Only gratitude-tears

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Part I — Questions and answers

Question: How is it that the soul cannot make progress in the inner world?1

Sri Chinmoy: The soul makes progress, but the soul cannot achieve God-realisation in the soul’s world. Progress the soul will make, but it is like looking at a mountain from a distance. From here if I am crying for my mother, my mother hears me. If my mother is smiling at me, I can see that my mother is smiling. But only if both of us, mother and son, are at the same place, and my mother is pleased with me, can my mother give me the most delicious mango. At that time she will say, “Here, I have this mango and many more for you.”

For everything there is a particular place. The kitchen has food and the meditation room may at times have food. Upstairs rooms may also have food. Because you think that the kitchen usually has food, you may say, “The food is there. Why are we not going into the kitchen?” But I may say, “No, I want to eat on the porch.” I have selected the porch as the place to eat.

God selected this earth for realisation. He wanted to give realisation here. He chose the place, just as I chose the porch to eat and to offer food to you. If you go to the kitchen, you will get a little food there; but since I have chosen the porch as the place where we will eat, all the food will be available here. I say, “Please bring all the food here, to the porch. Let everyone eat here.” Similarly, God chose this earth planet to give realisation. We may think that realisation can be given in the soul’s world, but God says no. On rare occasions, God may do a few things differently.

The question arises, what happens when we are not in the body? There is only the soul. When the soul takes a body, it has limbs, and it also has the vital, mind and heart. Everything it has. It is like a machine that has five or six parts. The soul itself may be beautiful, but it is like a machine with only one part. Another machine may have five or six parts. When all the parts of a huge fitness machine are operating, one can do twenty or forty exercises. Again, the parts can be separated: there can be one here, one there. But if I have the capacity, if I have the money-power to buy a huge fitness machine, I shall do it. Then twenty exercises I can take at one place. Will I not buy that big machine if I have the money-power?

In exactly the same way, for God-realisation if the soul can operate through the body, vital, mind and heart, then the soul is accomplishing everything at one place.

OGT 1-17. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions at his home in Jamaica, New York, on 21 July 1999

Question: Does that mean that one can increase in wisdom and other qualities in the soul's world, but one will not come to the point of God-realisation?

Sri Chinmoy: We have to realise God here. Realisation exists in the soul’s world, but God says no. It is like a decree.

In my house there may be food in the kitchen or in the meditation hall, but I say that I want to eat and feed my guests on the porch. What can you do? Again, if you are on the porch with me, you will see my whole body, all my limbs. If you go to the kitchen, you may be thinking of my head or my heart or some other aspect of my existence. But if you are on the porch with me, you can see my whole being.

The most important thing is God’s Choice. If God wishes, He can give God-realisation in Heaven. But He says, “No, I have decided that I will give you God-realisation on earth.”

When it is a matter of God’s Choice, why does He have to wait for six years to bring someone back to earth after his previous incarnation? God can bring someone back in two years. Again, He may wait two hundred or three hundred years. There is no hard and fast rule. But one rule He has made: in general, ordinary souls have to stay in the soul’s world for six years. The higher they are, the more rest they can take. Has Lord Buddha again taken incarnation, or Sri Ramakrishna, or Sri Krishna? No! They are so high. They do not want to come back. They say, “From the higher worlds we can operate.”

Ordinary souls still have to go such a long way. For six years they can take rest. In some cases, God does not want them to take rest even for six years because they are so ordinary. As a matter of fact, they are dying to come back! When ordinary people leave the body, from the soul’s world they die to come back. They go to the soul’s world according to their own capacity. They do not go into the highest region. God says that in six years they will come back, but at times He breaks the rule: it may be three years, two years, one year.

After only one year, how does a soul enter into another family and tell everybody what happened? Somebody has died. Then she is reincarnated, and she is able to tell her previous husband’s name. After she has taken incarnation in a totally different family, she tells the name of her previous husband and the name of her husband’s brother, who killed her. These Indian tales are true! One lady told the name of the person and how he killed her. Everything she told in detail. One year after their death some people take incarnation in other families, and soon they tell all about their previous existence. It is one hundred per cent true.

Question: What happens to people who die accidental deaths?

Sri Chinmoy: People who have accidental deaths are sometimes unsatisfied. They take a longer time to come back. They are dissatisfied with this world. For people who die over two or three years, or people who are old and over the years have acquired abundant wisdom, death is natural. But young people do not take it that way. Young people never think that death can come tomorrow. Old people, after some time, know that death can come any day. Young people think, “No, everybody else will die. My father died, my brother died, my sister died, but I am immortal! I will live for a long time.” They always think that way.

When people die in an accident, like a crash, they do not go straight to the higher worlds. Their death is like cutting the throat of a chicken. After the throat is cut, the chicken runs here and there. If people are daily becoming weak, weaker, weakest, death is normal for them. But with accidental death, it is as if untimely somebody has cut the person’s throat. The other way is a slow process: the person becomes forty, fifty, seventy, eighty years old and finally he dies. There is preparation. The patient or the sick man is getting prepared. He says, “My death is coming.” But in the mind of young people, the very thought of death never comes. It will take time for them to reincarnate.

Again, if someone has been murdered, sometimes revenge comes into the picture. In boxing, the referee declares that somebody has been defeated; he surrenders and lies down on the ground. Then he goes outside the ring and returns to his place. But he cannot wait to come back and punch the fellow who has defeated him. He thinks that the next time he will be able to defeat his opponent.

When the hostile forces have killed someone, a challenging attitude comes to the fore in the one who is defeated. He may think that the next time he will be able to kill his enemy.

Question: Can people give their murderers very frightening experiences?

Sri Chinmoy: They can, if they have not forgiven them. It takes another Lord Buddha to forgive one’s murderer.

Question: Can they give their murderers frightening dreams?

Sri Chinmoy: They cannot give them frightening dreams. If they pray to God to punish those people, God can take a particular form and punish them. But the victims themselves do not have the capacity.

Question: Is it bad for the soul to feel angry and revengeful after it dies? Are there undivine consequences for the soul?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two ways. One way is to forgive and forget. That is the way of the Saviour Christ and the Lord Buddha: forgive, forgive, forgive. With that approach I will say, “I am more illumined than they are. They are ignorant people, and that is why they have struck me. Let me forgive them, forgive them.” That way I get satisfaction.

Another way is to use a different kind of wisdom. I will say, “They are ignorant, but I will make them more ignorant if I do not show my capacity and tell them that they have done something wrong.” Today they have struck me and they have escaped. Tomorrow they will attack somebody else, because they do not realise that they have done something wrong. I have to make them conscious that they have done something wrong. I say to them, “I will not give you the opportunity to strike again.”

Then there is a third way, which is to say, “You kicked me; I shall kick you back.” But I will say, “You have kicked me once, but I will not allow you to kick me a second time. I will escape by using my wisdom.” My theory is like that. Very ordinary people will say “Tit for tat,” “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” or “If you strike me, I have every right to strike you.” That is true, but some people say, “You are an ignorant fellow. I am above this. I have realised God.” That approach I do not like. I like the second way: “On the physical plane if you strike me, I will not allow you to strike me again because you will incur more ignorance. I will not allow you to become more ignorant. Then you can become wise, wiser, wisest.”

Question: Can the soul accrue bad karma if it is revengeful?

Sri Chinmoy: No, God will forgive the soul. God will say, “He struck you. You have every right to strike him.” But then God will say, “Now you are in the soul’s world.” The victim and the attacker are on two different planes: one is on the soul’s plane and one is on the physical plane.

Question: Is the soul capable of doing something undivine that would hinder its spiritual progress? Can the soul do anything that is bad?

Sri Chinmoy: The soul is not doing anything bad. The soul is defending itself, showing that the attacker has done something wrong. But again, some souls will say, “Oh no, he is ignorant.” They do not tell their attacker anything. Even after being beaten, they do not say that the other party has done something wrong.

Question: How is the soul going to communicate with the attacker?

Sri Chinmoy: It is not the soul’s business. God takes care of the whole situation. But if the soul gets angry or upset, God will not be displeased at all because the soul that has just left the body is still mixed with the vital and mind. After two or three weeks when the soul goes to the soul’s world, the soul will forget about it. At that time the soul will say, “I want to make more progress in a different way.”

My approach is to point out that the other person has done something wrong. I will not allow him to do it again, because I love him. This is my type of wisdom. If I allow that person again and again to do the wrong thing, he will only increase his wrong activities.

Question: On earth if somebody is doing something wrong, what is the right attitude?

Sri Chinmoy: Justice has to be done. Otherwise, thieves will continue stealing and murderers will continue murdering. If one remains aloof, he is not doing any good for the culprit. Let us say that you come and rob my house. If I do not go to the police, then you will go to somebody else’s house to rob that place. I have to inform the police. Then it is the business of the police to take the necessary action.

Question: If I do not take action, am I getting bad karma because I am allowing a person to do bad things again?

Sri Chinmoy: At that point if you refer the matter to God, another type of wisdom is coming forward: “God, he has done something against me. Now You tell me what I should do. Shall I punish him? Shall I go and tell someone else, or shall I leave it up to You? You please decide what I am supposed to do.” This is the inner communication between the seeker and God. You say, “God, please decide. Please tell me what to do. I do not wish to remain indifferent in an ordinary way. God, You please decide what I should do.”

If someone is allowing another person to commit more misdeeds, he is doing the wrong thing. Again, he can say to God, “God, this fellow has done something wrong. Now I am begging You to do the needful.”

But if somebody is not doing anything — if he is not telling God and he is not taking any outer action — that is wrong. He is allowing the ignorance of the person to increase. Instead, he can tell God, “God, someone has given me a slap. I will do whatever You say. If You ask me to give him a slap, I will give him a slap. If You ask me to remain silent, I will remain silent. If You say I should tell some people who will take my side and give him another slap, I will do it.” You have to wait for God’s Advice. Many times we do not do this. We allow people to continue to do wrong things, and this is how ignorance is increasing.

Some people are increasing ignorance by not asking for justice. When there is a car crash, some people just ignore it. Then the mad driver will go on and commit a more serious crime.

You are a good driver, let us say, and your friend is a third-class driver who has destroyed your car. If you do not tell the police, then your friend will have a more serious accident. Whose fault is this? The first time it was not your fault, but your negligence, your unwillingness to do the right thing, will make your friend more undivine. Then he will have a more serious accident.

Ten metres in front of you, let us say, somebody is about to turn into your lane without signaling. But if you honk, then he will realise that he has done something wrong. Otherwise, tomorrow this fellow will turn only five metres ahead of someone, and the day after he will turn three metres ahead of someone else. That person is innocent, but he may be the victim of a crash.

Even if others are undivine and curse you, let them curse you. In that case they have committed a double crime. First they have done something wrong: they have gone ahead of you without notice. Then they curse you after you honk. Two things they have done wrong. At that point, God’s Justice will come in a totally different way. Even the next day, something may happen. While they are driving on the highway at 70 miles per hour, all of a sudden the car will stop. They have committed one crime: they have cut you off. The second crime is that they curse you. You think that they will go on making mistakes indefinitely. They may make eight, nine or ten mistakes. Then one day, while they are driving on the highway at top speed, the car may jump and crash, or they may be drunk and cause a serious accident.

Question: Nowadays the way children are, they could easily beat up someone who tries to defend himself against them. What is the best thing to do in that kind of situation?

Sri Chinmoy: There is a house nearby where the family has a son who is five or six years old. He told me that some bad boys on the street used to beat him and harass him. I said, “Just scream ‘Supreme, Supreme, Supreme!’”

This little boy took my advice. Because he screamed “Supreme” so loudly, the four or five bad boys thought that his father or mother or a policeman was coming, and they all ran away. The Power of the Supreme entered into them as fear.

We do not realise the power of this particular weapon. If something serious happens — let us say, if you have an accident — if you can scream “Supreme, Supreme!” the accident will definitely be less damaging. “Supreme” will come into your mind if you have practised every day on a regular basis praying to the Supreme. Otherwise the Name of the Supreme may not come. Only on our deathbed if we say, “God, God, God,” where is the time for God to save us? But if we do it every day, then God will come in the form of a doctor or in the form of medicine to save us. If every day we say, “God, God, God,” God will bring this doctor and that doctor to cure us. If we do not pray to God, we are neglecting our life; we are not paying attention to our sickness. Then, at the last moment when we say, “God, God,” it is too late; we will not see God.

When you chant “Supreme,” the Force of the Supreme will come in a matter of seconds. The world has the atom bomb and the hydrogen bomb; it has so many destructive things. When you are about to be attacked, the force that is entering into you is also a destructive force. Again, that force can be challenged by a good force. The good force can enter into the wrongdoer and make him say, “What am I doing? I am doing something that will destroy human beings. If I create destruction, so many people will cry.” In this way the attack is prevented.

It is the same force, with a positive side and a negative side. If you turn it to one side, it is all dark. If you turn it to the other side, it is all light. One side is bringing light; the other side is bringing darkness. Why should we allow darkness to prevail?

There is a force that is threatening to destroy the world. Again, the same force can love the world. The only problem is that we human beings get more joy when there is darkness. Darkness is charming; “charming” means “thrilling.” When morning dawns, we say, “Again it is light.” Light has become commonplace for us. Again, do we value air? We never pay any attention to the air that we are breathing, even though it is keeping us alive. We give our attention to other things; we look at faces, we look around at the world. The thing that is keeping us alive is our breath, but we are not paying any attention to it. Like that, every day we drink water, but we do not give any attention to it. If we drink soda or a milkshake, we give attention to that. But what is keeping us alive is water.

Question: Why does God tolerate the people who attack a good person? Why does God not say, "I will not let you destroy him"?

Sri Chinmoy: Why did that individual not take the first step? Why did he not pray for his own protection? Did he play his role? Yes, he was innocent. He did nothing wrong, but someone killed him. Innocence is very good, but where was his wisdom? Let us say that the person was quite innocent, but then again, where was his wisdom-power? Where was the wisdom to pray to God for protection? Innocence is not enough. A child is innocent, but let him go and touch fire — it will burn him the same way it burns anyone else. I know that fire burns, but a child does not know. He is innocent, yet he also suffers.

Question: If one boy is very bad, and another boy is not bad at all but he does not pray, why does God allow the bad boy to win over the boy who is not bad?

Sri Chinmoy: God gives everybody a long rope. Otherwise, because of how many bad things some human beings have done over their incarnations, God could have destroyed their souls! But God gives everybody a long rope. It is like keeping a cow on a rope. The owner may not pull the rope for some time. When my dog Chela goes outside, we put on the leash and he can go a little distance. Again, some animals break the chain. Then they run away.

God gives us limited freedom. Then He sees what we are going to do with that freedom. Let us say that God gives two individuals five dollars. Then God says, “Use this money in your own way.” I always tell this story. With the five dollars, one person goes to a church to pray, and the other person drinks wine. God gave both of them the same amount of money to spend. With that money, one person goes to pray to God and the other person meets with some fellows and starts drinking wine.

Question: The bad boy did not pray for protection, either.

Sri Chinmoy: That boy’s karma will come. Today he has done something wrong, but he has not been caught. When he does something wrong tomorrow, he may get a life-long jail sentence. We see only the unfortunate incident, but God says to us, “Your prayer is also an incident.” If someone accumulates more and more bad karma, eventually he will be caught. Again, if someone else prays and meditates over the years, he accumulates good karma. How else will an individual realise God?

Life is not justification; life is illumination. One cannot get satisfaction from justification. If I give you a slap and you give me a slap, there is no satisfaction for either of us. I have to pray to God to illumine me so that I will not give you another slap, and you also have to pray to God to illumine you so that you do not give me a slap. Life has to be used for illumination, and not for justification. Justification is only “tit for tat;” it does not satisfy either party at all. But illumination comes if we say, “I did something wrong, but I will not do it again.” Others may say that the victim was a fool; but if he is illumined, he will be prepared, and he will be fully protected.

Today or tomorrow, one country attacks another country, and the second country loses. Then secretly, secretly, after ten years the losing country attacks the one that defeated it. That is justification. Japan’s case was different. Japan was badly defeated in World War II. How quickly Japan’s economy grew after the war! In every way Japan jumped and made progress. Could other countries have done it? Materially, technologically — in so many ways, how fast Japan grew!

Wisdom can come to two parties in different ways. If they use their wisdom in those different ways, then there will be no clash. But if they do not use their wisdom in their respective ways, there will again be a clash.

Question: How can we be really satisfied with ourselves?

Sri Chinmoy: Unless we offer God our gratitude-tears, we will never be satisfied. Even if God is satisfied, we will not be satisfied with ourselves. If we do not develop gratitude-tears, the Master may say, “I am pleased with you, I am pleased with you,” but the disciple will not be pleased. The disciple will not be pleased with himself if he has not developed gratitude-tears. The Master may say, “I am very proud of you,” but the disciple will not be satisfied. The Master may be satisfied, but the disciple will see that something is lacking in his life.

If we have gratitude-tears, then we will be happy. Otherwise, the Master may say, “I am very pleased, I am very pleased,” but the disciple will say, “I am not pleased.” Let us say that I have played my role by telling you that I am pleased with you. Sincerely I am telling you, but you have to play your role by developing gratitude-tears, gratitude-tears, gratitude-tears. When you play your role, then you will be fully satisfied. Otherwise, you will only be half-satisfied.

It is difficult for us. Always we take everything for granted. Once we get a mango, we are so satisfied that God has given it to us. God will give unconditionally, but if we pray for the mango, then we will be more satisfied. I prayed; God gave and my Master gave. My Master gave me his illumination, his compassion, his affection. I gave God gratitude. I gave my Master gratitude. Everything is mutual. Let us say one leg is gratitude and one leg is compassion, or one eye is gratitude and one eye is compassion. They go together. With one leg, can we walk? With one eye, how far can we see? With one hand, how much can we do? Both must go together, together.

Again, we have to give God only gratitude-tears, gratitude-tears. We have to say, “God, You have given me the capacity to think of You, to pray to You, to meditate on You, whereas millions and billions of people are not thinking of You, are not praying to You, are not meditating on You.”

When gratitude-tears come to the fore in our life, we are satisfied and God is satisfied. If we do not develop gratitude-tears, when God gives something we will be proud and haughty. We will brag: “God has given this blessing to me! God did not give it to him; God did not give it to her.” Pride comes to the fore in us. But when we offer gratitude, then our humility comes to the fore. At that time, pride and haughtiness do not enter into the picture.

Question: Guru, people say that a flash of lightning cannot come down unless a little tiny flash goes up to meet it. Is the spiritual reality like that?

Sri Chinmoy: Doctors give injections when there is an iota of life in the patient. If somebody is dead, doctors can give countless injections, to no avail. Like that, if life is still inside the seeker, God can give a divine injection. God’s injection is coming like a magnet to pull an iota of life-energy forward from the seeker. But if an individual does not have that iota of life-energy, how will God be able to give an injection?

Question: Is there such a thing as weather in the inner world that corresponds to the weather outside?2

Sri Chinmoy: No, they do not correspond. Some astrologers and Indian almanacs say there can be a connection with weather in the inner world, but I do not agree with them. Inner weather has nothing to do with outer weather. Even if you are miserable, if you are jealous, insecure, impure, the morning can be very soothing. Everything can be absolutely beautiful; everyone is enjoying the gentle morning breeze and everyone is happy. Nature itself is happy. The birds are chirping, the birds are singing, and everybody is enjoying the morning. But if you are jealous, insecure or impure, are you enjoying anything? No, the inner weather and the outer weather do not go together.

Again, sometimes it may happen that you are inwardly happy and also outwardly happy. If the two go together, you are more happy. If you are inwardly happy, if on a particular day you do not have any jealousy or insecurity, and you have established your oneness with the whole world, then you are really happy. But we cannot say that if you are inwardly happy, then you are bound to be outwardly happy. It does not happen like that.

If you are outwardly happy, that does not mean anything. Outwardly you may be happy because you have received ten thousand dollars, but inwardly you may be miserable because in the morning you did not pray at all. You are separating your inner life and your outer life. Outwardly you are so happy because you have received so much money. But you did not pray in the morning, and so you are inwardly miserable. You say to yourself, “What have I done? This morning I did not pray to God, I did not meditate on God.” The inner happiness and the outer happiness do not go together.

If you have the inner happiness because you prayed and meditated, and you also receive material wealth, then you are doubly happy. But usually it does not happen like that. Then again, there are so many ways for the mind to contradict you. If you are outwardly rich, then your mind may come to the fore and say, “Oh, God does not want me to be spiritually happy. He is giving me outer wealth because He is depriving me of my inner wealth: peace, light and bliss.” There is always a problem if you want to join the inner and the outer.

If you are in the outer life, then you do outer things well. If you are in the inner life, then inner things you do well. But if you want to do both simultaneously, then you may be in trouble. If you want to put the inner weather and the outer weather together, you will not succeed. There may be turmoil in the inner weather, and the outer weather will not help you at all. Again I wish to say that the inner weather and the outer weather do not go together.

OGT 18-22. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions on 18 December 1999 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during his annual Christmas Trip with his disciples

Question: Guru, recently when you were not feeling well, it would be raining outside. When you were feeling a bit better, then the sun started to come out.

Sri Chinmoy: I do not feel that way. When I am not feeling well, my physical sickness does not depend on the outer weather at all — far, far from it. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred it comes from the disciples. I am suffering with my knee pain, stomach pain and other physical problems. God alone knows whether I have taken the karma of the disciples. A spiritual Master suffers from stomach pain or knee pain. If he had not taken this pain from somebody else, that person would have had cancer. Many, many times when the spiritual Master experiences pain in the ankle or knee, somebody would have fallen down and broken his legs if the Master had not taken the pain. Something serious would have happened. If the Master takes the pain, he may get a few bruises. If it had been the disciple, it would have been a compound fracture.

Openness, openness, openness! The whole problem arises when my disciples are not open to me. If they are open, if they are always open to me, their outer weather I can clear and their inner weather I can clear. But if people are not open to me, I cannot clear their outer weather and I cannot clear their inner weather, so they will be in difficulty. Openness, openness! If you are open to me, like an open book, in your heart, in your mind, in your entire being, then at every moment I am happy. I am in the seventh Heaven of delight and the disciples are also happy because they have really established their oneness with me.

Question: Guru, when you ask us to watch a video of you lifting weights, if we watch you instead of the video, is it wrong?

Sri Chinmoy: Anything that gives you joy you can do. You are not doing anything bad by watching me, but if you watch me in action on the weightlifting video, you will get determination, you will get will power. If you look at me while I am relaxed, when I may be shaking my legs, you will not get that determination. Determination and will power I am ready to give. It is visible in the video. If you look at me in the video, you are getting determination and will power. There I am giving you my absolutely last breath, whereas here I am relaxed.

When the ocean is calm and quiet, that is one aspect. Underneath the ocean is calm and quiet, whereas on the surface there are huge, huge waves. What are those waves doing? When I am meditating, I do request you to meditate and look at me. But when I am struggling early in the morning, lifting such heavy weights, you should look at that, because that is what I want to give. I want to give my dynamic aspect to you. Why do you have to think of the static aspect at that time? When I am seriously meditating, that is the static aspect. When I am relaxed, I am not at that time offering the dynamic aspect.

Why do I bring these morning weightlifting videos to show you? It is because I want you to identify with my determination, with my will power, with my meditation, with my concentration. At that time I want to give you a mango, let us say, but you say, “I want to be satisfied with a banana.” A banana you will get. There is a time for you to eat a banana, and there is a time for you to eat a mango. Right now I am giving you the mango, in the form of this weightlifting. True, I am the same person; I am here, and you will say that I am the doer. But if you look at me when I am in action, then you will get the result. I am the doer — that is true; but I want you to see me when I am in action.

Why do I take these videos? It is just to show you so that you can identify yourself with the action. The power is inside me, but in the video I have expressed that power, and I want to offer it to you. It is from the action that you get the inspiration, not from the person in his static aspect.

Question: Soon many more people will come to your path. How can we be very good brothers and sisters to them?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two ways to approach the younger members of the family. In your physical family, you were born before your sister. As the older sister, you can take one of two approaches. Whatever good things you learned from your parents, you can teach her and teach her, outwardly and inwardly, with your love and affection. The other approach is to say, “O my God, she will take away everything that I have! Now I shall have to share my parents’ affection and love with her.” If you become jealous of your younger sister, you ruin everything. At every moment you torture her, because you think that as she grows up you will have to share everything and give her half, always half. This is the negative approach.

Again, the positive approach is to say, “The time came when I got what I was supposed to get from my parents. They showed me affection and love. All the good things that they had, they gave to me. Now, whatever good things I have learnt from my parents, whatever good things I wanted to have from them, I will give to the ones who are coming after me.”

God is our Father. From God came the spiritual Masters and Yogis. From the Highest, Affection and Love gradually, gradually came to the spiritual Masters. The positive approach is that from God the spiritual Masters received Love, and from the Masters their disciples got it. Some people started following the spiritual Masters before others. The disciples who come to a spiritual Master first receive all the good qualities. Then they can give these good qualities to the new ones. Unfortunately, on the human level, insecurity may immediately come into our life. Then we say, “O my God, if I tell these newcomers everything that I know, then they will perhaps surpass me!” At that time ego comes to the fore and we bind ourselves.

From God, everything went to the spiritual Masters; and from the spiritual Masters, it came to us. Now, all the good things we have gained from the Master we can give to the world. Then there will be a new creation. Light is descending, descending, descending, unless it is blocked. As the Ganges is coming down, down, down from the Himalayas, the water is flowing and the land is becoming fertile. It continues to flow, unless it is blocked.

How can you become a very good spiritual brother or sister to the newcomers? Only remember that from the highest plane light is descending and descending. When the Supreme created the spiritual Masters, He did not become jealous or afraid. He did not say, “One day My Creation will become more powerful, and then I will not remain the Supreme.” No! When He created spiritual Masters and Yogis, He knew that they were His extensions, and they were going to help Him. Like that, my disciples have to feel that they are only the extension or expansion of my life. Then they will get joy.

How can you serve the future generation, the people who will be coming to our path in two years or three years? Only feel that the more you give, the more you can give. This applies to your life, to everybody’s life, when you talk about your Master. You are enthusiastic when visitors come. You tell them what has happened here in New York. Most sincerely when you tell them, you expand yourself. But some disciples are afraid of sharing news. They say, “If others come to know, then nothing will be secret.” They feel, “If I tell others, my strength will go away.” That is absurd!

I gave one European boy a spiritual name, and he did not tell others for a month. He wanted it to be something secret. Everybody was calling him by his old name, because he did not want to tell his spiritual name. Here also, some people are afraid that if they tell good news, then they are not keeping it a top secret. They feel that they are cherishing the most precious jewel. Again, others will say, “The more I can give with joy, the more I receive.” That is absolutely true, because from the joy they are giving, the joy of the newcomers is coming back to them. Already they have joy. Then they give fifty per cent of their joy to the newcomers, and the newcomers in turn give them one hundred per cent of their joy. Joy comes from giving.

Alas, when visitors come to New York, there are disciples in the local area who either forget to speak with them or do not take the trouble of speaking with them. Again, some disciples will be bubbling with joy while they are giving news. Still others will speak as part of their service; they feel that it is their duty, their bounden duty. Some tell good news to show off. They say, “Oh, you were not here, but I saw it. I knew this, I knew that!” These individuals make no progress. But there are people who are telling good news to visitors with such joy, love and concern. Their friends have come, and they have such love, such concern for those friends. They say, “I have got the mango and now I am sharing with you, sharing with you.”

We have to see the motive behind people’s actions. One person is showing off, while another person is offering good news out of sheer concern, because his friend was in Russia or some other distant country and was not able to be here. If you share out of real concern, because something inspiring has helped you and you know that now it is bound to help others as well, then you are doing absolutely the right thing.

Question: Is it possible for your disciples now or in the future to offer you the same kind of love and affection that you got from your own family members?

Sri Chinmoy: Alas, no. That will not be possible. My disciples write to me, “I love you only.” Everybody writes, “I love you only.” If you love me only, then even for a fleeting second you will not have jealousy, insecurity or impurity. If anybody sincerely says to me, “I love you only, I love you only,” then the rest of the world will not be able to bite that person, because his whole concentration is on me. If I love you only, then I am looking at you only. At that time, how can I see if someone else is looking at me? If I love you only, I look only at you. Somebody else will see that I love you only, and he will not be able to attract my attention.

Let us say that, in a school, a girl makes a complaint to the teacher. She tells the teacher, “This fellow is not my boyfriend, but he is all the time looking at me, looking at me.” Then the teacher says, “How do you know he is looking at you if you are not looking at him? I am the teacher. I am teaching. You are supposed to look at me. You have to pay all attention to me. If you are looking at me, then how can you see if somebody is looking at you?”

In a spiritual community, one man got disgusted with the behaviour of some of the members. He complained to the Master. The Master said, “If you are looking at me, then look at me; do not look around me.” The Master made it very clear: “If I am your Guru, then look at me. If you look around me, it is all imperfection. Did you come here to look at me, or to look around me?”

When you join the spiritual life, you do not come for others. You submit seekers’ photographs to me. You do not give them to the other disciples to judge whether those seekers are good or bad. No! You yourself have not come to the path because of someone else. You have come to the path because you feel that this Master belongs to you and you belong to this Master. Always you have to feel that one-pointed oneness. Like a magnet it pulls. But alas, where is that one-pointed oneness? When the disciples write to me, “I love you only,” do they mean it? The next moment they may try to see whether somebody else is looking at me, or somebody else is getting attention from me. So often there is expectation, expectation.

Coming back to your question, my brothers and sisters never, never expected anything from me. Never, absolutely never! What did they ask of me? They would say, “Go to sleep, because you need sleep.” Only that kind of thing they asked. Any kind of material wealth or inner, spiritual wealth they never, never claimed. Here, the disciples have expectation and demand. My sisters, my brothers, my whole family never expected anything from me — never, never — either for their own good or for my good. Only because they were older than me, they would scold me; but in a serious way they never expected anything from me. They only hoped that I would become an important figure. But in the case of my disciples, the story is different. With sweetness they say, “I love you only.” The next moment they may say, “Since I love you only, why are you not doing me this favour, why are you not doing me that favour?” This is what happens when some disciples say, “I love you only.”

Some disciples make me so sad, because they do not tell me about their difficulties with their inner life, their personal life or their health. When they have physical problems, their case may become very serious. Perhaps the doctor will say that they have cancer. Then they try to hide it from me, because they are afraid that I may tell others. By the time I come to know that they have a malignant condition, it may be too late for anything to be done.

Some people do not ask me for guidance. I really love them, but they come to me only when they are in trouble. Again, some rogues ask me for advice, but I can see that they have made their decision already. They ask me, “Shall I do this?” They say, “Whatever you say, I shall do,” but already they have decided. Then they curse themselves and say, “Why did I tell Guru? I was in trouble, and since I am a disciple, I was supposed to ask him what to do. Now I have asked him if I should do something, but I have already made my own decision.”

When people ask me for advice, they will be in difficulty if they have not established their oneness with me. First they may want to hide from me, because they imagine that I will be angry with them for something that they have done. Then they tell me, “Whatever you say, I will do it gladly,” but they have already formed an idea about what they will do. That pains me so badly, because the decision has already been made by them. Even if they did not make the decision, but I made the decision for them, at times they curse themselves for asking me. It is so difficult for me.

There will be some disciples who absolutely do not make any decision before asking me. I do have some disciples like that. Before they come to me for my advice, they do not go to one side or the other. Then they do what I advise them to do. Again, there are some who know that they have made a stupid decision. When I say something totally different, they throw themselves into my way as if their previous decision did not exist. Their own opinion they did form, but when I say something different, they throw their heart and soul into my way and discard the way they previously chose. This is the second-best category. They made a mistake, but not even for a fleeting second is their idea colliding with my suggestion, my advice. They just give up their decision and immediately throw themselves into my way, which becomes for them the only way. In the beginning they formed an idea, but then they accept my way — not out of fear, but out of sheer love. These disciples do not say, “Now if I do not do what Guru says, he will be angry.” Out of sheer love, immediately they accept my way and become part and parcel of my way. This is how the second class becomes first class.

There are some disciples who say from the beginning, “Whatever you want, I will do,” and they really mean it. They have not formed any preconceived idea. Sometimes I get that kind of disciple. Are they not the best?

Question: What are the objectives of your Peace Concerts?3

Sri Chinmoy: I offer Peace Concerts so that I can be of service to the people who are aspiring for a better life.

Question: In the last Millennium there were many wars. What do you expect from the New Millennium?

Sri Chinmoy: This new century, the Twenty-First Century, will see the beginning of world peace. It may take time, but slowly and steadily this world of ours will have peace, lasting peace.

Question: How many instruments do you usually play at a Peace Concert?

Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the Peace Concert. When it is a very big concert, with thousands and thousands of people, at that time I play about twenty instruments. Today, because it was a smaller concert, I played about twelve instruments.

Question: One of our upcoming lectures will be about how people can fulfil their dreams. This is the objective of many people. In your view, how can people fulfil their dreams?

Sri Chinmoy: People can fulfil their dreams only through prayers and meditations. If we can pray and meditate regularly, then all our dreams will be fulfilled. Again, sometimes we have good dreams; sometimes we have bad dreams. Good dreams mean that we want to become better human beings, we want to fulfil God’s Dream on earth. Bad dreams are those in which we would like to be very great so that we can rule the whole world. One is the dream of desire; the other is the dream of aspiration. With the desire-dream we want to govern the world. With the aspiration-dream we want to love the world and become very good citizens of the world.

Question: How do you explain your philosophy in a few words?

Sri Chinmoy: My philosophy is the acceptance of this world. We shall have to accept this world as it is now. Then we have to pray and meditate to make the world better. We shall not go away from the world because the world is not good. No, we shall have to be in the world to make the world better. Our philosophy is to make the world better with prayers and meditations.

OGT 23. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions from several television stations after his Peace Concert at the Bourbon Hotel, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, on 9 January 2000

Question: In the book Yoga and the Spiritual Life, you talk about the soul being the eternal instrument. You also speak about the individual soul being connected to the universal soul. Could you please say more about that?4

Sri Chinmoy: In America, usually we use the term “soul.” But in the Indian philosophy we use the term “Self,” or “Cosmic Self.” One is the ordinary self; the other is the Absolute Highest, the Cosmic Self or the Transcendental Self. When I say that the soul is eternal, infinite and immortal, I am speaking about the Cosmic Self.

We have many, many divine beings, but one divine being is much more prominent than the others. That divine being we call the soul. That divine being has an assistant, which is called the psychic being. The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram spoke about the psychic being. The psychic being is like a child all the time. The soul grows, but the psychic being, which is the soul’s representative, is like a little child. It is like a most, most beautiful baby that is only two or three years old, whereas the soul is like a youth of seventeen or eighteen years. Again, the Cosmic Self may be like a person who is fifty or sixty years old.

In general, we use the term “soul” when we speak about our inner existence. We know that there is something deep within us which is not the vital, not the mind and not the heart. But if we are speaking about the soul that is eternal, infinite and immortal, that has to be the Cosmic Self.

OGT 24. Sri Chinmoy answered this question on 29 January 2000 in Brasilia, Brazil

Mr. Steve Finley: The hardest part of baseball is every day trying to get your mind right to perform.5

Sri Chinmoy: You want to keep your mind under control. There are a few ways, but the easiest and most effective way is to bring the heart to the fore. The soul can control the mind, but it is difficult, extremely difficult, for us to bring the soul forward. If we can bring the soul to the fore, then in the twinkling of an eye the soul can tame the mind. Since it is extremely difficult for us to be in touch with the soul, we can try to feel the existence of our spiritual heart. Then we can invoke the heart to come to the fore and tame the mind.

In the circus there are elephants and many other wild animals, but there is also someone who can control them. In your case, if you can feel that your heart has infinitely more power than your mind, then it is easy to keep the mind under control. You have to feel that the heart is definitely, definitely stronger than the mind.

Each time the mind says something negative, immediately you will take the other side. Always be positive, positive, positive! Again, if the mind says something positive, please try to increase the height, the length and the depth of the positive thought. If you have any positive thought, immediately try to expand that thought. Please try to feel that your positive thought is going higher than the highest, farther than the farthest and deeper than the deepest.

If a negative thought comes, immediately try to feel that you are absolutely squeezing it like a rubber ball. Your arms and wrists are so strong! Just imagine the thought as something very small and insignificant, like a ball. You can squeeze it, or you can break it into pieces. If any negative thought comes into your mind, use your strength — physical, vital, mental and spiritual — to destroy it. Again, if any positive thought comes, please try to have a prayerful attitude. When you have a good thought, in a prayerful way try to increase it: its height, its length and its depth. This way you can control the mind.

There is something called a higher mind. This mind wants to be changed, to be improved, to be illumined. This is the mind we are trying to have by virtue of our prayers and meditations. There is also a mind that does not want to change. It wants to bind us, and it wants us to doubt our capacities. One moment the doubting mind tells you that you can do well, very well, in your game. The next moment that same mind may tell you that you are no good, you are useless. This moment your mind is saying you are a great player. The next moment your mind will say there are many players who are better than you, and in that way it makes your life miserable. You do not need that mind! The other mind, the mind that wants to be illumined and transformed by the light of the heart, is the mind that you want.

The spiritual heart will always tell you who you really are, and the heart will always give you encouragement, enthusiasm, willingness, eagerness and intensity. From now on, please give as much attention as possible to your heart. The heart is bound to increase your capacities in baseball in everyway. The mind will think of others who are not doing well, and then you will be upset. Or the mind will think of someone who is doing very well, and then you will say, “How I wish I could do as well as that player!” These wrong thoughts will only bring jealousy and insecurity into your life. But the heart will not do that! The heart will immediately identify with everyone on your team. You will have such identification and oneness that, when they achieve something great, you will feel that you yourself have done it. Again, if somebody has missed a ball, you will have such oneness that you will feel that you yourself have missed it. In this way, on the strength of your heart’s identification and oneness with others, you will be able to go far beyond your present capacities and achievements.

OGT 25. On 20 May 2000, at The Smile of the Beyond luncheonette in Jamaica, Queens, Sri Chinmoy answered the following question from Mr. Steve Finley, Major League baseball player with the Arizona Diamondbacks

Question: In the future, will people understand all the Avatars throughout history in the way that you present them, because you try to synthesise all in your philosophy?6

Sri Chinmoy: Only my disciples, my devotees, my admirers, my special friends who have aspiration and my acquaintances who have tremendous love for me and who have aspiration will take me as an Avatar who tried to synthesise all spiritual aspects of life.

Sri Krishna’s disciples or devotees say that he was the greatest Avatar. He synthesised all religions, everything, in his Bhagavad Gita, his Song Celestial. Sri Ramakrishna’s disciples say the same, that their Master synthesised all religions. In India we heard that Sri Ramakrishna was the one who synthesised all the religions. We read it, we heard it and we believed it, because we had tremendous love, admiration, adoration and devotion for Sri Ramakrishna. Again, there are many who do not have the same feeling.

All the spiritual Masters have disciples, and the disciples extol their respective Masters to the skies. This is absolutely necessary and inevitable for their progress. The higher you feel your Master is, the higher you go on the strength of your imagination, inspiration, aspiration and self-giving, because he has realised God. He has become inseparably one with the highest Absolute Transcendental Reality.

It is for you, not for others, to see your Master as the highest. Only the devotees have to see and feel this way, and their seeing is not incorrect; their feeling is not incorrect. Their seeing is correct; their feeling is correct. The higher they feel their Master is, the higher they go; and also, the faster they make progress. Not only do they go higher, but they make faster progress. If my disciples can think of me as being as high as possible, only by thinking, they can make very, very fast progress. At times they may think I am very high; again, at times they may think I am very low. The higher they can keep their consciousness with regard to me, the higher they will go. Not only will they go very, very high, but also they will make faster progress.

To come back to your question, Jesus Christ was the Saviour for the Christian world; Sri Krishna was the Saviour for the Hindu world. The entire world will not take any spiritual Master as the supreme authority — no, no.

OGT 26. Sri Chinmoy answered the following question on 15 July 2000 at PS 86 in Jamaica, New York

Question: Should we participate in the political movement that is going on now in our country?7

Sri Chinmoy: There are many ways to participate in the life of one’s country. If we simplify the answer, we can say there are two ways: one is the inner way and the other is the outer way. The inner way is to pray to the Supreme for the fulfilment of your aspiration — whatever you feel best for your country. The outer way is to take sides with one party and join in the demonstrations, and risk being injured or killed. That I do not advise for my disciples. The inner way is the way of prayer. You can adopt one party, but do not join a demonstration or become involved in violent activities.

We can pray inwardly for whatever we feel is best; but outwardly we should not enter into the political fray, because that will not at all help our inner progress. Our inner progress depends on our inner prayers. We may feel that one side is right. If we feel one side is right, definitely we have every right to pray to the Supreme for the victory of that particular side. Then we have to surrender and say: “Supreme, I feel that this side is by far the best, so I am praying to You for its success. But if this side fails, I shall place the results at Your Feet with equal happiness.”

Always pray for whatever you feel best. If you want to do something good, it is a matter of your feeling. You are feeling the necessity of helping your country. To pray for the improvement of your country is not an ordinary desire; it is a great aspiration. To pray for your country is not like a silly desire to have five houses or ten cars — no! There are certain desires which are as good as aspiration. At that time they do not remain desires; they become aspiration itself. Praying for the betterment and improvement of your country is definitely an inner aspiration.

If your prayer is not successful, do not feel miserable. You have the right to pray for the right thing, but the results you have to place at the Feet of God. Lord Krishna taught us, “You have the right to action, but not to the fruits thereof.”

Your inner prayers I will deeply appreciate; but outwardly if you take one side and enter into the political arena, God knows what is going to happen. Let people criticise us. Let them say that we are cowards because we do not come onto the battlefield. I will say that there are many ways to enter onto the battlefield. The real battlefield is inside us.

We have every right to pray for the success of the particular party that we choose. We may not be aware of which side the Supreme has taken, but we have every right to pray to the Supreme for the victory of the particular party we have chosen, because it concerns our own Motherland.

OGT 27. Sri Chinmoy answered the following question on 8 October 2000 at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York

Question: You told us that one of your eyes has compassion and the other eye embodies concern. I was wondering about your feet. Does each foot embody a certain quality?8

Sri Chinmoy: Each finger has qualities! My right leg is strength and firmness. My left leg embodies subtlety and refinement. My right leg goes to the goal powerfully, in spite of pain. My left leg goes to the destination with deer-speed. It is light, subtle and delicate. The right is so strong, like elephant-force.

OGT 28. Sri Chinmoy answered the following question on 7 February 2001 at his home in Jamaica, New York

Question: Why?9

Sri Chinmoy: Why? Fifty years ago, or even before, I wrote an article of three or four pages only on “why.” “Why” is not a question; “why” is the answer of answers. When God created the Creation, the question was “Why.” But the answer immediately He gave: “Why not?”

OGT 29-39. On 10 June 2007, Sri Chinmoy observed the twenty-sixth anniversary of Aspiration-Ground. He invited the Aspiration-Ground servers to sing the song he had composed for them, "Aspiration-Comrade-Souls," and then to ask him short questions

Question: When, Guru?

Sri Chinmoy: We do not have to know when God created the world. We do not have to know what God’s Cosmic Vision is. We do have to know only one thing: do we feel that we are God’s? Do we feel that we are God’s chosen children? If we do not feel that we are God’s chosen children, then we must work hard, very, very hard, to become God’s supremely chosen children so that we can manifest His Light here on earth most beautifully and most perfectly.

Question: How?

Sri Chinmoy: We act. There is not a single minute that we are not acting, whether in the physical world, the vital world, the mental world, the psychic world or the spiritual world. We may not be aware of our actions, but at every moment we are acting, either in this world or in another world. Now the question is, how do we act? Do we try to accomplish something by hook or by crook, to bring about success? No, no! Everything that we do has to be done as soulfully and as self-givingly as possible. How do we do something: haphazardly, hurriedly or doubtfully? No! Our answer has to be that we act soulfully and self-givingly, in anything that we do.

Let us say you are binding a book. You know how to bind the book, but while working, are you thinking of God? Are you thinking of your Guru? Are you thinking of your own soul? How you are binding the book is of utmost importance. Are you working lovingly and soulfully, thinking of the Supreme or thinking of your Master or thinking of your own soul? If you serve in that way, thinking of the Supreme, of your Master or of your own soul, then your action is most perfect, most perfect.

Question: Who?

Sri Chinmoy: One person rules the desire-world, and one person rules the aspiration-world. We have to know which one to choose. Whom shall we choose? The one who cares for us, the one who is always thinking of our progress, progress, progress. The one who is giving us the message of Heaven’s Beauty, Light and Delight in infinite measure is the one we shall pray to and meditate on. He is the Creator. He is in Light. We care for the One who is in Light, ever-blossoming Light. Whom do we pray to? We pray to the One, the One who is giving us the message of His ever-transcending Dream and Reality.

Question: How can we stay worthy of your choice?

Sri Chinmoy: How to be worthy? Every moment offer gratitude-tears. If you feel that you are nothing but a heart flooded with gratitude-tears, then you can be worthy of the Supreme’s Love, Affection, Joy and Pride in you.

Question: Guru, this place where we are, Aspiration-Ground, is a very sacred place. Was it destined thousands of years ago to be a sacred place, or is it something that happened spontaneously?

Sri Chinmoy: This place was destined to be the Aspiration-Ground. Right from the beginning, Aspiration-Ground was destined, and it is our most sacred, sacred place.

For everything we need an instrument. God has the Vision, and then God manifests His Vision in and through us. God needs an instrument to manifest His Vision here on earth. The Master also needs an instrument to inspire others. Many, many people have worked here, but I must say that this Aspiration-Ground should be felt as synonymous with Ranjana’s heart and self-giving. Others have worked very, very hard, and I am very, very grateful. But when we think of this Aspiration-Ground, the temple and the garden, they are synonymous with Ranjana’s aspiration and self-giving. The Supreme chose me to be His instrument, and here I chose Ranjana to be the instrument, with her constant self-giving to this place. She constantly thinks of Aspiration-Ground. It is our most, most sacred ground. As the years pass by, it will be known as our own heart’s sacred, sacred reality. For that, my heart is all gratitude to Ranjana for constantly, sleeplessly thinking of this place.

There are others who have worked and will be working very, very hard for Aspiration-Ground. To them, and to all the Aspiration-Ground guards who serve me everywhere, I wish to say that I am extremely, extremely grateful, grateful to you all.

Question: What is the value of health or sickness in the seeker's life?

Sri Chinmoy: If the seeker can value something in his life, only then is it valuable. Everything is God’s Will. The question is whether the seeker can take everything as God’s Will. Otherwise, the seeker will be apt to curse God. He will say, “I have not told a lie for so many years, I have not done anything wrong. Why, God, do You have to give me cancer? I have not done anything wrong. Why do You have to give me ailments?” A seeker can become very, very upset when he has a serious health problem. But if the seeker can feel that God is experiencing this ailment in and through him, then he is preparing himself for a new dawn. Something most significant will take place in the seeker’s life — either in this life or in the forthcoming life.

We have to take illness as something that God is experiencing in and through us. Then it is most valuable. Otherwise, there is no value — we shall only find fault with God or blame ourselves. We shall feel that we did something wrong many years ago, and that is perhaps why God has allowed us to have this particular disease. No, no, no — we should not think that way. We have only to feel that God is having this experience in and through our life. We should say, “I am just an instrument of God’s. I shall soulfully allow God to act in and through me.”

Physical sickness can be most valuable when we take it as an experience of God in and through our life. Otherwise we shall blame ourselves. By blaming ourselves, we shall not accomplish anything. And if we blame God, it is worse. What are we gaining? We shall not blame ourselves, we shall not blame God. We have only to say, “I am so grateful that God has chosen me as His choice instrument so that He can work in and through me.”

Question: Guru, when will the world begin to accept you for who you really are, and to put your message into practice?

Sri Chinmoy: First you_ have to accept me wholeheartedly! When I ask you to do something, at that time you have to forget everything else. Please do what I ask first. You may be thinking that you have to do four other things first, but ask yourself which task is more important. When your Master asks you to do something, do that thing first. If you are late for something else, will your whole world collapse? You have to show your readiness, willingness and eagerness. You are my disciple. As soon as I utter something to you, I have to feel that it is done. I know how many things I give you to do. Every day I give you so many jobs! For your service you get my boundless gratitude.

When will the world accept me? If you accept me immediately, then you will see that the world is following me. You are my instrument, my choice instrument. If you say you have so many other things to do, if you are hesitating, then others will also hesitate. Again, if you run faster than the fastest towards your Master, others will also be inspired to run, or to walk very fast. But if you start hesitating, others will fall asleep. They will not get up!

First my disciples have to accept me wholeheartedly. My disciples and I have formed a little world, a miniature world. I am telling the disciples to wake up, wake up. If the disciples accept me wholeheartedly, immediately, then the rest of the world will accept me.

Question: How does our aspiration affect the earth-environment?

Sri Chinmoy: Definitely our aspiration helps the environment. Again, it is also a question of how much receptivity the environment has.

Some political figures speak about the environment twenty-four hours a day. Forgive me to say, how much conviction do they have in their own pronouncements? They say the world will be destroyed, or various places will be destroyed. Many years ago some religious figures said the world would be destroyed. We see darkness. It is very easy to see darkness, but where is the light? How shall we bring down light?

We talk about the environment, but where is the light? If I see darkness, then I must show the light also. If I only see darkness and I tell the world, “Bring light, bring light,” am I going to achieve anything? If I have the capacity to see darkness, then I should also have the vision to bring down light. Otherwise, what shall I offer to the world? You are saying that the world will be destroyed, and let us say that your vision is absolutely true. But what are you doing about it, inwardly, outwardly, self-givingly? You see darkness and you tell the world, “My house is being destroyed.” Are you taking care of it, or are you just depending on your neighbours to come and take care of your house?

The environment is like that. How much conviction do we have when we talk about the environment? And how much receptivity do we have to bring light from Above and offer it to the environment? If we can improve the condition of the environment, it will be our own enlightenment. But unfortunately we see things, we talk about things, but we do not have the remedy. We do not have the answer. We tell others to provide the medicine. We ourselves see the disease and the forthcoming result, but we do not have the medicine.

Again, some people do not even see the disease. The environment, for them, is perfect. If they do not see the disease, why should they care for a remedy? If I see the disease, then I should come forward with a cure. I cannot say that the remedy has to be provided by somebody else, somebody else, somebody else. No! If I see the disease, I should also come forward with the medicine.

Question: Guru, it seems we cannot totally separate politics and spirituality. Is that correct?

Sri Chinmoy: For spiritual seekers, one thing is to talk about politics; another thing is to be involved. Sometimes we talk about politics in order to digest our food! We enjoy politics because at times it becomes like a circus. We like the circus. We enjoy the entertainment offered by the clowns, the elephants, the lions, the tigers. Each item gives us a kind of joy. The joy that we get from the clowns is quite significant. That is the circus.

Sri Aurobindo realised God. He was a God-realised person of the highest, highest order. Sri Aurobindo gave up politics. C. R. Das, who saved Sri Aurobindo’s life in the Alipore case, came to him for advice about politics. Sri Aurobindo said, “If you want to realise God like me, you have to give up politics.” This man was the dearest friend of Sri Aurobindo, but he said, “No, politics is part of life.” He went to a spiritual Master of a different level and became his disciple. Then he begged Mahatma Gandhi to become a disciple of that Master, but Gandhi did not become a disciple. Sri Aurobindo said that God-realisation and politics will not go together, because in politics, every second there is a lie. And to whom does one tell lies every second? To oneself! Not only to others does one tell lies, but also to oneself. What is the truth in one’s life as a politician, an individual may not know.

This is the story of politics and spirituality. Again, when we go to the circus, we enjoy everything in its own way. When the performers are doing something most difficult on the parallel bars or on the rings, we enjoy it. Everything has its own value. But we have to know what is the most important thing to value. Do we want to realise God, or do we want to remain as we are? When it is a matter of politics and spirituality, I will say the same thing that Sri Aurobindo said. I also have done a little yoga, and I know that politics and spirituality will never go together. They cannot go together. You have to say that this is sugar and that is salt. You cannot say, “Sugar is salt, salt is sugar — what is the difference?” No! The difference you can the taste. You taste a lump of sugar and you know what it is. Then you taste a lump of salt. Politics and spirituality are like that. They cannot be put together — never! They are like the North Pole and the South Pole.

Question: Is it possible for the mind and the heart to go together?

Sri Chinmoy: I have seen that the mind can reach its zenith-height and the heart can reach its deepest depth, with no collision between the two. To my great joy, I have seen that the mind’s zenith-height can be always protected and guided by the heart’s deepest depth. If the mind follows the heart lovingly, self-givingly and unconditionally, the mind can be of greatest help to the all-embracing heart, the heart that God treasures. While treasuring the heart, God sees that the mind is all surrender to the heart. Therefore, with His deepest Joy and highest Pride, God blesses both the heart and the mind.

Part II — Comments and talks

Inner weather10

Let us try to keep our inner weather warm. Our inner weather depends on us. Our inner weather depends on our aspiration.

OGT 40. 12 February 1997, New York

Sri Ramakrishna's magic touch11

I am telling you a most significant story. Four or five years ago, at the 47-mile race in honour of my birthday, the pain in my knee was unbearably excruciating. I went to the race only to bless the runners and the helpers. I passed by the counters and then I walked another ten or fifteen metres. I was in such agony. I came to the place where I used to play tennis against the wall.

I was meditating on the Supreme. My knee pain became so severe that I could not take even one step forward. All of a sudden I saw Sri Ramakrishna. He came up and sympathised with me and touched my knee. With his touch, my pain completely disappeared. I was in the seventh Heaven of delight. How could the pain be completely gone? I started walking with such joy, the way I did many years ago.

I told Sri Ramakrishna, “I have had this knee problem for some time.”

He said, “Why do you have to suffer? I am happy only when you do not have pain. Now you have transcended the pain.”

Another two hundred metres I walked with such delight. Savyasachi’s car was waiting for me outside the track. I was about to enter into the car when, alas, the same pain returned. I said, “How little time you were gone from my life!”

For those three or five minutes, I felt my Ashram life once more. My knees became so powerful! I cannot describe the happiness I got.

OGT 41. 23 September 1997, New York

Computers, e-mail and spirituality12

Dear ones, please take me seriously when I request you not to indulge in e-mail for spiritual activities. If you want to be good disciples, then you must not use e-mail for your spiritual life. If you think you are manifesting the divine light in a faster than the fastest way with e-mail, then I wish to tell you that you are not manifesting the light, but you are only going away faster than the fastest from me, from my divine consciousness, from my divinity. In every possible way human beings try to remain in the world of indulgence and comfort. They try to discover instant God-realisation, the way instant coffee is available. Perhaps there are spiritual Masters who can give instant God-realisation. Unfortunately, I am not one of those. My approach is the sincere heart’s inner cry.

If you want to use e-mail for the purpose of your business, your work, I have nothing to say. But please remember, I have told you many, many times that using the computer for your livelihood is enough. For the purpose of your livelihood, I will immediately say that many things are necessary. Beyond necessity please do not go.

If you work with computers and you want to become a multi-millionaire, then you can become a multi-millionaire in your outer life. But more than is necessary for your livelihood if you enter into the computer-world, then you are going away farther than the farthest from your divinity. For your business, you may do anything you like. Definitely it is all right. But for spiritual purposes, please do not use e-mail. It is like trying to supply instant God-realisation. This so-called God-realisation should not be spread to others.

Again I am telling you, whether you believe it or not, that if you are indulging in computers more than is necessary for your livelihood, then you have to feel that you are nowhere in the spiritual life. At the end of your journey’s close you will believe it. Necessity knows no law, but beyond necessity if you are entering into the computer-world, you are only trying to create instant God-realisation in your spiritual life. God-realisation is not another type of instant coffee. If you want to make progress, bring to the fore your heart’s inmost cries. Shed bitter tears for God. Do not turn the spiritual life into a comfortable life. The spiritual life is not for luxury.

There was a time, for years and years, when I was strongly opposed to television. I saw that people were watching television in the name of world information. Information is not illumination. Now I show comedy at my house to provide relaxation for some disciples who work very hard. To protect them from undivine activities, I invite them to watch innocent comedy. It is only to protect a few people who devotedly serve our spiritual family. But for years and years I was against television. Recently I read that some parents had hoped that their children would become wise by watching television. Now the same parents feel miserable that their children have badly descended by watching television. This is the point of view of many parents.

If you want to make your life faster than the fastest, do it — but not when your spirituality is involved. If you are prepared to be a useless seeker, then you can enjoy your computer genius and do whatever you want. But do not mix real spirituality with the computer-brain. The more you unnecessarily develop your computer-brain-power, the sooner you will become bankrupt in your heart-life, your spiritual life. If you want to follow the spiritual life, if you want God, then use your heart, not your brain. Brain-power will never, never allow you to approach God’s Heart. Only your heart-power will allow you to enter into His Heart. Your heart-magnet and God’s Heart-Magnet will work together.

Faster than the fastest you may want to go in the spiritual life, but do not bring a machine into the picture. If a machine could have given a human being the capacity to run faster than the fastest, God would have placed the machine above the human being. In the process of evolution we advance from the stone life to the plant life to the animal life to the human life. If computers were more developed than human beings, then God would have put them above human life. Will computers realise God long before man? No! We have to feel that man is still the highest on the ladder of evolution. If human beings adopt something which they think is higher than man’s heart, then I am the wrong person to appreciate it.

If you want to follow our path, please stay on the strength of your heart’s cries, not the brilliance of your brain. Otherwise, at the end of your life you will say, “What have I done?” At that time I will say, “What did you do? Ask yourself.”

Again, it is a question of necessity. Do not go beyond necessity. Speed is needed, but if I have the capacity to run a mile in ten minutes and all of a sudden I start to run at a five-minute pace, then I will collapse and die. Go forward with inner speed, according to your capacity, according to your adaptability. Ask yourself how far you can go, how deep you want to dive into the spiritual life. Ask yourself! There are millions of people on earth who have not accepted the spiritual life, so you can once again join them if you wish. You can say that your spiritual life was an adventure. You studied at this spirituality-school for five years or ten years or fifteen years or twenty years, and now the adventure is all over. Please make the choice. Do not mix your brain’s efficiency with your heart’s cries.

Unfortunately, the stronger you are unnecessarily making your computer-brain, the weaker you are making your heart. The faster you want to go scientifically, the slower will be your spiritual progress. If God is our goal, then the heart is the way to go to God. If something else is our goal, then definitely science and computers will take us there. But that destination will never be God. No! Science and computers are also part of God, but the thing that will take us to God is the heart’s cry and nothing else. Please choose your speed. If you choose the speed that you cannot control, your spirituality will be at stake at every moment.

Again, for your business, for your work, you can do anything that you like. But when it is a matter of spirituality, if you cannot live without the computer, then I can say that your spirituality can live without you. True spirituality can live without you if you cannot live without your computer and your e-mail. Spirituality is a subject of the heart, of the soul. If you want to study this subject in your own way, you are at perfect liberty to do so. But as long as you keep me as your teacher, then my way kindly follow.

OGT 42. 29 December 1997 Guatemala City, Guatemala

American cities13

What is the great similarity between Chicago and my disciples? Unpredictable weather! Chicago’s outer weather is unpredictable. My disciples’ inner weather is unpredictable. That is the great similarity!

When I was seven years old, when I was in the primary school, I liked the name “Chicago” because of Swami Vivekananda. I came of a spiritually oriented family, so I knew that Swami Vivekananda had travelled to Chicago.

Then, when I was twelve or thirteen, I came to learn of Ohio because of Jesse Owens the great. This was all long before I heard the name “New York.” I think I was familiar with the name “San Francisco” before I knew “New York.” In San Francisco, there is east and west. It is a spiritual place, a cultural place. The name “New York,” when did I hear? God knows!

OGT 43. 13 January 1998, Piramides Hotel, Cancun, Mexico

The Master's prediction14

This story is about the divine side of some human beings.

Two ladies came to see a spiritual Master. Both of them were great friends. The son of one of them was sitting for an examination. Her friend asked the spiritual Master, “What result will this boy get?”

The spiritual Master immediately said, “He has done extremely well. You will see.”

The mother of the boy was very happy and her friend was very happy also.

A few weeks later, the result came in. The poor fellow did very badly. Now, what happened? The mother of the boy came back to see the spiritual Master. This time, her friend did not accompany her.

The Master asked the lady, “So, what was the result?”

She replied, “Oh, my son failed.”

“Then why did you come back to me, and why did your friend not come back?” asked the spiritual Master.

The lady said, “My friend has lost faith in you because your prediction did not come true.”

Still the Master persisted. “Then why did you come?”

“I do not have to worry.”

“Why not?”

“I came here to have peace. I did not come here to know what my son’s results would be. As soon as I look at you, I receive such joy, such peace. This is what I need, not the results of my son’s examination.”

Look at this! She came to the Master to have peace and, when she looked at the Master, she was getting such peace. Her friend did not return to see the Master because his prediction had not come true.

OGT 44. 13 January 1998, Piramides Hotel Cancun, Mexico

My uncle rejects his occult power15

My distant maternal uncle had so many occult powers. After some time, he stopped using them. Why? Because the villagers were always bothering him. They would come to him and say, “A cow has been stolen from this village.” Then they would beg him to use his occult powers to find the cow. He would concentrate for a moment and say, “In a particular village, four or five hours away, you will find it.” That kind of thing he used to do from time to time. He would use his occult powers for these village problems.

Finally he started crying, crying and crying. “This is what my occult power is for?” he asked. Then he cried to Mother Kali, “Mother, save me, save me!”

Mother Kali gave him the message to deliberately say everything wrong. From then on, every time the villagers came to him because their cow had been stolen, or because they wanted to find a thief, immediately he would give the wrong answer. Eventually, the villagers lost all faith in him and stopped bothering him. Then my uncle became the happiest person. Once again, he was able to pray and meditate on Mother Kali in peace. He said, “I wanted peace. Now I have got it back.”

By telling people what had really happened, he became so miserable. By making false pronouncements, he was able to get back such peace in his life.

OGT 45. 13 January 1998, Piramides Hotel, Cancun, Mexico

Song for the New Millennium16

One second before you sing the “New Millennium” song, if you see and feel what you are singing, then it will be much better. First you have to see, and then feel. Look at a tree: you will immediately feel that the tree is inside you. Then you can express the beauty of the tree. See and feel, and then express it. Then your singing will be completely different. Sing each and every song like that!

OGT 46. 14 January 1998, Bus trip from Cancun to Merida, Mexico

More about the "New Millennium " song17

Life’s dynamic spirit I need in this song, from the beginning to the end! People who were in my bus sang and sang and sang this song to my satisfaction. It has to be full of spirit and vigour, right from the beginning to the end.

With this song we shall end our Peace Concerts from now on. Everywhere that will be our anthem, and it will be full of dynamic spirit.

It is an English song. First, try to envision the meaning of the words. As soon as you think of the Twenty-First Century, the New Millennium, try to imagine it. Your vision and realisation have to precede your revelation and expression. When you are singing each line, try to see each word first, then feel it and finally express it.

OGT 47. 14 January 1998, Merida, Mexico

The "Mexico" song18

This song should go a little slower. The way you are singing it, it is like an express train, like my subway experience! Do you remember my subway experience with the runaway train, where the conductor was arrested?

You are singing correctly and powerfully, but if you do not have the inner feeling, then it is like a parrot singing. For each and every song, please remember that the feeling is of supreme importance. You are all excellent singers. You can carry the tune perfectly, but I wish to get the feeling that you are invoking the heart and soul of Mexico and identifying yourself with the heart and soul of the song. You are singing absolutely perfectly, but please sing with feeling. You will see the difference.

OGT 48. 14 January 1998, Merida, Mexico

Homeopathy and allopathy19

Sri Aurobindo once made a comparison between allopathy and homeopathy. He said that homeopathy is far better because it deals with nerves and it can enter into the subtle nerves. Everything is in the subtle nerves.

I am not an expert either in homeopathy or in allopathy. When my homeopathic doctors cure patients, I say, “Excellent, excellent!” But sometimes they do not cure. I care for the results.

I believe in homeopathy more than allopathy, but the homeopathic doctors have to know their field thoroughly. Otherwise, just to study a few books is not enough. A good homeopath needs lifelong experience. My mentor was one of those. He gave me a list of eight different homeopathic medicines and said, “Learn their names and their properties by heart. You do not have to go through hundreds of medicines. Eight if you can learn, it will be enough for you.” He gave me the list, and I learnt it. At that time I knew about forty or fifty remedies by heart. Now perhaps I know only ten.

In the Ashram, homeopaths gave better results than allopaths. The allopathic doctors were all very great doctors. They received their degrees from abroad. But our Ashram homeopaths achieved better results.

No matter which type of medicine you prefer, if you have faith, then so much the better. Faith will cure you, whether doctors give you the correct medicine or not. But I have to say that the little homeopathic pills can create miracles. Everything is inside us. If homeopathy can penetrate and go deep within to cure, then it touches the root.

The funny thing is that, if you take some homeopathic pills and they aggravate your problem, so much the better! You take the medicine and, if your condition becomes temporarily worse, then the medicine is working. It is hard to believe, but so often it is true. First your health takes a wrong direction. Then you are cured. It has happened many, many times. If the result is worse, then you are getting better. That is very hard to understand.

OGT 49. 15 January 2002, Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam

Hanuman is always alive20

Hanuman is always alive. In Lord Krishna’s time also he was alive.

Once, pride entered into Arjuna. Arjuna was boasting about his strength. To increase his humility, Lord Krishna invoked Hanuman, and Hanuman did come. Hanuman lived in Lord Rama’s time, but he appeared in Lord Krishna’s time also. Of course, Sri Krishna could bring anybody. Arjuna was bragging, so Lord Krishna brought Hanuman before him.

OGT 50. 18 January 2002, Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam

The heart is stronger than the mind21

Today I have lifted seventy individuals, and I am “only” seventy years old! Right now one of the disciples is guarding by the door. When he turns seventy, let us see if he can lift seventy people. I will watch from Heaven. He has so many years to practise!

After lifting forty or forty-five people, the mind revolts; but the heart is stronger than the mind, much stronger. The heart compels the mind to go on. Otherwise, the mind absolutely revolts. The mind does not want to lift any more, but the heart is so strong. The heart says, “You have to do it, you have to!” Here is the proof that the heart is stronger than the mind.

Call it greed or perseverance or determination: I have lifted more than two thousand people in the past few months. We started in March last year. Last time it took six or seven years to complete two thousand, and this time it has not taken even a year. In eleven months, I have lifted 2,057 people. The older you become, the more energy you get. Again, in some cases it may happen that the older you become, the more stupidity you accumulate.

I do not know when I will stop. The mind wants to stop at this very moment. Mentally when I try to imagine two thousand people, I cannot!

OGT 51. 18 January 2002, Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam


You are all infinitely, infinitely better at acting than your Guru! When I was five or six years old, I had one line in a play, but I became nervous. I was playing the part of Sahadeva, and I had to appreciate Arjuna. My problems started in the dressing room. We had to wear a type of dhoti that they wore in Mahabharata times. It was almost like a girl’s sari. It was too much for me! I cried and cried.

My cousin was playing the role of Arjuna. He was older than I was. He was so fond of me. Alas, on the stage I had to say something to Arjuna, but I forgot the line. Arjuna was prompting me. He was even telling me the line, but I could not hear what he was saying because of my nervousness.

At the Ashram, when I was fourteen or fifteen years old, I wrote a play about Sri Ramakrishna in Bengali. I played the role of Sri Ramakrishna and did very, very well. In that play, I had many, many lines, plus I had to sing two songs: Sundara Hate and Tamasa Rate. At that time there was no nervousness. What happens when you are five or six years old, and then when you are fifteen years old — this is the difference.

OGT 52. 21 January 2002, Rex Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam

Singing voices23

Girls, always keep your voices feminine, keep your voices thin. Do not make your voices “fat,” like the boys’ voices. Girls’ voices have to be “thin”. Boys’ voices can be as “fat” as possible.

Do not imitate, do not imitate! Girls should not imitate boys’ voices, and boys should not imitate girls’ voices. If you imitate, you will lose your own voices.

OGT 53. 31 January 2002, Orchid Garden Hotel, Brunei, Darussalam

English mantras24

Many prayers in English are very nice. If you learn some of these prayers by heart and repeat them, they will be like our Indian mantras. Indian sages and seers produced mantras. They did it in Sanskrit. Now we can do it in English.

Here I have written so many prayers — hundreds and hundreds. Can you not learn a few by heart?

OGT 54. 1 February 2002, Orchid Garden Hotel, Brunei, Darussalam

Great Indian poets25

Rabindranath Tagore, Kaji Najrul and Ramprasad all received some touch from the soul or from the psychic being, from their inner existence. That is why their poems and songs are so soulful, so melodious.

Najrul wrote songs about Indian Gods and Goddesses, about Mother Kali or Lord Krishna. He also wrote He Partha Sarathi and a few other songs of the highest order. He was not God-realised, but he wrote such wonderful songs. In Ramprasad’s case, he got a glimpse of God.26

OGT 55. 2 February 2002, Nexus Resort Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

OGT 55,2. Sri Chinmoy spoke extensively about Rabindranath Tagore. See Sri Chinmoy, Rabindranath Tagore: The Moon of Bengal’s Heart. New York: Agni Press, 2011

Heaven on earth27

This place is so beautiful. It is a palace! The people are so nice when they talk to us. By nature they are so sincerely mild. Such kindness and goodness they have.

Here it is so beautiful, so beautiful! Some people are of the opinion that it is Heaven on earth. I subscribe to their view.

OGT 56. 3 February 2002, Nexus Resort Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Bengali words for "heart"28

Bengali can be quite complicated. In prose, the word paran is used for “vital,” but in poetry, quite often it is used for “heart.” Chitta can mean “heart” and hriday is “heart.” Hiya is also “heart.” In poetry, paran can be used as “heart.” In prose it has to mean “vital.” The actual word is pran, but in poetry the form paran is used. It is complicated. Each language has some complexity. Otherwise, how can it be unique? At some point, we are challenged by all languages because of complexity.

Hiya will never be used colloquially; hiya is used only in poetry. Hriday can be used in poetry and prose. Antar also can be used in prose and poetry. Hiya will never be used in prose or colloquial speech. While we are talking, we cannot use the word hiya. We can use antar, hriday or chitta. Again, chitta we use in poetry for “heart.” But in Sanskrit, chitta means “mind.” In Sanskrit, chitta is written as chit.

From where to where language goes!

OGT 57. 7 February 2002, Nexus Resort Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

To mountain-climbers29

Kindly meditate for seven minutes before you leave the hotel today, and also try to recite seven prayers. The day after tomorrow, before you leave your hotel or cottage to start your climb, early in the morning please do the same: seven minutes’ meditation and seven prayers. You can choose the prayers.

Some of you are good singers. You can sing whenever you are together and when you are not in action. Please sing and keep the atmosphere soulful.

Good luck, good luck to you all!

OGT 58. 7 February 2002, Nexus Resort Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

My favourite fruits30

My favourite fruit is mango. My second-best fruit is guava. There is a fruit I never get here in New York. It is jujube. My childhood favourites were mango, guava, jujube — first, second, third. The worst, according to me, because I ate it countless times in my youth, is banana. Every day at the Ashram I had to eat four or five bananas.

One of my mentors, the one who taught me English considerably, wrote a book on mangoes. He wanted to prove that Indian mangoes are the best! Fortunately, he also wrote some serious books. One very good book he wrote on Blake’s poem “The Tyger.”

OGT 59. 9 February 2002, Nexus Resort Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

"Enthusiasm" singing group31

These English songs help your soul and heart, even your mind, your vital and your body. What more do you need? These songs help all parts of the being. I get such joy, such joy, when I listen to this group! This joy is nothing but progress. If you believe in progress, then when you sing these songs, you definitely make progress. Learn them, learn them! The songs you performed the day before yesterday were so sweet.

As far as the members go, it is up to the leader whomever she wants to take. Again, I feel that if you invite really good singers, they will take the joy away from the rest. Your group has to have a speciality of its own. If you take too many good cooks, they will spoil the broth and your group’s speciality will disappear. But if you have some friends who are third-class or even no-class singers, then you can take them. If you accept super-excellent singers because of your friendship with them, then the pristine beauty and fragrance of this group will disappear, along with the special joy that you give to the audience. Right now you are all singing in oneness. You have to be careful not to make the group too big.

This is our Enthusiasm group. Enthusiasm is very colourful. When you have enthusiasm, all the colours come to you, to help you. In that way enthusiasm is full of many different colours, and it helps us considerably. Kindly make your costumes very colourful and charming. In April when you perform, your costumes should be beautiful, colourful and gorgeous!

OGT 60. 11 February 2002, Nexus Resort Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

The Creator and the creations32

Daily I draw about four thousand birds. While meditating I draw them. They are real birds. These birds are from my concentration and meditation.

At six o’clock every morning I go out. Vinaya drives me. I come back at 7:30. Then, from 7:30 to 8:30, I draw birds in four different notebooks. They give me such joy! The creator and the creations simply become one.

Aspiration, dedication and manifestation: these three go together.

OGT 61. 3 April 2002, PS 86, Jamaica, New York

The fourth of July33

Tomorrow is a very significant day for the American soul, American heart, American consciousness and American life. Let us all try to be in a very, very high consciousness the entire day.

Those who sing very, very well “America the Beautiful” will sing the song tomorrow. That is my most favourite American song. That song is very, very significant.

OGT 62. 3 July 2002, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York

Swimming the English Channel34

How I wish all those who are not succeeding in swimming the English Channel would try to develop speed — speed, speed, speed! Please develop speed. You have endurance, stamina and perseverance, but you all need speed. Otherwise, at what time the hostile forces will come in the form of huge waves or a strong current to hinder your progress we cannot say. When you have speed, these wrong forces are not as powerful.

For everything in life, if you are very fast, your dynamism silences to a great extent the adversaries. Most of our swimmers have stamina. If you do not have stamina, then please develop it. But do not forget to develop speed. In everything, speed is of paramount importance.

Karteek has swum the English Channel four times. He has to do it three more times, for a total of seven times!35 And do not forget that our oldest family member to cross the Channel is Trishakash. In terms of age, he has defeated everybody. I am very proud, very proud of Trishakash.

OGT 63. 15 August 2002, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York

OGT 63,3. Karteek has swum the English Channel ten times as of the date of preparation of this book. In 2007, Vijaya swam the Channel at the age of 59, thus becoming the oldest American woman to do so. Trishakash’s record as the oldest Canadian national to complete the crossing (at age 57) stands to this day

Visit to The Pilgrimage of the Heart Boutique, San Diego36

This store is Heaven. I mean it! Everywhere there is real spirituality, but things like jewellery should not be near the counter. You can put them at any other place. Jewellery represents outer prosperity. I want this store to show inner fragrance everywhere. If you keep outer prosperity right in front of your nose, it is not good. It reduces the inner fragrance. You can definitely keep it in the store, and people will buy it; but this counter is the place where the customers have to feel the utmost inner fragrance. Here they pay for everything. They select an item and bring it here. Jewellery has to be somewhere else. This is my only criticism.

Jewellery brings in a material consciousness. It represents material wealth. Material wealth should not be kept at a very prominent place. You can keep spiritual books or some other spiritual items here. Even in ordinary stores we see little, little books, inspirational books, at the counter. When customers come to this store, they have to take away the utmost inspiration — inspiration for spirituality, not for material wealth.

OGT 64. 21 September 2002, San Diego, California

Visit to St. Charles Borromeo School, Harlem, New York37

Today our Pravin has given me boundless joy, boundless joy and boundless pride. His students are so well disciplined, so good, to say the least! And their principal is super-super-super-excellent. After I had lifted her, she gave the students a speech. You should have heard her speech. I could not believe it! It was all about Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy! Of course, perhaps I have borrowed from Christianity, since the Christ lived before me. Then she thanked me profusely. She said it was such an honour to be lifted. She was telling me, “When you lifted me, I felt so light! And I have such peace!” This was the principal. The atmosphere was simply divinely beautiful. The rooms and halls were so clean, tidy and spacious.

A few months ago, I went to another children’s school. Alas, that one was most discouraging. The children were unruly, and they misbehaved. The location was a very, very dangerous place. Pravin’s school gave me abundant joy, satisfaction and pride.

At one point today, I saw Sakhshat talking to the children. I heard only the words “Sri Chinmoy, Sri Chinmoy.” Perhaps every sentence he started with “Sri Chinmoy.” The children were listening so carefully. There was no laughing. Usually, when people give talks to children, they giggle, they push each other and they do not pay any attention. But these children were listening to him. Very, very seriously they were listening. From time to time I saw Pravin also talking to them. They were behaving extremely well.

OGT 65. 8 May 2003, New York

Our Garden of Eden38

Many, many people have worked very, very hard to create our Aspiration-Ground and to transform it into the Garden of Eden. All those who have worked very hard deserve my very special blessings. Ranjana is the inspiration-source of Aspiration-Ground, and for that I offer Ranjana tremendous gratitude.

Last but not least, the Sun God has been very, very pleased with us today, right from this morning. The sun could have deliberately hidden under the clouds and ruined our festivities. We prayerfully offer the Sun God our gratitude.

OGT 66. 20 June 2004, Father's Day Celebration Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York

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