Only one power
Meeting with the Most Venerable Tep Vong, Supreme Patriarch of the Mahanikaya Sect of Cambodia1During a visit to Cambodia, Sri Chinmoy and his students met privately with the Most Venerable Tep Vong, who offered Sri Chinmoy the “Light of Lord Buddha Award. ”
Most Venerable Tep Vong: I would like to pay my respects to you and to all the monks, and to welcome all of your delegation. Today, it is a great honour for me to meet you and your delegation here. I am delighted, and I would like to wholeheartedly welcome your visit to my country. I am praying to the Lord Buddha that he offer his divine blessings upon all of us, and I wish you and all the delegation a long-lasting, peaceful and prosperous life.
Sri Chinmoy: I am praying to the Absolute Lord Buddha to shower his divine and supreme blessings upon us. I am also offering my heart’s prayerful gratitude to my Most Venerable Tep Vong for granting me the golden opportunity to be in his blessingful presence. O Most Venerable Monk, your simplicity-life, your clarity-mind and your purity-heart have touched the very breath of my aspiring heart and my dedicated world-service.
There are two worlds: the outer and the inner. The outer world of sufferings we try to transform. When we came here a few minutes ago, I felt that your inner world of illumination is most sincerely and most self-givingly trying to transform the outer world of ceaseless sufferings. For that, my heart is all gratitude to you, and my life has tremendous appreciation and admiration for your noble task.
Once more I am praying to the Absolute Lord Buddha to inundate you and all those who are here with his infinite compassion and infinite blessings. The Lord Buddha is not only the Light of Asia, but also the Light of the entire Universe. The infinite sufferings of this world touched him at every moment, and his infinite Compassion-Light embraces the world’s boundless sufferings.
Most Venerable Tep Vong: I would like to thank you for visiting my country and for coming to see me today. I am very delighted with that and, at the same time, I would like to wish you success, longevity and the realisation of your aspiration to bring peace to all human beings in the world. I also wish you good health and would like you to do dhamma and exercise meditation in quest of knowledge [preah kamathann] in order to have a long life and to bring peace to the world forever.
The Most Venerable Tep Vong presented Sri Chinmoy with the “Light of Lord Buddha Award," which reads as follows:
LIGHT OF LORD BUDDHA AWARD
Sri Chinmoy has been recognized by Patriarchs and leaders of Buddhism throughout the world for his stress on the basic characteristics of Buddhism-compassion, love, renunciation and peace.
He has led the world to praise and appreciate Lord Buddha through his pilgrimages to Buddhist shrines and through his plays, stories, poetry and music offered in devotion to Lord Buddha.
“Lord Buddha, to the human in you we bow. To the divine in you we bow. To the ever-transcending Reality in you, We bow and bow and bow.”
— Sri Chinmoy
“Lord Buddha, we do practise the theories of you forever.”
— Most Venerable Tep Vong
Now, as he visits Cambodia to pay his respects to the soul of Cambodia in the Heart of Lord Buddha, this award is presented to Sri Chinmoy to honour and appreciate his lifelong mission to bring peace and enlightenment to humanity.
Udnalorm Pagoda, Phnom Penh, 24 December 2001 Supreme Patriarch of Mahanikaya Sect of Cambodia Most Venerable Tep Vong
Sri Chinmoy: I am accepting this blessingful message from you and I am placing it inside the very depths of my heart’s gratitude to you, our Venerable Highest Monk. To you I am offering my heart’s boundless gratitude and gratitude, and I shall treasure your blessingful message in the very depths of my heart, with my heart’s most humble admiration. [Inviting the singers to come forward] We are praying to the Lord Buddha according to our Indian traditional way. We are taking shelter in him. This is the Lord Buddha’s most powerful message in Sanskrit: “Buddham saranam gacchami. Dhammam saranam gacchami. Sangham saranam gacchami.” I have set it to music. Then my students will sing one Bengali song in which we are all bowing and bowing to the Lord Buddha.
The Most Venerable Tep Vong stood facing the singers with folded hands as Sri Chinmoy and his students sang “Buddham saranam gacchami” and “Namo namo namo Buddha deber.”
[Sri Chinmoy then requested his students to pay their respects to the Most Venerable Tep Vong, and they came forward one by one and bowed to him. Then all proceeded to the courtyard, where Sri Chinmoy lifted the Most Venerable Tep Vong on a ceremonial platform, and presented him with the “Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart” Award.]
Most Venerable Tep Vong: I wish to offer you my gratitude.
Sri Chinmoy: It is I who wish to offer my infinite gratitude to you for allowing me to be in your blessingful presence.
Most Venerable Tep Vong: I wish you all to have the blessings of the Lord Buddha, and a long life forever, with good health, good strength and good happiness.
Sri Chinmoy [offering the Peace Torch to the Supreme Patriarch]: The Peace Torch has gone all over the world. We are praying to the Lord Buddha to bless us with his infinite peace.
[The Most Venerable Tep Vong held the torch, and then passed it among the monks.]
OOP 1. 26 December 2001, Udnalorm Pagoda, Phnom Penh, Cambodia↩
Conversation with a young Cambodian monk1Sri Chinmoy: I went to see the museum where they have preserved thousands of skulls of those who were killed in Cambodia. They showed a documentary. Before, the skulls were all in the street, but now there is a monument. Hundreds of vital spirits are still roaming around fifty metres away. It was a very deplorable experience for me.
There are little girls’ skirts and other garments still on the ground. It was a very sad experience, because I saw that still the vital spirits are moving around. God alone knows in which realm they are. They are in between earth and Heaven. For most people, this would be a very, very frightening experience. For me, it was the saddest experience in my life. How could people be so ruthlessly tortured! God alone knows how it happened. This is life.
It took over an hour to get to the museum, and there were so many holes in the street. The streets were very uneven, to say the least, and I had back pain from all the jerking, although Savyasachi is a super-excellent driver and he was driving as slowly as possible. From the physical point of view also, this experience was sheer torture, torture.
I would not advise anybody to visit this place, but if you are interested in having that kind of experience, you can go. The journey itself was torture from the beginning to the end. And once you arrive to see the place, it is another kind of torture-experience that you get. So, I had two experiences. One experience was the torture of the physical body, which will go away in a few days’ time. But the torture in the heart will last for a very, very, very long time.
Have you gone there?
Monk Sopheap: I went only one time, in 1994.
Sri Chinmoy: Do you want to go there again? You are very brave. On my behalf you can go.
Monk Sopheap: In 1994, a family from Thailand invited monks to pray for everybody who died there.
Sri Chinmoy: I was told that when they ran short of guns, they used axes, hammers and other things to kill people. It is a huge monument, and inside the monument there are thousands of skulls. The eyes are so deep. You can see from the skulls that there were many, many children — little, little children.
I understand that you have studied my book, Meditate On.
Monk Sopheap: Yes, I have studied this book. [He recites some aphorisms from the book.] Sometimes when I thought of you, I felt I wanted to see you in person. Before you arrived here, I always dreamed of when I could meet Guru Sri Chinmoy in my life.
Sri Chinmoy: You were the one who garlanded me. Did you feel anything when I was looking at you?
Monk Sopheap: Yes.
Sri Chinmoy: The Lord Buddha in me blessed you; not I. The Lord Buddha in me blessed you profusely when you put the garland around my neck. When I was two or three metres away from you, I saw the Lord Buddha, as I am seeing you, very vividly. He was very, very happy, very pleased, for us to be together. So he blessed you — not I. I bless my disciples. Only the Lord Buddha can bless you.
It will help you if twice a day you can practise the Lord Buddha’s message, Buddham saranam gacchami, Dhammam saranam gacchami, Sangham saranam gacchami, which I have set to music. This is my Indian way, my Bengali way, of chanting. I chant this hymn in a different way than you do, but I assure you, if you learn to chant in this way, you will definitely feel the Lord Buddha’s presence in your heart. He is already inside your heart, but if you want to have a vivid experience of his infinite compassion for you, you can do this particular chant twice a day, morning and evening. It will help you so much. The Lord Buddha’s compassion will descend upon you profusely.
Please come here at one o’clock. The Lord Buddha can lift you inwardly, but I wish to lift you outwardly. The Lord Buddha will lift you inside, and I will lift you outside, on the physical plane.
OOP 2. 20 December 2001, Inter-Continental Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. After Sri Chinmoy meditated in silence with Monk Sopheap, the two spoke about their experiences at a war museum, as well as other subjects. Following are some excerpts from their conversation.↩
Heart-fulfilling1When I draw my birds in a notebook, I do it in a meditative consciousness. It is time-consuming, but heart-fulfilling.
OOP 3. 4 January 2002, Inter-Continental Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia↩
Seven thousand poems1Before I left New York, I had a strong determination to write seven thousand poems for my Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees. There came a time, two weeks ago, when I was not at all inspired to dictate poems for about a week or so. I said, “It is a hopeless case.” When I say “hopeless case,” God laughs and laughs!
Now on a regular basis I am doing over one hundred fifty poems a day. On some days I compose two hundred, and on some days it is three hundred. In that way I have completed over 4,500 poems. Some people will soon go home to New York, so it is my wish to give them 5,000 poems to be typed by Kakali in New York. From Hawaii, 1,250 poems have already gone back to New York. Now I will be completing 5,000.
All those who serve me in my poetry-world deserve my very special gratitude and gratitude.
OOP 4. 4 January 2002, Inter-Continental Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia↩
She calls me "Father"1After I lifted her in our “Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart” programme, the lady who cleans my hotel room gave such a soulful response. She stood in front of me and then knelt down very devotedly. Yesterday when I went upstairs to my room at about two-thirty, she was bringing flowers that somebody had offered me. She reached the door before me and said, “Father, let me open it.” She calls me “Father.”
She has received one of the pictures of me lifting her, but I thought that I would give her more pictures, so I kept them right next to the door of my room, on the table. They remained there for more than a week.
Finally I said to her, “Are these not the pictures of you?”
She said, “Yes.”
“Then why did you not take them?”
She said, “Oh, Father, how can I take them?”
I was so moved. When I offered her the pictures, she knelt down in front of me with folded hands and said, “Father.”
Then I requested her not to put so many pillows on my bed. Again she fell down on her knees and said, “Father, I will not do it.”
In the early days I never blessed people on their heads, specially ladies. After some years I started blessing people in this way. On this occasion I said to myself, “Now I have to bless her.” I did bless her. Then I said, “Kindly wait here.” I went into the next room and brought a twenty-dollar bill to give to her. When she saw that it was twenty dollars, her eyes became wide. I blessed her very nicely.
Whenever she gets the opportunity, she likes to kneel down and call me “Father.” In India everybody is “Uncle.” If you enter into a taxi, they call you “Uncle, Uncle.” They do not say “Father.” But this lady calls me “Father.”
We have been to many, many places, but I have never seen anybody on our Christmas Trips who is so devoted to me. This lady is really something. Look at her honesty! I left the pictures for her, but she did not take them. She waited for me to give them to her.
OOP 5. 4 January 2002, Inter-Continental Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia↩
Begging me to bless this monk1I never, never intended to bless Trishatur’s monk-friend.2 He is a Buddhist monk, and he has taken the vow of renunciation. But inwardly somebody said to me, “Please bless my son.”
I said, “It will not be proper. How can I bless him?”
I clearly saw that the Lord Buddha was begging me to bless this monk, because the Lord Buddha knows who I am. The monk is so nice, and I am so fond of him, but when I asked him, “May I bless you?” he said, “No.”
I said to the Lord Buddha, “You see, I was right.”
But again, I was so proud of the monk, because he was doing the right thing in his own way. The Lord Buddha, knowing who I am, wanted me to bless him. But I was right — the monk did not allow me to bless him. I looked at him when we were standing face to face. With such compassion I was blessing him inwardly. I said, “Lord Buddha, the higher world and this world do not go together.”
He has followed his tradition, and in that way he has done absolutely the right thing. But sometimes we have to go beyond the domain of tradition so that we can make the fastest progress.
In all sincerity, it was at the Lord Buddha’s request that I wanted to bless him. I knew that his brother had not yet accepted the monk-life, so I blessed his brother. But in the case of this monk, it was far beyond my imagination. I did not have the intention to bless him, not at all, because I knew that, according to the monk’s understanding, it would not be the right thing.
I can see the Lord Buddha very clearly at any time, any second, and he wanted me to bless his son. Alas, higher wisdom does not always work with human knowledge, so what can we do? Again, I was so happy that he followed his tradition. With utmost love and compassion I blessed him inwardly. I was looking at him and pouring, pouring all my compassion and affection into him. I touched his heart. When I blessed him while looking at him, at that time I touched his heart. Absolutely unreservedly I blessed him.
I am very fond of him, very fond of him. The other day, how he grabbed me when I came out of the car, at the gate! He grabbed me from behind like a child. He was so happy and thrilled to see me!
For him and his monk-friends it was a very new experience, and for us as well. Trishatur is the synthesis, the bridge between the monk’s austerity and our modernism.
OOP 6. 4 January 2002, Inter-Continental Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia↩
OOP 6,1. As a United Nations staff member, Trishatur served with the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia for 18 months, from 1992-1993. He became a friend of many monks there before returning to his post at UN Headquarters in New York.↩
An Indian family1While talking with the wife of an Indian family, Sri Chinmoy asked her the names of all the family members, commenting: I had a friend, a very, very, very close friend whose name was Mavinehandra. He was from Gujarat, in your case, you are not from Gujarat.
Mavinehandra is a Gujarati name, and you are from Bombay. In Bombay they do not usually give that name. Only in Gujarat they give it. In 1950, this Mavinehandra was a very, very, very close friend and a great admirer of mine.
[Regarding the name Dilip] In ancient days there was a king whose name was Dilip. There is no actual meaning to the word Dilip. Only because he was a very, very, very great king, many, many people have the name Dilip. But the name itself has no actual meaning. The meaning is only that he was a very mighty, powerful king. From his time, people started giving the name Dilip. The meaning is only that he was very powerful and very kind-hearted.
I am very happy that your whole family has come here on our Christmas Trip. Some day we may see you in New York, if possible.
[To the wife, while addressing the whole family] You are from Bombay. [To the husband] You are from Maharashtra. I am very happy that you have read my book on Shivaji. When I was a schoolboy, our teacher asked us to write an article on Shivaji. I am a great admirer of Shivaji and Ramdas, his Guru. Our school teacher used to give marks out of four, not out of one hundred. My teacher was so pleased with my article on Shivaji that he gave me eight out of four! I have great admiration for Shivaji. He was a great king.
Bengalis are very proud. They do not like to follow others! But our India’s greatest poet, Rabindranath Tagore, asked the Bengalis to join together with the Marathis and say, “Victory to Shivaji!” [Sri Chinmoy recites a poem in Bengali] Tagore wrote that immortal poem. It is such an excellent poem.
Bengalis have the greatest admiration for Shivaji, and also for his Guru, Ramdas. Shivaji had a spiritual guide, a spiritual Master, and he obeyed his Master. Once Shivaji said, “I do not want this kingdom any more. I want to give it up.”
Ramdas said, “No, you have to be king.” Then he gave Shivaji a piece of his ochre cloth and said, “This will be your flag, this colour.” Shivaji kept that flag. He always took advice from his Guru, Ramdas.
[To the husband] Your father-in-law’s name is Ghanashyama. Very sweetly you say the word Ghanashyama! “Shyama” means Lord Krishna and “Ghana” is dark or very dense. “Ghana” is something very thick, very deep, intense and dark. Ghanashyama is another name, an epithet, for Lord Krishna, because his skin was not as fair as that of Rama and others.
OOP 7. 7 January 2002, Inter-Continental Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.↩
When he is in the heart1Let me tell about the positive side of one of my disciples. When he is in the heart, he is a first-class, super-class soldier of the Supreme. When he is in the negative mind, two or three of his spiritual sisters discipline his mind and throw him back into his heart. Again, most of the time he is in the heart, and he is indeed a first-class, super-class disciple. He has shown his heart through aspiration and through dedication in various fields. He is a super-super-excellent disciple. But alas, on rare occasions he is attacked by the mind. Perhaps there are some insects in his mind. Some of his spiritual sisters take away those mosquitoes or ants by scolding him. Then he is again all in the heart.
Some people remain in the negative mind for years and years. In his case it takes half a day, a day or two days, and then he is cured. But for some people it takes days, weeks or months to come out of the mind — even years. He is lucky to have some spiritual sisters who help him immediately to recover from that disease. Most of the time he is in the heart, in the heart.
OOP 8. 9 February 2002, Nexus Resort, Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia↩
Sweetmeat for the Lord Buddha1Today I shall give you a very special prasad. It is called payesh2 We call it “sweetmeat.”
This is what Sujata gave to the Lord Buddha, according to our Bengali understanding.
Appreciating a famous melody1In the Indian tradition, if some songs are very, very famous, like Phire chalo, He partha sarathi and Ghana tamasabrita, it is a well-established practice for composers to use part of the melody and give credit to the source. It means that you are appreciating and admiring a particular melody. Others have written a song before you. You offer your own words, but the melody you carry in a similar way.
You have just sung my song Ami jabo, which has a similar tune to Phire chalo. The first part of my song Chalo chalo is similar to the melody of a very, very famous song that I used to sing in India. It starts with Balo balo.
[Sri Chinmoy singsBalo balo balo sabe ]
That is the tune. My tune is a little bit different, but originally I was inspired by that song. I have written thousands and thousands of melodies, but in three or four cases I was inspired by others’ melodies, and in the Indian tradition, I gave credit to the source.
OOP 10. 14 February 2002, Nexus Resort, Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia↩
My songs for the Mother and for Sri Aurobindo1My songs for the Mother [Janani Mirar] and for Sri Aurobindo [Jaya Bhagaban Sri Aurobindo] I composed while looking at the Mother’s and Sri Aurobindo’s portraits in the main meditation hall at the Ashram. When I went there last month, I was inspired.2
Mira is the Mother’s name. How can I ever forget her affection and compassion, which she showered upon me?
Such unruly people!1Thirty years ago I went for the first time to Berkeley, California, that famous place. And the university at Santa Cruz I will never forget! People were whistling before my talk. During the question period, someone would ask a question and then someone else from the audience would stand up and give the answer. Such unruly people!
OOP 12. 14 February 2002, Nexus Resort, Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia↩
The flight of birds1For a few days I meditated while riding my chariot round and round and round in the hotel. Now I find I have better meditation when Savyasachi drives me in the car.
Always in the morning Savyasachi and I leave at six o’clock to drive, and at that time I meditate. At seven o’clock we come back. Today I have taken a video of birds, at least four hundred birds. I should have been doing it for the last week! Every day I have seen the flight of birds — today at least four hundred.
When I come back from driving, I always see disciples are running, running, running. They give me joy! At that time, when I am returning, I have practically finished my meditation — it is a matter of only another five minutes or so. But if I move around in my chariot, here I see people, there I see people. If I look at one disciple, then I have to look at twenty. If I smile at one, and if I cut jokes with one, then I have to cut jokes with twenty! That is why I go out driving in the car to meditate.
OOP 13. 14 February 2002, Nexus Resort, Karambunai, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia↩
Smallest, cutest1In Sabah, Malaysia, I was inspired to drive a golf cart almost two hours a day for about two weeks. I had very, very, very high meditations and very, very, very high experiences, so I wanted to have a cart like that here in America.
Here is a photograph of the cart. It is smaller than the smallest, and perhaps cuter than the cutest.
And here is a cute story. As you know, we have our Goose Pond Park in Jamaica. The manager of that park has appointed me and Rupantar to be his supervisors, so that I will not have any problems when I am riding there!
OOP 14. 1 March 2002, P.S. 86, Jamaica, New York↩
The Golden Chariot1[Sri Chinmoy read from a small card with a photo of himself riding in a motorized cart that he called his chariot.]
Inwardly, this is something very significant: “The Golden Chariot: Life-long membership of Guru’s Golden Chariot.”
If you can show your membership card, you will be able to get a picture of yourself standing beside the chariot very soon. I shall be inside the chariot, and you will be standing beside the chariot. If you can prove that you have a Golden Chariot card, then you will get your picture. But you have to prove that you have a life-long membership!
Some disciples worked very, very, very hard to discover this chariot. Finally, they found it in Wisconsin. Now they are modifying it according to my suggestions.
OOP 15. 2 March 2002, P.S. 86, Jamaica, New York↩
In honour of my Chico marathon1Quite a few disciples ran in honour of my Chico Marathon today. I saw Bhagirathi at three miles. Then I saw her at six and a half miles. She was facing me while I was in the car. She was all by herself.
On Union Turnpike, I used to run nine miles and then turn around.
I am very happy that you have run! Tomorrow we shall hear from San Francisco. There will be quite a few marathon runners there also.
OOP 16. 2 March 2002, P.S. 86, Jamaica, New York↩
Hinduism Today1The current issue of Hinduism Today has my writings.
The present head of their mission I like very, very much. He came to our weightlifting performance two hours ahead of the time, and then he stayed another hour. He was missing his departed Guru badly, so we gave him abundant consolation.
OOP 17. 6 March 2002, P.S. 86, Jamaica, New York↩
The real God-representatives1[Sri Chinmoy read out the following prayer:]
How I wish I could be
With all the real God-representatives
When they walk the earth!
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I did walk with Sri Aurobindo when he was on earth.
Sona1[After a cake was offered in honour of the birth anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s dog, Sona]
All our sweet stories started with Sona.2
How many stories we have! His name means “gold.” You are real gold, Sona!
How much compassion he showed to his younger brother, Kanu! He was twenty times stronger than Kanu.
All our sweet stories started with Sona.
The Mahabharata1[After watching a dramatic and painful segment of the epic Indian video series on the Mahabharata]
Everything is predestined — what can you do?
Vidura I admire from the beginning to the end. He did not fight, but he is the real hero.
When you read the Mahabharata, you perhaps do not suffer as much. When you read, you may only see the ink on the paper. But when you watch the performance, you suffer tremendously.
OOP 20. 12 March 2002, Sri Chinmoy's home, Jamaica, New York↩
Poems from many, many years ago1I wish to read out a poem of mine which I wrote many, many years ago. Perhaps many of you, if not most, were not born.
Long, long before I was born, Sri Aurobindo wrote a story called Kshamar Adarsha, “The Ideal of Forgiveness.” I rendered that story into Bengali verse. It was about two hundred lines. Then it was sent to Sri Aurobindo. It was first printed in 1955, but when I rendered it into Bengali poetry, it was 1946, so I was at that time fourteen or fifteen years old.
My Bengali teacher, Prabhakar Mukherji, wrote the introduction to my first book in English. It was called Flame-Waves.2
[After reading the introduction and the poem]
In those days my English was totally different!
Now I shall read out a few poems.
This is my very first attempt, my very first poem in English. [Reads “The Golden Flute”]
This was my third poem in English. It is my personal experience. [Reads “The Absolute”]
This is my fourth, fifth or sixth poem. [Reads “Revelation”]
This is also among my first ten poems. [Reads “Apocalypse”]
[Reads “Struggle’s Gloom”]
This is the last one I am reading today. [Reads “Immortality”]
These poems I wrote in India, when I started writing poems in English.
Australia: the source of my esraj1As you know, my most favourite instrument is the esraj. The esraj is the source of my musical world. The other day we observed the anniversary of our esraj. The source of my esraj performance is Australia. On television in Australia I played the esraj.
I also started playing the Western flute in Australia. The flute I remember. It was in an Australian bus that I started. I tried so hard! The first and second notes were all right, but the third note was out of my control.
OOP 22. 13 March 2002, P.S. 86, Jamaica, New York↩
A perfect gentleman1[Sri Chinmoy and his disciples soulfully observed the passing of his disciple Sunil. Sri Chinmoy meditated on a large photograph of Sunil and invited the disciples to join him in chanting Sunil’s name. He then read out the words to a special song he had composed in honour of Sunil on 11 March 2002, the day after Sunil’s earth-departure:]
Rare, rare, very rare, a perfect gentleman.
Our dear Sunil belongs to God’s Proudest Clan.
Rare, rare, very rare, a perfect gentleman.
His heart of sleepless God-love fulfils God’s Cosmic Plan.
[The singers sang this English song, as well as four Bengali songs with Sunil’s name in them. Sri Chinmoy then sang several Sanskrit chants and songs, reciting some of the translations. The singing concluded with “Phire chalo” and Sri Chinmoy’s translation: “The soul has gone back to its celestial abode, the abode that is flooded with Infinity’s Light and Delight. No death, no death, only a new flow of life eternal.”]
Sunil’s soul has come to me exactly twelve times so far since his departure. The first time his soul’s message was carried to me by his heart. His heart most prayerfully and most soulfully offered its infinite, infinite gratitude to our Absolute Lord Beloved Supreme for a five-year extension of his life. Sunil would have left his body five years ago, but the infinite Compassion, Concern, Love and Pride of our Lord Supreme kept him alive for progress, more progress, abundant progress in his inner life.
Sunil’s soul, his heart, his mind, his vital and even his subtle physical body are watching with enormous pride all our activities. Joy, pride and gratitude he is offering to me and to all his sisters and brothers, not only here, but all over the world.
We have about seven thousand disciples. He is the only one whom I can safely, unmistakably and proudly call a perfect gentleman. Out of thousands and thousands of people, perhaps we may get one truly perfect gentleman.
To me, Sunil’s dearest friend was, is and forever shall be Shraddha. Shraddha comes first among his dearest friends. After Shraddha, other close friends, his real, dear friends, please come. Others who work at the United Nations, please come up and pass by our Sunil. Kindly pass by soulfully.
If it is appropriate, then kindly give copies of his song to some of Sunil’s colleagues. You will see if there are some people who are very receptive, who know me well and have a need for our prayers and meditations.
OOP 23. 13 March 2002, P.S. 86, Jamaica, New York↩
Sunil's soul1[After meditating on Sunil’s coffin for fifteen minutes at the family wake held in Greenwich, Connecticut, Sri Chinmoy wrote the following blessing in the guest book:]
I am in your heart.
Our Lord Beloved Supreme is inundating you
With His infinite Compassion,
Love, Joy and Pride.
You will remain throughout Eternity
My Soul’s Sunil
And my Heart’s Sunil.
— Guru, March 14th, 2002 Sri Chinmoy"
Later, Sri Chinmoy told of a few occasions when Sunil’s soul had come to him. While Sri Chinmoy was meditating on the coffin, Sunil came to him and said, “I am in my Guru's heart.”
Sri Chinmoy said, “I am in your heart, too.”
Sunil said, “I am in your heart.”
Sri Chinmoy again said, “I am in your heart.”
When Sri Chinmoy bowed to the crucifix, Sunil was at his feet, singing, “Jai, jai, Sri Chinmoy, jai! — Victory, victory, Sri Chinmoy, victory!”
On Sri Chinmoy’s way home from the wake, Sunil’s soul came to him and said, “You made my life not only meaningful, but fruitful.”
Sunil was very special. Was there any time that he did not go to our meditation? I cry when I think of Sunil’s selfless service.
OOP 24. 14 March 2002, P.S. 86, Jamaica, New York↩
At the time of death1One can see the aura of a departed soul immediately.
No matter how bad a person may be, the best qualities come forward in death. If somebody has done many bad things, and even two good things, those two good things will be in the eyes at the time of death.
OOP 25. 17 March 2002, Sri Chinmoy's home, Jamaica, New York↩
All the affection of the world1The last time when I went to see my aunt, perhaps she stayed on earth only for me. She saw me, and the following night she passed away at the age of ninety-four or ninety-five. She waited for me only. She was singing, and she was very nicely reciting her poems. God knows when she wrote them! She called me “Father” and grabbed my hand. As usual, I put one hand on her head and one hand on her heart. When I got the message that she was going to depart this world, I blessed her in front of her daughter. Her daughter knows who I am. First I blessed her, and then I cried. I said to her daughter, “I have to go.”
Her daughter asked, “You have to go?”
I thought her daughter would say, “No, you have to stay.” But her daughter was kind to me. She said, “You have to go.” Then she gave me permission to leave.
How did my aunt know that I was coming to see her?
The previous time when I went there, she said, “Sit down, sit down.” All the affection of the world was in her eyes. She was pouring and pouring her affection into me. She would not bless me on my head. She wanted to raise her hand to put it on my shoulder, but she could not even lift her hand. Then she said that, if she felt better in a few days, she would have to cook for my brother. She would make eggs with salt, and then send them to him. My brother would always eat her food. She was about to die the next day, but she would not give up.
OOP 26. 17 March 2002, Sri Chinmoy's home, Jamaica, New York↩
Very happy in the other world1[Sri Chinmoy made the following comments to Pulak after his mother’s passing.]
Kindly say to your aunts that your mother is very happy in the other world. In that way you can bring happiness to her sisters. Say to them, “I can see, I can feel that she is very happy.” Otherwise, your mother’s passing will be a tremendous shock for them. This is called preparation before the injection. Make them feel that you yourself are happy. If you go to see them while you are crying, that will kill them. You have to make yourself strong. That strength will help them. Otherwise, they will break. Always your happiness will act like strength in their hearts.
Sisters may quarrel and fight, but they suffer badly when death appears. My sister suffered badly when our family members died. Our family is like that. If one person gets a headache, the other one so sincerely feels it. They absolutely take the side of the other party. They may quarrel, but then their quarrelling is over, and they have such concern and sincere feeling for each other. I have seen it with my own eyes.
Your mother has received my blessings two times. In the last three years her heart completely opened to me.
OOP 27. 17 March 2002, Sri Chinmoy's home, Jamaica, New York↩
Her heart completely opened to me1During the last three years other life, Pulak’s mother’s heart completely opened to Sri Chinmoy — completely! She accepted me wholeheartedly for the last three years. Even a few days before she breathed her last, Pulak was holding one of my books in front of her and she was reading or looking at the book. She could not speak. Afterwards, when he put the book on the table, she pointed to it so that he would pick it up again. She looked at my Transcendental Photograph, she looked at my smiling picture, and she looked at a picture of Pulak and me. This was her passing.
A few inner messages she has given me. One of her messages is, “Guru Sri Chinmoy, I am in your Silence-Heart-Home. I am my soul’s ever-increasing gratitude.” These are her own words.
Pulak’s mother’s name was Toni Viscardi. This morning I drew two special birds. One bird has a “G” in it, and the other bird has a “T” in it. If you very, very soulfully and carefully look at these two birds, you will realise what the meaning is.
[Sri Chinmoy offered the disciples cookies with the message and the birds printed on the wrapping.]
Please, for a few seconds, look at it soulfully, before you eat the cookie.
[While giving the prasad cookies, Sri Chinmoy sang part of the song “Phire chalo” again and again, offering the following translation:]
“In the sky the birds are singing and saying there is no death, there is no death. In life there is death, in death there is life. Therefore, there is no death, there is no death.”
On her birthday a couple of years ago, Pulak’s mother very kindly gave me a love offering with a note. The following year she gave me half the amount. I cut a joke with Pulak about it. Pulak is such a wonderful son! He took the message about my joke to his mother. Then his mother gave another offering to equal her previous offering.
She passed away one day after her birthday. For her birthday, she remained.
In one of her previous incarnations she was in a royal family. I saw her picture. Two days ago Pulak gave me a picture of her when she was young. Pulak has great doubts with regard to his mother’s age in this picture. I thought she was about forty years old, but Pulak said that she was well over fifty. She looks very beautiful and very dynamic. When I saw the picture,
I said, “Definitely she belonged to a royal family.”
Pulak said that his mother had told him her ancestors in Italy were of a royal family.
OOP 28. 20 March 2002, P.S. 86, Jamaica, New York↩
Soulfulness and prayerful feelings1Very prayerfully and soulfully I sing fifty-nine songs every day. Sometimes I may make mistakes, but my soulfulness is there. It takes me exactly an hour. I sing each song twice, but three or four songs I sing three times. I sing these fifty-nine songs every day at three-thirty, four o’clock or four-thirty in the morning — not after four-thirty. I do cycling in my meditative consciousness while singing. Before that I meditate for about two hours. Then, at six o’clock, I disappear. I go with Vinaya to the airport to meditate while I walk inside the terminal.
I never miss even a single day singing these fifty-nine songs! I like them; I enjoy them. I may make mistakes, as you are seeing, but my soulfulness does not worry about the melody. Most of the songs I know well and I sing correctly, but there are a few that I sing incorrectly. I know I am making mistakes, but I remain very prayerful and soulful, so at that time God forgives me.
If you cannot carry a tune, or if you forget the melody, think of your soulfulness and your prayerful feelings. Then there will be no problem.
OOP 29. 20 March 2002, P.S. 86, Jamaica, New York↩
Where there is dharma1[Sri Chinmoy made the following comment after watching an episode of the Mahabharata video series.]
They have not shown it, but when Yudhishthira goes to Gandhari, she blesses him, saying, “Where there is dharma, there will be victory.” There will be victory for the one who has virtue, so in this way she has said that Yudhishthira will win. Because she said, “Where there is dharma,” automatically we know that Yudhishthira will win. This is how Gandhari blessed him.
OOP 30. 20 March 2002, Sri Chinmoy's home, Jamaica, New York↩
A flamboyant sari1[When Sri Chinmoy was observing Garima’s birthday while she was visiting in New York, he made the following comment about the sari she was wearing for the occasion.]
Let it be known that this sari is Sri Chinmoy’s choice! Garima does not want to be associated with flamboyant saris, but I said, “Surrender, surrender!” She gladly surrendered to my choice and accepted the sari from me earlier today. This is perhaps the first time she has received a sari of this type.
OOP 31. 20 March 2002, Sri Chinmoy's home, Jamaica, New York↩
Ashram songs1Sri Chinmoy offered comments while singing some traditional Indian songs.
[About “Tui ma amar hiyar hiya” and “Kamal kanan”] These two songs were composed by an ashramite many, many, many years ago, before I was born. Many years ago he passed away. Now he has taken incarnation in the Soviet Union. He has joined our path, and he is doing very well.
[Before singing “Parabasi”] This is the very first song that I learned in Pondicherry, in July or August of 1944.
OOP 32. 23 March 2002, P.S. 86, Jamaica, New York↩
Totapuri1Totapuri was one of Sri Ramakrishna’s teachers. He always wore a loincloth. He did not wear proper clothes. Sri Ramakrishna used to call him always “Naked fellow.” In the beginning when Sri Ramakrishna was meditating very hard, Totapuri gave him some instructions. He taught many things to Sri Ramakrishna.
Totapuri was unable to accept Mother Kali. Sri Ramakrishna was all for Mother Kali. When Totapuri asked him, “Do you want to have lessons from me?” Sri Ramakrishna said, “I have to take permission from the Mother.”
Totapuri said, “What? You have to take permission from the Mother?”
Then Mother Kali gave Sri Ramakrishna permission. From Totapuri he learned everything, but they fell into disagreement. Totapuri could not accept Mother Kali, the Mother aspect, so Sri Ramakrishna said, “This is the time for you to go.”
OOP 33. 23 March 2002, P.S. 86, Jamaica, New York↩
Swami Vivekananda's house1When I went to Swami Vivekananda’s house, I was standing ten metres away. There was a fence. I spoke to the officials in perfect Bengali, but they did not allow me to go inside. They said, “No, no, no, no.”
I told them that I had written a book about Swami Vivekananda. I think I know more about him than those fellows who were not allowing me to enter into his room. What could I do?
OOP 34. 23 March 2002, P.S. 86, Jamaica, New York↩
"You are the best gift"1This is a story about Dimitri, Irina Malikova's little son.2 Today I was talking to him on the phone. I said, “Lotika will be here shortly. When she goes back to Moscow, I will send lots and lots of gifts for you.”
Then he said, “But Guru, you are the best gift.”
I could not believe it! I asked Irina if she had told him to say that, and she said, “Oh no, Guru, not this time. But previously when you used to send gifts, I would say, ‘Guru is the best gift.’”
So softly and sweetly he said to me, “But Guru” — he calls me Guru — “you are the best gift.”
An ordinary person and a God-realised person1[Sri Chinmoy made the following remarks after his disciples Ranjit and Unmesh told about their recent trip to India. He was inspired by some Bengali books they had offered to him.]
Dear ones, we do not have to go to India. You have brought India to us by sharing your experiences. I am very grateful to you both, very, very grateful to you.
Recently we have had two passings: Pulak’s mother and our dearer than the dearest disciple Sunil. I was inspired by the two books that you have given to me, and I would like to tell two very significant incidents. One is about death.
Shyama Charan Lahiri had three daughters. The middle one had been married at the age of sixteen to a very rich person. When she was eighteen years old she came to her parents’ place, and she developed cholera. Her case was very, very serious. Her mother, Shyama Charan Lahiri’s wife, asked her husband to cure their daughter. The husband gave some Indian medicine composed of chilli powder, mustard oil and all kinds of other things. He told his wife that, if she gave it to their daughter, the daughter would be cured.
The wife said, “My God, if something happens after I give this kind of silly preparation, then her family will blame us.” The daughter was married to such a rich person. The mother did not give the medicine, but she called in a real doctor. The following day the daughter died.
The daughter and the family were upstairs, and on the ground floor Shyama Charan Lahiri was giving a discourse on the Bhagavad Gita to a few disciples. The family members were crying and crying most pitifully, so Shyama Charan Lahiri’s students said to him, “Now can we not stop?”
He said, “No, we do not have to stop. Why do we have to stop? They are crying; they are doing their job. We are here praying and studying the Bhagavad Gita. We should continue to do our job.”
But his disciples pleaded with him, and finally he stopped. His brother-in-law asked him a very significant question. He felt that Lahiri Mahashay was stone-hearted. His own daughter, eighteen years old, had died. The brother-in-law asked, “What is the difference between a God-realised person and an ordinary person when their dear ones meet with death?”
Shyama Charan Lahiri said, “It is very simple. In your case, when you throw something, like a ball, against a wall, the ball again comes back to you. It bounces and comes back. For an ordinary person, when somebody dies, it is like a ball that strikes against the ground and comes back to him. But for a God-realised person, death is not like that. For us, the ground is very, very soft — full of water, clay and mud. "When we throw the ball, it stays in the ground. In your case, you suffer for a very, very long time when somebody dies in your family. In my case, as soon as my daughter died, the ball entered the ground and it did not come back. Just for a fleeting moment I suffered, not for such a long time the way you suffer.
“This is the difference. When an ordinary person’s dear one dies, the ball will come back again. But in the case of a spiritual person, a realised person, the ball stays in the ground. Then how can he suffer? The suffering lasts only for a very short time.”
This is something I have read for the first time. I got it from a book that Ranjit and Unmesh gave to me.
OOP 36. 23 March 2002, P.S. 86, Jamaica, New York↩
Who cares whether they believe in God?1Another incident I already knew. Shyama Charan Lahiri went to the Himalayas and prayed for a short time with his Master. He did not want to part with his Master. His Master said, “No, you have to work. You have to go back, and you have to teach family people how to pray and meditate. Otherwise, people who are married will never believe in God, and they will give up spirituality. They will not even accept the spiritual life. So you must go back. Whenever you are in need of me, just invoke me, and I will be present.”
Shyama Charan Lahiri went back. Once he was amidst his friends, and his friends started criticising all spiritual Masters. They said there is no such thing as occult power. It is like my old story about my dearest friend in the Ashram. He once said to me that there is no occult power; it is all lies, all falsehood. Shyama Charan Lahiri started arguing with his friends. He said, “There are spiritual Masters who can come here immediately. They can materialise.”
His friends all disagreed. They said, “Absurd! It cannot be.”
Shyama Charan Lahiri entered into a small room. His friends were all laughing at him because he said he was going to bring his spiritual Master, who was at that time in the Himalayas.
Shyama Charan Lahiri invoked his Master for a few minutes. He was very seriously meditating. His Master came into that room in his subtle body, and then he showed his physical form.
The Master became furious. He said, “This is what you have done? You have brought me all the way here so that these people, out of curiosity, will see me?”
Shyama Charan Lahiri said, “Master, now that you have taken the trouble, please come into the adjacent room.”
The Master said, “I am coming, but I am telling you that this is the last time I will come to you when you invoke me. When I want to see you, I will come to you. But I shall not come to you at your request. You are torturing me. Who cares for these people? Who cares whether they believe in God? They are so bad! Out of sheer curiosity they want to see me. My presence will not help them. I have come, so I shall listen to your request. I will go to the other room.”
Then the Master entered the adjoining room, and Shyama Charan Lahiri’s friends were so stunned. The Master was absolutely full of luminosity. The Master said to them, “Now I want to give you more proof. Give me something to eat.” They were eating chapattis, and he also ate a chapatti in front of them.
Once again the Master said to Lahiri Mahashay, “I am not going to listen to you any more. Nobody is going to accept the spiritual life from my presence.” Then he disappeared.
I knew this story, but I saw it again in that book. In the story about the daughter, for the first time I read about Shyama Charan Lahiri’s philosophy concerning the difference between spiritual people and ordinary people when their dear ones die.
These stories are from the books given by Ranjit and Unmesh.
OOP 37. 23 March 2002, P.S. 86, Jamaica, New York↩
The soul comes first1This is a cute story. This morning I came out of my house and closed the door. As soon as I came out, I saw a disciple’s soul there, so I blessed her soul with all my love and affection, and I did the needful.
Then I entered into Savyasachi’s car to go to our two-mile race. Here is the proof of the soul’s presence! When we came to 150th Street, Savyasachi pointed out that girl to me.
I said, “Where?”
He said, “She is there, in her car.”
She saw me and Savyasachi saw her, but I was, as usual, in my trance or whatever you want to call it. I was very pleased.
I always say that the soul comes faster than the body. The soul of an individual always comes to me earlier than the physical body. The physical body is so slow, whereas the soul is faster than the fastest. But in this case, it did not take more than a minute. Perhaps it was less than a minute. The soul came to me first, then the body.
This has happened quite a few times with many of the disciples. The souls come to me first, and in a matter of a few seconds or a minute the physical bodies appear. That is good!
OOP 38. 11 June 2005, Self-Transcendence Two-Mile Race, Jamaica High School↩
An Indian friend1When I was in Guatemala, a mother taught her little girl to say to me, “Now you have a Guatemalan friend.”
I said to the little girl, “Now you have an Indian friend.”
The mother taught the child to say, “You have now a Guatemalan friend,” and the child said it to me.
OOP 39. 4 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York↩
Adios!1Everything went well during our visit to Guatemala — everything!
I like the kind of elevator we had in the hotel. It was half glass. We could see when it was coming down. As soon as I entered into the elevator, I turned around, and from there I could see so many disciples! Each time I got tremendous joy when I turned around.
On the penultimate day of our trip, I was coming down and, as usual, I immediately turned my back towards the elevator door so that I could look at the disciples in the lobby.
I did not notice right away that after me somebody else had entered the elevator. It seemed to me that it was a tall lady. I did not pay any attention to her. I was facing the glass, and I was looking at the disciples. The lady said, “Why do you have to turn your back to me?”
I said, “I am sorry, I am sorry!”
She went down to the sixth or seventh floor, not to the lobby. When she was leaving the elevator, very loudly she said, “Adios!”
I like that kind of elevator very, very much.
OOP 40. 4 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York↩
Let her have my blessings1I have lifted, I think, over 7,500 people. One lady in Indonesia was perhaps 125 years old. God knows — that is what I was told. Definitely she was a very, very old lady. Her soul was all the time talking to me. She was crying or smiling — again, God knows.
After I lifted her, I said to myself, “Soon she will be entering into the other world. Let her have my blessings.” So, very affectionately and kindly I placed my hand on her head and blessed her.
That was, as far as I remember, the only time I blessed someone like that after lifting the person. You have seen me lift thousands of people. I have not blessed anybody else in this way.
OOP 41. 4 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York↩
Please bless my son!1I shall call this a cock-and-bull story.
Today I was about to garland Ajoy, who is from Myanmar, and what did I see? Vividly I saw his father’s soul right in front of me. His soul came out from Ajoy’s heart.
My nickname is Madal. Even in our family some people call me Madalia, and some call me Madhu. Ajoy’s father’s name was Dayal. He was older than me by three or four years. Ajoy’s father’s soul came up to me and said, “Madalia, please bless my son, please bless my son!” Of course, it was in Bengali that he spoke.
I said, “You are here?”
Immediately I listened to the father’s request, and I blessed Ajoy. Ajoy’s father’s soul was in the seventh Heaven of Delight because I was blessing his son, I was blessing his son. This is my cock-and-bull story!
OOP 42. 4 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York↩
Coming down in a golden chariot 1This story is about Ajoy’s grandmother, Dayal’s mother. Our house was forty metres away from Dayal’s place.
My mother’s life could be measured in minutes. It was a matter of four or five minutes. I came back home running and crying from my maternal uncle’s house.
My mother was too weak to speak. She put her hand on my right hand and placed her other hand on my eldest brother’s Hriday’s hand, and in this way she asked Hriday to take care of me.
Hriday said to my mother, “Mother, do not worry. I will take care of Madal.”
At this point, my mother breathed her last.
Then Ajoy’s grandmother came running to our place. She wanted to know whether her dream was true. She had been enjoying her siesta. She saw in a dream that it was drizzling a little bit and my father was coming down in a golden chariot. In India when it is drizzling, it is a very good sign, a sign of prosperity. My father was scattering rose petals while he was coming down in the golden chariot to take my mother. Ajoy’s grandmother was seeing my father at the very time of my mother’s passing. My father’s soul she saw, and my mother was inside my father’s chariot, going up. She saw it in her dream, and she came running to our place. Even while she was in our house, she was seeing that my father was taking my mother’s soul in a golden chariot.
My eldest sister, Arpita, was at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry at that time. Pondicherry time and Chittagong time are the same, and she was also enjoying her siesta. She saw in a dream that my mother had passed away, although she did not see a golden chariot.
OOP 43. 4 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York↩
The souls of the dear ones1By entering into somebody’s soul, one can know about the souls of the dear ones and where they are — whether they are still alive or they are in the soul’s world or they have taken another incarnation.
After I blessed Ajoy, I entered into his father’s soul to know about his father’s mother, Ajoy’s grandmother. I asked the son where his mother is. Immediately I came to know that she has taken incarnation in Myanmar. The mind does not know these things, but the soul knows.
The soul came to me and said, “I am in Burma.”
I said, “Nowadays it is called Myanmar.”
She said, “I thought you would not understand if I said ‘Myanmar’.”
I said, “Oh, Burma, Burma.”
Burma has a very close link with so many relatives of mine.
OOP 44. 4 July 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York↩
Celebration of Lily-di's birthday1After Ranjana’s Bhajan group sang “Kabe amar dip shikhati” as the last song, and Sri Chinmoy joined them, he offered the following comments. 2
The words of this song are by Lily. My sister Lily’s words I set to music many years ago. It is one of my most favourite songs. The meaning is, “I do not know when you will kindle the flame of aspiration in my heart.”
My sister Lily’s Ashram life was made of sacrifice, sacrifice for her brother. Sacrifice is the only word I can use for her.
Now let me tell you two juicy stories, which I always call cock-and-bull stories. Those juicy stories keep me alive here on earth!
Here is the first story. I went to our two-mile race. After the race, I went out again in the car to meditate. Vinaya was driving me. While we were approaching Union Turnpike, right at the corner by the Hilltop Diner, I saw my sister Lily’s soul and Ranjana’s soul. With such affection, my sister embraced Ranjana and blessed her. She said, “I am pouring all my blessings, affection, love, joy and gratitude into your heart, through your eyes.”
Then I saw that my sister’s soul symbolically entered into the Hilltop Diner and brought out a large piece of cheesecake. Earth and Heaven always go together! Half of the piece she put into Ranjana’s mouth. Then Ranjana clasped her hand and put the other half into Lily’s mouth. Such an affectionate experience!
Now, here is the second story. While Ranjana’s group was singing, after they had sung only four songs, I saw my sister Lily very clearly behind Ranjana, fanning her.
I said, “Here we are dying of cold! What are you doing? Why are you using the fan?”
She said, “This group, Ranjana’s group, is singing so soulfully, so beautifully, and it is increasing my inner heat. It is too hot! I am seeing that my inner heat is so powerful, so in the soul’s world I am trying to warm Ranjana and her group.”
Then I saw that with her right hand she was fanning all the members of Ranjana’s group. Such affection and love she was pouring into each one! She was injecting inner heat into them.
I said, “Everything can happen in the soul’s world, but here we are so cold.”
She said, “Yes, everything can happen in the soul’s world, but the outer world and the inner world do not have to go all the time the same way.”
This was all her affection. Afterwards she was standing here. I said, “I am sorry, I do not have another seat for you.” She said, “I do not need a seat. I can easily stand here.”
She was watching everything and admiring all the disciples. She was saying, “You are so lucky, so lucky to have such devoted disciples, such self-giving disciples.”
Her last request — and her request is my command — is that in one week’s time I must give Ranjana’s group saris, and this time she said they have to be gold. I do not know where I will get golden saris! White and blue I can easily get, but this time they have to be gold saris. The border can be of any colour, but the rest has to be gold, gold. It is my sister’s request that in the future, on her birthday, Ranjana’s group will sing in these golden saris.
I am very, very happy with Ranjana’s group’s performance! I am very happy and very proud.
OOP 45. 29 October 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York↩
OOP 45,1. Ranjana was Sri Chinmoy’s personal secretary from 1971 through 2007. In 1981 Sri Chinmoy requested her to form the “Sri Chinmoy Bhajan Singers” to sing his bhajans and devotional songs, and he chose certain disciples to be in this group. Sri Chinmoy had requested Ranjana to keep up the tradition of honouring the members of his family several times a year, with the help of her Bhajan group and other disciples who are very dedicated to Guru’s personal wishes. Sri Chinmoy gave Ranjana the honour of legally having his family’s name, “Ranjana Kumari Ghose.”↩
The time is coming1When I came to America, after only eight or nine months Lily was inspired to make shirts for me. She was a seamstress once upon a time. Afterwards she worked on a loom in the Ashram factory. It was run by a lady in the Ashram. So, Lily sent me four shirts with matching dhotis. The colours were gold, blue and gerua.
I said to her, “I cannot wear these. I cannot!”
She said, “You must and you must wear them!”
I said, “Why do I have to wear this kind of thing? In India I used to wear white. Why do I have to wear all kinds of colours? They will not look nice on me, and I will be embarrassed.”
She said, “No, you have to wear them. I have sent them. You must wear them.”
She had sent dhotis and Punjabi tops, which I call shirts. She made them herself.
Then she said, “Do you not remember that Swami-ji was always wearing gerua?2 His turban was gerua; everything was gerua.”
I said, “He gave lectures! I cannot give lectures.”
She said, “The time is coming for you also to give lectures, so you must wear all these things that I have sent for you. Dhotis and shirts you must wear, and colours you must wear.”
Her request is always a command — nothing short of a command! So I started wearing these colourful Indian garments because Lily was the one who first sent them to me from India. She was the one who sewed them. At her request, at her behest, I started wearing these coloured shirts and dhotis. Otherwise, I would have worn only white dhotis. Nowadays I have so many coloured garments! To fulfil her wish I did not wear only white.
Flattery works!1This is something very funny that took place today. I am giving the title of this story: “Flattery Works!” Today somebody flattered and flattered me, and it worked. My dearest friend used to tell me, “I know this fellow is flattering me, I know. But what can I do? I love flattery!” Perhaps I was caught in the same boat!
Last Saturday Ranjana’s Bhajan group performed, celebrating my sister Lily’s birthday. It was such a soulful, prayerful and unique experience. My sister’s soul came and requested me, as I told you, to give them saris in a week’s time. Today is Wednesday. I said to myself, “I will be very busy for the rest of the week,” so I went today to the largest sari store in Jackson Heights. Vinaya took me.
I spent so much time to find thirty of the same kind of saris. They would have four or six of a kind, but they did not have thirty saris of a kind. I was going on, devotedly looking. My sister had requested me to give them gold saris, but alas, there were no gold saris. Some saris the shopkeepers called gold, but I did not consider them gold. I do not know what colour they were!
The ladies there were all Bengalis. How fluently they spoke Hindi! This moment they would speak Hindi; the next moment they would speak Bengali. Bengali, Hindi, English — perhaps more languages they spoke, God knows! They were very, very kind.
With great difficulty, I found fifteen saris. I was ready to buy the saris at $21 apiece. Then I selected one expensive sari. The lady told me the original price, and then she said it had descended considerably. I said, “Can you not reduce it a little more?”
The lady said, “Oh, no, no, no.”
So I took fifteen saris and one more special sari from that store. When I went to pay my bill, the owner saw me. I think about twenty-five years ago I went to his store. He gave me a very big smile and started talking to me in Hindi, asking how I was. He was very, very nice. It all went well. Then he gave a price for the expensive sari that was fifteen dollars lower. I said, “The lady who was telling me the price was adamant. She said that she could not go under that price. Now you have reduced it by fifteen dollars.” He smiled at me. I said, “How is it that you are charging me fifteen dollars less?”
He smiled and smiled at me and said, “Where can I find another saint?”
But that was not the real flattery! The real flattery is coming now;
Believe me, I have a free access to my sister’s soul — absolutely a free access. One day you will have that capacity. Then you will believe what I am saying. Now you may not believe it.
Only fifteen saris I got. I did not like any more saris in that place. I said to my sister, “I cannot find saris that are all the same.”
She said, “Then buy good saris. They do not have to be the same colour or the same pattern.”
I went back to the car, on the opposite side of the street. There I happened to see a friend of mind, Vijay, a Gujarati. I used to go to his store. He came running to the car. I opened the car door to greet him. What did he do? He touched my feet again and again. “Please, please, you have to come and bless my store!” he begged. “You do not have to buy anything, I promise. You have not blessed my store for over twenty years. You should come and bless me, bless me.”
How many times he touched my feet, God alone knows! I went to his store. At the door again he touched my feet. “You do not have to buy anything,” he repeated. “I only need your blessings.” He told me that he had a picture of me in his house taken many years ago. God alone knows whether he really had my photograph!
I showed him the saris that I had just bought. Then he said, “Oh, I have them. I have exactly the same ones, exactly the same!”
I was thrilled! I said, “Fifteen of these saris I have now. If I can get some more that are exactly the same, I will be the happiest person.”
He took me inside. Alas, they were not exactly the same, but what could I do? They were nice saris, but they were not at all the same. According to me, they were inferior. They did not have the same pattern or the same border. With the ones that I got in the other place, I was quite pleased. But I needed thirty saris.
In the other place I bought them for $21. Here the owner said the saris cost $25. I said, “Your saris are not as good as the ones that I bought before. Why are you telling me that they are $25?”
Now the businessman in him started operating. Before a statue of Lakshmi, he touched my feet God knows how many times. He insisted, “No, no, no, mine are far better.”
As I was leaving the store after paying, again he said, “I need your blessings.” He came out and closed the door behind me. Then he started touching my feet, not once but three times. He had said he needed only my blessings; I did not have to buy anything!
This is the, funny story. Then something sad happened. Vinaya was inside the car while I was across the street. A lady came and gave him a ticket. He was inside, but she did not say anything. She did not allow him to move away. She just gave him a ticket. In a matter of seconds he got a $115 fine. This happened a few years ago also. I went to a music store with Mridanga. When I went back to Vinaya’s car, Vinaya’s car was moving, but the lady stopped him and gave him a ticket. I think it was for $85. This time it was $115.
To come back to the story, my dearer than the dearest friend used to say, “I know this fellow is only flattering me, but I love flattery.” History repeats itself! If somebody touches your feet so many times, then your compassion comes to the fore.
OOP 47. 2 November 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York↩
Such an affectionate bond1One incident I am telling which you have not heard. Even if you have heard it, kindly say you have not heard it, so that I can get joy!
This story took place in 1935 or 1936, when I was four or five years old. Before I became a permanent member, I went six times to the Ashram with my family. We were children. We were not allowed, not allowed to stay at the Ashram! For a month we used to rent a very big house for our whole family.
About sixty or seventy metres away from our rented house, there was a very old lady. You have seen Satyajit Ray’s movie Pather Panchali. In Pather Panchali there is a very old lady with a stick. This old lady was like that. She had a tinier than the tiniest fruit shop. I was a little boy. I used to go to her place to buy only one guava. I was not interested in other fruits or things that she had. The guava was smaller than the smallest, but ripe. It cost one paisa. You cannot divide the paisa. It is such a ridiculous amount if you are dealing with American dollars. The guava also was tinier than the tiniest.
The old lady was very fond of me. We liked each other so much. I used to go in the morning to get the guava, small but ripe. I enjoyed it very much. One month we used to spend at the Ashram, so every day I went there.
Every fourth day or so, she would not take money from me. She would give me a guava free. I would say, “No, no, no, no,” but she would grab my hands and put the guava in them. She liked me so much.
On the last day, when we were about to leave, I told her, “I am not going to come any more.”
This I said in my kind of Tamil. Many years later, when I came to Pondicherry and became permanent in the Ashram, at that time I could speak Tamil — simple Tamil. At this time I managed to make the old lady understand that the following day I would leave. Immediately there were tears in her eyes and tears in my eyes. Then she gave me four guavas. I wanted to pay, but she would not take money. I was dying to give her the money, but she would not take it. I had enough money for four guavas, but she would not take it.
I came back home to our place there. My eldest sister saw that I was very sad. I was almost shedding tears. She asked, “What is wrong with you?”
I said, “This old lady likes me so much. Today she did not take money from me, and four guavas she has given me free. I am very sad that she will not accept the money.”
My sister said, “I am going with you. I will compel her to take the money.”
My sister by that time knew quite a few Tamil words, many, many more than I did. We went there, and the old lady was still shedding tears. My sister wanted to give her money for my four guavas. She was determined not to take it.
My sister Arpita was famous for her determination. Nobody could compete with her! She spent so much time with this old lady and finally she gave her much more money than the cost of the guavas that I had taken home.
At that time three souls were all shedding tears, but tears of joy, not tears of pain. There was no pain at that time. The lady, very, very old and very thin, was weeping, I was weeping and my sister also was weeping because such an affectionate bond an old lady and I had developed.
I was either four or five years old — that much I know. Like this one, a few other absolutely new stories I will tell.
OOP 48. 8 December 2005, Pangkor Island Beach Resort, Malaysia↩
France challenged our fate!1France gave us some excellent experiences. France challenged our fate! There the former UN Secretary-General, Javier Perez de Cuellar, said that I am the heart of the United Nations. At the pyramid of the Louvre, the world-famous museum, we had our art exhibit, and this year also we shall have an art exhibit.
I received the Nehru Award from UNESCO in Paris. We had a concert in the Eiffel Tower — that we cannot forget. It was noise versus Sri Chinmoy! And we had a concert for 13,000 people, a concert at the Sorbonne and a concert at a circus!
I spoke at the Alliance Francaise. It is very famous.
Once when I was visiting France, it was ten o’clock at night and I wanted to go and eat with some disciples. A lady taxi driver appeared — I could not believe it! I was hesitating. How could it be? At that time I had not seen a lady driving a taxi, so I did not think it was a real taxi. A disciple said, “No, no, it is all right.” It was my first experience with a lady taxi driver!
OOP 49. 4 January 2006, Awana Kijal Golf and Beach Resort, Malaysia↩
I am not going to study1Gabriel Monod-Herzen was in charge of all the high schools in Pondicherry.2 His mother was at the Ashram. Alas, alas, when I wanted to get permission to study in Pondicherry, outside the Ashram, I went to the wrong person, my French teacher. The Mother wanted me to go to another person, a Frenchman named Saint-Hilaire (Pavitra) who was the Mother’s foreign secretary. He and Gabriel were very close friends. She said, “If Pavitra takes you and tells Gabriel, who is an inspector for all the high schools, they will definitely accept you.”
By that time I had changed my mind. I said, “I am not going to study at a school in Pondicherry any more.”
Sometimes you want to go in a certain direction. You are absolutely sure that is the right way. But before long, you come to realise that it is absolutely the wrong way.
Nobody came to my lecture1When I went to Minneapolis for the first time, I spoke about reincarnation. Not even one person came. I was looking at the ceiling and giving my talk. Ida Patterson, our Sukhukee, was standing at the door, hoping and hoping that somebody would come. My lecture was over — nobody, nobody came!
I read in a book that the same thing happened to Brahmananda, Sri Ramakrishna’s disciple. Brahmananda was supposed to give a talk and nobody came. Brahmananda said that was his best speech! There was no controversy. The walls received his message so nicely!
OOP 51. Sri Chinmoy told the following anecdotes at his home in Jamaica, New York on 6 August 2006.↩
Many new things about Swami VivekanandaMany new things I have seen in a particular book. Swami Vivekananda’s brother, Bhupendra, wanted to become a Guru. Swami Vivekananda said no, and his brother said something unkind to him. But afterwards, Bhupendra became so devoted, so devoted.
The author found that Swami Vivekananda was not the oldest in the family. Everywhere it is written that he was the oldest, but before him three or four were born. They all died as infants. In all the books from our childhood we read that Swami Vivekananda was the oldest and he could not feed his young brothers. My play started when he was unable to feed his family. His father had died and they had such financial difficulty. Now we have found out that he was not the first child born in the family.
In some subjects at Calcutta University he was not good at all! He got a mark of forty. According to the Indian standard, thirty-three is a passing mark. According to the American standard he would not have passed his examination. Now the whole world knows that he was a most brilliant student, with a brilliant mind. In hundreds of books it is written. But as far as the university was concerned, he did not get high marks in some subjects.
Sri Aurobindo called Swami Vivekananda the flower of Calcutta University. He wrote about when the flower of Calcutta University sat at the feet of Sri Ramakrishna. Swami Vivekananda became that! Others perhaps got only paper degrees.
The Supramental LightFor more than two weeks, when Sri Aurobindo was in jail, every day Swami Vivekananda used to come and tell Sri Aurobindo about the supermind. At that time Sri Aurobindo had no idea about the supermind. In my book I have written about it. Swami Vivekananda said, “You have to bring down the supermind.” When Sri Aurobindo brought down the supermind, it was most luminous, but it did not last more than two days. His face was absolutely flooded with light — there was no electric light. His whole body was surcharged with the light of the supermind. Alas, it did not last. Then he said it was only for his disciples. No photograph was taken — it was not allowed.
For those two days they kept two bodyguards nearby so that nobody would try to touch Sri Aurobindo. Dilip was so devoted and so emotional, but even he was not allowed to touch Sri Aurobindo at that time.
The Supramental Light went away. Then, a few years later, the Supramental Light again touched the earth. I ran my 400 metres at around four-thirty or five o’clock. After running 400 metres, I literally cried.
That was my most difficult race. For everybody, 400 metres is the most difficult race. I was lying down on a very old mat. All of a sudden I saw the light — somebody showed me. Half an hour later, the Mother said that the light had touched her.
A roaring lionOnce, on the 15th of August, Sri Aurobindo’s birthday, we were all marching, group by group. On that day, the band was playing Bande Mataram. Sri Aurobindo liked Bande Mataram. That became the cry of the whole of India.
There were three groups coming together, and each group had a captain. One captain, Pranab, became the director of physical education. He writes to me and sends pictures. He and I were very good friends. The Mother was standing in front of a map of India. She used to take our salute from that place. The time came for our group to salute the Mother. Behind me there were about thirty people in our group. Because of the formation, some groups were facing the Mother, but I could not see the Mother, because other groups were there.
The Mother said that, while the band was playing Bande Mataram, she saw a lion roaring and roaring on the map of India. She said she saw it and she heard it. This was all happening in the inner world.
I told my brother Chitta, “I saw the lion and I heard it roaring. I can even give the position of the lion.”
My brother brought a small picture of a lion, I think from the newspaper, and he brought a map of India, the same one that was at the playground. We had many, many copies of that map. On the map I put the picture of the lion where I had seen it. I put the tail, the mouth, every part of the lion exactly where it had been in the playground.
My brother used to frame little pictures of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, and he would give those framed pictures to the Mother. There were twenty or thirty children at the Ashram. Twice a month or so, the Mother would give the pictures to the children. Now, on this occasion my brother gave quite a few pictures, and he also gave the copy of the map of India where I had placed the lion. In a very casual way he said, “Chinmoy says this is the position of the lion that was roaring. He says that he saw the lion.”
Very, very seriously the Mother concentrated on the position of the lion. Then my brother got a very bright, broad smile from the Mother.
The lion was looking up, toward the Himalayas. I got the exact place very correctly, because it was so clear to me.
My third eye I can keep open, but sometimes I do not open it. Sometimes I do not want to open it because then I may have to solve some problem in the inner world. But sometimes the third eye automatically opens. At that time I was a young fellow in my marching consciousness. I was marching, I stopped and then my third eye opened. I did not have the eagerness to see what was happening at that moment — not at all! Millions of times I do not have the eagerness to know what is happening. I do not want to know, because if I know, I will only have to deal with problems. If for some reason I must open it, I do open it. But as I said a few minutes ago, after running 400 metres, while panting, I just saw that Supramental Light.
It is true, true, true. In my Ashram life, all kinds of things happened.
A very devoted familyOne family in the Ashram was very, very devoted to me from the beginning. The whole family was very devoted. As soon as the father first saw me, when I was about fourteen years old, he said, “What is your name?”
I said, “Chinmoy.”
He said, “No! I can see that you are the king of the yogis, Yogiraj!” From that moment he never called me by the name “Chinmoy.”
The whole family called me Chinmoy-da, irrespective of their age! The mother was twenty or thirty years older than me. They were all much older than me, but that was their established way of addressing me. The eldest son was older than me, and he called me Chinmoy-da. They all called me Chinmoy-da, but the father called me Yogiraj.
The whole family was so fond of me. One of the daughters was named Kiran. After the father died, a spiritual Master told Kiran that her father had taken a new incarnation and he was now a little baby. The whole family wanted to see their father, because the spiritual Master had said it. But Kiran’s mother was still mourning her husband, so she did not want to go to see the child.
By that time I had established a very good inner connection with the family. Kiran’s mother was begging me, “Please, please tell me if it is true. I am still suffering from the loss of my husband, so I do not want to see the little boy.” The little boy was by that time three or four years old.
I had a very, very dear friend. Once I saw Sri Ramakrishna in the moon and I was talking to him while this friend was beside me. I was talking, but my friend could not understand anything, although he was even hearing the words! On one occasion I saw that this dearest friend of mine was playing with that little boy. I asked my dearest friend to bring the little boy to me, so he brought the boy. I concentrated very seriously. Then I went to that family’s place. I said to the mother, “I do not think so — it is not true. He is not your husband.”
She said, “What a relief!” She totally gave up thinking about that child and she would not go to see him. And the children also stopped, just because I said it was not true. They believed me.
When this lady died two years ago, at around two o’clock in the morning, her soul wanted me to take full care of her. In the Ashram she was very devoted.
I said, “I cannot do that. Your Guru is the Mother, your Guru is Sri Aurobindo.”
But she said, “No, I am your disciple.”
I said, “For so many years you have been a disciple at the Ashram!”
She said she had taken me as her Guru, and I should take care of her. She and her husband were the Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s disciples, but they had such love for me, such admiration. The first time the husband saw me I was only a young boy. He said, “Your name is not Chinmoy — it is Yogiraj!”
When the father was dying in the hospital, I went there with his son, who was my dearest friend. Three doctors came out of the room, and they were all smoking and smoking. My friend asked, “How is my father?”
One of the doctors said, “Oh, he is doing quite well.”
I entered into the room. As soon as I saw the father, I touched his feet, because he was older than me. Then my friend went in to see him. The doctors came back and examined him. It was a matter of only two minutes or so. They examined him and then they said, “Oh, he is gone.” Just two minutes before they had said, “He is doing well.” Perhaps, in the Indian way, they were trying to console the son.
Something in my eyesPeople saw something in my eyes. What they saw, God alone knows. I was walking along in the street near the Ashram. A gentleman came up from behind me and said, “May I call you Yogibar?” “Yogibar” means the greatest of the yogis.
I did not know who he was! He was over forty-five, and I was perhaps seventeen or eighteen. I said, “No, my name is Chinmoy.”
“I know your name is Chinmoy, but you must allow me to call you Yogibar.” I did not even know his name! He was very nice, a real gentleman. That is how I became Yogibar.
A few months later he brought his wife and little child to the Ashram. They came to my sister’s place. The wife was crying and crying because she did not want to listen to her husband. Her husband was insisting that she become Sri Aurobindo’s disciple, but she said no, because she had already taken Swami Vivekananda as her Guru — not Sri Ramakrishna, but Swami Vivekananda. She never saw Swami Vivekananda on the physical plane. Still the husband was insisting, and she did not want to become Sri Aurobindo’s disciple. Like that the fight was going on. She wanted to remain Swami Vivekananda’s disciple. The husband said, “Oh, Sri Aurobindo is much higher than Swami Vivekananda — he is an Avatar.” He was trying to convince her.
My sisters were wise. They said, “Allow her to remain with Swami Vivekananda. Why to force her if she does not want to become Sri Aurobindo’s disciple?”
It was late in the evening. I said, “All right, tomorrow evening come to my place.” At that time I was staying with my brother in a small place near the sports ground, which was only fifty metres away. I stayed there for eighteen years. The lady and her husband came. The room was very small. I requested them to sit down. We all sat down, the husband, the wife and I. It did not take two minutes. I invoked Swami Vivekananda. Swami Vivekananda is so fond of me, so fond! He comes at any time. Sometimes he scolds me, because I am the younger brother. Affection is like that! I invoked him, and he came.
I was sitting next to the husband, and next to him was his wife. I touched his quadriceps. Then I said, “Now please touch your wife.” As soon as he touched her, a current passed through her. She started screaming with joy, literally screaming, because she was seeing Swami Vivekananda in a most beautiful form. She saw him in the corner of the room. She was crying and crying with such joy, with ecstasy.
Now, I touched the husband, but he did not see Swami Vivekananda. The wife saw Swami Vivekananda. He asked me how it could happen. I said, “You are Sri Aurobindo’s disciple. Why do you have to see Swami Vivekananda?”
He asked, “Then why did you touch me?”
I said, “Only to demonstrate on the physical plane that I was doing something.” After that experience, the husband did not insist that his wife become Sri Aurobindo’s disciple.
These kinds of experiences took place in my life. I tried to be of service to people while I was living in the Ashram, so at that time I became a Guru!
To watch you, not to help youSwami Vivekananda! Once he came during our Christmas Trip when I was unable to lift a particular weight. I said, “It is all your fault! You could have helped me.” He said, “No, I did not come here to help you — I came here to watch you!”
Lord Shiva also came once. I said, “I am struggling with my bench press. You are watching. Can you not help me?”
He said, “I cannot help you. I came here to see you, to watch you, not to help you.”
Believe it or not, my connection with Swami Vivekananda is closer than the closest. Even at this moment if I invoke him, he will come. That kind of connection I established in the Ashram.
How could my sister have known?Nothing can be truer than this incident in my life.
Many years ago I was lifting a very heavy weight. Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda both came, and both of them blessed me. It was Saturday morning in India, and it was Friday night here in New York. Once a week, every Saturday, I called my family. Then, when Mantu was sick, I used to call every day. Finally it became twice daily. This time when I called, my sister Lily answered and said, “You do not have to tell me anything — you do not have to tell me.”
I said, “What do you mean, ‘You do not have to tell me anything’? What has happened?”
In our family we do not call him Sri Ramakrishna — we always call him Thakur. That is our love and devotion for him. We always call Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda Thakur and Swami-ji. My sister said, “Both Thakur and Swami-ji came here to bless me. They told me that a few hours ago they came to bless you.”
How could I deny that they had come to bless me?
Then they went to bless my sister, because, even though our family members are Sri Aurobindo’s disciples, we have such love and devotion, devotion, devotion for Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. Bengalis are all made of Thakur’s and Swami-ji’s blood. We all carry that devotional aspect, because Sri Ramakrishna’s blood is always inside us. Devotion, devotion! My sister told me that they had come to bless me and then they went to bless her.
This incident I will absolutely never forget. How could my sister have known? It is one hundred per cent true.
Sri Aurobindo opened my sister's third eyeOnce Sri Aurobindo opened up my sister’s third eye. Here is the story.
I went to Ramana Maharshi’s place. At that time I did not have any problem in disappearing from the Ashram, because I was not working for Nolini. Who would know if I did not go to work one day? There was no problem! I had shaved off my hair completely, and I was wearing a loincloth. Afterwards I was going back on the train, and I did not have any money. The ticket-checker came. I had only a stopwatch. If you did not have money, the ticket-checker very nicely grabbed your possessions.
The ticket-checker came into our compartment. On the Indian trains, you could open the windows completely. Now, in those days I was an athlete, and I climbed through the window! I did not want to give up my stopwatch, which cost perhaps two dollars or five dollars. The train was moving. When I jumped through the window, I landed thirty metres away — not one metre! How did it happen? Do I know how to fly? Thirty metres away I landed, in a paddyfield. It was unimaginable! I was so dirty. I started looking for a pond. But nothing, absolutely nothing happened to me — I just jumped!
I walked a little and then I found a pond. There was a mango tree, and one branch was hanging only a metre or so above me. I started washing and washing myself.
By this time it had become very late, perhaps twelve o’clock or one o’clock. My brother could not find me. My family members were worrying and worrying. Where could I be? The whole day had passed, and now it was far into the night.
Finally I came home to my sister’s place. They had all been worrying the whole day, except one person: Lily. She was not worried, but she did not tell our family members anything. And she was the one who loved me the most! So what happened?
When I came back, they asked me all kinds of questions. But Lily said, “Sri Aurobindo came to console me, and then he showed me what you were doing — how you jumped out of the train, how you fell down and then how you were washing yourself by the mango tree.” Sri Aurobindo showed her everything, so she was not worried. The others kept wondering: where did I go, where did I go?
That was my first experience at Ramana Maharshi’s place. When I went there, I was looking at Ramana Maharshi’s statue. It was most beautiful. Then, on my left side, I saw the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. They were shedding tears, tears, tears, so I had to come back. At that time I wanted to accept sannyasa, but it did not work out!
To come out of the circleThe second time I went to Ramana Maharshi’s place, I was working for Nolini. I told him that the Mother had given me permission to go. What a story! The following day, the Mother said, “Yes, I gave you permission!” Then, very affectionately she gave me a slap. I was at that time twenty-eight years old. She made a big circle, and she said, “You will not be able to go outside this circle, beyond this boundary.” It was like the circle that Lakshmana made for Sita. Such affection she had for me!
It took me three or three and one-half years to come out of the circle. The Mother stood against my decision to go to America in every possible way. On my last day, she did not want to see me.
Only one powerThere is only one power, one divine power. That divine power works through Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Sarada Devi, Sri Aurobindo and all the spiritual Masters. Sri Aurobindo has written that there is one power that works in and through every human being, whether that person is an Avatar or an ordinary human being. There is one power that works inside the whole universe, not two powers. Here when it is needed, it will work here. When it is needed there, it will work there. One power operates. That power can open up one’s third eye at any moment and that same power can keep it closed forever.
The day a great Indian writer was coming to meet with us at P.S. 86, I could have died. I was walking on 150th Street at my 200-metre mark. All of a sudden a car started turning. The car was coming towards me in an absolutely crazy way. I did not know what to do! Such panic I experienced! I felt that that would be my end. I was on the side of the street, and suddenly I saw my body standing on the steps of a house! I do not know how my body appeared on the steps of a house, at least fifteen metres away. I did nothing; I did not use occult power.
There are more incidents that I cannot even remember at this moment. If God wants to save someone, He can easily save that individual. In my case, so many accidents — seven or eight accidents — all could have resulted in death, but nothing happened.
You know my most significant story: I am alive because of Mother Kali. The doctor would have pronounced me dead after my 400-metre race. My soul went away. Then Mother Kali grabbed my soul and put it back into my body. For three days I could not move. I was only looking at Mother Kali. While lying down I saw only her in the whole room. I looked here, Mother Kali was here; I looked there, Mother Kali was there. Everywhere I saw Mother Kali. This is how she protected me. Otherwise, I would have gone to God! That was in 1945 or 1946. At that time I was fourteen years old, and now I am going on and going on — I am seventy-five years old.
These are life-threatening experiences in my life.
A treasure for my sponsors[To Palash, about a photo album] Very carefully please cover it and bring it to my sponsors, Sammy and Eric. This is something that they will never get anywhere else! I am sure they will be eternally grateful. I went to four or five important places in the Mother's life, including where she was born, and stood there prayerfully. Photographs were taken at each place. This will be a treasure for them, something invaluable. One set of photographs I have sent to Pranab, and one is for them. There are different houses where she stayed. I have signed the album and inscribed it for Matagiri.1 I feel that nobody has done this before. I have never seen it.
[Sri Chinmoy reads his inscription] “To the Matagiri, with my heart’s infinite love and my life’s infinite gratitude.”
OOP 62,1. Matagiri is a spiritual retreat near Woodstock, New York, dedicated to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother.↩
Everest-Aspiration 1Everest-Aspiration. We all need aspiration of the highest height. I have written over seven hundred books. According to my aspiration, this book is one of my foremost seven books. Among seven hundred, this one has a very, very special place.
It is my fervent wish that my disciples, without fail, will read this book at least seven times in this incarnation. And I may also make the same request of the seekers who are so kind to me, who have been coming here regularly and faithfully — to read this book. I assure you that your aspiration, your heart’s hunger, is bound to increase when you read this book.
OOP 63. 20 July 1991, Buchman Hall, New York↩