The mind loves the heart, the mind becomes the heart, part 2
Part I — Lifting up the World With a Oneness-Heart
IntroductionOn June 27th, 2003, at the kind invitation of the Provost, Sir Patrick Bateson, Sri Chinmoy visited King's College at the University of Cambridge for a unique "Lifting Up the World With a Oneness-Heart" Award ceremony.
The ceremony took place in the beautiful setting of the Provost's Lodge Garden. This was Sri Chinmoy's ninth visit to the University of Cambridge. On November 12th, 1997, together with the Indian High Commissioner, Dr. L.M. Singhvi, Sri Chinmoy had planted a special "Dove Tree" to commemorate the two years that Sri Aurobindo spent at the University of Cambridge. On this occasion, Dr. Singhvi also unveiled a bronze bust of Sri Aurobindo.
The connection between King's College and Sri Aurobindo is deeply meaningful for Sri Chinmoy, who joined the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India, in 1944, at the age of twelve, and remained there until 1964. Sri Chinmoy has written a number of books and composed many songs both in English and Bengali dedicated to the immortal Poet, Seer, Sage and Yogi Sri Aurobindo.
Sri Chinmoy's dedication1Today's programme, "Lifting Up the World With a Oneness-Heart," I am most prayerfully and most soulfully offering to my spiritual Master, Sri Aurobindo, who studied here at King's College, Cambridge, from 1890 to 1892.
India's Poet, India's Seer,
The transcendental Sri Aurobindo,
Direct Descendant of the Absolute Supreme,
To you I bow and bow and bow.
Bharater kabi bharater rishi
bharater jogi Avatar
Sri Aurobindo he ati manab
MLH 8. As a prelude to the lifting part of the ceremony, Sri Chinmoy performed his own compositions for several minutes on the esraj, a slender North Indian bowed instrument with sympathetic strings. During his esraj performance, Sri Chinmoy offered the English translation of his Bengali song Bharater Kabi before singing the song a capella.↩
Lifting Up the World With a Oneness-HeartMr. Devashishu Torpy, Master of Ceremonies
We are extremely happy and extremely grateful to welcome you here today to the Lifting Up the World With a Oneness-Heart Award programme. Sri Chinmoy has travelled throughout the length and the breadth of the globe to honour in his own unique way men and women of inspiration and dedication from all walks of life. In appreciation and gratitude for their world-serving contributions, he has presented this signal award to presidents, prime ministers, members of parliament, religious leaders from all faiths, Nobel laureates, outstanding artists, musicians, poets and athletes. Sri Chinmoy also wishes to honour citizens on the grassroots level who are serving others in extraordinary ways. Through their lives of devoted self-offering, all of our highly esteemed honorees, including each of you who has so kindly come here today, have raised up the standard of humanity far beyond our imagination's flight.
In the same way that a star sports player here at the University of Cambridge is lifted up out of joy and enthusiasm by his fellow teammates, so too, Sri Chinmoy, in a spirit of sincere gratitude, lifts each recipient overhead from the honorary platform. The very first person to receive this award in 1988 was the legendary Bill Pearl, five-time Mr. Universe and Best Built Man of the Century. The 2,000th person to receive the Lifting Up the World With a Oneness-Heart Award was President Nelson Mandela and the 6,000th individual was the great Muhammad Ali.
Each one of our guests here today is offering something most significant through his or her own unique endeavours. Here, at the University of Cambridge, you are serving not only the students but the whole of humanity.
We are very grateful that you have come here today. Sri Chinmoy and all of us present offer you our most heartfelt welcome and congratulate you on soon receiving the Lifting Up the World With a Oneness-Heart Award.
We are very, very grateful to our host here today, Professor Sir Patrick Bateson. May I invite Professor Bateson to come up and say a few words of welcome.
Official Welcome to Sri Chinmoy from the Provost Sir Patrick Bateson
I want to welcome you all here to this College and I should say that this is Sri Chinmoy's ninth visit to the University of Cambridge. In 1997, he planted a tree in memory of Sri Aurobindo, who was at this College back at the end of the nineteenth century.
The tree is an extraordinarily beautiful tree. It is called the Dove Tree because in the late spring when it flowers, it looks as though it is full of white doves. It is also called the Pocket Handkerchief Tree, not so romantically.
I am delighted that Sri Chinmoy has come here again and very honoured that he should be here. I just want to say welcome to you all and thank you for coming.
ProfessorsProfessor Sir Patrick Bateson
Professor Bateson has been the Provost of King's College since 1987. He is Professor of Ethology here at the University of Cambridge. Professor Bateson's research is particularly concerned with the behaviour patterns of birds and cats, and the question of genetic influences versus environmental influences on animal behaviour.
He has been deeply involved with the ethics concerning the use of animals in research, and in the assessment of pain and suffering in animals. Professor Bateson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1983 and now serves as Biological Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society. We are very proud that he was recently knighted by the Queen for his outstanding services to science.
Lady Dusha Bateson
We warmly welcome Lady Bateson to come and join her husband. It is because of her that we are here in this beautiful garden. She has been extremely gracious in helping us with the arrangements for today's event. Lady Dusha Bateson has worked extensively with the Centre of South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge on its collection of archive materials. She also maintains the kitten register for the Egyptian Mau Club in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Frederick Sanger
Since the inception of the Nobel Prize in 1901, there have been just four extraordinary individuals who have won the prize twice. Dr. Frederick Sanger is one of those four. Dr. Sanger won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1958, for determining the structure of the insulin molecule, and he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry again in 1980, for determining the structure of DNA. He is an Honorary Fellow of King's College.
Dr. Sanger and many subsequent guests were introduced by Ms. Sarada Crowe, joint organiser of the programme with Mr. Torpy and a senior technical officer at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge.
Professor Jean Rudduck
Professor Rudduck is Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Homerton College. Professor Rudduck's main research interest is in the improvement of schools, particularly through student consultation and student empowerment. She is an extremely respected author and researcher and has served as President of the British Educational Research Association.
Professor Alan MacFarlane
Professor MacFarlane is Professor of Anthropological Science at the University of Cambridge and a Senior Research Fellow of King's College. His special areas of research include English society of the 14th to the 19th centuries, the Gurungs of Central Nepal, and the people along the Burmese-Indian border known as the Nagas. He is the author of seventeen books and has made numerous radio and television appearances relating to various aspects of history. In 1986, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.
Professor Janice Stargardt
Professor Stargardt is a Senior Research Fellow and a Lecturer at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. She is also a Foreign Professor for life at the Sorbonne. Professor Stargardt works on the environmental and historical geography and archaeology of South and South-East Asia.
She is particularly interested in the transition of Iron Age societies in South-East India, Burma and Thailand from villages to complex, literate and urbanised communities. In addition, she is co-ordinator of a five-year British Academy research project on relics and relic worship in early Buddhism in India and Burma.
Professor Ajit Singh
Professor Singh is Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge and Project Leader at the University Centre for Business Research. He is a Senior Fellow of Queens' College. Professor Singh has taught Economics at the University of Cambridge since 1965. During his long and extremely distinguished career, he has also been a senior economic adviser to the Governments of Mexico and the United Republic of Tanzania, and a consultant to various United Nations organisations, including the World Bank and the International Labour Organisation.
Professor Sir Nicholas Shackleton
Professor Shackleton is Professor of Quaternary Paleoclimatology and Director of the Godwin Institute for Quaternary Research. His main research interest is the investigation of the processes of climate change during the past two million years. He has been at the very forefront of research in his field since the late 1960's, and has received a number of awards, including the Lyell and Wollaston Medals from the Geological Society of London and the prestigious Crafoord Prize from the Swedish Academy of Science. Professor Shackleton was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1985. In 1988, he was knighted in recognition of his services to Earth Sciences. Recently he was elected President of the International Union of Quaternary Research.
Professor Tony Minson
Professor Minson is Professor of Virology at the University of Cambridge and Chairman of the School of Biological Sciences. He is a Fellow of Wolfson College. He is an extremely well-respected and eminent virologist and has acted as a specialist government adviser on various aspects of virology and microbiology. Professor Minson is a member of the governing body of the Institute of Animal Health and a member of the Lister Institute of Preventative Medicine. In 2002, he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and he was recently appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.
Professor Robin Holloway
Professor Holloway is Professor of Musical Composition at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College. He is a dynamic and imaginative composer who has written full orchestral scores, ensemble pieces, songs, unaccompanied choral works and an opera. In addition, he has set the words of many poets to music.
He has been called "a prolific and versatile composer in almost every field." Professor Holloway writes: "Music makes a kind of liquid link between the study of languages, literature and other arts, history and sciences — joining them together in the outer world of feelings and relationships, and the inner world of the imagination."
Professor Howard Chase
Professor Chase is Professor of Biochemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge and a Research Fellow at Magdalene College. He is the Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering. Much of his research is concerned with environmental matters — how to most safely dispose of hazardous substances, waste water and other wastes without harming the environment. Professor Chase is also extremely active within the University administration, serving on several executive committees of the University.
Professor Chase's wife, Dawn Leeder, is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Cambridge Clinical School. She is also Director of the Universities' Collaboration in eLearning.
Dr. John Barber
Dr. Barber is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, and a Fellow of King's College. He is the author and editor of several books and a renowned authority on modern Russian politics, Stalin and Stalinism and the impact of war on the Soviet society and state. In his role as Vice-Provost of King's College, he graciously hosted Sri Chinmoy's visit to the College in November 1997. He has recently been appointed as Director of Development at King's College. He is known to many of us for his kindness and generosity of spirit.
Professor Simon Goldhill
Professor Goldhill is Professor in Greek Literature and Culture at the University of Cambridge, and a Research Fellow at King's College.
His main areas of research are gender studies, fourth and fifth century Greek culture, especially Greek drama, and the relationship between art and literature. Professor Goldhill is also among the best known modern interpreters of Greek poetry, particularly tragedy, and has been a leading figure in the application of modern literary criticism to ancient Greek texts.
Professor Roger Parker
Professor Parker is Professor of Music at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of St. John's College. His work centres on opera, mainly Italian opera of the 19th century, and in particular the works of Giuseppe Verdi, on whom he is a renowned authority. Other areas of his research interest have included English and French opera, African-American music, music in Paris during the Commune, music in avant garde film, and musical representations of South Africa. Professor Parker is the author of a number of books and has received numerous awards, including the Premio Giuseppe Verdi in 1986 and the Dent Medal from the Royal Musical Association in 1991.
Illumining commentsThe Master of Ceremonies then invited the guests to offer extemporaneous reflections on their work and the nature of their experiences. An abridged selection of the comments that were offered follows.
Dr. John Barber
Senior Lecturer in Politics
The previous visit of Sri Chinmoy made an absolutely unforgettable impression on everyone who was present — not only an unforgettable, but an indelible impression — and I think the spirit of goodwill and all the other extremely positive feelings that were generated on that occasion by everyone present really have lived on. It is a marvellous thing today that we are able again to have the presence of Sri Chinmoy and all of the others of you here in King's College, and I am sure that this will perpetuate this wonderful tradition associated, of course, initially with Sri Aurobindo, whose memory is revered to this day, and the connection that we value enormously with Sri Chinmoy.
Professor Tony Minson
Professor of Virology
It was a great surprise and a somewhat humbling one to be given this award from such a remarkable person. I have to say that Sri Chinmoy is just a breathtaking individual who has done some absolutely amazing things. I would also like to say that it is somewhat humbling to be in such illustrious company in receiving this award and I am grateful for that.
Professor Howard Chase
Professor of Biochemical Engineering
It is, indeed, a very humbling pleasure to be honoured in this particular way and I am so grateful to Sri Chinmoy for conferring this upon us all. It is quite an amazing experience on the stand here when you are waiting. You are lifted up already above the level of you all. For a moment nothing happens. And then suddenly you feel this amazing surge of strength as you get lifted up. I think that was a very, very special experience that I will certainly remember for the rest of my life. And thank you also for honouring my wife at the same time. It has been absolutely splendid.
Sir Nicholas Shackleton
Professor of Quaternary Paleoclimatology
Professor Roger Parker
Professor of Music
It is a wonderful occasion and the physical experience of being lifted up is quite amazing. The only thing I would like to apologise for is weighing so much.
Professor Jean Rudduck
Professor of Education
I would like to say that today my body was lifted up but my spirits were also lifted up, and I want to share that feeling with the many teachers up and down the country who have worked in very difficult circumstances to create a new order of experience for young people and to make schools places that are inclusive and not divisive, where people can work together in the spirit of oneness. And I thank you all. 36
Dr. Frederick Sanger
Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1958 and 1980
I have enjoyed this very much. Thank you very much.
Professor Simon Goldhill
Professor of Greek Literature and Culture
There is an expression in Hebrew — tikun haolam — which means 'to make the world whole'. That is what we are told we are on earth to do, and I am extremely proud to be part of an institution — and an occasion — which in its principles and its attitude has been doing that today.
Professor Robin Holloway
Professor of Musical Composition
I would like to give a little word of thanks to the choir as well, who have given us such pleasure…
Professor Alan Macfarlane
Professor of Anthropological Science
At the moment I am writing some letters to my granddaughter about very depressing things like war and famine and disease, and this is a wonderful change from that. There are not many people who dedicate their lives to try and make this world a little more peaceful, and we all know how important that is. So I feel very proud, as well as humble, to be a part of that movement.
Professor Ajit Singh
Professor of Economics
This was a very moving occasion. I am delighted to be honoured in this way and very humbled to be included in this august company. I think Sri Chinmoy's work is of the utmost significance. There are about one and a half billion people on the planet today who are in absolute poverty. The world produces enough and has potential to be able to feed all of them today, and certainly in the next century there is no reason why the world should not move towards a more equal distribution of wealth. I thank you for honouring me in this way.
Professor Janice Stargardt
Professor of Geography and Archaeology (Comment received after the event)
I certainly felt a stream of energy emanating from Sri Chinmoy when standing near him. It was good and peaceful and will be a lasting memory.
Lady Dusha Bateson
It was a most memorable experience for us. I was both touched and honoured.
Professor Sir Patrick Bateson
Provost, King's College; Professor of Ethology
At the conclusion of the ceremony Sir Patrick Bateson approached Sri Chinmoy and, very warmly and affectionately shaking his hand, said: You are a very, very great man…
The Provost's Lodge
King's College, Cambridge
1st August 2003
All of us here in Cambridge who met you were enormously impressed by your serenity and presence and by the obvious devotion inspired in all those who have close contact with you. My time as Provost is now drawing to a close and my wife and I are currently moving out. It is sad to go but we shall, of course, maintain a very strong relationship with the College. Thank you again for gracing us with your visit.
Professor Sir Patrick Bateson
Provost (an extract)
A visit to the room where Sri Aurobindo studiedFollowing the ceremony, Dr. John Barher escorted Sri Chinmoy into King's College, where he had made arrangements for Sri Chinmoy to visit the room in which Sri Aurobindo actually studied during his Cambridge years.
The small study room is now the living quarters of Mr. Peter Avery, OBE, formerly a lecturer in Persian Studies at the Faculty of Oriental Studies and now retired.
Sri Chinmoy later commented that this was for him the happiest day. He stayed in the room for ten minutes. Out of reverence for Sri Aurobindo, he would not take a seat during his visit, in spite of Mr. Avery's most kind and repeated requests. He remained standing and meditated. He later said, "How could I dare to sit in the room where my Master had studied? I was trembling with delight inside that room. My eyes were flooded with tears and my heart was swimming in the sea of delight; my heart was throbbing."
Mr. Avery expressed his gratitude to Sri Chinmoy for paying a visit to his room. Sri Chinmoy replied, "It is I who should be grateful to you. I am a humble disciple of Sri Aurobindo."
This visit to Sri Aurobindo's room held a deep personal significance for Sri Chinmoy. He later said that he would cherish this precious memory until the very end of his days.
Final reflections by Sri ChinmoyThis is my ninth visit to Cambridge, and my aspiration-heart and dedication-life received tremendous, boundless blessings from the soul and the heart of Cambridge University.
Each successive time my joy increases. This time my joy is limitless. This time I have accomplished something, by the Grace of my Lord Beloved Supreme, which is absolutely new. I was able to be inside one of the rooms where Sri Aurobindo actually studied. It was over a century ago.
If you have a spiritual connection, inner connection, you can feel Sri Aurobindo's very Presence inside that room because of his Divinity which he unconditionally offered to the world at large.
22nd July 2003
I hasten to say how great a privilege it was to receive you in the rooms which I now occupy and which Sri Aurobindo used to occupy during his period in Cambridge from 1890-1892. I feel that the rooms do indeed retain a special aura. They are certainly conducive to my work in Sufism and Persian medieval mystical poetry. But whatever their aura might have been before Friday, 27th June, it was enlivened, brightened, made more by your kind presence. I only wish that your visit could have lasted longer, but I hope that you will come again.
Peter Avery (an extract)
Previous visitsSri Chinmoy's Visits to the University of Cambridge
1 November 23, 1970 — Talk entitled "The Higher Worlds
offered at King's College.
2 June 12, 1973 — Talk entitled "The Seeker's Journey" offered at Keynes Hall, King's College.
3 June 24, 1974 — Talk entitled "Failure" offered in the Riverside Lounge at the University Centre.
4 June 21, 1976 — Talk entitled "Confidence" offered at the University Centre.
5 May 15, 1981 — Sri Chinmoy offered a concert and talk entitled "Progress-Delight" at Lady Mitchell Hall at the invitation of Dr. Bernard Carr, Society of the Common Life.
6 June 27, 1989 — Sri Chinmoy offered a talk entitled "Oneness-Education", a concert and a "Lifting Up the World With a Oneness-Heart" programme at West Road Concert Hall. Among those lifted was Nobel Laureate Dr. Brian Josephson.
7 November 12, 1997 — At the invitation of the Dean of Chapel, the Reverend George Pattison, Sri Chinmoy offered a concert in King's College Chapel to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of India's Independence, in the presence of the Indian High Commissioner, Dr. L.M. Singhvi, and the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Sir David Williams. Dr. Singhvi gave a talk on the heritage of India and also presented a bust of Sri Aurobindo and one of Mahatma Gandhi to the University. Afterwards, accompanied by the Vice-Provost, Dr. John Barber, Dr. Singhvi and Sri Chinmoy planted a tree in the Fellows Garden.
8 November 1, 2000 — At the invitation of the Dean of Chapel, the Reverend George Pattison, Sri Chinmoy offered a concert in Keynes Hall, King's College, to mark the 50th Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo's Mahasamadhi (passing). During the concert, he gave a talk entitled "Aurobindo Versus Sri Aurobindo. "
9 June 27, 2003 Sri Chinmoy offered a "Lifting Up the World With a Oneness-Heart" award ceremony in the Provost's Lodge Garden, King's College, hosted by the Provost, Sir Patrick Bateson, and his wife, Lady Dusha Bateson.
The early lectures that Sri Chinmoy offered at the University of Cambridge have been appended here. Some were previously printed in a series of Sri Chinmoy's complete European lectures from 1970 to 1976, entitled My Rose-Petals.<html></div></html>
Part two — Lectures at the University of Cambridge
The higher worlds1Cambridge, I bow to your aspiration-height. I bow to your knowledge-light. I bow to your divine pride. True, you are of England, you are in England, but you are of the world at large. The entire world claims you as its very own.
There are seven higher worlds and seven lower worlds. The higher worlds are: Bhur, Bhuvar, Swar, Jana, Mahar, Tapas and Satya. One of the Upanishads names seven higher regions. These are: Agniloka, Vayuloka, Varunaloka, Adityaloka, Indraloka, Prajapatiloka and Brahmaloka. Certain spiritual figures are of the opinion that the first-mentioned group of the worlds corresponds to the second. Others, equally qualified, strongly object to this belief. Strangely enough, all, without exception, agree that the world Satya and Brahmaloka are one and the same.
We can enter into these worlds on the strength of our aspiration and receptivity. When we have aspiration, these worlds can never remain a far cry.
Aspiration. What do we mean by this term? The inner cry, the mounting flame within us. Aspiration is reality's constant necessity.
Receptivity. How can we have receptivity? We can have receptivity if we grow into purity and sincerity. When sincerity and purity loom large and important in our earthly existence, then we can easily have receptivity.
A sincere seeker needs aspiration and receptivity. Without aspiration, he is rootless. Without receptivity, he is fruitless.
The higher worlds. Each individual has the divine right to enter into the higher worlds. His aspiration can easily guide him and lead him to God's Throne. To enter into high, higher, highest worlds, what we need is the inner cry. We cry for name and fame. If we inwardly cry for abundant peace, light and bliss, here on earth, then our entire being can be flooded with peace, light and bliss.
These higher worlds are within us and not without. When we concentrate, when we meditate, when we contemplate, we enter into these higher worlds. When we concentrate dynamically, we near the door of these higher worlds. When we meditate soulfully, we enter into the Room Divine. When we contemplate unreservedly, and unconditionally, we reach God's Throne.
Since we aspire to enter into the higher worlds, we pray to the cosmic gods. We feel that the cosmic gods will come to our aid. They will help us enter into the higher worlds.
Here at this point, I would like to invoke the soul of Marcus Aurelius,
— Marcus Aurelius"
Now, if we want to enter into the higher worlds with a view to fulfilling our desires, then we can never enter into the higher worlds. We can enter into the higher worlds only because it is the Will of our Inner Pilot, the Lord Supreme. When we go deep within, when we meditate for a couple of hours, if it is most soulful and if the meditation is unconditional at the same time, then we envision the higher worlds. No sincere seeker of the highest Truth, the ultimate Truth, will be denied the higher worlds.
Porphyry throws further light on the matter,
— Porphyry of Tyre"
In order to enter into the higher worlds what we need is sincerity; what we need is purity; what we need is peace; what we need is delight.
Sincerity: Inner beauty's other name is sincerity.
Purity: The name of God's first child is purity.
Peace: Peace is unity's sovereignty and multiplicity's divinity.
Delight: Delight is the name of God's permanent Home.
There are two things we observe in our day to day life: human and divine. In everything we do, say or grow into, we see either the divine or the human.
The human world and the divine world. A clever man is he who knows how to deal with his outer world. He does not want to be deceived by the world, by mankind, but unconsciously or consciously he deceives the world, the world of ignorance. A wise man is he who knows all about the inner world, the higher worlds. He does not deceive anybody. He wants to conquer the outer world, the world of ignorance. But his is not the conquest of Caesar, "I came, I saw, I conquered. Veni, vidi, vici." Far from it. When a wise man wants to conquer ignorance, he does so only because his inner being compels him to transform the face of the world. He does not take pride in conquering the world. No. He feels the very breath of ignorance, and then he feels that it is his bounden duty to transform ignorance into knowledge, darkness into light, death into Immortality.
There are two ways to enter into the higher worlds. One is the way of knowledge, the other is the way of devotion.
Knowledge. I am the knowledge, I am the known, I am the knower.
Devotion. I am devotion, I am dedication and I am salvation.
Knowledge enlarges itself, expands itself into Infinity.
Devotion identifies itself with the absolute Truth. On the strength of its identification, devotion grows into Infinity.
A sincere seeker of the ultimate Truth can either follow the path of knowledge or devotion. But at the end of the journey's close, the seekers who follow the path of knowledge and the seekers who follow the path of devotion will meet together and shake hands, because they have reached the self-same Goal.
We live either in the world of human thought or in the world of divine Will. Human thought slows down and dies out, but the divine Will constantly grows and swiftly flows.
Similarly, human power is born of futility. Divine power is born of reality.
Finally, we observe our love: human love and divine Love. Human love is an express train, destination: frustration. Divine Love is a local train, destination: Illumination. Human physical love is slow poison. Divine Love is the running stream and unceasing source of nectar. Human love can be transcended. Divine Love can be manifested. Human love is fruitless expectation. Divine Love is fulfilled perfection.
Unconditional love God is.
Unreserved devotion man needs.
Mutual surrender God and man offer.
When the power of love replaces the love of power, man will have a new name: God.
The Golden Hour, God's Hour is dawning fast. Let us offer our heart's aspiration to the lofty realisation of the seers of the hoary past,
Anandaddhyeva khalvimani bhutani jayante
anandena jatani jivanti
anandam prayantyabhisam visanti
From Delight we came into existence.
In Delight we grow.
At the end of our journey's close, into Delight we shall retire.
MLH 10. King's College, University of Cambridge November 23rd, 1970↩
The seeker's journey1Some of you have come here to see a spiritual teacher. Some of you have come to see a yogi. Some of you have come to see a seeker. I am grateful to those who have come here to see the spiritual teacher in me. I am more grateful to those who have come to see the yogi in me. I am most grateful to those who have come here to see the seeker in me.
As a spiritual teacher, I teach my students or disciples with my heart's love. I have no other way. I have no other knowledge but the knowledge of love. With my heart's love, I try to teach my followers and disciples.
As a yogi who is constantly one with his Inner Pilot, I try to be always at the command of my Inner Pilot. I try to execute His commands and thereby be of service to those who come to me for inner guidance.
As a seeker, I am always at the feet of the Transcendental Supreme. I am a seeker, a seeker of the Infinite Truth. A seeker knows that his journey will never come to an end. He realises the Truth, but he feels that there is no end to his realisation. He discovers the loftiest Truth, the Transcendental Truth, but then he feels there is no end to his Truth-discovery. He comes to realise that because God is infinite, eternal and immortal, there is no end to God's Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. God Himself is constantly transcending His own Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. So we must realise that we are seekers of the ever-transcending Beyond. Each seeker is transcending his own capacity, his own reality, his own dream, his own realisation every day, every hour, every minute and every second.
When one becomes a sincere seeker, he discovers something which a non-seeker has not discovered. A sincere seeker of the highest Truth discovers the fact that he made a solemn promise to the Supreme before he entered into the world arena. This promise was very simple and, at the same time, very soulful. His promise was to be the conscious instrument of the Supreme and to manifest the Supreme here on earth through his dedication, through his aspiration and through his conscious oneness with the world at large. This is the promise each aspiring soul has made, according to the seeker's own vision. All human souls, without exception, make this promise to the Absolute Supreme. Unfortunately, when we enter into the world, we enter into the sea of ignorance. We bathe for thousands of years in this sea of ignorance, but when we become tired of this ignorance-bath, we enter into the Sea of Knowledge and Wisdom. Then we remember our promise, our promise of God-manifestation on earth. Each individual being will one day come to realise that he has made this promise to the Absolute.
Unconsciously everybody is trying to fulfil this promise. But a seeker is trying consciously to fulfil it, and a realised soul has already begun to fulfil it consciously and unconditionally. A seeker of the highest Truth fulfils his promise consciously and soulfully. A spiritual Master fulfils his promise consciously and unconditionally. But the individual who is not aspiring and who does not care for God-realisation or God-manifestation right now, is fulfilling his promise unconsciously.
When one is fulfilling or trying to fulfil God consciously, he is fulfilling God in a perfect manner. When he is fulfilling God unconsciously, he is fulfilling God in an imperfect manner. When one has realised God consciously, one goes a step further and tries to reveal God consciously. Finally, one tries to manifest God consciously. In conscious realisation, conscious revelation and conscious manifestation, we see God the Eternal Perfection. God is for everyone, but one who is conscious of God's Existence-Reality is undoubtedly ahead in the divine race.
Each individual looks for something here on earth and there in Heaven. Here on earth we look for something in God. When we enter into the spiritual life, we pray to God, we meditate on God, we contemplate on God. First we start with our prayers. We learn how to pray from our parents. Then we try to concentrate on something which we want to achieve. We know that when our mind wanders we cannot achieve anything, whereas when we focus our attention and power of concentration on a particular thing we achieve success. We learn the art of concentration, then we go one step ahead to meditation. When we meditate, we try to embody the Vast, the Infinite within us, or we try to dive into the vast, infinite Sea of Light and Delight. The last step is contemplation. When we contemplate, our consciousness becomes one with the thing that we contemplate upon. The lover becomes one with the Beloved. The finite loses its finite existence and becomes one with the Infinite, becoming the Infinite itself. The earth-bound consciousness becomes one with the Heaven-free consciousness.
A seeker wants to see God. When he sees God face to face, he wants to see a certain thing in God, a special thing, and that thing is a sweet smile. Just by seeing God, he will not be satisfied. He wants to see God's exquisite smile. If he sees that God is smiling at him, he will achieve everything. Then the seeker wants to see a certain thing in man and that thing is gratitude. He looks around. He feels that at every moment, consciously or unconsciously, he is offering something to mankind. He feels that if he can observe an iota of gratitude in mankind, then his self-offering will be fulfilled. But mankind is not responding.
Then the seeker looks up to Heaven. He wants to see a certain thing in Heaven, and that thing is Compassion. He feels that if Heaven does not supply him with infinite Compassion, he is helpless. Although he has achieved something in life and the world extols him to the skies, he knows in the inmost recesses of his heart that he is helpless. He feels that if he gets more encouraging and fulfilling Compassion from Heaven, then he will be able to complete his task on earth most convincingly and powerfully.
The seeker expects something from earth. What does he expect? Patience. Earth has given him everything, but when he wants to do something for the earth-consciousness, he feels that the earth-consciousness is restless. It wants everything in the twinkling of an eye. He wants to see patience in the earth-consciousness, and eventually there comes a time when the earth-consciousness does have the necessary patience which permits him to manifest the highest truth on earth. The seeker expects something from his own life. What does he expect? Unconditional service to mankind. If he can serve mankind unconditionally, then he will be satisfied. If he serves conditionally, then he can never be satisfied or fulfilled. He expects from himself unconditional service to the world at large, and ultimately he grows into that unconditional service-tree.
The seeker expects something when his present earth-pilgrimage comes to an end. What does he expect? He expects the Song of Immortality. He feels that if he can hear the Song of Immortality, then he will someday achieve everything for the earth-consciousness.
Here we are all seekers. Now, there are two categories of seekers: mind seekers and heart seekers, or mental seekers and psychic seekers. The seekers who want to realise the Highest with the help of the mind, through the mind, eventually come to know that they are travelling on a very crowded train. This is the mind-train. While they are travelling on the mind-train, they see that with them are quite a few other passengers, and these passengers are fear, doubt, anxiety, jealousy and other negative and destructive forces. The train is overburdened. It goes slowly, very slowly, creeping sluggishly towards its destination. God alone knows when it will reach its journey's goal. With utmost uncertainty the mind-train crawls toward its destination. But those who want to realise the Highest through the heart and with the help of the heart travel on another train. That is the heart-train. When the seeker travels on the heart-train, there is nobody else with him. He is alone, he and the mounting flame of his aspiration. The train flies toward the destination at top speed because there are very few passengers weighing it down, and it reaches its destination sooner, much sooner than it even expects.
God is an eternal Player. We are His children, who are also playing in the Cosmic Game.
When we live in the physical, we play with sleep, day in and day out. Our consciousness is not awakened.
When we live in the vital, we play with depression and frustration. When we do not achieve our goal in the vital, we are frustrated and depressed; and when we do achieve our goal, we also feel frustrated and depressed, because we feel that it was something else we wanted.
When we live in the mind, we play with doubt. While playing with doubt, at times we feel that doubt is not a good partner, so we suffer a lot.
But there comes a time when faith looms large within us, and then we transfigure our mental doubt. On the strength of our inner faith, we begin to live in our heart and we play with surrender. Sometimes we surrender to the Absolute, sometimes we try to compel the Reality which we are praying for to surrender to us. And Reality, being all one, surrenders, because of our sincere inner cry. But when Reality enters into us in the form of aspiration, it makes us feel that by pleasing us in our own way, it will never be able to satisfy us. Only if we please the ultimate Reality in its own way can we be fulfilled. In the spiritual life, many times when we are pleased in our own way, we are not satisfied. Only when we are pleased in the way of the Divine, of the Supreme, can we be inwardly fulfilled.
At the beginning, we start our journey to please ourselves. In order to please ourselves, naturally we have to go through some discipline; for without discipline, we will not have any success. We have to follow mental, vital, psychic and spiritual discipline in order to see the face of inner satisfaction. Even when satisfaction looms large, we are not satisfied unless we please the Inner Pilot in His own Way. Only then does real satisfaction, eternal satisfaction, dawn in our lives. We try to control our lives, we try to perfect our lives and that is good. But when we try to please the Inner Pilot in His own Way on the strength of our unconditional surrender, when we make an unconditional surrender to His Will, when we become His chosen instruments and fulfil Him in His own Way, at that time we become perfect instruments. When today we have the inner dedication to say, "Let Thy Will be done," tomorrow we will have the right to say, "I and my Father are one."
MLH 11. Keynes Hall, King's College, University of Cambridge, June 12th, 1973↩
Failure1It is said that the lecturer stands up, speaks up and shuts up. Here the seeker in me is standing up in order to offer his divine love to the audience. The seeker in me is speaking up in order to establish spiritual oneness with the audience. And finally, the seeker in me will shut up when he finds that he has established his inner oneness with the aspiration of the audience.
I wish to speak on failure from the spiritual point of view. There is not a single human being on earth who does not feel that he is a failure. For his failure he blames many others: he blames the world, he blames his friends and acquaintances, he blames his enemies. But he finds it difficult to blame himself. Here we are all seekers, so we are all God-lovers. For true seekers, for God-lovers, for oneness-dreamers, there is no such thing as failure; there can be no failure. For earth-transformers, for God-fulfillers on earth there can be no failure.
There are two lives: the human life and the divine life. The human life sings the song of failure. The human life fails, but the divine life succeeds and proceeds. The divine life always succeeds and continuously proceeds. The human life fails precisely because it does not claim God's Eternity, Infinity and Immortality as its very own. The divine life succeeds precisely because it does claim God's Eternity, Infinity and Immortality as its very own. The divine life not only claims them, but also feels that it is always of Immortality and always for Eternity and Infinity.
The human in us binds; the divine in us expands. The human in us wants to wallow in the pleasures of the finite, at times unconsciously and at times consciously and deliberately. The divine in us wants to fly in the firmament of Freedom-Light and Bliss. The human in us and the divine in us both want happiness. Both feel that if they achieve happiness, then there can be no failure. But the human in us feels that happiness lies in sense-enjoyment or in pleasure-hunting, while the divine in us feels that happiness lies in aspiration, in realisation, in self-transcendence and in God-manifestation.
Aspiration is our inner cry to reach the highest pinnacle of Truth, Light and Bliss. Aspiration is the only key that can unlock God's Door. The very thing that is aspiration today, tomorrow is achievement. Achievement is conquest; self-conquest is self-mastery. Self-mastery and God-discovery are one and the same. In God-discovery, earth-transformation looms large; in earth's transformation, God's Satisfaction-Smile dawns.
Realisation is our conscious, constant and inseparable universal oneness. Self-transcendence is our ever-glowing and ever-expanding receptivity that lets us house God's infinite Truth, eternal Light and immortal Life. God-manifestation is our fulfilled promise. Before we entered into the world arena, we made a solemn promise to the Lord Supreme that we would manifest Him here on earth. When we manifest Him on earth, we fulfil our promise.
I wish to tell you an amusing incident about Oscar Wilde. Oscar Wilde once went to a party after seeing one of his plays. His friends asked him about the play. His reply was that the play was a success but the audience was a failure. In the cosmic game, we are playing with the Supreme. He has allotted a specific role to each of us. If we play our role satisfactorily, then that is our success. World-appreciation and world-admiration cannot elevate our consciousness. It is only in the expansion and heightening of our consciousness that we can see the Face of God and grow into the very image of God.
In the spiritual life first we have to be awakened. Then we have to aspire and then we have to surrender our will to the Will of the Supreme. He who is awakened can never fail. He who aspires can never fail. He who surrenders his earth-bound will to the Heaven-free Will can never fail.
Quite often seekers of the ultimate Truth are misunderstood by unaspiring people. Unaspiring people are very often loud and emphatic in their insistence that God-realisation is of no avail. Without the perfect knowledge of God one can easily exist: this is their discovery. Although they are not atheists, they do not care for the living God. But a seeker cries for the living God. Since we are all seekers, we are crying for a God that is living; at every moment we try to see Him, feel Him and talk to Him face to face. Unaspiring people put forth many tenuous arguments, but we offer them our compassion-smile for we know that they are totally mistaken. When these people become vociferous and supercilious, at that time we have to offer them our forgiveness-weapon. With our forgiveness-weapon we can conquer them in the inmost recesses of our aspiring heart. God is living, and He can also be living for us. What makes Him living for us? It is our inner cry, our aspiration. We can feel Him constantly. When? When the inner flame within us is constantly burning.
We are seekers, but we also work; we do dedicated service. When we work we have to ask ourselves whether or not we work and serve devotedly, cheerfully and unconditionally. If we serve God in man devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally, then success is bound to dawn. Success we attain only through our dedicated service, only by offering our service with joy.
When we offer our success to mankind, we can offer our success as an inspiration, as something to increase the world's aspiration. But very often we offer our success to the world at large only for our own ego-aggrandisement. We want the world to appreciate our success and laud us to the skies. If we offer our success for ego-aggrandisement, we commit a Himalayan blunder. We are all cosmic players in God's divine Game. Let us play the game the way it has been ordained by the Lord Supreme. Let us offer our success to the world in the right way, in the divine way. Otherwise, at the end of our journey we shall miserably fail.
Just because we are seekers, we have to know that success is not our goal. Progress is our goal. Success is earth-bound. It is noticeable mostly in our vital life, the life that struggles and strikes and gets satisfaction when it notices an iota of success. In our life of aspiration, progress is of paramount importance. If we make progress, automatically we are succeeding in our aspiration, in our realisation, in our God-manifestation.
At every moment a seeker should feel that he is a murmuring and flowing river. Eventually he will enter into the vast sea of Knowledge, Light, Peace and Bliss. In this sea of infinite Peace, Light and Bliss, he will feel continuous progress. Today's achievement will be only tomorrow's starting point. A seeker is a divine climber: he climbs up the evolution-tree slowly, steadily and unerringly and reaches the Highest. But when he reaches the Highest, he comes to realise that this height is only the starting point for something still higher. He realises that he is growing into the ever-transcending Beyond.
When a seeker assimilates his realisation, he feels that there can be no failure. In his Heaven-life of aspiration and in his earth-life of self-dedication, his life becomes a life of continuous progress in God's manifestation on earth.
MLH 12. Riverside Lounge, Cambridge University Centre University of Cambridge June 24th, 1974↩
Confidence1Dear friends, dear brothers and sisters, dear seekers, I wish to give a short talk on confidence. Here we are in Cambridge. Cambridge immediately awakens confidence in us. What we call confidence in the outer world is nothing short of assurance in the inner world. Therefore, I bow to the confidence and the assurance in Cambridge.
Confidence awakens our physical. Confidence energises our vital. Confidence illumines our mind. Confidence purifies our heart. A pure heart, an illumined mind, an energetic and dynamic vital and a wakeful body can and will manifest the divine realities here on earth.
Confidence is a divine revelation of our inner assurance. There is an unseen reality within us, a divine Pilot, an Inner Pilot who moulds and shapes our lives. When we hear the message of the Inner Pilot, in our outer life we feel confidence. Confidence is an outer gift from above, whereas assurance is an inner gift from above. Confidence is self-awareness. We want to be aware of ourselves. We want to know what our source is, where we came from, what we are doing here on earth. We want to know our respective roles in this cosmic Game, this Lila. Our confidence brings to the fore the inner vision, the reality that we are aiming at, that we want to grow into.
Confidence is not a display of our egocentric life. Confidence is a divine force. Ego binds us, blinds us. Ego offers us the message of separativity and self-enjoyment. Confidence, on the other hand, wants to express its universal oneness. It is for all; it is for the Infinite, the Vast. Confidence cannot be satisfied all by itself. It wants to grow into the Universal Light and Transcendental Height.
When we have confidence in ourselves, we realise the ultimate Truth and Light, the Absolute Supreme. When God has confidence in us, He makes us not only His perfect instruments, but conscious representatives of His Divinity, His Reality, His Infinity, His Eternity and His Immortality on earth. With our confidence in God, we go up and reach His Transcendental Height. With God's Confidence in us, God comes down and makes us His Infinity, His Eternity, His Immortality. And this is not the end of His Game. Then He wants us to manifest what we have become.
Confidence is introduction. Confidence introduces our earthly reality to the divine Reality. And the divine Reality introduces its wealth — infinite Peace, Light and Bliss — to us when we are confident.
Life is either meaningful or meaningless. For those who do not seek, life is meaningless, a barren desert. For seekers, at every moment life is meaningful and fruitful; life has a purpose, a meaning, a reality and an ultimate Goal. What brings us the message of the ultimate Goal, what brings us the reality of the inner world, the more illumining, more fulfilling higher world? It is our confidence. With our confidence-light, we dig deep within; and while digging within we cultivate the bumper-crop of realisation, liberation and perfection.
An unaspiring person talks to himself and talks to the world. But he cannot talk to the Ultimate Reality. It is only a man of confidence, inner confidence, divine confidence, supreme confidence who can talk to the Highest Reality: the Transcendental Vision and the Universal Reality.
One portion of divinity comes down into the world and another remains above. The one that remains above is known as the Father-Reality and the one that comes down is known as the Son-Reality. Again, there comes a time when the two realities become inseparably one and tell the world of their oneness. Jesus Christ, the Saviour, announced, "I and my Father are one." His confidence-light he brought down into the world; and it was his confidence-light that uttered, "I and my Father are one." When divinity enters into humanity and illumines humanity, at that time humanity claims divinity as its very own.
Confidence is oneness with the Beyond, the oneness of earth-life with Heaven-life. Where God is, confidence is bound to be. God has given us the secret key to open up His Heart's Door and that secret key is confidence. We pray, we meditate, only to cultivate one divine quality and that one divine quality is confidence. Confidence shows us the way to go ahead, the way to dive deep within, the way to fly above. Confidence is the pioneer that constantly leads us, guides us, beckons us to the ultimate Source.
Each individual has teeming questions: "Who am I? Where do I come from? What is my ultimate goal?" All the questions of our inner and outer life can be answered by one solitary thing: confidence. If we have confidence, then we can explore the inner world. If we have confidence, then we can explore the outer world.
Here we are all seekers. We want to know the reality that we eternally are and that we are going to offer to the world at large. And for that what we need is perfection, self-perfection. It is only in self-perfection that we can please the Inner Pilot, the Supreme Pilot, the world around us, the world within us. This perfection is our constant confidence in ourselves and in our Inner Pilot.
Again, this confidence has a Source. Its Source is God's Compassion-Light and Compassion-Delight. God grants us Light in boundless measure at our journey's start. And it is He, the Supreme, the Eternal Pilot, who grants us eternal, boundless Delight. Light energises us. Light leads us, guides us to our ultimate destination, where we see the transformation of Light into Delight. Delight fulfils us. Delight immortalises us.
We aspire to become good, to become loving, to become devoted, to become useful to the world at large. But this aspiration also needs something from us. It is confidence that aspiration expects from each seeker. If the seeker is wanting in confidence, then his aspiration can never be regular, it can never be spontaneous, it can never be continuous. But if inside his aspiration confidence looms large, then he walks along a sunlit road to his destined goal.
A child has confidence in his parents. He feels that his parents know everything, have everything and are everything for him. Similarly, a seeker has all confidence in his Inner Pilot, the Supreme, who is guiding his destiny, his life, his aspiration, his realisation, his reality to the ultimate Goal.
Each day we are granted by the Author of all good, out of His infinite Bounty, confidence both in our inner life and in our outer life. But if we use our physical mind — our earth-bound, sophisticated, obscure, unlit, unaspiring, intellectual mind — to search, we may not feel God's Confidence-Light. For the earth-bound mind feels that it is complete in itself; it does not need any reality other than its own existence.
But the heart constantly feels that it can house something more, that it can see something more, that it can grow into something more, that it has something more to offer to the world at large. The heart has the eagerness to receive and to achieve from the world within and from the world without. The heart has a constant inner thirst to be universal, to be transcendental. Therefore, the heart always looks within and around to grasp and invoke the infinite Realities that abide in God's entire Creation. The heart comes to realise that there is only one way to achieve and grow into these infinite Realities and that is the way of self-giving. And what is self-giving today, tomorrow that very thing is God-becoming. So, on the strength of self-giving, our aspiring heart becomes both universal and transcendental. And this self-giving heart has a source of its own and that source is confidence. Confidence also has its source. Its source is God's Compassion, God's infinite, unconditional, immortal Compassion in man, for man.
MLH 13. University of Cambridge, June 21st, 1976↩
Progress-delight1May 15th, 1981. Sri Chinmoy's lecture was introduced by the President of the Society of the Common Life. As part of Sri Chinmoy's programme, he performed on esraj, Western flute and harmonium. He also answered questions from the audience.]
Asato ma sad gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya
O lead me from the unreal to the Real.
Lead me from darkness to Light.
Lead me from death to Immortality.
Indeed, this is the prayer the Vedic seers of the hoary past offered to humanity. It is at once a soulful prayer and a fruitful meditation. I am a seeker. If I can soulfully pray and fruitfully meditate, then I make progress. This prayer and meditation embodies my progress and delight.
Anandaddhyeva khalvimani bhutani jayante
anandena jatani jivanti
anandam prayantyabhisam visanti
From Delight we came into existence.
In Delight we grow.
At the end of our journey's close, into Delight we shall retire.
A seeker's progress is his delight. Again, his delight is his progress. A seeker's progress-delight is his self-transcendence. I am a seeker, a Truth-seeker. I am a lover, a God-lover. I transcend. What do I transcend? I transcend my inner capacity and my outer capacity. My inner capacity is my receptivity and my outer capacity is my speed. I must needs have a receptivity-heart larger than the largest. Something more, I must needs have an ever-expanding heart. I need speed. Faster than the fastest speed I need in my life. Something more, I need an ever-increasing speed, so that sooner than at once I can reach my goal. And again, I know perfectly well that each goal is the starting point of a further goal, a higher goal, a deeper goal.
My progress-delight is my Lord's revealing Sound. My progress-delight is my Lord's fulfilling Silence.
Thoughtful inspiration I need, soulful aspiration I need, fruitful meditation I need. My thoughtful inspiration will make me a great God-seeker, my soulful aspiration will make me a good God-server and my fruitful realisation will make me a perfect God-lover.
I cry and I smile. I cry in my heart and I smile with my soul. My heart's cry reaches the perfection-sky. My soul's smile transcends to the satisfaction-sun. I must ascend and transcend. My ascendance is my aspiration-cry and my transcendence is my satisfaction-smile.
There are human beings who think that life is a dream, an illusion, while others claim that life is a battlefield. Still others think that life is a divine play and each human being is a divine instrument. A seeker is he who has become a conscious instrument of his Beloved Supreme. Him to love, Him to serve and Him to manifest in His own Way is the aim, the sleepless aim, of the seeker.
Here we are all seekers. What we have is a mounting cry and what we are is a gratitude-flame. On the strength of our aspiration-cry and our gratitude-flame, we are bound to reach our destined Goal: the Goal that is beckoning us, the Goal of God-satisfaction in God's own Way at God's choice Hour. There can be no better way to feel progress-delight and to feel our entire being flooded with light and delight than to please God in God's own Way. How do we achieve this? We achieve this great realisation-height only when we value at every moment the real self within us and not the usual self within us. The real self within us is our constant inner cry. The usual self within us is our desire-cry, which at every moment wallows in the pleasures of ignorance.
Success-life is not our goal. Progress-life is our goal. We compete not with others. We compete with our teeming doubts, worries and anxieties. When we minimise our doubts, worries and anxieties, we make more satisfactory progress, and there comes a time when we free ourselves, liberate ourselves totally, from doubts, anxieties, worries, insecurities and so forth. That is the moment when we enjoy our progress-delight.
Soulfully let us pray, fruitfully let us meditate, and ours will be the Goal of goals: God-realisation in God's own Way.
MLH 14. Lady Mitchell Hall, University of Cambridge↩
Oneness-education1Peace is not
In my mind's world-rejection.
In my heart's world-acceptance.
You are a Truth-seeker. I am a Truth-seeker. You are a God-lover and I am a God-lover.
You and I have the same God, yet we quarrel and fight. God asks you to trust me; you fail to obey God. God asks me the same thing, He asks me to trust you; hut I certainly fail.
You and I have the same God. God asks you to see Him inside me, and He asks me to see Him inside you. Both of us fail our Lord Beloved Supreme. You see in me countless imperfections when you look at me. I do the same when I look at you. You do not see in me the Presence of God. I do not see in you the Presence of God. You do not see anything divine, inspiring, aspiring, illumining and fulfilling in me. Alas, I also fail to see in you anything divine, inspiring, illumining and fulfilling. Both of us fail our Lord Beloved Supreme.
You and I have the same God. You think and you know and you feel that your God is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. I, too, see and feel the same. But when you look at me, you think I am imperfection incarnate, you feel I am past correction. You forget that your God is omnipotent. If so is His Will, He can perfect my life in the twinkling of an eye. Similarly, when I see your countless imperfections, I fail to see the Presence — the loving and benevolent Presence — of my Lord Beloved Supreme. I, too, forget the fact that my God, whom I claim to be my God, is omnipotent. If your God is omnipotent and if my God is omnipotent, how is it that we cannot have faith in God's Power Supreme? You can pray to God for my perfection; I can pray to God for your perfection. This is one way for us to make God happy, although it may take a long time for you to see my perfection and, vice versa, for me also to see perfection in you. But the very fact that you and I are praying mutually for our mutual perfection will make our Lord Beloved Supreme happy far beyond our imagination.
You and I have the same God, yet we disagree most of the time and we quarrel and fight. You and I pray to God for happiness. We pray to God and we speak to God. You say to God, "O God, please make me happy first and then I shall make You happy. You please fulfil all my teeming desires. Once I am happy, then I shall make You happy, O Lord Supreme." This is your prayer. I, too, have the exact same prayer. I say to my Lord Supreme, "My Lord, please fulfil my desires first, all my desires please fulfil, then I shall definitely make You happy. First make me happy, then I shall unfailingly and undoubtedly make You happy."
Here, in this case, you and I are sailing in the same boat. We want our happiness first, and then God's Happiness. But God says to us, "Since you are begging Me for happiness, pleading with Me, it is you who have to make Me happy first, not the other way around." And, again, God says to us, "My children, if I make you happy first, it will be the fulfilment of your desire-life. No matter how many times I fulfil your desires in order to make you happy, I will not be able to make you happy, never! But if you make Me happy first, on the strength of your aspiration-life, then you will feel that in My Happiness alone your happiness can be discovered, for I am the Source of all happiness. So please, My children, be wise. Make Me happy first. Then you are bound to be happy, and this happiness will last forever."
You and I have the same God. You want to see perfection in me. I want to see perfection in you. By speaking to God day in and day out against me, do you not think you are displeasing God and irritating God? For He is all Compassion for both of us. Again, I do the same. I speak ill of you to God at every moment. I think that by speaking ill of you, I am making my point clear to God, I am making God feel I am far better than you. "Oh no, that is not the way," my Lord Supreme tells me. We have to see all the divine qualities in each other to make our Lord Supreme happy. Our imperfect nature can only be transformed by His Compassion-Eye and Forgiveness-Heart.
You and I have the same God. You are God-thirsty and God-hungry; this is absolutely true. I, too, am God-thirsty and God-hungry. But if our hunger is genuine and if, at every moment, we want to be fed and nourished by God's Nectar-Delight, by His infinite Compassion, infinite Love and Light and Delight, then can we have even a fraction of a moment to think of each other? When I think of you, I think of your imperfections, your weaknesses. You do the same. Such being the case, who is actually our Lord? We pray to God for five minutes a day, but we think of each other for ten or twelve hours a day.
When we accept the spiritual life, we make a fervent promise to our soul, to our heart, to our inner life, to our Inner Pilot, that we shall always think of God, our Lord Beloved Supreme. And yet, instead of thinking of our Lord Beloved Supreme at every moment, you think of me daily for hours and I also do the same with regard to you. You think of God for just ten minutes a day. I do exactly the same, not a minute more than you. So we have made each other our God, and poor God, the real God, is buried in oblivion in our ignorance-mind and ignorance-life.
No, my friend, since we wish to sail in the same boat, the boat of aspiration, the boat that will lead us to our destined Goal, the Golden Shore, let us believe in our oneness-education; let us start today with our oneness-education. This oneness-education is founded upon our mutual aspiration and reciprocal dedication. Together we must aspire, in spite of our weaknesses, difficulties and imperfections. Together we must raise our consciousness to high, higher, highest heights. Together let us sail in the same boat, the boat that will take us to our Destination, the Golden Shore. Our Beloved Supreme is eagerly waiting for our arrival. Let us make Him happy in His own Way, and His own Way means our oneness-education, oneness-perfection, oneness-satisfaction.
MLH 15. West Road Concert Hall, Faculty of Music, University of Cambridge, March 27th, 1989. During the course of the Peace Concert, Sri Chinmoy performed his own compositions on the following instruments: esraj, Indian bamboo flute, small electronic keyboard, Western flute, lap harp, synthesiser with voice sampler, banjo, bowed psaltery, cello, grand piano, pipe organ of the West Road Concert Hall and harpsichord.↩
Sri Chinmoy's Peace Concert and talk dedicated to Sri AurobindoThe Reverend George Pattison, Dean of King's College Chapel, University of Cambridge:
Good afternoon and welcome to King's Chapel. We are here because this is the College that was attended between 1890 and 1892 by Sri Aurobindo, who was here as a student of Classics. We know that he would have attended worship in this chapel, and he would have attended it daily, because in those days students had to. They had no choice, whether they liked it or not. He was a very successful student here. One of the great teachers of the College, Oscar Browning, praised his essay on a comparison of Shakespeare and Milton as the best he had examined in thirteen years. Those who know of Oscar Browning know he was not the sort of teacher who said nice things when he did not have to!
Because it is, in a sense, Sri Aurobindo who has brought us here, I thought I would just very briefly read some short words from his essay, "Our Ideal."
With these words from Sri Aurobindo, I would like to introduce His Excellency, the High Commissioner for India, Dr. Singhvi, who will introduce Sri Chinmoy.
H.E. DR. L.M. Singhvi, High Commissioner for India to the United Kingdom:
Sri Chinmoy, Vice-Chancellor, Vice-Provost, Dean Pattison, ladies and gentlemen, this is a wonderful occasion, a soul-stirring and heart-warming occasion; an occasion that brings to the world the sense of our cosmic togetherness; an occasion which is meant to be a homage to Sri Aurobindo, whose portraits from childhood to the great status of a sage and seer that he achieved we see before us. He represents to us the message and the living legacy of not only India's heritage but of the quest of the Spirit throughout the world. And that this should happen in this beautiful chapel — which gives us back, at least for the while that we are here, a sense of the sacred, architecturally and in terms of ambiance — is very significant.
It is very difficult to introduce Sri Chinmoy because of his versatility. He has an extraordinary versatility, which has taken him into different walks of life, with great mastery of that which characterises the message of India. He writes, not as we all write, but from the heart and the soul of the heritage of India. He paints, not as all other painters do, but he paints the soaring birds, the birds unfolding their wings; he paints the birds speaking to us, each bird bringing to us the mantra of Heaven. He has painted millions of birds, literally millions of birds, and no two birds that he has painted are really alike. That must be one of the most monumental achievements. When he sings, when he performs, when he plays his music, that is not the music that we are accustomed to. It is the music of the soul. And he conveys this experience through a large variety of instruments, some of which he has himself created, and many of which are part of the heritage of humankind.
Sri Chinmoy is a man with a mission. His mission is peace. His endeavours are consecrated to the cause of peace. For the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations, he gave fifty Peace Concerts in fifty cities of the world. And, in Edinburgh, he asked me to go with him to dedicate a bridge of peace. It is one of the most beautiful bridges in Scotland and the city invited us to dedicate that bridge as a Peace Bridge. What does it mean? It means the resonance of the message that we all need. It means the reiteration of the principles with which we are familiar, but which we are prone to neglect or ignore.
Sri Chinmoy has a large following. But beyond the many followers that he has, there are many who have seen him perform, there are many who have read his books, there are many who have seen his millions of paintings, and there are many who have only seen him. Seeing him is believing in the divine Presence in all of us. That is India's heritage.
He and I are very close to each other. I feel a certain sense of friendly bonding with him. He is a saint, a seer, a poet, a musician, a painter, but more than anything else, he is a philosopher for the day after tomorrow — for the world not of tomorrow but the day after tomorrow. And his vision is as fresh as all our pasts and all our futures. I am honoured to be asked to introduce Sri Chinmoy in this beautiful, inspiring chapel. Thank you very much.
Sri Chinmoy (bowing with folded hands and speaking privately to Dr. Singhvi): My highly esteemed Brother-Friend, your blessingful heart is made of infinite compassion and my soulful heart is made of infinite gratitude.
Sri Chinmoy then began his Peace Concert. He meditated for a few moments at the front of the stage with folded hands and bowed to the audience. Taking his seat in the centre of the stage, surrounded by large photographs of Sri Aurobindo, Sri Chinmoy performed on the North Indian esraj, the Western flute, an Australian-made lute, and harmonium.
Afterwards he offered a talk entitled "Sri Aurobindo: A Glimpse," excerpts of which appear on the following pages.
Sri Aurobindo: a glimpse1
//Savitri// — Sri Aurobindo"
On August 15th, 1872, Sri Aurobindo took human birth in Calcutta, Bengal, to awaken Mother Earth from her somnolence deep and lead her to the heights of God-rapture-fire. For seventy-eight fleeting years did this mightiest of souls live among us, accepting the world pain and making sacrifice after sacrifice to transform humanity's age-old ignorance into perfect Perfection. ("My God is Love and sweetly suffers all." Savitri — Sri Aurobindo)
When Aurobindo was just seven years old, his father took him and his two older brothers to England to receive their education. Aurobindo was to remain in England for fourteen years, far removed from his parents and his homeland. He attended St. Paul's School in West Kensington, London, and was accepted into King's College, Cambridge, as an Indian Civil Service (I.C.S.) probationer. Aurobindo was at Cambridge from October 1890 to October 1892. At the end of his studies, Aurobindo secured a First Class result in Latin and Greek, but was disqualified from the open I.C.S. examination for failing to present himself for the riding test. In later years, Sri Aurobindo revealed that he was wandering the streets of London at the time of his appointment. He had resolved to bring about his rejection from the I.C.S. because he felt no call for the administrative life. He preferred poetry, literature, the study of languages and patriotic activities.
At this time, he was introduced to the Gaekwar of Baroda, who offered him a position in his State Secretariat. Aurobindo accepted the position and decided to sail for India in January 1893. Aurobindo's father was extremely attached to this son, whom he had not seen for fourteen years. He had almost intuitive high hopes that his Auro was to brighten the face of India. Alas, the ship which was to carry Aurobindo sank off the coast of Portugal. On the assumption that his son must have perished with the lost ship, his father died of a broken heart. But Aurobindo had boarded a second ship and he reached India safely in February 1893.
As soon as Aurobindo stepped on India's soil at Apollo Bunder, Bombay, he had a most significant spiritual experience. His entire being was inundated with peace. The all-pervading Presence of the Infinite he felt. This lofty experience came to him unsought. Aurobindo's father had been an atheist and his children's upbringing in England did not encompass spirituality. Aurobindo's spiritual experiences came to him gradually.
Aurobindo spent thirteen years in the Baroda State Service, first in the Secretariat, later as Professor of French and English, and finally as Vice-Principal of the Baroda State College. When one of his students ventured the question, "How can nationalism be developed?" Aurobindo replied, pointing to a wall map of India:
Consecrated to India's independence from his Cambridge days, Aurobindo devoted his spare time at Baroda to learning Indian languages, absorbing Indian culture and practising yoga. He conducted secret societies for work towards independence and wrote articles constructively criticising the thinking of India's political leaders of the National Congress.
In 1906 Aurobindo left Baroda for Bengal. He became the Principal of the Bengal National College. He entered into the vortex of the Bengal national movement. Aurobindo was at once the cynosure and the sanctum sanctorum of Bengal's heart-shrine.
While Principal of the Bengal National College, he conducted the journals Bande Mataram in English and Yugantar in Bengali. A leader of the secret societies, he also worked ceaselessly, publicly and behind the scenes, sowing the seeds of love of country and her independence in the national mind and heart.
As Aurobindo's stars were ascending in Bengal politics, India's greatest poet, Rabindranath Tagore — a patriot and nationalist of the supreme height — proudly and unreservedly voiced forth from his unhorizoned vision-eye:
O my friend, O our country's friend,
You embody the living message-image-light Of our Mother India's soul."
//(translated from the original Bengali)//"
In 1907 Aurobindo resigned from the Bengal National College. At his farewell party, his dear students made a loving demand of him to bless them with encouraging and illumining advice as to how they could become choice and worthy sons of Mother India. He responded with a most significant speech, saying:
On May 4th, 1908, Aurobindo was suddenly arrested on charges of sedition and imprisoned in Alipore Jail. He was to remain there for twelve months. This period of enforced seclusion was actually a blessing in disguise for Aurobindo. It enabled him to carry on his yoga uninterrupted and he passed hour after hour in his cramped cell in silent contemplation. For fifteen days he vividly heard the voice of Swami Vivekananda speaking to him about the Supermind. As Aurobindo Ghose progressed towards his God-realisation, he had the vision of Vasudeva, Lord Krishna, everywhere and in everything. Sri Krishna assured him that He would work in and through Aurobindo's junior counsel, Chitta Ranjan Das, to secure Aurobindo's acquittal.
There would be no need for Aurobindo even to involve himself in the trial. Lord Krishna advised him to remain silent. Aurobindo felt in the inmost recesses of his heart that each surrender-step of his to Lord Krishna would become an entirely new creation. In this way, Aurobindo conquered once and for all his imprisonment-release-doubt-troops.
Sri Krishna also gave Aurobindo direct assurance that India's independence would be achieved — but that the rest of the work towards that end would be carried out by others, while he himself would have to work for a higher Cause. While concluding the case for the defence, C.R. Das said:
Shortly after his acquittal on May 6th, 1909, Sri Aurobindo delivered his historic Uttarpara Speech in which he vividly described his direct experiences of God in Alipore Jail. He concluded by saying:
In order to give a wider voice to his views and those of other nationalists, Sri Aurobindo started two publications: the Dharma in Bengali and the Karmayogin in English. In 1910 he received an Adesh or 'Command' from Above and abruptly quit all his political activities. He retired into seclusion, first at French Chandernagore, then at French Pondicherry, to work for the greater Cause of the world's spiritual transformation and divinisation.
From 1910 to 1920, from his base at Pondicherry, Sri Aurobindo conducted the Arya, a philosophical monthly into which he poured his spirituality-flooded message. These writings formed the basis of his major works: The Life Divine, The Synthesis of Yoga, Essays on the Gita and many more. He also wrote essays on poetry and literature, including The Future Poetry, Hymns to the Mystic Fire and two volumes of Collected Poems and Plays. His last and greatest work is Savitri, the epitome of spiritual autobiography. It is an epic of 23,814 lines, far surpassing in height, depth and length any epic in Greek, Latin, English, Italian or German. It is, indeed, a new Veda for the New Age.
On November 24th, 1926, Sri Aurobindo attained to his spiritual perfection. He withdrew from all contacts and put into the hands of his spiritual Collaborator, the Mother, the disciples who had gathered around him. This marked the beginning of the Ashram at Pondicherry.
For over twenty-four years, with the Mother working in front, he continued with his yoga, not caring to rest on the laurels of his first Victory, but pushing upward till he found himself within sight of his supreme and final Victory which alone could achieve the end of his Mission: the descent of what he called the Supermind into the very cells of his physical body.
India's independence was won on August 15th, 1947. Most significantly, this was Sri Aurobindo's own Birth Day. He was requested to offer a message to the free nation, and he began:
August 15th is my own birthday and it is naturally gratifying to me that it should have assumed this vast significance. I take this coincidence, not as a fortuitous accident, hut as the sanction and seal of the Divine Force that guides my steps on the work with which I began life, the beginning of its full fruition.""
At the age of seventy-eight, for purposes of his own, Sri Aurobindo decided to part with his body, and he carried out this decision on December 5th, 1950, after a brief "illness."
And now, with the kind permission of your souls, I would like to share with you some of my most precious outer possessions and memories. When I joined the Ashram in 1944 as a young boy of twelve years old, I received from Sri Aurobindo a copy of his book Kara Kahani (Tales of Prison Life). Sri Aurobindo had blessingfully written down my name, Chinmoy, in his own handwriting. Needless to say, I was overjoyed.
At the Ashram I had many mentors who encouraged my literary attempts. In 1946 I was inspired to render one of Sri Aurobindo's Bengali stories about the Vedic sages Vasishtha and Vishwamitra into Bengali verse. Sri Aurobindo's story is called "Kshamar Adarsha" ("The Ideal of Forgiveness"). My poem ran to about two hundred lines. Timidly and devotedly, I submitted it to the Mother. Out of her infinite compassion for me, the Mother gave it to Sri Aurobindo. In a few days' time, at four-thirty in the afternoon, I was on my way to the volleyball ground. One of Sri Aurobindo's dearest attendants, Mulshankar, stopped me and said, "Chinmoy, Nirod is reading out to Sri Aurobindo your long poem and Sri Aurobindo is smiling." When I heard this, I was in the seventh Heaven of delight! A few hours later, Nirod-da sent for me and returned the poem. He told me that Sri Aurobindo had remarked: "It is a fine piece of poetry. He has capacity. Tell him to continue."
In 1948 I translated one of my Bengali poems about India's independence into English and, as usual, with utmost timidity, I gave the Mother the poem. Smiling, Mother said to me, "I know it is for Sri Aurobindo that you are giving it to me." She took it from me to give to Sri Aurobindo.
In 1958 I began writing a play about the Life of Sri Aurobindo, entitled The Descent of the Blue, and I was told by Champaklal, Sri Aurobindo's sleeplessly self-giving assistant, that the Mother enjoyed hearing my play. It was published serially in the Mother India.
In 1959, on my birthday, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram manager, Amrita, a pioneer-pillar-disciple whose name, meaning 'Nectar; Immortality', was bestowed upon him by his Lord Sri Aurobindo himself, presented me with a Parker fountain pen.
Finally, my prayerful heart is all gratitude to the Divine Mother for granting me the invaluable blessing-opportunity to be allowed to meditate every morning very early in front of the Mother's and Sri Aurobindo's pictures at the place where they used to give Darshan four times a year and also at the two doors of Sri Aurobindo's main room. This unimaginable privilege started in 1958 and continued until 1964 when I came to America.
No more about myself. Aurobindo's Cambridge and Sri Aurobindo's Mother India more, ever more!
Sri Aurobindo and Sri Aurobindo's mind saw and studied England.
India and India's heart received and treasured Sri Aurobindo.
The world and the world's soul adored and loved Sri Aurobindo.
The Universe and the Lord of the Universe claimed, claim, and forever and forever shall claim Sri Aurobindo.
Sri Aurobindo: Eternity-Infinity-Immortality-Vision-Reality's ONENESS-HOME.
MLH 17. (Selected excerpts) King's College Chapel, University of Cambridge, November 12th, 1997↩
Aurobindo versus Sri Aurobindo1Aurobindo saw.
Sri Aurobindo became.
Aurobindo — the boldest revolution.
Sri Aurobindo — the quickest evolution.
Aurobindo — "British, out!"
Sri Aurobindo — "World-ignorance, out, out, out!"
Aurobindo — a Cambridge-education-zenith-mind.
Sri Aurobindo — a world-illumination-Soul
And the earth-transformation-Harbinger.
Aurobindo — "Cambridge, you gave me
Sri Aurobindo — ''Cambridge, I give you
And the whole world
Sri Aurobindo is
Aurobindo came down.
Sri Aurobindo went up
Only to be all-where.
In England, a waking lion.
In Baroda, a watching lion.
In Bengal, a roaring lion.
In Pondicherry, an all-conquering lion.
Within, Aurobindo heard.
Without, Sri Aurobindo sounds.
Was a God-dreamer.
Sri Aurobindo's life
Is a God-giver.
Aurobindo — the perfect definition
Of a God-oneness-seeker.
Sri Aurobindo — the absolute definition
Of God the Supreme.
In Bengal, he was
In Pondicherry, he became
Aurobindo saw the world.
Sri Aurobindo fought for the world
And so does he still.
His The Life Divine
Is God the man's
Is man the God's
Aurobindo accepted humanity's imperfections
As his own.
God accepted Sri Aurobindo
To claim His Perfection
As his own, very own.
Aurobindo was humanity's
Sri Aurobindo is Divinity's
Sri Aurobindo is caught
By both man and God alike —
Man for his transformation;
God for His manifestation.
MLH 18. Keynes Hall, King's College, University of Cambridge November 1st, 2000. The Reverend George Pattison, Dean of King's College Chapel, University of Cambridge, invited Sri Chinmoy to offer a talk about Sri Aurobindo and a Peace Concert in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo's Mahasamadhi. Sri Chinmoy's visit to Cambridge took place on November 1st, 2000. After attending evensong in the Chapel where Sri Aurobindo used to pray, Sri Chinmoy offered the following talk and gave a Peace Concert in Keynes Hall.↩