Part I — What is purity?
Question: What is purity?Sri Chinmoy: Purity is something that makes us feel that God can never be separated from our true existence. A man of impurity can never claim God with utmost sincerity as his very own. He is only fooling himself if he does so. If somebody has purity in abundant measure, only then will he be able to claim God as his very own with utmost truth and inner conviction.
We must have purity in our entire existence. If we don't have purity, we cannot expand ourselves. Purity alone can solve ninety-nine percent of the problems of our existence.
We feel that purity is something very delicate and feminine, which we can crush. But purity is neither delicate nor feminine. It is something solid, dynamic and powerful. When we are aware of the dynamic quality of purity, we can really create a new life at every moment of our earthly existence.
There can be nothing more important than purity in our inner life of aspiration. This purity has to come from the soul and it has to live permanently in the heart. Then, from the heart it has to enter into the mind and remain there permanently. From the mind purity has to enter into the vital. There the need for purity is most essential. If there is no purity in the vital, then no divine qualities can work permanently in our nature. If one wants to have peace, light, bliss and power in one's consciousness permanently, then purity is absolutely essential.
Question: Could you name some impurities? Do they affect us outwardly as well as inwardly?Sri Chinmoy: Doubt, insincerity, fear, anxiety, jealousy, attachment and all other imperfections or limitations are impurities. But the worst impurity is doubt or a negative way of thinking. If you think: "I cannot do the right thing. I cannot think of God. I cannot meditate on God. I cannot tell the truth," you are cherishing the worst possible impurity. Always you have to see the light in a positive way. Right now I can say that I need light. I have light in infinitesimal measure; but if I say, "I don't have any light at all! I am all darkness," then I am doubting and blighting myself. Also, if I say this, I am expressing false modesty. False modesty is bad. You know at the back of your mind that you are quite a bit better than you say, but by being modest you are trying to gain some other's approval. Any type of insincerity will never lead us to God-realisation.
Every day we think and act. Action can never be separated from our inner way of understanding. When we have something inside we inevitably exhibit it outside in some way. If I have insincerity inside, I will show it outside: I will take shelter in the house of insincerity. But if I have sincerity inside, then I will take shelter in the house of sincerity. Impurity includes insincerity, doubt and all other negative ways of thinking and it is bound to affect both our outer behaviour and our inner progress.
Question: What is the highest kind of purity I can aspire to?Sri Chinmoy: Purity in the physical. The lower physical and the emotional vital below the navel have to be purified totally. Human beings have purity to some extent in the heart. In the mind the quantity is very small. In the vital, purity is totally mixed with impurity. There dynamism and aggression play together, but aggression is impurity and dynamism is purity. Below the vital is the physical. There, because of inertia and sloth, darkness reigns supreme. And where there is darkness, you can rest assured that impurity is the lord.
You have to aspire for purity in the gross physical. How can you do it? It is through constant elevating prayer and constant inner cry for light. Light and darkness cannot stay together; it is impossible. Similarly, purity and impurity cannot stay together. When you pray for purity you have to feel that what you actually need is light. And you must not just repeat the word "purity" like a parrot. You should meditate on the transcendental Light. When light descends into your emotional vital and physical body, then automatically, spontaneously, the light will purify the conscious, the superconscious and the unconscious or lower worlds within you.
Please pray for and meditate on the inner light, the higher light, so that light can enter into your system and illumine you. First it will purify and then it will illumine your consciousness, which is now unconsciously expressing the physical truth: the world of temptation, frustration and destruction. You should try always to invoke light in the unaspiring body. The heart is aspiring, so you do not have to worry about it right now. It is the physical in you that needs radical transformation and for that what you need is physical purity. Purity in the physical can be established only by bringing down light from above into the physical and lower vital consciousness, especially below the navel centre.
Question: Is it possible for a person to become unintentionally involved in the vibrations of someone who is impure?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it is quite possible. In spite of being absolutely pure oneself, one can become a victim of others' impurity. What actually happens is that the person who has purity does not have enough inner strength to prevent others' impurity from entering into his system. That is why spiritual teachers very often tell aspirants not to mix with the outside world, with people who are not pure. The aspirants may be absolutely pure themselves, but if in addition they are not very strong, then they are helpless. Their purity can be torn to pieces like a rose. The rose is beautiful to look at, for it is the embodiment of purity. But if someone wants to, he can easily tear the rose to pieces.
In our day-to-day life we very often come across people and places that are very impure. While walking along the street a spiritual person may sense tremendous impurity at a particular spot where an ordinary person may not notice anything at all. To an ordinary person all places are practically the same. But a spiritual person knows that purity and impurity vary tremendously from place to place and from person to person. So what you are saying is absolutely true. One can easily be attacked by the impurity of others. The only way to prevent this is by energising ourselves with our soul's power. The soul's power is always alert and can easily come to our aid.
Part II — Purity in the various parts of the being
Question: On what part of our being should we meditate for purity?Sri Chinmoy: There is no hard and fast rule about where we should meditate for purity. Some of us should meditate for purity in the mind some should meditate on the vital or on the body; some should meditate on the entire being. Meditating on the entire being means that if we meditate for half an hour, within this half hour we try to meditate for five minutes on the heart. In this way purity will be established in the whole being. We need to invoke purity through aspiration and meditation on the physical, the vital and the mind. After that the heart and the soul are left. The soul is always pure; the heart can be impure at times, when the impurity of the vital has captured it. But the heart has boundless purity when it has a free access to the soul's purity. The light of the soul must be brought into the heart as often as possible.
After we establish purity in the physical, we have to feel that this purity must be made lasting. For a month we may be absolutely pure in our mind, in our vital and in our physical, but if there is no permanence, after a while this purity will be totally lost. We have to get something everlasting. First we get a temporary taste of purity. If we get purity for five minutes, then we know that purity exists. Then when this purity goes away after a few days or a few hours, we feel a barren desert within us. If we want purity permanently, we have to enter wholeheartedly into the life of aspiration. If we want to have something lasting we have to meditate on the soul, not to purify the soul, but to spread the light of the soul to all parts of our being. When we meditate on the soul we have to pray to the Inner Pilot or to our soul to give us lasting purity in the heart. We bring the soul's purity into the heart and from there it enters into the mind. After that it enters into the vital and then into the body. First we start with a temporary glimpse of purity. Once we get a little purity, then we are inspired, energised. We see that we have got something real, although it may not be permanent. Even the purity which is transient will give us joy. Then we will try to get more joy by achieving something permanent. If we start our lessons with something easy, then we get inspiration and we make progress step by step. But if somebody starts offering us the lessons of a college student when we are still in kindergarten, naturally we will be frightened, disheartened and totally lost. First we have to try to work on problems which are easy; then we use the capacity of our achievement to work on more difficult ones. When we solve the easy problems we will get joy. Our joy makes us ready for the difficult problems.
Question: How important is the body's cleanliness?Sri Chinmoy: Physical purity is of paramount importance. Some spiritual people neglect physical cleanliness. They don't feel that it is important. But we care for the physical because we feel it is in the physical that the soul lives and because the fulfilment of the Divine Mission can only take place on earth in and through the physical body. Therefore, we have to keep the body pure. When we have established purity in all parts of our nature, only then can the divine power last permanently in us.
Question: How can I separate myself from my physical desires?Sri Chinmoy: First of all, since you have accepted the spiritual life, you have to ask yourself whether desire satisfies and fulfils you, or not. In your inner being you will feel that it neither satisfies nor fulfils you. Before you actually desire, you have in mind the object or fruit of your desire, and you think that when you attain that object, you will be happy. Unfortunately, what you eventually get is frustration. If you can feel this result before you actually desire, then you can easily turn your life away from desire.
When you are in the ordinary world, you imagine the fulfilment of desire in the form of satisfaction. That is why you get some happiness from trying to fulfil your desires. But when you enter into physical or lower vital desire with your mind, you are caught. You enter into the very jaws of a devouring tiger. When you concentrate on desire, you can feel inwardly that in the beginning there is no light, in the end there is no light and in the middle there is no light. There is only darkness from the beginning to the end and darkness means the absence of divine satisfaction.
For a seeker, aspiration is the most necessary thing on earth. But for an unaspiring person, desire is the most coveted thing on earth. You have to feel that what you want is aspiration and not desire. An ordinary, unaspiring, or even a morally-minded person will need desire because he does not yet have the capacity to go beyond the boundaries of pleasure. But he who wallows in the mire of desire will sooner or later feel that inside desire is frustration and inside this frustration is destruction.
For the sincere seeker, divine satisfaction looms large inside aspiration. The moment one begins to aspire he feels true satisfaction. This true satisfaction comes because aspiration has the capacity to identify itself consciously and soulfully with the farthest corner of the globe, with the deepest and inmost being and with the highest transcendental Self. If you feel the real necessity of aspiration you will see that physical, vital and mental desires will stop knocking at your heart's door.
At every moment you have to aim at your goal. If you want to concentrate and meditate on the sun as it rises early in the morning, then you have to face the east, and not some other direction. If you are looking toward the west and running toward the east you will stumble. If you want to be certain of your goal of God-realisation, then you will not look behind you or around you, but only toward the light. You can conquer your physical desires only by running towards the light. Don't think of your physical desires, but think of your aspiration. You have twenty-four hours at your disposal each day. If you spend half an hour, an hour or two hours thinking of physical desires, then be fully prepared to spend at least three times as much time in conscious aspiration. Otherwise you will not be able to make much progress. Be an inner runner and always try to surpass all obstacles that stand in your way. If you run forward with one-pointed determination, limitations and desires will fade away from your life. Aspiration is the only answer. Cry. For outer things you cry; for inner things you can also cry. If you can cry sincerely, you can fly spiritually.
When I think, I sink.
When I choose, I lose.
When I cry, I fly.
Question: You said that we must keep divine thoughts in our mind, not undivine thoughts. How do we know which are divine thoughts?Sri Chinmoy: When we have divine thoughts our consciousness immediately expands; we enlarge our consciousness. When we have undivine thoughts, we bind ourselves. When we say 'I, my and mine', we bind ourselves. These are human or non-divine thoughts. But when we have divine thoughts immediately we say 'we'. At that time, if we ask ourselves, "Where is this feeling of oneness for humanity coming from?", we will realise that it is coming from our Source, which is infinite Light, or God.
Each time you get a thought, each time any idea enters into your mind, please try to see if the thought is expanding your consciousness or binding you. When any thought or emotion comes, please try to enter into it and see if it is instigating you to possess something or someone. If it is, you must feel that it is an undivine thought. When we try to possess someone, we suddenly discover that we are already possessed. But if it is a divine thought, we will not try to possess anybody; we will try to illumine and liberate every one, because the divine is boundless, infinite.
Question: Although I am a human being and not an animal, sometimes it seems almost impossible for me to purify my vital life as you say I should.Sri Chinmoy: We see that animals are full of passion and desire and that we do not act the way animals do. Although we are still half animal, we feel that we are superior to animals. But when we go deep within, we see jealousy, doubt, inertia and anxiety inside us. Therefore, spiritual people do not look down upon animals or other human beings. They say, "Ten or fifteen years ago, or in a past incarnation, I was also obscure and unlit; I also had all kinds of desires and passions."
A spiritual Master sees his own past, present and future. He consciously knows that once upon a time he was also in the same difficulties that his disciples are in now. He is conscious of his weaknesses of two or four or six incarnations ago. He knows that for his disciples, desires are very difficult to overcome, and he shows them compassion on the strength of his identification with them. But his compassion will not wait indefinitely. His compassion will act dynamically. He will tell his disciples, "Look, here is the path. Hundreds of years ago I started aspiring and now I have reached the goal. Now you people also start aspiring. You will also reach the goal."
A Master will not ask his disciples to do something that they cannot do. If he tells a disciple, "You have to control your sense pleasure; you have to put an end to the sense life," he knows that this disciple, despite his worst propensities, has the capacity to do this. He knows that this disciple is really ready to enter wholeheartedly into the real spiritual life and attain Infinity, Eternity and Immortality.
Question: I really feel that I need purity in the mind, so I started doing japa in the morning. But after a few hundred times it is agony for me.Sri Chinmoy: In India I had malaria. It is a most painful disease. There is not a single part of the body where you don't feel unbearable pain when you have malaria. The medicine is quinine, which is terribly bitter. I suffered very badly from the pain of the disease and the medicine itself was also unbearably painful. But the medicine cured me and my fever went away. If you don't have purity in the mind you will feel miserable. Japa is an antidote. One thorn is inside you and another is required to take it out. When that second thorn touches the thorn that is inside, it creates tremendous pain even though it is trying its best to cure you. But when it finally succeeds you get all joy. So if you feel that japa is painful, you have to remember that this pain will last only a few minutes, whereas the pain of your mental impurity will last for years. Medicine is not always sweet, but if you don't take the medicine, the disease will not be cured.
Question: What is the psychic being, and what is its role in our spiritual life?Sri Chinmoy: Everything has a soul. There is a soul in this wall, in this table, in everything. Everywhere you can see the presence of the soul. But the psychic being exists only in human beings. You cannot see a psychic being in a material object or in an animal.
The psychic being is the immortal child within us. It is the representative of our soul. The psychic being has the infinite capacity to lead us into the highest, into the purest, into Eternity. The psychic being is inside our heart. It is all purity, all light and all delight. First we get a glimpse of this psychic being, then gradually we enter into its domain. Finally, we play with the psychic being and talk with it. All the things we can do with earthly children we can do with the psychic being. When we feel our oneness with our psychic being, this makes us feel not only that we are the true children of God but also that without exception we will one day realise God and become God. That is what we get from the psychic being.
Question: What are the predominant qualities of the body, vital and mind?Sri Chinmoy: The unlit physical likes to remain idle. The very nature of the physical is to be inactive. The unlit vital is aggressive. It likes to show off its power. And the unlit mind doubts and suspects everybody and everything.If we accept the spiritual life, the body has to be active. Even if it runs in the wrong direction at first, at least there should be some movement. The body has to be energetic, but not restless. Otherwise, although the physical body itself may not sleep twenty-four hours a day, the body-consciousness will be sleeping. An aspiring body is an active and energetic body. We are fast asleep when we are not aspiring.
The vital has to become dynamic instead of aggressive. It should try to energise and inspire others, instead of trying to control or destroy others. It should say to others "Don't waste your precious time. Get up and do something good for yourself or for humanity."
The clear, pure, divine mind, the mind which is illumined by the soul's light, will become vast. It will say, "I cannot be bound by anything; I will not suspect anybody; I will not belittle anybody. On the contrary, I shall expand my own consciousness and help others to expand their consciousness.
If we practice the spiritual life, we get this kind of active body, dynamic vital and illumined mind. If we do not accept the spiritual life, we have to be satisfied with a body which is fast asleep, with a vital which is aggressive and destructive and with a mind which is limited and which wants to doubt, criticise and suspect itself and the entire world.
Question: How can we purify ourselves?Sri Chinmoy: There are various ways to purify ourselves. To begin with, we have to use a systematic way of breathing. When we breathe in, we have to feel that we are breathing in nothing but purity. It is not our mental imagination; it is the actual feeling that the air that we are breathing is nothing but purity. When purity enters, it is like a current going from the sole of the feet to the crown of the head. Everything inside is being purified by this current. If we want to go further with this purification, we can establish purity not only in our nerve centres, but also in all the rest of our physical existence. If we repeat the name of the Supreme five hundred times today, and increase the number by one hundred every day, until we reach twelve hundred, and then from twelve hundred decrease the number by one hundred every day until we come back to five hundred, we will see that not only our subtle nerves and our internal organs but also our whole outer body will be purified. Our very existence will be surcharged with purity. It is not necessary to use the word 'Supreme'. Some aspirants who have practised this method of attaining purity have achieved wonderful results by repeating the word 'God' or 'Christ'. Inner purity also depends to some extent on outer cleanliness. If we have something divine within ourselves, then in the outer life we should also try to have that same divine quality. Sometimes we do see people who are outwardly very crude and unclean but who have fine, high souls, even God-realised souls. But for a sincere spiritual aspirant, inside and outside should be the same. Outer beauty should enter into inner beauty and inner beauty should enter into outer beauty. We should try to have cleanliness, which is outer purity. We should shower or bathe daily, and while doing this we should feel consciously not only that we are getting cleanliness but also that actual purification of the outer body is taking place.
It is quite easy to make the physical outwardly pure. But the vital and the mind must also be purified. The vital can be purified only through inner aspiration. The mind can be purified by cherishing only those thoughts that expand. A thought that binds us can never be pure. If a thought expands from the individual to humanity to the entire universe, it immediately makes us purer. The more we can expand, the easier it is for us to get purity. When purity is suppressed, it loses its existence; but when purity is extended, it increases its power. In order to have vital and mental purity, we should examine our inner feelings, inner thoughts and inner ideas. As soon as a thought enters our mind, we have to see whether or not it is a pure thought. An impure thought not only binds us, but its own capacity is very limited. Although it is destructive, the destruction that it causes is limited. A pure thought is a thought that expands itself and our consciousness. It has boundless power.
There is one more process by which we can purify our spiritual nerves and that is through illumination and transformation. How can we illumine these subtle nerves? Through aspiration. How can we transform them? Through ever-increasing illumination. Aspiration is like a mounting flame climbing to the highest. As it climbs, it illumines our darkness, impurity and everything in us that has to be transformed. With aspiration's mounting flame deep inside us, we can purify our entire inner and our outer existence. Aspiration is the most powerful, direct and effective method to illumine our darkness and to endow us with purity. For aspiration we have to concentrate and meditate. If we concentrate and meditate, our aspiration will grow dynamically inside us. In order to achieve purification we enter into the world of aspiration. It is aspiration that can take us to the highest, to the deepest, to the farthest. Aspiration can create miracles in us at every second.
Part III — Purity in the vital
Question: What Is the vital?Sri Chinmoy: The navel area is the vital region and below the navel is the lower vital region which houses the sex forces.
Question: Does that mean that whenever we feel anything from the lower region it is the vital?Sri Chinmoy: It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the heart and the vital. Sometimes the lower vital movements come forward and enter into the heart. Sometimes the heart's sweetest joy and light enter into the vital in order to transform it. Before it is transformed, the vital is all impurity. But once abundant purity enters into it, it is all divinely dynamic energy.
Question: What is a vital demand?Sri Chinmoy: Usually a vital demand comes from a very low plane of consciousness. This plane is unlit, impure, frightening and threatening. It tempts us to lead a very undivine and corrupted life. Those who lead this kind of life should feel that their hour has not yet struck. Further, a vital demand is always destructive. It does not embody any light and at the same time it does not care for light.
Question: I find it very difficult to control the senses. Is this an inner or an outer conflict?Sri Chinmoy: The conflict is within, but we can control the senses. By suppressing the senses we will never be able to control them permanently. Suppression can allow us to control the senses temporarily, but ultimately we have to transcend the senses.
Transcend is a very big word. How can we transcend desire or the life of the senses? We can do it through aspiration. We have to know the meaning of these two words. If we live in aspiration, which goes up, up, up, it will take us up with it. Then automatically the senses will be purified and will be under control; the senses or emotions will be transcended. But if we live in constant desires, then what happens? The senses come to the fore, hungry to be fed. We have millions of ordinary silly desires, which we try to fulfil. If the senses get nourishment they become more powerful and we are caught by them. Then we can never transcend them. If we feed them all the time, how can we control them?
But by suppression alone what are we doing? We are taking the negative path. We are trying to conquer the senses by force. But we can never get joy either in our own life or in the lives of others by using force. By beating or striking our vital desires we can never get joy. Only by pouring illumination into them can we get real joy. The senses can be brought under control only by being transformed and there is only one way to transform them. It is through constant sincere aspiration. This is the only way.
Question: Whenever I see a beautiful woman, sex thoughts enter my mind. I try to destroy them, but they persist.Sri Chinmoy: There are two ways to solve this problem. As soon as you see a beautiful woman just try to lift her entire body up into the sky with your will. Look at her and concentrate and lift her up so that like a kite she is flying. The other way, the easiest way, is when you see a woman to look only at her feet. Indian sadhus say to look only at the feet, not at the eyes, not at the face. Look at the feet if you want immediate release from temptation. Look at the feet and then try with your whole consciousness to go deep within. This takes only a second. Either lift this woman up or look at her feet. Then immediately lower vital thoughts have to be controlled. Many have done it and have been very successful. There was a great Indian avatar named Sri Chaitanya. He used to tell all his disciples, "Even if it is your mother, don't look at her eyes; just look at her feet."
But these methods are only for beginners. A day will come when you will have to look at women with your eyes open and, with your inner experiences, with your own inner realisation, go beyond the feeling of man and woman. There is it only one universal Consciousness; there is no masculine, no feminine. There is only one consciousness flowing in two different forms. This feeling can be developed only with our own inner development. It is a very advanced state. Right now perhaps we don't even feel oneness with our limbs. If I can throw a shotput farther with my right hand than with my left hand, I give more importance to my right hand and I ignore my left hand. I have seen many athletes who curse their left hand because they need the help of the left hand even though it is not as powerful as the right. If we cannot feel oneness even with our own two hands, how can we be one with another person? With aspiration and with our inner spiritual development the whole creation becomes ours. At that time there is no difficulty.
Question: Why have you come to America? Americans are all indulging in sexuality. Americans are all animals. Why have you come to America to help these people with your spiritual light?Sri Chinmoy: Is India above sex? I don't think the population would be so large if there were no sexuality in India. You have condemned American life, but who has compelled you to stay here? You can go back to India if the vital life of Americans is disturbing you.
Sex life right now is almost a universal necessity. It is not only an American problem or Indian problem or a European problem. If one wants to transcend it, there is a way: it is aspiration. But one has no right to hate or condemn America exclusively. If this is a disease, it is a universal disease. If it is a necessity, it is a universal necessity for these who have not consciously begun to to transcend their imperfections and limitations. India's great Swami Vivekananda also had the idea that Americans were not at all pure, that they were all animals. But Vivekananda came to America to the Parliament of Religions in Chicago, and it was America who accepted his light first, while India did not recognise him.
Purification and aspiration must go together side by side. If you want to wait for purification before you start your aspiration, then you will have to wait for eternity. Nobody is pure until he has made himself pure through his soulful aspiration. If an individual believes that he has to be pure before he can dare to utter the name of God, he is wrong. Only when he utters the name of God does he get a little purity. Once he has purity, if he repeats the name of God, at that time his aspiration will become deeper and more intense. Aspiration and purification go together. Aspiration increases purity and purity increases aspiration. It is a mutual service.
Question: Could you talk about sexual abstention in terms of getting to a higher consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: 'Higher consciousness' is a vague term. If somebody says, "This is my higher consciousness," a second person will say, "My higher consciousness is infinitely higher than that." A third person will say, "Oh, that is all low consciousness in my view. When I see your highest consciousness, I see that it is equal to my lowest consciousness." Let us use the word 'aspiration' instead.
In our aspiration we have to know what our goal is. We have to know how high we want to go. For a child, a few feet is very high, but for a grown-up it is quite low, and for a pilot in an airplane it is no height at all. When our aspiration mounts, it goes infinitely higher than any airplane can go. If we want to lead an ordinary life and have just a little aspiration, we can do so. Those who have a little aspiration are better than those who have none at all, because at least they are trying to get a little light. For some time they remain in light and for some time they remain in darkness. They are just like babies. Their capacity is very limited. But again, there are people who want to remain in light twenty-four hours a day. For those who want to touch the Highest, physical abstinence is necessary. For everything we have to pay some price. The higher we go with our aspiration, the greater is our delight. The aspirant has to know what he wants. If his ultimate goal is the Highest, then gradually he has to give up the sex life. But if he stops the sex life all at once, he will be doomed. Inner purification has to be accomplished gradually.
If we have done something for many years and we stop it all at once, this sudden change may tell upon our health. But if we do it gradually, then it will not affect us. For centuries in many previous incarnations we have indulged in sex. Then we start aspiring and want to go to the Highest.
When we get inner experiences our entire being will be flooded with delight and ecstasy. Then we will see the difference between the physical life and the spiritual life, between real food and clay. When we were children we used to eat mud, dirt, rocks and all kinds of undivine things. At that time we thought it was most delicious food. But when we grow up we eat only proper food. Similarly when we are children in the spiritual life we also enjoy undivine things. But when we grow up we see that these enjoyments are all impure and undivine. At that time we are ready to give them up.
Question: If everyone followed the spiritual path they would reach a time when they would give up their sexual lives. If everybody did that, there would be no more incarnations!Sri Chinmoy: How do you know there would be no more incarnations? You are wrong because unfortunately you have not entered into the soul's region.
Human procreation is one way to bring human life to earth. You are under the impression that if everyone stopped his sex life, no souls would be able to enter into the world. Unfortunately, you do not know that there are many souls in the vital world, in the intuitive world, and in other worlds which could come without that process. The spiritual Masters are seeing this in the inner worlds. These souls will take human form without going through the ordinary process. In a few hundred years you yourself will see this happening.
You know that once upon a time we were all in the animal kingdom. We were every kind of animal. But now that we have all become human beings, are all the animals gone? No! We have become human beings, but still we see animals all around us. Our evolution has progressed very far, and we are now in the process of realising God. But there are people who realised God thousands of years ago and who are now divinised supermen, transformed beings. When they come into the world you can see the same sort of difference between them and ordinary people who are not aspiring, as we can see between ourselves and the animals we once were. If a realised person showed his inner world to you, his inner Peace, inner Light and inner Power, then you would see an immeasurable difference between yourself and him.
In the future, souls will descend into the world without going through the process of human procreation. God's ever-transcending creation will never come to an end. If you had been able to enter into the highest kind of meditation, you would have been able to envision the future and see how souls will come down to earth in the future. Now you have made progress; you are a human being. But once upon a time you were an animal. The unimaginable difference between an animal and a human being is something like the difference you will see between the human beings who are on earth today and the divine men who will live on earth in the future.
Question: The analyst tells us that if we can bring our sex desires to the surface and express them we can become emotionally mature. But spiritual teachers say that sex desire stands in the way of inner growth. Who is right?Sri Chinmoy: Freud claimed that sex was in practically all relationships, beginning with the infant-mother relationship. I do not agree with this. Freud failed to notice the sweet purity and self-giving quality of genuine mother love. Although Freud was a pioneer in his field, others have gone much further both during his time and since then. One of his colleagues, Carl Jung, disagreed with Freud's limited view. Jung placed more emphasis on the blossoming of the soul, the flower within. He said that in the soul lies intuition, the psyche and the promptings of the unconscious with its accumulated knowledge and experience of many lifetimes. The soul is the source of healing and inner growth and is in direct touch with the wisdom of the Beyond.
It is foolish to try to reduce all human and divine impulses to the so-called sex drive. When we enter into the spiritual life, our aspiration alone can feed and sustain us, bringing the light of consciousness into our life. Then we react differently to all experiences. Life's occurrences are seen consciously in the light of the soul, instead of looming up as problems constantly to be solved.
Question: I have been told by my spiritual Master that vital enjoyment and the spiritual life can go together. But I find that when I follow this philosophy my meditation as absolutely rotten. How can vital enjoyment and meditation go together?Sri Chinmoy: You must ask your Guru to help you solve this problem. Perhaps you do not understand what he meant by enjoyment. You should write to him or ask some spiritual brother of yours in whom you have faith, what his philosophy actually says concerning vital enjoyment. Since you are his disciple you should follow his path and his philosophy. If you find that your Master's philosophy does in fact allow this kind of vital enjoyment, and you still feel that you cannot reach fulfillment by following it, then you should leave the Master's path and find one which can lead you farther in your spiritual life.
Question: Sometimes I feel as if am two conflicting persons. Can you please explain this feeling?Sri Chinmoy: Each individual has two beings: the demanding vital and the surrendering heart. A conflict between the two is happening daily in you. At the end of the day, if you are conscious, you will know how many times you consciously took the side of the heart and how many times you took the side of the vital.
Part IV — Emotion
Question: Is there any difference between emotion and the vital?Sri Chinmoy: Emotion and the vital are two different things. You can say that the vital is the house and in that house emotion is the tenant. The most predominant emotion is the vital emotion. But emotion can also be in the body, in the mind and in the heart. Emotion in the body usually degrades our consciousness. Emotion in the impure heart blinds and binds us, while emotion in the pure heart illumines us and liberates us. In the mind there is some emotion, but the mind is by nature dry and it does not have the kind of exuberant or uncontrolled, childlike or childish emotion of the vital. When we say, "He is an emotional fellow," we are referring to his undisciplined and unillumined vital emotion. This emotion usually originates in the two centres below the navel centre.
Some of you disappoint me very badly with your emotional vital problems. Please try to purify your vital world. I will be most proud of each of you the moment I see the purification of your vital. I shall be bloated with divine pride that my spiritual children are really pure.
If there is no effort to transform the vital emotional life into the purest spiritual life, then all your spiritual activities will be a kind of self-deception, and in self-deception there is no God-realisation. Many so-called aspirants feel that they can deceive their spiritual Master. They pretend to be the purest virgins and the most complete celibates. But God has given the true spiritual Masters a third eye which is fully open. They are always aware of the aspirants' imperfections and shortcomings.
If you can transform your vital emotions into divine joy, this divine emotion is not bad. When you use your emotions for enjoyment or self-indulgence, then you are ruining your inner life. But if you use it for inner determination, for self-liberation, then emotion is the strongest power in you. Please use it in this way, as your inner assistant.
Question: Is it wrong for spiritual aspirants to demonstrate their affection for each other physically in public?Sri Chinmoy: The display of emotions in public can lead to serious problems for spiritual aspirants. You may feel that your consciousness is very high at all times, but the consciousness of your brother and sister aspirants may not be as high as yours. You have no right to create undivine thoughts in their minds by your conduct. You have every right to do anything you wish in private, but when in public you should also keep the rights of others in mind. Whether your consciousness is on the highest plane or not is for God to judge. But your behaviour may make it difficult for others who are observing you to keep their consciousness high. If they have an iota of aspiration, your demonstrative behaviour may make their aspiration descend. We have come into the world to inspire others. If their aspiration descends because of us then we are committing a real crime against their souls. If you feel that your emotions are pure enough, then do whatever you wish to do in private.
Sometimes others may complain about your conduct because you are doing something which they themselves want to do, but which they don't dare to do. In this case, they are complaining out of jealousy. But in some people's cases no jealousy is involved. They are simply weak; they are not yet strong or solid in their aspiration, so their consciousness and their aspiration descend when they see their friends kissing or embracing, or even just touching each other. A young boy may be struggling to control his vital life, and although you may be superior to him, you can lower his consciousness and re-awaken his lower vital. This is very bad on your part. If something you do decreases the inspiration and aspiration of some of your spiritual brothers and sisters, then you should stop doing it out of the kindness, love and consideration which you feel for them.
The physical exchange of love between girls is most unhealthy, and the same is true for boys; also, when husbands display affection for other women, or when wives display affection for other men.
Question: Should we try to help other people with their emotional problems?Sri Chinmoy: A disciple of mine who was a psychologist once tried to help two women with their emotional problems. One wanted to commit suicide and the other wanted to leave her husband. What happened? While he was attempting to cure their vital weaknesses, he was attacked and caught by their lower vital forces.
Who had asked him to help them? Only his own ego. The women did not come to him for his solution to their lower vital, sex problems but for help with their worries and anxieties. Some persons are sincere in their attempts to help others, but they do not know that the moment they try to help and cure someone, the entire imperfection of the patient comes and attacks them. Then they are lost, totally lost. Fortunately, this disciple was sincere enough. He came to me with both the patients and now all the problems are solved.
Question: Sometimes when I stand next to certain people I feel a great warmth and energy exchange, a merging of hearts, as it seems, and a certain degree of excitement. Is this something that I should be cautious of or something that I should throw myself into, or should I just let it happen as it will happen?Sri Chinmoy: The expansion of the heart is very good, very necessary. But we have to know that sometimes what we are expanding is our lower vital instead of our heart. When you have this experience that you are describing, please be very conscious. Expansion of the heart, the psychic heart, the pure heart, is very good. But very often the impure vital comes to the fore instead.
Question: How are we to combat the obscure, dark emotions which wrack the world today?Sri Chinmoy: There is only one way to deal with these. We must feel that the world is not around us or in front of us, but deep within us; therefore, we have to try to achieve our own purification and the transformation of our nature. The more we are inwardly purified and transformed, the sooner the world's transformation will take place.
Question: When we feel joyful most of the time, does that mean God is pleased with us?Sri Chinmoy: If we are pleased and happy, God is pleased. But we have to know whether we are experiencing real happiness or not. Sometimes we are tricky people. We get pleasure when we exchange all kinds of vital gossip with our friends. We become jealous of someone and when that person fails, we get malicious pleasure. We have to be careful of this impure joy. We have to know whether we are experiencing pleasure or pure joy. Real joy means immediate expansion. If we experience pure joy, immediately our heart will expand We will really spread our wings, and we will feel that we are flying in the divine freedom-sky. The entire length and breadth of the world becomes ours, not for us to rule over, but as an expansion of our consciousness We become reality and vastness. But if it is only vital pleasure, then the vital will gain a kind of strength. We will become like an elephant and will feel that we can trample the whole world.
When we separate ourselves from an individual who has done something wrong and derive satisfaction from it, this is our feeling of superiority coming to the fore. Only when we have the true feeling of inner oneness do we become one with vastness itself. Then no fear, no doubt, no jealousy, no anxiety, no limitations enter into us.
If we are experiencing real joy we can feel that God is pleased with us. God's greatest achievement is our joy. When we are unhappy, miserable and depressed, we are housing undivine, hostile forces. But when we are really happy we can feel that we are giving something to God. God's deepest joy is in receiving this gift from us.
Question: How can I express love and manifest love in the physical world?Sri Chinmoy: If you want to express and manifest divine love in the physical world, you have to use your spiritual will power. This will power is not aggressive; it is all surrender. On the strength of your conscious oneness with the Supreme's Will, you will be able to bring forward your spiritual will power. When it is sanctioned by the Supreme, automatically and spontaneously you will have a way to use your divine will power to express love for humanity. When you really possess this divine will power, then even in your unconscious movements your pure love will radiate. Those around you will undoubtedly feel the divine love and get the utmost benefit from your divine presence.
Also, you can express and manifest love in the physical world through your pure meditation. When you are in your deepest meditation try to feel your purest love. Then think of the person that you love. By concentrating on him you can inject your pure divine love into him. By looking at a person with the eyes of your soul, you can manifest love in the physical world.
Part V — Desire
Question: Are we on earth just to desire? Is desire the only necessity?Sri Chinmoy: There are two reasons why we are on earth: one is to desire and the other is to aspire. We have to begin our journey with desire and we have to end our journey with aspiration. It is not possible to start with aspiration. Each time we take human incarnation we start our journey with desire. When we are young most of us become victims of desire. Later, we see the need for aspiration and we launch into the spiritual life.What is the difference between desire and aspiration? Desire binds us. We always desire more and more and more. If we have one dollar, we will try to get two dollars. But this expansion is done in ignorance and darkness, so we are ultimately bound by our own desire. Even if we have ten houses we will not have any inner satisfaction. We will be bound by our possessions. But when we aspire we pray for Light, Peace, Bliss and Power. Each prayer is an expansion of our inner freedom. In the world of desire expansion has its limit, but in the world of aspiration there is no limit. From all the divine qualities which we attain, we get freedom in abundant measure.
In human existence we find both desire and aspiration. We cannot put desire on the same footing as aspiration, for they are totally different things. In desire there is always tension, fear and anxiety. We desire something, but at the same time we feel that our desire will not be fulfilled because we are unworthy. But aspiration is a great joy and a great delight. While we are still on earth we have to be aware of what we are striving for, whether it is the expansion of our consciousness or the aggrandisement of our ego. The sleeping human being will desire while the awakened human being will aspire. The necessity for desire will exist on earth as long as we care for the world more than we care for Infinity, Eternity and Immortality.
Desire and aspiration are both operating on earth. But a day will come when the whole world will be transformed. At that time there will be no necessity for either desire or aspiration. There will be nothing but divine manifestation of Heaven here on earth. When we truly aspire with our soul's spontaneous inner urge, we see that in our very aspiration is God's sanction, God's approval and God's fulfilment.
Question: When you say we have to control our desires in order to realise God, does that mean that desires will be around forever but under the control of the soul?Sri Chinmoy: Right now our desires are not under any kind of control. Our aspiration is under the control of the soul. When we aspire, the soul says to do something and we do it. But when we are a victim to teeming desires, even when the soul tells us not to do something, we do not listen to it. We do the thing anyway, but the soul will ultimately gain its rightful supremacy. What happens is this: a superior officer comes to an office for the first time to replace someone who has left. At first, the ordinary minor clerks in his office mock at him. They do everything wrong and refuse to listen to him. The superior officer observes this situation in the office, but he knows that he is above it all. Gradually he exercises his authority. When the minor clerks see his power, they are afraid and they listen to him.
Similarly, in spiritual life the soul tolerates everything in the beginning. The body, the vital and the mind are unruly members of the family. They mock and disobey the soul. They are like naughty children who do not want to bathe. They stand in front of the bath but they feel that the water is very cold or very unpleasant, and they do not want to enter. The obedient children enter the bath on their own and are properly bathed. There the mother is very happy with them. She observes the situation of the naughty children for about half an hour, and when she sees that they are not going to get into the bath themselves, she just puts them in herself and compels them to take a bath.
The soul also waits for some time. Inside the soul is the adamantine Will of the Supreme, and God's infinite Light, but the soul is waiting for its hour to strike. There will come a time when the divine Will will be exercised through the soul, but in the beginning the soul remains the witness. It observes who is good and who is bad. The soul welcomes the good and divine members of the family who listen to it. To them it says "Let us run together." As for the bad members of the family who are deliberately creating problems, the soul refers their case to the Supreme. One day the Supreme will say, "Now the time has come to show your divine light through your divine authority." That is God's Hour for the soul to dispel the darkness of millennia from the human consciousness.
Question: How can we avoid the desire for the fruits of action?Sri Chinmoy: First we must understand the word 'desire'. When we fulfil a desire we may feel happy for a short time, but soon we have another desire that we want to fulfil. The fulfilment of one desire does not give us abiding joy and peace. Even the fulfilment of our most cherished desires does not stop us from desiring something else. If today's desire is fulfilled, tomorrow we cry for something else. When tomorrow's desires are fulfilled, the day after tomorrow we are overwhelmed by some other desire.
There is no end to our begging and grasping when we live in the desire-world. We bind ourselves constantly by crying for some specific result in our relationships with our near and dear ones. Desire brings us to one point always, and that is the physical body. How can we be freed from this prison cell? Only through aspiration. If we walk on the path of aspiration it will tell us that the goal and the path are one. The goal is infinite, eternal Bliss and the path is the path of aspiration. In the path itself we see the goal.
But how can we free ourselves from desire for the fruits of action? When we work we naturally want the result. If we feel that it is we who have done something, then we will cry for the results. But if we feel that it is not we who are working, then we will not care for the results. If we feel that somebody else is working or studying, then we will not be concerned about the results. So let us feel that somebody else is working in and through us. Who is this somebody? It is God. If God is the Doer, then it is He who has to think about the results. The easiest way to free oneself from desire for the fruits of action is to feel that we are not the doer, that God is eternally the only Doer, and that He is acting in and through us; therefore, the results are His business.
Please try to play the part of a conscious instrument or a channel for the Divine to act in and through. We must feel that God is infinite and that we are God's children. Then we can never be satisfied unless and until we have become what He has and what He is. If we keep in mind that the infinite Light, infinite Bliss and infinite Power which God has will ultimately be ours because it is our birthright, our divine heritage, then we shall start our journey toward a different goal. That journey is the journey of aspiration. In this way we can avoid crying for the fruits of action.
Part VI — Marriage
Question: What Is the place of the sex life in your spiritual Centre?Sri Chinmoy: I am all love and concern, but I am strict to some extent. This is simply unavoidable. Our Centre is dedicated to the highest Light and Truth. I have come into the world with a very high mission. I am working for the manifestation of the Highest at every moment. I expect all of my spiritual children to be with me and for me wholeheartedly, as I am with them and for them. Each of them has to know where he stands in his dedication to the Light. Animal sex life can never be tolerated or permitted if one wants true oneness, conscious oneness, with God. There are limitations and imperfections in everyone's life, but they can and must be transformed.
Often people feel that they may lead all kinds of romantic life at our spiritual Centre since they know the Guru is all Compassion. But above the Guru there is someone called the Supreme, who does not permit me to allow such things.
Being your spiritual leader, I am compelled to remind all of you to remember why you have accepted this path. The Sri Chinmoy Centre is for God-realisation and God-manifestation, not for romantic life. If you want the ordinary life, then you are at perfect liberty to find your friends outside the Centre. But do not come here with a view to get your soul's mate. I will not be able to supply you with your soul's mate. I came into the world only to take you to your goal, not to find a husband or a wife for you.
If you want to enter into the married life, as long as you satisfy me with your aspiration, I will forever remain your spiritual Father. But you have to please the Supreme in me with your aspiration. You cannot please the Supreme in me if you put the blame on me whenever you do anything wrong in your vital life, or if you feel that I am responsible for your love affairs. If you expect me to take responsibility for your uncontrolled vital life, then you will be disappointed.
I advise the younger married couples spiritually to grow slowly, steadily and unerringly. After several years of marriage, or after having one or two children, the relation between husband and wife must change into the relation between brother and sister. If you really want God first and foremost, you have to feel that all men are your brothers and all women are your sisters. Those who are still active in the romantic world must first learn to feel the difference between the satisfaction they get from their romantic life and the satisfaction they get from their soul's aspiration. Then they have to mould their outer lives with their inner aspiration. The most important thing is to try to please the Supreme in me.
Question: For what purpose is the union between man and woman?Sri Chinmoy: When union takes place between a man and a woman, each one gives a significant or insignificant meaning to the action. But in the highest, deepest spiritual life, when the realisation of oneness with all humanity is coming to the fore, this ordinary human union does not serve any purpose. One can have physical relations with someone hundreds of times, but the real union, the inner union, does not take place. Only when we can establish our soul's union with a person will we be fulfilled. When we can liberate ourselves from the meshes of ignorance, and when we can realise the entire earth as our own, when we feel that all of mankind is our very own, then only can we have proper union. Physical union is no union in comparison to the all-pervading union of spiritual oneness which we can have.
I am telling you all this from the strict spiritual point of view. We have to reach a certain level before we can reject the ordinary human relation. Many times disciples in India come to their Master and say that there is no joy in human union. These very students then enter into deeper spiritual life and get the highest joy and purest delight from inner union with their Supreme Beloved. Delight and pleasure are two different things. If one cares for the inner spiritual life, one will get delight. If one cares for the ordinary human life, one will get pleasure. Pleasure is bound to be followed by frustration because in pleasure there is no permanent fulfilment. But delight itself is all-fulfilling. This delight we get only in the spiritual union with the Divine, with our inner being. We have to know what we want. If we want pleasure, the union between man and woman is enough for a while. But if we want delight, which is the nectar of Immortality, which is immortal Bliss, then we have to launch into the path of spirituality and establish the supernal union between man and God.
Question: Can you please speak about marriage with regard to the spiritual life?Sri Chinmoy: Each soul is a divine portion of God. Marriage is a sacred matter. Marriage can be something very spiritual. In many marriages we see that the husband is spiritual and the wife is unspiritual, or vice-versa. When this happens, both are caught in a tug-of-war. The husband cannot make satisfactory inner progress and the wife cannot make satisfactory outer progress. But when both husband and wife are with the same Guru and have utmost faith in the Guru, then they can make very fast progress together. Because they have faith in the Guru, he brings down the supreme Power to help them, guide them and mould them.
Marriage is not necessary in some cases. Those who have gone through family life and have found it a life of misery and frustration should not repeat the same mistake. But those who are young and fresh, who want to have a bridge between the inner world and the outer world, will not be making a mistake if they enter into married life with the proper spiritual partner. If inner necessity demands, at any moment they will give up that tie. Everything depends on whether God wants the individuals to get married or if He wants them to remain unmarried. No unmarried person should feel superior to the married ones. God can take them to Him fast, very fast, through married life as well as through unmarried life.
Question: Is self-purification more difficult because we are married?Sri Chinmoy: If your lower vital is very strong and needs purification then the fastest way to purify it is to aspire constantly. But if that is not possible, if you find it difficult to get sufficient joy from your spiritual path, whatever spiritual partner you take also has to belong to your path. If your spiritual partner belongs to some other path, there will be a tremendous conflict between you. Each one will say that his path is the best. There will be a battle between the ideas and ideals of the two paths. But if both of you follow the same path, then each one can inspire the other. The one who has more speed at a given time will try to help his partner forward.
For purification what you really need is aspiration. But do not torture yourself. Suppression is very bad. In the process of purification you have to minimise the lower vital needs such as smoking, drinking and the undivine emotional life. In this way we can make constant progress, slowly and steadily. But do not try to suppress everything at once. Your self-purification will be most difficult not because you are either married or single, but because you try to force it. In that case it will be not only most difficult, but totally impossible.
Question: You mentioned that the role of the husband is silence and the role of the wife is power. What do you actually mean by this?Sri Chinmoy: The role of the male is creation; the role of the female is manifestation. We tend to think that when we are very active and getting some result, that is real creation. But that is not the fact. Only when we are in deep inner silence can we actually create. Once something has been created then it has to be used for some purpose. That is the role of the wife. She is the power. The husband in silence will draw everything from a higher and deeper level. The wife has to assimilate this truth and distribute it to the children or to humanity at large. One has to bring the divinity and one has to distribute it. In the most mundane sense, the husband works and earns money. The wife uses the money to take care of the family. Both are equally important.
Part VII — Practical methods of attaining purity
Question: What is the most effective way I can attain purity?Sri Chinmoy: The most effective way to attain purity in your case is through conscious offering of your life-breath to the Supreme. Early in the morning breathe in consciously seven times, and while you breathe in try to feel that you are actually breathing in through your heart and not through your nose. Try to feel that your breath is entering you through your heart centre. And while you are breathing out try to feel that your breath is going up, up to the top of your head and out through the thousand-petaled lotus, the crown centre at the top of your head. If you can feel, and not just imagine, that you are breathing through your heart, immediately purity will enter and start revolving and functioning in you. When purity starts performing its role, impurity from the navel and lower centres travels up and is released.
First the divine soldiers enter and see that the undivine soldiers are there. Then the opponents fight until the divine soldiers push the undivine soldiers up and throw them through the thousand-petaled lotus into the infinite cosmos. It is your mind that unconsciously attracts impurity, so you have to go beyond the mind. You have to carry the impure, undivine soldiers higher, and throw them into something which is beyond the mind. Do this early in the morning and in the evening also, if possible. Then your system is bound to be purified.
Question: Where should I concentrate my efforts towards purity, and how should I do so?Sri Chinmoy: Everybody has to have a different centre on which to concentrate. In your case, try to concentrate on your forehead, on the third eye. I want you to forget the past totally. Your past has been a deplorable past. Even now the past is coming to the fore and eclipsing your present. This is a very sad situation. I wish to say that when you think of the past consciously or unconsciously, the impure thoughts and unfulfilled desires of the past will come to you; and when you unconsciously enjoy them, at that time you are actually cherishing impure thoughts, unhealthy thoughts.
From the past you cannot expect anything. It has already given you what it had to offer. The past offered you its wealth, but this wealth was not fulfilling; it was all frustration. And when you dwell upon this frustration you have to feel that you are consciously and deliberately entering into something obscure, uncertain and, more than that, unfulfilled.
From the spiritual point of view what is unfulfilled, unrealised and unmanifested is now unwelcome. Things that we want to manifest and reveal in a spiritual way have to be pure. When you concentrate on your third eye, try to look forward and envision the future, a future which is flooded with light and delight, where there is no darkness. When we see something with our ordinary eyes, very often we see through uncertainty, through bias, through unclear light, and whatever we see is not clear, certain or fulfilling. But when the third eye sees something, it sees through light and it sees the light that is embodied in that thing. When we concentrate with the third eye everything is clear; there is no darkness, there can be no impurity.
So concentrate on the third eye and see the light, enter into the light, grow into the light. You will see that this light has given birth to purity. If you cherish the past, if you constantly dig up the grave of the past, you will only find obscurity and impurity. Run toward the light. Concentrate on the third eye, the Ajna Chakra, and you will see only light around you, before you and within you. Purity is there, within the light that you envision and the light that you are growing into.
Question: Can impurity be totally removed from my life? No matter how hard I try, it seems to stay with me like a chronic disease.Sri Chinmoy: In the spiritual life, nothing is incurable. But we have to know how sincere we are in accepting the spiritual life and how intensely we are crying to reach the ultimate Goal. Insincerity is a durable but curable disease. It can last for some time, but when divine Grace descends, it can be cured.
Impurity is also a curable disease, but impurity will last longer in us than insincerity. Even ordinary people who are insincere get some inspiration when they see sincere people around them, and they try to become sincere. They feel that it is shameful to be insincere when their friends or neighbours are all telling the truth. Insincerity can be overcome quickly. But in the case of impurity, it is not so easy. People may practise the spiritual life sincerely for many years, but purity is not an easy thing to achieve. Some people have many spiritual experiences but they lose them immediately. Why? Because they do not have enough purity in spite of the inner depth and height of their experiences.
Question: What can we do during our meditation to transform or to help purify the mind, vital and body?Sri Chinmoy: To increase the purity of the physical, the vital and the mind during our meditation we should try to feel what purity actually is. If we feel that purity is something liquid, like water, or something weak, elastic, or delicate like a toy, then purity will not increase at all in our physical and our vital. But if we feel that purity is something very powerful, like the strongest man or like an atom bomb, it can create a new life inside us and around us. The atom bomb destroys, but purity has the power of an atom bomb, although in a positive way. Purity can build a strong and solid foundation in our outer life and in our inner life. If we have the feeling that purity is something that will give us a new life, a new world of peace, bliss and dynamic power, then our purity will immediately increase. When we are aware that purity can do much for us, we will value it properly. Then during our meditation purity will enter into us in infinite measure because it will feel that we will give it its proper importance.
Question: I have been doing japa for purity, chanting 'Supreme'. Is this the best way to attain purity?Sri Chinmoy: Japa is bound to bring purity into your system. But each time you do japa, you have to feel the significance of the word you are repeating. Otherwise it will become mechanical and meaningless. When somebody wants water from the ground he has to dig for many days. If he digs for only one day he will get no result. Each time he digs, if he is conscious of his purpose, he will reach water more quickly than otherwise. Each time you do japa you have to feel that purity is entering you or you are entering into a sea of purity. If you feel that purity will enter into you permanently if you can only complete five or six or seven hundred repetitions, you will be disappointed in your expectation. With each repetition you must consciously strike at a certain spot. Then eventually abundant purity comes into your life. Otherwise, if you repeat a mantra unconsciously, automatically or in a mechanical way, you will get no satisfactory result.
I have written an article entitled "The Role of Purity in the Spiritual Life." The system that is explained in that article is undoubtedly the best way to establish purity in the entire being. You increase the number of repetitions by one hundred every day, starting from five hundred and going up to twelve hundred, then decreasing in the same manner. This is a most effective way to have purity in every plane of consciousness. You can do this every day, but you have to chant with utmost soulfulness, not like a parrot saying a word over again. You have to be most soulful each time you say the word. Also, you should repeat your mantra slowly. If it is done quickly, it will have no effect on you.
Question: Is it necessary to have beads or can you count on your fingers while doing japa?Sri Chinmoy: You can count on your fingers. I have hardly ever used beads to do japa.
Question: In japa does it make any difference whether you repeat the word fast or slowly?Sri Chinmoy: If you want to have peace of mind or abiding purity, it is better to repeat the name very slowly and soulfully. But to chase away impure, undivine thoughts, it is best to repeat the name very fast. To purify your mind quickly and temporarily, do japa as quickly as possible.
Question:/ When people who have never meditated with a spiritual Master before come to a public meditation, what should they do to enter into his consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: First they should feel that the spiritual Master is a sincere man. Then if they can go one step farther, they should feel that he is a saint. A saint is one who has established purity in his entire being. If they have the feeling that he possesses and embodies purity, then the next step for them is to feel the presence of purity within and around them. Finally they should try to enter into the sea of purity which the Master has brought down and which he embodies. Once they see and feel and are eager to enter into the sea of purity, then they get everything; Peace, Light, Bliss and all the divine qualities they are bound to get according to their receptivity. But if there is no purity, if they don't see purity within and without the spiritual Master, then it is impossible for them to receive anything.
Since I am a spiritual man, those who come to meditate with me should come with sincerity and then should feel my simplicity, my sincerity, my purity. These things are on the human level. If somebody feels that I am simple, if somebody feels that I am sincere, if somebody feels that I am pure, then he can receive whatever the Supreme is offering through me.
Question: Can we achieve purity by entering into you?Sri Chinmoy: That is the easiest, most effective way. That is what I am asking my disciples to do. I am ready to be the eternal garbage collector if you are ready to throw your impure thoughts into me. Some of the girls are afraid or ashamed of throwing their impure thoughts into me. They are embarrassed, but why should they be? I am not the body; I am the soul. I am your spiritual father. I am dealing with the infinite ocean of consciousness. If you throw your impurities into me, I will throw them into the infinite ocean of purity. Throw your impurities into me and not into others. Your spiritual brothers and sisters are also suffering from impurity. If you offer your impure thoughts to somebody else who is already suffering with his own impurity, you are adding to his burden.
The best way to achieve purity is through sincere aspiration and deep meditation. But if you can't meditate well, if you do not have tremendous aspiration, you have to know that there is someone who is like an ocean, into whom you can throw all of your impurities to be swallowed up. If you throw yourself in, all your impurities will be washed away. But by holding your impurities inside you and hiding them, you harm yourself. You have to feel that you are a child. When a child is dirty he is not afraid to tell his mother and father. He knows he is well-protected by their love. It gives him the greatest joy to tell his mother and father because he knows that they will clean him. In terms of age you are adults, but in terms of spirituality you are all children. Please feel that your spiritual father is in front of you.
When I bless some of you people I see that evil thoughts are roaming around in your minds, but you are trying to hide them. You think, "Oh, Guru will catch us!" Guru has caught you before you caught yourself, but Guru is helpless because you are not giving your impurities to him, you are just cherishing them in your mind. If you throw them into me, immediately I will take them away from you.
Never be afraid of me. Who is afraid? He who has deliberately done something wrong. If you don't do anything wrong consciously, why should you be afraid of me? Am I a tyrant? I don't think so. I don't scold you people without any rhyme or reason. So why should you be afraid of me? A child is not afraid of his father. If you have an evil thought or any other kind of impurity, just throw it into me and I am ready to take it. I will not say, "Why are you polluting my consciousness?" No, I will just take and take and take. Inside my body, inside my mind, inside my heart, inside my soul, infinity is roaming and playing.