer all kinds of undivine, unaspiring negative forces.
Surrender and onenessThe Guru will never expect or ask a disciple to give him something which he has not already given to that particular disciple. Whenever I ask someone to do something, it means that I have already given him the capacity to do it. God will never ask us to do anything beyond our capacity. He has given us the necessary capacity. He won't ask a beggar to give Him millions of dollars. He has made the person a beggar, so how can He ask the beggar to give Him millions of dollars? But if someone really has millions of dollars, then God may ask him to give. Similarly, when I ask some disciple to make constant, unconditional surrender, to give his life totally to the Supreme in me or to the Inner Pilot, then it means that that person already has the capacity. Only the mind is obstructing that capacity, or the aggressive vital is fighting against the dynamic vital which constantly wants to establish the divine Truth here on earth. Nothing will be asked of a disciple unless he has already been given the power, the capacity, the strength or the light long before.
If the disciple is totally for the Master, then there can be no pain, no misunderstanding, no doubt, because immediately the disciple will feel that what the Master is doing is not only best for him but also what God wants from him. In my case, there is no individual will. An ordinary human being has more individual will than I have, because I have offered my will to the Supreme. From the spiritual point of view, when I ask some disciples to do something. it is not my will, it is the Will of the Supreme. You people have more freedom than I have. My freedom is the infinite freedom, but it is only the expression, the revelation and manifestation of the highest Truth. Ordinary people have more freedom: they can say this, they can do that, they can break something. I cannot do these things because I know that inside me is the Cosmic Law. I know what will happen if I break the Cosmic Law and what disharmony I will create in the world's atmosphere, so how can I do it? I have sold my individual will to the Supreme; I cannot take it back. Ordinary people have not yet realised what individual will is. They are constantly using their own whimsical will; and when they are conscious of it, they think that it is so precious. They feel that their will is their freedom. But there is no freedom in that will. A time comes when they go deep within. Then they realise that their individual will is all frustration; it is all limited achievement whereas only unlimited achievement can give them real joy.
I wish to say that unconditional surrender comes only when the mind has become totally one with the soul. The soul is the climbing flame of aspiration and the messenger of the divine Truth on earth. If we become one with the soul, then we are constantly happy. And who can make us one with the soul? For those who have a spiritual Master, it is only the Master who can do it since he alone is able to bring down Grace from Above. Personal effort on the part of the disciple is not enough. Only if the individual disciple is conscious of the fact that the Master is responsible for his life can this oneness of soul and mind take place. If a disciple has a Master, then the disciple has to feel that his life is his Master's responsibility. If he thinks that he himself is responsible because it is his body and his mind, then I wish to say that surrender has not been made at all.
Surrender means oneness. If I have become one with my Master, then how can I have a different will or a separate will? If my surrender is total, complete and constant, then the very fact that the Master tells me to do something should be honoured. The Master does not ask all and sundry in the street to do things for him. The Master asks only the dearest ones. The Master demands something from the dearest disciples which he does not demand from ordinary disciples. Among my disciples I have first-class, second-class, third-class, fourth-class, fifth-class and so on. The first-class disciples must feel that they have to surrender all that they have and all that they are to the Supreme in me. Then only can I give them everything that I have and everything that I am.
When Lord Krishna used to play on the flute while tending the cows, his compatriots — his friends and his female companions who used to adore him and worship him — would immediately leave their husbands and wives even if there were sick persons in the family. They used to discard the whole world and immediately come to listen to his music. When Lord Krishna used to play in Vrindavan on his flute, he was calling and inviting the aspirants. Immediately all the gopis and all the other aspirants went to him. They left their homes and relatives, because the divine call had come. When the divine call comes, you have to give up everything. Then, when you give up everything, you get the Infinite.
When the hour strikes, when the Guru makes a decision, you have to know that the decision comes directly from the Supreme. The Guru, if he is a real Guru, has no individual will to exercise. A first-class disciple has to sit down if the Guru says to sit down. If the Guru says to stand up, then the first-class disciple has to stand up. This is the relationship between a first-class disciple and the Master. Second, third and fourth-class disciples can do anything. They can have their ego, they can have their doubts, they can have the responsibility for their own lives, but not the first-class disciples. The first-class disciples have to give total responsibility to the Master.
So, when the call comes from the Master that God wants you to do something, if you want to be first-class disciples, then please do not look for the world, do not look for society, do not look for your relatives. If you do, then you are violating the divine Will in the Guru and the divine Will in yourself. The world may misunderstand you, the world may hate you to the end of your life, but God will embrace you. God will put you in His Lap. At that time, you will become one with God. If you become one with God, then let the rest of the world hate you, let it say anything against you. But if you go away from God just to please humanity, then you may please humanity, but God will not be pleased.
Again, to tell the truth, you can never, never please humanity. No matter how sincere you are or how pure you are, the very nature of humanity is to demand of you, to misunderstand you, to find fault with you: "You could have easily given me more; it is not enough." But God is not like that. He is all Love. He asks of you only what He has already given to you. He won't ask from you one cent more than He has already given to you.
When the hour strikes, the outer world and the inner world have to become one, cheerfully one with the decision of the Guru. At that time you should just run. You have to be really proud when your Guru makes a decision for you. The Guru has many things to do with the Supreme and with the other disciples; so when he makes a special decision for you — "do this or say this, come here or go there" — then you should be really proud. It means that your Guru has entered into your life totally.
There are many disciples. If the dearest and nearest disciples can become one with my inner family, my spiritual family, then I will do everything for them in the inner world and everything for them in the outer world. If they cannot dance with me, if they cannot sing with me, if they cannot run with me, then automatically the cosmic force will take them away from me no matter how sincerely they try to stay. They will be pulled away by the cosmic ignorance and I will be helpless. Now the family is very small, but it is sincere and dedicated. When this family grows, when our mission grows very large, at that time only the purest, absolutely the most dedicated, will be with me. The rest will automatically fall away even if they try hard to remain.
Surrender and capacityIf you have the capacity to do something, then the capacity itself will grow into confidence. Today you may not have confidence. But if you practise, confidence is bound to be developed. Even if I feel that I won't be the fastest runner, my very practising can bring me the capacity to run. Then confidence will come.
It may be true that sometimes you have the capacity but no confidence. You may be afraid of failing and then you become nervous. In the spiritual life also we see it happen. We need an unconditionally surrendered disciple. Some people do not understand what an unconditionally surrendered disciple is. They think that he is a fool, that his mind is not developed, that he is nothing. But this is all wrong. Only when one makes unconditional surrender does a person become perfect. Somebody may have no mind or he may not have developed some other quality which you and others call important. But in our path, what is most important is this unconditional surrender. Even if a disciple has nothing else to show in the outer world, if he has made unconditional surrender, then I wish to say that that disciple becomes perfect. Somebody will think, "Oh, his mind is not developed, his talents are not developed." But I wish to say that this is the wrong idea. First make unconditional surrender, and then the other things that you feel are necessary, if they are necessary at all, will be given to you in boundless measure.
Let us say that the world has accepted you because you have done something marvellous, something very great. You may feel that if you give unconditional surrender, then I will be able to make something great out of your achievement. But you are cherishing a wrong theory. I need only the person whom I can mould according to my own way, according to the Supreme's Way. If the individual is very malleable, then he can be a real, unconditionally surrendered disciple. That person need not have any outer qualification, any outer achievement. The world will appreciate your outer achievements, but I will appreciate your ability to let me mould you the way the Supreme wants me to mould you. So outer achievement is no achievement in this case. Some disciples say, "If I make unconditional surrender, I will lose so much," or "I have studied so many books, so my unconditional surrender will be most striking." But I wish to say that if you know so many things, if you have, say, a very developed mind, then you will have to unlearn many things in order to make unconditional surrender.
Again, if you come with outer achievement and make yourself totally, unconditionally surrendered, naturally, all the qualities that you have will be utilised by the divine Will. Those qualities I will not negate. I will not say that they are useless. No, I can use them. Previously you used them for a different purpose: for your own benefit, your own joy and pleasure. Now you will be using them under the divine guidance for a divine cause. So we will not negate the human qualities. Again, if somebody does not have outer achievement and if that person becomes truly surrendered, I wish to say that I will be able to mould him in my own way like a lump of clay that is not yet formed. Then that person becomes my most important, invaluable instrument.
Question: I'm not a follower of your path, but sometimes I think of the path of devotion and surrender, and when I do, my head seems to fight it very strongly. It says, "No, you cannot surrender," because I don't feel as if I know exactly what it is that I am surrendering to, and it makes me feel that I am being blind in a way.Sri Chinmoy: You need not follow our path, but only I wish to make it clear to you that surrender, if it is properly understood, is the easiest thing. But if it is not properly understood, then it is the most difficult thing on earth. In this world, when we live in the physical consciousness, we never want to surrender to another person. But how many times a day do we surrender to the ignorance inside ourselves in spite of knowing that we are doing something wrong? We feel, "All right, we are helpless," and we surrender. The higher mind tells us that we are doing something wrong, but the higher mind surrenders because of its oneness with the lower mind.
Many things are like this. Suppose a friend of yours is doing something wrong, and he is asking you for a favour. What do you do? You do it, because he is your friend, after all.
But now let us take only the positive side. If we feel that the entire body belongs to us, then we will claim our head as our own and our feet also we will claim as our own. Now it may happen that I feel that my head has something which my feet do not have. Let us say that my head has illumination. It is difficult for the head to have illumination before the heart, but let us say that the head is higher than the feet. So the head has got some wealth. I claim my head as my own and I claim my feet also as my own. Is it beneath the dignity of my feet to grab the very thing that my head is more than eager to give to my feet? No, head and feet are one. This moment I need the help of my head, then the next moment I need the help of my feet. Just because I have established my oneness, conscious oneness, with my feet and with my head, I am getting their wealth. So this is real wisdom.
I may have something valuable in my safe, which is in my bedroom, let us say. I do not keep it in my kitchen. If I keep my money in my safe, in my bedroom, then naturally I will go there when I need money. I know it is my money, so for me to go upstairs and collect the money is not beneath my dignity. At that time I am not surrendering, only I have the wisdom to go to the right place where I have kept my money, my treasure.
Similarly, when we surrender to God, we surrender to our highest part, for God is our most illumined part. We can't separate God from our existence. If we feel that God and we are one, then God is our most illumined part, let us say, and we are right now unillumined. We are clever, we are wise. We know that the person who has been illumined, who is all-illumination, is also part and parcel of our entire existence, so we go there and receive from Him. If we take surrender in that way, then there is no problem.
But if we take surrender as the surrender of a slave to his master, then we will never be able to feel our oneness. The slave surrenders to his master out of fear. He is afraid that his service will be dispensed with if he does not do his job well. He feels that no matter what he has done, even if he has done everything for the master soulfully, devotedly, even unconditionally, still there is no guarantee that the master will give him what he wants or that the master will really please him. If it is an ordinary human being and if he has a few slaves, then he will get whatever he wants from his slaves; but when it is a matter of his own self-giving, he may be millions of miles away from their needs. But when we offer our existence to God, we have the feeling of oneness between Father and son or Mother and son. The little child always feels that what his father has is his own. His father has a car. The child is only three years old, but he says, "I have a car." He does not have to say, "My father has a car." He will simply say, "It is my car, our car."
So if we change our understanding of our relationship with God, then there is no problem. If He has Peace, then we have every right to claim His Peace as our own. He is our Father, so we can inherit it. Because God is our Father, because God is our Mother, we can have that kind of feeling. If we feel that we are God's slaves and He is our Lord Supreme, that we are at His Feet and we will have to do everything for Him, then we have no inner feeling, no assurance, no guarantee that He will please us. But if we have the feeling of oneness between Father and son, between Mother and child, then where is the problem? There is no problem because we know that what the mother or the father has, the child has every right to claim as his very own. So the child at that time does not surrender. He only claims, legitimately claims, his mother's wealth or his father's wealth as his very own.
We don't surrender anything; only we become aware of the fact that we belong to someone who has everything. We just go and claim it and possess it at any moment. For the feet to feel their oneness with the head is not at all difficult because the feet know that the head also very often needs help from the feet. Similarly, when we aspire, we come to feel that God needs us equally. As we need Him to realise the Highest, the Absolute Truth, so He also needs us for His Manifestation. For our realisation we need Him badly; for His Manifestation, perfect Manifestation, He needs us. Without us He does not manifest or cannot manifest. So, if it is not beneath God's dignity to take a little help from ignorant people for His Manifestation on earth, then how can it be beneath our dignity to ask God to give us a little Peace, Light and Bliss?
We have to establish our conscious oneness with God. Then there is no surrender. It is only mutual give and take. What the feet have to offer, the head takes gladly and vice versa. In the spiritual life we give God our aspiration and He gives us His Realisation. We give Him what we have and He gives us what He has and is. So in this way we don't surrender, only we offer our mutual achievements and we claim each other as our very own.
Question: Could you speak a little bit about will-power and surrender?Sri Chinmoy: From the spiritual point of view, divine surrender comes from will-power. Now, if we have will-power, adamantine will-power, then we will get the capacity to have unconditional surrender. Again, if we can surrender unconditionally, then we develop will-power. Inner will-power, which is the soul's light, and surrender, which is the heart's oneness with the Absolute, go together. There is no difference between the soul's will-power and unconditional surrender to the Will of the Supreme. Both of them are equally strong. If one can make unconditional surrender to the Will of the Supreme, that means it is the result of one's inner will-power, the soul's light.
Without will-power one cannot make unconditional surrender; it will be all compromise. God will do something for us and in return we will do something for God. Naturally there are people who do not do anything for God and do not expect anything from God. But again, there are people who feel that if they do something, then God is bound to do something else for them.
When we pray, we feel that God will listen to our prayer. When we meditate, we feel that we will have Peace, Light and Bliss, which is an absolutely true and legitimate claim. But when we pray, when we meditate, we have to feel that it is our business to pray and meditate and it is God's business either to give us Peace or not to give us anything. We have to come to that kind of surrender. We shall play our part by praying and meditating; that is our task. God's task is to feed us with His Light, Peace and Bliss. But He knows the right moment. So if we can meditate, and during our meditation if we have the feeling that we shall not expect anything — that if Peace, Light and Bliss enter into us, well and good, if not, then we will be equally satisfied — then this will be the best type of meditation. We shall meditate because we feel that that is the only way we can become inseparably one with God.
So to come back to your question, will-power and the surrender of the entire being always go together. They are inseparable. To surrender unconditionally to someone takes tremendous will-power. We find it so difficult to obey our superior although we say, "He is my superior." We accept it theoretically, but when it comes to practical life, immediately we revolt, because we feel that we know better than he does. In the spiritual life, our Guru is our superior. But the real Guru is the Supreme. At every moment we have to feel that our Guru, who is the Supreme, knows infinitely better than we do. Then we have to surrender to His Will, not to our so-called conviction. If one can surrender to the Will of the Supreme, then it is as good as having tremendous will-power. There is no difference between soul's will and life's dedicated surrender.
HumilityOnce in India a spiritual Master asked a group of his disciples the distance between man and God. One disciple stood up and said to the spiritual Master, "Please, Master, just wait." Then he took seven bold steps from where he was sitting to the feet of the Master. After counting these steps, the disciple declared, "The distance between man and God is only seven steps."
A few days later, the same spiritual Master was asked by a student a dry, complicated, philosophical question, full of Indian jargon. The Master said, "Since it is dry philosophy, I shall not be able to answer this question. It is too mental, too intellectual." Then he pointed to a philosopher disciple of his and said, "He will answer the question." For this disciple to have answered that question would have been absolutely nothing; it would have been like drinking water. But he came up with folded hands and said to the questioner, "How do you expect the son to answer the question when the father cannot answer the question? If my Master cannot answer the question, then I cannot answer it either. It is impossible." So here is humility. There were many in that group who would have been all too eager to come up and answer the questions on the Master's behalf. But the Master wanted to teach them humility, so he picked the right person.
Question: How can we live more with humility?Sri Chinmoy: We can live more with humility provided we know what we can offer when we really become humble. When we become really humble, we offer more of our capacity, divinity and reality. Only by becoming humble can we become what we truly are. We become of greater use, of greater help to mankind.
We can observe a tree. When the tree does not have fruits, it just remains straight, erect. But when the tree bears fruit, it bends down. The presence of the fruit means light and nourishment. But do we appreciate, do we admire the tree that is not willing to offer its fruits to us? Similarly when we have the fruits called Peace, Light and Bliss, we just come down to aspiring humanity. When aspiring humanity receives our Peace, Light and Bliss, we become of great service to mankind.
Humility we have to take as a divine gift and a supreme gift. It is something that we have to offer to mankind. We have to feel that humility is our feeling of consecrated oneness with humanity. If we take humility in the highest and purest sense of the term, then we can become really humble. Humility is not a matter of touching the feet of somebody, no. It is something that has to be shared with the rest of the world. It is the God-life within us. The higher we go, the greater is our promise to the Supreme in mankind. The more light we receive by virtue of our humility, the more we have to offer to mankind.
Again, we have to know that there is only one way to become humble and that is to see what happens to an individual when he sees, achieves and grows into the light. Does he keep it all for himself? No. He shares with the rest of the world. And when he shares, the world is nourished, the world is fulfilled.
Question: Is there a spiritual way to be defeated by someone?Sri Chinmoy: When you are defeated, if you have an admiring attitude, then automatically your admiration is a magnet. You are pulling into your own system the qualities that you appreciate inwardly. Outwardly you may make that person feel that what he has is something unacceptable, but inwardly you feel it is something you need; so admiration itself is playing the role of a magnet. When you admire someone, automatically you get something from him.
Admiration on the physical level means forgetfulness of what you have. When you feel that something unlimited can exist, then you forget that you have limitations. You forget that the things you are appreciating in someone else are limited. You are appreciating the unlimited consciousness in him, and he sympathises with you because he feels that he also needs the unlimited consciousness.
In this world everybody feels happy when he is wanted and needed. When the unlimited feels wanted, it comes closer. When it feels special concern or when it feels that one person cares more for it than others, then naturally it feels that God will care more for that person. Here the unlimited consciousness is like the sunlight. The sunlight is there for everyone, but only if we want to use it can it come to us to be of service. If we don't need it, then why should it come to us?
Dedication-lightEvery day you have twenty-four hours at your disposal. Out of twenty-four hours, daily, let us say, you spend half an hour or an hour on God. You meditate early in the morning for five minutes and then you say, "Oh, I have meditated." You feel that you have played your part. The rest of the day you spend time in your own way. But here there is no aspiration, no devotion, no inner cry. Out of twenty-four hours you could easily have used at least three or four hours for God. Certainly you have to sleep, you have to go to your office, you have to go to school. So for you to spend twelve hours on God may be impossible. But if you can spend at least three hours in spiritual activities — meditation, reading spiritual books, doing selfless service, mixing with spiritual people and coming to the Centre regularly — then that is called self-offering.
Right now, out of twenty-four hours you give five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening and then you feel, "Oh, God has to do everything for me because I have dedicated myself." But look at your sincerity. Ten minutes you have given to God and you are claiming God for your own use for twenty-four hours. This is no self-offering. You have to know how you can give your utmost to God. Your utmost may be three hours or four hours or it may be more.
If you have ten dollars, then out of ten dollars whatever you are in a position to give wholeheartedly and devotedly is called your self-offering. In your aspiration, in your concentration and in your meditation also you have to try your utmost. Then only the Supreme will feel that you are trying to dedicate yourself. If your utmost capacity in meditation is, say, a total of three hours during the morning, afternoon, evening and night, then those three hours will be considered as your true dedication. If you know how to do something well, then for five minutes if you do it and the rest of the day you don't think of it, that is not dedication. You have to know your utmost capacity and then you have to exercise that capacity.
When you dedicate yourself, you have to feel that this moment you could have done something else. You could have gone to the movies, you could have gone to a party, you could have done something silly, but instead you have spent that time in meditation, in prayer, in doing spiritual things. So always you have to know what you are doing with time. Each moment you can utilise for God, for the Supreme, or for your own purpose. The time that is passing by is not going to come back. Today, the twenty-seventh of December, nineteen hundred seventy-one, is not going to come back, it is gone. Tomorrow will come in the calendar, but today's slipping time, today's fleeting breath is gone away. You have to know how much time you have used today to please the Supreme in you and how much time you have used to please your unlit self.
SacrificeI wish to give a short talk on sacrifice. There are two types of sacrifice: earthly sacrifice and heavenly sacrifice, material sacrifice and spiritual sacrifice. Material sacrifice we all know very well: we give money, or we give material objects to others. But spiritual sacrifice is something else. In spiritual sacrifice we give Peace, Bliss, inner Power and other divine qualities. Undoubtedly, spiritual sacrifice is far more important than material sacrifice. Material sacrifice does not demand much concentration. If you don't like something you have, such as a piece of furniture, then you can give it away. But if you want to offer Peace to somebody else, then you have to pray and meditate for a long, long time so that you can acquire this peace within you.
Human sacrifice ascends. Divine sacrifice descends. When God or the cosmic gods sacrifice something for us, they have to descend. When we want to sacrifice something for them, we ascend. We ascend with our aspiration and God descends with His Compassion. But when we sacrifice something to God, we have to feel that whatever we sacrifice has already been sacrificed by God Himself to us and for us. On our behalf, the spiritual Masters give to God what He has already given us.
When we make a sacrifice, what do we actually do? We invite the vast in our earthly existence to come to the fore. Always sacrifice means the invocation of the vast in our human nature. When we invoke the infinite vast, it will enter into us. At that time we have to give up our imperfections, limitations and bondage. After we make a sacrifice, what do we see, what do we feel? We feel only one thing: love. If we have divine love, then we also have the capacity to express it. There are many things that we have, but we do not or cannot express them. But in the case of divine love, if we really have it, then we have to express it. The expression is always spontaneous. If we have money, then it is up to us whether or not we shall give it to others. If we have any material objects, it is up to us whether to give or not to give them. We can hold them back if we want to. But the very nature of divine love is expression. If we really have divine love, we cannot hide it; we cannot keep it for ourselves. Always it has to flow from within.
If we, as human beings, want to be transformed into divine beings, we have to see and feel the necessity of divine sacrifice on earth. Now, how are we going to know if this sacrifice of ours is complete? We can know that it is complete the moment we feel that by giving we are not only getting more, but becoming complete. Sacrifice takes the form of love, and this love is oneness. The mother gives to her child all that she has, wholeheartedly. When we give a little peace or joy to others and we feel that we still have more inside us, then we have to feel that we have not made the other person complete, and at the same time we have not made ourselves complete. When we offer our peace, love and bliss to another person fully and wholeheartedly, then only can our vessel be filled to the brim. God Himself will fill it for us.
We can start with material sacrifice, and we can end with spiritual sacrifice. If we cannot make material sacrifice, which is infinitely easier than spiritual sacrifice, then it is simply absurd to say that we have made the complete spiritual sacrifice. In the material sacrifice we are involved with earthly time, which means working for ten minutes or an hour. When somebody is asked to do dedicated service for the spiritual Centre, for the Mission, if he says that he cannot do it because he is busy doing this or that, then naturally he is not making a sacrifice. If this same person is asked by his spiritual Master to make a spiritual sacrifice by meditating for two hours, three hours or twelve hours at a time for God's sake, he will never be able to do it. He could not even do the easiest thing, which is to offer a few minutes or a few hours to do something on the physical plane. Others also could have done this devoted service, but only one particular disciple was given the opportunity. This opportunity is a real blessing. If at that time the person refuses or is not co-operative, then the opportunity is taken away and we have to feel that the Master's concern for the disciple has also gone away. When this concern goes away, then everything is gone. We start with opportunity. Then, when we go a little farther, it becomes concern. When concern is refused, nothing remains. Then the disciple has to take the responsibility for what he wants to do.
Each individual seeker gets the golden opportunity to make a spiritual sacrifice. This spiritual sacrifice is his aspiration for one minute, two minutes, five minutes or ten minutes. For a human being, aspiration-sacrifice is greater than material sacrifice. What a human being has is a bundle of desires. If he can minimise his desires, then aspiration is bound to loom large in him. When aspiration starts functioning in a human being, then he is really making a sacrifice of his limited being to the unlimited Supreme Being. We have to feel that it is in sacrifice that we can get joy. We get satisfaction not by possessing, but by becoming one. When we possess, we can never become one. We have the sense of separativity. But when we offer ourselves to others, then we really become one with them.
When an individual offers himself to the earth-consciousness, he does not retain his individuality any longer. He becomes the collective possession of humanity. At that moment God can be proud of His entire creation. Each human being has the capacity to make God proud of His creation. At the same time, we also have the capacity to make God suffer because of our ignorance, imperfections, limitations and bondage. God is our divine Father. He can never be indifferent to our activities. He is infinitely sweeter and dearer than our human father. God's concern is His sacrifice for us and our concern is our sacrifice for humanity and divinity.
Here we are all sincere seekers. We all have the capacity to make God happy in our daily actions, and for that we need first of all one divine sacrifice: our early morning meditation. We can meditate at two o'clock, five o'clock, six o'clock or ten o'clock, but we have to feel the necessity of meditation. Your meditation is your inner discovery. If we meditate well daily, then we can feel that it is not only a discovery, but an invention. We discover things which already exist and we can also invent things, for God is constantly creating Himself in His infinite plenitude. So we also have the capacity on the strength of our oneness, inseparable oneness with God, to create divine qualities with our sacrifice.