Palmistry, reincarnation and the dream state
Concentration, meditation and contemplation
Concentration, meditation and contemplation1We are all seekers of the infinite Truth, Light and Bliss. Each individual here is a seeker, according to his own capacity. I am a seeker of the absolute Truth, Light and Bliss just like you. Precisely because we are all seekers, we all are in the same boat, a golden boat. This boat is sailing towards its destination, the golden shore of the ever-transcending Beyond.
A seeker is he who knows something about the inner world. A seeker is differentiated from an ordinary person only because he thinks of the inner world, because he cares for the inner world just as he cares for the outer world.
A seeker has a most intimate friend in the inner world: aspiration, the inner mounting cry. Again, he has a most deplorable foe: desire. He wants to be totally freed of his foe, desire, and wants to be always with his eternal friend, aspiration.
When we aspire, we come to realise that there are three most significant things that we have to know in order to discover God, see God face to face and grow into the very image of God. What are these three things, which are of paramount importance? Concentration, meditation and contemplation. Each seeker is supposed to know something about concentration, meditation and contemplation. Since I am a seeker, by God's infinite Grace I happen to know a little bit about concentration, meditation and contemplation.
This evening I wish to share with you very briefly what I know about concentration, meditation and contemplation. In the inner world, when I wish to run the fastest — according to my capacity, of course — I concentrate. In the inner world, when I wish to fly the highest, I meditate. And in the inner world, when I wish to dive deep, deeper, deepest, I contemplate.
I run, and concentration is my friend. I fly, and meditation is my friend. I dive, and contemplation is my friend.
When I concentrate, I invoke God the Power. When I meditate, I invoke God the Peace. When I contemplate, I invoke God the Delight. God the Power, God the Peace and God the Delight, each individual here embodies to a certain extent. When we invoke God, either we feel that God the Power, God the Peace or God the Delight comes down to us from above, or that God the Power, God the Peace or God the Delight comes to the fore in us.
Here on earth, in and through Swami Vivekananda, God the Power manifested Himself to a considerable extent; in 1893 here in America, the Parliament of Religions was witness to this supreme fact. God the Peace manifested Himself considerably in and through Lord Buddha. Then, when we think of Lord Krishna, meditate on Lord Krishna, we see that God the Delight has manifested in and through him. When we concentrate, meditate and contemplate, these three great spiritual giants appear before our mental vision.
When I concentrate, I feel that I need God. As a matter of fact, because I need God, therefore I concentrate. When I meditate, I feel that God needs me. And when I contemplate, I feel that both God and I need each other. I need Him for Realisation-to discover what I eternally am, the Highest Absolute, and God needs me to manifest Himself in perfect perfection in and through me. This the seeker in me sees and feels when he concentrates, meditates and contemplates.
When I concentrate, I see the goal either right in front of me or at some far, remote place. When I meditate, I see God inside my heart or I see my Goal inside my heart. And when I contemplate, I see and feel that I am the eternal traveller walking along Eternity's road. At the same time, I am the way, the eternal way and I am the eternal Goal. I am the traveller, I am the way, I am the Goal. When I contemplate, I come to realise this. And something more, I realise that this moment I am the Divine Lover and God is the Supreme Beloved and the next moment God is the Divine Lover and I am the Supreme Beloved. Divine Lover and Supreme Beloved constantly exchange roles. This is what I discover when I contemplate.
A brave heart, concentration demands from me. A calm, quiet and tranquil heart, meditation demands from me. A oneness-heart, a heart of inseparable and universal oneness, contemplation demands from me. If I am to win in the battlefield of life, what I need is a brave heart to concentrate, a calm and tranquil heart to meditate and a heart of universal oneness to contemplate.
Concentration tells me each second is invaluable; I must not waste even a fraction of a second. Meditation tells me to avail myself of all the divine opportunities that knock at my heart's door; I must not waste any opportunity, for each opportunity is leading me a step ahead towards my destined Goal. Contemplation tells me to discover the eternal Time, the Heaven-free Time, inside the fleeting earth-bound time.
In the inner world before I concentrate, I use my aspiration-friend, my inner cry, to purify my eyes. I have to purify my eyes if I want to do the best concentration. Before I meditate, I use my aspiration-friend to purify my heart. And before I contemplate, I request my aspiration-friend to purify my entire earthly existence-my body, vital, mind and heart-so that I can do the best contemplation, according to my capacity.
Imagination helps the seeker in us considerably. Before we concentrate, in silence if we can imagine the blazing sun, the fiery sun, then it helps us considerably in our concentration. Like a magnet, the seeker in us pulls the power of the sun, the boundless power of the sun.
Then, before we meditate, if we can imagine the vast sky, then the vastness of the sky enters into us and helps us considerably. It helps us establish tranquillity and peace in our mind, in our heart, in our earthly physical frame.
And before we contemplate, we should in silence imagine the moon, the beauty of the moon, which is the emblem, here on the earth, of the Absolute Supreme. The beauty of the moon represents the Consciousness of the Divine Mother. The Mother aspect of the Supreme Beloved is embodied by the moon. So if we imagine the moon, then the beauty, delight, sweetness, nearness and closeness of the Absolute Supreme we feel operating in and through us. Or if we can imagine the most beautiful child on earth, and if, on the strength of our imagination, we can feel this most beautiful child in the inmost recesses of our heart, then it helps us considerably.
When I reach the highest pinnacle of concentration I see my third eye. This third eye, which is between the eyebrows and a little above, offers me a pass to enter into the past, present and future. Anything that has to be nullified in the past I nullify. Anything in the remote future that has to be accelerated I bring into the immediacy of today. And anything that has to bear fruit today, in the present, I do sooner than at once.
When I reach the zenith of my meditation, the acme of meditation, I see Sat-Chit-Ananda; Existence, Consciousness and Bliss become my friends. This triple consciousness, which can be considered as one, tells me that I belong to it; I am in it, I am with it and I am for it. Existence-Consciousness-Bliss claims me as its very own, as I claim it as my very own.
Then, when I do my best contemplation and reach the highest contemplation, I see Eternity, Infinity and Immortality. They tell me that I am their inseparable friend. I am a human being, but they know that I am one with Infinity's heart, Eternity's breath and Immortality's life.
On the practical level, when I concentrate, I concentrate on the tiniest thing, on the smallest thing possible, because this is how I, and everybody, can develop the concentration-power quickly.
When I meditate, I meditate on the largest thing possible. This is the secret way one can acquire very fast the power of meditation. Then when I contemplate, I at once play the role of concentration and meditation together. I concentrate on the tiniest substance, let us say, on a drop, the tiniest drop. At the same time I meditate on the vast ocean. So I concentrate on the soul and the body of the tiniest drop and I meditate on the soul and the body of the vast ocean.
When I contemplate, at that time the realisation of the Divine Lover and the Beloved Supreme comes first. Again, inside contemplation there has to be concentration and meditation as well. Concentration indicates the increase of intensity in depth and length. Meditation indicates the assimilation of vastness that is already acquired or achieved.
PRD 1. Cornell University, 26 November 1975↩
Question: Can you tell us how to concentrate and meditate?Sri Chinmoy: Concentration, meditation and contemplation: these are the three rungs on the spiritual ladder. First we concentrate, then we meditate, then we contemplate. I wish you to imagine a flower in front of you or, if you can, imagine the flower blooming inside your heart. Now we shall concentrate. In the beginning, our concentration will be focused on the whole flower. There are quite a few petals and leaves, and gradually we will try to focus our attention on the tiniest possible existence of the flower. And then again, if we feel like it, our concentration will go from the tiniest portion to the whole flower, or from the soul of the flower to the body of the flower. This is how we perfect our concentration.
So when we concentrate, we can go from the largest portion of the flower to the smallest portion, or from the body to the soul. Again, we can go from the smallest portion to the largest, from the soul to the body. Either we can contract our consciousness or expand our consciousness. Either way is most effective.
When we meditate, we do not allow any bad thoughts to enter into our mind. If a good thought, a progressive thought, comes we shall allow it to grow. But if any undivine thought comes in we shall immediately try to destroy it. An undivine thought is like a thief, and we shall not allow the thief to enter into our room. But if it is a friend who wants to enter, we shall welcome him. Joy, love, peace: these are our friends. We shall allow them to enter into us. But fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, insecurity and impurity are our enemies. In meditation we shall be meditating upon vastness-either the vast blue sky or a vast expanse of water. Meditation means oneness with vastness.
When we contemplate, we shall offer our body, vital, mind, heart and soul with utmost love and joy to our Beloved Supreme, so that He can make us His perfect instrument for His manifestation. He alone is our Beloved Supreme. He alone is our highest Reality. We shall contemplate on the highest Absolute, our Beloved Supreme. In contemplation, we become one with the object or subject of our contemplation. This moment we are the Divine Lover and the Supreme is the Supreme Beloved; the next moment we are the Supreme Beloved and the Supreme is the Divine Lover. This is contemplation.
Question: Do we not sometimes mistake the strong concentration of the vital for a good or strong meditation?Sri Chinmoy: Here I wish to say that concentration and meditation are two totally different things. One can easily know whether one is doing concentration or meditation. When it is concentration, there is tremendous intensity, like an arrow entering into the target. This is called concentration. But the very nature of meditation is to bring down peace into the entire being especially in the mind. Intensity is there, but the intensity is flooded with luminosity, whereas when you concentrate, it may not be necessary to have the highest luminosity.
Concentration wants immediate results. It is ready to get anything, to some extent, by hook or by crook. But meditation won't do that. Meditation has infinite time at its disposal. That doesn't mean that meditation neglects the fleeting time, no. It appreciates fleeting time, but at the same time inside the fleeting time it sees the endless time. That is why meditation has infinite peace inside it.
So if one knows the result we get from concentration and meditation, then one can never make a mistake. They are two different things. The intensity of the vital at the time of concentration is not bad if it comes from the purified vital and not the demanding vital. The vital is a very good thing, it is like a very dynamic horse, but the question is how we utilise it. Most people are using the vital in the world of passion, disharmony, argument and greed. But this same vital can be used as a dynamic strength to fight against ignorance, imperfection and death. So if we can use a purified vital at the time of concentration, then our success will be very satisfactory and it will assure us that fulfilment of our goal on earth is not a mere dream.
Meditation and invocation
Question: What happens when several disciples invoke you at once?Sri Chinmoy: When you are driving in a car, you look ahead and to the side and also you look behind you in the mirror. At the same time, you are pressing with your foot on the gas. Like this, four or five things you can do at the same time. For this you don't need ESP. How many things you can do with the physical! But if you become spiritual, if you get Peace, Light and Bliss, then you can do many more things. While I was talking to you, the soul of Rekha's sister just came and sat at my feet. She was a good disciple and I gave her such affection, but she left our path. With human eyes I was talking to you, but at the same time with my third eye I was feeding her.
Just now Katyayani's soul has come and it is moving around. While I was talking to you, her soul was sitting at my feet. If there were an occultist of a very high order here, he would immediately see this. Katyayani lives in Canada and Rekha's sister lives in New Mexico. From Canada and New Mexico their souls have come to me.
If something very serious happens to one of my spiritual children, at that time my physical mind may not be aware of it, but my soul will know. Your whole frame or face will come and stand in front of me. Five or six days ago another disciple was very mad at her children, and immediately I saw her just in front of me. I thought she was disturbed by her daughter. But usually this happens only if it is something very serious.
Question: If we chant somebody's name when they are asleep, does it still feed their soul?Sri Chinmoy: To be very frank with you, if you chant somebody's name when they are asleep, it won't have any effect. Please forgive me, you may be chanting with all your love, affection and concern for that person, but unfortunately you will not be able to identify yourself with his soul. His soul may be in some region that you cannot enter. But in my case, at any time, whichever region the soul is in, I can go there. Only when you become one with the soul in this way does chanting become effective.
As your spiritual leader, when I make a fervent request to you during a meeting to repeat another disciple's name so that we can help that person's soul, at that time I take all of you totally inside my heart. So if you want to, repeat the name of the Supreme or your Guru's name, and then say your prayer for the person. I always say that if you repeat the Supreme's name, the Supreme identifies Himself with you. The Supreme's Soul is within you and your soul is in the Supreme, whereas your friend's soul is not inside you. So if you repeat the name of the Supreme a few times and then offer your prayer to Him, you will get the most immediate results.
Question: How should we chant "Supreme" in a group?Sri Chinmoy: Please imagine that you are on a kind of journey. Feel that either I you are in a boat or you are somewhere with other pilgrims. Always feel a movement in the chanting. Either you are going upward, forward or inward. When you say "Supreme," please feel that you are reaching a particular destination. Each time you chant, feel that you are transcending your goal.
Question: Guru, if you are meditating in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium at the United Nations, for example, can the surrounding rooms be affected by your presence?Sri Chinmoy: It depends on two things. On that day, at that particular hour, it depends on how much Light the Supreme in me wants to reveal and it depends on how much receptivity the adjacent rooms have. If the adjacent rooms have tremendous receptivity and if the Supreme in me wants to reveal abundant Light, then definitely all the surrounding rooms will be affected.
But if the Supreme wants concentrated Light only for the seekers who are listening to my talk, then it will be meant only for them. Again, when I give talks, many times it happens that the Light that we bring down does not remain only with the selected seekers, the thirty or forty seekers, who happen to be there. It all depends on receptivity. If somebody who is in the next room is receptive, then he may get much more than someone else who is in the same room but who is not receptive. Then too, someone who is miles away from the auditorium may get it, provided that he is very receptive. It is all a matter of receptivity. No matter where one is, if he is receptive he will get something.
Question: Do you like meditating outdoors in parks?Sri Chinmoy: I do like it, but we have to know whether the disciples can meditate better outdoors or indoors. While we were singing during the meditation in Central Park, many people who were just curious came to watch us. One person who had not been meditating with us came up to me while I was giving out prasad. So you can see what kind of distractions there can be.
Question: How can we give up the desire for a strong meditation so that the soul-awareness with its most subtle vibration gets a chance to come forward more fully?Sri Chinmoy: We have to know that if an aspirant is of a very high standard, he need not start meditating with the idea of achieving some specific result. If he wants to have some result immediately after his meditation, then he tries only to have a very strong or powerful meditation. But a seeker should not aspire for a desired result from a powerful meditation. When a real aspirant starts meditating, he will not cry for any result, he will only cry for his self-offering during his highest meditation. If he cries for the result, then he is only imagining something mentally, thinking of some delicious cake, in this case Light or another quality, according to his sweet will or fancy.
Question: Each morning should we try to get up as early as we can for meditation?Sri Chinmoy: If your regular meditation time is six-thirty, then that is the best time for you to meditate and not four o'clock. Start at six-thirty for now, then increase your capacity. In a few months' time you can try getting up at five-thirty or six o'clock, and a few months after that you can try to get up still earlier. If you go from here to Manhattan by train, you have to stop at many stations. Today let us say you have the capacity to go to the first station; tomorrow or after a few months you will be able to go to the second station. Your goal is like that, always transcending itself. Finally you will reach your destination. You have far to go from here, but just start; the hour has struck. If you start, that is enough for me. Then please try to increase your capacity. When all the members of a family are studying together, the little brother in kindergarten will pray and meditate and read for only five minutes; then he will close his books and go away. His elder brother who has more capacity and is in a higher course will read for an hour or two, and the third brother, the eldest, will study still longer. The parents see that their children have started reading together, but satisfaction depends on necessity. The youngest child is in kindergarten, so naturally his necessity will be less.
Again, some people believe that they don't have time to meditate at all. They have children or they give this or that reason. They think that the goal is very far. But when we start meditating, we don't have to think what our ultimate goal will be. We just start and we meditate according to our capacity.
Question: What if you've gone to bed late the night before? Should you still keep the same meditation time?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, please keep the same time; then you can go back to sleep after your meditation. You should meditate even if you have gone to visit friends and come home at four o'clock. You can sleep two hours and get up at six o'clock, then re-set the alarm and go back to sleep. Please feel that your divine Friend is supposed to come and knock at your door at six o'clock. Which is more important: God the Friend or your human friends? You have gone to see other friends the night before and you have spent hours there. Now you have a previous appointment with your divine Friend. You can't say, "I will be late." Who is more important, God or a human being?
Question: How long should we meditate?Sri Chinmoy: Usually my disciples are not required to meditate more than half an hour daily. They meditate for half an hour very powerfully, but then after that they usually cannot maintain their intensity. At the maximum they can meditate for forty-five minutes. But if one tries to meditate for one or two hours, the mind does not cooperate.
If you have the capacity, you can meditate for hours and hours. Otherwise, if most of my disciples try to meditate forty-five minutes one day, they will be unable to do well after half an hour. If for half an hour you have meditated well, it is as if you have eaten a big loaf of bread. But if that is not enough for you, then you will try to steal another fifteen minutes. During those fifteen minutes, you may get only one morsel more, a tiny portion. You are still hungry, but you are not granted another loaf. But yet you are getting something during those extra fifteen minutes. Who knows, perhaps you will get another two minutes' worth of good meditation. On the one hand you could feel that since you are not meditating well, why waste your precious time? So you feel that it is best to just go away after half an hour. On the other hand, since you could have a good meditation the last two minutes, why act like a fool? Wait until the forty-five minutes is up. If you don't wait, then you will have no idea of what the outcome would have been. But you can't say, "If I stay for some more time, I will get an equal amount of Peace and Bliss." No. You may get just a small quantity although you are in a position to eat. Because you still have hunger, you can see if the divine waitress is bringing you a little more food.
Question: What about Sunday when we have group meditation at six o'clock? Six o'clock is not my regular meditation time.Sri Chinmoy: On Sunday I am responsible for those who are coming to meditate. Many are not coming; they can meditate at their normal time. I have inner beings and the Supreme is the witness, but people coming to meditate with me will meditate at six o'clock.
Question: One day I have to leave the house at five o'clock in the morning, so I get up earlier than on other days and meditate at four-thirty.Sri Chinmoy: Then you will have to meditate at four-thirty on other days also. Don't try to keep your original time that day while on the subway or at school or work. These meditations must be in addition to your morning meditation. Otherwise, relaxation starts. Today you have to go someplace; tomorrow, somewhere else. Only Sundays I am responsible for you. Otherwise stick to your own time.
You do not need a specific time for evening meditation. At that time the river is already flowing and entering into the ocean. I am responsible only for the morning meditation when the river starts flowing. If I can start the river flowing, I know it will one day reach the source. Even if you don't reach the destination today, as long as there is some movement, you will reach the destination tomorrow or the day after. If you are flowing toward the consciousness ocean, that is enough for me. You can also meditate on your coffee break at three o'clock or four o'clock, but you have to start in the morning.
Question: What if there are unexpected ties and we can't meditate in the morning at our regular time?Sri Chinmoy: There is no such thing. This hour is most important. You have to know that this is not just like a dentist appointment. It is your meeting with your Eternal Father, your Beloved. If someone wants to arrange to meet you but you are not available, you will say, "Come back again next week." You will make it a point to see somebody at ten o'clock or five o'clock and that will be the hour. If the Supreme comes at the appointed hour and you say, "Come back next week," He will tell you that He can only come at the hour He is supposed to come and this is the only time He can see you.
If you are sick or suffering from something, it is unavoidable. If you have a fever, what are you going to do? This is the only excuse I will accept; otherwise, you will have to tell yourself to get up early.
Question: Recently while meditating I have been having painful sensations. Are these attacks of undivine forces?Sri Chinmoy: The forces are not wrong forces. They are not undivine in your case. These are divine forces, but unfortunately you are pulling them far beyond your capacity. Your inner vessel is not large enough to hold the forces that you are bringing down, so that is why you are getting these painful sensations. Otherwise there would be a smooth, continuous flow.
When you meditate, please feel that meditation is not an act of a greedy person. When we are greedy, we want to devour everything. We become voracious eaters and afterwards we suffer from a stomach upset. In the spiritual life also we have to go very slowly, steadily and unerringly. When we pray and meditate, first of all we have to know our capacity. Here we are not discouraging ourselves. If I know that my capacity is to run one hundred metres, then I will run one hundred metres for a few days or a few months or, if necessity demands, for a few years. But if I have the capacity to run only one hundred metres and all of a sudden I want to run four hundred metres, then naturally I will collapse. I will complete it with greatest difficulty and then I will fall down. I will simply ruin myself. So here also, when we meditate we have to know how long we can meditate soulfully, either five minutes or ten minutes or fifteen minutes or twenty minutes. After that time we may get a kind of unconscious greed, let us say. We feel that if we can get everything overnight, then we will become all God-realised souls. But this kind of greed will be our downfall.
So when we pray and meditate, we have to know our capacity: how much will we can exert and how much soulful love, devotion and surrender we have for God. A little child has some strength, but he does not know that when he pulls down something very big from above, immediately it falls down and breaks his hands and arms. So like a child you are also pulling down something very heavy. It is very heavy in the sense that it has enormous power. And where will the power go which you have invoked? Naturally the power is good power, but because of its enormity it is not able to stay inside you. You are not in a position to house the power.
So when you meditate every morning, please feel the necessity of seeing your capacity. You are now in a position to eat only three pieces of bread. If you see that somebody beside you is eating six pieces, then you think, "What is wrong with me? Why can't I have the capacity to eat six pieces?" But let him eat six pieces if he has the capacity. Perhaps there is somebody else beside you who cannot eat even one piece. He can take only half a piece of bread. So according to your capacity, according to your inner hunger, you will try to satisfy yourself; according to others' capacity, they will also do the same. So, the forces that you are speaking of are not undivine. They are divine forces, but the problem arises because beyond your capacity you are trying to pull them down.
Question: Sometimes I feel that I am meditating well in my heart, but my head is resisting. Then I have a lot of pressure and tension in the top of my mind.Sri Chinmoy: The only disease you have is that you feel that I don't care for you. When that disease is cured, then you will be cured. When that disease is cured, there can be no sickness to bother you. A few other disciples also have this chronic disease. It is a powerful disease, the feeling that your Guru doesn't love you, he doesn't care for you.
I do care for you, but in my own way, in a divine way. My divine way nobody understands. Tension and pressure come from one thought: that your Guru does not care for you. If I did not care for you, then I would not have come to America. I do care; that is why I have come to the world, to the West and to America. Most of you suffer from only one disease, and that disease comes from one cause: the feeling that I don't care for you. Again I wish to say that I do care, but in my own way. Once you understand this, then these pressures will go away and everything will be relaxed. Once you feel that I do care, you will get tremendous joy.
Question: When I try to feel something flowing in my meditation, I feel that I get complacent. Should I try to work harder at it?Sri Chinmoy: At the start of a race when the judge says, "On your mark, get set, go!" there is so much alertness and tension. Then, after covering thirty metres, your arms and your legs get a kind of coordination. At that time you feel that you are totally relaxed, that you are not running at all. But your speed is in no way slower; it is still very fast. Just because your mind is not convincing you that you are making some unusual effort, you imagine that you are not running fast enough. But it is not true.
When I do my paintings or write poetry, at that time I go very fast. But I am totally relaxed while I am doing it. So when you are doing something, don't think of the start. At the time of the start, alertness, eagerness, indecision, tension, fear and doubt all come and make you feel that you are doing something. Then, once you have started, these forces leave you. At that time you are in the process of completing your journey. If you think of the start, you will only make a comparison between the start and the point halfway through the race. But this is a mistake. When you are at the halfway mark, only try to reach the goal. Look ahead and don't think of the thing that you did before.
Question: What is the significance of seeing an intense blue light during meditation?Sri Chinmoy: To see blue light is a very good, very high experience. Blue light is the light of pure spirituality and also the light of the infinite. If you see blue light around someone or around yourself, it means that your inner being is responding to the vast infinity or that your own spirituality is now maturing and you are entering into something very vast. Your spirituality has entered into your whole inner and outer existence. If you see blue light around some spiritual Masters, it is because some of these Masters have predominantly blue light, as in the case of Lord Krishna, although they also have all types of light.
Question: What should we do if our flame of aspiration isn't burning as intensely during meditation as we would like?Sri Chinmoy: Let us take the burning inner flame as our hunger. One day we may be pinched with hunger. Another day we may not be hungry at all, but we do eat. Early in the morning when it is breakfast time, even if we do not have real hunger, we go and eat. It is a daily routine or habit that we have formed which is necessary for our health. We should take food every day, whether we are really hungry or not. If we eat every day, then automatically our whole body is nourished and our muscles are strengthened. Similarly, one day if the inner flame is not burning very brightly, let us say, still we have to meditate. Otherwise in the inner world we shall become weak. We don't get most delicious food every day; it is not possible. Even the world's best cook cannot make most delicious food every day. But still we have to eat. In the spiritual life also we cannot expect our highest type of meditation every day.
Again, the highest type of meditation depends on the seeker's own spiritual attainment and achievement. But there comes a time when one is on the verge of spiritual realisation or one has realised God. At that time meditation is a matter of his own will. Now, in my case, if I want to do the highest meditation, then at any hour, even right after I have eaten, I can enter into my highest consciousness. But that is not possible for the beginning seekers. So, their duty is to meditate for spiritual nourishment each and every day whether they are hungry or not.
Question: Sometimes after meditating I lose the joy that I have received from my meditation. Is there a method that would help me keep that joy?Sri Chinmoy: There can be two reasons why you lose the joy you have received. One reason is very simple. The mind starts functioning most powerfully and vehemently. While functioning the mind allows obscure, impure and undivine thoughts to enter. If the mind helplessly allows these thoughts to come in consciously or unconsciously, then the joy disappears; it will not last. But if purity is well established in your being, then the joy will last for a long time or forever.
Or it may happen that your inner vessel is small; this can be the second reason. You have invoked light, which is joy itself, but the quantity that you have brought down from above is beyond the capacity and receptivity of your vessel. The quantity that you have got during the meditation has satisfied you but you are not in a position to hold the excess amount, so it disappears. At that time you feel miserable.
So this happens for one of these two reasons. Either the joy is beyond the capacity of the vessel or impure ideas enter into your aspiring heart and the joy, which is light, cannot last.
Initiation and the Master
Initiation and the MasterThe word initiation is at once sweet and most significant. In India the first thing that one aspirant asks another aspirant is, "Are you initiated?" And then he asks, "Who is your Guru?" If there is no initiation, then the purification of the body, vital, mind, heart and soul will be a painfully slow process. One has to be initiated in order to realise the highest Goal.
The Sanskrit word for initiation is diksha. Diksha means offering, the offering of oneself. The Guru gives the disciple a portion of his life-breath and the disciple gives the Master his soulful promise that to the end of his life he will be totally faithful to the Master and serve the Master unconditionally. In initiation, the Master accepts consciously the lifelong ignorance of the disciple whom he initiates; and the disciple offers to the Master a solemn promise that after he has become purified and transformed, he will be a conscious, devoted, fully surrendered instrument of the Master. The Master during initiation will give him the promise: "I shall make you realise the highest Truth, God." Then the soul of the disciple will make a spiritual promise to the Master: "After I have attained my spiritual perfection I shall manifest your Light, the Light of the Supreme, on earth. You make me perfect in my realisation and I shall fulfil you in your manifestation." The Master finally says, "Whether you manifest me or not, my role is to make you realise the Highest."
If God wants to, he may appear before a seeker during the seeker's meditation or in a vision or a dream. He can take a luminous human form and tell the seeker that He is initiating him or He can give him a mantra. This is direct initiation, but it is very rare. Usually, initiation has to be done by a living Master.
The Upanishads, the sacred scriptures of India, speak of three different ways of initiation. In one kind of initiation, the disciple has to come and prostrate himself before the Master. He must be freshly bathed and clean-shaven. Sometimes he has to practise celibacy for a couple of months or years beforehand. He brings rice, coconuts and a few other traditional things. He also has to give a sacerdotal fee in the form of money or service. Then the disciple sits at the feet of the Guru and the Guru whispers a mantra in his ear. This mantra may be a word or a few words or even a few sentences. Then, according to the traditional way, the Guru touches the forehead, back and heart of the disciple in rhythm with the disciple's heartbeat. The aspirant has to practise this mantra all his life. He has to repeat it sincerely, devotedly and soulfully every day without fail. Along with the mantra, the Guru gives him instruction about how to sit properly for meditation, how to pray and how to worship God. This is the traditional Indian way of giving initiation. Last year in Puerto Rico I initiated a child who was only a few months old in this traditional way. I whispered a particular mantra in her ear and spoke inwardly to her soul in the soul's language and told her what she should do when she grows up. This is the only initiation I have done in that way.In the second method of initiation, the Guru exercises his own inner power to lift up the consciousness of the disciple, no matter what consciousness the disciple may be in at the time. The disciple may be in a very low consciousness or a very high consciousness. But the Guru injects his spiritual power into him and, on the strength of his power, lifts the disciple much higher than he was. I have done this kind of initiation quite a few times.The third way is initiation through compassion. Here the Guru slowly and steadily lifts the disciple up to the highest plane of consciousness through boundless, unconditional compassion. I have done that kind of initiation several times.
A spiritual Master can also initiate a disciple through the eyes or by touching him physically, by blessing him on the head and placing a hand on his heart. I have often used these methods. I have also initiated people occultly from miles away while they were in a very high state of consciousness during meditation in their home. But this I have done only a few times. But whatever approach I use, in each case a portion of my Oneness-Breath with the Supreme I offer to those whom I accept as disciples.
While I was working at the Indian Consulate, I read in The New York Times about a disciple who was initiating twenty or thirty aspirants under the auspices of a certain spiritual teacher. He was giving out mantras and initiating people while smoking a cigarette. This kind of initiation is nothing short of a crime. It is not possible to give one's life-breath while smoking a cigarette and it is not possible to give initiation by proxy. If a disciple is a realised soul, then certainly he can give initiation. But if the Master knows perfectly well that the disciple is not realised and if the disciple himself knows it, then if the Master tells him to go and initiate others it is a terrible mistake. If a Master is thousands of miles away from the seeker, he should initiate him directly on the occult plane. If he cannot do this, then he has no right to call himself a spiritual Master. Initiation by proxy is wrong and worthless.
If a disciple wants to have a conscious initiation, the first thing that is expected of him is humility, utmost humility. Let me tell you a story.Once a seeker went to a spiritual Master and said, "Please initiate me." He was a great seeker, but unfortunately he was quite proud. The Master said, "I am willing to initiate you tomorrow, but you have to bring me something or someone who is less worthy than you."
The seeker was happy. He thought this would be easy, since he felt that there were many people and many things infinitely inferior to him. The following day, he brought a blade of grass to the spiritual Master and said, "Here is a blade of grass. I am sure I am superior to this blade of grass."
The Master said, "You are a fool. Look at this blade of grass: How vast is the heart of this blade of grass! Would you allow anybody to walk on your chest? You would be furious. But this blade of grass allows you to walk on its very heart! This blade of grass is infinitely superior to you. Bring me something else."The seeker was dumbfounded. He thought, "You have played a trick on me. Now I am going to create some embarrassment for you." The next day he took some night-soil to the Master and said, "Undoubtedly this is inferior to me."
But the Master meditated on the night-soil and entered into the very heart of it, finally reaching its source. The source had been a beautiful apple. The apple spoke through the Master: "You are such an ungrateful fellow! When I was so pretty, so beautiful, so charming, so tasty, you took me and devoured me with all your greed. Now look at the transformation of my life: how beautiful I was and how ugly I have become. Who is responsible? You! And who allowed you to devour me? I did, out of my compassion, concern and love for you. So you are not superior!"
This time the seeker realised that there was nobody and nothing on earth which could be really inferior to him. He fell at the feet of the Master and said, "Master, here is the one who is really low. There is nobody on earth as worthless as I am, but please accept me."
The Master said, "Today I am crowning you with initiation because you have become true humility. If you are humble, then your goal is really near. If you are proud and arrogant, then your goal will always remain a far cry."The disciple comes to the Guru and enters into the Guru with what he has and what he is. What do you have? You have a soul. What are you? You are the soul. When you have the feeling that you have a soul and you are the soul, then what you have and what you are, are the same thing. Your achievement is not at all different from what you are. With that understanding, with that knowledge, with that wisdom, if you enter into me, then you are not giving me anything, for at that time you will see and feel your total oneness with me.
You have to feel that what you call yourself is just another name for your Master. A feeling of indivisible oneness must be established between the Guru's consciousness and the disciple's consciousness. You may say that what you have and what you are, you are giving to the Guru. But if you are living inside the Guru, then there is no giving and no taking. There is nothing to give and nothing to take. There is only the feeling of growing inside the Guru's heart.Please stay inside me as long as you can, or I should say, forever. There is no time when your soul need be separated from my consciousness. Remain inside me with what you have and what you are, not in the sense of giving but in the sense of belonging. Feel that you belong to me and I belong to you. Let us sing together the song of oneness.
Question: I have been initiated by a Master, but another Master has given me some advice about my spiritual life. Should I follow his advice?Sri Chinmoy: If you are initiated by a Master, it is always best for you to speak to your own Master. The Master is like your personal doctor. The doctor knows what medicine he has already given you. But if you feel that your doctor cannot cure you, naturally you will go to another doctor. Similarly, if you do not feel confidence in your Master and you want to change Masters, at that time another Master will be able to help you and guide you. But as long as you are under the guidance of one spiritual Master, it is not advisable for you to follow the advice of another Master.
Question: Would the opening of the third eye have to be done by a Master or would we have to do this ourselves?Sri Chinmoy: The opening of the third eye can be expedited both by the Master and also by personal effort. However, it cannot open except by Divine Grace; it is the Grace that actually opens the third eye. The Divine Grace may work through a Master or it may work through you. Your teacher will give you some special exercise or discipline which you will perform and on your part also you have to work. Personal effort is indispensable, but mere personal effort is not enough. The result comes only when the Grace of the Supreme descends. Otherwise it will not be possible to open the third eye.
The help you receive can be from a living Master or a Master who has left the body. If the Master was a great Yogi, when he dies, it is just as if he has left his outer garment or he is living in the next apartment. Realised Masters can come next door at any moment to inspire you and tell you what to do. An ordinary human being dies and he is out of sight, out of mind. But for realised souls, time and space have no effect, nor do they affect you if you have a close connection with a true spiritual Master.
You could try to open the third eye on your own but it would be of no use. Once it opens it can create many problems for you will not be able to control it. It is like having a horse which you cannot keep under control. But if behind personal effort is the Grace of the Divine, then you will see the world, you will become the world and you will be the world.
Question: What advice do you have for a seeker who feels he is not making progress?Sri Chinmoy: If the seeker has a Master, then he has to go to the Master, who is his spiritual doctor. If you are a patient, you go to your own doctor. He knows all about your symptoms and sicknesses, because he has given you medicine quite a few times. He knows you much better than other doctors, for they have not treated you. So your best doctor at that time will be your own Teacher.
Now, if you do not have a Teacher, then it is a different case. Here I wish to advise you that if you do not have a Teacher and you feel you are not making satisfactory progress, then you should try to find a Teacher. A Teacher is the only person who can help you in making inner progress. But if you say, “I don’t have a Teacher, and I don’t need a Teacher, and I want to make progress all by myself,” I wish to say your progress will be very slow.
It is not that if you pray to God all by yourself you will not realise God. He who realised God for the first time on earth didn’t have a human being as a Guru. But in this life everyone has to be wise. If I am in need of knowledge and inner wisdom, and if I find someone who is in a position to teach me — someone who has studied and learned it a few days, a few months or a few years before me — then I feel that there is nothing wrong with taking his help.
A real spiritual Teacher will never claim the seeker’s illumination. I always say that the seeker has a box inside his heart and inside the box is the treasure, but the key has unfortunately been misplaced. The Master shows the disciple how to open the box and then the seeker finds the treasure. Whose treasure is it? It is the seeker’s; the Master has no claim on it whatsoever. The student feels that it is his treasure and he will utilise it. It is like this. Suppose I had something and I have lost it and somebody comes and tells me that he will be able to help me find it. If I am wise, immediately I will take his help and then once I have found it, it is I who will claim it as my very own.
Here we have to know the difference between a school teacher and a spiritual Teacher. The school teacher will give marks according to your merit. If you do well in your studies he will pass you, and if you don’t do well, then he will fail you. But a spiritual Teacher is not like that. He is like a private tutor. He is not going to give you marks. On the contrary, he will teach you privately and secretly so that you can pass your examination when you stand face to face with ignorance-sea.
To come back to your question, if you have a Teacher, please go to the Teacher. He is absolutely the right person to help you. If you do not have a Teacher then you should find one in whom you can have implicit faith. Now if you say you don’t want to have one but you want to make proper progress, then you should at least mix with the disciples of some other Masters. You don’t have to follow any path. If you mix with some seekers who are following a specific path, from them you will get some help, although not abundant or infinite help. If you can make friends with them, their very presence will inspire you and kindle the flame of aspiration within you. Then you will be able to walk or march along your own spiritual path.
Question: There are many Gurus nowadays coming to Europe and America. Are they coming because of the inspiration that they receive from their inner being, or is there a movement there which sent them here?Sri Chinmoy: As there are some sincere seekers and some insincere seekers, similarly, there are some sincere Gurus and some insincere Gurus. The sincere Gurus have been inwardly commanded and guided by God to come and serve Him in the West. The insincere ones come to the West to show off and to collect money in order to lead a most comfortable life. The West is much richer than the East, so they come here to lead a most comfortable life. Deception is there. Insincere Masters come here and tell their students: “Give me thousands of dollars. I will give you realisation.” Once they get money, the false Masters go away. But where is the realisation they promised to their disciples?
If God-realisation could be bought with money, then all rich men would immediately realise God. But it is not like that. For God-realisation you have to cry and cry and cry. The insincere Masters exploit the gullible. But the sincere Masters also play their role.
Palmistry, reincarnation and the dream state
Palmistry, reincarnation and the dream stateThere are one or two disciples who have very short life lines. If a palmist looked at their palms, he would say that they won't live beyond the age of thirty-five. But just because they are connected with the spiritual life, just because they are in our boat, they will definitely live beyond thirty-five. If they leave the boat, then God alone knows. There are one or two whose lives would have ended by now if they weren't in the spiritual life, because of drugs and this and that.
The left hand represents the past. On the left hand you will notice more lines, more marks. The left hand is like the storehouse; the right hand is the showhouse. Usually the lines are transferred from the left hand to the right hand.
We always say that boys have impurity problems and girls have insecurity problems. This is true, as we see in the outer life. But your hands declare something else. Some of the girls, I tell you, have much greater emotional problems than the boys, but the girls keep these problems under control, and subdue them. The boys do not keep them under control.
And one or two individuals I am seeing with tremendous will power. One boy has tremendous will power, but he is not using it at all. It is dormant. In hundreds of ways he could have used it.
You have shown me your marriage lines. Some of the boys and girls here are married. But if they had remained in the outer world, by this time they would have married at least three times. I am not joking. And some of you who would have got married are unmarried. So I am saying how fate can be changed if you follow the spiritual life.
Sometimes it is a matter of luck. Some of the girls have better luck than the boys. The girls will unfortunately not work as hard as the boys, but how far can luck take you? A dollar has dropped. You have not worked for it, but you can use this dollar to go and buy something from the store. The boys will work hard the whole day for one cent. Then gradually, gradually, they will make one dollar and go on, go on. In the girls' case, some of them have very good luck, but those girls do not have consistent determination to go beyond, beyond.
Question: Guru, have you ever had your horoscope drawn up?Sri Chinmoy: I have, but it does not affect me at all. But you would be affected. How many disciples here would have gone to the other world according to the astrologers? According to the astrologers, one disciple would have been in the other world three years ago. I said, "I don't believe it; I know you are not going to die." Now she is still with us. A great astrologer predicted it. Similarly, there are six or seven disciples whose parents were going to die, but they did not.
Out of curiosity some disciples go to the astrologers and the astrologers tell the disciples that they are going to die. Then there is no end. You enter into a tunnel and you cannot get out.
Question: Is it true that we have nightmares when we sleep with our hands on our chest?Sri Chinmoy: If you sleep with your hands on your chest, you will see all kinds of frogs, squirrels and cats in your dreams. When you sleep, sleep either on one side or on your back, but try not to have any pressure on your chest. Otherwise, you may enter into a solid wall, and it is a bad, bad wall. That is the best way. I see occultly that there are some disciples who keep their hands on their chests quite often. This is not at all good. Some disciples sleep for many hours, but they don't sleep well. They should meditate for a few minutes before they go to sleep.
Question: What causes bad dreams?Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes before we go to sleep we eat undivine food. Then, it is not because wrong forces enter us that we have bad dreams, but just because of the food which has entered into our system. If we have wrong thoughts while eating, we may think that it is all over; but it is not. At night those wrong thoughts may create problems. So bad dreams are sometimes caused by food and sometimes they are caused by what we do while we are eating.
Question: I have sometimes awakened in the middle of the night with a strong feeling of elation and joy. Is there something that takes place while we are sleeping that we are not aware of?Sri Chinmoy: If you can remember it, then you are aware of it. If you were not aware of it, you could not have told me about it now. After you had the experience, you came down through various descending rungs of consciousness. Because you are a beginner in the spiritual life, there is no link between the first rung and the rung where you had the experience. If you remain in the physical consciousness during the day, then the experience that you have had in the inner world cannot function properly. The physical consciousness does not have a free access to that particular plane of consciousness where you have had the experience. The physical consciousness must be surcharged with the divine light; then only will it be able to have a free access to all the planes of consciousness.
When you sleep, the soul moves from this plane to that plane like a bird. But if the physical wants to observe what the soul is doing, then the physical has to be moulded and guided by the soul's light. You were conscious at the time, but afterwards you could not bring the experience back because you were not aware of all the stages that exist between that plane and the physical plane. So the best thing is to always try to be conscious and open and to spend more time in meditation. If you right now meditate for one hour a day, then try to spend two hours a day. God has given you twenty-four hours. Out of this time you can spend more time in meditation. In silence you can speak more, in silence you can act more powerfully.
Question: Can the psychic being be damaged? If it is damaged, how can it be brought back into harmony?Sri Chinmoy: Whatever is divine cannot be destroyed, but sometimes the divine in us is covered by ignorance. The psychic body cannot be damaged; it can only be eclipsed like the sun, which at times can be overcast by clouds. But then again the sun peeps through. If we pray, concentrate and meditate soulfully, then the psychic being cannot be eclipsed by human doubt, the cloud.
Question: Will someone who leads a spiritual life in one incarnation choose to have a worldly life in his next incarnation?Sri Chinmoy: If a soul is very spiritually advanced, it will not take an ordinary life, because it has already gone through the ordinary life.
Question: If someone does something extremely well in this incarnation, does this mean that he got this ability from a previous incarnation?Sri Chinmoy: Usually, people who are great in any field in this incarnation were great in that same field in their previous incarnation or in some former life.
Question: Can I ask you something about your previous incarnations?Sri Chinmoy: What have I to do with my previous incarnations? Suppose I know that in my previous incarnation I was a thief. If I tell you people, then I will be exposed, so why should I tell you? A thief will never admit that he is a thief. Again, what if I say that in my previous incarnation I was very, very great and well known? Then you will say, "How is it that in this present incarnation, when you have already reached the age of forty-one, nobody knows of you?" So either way, it does not help at all.
You have to know that you cannot live on yesterday's food. Yesterday if I was good, then today let me aspire to be better, and tomorrow let me aspire to be absolutely the best. And if I feel that yesterday was very bad, unsatisfactory, discouraging and deplorable, then the best thing is to forget about it immediately. The past is dust.
Again, even if the past was satisfactory, in the spiritual life we know that that is not enough. If someone feels that he was very sincere, dedicated and spiritual ten years ago, then he will still want to go farther, deeper and higher. He will feel that until he has realised the Highest, he cannot stop. Suppose you are a very good runner, running forward at top speed. Your goal is ahead of you. You have been running very fast, true, but the moment you look behind, you will fall. So since you know that your goal is ahead of you, you have to continue running the fastest towards your Goal and reach the Goal.
Question: Do spiritual Masters make promises to return to earth until all human beings are realised because they forget what it is like in Heaven when they are on earth?Sri Chinmoy: When they return to Heaven, they see the difference between Heaven and earth. Right now all the previous spiritual Masters are enjoying life in Heaven. While on earth they said that they will come back even if one dog remains unrealised. Now perhaps they feel that all human beings are worse than dogs, so they won't come back.
Here I am joking with you, but actually what bothers spiritual Masters most is earth's ungratefulness and non-acceptance. Ungratefulness they don't mind as much as non-acceptance: this is the earth-consciousness. No matter what one does, people are ungrateful. Although today someone is ungrateful, the spiritual Master hopes that tomorrow he may accept the light. But if tomorrow also he does not accept it, then what can the spiritual Master do?
If I give you something, you may not show gratitude. But if you do offer me your gratitude, then your strength increases, your receptivity increases and your capacity increases. Without gratitude, these things do not increase, and so the next time you just reject it, you throw it away. Then what am I going to do? This non-acceptance is why spiritual Masters do not desire to return to earth.
Question: Do people meditate in Heaven and does their consciousness go up and down?Sri Chinmoy: The souls can meditate there and their consciousness can go very high or it can go up and down to all levels.
Question: If someone is violently killed, does his soul undergo the same suffering as that of someone who has committed suicide?Sir Chinmoy: No, it is not the same. If someone becomes a victim in the war, if someone is violently killed, then what can he do in that case? It is some wrong forces that have killed the person. On the other hand, if somebody destroys his body, he becomes the aggressor; so the victim and the aggressor cannot be in the same category. In Pakistan, many, many millions of spiritual, religious Indians were killed. I had a mentor, an elderly gentleman who was very, very fond of me. He was an authority on Krishna and on the Bhagavad Gita. One day he was in his room explaining some sloka from the Gita to fourteen of his friends and students and three Muslims came in with a revolver. My mentor was praying, thinking of Lord Krishna and explaining things from the Gita. Three Muslims came in and one by one they shot them. Only one person escaped; that is why we know about the incident. So my mentor was killed. Now do you think that his soul will go to the same place as somebody who commits suicide? Even if he had not been thinking of Lord Krishna, he was absolutely innocent.
In India when the husbands died, the wives used to jump in to the burning pyre. Some did it because of their sincere love and oneness with their husbands. Their category is not the same as for those who did it because they were compelled to by law. Sometimes it happened that the wives were pushed into the pyres. They didn't want to die, they were afraid of death, and it was against their will. Again some entered into the burning pyre because they wanted people to think that they loved their husbands. Perhaps the whole time that their husbands were alive they quarrelled and fought. Without any love, the wives entered into the pyre only to escape criticism from the general public. Now, what do you think their fate will be? Will it be the same as that of the wives who entered the pyre out of sincere love and oneness? So here also we have to see from which point of view a thing is being done.
Again, suppose I have committed suicide in this incarnation and I have gone through sufferings and all that. If some spiritual Master saves me, then, even if I have committed suicide, it is all gone: washed away. And again, in my next incarnation, if I start praying and meditating under some spiritual Master, then there is every possibility that I will realise God.
If someone is killed violently, it is not the same as if he has committed suicide. One can easily realise God after a crash or a car accident. Do you think that the soul of that particular person will not have any opportunity to pray again and to realise God?
Question: Recently I was reading excerpts from a Russian writer relating the terrible sufferings of political prisoners under the Stalin regime. What if somebody in that situation committed suicide to end the unbearable sufferings? Would that person have the same punishment as someone who simply takes his own life in a mood of escapism?Sri Chinmoy: It depends on merits and demerits. During the war, how inhumanly and brutally the people in concentration camps were tortured and killed! What if they themselves wanted to destroy their lives because they didn't want to be killed or mercilessly beaten without any rhyme or reason? Here we have to know that there is something called God's dispensation. Let us say that these people are innocent and they are being killed. Or they fought for their lives and lost and now they are being killed. In order not to be killed by the enemy, they may want to destroy themselves.
In India and elsewhere it has happened many times that two warriors are fighting, and one knows definitely that the other one has won and it is a matter of a minute or a second before he will be destroyed. Immediately he will put an end to his life. So here I tell you, his suffering will not be the same as if he had just committed suicide. Many times it has happened when Kings have been arrested and killed, the Queens say, "We don't want to be killed by our enemy. We want to kill ourselves. Since we are destined to be killed by our enemy, the best thing is for us to kill ourselves." You can say it is their sense of prestige that they don't want to be killed by their enemies. But in this case, when people who know they are going to be killed take their own lives, then I tell you, they are always doing the right thing. Again, from a different angle, you have to see if a war is a real divine war or not. Sri Krishna said to Arjuna, "It is your duty to go to war and fight because you have to destroy the undivine forces." At that time it was definite. The Kauravas were undivine and by comparison, the Pandavas were much more divine. Krishna was divine, and Krishna was saying "Fight." Arjuna used all his moral weapons. He said, "I won't fight. I won't fight. They are my brothers and cousins." But Krishna said, "Look, I am giving you divine advice. If you lose the battle because you are fighting for the divine, you will go to Heaven. And if you win, you will be the divine Lord. You will rule divinely… If you conquer the hostile forces, the undivine forces, you will not be an ordinary ruler but a divine ruler. And, even if you fail, just because of your sincere effort, just because you fought bravely against the undivine forces, the compassion, love and pride of the divine will take you directly to Heaven."
But only you have to know whether in this war, the divine will and the divine dispensation is there. If it is the divine will that these people should be destroyed, then if you lose you will go to God in Heaven. I personally feel that when the other party is full of ignorance, it is not the wisdom that is punishing them, it is their poor judgement. They are fools and the ignorance force is destroying them. So why allow the foreign ignorance force to destroy you when you have your own ignorance force? Both are ignorance but in comparison the foreign ignorance force is much more destructive. If you have the capacity to escape, then you should try to escape. Otherwise, if the foreign ignorance force kills you and you are innocent, then, in the inner world the treatment will be much different than if you committed suicide.