Service-boat and love-boatman, part 2

Return to the table of contents

Author's introduction: love, devotion and surrender

Love is action. Devotion is practice. Surrender is experience.

Love is realisation. Devotion is revelation. Surrender is manifestation.

Love is the meaning of life. Devotion is the secret of life. Surrender is the Goal of life.

In my love, I see God the Mother. In my devotion, I see God the Father. In my surrender, I see God the Mother and God the Father together in one body.

Love without devotion is absurdity. Devotion without surrender is futility.

Love with devotion was my journey's start. Devotion with surrender is my journey's close.

I love the Supreme because I came from Him. I devote myself to the Supreme because I wish to go back to Him. I surrender myself to the Supreme because He lives in me and I in Him.

— Sri Chinmoy

Part II — Question and answers

Question: What is love?

Sri Chinmoy: There are various types of love: animal love, human love and divine love. In animal love we see, we feel and we become the instrument of destruction. Animal love is another name for unlit, obscure, dark passion. Animal love is not human love; but if human love is not transformed or purified by the divine light, there is every possibility that it will be covered by animal love. That is because the animal is still deep inside us. Each human being has inside him animal qualities and divine qualities. At every moment, he is pulled either by the divine or the undivine. The undivine here is animal love.

With human love, we have to be extremely careful, because human love is very limited. In human love, there is every possibility of being captured by pleasure. In human love there is practically no opportunity to expand our divine consciousness. True human love, even if it is not spiritual, will have some psychic emotion in it. This emotion will try to show us that love should not bind or impose. However, in human love we always feel that the other person does not want us or need us. There is always some fear or hatred in human love. In the case of human love for a spiritual Master, we feel that we want or need his love but are not getting it in the manner that we deserve. Human love, as everybody knows, ends in frustration and frustration is followed by destruction. In human love, we end up losing our own sweet feeling of oneness with the other person and we end up losing our divine reality.

Divine love makes no demand. It is spontaneous and constant. It is unlimited in every way. It is like the sun. The sun is for everybody. Everybody can use the sunlight, but if we keep our doors and windows shut, what can the sun do? It is God's divine Love that has to act in and through the human love. But if we do not care for the divine love that is flowing around us or wants to flow in us, then the divine love cannot function in and through us.

Human love binds; but before it binds it is already bound. Divine love illumines, but before it illumines, we see that it is already illumined. Divine love starts with the awareness of some higher reality. It is our constant conviction of some high, very high truth. Divine love at every moment illumines us and in illumination we see total fulfilment.

God is all Love; God and God's Love can never be separated. God is highest and most powerful because of His Love. But human love has simply killed God's divine Love. Human love has been misused to such an extent that God's divine Love has been suffocated. We are using only our human love, which is binding, and we are thinking that this is our real achievement or fulfilment. But at the end of our journey, we see that it is all frustration, all destruction.

The very nature of human love is to stick only to one person and to reject everyone else: accept and reject, accept and reject. But in divine love, which is unlimited and infinite, the question of acceptance and rejection does not arise at all. In divine love there is no possession — only a feeling of oneness. This oneness can enter into an animal, into a flower, into a tree or even into a wall. It is not like human love where today we want to possess one person or thing, tomorrow two persons, the day after tomorrow three. When we have divine love for someone, at that time there is automatically inseparable oneness. No bridge is required; we just become one. The lover becomes the beloved, the knower becomes the known and the seeker becomes one with the Master.

Divine love tells us that we are greater than the greatest, larger than the largest; it tells us that our life is infinitely more important than we imagine. Divine love means constant transcendence, not only of our human boundaries, but of God's own Realisation in us and through us.

In divine love we grow. Divine love, the love of the soul, liberates and expands our consciousness. Love means oneness of divinity, oneness of reality, oneness of the individual consciousness with the unlimited consciousness. When we enter into the universal Consciousness through our meditation, we do not think of human love at that time. We think only of divine love and oneness. If we have something small like a tiny knife, then we cannot cut something very big with it. But if we have a very big knife, then we can cut something large with it. In the spiritual life also, the instrument that we are using right now is our very limited consciousness. That is why we are limited in our love. But if we use the other instrument, which is very vast, if we use the universal Consciousness, our capacity for divine love become unlimited.

Divine love will come from the spiritual Master, from God and from our own meditation, but only when we do not expect it. A child expects either a penny or a nickel or a quarter from his father. More than that is beyond his expectation. If he expects from his father all the time, the father will give, but he will give only what the child expects. But if the child feels that whatever his father has is also his, and if he wants only to please his father, then when the father retires or when the father feels that the child is capable of receiving, he will give the child all his wealth.

When we don't expect anything from God, God will give us everything. He will say, "It is I, who am giving the infinite Love. How is it that My children remain with very limited capacity, very limited achievement?" So in order to prove that He and His children are one, that we are his worthy instrument or representative, He will give us of His infinite Peace, Light and Bliss.

When one becomes unconditionally surrendered to the Master's will, which is the same as God's Will in the case of a realised Master, one gets infinite love, divine love. Everything will come in the form of love. We will get peace, but it will come in the form of love; this peace we will offer to: mankind through love. Just because we love, we are spreading our peace or power. God Himself manifests everything through love. Here on earth and there in Heaven, there is only one thing that God is proud of and that is love, divine love.

Question: Which is more desirable: wisdom or love?

Sri Chinmoy: There is no difference between divine love and divine wisdom. They go together. In human love there is no wisdom. At the end of the journey of human love, it is all frustration. But if divine love is there inside human love, then the divine love guides, the divine love illumines and the divine love fulfils the human love.

God is all knowledge, all wisdom. Just because He is all wisdom, He loves me, He loves you, He loves everyone. He feels that there cannot be anything greater or more fulfilling than oneness. This oneness we get only in divine love. So wisdom and love go together. Wisdom gives us the message that we can be the strongest and the most powerful only when we become universal. If you maintain your individuality and I maintain my individuality, then how can we become one? When we become one, we become the strongest. "United we stand, divided we fall." This is the message we get.

Love itself is wisdom and wisdom is also light. The moment the wisdom-sun dawns within us, we feel that the whole universe belongs to us. Our oneness with the universe becomes inseparable. If this is not wisdom, then what else is? This wisdom is founded on divine love, which is the conscious expansion of our existence. So love and wisdom go together. If we cultivate love, wisdom will come; and if we aspire for wisdom, then love will come and inundate us.

Question: Would you please speak about some of the things beyond our human experience that you are trying to bring down?

Sri Chinmoy: Beyond your experience is divine love. Love itself, divine love, is beyond your experience and beyond the experience of everyone here. Divine love is unconditional. So far in your life, nobody has loved you unconditionally, so right now it is beyond your expectation that somebody can love you unconditionally. But when you go deep within, you see that God, the Supreme, loves you unconditionally. Since I represent Him for those who claim to be my disciples, since you have just become a disciple, you can expect unconditional love from me. No matter what you do or what you say, I will love you.

Question: What does 'Mother-love' mean in the spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: When we see our mother, immediately we feel love. The word 'mother', especially to an Indian, means love. In the West there are many who say they did not get affection from their mother. But in real Mother-love, we see divinity expressing itself in various significant ways. The first thing we notice in Mother-love is purest concern and the second thing is endless patience. In father-love we will not find that infinite patience; we will find wisdom and other things. But in a mother's love, in addition to wisdom, we will find infinite patience. The mother is ready to wait for the child to grow up and learn everything. The father is to some extent impatient. The father judges the child according to his light, peace, wisdom and knowledge. The mother judges the child according to the child's capacity.

The love that a child gets from the mother is more fruitful than the love that he gets from the father. When it is a matter of inner intimacy, it is the mother's love that is most successful. When we see something vast, immediately our father-love comes to the fore. But when we feel the intensity of two hearts, we immediately think of the love between mother and child.

A child knows that the mother will not do anything intentionally to harm him. The child believes that even unconsciously she will not do anything wrong. The child has such implicit faith in the mother that, if someone has poison, he feels that the mother herself would drink the poison to save him. This faith we see before the child's mind develops. After he is thirteen, the mind starts functioning. The mind has its own way of doubting and suspecting. Then the sweet intimacy between mother and child is broken.

In the spiritual life, it is always best to think of yourself as four years old, even if you are very mature or very developed. For if you think that you are a child, then you can make the fastest progress. A child does not depend or rely on himself: he depends only on his mother's capacity. Again, he is eager to give her what little capacity he has. His little capacity is his faith. His faith in his mother is his faith in himself. In the spiritual life, those who want to make the fastest progress should follow the path of Mother-love.

The deity that Sri Ramakrishna worshipped was Kali, the Mother. He made the fastest progress through Mother-love. "Ma, Ma, Ma, Ma," he used to cry. Mother-love is most effective when the seeker is absolutely sincere. The child goes to the playground and his whole body becomes covered with sand and mud. Then he comes running to the mother with sincerity. The mother immediately cleans off his body and the child becomes pure again. The mother was able to help the child in his obscure and filthy life only on the strength of his sincerity. He did not hide his obscurity, his mud and clay; he came to the proper person, to the mother.

In the spiritual life also, you have to approach the spiritual Mother with your absolute sincerity. The individual seeker sometimes feels that he will get more if he shows only the better part of his life, but this is a mistake. He must offer both the aspiring part of his life and the dark, unaspiring part to the Mother, who is crying for the transformation of his nature. Then the transformation-power of Mother-love can take immediate effect.

Question: Isn't the love between mother and child often possessive?

Sri Chinmoy: At the beginning, the mother will not allow her child to be touched by ordinary human beings; only friends, relatives and dear ones are allowed touch or fondle the child. The mother is reluctant, because she feels that the child is her possession and if they fondle or caress him, perhaps the child will lose his beauty. But what is inside her fear? It is her unillumined love for the child. If her love were absolutely illumined, she would immediately feel, "I am the mother of this child. Let others also appreciate him. He is God's creation and God has given him to me. So let other children of God also appreciate their little brother."

After four or five years, the mother takes the child to kindergarten. Again, she relies on those who have the same love for the child, but now she has a little more illumination. She allows the child to go to school and start learning. Then she allows him to go to high school, college and further.

For the little child of seven or eight, his whole world is his mother. Love means his mother and nobody else. A few years later when he is playing and singing with his village friends, he thinks love means his village. Then when he studies at school and college, he feels that it is his province or country: then a day comes when he feels that not only is he national but international. And he goes still higher and deeper until finally he feels that he is universal. He started by loving his own physical mother. Then gradually he expands his love to the universal Mother, who embodies the entire creation.

Question: Is it an expression of divine love never to say 'no' to someone in need?

Sri Chinmoy: You have to know what kind of request it is. Divine love does not mean blind love. It does not mean that whenever somebody comes to me, immediately I have to give him something. No! Divine love has to be properly guided by divine wisdom. If someone comes and asks me for money, since I am a spiritual person and my heart is full of love, I may give him a dollar. Then suppose he goes to a bar to drink. My love has played its role. I gave him what he asked for, and now my job is ended. But who is responsible for my stupid love? In the inner world I am responsible. I helped that person unconsciously in his wrong action. I have to know when to say 'no'; otherwise, I will become the loser. Love is wonderful, but if we don't know how to utilise love it can create problems.

Question: Is it true that love can transform the world?

Sri Chinmoy: Love is a spiritual force, the mightiest force, but how many people want divine love? The world is all the time in 'I'. Each individual is saying 'I', 'I', 'I'. The moment we transform 'I' into 'we', we will see that the world is automatically changed.

If you can inspire one person with love, he will inspire somebody else with love. It is from one that we come to many. This is the only way the world can progress. When a spiritual Master like the Christ comes, he is only one person, but inspires millions and millions. Other spiritual Masters inspire a lesser number, and their disciples inspire a few more. In this way it continues. We cannot dream of transforming humanity all at once; it is a slow process. But eventually the face of reality is transformed by love, divine love.

Question: Do you think that there can't be true love between a man and a woman?

Sri Chinmoy: From the human point of view, love is just compromise or frustration. Emotional love, the love which is based on emotional feelings, will never be fulfilling. For twenty, thirty, forty or fifty years a couple can be living together in compromise or frustration. In India I knew a respectable couple. The day the husband died, one of the wife's most intimate friends said to her, "Oh, what a wonderful life you led, so full of love. You will miss your husband terribly." She immediately said, "Sure, I shall miss him, but there was no love. It was all compromise." With our outer eyes, when we used to see them walking together, we used to say that they were the happiest couple but when her husband died, the woman said that it was just a compromise for fifty years.

This lack of true love is not limited to Indian couples. The West has not experienced love, real love. Romantic love it has experienced to the fullest measure, but not real love — the love that energises, inspires and feeds the hungry world.

Again, I wish to say that true love does exist. Love is a divine quality that comes from God. Whenever one of God's qualities is there, God also has to be there. You cannot have a quality while the possessor of that quality is somewhere else. No! Inside the quality is the life and breath of our possessor. Pure love, divine love, the love that gives us new life constantly at every moment is the very Breath of God. Men can offer this love to women and women can offer it to men, but the question is, how this love is used.

If a man loves a woman, knowing that the Divine is there, the Supreme is there, then that is divine love. If he does not see the Divine in the individual, in the woman, if he sees only the body, vital and mind, or if he sees the animal in that woman, then it is human love. If he sees the divine in himself and the divine in the woman, then that is divine love.

This divine love can be used to reveal our own true existence and to expand our own consciousness and the consciousness of our beloved. If we use love for the expansion of the other person, then that is the love divine. This love will all the time fulfil and be fulfilled. This love does exist and has to be utilised by both men and women.

If we practise the inner life, the spiritual life, then we will realise what true love is. We will realise true love, embody true love, reveal true love and manifest true love, and in this way transform the face of the world.

Question: How can I have love for everyone in my heart all the time?

Sri Chinmoy: One first has to love oneself. Those who say, "First love humanity, then think of yourself," are mistaken. This philanthropic idea is absolutely wrong. Love, spontaneous love, must first grow inside. We cannot grow love in the supermarket or somewhere in the subway station. Love has to be grown here, deep within us. When we see and feel and become love, only then can we offer our love to the rest of humanity.

If you want to have love for all humanity, then you should know how everybody came into existence. Humanity came into existence from the Source and that Source is God. If you can have love for God at every second of your life, then you will have love for all. You have to know that only God can satisfy you most convincingly. From within you will get the message that only the Source from which you came into existence can satisfy you.

Every day when you meditate, please say the word 'love' before you start your meditation. When you utter the word 'love', try to feel that your arms, your legs, your eyes and every part of you has increased its capacity. Take the arm, for example. The arm means strength. When you say the word 'love', you have to feel that your arms have become stronger — not for striking anybody, but for working more for humanity. Then concentrate on your eyes and try to feel that you are using your eyes to see only good things in everybody. When you concentrate on your ears, feel that you want to hear only good things, encouraging and inspiring things. If somebody says bad things, you will just keep your ears closed. Each time you say the word 'love', concentrate on one of your organs. Then afterwards, try to concentrate on your inner consciousness, which is now aspiring but which is also limited. Try to expand it. First you repeat the word 'love' in a human way with your body, and then you repeat it in a divine way, with your inner consciousness. Automatically you will have love for God, and when you have love for God, you will feel love for humanity. When you love God, that means that you are watering the root. So naturally all the branches and leaves will get water also.

So if you want to love your neighbour, or your wife, husband or child then you have to love God first. God is the Source. If you don't go to the Source, who is all Love then it will just be words when you say, "I love you, I love you." There is no way for any human being to establish real love except by becoming one with God's Love. Through God, you can have a free access to any individual on earth and, at that time, your love will be most pure and most effective.

Question: How should we love God?

Sri Chinmoy: If we love God in order to get something from Him, if our love is conditional, then it becomes a kind of compromise. If someone gives God one cent of aspiration and expects God to give him two million dollars of realisation, this is not real divine love. Our love of God must always be unconditional. When we love God soulfully and unconditionally, we feel that it is our bounden duty to change the face of the world as His chosen instruments.

Whenever we are able to give something to God, it is because His infinite Grace is acting in and through us. If we are ready to give Him one cent, it is just because He is inspiring us to give it to Him. Otherwise, we would have used it for some other purpose.

Our prayer to God should be, "It is up to You whether or not to give me anything. My only wish, my only aspiration is to be at Your Feet all the time, to serve You unconditionally, and to please You in Your own way." This is the highest, greatest and most effective way of loving God. And there can be no greater message, no greater mantra, no greater aspiration than this: "Let Thy Will be done." In this kind of oneness we come to discover our love of God. In our oneness with the Absolute, our Divine Father, we come to discover our love. And when we love God, we consciously feel our inseparable oneness with God's past, present and future creation.

Question: How can one become a perfect channel through which the love of God can manifest itself?

Sri Chinmoy: We have an inner consciousness and an outer consciousness. Perfection is already deep inside us. It is within us, not without. If we want perfection around us or in the outer world, then the first thing we have to do is enter into the inner consciousness and stay there permanently. Then we will see that perfection, like a tiny plant, is growing. Eventually this plant grows into a huge tree in the outer world.

How can we become the perfect channel for divine love? We have to feel that in our inner life there is only one thing and that is joy. When we feel that this joy can never be separated from our outer existence, then we will feel that we are growing into a channel for divine love.

To become a perfect channel for divine love, we have to take the path of constant surrender to our Inner Pilot. At that time, the soul will guide, mould and shape our inner and outer life and transform us into a perfect channel to manifest the divine love here on earth. If there is no surrender to the Guru, to the Inner Pilot or to the Supreme, then there can be no perfection in any field; nor can there be a perfect channel for love or peace. The Supreme can make a person a perfect channel only when He sees that this particular person has totally surrendered to the dictates of his own inner guidance which comes from the spiritual Master or from the Supreme Himself.

There is a great difference between the surrender of laziness or utter helplessness and dynamic surrender, which is surcharged with aspiration. If out of laziness or helplessness we say, "I have surrendered. Now I don't want to do anything," this is not enough. Our surrender has to be dynamic, constantly aspiring to grow into or merge into the Infinite. Our surrender has to be done consciously and spontaneously. When we surrender consciously and spontaneously to the infinite Truth, Peace, Light and Bliss, we become a perfect channel for these qualities to manifest in and through us on earth. In the West, surrender has been badly misunderstood. Here surrender is seen as submission to something or to somebody else. It is seen as a loss of individuality, an extinction of individuality. Then where is the question of a perfect channel? But this view of spiritual surrender is a mistake. If we really want to be one with the infinite Ultimate, the Boundless, then we have to enter into it. When we enter into the Ultimate, we do not lose our so-called little individuality. On the contrary, we become the Infinite itself. On the strength of our total oneness, we and the Infinite become indivisible. At this time, we become the perfect channel for love and truth.

Question: Sometimes I feel that my love for God is not pure.

Sri Chinmoy: If somebody is showing you affection, love and concern and giving you what you need, what do you do? You give him your pure love. When you were a child of two, your mother gave you toys, milk and everything you wanted. Your mother was there all the time, always at your loving command. In return you gave her your pure love. In the spiritual life also, you should feel that you are a child of the Supreme and you are all the time playing on His Lap or in His Heart.

Your heart will make you feel that the Supreme is the only reality. Your soul will make you feel that He is the only One whom you have to love and who loves you eternally. But if it is difficult for you to form an idea of the Supreme and if you have a spiritual Master, then you can think of your Master. The Supreme is the commander and your Master is the captain or the leader, let us say, while you are a soldier in the divine army. When the commander gives an order, the captain knows what the order is and he will relay the order to the soldiers who are under him. If you please the captain, then you are pleasing the commander through the captain. Through the Master, you are pleasing the Highest, the Supreme. Again, we have to know that it is not a military order. Here it is all based on love.

When you have accepted someone as your spiritual Master, you are determined to give him what you have. But don't think at that time what you have is only impure love. Think of yourself as a child who is ready to give what he has. A child comes to his father and gives him a penny he has found on the street. The father is so delighted that the child has given him the penny, instead of using it to buy some candy, that he gives the child something far more valuable.

So even if you feel that you have only a little divine love but that you have undivine love in abundant measure, give it all to the Master or to God. Do not separate the undivine or impure love from the divine. Let them come together. Whatever you have to give to God, God will gladly take. It is God's business to make your love pure. Your business is only to give what love you have, be it pure or impure. God knows what you have, which is whatever God has given you, even if it is only an iota of pure, divine love. If you give what you have, then He has to be satisfied. When you empty yourself of all that you have, it can be filled by the Supreme. At that time, He will fill your vessel with only pure and divine love.

Question: What is the relationship between divine Love and divine Compassion?

Sri Chinmoy: Divine Love is for everybody. It is like the sun. A person has only to keep open the window of his heart to receive the divine Love. Divine Compassion is for the selected few. God's Compassion is like a magnet that pulls the aspirant toward his goal. It is a mighty force that guides, pushes and pulls the aspirant constantly and does not allow him to slip on the path of Self-realisation. Divine Love comforts and helps the aspirant, but if the aspirant falls asleep, the Divine Love will not force him to awaken and compel him to resume his journey.

Divine Compassion is not like human compassion. In a human way we can have compassion and pity for somebody, but this compassion does not have the strength to change the person and make him run from his ignorant condition towards the Light. In the case of God's Compassion, it is a force that changes and transforms the aspirant and keeps him from making major mistakes in his spiritual life. If it were not for God's Compassion, none of my disciples would be treading the path of Self-realisation. It is this Compassion that prevents them from committing serious mistakes and falling off the path. God's Compassion comes to the disciples through their Master's Grace. When God shows Compassion through the spiritual Master, He expects that the seeker will immediately come close, closer, closest to Him. Through Compassion alone, the disciple can become closest to God.

Love can be very often misunderstood. If one shows love, people may think that there is some motive behind it. They think, "He is showing me extra love, so he wants an extra favour." In the feeling of love between Guru and disciple, the disciple may be fifty percent loving and the Guru may be fifty percent loving. But in Compassion, the Guru may be offering ninety-nine percent and the disciple one percent, and even with his one percent the disciple is trying to enter into the field of ignorance. When Compassion comes, it flies like an arrow and tears down the veil of Ignorance.

Love can stay even with ignorance, but Compassion will not. Compassion has to be successful; otherwise it will be withdrawn. It will stay for a few seconds, or for a few minutes or a few years: but it has to send a report to the highest Authority and say whether it has been successful or not. Eventually a time comes when the highest Authority says, "It is a barren desert. Come back." Then Compassion has to fly back to the highest Authority, the Supreme.

A true spiritual Master tries to approach his disciples with snow-white, purest love. But often he fails because his love gets no response. Then he changes his policy and tries compassion. Again, often his compassion is refused and misunderstood to the extent of actually being misused and abused. People ascribe motives to the Master's purest love and purest compassion. When the Master appreciates someone, that person doubts his motives. "How can the Master be so good? How can he be so nice? Perhaps he wants something more, something important, from me."

With his love he has failed and with his compassion he has failed. What remains? Unavoidable strictness! Love will still continue and compassion will continue, but along with these two divine qualities, the Master adds strict inner and outer discipline. Finally, if he fails to see inner and outer discipline in an aspirant's life, he is compelled to tell the aspirant that his path is not for him. His mission can grow and fulfil itself only on the strength of the seeker's real inner devotion and selfless dedicated service.

Question: Sometimes I think that Guru doesn't love me, the Supreme doesn't love me and my life is meaningless. Is there any way that I can make myself believe that there is a reason why the Supreme should love me?

Sri Chinmoy: It is a very serious mistake when you say, "Guru doesn't love me." You should think that your job is only to play your part. If Guru doesn't play his part, then you should feel that there is somebody who will play instead, and that is the Supreme. Feel that you will give Him all your divine love. If Guru is blind, if Guru is indifferent, then there is somebody else to play with. The Supreme is there, and He is far above Guru.

If you think the Supreme doesn't love you, you have to know that you are a real fool. It is the Supreme who has created love. The Creator has created love; He has created your very existence. It is like the gardener who has created a garden with many beautiful flowers. If a flower says, "No, no, he doesn't love me, he doesn't love me," is that not ridiculous? The very fact that the gardener has planted and cultivated the flowers — is this not his love?

Every moment, every moment, every moment, you have to feel that the Supreme does love you; otherwise, He would not have brought you into His world-creation. You would have remained in Heaven, in the soul's region.

Question: It appears to me from the short time I've been meditating with you that the love that comes to me through you, or through God, is conditional. It seems to depend on whether I meditate and aspire properly or not, and whether I am appreciating it.

Sri Chinmoy: Unfortunately, here you are making a mistake. Divine Love is not conditional; it does not depend on what you do. The reason you feel this way is because you do not empty your vessel. That is why you feel that love is conditional. When you empty your inner vessel, you will see that love is flowing through you, and you will feel that your vessel is full to the brim. God's Love does not depend on what you do except in this sense: If you keep the door wide open, then I can enter or the Highest can enter. But if you do not open your inner door and allow me or the highest Reality to enter into you, it is impossible.

Everything that comes from God is unconditional. His Love He gives unconditionally, but somebody has to receive it. The sunlight is unconditional; everybody can receive it. A farmer can receive sunlight and a king can receive it. But if the king is fast asleep, if he does not want to open up the windows and doors, then for him there is no sunlight.

Question: I don't understand why God's Love doesn't enter into me even though I keep the doors shut.

Sri Chinmoy: If God's Love enters into you when you are not receptive to it, then you will regard it as a foreign element. You will not appreciate it or care for it. If somebody brings most delicious food right in front of you but you do not appreciate it, then why should he bring it to you? It would be a waste of time. You will just discard it and feel that it has no value.

An unaspiring person, a desiring person, will wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. Is it God's bounden duty to come down and offer His infinite Peace, Light and Bliss to this type of person? No! If one is crying and struggling to get an iota of Peace, Light and Bliss, then God will feel that that one deserves it.

We know how to cry at every moment. We cry for the things that desert us and disappoint us; for the ego and its children: fear, doubt, anxiety and worry. We cry for name and fame, for money, wealth and possessions; but we do not cry to God for His Light and Delight. We do not cry for that which we are meant to cry for; we do not cry for the wealth which we all had once upon a time.

We cannot just play games with the eternal Truth and the highest Reality; we have to value them. In this world, if we value something, then we work very hard to acquire it. If we don't work hard, we get nothing. If we don't value wisdom, will wisdom dawn on us? Only when we have worked hard for it does wisdom dawn. For everything we get, we have to offer something of ourselves; but we see that what we give is next to nothing in comparison to what we get. It takes a second to open the door and the person who comes in, the Eternal Guest, brings us Eternity. But if we don't take the trouble to open the door, then why should He come? We won't value Him; we will feel that He is bringing us rubbish and things that we don't need.

At every moment in the spiritual life we have to value Peace, Light and Bliss and cry for it. Then only we can expect to get them from God. Otherwise, even if He brings Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure, we will say that we don't need it. We will feel God's Grace operating through our prayer and meditation, but we won't want to accept it. If we don't appreciate what God gives, God is not displeased with us. He just waits until we are ready to receive His inner Wealth.

Question: Is the love of the Master for the disciple the same as the love of the disciple for the Master?

Sri Chinmoy: The love that commands soulfully and the love that obeys unconditionally enjoy the self-same Bliss of the Supreme. You are my spiritual children. I am your spiritual father. What has bound us and what can bind us forever if not love? When I ask you to do something, you may take it as a command, or you can feel inside that very command the living presence of my soul, my living and crying concern for your ultimate fulfilment. When you obey the Supreme in me unconditionally, you will feel my boundless pride in you. At that time my love gets true fulfilment in you by becoming totally one with you, and your love gets true fulfilment by serving the Supreme in me. Love commands, but inside that command is the life of our mutual reality. Love obeys and inside that love is the total, complete assurance of the Beyond, the assurance that the highest realisation will take place in the human body.

The love that I exercise in asking you to do this or that, and the love that you show in performing your task can never be separated. These two kinds of love can only have meaning when they mutually fulfil each other. Let us love and be loved. When we love, we have to feel that our oneness is complete. When we love, we have to feel that our realisation is complete. When we love, we have to feel that our manifestation is complete. And when manifestation is complete, God is supremely fulfilled and the kingdom of Heaven dawns here on earth.

Question: How can we perfect our devotion?

Sri Chinmoy: Since you have a spiritual Master, I wish to say that you can perfect your devotion through an intense feeling of oneness with your Master. You can devote your life to the Master only when you see that ultimately you are going to be totally like him in his realisation, in his achievement, in his mission, in his fulfilment. There should be the purest spontaneous intensity on your part to become one with his realisation, one with his achievement, one with his mission and one with his fulfilment. This intensity at times may take the form of love, at times it can take the form of devotion and at times it can take the form of surrender.

If you can have this intense feeling of oneness, then automatically you will devote your entire life — body, mind, heart and soul — to your Guru. Devotion must have its roots in all the spheres of the being. Devotion only in the heart is not enough. Devotion also has to be in the mind, in the vital and in the physical. Only then does the devotion become perfect.

It is easy to express devotion to the Master when the Master is in deepest meditation, when he is in the highest consciousness, but it is difficult when the Master acts like a most ordinary person, when the Master is cutting jokes. But at that time also, behind his jokes and through his jokes, if you can see the light radiating, then you are perfecting your own devotion. The Master may say something very silly, or nasty, but behind that, through that, if you can see the light that is operating, then your devotion is being perfected. So if you want to have devotion in the purest, absolutely purest sense, and if you want to make your devotion totally perfect, then I wish to say that in the physical, in the vital and in the mind you have to bring down your devotion. In your entire being you have to bring down your devotion for the Inner Pilot, for the Master, and only then does it become perfect.

Question: How can we keep you in our inner consciousness during our daily activities?

Sri Chinmoy: It is through love and concern. When you love someone, when you have concern for that person, you are bound to see him either inside you or in front of you. Let us say that you have a cat. You are very fond of the cat. Now what happens? If you are really fond of that cat, you will see it even while you are in school. Many times you will think about the cat: "Did I feed the cat? Is the cat happy?" These thoughts will come to you because you are fond of the cat. While you are thinking about the cat, you are also doing something else. You are in school. But your love for the cat is so intense that in your consciousness you will feel that the cat is right in front of you.

Think of the mother and her child. The mother is here reading the newspaper. Her dearest is her son. The son may be thousands of miles away, but her focus of concentration is on her son. She is thinking, "Oh, now I am here. Who is taking care of my son? Nobody will be able to take care of him like I can." You can say it is emotional love or sweet affection or sweet concern or all of these; but still through her love she is maintaining her connection with her son.

When you are attached to someone, no matter where you go you think of him; ideas of him come into your mind. When one person is paying attention to another in the ordinary world, that means he is attached to him. In the ordinary world, human beings who are attached to one another are of the same standard. In the spiritual world, the Master is far superior to the disciple. So it is not attachment, but a devoted feeling of oneness that the disciples cherish toward the Master. When the disciple thinks of the Master, it is not with attachment but with devotion. This is how an individual seeker can please the Master who has himself realised the highest Truth and who will serve as a vehicle through which the disciple will reach the Truth.

You have fondness, affection, love, concern for me. So naturally at that time your mind will try to enter into me or my consciousness will enter into you. Again, if you can create concern within yourself for my mission, then you will see true joy, peace, love, blessings, gratitude and pride flow from me into your heart. At that time it will be easy for you to keep me in your consciousness.

If you feel that you really and truly have concern for the manifestation of the Supreme in me, then how can you be of help to me? One way is to develop concern for humanity. We all profess to have concern for humanity. But what do we do? We use the word 'concern', but do we pray to God to help humanity or enlighten humanity? No! Our concern is a selfish concern. If the world gets better, so much the better for us. But we have to have real selfless concern for humanity.

How can you maintain your inner connection with me? Just develop more concern for my mission and more love for the manifestation of my light on earth. If you love someone, you are ready to do everything for him at any hour. If you have true love and concern for me, for the Divine within me, for the Supreme in me, then no matter what you are doing, even while you are running or jumping, you will have the sweetest inner feeling of delight. That is because you have identified yourself with someone who has the inner capacity to come and offer you Peace, Love, Light and Bliss.

The more you can create or develop inner concern for humanity and for my mission, and the sooner you have love for my realisation, the quicker will be your inner progress. From this inner progress you will be able to establish your constant feeling of oneness with me amidst multifarious activities — while you are working, studying or mixing with friends. It is all concern and love, nothing else.

Question: Does love for an animal tend to bring us back to our own animal existence?

Sri Chinmoy: You love a dog because he is extremely faithful to you, but this does not mean that you have to become a dog. You can use and possess the good quality that the dog has in your human existence without having to enter the animal life. You do not become an animal by showing your affection. What do you get? You get the good qualities of the animal that you love. Just by showing affection to your dog because he is attached to you or because he is very loveable, you are not going to become an animal, for you have already passed that stage.

Poems from the first edition

I am sharing

Judge nothing;
You will be happy.
My own personal experience
I am sharing with you.

Try to forgive everything;
You will be happier.
My own personal realisation
I am sharing with you.

Love everything;
You will be happiest.
God's own personal Secret
I am sharing with you.

Unparalleled friend

God the Saviour
Is my first friend.

God the Liberator
Is my second friend.

God the Lover
Is my third
And best friend,
My friend unparalleled.

The story of love and hope

Love keeps hoping,
Hope keeps loving.
This is the endless story
Of love and hope.
My Lord, am I correct?

"Yes, you are correct, My son.
But you must love first
And then hope.
Don't reverse My Cosmic Game."


Is seeing;
I try to love.

Is knowing;
I try to love.

Is becoming;
I try to love.

Whom do I love?
My old good Friend,
My Eternity's Supreme.

Love is nectar

Love is nectar
Is a subtle poison.

Is slow poison.

Is fatal poison.

Is without poison.

Is nectar,
Infinity's Smile,
Eternity's Face,
Immortality's Race.

The sky of Perfection-Dawn

From his tongue
Comes every possible

From his eyes
Comes every possible

Yet his ecstatic
Love-adoration for God
Saves him and lifts his life
Into the sky of Perfection-Dawn.

Translations of this page: Italian , Czech
This book series can be cited using cite-key sbl-2