Perfection in the Head-World

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Perfection in the Head-World1

In the Name of the Supreme I am inaugurating this divine enterprise. This is an enterprise which deserves my special blessing, my special gratitude and also my pride. The name of this divine enterprise is "Perfection in the Head-World."

You may ask, "Why perfection in the head-world and not the hair-world?" I wish to say that "Perfection in the Head-World" is the correct expression for the experience we receive from a place like this. Hair, as such, has a soul. Undoubtedly it has a soul. But it is the soul of the head, of the mind, of the brain that oversees the soul of the hair, and guides or moulds and shapes the soul of the hair-world.

It is always the mind, the clever mind, that offers its wisdom or pronounces its verdict in regard to the hair-world. When someone has no hair, immediately people say that he has tremendous wisdom. Again, there will be others who will immediately say that lack of hair does not indicate an abundance of wisdom; what it indicates is the imperfection of health. Both the parties may be right, but actually the second party that says lack of hair is due to an imperfection of health is undoubtedly right in this matter.

People lose their hair for various reasons. Something is wrong in their system, in their bodily constitution; or it is a problem inherited from their immediate family on the father's side or on the mother's side. But in your Guru's case the problem arose not from the father's side or the mother's side or from anywhere else in the family. It arose from my burning aspiration. When I was quite young — eleven or twelve years old — I meditated the way I am now painting. The members of my family used to call me a titan in everything that I did because I did it in such large quantities, or for so many hours at a stretch. Everything was always on a mass scale. They thought my body was nothing but a machine. You can't imagine it, but I know the burning fire that I used to feel when I was in my teens, the ascending flame which is called aspiration. This flame, in addition to the heat I used to feel at the base of my spine for hours and hours and hours, was the main cause, the only cause, for my loss of hair, It had nothing to do with heredity or any problem in my health.

I had a mentor who was a very close friend of our family. He happened to be a homeopath, a great doctor. He was extremely friendly with me for various reasons and so fond of me. His fondness for me can only be felt and never described. When I think of him I shed tears of gratitude. If anybody uttered a word against me, immediately he became furious. If he heard anybody speaking ill of me, even for a fleeting second, he would just create a hurricane. Everything I said or did was perfect in his eyes. I wonder if I have any disciple who would fit into this category.

When an article of mine came out in Mother India magazine, he was the first person to read it out, with utmost joy. And if his friends happened to disagree with me or did not appreciate the article well enough, he would go to the length of throwing the magazine right at them. Why did he do it? Just because he was fully convinced that I had been his Guru in his previous incarnation and that he had served his Guru for twenty-three years in the Himalayas. The unfortunate thing is that I was eight months old when his Guru died! He couldn't reconcile that fact. He always used to say, "I see it so clearly-in your face, in your eyes, in everything." When I talked to him, even when I was in my mischievous mood, cutting jokes and all that, he used to see me meditating. He said, "Perhaps by some miracle you were my Guru." I laughed and said, "Yes, I have two souls. One has to be your Guru." Nobody believed him; they laughed at him.

He was a cultured man and had an M.A. In this incarnation he proved to be my dearest, closest mentor. In how many ways he loved me and served me! Now he is no more, but he has not only my gratitude but also my blessing. I know what I am doing for him and what I have already done for him. Whether I was his Guru or not is a different matter. But I have something to offer to him in the soul's world.

To come back to the story, he offered me medicine — God alone knows how many times — to grow hair and to prevent grey hair. My hair became a real problem for him. All the medicine failed and then he used to suffer. On my part, there was no suffering; I had that much wisdom. God-realisation gave me enough wisdom not to cry for hair. But when others used to massage my head to try and bring back my hair, I liked it; either I was enjoying comfort or I used to get relief from tension. Now, Nadeshwar massages my head and my feet and I get a sense of relief. My whole body, but my head especially, is full of tension from the disciples' problems. Perhaps in those days I did have a real problem: God-realisation. But now I have different problems: disciples' problems and God-manifestation.

Again, I wish to say there are Masters who have a forest of hair. Do you think that they have not realised God? In their case, perhaps they did not have that kind of heat or perhaps there was some extra kind of protection from God, or there was something more perfect in their system which prevented them from losing their hair.

In Sri Ramakrishna's case, he had a nephew who used to massage his whole body and his head. Other Masters also had disciples to massage their whole body for four or five or six hours at a stretch. But I was not at that time a Master; I was just a seeker with a few friends. Some of my very good admirers used to massage me quite often and, while they were massaging my head, I used to have very high experiences, the highest experiences. I used to converse with Lord Krishna, the Buddha and other Masters while friends were massaging my head.

Once I was speaking to Lord Krishna in a different language that you won't understand. He was standing right there. It was not my hallucination; my eyes were wide open. My friends could not see that I was talking to Sri Krishna because Sri Krishna did not want to be seen. Right in my room, at around eleven o'clock in the morning, I had a conversation like that.

Other times, while I was enjoying a haircut, I was at the same time enjoying conversation. Once, when I was twenty-one years old, such a peculiar thing happened. An elderly man was our ashram barber and he was very friendly with me. In the middle of a haircut I had a very serious inner conversation. Someone — I don't want to mention his name, but it was a spiritual Master — had a very serious problem. I was only a seeker, but at around three o'clock I had to leave the barber and enter into my room and do something very serious in the inner world. The barber thought that either I was crazy or I was dissatisfied with him because he was taking such a long time. But it was not that; I had to do something for this spiritual Master. I have done many, many times this kind of thing and I have had hundreds of experiences while having my hair cut. In those days my haircut took an hour and five or ten minutes. Now it takes only five minutes. So we have made tremendous progress.

When I was in the ashram, our barber had a harmonium and he let me play it. He was kind to me and told me that I could use it whenever I wanted to. He was fond of my voice. I visited him many times. One day he asked me to sing a song while he cut my hair. He was moody, but I was also moody and I didn't feel like singing that day. And I was really annoyed because he was taking such a long time cutting my hair. So he cut my right side with scissors and on the left side he made the sound of cutting but actually he did not cut. When I went to the playground, I was the laughing stock. Then I didn't go to him anymore; I went to another barber. That barber used to tell me cock-and-bull stories. He was an illiterate man, but he had heard stories from his grandparents and he used to tell them to me.

The last time I went to India, I was singing before my friends and my first barber came up to me. He is now seventy-five or seventy-six years old. He said, "Look here, once upon a time you practised your songs on my harmonium."

Once it happened that one of the very great musicians at the ashram came for a haircut. I was singing and the barber shop was near my house. This great musician deeply appreciated my songs and my voice, but the barber did not tell me this for eleven years. He thought that I would be very proud and that my ego would increase like anything, so for eleven years he kept the secret. Then, on one occasion, the same great musician happened to hear me singing while he was walking along the street. I didn't know that he was walking behind me. At times I used to sing very loudly, and on that occasion I was singing at the top of my lungs. When he came up to me, I stopped singing. He said, "Why are you ruining your voice? Didn't I tell you that you had a wonderful voice? If you sing at the top of your lungs, then you will ruin your voice." But the barber had not told me anything. This musician was well respected. He scolded the barber.

Now, an amusing note. A friend of mine used to suffer so much due to loss of hair. He tried everything — all kinds of medicine. Finally, a brilliant idea dawned on him. His story was, "We are in the process of evolution. Animals have infinitely more hair than we have; in comparison, we have very little. Again, on Sri Aurobindo's supramental plane, the souls will be totally free from the animal consciousness, so naturally they will have no hair. Here is the indication that I have started giving up animal qualities." His head was absolutely pure white. He felt that he had started getting the message of transformation, and that it was received by the head first. This kind of amusing experience I used to have with my friends.

When people suffer from something, eventually they have to justify it in some way; otherwise, they become insane. At the ashram two or three girls didn't have hair. One girl, eighteen or nineteen years old, didn't have even one hair. Any time you looked at her face you saw such sorrow. If you were a good human being and you identified with her, you felt her suffering. But there were malicious, mischievous boys and girls who used to mock at her. When she lost her hair, the way she suffered was unbearable. I think she didn't suffer that much when her mother and her father died.

I hope I don't have a disciple like that who will suffer that much due to loss of hair. Especially to the girls I wish to say that everything comes and everything goes. If your hair goes away, at that time listen to the wisdom of my friend; take shelter in his advice. On the supramental plane, naturally you will have no hair, because on that plane you give up your animal qualities. First you get a little inner heat, then you lose your hair and finally nature's transformation and the body's transformation take place. When I started losing hair because of the heat from my forehead, I was really going to be a man of wisdom, my friends said. While we were practising long-jump, my friend said my forehead indicated that I would be a man of wisdom, a literary man. I came home and told my sister Ahana that I was a man of wisdom. She said, "Wait a couple of years until you lose your hair." So my friend was right: I have wisdom. And again, my sister was right: I lost all my hair.

Now, to all of you, my dear children, I have a special request. Please use oil in your hair. The Indian system is to apply oil every day and this is my request to all of you. Only a very small quantity is necessary. Sometimes the hair becomes messy and you can't take full care of it. But a very small quantity of oil adds beauty to the hair. Not only fragrance, but also inner beauty comes from the hair when you use the amount of oil that is necessary. And especially those of you who are suffering from grey hair should use oil. You will see that in a significant measure your hair will regain its previous colour.

From the spiritual point of view, oil definitely adds to the beauty of the hair and it also brings into your head, your face and your whole system spiritual beauty, calmness, politeness, purity and many other divine qualities. Without oil, some boys and girls absolutely look like ferocious animals. Some are in the habit of not combing their hair. It is very painful to me. It is a painful experience — very, very undivine. You may say, "It is my hair; I can do anything I like," but that you can't do. It is very, very undivine. When you live in society you have to behave in a way which does not create mental suffering, mental disharmony, mental unpleasantness in others' lives. You can't do undivine things and destroy the poise of others.

If you want modesty and perfection in your outer consciousness, there are a number of things you can do. Every day you should use a small quantity of oil on your hair, Then, once a week, if possible, or even two times or more, try to put oil on the body. It helps tremendously the entire body system. If you can't do that, then always try at least to massage the feet with oil. The feet are the root of the body. And if you massage your head with oil, you will get tremendous benefit not only in your head but inside your whole subtle existence. So use oil. Oil is of tremendous benefit to the health. Some doctors say that if you use soap more than is necessary, you will lose not only the beauty of the skin but also the quality and hidden treasure of the skin. But oil you can use to your heart's content. It does not affect the skin adversely.

Now, you have to be reasonable about the length of your hair. I have told you people that boys must have short hair. In the case of the girls, I have no idea what you call short or long. But if girls have hair that is the same length as boys' hair — that is, really short hair — then it will be a very painful experience. In India I knew a few girls who wanted to act like boys and had absolutely a boy's haircut. That created problems and tremendous confusion. In our Centre, that will not be permitted. By having short hair, girls are not going to get boys' masculine capacity. That is for boys. Girls' feminine beauty is for girls. It is in no way inferior to boys' physical capacity. Short hair is normal for boys and long hair is normal for girls.

I will have a special prize today for my dearest Radha. I am pretty sure she is the possessor of the longest hair. She deserves a prize. I will give her my deepest love and pride. In India there were quite a few girls whose hair used to reach not only the knee but even farther down. Here my Radha has the longest hair. It gives me such joy to see that kind of long hair. Some girls will say that they can't comb their hair properly if it is extremely long. Then I am not advising them to grow very long hair. But if it is not a problem, then long hair is really beautiful for girls. So try to grow your hair right down to your feet if possible. Let us see all divine qualities emerging in the girls.

But only the girls can get a prize for long hair. If the boys try to grow long hair, then they are not going to get divine qualities. In India, spiritual men and sages prefer to grow long hair. In their case, there is a special reason which cannot be ignored. Most of the ascetics don't want to take the trouble of going to the barber. It is not that the height of their spirituality is increasing with the length of their hair. The length of the hair does not indicate spirituality. No, it is not because of that. They keep their hair long either because of idleness or because they pay no attention to the physical.

Cleanliness is next to godliness. Here cleanliness means purity in everything — in the physical, the vital, the mind. So I wish all the disciples to pay considerable attention to their hair, but not to draw the attention of others. Cleanliness is required so that your uncleanliness does not become offensive to my eyes and to others' eyes. You can't keep yourself untidy. You claim that just because it is your body, you can do as you please. But you do not have that right. You can't claim yourself in that way; otherwise, you destroy yourself. You don't belong to yourself. You have to do things to please others since you belong to a community. If others find it difficult to approach you, then you are hurting their eyes, which you have no right to do.

Most of the boys still don't listen to me. The girls also at times come to the Centre without taking a shower. If you don't take a shower, you are violating my real law. I beg of the boys and girls to take a shower before any spiritual activity. It adds to your spirituality. And please pay extra attention to your hair so that you really look divine and beautiful — not to attract others' attention, but to avoid creating dissatisfaction or problems for others.

I have been to barbers in this incarnation thousands of times. Without the least possible hesitation, I can say that my spiritual son Pahar has pleased me most. Here at this place, I am at perfect liberty. In other places barbers would ask me millions of questions. Juicy stories I used to tell for some time, because my hair was wavy and curly. In those days it took a long time to cut my hair. The barbers were talking so fast. I used to spend an hour and a half or two hours. Such an absurd waste of time! But here I can do anything I want. Previously I used to go to Supthin Boulevard. That was my favourite place. At one place, I don't know how it happened, I told the barber that I go to Puerto Rico quite often. Since then, he has asked me about Puerto Rico every time. Who wants to talk to him about Puerto Rico? He knows well that the Puerto Rico story should end in ten minutes, but I have to waste forty-five minutes in his place. Here I can do anything I want to do in my own way in five minutes. God has really blessed me with someone who will please me in my own way.

To all the boys I wish to say that this is the place to have your hair cut. This is my fervent request. If other boys from Connecticut and New Jersey come to this place, then I will be very grateful. But the Jamaica-area boy disciples must honour my request and come to this place. If you want quality, calmness, anything divine, then this is the place. If you don't want to listen to me, then there are other places; but this is the only place that is meant for my disciples.

Who knows, one day a daughter disciple of mine may open a salon for girls. Then I will be very grateful and proud. When someone can raise enough funds, then I will bless that daughter of mine. Girls may say that they don't have the need of a haircut; they can become their own barbers. But this is not proper. If anybody among the girls wants to open a salon for girls, then I will be very happy. It is a good art and there will be many, many girls who will really appreciate a haircut.

With my deepest pride, pride, pride and pride, I am blessing Pahar. I never get any complaint against you from any disciple. I have been to hundreds of barber shops, but nowhere have I been satisfied. This is the only place where I am really satisfied. I do hope I shall always remain satisfied. This is my prayer to the Supreme.


  1. PHW 1. Sri Chinmoy made these remarks on 21 September 1975 when inaugurating Pahar's barber shop, which the Master named "Perfection in the Head-World." The questions were then asked by Sri Chinmoy's disciples.

Question: When we change our outer appearance, such as when we get haircuts, does it affect our subtle appearance?

Sri Chinmoy: If you are doing something just to add to your physical beauty so that you can draw the attention of the world and get admiration from the world, then definitely it will have a damaging effect on your inner progress. But if the message has come from within to add to your natural beauty, then it will not affect your progress. It may happen that you have not discovered some additional natural beauty which your heart and soul have already discovered. First the soul tries to give the message to the heart, and then the heart tries to give the message to the physical mind. Then the physical mind will come to know that in a particular way it can develop more natural beauty in the body-not artificial beauty or sophisticated beauty, but real inner beauty. At that time, this added beauty will not act as a barrier or an obstruction to your progress. It is not like the mind telling you to put something on your face so that you will look more beautiful in order to attract others. So if the heart knows that there is a way to increase natural beauty in the physical, then this will never damage your inner life.

But sometimes it becomes unnatural. You think that if you do something to your appearance, then people will see how beautiful you are. Artificial beauty is temporarily needed to satisfy your outer life, but if you live in the world of that unnatural beauty and wear make-up and all that, it will adversely affect your inner progress. So the physical change has to be spontaneous and natural. Otherwise, it is done only by using brain-power, and it is not good.

Question: What does Eternity feel like?

Sri Chinmoy: Eternity feels like a self-giving and God-fulfilling tree, a conscious, self-giving and constantly God-becoming and God-fulfilling tree.

A self-giving tree, a God-becoming flower and a God-fulfilling fruit, or a self-giving tree which has God-becoming flowers and God-fulfilling fruits: this is Eternity.

Question: What quality most needs developing in us at this time?

Sri Chinmoy: There are two qualities that we need most. One quality is purity and the other is oneness. Of course, purity and oneness are inseparable. Purity is on the outer plane of consciousness and oneness is on the inner plane of consciousness. If we want to go from the outer plane of consciousness to the inner plane, then first we will develop purity and from purity we will enter into oneness. But if we want to come from the inside to the outside, which is also correct, then we start with oneness; and when there is oneness, purity is already there. Oneness cannot separate itself from purity.

For mental purity we need tremendous aspiration. Purity is on the outer plane, but once it is established, then we can establish oneness with the inner being. Then we will be perfect. When we have oneness in the inner being and purity in the outer life, automatically we get the capacity for manifestation and become a perfect instrument of the Supreme. At that time, we are not only with the Supreme and for the Supreme, but we are the Supreme. That is what oneness can and will tell us.

Question: How can I be an unselfish parent and also a good disciple?

Sri Chinmoy: If you are already an unselfish parent, then automatically you are a good disciple. Just because you are unselfish, you have become a good disciple. Again, just because you are a good disciple, you will be unselfish. If you are unselfish, not only as a parent but in anything, then naturally it is because your aspiration has increased.

Right now, what you call your selfishness is all in the mind. You have come here and left your children at home. The physical mind will say, "How selfish! She is enjoying herself here and her children are at home. Perhaps nobody is there to take care of them." So the unillumined mind says that you are selfish. But the divine will say, "No. She stays with her children every day. But if once in a blue moon she goes to a spiritual function, she will bring back abundant light, boundless light for her children." Your inner cry is bringing you to me; then you are able to take light from me and bring it to your children. You give them physical food three times a day. Now you want to give them something very solid, substantial and unique. Is this selfishness? Your physical mind is telling you that you are ignoring your children. But your spiritual heart will say, "No. I have given them material food, so now let me go to Guru and get solid spiritual food to give them." It is not selfishness. It is your inner awareness of the truth and reality which I stand for and which I am.

Just because you are a sincere seeker, selfishness cannot catch you. And when selfishness is not there, automatically you become a sincere seeker. So sincerity and selflessness go together. The human mind won't understand. It will say, "For my own sake, I am leaving my children at home and going there to enjoy myself." But the spiritual heart will say, "Where I am, they are. Am I not carrying them inside my heart? Can I go anywhere without carrying them? I am not going alone." So if you approach the reality with the heart, then there is no selfishness. But if you approach it with the mind, then it is all selfishness.

Question: If we have been bad, is it good to think of the father in you?

Sri Chinmoy: Let us say that you could not get up early and meditate in the morning and you feel that you have been bad. But no matter how bad you are, feel that you have to approach me immediately, consciously, devotedly, helplessly and dynamically. You approach me helplessly because you are helpless. You approach me dynamically because you feel that you need more determination from me so that you can get up early in the morning.

It is not the father but the friend-aspect in me that solves all problems. If you think all the time of the father in me, then you will be frightened to death. The spiritual father may be very severe. I bark, shout, insult and scold you people. If the daughter is very bad, then the father may be displeased. But friendship means oneness. If you accept me as your friend, then even if I bark, you will say, "He is my friend." So try to feel that I am your friend. If you can't feel that I am your only friend, then try to feel that I am your eternal friend. In that way, you have nothing to worry about if you approach me.

If I am a true friend of yours, then why have you to worry? I may scold you and insult you, but I will do the needful for you. Whenever you do something wrong, I will come to your rescue. That is the attitude of true friendship. You can feel, "My other friends not only will desert me, but they have already deserted me. But this friend will never desert me." If you have that kind of feeling, then your problems are solved. Others will disappoint and desert you, but I will never do that. Your vital may at times be disappointed in me, but not your soul. I will never desert you.

Question: What can we do to truly realise who you are?

Sri Chinmoy: Use your imagination-power and feel that this imagination-power is reality-power and not hallucination-power. Imagination and hallucination are two different things. You know that some people have realised God. You have not realised Him, but you do believe that the Christ, Sri Krishna and the Buddha realised God. You accept the Christ's utterance that he and his Father are one, and you accept it because of your imagination. It never crosses your mind that it was his mental hallucination when he said, "I and my Father are one." So when you believe, you exercise your imagination-power.

Imagination-power is very good. Try to make it as big and as vast as possible. You have to stretch and expand your imagination far, farther, farthest; high, higher, highest; deep, deeper, deepest. The sooner you can expand your imagination-power, the sooner you can realise God. Before the scientist discovers something, he uses his imagination-power. Imagination-power is inside the head, but it is not produced by the mind. The mind produces thought. Thought cannot expand; only it binds the world. But imagination-power is constantly expanding. Thought is just one iota of reality, for good or for bad. But imagination is like the vast sky. So if you want to realise who I am, just expand the capacity of your imagination-power.

Question: How do you meditate for humility?

Sri Chinmoy: Try to remember two words: humility and humiliation. Humility and humiliation are like two neighbours. If you are humility, then you look around and see your humiliation-neighbour; but you are not humiliation. Again, if you are humiliation, you look around and see your humility-neighbour; but you are not humility.

The deeper spiritual philosophy is this: If we are not humble in the purest sense of the term, then we are humiliated. It may not show in our words or in our gestures, but it is a fact in the inner world. Outwardly if we are not humble, then in the inner world automatically we are humiliated every second, because we are not one with the universal Reality, the transcendental Reality. If we do not have oneness with the supreme Reality, if we have not established our oneness with Truth-Light, then naturally we are humiliated inwardly. So when one is not humble, the immediate result is humiliation.

How can we develop or become aware of inner humility? It is only by knowing what humility is. Humility is not just touching somebody's feet. It is a reality that is constantly self-giving. When we get five dollars, we become like a child who thinks that he has one million dollars. We do not share. Our backbone becomes stiff. Our spinal cord does not bend to share with others. This is our reality. But this is not the reality of a tree; a tree is not like that. Before the tree bears fruit, when it does not have anything, it remains erect. But when the tree develops flowers and fruit, at that time the tree does not go up and touch the skies. It does not say, "I will have nothing to do with earth; earth is so bad, so ungrateful." Instead, the tree bends very nicely and shares its fruits with the world. Before the tree bears any fruit, the tree is for itself. But when it possesses something, when it starts bearing fruit, at that time it becomes for the world. The tree does not keep the fruits only for itself. The tree offers them for all the world to eat.

How can we get satisfaction from life? Satisfaction we can get only when we give to somebody else, to our larger self, to humanity. We can get joy only by becoming one with humanity, by sharing our reality with others. When we are becoming one, the whole world becomes grateful to us. So if we are humble, if we become like the tree-reality which constantly bears fruit, then only we are getting and giving satisfaction to the Supreme in mankind.

Always think of satisfying the Supreme in mankind and the Supreme in your Guru. Then automatically you will become humble. The more you give soulfully and devotedly, the more satisfaction you get from mankind. And in satisfaction you get everything that you want. So give, give, give-consciously, devotedly, unreservedly and unconditionally. Then you will see that you are not giving to somebody else, but only to your own larger reality that is hungry for divine satisfaction.

Question: How can we regain the intense aspiration we had when we first became disciples?

Sri Chinmoy: You can regain your intense aspiration, which all of you had when you accepted the spiritual life, by feeling two things, First, you have to feel that what you have so far achieved or received is next to nothing in comparison to what you actually need from within or from above. True, you have achieved and received something; you have done very good meditation, excellent meditation. It is all true. But in terms of the thing that you are going to receive or achieve or grow into, it is nothing, nothing, nothing. You know what you had and what you were ten years ago. What you now have and what you now have become is really something. But be sincere! Is the goal in front of your nose, or is it a far cry? Still it is a far cry. What you have received, is it enough? If you are sincere, then you will say that it is next to nothing in comparison to the infinite Light that you are seeking. It is the minimum, absolutely nothing. If you have this kind of feeling, then your hunger increases. But if you feel that what you have got is more than enough, then a self-complacent attitude comes. You may feel that in this incarnation you have meditated so many times extremely well and you have done this and that for the Centre, so even if you don't do anything more, God will be pleased with you. If the disciples have this attitude, if they feel that they have done enough for this incarnation, then there is no forward movement. But if they say that what they have done is nothing in comparison to what they can do, then only an inner cry comes. What you have got so far is between you and your Guru, between you and God. But you have to know that what you have not yet got is infinitely more important than what you have already got. So if you feel that there is still something which is infinitely more valuable, then naturally you will try to get back your aspiration and aspire for that thing.

Before you entered into the spiritual life, when you were in the desire-life, when you first thought of entering into the life of aspiration, you felt that this life of aspiration was something which would really give you satisfaction. Finally you gave up the life of desire and you entered into the life of aspiration. But you have to feel that this aspiration-life is not enough. Only the life of realisation will give you illumination and satisfaction. When you were in the desire-life, you felt that the aspiration-life was everything. You were right, absolutely right. But now you have to feel that aspiration is not everything. Otherwise, you will be aspiring one day and then for ten days you will not aspire. Now the life of realisation is your only goal. If you have the life of realisation, then only can you get constant satisfaction. When you were in the life of desire, you thought, "Here there is no proper satisfaction." Then, when you had an iota of aspiration, you got an iota of satisfaction. But if you want abiding satisfaction, then realisation has to come into the picture.

You have to feel that there was a cry which compelled you to jump from the shore of desire to the shore of aspiration. Now, to get back the intense aspiration with which you started your journey, feel that again you have to develop the same type of cry and jump from the aspiration-shore to the realisation-shore. Otherwise, it will not be possible for you to reach the realisation-shore. Previously you cried and jumped. Now, in order to jump you have to cry again. But if you feel that the first jump was enough, then naturally you will not feel the need to cover any further distance. And if you don't cover any further distance, then you will never be satisfied. The real in you will not be satisfied.

You can develop that intense cry only by feeling sincere emptiness. Feel that what you have is nothing and what you are is nothing in comparison to what you are going to have and what you are going to become. Your physical mind will tell you that you have made so much progress since you accepted the spiritual life. But if by meditating once in a blue moon you have got so much wealth, then by meditating constantly and consciously, naturally you will get much more. Even human greed will tell you that you have got so much in spite of not meditating consciously, devotedly and unreservedly, so if you do it devotedly, then naturally you will get much more peace, light and joy.

Say to yourself, "In spite of being lethargic, in spite of being an imperfect instrument, I have got so much just by haphazardly praying and meditating. If I aspired consciously, regularly and devotedly, then I would get so much more." In this human approach there is much truth. Again, the divine way is to feel, "I am quite rich, but so what? God is always dealing with His infinite, immortal, eternal wealth. What I have become is nothing, nothing, nothing in comparison to what I can become or what I am going to become."

If you work hard, you get a hundred dollars. Then, when you have got a hundred dollars, you can again work hard and get a million dollars. This is the greedy human approach. The other approach is to feel that no matter what you have got, even if it is one million dollars, God has got infinitely more. The largest quantity is nothing in God's Eye, because God has got infinite Peace and Light. God deals always with Infinity. One million can be counted, but Infinity cannot be counted. We need Infinity, but right now what we have got is nothing in comparison to Infinity.

This divine way of approaching God's Infinity is the Indian way. In India people claim God as their very own. Here in the West, unfortunately you are afraid of claiming God. You feel that you have committed a sin, so how can you claim God? But sin does not exist in Indian philosophy. Even if it exists, we have faith in our divine Father and Mother. All our dirt and filth will go away the moment we go to them. They will wash us. A child claims his mother and father as his very own. Where is his sense of guilt? There is no guilt.

So to come back to your question, you can start with the greedy human approach in order to increase your aspiration. If you want to become the Shylock of the twentieth century, no harm. Only take as much spiritual wealth as you can. Then you will see that wisdom will dawn in you. Even if you try to separate Infinity from the finite, you will see that it is impossible. The finite and the Infinite always go together.

Question: What is the most prominent or important quality of the inner sun?

Sri Chinmoy: Each inner sun has a divine quality. In general, the most important quality or capacity of the inner sun is all-illumining vision and all-fulfilling manifestation. The inner sun is all-illumining. It wants to illumine the entire world. Then it wants to fulfil the entire universe. If it is illumining, then only is it fulfilling. So its quality is all-illumination, all-fulfilment.

Question: What is the best way for me to bring new seekers to your path?

Sri Chinmoy: The best way is to become one with the inner hunger of unconscious humanity. When you pray and meditate, just try to identify yourself with the inner hunger of humanity. The outer hunger is for name and fame, but the inner hunger is for light and delight. So when you think of new seekers, think of them as representing humanity. If you feel that they are representing humanity, then you will see that they definitely have an inner cry, for God can exist in human beings only when there is an inner cry. Even if it is an unconscious cry, God does not mind. But if it is a conscious cry, then God is really pleased. Even if the inner cry in humanity is unconscious, God says that He is going to stay with humanity. But if there had been no unconscious inner cry, then God would not have stayed with humanity.

In your case, you pray and meditate, so you are aware of the God-Reality here on earth and there in Heaven. If you become consciously aware of the inner hunger of the unconscious humanity, then only will you be able to bring new seekers to our Centres. Become consciously, devotedly and unconditionally one with the unconscious hunger and then transform it into a conscious hunger, When humanity has a conscious hunger, then human beings will look around to see if there is something that will satisfy them.

Also, feel that when you are trying to bring people, you are pleasing me in my own way. If you feel that you are pleasing me in my own way, then you will feel the roar of a lion inside you. Whether you bring one person or none on the outer plane, inwardly you will feel a lion's strength.

Question: If one has great intuition, can this intuition bring about self-realisation?

Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes a dog has better intuition than a human being. Dogs have developed intuition, which lets them know when something is stolen. But do you think that a dog will become God-realised before you?

You can use your intuitive talent to expedite your journey. If it is not properly used, then it can be a hindrance. But if you use intuition properly, then you will get more Grace, abundant Grace, infinite Grace. If you don't squander this Compassion-Grace, then naturally you will make the fastest progress. Grace helps you to make the fastest progress. Grace is not only capacity; it is something more. God's Grace embodies His infinite Reality. God's Compassion-Grace and His Reality are inseparable. But intuition is not the same as Grace, and it can be totally separated from God-Reality.

Question: When we go to the track to exercise and you are not there, can that be substituted for our early morning meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: You have to meditate for five or ten minutes at home. More than that you don't have to meditate, but only if you are taking exercise with the understanding that you are pleasing me in my own way and becoming more perfect for my manifestation. If you can consciously feel this, then only is it part of your meditation. If you are practising running or walking only to defeat me or the other disciples in competition, then it is not part of your meditation. But if you are doing it in order to please me and become a more perfect instrument, then it is part of your meditation, real meditation.

You have to see the attitude that you have while you are running in my absence. It is your attitude that counts most. If it is to please me in my own way, to become a more perfect instrument so that your body can hold the divine reality, then, definitely, it is meditation. But if it is to show off or to defeat someone, or to get pleasure by taking exercise in the morning, or to prove how great and how spiritual you are, then it is not meditation. When I come to take exercise, a hundred people come. When I am not there, only three people come. If the idea comes that you are great if you come to the track when Guru does not come, then you are getting zero from me. If you feel that it is you and nobody else who is practising, so you are very sincere and very great, then you are not getting any mark and it is not part of your meditation. But if you do it with the right attitude, then, definitely, it is meditation. So, it is your inner attitude, your approach to me, that can determine whether your activity is meditation or is not meditation.

Question: Could you tell me the most important thing that we haven't heard before about gratitude?

Sri Chinmoy: In the outer world gratitude is self-discovery. In the inner world gratitude is God-satisfaction.

Question: How does a soul that wants to become an Olympic star know which family it wants to incarnate into?

Sri Chinmoy: The soul will come down only to aspire more intensely to realise God and manifest more of God's Light. But if God wants a particular human being to become an Olympic star, then it is not the human being who makes the decision. God decides in the soul's world to give the body physical strength so that the person can be an Olympic star. God will tell the soul and the soul will accept. God will say, "If you enter into this family, then only will you have a solid opportunity to become an Olympic star." Then the soul will enter into that particular family.

Question: What prevents us from working together as a unit to manifest you?

Sri Chinmoy: It is our sense of separativity that prevents us from working together. We feel, "If I do this job myself then I will get the full glory and satisfaction. But if I do it with somebody else, then I have to share the glory." But here we forget that we are all one. If we are one, then the right hand can do something and the left hand can join it. If both are put together, then we can do the job more quickly and effectively. But if we say that the left hand is not ours, that the right hand is our only hand and we try to do everything with the right hand, then it takes more time. If we have established our oneness, then it becomes not only possible, but inevitable to work together. Only our lack of oneness prevents us right now from working together.

You feel, "I am Shephali, not Nishtha or Pranika." But you have to say, "If I am Shephali, the root, then I need Nishtha, the trunk, and Pranika, the branch. Without the trunk and the branch, there is no proper tree." If you have oneness, then you see that you need the trunk and the branch. And if they also have oneness, then they will say the same. Each one needs the others. You are all interdependent. But when there is no oneness, the root will say, "I don't need anything," and it will remain underground. Then nobody will see it. The trunk will say, "I don't need the root." But that is impossible; it will fall down. And if the branch says, "I don't need the tree," then the branch will have to hang in the air without being supported by the tree, and that is impossible. So everything depends on mutual help and conscious oneness. The trunk, the root and the branch must go together.

You can think of it as the tree, the seed and the fruit. From the tree you get the fruit and, again, from the fruit you get the seed. Seed, tree and fruit are inseparable. Inside the seed is the tree; and again, inside the tree is the fruit. So if you look at the fruit, then you have to think of its predecessors: the tree and the seed. And if you think of the seed, then you have to think of its successors: the tree and the fruit. You always have to take the successors and the predecessors as one. You are the hyphen between the past and the future. If you don't connect the past and the future, then you don't exist, you can't do anything. Only the past, present and future together can make you feel your oneness with God's Reality.

Question: What food gives you the most joy?

Sri Chinmoy: Oneness-food gives me the most joy. Oneness, your conscious oneness with me and with my existence, gives me the most joy. Conscious oneness-food is not the food that you prepare for me outwardly; it is what you are to me. If you can feel that what you are to me is conscious oneness, then you will know that you are giving me the utmost joy. Your conscious oneness with me is the best food that you can give me.

Question: Is the colour of the soul the same as the colour of the aura?

Sri Chinmoy: No, they are two different things. They have nothing to do with each other; only they are good friends. The soul can have many, many colours. Again, when you become a great seeker or a Master, at that time you have many auras. People who see my aura see only one aura out of many. The aura which they see depends on the particular way in which they accept Light. If one is aspiring in a particular way, then one has developed receptivity in a particular way. At that time, he sees a particular aura of mine. The colour of the soul and the aura of a human being are good, intimate friends, because the colour of the soul is of the divine and for the divine and the aura, also, is of the divine and for the divine.

Question: Please tell us the difference between "childlike" and "childish."

Sri Chinmoy: "Childish" means that a grown-up person is doing something superficially, unnaturally and very cleverly. A childish man has a destructive propensity, an unnatural quality that only wants to break things. The childish quality is found in someone who is not actually himself, who does things in a very immature, irresponsible way. A childish human being knows in a mental way what a proper thought is, but he will not use the mental truth. He will only frustrate the world by acting like a juggler. There is no reality in what he does. He knows that he is not showing the real thing to the world, but he is trying to prove to the world that it is real. A childish person knows that what he is saying and doing is all false, but in spite of knowing that, he is trying to fool the world.

But the childlike quality is constructive, real and flower-like. The flower of the childlike quality blossoms petal by petal, not all of a sudden. A child grows up and matures. But if he is an immortal child then he is constantly blossoming like a flower. If one is childlike, then he is blossoming at every second. He looks at the sun and light enters into his seed-reality. Then, petal by petal, he grows into a flower and becomes more perfect in his worship of God. A childlike heart is pure. If someone has this heart, it illumines the creation in the world around and within himself. A childlike person does something not because he knows on the mental plane that it is true, but because spontaneously something is urging him to do it. But a childish person will create something that he himself has no faith in, and then he will try to convince the whole world to have faith in it.

In your case, your enemies will say that you have childish qualities while your friends will say that you have childlike qualities. I am your friend, so I wish to say that you have all childlike qualities.

Question: How can I overcome the feeling of uncertainty?

Sri Chinmoy: You have to cherish constant certainty that you are doing the right thing by God's infinite Grace. Then you will be able to make the fastest progress. Always feel that you are doing the right thing, and do not cherish any breath of uncertainty in your life of aspiration and dedication.

Question: What should the primary goal of our manifestation be at this time?

Sri Chinmoy: Dearest son, I have been telling you and telling you about the primary goal. The goal appears one year and the following year it remains the same. It is only to bring quite a few sincere seekers whom I can accept. My whole mission has become absolutely stagnant. I shall always keep the same philosophy: I do not want to have ten million disciples here on earth. Two hundred we have lost out of nine hundred. Some have left us before we have asked them to leave; some we have asked to leave. So we have come down to about seven hundred. This small number is the result of our lack of dynamic spirit, individually or collectively. It is my hope that you will use a dynamic spirit when you are trying to bring people. When new people come they bring a new flow, like a child or a new flower, and the old flowers become really happy; immediately they try to blossom. When there is a little child in the family, immediately the old ones get a kind of joy by talking to the little one and by teaching him. Joy has gone away from you people. Either spirituality has become something mental or there is nothing in it for you; there is no newness in it. Since you are not getting newness from your own spirituality, you need something that can give you joy and newness, or to which you yourself can give newness.

You don't feel that you are new anymore; you are old. But you have to feel always that you are four years old, that you are younger than your daughter. Everything that she sees is new. For you, a whole year passes by and everything is old. Nineteen seventy-six will pass away for the lawyer in you and everything will be old, old, old. For your daughter, every second is new; for you, nothing is new. But if you can think that every second is a new reality, then it becomes a new creation for you.

Right now, I am begging all of you to give up everything and try only to bring more members into our family, in this area especially. We have only two hundred people in the New York area, but right now our whole mission depends on these divine American soldiers. God has blessed me or cursed me. He alone knows whether America is really a dynamo. America has to play its role. Our goal is not to have ten thousand people, but we need two hundred or three hundred more to bring into our Centre, into our reality. We have become lethargic, old. We have to bring more people to our family gatherings. For these gatherings the father will come in spite of sickness and millions of problems both in the inner world and the outer world. I have another world, which is the inner world. You have only an outer world. I have as many problems in the inner world as in the outer world. But I come to the gatherings and out of a hundred members in one Centre, only twenty or thirty will come; out of thirty, only five will come.

If we have new people, then it will be different. There will be new enthusiasm, new joy. I am not saying that the old people should be washed away; far from it. They are getting another opportunity to behave well and to do the right thing. You may say that you are not getting the opportunity, but here is another opportunity for you: just bring more people. This is first and foremost. I am begging everyone to do it. If you don't have the capacity to bring people, then pray and meditate. Let your face shine. Then, while you are walking, somebody will look at you and say, "Do you do anything special?' and you will say, "I am following a spiritual path." They will see it immediately. That is one way. The other way is to mix with people and try to bring them to a meeting, but not by telling them that ours is by far the best path. Just say, "We have the inner cry. Do you want to see our shop? We will sell you something or give you something that you will like. Do you want it? We are ready to give it to you. Come and see."

All the disciples who have been with us for more than a year have become fossilised. And the ones who have been with us for four or five years, what are they doing? When the old ones are not moving forward, the new ones immediately think, "This chariot is very slow." The new runners feel that you people who have been with us for some time are experienced runners. If you are all the time lying down in the field and not coming to the track to run, then these new people will say, "Perhaps they are right. There is no goal. They are stuck; there is no goal for us either. So let us lie down instead of going to the starting point."

First and foremost, let our goal be to bring two or three hundred sincere seekers. They will bring new life to our mission. Our whole mission has become stagnant, absolutely stagnant. The ones we have already are ninety-nine per cent dead. Physically you are eating and moving around, but spiritually most of you are absolutely dead. When you don't aspire, you are dead soldiers. Either you have to make your face shine and radiate so that the whole world of illumination will enter into your face, or you have to try to bring new seekers through selfless service. If you run nine thousand miles, you may think that this is dynamic movement on the physical plane. But how many steps have you taken with devotion or oneness in your consciousness? My children have covered nine thousand miles, but how many steps have been taken in oneness with me, with my heart and soul? God alone knows!

To all of you I am saying, please do this before the end of the year. Again, if this year does not play its role satisfactorily, then next year there will be another message. This year has been a total failure. Every year we have been failing like anything. Next year a new message is coming. This year will be like history and next year will have a new message, a new subject. This year if you fail, then again you will have no confidence next year. But if you pass in history, then you get the confidence to do well next year in geography. Once you do well, then you get the confidence, determination and self-sacrifice to do well again. So please bring new people, new life into the Centre. New life is what we are lacking so badly. Newness has gone away. You will feel newness when you are a child. For a child, at every second everything is new. For you everything is old, old. This is the difference. Every second has to come in front of us as a new reality. Then only we can make progress. Otherwise, we are dead.

Question: Do all undivine qualities have to be manifested before they are transformed, or can they be transformed quietly?

Sri Chinmoy: All the undivine qualities, either together or four at a time or two at a time or one at a time, have to come to the fore. If they remain inside, then there is no safety at all. Undivine qualities must come to the fore either all together or two at a time or one at a time. Jealousy, insecurity, impurity, lack of oneness, pride, vanity, selfishness: all these qualities may not come out at once, but they have to come to the fore. Each undivine quality must feel the need of light. Three members of the dark family can come together and tell the Father, "Please, please, forgive us and illumine us," or one can come; but eventually all have to come. Otherwise, if one member of the family remains unillumined, then the being that has all the members will never be perfect or satisfied. Impurity, insecurity, jealousy and so on are like thieves. They have to be exposed. If the thieves remain inside, then they will gradually, gradually steal away everything. So they have to come to the fore, which means that they have to be manifested in order to be transformed. There is no other way. The sooner they come to the fore and become fully manifested, the sooner it is possible for light to enter into them and transform them.

Question: What is the relationship between gratitude and oneness?

Sri Chinmoy: Between gratitude and oneness we see the relationship of the outer reality and the inner reality. With gratitude, we go inside and discover our oneness. And when we come out from inside, where we have established our oneness, at that time we see that gratitude is there. Inside, we go to see what we are; outside, we come to see what we have. Gratitude is to have; oneness is to be. This is the relationship. Gratitude means that we have something and oneness means that we are something. One eternally is; the other eternally has. Gratitude has God as its very own and oneness is God Himself.

Question: Who is it that can not only see the highest, reach the highest and touch the highest, but also can do anything that he wants to do with the highest?

Sri Chinmoy: A barber, who can touch anybody's head.

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