Meetings with luminaries in the Philippines

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Sri Chinmoy and a group of his students from various parts of the world visited the islands of the Philippines in January 1993. Sri Chinmoy came as a student of peace and, in a spirit of learning and sharing of experiences, he had the opportunity to meet with a number of significant figures in the Philippines. This book presents excerpts from those meetings.

Near the end of his visit, as he reflected on his experiences, Sri Chinmoy made the following remarks at the close of the Peace Concert he offered at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on 26 January:

"I have been in the Philippines for over a month, and on various occasions I have offered my deepest love and gratitude to the soul and heart of the Philippines. Also, I was extremely fortunate to have met with the most beloved son of the Philippines, President Fidel Ramos. Personally I was able to offer my deepest love, my deepest gratitude and my deepest admiration to him.

"With utmost humility I am once again offering my heart's boundless love and joy to the most beautiful heart and most powerful soul of the Philippines. From the inmost recesses of my heart I am offering my gratitude, gratitude and gratitude."

Part I - Meeting with President Fidel Ramos


Fidel Valdez Ramos was elected President of the Republic of the Philippines in May 1992. His election culminated a lifetime of distinguished service to his country, including being Chief of Staff for the country's defense forces and representing his country in a number of international forums.

Meeting with President Fidel Ramos

President Ramos: Good afternoon, your Excellency. Good afternoon, everybody.

Sri Chinmoy: Mr. President, my students and I are here to be blessed by you for the New Year.

President Ramos: I understand you will be staying here in the Philippines for about a month.

Sri Chinmoy: We have been in Manila for about a week, and we are going to Cebu City this evening.

President Ramos: You can observe the peace process that is now going on in our country. It is the first time in the last fifty or sixty years that we have been able to make significant progress.

Sri Chinmoy: We are extremely proud of you for being first in so many things. You are the first Protestant President of the Philippines; you are the first professional soldier to become President and the first engineer to become President. As an engineer you dreamt of being a builder. Now God has given you the golden opportunity to build your nation.

President Ramos: We need the support of leaders like you for the peace process.

Sri Chinmoy: Dear Mr. President, we are coming from Viet Nam. You were there during the Viet Nam War, where you played your role as a supreme leader and diplomat for your country.

President Ramos: In which area were you?

Sri Chinmoy: In Ho Chi Minh City.

President Ramos: I hope you can help the Philippines also.

Sri Chinmoy: We belong to one family. Right now the brothers and sisters are having a dispute. But one day the same brothers and sisters will enjoy friendship and oneness.

President Ramos: This is what we try to do here on a moderate scale among the quarrelling Filipinos. Unfortunately, they have been quarrelling for a long time. We hope to be able to bring peace to both the extreme left and the extreme right — not only in a political sense but also in terms of social justice. We must persuade the more affluent among our countrymen to share their worldly goods with the poor. That will go a long way towards forging a unification of the country. Many of the violent conflicts come from socio-economic reasons — the unjust distribution of wealth. Friends and neighbours start quarrelling when they don't get three meals a day. You know about this famous phenomenon.

Sri Chinmoy: I come from India. There we speak about poverty's tyranny. It is so true!

[Presenting a plaque to the President] I was inspired to compose a prayerful song about you. My students would like to offer this song to you.

President Ramos: I am deeply honoured, Sri Chinmoy. This plaque looks like a masterpiece of composition and art.

[The singers perform the song dedicated to the President.]

President Ramos: Thank you very much. This is the first time somebody has composed a song for me.

Sri Chinmoy: I have selected some of your momentous utterances and set tune to them. My students will now perform them for you.

[The singers perform four songs that Sri Chinmoy composed by setting tune to quotations from the President's speeches.]

President Ramos: Thank you very much. You must have worked very hard for the last one, because I remember I said this only last New Year's day.

Sri Chinmoy: The day before yesterday I read it, and then immediately I set tune to it.

President Ramos: I see. I am deeply honoured that we are now co-authors of one of the top ten! I wish I had brought my oldest daughter with me. She also practises meditation.

Sri Chinmoy: It is our way of life. We pray and meditate and try to be of service to mankind. With our prayers and meditations we try to bring about world peace.

President Ramos: (presenting Sri Chinmoy with a decorative plate) This is a very small token compared to these songs. I would like to give this to you because, in a sense, it represents the government as well as the people of the Philippines. You can keep it at your headquarters.

Sri Chinmoy: For me, this plate is most precious.

We have with us our Peace Torch, which your predecessor held a few years ago. This torch goes all over the world carrying our love for mankind. I would be extremely grateful if you could hold it for a moment.

President Ramos: Yes, with best wishes and appreciation from the Philippines.

Sri Chinmoy: We are most grateful.

President Ramos: Thank you very much for your visit. I hope you will be successful in your efforts.

Fidel Ramos: self-discipline and self-discovery

Fidel Ramos, Fidel Ramos, Fidel!
You are your great country's victory-bell.
Fidel Ramos, Fidel Ramos, Fidel!
Self-discipline and self-discovery
Have made your life a fruitful tree.

Part II - Meeting with Corazon Aquino


Corazon Aquino was President of the Republic of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992. She was brought to power by a plebiscite known as "people power", which overthrew the former military dictatorship. Mrs. Aquino has often referred to "people power" as "prayer power".

During her term in office, Mrs. Aquino reinstated many democratic institutions, including freedom of the press and a democratic constitution.

Meeting with Corazon Aquino

Sri Chinmoy: it is extremely kind of you to have us here. I shall remain deeply grateful to you for your kindness. Yesterday I offered a Peace Concert here, and I was extremely happy and deeply honoured to dedicate it to you for your ceaseless and sleepless affection, love and concern for your country.

Mrs. Aquino: Thank you very much for a great honour. How many countries are represented here by your students?

Sri Chinmoy: Australia, America, Canada, Japan and Germany.

Mrs. Aquino: How big a membership do you have?

Sri Chinmoy: We have about 3,000.

Mrs. Aquino: Is there a Filipino representation?

Sri Chinmoy: We have about ten students here in Manila. In Cebu City we have about twenty, and in Davao we also have a few.

Mrs. Aquino: I was in Davao myself this month, working to provide bridges between businessmen in Manila and businessmen in Davao. I think I cannot go back to a life of complete rest. I have not really known any period of complete relaxation since martial law.

Sri Chinmoy: I have composed a song in honour of you. It has come from the very depth of my aspiring heart. May my students sing the song for you?

[Singers perform the song dedicated to Mrs. Aquino.]

Mrs. Aquino: Thank you very much.

Sri Chinmoy: I have also set tune to some of your words.

Mrs. Aquino: [Looking at a printed copy of the songs] This is from my speech to the US Congress. My policy has always been that we must attain peace through peaceful means. Only when we have exhausted all peaceful efforts should we use force. In our first encounter with the Communist dissidents, I offered them a ceasefire, and we did try talking with them. But then they still insisted on using violence. As President I could not allow that to continue. I offered them peace, but they rejected it. But then later on, I guess some of them tasted peace during the ceasefire and wanted more of it, so they did come to us and worked with us. _Sri Chinmoy: They realised their mistake.

Mrs. Aquino: The first time we initiated the ceasefire was around Christmas time. For the first time in probably fourteen years they celebrated Christmas with their families. Certainly it was something they were not willing to give up again.

At first my critics said that they could not understand why I allowed the ceasefire. But this was my belief and in fact it was one of my campaign promises.

Sri Chinmoy: You said something most significant about your critics. Some of your critics accused you of being very weak and indecisive. You said that people also accused President Gorbachev of being weak.

Mrs. Aquino: Yes, I said I was in good company. When you have the responsibility for millions of people, in my case more than 60 million people, you cannot plunge into something simply because it will appear popular or it would enhance your credibility. When you feel responsible for the lives of so many, then you really have to study the situation very carefully. You cannot decide impulsively, because once you make a fatal decision, it is very difficult to get out of it.

I was more daring when I was not President because I felt that only I would be harmed because of my initiative. But when you become President, whatever action you take affects the populace. So you cannot be as daring or uncaring.

Sri Chinmoy: Before you became President, you were the sister of your country. Then you became the parent of your country — the mother. Once your people have known you and loved you as the mother of your country, they will always expect infinite motherly affection and compassion from you — even when you are no longer in office. And out of your heart's bounty you will always be willing to show your countrymen the affection and compassion of a real mother.

[Singers perform the songs to Mrs. Aquino's words.]

Mrs. Aquino: Thank you so much.

Sri Chinmoy presents a plaque to Mrs. Amino.

Mrs. Aquino: So many gifts! Thank you so much. I am so happy that we could see each other.

Corazon Aquino: Philippines' Mother-Heart

Our dear President, Corazon Aquino,
In self-giving you are numero uno!
Philippines' queen and Philippines' mother-heart,
You gave the clarion call for a oneness-start.
Corazon Aquino, a morning song.
In you your country's hope and promise throng.

Part III - Meeting with Jaime Cardinal Sin


Jaime L. Cardinal Sin is the spiritual leader of the Filipino people, who courageously criticised the corrupt dictatorship and inspired the people to peaceful and prayerful action behind Corazon Aquino.

Meeting with Jaime Cardinal Sin

Sri Chinmoy: I am so moved, Father, that you have allowed me to come here to be blessed by you. Last year I met Cardinal Hume in London and was blessed by him.

Cardinal Sin: It is good that you have come because this is the day of peace, and we are trying our best to unite the country. We are divided because of political reasons, but today we are asking the people all over the country to unite.

Sri Chinmoy: I read your New Year's Message and I was so deeply impressed.

Cardinal Sin: Maybe some of the rebels will come to the Cathedral tonight, and this will further the peace process.

Sri Chinmoy: I am so happy to learn that you offer your wisdom-light to politicians. Many people are afraid of dealing with politics and politicians. In your case, you are very kind to shed your light on the political field.

Cardinal Sin: If spiritual people do not help them, they might go wrong. Many times politicians have come to my house and we have talked. We talk with them and tell them that this is wrong and this is right. If they listen, well and good; if they do not listen, what can we do? But at least we are able to proclaim the truth.

Sri Chinmoy: If you tell them to do the right thing and they do not listen to you, what can you do?

Cardinal Sin: Many times they do listen. I feel we are doing our duty in the world: we should be the salt of the earth; we should be the light of the world. Of course, one cannot force somebody to go to Heaven if he prefers to go to hell.

Sri Chinmoy: We cannot force anybody, but we can inspire people to do the right thing. We can bring the food right up to their mouth. But if they keep their mouth closed, how can we put it in?

Cardinal Sin: That is what St. Augustine said: "God, Who created you without asking you, will not save you without consulting you." So our salvation and our cooperation go together. It is difficult to listen to God. We have to listen to Him in the silence and the stillness of peace. For me, prayer is not talking; prayer is listening to the Voice of God, who speaks to us.

Sri Chinmoy: It is like a flame climbing up from the heart. The flame climbs up and the Grace descends in the form of a Message. God's Message descends and quenches the thirst of our aspiring heart.

It is so good to know your wisdom-light. You are so great, Father, to deal with politics. Usually spiritual people are afraid of dealing with politicians because they don't take spiritual people seriously. But in your case, you are not only spiritually but also psychically and mentally so powerful! That is why they are bound to listen to you.

Cardinal Sin: We saved the country because of what we did. We call it a non-violent revolution.

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, the Father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, taught us that non-violence is the greatest weapon.

Cardinal Sin: And then we were able to drive the dictator away through non-violence. We were just praying and praying, fasting and fasting — imitating Mahatma Gandhi.

Sri Chinmoy: Mahatma Gandhi used to say that nonviolence is the power of the soul, the power of our inner existence. The power of the inner existence is much greater than any man-made problems which we have created for ourselves.

Cardinal Sin: God's greatest gift to humankind is freedom. So man is always praying to be free.

Sri Chinmoy: Inwardly man is already free. Man is like a bird that can fly away at any moment. But we put the bird in a cage and then we say that the bird cannot fly. Who put the bird inside the cage? It is we human beings who have put the bird inside the cage, and then we blame the bird. Our ignorance is a cage. We have allowed ignorance to bind us, and then we say, “We can't be free, we can't be free!" But it is we who have allowed ignorance to bind us; it is we who have bound ourselves.

Cardinal Sin: There are also people who are outwardly free, but who are still enslaved by their own greed and vices. So they are not really free because they are controlled by their vices.

Sri Chinmoy: They are possessed by their own possessions. The possessor is possessed by his possessions — as you mentioned, Father, by his material greed.

Cardinal Sin: Money is a necessary evil, but we cannot allow money to control us. We should be the ones to control money. What happens, however, is that money becomes the enslaver of humankind; it becomes our God. That is wrong. There are so many things to reflect on in this world. People should reflect and meditate.

I wish to thank you for your presence tonight.

Sri Chinmoy: I am most grateful to you. I have come here to be blessed by you and to be in your blessingful presence.

Cardinal Sin: We should bless one another. You bless me and I will bless you.

Sri Chinmoy: The first time I met with Pope Paul VI…

Cardinal Sin: You met him?

Sri Chinmoy: Three times! I have met with the present Pope, John Paul II, three times and his predecessor also I met three times. When I met Pope Paul VI, he was blessingfully appreciating my activities at the United Nations and elsewhere. He said to me, "Your Hindu philosophy and my Christian philosophy are absolutely the same." Then he said to me, "When you and I leave this body, we shall be together."

Cardinal Sin: What a beautiful prediction!

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, he made that prediction. Both the present Pope and his predecessor have been extremely, extremely kind to me.

Cardinal Sin: We had a meeting in Japan and the one who represented the Hindu religion was the nephew of Mahatma Gandhi. And there was someone from the Muslim faith — the Executive General Secretary, who is living in Sri Lanka. The Dalai Lama was also there. We were talking about peace. In our talks there were no differences.

Sri Chinmoy: All roads lead to God's House. That is our destination. Although we may live in different houses, because we were born into different religions, our destination is the same.

Cardinal Sin: I said, "We are all saying the same thing. Only your terminology is different." They said, "Yes, there is nothing different. We will all go to Heaven because we are all seeking peace."

Sri Chinmoy: Peace-dreamers, peace-lovers and peace-promoters are all in the same boat. So we are all in the same boat.

Cardinal Sin: "Blessed are the peace-makers because they will see the Face of God." It is one of the Beatitudes. May God bless you and please bless me!

Part IV - Meeting with Senator Leticia Shahani


Senator Leticia Ramos Shahani, a sister of President Fidel Ramos, has served her country and the world in a number of capacities. Previously she was an Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Meeting with Senator Leticia Shahani

Sri Chinmoy: My most esteemed sister, yesterday I read and reread the compassion-flooded words you wrote about me to our beloved President Ramos. Although I have written millions of words in quite a few books, I do not know how I can adequately express the gratitude I have in the inmost recesses of my heart. In deep silence I am offering to you my heart's soulful and prayerful gratitude.

[Sri Chinmoy meditates briefly.]

Just an hour ago these young student-friends of mine left under my door a very short résumé of your life's activities and achievements. I was so deeply moved. Your lofty vision and your illumining and fulfilling achievements belong not only to your country but to the whole world.

Each individual comes into existence in a particular country. From the one life-tree come many branches with countless flowers, fruits and leaves. The life-tree blossoms in the various parts of the world and brings us the message of Eternity's oneness. This Eternity's oneness you see and feel so clearly. You feel the entire world as your oneness-home and you are consciously expressing this soulful love for the entire world. Forgive me, esteemed sister, I have not come to offer you a sermon. Only I am expressing my heart's most sincere gratitude for the kind message that you gave to your dear brother about me.

Senator Shahani: You are welcome, Sri Chinmoy. I am glad to have this pleasure of meeting you before you leave the Philippines. I used to hear about you when I was at the UN because U Thant was my first boss. But I never had the chance to meet you. And I have many Indian links. My late husband was Indian, and my father was the first Ambassador of the Philippines to India.

Sri Chinmoy: There is a time we call God's choice Hour. You were at the UN in New York for so many years working in so many capacities. I also have been living in New York for the last twenty-nine years, but we never had the opportunity to meet. Here — at long last!

Secretary-General U Thant was extremely, extremely kind to me, and with my heart's utmost humility I would like to say we became very close friends. I wrote a book about him and also we exchanged quite a few letters. As you know, he was a devotee of Lord Buddha. I wrote a play about the Lord Buddha, and U Thant was so kind as to come and preside over the function where it was performed. He encouraged me sincerely and blessingfully in my activities at the United Nations. There we have lots of activities. We invite the delegates and staff to come and pray. And if countries have a special day, we try to bring to the fore their good qualities. We try to encourage and inspire them in our own way with our prayers and meditations.

You have three children, I believe? Their names are Ranjit, Chandra and Lila?

Senator Shahani: Ranjit is Vice-Governor of a province here. He is a young, idealistic, still unmarried young man. Chandra is a boy, actually. He was born in 1969, when the first man landed on the moon. My husband said we had to link this boy with the moon somehow, so that's how he came to have a girl's name. But he likes it. Lila is a girl. She teaches at the University.

Sri Chinmoy: Lila means Cosmic Game, Ranjit is conqueror and Chandra represents the moon. And may I know the meaning of your name?

Senator Shahani: It's a Latin name — really, a Spanish name. Our ancestors were Ba'hai. It means joy.

Are you happy with the results of your trip here, Sri Chinmoy?

Sri Chinmoy: I am more than happy. I have been blessed most generously by the heart and the soul of your country. Mine, as you know, is not a mission. It is only a feeling of oneness I try to express wherever we go. We are trying to serve mankind. We depend on the light that we have within. Our inner light has to come to the fore. Otherwise, we will not be able to fulfil our God-ordained task on earth.

As I mentioned a few minutes ago, we are all part of the one life-tree. So the life-tree wants to branch out and offer its good qualities to others. I tell my students that each individual is composed of good and bad qualities. Our shortcomings we try to minimise with the hope we will be able to diminish them and eventually do away with them. Again, our good qualities we try to increase and multiply. Today if I have one good thought or one good feeling, then tomorrow I would like to have two. Like this there is no end to our progress. When we want to descend, easily we can touch the abysmal abyss. Again, if we want to go up, we can go high, higher, highest.

Senator Shahani: Don't you feel, Sri Chinmoy, there is so much escalation of violence these days?

Sri Chinmoy: Has there ever been a time in world history when there was no conflict, no violence, no war? These wrong forces reached the height of imperfection in the Second World War at Hiroshima, Nagasaki and other places. How the undivine forces attacked! Japan had to come all the way to the Philippines to destroy your country!

There was a time forty or so years ago when the undivine forces, the destructive forces, reigned supreme. They were like a mad elephant going this way and that way. Now those forces are not so destructive. An iota of light, an iota of illumination, has entered into them. That's why a third World War has not taken place. Before we saw countless elephants. Now we are still seeing wrong forces, but they are not constantly thinking of world-destruction.

Thirty or forty or fifty years ago the countries wanted supremacy. They wanted to conquer the whole world. Still the supremacy tendency is there, but it is not as destructive as before. For quite a few years, forgive me, some countries didn't pay any attention to the UN They neglected the wisdom and message of this world body although it had the capacity and the vision. But now they take the UN into consideration because they are afraid of world criticism. They may not always listen to the UN, but at least they bring the UN into the picture and try to get the UN to approve or sanction their actions. Although still it is not able to play its role most satisfactorily, slowly and steadily the UN is getting its due importance and the countries are taking it seriously. So this is humanity's progress.

Senator Shahani: What qualities do you like in the Philippines?

Sri Chinmoy: I see here sweetness, kindness and the willingness to make very fast progress. These are all divine qualities. These divine qualities deserve appreciation and admiration from those who are dreamers of peace.

Around four o'clock I was inspired to compose a short song about you. My prayerful and soulful words are:

Senator Shahani, wisdom-fountain,
Within, without, mankind's progress-captain.
Your life-boat plies between
Compassion-shore and perfection-shore
In your light-flooded core.
Ranjit, Chandra, Lila: your fragrance-flowers.
May they all grow into fulness-towers.

[Sri Chinmoy sings the song.]

Senator Shahani: Thank you. It's a beautiful song.

[They speak about Sri Chinmoy's music and Peace Concerts.]

Sri Chinmoy: What do you think of President Gorbachev?

Senator Shahani: I still respect and admire him a lot. I was ambassador to a Communist country, Romania, from 1975 to 1978. It is very hard to bring about change in a system like that. Gorbachev came from within and made changes in the system. So it was a very big political achievement. Of course, he also paid the price because then they told him he was too slow for the reforms that he had started.

Sri Chinmoy: He was caught between two parties. One wanted him to run at breakneck speed — faster than the fastest — and the other party wanted only to sleep. In the tug-of-war he was in between.

Senator Shahani: But he is still young. We can't predict what will happen.

Sri Chinmoy: De Gaulle came into power again after many years. So Gorbachev also has a great chance.

Senator Shahani: I was in Russia last July. Quite a number of young people were starting to realise that they wouldn't have this kind of freedom if it were not for him. They wanted him out, but now they are realising that he did do something that they wanted, and they are starting to appreciate what he has done.

Sri Chinmoy: President Gorbachev and I have developed a very close friendship. We are both in the same boat; we both want peace. But sometimes people can be misunderstood. A prophet is not honoured in his own country. But his vision is infallible.

In terms of spiritual light, his country was fast asleep. He aroused the people, but then he said, "Let us go slowly." For he saw that spiritually they were still in their infancy. But they wanted to run the fastest, so he was misunderstood. Slow and steady wins the race. They will come to realise that he was right.

[Senator Shahani describes a personal project involving Indian writers who write in English and she and Sri Chinmoy speak about India and Indian culture. At the end, Sri Chinmoy presents her with the "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart" award.]

Part V - Meeting With Beth Day Romulo


Beth Day Romulo is a well-known journalist and writer. She is the widow of the late General Carlos Romulo, who was Foreign Minister of the Philippines for many years.

Meeting With Beth Day Romulo

Beth Day Romulo: What are your plans while in the Philippines?

Sri Chinmoy: We will be traveling from Manila to Cebu City, Davao and Dumaguete. We have come to get blessings from the heart and soul of the Philippines. This is my second visit to this country. I came in 1967 to Manila, Dumaguete and Cebu City to give a few talks.

Beth Day Romulo: Was General Romulo here then?

Adhiratha Keefe: He was probably in office! We met him at the 15th anniversary of the Peace Meditation at the United Nations, when he was in charge of the delegation. We had a celebration and he came and spoke.

Beth Day Romulo: Yes, I know. I was with the General then at the UN This country could very much use what you have to offer. I don't know if you are familiar with this, but there is a great tendency for people here not to work together or cooperate. They say if you have a basket of crabs and one reaches the top, the others pull him back down again. Here, too, when someone is doing a good job or becoming prominent in some endeavour, there is a tendency for people to attack him. I don't know how you overcome that.

Adhiratha Keefe: It seems that General Romulo overcame that.

Beth Day Romulo: He had none of that. He used to lecture his countrymen about things like that! For the first time in a long time, we have had a peaceful transition of government, and the present administration is trying very hard to get people to pull together. But it's an uphill fight.

Sri Chinmoy: They have to ask themselves whether they actually become happy by pulling others down.

Beth Day Romulo: I don't think they do.

Sri Chinmoy: No, we cannot become happy by pulling someone down. Again, we cannot become happy by getting ahead of someone. Even if we are just one step ahead of someone else, we create problems for ourselves. We have to walk side by side with others. The feeling of superiority must go. There is no such thing as a superpower. There is only one power to believe in and that is the heart's oneness-power. All other power eventually fails. We can lord it over others for a few days, a few months or a few years. But eventually we will have to surrender to something else or someone else.

It is the mind-power, the power of division, that is creating this problem not only here in the Philippines but everywhere. The mind-power is always singing the song of superiority and making us feel that we can be happy only if we are one step ahead of others. But when we are ahead of others, they try to pull us back. Only if we are walking side by side with others does that problem not arise. When we pray and meditate, we feel the supreme necessity of heart-power, which is the power of unification and oneness. When we can establish our oneness with others, the question of superiority and inferiority does not arise.

Beth Day Romulo: How do people learn how to meditate? Does it take discipline or concentration?

Sri Chinmoy: We start with prayer and then we enter into meditation. They are two subjects, but they both lead to the same destination. If we pray very soulfully, with utmost love and devotion, we feel that Somebody is listening to our prayers. We are talking and Somebody is listening. In our prayers we speak to the Heavenly Father above and ask Him to bless us with this or that. So, very often, prayer includes a kind of desire. But the highest prayer is the one that was taught to us by the Saviour: "Let Thy Will be done." That is by far the highest prayer.

Again, there are times in our spiritual life when we feel the necessity of listening to Someone. That is meditation. When we meditate, we feel that God is asking us to do something: "My child, do this for Me. Do this for your own good." God is speaking and we are listening. So this is how prayer and meditation are combined in our life of aspiration. Sometimes we talk and sometimes we listen. In our prayer-life we go to the Father with all our hopes and longings. In our meditation-life we listen to the Messages from our Heavenly Father.

Beth Day Romulo: And it doesn't matter who the Father is and what the context?

Sri Chinmoy: Only that it is our highest. Father and daughter are not two different individuals or entities; we and our highest are one. When we pray, we feel that we are at the foot of the Himalayas and the Person to whom we are praying is at the top, listening to us. But when we meditate, we feel that the Person who is speaking to us is none other than our own highest Self. In meditation we come to realise that we and God are one. The One who is at the peak is coming down to bless us, and it is none other than ourselves. This moment I am at the top of the peak and the next moment I am at the bottom. I climb up the tree and climb down. When I am at the top I pluck the most delicious fruits and bring them down for those who are unable to climb at the moment. This is what meditation does for us.

Beth Day Romulo: So what you are reaching for is actually the best in you?

Sri Chinmoy: What we are reaching for is our own treasure. We have everything that is needed deep inside us — in the inmost recesses of our heart. There is the safe; there is our wealth. When we pray and meditate, God opens the safe and we see our own treasure. This is why we use the term 'self-discovery.' Through God's Grace, we discover the truth about ourselves; we discover our own inner light and divinity.

Beth Day Romulo: So you can go through your life without being able to see your own inner light?

Sri Chinmoy: Once you are in a room that is already lit, you don't need any outer light in order to see. Once you dive deep within your heart and enter into your inner existence, which is flooded with light, you don't need any outer light to see it.

Beth Day Romulo: Does that give you energy to accomplish things?

Sri Chinmoy: If we know how to pray and meditate, we can easily bring down life-energy from Above. It flows down like a stream and permeates our entire existence. When we pray and meditate, God gives us love, joy, peace, harmony and all the other divine qualities. These are all divine attributes of God's. All the good things that are given to us by God can only increase and multiply. Again, God will slowly and steadily take away from us all our undivine and unaspiring qualities. So whatever is unaspiring in us will be gradually replaced by divine things that are aspiring in and through us.

Beth Day Romulo: How are you able to be so prolific?

Sri Chinmoy: It is all God's Grace. Everything that I have done or am going to do is entirely due to God's Grace. Each and every moment I most sincerely try to depend on God's Grace. As an individual, I do nothing and I know how to do nothing. But if His Grace descends, then He will do everything in and through me.

I have accomplished a few things, but I cannot take any credit myself, for I know that God can make me helpless and useless at any moment He wants to. Since I am always at His mercy, the best thing is to remain only at His Feet. If I am at His Feet, then I can't mislead any human being. But if I am somewhere else, I am bound to mislead and misguide not only a few people but the whole world. So I feel that God's Feet are the safest place for me to be if I really want to be of service to His creation, humanity.

Beth Day Romulo: How many instruments do you play?

Sri Chinmoy: I am a jack of all trades and master of none! I have not studied with any teacher; my only teacher in everything is God, my Inner Pilot. Out of His infinite Bounty He has placed me in His Golden Boat, and at His choice Hour He will take me to the Golden Shore, which is our goal. I play usually between 20 and 25 instruments when I give a major concert.

Beth Day Romulo: A whole orchestra!

Sri Chinmoy: If it is a large audience, then I play many instruments. Otherwise, I play 10 or twelve instruments. But for amusement and entertainment, I practise on 50 or 60 instruments. Altogether I have about 115 instruments from all over the world.

Five or six years ago I played about 100 instruments at a concert in the Swiss Alps. Last month, on the 5th of December, I played 107 instruments at a concert for my students in New York. They were praying and meditating while I was playing. I also prayed and meditated while playing.

So from 100 I have gone to 107. I believe in progress. Ours is the philosophy of self-transcendence. We do not compete with anybody; we compete only with ourselves. When we compete with others, we are bound to feel miserable, for no matter how good we are, there will always be somebody who can smash our pride and defeat us. If we try to live in the success-world, we are bound to be frustrated. But if we live in the world of progress, then we are always happy because we are all the time increasing our capacity and going forward.

When I started lifting weights, I could only lift 40 pounds. I was not competing with anybody. But gradually, gradually I increased my capacity until I could lift over 7,000 pounds. When I started lifting up human beings with one arm, I started with one individual. Now, over the course of a few years I have lifted over 1,900 different people.

I don't need others to doubt my capacities. When I live in the mind, I am the first person to doubt myself. My own mind doubts all the things that I have done. Although I am not a weightlifter, I have lifted up an elephant, a boat, a truck and many, many things. Although I am not an artist, I have completed over 140,000 paintings. It was all God's Grace. I have lifted my student here, Adhiratha, with one hand. If I use my mind, immediately I will call it impossible. My mind will say, "He is so heavy, so tall!" But my heart will say that easily I can lift him on the strength of my love for him and my oneness with him. If I use my heart-power, I do not feel that he is heavy at all.

Beth Day Romulo: Do you practise any sort of daily regimen to keep in condition?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, for a minimum of two and a half hours a day! First I take exercise. Then I run, lift weights and play tennis. Here I am unable to play tennis, but in New York I play tennis for an hour every day with my students. At least two or three hours a day I practise sports. Then I do mental work — writing, dictating and so on. Since we have come to the Philippines, I have already written 15 books and also I have drawn quite a few thousand birds. I am very fond of drawing birds. Birds signify the soul. A bird flying in the sky reminds us of our inner freedom. I have two more books to go and then I will have completed 900 books in English. I will finish these two books in a day or two. I have decided to dedicate my 900th book to President Gorbachev. I have already written two or three books about him.

Beth Day Romulo: Do you write in long hand?

Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes I write in long hand, but most of the time I dictate.

Beth Day Romulo: Do you carry paints, crayons and other art supplies with you?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, I use acrylics in my paintings. There will be an exhibit of my paintings in Cebu City. We have brought a few hundred of my paintings from New York.

Beth Day Romulo: Are they abstract?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, most of them are abstract. When I paint, I see a streak of light and I follow that streak of light very faithfully. Art is not my forte. When I started painting, I did not dislike it; I just did not have any particular interest in the subject. But who am I? My Inner Pilot inspired me and I just obeyed His command.

There are many, many things that I have done because I have been inspired from deep within. In no way had I ever thought of doing these things. I just try to be receptive to God's Will and, according to the power of my receptivity, He acts in and through me. So I can't take any credit for what people see in me. His Grace descends and I try to be a humble instrument of His.

Beth Day Romulo: When were you first in touch with your inner self?

Sri Chinmoy: I don't know why or how, but at the age of four I started praying because I felt something within me. The kind of prayer that I did was not taught to me by anybody. Then, at the age of seven, I started praying consciously. When I was eleven and a half I joined a spiritual community where there was a spiritual Master. Then I started praying and meditating very, very seriously. In a couple of years I felt my inner potential.

My prayer-life and meditation-life can never end. I have not stopped and I will never be able to stop praying and meditating. It is a one-way street, with no U-turns. Once you start, you have to go on. You can crawl, you can walk, you can run or you can sprint. If you want to take rest for a while and sleep, you can. But God will never allow you to go back to the starting point.

We believe in the process of evolution. Sometimes we are evolving slowly and sometimes we are going very fast. But we can't go back to our mineral life or animal life. Although we still have animal propensities, although we still quarrel and fight and do many things that animals do, we have evolved to the point where we are praying to God to make us good. Animals do not consciously pray to God to make them good. So this is the difference between animal life and human life. Human beings still embody many animal qualities, but we are trying to get rid of them and lead a divine life.

Beth Day Romulo: When you visit a country like the Philippines, do you pick up what's happening here and the attitude of people?

Sri Chinmoy: Forgive me, I am not criticising, but there are certain things that I notice. Restlessness I see in the atmosphere. Outwardly the people are restless, but they do not know what they are searching for. Again, in their inner life they have confidence that they will win in the battlefield of life. There are many countries which outwardly are restless to the extreme, but they do not have the inner assurance that someday their outer restlessness will be transformed into poise and tranquility. In their hearts the Filipinos definitely feel that there shall come a time when their outer life will have poise, peace and harmony. The Filipino heart has received this assurance from the soul, and this is something that I deeply appreciate.

Each individual is always contradicting himself. He doesn't have to fight with somebody else. One idea he will get in the morning, and a contradictory idea he will get in the evening. In the morning he will say that someone is great, and by evening he will be saying that the same person is very bad. This is the mind that is speaking.

If we remain in the heart, good or bad doesn't matter. If someone is good, fine; if someone is bad, then it is our bounden duty to make that person good. That is how the heart feels once it has accepted someone. It is like the mother's acceptance of the child. After playing soccer, the child's whole body is besmeared with mud, sand and clay; so he comes running to the mother. The mother will not say, "Don't come near!" She knows and feels that it is her bounden duty to clean the child and make him pure again. The mother claims the child as her own, very own. The heart is like this, too.

This quality is missing in the Philippines — not just in the Philippines, but almost everywhere. Our philosophy is the philosophy of acceptance. We do not believe in superiority or inferiority. I may have studied a particular subject and somebody else may be a beginner. But I know that there was a time when I also was a beginner. Again, no matter how advanced I am, I know that there are many who are still ahead of me. The life-tree starts as a tiny seed, then grows into a sapling, a small tree and, finally, a giant banyan tree. Everyone is going to grow into a banyan tree. Just because today somebody is a seed or a tiny plant, we can never say that he will not one day become a huge banyan tree.

When a child is learning the alphabet from his mother, he feels that his mother knows everything. She teaches him A, then B. and then tells him about C. From this alphabet the child knows that countless books have been written. If the child starts arguing with the mother and asking why C comes after B instead of after D, he will never learn. He has to learn the alphabet according to the proper order. Similarly, when we study the spiritual life, we have to listen to our teacher. If we do not have faith or confidence in the teacher, then we will remain fools all our life.

Beth Day Romulo: Do you think world leaders with all the pressures on them are able to continue to grow spiritually?

Sri Chinmoy: A world leader may not pray consciously, but sometimes what he is doing may be absolutely spiritual. Three or four years ago, President Gorbachev said he did not believe in God. But who did what God wanted — liberating so many countries in the Eastern bloc and reuniting Germany? It is not necessary for him to use the term 'God.' As long as he believes in something inspiring and aspiring, that very thing is God for him. God means light, and Gorbachev is filled with light. Guided by his inner light, he has changed the face and fate of the 20th-century world. So it is absurd to say that he is not a spiritual person. Previously he said that he does believe in God, but now he often speaks of God. At the United Nations, he told the previous Secretary-General, "Don't worry, God is on your side." He has visited the Pope twice. So how can he not believe in God?

Some politicians are definitely being guided by their Inner Pilot, but they are facing opposition. They want to do something great for mankind, but there are many obstacles. So they have to act like divine heroes. Once they overcome one obstacle, they have to face the next obstacle. But if they consciously pray and meditate and illumination takes place, then they can avoid many of these obstacles.

We use the term 'sunlit path.' Ahead of us and around us is darkness. If this darkness can be illumined, then the road ahead will be full of illumination and we will be able to run fast, faster, fastest. But if we don't pray and meditate, then there will always be obstacles and problems ahead of us and at every moment we will have to be very, very brave.

Ignorance is all the time standing against us. We can try to destroy ignorance or we can try to illumine it. If we see a thief, we can strike him and kill him. But then, the next day another thief will come and rob our house. Again, if we see a thief, we can try to inject inner wisdom into him and make him feel that stealing is bad. If we can make him feel that God wants him to do something good and great for mankind, then this thief will become our friend and help us in the tug-of-war against ignorance.

If I can change one thief on the strength of my prayer, meditation and good advice, then he will go and tell his friends, "Look how happy I am now. When I used to steal things, I never had joy or peace because I was always afraid that I would be caught red-handed. But now that I have given up that profession and am trying to become a saint, I am filled with peace." His friends will see that his face is shining and that he is no longer beset by worry and anxiety. Then they also will give up stealing. So in this way we will try to bring to our side the undivine forces.

Beth Day Romulo: I will soon be going to India as an official guest of the Government. They're going to take me around and show me what they think I ought to see and have me interview various people in the government and in the arts. I look forward to it. What should I look for in India?

Sri Chinmoy: If you look for India's inner wealth, you will be happy. India's inner wealth means the message of the ancient Vedic seers and sages. I spoke about the restlessness of the Philippines. You will see the same kind of restlessness in India — if not worse. Outwardly there is so much fighting taking place in India. Even in the name of God they are fighting. The India of yore offered the message that all religions are one. But today, because of one particular temple, the whole nation, the whole subcontinent, is suffering.

If you only look at the outer life of India, I am sure you will be disappointed. But if you are looking for the inner divinity of India, then I am sure you will be satisfied. India is like the ocean. On the surface there are frightening waves and huge surges. But if we dive deep within, we see it is all peace and poise.

The inner India has not lost its peace and divinity, but the outer India is all restlessness and discord. Many things that are destructive and undivine you may see in the outer life of India. But everything that is positive, constructive, illumining and fulfilling will be found in the inner life of India. The outer existence of India may seem deplorable, but its inner existence is something unique. I say this not because I am an Indian but on the strength of my oneness with the soul of India.

Part VI - Meeting with Emilio Macias II


Emilio C. Macias II, the political leader of the Visayan province of Negros Oriental, has been called "a man of the people." During his two terms in office he has been instrumental in improving the province's communications, schools and hospitals.

Meeting with Emilio Macias II

Governor Macias: You have come at the very time when we are trying to go to the final stages of establishing peace in our province and in our country. Hopefully, if the peace efforts of the government succeed, we can start to pick up. Definitely your visit to our province will energise that peace effort.

Sri Chinmoy: We feel that no sincere effort ends in vain. If we have made a most sincere effort, it has to be successful. The only thing is that sometimes we try to get this success in our own way and at our own time. But God has His own fixed Hour. God will definitely give us the peace that we desperately need, but in His own Way.

God is like a soccer player. When the soccer player dribbles the ball, he makes all the players and the members of the audience feel that he is going to kick it with his right leg to score. But at the last moment he fools everyone and uses his left leg. He achieves his goal and scores; only he has used the other leg.

God is playing His divine Game in and through us. We expect Him to play the game in our own way. But He says, "Why do I have to play the game in your way? As long as I take you to the destination, you have to let Me do it in My own Way and feel that I am doing the right thing."

But again, we are also doing the right thing by working for peace. That is why God is so proud of us. Right now I am very proud of the Philippines for having achieved a degree of peace for some time.

Governor Macias: I hope that we get what we have been searching for. You are right. We want to get things done our own way.

Sri Chinmoy: That is not the right way. We have to know that there is Someone who is the Doer and that this Doer is acting in and through us. If we can be simple, sincere and pure like you, then He can expedite our journey. But if we become impatient and want peace to be achieved overnight, it doesn't work out.

A tree does not come into existence overnight. First the seed is sown, and then it becomes a little plant and finally a tree. It takes a few years. Right now we have a hunger for peace, but this hunger was not in us so powerfully 10 or 20 or 30 years ago. We need peace desperately from the day we are born. Our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents also needed peace. But only now, let us say, are we sincerely striving for peace.

As soon as we come to realise that we need something, we become like a child. As soon as a child feels that he needs a particular toy, he makes his parents' life miserable. He wants them to give him the toy immediately.

[Governor Macias presents a gift to Sri Chinmoy.]

Governor Macias: In spite of the peacemakers through the centuries, this world has never really known peace. I thought that with the end of the Cold War that we would have peace. But it looks like the peace effort has become even worse after the end of Communism.

Sri Chinmoy: Unfortunately we are trying to solve the world's problems with our mind, which is impossible. We have to solve these problems with our hearts. In summit meetings they are talking about peace, nuclear disarmament and so many things; but they are using their minds and not their hearts. Each country is trying to exercise its supremacy. "If you accept my supremacy, then I will allow you to have peace." That is what the countries are saying because they are using the mind. But if they were using their hearts, in a day or a couple of months they could bring about world peace.

Governor Macias: I think world leaders all over basically want peace — peace within their countries and peace in the world.

Sri Chinmoy: They want peace, but on their own terms. I want peace. But do I want peace by dominating you and keeping you at my feet, or by loving you and keeping you inside my heart? If I keep you inside my heart and make you part and parcel of my own being, then only can I truly have peace. But I don't want peace in that way. I want to show that I am still the best, that I am still the strongest. Then, if you agree with me, there can be peace. But as soon as you have the opportunity, you will try to harm me.

Today the whole world is hungry for peace. But what is happening? America and Iraq are fighting again. We may not participate, but it does affect us. So the consciousness of the Philippines is also being affected. If a cyclone takes place, my house may not be totally destroyed. But the vibration of the cyclone will affect my mind, my nerves, my inner existence.

Governor Macias: Knowing human nature, do you foresee that the kind of peace that comes from the heart will happen soon, or will it take centuries? Will we be around when it happens?

Sri Chinmoy: For the last 10 years people have been talking more about peace. They are talking, talking, talking, but they don't realise that they are using the wrong instrument. They are still using the mind. Until the heart comes forward, everything will end in vain. Because of human nature, as long as we use the mind, we will never have peace.

Governor Macias: So you don't see peace in the very near future?

Sri Chinmoy: It will happen in the very near future if we enter more into the life of prayer and meditation. Each human being should have more faith in prayer and meditation. The prayer-life has to start in kindergarten and increase in high school, in college, in universities. We have to pray to God to give us a pure mind, a serene mind, a good mind. If there is no prayer inside our life, inside our thoughts, inside our day-to-day activities, then we shall continue making the same mistakes again and again. Without prayer and meditation, the peace process will be a joke; it will only be talk in the mind. It will start in the mind and stop there. But if we pray to God to give us purity in our minds, then our hearts can come forward and we can have peace.

Governor Macias: In advanced countries, I think they use the mind, and peace is oftentimes in the background. But even in the poorest of countries, places like Somalia, it is difficult for peace to really root, to grow, to develop.

Sri Chinmoy: Your President Ramos has said something very significant. He said that poverty is tyranny. It is so true. If we are constantly suffering from poverty, if at every moment we have to think of where we will get our bread and butter, how can we think of anything divine in ourselves? The more advanced, richer countries that are in a position to do so should help the poor countries more. I am not saying that the poor countries don't have to one day be self-sufficient. But right now they desperately need help from the rich countries.

We have to regard the poverty-stricken countries as little children who are helpless. Right now the child is helpless and the parents have to take care of him. But when the child grows up and becomes more mature, at that time he can be self-sufficient. So I feel the poor countries should be taken as little children who desperately need help from the world body.

Governor Macias: How did you bring running into your ministry?

Sri Chinmoy: A few minutes ago I was saying that we have to be instruments of God. I pray and meditate for God's inner Guidance and try to become a devoted, faithful instrument of His. According to my receptivity to His Will, I have entered into various activities in this lifetime. But if I say that I have done it, then I am the worst possible liar. Only I try to become an instrument and allow God to work in and through me and utilise me in His own Way. And whatever I do in this life is all due to His Grace and Compassion.

Governor Macias: What is the value of running?

Sri Chinmoy: Running is of paramount importance because it is symbolic. Whether you run 100 metres or 20 miles, you always have a destination. In our inner life also there is a destination. We are all pilgrims, and from time immemorial we have been walking, marching and running along Eternity's Road with the message of love: love of God and love of mankind.

So physical running is a symbol of our inner running. Running means speed; running means inner courage; running means enthusiasm. Again, there is also a practical benefit to running. Running helps us keep the body fit. And only if our body is fit will we be able to get up early in the morning to pray and meditate. Only if we are physically fit will we be able to do all the things for God that we have to do in life. So I give the utmost importance to physical fitness. We are not aiming at becoming the greatest athlete. Only we want to keep the body fit so that we can do whatever we are supposed to do in our inner and outer life.

My students have told me about your kind hospitality and words of oneness. For that I am extremely, extremely grateful to you. We are in the same boat sailing towards the same destination.

[He offers the Governor the "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart award.]

I offer this to people of inspiration and dedication to honour them for what they have done for mankind. I would like to present it to you.

Part VII - Meeting With Shyamala B Cowsik


Mrs. Shyamala B. Cowsik had been in the position of Indian Ambassador to the Philippines for only a few short months when she met with Sri Chinmoy.

Meeting With Shyamala B Cowsik

Sri Chinmoy: We carry within us the quintessence of our source. The source is like a tree, with many branches, leaves and flowers. All these divine qualities we carry with us wherever we go. You have come from India, so Indian spirituality and divinity you are carrying with you in the very depths of your heart.

The bird flies in the firmament carrying the message; there is no end to its progress-flight. You have served our beloved Mother India in many parts of the world. Everywhere you have been carrying India's eternal message of peace and light. Although outwardly the Indian people quarrel and fight, the light, the peace and the silence that we have received from the Vedic seers of the hoary past are working within us in our inner life. So wherever you go, wherever I go and wherever other Indians go, we carry the light. Outwardly many Indians are in constant conflict, but in the inner world they are in perfect harmony and they love their Source, God, most sincerely. So the inner message of India will always remain illumining and fulfilling.

I am so happy to see you and so proud of you. You have inexhaustible energy and a dauntless spirit. You have dynamism, courage and wisdom; all the things that are needed to expedite the progress of this country you have in abundant measure. God has chosen the right person to come here and the right place for you to come. So much you have already accomplished at this tender age. So much more you will yet accomplish.

Two divine qualities are of supreme importance: confidence and dynamism. Confidence comes from faith, and you have tremendous inner faith. You also have a dynamic outer flow — like a river flowing towards its source, the ocean. These qualities, which you have in abundant measure — inner confidence and outer dynamism — have allowed you to work very hard. But again, there is no end to your progress.

You have so much to accomplish for Mother-Earth. I shall offer my soulful prayers to our Lord Supreme for your continued success in your outer life of dedication and your continuous progress in your inner life of aspiration.

In the Philippines you have two tasks before you. One is to make the connection between India and the Philippines stronger — to build more of a bridge. Previously the Filipinos had a Christian mentality and valued the Western way of life. Now it is time to bring them back to their source — to the Eastern way of life. This is a most significant task you can perform for them. Your other task is to show them that they can make their lives prosperous through their own inner capacities. I am sure the whole country will be indebted to you forever if you can show them this. The soul of the Philippines will shower its choicest blessing upon your aspiring heart and devoted head.

You were born in southern India, but for you there is no North, South, East or West. The length and breadth of the world you claim as your own, very own. The blessings, love and gratitude of each country you will have in boundless measure. Socrates said that he was not an Athenian but that he was universal. You also are for the whole world. You embody universal aspiration and God will utilise you in His own Way to offer His Light to humanity in a very special way. You will prove to the world that you don't belong to India alone but to the entire world.

I am so happy to learn that you are so closely connected with Mr. Lakhan Mehrotra and his family. I am eternally grateful to him. When I first came to the West, he was kind enough to give me a job at the Indian Consulate. Over the years we have developed a soulful friendship, which goes beyond the domain of friendship. We are very close.

[Ambassador Cowsik speaks of the bitter fighting that was transpiring between Hindus and Muslims over a mosque in northern India.]

Sri Chinmoy: Almost all conflicts come from ignorance. Our human consciousness is such that we prefer ignorance to wisdom. There are two rooms: the heart-room and the mind-room. The heart-room is illumined. The mind-room, unfortunately, is still unlit. The mindroom is supplying us with knowledge, not with wisdom, and there is a great difference between knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom comes from the soul and teaches us the message of oneness, whereas earthly knowledge — which is an accumulation of things by the mind — teaches us division. When we live in the mind, which is all separativity, we try to possess the world. But the moment we try to possess something, we see that that very thing has already possessed us. We try to possess someone with our affection, love or cleverness, but to our wide surprise we see that we are already possessed by that person. But if we follow the heart's way, no matter where I am going, I feel that I am carrying you in the inmost recesses of my heart. At that time I don't try to possess you; we sing only the oneness-song.

The mind wants peace, but the peace that the mind wants is the peace that comes from supremacy. If I am one step ahead of you or a little higher than you, then I feel peaceful. This is the so-called knowledge of the mind. But the heart's wisdom is not like that. The heart doesn't want to go one step ahead or one step behind someone else; it wants to go only together, together, together. Because the heart always carries the whole world inside it, it brings the message of oneness.

We need only one thing: peace of mind. But the thing that we need most, we do not value. We want others to see the world the way we see the world; we want division and supremacy. But this is absolutely wrong. If we really love God, how can we fight over whether a particular shrine is a mosque or a temple? We know the real temple is inside our hearts. Hindus use the term 'Bhagavan' and Muslims say 'Allah.' But it is the same Person, the same Reality, the same Divinity. Muslims call it a mosque and Hindus call it a temple, but it is the same place of worship. Let Hindus and Muslims each worship in their own way. If Muslims and Hindus lived in the heart rather than in the mind, then this particular conflict would never have occurred.

It is only when the mind becomes illumined that it will see eye to eye with the heart. At that time the mind also will have true wisdom. But until the mind is illumined, it will always be filled with doubt, fear, anxieties, worries and insecurities. These will remain unless and until we get illumination from the soul. Those who are fervently praying and meditating are the pioneers in bringing the light of the soul to the mind.

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