Miracles, emanations and dreams
Part I — Miracles, emanations and dreams
1.In those whom I consider to be my true disciples, I put a spiritual spark of my own soul. My soul is like the sun. The day I make the inner promise to a disciple and accept him as my very own, I put a ray from my inner sun inside him. You call it an emanation. It need not be one emanation; in some cases there are more. Again, some emanations are not specifically meant for one particular person; they are for all. If something very serious or striking happens, their emanations will tell me. To some disciples I have given an emanation on the first day; to others it comes only after several months or even years. However, if the disciple leaves me or is asked to leave the Centre, then I take the emanation back.
An emanation is an actual part of my existence that I have put inside a disciple. It is like a magnet; it can draw me to the disciple and with it I can draw the disciple to me. My emanation is like a link, like a telephone wire. If you are doing something wrong, it will immediately bring it to my notice; it will call me. The emanations give me immediate news of any important matter when it is happening. In the inner world, if a person is constantly violating the spiritual laws, the emanation suffers. If the person is very bad, then it doesn't work properly. Only certain spiritual Masters have emanations; others have only inner beings.
Sometimes the emanations will come and stand in front of the telephone when you are about to telephone me. The other day a disciple phoned long distance and immediately I knew who it was because I was seeing the emanation standing right in front of the telephone. The telephone operator was saying, "Do you speak French?" So I said, "Yes," and she put the call through. But I knew it was X, who speaks English. The emanations come like that; they play a game.
When two of my disciples were running after a thief one night, their emanations came to me. I saw what was happening, though not in detail. But if I just know a little, then that is all that is necessary for me to put a spiritual force on the person. It is not necessary to see everything in detail when one operates on the inner plane. But when their emanations came, I expected a call from them on the physical plane. And in a few minutes they did call me and tell me the whole story in detail.
Sometimes your emanation will come to me and tell me of a problem before your physical mind is even aware of it. But if it is something serious, you should also let me know quickly on the physical plane. For then my divine force can negate it. Again, if something important happens in your life that is good, you should also inform me. Otherwise, wrong forces may enter. Pride may enter and you will not give any credit to the Supreme. If you are attacked by pride, then you are lost. But if you tell the Master, that means that you are sharing your achievement with the Master, and consciously or unconsciously you are telling him that he has something to do with your success or achievement. Once you do that, the hostile forces do not or cannot attack, since you have already shared your experience and achievement with a higher force.
Inner beings can be superior, far superior, to emanations, and they can also be inferior. Some inner beings act like children; they enjoy singing, dancing and all kinds of things. But again, some inner beings are very mature and will offer very significant service. Emanations are like messengers. They will bring correct messages but they do not have the capacity to rectify something if anything is wrong. An inner being of the child-type does the same thing; it will only come and inform me that something has occurred. But a higher inner being will be able to rectify and clarify. The elder brother of the family has broken his leg, and the childlike inner being is only coming to tell the father. The higher inner being will also go and tell the father, but first it will try to cure the person involved. Emanations are like soldiers, ordinary soldiers, whereas the higher inner beings are like captains. Inner beings which are of the child-type will eventually become mature.
Emanations have a free access to others. My emanations will almost always have a freer access to your existence than my inner beings. When an emanation, a messenger boy, comes to you, out of compassion or out of love you will allow him in. For you feel that he will not create any problem. But when you see an inner being sometimes you try to hide, because you feel that he has power and is going to do something. When the inner being comes, the disciple will be cured whereas the emanation just comes to the hospital to see what the disciple is suffering from.
Question: Once I thought I saw you in another form. All of a sudden I looked up and saw a man looking at me. He was a black man and he seemed a little bit drunk and was dressed very disreputably. I looked and looked into his eyes, but I saw only you. I smiled because I knew it was you but the person kept pretending he wasn't you. He wouldn't tell me who he was. So I finally gave up. Can you tell me whether it was you?Sri Chinmoy: What you saw was one of my emanations; it was real. Emanations can be as powerful, as solid, as real as the physical body itself. They can take an exact form. You can talk with them and mix with them. They can be small, they can be big or they can take exactly the same form, same shape, same height as me. It was my emanation you saw, but definitely I was not drunk.
Question: When you take the form of another human being, if someone is in a good consciousness can he see you?Sri Chinmoy: If you are in a really high consciousness you can see me. If you are not in a good consciousness you may not see. You have to come up to a certain level.
Question: Can you shield your power when you send your emanations so the person will not know it is you?Sri Chinmoy: Certainly, that is what I do. Emanations do this many, many times. At night when I am doing other things my emanations may do this. But if they want to show themselves, they can. Sometimes out of compassion I may want to show my emanations to the disciples. These emanations may take a long face or a round face. One time five years ago I went to someone and intentionally changed my figure into a very tall being. That disciple said I looked solid and she was 100 per cent certain it was me. She saw me not in this form but in another and she was right.
Question: Do miracles have any value?Sri Chinmoy: The greatest miracle is to remain for one extra second in a divine consciousness. If you can remain one second more in a divine consciousness, then that is the supreme miracle on earth. Miracles will not help you achieve God-realisation. Far from it. In fact, miracles can create all kinds of problems.
There was once a Master who had occult power which attracted many disciples, but God told him to stop using it. Then he started telling his disciples that he had lost all his power, so that the miracle-seekers would leave him. Then he began a real spiritual life. The real miracle is to remain in the highest consciousness. It is not the miracles that Christ performed that compel the world to adore him, but the infinite Compassion and Love which he eternally embodies.
Question: Guru, I often dream about you. Sometimes it is really you, but sometimes when I get near, I don't feel your vibration.Sri Chinmoy: My vibration is very complicated. It is divine but I don't have the same vibration all the time. Sometimes it is a compassionate vibration, sometimes a dynamic vibration, and sometimes it has dynamic power to such an extent that it seems I have come like a ferocious animal to destroy you. But that power is not aimed at you. On the contrary, it enters into you to challenge and destroy some of the wrong forces that have attacked you. Last year you had to have an operation. If the doctor had only caressed your hand, would you have been cured? Here also, when you see me in a powerful way, feel that it is necessary. Sometimes I come with love, compassion, concern; but I also have other vibrations.
No hostile force can take my form. Hostile forces have taken the forms of many spiritual Masters and have deceived their closest and dearest disciples. These forces take the form of the Master and in dreams tell the disciples to do something wrong or destructive. If the Master is on the physical plane he can concentrate on a disciple who has had such a dream and he will know whether or not he was actually in the dream. The Master may tell the disciple that his dream was false, but the disciple does not always believe him. The Master will say, "I didn't tell you to do that," but the disciple may not believe the Master. He will think, "Master has forgotten what he did in the inner world." Then the disciple may have the same dream again and he will say, "Which will I believe: my dream or what my Master has told me?"
There was once a disciple who wanted to realise God. He had a dream in which his Master came to him and said, "You will realise God if you commit suicide. In your next incarnation I will give you realisation if you commit suicide now." When the disciple told his Master about this dream the Master told him, "No, I did not tell you that. How often have I told you we have to stay on earth to realise God? It is not my philosophy to recommend that anyone should commit suicide." Again the disciple had the same dream. By that time the wrong forces had already attacked him. They said to him, "Your Master is jealous of you. He is a realised soul but he is preventing you from realising God because there is not room for two God-realised people in one place." The disciple believed the hostile forces and committed suicide.
Question: When I was younger, I used to dream that I would be skipping across a field and then the skips would become like slow motion. I would jump a long distance, touch the ground and then jump again. Sometimes I would take off and fly around. That was when I was younger. Since I have been in the spiritual life I have had a similar kind of dream where I was in the midst of a lot of people on a sidewalk who were going very slowly. I wanted to go more quickly so I just got up and started to fly. But when I began to think of the people, I couldn't stay up, so I came down.Sri Chinmoy: Very good. This dream, this experience, took place in the vital plane. The physical does not fly; but on the subtle plane the subtle physical can fly, the vital can fly. This particular flying experience hundreds of times I have had in my childhood. I used to see that this was very easy. In the vital world you can fly like anything. You don't need wings. You may feel that your own gross physical is flying, but actually only in the vital world you are flying. When I was fifteen or sixteen years old I used to fly very, very high and I used to see others there flying like airplanes. Sometimes I used to show all kinds of tricks, but this was all in the vital plane. You can also do it; anybody can do it. If you have some mastery over the vital plane you can fly. Here in America hundreds and thousands of times I have flown. And I do it not in a dream, but consciously I fly. When I was five or six years old it was all a dream, but now in the vital plane I can easily fly.
Question: I dream often, and occasionally have visions full of vivid colours. How can I interpret these dreams and colours?Sri Chinmoy: You are not the only one who has visions. Far from it. There are many seekers who have had visions, who see colours. They see light and many things. If a seeker such as you has a real spiritual Master, the Master can easily tell what the significance of the colours is.
You have to know from which plane the visions are coming. You may see something from a particular plane of consciousness and your friend may see the same thing but from a different plane of consciousness. As a seeker, as an aspirant, you are not now in a position to explain your own visions. Many books have been written about dreams, but I tell you, don't read those stupid books. Each one has its own way of explaining dreams. I have recently read some of these books and I laugh and laugh because there cannot be any standard explanation of dreams. You have to know from which plane the dream is coming. Is it in the vital plane, the mental plane or the psychic plane that this dream is taking place? Each plane has to be known and clarified properly. Each plane offers truth in a particular way.
If you have a vision and you don't have a teacher, what should you do? You have to dive deep within in order to know the real significance of the dream. Each dream signifies something. First you have to know from which plane you are getting the dream. If it is from the gross, inconscient plane, then it is of no value. In the vital plane also some dreams have to be discarded because the dreams are coming with an obscure and wrong vibration. If your dream comes from the dynamic vital plane, you have to feel that the fulfilment of this dream is going to take place. In the mental plane also there are different places, different states, from which dreams come.
The first thing is to have an experience. Then if you feel it is necessary to know the significance of the experience and if the significance doesn't come to you either from within or from a teacher, the best thing is to continue to aspire. The time will come when either you will find a Guru who can help you or your inner being will give you the significance of your dreams.
If you know the real significance of a dream, then naturally you will get the inspiration to go a little farther. If you have a wonderful dream and if someone properly explains it to you, then you will get more inspiration to go deep within. Sometimes you may have a frightening experience in your dreams and you think this signifies that your very existence is going to be destroyed. That may not be true. Perhaps that dream indicates the death of your vital life or emotional life. That is why it is better to follow a path, to have a spiritual Master who will care for you; then you will know the significance of your dreams. If you have good dreams, inspiring dreams, you will get the strength of an elephant to walk forward, because you will feel that you have achieved something, a milestone. So if your dreams are properly explained, you will get real benefit from the proper explanation.
Question: What is the significance of fish in dreams?Sri Chinmoy: The occult significance of fish is meanness. Because a fish enters into clay and mud and wants to hide itself, most of the occultists are of the opinion that fish signifies meanness. It does not want to expand. But again, fish can encourage people to swim in the sea of knowledge and wisdom. If you see a beautiful fish swimming, you are seeing the water consciousness and that may mean that the fish is inspiring you to swim in the sea of Knowledge-Light.
Question: Do animals ever approach you with requests?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, once I was at the home of one of my disciples who had a cat. When I was just about to start meditating and give my talk, her cat came and fell right in front of my feet. It wanted to have a human incarnation. I said to myself, "Look, now I have to give a talk and this cat is asking me to have a human incarnation." Everybody was so surprised because all of a sudden the cat just came and fell flat at my feet. But inwardly it was making this request.
Question: I was born with an ability to foresee things, but I feel that I am recently becoming weaker and weaker. What can I do?Sri Chinmoy: If this is the case, you have to go to a spiritual Master in whom you have implicit faith. He will be able to tell you what you are doing wrong. I see occultly that the visions you are receiving are not always coming from the plane of truth. It is mixed up. Your experiences are from the vital world, and you have to come out of this vital world. You have to remain in the truth consciousness itself; then only will you get inner strength and not feel weaker day by day. Unfortunately, a doctor will not be able to help you here. This is an inner problem, a psychological problem, and you have to go to a real spiritual Master.
Question: How does one develop inner power?Sri Chinmoy: One develops inner power by becoming one with the will of the soul. The soul is the representative of the Highest, the Absolute Supreme. If one wants to acquire inner power, develop inner power, then one should concentrate on the inner being or the soul. When one becomes extremely aware on the outer plane of the soul's operation, then one will really be aware of inner power. The soul has inner power not only in abundant measure, but in infinite measure.
Part II — The soul's world
Question: Do the souls of inanimate objects benefit from being around a spiritual Master?Sri Chinmoy: This house where I live was once upon a time a haunted house. Really. We were told that the priest who lived here used to exorcise so many things. When I came here, the soul of this house and the soul of my previous apartment had a wonderful fight. The apartment soul was more evolved. I had much to do with the soul of the apartment in Manhattan and also with the soul of this house. But again, how much can these souls receive? This chair I use eight hours a day, whereas I do not speak to you for even eight minutes in eight months. But because of your aspiration and your inner cry, the connection that you consciously make with me, this chair will not be able to make. Because of your conscious and constant meditation, you will make much faster progress than this chair, even though I am using this chair eight hours a day. This chair is not consciously taking from me; only it is taking unconsciously. The chair is inside my aura, my vibration, and according to its very limited capacity, unconsciously it is receiving. Again, sometimes I consciously give something. It is just like extra Grace. Because I touch the soul, because of the vibration that it receives from me, the soul will make considerable progress according to its own standard. If an occultist were here, he would say that my aura is divine. My aura is very powerful; it goes very far. So, wherever my aura goes, immediately evolution takes place.
But there comes a time when the soul of the chair becomes developed. It is like a child who is in kindergarten. One child may take one year, another child may take two years before he is ready to leave kindergarten and go to primary school. The time is fixed by the Divine, by the Supreme. Human beings progress consciously; human beings also progress unconsciously. But if we do it consciously, then our progress is very fast. In the case of the chair, progress is very, very slow. In the mineral life, plant life and animal life progress is very slow because there is no conscious effort. Unconsciously if we do something, we do get the result. But consciously if we try, then we can do the thing rapidly.
A child is crying for something. If the child pleases you, then you will give him what he wants. If the child knows how to please you, then he will do it every minute, every second. Here, too, if we consciously pray and meditate at every moment, then we can do miracles with our life. We can remain pure, we can remain divine, we can remain peaceful and blissful. But if we do it unconsciously, then today we will be peaceful and tomorrow we will not.
So, this chair, a rock and a stone are all making unconscious progress. They are depending on a higher Power. Human beings also depend on a higher Being, but they are also making a conscious effort to get Grace from above. But even in the case of the chair, there comes a time when the soul does evolve to another life.
Question: If the soul of the chair is ready to evolve, does it just leave the chair?Sri Chinmoy: It is like going from one rung of a ladder to the next. If it has passed the examination, then it goes to the next class. Then another soul enters the chair.
Question: If there is a very good soul in a house, and then that soul leaves and a less developed soul comes in, do the occupants of the house notice it?Sri Chinmoy: No, the occupants will never feel it, because they themselves don't remain in the soul-consciousness. Only people who are spiritually developed, only those who deal with the subtle life will notice the change in the vibration of the room. How is it that today they are not in a very high frame of mind, whereas previously inside that room they used to get a kind of soulful feeling? That is what they will notice.
Question: Is that why when you are in churches you can feel the love?Sri Chinmoy: It is because thousands of people have prayed there for many years.
Question: What are group souls?Sri Chinmoy: Group souls are found in animal life and also in human life. In human life, there will be thousands of people who are of almost similar standard in terms of spiritual evolution. They are at one place. Their group soul is in a particular spot in the soul's region. Here we say, "Birds of a feather flock together." If your standard and somebody else's standard are the same, then your souls go together in a group.
When you have a spiritual Master, just because of his love for you and your love for him, you get his compassion and blessings; then immediately he takes you to another plane, another standard. Then you can go beyond the group. But group souls do not get special blessings, special concern, from any spiritual Master. They go together, like a particular class in school where the students are studying together because they are of the same standard. But if the teacher says, "No, I will give you special training because I want you to go to a higher class," he can do this. The teacher can give private instruction and take his student to a higher class.
Again, apart from that group, some souls care more for Peace, some for Light, some for Bliss. So, if they care more for Peace, then they stay together. When it is time for them to incarnate, they may not come to the same country. One may go to Germany, one may go to India. But in the inner world they stay together.
Question: What is it like when you see the soul?Sri Chinmoy: The soul can take the form of the physical. X has died. But whenever X sees me, whenever I see him, always he claps. He is announcing my victory, our victory, the victory of our mission. Sometimes I see X the way I saw him on earth, exactly the same. Sometimes I see him as just a tiny doll. But the doll is not made of rubber or plastic or flesh. It is different.
The same soul can be seen in a different way, without form. A river is flowing and inside the river is life energy. With your human eyes, you will see that life energy is liquid. But the life energy has a form of its own. If you use the third eye, you can see it. So, I can see X's life energy and also the life energy of others. It is like knowing the strength that a boxer has inside his arms. With your physical eyes you can see his arms and legs, but with the spiritual eye you will see the thing that is inside the arm, the thing that has created this miracle. When you use occult vision, you won't see the human form, but something else-liquid or solid power.
Sometimes I see the soul like some kind of very tiny fish in the water. And then, if I am going to feed the soul, greedily it eats. And the food that it eats, you will think that it is all bone, powdered bone. But it is not powdered bone: It is something else-all white and beautiful. But if an ordinary human being is given it to eat, he will think it is all pure bone.
When I ate soul's food for the first time, it didn't taste at all good. Heaven-food does not taste good to the human taste. Although some people who are in the soul's region enjoy the food, I have no taste for it. Right now I am here on earth and I eat earthly food. It is a different world. I can feed those who have died because I know my capacity. But I can't appreciate the food myself. It is like the mother who does not like children's food, although the children like it. Children like cereal and all kinds of things. God knows what they eat! But I don't have to eat it.
Question: Do some souls have a kind of spontaneous affinity?Sri Chinmoy: You are sitting in the park or on the bus and you see someone. He is not paying any attention to you but you are getting such good vibrations from him. Again, somebody who is dressed up well and is a perfect gentleman may not be giving you good vibrations. But soul's affinity is one thing and soul's standard is something else. You are an expert at your standard, and somebody else is an expert in his standard. So two experts have met together at one place. But soul's affinity is not the same thing. Two persons of different standards may have a soul's affinity. A spiritual Master may have a soul's affinity with a very undeveloped soul.
Question: Yesterday a few disciples and I were in a restaurant when another disciple walked in. Later we met this same disciple again. Is that just all coincidence? I thought something was going on there.Sri Chinmoy: On the physical plane we will think it is nothing special. We call it a coincidence. But on the spiritual plane it is not like that. On the spiritual plane that disciple perhaps needed help. Suppose he has just come back from a trip and his mind is not fixed. Today you are in a better frame of mind, so his soul may be coming to you for help. If someone is in the mind or the vital, or any part, the soul will know that by mixing with so and so and talking about me and the Centre, immediately the consciousness will change. Unconsciously, his mind is taking help from you, or he is giving help to you. But the soul is conscious of this.
There is nothing accidental in the soul's region. Everything is recorded. On the physical plane everything is an accident; we can't account for it. In the soul's plane, it is not like that. The soul's biography is very minute, precise; again, the soul will not give much importance to the success or failure. You have tried for so many hours to elevate Z's consciousness, but both of you have failed each other. You will feel miserable that you spent two hours of your precious time and could not elevate his consciousness And he will feel sad that you did not help him. But the soul deals with Eternity. The soul will take these two hours and say, "Oh, this time is not wasted at all. The next time we meet there will be a little more progress." But in the human life it is not like that. Today both of you are good friends; tomorrow you may be good enemies. It is like that. On the human level everything is unpredictable. On the divine level, there is continuous progress.
Part III — Eternity and immortality
Question: What is the difference between Immortality and Eternity?Sri Chinmoy: Immortality deals with life, life in the form of consciousness, life in the form of reality and life in the form of object, subject or substance. Immortality means Immortality of the consciousness, not Immortality of the gross physical. One can leave the body at one's own sweet will. But if anything has to last on the physical plane for an indefinite time, it becomes the greatest torture. I tell you, even the most materialistic person on earth, even a pleasure loving person, will be disgusted if he stays on earth for more than one hundred years. Every undivine desire will be fulfilled, but even then he will be disgusted because he is not dealing with the illumining Consciousness. When you deal with the illumining consciousness, at that time you do not pay any attention to the senses. You feel that you don't need the satisfaction of the senses, or of anything that belongs to earth, because at that time you see that earth itself is impermanent. The only thing that is permanent is the birthless and deathless Divine.
Now when we think of Eternity, at that time we have to know that anything that is created, either on the physical plane, the vital plane, the mental plane or the transcendental plane, can be eternal. It may have had its beginning yesterday, but it can go on, go on for millions and billions and trillions of years.
Immortality deals with life and life came from Silence. We can count Eternity, but we cannot count Immortality. However, Immortality came first, because Silence itself was life. So life comes first, and then only can we start counting. First one is born, then he is one second old, one day old, one year old, and so on.
So in Eternity there is a sense of measurement, while there is none in Immortality. You can't measure Immortality, whereas you can try to calculate Eternity with your imagination. The sense of measurement comes in Eternity. It is divine, intuitive and psychic measurement. Then, if you use your third eye, immediately you will know when it started and how it goes on. Immortality is something that is already there.
Let us take Eternity as a tree that is growing, growing and growing. Eternity grows and Immortality remains the same. Immortality is already there; just use your vision. But Eternity is always going upwards. Eternity's conception goes upwards, while Immortality is all around.
Question: What is Immortality?Sri Chinmoy: The word itself explains its meaning: that which lasts. We know that Divinity exists. Again, there are many undivine things on earth which last for a long time. When we see a thing that lasts for a long time, we feel that that very thing is immortal. If somebody stays on earth for eighty, ninety or a hundred years, sometimes we cut jokes and we say that he is immortal. When we see a banyan tree which has lasted for hundreds of years, we say that it is immortal. But real Immortality is consciousness.
When we speak of Immortality, it is the Immortality of consciousness that we are referring to. Consciousness does not die. Consciousness always has to be expanded. Right now we are living in an unconscious world, but a day will come when we will all be conscious, divinised and transformed. This consciousness which is already immortal will be enlarged when our human nature is transformed. Immortality means that which will last forever, and what lasts forever is our consciousness, our aspiring consciousness.
Question: What is nirvikalpa samadhi?Sri Chinmoy: Nirvikalpa samadhi is a high, high state of samadhi where one enjoys infinite Peace, infinite Light, infinite Bliss. It is the state of consciousness where one's inner being is inundated with infinite Light, infinite Peace and Bliss.
Question: When one comes back from nirvikalpa samadhi, is he a normal man?Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. I have been in nirvikalpa samadhi many, many times, and I am a normal man.
Question: Does one get the same joy in sahaja samadhi as in nirvikalpa samadhi?Sri Chinmoy: One gets higher joy and more illumining joy in sahaja samadhi than in nirvikalpa samadhi. Nirvikalpa samadhi has tremendous intensity in it, although this intensity is not outwardly visible or inwardly felt by the observers. But sahaja samadhi is spontaneous. Here the Master can have sky-vast spontaneous confidence. The intensity is there, but it is so normal and spontaneous that nobody will be able to trace it.
There have been very few people on earth who have been blessed with sahaja samadhi. In their outer activities, they have almost always been misunderstood-not only by the unaspiring world but by the aspiring world too. Even some of their own disciples may not understand them. The disciples see the human in the Master and do not see the Divine which he eternally is and which he is constantly offering to the world in his own way. Sahaja samadhi is not only a spontaneous expression of the divine reality within us, but also a reality that synthesises the Silence-Vision of the Supreme and the Sound-Mission of the Supreme.
Question: Would you tell us what Nirvana is?Sri Chinmoy: Hundreds of thousands of books have been written on Nirvana. We first come to hear about Nirvana from the Lord Buddha. It was he who offered to the world at large the conception of Nirvana.
What is Nirvana? It is the extinction of desires, suffering, bondage, limitation and death. It is a very high state where transcendental Bliss reigns supreme. When one is in Nirvana, one's cosmic play is done, and one no longer barters with time and deeds. On the strength of his aspiration the Golden Day dawns when the aspirant enters into the Nirvanic consciousness. He goes beyond the limits of time and space. You have to say that in Nirvana the Divine is enjoying its own self-amorous state. So Nirvana means the extinction of teeming earthly desires, sufferings and sorrows, and at the same time the Bliss and divine enjoyment of the highest trance.
Question: You said once that man is evolved from animals, and another time you said that man was once divine, then fell. Can you resolve this paradox?Sri Chinmoy: There is no paradox. The first time I was talking about evolution and the second time I was talking about involution. In evolution the spirit evolves from plant to animal to man. In involution the spirit enters from the soul's region into matter to perfect it. Some souls, when they realise God, will remain in the soul's region if they don't want to manifest divinity on earth. Those who want to manifest are like soldiers. They come down time after time for the Supreme, for the transformation of humanity. As you get joy when I ask you to do something for me or to work for me, also you should get the same joy if I ask you not to work. It is the same way with the spiritual Masters. The Supreme asks some souls to work for Him on earth and some not to.
Question: Do all Avatars have the same realisation?Sri Chinmoy: There are full Avatars and partial Avatars. A partial Avatar is not always totally aware of his transcendental height and universal reality. In his case, he feels that God at times plays hide-and-seek with him. A full Avatar is he who is constantly aware of his transcendental height and universal reality. A partial Avatar is not sure twenty-four hours of his inner divinity. In the inner world, he may be searching for something but may not know where it is; he may be sometimes disturbed, puzzled or afraid in the inner world. In the outer world, even some of the full Avatars have felt that they have lost the transcendental reality which they had already achieved. This does not happen in all cases, but it does happen in some cases. In the inner world a full Avatar is always aware of who he is and what is taking place. If the Master constantly knows what is happening in the inner world, even if he doesn't know outwardly, then nothing creates problems for him or his disciples whether things are taking place in the inner world or in the outer world.
A partial Avatar acts at times in a very human way. He is assailed by fear, doubt, anxiety, anger, frustration and other undivine qualities in spite of having a full realisation. But a full Avatar is realisation in the inner world and revelation and manifestation in the outer world. Within he is divinity's realisation and without he is divinity's revelation and manifestation,
Question: Is the awakening of the kundalini the same as God-realisation?Sri Chinmoy: The awakening of the kundalini does not mean the realisation of God. The awakening of the kundalini is only a method of entering into inner consciousness. There are thousands of people on earth who have awakened their kundalini. They have become conscious of their inner psychic power. But to become consciously aware of your psychic power does not at all mean realisation of God, far from it. God-realisation is infinitely superior and more fulfilling than the awakening of the kundalini.
When one's kundalini is awakened, one feels that some inner power is at his command. But this inner power is not the infinite Peace, infinite Light and infinite Bliss of the Supreme. So, when the kundalini is awakened, one can say that one is in possession of a blade or a penknife and that one can use the penknife to do certain things. But when one realises God, one feels that one has the capacity to use an atom bomb. This is the difference. When I speak of using a knife or a bomb, I don't mean in a destructive way. It is actually the capacity I am referring to. So when one realises God, his divine consciousness bursts into the earth's atmosphere and is spread all over the length and breadth of the world. But when the kundalini is awakened, one has only very little power.
To come back to your question, the awakening of the kundalini can never bring immediate God-realisation. But again, after the awakening of the kundalini one sees the limitation of kundalini power. Then one wants to go high, higher, highest and one feels that until one has realised the absolute Highest, one will not put an end to one's journey. Naturally, one will march on, march on, until the infinite Goal is realised.
Question: Do spiritual Masters ever live on other planets?Sri Chinmoy: No, they do not live on other planets. Each spiritual Master has his own plane in the inner worlds, like his own house. When their disciples die, if they were good disciples, then the Master says, "Come, come and stay at my place." But if they were bad disciples on earth, if they created problems and caused endless suffering for the Master, then he does not invite them. By accepting those disciples the Masters have suffered like anything on earth. Why do they have to suffer in Heaven also?
Ramakrishna has a place of his own. The Buddha also has one. Although I am here on earth, I also have a place. I have a few disciples there who were disciples from previous incarnations, some very sincere admirers and some of my relatives. Also one of my disciples from this incarnation who has died is there.
Question: Is the physical plane a Dream of God?Sri Chinmoy: God's Dream is the divine Dream which is the precursor of reality. The second we see God's Dream we see that it is immediately transformed into Reality. When you become one with God, you see that God's Dream embodies Reality itself. There is a great difference between human dreams and God's divine Dream. Human dreams are only mental fantasies. They are all pensive thoughts, ideas and fabrications. Sometimes we become victims of hostile forces which make us dream all kinds of horrible things. Again, sometimes we create our own fantasies which come in the form of dreams during the day.
In God's case, His Dream is just like a cover or lid on a box. You just lift the lid and there inside is the wealth: gold and diamonds.
Question: Were the animal Avatars conscious of themselves?Sri Chinmoy: They were not conscious of their real identity. When they came to earth, they forgot. All spiritual Masters forget when they come to earth. Even Avatars forget their previous realisations. Then again they start rediscovering their realisations and rewriting the book.
Question: Guru, when was the first realised soul?Sri Chinmoy: I am counting the realised souls from the Indian civilisation. I am counting from just a little before Rama. He was a full Avatar, what some people would call a Christ. He actually lived before Krishna. There were one or two others, but Rama is the only one worth mentioning. Before Rama there were only a few realised souls. But history has not kept their names, so we can't at all prove their realisation.
Question: How can I see the higher Self or God in all humanity?Sri Chinmoy: Aspire, only aspire. This is the answer. The soul and the Goal go together. Aspiration is why you are here. You have come here to aspire, to pray and to meditate.
Question: In the Indian books it says that the creation is completely destroyed in every world cycle. Is that a myth or is that truth ?Sri Chinmoy: It is a myth. The world cannot be totally destroyed. Our conception of the world is of a particular plot of land. But the world is not a place; it is a plane of consciousness. And total destruction never takes place here. According to our human conception, we may say that the world is destroyed. But it cannot be completely destroyed, because God is constantly changing and increasing everything in the universe. He is transcending and increasing, so how can anything be destroyed?
On the physical plane, a major portion may be destroyed. But total destruction does not take place, because the world is God's creation. Sometimes, when we see a transformation of darkness, if we no longer see the darkness which formerly existed, we feel that there has been destruction. But it is not destruction; it is transformation. We feel that destruction takes place when we don't see something which we saw before. But this very thing may have assumed a different form, a different aspect of life. We cannot say that it is destruction; only God has assumed a new form.
Part IV — Ghosts and dark forces
Question: What form do hostile forces take?Sri Chinmoy: Hostile forces can take any form. If you have a weakness in the physical, vital or mental plane, then they may come and attack you. Suppose on the mental plane you are telling a lie. If you can see who the real culprit is, then you will immediately notice the form of a hostile force. Suppose you are a drug addict and you are trying to get rid of your problem. For a time you become sincere, then again you make the same mistake. When you make the mistake, right in front of you, you will see the form of a hostile force. Easily you will be able to see that they are clapping and playing the drum. Once they see that you have fallen, they think that you are giving up and they are happy.
Question: What are ghosts like?Sri Chinmoy: Ghosts are usually white. If you go to cemeteries, you can see many ghosts there every day. If you go there in the evening, you will hear all kinds of noises. When you see a ghost, sometimes they will give you a slap or kick and then you are finished. They attack mercilessly. Or you may be walking and a branch of a tree which is very high off the ground will come down and give you a slap. Sometimes the ghost will bring the branch to the ground level and tempt you to sit on it, and then let it snap up and throw you. A ghost can also take the form of a most beautiful woman. When I was younger we had a servant, Once he saw a ghost who appeared as a beautiful girl and naturally he went to see her. The ghost gave him a smart kick and for four days he was in the hospital.
Question: Isn't a ghost an ethereal body? How can it kick?Sri Chinmoy: They can take any form. They can embody the gross physical form. Feminine ghosts are the worst; they have very little mercy. They just take the form of your mother, sister, wife or dear one, and when you go near them they are very fierce.
Question: Why do ghosts appear?Sri Chinmoy: Ghosts are vital spirits who have become dissatisfied and unfulfilled. For them it is just fun. They are like children who are fond of doing mischief.
Question: When ghosts attack disciples, are they afraid of you?Sri Chinmoy: They only attack disciples who have already left my path. Or when the inner connection becomes loose, they can attack the disciple. If the connection is strong, how can they attack? Hostile forces compel you to surrender; then they mock at you. We are afraid of these beings because they are impure, and they are afraid of our purity.
One day a close friend of mine from the ashram was supposed to come to a play practice, but he did not come. For him not to come was extremely unusual. What happened was that he was attacked by a ghost. The ghost ruined his brain, and he became insane that very day. He became a street beggar, even though he was from a very rich family. He went to his friend's place and said, "Give me a bowl," and then he started begging. He walked hundreds of miles in a month's time. Then he came back to the ashram and stayed in the ashram for ten years. But when he came back he forgot all our names. He could not recognise us. It was not his bad karma but a hostile attack.
Question: Why do ghosts stay in one house and not another?Sri Chinmoy: Usually when people commit suicide, then in that particular area the ghosts and evil forces move around; from there actually these forces start.
Question: What about graveyards?Sri Chinmoy: In graveyards there are plenty of ghosts, but not in all the graveyards.
Question: Does evil exist?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, evil does exist. But what you call evil, I will call ignorance. If somebody is not ignorant, then he will not do evil things, undivine things. The root of evil is ignorance. What is ignorance? Ignorance is the dark mind. It is now night. But you have brought an electric light, so now the room is all illumined. Ignorance is night. But this night can be illumined through inner light. As the outer night can be illumined with the electric light, so can the ignorance of the world be illumined through inner light, the light that we have within.
Question: What is ignorance?Sri Chinmoy: The definition of ignorance in one short sentence is limited consciousness. And when we enter into unlimited consciousness ignorance disappears.
Question: Are we bound to ignorance?Sri Chinmoy: We are not bound to ignorance. When our soul enters into the physical world, ignorance enters from without. When we live in the soul there is no ignorance, but when we live in the physical body, in the mind, ignorance makes its presence felt. Then a time comes when you can bring the light of the soul to the fore and start transforming the physical mind. Then ignorance will leave you.
Question: Would you explain about how dark forces enter into us and how we open ourselves to them at certain times in our lives, especially when we are about to make a big step spiritually?Sri Chinmoy: Dark forces enter into us through various holes. One big hole is called doubt. There are other holes: depression, fear, anger. We are like a building and through these holes the dark forces enter into us. When you want to make a big decision in your spiritual life, the dark forces attack you most vehemently. They know that if you are successful in your spiritual life, then you are entering into the sea of eternal joy and you will be blessed constantly with God's Consciousness. You will be dancing in God's Consciousness; you will be totally freed from bondage, ignorance and death. When you are sleeping, when you are weak, nobody bothers you. But the moment you assert yourself, the moment you show that you are something and want to do something for the world, all the blows will land on you. You are crying to create a new harmony, a new divine fulfilment on earth, and that is the time for the wrong forces to attack. If you are successful, then a new world dawns in you and in the entire humanity. So, at that time the hostile forces want to stop you and prevent you from doing the right thing.
Millions and billions of people in the world are not aspiring. They are leading an absolutely ordinary life. But you have been granted the opportunity to cry for God. If you make an effort, then either you will be successful or you will fail. But if you make a sincere effort with your soulful aspiration, then you are bound to succeed. Your success means boundless realisation, infinite wealth. So why should your enemy-that is to say, darkness-allow you to be the richest person in the world? If you remain like a poor beggar, then they won't bother you. But if you want to be the richest king in the inner world, then they will fight you. At that time darkness becomes more alert and consciously tries to prevent you from realising and achieving the highest and the deepest Truth.
Question: Are our lives run by the dark sex forces of the subconscious?Sri Chinmoy: The superconscious is the possessor of direct wisdom and clear truth. It is unthinkable to reduce everything to the so-called sex drive. When we enter into the spiritual life with our aspiration, we can see that we are bringing the light of consciousness into our being. Then we will see everything differently. At that time life's occurrences are handled consciously with the light of the soul, instead of looming large as problems constantly to be solved.
Part V — Death and heaven's life
Question: Why do people die when they do?Sri Chinmoy: It is like a bird when its cage is broken. The bird flies away. If the body is not making any progress or if the body is not suitable for the manifestation of the soul's light, then the soul leaves the body. Then again, sometimes undivine, hostile forces attack, and break and smash the cage, like mischievous boys. The bird naturally will fly away if the cage is destroyed. There are many hostile forces on earth, and these hostile forces can attack the body and destroy the body untimely. Then naturally the soul will go back to the soul's region. The bird will fly back to its own region. And again, at the proper time it will descend with a new body with new hope, new aspiration and new determination.
Question: What should we do with the body after it dies?Sri Chinmoy: It depends on where you were born. When you die, your soul-bird flies away from the cage. Once the bird, or the soul, has gone away, you can do anything you want to with the body. When you see that there is no bird inside, the cage is useless. You can break the cage, you can throw it into the sea, you can burn it, you can bury it underground.
Indian Hindus will be cremated. The Western people think that it is good to be buried. In the Parsee tradition they keep the body on the top of the roof, and the vultures and other animals eat the flesh and bones. The members of the family see all this. That is their tradition. Other people, when their own parents die, keep the bodies under the same roof that they sleep under. That is their culture. Who can challenge any culture? Some feel that they don't want to keep bodies of their dear ones around. They feel that they cannot keep a dead body in the same house with living people because it is frightening, and for other reasons. But other people do keep the body in the house. Again, Indians feel that since the body was so kind to them, now they should purify the body. And some people will want to throw the body into water, into the sea or the ocean, because water is consciousness. The body wanted to have infinite consciousness, so they throw the body into the water and let the ocean take care of it. And again, others will think that since the body came from earth, let it go back to earth. This is also true.
Who is wrong, who is right? When the soul goes away you can do anything you want with the body. We are spiritual people, but ordinary people feel that they must get some satisfaction when their dear ones die. Since it is only a matter of a few hours or a couple of days, let the relatives get satisfaction in their own way. If they feel that burning is the best thing, let them do it. If they feel that immersing in water is the best thing, let them do it. It is the individual's choice. Since the bird has left, you can do anything you want to do with the cage.
(The following remarks were made after the passing away of a disciple.)
Today we shall honour the immortal soul in Asim. Again, who is honouring whom? It is his soul that is giving us the opportunity to think of him, to love him and to become one with him. We are thinking of him, and the Supreme in him is blessing our soul's concern and our soul's oneness with him.
He has gone. Where has he gone? If it is true that he has gone, that he has left us, then it is more true that he lives deep inside us. Look around, you won't see him. But look inside, he is there singing, dancing, playing. I wish to tell the dearest mother, dearest sister, and those of you who are close to him, that if you say that you miss him, you miss him only in the outer world. You can never miss him in the inner world. In the inner world he is more than alive. Each moment his soul is getting an opportunity to think of his next incarnation, his future incarnation. He will come back, his soul will incarnate here in America and we all shall see him. His parents, his sister and the other members of his family will be able to see him and once again they will be able to possess him.