Part I — Discourses
1. WE BELIEVE… and we hold that each man has the potentiality of reaching the Ultimate Truth. We also believe that man cannot and will not remain imperfect forever. Each man is an instrument of God. When the hour strikes, each individual soul listens to the inner dictates of God. When man listens to God, his imperfections are turned into perfections, his ignorance into knowledge, his searching mind into revealing light and his uncertain reality into all-fulfilling Divinity.
Spirituality1Dear friends, esteemed brothers and sisters, before I give a talk I wish to sing a devotional song. "Lord Supreme, I do not know who You are. I do not know who You are to me in my inner life of aspiration and in my outer life of dedication. But I know that You are my Beloved Supreme."
[Sri Chinmoy sings "Tumi je amar devata eka."]
Once more I wish to tell you that I am extremely glad and grateful that you have given me this opportunity to be of service to each of you.
I wish to give a very short talk on my most favourite subject, spirituality. Spirituality is at once a simple and a complicated word, a simple and, at the same time, complicated concept. Each individual has a special approach to spirituality. Whatever I know with regard to spirituality, in a few words I wish to offer to the aspiring hearts in you.
Spirituality is truth-awareness. Spirituality is life-emancipation. Spirituality is oneness-manifestation. Spirituality is perfection-satisfaction.
There are two types of spirituality. One is false, totally false. The other is true, absolutely true. False spirituality tells us that we have to negate and reject life in order to reach Heaven or in order to achieve Peace, Light and Bliss in our human life. False spirituality tells us that we have to renounce everything if we really want Joy, Peace and Bliss in life and from life. True spirituality tells us that we must not reject anything, we must not negate anything, we must not renounce anything. True spirituality tells us that we have to accept everything. We have to accept the world as such and then we have to transform our inner world and our outer world for God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation. It is only in God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation that we can have boundless Peace, boundless Light, boundless Delight.
False spirituality is the dance of teeming desires. Desire is something that binds us to our possessions. There comes a time when we realise that although we are the possessor, we are actually slaves to our possessions. True spirituality is the song of aspiration. Aspiration liberates us from our binding and blinding possessions — material possessions, earthly possessions, possessions that do not help elevate our consciousness to our life's true inner and outer goals.
False spirituality is desire. The acme of desire is this: "I came, I saw and I conquered. I came into the world, I saw the world and I have conquered the world. Now I am in a position to lord it over the world." The strangling vital, the demanding vital, the authoritarian vital wants this world for its enjoyment. But aspiration tells us something quite different. The teachings of aspiration are soulful, meaningful and fruitful. Aspiration tells us that each individual has come into the world to see, to love and to become inseparably one, to become fully aware of his universal existence. Mere individual existence is of no avail. One has to have a free access to the universal life within him.
Desire-life is the life of success; aspiration-life is the life of progress. The life of desire constantly demands, whereas the life of aspiration soulfully expects. The life of desire demands constantly from the world around us. The life of aspiration expects everything from the world within.
Success is short-lived satisfaction. Most of the time this short-lived satisfaction is followed by bitter dissatisfaction. In dissatisfaction what actually looms large is frustration; and frustration is the harbinger of total destruction. Progress is our continuous, illumining and increasing satisfaction within and without. Those who follow the spiritual life know and feel the supreme necessity of progress each day, each hour, each minute, each second. A seeker has to feel that he is making progress. He is running fast, very fast, towards his destined Goal. He is climbing high, speedily, towards his transcendental Goal. He is diving deep within extremely fast to reach the Absolute Lord in the inmost recesses of his heart.
In order to make progress each seeker has to have two satisfactory friends. These friends are always reliable, most reliable. Prayer and meditation are two most intimate friends of a seeker of the Absolute Truth. When the seeker prays to the Almighty Lord, he feels his Lord's presence high up in the skies above his head. He feels his Lord's existence above, far above, his mental vision — let us say in Heaven. In Heaven is his Lord Supreme. But when he meditates, he feels that his Lord Supreme is nowhere else except in his heart — in his loving, aspiring heart. His prayer tells him that his God is above. His meditation tells him that his God is within. When he reaches his Beloved on the highest plane of consciousness on the strength of his prayer, he enjoys the sweetest intimacy. He claims his Lord as his eternal Friend, his beginningless and endless Friend. And when he reaches his Friend inside the very depth of his heart, he enjoys boundless ecstasy and delight in his Beloved Supreme.
Spirituality is the simplification of life. Spirituality is the glorification of life. When we are in the ordinary human life, there are countless problems. Every day we encounter these countless problems, and we find that there is no way to solve these problems or to simplify our complicated human life. But spirituality is our saviour. It comes to solve our problems, to simplify our complicated life; and again, it glorifies the divine in us. The divine in us is that very thing that wants to expand, illumine and fulfil the Immortal in us.
How do we simplify our life? Is there any specific way to simplify our complicated life? Yes, there is a way which enables us to simplify our most complicated life; and that is our concentration, our power of concentration. When we concentrate on our problems we come to notice that our power of concentration has actually come from a Source which is infinitely more powerful than all our problems put together. And this Source shows us how to simplify our problems. If we can concentrate on our problems even for five fleeting minutes, I wish to tell you from my own experience that this complicated world of ours will not remain complicated.
Once our complicated life is over, once our life of confusion and complication is over, we expect satisfaction from our lives. We naturally expect a life of peace and harmony. This world of ours has everything except one thing: peace of mind. If we have peace of mind, we do not need anything more from this world, from any individual or from ourselves. Now, how do we get peace of mind? The answer is the same: through spirituality, through meditation.
Spirituality has a most powerful hero-soldier. The name of that hero-soldier is meditation. If we know how to meditate for five minutes early in the morning before the day dawns, before the hustle and bustle of life begins, then we enter into a world of serenity, clarity, purity and finally peace — a world which is flooded with peace. Each individual seeker has the potentiality, the capacity to meditate soulfully. Some may not know how to meditate immediately. It may take a few days or a few weeks or a few months. But no individual will forever remain unknowledgeable in the art of meditation. The art of meditation is something inherent in each individual.
So, meditation is the way to acquire peace of mind. Once we have established peace of mind, then in our day-to-day multifarious activities we shall enjoy boundless satisfaction. And in this satisfaction we shall notice progress — gradual, continuous, illumining and fulfilling progress. When we walk along the road of Eternity, what we need is progress. And inside our progress is God the ever-transcending Reality, which is the birthright of each individual seeker here and everywhere.
RD 2. United Nations, Conference Room 14, 6 October 1975.↩
PunishmentTo be on my own side and not on God's side is not only an unpardonable crime, but also an unbearable punishment.
My Lord's punishment-dog cannot change me and my life. It is only the constant increase of my love for my Lord that can and will change me and my human life totally.
The punishment that I get from my Supreme Pilot when I disobey Him is next to nothing in comparison to the punishment that I inflict upon myself by separating myself from my sweetest and closest oneness with Him, in Him and for Him.
When I do something wrong, no matter how trivial and insignificant it is, my Lord Supreme, do punish me immediately, for that is what I richly deserve. But do love me even when You punish me, for Your Love is my aspiration-life's only soul and my dedication-life's only goal.
The role of humility in the spiritual life1In our spiritual life, in our life of aspiration and in our life of dedication, humility is the root, divinity is the tree and Immortality is the fruit. Only when I am soulfully humble does God allow me to make a perfect estimate of His Universal Reality, His Transcendental Reality and my own life.
The perfect man is he whose inner being is flooded with humility. And it is he who eventually becomes God's Transcendental Choice and God's Universal Voice.
Humility and self-conceit are two real strangers to each other. Humility and God-awareness are two eternal friends. Humility and divinity's reality-expansion are eternally inseparable, inseparably one.
When I am humble to my inferiors, they adore me. When I am humble to my equals, they love me. When I am humble to my superiors, they appreciate me. When I am humble to God, He claims me as His best instrument on earth. To climb up God's Vision-tree I need only one thing: humility's beauty. To climb down God's Reality-tree I need only one thing: humility's magnanimity.
There are many roads that lead to God. There is one road which is undoubtedly by far the shortest and, at the same time, most illumining and that road is the humility-road.
RD 4. Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations, 7 October 1975.↩
Self-giving and happiness1Dear seekers, I hope at the very beginning I can make you feel what we mean by the term 'seeker'. A seeker need not be an individual who only cries and tries to realise God. A seeker can be someone who sees something that he does not have right now. He wants something that will give him joy and satisfaction in life, but he does not have that very thing.
Here we are in the company of some distinguished individuals of various professions. In order to become proficient in a particular profession, deep inside us we have to have an inner cry. We want to do something, to grow into something, to become something. This means we are seekers. In your case, this seeking eventually bore fruit and you have now become men and women of profession.
Each profession is like a quality that we offer to the world at large, a quality that satisfies and fulfils us. We have a human family and in that family one member is a doctor, another member is a professor, a third is a lawyer and a fourth can be a soldier. All feel an illumining and fulfilling bond among them. Each one plays his respective role in the family, and by playing that role he brings peace, light and delight into the family. The help of each one is needed. The help of each one is of paramount importance.
Each profession is a signal capacity of God. If we are afraid of using the term 'God', let us use the term 'happiness'. Each capacity offers us happiness. If someone is endowed with a special capacity, that means he has happiness and this happiness makes him go forward. In his life he embodies capacity, he represents capacity and he manifests capacity for the satisfaction of human life on earth.
In this world we notice only two things: quality and quantity. Let us take quantity as ignorance-sea and quality as wisdom-light. We observe an overwhelming quantity of ignorance in us and around us, within us and without. Again, in the inmost recesses of our being we observe quality, divine quality, which wants to illumine us and, at the same time, illumine the rest of the world. So let us take quality as something illumining and quantity as something that has kept us under the jurisdiction of ignorance-night.
Each individual has some special quality. That means he has capacity in abundant measure, in boundless measure. Yet, as individuals, we are not perfectly happy, in spite of having capacity in one particular field. How can we be happy? We can be happy only if we believe in the theory of change. We have to change ourselves. We have to change what we have and what we are.
What do we have? We have the physical body, the vital, the mind and the heart. The body is right now unconscious. The vital is aggressive. The mind is doubtful. The heart is insecure. The body is unconscious like a solid wall. The vital is aggressive like a hungry wolf. The mind is doubtful like a doubting Thomas. The heart is insecure like a child in the woods. Again, this can all be changed, transformed. We can have a conscious body, a dynamic vital, a believing mind and a secure heart. When we cry like a child, in silence, and our prayer is sanctioned, we get a conscious body, a dynamic vital, a believing mind and a secure heart.
What are we? We are followers of the neutral life. In this world very often we try to compromise as a last resort. We feel that we are not in a position to know right from wrong, that we are not in a position to judge; or we feel that the only way to remain in peace is to surrender or compromise. But this is a deplorable mistake. Compromise can never give us abiding joy. He who compromises is consciously surrendering to a neutral life. Someone who is neutral is not sure of what the truth is or what the truth should look like. We know we are in between ignorance-night and knowledge-light. It is up to us to accept knowledge, which is wisdom, and to free ourselves totally from the snares of ignorance.
We want happiness — happiness from life and happiness in life — and we want to offer this happiness to our near and dear ones. In order to achieve happiness in life, we have to give unreservedly what we have and what we are. What we have is the body, vital, mind, heart and soul. And what are we? We are God's constant Concern, constant Compassion and constant Manifestation. Again, if you don't want to use the term 'God', you can use the term 'happiness' or 'truth.'
We feel that everything in life disappoints us and deserts us with the exception of one thing, and that thing is truth. To live in truth is to live in happiness. There are various ways to achieve this truth in life. But only one way is most effective and that way is the way of self-giving — unreserved and unconditional self-giving to our own extended, expanded, enlarged, boundless, unlimited existence.
When we enter into our unlimited existence, we feel that we are of the One and for the many. At the same time we feel that we are in the many, for the One. This moment we are the tree; next moment we are the branches. The tree needs the branches, the flowers, the leaves and the fruits in order to prove to the world that it is actually a tree. And the branches need the trunk, the tree as such, to prove to the world that it is part and parcel of the tree.
Each profession here is a branch of the life-tree. And again, each profession knows that there is a root to the tree, to the capacity-tree. For if there is no root, then there can be no branches, fruits, leaves and so forth. We have to live in the root and this root is happiness. How can we live in the root all the time? We can live in the root only by self-giving: giving what we have and what we are. What we have is love and what we are is oneness. By offering love in any form to mankind — to our so-called superiors and so-called inferiors, or to our brothers and sisters of the world — we come to know what we ultimately and eternally are: oneness inseparable.
Some of you may wonder why we have invited today only the professionals and not ordinary people. On other occasions we always invite people irrespective of mental capacity or vital capacity, but today we wanted to observe something special here. We feel that each profession represents a special quality of the everlasting reality. And sometimes we do feel like being in a group where each member is well understood by the others. Birds of a feather flock together at times in order to add beauty, joy, light and delight to one another. It is with this understanding that today we have invited people of profession. Each one has something special to offer to the rest of the members. As a matter of fact, each individual has a special quality, a special capacity of the Source, and that Source is delight, happiness. Happiness is seeing what has to be seen, happiness is feeling what is actually to be felt, happiness is self-giving, happiness is becoming one with the eternal Source.
RD 5. United Nations Development Programme — Alcoa Building, 29 October 1975.↩
25th Anniversary Of Unicef's "Trick-Or-Treat"1[Sri Chinmoy opened the programme with a short song end then spoke to the children:]
Sweet children, dear young friends, my heart is all joy and pride to be in your loving company. I wish to tell you that I have hundreds of friends. Most of them are grown-up people. But I treasure the company of the children much more than I treasure the company of my grown-up friends. Why? Because you are all heart; you are all joy.
My young friends, do you know that there is a person who loves you infinitely more than your best friend loves you? Do you want to know his name? His name is God.
Do you know there is a person who loves you infinitely more than your dear parents love you? Do you want to know his name? His name is God.
Do you know there is a person who loves you infinitely more than you love yourselves? Do you want to know his name? His name is God.
Do you want me to prove it? It is very easy to prove. Your best friend never feels that you are as great as God. But God always feels that you are as great as He is.
Your parents never feel that you are as good as God. But God always feels that you are as good as He is.
You never knew that you are another God. But God knows that you are another God and He all the time tells you that very thing. But in order to hear His Voice, you have to pray lovingly every morning and every evening. Please ask your parents to teach you how to pray. If you pray daily, I assure you one day you will hear God's Voice. And then what I have just told you, you yourselves will be able to hear directly from God.
RD 6. Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, 30 October 1975.↩
Prayer-Life, Meditation-Life, Contemplation-Life1Dear seekers, here we are in a prayer room. This prayer room is dedicated to the United Nations to serve the spiritual life of the United Nations. In this prayer room I wish to give a very short talk on Prayer-Life, Meditation-Life and Contemplation-Life.
Why do we pray? We pray because we want to become great. We pray because we want to become good. When we become great, we feel that the entire world is at our feet, that the entire world is at our command. When we become good, we feel that the entire world is in us and that the entire world is for us.
By praying we can either become another Julius Caesar and Napoleon, or a Christ and a Krishna. When we become a Caesar or Napoleon, we will try to conquer the world to serve ourselves. But when we become another Christ or Krishna, we plead with the world to grant us the opportunity to elevate and illumine the world-consciousness and make other human beings feel that ours is the task to serve and fulfil them the way the Eternal Beloved Supreme wants us to fulfil them.
A life of prayer is a life of simplicity. Simplicity is a very simple word, but it houses the highest truth. It houses God, who is all simplicity. When we are simple, we come to realise that there are very few things that we actually need. Each time we can eliminate one need from our list of necessities, we derive an iota of peace of mind. And it is peace of mind that is of paramount importance in our earthly life.
Right after simplicity we see that there is something else. This is a friend, a real friend, who is waiting for us and welcoming us. The name of that friend is sincerity. When we become sincere, we are bound to feel that our goal can be reached, that the goal need not and cannot remain always a far cry. The life of sincerity makes us feel that we are eternal travellers along the road of Eternity, and are constantly reaching a certain goal. Today's goal, as we reach it, becomes the starting point for tomorrow's new adventure. We are in the process of an ever-transcending goal, an ever-transcending reality.
Then comes the life of purity. Each time we pray, we feel that something within us is coming to the fore, and that something is purity. This purity-friend of ours is liked most by our Eternal Father, our Beloved Supreme. Our Eternal Father feels that His Vision, His Dream, His Reality — whatever He has and whatever He is — can be expressed, revealed and manifested most soulfully, divinely and supremely through purity. A breath of purity holds God the Infinite, God the Eternal, God the Immortal.
Each prayer leads us to an experience. This experience can at times make us feel how helpless we are in comparison with infinite Light and Delight. And again, this experience can make us feel that Infinity, Eternity and Immortality are not vague terms but real realities within our easy reach.
After we have had the experience of the reality, we go one step ahead: we knock at the door of realisation. When we enter into the room of realisation, we see that the things we wanted to achieve, the things we have spent years or even incarnations trying to achieve, are already within us. From Eternity they have been within us, only we did not have the vision to see them. Now, we not only see them but claim them as our very own.
Each individual here is a seeker. That means each of us has a prayer within us and also something else within, which is called meditation. When we are in the prayer-world, each time we think of our body, our physical consciousness, we are reminded of something else, something more fulfilling. When we think of our physical consciousness, our earthly frame, we feel that we need something else to satisfy ourselves and to satisfy the needs of the rest of the world. But when we dive deep within and establish a free access to our life of meditation, we see that we have everything; only we have to offer it and distribute it to others. When we consider ourselves as the soul, as the divine representative of God, the highest absolute Truth, then we see, we feel, we know clearly that we have everything within us; only we have to reveal it and offer it to the world at large.
Here we are at the United Nations Chapel. When we look at the United Nations Secretariat building from the outside, when we look at the body of the United Nations, we feel that the United Nations is like a beggar: it needs everything, everything in God's creation. A beggar needs everything for himself, not for anybody else. His is an unquenchable thirst. Once we are inside the Secretariat building, we feel the infinite Light, Peace and Harmony that is inside the soul of the United Nations. This soul is crying at every moment to be of service to mankind. If we can become one with the soul of the United Nations, then we see that it has everything: world peace, world harmony, world union, world oneness.
But if we look at the body of the United Nations, then we feel that it is infinitely worse than a street beggar. A street beggar feels in the inmost recesses of his heart that some generous persons will give him alms. If we think of the United Nations as begging from country to country for support, then we feel that there is no certainty that the United Nations can last even a day beyond its present existence.
This is the case, not only with the United Nations, but also with each human being. Each time we pray with the body, in the body, for the body, we have to feel that we are acting like beggars. We feel that there is something else that we need in order to satisfy ourselves. But if we remain in the soul-consciousness, in our inner life, then we become the real emperors: we have everything.
There is a slight difference between a human emperor and a divine emperor. When a human emperor gives something to his subjects, he feels a sense of gratification. He feels that his subjects are at his mercy. They depend on his boundless compassion. But the divine emperor has a different story to offer. He feels that each human being on earth is part and parcel of his own existence. He is composed, like the ocean, of thousands of drops. Each drop is equally necessary. When he does something for an individual being, for the individual drop, he feels that he is only pleasing, satisfying, fulfilling his own dream, which is blossoming like a lotus, petal by petal.
The body reminds us of the necessity of prayer. The soul reminds us of the necessity of meditation. Each time we pray, we feel that the finite consciously or unconsciously is trying to enter into the infinite. And each time we meditate, we feel that we are cheerfully, devotedly and soulfully welcoming the Infinite to manifest itself in and through us. Then comes something else, a living reality which we call contemplation. In our prayer-life we go up to see, to feel, to bring down something. In our meditation-life we just become the recipient. In and through us the high, higher, highest Reality is manifesting itself. But when we contemplate, we feel that the finite and the Infinite are interdependent. The finite needs the Infinite; the Infinite needs the finite. Earth needs Heaven; Heaven needs earth. The divine lover needs the Supreme Beloved; the Beloved Supreme needs the lover divine. In contemplation we embody both earth-consciousness and Heaven-consciousness. We embody the divine lover and the Eternal Beloved. We embody the finite; we embody the Infinite.
Now, when we want to sing the song of the many in the One, we play the role of the Heaven-consciousness, the Infinite and the Supreme Beloved. And when we want to play the role of the One in the many, then we embody the earth-consciousness, the finite consciousness and the divine-lover consciousness. Each individual has to feel that this moment he is the tree of the one absolute Reality and the next moment he is the branches and the countless leaves, flowers and fruits. God the Creator and God the creation each seeker embodies and each seeker at every moment has the boundless duty to fulfil. And this duty he fulfils only when he feels that he is of the One for the many and he is of the many for the One.
When the seeker identifies himself inseparably and eternally with earth-consciousness, he feels that there is a constant hunger in him, a hunger that constantly mounts high, higher, highest. Then, when he identifies himself with Heaven-consciousness, he feels there is constant nourishment, boundless energy, infinite nectar-delight in him; he feels that Immortality is growing in and through him. He is at once infinite hunger and infinite Delight and immortal Life. In the body-consciousness he needs. In the soul-consciousness he not only has, but also he eternally is.
RD 7. 7 November 1975, Chapel of the Church Center for the United Nations.↩
Success and progress1Meditation defines success and progress in life. Success is the body-dance of self-gratification. Progress is the heart-song of self-perfection.
Success says, "I am above you. You are below me." Progress says, "I only want to be ahead of myself."
Success is my temporary achievement on earth. Progress is my lasting achievement in God and God's lasting achievement in me.
Success thinks that it only needs confidence and perseverance. Progress thinks that it needs not only confidence and perseverance but also something infinitely more, and that thing is God's infinite Grace and God the infinite Grace.
The difference between God's infinite Grace and God the infinite Grace is this: God's infinite Grace paves the way for the Hour of God to strike before God grants us what He wants to grant us. But God the infinite Grace not only wants to expedite the Hour, but He also does everything unconditionally, in the twinkling of an eye.
Experience is the pioneer-runner of success. Illumination is the pioneer-runner of progress. Success is the measure of man in earth-bound time. Progress is the measure of man in Heaven-free time.
Success fights against teeming opposition and destroys it. Progress fights against teeming opposition too, but instead of destroying it, progress transforms opposition into perfection for God's greatest satisfaction in and through man on earth.
Success is an idea well-proclaimed and well-acclaimed. Progress is an ideal well-distributed and well-accepted.
Success is the preserver of today's strong arms. Progress is the preserver of yesterday's searching mind, today's aspiring heart and tomorrow's totally consecrated life.
Success is my promise to humanity's curious eye. Progress is my promise to humanity's loving heart, to divinity's unifying soul and to God's all-sheltering and all-loving Feet.
RD 8. Dag Hammarskjold Lecture Series, Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, 4 December 1975.↩
Part II — Series on great men and women
Introduction1Here we are at the United Nations. If we say that the United Nations is the result of the twentieth century awakening, then we are mistaken. The United Nations is the outgrowth of the inner awakening of human beings from time immemorial. I do hope that you do not misunderstand me, as I have made it very clear to you all that it is the joint aspiration of the hoary past, the immediate past, the present and the fast-approaching future that will bring about the union of the world-soul and the world-goal. The human beings who are now here on earth can tangibly see and feel what the United Nations on the outer plane can do.
Each individual nation has aspiration of its own. Again, each individual nation has been blessed with seekers. Each nation has human beings who aspire for a better, more illumining and more fulfilling world. These seekers have expressed their aspiration in and through various fields: spirituality, religion, philosophy, science, music, art, poetry and so forth. The United Nations is not only for the delegates and the representatives of the various nations. It is for all those who have aspired and do aspire and will always aspire.
Many souls came and presently are coming and eventually will come into the world for the world-aim and the world-goal. That aim and that goal is to see a beautiful, fruitful, unifying and united oneness-world. It is my wish to speak on those souls who have undoubtedly contributed in their respective fields to world-transformation, world-illumination and perfection-oneness. I wish to start this series with William Blake, the English poet.
RD 9-13. During meetings of the United Nations Meditation Group, Sri Chinmoy gave these lectures on great men and women.↩
William Blake1William Blake, English poet. Imagination he had; vision he had. Needless to say, he had these two supernal qualities in abundant measure. To him, imagination was reality's all-illumining beauty and vision was beauty's all-fulfilling reality. To him, imagination was a true man and vision was a true and perfection-inspiring man.
Insane he was — so thought some of his contemporaries, even some of his own friends. But he was not insane. Unfortunately, his reality-worlds most people were not and are not wont to see. Most people have no access to these worlds. An inner cry is needed, a true love of the unknown is needed and a brave heart is needed to go beyond the fact-world, beyond the reality-world already seen and already acquired.
Blake's immortal poem The Tyger is humanity's invaluable treasure.
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?"
Here we see that ignorance-energy, which threatens to devour the entire world, finally discovers its transformation-salvation in the realisation of the absolute One. This absolute One embodies both ignorance-energy and knowledge-energy and, at the same time, far transcends them both.
The soul's soulful originality was Blake's gift to mankind. Blake the art-painting-lover and the thought-progress-lover was the puissant and incessant flow of originality-creativity.
Blake's friend and disciple, Samuel Palmer, realised him and made it easy for the world to realise him. Blake was a man without a mask: his aim single, his path straightforward, his words few. So he was free, noble and happy. Something more: Blake was humanity's challenge to go beyond the achievements of the earthbound life and divinity's challenge to grow and glow in the ever-transcending Beyond's reality-existence.
Blake's life-boat sailed between the soul-essence-purity and the body-substance-impurity. Indeed, this experience each human life encounters. Then there comes a time when the unlit and undivine part in us cheerfully and devotedly surrenders to the lit and divine part in us. Here surrender means conscious awareness, inseparable oneness. In the realisation of its inseparable oneness with the divine, the undivine in us receives illumination, satisfaction and perfection.
In his lifetime Blake was obscure; recognition was a stranger to him. Now, a century after his departure from the world-scene, the world has discovered and recognised in him a world-lover who had the message of transformation — the transformation of hell-torture into Heaven-rapture and the transformation of the body's ignorance-sea into the soul's wisdom-sky.
Today is Blake's birthday. On November 28, over two hundred years ago, Blake was born; but his soul is still aspiring, still illumining the world and still trying to manifest the divinity that it embodies for earth-awakening, earth-illumination and earth-fulfilment. The poet has the vision of tomorrow, the artist has the vision of tomorrow; the scientist, the singer and the musician all have the vision of tomorrow. All the human beings who are awakened and who are more than ready to contribute something of their own, their very own, in the world at large are really blessed souls and the invaluable, immortal treasures of Mother Earth.
RD 10. Room 550, 28 November 1975.↩
Thomas Carlyle1Last time I mentioned the importance of the great figures who have illumined our world. Today I shall speak about Carlyle.
Carlyle. The colossal pride of his country he was. A thinker he was. A philosopher he was. A historian he was. Most of his life-experiences were founded upon his inner awakening and inner illumination. He stirred quite powerfully and significantly not only the Scottish consciousness and the British consciousness, but also the entire European consciousness.
According to his philosophy, materialism and the machine-world cannot and will not illumine and fulfil mankind. It is the message of the spirit that can and will transform the face of mankind. In unmistakable terms he declared that only the life-disciplined and ideal heroes can steer humanity's boat to the shores of satisfaction-fulfilment.
Something more: in Carlyle's philosophy, all human beings are in essence one, because they are of the same Source. But if one individual is more awakened and more illumined than the others, naturally he has to lead and guide the rest. Carlyle maintained that this individual has to play the role of a pioneer precisely because he himself was one of the pioneer world-thinkers and world-transformers. Dauntless he was. Nothing could cow him. He hoisted high his lofty banner of life-awakening and life-illumining reality.
He spoke in clear and emphatic terms with regard to the inner resource, and it was here that he was badly misunderstood. His critics saw in him an unbearable autocrat and not an apostle of a new dawn. To his admirers' sorrow, impatience and irritation plagued his mind. Nevertheless, he made his mighty contribution to the world's life-code. Especially his work for the world of German literature and for the French revolution made him a most significant member of the human family. His enthusiasm for German life in his early years added considerably to the German contribution to the world community. And his book on the French revolution is an immortal book. There he offers a most significant idea: an inner guidance, an unseen hand guides and shapes the destiny of mankind. In all human actions, in all activities, in all worldly, earthly affairs there is a spirit that moves, guides and shapes the world-destiny; there is an inner purpose for outer action.
His father wanted him to be a priest. But he became something else: a world teacher. In fact, his father's desire was fulfilled in an infinitely wider and more profound way. Had he become a priest, perhaps only a few Scottish religion-lovers and truth-seekers would have received his light. But by becoming an illumining thinker and writer, a historian and finally a philosopher-saint in the purest sense of the term, he offered to this world of ours his world of light, abundant light. Thus, he has become the property of the world and he belongs to the world-treasure.
Yesterday was Carlyle's birthday. For a second let us offer to his soul our gratitude-heart for what he has done to create a better world, a better mankind.
RD 11. Room 550, 5 December 1975.↩
Emily Dickinson1The day before yesterday was the birthday of Emily Dickinson: the unparalleled American woman poet and the universally celebrated world poet. Emily and her family formed an inseparable and unique reality. Her family's need was all to her. Her family saw in her reality's intensity, which is a portion of her future-building, illumining divinity's fulfilling touch in the heart of humanity.
Emily's heart carried her physical consciousness and her vital consciousness to her soul's world. Her soul, in a sublime yet subtle manner, carried three other members — the body, vital and heart — to the soul's own source, Immortality-Land. When they returned, the body, vital and heart were convinced of the reality of this divine Immortality-Land.
Just because the mind was not invited to take the trip either by Emily or by her soul, heart, vital or body, her mind violently refused to believe in the authenticity of Emily's illumining, fulfilling and immortalising experiences. The mind stood adamant between the finite and the infinite, between the body and vital and the heart and soul, between the consciously known world and the unconsciously known world. And what is worse, at times the mind was so successful in convincing her, that her previously intoxicating reality-world became nothing more than a visionary hallucination-conception-world in her human life. This formidable and blightful doubt resulted in an indulgence of self-mockery, truth-mockery and world-mockery in her life. Naturally, therefore, her heart's illumination-sky could not grant her the boon of a free access to her inner vastness and her outer plenitude.
Emily learned very little from her association with her outer life. But she learned much from her inner association with her world-seclusion. Indeed, the outer world was an experience devoid of integral reality to her. Therefore, what she knew of earth and thought of earth could not become an encouraging, sustaining, inspiring, illumining and fulfilling experience leading to her own existence-reality.
Emily's love of God and her love of nature made her inwardly beautiful. All her life Emily lived the life of an introvert. A self-imposed seclusion-life she embraced. God's Compassion-Beauty was her reward. In God's Compassion-Beauty, her world and those who wanted to live in her world became preparation-instruments for the transformation and perfection of the frustration-experiences of life.
Her aspiration was in seclusion. Her aspiration was not only in seclusion, but seclusion itself became her aspiration. Inside seclusion-aspiration she did get a few striking glimpses of the inner illumination-sun. Life's buffets gave her two or three times intolerable frustration-experiences, which commanded her to dive deep, deeper within to discover the wealth of the inner life.
Obscurity was her name when she was on earth. Only seven poems were published while Mother Earth nourished her. But when Father Heaven started nourishing her, earth lovingly acknowledged Emily's great achievement and felt considerable pride in her soul-stirring gifts to mankind.
About eighteen hundred flower-poems formed her entire garland. Some of the petals of the flowers offered by her were childish beauty, while others were childlike duty and still others the mature wisdom of a Christian saint. It was her realisation that the Unknown and the Beyond always remain an uncertain and unknown reality. Just because she felt that it would remain unknown forever, the real Reality-Source could not quench her thirst-reality and satisfy her.
Some disproportionately foul critic found in her nothing but a lunatic of the superlative degree. If so, why? Is not this world of ours responsible for not being able to give her the heart's satisfaction which she so richly deserved? Is not the other world responsible for not granting her the life-perfection which she so desperately needed? Her heart-experience says to earth, "Earth, I understand your dilemma. You want and, at the same time, you do not want a transformation-face; a transformation-face, according to you, either is not real or may not satisfy you at all. Therefore, your inner cry is not intense enough, it is not genuine or abiding."
Earth says to the poet, "You are right, you are right. You are more than right. I wish to tell you that what I have is not satisfying me and what I may get is not satisfying me at all. But I do feel that if, in God's creation, satisfaction never dawns, then God will have to remain incomplete. To cherish the idea that God is or will remain incomplete leaves my own existence-reality incomplete for all Eternity. Question I have; answer I do not have. But I am sure my patience-life will be inundated by answer-light in the bosom of Eternity's choice hour."
To Heaven, the poet's life-experience says, "Heaven, if you are really soulful, then you must please me powerfully too. And if you are really powerful, then you cannot endure a yawning gulf between your own ecstasy-reality and my depression, frustration and destruction-reality. True reality exists in self-expansion founded on illumination-distribution.
Heaven says to her soul, "O seeker-poet, you have to dive infinitely deeper. I am not exactly what you have seen of me. I am not in the least what you think of me. I am far beyond your desire-discovery-aspiration. Within your aspiration-discovery-realisation, you will find me, my universality's oneness."
RD 12. Room 550↩
Margaret Wilson1We all know about your President Woodrow Wilson. He had a daughter named Margaret Wilson. Here we have someone who happened to be her childhood friend, Mrs Pearce K Drake. Mrs Drake, today I wish to speak about your friend, Margaret Wilson.
Many years ago she read a book written by the great spiritual Master, Sri Aurobindo. The book, Essays on the Gita, is about Sri Krishna's conversations with Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita. Sri Krishna was the divine soul and Arjuna was the aspiring human soul. We have many, many scriptures in India, but the Bhagavad-Gita is our matchless scripture. The quintessence of all our other scriptures can be found in the Bhagavad-Gita; it is India's Bible. Sri Aurobindo wrote some most beautiful, luminous essays on the Bhagavad-Gita. Once Margaret Wilson happened to find and read the book. She was extremely moved and wanted to meet the author. But in those days the author of the book was in complete seclusion; he never left his room. But nevertheless, Margaret Wilson went to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and stayed there permanently. Four times a year she used to see the Master, as others did, for two or three seconds each time. But she was deeply moved by Sri Aurobindo's books, by Sri Aurobindo's philosophy, by Sri Aurobindo's yoga. So she stayed in his ashram.
Sri Aurobindo eventually gave her the name Nishtha, which means faith — divine faith, intense faith. One who has total faith in the Divine, in God, in the Supreme, is Nishtha. Nishtha became the perfect embodiment of divine faith. She led an exemplary life full of devotion and had a surrendering attitude towards the inner, spiritual life.
Unfortunately, we are all susceptible to disease. In her later years Nishtha developed a serious illness. The Indian doctors, in spite of their best efforts, could not cure her. So one of the doctors suggested to her: "Why don't you go back to America? American doctors are far more advanced than we are in the medical field. If you go back to America, the doctors there will take care of you and cure you." But Nishtha's immediate answer was: "True, the doctors in America can take care of my body, but who will take care of my soul? My soul is infinitely more important to me than my physical body. I shall stay here." So she stayed in Pondicherry. She delayed death for a few years more while leading a most dedicated, most spiritual life. Then she passed away.
What do we learn from Margaret Wilson? The soul is infinitely more important than the physical body. But again, in the physical is the soul. We have to give the necessary importance to the physical, but when it is a matter of comparison, when it is a matter of choice, the soul is far more important. If we care for the body all the time, then we shall lead a most ordinary human life. We shall live on earth to no avail. In Indian villages there are farmers who are more than one hundred and fifty years old. But they have no aspiration. Just to live here on earth and count the years on the calendar is of no avail. But if we can stay on earth for even forty or fifty years and can bring the soul's light and divine qualities to the fore and try to manifest them here on earth, then life is meaningful. But for that, we have to live in the soul, not in the body. If we live in the body, we become constant victims to teeming desires.
Today's meditation said that God works in our teeming desires. But again, we have entered into the spiritual life, so for us God is in our climbing aspiration. And tomorrow, in the future, we all shall realise God, and at that time God will be in our glowing realisation. Margaret Wilson knew what desire is. She was brought up in America, so desire was not foreign to her. But she left America for India, and there she lived the spiritual life, the life of aspiration. And what she wanted was realisation and liberation, the third and last step. We can all learn from her. We started our journey with desire. Now all of us here live at least sometimes in the world of aspiration. And in the future, near or distant, we all are bound to enter into the world of realisation.
Nishtha had a Corona typewriter. She typed on that machine for many, many years. But when she passed away, after a few years I was given that typewriter to use. It is not a coincidence that out of two thousand or so disciples, admirers and followers of Sri Aurobindo in the ashram, it was I who was given that particular machine, Nishtha's type writer, to use. Thousands and thousands of times I have typed on Nishtha's machine. And whenever I typed, my soul used to show loving concern and sweet gratitude. From my highest concern, I used to bless her soul.
Thrice I visited her home in the cemetery; three times I paid my soulful homage to her soul there. The cemetery was three and a half miles from the place where I lived. According to our Indian tradition, one has to go to the cemetery with utmost love, concern, purity, simplicity; and finally, if one has real concern for the person's soul, then one has to go barefoot. One cannot carry an umbrella, one cannot wear shoes or sandals and one has to walk. So I walked all the way barefoot. And you can well imagine the scorching heat of South India! Three times I paid my deepest homage to Margaret Wilson. 'Faith' in its purest, simplest and highest form, this is Nishtha. I wish to say that all of us can have this kind of faith. It is already within us. We do not have to invent or create faith in ourselves. We have just to discover it. It is not something unknown or foreign or inconceivable or unimaginable to us. No, it is deep inside us. We have only to search, and then we will be able to discover our own treasure. If we have faith in God, then there is no such thing as impossibility.
If one does not have faith in oneself, then one can never, never have real faith in God. This faith in oneself is not arrogance or a showing off of what one can do or say. This faith is the conviction of one's inseparable oneness with the highest Absolute: "I can do this, I can say this, I can go into this, I can become this precisely because deep inside me is my Supreme Lord. It is on the strength of my identification with the Highest Supreme, the Inner Pilot, that I can do this, I can say this, I can become this, I can help the world because God has made me His conscious instrument."
Faith in oneself and faith in God must run together. Otherwise, if one has faith in God and not in oneself or if one has faith in oneself and not in God, then progress will always be unsatisfactory and transient. But if we have faith in ourselves, if we can feel that God has chosen us and we are His chosen instruments, if we can feel that He is with us, in us, of us and for us, then here on earth we can achieve the message of Immortality in our consciousness and the message of universal Perfection in our day-to-day lives. Let us try. We shall succeed.
RD 13. Peace Room, Church Center for the United Nations, 8 September 1970.↩
Part III — Discourses
1976: The new year, new opportunities, new challenges1A new year means a new experience. The new year experiences a new aspiration from human beings. Aspiration is a climbing cry that becomes an illumining smile.
Human beings expect a new satisfaction from the new year. Satisfaction is the embodiment and manifestation of happiness. When we embody happiness, each little individual world of ours becomes a big and vast world. When we manifest happiness, the mortal in us becomes immortal.
What is happiness? Happiness is what God eternally has and what God supremely is. Happiness is not something inside the heart of self-giving. No! It is our unconditional self-giving itself. Self-giving is God-becoming, slowly in reality, steadily in divinity and unerringly in immortality.
Each new year reminds us of the ideal and the real in us. The ideal in us is to see the Truth. The real in us is to become the Truth. Truth is the Eye of God in Heaven; Truth is the Heart of God on earth. God's Eye guides us and leads us. God's Heart feeds us and immortalises us.
Each new year is a new responsibility. A new responsibility is a new opportunity. What is the message of opportunity? Opportunity tells us that a goal, even our ultimate goal, does not have to remain always a far cry. The goal can be reached by transforming animal hunger into divine hunger. The goal can be reached by transforming human thirst into divine thirst. Animal hunger devours the divine vision in us. Human thirst dominates the divine reality in us. Divine hunger is for self-transcendence. Divine thirst is for self-perfection.
This new year of 1976 is the year of either destruction or satisfaction. If we please ourselves in our own human way, then we will undoubtedly meet with destruction. If we please God in God's own Way, then we shall without fail meet with satisfaction. To doubt the divine in us and to indulge the human in us is to please ourselves in our own human way. To perfect the human in us and to fulfil the divine in us is to please God in God's own Way.
RD 14. Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium↩
Concentration, meditation, contemplation1I have offered to each of you a flower. A flower signifies purity. Let us feel that our hearts have become as pure as the flower.
Concentration, meditation and contemplation are of utmost importance in the spiritual life. Therefore, let us try to concentrate, meditate and contemplate. We shall now concentrate. Try to look at the entire flower for a few seconds. While you are concentrating on the entire flower, please feel that you are the flower and also that this flower is growing inside your heart, in the inmost recesses of your heart. You are the flower and, at the same time, you are growing inside your heart. Then, gradually try to concentrate on one particular petal, any petal that you select. At this time feel that that petal is the seed form of your reality-existence. Again, in a few minutes' time, please concentrate on the entire flower. At that time feel that it is the universal reality. So right now concentrate on the flower itself and then a few minutes later on one petal. In this way you go back and forth. And please do not allow any thought to enter into your mind. Try to make your mind absolutely calm, quiet, tranquil, and kindly keep your eyes half open.
Now kindly close your eyes and try to see the flower that you have concentrated upon inside your heart. Then, in the same way, kindly concentrate on the flower inside your heart with your eyes closed.
Now we shall meditate. Kindly keep your eyes half open and imagine the vast sky. Either try to see or feel the vast sky right in front of you. In the beginning try to feel that the sky is in front of you; then later please try to feel that you are as vast as the sky, or that you are the vast sky itself.
Now kindly close your eyes and try to see and feel the sky inside your heart. That is to say, please feel that you are now the Universal Heart, which you truly are. You are now the Universal Heart, and inside you is the sky that you meditated upon and identified yourself with. Your heart is infinitely, infinitely vaster than the sky, so you can easily house the sky within yourself.
Concentration we have done. Meditation we have done. Now we shall contemplate.
Kindly try to imagine a golden being or figure. Try to feel that this golden being is infinitely more beautiful than the most beautiful child that you have ever seen on earth. This being is our beloved Lord Supreme. We are divine lovers, supreme lovers, and the golden being is our beloved Lord Supreme.
Now we shall try to imagine the presence of our Beloved on the top of a mountain in the Himalayas or at the very bottom of the Pacific Ocean, whichever is easier for us. Please try to feel your existence and the Presence of your Supreme Beloved Lord at the top of the highest mountain or at the very bottom of the ocean. Once you feel this, then in silence you smile.
Then, after a few seconds, please feel that you are the Beloved Supreme and that the golden being is the Supreme Lover. It is like divine hide-and-seek. When you become the Supreme Beloved, the divine lover seeks you. When you become the divine lover, you seek the Supreme Beloved. When you are the Supreme Beloved, the divine lover searches for you; and when you are the divine lover, you search for the Beloved Supreme. So one moment you are the supreme lover and the next moment you are the Supreme Beloved Lord. Kindly do this with your eyes half open in the beginning.
RD 15. At a meeting of the United Nations Meditation Group in February 1976, these instructions by Sri Chinmoy on concentration, meditation and contemplation were read out. Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, 3 February 1976.↩
Payments1What must I pay? I must pay my earth-body's regular earthly rent. What should I pay? I should pay my Heaven-soul's regular heavenly telephone bill for my conversation with the cosmic gods and with the Absolute Lord Supreme. What am I paying now? I am paying for my former love-friendship with my ignorance-night.
RD 16. Peace Room, Church Center for the United Nations, January 1976.↩
Three soulful prayers1Lord Supreme, I have all along treasured three most soulful prayers. Today I offer them to You.
Lord Supreme, may I always remain awake to see Your Universal Face.
Lord Supreme, may I always remain conscious to feel your boundless Grace.
Lord Supreme, may I always remain surrendered, unconditionally surrendered, to become a member of Your earth-perfecting, earth-illumining, Heaven-satisfying, Heaven-manifesting race.
RD 17. Peace Room, Church Center for the United Nations, January 1976.↩
Humanity's promise1Humanity’s promise to humanity is a life of service. Humanity’s promise to divinity is a life of oneness. Humanity’s promise to God is a life of perfection. But this perfection is preceded and followed by service and oneness. Oneness has to be found in perfection and service has to be found in oneness. So we can safely say that humanity’s promise to God is a life of service, oneness and perfection.
Service is Eternity’s meaningful achievement. Oneness is Infinity’s soulful achievement. Perfection is Immortality’s fruitful achievement. Service is the transformation of the human within us. Oneness is the realisation of the divine within us. Perfection is the satisfaction of the Supreme within us.
God says to the body, “Body, promise Me that you will not always sleep.” The body says to God, “Father, I promise You that I shall listen to You. Now, do accept a promise of my own. My promise to You is that I shall try to be always wakeful, alert and vigilant.”
God says to the vital, “Vital, promise Me that you will no longer be aggressive.” The vital says to God, “Father, I shall abide by Your Command. In addition, I wish to offer You a promise of my own. From now on I shall be divinely dynamic always.”
God says to the mind, “Mind, promise Me that you will no longer cherish your friendship with doubt. Doubt can no longer be your friend.” The mind says to God, “Father, I shall definitely listen to You. I also have a promise of my own, and that promise is that I shall make friends only with faith. I will have faith only as my friend. I shall live with faith and I shall fulfil my existence on earth only in faith, for faith — soulful, fruitful, all-offering, all-embracing faith.”
God says to the heart, “Heart, promise Me that from now on you will not feel insecure under any circumstances.” The heart says to God, “Father, I give You my word of honour that I shall not in any way feel insecure. I shall listen to Your Command. Now, my promise to You is that I shall establish my oneness-existence with each human being in Your entire creation. I shall feel and cherish my oneness with all throughout the length and breadth of the world.”
The divine in us promises; the human in us forgets. Again, the Supreme in us revives all our countless promises and fulfils them. Our promise and our aspiration — the inner cry, the mounting flame — are two intimate friends. Promise says to aspiration: “Friend, I do know what to do. I have to establish a life of divinity here on earth. Then there will be no ignorance, no darkness, no limitations, no bondage. I know that this is what I have to accomplish.” Aspiration says to promise: “Friend, let me tell you how you can do it. You can do it only on the strength of your self-giving. Give what you have, give what you are at every moment. Then only your goal will not remain a far cry. What do you have? A soulful cry. This is what you can give to mankind. And what are you? You are God’s eternal Dream, the Dream that every moment is in the process of blossoming.”
Humanity’s promise is a movement forward, upward and inward. Humanity’s forward movement leads us to the universal Reality and helps us claim the entire creation of God as our very own. Humanity’s upward movement carries us to the transcendental Height and helps us claim the transcendental Reality as our very own. Humanity’s inward movement leads us to God Himself: God the Dream, God the Reality, God the Silence, God the Sound, God the Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent. It is within our aspiration’s abode that God’s Presence looms large.
Our forward movement is for the recognition of the universal Reality. Our upward movement is for the recognition of the transcendental Reality. Our inward movement is for the recognition of the eternally Real in us: God the Supreme.
Humanity has a promise. This promise is self-discovery. Self-discovery comes from self-mastery, and again, self-mastery comes from self-discovery. When we dive deep within we discover our reality-existence, and when we spread our vision-light around us we achieve self-mastery. The most effective way to attain self-mastery is to spread our heart’s light, which is the Vision of the Supreme within us. If we spread our vision-light, then the darkness around us surrenders and becomes transformed.
Humanity itself is a promise: a promise of God to Himself, for each individual is a portion of God’s Reality-Existence and God’s Vision-Existence. Each individual is a representative of God’s ultimate Height on earth. In and through each individual God fulfils something unique in Himself. God’s promise to Himself is His Aspiration, His Realisation, His Revelation and His Manifestation in and through each individual being.
Each individual has already made an inner promise to humanity. Again, humanity also has made an inner promise to each individual. Each individual, when he prays and meditates and enters into his highest transcendental Height, looks around and sees countless beings around him. At that time he feels it is his bounden duty to carry all and sundry — all human beings, all his brothers and sisters — to the highest Height. This is his promise. And humanity, as a collective soul, promises to each individual that it will offer him the universal Light and Delight. Mere height is not all. The vision and reality have to embrace the entire creation. Length and breadth as well as height are equally needed. The individual will carry the collective soul to the height and humanity, the collective soul, will carry the individual to the universal Reality within all of us.
We have to know whether we shall always remain with mere promise or whether we shall go one step ahead. That step is commitment. There is a great difference between promise and commitment. Promise can be a mere word, a meaningless, fruitless and lifeless gift. But when it is commitment, the soul’s commitment to mankind, inside the commitment itself the illumining reality and the fulfilling reality abide.
The promises that we have made to God, to mankind, to ourselves must be transformed into conscious, constant and unconditional commitments. It is inside the heart of commitment that all the promises of the past, present and future can blossom into fulfilling reality. Humanity’s promise to God: “Take me.” God’s promise to humanity: “I am accepting you.”
Each soul offers a solemn promise to mankind when it enters into the earth-arena. Ordinary souls and special souls both make promises. In the case of ordinary souls, because of countless weaknesses and the teeming ignorance all around, it is difficult for them to fulfil their promises. But great souls quite often fulfil their promises because they have an indomitable will. Souls of the superlative degree, who are constantly one with the Will of the Supreme who are absolutely direct representatives of the Supreme, come into the world with the loftiest promise. Now, unlike ordinary souls or even great souls, they deal with the entire humanity. Their promise is most sublime and, at the same time, most difficult to execute. But they are not earth-bound. They are Heaven-free. They live on earth for a few years — thirty, forty, fifty, eighty — and then go back to their heavenly abode.
Three souls of the highest calibre, the highest magnitude the highest order have come into the world. Sri Krishna came into the world to establish the divine code of life: righteousness must reign supreme; wickedness must give way to righteousness and a life of light. But his promise has not yet been fulfilled. There are still wicked people on earth wickedness still looms large and reigns supreme. But he has not given up his promise. In and through you and me and each individual he is trying to conquer humanity’s wickedness and replace it with the divine code of life, which is justice-light all around.
The Buddha came and promised to make the world at large a world without suffering. There will not remain an iota of suffering here on earth, he said. He tried his best, but the world is still suffering like anything. Yet he has not given up his promise. His promise is now being executed in and through us, in and through each individual seeker here on earth. Each seeker wants to free himself and also the entire world from suffering. So the loftiest promise of the Buddha is now being executed in and through each individual seeker on earth.
The third soul of the highest magnitude is the Christ, the Son, the Saviour. His promise to mankind was the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven. We all know what the Kingdom of Heaven will look like. There will be no ignorance, no darkness, no bondage, no limitation, but only boundless light, boundless delight, boundless harmony, boundless peace. All divine qualities in boundless measure will comprise the Kingdom of Heaven. Right now, when we look around we see anything but the Kingdom of Heaven. Does it mean that the Christ has given up his promise to mankind? No, not in the least. His promise is now percolating, his promise is now flowing like a river in and through each individual seeker on earth. The Kingdom of Heaven must come into existence — either today or tomorrow or in the near future or in the distant future. The promise of the Saviour Christ will definitely be fulfilled in the course of human evolution. No God-Promise can remain unfulfilled. The promise that God made to mankind through Sri Krishna, the promise that God made to mankind through the Buddha, the promise that God made to mankind through the Christ, the promises that God is offering to mankind through you, through me, through each individual seeker, will all be fulfilled.
RD 18. Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium↩
The Buddha1Buddham saranam gacchami
Dhammam saranam gacchami
Sangham saranam gacchami
When I go to the Buddha for refuge, he blesses me.
When I go to the inner Law for refuge, he illumines me.
When I go to the Order for refuge, he utilises me.
Siddhartha did. He flew from his household life into the state of homelessness. The Supreme did. He placed the Buddha in the adoring heart of humanity, in the lap of universal Love. Temptation Siddhartha saw and shunned; austerity he felt and lived; the Middle Path he realised and offered. The Omnipotent did two things through Siddhartha. He revealed the ideal of perfection in a human being. He revealed His Enlightenment and Compassion in a divine being. The Buddha cast aside caste. The fallen learned from him the value of self-respect. The unbending learned from him the necessity of humility.
Nirvana is a miraculous power. Negatively, it pleases the souls who want extinction. Positively, it pleases the souls who long for the ultimate and transcendental Bliss. The Buddha stood not against the Hindu religion. He stood against the perversions and corruptions of Hinduism. He was never ashamed of the Hindu religion, but he was utterly ashamed of some of its ways and methods.
The Buddha had Divinity in its fullest measure. With His Heart, the Unfathomable came to the Buddha; with His Mind, the Unknowable came to the Buddha; with His Bliss, the Transcendental came to the Buddha. Hinduism is the tree; Buddhism is its largest branch. The son discovered that his mother was not perfect, so he decided to live alone.
Buddhism gave birth to two schools of thought: Hinayana and Mahayana. Hinayana depends on self-reliance. Mahayana depends on Grace. Hinayana longs for individual salvation. Mahayana longs for collective salvation. Hinayana feels that the monks alone are entitled to pray for the ultimate Truth. Mahayana feels that not only monks but also laymen are entitled to pray for the ultimate Truth.
Meditation gives enlightenment, feels a Hinayanist. Meditation, prayer and invocation — all these give enlightenment, feels a Mahayanist. A Hinayanist sits at the feet of Buddha’s teachings, following the advice that one must work out one’s own salvation. A Mahayanist sits at the feet of Buddha’s earthly personality, following the advice that one should not cross the Gate of Transcendental Bliss until each and every soul has been liberated.
True, Buddhism is no longer alive in the land of its birth, but Mother India is abundantly proud of her spiritual prince, and she ever cherishes her world-illumining teacher. Her fondest feeling is: My Buddha is a rebel child. My Buddha is a great contributor. My Buddha is a great reformer.
[^19]: 19. Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture Series, Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, 21 April 1976.
RD 19. Dag Hammarskjold Lecture Series, Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, 21 April 1976.↩
A new teacher: heart1Here we are all seekers. We are consciously seeking God's Light; but there was a time when we did not seek God's Light, even unconsciously. Now we consciously seek, but yesterday we did not seek at all. We are all students. Previously we also were students; at that time we had a teacher and the name of that teacher was mind. Now we have a new teacher, and the name of that teacher is heart. Our previous teacher asked us to walk along the desire-road. As we were students, we walked along the desire-road in order to get the satisfaction which the teacher promised us. For it is satisfaction that makes life meaningful and fruitful. But to our surprise, the mind could not offer us satisfaction. Each time we took a step ahead, instead of satisfaction it was all frustration; instead of real happiness, it was false, totally false pleasure. We were totally dissatisfied and we changed teachers.
We previously tried to please the mind, so that we could derive happiness from life, but there was no happiness. Now we have a new teacher, the heart. The new teacher tells us that we can and shall get happiness only if we please God in God's own Way. The new teacher tells us we can never achieve happiness unless we become one with happiness itself. Happiness itself is the soul in us.
The mind does not have happiness. If I do not have something, how can I give you that very thing? Because the mind has no happiness, it can't teach us. The heart says, "I cannot give you happiness, but I know someone who has happiness and who is all happiness, and this person is eager to grant you happiness. I shall take you to that particular happiness-reality and you can achieve and receive as much as you want." So the heart takes us to the soul, which is all Light and Delight. The heart says it does not have joy of its own, but only when it becomes inseparably one with the soul does it become really happy.
The heart says, "O human being, O seeker, you have not an iota of happiness. And I have only limited happiness, limited joy. But I know someone who has boundless happiness, and I am more than eager to take you to him. As your teacher, I am telling you, O seeker, walk along with me. I am leading you to the Source. I am guiding you, I am leading you; but it is up to you if you want to find it. Stay in the soul and you will get unlimited joy, happiness and satisfaction. I cannot give you happiness in my own way, but I am being guided by the soul.
"The mind, your previous teacher, wanted to guide you in its own way. But the mind is not aware of the destination, so how can you expect the mind to give you the message of the destination, let alone take you there? I am not the destination, but I have seen the destination, and I will take you there. Like you, I will try to develop capacity, O seeker, and from the destination receive infinite joy and happiness. Our destination is eager to give us constant satisfaction, joy and Delight."
RD 20. Room 550, 30 April 1976.↩
My captain commands, "Go on!"1My captain commands, "Go on! Go on! Go on!" The captain is the Lord Supreme within us. The captain has commanded, "Children, go on, go on." But right now we have become inseparably one with the body, the vital, the mind and the heart.
The human body tells the seeker in us, "Look, we have become one. Let us tell God that we wish to sleep for some time and then we shall accept Him, we shall accept His command." So the human body and the seeker tell God that they will enjoy sleep for a short while and then they will listen to God's dictates.
God immediately says to the human body and the seeker in us that they can do so. If they want to sleep, they can sleep. But after some time they have to wake up; they have to accept God and walk along the road of Light and Delight. So the body and the seeker start to sleep and sleep and sleep. They do not want to wake up. Sometimes they forget to get up; sometimes they deliberately do not get up. Therefore, they do not proceed along the road of Light and Delight to the Golden Shores of the Beyond.
The vital and the seeker within us say to God, "Lord, we shall listen to Your command. But before that, allow us to fight, struggle and win. That is to say, before we proceed, before we march on towards the ultimate Goal, let us dominate and lord it over the world for a few days, a few months, a few years. After that, we shall definitely abide by Your command; we shall walk, march and run towards the destined Goal."
God says to the vital and the seeker, "Granted. But don't forget that after you have fought with the world and won your supremacy, after you have dominated the world in your own way, you have to walk along the road of Eternity to reach perfection in life."
Both the seeker in us and the vital in us then fight against the world and bring the world under their feet. They dominate the world and they are satisfied. But then they don't want to walk along the road any farther. They don't want to reach the destined Goal. They are satisfied. They have forgotten the promise they made to God that after they enjoyed their supremacy they would walk along the road to reach the highest Truth and Light.
When the mind and the seeker become one, they say to God, "Lord, we shall definitely listen to You. You want us to march on along the road, and we shall do so. But before that, please allow us to think, to judge, to see if the world deserves our faith or our doubt. Let us spend some time either in doubting the world or in having faith in the world, in thinking of ourselves or in thinking of the world. When all this is done, we shall without fail proceed along Eternity's road. To please You, to fulfil Your command, we shall without fail reach the highest Height."
God, out of His infinite Bounty, says to the mind and the seeker in us, "Children, all right, I wish to fulfil your desire. But don't forget to fulfil My desire after you have fulfilled your own desire. You have to walk far, farther, farthest. You have to walk along Eternity's road in order to reach the highest Goal."
So the mind and the seeker within us start thinking of the world, thinking about the world within them and the world without. Then day and night they start doubting the world, or occasionally they exercise their faith in the world. That is enough for them. They become satisfied and totally forget their promise to God. They don't want to walk any more. They don't want the highest Truth, the highest Light, the highest Reality, the illumining Perfection and fulfilling Satisfaction.
So the body, the vital and the mind fail.
But the seeker in us also has the heart, and the heart has the seeker. They become friends. They are doubtful in the beginning whether they will be able to walk along this eternal road. They see that their brothers, the body, the vital and the mind, have totally failed. They had good intentions — they just wanted to sleep a little, they just wanted to dominate a little, they just wanted to doubt a little and then they were ready to please God in His own Way. But they failed. They did not keep their promises to God.
So the heart in us and the seeker in us are confused and worried when they start. They say to God, "We want to please You in Your own way, in spite of knowing that the rest of the members of our family have failed You. We would also like to come to You by doing something."
God says, "What is it?"
The seeker and the heart say, "We wish to identify ourselves with the achievements of the body, vital and mind."
God says, "Their achievements are nothing but frustration and destruction."
The heart says, "We know, but we are tempted to feel their frustration and destruction first, then immediately come to You for satisfaction. We will definitely start walking along Eternity's road, for we desperately need abiding satisfaction."
God says to the heart and the seeker, "Yes, My children. You can try."
So the heart becomes one with the body, the vital and the mind. Then the quality of the body, lethargy, the quality of the vital, aggression or supremacy, the quality of the mind, suspicion and division, all immediately enter into the heart! On the one hand, it was more than eager to please God in His own Way when it saw the confusion that the body, vital and mind had created by not doing so. But temptation arose in the aspiring human heart, and because of this temptation the heart became one, inseparably one, with the rest of the members of the family before it was in a position to offer its existence totally to the Supreme Pilot, the Captain Supreme.
So the heart and the seeker become helplessly and hopelessly one with the body, vital and mind for some time. Then, after having known and felt their suffering, torture and ignorance-night, the heart starts to cry out for Light and Truth. The body is satisfied with its achievements. The vital is satisfied with its achievements. The mind is satisfied with its achievements. But the heart, fortunately, is not satisfied with its achievements. The heart wants to achieve something else, something higher, something deeper, something more fulfilling and illumining. So the heart leaves the body, vital and mind and approaches God.
It says to God, "Lord, I am entirely Yours. Now tell me, shall I stay with You and receive Your Light while walking along the road, or shall I stay inside the body, the vital and the mind to cry for Your Light? Which do You want? Shall I give up my body-consciousness, shall I give up my vital-consciousness, shall I give up my mind-consciousness in order to please You? Or shall I remain inside them and invoke Your Light? Please tell me."
God says to the heart-seeker, "If you are really brave, if you feel that you can pray and meditate inside the lethargic body, the aggressive vital, the doubtful and suspicious mind, then I have no objection. But it is an almost impossible task. You have to come out of the body-consciousness. You have to come out of the vital-consciousness. You have to come out of the mental consciousness. First you have to be inundated with boundless Light, and then only can you enter the body-consciousness and change its lethargy into alertness and dynamism; then only can you change the aggression of the vital into a positive will for God-manifestation; then only can you change the mind's doubt and lack of faith into constant faith. If you want to please the young members of your family — your body, vital and mind — you have to first become strong and please Me. Heart, if you please Me in My own way, only then will the rest of the members of your family be pleased."
The heart fully accepts God's Command and wholeheartedly tries to fulfil God's Will; therefore, the heart becomes inseparably one with God's Will, and receives and achieves Light in abundant measure. Then God tells the heart to enter into the mind, to enter into the vital, to enter into the physical body for their illumination, and the heart enters. It suffers a lot because the body-consciousness does not want to accept the heart's light, the vital-consciousness does not want to accept the heart's light and the mental consciousness does not want to accept the heart's light.
But the heart in the meantime has developed boundless patience, and this patience is the lengthening of time itself. Patience is the constant expansion of time within us. So now the seeker and his heart are inundating the seeker's physical body, inundating his vital and inundating his mind, with the Light of the Supreme. They are not being compelled to do this by any outer forces or by the members of their family, but they are acting out of their inseparable inner oneness with the Lord Supreme who wants them to illumine the younger members of their family.
Here we are all seekers. Individually we seek, collectively we seek. We seek for Truth, we seek for Light, we seek for perfection within and without. In order to discover perfection in life, what we need is a flood of Light and Delight within us.
We have to know that what we have principally is the heart and the mind: the mind that is constantly bringing us the message of subtraction and division, and the heart that is constantly bringing us the message of addition and multiplication. It is through addition and multiplication that illumination, salvation, liberation, realisation and perfection evolve.
We are all seekers of the infinite Truth. Let us feel from now on that what we have is only the heart. The heart can not only fulfil the divine in us, but it can awaken the stone consciousness and the plant consciousness in us and transform the animal in us. It is the divine qualities of our heart that can awaken the stone life and plant life in us and at the same time, transform the animal in us, illumine the human in us and fulfil the divine in us. So let us try to become this heart which has the inner longing to fulfil God in all the members of our family.
[Sri Chinmoy sings "My Captain commands, go on, go on"]
RD 21. Dag Hammarskjold Lecture Series, Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, 6 May 1976.↩
The inner call1The inner call is not everything, but on the basis of the inner call we make a choice. Sometimes the inner call is a tempting one. Sometimes the inner call is an illumining one. For those who are not sincere, the inner call is temptation. But for those who are sincere, the inner call is always illumination.
When we get the inner call, very often we notice a few conflicting forces. These forces are from the desire life and from the aspiration life. The forces of the desire life tell us that we are under obligation to remain with them, since for many, many years they have fed us, nourished us and fulfilled us according to their capacity. But the forces of aspiration tell us that only a new life, a new nourishment, can give us happiness and satisfaction. If we properly accept the call of aspiration, then we begin walking along the path of illumination. But if we do not properly accept the call of aspiration, we feel that the forces of aspiration are nothing but temptation forces. We feel that we are being invited by the unknown and that we may be totally swallowed by the unknown.
As I said before, based on the inner call we make a choice. Sometimes we make a choice to become good. Then we have to decide how far we want to go with the call. In order to become good, we have to give up quite a few things, and we have to accept and adopt quite a few things. But we have to know that the things that we are giving up are not worth having. At the same time, anything that is worth keeping from our previous life — from our life of desire — anything that can be transformed, illumined and perfected, that we shall not give up.
The day after tomorrow we shall observe the fourth of July, a day which is most significant in the firmament not only of America but also of the entire world. What do we notice here? We notice that two hundred years ago there was a significant call that came directly from the Absolute Supreme. This call reached a considerable height, and the inner beauty, the inner light and the inner perfection from that height were received by awakened Americans and by the world at large.
Always there will be a call, and the call will come to each individual on a different plane. It can come on the political plane, on the spiritual plane, or on any other plane. When we hear that call we have to know how far we should go with it on the physical plane, on the vital plane, on the mental plane, on the psychic plane. Each plane is limitless, and it is we who have to decide how far to go according to our capacity and receptivity. Some people want only to start their journey, while others want to walk a considerable distance and still others want to reach the destination. Again, there will be a few who will not be satisfied even when they reach the destination. They want to come back to the starting point again to teach others how to walk properly and how to reach the goal.
Seekers who follow the inner call ultimately reach God. Some do so on the strength of a mutual agreement with this inner call. They feel that they will give what they can give, and they will get from the call, from the choice, from God, what God can give. Again, there are some higher seekers who reach God on the strength of their conscious, constant surrender to their inner call. They tell God that they will do everything unconditionally right from the beginning to the end. These seekers God is extremely pleased with, both in Heaven and on earth. But sometimes they break their unconditional surrender to God's Will. Some of them fail to keep their promise on earth. And some of them, while they are on earth, do become unconditionally surrendered to God's Will; but then, when they go to Heaven, they may not keep their promise, keep their surrender to God's Will. In spite of being fully illumined, they make an emotional demand of God. It is not a human emotional demand, but it is a kind of charming, illumined emotional demand. Those seekers tell the Absolute Supreme, "Look how much we have suffered on earth. We saw that people were hungry and we wanted to help and serve them. But almost all of them misunderstood us and kicked us. Why go back again, when we see that earth is unwilling to accept light? Now that we are in Heaven, please allow us to remain in perfect peace. On earth we helped according to our capacity, our aspiration. Here we wish to acquire another capacity, the capacity to stay in peace and watch. Watching is also a capacity."
In some cases, the Absolute Supreme grants their request. "My children, you have worked so hard. If you don't want to go back, since you feel there is no hope, then you can stay. I never lose hope, but if you want to take an indefinite rest, I will allow you. But if you don't go back to earth, it will make Me sad." When God says this, some of the seekers and Masters in the soul's world feel sad. They immediately change their attitude; they become brave, and they do come back. And when they come back, they feel inwardly that this time they will have a better environment, they will have better students, they will have a better spiritual Master. It may happen, however, that they get a worse environment, worse students, a worse spiritual Master. But if they are really brave, even then they struggle to the end. They may win or lose, but they take everything as an experience, and they keep coming back.
No matter which plane the inner call comes on, whether it is on the physical plane, the vital plane, the mental plane or the psychic plane, once we start our journey, we should not go back. If we want to go back, then we may be on the physical plane, but our consciousness will be on the inconscient plane, at the stone level, the plant level or animal level.
Even those who are very bad students in the aspiration world are far better than those who are still living in the desire world. If we totally give up the world of aspiration and go back to the ordinary world, to the desire life, then we are going back to the plane where there is no satisfaction. Just because the inner plane is not giving us satisfaction in our own way, we cannot go back to the plane where we have seen that there is no satisfaction at all. We have to continue from where we are. Today I am not getting anything to drink. Shall I then drink filthy, dirty water? Since my goal is to drink Nectar, I shall not go back and be satisfied with dirty, filthy water, even if I cannot drink Nectar today. No, I will go on, go on.
It is not that no one has ever drunk Nectar. There are people who have drunk Nectar. Sri Krishna, Lord Buddha, the Christ, Sri Ramakrishna and others have drunk Nectar. And they started their journey like us.
Take the Buddha, for example. The Buddha received a call. The Buddha had everything; he was the prince. He had a most beautiful wife, a child, a kingdom. He had money-power, he had world-enjoyment, everything. But he gave all this up when he got the inner call.
In the Buddha's case, the world of desire was all around him. When the call came, he gave up everything. But in Sri Ramakrishna's case, he did not enter into the desire world at all.
For Sri Aurobindo, the call came when he was serving as a professor. And from that call he entered into politics. Then another call came, and he gave up politics and entered into seclusion for God-realisation and manifestation.
In Vivekananda's case, in spite of being well-educated according to Western standards, when the call came he went and fell at the feet of someone who did not care for earthly knowledge or education at all. In order to fulfil the call, he just placed himself at the feet of someone who could nourish him spiritually. Again, there was considerable conflict in his life. When he was going through conflict, at times he would go back to the ordinary life. But his inner call was so powerful that in spite of this conflict, he was able to maintain the intensity of his inner call.
When we get an inner call, no matter where we are, we have to go forward. Even if we are standing at the head of the line, we have to go forward. When we go forward because of an inner call, it means a special blessing has descended upon us. But if we do not avail ourselves of this opportunity, it may take a number of years, a whole lifetime, or quite a few incarnations before we get another call.
To receive a call is not like receiving an earthly meal. If we have missed a meal, then in a few hours' time we will be able to eat again. If we have missed lunch, we know we will get supper in three or four hours. But once we miss an inner call, we may have to wait for centuries before we can get inner nourishment again. An earthly meal lasts two or three hours. But the meal that we get from the inner call may last for centuries. We can live for Eternity on the inner meal which we get when we listen to the inner call.
Once we accept the spiritual life, the inner life, and listen to the inner call, we totally change the course of our development. Here we are all seekers. True, we have all kinds of weaknesses and defects, but from the strict spiritual point of view, we are not human beings. God tells us that once we accept the spiritual life we should never think of ourselves as human beings. The moment we start aspiring, we become divine beings. Again, there are grades of divinity. In the world of divinity, somebody can be more divine than somebody else. There will be some who do not yet take God seriously, who do not take Truth seriously, who do not take Light seriously. And there will be others who do take God seriously, but their seriousness does not always last. When we are in the spiritual life, we have to take ourselves seriously and we have to take God seriously at every moment. When we take God seriously, we do everything for God. At first we say, "I am doing this because I want to see God." Then we see that it is not we, but God Himself who is doing everything in and through us. God will do everything for us, but before He does something, since God is a Gentleman, in silence He asks us, "Can I do this for you?" If we say "Yes, I would be very happy if You would," then He will do it.
Each individual has God inside him; each individual has Divinity, Truth and Light. When he has realised the Highest, each individual will realise that God's Vision is nothing but Wisdom-Light. God created the world with His inner Vision and this Vision is all Wisdom. Wisdom is not mere talk, Wisdom is not cleverness; Wisdom is something else. Believe it or not, Wisdom is Compassion. God's Wisdom and God's Compassion are the same thing. Because of His Compassion, today God is using His Wisdom for us. And because of His Wisdom, today God is using His Compassion for us. When we listen to the inner call, we receive God's Compassion and grow into God's Wisdom.
Here we are all at the United Nations. The United Nations is the offspring of the League of Nations, President Wilson got an inner call, and from his inner call he tried and cried, cried and tried to have world union, union of the world forces. Now this League of Nations has become a world body. We call it the United Nations. The United Nations also has a call, an inner call. The outer call we see when something happens. The United Nations gets a call from a suffering country, from a country that needs help, or a call from the strong countries that want to be of help in creating a peaceful world.
But the inner call the UN has already got. That inner call is from the soul and not from the body. It does not come from the geography of the world or the history of the world; it comes from the cry, the inner cry of the world. The geography of the world will say one thing about the UN, history will say something else about the UN and the inner cry will say something else. The living inner cry says that the role of the UN is to serve, not men as such, not the world as such, but the cry that is inside the world, the cry that is inside each human being, inside each individual on earth.
An inner call comes to awaken us, to illumine us. It tells us that just because God the infinite Truth and God the infinite Light is inside us, for that reason we are trying and crying and hoping to become inseparably one with God. We use the term "hoping" because we do not know how much faith we have: faith not only in Peace, Light and Bliss, but also faith in ourselves. When we have sincere faith in ourselves, we come to see the Source of that faith. We see that faith comes from the Supreme, from the highest Absolute. If we know that we have a Source which has boundless Peace, Light and Bliss for us, then we can go forward always. But we have to have faith that we can and shall move forward, precisely because we have a Source that is more than willing to lead us forward to the ever-transcending Vision-World and Reality-World.
If it is from the inner call that we make a choice, then it is from the inner call that we move forward, and it is from the inner call that we eventually realise the Highest. Then after we realise the Highest, we feel that if anything remains unillumined anywhere on earth, then the main purpose of realisation, which is satisfaction, we can never achieve. Everything must be illumined and perfected. Only then can we have real satisfaction. So we go from call to choice, from choice to destination and from the destination to more inner aspiration for the ever-transcending Goal. And this happens only when we do not turn back. The road is a one way road.
Again and again, I wish to tell you that here we are all seekers. A seeker is not a human being who is half animal. He is more than that. A seeker is one who has glimpsed the light. Otherwise, he could not have become a seeker. This light is more than eager to expand itself into boundless, infinite Light provided we follow the inner call. If we don't follow it, if we don't have faith in it, then our inner light gets hidden or extinguished by the desire forces, the suspicion forces, the doubt forces, the temptation forces, the frustration forces and all the other negative forces.
RD 22. Dag Hammarskjold Lecture Series, Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, 2 July 1976.↩
On a birthday1Each birthday is a new awakening. Each birthday is a new hope. Each birthday is a new promise. Each birthday is a new fulfilment.
The new awakening takes place in our physical, earth-bound consciousness. The new hope dawns in our frustrated, disappointed and unaspiring vital. The new promise comes inside our doubtful human mind. This new promise challenges the doubting, doubtful mind and reminds the mind of its origin: consciousness-flood. The new fulfilment occurs inside the entire being: In the earth-bound being and the Heaven-free being.
When the soul descends to earth, the soul takes responsibility not only for the earth-consciousness but also for the Heaven-consciousness. The earth-consciousness cries for light, cries for peace, cries for love, cries for delight. The soul promises the earth-consciousness that it will help it achieve peace, light, love, delight, joy, harmony and everything that the earth-consciousness needs. Again, it is the same soul that promises the Heaven-consciousness that it will manifest Heaven's joy satisfaction and perfection here on earth.
Each birthday is a tune, a melody of the universal music. Each individual is also a melody of the universal music. The seeker grows and glows in this music, which he can hear with his soulful ears. The very presence of the soul-child inside us is what grants us a taste of the universal music. The soul needs to climb like music, soulful music. The soul, when it climbs, knows no boundaries, no religious barriers, no political boundaries. It is all freedom, freedom within and freedom without.
Each birthday is a petal of a flower. The flower, petal by petal, blossoms and then it is ready to be placed at the inner shrine in the aspiring heart.
A thought indicates a new birthday. An iota of will indicates a new birthday. An upward movement indicates a new birthday. At every moment, whether we look within or without, we celebrate the birthday of our oneness with God, the Creator of the entire universe. When we look at something, we become one with it. On a birthday we feel our inseparable oneness with the expansion of a new light, a light that will ultimately cover the length and breadth of the world.
The real birthday does not come only once a year. The real birthday is the birth of each second in a seeker's life. An aspiring second in the seeker's heart is the real birthday. At every moment, God the Author of all good celebrates the seeker's birthday. As seekers we have to be consciously aware of something divine and supreme within us. What this divine and supreme thing is is our promise to humanity and our promise to divinity. The transformation of humanity's face is our soul's promise to humanity and the manifestation of divinity's light here on earth is our soul's promise to divinity.
It is our Devadip's Birthday. As I have spoken about the soul in connection with music, I wish to dedicate this very short talk to the sublimely great musician-soul inside Devadip. Some of you know him as Carlos Santana, while others know him as Devadip, the Lamp of God, the Vision, the Light of the Supreme.
[To Devadip Carlos Santana:] The United Nations is an international body. You play music all over the world with your soul's love for mankind. May the soul of the United Nations bless you. May the soul of the United Nations grant you its inner peace, inner love, inner joy, inner oneness with the rest of the world. Your dedicated service of joy, love and peace you offer to the world. The soul of the United Nations, therefore, offers its most blessingful love to you.
RD 23. Room 550, 20 July 1976.↩
Tribute To Dag Hammarskjold1We wish to offer our soulful homage to this great soul and also we invoke this great soul to bless us in our life of inner aspiration and our life of outer dedication.
[A short meditation follows.]
Dag Hammarskjöld was a great man, a good heart, a soulful life, a possessor of perfect vision-light. Something more, he became a fulfilling bridge between humanity’s excruciating pangs and divinity’s illumining Compassion.
They say that the mind’s brilliance and the heart’s oneness do not and cannot go together, because the mind tends to enjoy a sense of separativity. But Dag Hammarskjöld’s life amply proved that the mind’s brilliance and the heart’s oneness can and do go together.
They say that the selfless purity of the body and the bold dynamism of the vital usually do not run abreast. Indeed, Dag Hammarskjöld was a rare exception.
They say that there is a yawning gulf between earth’s practical reality-body and Heaven’s theoretical vision-soul. If what they say is true, then it is also unmistakably true that Dag Hammarskjöld bridged that yawning gulf in his own life’s short span
The practical man in Dag Hammarskjöld teaches us, “Do not look back, and do not dream about the future, either. Your duty, your reward, your destiny, are here and now.”
The theoretical soul in Dag Hammarskjöld teaches us 2
Bound by its vow,
My heart was heavy.
Naked against the night
The tree slept.
Not as I will....
The burden remained mine:
They could not hear my call
And all was silence."
Religion-blood Dag Hammarskjöld inherited from his sweet mother. Manifestation-flood he inherited from his dear father. Something more he inherited from his father: loneliness. Both father and son were assailed by loneliness.
The divine seeker in the Secretary-General left a special message for those who are married to inescapable loneliness: “Didst Thou give me this inescapable loneliness so that it would be easier for me to give Thee all?”
A great man is, indeed, a great power. Human power cleverly avoids justification. Divine power does not avoid justification for there is no need on its part to do so. It knows that justification is only another name for its selfsame reality. The Secretary-General’s wisdom-light reveals to us, “Only he deserves power who everyday justifies it.”
We desire many things. Sometimes we do not know what we desire and why we desire. Unlike us, God has only one desire: independence. And that independence, too, is only for us. The seeker in Dag Hammarskjöld not only tells us about God’s desire for us, but also tells us when we can attain it: “God desires our independence, which we attain when, ceasing to strive for it ourselves, we ‘fall’ back into God.”
Dag Hammarskjöld was a man of unparalleled duty. Duty demands capacity. He perfectly mastered the art of duty. Out of his heart’s magnanimity, he shares with us its quintessence: “Somebody placed the shuttle in your hand. Somebody who had already arranged the threads.”
The seeker’s life need not always be a bed of roses. Sometimes it can ruthlessly be a bed of thorns. When the seeker Dag Hammarskjöld’s inner crisis loomed large, his frustration-life voiced forth: “What I ask for is unreasonable — that life shall have a meaning. What I strive for is impossible — that my life shall acquire a meaning.”
Again, when the same seeker’s life-tree blossomed into a glorious satisfaction, he immediately and unreservedly voiced forth,<a href="#fnuibf" id="fnrefuibf">3</a>
Nothing binds me.
In the wonders here and now
Become suddenly real."
Every time I go to the Secretary-General’s birth-place, Uppsala, Sweden, I make it a special point to offer my soulful homage to his Long Home. His life’s sterling simplicity illumines my life of aspiration and his soul’s ever-glowing luminosity fulfils my life of dedication.
A flying earth-plane killed his body, only to help his soul fly to reach the highest height. But his Heaven-bound flying soul got the immediate opportunity to see the Face of the Beloved Supreme.
RD 24. Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, 29 July 1976. On the anniversary of Dag Hammarskjold's birth, 29 July 1976, the United Nations Meditation Group dedicated a programme to the late Secretary-General, held in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium.↩
RD 24,8. Excerpt from Markings by Dag Hammarskjöld.↩
RD 24,16. Excerpt from Markings by Dag Hammarskjöld.↩
Emotion: is it our enemy or our friend?1Emotion is both our foe and our friend. There are many planes of consciousness, but usually we deal with two planes of consciousness: the physical and the spiritual. On the physical plane, emotion and the very outset is sweet, sweeter, sweetest. Then there comes a time when this emotion is followed by frustration and frustration is followed by destruction. Why does it happen so? It happens so precisely because the emotion that is in play in the physical proper is still unlit, unillumined and impure. On the physical plane emotion is nothing short of self-exposition, either consciously or unconsciously, either under compulsion or at one’s own sweet will.
There is also a kind of emotion in the spiritual plane, in our heart or psychic existence. Here the emotion is constantly self-illumining and God-fulfilling. In the spiritual world, in the inner world emotion is truth-expansion, divinity-expansion and perfection-manifestation. Naturally we can also add “God-satisfaction”, for God-satisfaction can loom large only in truth-expansion and divinity-expansion and perfection-manifestation.
On the human plane there are quite a few undivine forces that attack us and eventually compel us to surrender or resort to anger, anxiety, worries, attachment, self-pity and self-immolation.
Anger: what is it, after all? Anger is a force that does not permit us to be consciously aware of our oneness-reality with others, who are our extended, expanded reality. When anger assails us we not only forget our existence-reality, our oneness-reality with others, but we try to destroy or we actually do destroy our oneness-reality.
Now, how do we conquer anger? A spiritual Master will tell us to make our mind calm and quiet and to pray and meditate on God. Then we will be able to free ourselves from the wild anger in us.
The advice of the spiritual Master is absolutely correct. But if we want to conquer anger on the spot, then the easiest and the most effective way is to repeat God’s Name as fast as possible each time we breathe in. The first time we breathe in we can repeat ten times, “God, God, God.” And the second time we breathe in, if inside each time we say “God” we can mentally visualise or count God’s Name twenty times more, then the power of anger almost totally vanishes.
Lack of poise, lack of mental equanimity, is anger. How do we attain poise? How do we achieve mental equanimity? We achieve mental equanimity when we live not in the mind but somewhere else. And where is that place? It is in the heart.
The mind that doubts, the mind that is subject to anxiety, worries, suspicion and attachment cannot give us poise, cannot give us clarity and vision. It is the heart, the aspiring heart that has already established its constant and conscious oneness with the soul that can give us poise. And this poise that we get from the heart can easily be brought into the suspicious, doubtful, arrogant, unlit, unillumined mind. And once the poise of the heart, which is founded upon the soul’s light, is brought into the human mind, which is immersed in the gross physical, the mind is bound to be illumined slowly, steadily and unerringly.
What is poise? Poise is a kind of divine emotion in us. But it is anything but excitement. This poise we get when we identify ourselves with the Infinite, the Eternal, the Immortal.
Fear is another kind of emotion which plays its role only in separating us from our vast oneness-reality. Doubt also practically does the same. When fear plays its role, we either unconsciously or consciously separate our existence from the Vastness itself. When doubt plays its role, we unconsciously shorten our own reality-existence. We minimise our consciousness, our own experience and realisation of reality.
Attachment is a form of emotion. As attachment is a form of emotion, so also is detachment a form of emotion. When there is attachment, we immediately notice that there is a constant tug-of-war between two armies.
Attachment binds us for our own gratification. Attachment makes us feel that no individual is complete. It makes us feel that only in the unification of two individuals — no matter whether it is on the physical plane, vital plane or mental plane — will the two individuals derive satisfaction. But this feeling is incorrect. The human in us is right now half-animal. The animal consciousness in us quite often plays its role most powerfully. So when two people use attachment as a magnet or pull each other, quite often destruction plays its role.
Detachment is also a form of emotion. On the outer plane we may feel there is no emotion involved. Unfortunately this conception of ours is built on air. No, detachment is also a form of emotion. Detachment is not indifference; detachment is our true existence, the existence that lives in reality proper — either in Heaven-reality or in earth-reality. Detachment is emotion, only it is not affected by the happenings, incidents and experiences of the reality that it is seeing; it is always an inch higher in consciousness. Although it may remain on the earth plane, in earth’s multifarious activities, it keeps its consciousness higher than the reality where the experiences or incidents are taking place.
Although a seeker is detached, that doesn’t mean he is indifferent. He sees and experiences the reality that is apt to threaten him and frighten him, the reality that quite often belittles his capacity, his potentiality and even his own existence and immortality. But the seeker does not let this affect him. He feels there is only one reality in him and that reality is God-Reality. This God-Reality he can feel, he can experience no matter where he is, provided he knows the supreme art of focusing all his attention on one object or subject: God.
Sincerity and insincerity: these are also emotions. With sincerity we fly, fly in the vast, uncharted sky. With insincerity we enter into a tiny cave in order to escape. With sincerity we try to spread our wings and give to the world what we have and what we are. With insincerity we hide our reality-world which we claim to be only ours.
Purity and impurity. Purity is our self-expansion and impurity is our self-immolation. With each purity-breath we breathe in, we increase our God-Reality. And with each impurity-breath we breathe in, we surrender our very existence to the jaws of death.
Sincerity and purity are the two divine attributes that all the seekers can apply to their day-to-day activities. Emotion has to be disciplined sincerely in the mind proper. When the mind becomes sincere, then the mind opens itself consciously, devotedly and soulfully to the Vastness. At that time, the multiple encouraging, inspiring experiences of the world descend from above through the mind and prepare for the universal opening to the transcendental heights.
Purity is of the heart and in the heart, but for the soul. The soul is the conscious representative of God within us. The heart of purity is the heart that consciously discovers God. The heart of purity is conscious God-revelation and God-manifestation.
Ultimately all our emotions give way to tears, either to earthly tears or to heavenly tears. Earthly tears are the outcome of depression, frustration and lack of fulfilment. Heavenly tears are the tears of gratitude offered to the Source, to the Supreme Beloved, the Inner Pilot, the Eternal Friend.
We start our journey with earthly tears because this is what we get when we walk along the road of desire. But there comes a time when we discover that the road we are walking upon will never lead us to our destination. Then we change our road. We start walking along another road, the road of realisation. When we walk along this road, each day, each hour, each minute, each second we feel we are approaching our cherished destination. Here the tears that we experience are divine tears composed of our unalloyed love for God and flowing from our heart-flower of gratitude.
With earthly tears we start our journey. But this journey does not satisfy us; it cannot lead us to our destination. So we resort to heavenly tears, which come from our heart’s gratitude and true love of God. When we become heavenly tears, we not only start our journey properly but also we hasten our true Truth-realisation and God-revelation which is Beauty-revelation, God-manifestation and Bliss-manifestation for earth.
Emotion that says, “I came, I saw, I conquered,” is a destructive emotion, an animal emotion in us. Emotion that says, “I came, I loved, I became,” is divine emotion, illumined emotion, fulfilled emotion — perfect, all-illumining, all-fulfilling emotion.
“I am for myself” is either the animal emotion in me or the human emotion in me. “I am for my Reality-Source, for my Reality-God” is a divine emotion. I see the Truth just because the Truth wants to see in and through me. I become the Truth just because the Truth reveals itself in and through me. Then I am inundated with divine emotion, which is conscious and constant love of God and awareness of God: Truth-expansion, God-manifestation and man-and-God-satisfaction.
RD 25. Dag Hammarskjold Lecture Series, Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium, 2 October 1976.↩
Editor's preface to first editionSince the spring of 1970, Sri Chinmoy has been conducting meditations for United Nations delegates and staff and delivering frequent lectures, including those in the Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture Series. This book is a compilation of many of the lectures Sri Chinmoy delivered at the United Nations during the years 1975 and 1976. Earlier collections of his UN lectures, The garland of Nation-Souls, The tears of Nation-Hearts and Union-Vision were published in 1972, 1974 and 1976 respectively.