Not every day, but every moment: illumining questions and answers, comments and talks

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Part I — Questions and answers

Question: When people are ill, is it better for them to struggle very hard with the disease, or to relax and try to surrender, in order to let their healing energy work?1

Sri Chinmoy: When you have a serious illness, whether mental or physical, first of all you have to understand what it actually is. Sometimes the mind is not able to grasp the seriousness of the physical illness. The mind thinks, “It is nothing, nothing.” Again, sometimes the mind exaggerates the physical illness. Then also you are in trouble. Which way should we treat the illness? That is what the doctor has to find out. The doctor examines the entire body of the patient, and then he will have to know whether the physical is more powerful than the mental, or vice-versa.

Relaxing is for joker-patients! As soon as you get an illness, you have to know whether it is serious. You do not have to worry about an ordinary headache or stomach upset. As soon as you notice a serious ailment, you will fight it with your utmost capacity. Then you will surrender to God’s Will.

Let us say you are playing football. As soon as you start, are you relaxed? If you are relaxed, then you will not score any goals! You will play very, very seriously, to the end, even if you know that your opponents are far better than you are. Your team may eventually have to surrender. But right from the beginning if you start surrendering, that is the surrender of laziness.

You are a doctor. When you hear that somebody is ill, you must not say, “Let me surrender this illness to God’s Will.” Where is your will to save the person? Where is the will of the patient himself to be saved? You have to try as hard as possible. Then, after some time you can say, “I am trying so hard!” You are trying so hard, true. And inside you, God is also working very hard — in and through you, the doctor, and through the patient also. But there may come a time when you see that, in spite of your medical capacity, the patient has taken a wrong turn; he is descending and descending. At that time you have to continue to give the proper medicine and say, “O Lord, I have used all the knowledge that I gained from medical science. I studied for so many years. Now, both my medical capacities and the patient’s life I am surrendering at Your Feet.” That will be the right attitude.

If somebody has got a serious disease, then at the very beginning you have to be very, very careful, in each and every case. At that time you must not surrender. Surrender will come gradually, gradually; otherwise, there will be no personal effort, and relaxation will enter into the picture. You will say to yourself, “I know the medicine, and I am giving it to the patient. What more can I do? If he has to die, I cannot do anything.” That is the wrong approach. From the very beginning you have to take very, very serious steps. Again, sometimes it happens that the disease is very tricky. One day the patient feels a little better, and the next day he feels worse.

To the very end, our philosophy is to keep life on earth. You have to try to cure every patient. You should always take the patient’s disease as your own disease. If you separate yourself from the disease of the patient and keep at a distance, only giving the medicine, that is not good. Inside the medicine, you have to give your heart, you have to give your soul. No relaxation!

1-10. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions on 21 December 2005 in Kuantan, Malaysia.

Question: If it is not God's Will for someone to be healed, is it wrong to pray to God intensely for the person to be healed?

Sri Chinmoy: How do you know what God’s Will is? You do not know, but you can pray.

Question: God will not fault me for that prayer?

Sri Chinmoy: No, God will not blame you.

Question: God will not blame me for praying for the person to be healed, even if that is not His Will?

Sri Chinmoy: No. God keeps His Will hidden.

Again, to the very end, to the last breath, it is your duty to try to cure the patient. When you see that the end is coming in a matter of a few minutes, at that time you can say, like a first-class seeker, “God, it is up to You. I am placing the patient at Your Feet. I know the result.”

Right now you have no idea what God’s Will is. It is like a top secret. One day a patient is feeling better, and the next day he may feel worse. Yes, you will surrender to God’s Will; but if you pray to God to cure the patient, God will only be happy, because you do not know what God’s Will is. If you knew God’s Will from the beginning, then you could say, “God, I am fulfilling Your Will.” But right to the very end you do not know what God’s Will is. Spiritual Masters perhaps know.

Since God is keeping His Will hidden from you, you do not have to think about it. You will say, “I do not need to know Your Will now, at this point. I will only do my very best to cure my patients.” Let us say that you do know God’s Will, and God says, “It is just a minor ailment. Do not worry about it — the patient will be all right.” Then you will start relaxing. And if you know that God’s Will is not to save the patient’s life, then you will start worrying. In one case you are worrying, and in the other case you are relaxing. Why then do you have to think of God’s Will at this stage? Always take the illness very seriously to the end.

When you are treating a patient, try to cure the mind along with the body. The mind is a more serious problem than the body. You may be giving the perfect medicine and doing everything correctly, but the mind is not accepting the treatment. There should be some way to deal with the mind, because the mind and the body go together. The mind is the problem-maker everywhere in life. If you get a simple headache, the mind may try to convince you that you have a migraine, or a very serious problem in your brain.

Very rarely the mind encourages us. Again, it may say, “Oh, this illness is nothing; it will go away.” Then the problem becomes very serious. On our part, we shall have to take every illness seriously — but not a minor stomach pain or headache.

Question: Guru, if you have an ailment, is it valid to try to pretend that you do not even have it?

Sri Chinmoy: Madame Curie’s philosophy was, “I am getting better every day. Every day I am getting better.” One approach is self-deception: “I do not have any illness.” The other approach is positive thinking: “I am getting better, I am getting better.” That is an infinitely better policy. The first way is just to neglect and neglect the problem. I have many disciples who do that. They have diseases, but they say, “I do not have this disease, I do not have it.” After six months or six years, alas, they see what kind of disease they have. At that time it is difficult, if not impossible, to cure. A European disciple was suffering and suffering from some ailment. Finally she informed me, but she said that she would not go to a doctor. I said, “No, please go to a doctor!” If we know that we have a serious disease, negligence must not be allowed in our life. We must not try to forget about it.

If you go to a doctor for treatment, you have the right to say, “I am feeling better, I am feeling better, I am feeling better.” That can help you. If you can change your thinking process, that may help you. Most of the time it does help. But if you are experiencing sharp pain and you do not go for treatment, but you say to yourself, “I am feeling better, I am feeling better,” that approach is not valid.

If you feel better, then do tell yourself, “I am feeling better.” But if you do not feel better after a few days, a few weeks or a few months, then the treatment is not working, and you have to be practical. The difficulty is that very often it is too late when people finally seek more help.

Question: Guru, how did you cure your sister of tuberculosis?

Sri Chinmoy: The doctor examined my sister Lily and said she had tuberculosis. I said, “Give me fourteen days.” My sister had tremendous faith in me. I told my family members, “Give me fourteen days. I need fourteen days.” Outwardly they could have said in their affectionate way that it was silly; what did I know about medical science? But they said, “All right, do it.”

The doctors did not allow me to go in to my sister’s hospital room, so after two weeks I was outside, waiting, waiting and waiting. Three doctors came out with my sister. One of them said, “I do not see any disease!” After fourteen days they did not see any disease inside my sister’s body.

God has His own Power.

Question: Did you work through her subtle nerves to heal her, or is it something that you cannot explain in words?

Sri Chinmoy: This is occult power. It is like a tap. When you turn on the faucet, the water flows so powerfully! Anything that is dark inside the heart or inside the body is just washed away. It is very powerful! Nothing remains. After that, for so many years my sister lived — at least forty years more.

Sometimes grace works faster than the fastest; sometimes it does not work. It is a game. We cannot see which side is going to win.

Question: Some people seem to go to a doctor for a check-up every month or so, even though they do not have any problem, and some people — like me — do not believe in that. I do not feel I have a disease, but what if it becomes too late for me when I find out?

Sri Chinmoy: It is good to go to a doctor either once a month or once a year. But again, if you feel that there is nothing wrong with you, if you are absolutely running and jumping everywhere, you most probably do not have a disease that will kill you tomorrow. If you do not want to go to a doctor regularly, you will have to rely on your own health to tell you if something is seriously wrong.

Again, there is something called a heart attack. Only God knows when that is going to happen. You are playing football, volleyball or another game. You become the champion and you are happier than the happiest. You are the hero, stronger than the strongest! You mix with your family, eat and go to sleep, and then you suffer a heart attack. What can you do? Those things are beyond our human imagination.

It has happened so many times that sports players and runners compete, and then they go to the hospital and die. How could they know three hours before that they were going to die? Let us say you have run a marathon — nicely, vigorously, not with your dying breath. Then you do not feel well, you go to a doctor, you go to the hospital and you die. A few hours before, you did not feel something wrong inside you. If you are going to die suddenly, what can you do? At what point will a heart attack occur?

At around 3:30 in the afternoon one day, Lily, Chitta and Hriday were chatting and chatting about “cabbages and kings.” Then Chitta went to the dining hall to work, and Lily went for a short walk. Only for fifteen minutes she walked. When she came back, my brother Hriday was lying in front of Mother Kali’s picture. His head was down and he was bleeding profusely. The ashram doctors were called, and we went to the Pondicherry General Hospital. The doctors pronounced his immediate death. My sister walked for only fifteen minutes, and during that time my brother had a massive heart attack.

When death comes in a moment, what can you do?

My brother Chitta suffered for many years. Three times I took full responsibility and saved him. One day he was coming back from the dining hall with three fruits. Five or six metres behind him was the wife of my dearest, absolutely dearest friend. She was coming to our house to chat about America and how I was doing in America. Mantu was twenty metres behind. One person was a few metres behind Chitta, and one was twenty metres behind him. Chitta said to the lady, “Please take your seat. I am just putting the fruits on the bed.”

She was four or five metres away from my brother when he had a heart attack. For eleven hours he stayed on earth, and then he died. God brought that lady to our house to chat. If she had not come, and if Mantu had not come, how many hours it would have taken before Chitta was discovered.

This lady loves us and we love her. When she and I talk, it is something! She has not learnt Bengali, and my Hindi grammar is farther than the farthest from perfection. English she does not know; in the ashram she did not learn English. Still, we talk!

What can we do? We have to treasure only happy moments, happy moments. Life is for happiness, not for unhappiness created by illness or death.

To come back to your question, always, in everything, we have to try to use wisdom, wisdom. Wisdom saves us. If we have an ailment, we have to go to a doctor. Some disciples say, “I will not go to a doctor, I will not go to a doctor.” Then I say, “No, you have to go to a doctor.” Then only some disciples will go to a doctor.

Question: Does our death always come at God's Hour, or can it be caused by a hostile force interfering with God's Will?

Sri Chinmoy: One theory is that everything is God’s Will. Again, hostile forces can manifest themselves through hurricanes and all kinds of negative acts of nature. Nature is good, but many times nature does things that are extremely contrary to God’s Will. Some things happen that are unexpected, unexpected, unexpected. They may not be God’s Will. A tiny little boat is in a river or in the ocean, and immediately a cyclone comes and kills the passengers. Is it God’s Will? No! Hostile forces do exist. Constantly a fight is going on between the hostile forces and the divine forces. If the divine forces lose at a certain time, then God gives the divine forces more capacity and more strength. Still, hostile forces can do anything!

Once a disciple wrote to Sri Aurobindo, “You are the Omnipotent. What can the hostile forces do?” One person in the ashram came from Chittagong. He was on the verge of God-realisation. Then the hostile forces attacked him and made him insane. Sri Aurobindo was telling him what to do, but he said that the same Sri Aurobindo was coming to him at night and saying, “Do not do that — do just the opposite.” Sri Aurobindo himself said, “I am in the physical! I am telling you what to do.” But this disciple said, “No, you look more beautiful in the subtle world, so I will accept the advice of that form.” Then he died. Sri Aurobindo said to the disciple who had written the letter, “You want to know what the hostile forces can do? This is what they can do, even when somebody is on the verge of God-realisation.”

Again, the divine forces win much, much more often than the hostile forces. Otherwise, this world or any other world could not have existed. The divine forces definitely, definitely win many, many more times than the hostile forces. But the hostile forces are there. Is it the divine forces that start world wars? Never, never, never, never! It is the wrong forces, the undivine, hostile forces, that try to start wars. Then the divine forces try very, very hard to prevent them. Some countries get malicious pleasure by exercising their supremacy. They enjoy the power aspect. “I came, I saw, I conquered” — that theory still exists. Is it a divine theory?

When hostile forces attack the brains of a few individuals and they wage war, there will be thousands and thousands of innocent victims. Thousands and thousands of children die. Did these victims kill thousands of people in their previous life? Did they do something so horrible that now, in this incarnation, they are getting punishment? I will never believe it! When millions of people die, even little, little children and their parents, it is so pathetic. We feel so miserable. Can that be God’s Will? No! It is a hostile attack. And five or six instruments are enough to create so much destruction. The same undivine qualities that are cherished by those instruments all human beings have to some extent, but spiritual seekers are trying to get rid of them.

Question: Are people ever attacked by divine forces?

Sri Chinmoy: Divine forces do not attack anybody! Divine forces stand at your door and say, “Do you want me to come in? Do you want my help?” Divine forces only ask, “Do you need my help?” The hostile forces do not even ask you, “Shall we come in?” Those wrong forces just break open the door.

Question: Guru, at one stage I was having a lot of physical and mental problems, and you very kindly said that to fix them you were going to contact my soul and ask what the problem was. I had always assumed that, if there were any problems, the soul would always let you know, or warn you or at least inform you.

Sri Chinmoy: You have ailments in the vital being, in the physical being, in the mental being. You are like a little child. The mother is observing everything that you are suffering from, physically, vitally and mentally. You are unable to express it, but the mother is all the time watching you, watching you, watching you. The soul will be able to tell me absolutely correctly how many things are wrong in your mind, in your vital and your body. The soul will give me the message. In your case, the soul was purifying something — purifying is the right word — in your mind. This purification of the mind the soul will tell me about, and the soul will know how much it has succeeded. When you were telling me all your problems in New York, I kept my inner eye on your problems. You thought these problems were very serious, but when I kept my inner eye open, I saw that they were not serious at all. The soul told me not to worry, because it would take the responsibility.

Sometimes the souls are very kind. When the body’s health suffers, the soul tells me not to worry; it will take care of the patient. This has happened millions of times, not hundreds or thousands of times. The soul does have infinitely more capacity than the physical. If the soul says not to worry when somebody is suffering, I know that nobody can take better care of the patient than the soul, which is like the mother. If the soul tells me not to worry, then why do I have to worry? I know the love of the soul for the patient — for the body, let us say — is unimaginable. The body is the house and soul is the owner. Will the owner allow the house to break down? Your soul promised to me that it would take full care of you. Otherwise I would have said, “Go to this doctor or that doctor.” When the soul promises, I do not have to worry at all.

Question: Guru, twice on this trip I saw you do something that I had never seen you do before. When you were talking to me, you had your right eye totally shut and your left eye wide open. There was no strain on your face. It was like an absolutely normal, controlled expression. I was just wondering what it meant.

Sri Chinmoy: The eye that was wide open was on the physical plane. The other eye, which was half-open or a little open, was on another plane.

Many times people see me sleeping. True, I am giving rest to the physical, but I may also be doing something very serious in the inner world. Again, sometimes when I take rest, I do nothing in the inner world, absolutely nothing. That is also true. But sometimes, even when our doctors are massaging me, I am not at all in the physical world. I do not get any feeling whatsoever.

The eye that is wide open is only for the physical world, for the people who are around me. When the other eye is half-open, or absolutely closed, I am working in the inner world. In the inner world the souls are coming, or I am entering into them.

Many, many times when I chat with you, I say, “Please, please, cut jokes, cut jokes, cut jokes!” You can see how much I am sincerely enjoying your jokes. When you cut jokes, it gives me so much joy. But you will never believe that I am on another plane. I am here with you, inside you, for you, enjoying your jokes so much. But I have kept my soul-consciousness in three or even four different planes.

Sometimes I am outwardly enjoying your entertainment, while inwardly I am dealing with a very serious case. I keep a free access to three planes. This moment I am here and you are watching me, but I know what is happening on another plane, or two or three more planes. This kind of capacity spiritual Masters have. I am not the sole possessor of this capacity.

Real spiritual Masters can operate on many, many planes of consciousness. Once when a disciple was bringing me food in New York, while people were talking and I was stretching and shaking my legs, I asked her to speak to another disciple about her brother. I was just relaxing, and someone was bringing me food. Then I asked the person who was serving me to go and call that disciple. The disciple said that her brother was all right, but I said I could see that he was in trouble. From the hospital, his soul had come to me.

In the beginning, for a few years, God allows us to use occult power. When we want to use this power out of sheer curiosity, He allows us for a while. A child plays with dolls and toys, and parents like to see their children playing with those things. In exactly the same way, in my Indian life and in America also, many, many times, countless times, I used occult power out of sheer curiosity, only to know what was happening here and there.

After a while, you find that using occult power in this way is a sheer waste of time. But sometimes you use it out of necessity. Let us say that somebody’s consciousness is descending or will descend considerably, and he may give up the spiritual life. At that time it is a necessity to use occult power.

In my ashram life, from the age of thirteen, I did enjoy occult power considerably. Now I use occult power only when necessity demands. Again, sometimes one plane of consciousness is saying that it is a necessity, while another plane is saying that it is not a necessity. Then I go to the Supreme and say, “Two planes are giving me two kinds of news.” One plane, the lower one, will say that I should interfere. The higher plane will say that I should not interfere. I go to the Highest and ask, “To whom shall I listen? I am getting two contradictory messages. One plane is saying that it is necessary to use the occult power, and the other plane is saying that it is not necessary.” I abide by His decision.

Sometimes the Supreme says, “No, do not use occult power. There is another power called spiritual power.” Spiritual power is the wise power. Spiritual power will never do anything harmful. Sometimes you use occult power in a rush. It is like a surgeon who operates very quickly out of necessity, but there is a risk that the patient may not survive. Occult power has some problems, although it can act faster than the fastest. If something has to happen faster than the fastest, then occult power can be used. But if something has to happen slowly, steadily or gradually, then you use spiritual power. When you use spiritual power, it is so safe, absolutely safe. Spiritual power has never caused any damage. Occult power can work faster than the fastest, but sometimes it can create problems.

Spiritual Masters always try to use spiritual power. Again, on rare occasions spiritual power will take too long. At that time, occult power has to come into the picture. These are two powers. One is the fastest runner, the sprinter; the other is the longest-distance runner. The longest-distance runner moves slowly, slowly, slowly. The sprinter will run extremely fast, but afterwards he may collapse and even die. Every spiritual Master will come to have the same opinion: spiritual power is infinitely, infinitely wiser than occult power. But we do need both.

Question: Guru, this is totally a curiosity-question. The other day you said that ceaseless prayer and meditation are needed to stop the world from sinking. There are certain prophecies about what will happen in 2012. The Mayan calendar says some things, and the Egyptian calendar says some things. Different ancient civilisations all predicted that a certain cataclysm would take place in 2012. Is there any truth to these predictions?2

Sri Chinmoy: We all make predictions. I am one of those. How many predictions go wrong! Once some people said that the world would come to an end. Then, because the world did not come to an end, they climbed up a mountain and jumped off.

The word “cataclysm” is a very peculiar word. We use the term often. This world is so vast. Even the worst possible cataclysm will not put an end to this world. Our mind is very limited. The mind enjoys hearing about destruction, but the mind-vision of the world is very limited, very limited.

Some spiritual Masters have predicted over the years that the world will be destroyed. The entire world cannot be destroyed. Large portions, yes; I agree that major portions of the world can be destroyed. But God’s Creation God will not allow to be destroyed all at once or all together, at the same time. That is wrong. Yes, the atom bomb and the hydrogen bomb can destroy many things. But to say that they will destroy the whole world, that I cannot believe. It is all exaggeration. After one atom bomb drops, people will consider the consequences. Large areas like Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed. After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese surrendered, because of fear and helplessness. But I do not think there will be atomic bombs to destroy the length and breadth of an entire country.

On the one hand, we get frightened when we hear the word “destruction.” On the other hand, we have to know that God wants to continue His present Creation. He does not want His whole world to be destroyed. He does not want it; that is not possible. There will be suffering, yes. Untold sufferings we have to go through. But the destruction of the entire world God will not allow.

This morning someone was telling me that certain spiritual Masters spoke about the destruction of the entire world, because the world is not accepting the divine Light. I gave him my point of view. I told him why it cannot be done and why it should not be done, and why God does not want it to happen. Perhaps the disciples of those Masters are to be blamed. Disciples at times cannot do justice to what their Master says. Quite often they have their own opinion, and they say things in the name of the Master. It is so painful.

Already I have started seeing light, light, real light, inner light in some of the countries. Newly born light I am seeing. During this past year, inwardly, spiritually, one big country was doing very well. Along with material progress, it made spiritual progress. This country needed light. How did it come about? God knows whether I was inwardly responsible, but somehow it happened. I am so happy! At the end of 2005, this country came forward. Now, during the New Year, this country is all for world peace. First there should be peace inside the country. In the world arena also, this country is making a very serious and sincere commitment to peace, I must say.

A few more countries will come forward soon. Peace, peace, peace! We have to see and feel that the countries that do not believe in peace do not make up the entire world.

11-21. Sri Chinmoy answered these question on 2 January 2006 in Kuantan, Malaysia.

Question: Guru, you have told us that you create soul-birds when you draw. What are the soul's qualities of your abstract paintings, the ones you did before the soul-birds were started? Are they universes, or are they souls, individual souls?3

Sri Chinmoy: Each bird is singing the song of freedom. The universe is very vast; the universal sky is very vast. Each bird has a specific task: to fly and fly and, while flying, to bring down the message of Immortality. My abstract paintings are like a fixed place. They do not move, but they have their own beauty. They are like the top of the Himalayas. The Himalayas do not move, since they are fixed, but they are so beautiful! Like that, there are many permanent places in nature — hills, mountains, forests or gardens — that are fixed. My abstract paintings also are settled at one place. They are souls that do not want to move. There are many, many souls in the soul’s world that are not dynamic, not active. Again, some souls are active and dynamic, like human souls. They care for manifestation.

Although my abstract paintings are static, remaining in one place, they manifest God’s Light in one way. The birds are manifesting God’s Light in a totally different way.

Freedom itself is light, but something that does not move also has inner light. In our philosophy, something moves and something else does not move. Even the thing that does not move is dynamic in its own way, but we need a different vision to see it.

The birds are flying; we can see their flying movement. The Himalayas are not moving. They are fixed, according to us. But that is not true! If you want to look with your third eye, you can easily see that the flying birds are not moving, and the static Himalayas are moving. You may say, “How can it be?” The human eye sees that something is fixed, something else is moving.

I see a flock of birds in flight. You also see it; everybody sees it. This is true. Again, we see that the mountains are fixed. But when we use the third eye, we can see everything in a totally different way. The capacity of our human eyes is limited. The human eyes will see that something is moving, but the third eye may see just the opposite. The power of the third eye is like that. The third eye is not fooling us. The third eye has the command of movement, and it can see movement in something static. Again, if something is moving, if the third eye wants to see it in a different way, it will see that that very thing is not moving. Even if something has not moved for thousands of years, the third eye can see movement in it.

In the same way, you can stop time. Yesterday I gave a prayer: “What do I need? A time-stopping meditation.”4 There is a kind of meditation in which you can definitely see the time — one o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock — but while you are meditating, you are going beyond time. At that time, from one to two to three and four o’clock time does not move; that meditation is beyond time. With your meditation when you can stop the power of time, everything can be seen in a different way.

To come back to your question, my abstract paintings do have souls. They are settled; they are satisfied. They are not lazy — no! The Himalayas give so much inspiration to millions and millions of people, even people who do not climb up the Himalayas. When we hear about the Himalayas, our consciousness goes so high. As soon as we think of the Himalayas, we get such joy. Such peace we feel. Exactly the same thing happens with my art. The static paintings give us joy. And when the birds are flying, we also get tremendous joy.

We can achieve joy from contrary things, even from contradictions. You may ask, “How can it be?” Joy is always like that! When the ocean is calm and quiet, we get tremendous joy. Again, when we see huge waves, we get joy again. It is the same ocean. When it is peaceful, we get joy. We say, “Oh, it is calm and quiet!” And when it is very rough and mischievous, we can get joy again.

12. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions in Istanbul, Turkey, on 22 November 2006.

12,6. Sri Chinmoy, My Christmas-New Year-Vacation-Aspiration-Prayers, Part 53,

Question: It seems as though seekers of the hoary past were more advanced than seekers today. Is that true?

Sri Chinmoy: How can we know what happened thousands of years ago? As soon as we think of the past, we feel that people were all saints, whereas we are all sinners. We are all sinners — all, all, all! Sometimes we think that disciples of the past were better than we are. Then, when we read their biographies, we see how much jealousy, how much insecurity they had! If the biographers also were disciples, they perhaps tried to appreciate their fellow disciples as much as they could. But we may see how many weaknesses some of them had.

One of the direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna was very outspoken. Swami Vivekananda himself was outspoken! That is why he liked this disciple very much. Some others could not appreciate his nature, but Swami Vivekananda liked him. When Swami Vivekananda became very famous in America, he chose this disciple to propagate his message in the West. He chose this one, and not others who were extremely devoted to him.

Question: Is there any particular quality by which people would know that we are your disciples, from your point of view?

Sri Chinmoy: There is only one way. If each disciple increases his or her love for the Master, then one day all the disciples will see the Master in one another. Now, as soon as you get angry with someone, you do not see me inside the other disciple. You see all the hostile forces in that person. As soon as you are angry with someone, do you see me there? No, you see all the hostile forces inside that person. The disciples should try to see inside others the living presence of the Master.

Sri Ramakrishna’s disciple Brahmananda, who was known as Rakhal, was so high in terms of spirituality. He had very, very high experiences. He was quite stout, and Sri Ramakrishna was so thin. But sometimes when Brahmananda was walking in a very high consciousness, not looking at anybody, other disciples used to see him as Sri Ramakrishna. He was in such a high consciousness. They used to adore him and worship him, because they did not see Rakhal as Rakhal at that time. While Brahmananda walked, the disciples used to see that Sri Ramakrishna was walking.

When I wrote my comments on the Bhagavad-Gita, I wrote them in English every Wednesday and then we used to send them to Sudha in Puerto Rico. She would translate them into Spanish. There would be twenty, thirty, sometimes forty disciples at the Puerto Rico Centre when she read out my comments, and my face they used to see on her feminine face. Everybody saw it! I received so many letters from the disciples saying that they used to see my face on her face. She identified herself with me so closely that her own face was no longer there. When the meeting was over, again the disciples saw her as Sudha. It happened so many times! Not only one disciple, but everybody saw my face, believe it or not.

If one goes high, very high, others can not only see the Master inside that person, but they can see the person as the living Master. In my case it happened when I was nineteen or twenty years old. That story I have told you. In the burning Pondicherry heat, at one o’clock in the afternoon, while walking barefoot, I was singing. They were songs that I knew, but all the notes I was deliberately singing incorrectly. I was singing absolutely at the top of my voice! An old lady who was like my second mother saw me. I was acting like a real vagabond, but she saw inside me the living Presence of God. She had never before seen the Presence of God. She came to my sister’s place and said, “Your brother was singing so horribly, and in such a peculiar way he was moving around! But I saw the living Presence of God inside him.”

One fellow in the ashram would not drink a glass of water without criticising me. We used to work together in the electrical department. People appreciated my poems, but that was too much for him, so he would criticise me. If my absolutely dearest admirer was nearby, nobody could say one word against me. If somebody said my poems were useless, and my admirer had a book in his hand, he would throw it at that fellow. This particular disciple always used to make fun of my admirer by criticising me mercilessly. Whenever people appreciated my poetry, he would say, “Chinmoy’s poems? He is useless! Americans are such fools! Here in India will he get one disciple?” It went on like that for years.

One day my mentor, my dearest friend, showed my Transcendental Picture to my critic while they were walking in the street. As soon as he saw the picture, he was stunned. He put it to his forehead and said, “Oh my God! Here is God, here is God!” He was sincerely appreciating the photograph and seeing God. The next moment he returned the picture to my dearest friend, and again he started saying that I was useless! At least for one minute he saw God.

This moment he saw God in my Transcendental Photograph. Then, when he returned my Transcendental Photograph, he again started his usual business.

How many people can see God inside my Transcendental Photograph? Have you all seen Him, or are you waiting to see Him? This fellow said very sincerely that he saw God. At that time he was not cutting jokes.

During one of my visits to the ashram, this critic begged me to show him my palm. I said, “Why do you have to see it? You know everything — say anything you like! You have developed so much occult power. Do I have to show you my palm? Just say anything that you know- — I am ready to hear it. You do not need to read my palm.”

Some of Sri Ramakrishna’s disciples were really, really close, and again, there were others who suffered from undivine qualities. Swami Vivekananda got so much attention, but sometimes he did not listen to his Master. Yet Sri Ramakrishna would always say that if his disciples spoke ill of Swami Vivekananda, or even heard people speak ill of him, Sri Ramakrishna would be furious.

Question: Guru, I think I got an inner message from you about how to treat my knee pain. Is it true?

Sri Chinmoy: Look at the faith of this disciple! He had knee pain, and he said I told him in the inner world to drink as much water as he could. Outwardly I did not say anything. He did drink a large quantity of water, and he gave me all the credit.

Question: It worked, Guru!

Sri Chinmoy: Then how is it that you are again suffering?

Question: That was my left knee. Now it is my right knee!

Sri Chinmoy: Again you can start drinking water.

Question: I did, but it did not work!

Sri Chinmoy: You need faith, faith! Of course, the first time you did feel that you got an inner message.

I also had to have faith. When I put ink on my left heel to succeed in the pole vault, how much faith I needed at that time! My last chance was coming up. I had to run, run, run to my house, because Mother Kali was asking me to put a mark on my left heel. Now, what has ink to do with my pole vault? But I did it, and I succeeded in my pole vault.

Again, Sarada Devi inwardly told me to go to the visa office on a Saturday to get my passport so that I could come to America! How can you believe such a thing? She told me to go to the government office on Saturday. The time also she gave: eleven o’clock. I had faith, and I did get the visa.

Shyama Charan Lahiri, Lahiri Mahashoy, had tremendous occult power. He was Babaji’s dearest disciple. Look at his faith! He had two daughters. One daughter was about eighteen years old when she married into a very rich family. Then she came back to her parents’ place and got a very, very serious disease, like cholera. It was only a matter of weeks before death would come. Shyama Charan Lahiri’s wife was crying and crying, telling her husband to go and bring famous doctors. He said, “You do not need famous doctors. I will cure our daughter.” He made a kind of mixture with mustard oil and some spices. He said to his wife, “Give this to her. She will be all right.”

Alas, she had no faith in her husband, so she did not give the remedy. She said, “What will people think? If our daughter dies, people will blame us. Her husband and our whole family will blame us.” She threw away the remedy. Then the doctors came, and they could not cure the daughter. The wife cried and cried. Still she did not believe that her husband could have cured their daughter.

Then what happened? They had three sons. One son, the middle one, became absolutely crazy. The wife sent the husband to this doctor and that doctor, and the husband obeyed her implicitly. He was a great yogi, but he went to so many places because his wife was sending him. Still she did not have faith in him at all, but the doctors could not cure the son.

The case became very, very serious. Then the wife said, “All right, all right! You are crazy, but now let us use your crazy remedy.” Shyama Charan Lahiri made the same preparation — mustard oil and spices — and the son was cured. His wife was sending him to bring various doctors, and he did bring them, but they could not cure the son. Finally, Shyama Charan Lahiri’s cure was successful.

Faith, faith, faith, faith! In my case, I recommend coconut water. I do not say that if you drink coconut water, everything will be cured. I do not say that, but I see that through coconut water I work most of the time quite successfully. Some people have very serious, severe pain from appendicitis, and they have to go to the hospital. I tell them to drink coconut water, because I know that I will be able to relieve their pain through coconut water. There I have put spiritual power. I will not say that coconut water will cure anyone! But I know that whatever I want to do to help an individual, I can use coconut water. In many, many cases — hundreds of cases — I have used coconut water. With coconut water, my force works. For everything I say to take coconut water, absolutely; but I do not dare to say that people will be cured just by drinking coconut water.

The day Ravi Shankar came to play for us, it was raining heavily. A high-ranking official at the United Nations and his wife came to me. They said that twice the wife had suffered a miscarriage and lost a child. They were so miserable. Now the wife was again pregnant, and they were asking me if I could do something, begging me to do something. I was preparing my speech for Ravi Shankar. I said, “All right, I shall pray, but from now please take coconut water.” I know how much faith they had in coconut water! The child did come into the world, in perfect condition.

The daughter of a famous politician came to our museum. She was very, very nice. While signing our guest book, she said that in two or three weeks she would give birth. I was horrified that arrangements had been made for me to lift her. What if something happened? I was so unwilling, unwilling, but what could I do? I prayed to God, and I lifted her as slowly as possible. I knew that nothing would happen, but she was the one who had faith. In two or three weeks she would give birth. Such a risk she took!

While signing the guest book she said to me, “Now please give me some advice.” Was I the one to give her advice? I said, “Please, from now on, every day until you have the child, drink coconut water — twice a day, if possible.” Because she took me as a spiritual person, she accepted my message very, very seriously. She did drink coconut water, and afterwards she thanked me.

A famous actress said to me, “Can you please find a husband for me?” It is absolutely true! Was I the right person to find her a husband? She was so nice, so devoted, so devoted. I told her to drink coconut water! Perhaps she was cursing me for saying that coconut water would bring her a husband. Coconut water I use for so many things. Believe me, occultly I did something. She had faith that I was a spiritual person, so she believed me, no matter how stupid it seemed that she should drink coconut water to get a husband.

If some special individuals ask such sincere questions, what am I going to do? Is it not their faith in me that compels them to ask me? I can see that they do not want to make fun of me. I see seriousness in their questions. If they take me seriously, I can do something. Faith is like that. From the outer point of view if you want to judge, you will say that it is crazy; but these individuals had tremendous respect for me. Because I felt their sincere respect, I told them to drink coconut water, and there I put my spiritual force.

Question: Guru, how did coconut water get that honour? Did you really like it as a child, or is it some quality of the coconut?

Sri Chinmoy: I pour my consciousness into the coconut water. Otherwise, no; the coconut water itself will not be able to cure anyone.

My mother cured me with coconut water when I had the worst possible case of smallpox. The doctors had given up all hope. My eyes were closed; I could not open them. With a little coconut water my mother challenged the doctors, and she was right. Coconut water has something special to do with my life. So many people I have saved from their suffering through coconut water!

Faith, faith, faith, faith! Faith is a reality. If the Master says something, then it can be done. When I request some disciples to do something or to get me something in the evening or at night, the first thing they will say is, “Oh, it is not possible at night! The shops are closed; nobody will be there at nine o’clock or ten o’clock.”

Once I told a disciple that I wanted to have a violin. When it is a matter of playing the violin, I am still an eternal beginner! It was night time — so late, so late. I said, “Let us see.” We were driving and driving; there were no stores. Finally we saw one small store, a sports store. I went inside. I was not looking for a violin at that moment, but what did I see? There was one violin in the area where they kept exercise machines! How did it happen? A friend of the owner’s had given it to him to sell.

This kind of thing has happened many times.

Faith! Three or four days before Sri Ramakrishna’s passing, he wanted to have the amalaki fruit. Swami Vivekananda said, “It is out of season.” But one disciple said, “Since this request came from Master’s mouth, there should be amalaki somewhere.” He went from village to village. He found only one amalaki fruit, and he brought it to his Master. Sri Ramakrishna said, “This is called faith.” That was Nag Mahashoy.

Once on the street somebody was speaking ill of Sri Ramakrishna. Nag Mahashoy grabbed the sandals of that man and thrashed him. The man was much stronger than Nag Mahashoy, but the disciple’s anger had such power! Then that man never spoke ill of Sri Ramakrishna again.

Sri Ramakrishna had two approaches. He said to his disciples, “If somebody is stronger than you, just say to yourself, ‘He is not a man; he is an insect.’ Why do you have to pay attention to an insect? And if somebody is weak, say, ‘You? You are speaking ill of my Master? If you speak ill of him, then you will go to hell!’” Sri Ramakrishna said that if your Master’s critic is stronger than you, you may be beaten by him, so the best thing is to say that he is just an insect. Why do you have to pay attention to an insect? But if he is weaker than you are, how can you tolerate his criticism of your Master?

Sri Ramakrishna and Mathur Babu were once having a conversation. Mathur Babu asked, “Can there be on the same stalk one white flower and one flower of another colour — blue or any other colour?”

Sri Ramakrishna said, “There can be.”

Mathur Babu challenged Sri Ramakrishna. He said, “It cannot be. If one flower is white, another flower on the same stalk has to be white. There cannot be any other colour.”

The following day, out of the blue, Sri Ramakrishna showed Mathur Babu a small plant with one white flower and one flower of another colour. Either Sri Ramakrishna used his will power, or it was quite natural. I have seen this kind of thing in Chittagong, and in Pondicherry: two flowers of different colours on the same stalk. Mathur Babu did not have faith, but Sri Ramakrishna proved that it could happen.

Anything can be done if we have faith. Our difficulty is that our faith has a very short breath. After five minutes or five days, our faith disappears. In my case, I tell everybody, “Have faith, have faith, have faith.” But when it comes to medical science, at times I have no faith!

Question: Guru, you keep trying different doctors, so you must have faith that eventually you will find the right one.

Sri Chinmoy: I am trying, but perhaps I am trying to break the cosmic law, or my own law! Today another doctor is coming, after eight doctors have failed to relieve my shoulder pain. If it is God’s Will, then God will cure me. I have my connection with Mother Kali. I know that, if she sanctions it, in a minute or in a second I can be cured. My philosophy is that God is also inside the doctors. I say this, and I practise it. I say to myself, “Perhaps this one can cure me, or that one can cure me.” On the human level we cherish hope, hope, hope, hope. You can say that I am desperately trying to break or go beyond my own realisation. Why should there be only one kind of realisation?

For years and years I was opposed to acupuncture. I taught you that we have thousands of subtle nerves, and these nerves are jolted by acupuncture. It destroys their rhythm. I told everybody my philosophy, and now I have broken my rule — I have tried acupuncture! I tried to have faith in acupuncture, but in this case the pain came back three times.

Again, look at my faith: I tried injections for my knee pain. My Chinese doctor was so kind. For three weeks, sometimes even for a month, I used to feel better. Then the pain would come back. Now my doctor has gone to the other world. His soul has to work in and through some of my doctor-disciples!

Question: Is there a limited number of great souls? It seems that the great souls keep coming back in different lifetimes.

Sri Chinmoy: New great souls are coming. Old great souls are coming, too. The old ones are coming back and coming back. Let us say that they were once upon a time spiritually great, and now they want to be great in some other field. They may want to become scientists or generals. Some great souls do want to change their fields, as we change our jobs.

At the ashram, I changed my job eight times! The Mother did not approve of anybody changing jobs. For the others in our family, she was dead against it. But in my case she said, “Go ahead and work in another department.” That is how in one incarnation I changed my job so many times.

Some souls were great in one incarnation, and then in another incarnation they entered into another field where they were absolutely beginners, beginners, beginners, beginners!

Question: Is it still the same great souls who do great things in so many different fields?

Sri Chinmoy: In one incarnation they are great in one field. In one aspect of life somebody may be great, and in another aspect he may be useless, useless, useless!

New great souls do come to earth, but they do not become great souls overnight. Nobody can be great or good overnight. Some started their journey in a particular field four hundred years ago, let us say, and then after some time they became great. Others started perhaps two hundred years ago, and then after a few human incarnations they also became great. The ones who became great later we can call new souls. Some became great many, many years ago. They worked hard and they became great. Others started later. It is a matter of when they started their preparation.

Question: Guru, do they have the potential to be great right from the start? Is it that they are already high souls, and they do not have to evolve as much?

Sri Chinmoy: When the farmer puts seeds under the ground, some germinate. Again, the same type of seed if he puts somewhere else, nothing happens; the soil is barren. There is no hard and fast rule.

All the students are studying in the same school, and the teacher, let us say, is super-excellent. One student becomes great, and another becomes deplorable — he does not complete his studies and get a degree. How God’s Grace works, we have no idea. We simply have no idea!

Sri Aurobindo said that the capacities of the great souls — Vashishtha, Vishwamitra, all the sages that came in those days — will one day pale into insignificance. New souls are coming — great souls, greater souls. Sri Aurobindo ends his story “The Ideal of Forgiveness,” which I rendered into Bengali verse, by saying that from Heaven, some mightier souls are coming. They will be so great that the capacities of their predecessors will pale into insignificance. Vashishtha and Vishwamitra are souls of the highest type, but Sri Aurobindo said that new souls will come who will be far superior to the old ones. Whether they have already come or not, God knows!

Sri Aurobindo said that we are not the sons of the past, but the sons of the future. Again, he said that, in the great field of spirituality, the past has to be followed by the future.

When Sri Aurobindo’s knee was fractured, many letters came to him, asking what was the reason. The doctors also asked. To each individual he gave a different answer. Four or five different answers he gave to explain why his knee was fractured. Which one to accept? We have to be satisfied with one particular reason or the other. To the same question, different answers came from Sri Aurobindo.

Some spiritual Masters say that below the knee it is all inconscience, so we have to bring down light into the knee. Then we will be cured. Light, light, light is the cure!

Question: Guru, is it possible within a lifetime to change our consciousness permanently? Or will it only be a slow process, in which our good qualities gradually increase?

Sri Chinmoy: There is no hard and fast rule. It is all a matter of grace. From earth comes aspiration, and from Heaven comes grace. When they meet together, it can happen. Some people already have the capacity to change their nature.

Again, suppose that somebody was very, very undivine. In India there were so many rogues who did absolutely bad, bad things, but they became divine. They say even the person who wrote the Ramayana was so horrible that he would cut off people’s fingers. He wanted to make a garland of thumbs! He was so bad, so impure, that he could not say the name of Rama. He had to say it in the opposite way: “Mara, Mara.” But then he became divine. He became the greatest sage. In many cases, people were very, very bad, notorious to the backbone, and they became saints. Alas, unfortunate things also happen. Some people begin with absolutely saintly qualities and then they end up in jail, because they start doing bad things. In the beginning they were so good.

Now, to come back to your question, it is quite possible in one incarnation for the seeker to change his consciousness permanently if he wants to. If God’s Grace descends most powerfully, and if the seeker’s receptivity-vessel is very large, then he can do it. He does not need many incarnations. Otherwise, in a slow process it can take two or three incarnations to change one’s nature.

Sometimes a little plant is growing up straight. We see that one day it will become a tree. But alas, a storm comes and it breaks. Like that, some seekers stop making progress. Let us say that for thirty years someone was doing well, but then something happens — there is a dislocation in the person’s faith, or some other calamity. Then he does not make any more progress.

We are supposed to make progress. To my great sorrow, some disciples who joined our path right from the beginning have descended considerably. But I go on with the hope that, in their next incarnation or in the evening of their life, they will get back their aspiration.

From pre-school, children go to kindergarten, primary school, high school, college and university. But what happens? Some people give up high school, or they do not go beyond high school. They are supposed to go up to the M.A. level, let us say, but it does not happen. In exactly the same way, some people in the spiritual life arrive at a certain standard, and they feel that that is enough for them. In the ordinary life, if you have completed your B.A. and you do not go beyond that level, you keep that title. The knowledge that you got from the university you keep. Unfortunately, in the spiritual life, once you stop making progress, in most cases or many cases you go down.

In the ordinary human life if you stop making progress, there you stay. In the long jump if you have covered seven metres, and you cannot go any further, that is enough for you. Your achievement is over, but it is recorded that you have jumped seven metres. In the spiritual life, the situation is totally different. You have climbed up the tree to a certain height, and if you do not want to climb up higher, you just go down. You cannot stay there! In the ordinary life if you hold a Master’s degree, you keep that degree. But in the spiritual life if you have climbed up the tree and you are stuck, you are not going higher, then you go down. In very rare cases you get stuck and you do not come down. But in most of the cases, once progress stops, people come down. This has happened in the case of many disciples. Again, some disciples have maintained their standard.

I shall give you an example. When people joined our path, they felt that insecurity they had to conquer, jealousy they had to conquer, pride they had to conquer in order to make the fastest progress and to become very dear to the Master. Everything that was wrong in their nature they felt they had to conquer, and every second they tried to develop purity, purity. Anything they saw in themselves that would stand in the way of their progress, they would try to conquer. Alas, alas! After twenty or twenty-five years, some have given up completely. And these forces — pride, anger, jealousy — that they previously wanted to conquer, they have now taken as weapons. If a newcomer comes to the path, if he is shining and doing well, the jealousy-arrows of those particular disciples may come and attack him.

In your case, you made the fastest progress. Such service you gave from the beginning — service, service, service! Even now you are continuing. The service that you give, not even ten per cent of the disciples can give. Twenty-four hours a day you are working, working, working, working. Some people are jealous of you. I am telling you this today. Again, there are many people who are proud of you. They feel, “We have a jewel here! He is doing so well.”

We have no idea how fast one can make progress. Let us take the case of Sri Aurobindo. Sri Aurobindo’s Guru, Vishnu Bhaskar Lele, was so proud of Sri Aurobindo. He said it took him seven long years to silence his mind, to make his mind calm and quiet — seven years — and Sri Aurobindo did it in three days. How proud Sri Aurobindo’s Guru was of Sri Aurobindo!

Sri Aurobindo was going high, higher, highest. He went beyond that Master. Lord Krishna was guiding Sri Aurobindo at every moment. Then his Guru became jealous of Sri Aurobindo’s achievement, and he said, “You have been attacked by hostile forces.” Sri Aurobindo said, “I want to be governed by the hostile forces and not by you any more!”

Look at the Master’s sincerity! He did have sincerity. Who will say that his own disciple has transcended his achievement? Spiritual Masters usually do not say if somebody is making great progress. Lele said that in three days Sri Aurobindo attained such height that he was able to silence the mind. Again, when Sri Aurobindo went beyond him, Lele’s jealousy started and he said, “You are being attacked by the hostile forces.”

Sri Aurobindo’s Guru was a very, very great soul. Once Sri Aurobindo had to give a speech. He had made no preparation, and he was full of worries and anxieties. Lele said, “Just go on the stage and bow to Lord Vishnu.” Such faith Sri Aurobindo had! With no preparation, Sri Aurobindo bowed to Lord Vishnu and gave the most wonderful speech, his Uttarpara speech. That kind of faith he had in his Guru. But wrong forces can attack, as they attacked Lele.

Parents and children may be on the same spiritual path. In general, when the daughters make progress or do anything great, the fathers are happy. But when some fathers see that their sons are making progress, alas, alas, the problem starts! The same is true of some of the mothers when they see that their daughters are making progress. When their daughters go faster in the spiritual life, there are some mothers who compete. Alas, this is jealousy! Parents should always have oneness with their children.

We have seen jealousy also in the case of some famous women. They are so much older than their own daughters. Then they do all kinds of unnatural things, and sometimes the daughters look older than the mothers! Why do the mothers do it? To become young, or to look younger.

Even between two hands there can be jealousy. If my right hand is stronger and my left hand is weaker, I may form a low opinion of my left hand. I may say that it is useless, useless. But if I am a spiritual person, I will always try to show sympathy. I will have oneness with both my right hand and my left hand, and I will show sympathy to my left hand. My right hand will say, “Poor little brother, you are the younger one in the family.”

When sincere spirituality is involved, compassion goes to the other party. When there is no real spirituality, there is separation. The superior one will say to the inferior, “You are weak, so you are useless, useless, useless.”

In the beginning, many of the disciples who have been with us for many years used the divine method to conquer jealousy, insecurity, impurity, pride and other wrong forces. I gave a prayer for each day — “Supreme, I must conquer”5 — and I do hope that people sincerely repeat those prayers. If the disciples had continued right from the beginning to be strict in conquering wrong forces, by today they would have become saints. Our difficulty is that, on the way, we give up. Then, when we see that somebody has many divine qualities, a variety of divine qualities, we become jealous.

Sometimes jealousy-arrows do disturb the one who has capacities. Again, no matter how many jealousy-arrows others may hurl at an individual, God is there to save him. In my case also, some people were jealous of me, but they could not prevent me from becoming what I am, because God was with me.

Once again I wish to say that it may take a few incarnations or it may take one incarnation to change our human nature, but it is very difficult, very difficult. Human nature, they say, is like the tail of a dog. When you hold it, you feel that it has become straight. Then, as soon as you release it, again it becomes coiled.

Every moment if we are very strict with ourselves — not every day, but every moment — then nature’s transformation definitely can take place in one incarnation. It has happened. So many sinners of the first water, absolute sinners who did such bad things, did realise God in one incarnation. It has been done in India and everywhere, in each country. But again, some good seekers have fallen down on the way. They were very good to start with, but they descended.

It is all God’s Grace, God’s Grace, God’s Grace, God’s Grace. Receptivity is needed, plus God’s Grace. Again, we do not know when God’s Grace will descend. Four people are standing together, and a child will come and give a flower to one person. Why? Just because the child likes that person. There is some connection between the little child and the one to whom he gives the flower.

21, 17. A Day in the Life of a Sri Chinmoy Disciple, p. 46. New York: Agni Press, 2008

Question: Guru, yesterday I went out of the hotel early to see the sunrise. After a few minutes I saw you riding in your car, and I was so excited, because I thought, "This is the sun for my soul." Then the outer sun came up, so that was the sun for my body. Could you please say something about the sun?6

Sri Chinmoy: I was also very thrilled to see you! The outer sun is for your body. The inner sun is for your soul and heart, and I am your inner sun. This is a very nice experience.

Ordinary people have only one sun. Spiritual people, if they are very advanced, may have two or three inner suns. Sri Ramakrishna’s dearest disciple, Swami Vivekananda, had eighteen inner suns. There was another spiritual Master at that time. Sri Ramakrishna was very fond of him, and he was also very fond of Sri Ramakrishna. That Master had only one sun, although he had so many disciples. God knows how many inner suns I have.

Each individual has an inner sun, and one sun is enough. If you can see that sun and bask in the light of that inner sun, you will have many, many high experiences.

Every morning for the last four or five days we were blessed to see the sun while driving, and I was very, very happy. Today, alas, there was no sun. Usually we drive for half an hour, but today I said, “Let us go for an hour to see if the sun will bless us.” There was no sign of the beautiful, beautiful sun today.

The sun that I used to see in Pondicherry was mild, sweet and very, very compassionate. Here I am seeing the same sun, but it has a different aspect. It is all power, power, power! It is the same sun, but here it is all power. The aspect of the sun that we used to see in Pondicherry gave me much, much more joy, but we do receive blessings from this one.

I have had quite a few significant experiences with the sun. The most striking one was in Kamakura, at the foot of the statue of the Lord Buddha. We enjoyed spiritual games, the Lord Buddha and I, with the sun.

22. Sri Chinmoy answered this question in Istanbul on 27 November 2006.

Question: We see on the video that, when you meditate after you give your morning prayers in your room, your facial expressions change quite dramatically at times. Could you say something about that?7

Sri Chinmoy: I move from one plane of consciousness to another. Sometimes I go straight up; sometimes I go at an angle. Every two seconds, or at most every three or four seconds, my consciousness changes; it goes higher. Usually it takes two seconds, but sometimes it takes three or four seconds. At that time I visit many, many planes of consciousness. When I am about to end my meditation, I open my eyes and smile. That smile is my blessing for my spiritual children. When I am meditating, and again when I smile, at that time I am blessing and blessing you all.

During our Christmas Trips we cry for enlightenment. How much time I spend with you here! Even when you come to New York for our Celebrations, you do not see me and I do not see you so many times during the day. You are lucky and I am lucky. You are lucky to have a Master who can spend so many hours with you, and I am lucky that I have really, really devoted disciples who appreciate my meditation. You want to meditate, meditate. And I appreciate your selflessness.

How much joy I get when I drive around the hotel in my chariot during our morning meditations! Real joy I get. At that time I am far, far beyond — beyond, beyond. Nothing, absolutely nothing can disturb me. The first time when I go around, I try to see everybody, all the disciples who are standing. I look this way and that way. The second time I do not look at anyone, but I am quite familiar with the places where the disciples are standing. From the third time on, I am in another world. There is no question of familiarity; I do not see the place, I do not see the individuals. At that time I feel that the disciples have to be very, very, very, very devoted in order to receive from me. Some are doing very well, while others are restless, and some enjoy sleep. But from the third time on, I am in another world.

23. Sri Chinmoy answered this question in Belek, Turkey, on 1 December 2006.

Question: Guru, when the Supreme comes to visit earth as an Avatar and suffers so much, does anything in the Supreme's Plan change as a result of that direct experience of earth's suffering?

Sri Chinmoy: Each Avatar has to suffer tremendously, if he is a real Avatar. Avatars are the direct representatives of God. Again, all the Avatars are not of the same height, just as all yogis, all disciples and all seekers are not of the same height. All of you here are not of the same height. Some are higher, some are lower. All the Avatars have reached a most sublime height — high, higher, highest — but again, some are much more powerful in self-giving and God-manifesting.

There is not a single Avatar who has not suffered. Some suffered for a longer time. Sri Ramakrishna was fifty years old when he left the body. Sri Chaitanya had a short time on earth. Some say that Sri Krishna lived for one hundred and eight years, some say one hundred and twenty; it was definitely over one hundred. Sri Aurobindo was seventy- eight. Lord Rama was seventy-three or seventy-four. The Saviour Christ was only thirty-three, and he completed his manifestation in only three years. Then he was crucified, he suffered and he died on the cross. Some spiritual Masters suffered for such a long time. Unbelievable suffering they went through.

Many years ago at Harvard University I sang a song, and since then I have again sung that song many, many times. You also have sung it many times. Je besechhe bhalo: “He who has loved this world has only got excruciating pangs…Yet the hero marches along.” 24

24. Je besechhe bhalo: Sri Chinmoy, GLI-73: The Garden of Love-Light, Part 1, song 38. New York: Agni Press, 1974.

Question: Guru, is there a connection between disciples who have the same soul's name? Or is it just that their souls have the same type of quality?8

Sri Chinmoy: A soul’s connection may be there, but on the vital or mental plane they may clash, because the soul’s connection has not been manifested on the physical, vital or mental plane. If it manifests, then they will become very good friends. The soul’s connection is good, but there may be no connection on the physical, vital, mental or psychic plane.

How many soul’s connections we have had among the disciples! There have been so many spiritual sisters, so many spiritual brothers, but in this incarnation it happened in many cases that they could not establish their friendship. The soul’s connection has to be manifested in other parts of the being.

25. Sri Chinmoy answered this question in Belek, Turkey, on 2 December 2006.

Question: Guru, sometimes when I am folding my hands or trying to be devotional, I wonder if I am being insincere.9

Sri Chinmoy: A struggle is going on between the mind and the heart. Then you tell yourself, “No, I have to be sincere!” It happens in many, many cases. You feel that you are not sincere. Then you struggle for five seconds, ten seconds, one minute or two minutes, and finally you say, “No, I have to be sincere, I have to, I have to!” You say, “I do not want to be a counterfeit coin — I want to be a real coin! I want to be a flower of purity and beauty.” You struggle, and like you, there are many, many, many, many others who feel that they are not sincere when they fold their hands, but they have to try.

There are many ways to get sincerity. The easiest way to become sincere is to feel the heartbeat. When you put your hands on your heart, try to hear the sound of your heartbeat. Then, very soon you will get real sincerity. Again, you can repeat “Supreme, Supreme, Supreme” or “Guru” as fast as possible. Then your sincerity will come to the fore. But the first way is so easy: just fold your hands and hear the sound of your own heartbeat. Then purity comes to you, and sincerity comes to you. Very good question!

26-28. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions in Belek, Turkey, on 3 December 2006.

Question: At our Centre meetings, sometimes people are not on time, or they are restless, or they leave in the middle of the meditation. But then these same people get angry at the person leading the meditation if he tries to maintain some discipline.

Sri Chinmoy: That is our fate! What can we do? Some people come late. In New York, some people are eager to be near their Master, while others like to sit farther than the farthest! There is plenty of room, but they deliberately sit far away so that they can enjoy themselves in their own way. Again, quite a few disciples die to be as close as possible.

We cannot discipline others. If we inwardly curse them, then our consciousness goes lower than the lowest. If we get angry with people who behave badly, it does not help us, and also it does not help them. Our anger is not going to transform them or give them discipline — no! We have to be on our own. We have to say, “Here I have come to make progress. I have to do my very best.”

In general, for outer discipline, the person who is leading the meditation is responsible. If the leader is not there, others who are running the meditation are responsible. Whoever is taking the responsibility and acting like a real leader should be very, very strict. Then again, how can you be strict with everyone? In some cases you cannot; you have to maintain silence. What can you do? Only try your very best to make your own progress. You cannot transform anybody else’s nature; but you do have the capacity to make progress. And if you have the willingness and eagerness, then you will make progress, definitely.

Everything has to come from deep within, deep within, if we want to make progress. We cannot force others — we cannot force.

Question: I do not always set a very good example, either, Guru.

Sri Chinmoy: We are all in the same boat! But if inspiration comes to us during our prayers and meditations, at that time we have to become very, very strict with our own life.

Question: Guru, in the song you composed today, what does lajuk mean?10

Sri Chinmoy: Lajuk means one who is shy. Some seekers are very shy, specially women seekers. Sri Ramakrishna said that people who are shy are very far, very far from real spirituality. He said that it will not do to become shy; we must not allow shyness to enter into us.

Shyness is weakness, weakness, some people say, while others say it is a sweet quality of human nature. Each spiritual Master has his own philosophy. According to me, shyness perhaps will not delay your God-realisation. I personally do not take it as a bad quality.

At the ashram, according to many, I had abundant shyness. My friends and my teachers said that I was always shy, but Sri Ramakrishna said that one cannot realise God if one has shyness.

Here, among the disciples, who has first-class shyness? Among the girls, there are many whose shyness is very visible and tangible. Boys usually do not have shyness, but there are a few exceptions.

Lajja ghrina bhoy: If you have shyness, if you have hatred and if you have fear, then you will never be able to realise God. That was Sri Ramakrishna’s theory.

Sri Ramakrishna named several stages. I have written a song about them, and Paree’s group has sung it.11 Puja — worship with earthly things like flowers and incense — Sri Ramakrishna called the first stage. He himself used to pluck flowers and offer incense. According to his realisation, this kind of worship with earthly things he put at the first level.

Then comes japa, repeating God’s Name. Again, some spiritual Masters did realise God only by doing japa. Some Indian saints attained to very, very high states of consciousness by doing japa.

A few years ago I was doing japa 7,000 times. Then it went up to 13,000 repetitions. During this time, some spiritual Masters laughed and laughed at me in the inner world. They were saying, “Stop! After God-realisation you do not have to do japa!” I had not done japa in India, at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, so I said to myself, “Let me see what it is.” I started with 3,000 repetitions, then it became 7,000, and finally it became 13,000. Thirteen thousand repetitions I did for seven or eight months, about ten years ago. Some disciples gave me clickers so that I could count the repetitions.

A funny thing used to happen. I would put the clicker in my pocket, and then if I happened to put some magnetic keys in my pocket, the number on the clicker would disappear. Then I would forget where I had stopped!

Thirteen thousand repetitions I could not do at a stretch. In one session I did one thousand or two thousand. I did it for hours at different times, but then the number disappeared because of the magnetic things in my pocket. Even while disciples were singing during our function, I was repeating and repeating and clicking and clicking. In this way I did try japa, but fortunately or unfortunately it did not help me at all. It is not necessary after God-realisation.

Again, it is a matter of faith, faith! Many, many spiritual figures like Bijoykrishna and others who were absolutely saints and yogis of the highest order depended on japa. In your case, if you have faith, you can do it, but what are you going to repeat? Some spiritual Masters say that if a human being has prayed and meditated, you will have more faith in that person than in a carrot, let us say. A carrot looks nice and you can eat it, but if you repeat “carrot, carrot, carrot,” it will be difficult for you to have faith that the carrot will help you to realise God. Then again, look at Ratnakar! Ratnakar used to cut off people’s thumbs, and he made a garland of thumbs. He could not even repeat Lord Rama’s name because he was so bad. He wanted to repeat Rama’s name, because Rama was a spiritual figure, but he could only say it backwards: “Mara, Mara, Mara.” Mara means dead body; Ratnakar had to repeat “Mara, Mara, Mara,” and he did get his realisation. Then he became known as the great sage Valmiki.

29-30. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions on 6 December 2006 in Antalya, Turkey.

29,6. Sri Chinmoy, Pujar cheye jap baro (unpublished song). Sri Chinmoy also composed a song (unpublished) on Lajja ghrina bhoy, mentioned in this talk

Question: Guru, can you tell us what you were repeating all those thousands of times?

Sri Chinmoy: Only “Supreme, Supreme,” or “Kali.” I did not say anything else. My Guru, my only Guru, is the Supreme.

Once upon a time my Guru was Sri Aurobindo. We used to say the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, placing the Mother’s name first. In front of the Mother I did not utter Sri Aurobindo’s name. Something — respect, veneration, adoration and worship — would not allow me.

Question: Guru, is there any relationship between inner vision and outer vision?12

Sri Chinmoy: Between inner vision and outer vision there is a great difference. With outer vision, if you look at the head or forehead or eyes or feet of an individual, each time you look at the person, you get different feelings. If you look at a particular part or limb of the body, let us say if you look at somebody’s eyes, you may say, “Oh, he is beautiful” or “She is beautiful.” When you look at the head, you start criticising: “His head is too big!” Then you look at the feet of the boy or girl and you say, “Oh, they are so ill-formed! They are not good.” When you use outer vision, in one body you find something good, something bad. Then the problem starts. You cannot form a real opinion, because this part is good, that part is not good.

In the outer world we do not use the term “vision”; we use the term “sight.” The word “vision” is used only for the inner life. It refers to the inner vision. Doctors use the term “vision”; but for spiritual people, vision is a spiritual word, very spiritual.

When we speak about the inner vision, we mean something that deals with light and all kinds of divine qualities. That is inner vision. Again, inner vision can see sooner than the soonest. The inner vision is infinitely, infinitely higher than the outer vision, which we call sight.

Outer sight is very limited. With outer sight you have limited capacity. If somebody is standing near you, you can see the person clearly if you are face-to-face. If the distance is even five, ten or fifteen metres, then it is all blurred — you cannot see clearly. You see the person, but you cannot fathom the reality of that person.

Inner vision can see the person at a very, very, very great distance. And inner vision does not see part by part: head, nose, eyes and all the limbs. Inner vision immediately enters into the soul of the person, of the being. Then it sees the capacity of the soul: how much the soul can do for God, for mankind.

Spiritual people do not usually speak about the “outer vision.” For us, the proper terms are the inner vision and the outer sight. Doctors use the term “vision,” but in the heart of my heart I will always say that vision comes from a very, very high plane of consciousness. That is inner vision. The outer vision is as much as your eyes can see and appreciate in an individual.

There is no comparison between outer vision and inner vision! Inner vision can see the past, present and future in the twinkling of an eye.

31. Sri Chinmoy answered this question at Aspiration-Ground on 13 April 2007.

Part II — Comments and talks

"Please allow me to sing a song for you"13

Rintu has just sung a song by Tagore. I shall tell you a funny story. About four years ago, at around ten o’clock at night, I came back home from Aspiration-Ground after our meditation. A middle-aged Indian lady was standing in front of my house. I spoke to her in Bengali. Then she said, “Sri Chinmoy, Sri Chinmoy, I have a very strong desire!”

I said, “What is it?”

“I would like to sing a song for you! I know I am not your disciple, but please allow me to sing a song for you.” I stood in front of my house, and very nicely she sang this song, Klanti amar khama karo prabhu. She was a Bengali lady. Her name was perhaps Sushmitam. She wanted to sing the song for me, and she sang so beautifully.

32. 17 December 2005, Kuantan, Malaysia

America: The brother and lover of the world14

Thomas Jefferson came with infinite, infinite light, not only for his country, but also for the rest of the world. Light exists; dire darkness exists. We hope that one day light will transform darkness into light.

The first lines of our “America” song say, “Great you are, good you are, brave you are, kind you are.” No vision will ever remain unfulfilled. We may not see it in our time, but America’s glory, America’s kindness, America’s concern for the world will definitely reign supreme. These divine qualities we may not see tomorrow, or in the nearest future, but they will definitely come back. America once led the world most affectionately and kindly. Those days will never be buried in oblivion — never!

Let us hope that we shall see not the leadership of supremacy, but the leadership of oneness. There will be no supremacy; it will be all intimacy. Inside America’s heart of intimacy, the rest of the far-flung world will find utmost safety. America will not be a conqueror. America will become the brother and lover of the world.

33. 19 December 2005, Kuantan, Malaysia

Avatars take many forms15

Believe it or not, your Guru has many forms. I take many, many forms in the inner world. The souls that come to me also have many forms, but I have many, many, many more forms than they have. I try my very best, when I go to see them, to allow them to recognise my soul. Only very few souls cannot fully recognise me, my height; they find it quite difficult.

The interesting thing is that, when I meet with the Cosmic Gods and Goddesses and the Avatars, at that time we do not show off! We take simpler than the simplest forms. It is not as if one Avatar will show his height and then another will do the same. We are such close family members. When we meet together, we take almost formless forms.

Again, sometimes some yogis are very proud of their yogic occult powers. They may try to show off their occult powers, which are like the huge waves of the ocean. Some yogis can be like children. They show here and there how powerful they are, like little children who have got some toys. Little children may throw their toys to the ground and break them. But very, very highly advanced yogis behave almost like the Avatars.

When some yogis show off their capacities, which are like billows or heavy waves rising, it does not bother the Avatars. At that time the Avatars show their larger-than-the-ocean consciousness. Then the yogis bow down. Which is more important: the ocean itself, or a few waves here and there? Some Avatars do not even pay attention when yogis show their occult power, so these yogis may become a little jealous. But some Avatars do show at that time their ocean-vast consciousness. Then the yogis surrender, and they no longer show off.

34. 21 December 2005, Kuantan, Malaysia

The New Year — 200635

In the New Year’s message for 2006, the Supreme is speaking about hope, hope.

I wish to clarify something. No country is the world. If the hopes and promises of certain countries are not fulfilled, there are many other countries where we will see that their hopes and their promises will be fulfilled. Many countries will come forward with new hopes and new promises. They will make astounding progress. The world’s happiness and the world’s sufferings should not depend on the success or progress of any individual country.

This year, quite a few countries will be making tremendous progress. They hesitated; they waited for three or four years to see how the world situation would evolve. But now, quite a few countries are brave enough to go their own way. It is not that they will revolt, but they feel that by seeing the faults of other countries they will delay their own progress. They want to make progress. We shall see how many poor countries and rich countries will come forward and fulfil their promises.

35. 1 January 2006, Kuantan, Malaysia.

35,1. New Year’s Message-Prayer, 2006:

The door between the two worlds17

The other day, so many times one of the disciples came to visit from the other world. She asked for a boon, and I sanctioned the boon.

The door between the two worlds is closed. We do not know what is going on that side, and they do not know what is happening here. Once we open the door, we can see those souls and they can see us.

These are two worlds. There is just a door or a curtain between them. We find it difficult to see the other world because our mind is roaming here. Our heart is identifying with the other world, but identification is not enough. We have to go there and see what those souls are doing.

36. 1 January 2006, Kuantan, Malaysia.

As soon as you give up this body18

At the end of your life’s journey, as soon as you give up this body, then you will know who I am.

37. Kuantan, Malaysia, 1 January 2006.

My most favourite heartbeat-songs19

I have composed quite a few heartbeat-songs. Undoubtedly these three are my most favourite heartbeat-songs. They are simpler than the simplest, but they carry the deeper than the deepest feelings of my aspiring heart.

Out of thousands of songs that I have composed, quite a few are heartbeat-songs — many, many, many. But these three songs when you sing soulfully or I myself sing, they absolutely melt my heart. They are simpler than the simplest, but they carry the deeper than the deepest feelings of our spiritual life.

38. 3 January 2006, Kuantan, Malaysia. Comment about the songs Akarane prabhu, E jibane jadi and Jibaner sheshe/

Higher, deeper20

I never thought that in this lifetime I would be offering so many prayers! My Chittagong-life was all prayer. My Pondicherry-life was all meditation. Very, very few times I prayed in Pondicherry — I can count the number of times. Meditation was my Pondicherry-life. In America, in the West, my life is prayer, prayer, prayer, meditation, meditation, meditation. Both prayer and meditation are really needed if we want to go up and also dive deep within.

There is a slight difference between going up and diving deep. In my case, when I dive deep within, I get more joy. When I go up, I do not get as much joy. Again, when I dive deep within, I see the high, higher, highest worlds. These worlds are all inside my deepest meditation. But when I go up to enjoy the higher worlds, when I am actually there, I do not get the same feeling, the deepest feeling that I get when I dive deep within.

When you dive deep within, you can house all the highest experiences. But when you are in the highest world, you do not have the same feeling. The highest world is the highest; but in the deepest world that is deep within my heart, I feel the presence of the Highest. Again, we cannot separate the highest and the deepest.

The doctors will say that the heart is a tiny muscle, but a spiritual Master will say, “Oh no, the heart is larger than the largest! It is much larger than the sky itself.” This is the experience we get in the spiritual life. The heart is not a tiny muscle. Yes, for the doctors it is tiny; but for spiritual people, the heart is something vaster than the vastest, much larger than the sky that we see.

39. 3 January 2006, Kuantan, Malaysia

Your Master is not the body21

Many times when I pass by and look at you while I am driving my chariot, you may think that I am not in my highest consciousness. That is your wrong judgment. Sometimes I look at you; sometimes I do not look. Even when I do not look, I keep my third eye open. Any time I want to, I can go to the inner world, to the outer world, everywhere.

There are three kinds of samadhi. One samadhi is called savikalpa samadhi. There, thoughts come and go, but you are not affected. Thoughts, like flies, go this way and that way, but nothing happens to the mind. Then there is nirvikalpa samadhi. Nirvikalpa is infinitely higher. In nirvikalpa samadhi there is no iota of thought — nothing, absolutely nothing. There you can have your highest meditation. The third samadhi is called sahaja. That is the most difficult samadhi: to maintain the highest consciousness when you are in the hustle and bustle of life. I do not think the Supreme has given that samadhi to more than twenty spiritual figures. They can be in the highest consciousness. Far beyond nirvikalpa samadhi they can go. There have been very few selected souls since the beginning of Creation who could maintain the highest consciousness and at the same time cut jokes, mix with human beings and do anything else.

Again, I do not think more than twenty people have attained to sahaja samadhi. Perhaps even when I say twenty I am exaggerating. Many, many spiritual figures did not reach that height, because it is much, much higher than nirvikalpa samadhi. If you are in nirvikalpa samadhi, you cannot mix with people, cut jokes and do all kinds of ordinary things. Again, there have been a few who could remain in the highest and at the same time maintain their earthly consciousness and enjoy humour and ordinary activities. That is sahaja samadhi.

When you see me joking with you, please do not feel that I have come down to my lowest level to be with you. No, no, no! Some disciples think, when I am cutting jokes or chatting with people, “Oh, Guru has descended. He has descended — otherwise, how could he be joking like this?” Believe me, I do not descend. Out of His infinite Compassion and infinite Bounty, God has given me the capacity to maintain my height. And this capacity I got at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram — not here in America, and not in Chittagong.

When I am joking, you can also enjoy the joke to your heart’s content — no harm; but do not forget what I have said. You can either enjoy, or you can dive deep within, but do not forget that my highest and the human life, the Heavenly consciousness and the earthly consciousness, always go together.

Very, very few Masters have had this capacity over the years. Those few were in the highest, sahaja samadhi; others were in nirvikalpa samadhi, and others in savikalpa samadhi. Even in savikalpa samadhi there is a thought-current. Thoughts are coming, flowing like waves, but one is not affected. It is like the surface of the ocean, where we can see waves and billows. How powerful they are! Sometimes they are frightening, destructive. But at the bottom of that ocean it is all silence; silence reigns supreme. The same consciousness that is at the bottom of the ocean is pervading the surface consciousness.

Only when you are in your deepest, highest meditation will you know that your Master is not the body. All the spiritual Masters since the beginning of Creation have told their disciples that the Master is not the body. Inside the body of the Master there is Something, there is Someone. Please maintain that consciousness.

40. 3 January 2006, Kuantan, Malaysia

The beauty and sunshine of new dreams22

There is a disciple whom I so rarely see these days. He does not take his place near the front of the room. I do not see him and I do not feel his presence here. This is not good. He is only thinking of his shattered dreams. I am begging him to change his attitude towards his spiritual life.

Our man-made dreams are different from God-made Dreams. To all of you I wish to say, try to live in God-made Dreams, not in your man-made dreams. Man-made dreams will give us only repeated blows, blows, blows — blows from the inner world, blows from the outer world. Outwardly it may seem that our God-made Dreams also give us blows, but they are not actually blows; they are only perfecting our nature. These so-called blows are showing us that there are many more ways to please God in His own Way. If one dream is shattered, two dreams are shattered, no harm. God will give us many more dreams. Let us not think of the dreams that are shattered, but of the dreams that are blossoming or want to blossom inside our heart. Let us pay all attention to them.

We shall have to bask in the beauty and sunshine of the new dreams. If the old dreams are not fulfilled, we shall just discard them and forget about them. New, new dreams, new dreams! We must bask in the sunshine of the new dreams.

41. 3 January 2006, Kuantan, Malaysia

President Jefferson's light23

Right from the beginning, if people had had the inner courage to accept President Jefferson’s light, today’s world would not have been so unspiritual and undivine. But the light will continue to shine here, there and elsewhere, whether it is being accepted or not. The very nature of light is to shine and to illumine darkness. Whether we want it or not, light will continue to illumine us, and the day shall dawn when we all will be illumined.

Let us enter into President Jefferson’s light: universal light, all-embracing light, all-illumining light.

42. 11 March 2006, P.S.117, Jamaica, New York

Real joy24

I go to bed from twelve-thirty to three o’clock in the morning. Either at three o’clock or at three-thirty I get up. Then I do my meditation. Then I do singing and I draw. At six-thirty I go out, again to pray and meditate.

Nothing gives me real joy except prayers and meditations. When I pray and meditate, at that time I am my true self. When I am not meditating and praying, the problems of the whole world descend upon me. But when I meditate, at that time there is no problem. My outer life and my inner life become one. When I am not meditating, they are like the North Pole and the South Pole.

If you can get up early — at two o’clock, three o’clock or three-thirty — you can do many things. Believe me, I do six or seven things! I take exercise with heavy weights, 1,200 pounds. And I take stretching exercises. Before seven o’clock I do exercise for two hours. Again at nine o’clock I exercise for an hour or an hour and a half. Daily I take exercise for three and a half hours, including stretching. Upstairs, nine exercise machines I use. Downstairs I come to use four or five machines. I do heavy, heavy weightlifting.

I get joy when I am in my own world, alone. It is only me and nature. Nature is helping me. When I come out of the house, the hustle and bustle of the world takes away all my joy! My joy is night, from three o’clock or three-thirty. At that time there is no disturbance, no interference. That is the greatest joy.

Meditation! My joy is only meditation.

43. 2 March 2006, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York

A promise was a promise25

Centuries ago, in the Vedic seers’ time, a promise was a promise. If you made a promise, the story was finished. Even at the time of the battle of Kurukshetra, a promise was a promise. They believed in their promise, and they would kill themselves to keep their promise.

44. 30 March 2006, Sri Chinmoy's home, Jamaica, New York

I am inseparably one with you26

My spiritual children, you have such love for me, unimaginable love for me. In return, I can give you my heart’s infinite, infinite, infinite gratitude-tears, my infinite gratitude-tears. You think that you are fortunate to be my disciples. In my case, not only do I think and feel, but I know that I am extremely fortunate to have you in my Boat. And this Boat, I am sure, will not fail you. At God’s choice Hour this Boat will take you to the Golden Shore that I talk about, the Golden Shore of the ever-transcending Beyond. You will not fail me, and I shall not fail you. I shall not fail you.

In August I shall complete seventy-five years of my earthly existence, so I have started offering to each of you seventy-five million gratitude-flowers.

When you are suffering, whether physically or mentally or psychically, please feel that I am there, inside your sufferings. I am with you, in you and for you. I may not be able to take away your sufferings. Only God, our Lord Beloved Supreme, can take away our sufferings. But try to feel that I am one hundred per cent with you in your sufferings. And when you have happy news, when you are in a very cheerful frame of mind, when your entire being is surcharged with happiness, please feel that I am there, I am there. I am one hundred per cent there with you, with your happiness. I am inseparably one with you, both in your suffering-life and in your cheerfulness-life.

When we establish our oneness, which we have done, then the so-called unhappiness can be transformed into happiness, because there is someone to take care of us. For you there is someone who has established his inseparable oneness with the Absolute Lord Supreme. I can definitely be of service to you, and with your enthusiasm, eagerness and willingness, you can also be of tremendous service to me.

There are some disciples who are no longer physically with us, but they support us inwardly and outwardly. Quite a few are in favour of us, wholeheartedly and sincerely. There are some disciples who have left us and do not support us. Please, please do not mix with those people. Again, some who have left our path are indifferent to our activities and our achievements. Please do not mix with those who are indifferent. Their indifference will affect you — your soul, your heart, your life, your life-breath. Only mix with those who love us, care for us and help us when they feel that we need their help. I regularly bless their souls, bless their hearts, bless their lives.

Let us have only positive thinking, positive thinking. Anything that is good, inspiring and aspiring is leading us to our destination. The rest is all an unfortunate experience. Hell and Heaven are always side by side. When you are happy, when you want to go forward, Heaven is embracing you. When you are sad and miserable, at that time hell is welcoming you. Remain in Heaven all the time, all the time!

Again I am offering you my gratitude, my heart’s infinite, infinite, infinite, infinite-multiplied-by-infinite gratitude-tears.

45. 14 April 2006, Aspiration-Ground

He sends them; he takes them back27

Some people have asked me about their children or grandchildren who are no longer on earth. They want to know if their departed dear ones have taken a new birth, a new incarnation. I have told them that this kind of question will not help them at all to realise God. In their case, it is sheer curiosity.

The only thing we have to know about our dear ones is that he came from God, she came from God, and now they have gone back to God. It is God’s responsibility to give them another life on earth. Let us only think of our responsibility: to pray, to meditate and to realise God.

Those dear ones came to earth for a few years and now they are gone. He sends them; He takes them back. While they were on earth, you took care of them, because God gave you the responsibility. Afterwards, God alone is responsible.

46. 5 December 2006, Belek, Turkey

The significance of a flower28


In the Name of the Supreme we are opening this flower shop: The Garland of Divinity’s Love, The Garland of Divinity’s Love, The Garland of Divinity’s Love.

The flower signifies beauty and purity. The flower signifies our awakened consciousness.

The flower talks. As we talk, the flower also talks. We talk to the flower with our eyes. And when we talk to the flower with our eyes, the beauty of the flower talks. There is a running conversation between our eyes and the beauty of the flower.

Then our nose talks. When our nose talks, it talks with the fragrance of the flower. The fragrance of the flower and the human nose talk in a most significant way.

Then there is a talk, a most significant talk, between our consciousness and the purity of the flower. The purity of the flower and the consciousness of our aspiring soul talk together.

The flower sings. As we sing, the flower sings. Early in the morning, when the florist touches the flower with his inspiration, the flower sings with its divine inspiration.

When the customer buys the flower, he buys it with his aspiration. He wants to offer this flower; he wants to use this flower for a special purpose. Inside the purpose looms large his aspiration. When, with his aspiration, the customer buys the flower, the flower sings.

When the customer fulfils his aspiration — that is to say, when the customer takes the flower home and offers it on the altar or gives it to the person it is meant for, whether it is for a special event or for something else most significant — when the purpose is fulfilled, again the flower sings. The flower is fulfilling its purpose.

The flower dances. Early in the morning, when the birds sing on the top of the tree, immediately the flower- consciousness dances with delight. Soon after, when the golden disc, the sun, peeps out, the flower dances once again with Immortality’s Light.

The sun is immortal. When its Immortality’s Light enters into the living breath of the flower, the flower starts dancing. Then, in the evening, when the sun wants to retire in the western sky, when the sun wants to take rest, the sun says to the flower, “My child, now I am resting. I want to offer you my infinite Peace. You also take rest and enjoy infinite Peace.” When infinite Peace enters into the flower, the flower again starts dancing with joy.

When we enter into the world, the flower welcomes us. At that time, when the flower welcomes the soul, the flower offers a divine surprise to the soul. The soul enters into the world and smells profuse fragrance. With the flower, Mother Earth offers her deepest, most sincere welcome to the soul that has entered into her arena. Then, when the individual has played his role on earth for fifty, sixty or seventy years, he has to retire. When his journey comes to an end, Mother Earth offers him her blessingful gratitude. At the beginning, when the child enters into the world, Mother Earth offers him her blessingful joy. When this child grows up, he becomes an adult, a mature man. Then he enters into dotage, old age. When he finishes his role on earth, Mother Earth again blesses him with a flower, this time with blessingful gratitude. The first time she gave blessingful joy, and this time she gives blessingful gratitude, because he has played his role on earth for Mother Earth, for the earth-consciousness.

We offer flowers to a spiritual Master. When we offer a flower to a spiritual Master with folded hands, and again when a spiritual Master accepts the flower with his folded hands, that means he is also offering. While accepting the flower, he is offering his love and joy. His love and joy he offers when he accepts with his folded hands. When we give with folded hands, we also offer our joy and love.

When we offer flowers to spiritual Masters, when we place the flowers at their feet, at that time we are offered compassion and concern. Concern and compassion we get when we place flowers at the feet of holy figures, spiritual Masters.

When we place flowers in front of the picture of our Guru, of our spiritual Master, of a great spiritual figure, at that time we get blessingful gratitude and blessingful pride, for we have the inner awareness to appreciate the spiritual as well as the physical. When we place a flower in front of the picture, at that time we are actually offering our aspiration to the spiritual aspect more than the physical aspect. In the physical of the Master is the Supreme. Again, in the picture also, the living Consciousness of the Supreme is there; but when we stand in front of the physical we get more joy, because the physical proximity makes us feel that we both belong to earth. One person is in the form of the spiritual Master, and the other person is in the form of the disciple.

When we are standing in front of a picture, it is the consciousness that is playing the major role. The Master’s outer limbs are not functioning, but his inner consciousness is functioning, so we are entering into his spiritual world. That means we are adoring, we are loving and we are worshipping the spiritual aspect. While living on earth, when we give importance to the spiritual aspect also, side by side with the physical consciousness, at that time we get blessingful gratitude and blessingful pride from the Master, from the Guru.

I really wish you to buy flowers from this place. Flowers always offer divine fragrance. You can buy flowers very often, if possible every day, for your shrine, for your house. A flower is God’s purest and brightest message. Please try to see all beauty in you, with you and around you in the lap of Mother Earth.

47. 25 June 1971, Jamaica, New York. During the inauguration of The Garland of Divinity's Love flower shop, Sri Chinmoy gave this talk.

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