Japan: Soul-Beauty's Heart-Garden

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Part I — Salutation to Japan1

Japan is the land of beauty. This beauty is not something that man has created. It is something that God Himself is, and that God Himself has. What God Himself is, and what God Himself has, in one form is beauty. This beauty is revealing itself through the body, vital, mind, heart and soul of Japan.

When we think of Japan, when we pray for Japan, when we meditate on Japan, we see a very, very special quality of our Lord Supreme. This unique quality is His self-expression and revelation of His own Infinity in and through His finite, little self. God is infinite. He is vaster than the vastest. Far beyond our imagination is His vastness. But again, He can reveal Himself through the finite, smaller than the smallest. This unique quality and capacity of His can be found only in Japan. It is not nature's beauty in Japan — though that has its own value — but it is the inner beauty, inner softness, sweetness, tenderness, purity and humility of Japan that have pleased God the Creator most powerfully.Inner beauty is your birthright. This inner beauty God, our Beloved Supreme, cherishes. He is fond of your inner beauty and proud of your outer beauty. Your inner beauty is your heart's sleepless cry for God. Your outer beauty is your willingness and eagerness to serve God the creation.

In the East, the sun rises in Japan. The inner sun will also rise here sooner than the soonest to illumine the East, to illumine the West and to illumine the whole world.

JPN 1. This salutation to Japan was offered by Sri Chinmoy on 27 September 1987 in Kyoto.

Part II — Meetings

Meeting with Mitsuo Sato, head priest of the home of the Great Buddha2

I am offering you my soul's blessingful love and gratitude. The Lord Buddha is giving his highest blessings to your heart, and illumining your entire being. Many, many people come here to receive the blessings of the Lord Buddha, and you are the instrument of our Lord Buddha. Therefore I am extremely grateful to you.

JPN 2. On 24 September 1987, Sri Chinmoy gave a Peace Concert at the feet of Kamakura's Great Buddha, the "Daibutsu" of Kotoku-in Temple. At the end of the concert, he meditated with Head Priest Mitsuo Sato, presenting him with a plaque and a garland. Sri Chinmoy then offered these words to Mr. Sato.

Meeting With Kazuki Furui, Deputy Mayor of Nagasaki3

Deputy Mayor Furui: Welcome to Nagasaki. I hear you are giving a concert for peace this evening.

Sri Chinmoy: I am very happy and deeply honoured to be here. Nagasaki is a most significant place, not only in Japan, but also in the whole world. The message of peace and oneness the world has come to know from Nagasaki's most sorrowful experience.

Destruction is an old experience; illumination is a new experience. Now humanity is being illumined. This illumination that we are having, and that the whole world is going to have, is called oneness and peace.

Deputy Mayor Furui: During your visit, are you travelling to other cities?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, tomorrow we are visiting Hiroshima, and then the next day, Kyoto.

Deputy Mayor Furui: In your Peace Concert, will you be performing by yourself?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, I play by myself. I do not speak Japanese, and you do not speak Bengali, my mother tongue. If we use our mother tongues to communicate, we shall not be able to understand each other. But music is a universal language through which we can establish our oneness-feeling. That is why I play music — to have an inner communion with everybody. Outer language is not necessary at that time.

Deputy Mayor Furui: I understand that our staff helped with public relations for the Peace Concert.

Sri Chinmoy: Yes. I am so grateful, so grateful to them for their kind help and participation.

Deputy Mayor Furui: I hear you are going to see the Governor as well. You have come to Japan many times.

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, many times. I have been to Nagasaki three times.

Deputy Mayor Furui: Is that so! When you conduct Peace Meditations at the United Nations, do you give instructions?

Sri Chinmoy: I do not give any instructions. I pray and meditate, and those who come do the same. We pray and meditate together, each in our own way. Our sincere and soulful prayers we share, but no outer instructions are given. I feel that the silent, inner communication is far better than using words. When we talk, we use the mind. When we use words, our mind gets the opportunity to create confusion. But when we use the heart to pray together, then we feel our oneness, and oneness is what we need. The mind divides. We do not want division; we want oneness. Oneness we get only from the silence of our hearts.

Deputy Mayor Furui: I am praying from the depths of my heart for the success of the concert you are giving tonight.

Sri Chinmoy: I wish to thank you from the very depths of my heart for your kind words and for your prayers.

JPN 3. On 25 September 1987 the Deputy Mayor of Nagasaki, Mr. Kazuki Furui, held a press conference for Sri Chinmoy, which was attended by press and television reporters. This is a transcript of the meeting.

Part III — Two lovers of Peace: Isamu Takada and Sri Chinmoy

JPN 4-8. On 25 September 1987 Sri Chinmoy met with Isamu Takada, Governor of Nagasaki Prefecture. These are excerpts from their discussion.

Governor Takada: I have heard so much about you. You are the proposer of the Peace Run.

Sri Chinmoy: God, out of His Kindness and Compassion, gave me the inspiration. And my students around the world manifested this inspiration, along with thousands of others, as they carried the peace torch around the world in the Peace Run.

Governor Takada: Are you travelling all over the world?

Sri Chinmoy: Whenever I get the opportunity I travel to offer my prayers for peace.

Governor Takada: It is my great pleasure and honour to welcome you to Nagasaki, one of only two cities that suffered from the atomic bomb.

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, the places that have suffered the most also have the capacity to offer the most good to the world. Here in Japan are the two places that have suffered the most destruction from the atomic bomb. Now from Hiroshima and Nagasaki oneness is being offered to the world. When something is destroyed, there is a surge of inspiration to rebuild it. Right after the destruction a new hope, a new dawn comes. The new dawn is now blossoming in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Governor Takada: I am very impressed with your words, and I agree with your opinion that suffering and disaster can offer a new promise. I have made many efforts with the citizens of Nagasaki to recover from the disaster and bring Nagasaki to its present condition. I have a great desire for Nagasaki to be the last place in the world to suffer such a disaster again.

Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes when you suffer, you learn to value the highest goal. It is not that suffering is necessary, but sometimes when you suffer, you learn to appreciate and value the highest goal more than otherwise. If you have to climb the Himalayas, then you will truly appreciate their height and value attaining the summit. But if you just take a plane and fly above the Himalayas, you do not get the same intensity. When Hillary and Tenzing climbed, what suffering they had! But from their achievement the world got new determination, new inspiration to do something especially great.

The whole world needs peace. But if one goes through the suffering of war, only then does one truly value the supreme necessity for peace.

Governor Takada: I have been told that you will be seeing the Pope next month. The Pope came to visit Nagasaki on 21 January 1981. I remember it very well. Generally speaking there is no snow in Nagasaki, but when the Pope came, there was a very heavy snow. When the Pope was giving Mass here in Nagasaki, suddenly the sun came out. I remember it so well.

Sri Chinmoy: I have been blessed by the Pope before, and I will be meeting him once again on 14 October. Also I will be meeting with the Speaker of the British Parliament on the 12th. This is how I try to be of service to humanity with the hope of establishing peace on earth.

Governor Takada: I would like to express my sincere appreciation of your efforts towards world peace. If in the future there is ever a war again, it will be a nuclear war. We must therefore realise how important the mission of peace is.

Sri Chinmoy: We must pray and pray and pray so that there will not he a third, nuclear war. It will destroy all our hopes and humanity's happiness. Our prayers should be infinitely stronger than the atom bomb or the hydrogen bomb. We must pray — all sincere peace-lovers must pray — as intensely and as soulfully as possible so that we can avert a third world war.

Governor Takada: I hope you will continue to work for world peace.

Sri Chinmoy: I thank you from the very depths of my heart. You are a lover of peace, and I am a lover of peace. Let us both, therefore, sail in the same boat toward the shore of world peace.

Part IV — Meeting with Akishige Matsumoto

JPN 9-11. Sri Chinmoy first met Akishige Matsumoto, Honorary Doctor of Laws and Chairman of the Executive Office of the Japan Republic Association, in 1986. During Sri Chinmoy's 1987 trip to Japan, he met with Mr. Matsumoto several times. These are excerpts from their reunion on 27 September 1987 in Kyoto.

Sri Chinmoy: The moment I see you, I see a sea of peace, a sea of joy. I see your heart of purity.

Mr. Matsumoto: Your words are too precious for me. I am very grateful, very grateful for your words. As a Japanese saying goes, "From this one meeting will come myriad opportunities." With this spirit I have been waiting for your arrival in Japan.

Sri Chinmoy: My heart is extremely moved and extremely grateful for your precious words. You and I are sailing in the same boat-the boat that carries the truth-seekers and God-lovers to the Golden Shore. We are sailing and piloting this same boat towards humanity's complete perfection in life.

You are playing a most significant role not only for Japan, but also for the entire world, with your life of sacrifice and your heart of oneness. You are a special gift for mankind. Not only I, but also my disciples all around the world treasure you inside our hearts. Every day, in my most powerful meditations, I treasure you inside my heart.

Mr. Matsumoto: Thank you, thank you! The Emperor of Japan just had an operation and is scheduled to remain hospitalised for one or two weeks. You have come to Japan at the right time. Your visit here will cure the Emperor. Your visit to Japan has brightened up the entire world. Kyoto is the old capital of Japan, a place of tradition. Your visit here in this town means that we are purified by your presence.

I feel that you have come with a heart which is as illumining as the sun. We are welcoming you with utmost gratitude to Kyoto. Today we are having a special reception for the 15th Anniversary of the China/Japan Friendship Treaty. On the occasion of this anniversary, representatives from China, including the leader of the China/Japan Friendship Association, are arriving. Kyoto is rejoicing because a representative of China has arrived, as well as yourself, a representative of India.

Sri Chinmoy: Japan, China and India: these three countries are the heart of the East. The sun rises in Japan, and this light India and China also feel. If these three countries can work and serve together, they can be the perfect example of brotherhood among countries for the entire world. My dearest brother-friend, Matsumoto, with your heart you have established this oneness with Japan, China and India. We are dancing with joy in your heart-garden.

Mr. Matsumoto: Thank you, thank you.

A salute to Akishige Matsumoto10

Sri Chinmoy: I am offering my heart's most soulful gratitude to my dearest brother and friend Akishige Matsumoto. In him my students and I have found a true friend, a real brother, an unparalleled advisor and a soulful sacrificer. My students all over the world and I offer him our boundless love and infinite gratitude.

JPN 12-16. During the Kyoto Peace Concert at Avanti Hall, Sri Chinmoy offered Akishige Matsumoto this salutation as well as a poem dedicated to Mr. Matsumoto's chosen home, Kyoto.

Akishige Matsumoto

Akishige Matsumoto,
Ceaseless aspiration-fire you are.
In you Japan has discovered
Benevolence-fulness unparalleled
That sleeplessly shines
In your life's meditation-light.
O flower-blossomed heart of Japan,
India has flung open
her heart's door to you
And is beckoning
Your aspiration-peace-flooded eyes
And offering her soul's oneness-love.


With gratitude, joy and pride I also dedicate the following poem to my dear brother and friend Akishige Matsumoto, who is officiating as the Japanese Chairman of the China/Japan Friendship Association. Quite a few delegates are here tonight. For the last fifteen years friendship-oneness has reigned between these two countries, and today they are observing this oneness.

Nothing can be more precious than when the unfortunate enemies of the past become dearer than the dearest oneness-friends. This is the supreme victory over ignorance-night. Now the Supreme's Light is illumining these two countries with His blessingful Peace on earth.

China and Japan

China and Japan in friendship-love
Is the gift supreme from high above.
Man-power and mind-power
Have become a heart-flower,
With beauty's light and purity's might,
The oneness-song in fulness-height.

Editor's note

Sri Chinmoy then presents Akishige Matsumoto with a garland and plaque as the singers sing the song Sri Chinmoy had written in Mr. Matsumoto's honour.


Mr. Matsumoto:_/ I am most grateful and most honoured to be here on this occasion. When I first met Sri Chinmoy, I felt that God had sent such a saintly person to earth to help us find a way to inner peace. For many years I had been hoping to find a way.

I come from a poor family, one that has suffered a great deal. First, it was my father who passed away, then my mother. Following this, my son died as well. But I always had the hope that I would find inner peace, the ultimate peace. Now I have been given the golden opportunity to be in Sri Chinmoy's blessingful presence. He has given me this plaque and garland. Then the singers sang the song he wrote for me. I am so grateful that Sri Chinmoy has given me these precious gifts. I feel it is God who has sent such a saintly person into my life. I feel that when I ascend to the Heavenly skies, I will take with me this most soulful song you have composed for me, and I will be very happy with this song.

Sri Chinmoy: From the depths of my heart I would like to offer to the soul of Kyoto a soulful poem which I composed today:


Kyoto, Kyoto, Kyoto, Kyoto,
Japan's sweetness-fulness motto.
Here life is energy's speedy flow.
Here heart is ecstasy's
splendid glow.
Kyoto, Kyoto, you I salute.
You play the world's

Part V: Interview with Hiroshima Chugoku Shimbun

Reporter: What were you meditating on when you stood in front of the Peace Memorial?

Sri Chinmoy: I was meditating on peace and offering my prayers to God for those people who were killed during World War II. Hiroshima is now a place full of purity and inner beauty.

Reporter: From now on, what kind of activities will you do for peace?

Sri Chinmoy: If you want peace, you must pray and meditate every day. Hiroshima is the city where unimaginable destruction took place. The old was destroyed, and now the new has been built. This experience of building the new should continue and continue forever here in Hiroshima.


26 September 1987

Part VI: Interview with Mu Magazine

JPN 18-32. Tokyo, 23 September 1987

Mu Magazine: What was your motivation for offering concerts in Japan at this time?

Sri Chinmoy: I have a very special love and affection for Japan. Right from the first time I came to Japan many years ago, when I didn't even have one disciple here, I still felt my oneness with Japan. Japan always gives me joy and a powerful thrill that touches the depths of my heart. When I think of Japan, I immediately see lamps. Japan is composed of small islands, and I see these islands as soulful aspiration-lamps that are climbing up high, higher, highest. The flames from these lamps are going up and reaching the highest, which is all beauty, love and power.

There are a few other things about Japan that also give me enormous joy. Simplicity and humility are of supreme importance in life. Japan has them both. I have been all over the world, but I can tell you that no other country has simplicity and a heart of humility in the pure sense that Japan has.

Mu Magazine: During the performance when you actually meditate, what do you think about? What is going on inside your mind?

Sri Chinmoy: Inside my mind there is nothing, absolutely nothing. I don't think of anything. At that time I enter into the world of vastness. There I clearly see and feel a sea of peace. I bring this peace down into the hearts of all those who are kind enough to come and listen to my music.

Mu Magazine: What is the reason you play so many different instruments? Is it to inspire people who have different likes and dislikes and different tastes?

Sri Chinmoy: When we go to a department store, you can buy things that you like and I can buy things that I like. But if there is only one thing, perhaps some people won't like that thing. Some people like one instrument while others like another instrument. Again, by playing many instruments, I feel I can offer more inspiration. If a tree has quite a few leaves and beautiful flowers, then it offers more inspiration than if it has only one flower. Since I am a servant of God, if I can be of more service to you by offering ten flowers instead of one flower, then I will be more satisfied. I feel that people who come also will be more satisfied because the fragrance and beauty of ten flowers will give them more joy than one flower. It is like Japan. Japan has so many islands. Each one adds so much more beauty and joy to the Japanese consciousness, and inspires more love for Japan.

Mu Magazine: We hear that you reached God-realisation at the age of 13. What type of spiritual disciplines were you practising?

Sri Chinmoy: Those days were filled with an inner cry for God, and I meditated for hours and hours a day. I also read the Indian scriptures such as the Mahabharata. Then I lived in an ashram in Pondicherry, India, where I spent every day in strict spiritual discipline.

Mu Magazine: What was the purpose of going to America?

Sri Chinmoy: At the end of twenty years of strict meditation and prayer-life, I received an inner message from my Inner Pilot to go to America and serve aspiring mankind and spiritual seekers. I came to America in order to fulfil this command.

Mu Magazine: In your writings we see many times the words "Inner Pilot." Would you be kind enough to explain what this means?

Sri Chinmoy: God is everywhere. But when we talk about God in the sky or on top of a mountain, He seems more distant than when we talk about God in our own heart. We get the most intimate feeling when we think of our heart. Even when we are thinking of our own body, we get much more joy when we think of the heart than when we think of our fingers or hands or nose. From the heart we get the dearest feeling. Why? Because God is much more manifested inside the heart than elsewhere in our being. God is inside bad people and He is also inside good people. But I only want to mix with saints and good people and not bad people, because God is more manifested in good people. Similarly, God is everywhere in the body, but God's Presence can be felt most convincingly and powerfully inside the heart.

So when I speak of the Inner Pilot, I mean God who is inside the heart. He is also inside the sky, a mountain, everywhere. But I get the most joy when I think of Him and feel Him inside my own heart as my Inner Pilot guiding me through life. Those who pray and meditate are conscious of His Presence.

Mu Magazine: There are many meditation teachers and there are many methods of meditation. What are the unique points in your teachings?

Sri Chinmoy: I recommend meditation on the heart. Many meditation techniques teach us to eliminate worldly thoughts and to empty the mind, but in my case, I teach my students to concentrate on the heart and to meditate on the heart. This is because the heart is different from the mind in the sense that it does not compare or discriminate, saying that this person is better than that person, or that person is more beautiful than another. The heart has the quality of wanting to become one with others. The mind has finite limitations, but the heart is infinite.

Mu Magazine: What kind of advice do you give to your students, and how do you teach your students?

Sri Chinmoy: I recommend that they meditate every day at a fixed time, preferably at 6:00 in the morning, for fifteen minutes to half an hour. I also urge them to meditate at noon and in the evening if possible. I teach my disciples not to concentrate on their mind, but on their heart.

Mu Magazine: Can we meditate whenever we want to, or wherever we want to? What can someone do if he is too busy to find time to meditate? Could you give us some advice?

Sri Chinmoy: When a seeker has reached the level where he is on the verge of God-realisation, he will be able to meditate whenever he wants and wherever he wants. But until he reaches that level, he needs to meditate regularly and devotedly every day at a proper place for meditation. This place is an individual's own shrine, where flowers, candles and spiritual pictures may be placed, and where incense may be burned in order to create a meditative atmosphere. No matter how busy one is, one should be able to spend a short period of time out of an entire day in meditation. One can definitely make the time if one wants to.

Mu Magazine: What makes you able to lift unbelievable weights?

Sri Chinmoy: I am getting help from something within me. Suppose someone is able to lift 30 kg only with the power of his muscles. If he prays and meditates for a few minutes before he lifts, he will get help not only from his body, but also from his mind and from his vital. Right now he is getting help only from the body. He is not getting help from the tremendous power of determination that is inside the vital, from the tremendous will-power that is inside the mind or from the bliss that is inside the heart. He does not even know that these things exist.

But if he prays and meditates, immediately he will be able to feel the will-power and concentration that the mind has. And if he thinks of the vital, his mind will be filled with determination and his body filled with energy. He will feel that his own vital, mind, heart and soul are all his friends, and that he will be able to get help from all of these friends. Friends help us and even save us. In this way, weightlifting becomes easier.

Mu Magazine: By challenging the limits of weightlifting, do you feel that you are giving the world some kind of inspiration?

Sri Chinmoy: Right now, many people do not yet believe in the inner power, or the inner world. They feel that the outer power or the outer world is everything. No. Only because of the inner life, the soul, does the outer life exist.

Through prayer and meditation, one has to bring the inner power or capacity to the fore. Ignorance stands in front of us, but if determination and aspiration join together, these two friends can definitely help us in the battlefield of life.

Among the professional weightlifters, there are now people who feel the existence of inner power, or something that can be called the soul, and they believe that this inner power, or soul, is helping their bodybuilding or their weightlifting.

Mu Magazine: Many people, I feel, are not fortunate. Either they don't have the opportunity or they don't have the ability to find their Inner Pilot. Is there some special advice you have for people who don't have access to their Inner Pilot?

Sri Chinmoy: The Inner Pilot is for everybody, but how many people sincerely want to find Him? People who sincerely want to find their Inner Pilot will definitely succeed, but it takes many, many years of practice. I have practised meditation for many, many years in this incarnation and also in past incarnations. To get a Master's degree, you have to study for 17 or 18 years. The inner study, which will take us to the Transcendental Consciousness, is also like that. For many, many, many years you have to concentrate and pray and meditate. It is like sowing a seed. When we sow a seed, immediately it does not become a tree. It takes months and years. First it becomes a sapling and only gradually does it grow into a giant banyan tree that will last for many years.

If we start praying and meditating today, we may not immediately have access to the Inner Pilot. But just as the seed grows into a tree, our prayers climb up, up, up and eventually reach the Highest. Then the Highest immediately gives us the capacity to feel its Presence in the depths of our heart. It takes time, but if we start praying and meditating, definitely we will become aware of our Inner Pilot and get a free access to Him.

Mu Magazine: Does obeying one's Inner Pilot mean the same thing as "realisation"?

Sri Chinmoy: To discover one's Inner Pilot and to become one with Him is more difficult than God-realisation. It comes long after God-realisation is achieved.

Suppose there is a tree in front of us which has a delicious fruit. It is difficult to climb up the tree to where the fruit is and get the fruit; but there is also another thing you can do. That is to say, after getting the fruit, you can climb down the tree and share it with others who are waiting at the bottom of the tree. There are many levels in achieving something in the spiritual world. As you can climb up a tree and bring down the delicious fruit and share it with others, you can go deep inside your heart to bring forward peace, love and joy and share these qualities with others. This is what I do when I meditate.

Mu Magazine: Usually, most of the Indian Gurus give people inspiration through traditional methods such as yoga. In your case, you seem to take sports as an important means. For example, what is the meaning behind running?

Sri Chinmoy: Running is a symbolic sport in the sense that it reminds us of spiritual seekers continuously running towards the goal; it resembles the seekers running inwardly to achieve the ultimate goal in meditation.

Mu Magazine: Finally, if you have any message for the people of Japan, could you share it with us?

Sri Chinmoy: Japan is a country filled with infinite beauty. It has an image of a beautiful flower garden. This beauty is expressed through inner peace. Man has seen many things, but of these things peace is new. Japan is offering this new treasure to the world.

Japan has some other very special capacities to offer. Japan produces such small, beautiful things. God is infinite and finite — larger than the largest and smaller than the smallest. He is both the ocean and the drop. He is inside me as a human being and, again, He is inside the vast sky and ocean. In Japan I see God the Creator in His small aspect, but at the same time, so beautiful and powerful. Here I see the finite expressing the Beauty and Divinity of God in such a powerful way, and I am deeply impressed. It is like the difference between seeing a child do something and a grown-up do it. When the child does it, I get much more joy. In Japan's case, the child is Japan's childlike flower-consciousness — a beautiful flower is reaching the highest in terms of beauty and purity. As soon as I think of Japan, my mind feels beauty, my heart feels purity and my life feels humility. I could write hundreds and hundreds of poems about Japan. In fact, I have already written them in the depths of my gratitude-heart.

During this trip I feel that I received more than I offered. I tried to give a little peace to the hearts of my Japanese brothers and sisters, and they gave me their love — which is so deep and profound. I am grateful to you for asking me such wonderful and important questions today.

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