Sri Chinmoy answers, part 12

Return to the table of contents

Part I

SCA 436-442. Sri Chinmoy answered questions on obedience on 26 May 1997.

Question: Does disobedience arise from our lack of oneness with the Supreme in you?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, that is absolutely true! If you use your mind of separativity, then you will not be one with the Will of the Supreme in me. If you want to be one with the Supreme's Will, then do not use the mind. When the Supreme in me asks you to do something, at that time you have to say, "I do not have a mind. The only thing that I have inside my body is my heart. I do not even have a body; even my body is all heart." Otherwise, inside your heart there will be obedience, but inside your mind, vital and body there will be nothing. But if every part of you is heart, then your existence is like a tree. If you shake the trunk of the tree, then all the branches, leaves and flowers also shake. If you shake a plant, you will see the whole plant shaking from top to bottom at the same time.

From an outer point of view, the various parts of your body have different names. But from the spiritual point of view, they should have only one name, and that is obedience. That is spirituality according to our Indian tradition. If you touch your arm, you have to feel that it exists only to obey the Supreme in me, which is the same as the Supreme in you. If you touch your eyes, you have to feel they are only for your obedience to the Supreme. If you touch your head, your hair, even your toenail, you have to feel that you are touching nothing but your divine obedience. Every part of your body, every cell of your body, every drop of your blood you have to feel is part and parcel of your divine obedience. If this is your feeling, then disobedience can never, never come into existence.

Question: Guru, if we or other disciples of yours are disobedient, is it wrong not to tell you outwardly?

Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the kind of disobedience. Suppose I ask you to come over from Agni Press as fast as you can, but you meet another disciple on the way and stop to ask him for something. Although to some extent you are not being completely obedient, this kind of disobedience you do not have to tell me about. When I ask my "best disciple" to come to my house, invariably he meets his landlady and she asks him why he has not paid his rent. Like this they talk and talk! He has a good heart. If I ask him to drive me somewhere, he will drive for hours and hours. But when it is a matter of immediate obedience, he is nowhere. If I say, "Please do such and such now!" then he stops and talks at every step before doing what I have asked him to do. This kind of behaviour is definitely disobedience, and it will diminish a disciple's implicit oneness with me. But it will not ruin his spiritual life.

Again, if somebody who is my disciple is doing something seriously wrong and you know about it, then you have to tell me immediately. The American theory is: "It is none of my business." But the spiritual theory is: "Since we are all sailing in the same boat to the Golden Shore, my business is your business and your business is my business." Otherwise, if one of your spiritual brothers or sisters is doing something seriously wrong and you keep that person's secret, a real catastrophe will take place. If you know that someone is in the emotional world, for example, you should inform me immediately. Otherwise, it starts with a headache, but from a headache it becomes cancer. And then it is too late.

Since you are a disciple of mine, the same thing applies when you yourself are doing something wrong. Disobedience is like rolling down a hill. One day you do something wrong, and it is only a small mistake. But you go on, go on, and the disobedience becomes bigger and bigger. Then suddenly you see that you are going down, down, down the hill so fast! At that time, when you are falling uncontrollably, it becomes a serious problem for me. But if you had informed me in the beginning, the problem would have been so much easier to deal with.

When some women disciples get a very serious type of feminine disease, sometimes they are afraid of telling me. They act as if they have done something wrong or committed a crime. Six months or a year later, when the disease has become serious and they feel it will kill them, only then do they tell me. Is this not disobedience? When there is something seriously wrong inside their bodies, should they not tell me immediately? But they tell me only when the situation becomes critical.

I am not saying that doctors cannot help. I see so many doctors about my knee problem! They may be failing and failing, but I know that God has given these doctors a special capacity, and they have cured so many people. But since you people have accepted me as your spiritual Master, you have to feel that I am also your doctor, only I operate in a different way from an ordinary doctor.

So you should never be afraid of telling me about your problems. By being afraid of the Master, the disciple can never become close. Only if the disciple tells the Master his weaknesses and allows the Master to become one with his weaknesses will the disciple become closer than the closest to the Master. At that time, the Master can come to the disciple's rescue like a roaring lion.

When people speak to me privately or write letters to me about their failures or weaknesses, I never scold them. I am all sympathy, all compassion, all concern, all affection. If somebody is suffering from some kind of mental problem, vital problem, emotional problem or any other kind of problem, I see his weakness as my own, and immediately I forgive him. Not only do I forgive that person, but I take immediate action. Inwardly I act and sometimes outwardly I also tell the person what to do. If the individual really wants to be cured, then I am all for him. But I am all for him only on one condition: that he is ready to change his life.

After a few days, a few months or a few years of disobedience, some disciples form the habit of regular disobedience. Why? Because they feel it is accepted! Since they feel it is accepted, disobedience becomes their obedience. No matter how disobedient a disciple is, in most cases I do not believe in justice. Justice comes only when I know there is no other way to make the disciple realise the seriousness of his misbehaviour. When I see that the situation is becoming simply impossible, then I have no choice but to be strict. I come with an iron rod only when nothing else has succeeded and I am absolutely helpless, more helpless than the individual who is doing the wrong thing. But when I come with an iron rod, I rarely succeed. If I threaten to throw someone off the path if he does not stop misbehaving, that person may change his life after a month or a year. But otherwise, there is only revolt, hostility and fear.

God cannot conquer us with fear. True, He can take our life away; He can kill us if we do something wrong. If God is angry with us, then definitely He can make us suffer. But that kind of punishment will not conquer us. With our last breath we will say, "God is cruel! God is undivine!" It is only with love that we can be conquered. The Master has to conquer the disciple's heart with love, and the disciple has to conquer the Master's heart with love. Everything else will fail. America is strong and it can threaten to drop the atom bomb on me. I am helpless, so I will surrender, but there is no love in my surrender. But if America comes with compassion and her other good qualities, then America will conquer my heart.

There are some disciples who have been doing wrong things for many, many years. Then suddenly they see that their Master's heart is breaking. When they see my bleeding heart, then their heart also starts bleeding and they say: "What have I done? What have I done?" At that time their heart becomes awakened. They are not afraid of me; only they are afraid of the thing that they have done, which is causing my heart to break. They say, "If I truly love my Master, how can I break his heart like this?" Then they become jewels once again. So their problem is solved by seeing their Master's tears. If you see tears not only in my eyes but also inside my heart, then if you have an iota of love for me, you will be able to conquer your weaknesses because of your love.

Question: How can we feel that our obedience is spontaneous and joyful rather than forced?

Sri Chinmoy: Forced obedience will never give us joy. Once upon a time black slaves in America were forced to serve their white masters. Were they happy? In India there are still coolies. Do you think they get spontaneous joy from their obedience? Spontaneous joy we get only when we have identified ourselves with the person we are listening to. When we identify with our own mind and do what the mind tells us to do, immediately we get a kind of joy or happiness. The mind, let us say, is telling us that now is a good time to run because the weather is very cool. Because we have identified ourselves with the mind, happily we are going out to run. But suppose at that moment the heart says, "No, because it is so cool and my mind is so quiet, this is the time to read Guru's books or sing some spiritual songs." If we are identified with the heart at that time, we will get spontaneous joy by reading spiritual books or singing spiritual songs.

Although we do get a kind of happiness when we are identifying with the mind and doing what the mind tells us to do, that kind of happiness is not real joy. When the mind is asking us to do something, very often it is creating millions of doubts in us. This moment it tells us to do one thing, and the next moment it hesitates and tells us to do something else. This moment it tells us to have faith in our spiritual life, and we are happy with our faith. The next moment it creates doubts in us and we get happiness by doubting our spiritual life. In so many clever ways it is possible to get spontaneous happiness by identifying with the mind's jugglery — by doubting God one moment and having faith in God the next moment — but this will never give us real joy.

So we have to use our wisdom and see what we should identify with and claim as our real boss: the mind or the heart. At one moment the mind-boss tells us to do something, but the next moment it comes to us with doubt and hesitation. And while we are doubting and hesitating, the mind is somewhere else, enjoying our doubt and hesitation. In no way is it giving us determination or helping us at all. On the other hand, the heart is not only telling us to do the right thing but, at the same time, it is helping us do the right thing, the thing that will expedite our spiritual journey and bring God's Hour closer. So it is by identifying with the heart and listening to the heart that we can get real spontaneous joy.

The heart tells us to pray and meditate, and the joy we get from our prayers and meditations is real joy. True, we cannot pray and meditate for twenty-four hours a day, because we are working and carrying out our multifarious activities. But during the day we can remember the joy we got from our morning meditation. In the morning we remained inside our heart-garden for some time. Then, let us say, we entered into the mind-jungle. But even inside our mind-jungle we can remember the beauty and fragrance that we experienced earlier that day in our heart-garden, and that will give us tremendous joy.

Question: What happens in the inner world and also in the outer world when we disobey the Supreme in you?

Sri Chinmoy: Disobedience delays your journey. If you are supposed to arrive at a particular goal in a certain amount of time — let us say, four hours — because of your outer disobedience, the journey may take twenty hours or forty hours. But if you disobey the Supreme in me in the inner world, it may take forty years. If inwardly you do the wrong thing, and if that inner disobedience continues, it may take even a lifetime for you to complete that particular journey. Outer disobedience will delay your progress by a few days or a few weeks or a few months. But inner disobedience may delay your progress indefinitely. If inwardly you are disobeying the Supreme in me, you have to know that something is very wrong in your nature. Then, even on your deathbed you will not be able to do anything, no matter how much you are crying and crying. So inner disobedience is infinitely, infinitely worse than outer disobedience.

There are so many types of disobedience. If I tell my 'best disciple' to come at a certain hour and he comes late, that kind of disobedience is not very serious. When there is outer disobedience, God is more lenient and He forgives quickly. But when there is inner disobedience, God does not forgive so quickly. Very often He has to use His Justice-Power, because inner disobedience is almost an incurable disease. But eventually that disease has to be cured.

About your inner disobedience only you know and I know, only your soul knows and my soul knows. Before the wrong forces attack people, sometimes I see that they deliberately open the door to these forces. Knowing that a storm is coming, I can leave my door open and enjoy the storm. Then my room is completely destroyed. In the spiritual life also, sometimes I know that people are going to do something wrong even before they do it, because I see the forces attacking them. Sometimes I watch to see whether they are going to allow these forces to attack them, or whether they are going to fight against these forces. I observe whether they will allow these monkeys to come and bite them, or whether they are going to threaten the monkeys so they cannot bite.

Question: Sometimes when you ask me to do things, I do them, but definitely I could be a little more enthusiastic about it. How can I cultivate enthusiastic obedience?

Sri Chinmoy: Enthusiastic obedience you will get when you imagine that I am giving you the sweetest, brightest smile. Remember what kind of smile I give and what nice things I say to you when spontaneously and immediately you do something that I ask! In fact, you do not even have to see my face. Just look at your own face in the mirror when you do something happily, and again when you do something unhappily. In each case, your face will be a mirror of what my face looks like. When you do something cheerfully, your smiling face will be a perfect reflection of my own smiling face. And when you are doing something unwillingly, reluctantly, with utmost hesitation and slowness, you should feel that your solemn face is a reflection of my unhappy face. Immediately you can see, by looking in the mirror at how beautiful or how ugly your face looks, whether or not your Guru is happy.

Again, you can deceive yourself. If I ask you to do something, you can say, "You have asked me to do something, and I have done it." Even if you could have done it a long time ago if you had been more enthusiastic, easily you can justify yourself and say, "As long as I have done it, why do I have to worry?" Yes, you have done it, but you have not got real joy from doing it and your Guru also has not got real joy. You and I will get real joy, immediate joy, boundless joy only if you do what I ask happily and immediately. Immediately and happily if you do something, then you will be swimming in the sea of delight and your Guru also will be swimming in the sea of delight.

Question: Does obedience always begin in the mind?

Sri Chinmoy: No, obedience always begins in the heart. What starts in the mind is usually disobedience. The soul always obeys God, because it has already established its oneness with God. So the soul will not see anything, feel anything or do anything other than in God's Way. The heart is trying to establish its oneness with God and God's Will. Although the heart sometimes fails, at least it starts out trying to obey God. But the mind does not even start out with obedience. Spontaneous obedience we do not get in the mind. That is why the mind always has to be kept under control.

In most cases, obedience first comes to the heart and then to the mind. Only after it comes to the mind will it come to the vital and the body. But sometimes the physical and vital consciousness are much more receptive than the mind. Although the physical may be lethargic and the vital may be undivine, sometimes they unconsciously try to listen to the soul. That is because they both know that the soul and even the heart are superior. The mind is higher than the vital and body, but the mind is so arrogant! It feels that it is wiser than the soul and it doubts the soul's wisdom. And it always thinks the heart is weak, because the heart only deals with affection, compassion, concern and these kinds of things. The mind will say these are feminine qualities. But even God has these feminine qualities; He has such affection, softness, fondness and tenderness for us. The whole world will say that the heart is better than the mind, but it is almost impossible for the mind to accept this truth. It is only when the soul's light enters into the mind from the heart that there is hope that the mind will change.

Question: I have a bad habit of always being late for everything. I feel that I have the capacity to be on time, but somehow I do not give it enough attention. How can I make myself feel that it is important to be on time?

Sri Chinmoy: You have many, many world records to your credit. You know that when you want to break a new world record, many times you get the inner urge immediately to go outside and practise. Unless there is something else very urgent that you have to do, you do not delay for ten minutes. You do not say, "If I go ten minutes later or two hours later, nothing will happen, since it will still be light." No! When you give importance to something, you want to do it immediately. That is what makes you happy.

It is a question of how much you value your Guru's happiness. You say, "I am making my Guru happy by doing this and that for him." That is true, but ours is the philosophy of self-transcendence. You are satisfied with the fact that you are making me happy by doing the things that I am asking. But if you do these things sooner, then you will be able to make me happier. If you have the capacity to do something sooner than at once, why should you delay?

We believe in joy, but joy is a matter of degree. You say, "If I do this, Guru will be happy. If I do something else, he will be happier. If I do a different thing entirely, he will be the happiest." So what do you do? You do the thing that will make me the happiest. Similarly, you have to feel, "If I do something at seven o'clock, Guru will be happy. If I do it at six-thirty, Guru will be happier. If I do it at six o'clock, he will be the happiest." In that case, the degree is what matters. So if you value my happiest smile or my highest pride in you, then definitely you will do what I ask faster than the fastest. Otherwise, you can say, "I am satisfied as long as he is proud of me." But if you want to compare how happy I am or how proud of you I am when you do something quickly rather than slowly, then you have to know that there is no comparison.

In India, some students say, "As long as I can get 33 out of 100, I have passed my examination." If they get that silly passing grade, they are happy. Others will cry if they do not get 100 out of 100; even 99 is not enough for them. So if you want to be satisfied with the passing mark, what can I do? Again, if you are dying for the highest mark, absolutely 100 out of 100, what can prevent you from getting it? It is only your own lack of eagerness. When you get 100 out of 100, not only will your teacher be proud of you, but you also will be so proud of yourself.

You have to know what standard you want to maintain. For some disciples, it is more than enough if they can just remain in the boat. If they are sleeping and snoring, no harm! Other disciples are inspiring the boatman and helping the boat to go fast, faster, fastest.

Part II

SCA 443. On 23 May 1997, Sri Chinmoy spoke informally to his disciples about fear.

Do not be afraid of me, but be identified with my sufferings

I scold you people from time to time, but I know that that method is only for temporary use. It is like going to an emergency room. In an emergency room, how many people are cured? So many people die while the doctors are operating. How much failure we experience in an emergency room! Again, sometimes we get results. The normal way is to take medicine, get injections and so forth; that is the real way to become cured. With that way you have got a solid base. But in an emergency room, how many people go to God while being treated!

In the spiritual life, if you really want to make your Master happy, you must not be afraid of your Master — no, no, no! The Master has not come into the world to strike people. That was for Julius Caesar, Alexander and all those military people. But sometimes I scold you as a last resort. In the Bhagavad Gita, before the Kurukshetra battle, how Sri Krishna begged and begged the Kauravas only to give five villages to the Pandavas! The Kauravas had the kingdom, but they would not give up those five villages. Three or four times Sri Krishna went to the Kauravas' palace, but they would not listen to him. They said, "Without a fight, we shall not give to the Pandavas even the quantity of sand or mud that will fit through the eye of a needle." A needle is long but the eye is tiny. How much can pass through that tiny hole? Then Sri Krishna felt that the situation was hopeless and said, "War is needed." The war was a last resort.

Here also, as a last resort, I scold you people. Otherwise, I plead with you, with your heart, with your mind, with your vital, with your physical. So to all my disciples I am saying, do not be afraid of me, but be identified with my sufferings. To be afraid of me is a stupid, useless approach. To be identified with my sadness, with my tears, is absolutely the right approach.

Let us not take the fear approach. Let us take the love approach. When we have fear, then we will hide all our diseases. When some people have diseases, they are afraid, as if they have committed a robbery. They feel that they have done something wrong, so they have to hide. Is it not the height of their stupidity? If something is physically wrong with them, then let them go to a doctor. Fear they are cherishing, but again, they are not even praying. Fear is dominating their whole day and night. They have no time to pray to the Supreme. In them we only see fear, fear, fear. They feel they will be exposed. What stupidity! They can pray to God to cure them if they do not want to go to a doctor. It is God who gave those individuals the little capacity they needed to become doctors. They can pray to God, to the real Doctor. But they have no time to pray; only fear is killing them. Here the Supreme has sent a representative in the form of a spiritual Master. The disciples should say, "Let us go to him. He will be able to cure us."

Part III

SCA 444-446. On 25 May 1997, at Annam Brahma Restaurant in Jamaica, New York, Sri Chinmoy invited questions from Mrs. Darshanika Guruge, wife of Ambassador Ananda Guruge, and Mrs. Irina Malikova, Deputy Director, International Relations and Media, The Gorbachev Foundation, Moscow.

Mrs. Darshanika Guruge: I brought with me a textbook my husband has used to teach Hinduism, and I have some questions regarding that.

Sri Chinmoy: I am not an authority on textbooks. I am an authority on love, devotion and surrender. According to our philosophy, love, devotion and surrender are the three steps that lead to God-realisation. Although these three steps are simpler than the simplest, many of us have not taken even the first step. As soon as we see the first step, we get frightened. We feel, "O God, O God, we will get hurt, we will get hurt!" God knows when we will take the first step properly, without any fear.

Mrs. Guruge: My question is about karma. How does it fit in with advaita Vedantism? They don't believe in karma.

Sri Chinmoy: Is there anybody who does not believe in the law of karma? Everyone knows the saying, "As you sow, so you reap." Then again, there may be divine intervention. If God's Grace, God's Compassion and God's Forgiveness descend, then the law of karma can be negated. God can nullify karma. If a naughty boy most ruthlessly strikes a neighbour boy, the victim's father comes to punish the culprit. But then the naughty boy's father intervenes. Because he has such affection for his child, he will not allow the other father to strike the child. He says, "Yes, my son has done this. I know it is wrong, and he will not do it anymore. But I will not allow you to beat my son." Because the culprit's father is very strong, the father of the victim surrenders.

In exactly the same way, God can protect us. Many, many things we do wrong, but sometimes our Beloved Father Supreme breaks His own Cosmic Law and saves us. At these times, our Father wants to play the role of God the Forgiveness, either because we have done something good for Him or because He feels there is hope that we will eventually become good children of His. He says, "Now they have done something wrong, something horrible, but in the future they will not do this kind of thing." Or He may say, "Over the years many, many times they have prayed for My Victory or done various things to make Me happy. So let Me show My Forgiveness." But again, if He sees that there is really no hope, that we are really bad people and shall continue to do the wrong thing, then He will say, "No, you have to abide by the Cosmic Law. You have done something wrong, so you have to pay the penalty."

At times, not only does the Supreme show His infinite Compassion and Forgiveness, but spiritual Masters who represent Him also do the same. It is true that the Supreme is the ocean and the spiritual Master is just a tiny drop. But the tiny drop totally identifies with the infinite ocean and knows its oneness with the ocean. And this tiny drop has been ordained by the ocean itself to be of help to those who are unfortunately not yet even drops.

So the law of karma is a most complicated thing, and there are no hard and fast rules. According to the strict law of karma, if we do something wrong, we will be punished. Again, if we do something very good, the law of karma says we will be rewarded. Unfortunately, we expect the results in the twinkling of an eye. But we have forgotten all the bad things that we have done in addition to that one good thing. Before doing one very good thing, before making what we consider a supreme sacrifice, perhaps we have done many wrong things. That is why we are not getting the results of our divine action. God is using our one good deed to nullify all the terrible things, worse than the worst, that we have done over the years. We say, "God has no eyes, God has no ears." But actually God is showing us boundless Compassion by putting our one little good deed on the same footing as all our bad deeds. In this way He is saving us from so much karmic suffering.

So if we are in the spiritual life, we can never say how God is going to respond to our actions. In the ordinary human life, the law of cause and effect usually applies. But in the spiritual life, quite often we see the intervention of divine Grace. That is because in the spiritual life we are all the time praying to God. Even if we are only asking God for a nice breakfast, at least we are saying "God" and "Supreme." So God says, "At least he has used My Name." But the person who is not in the spiritual life does not ask God for anything.

Mrs. Irina Malikova: Mine is not a question. I just wanted to thank you for everything you have done. I had a very nice experience with my surgery. Normally I should have been afraid, because it was major surgery, but to my own and everybody's surprise, I was so sure about everything that I did not feel nervous. The doctors said they had never seen a patient with so little anxiety about his health. It was not a question of my victory. It is just that I physically felt your presence in the surgery room, and that helped me a lot.

Sri Chinmoy: I told you not to worry. I said there would be absolutely no problem, and I promised you that I would be there for your operation. If the consciousness and the vibration of the room had been a little higher, then you would have seen me. But definitely I was there; I was there!

Sometimes when I know the date of an operation, I do not even need to know the exact hour. If someone is close to me, even if he notifies me a month in advance, I can promise to take care of it. And my promise will definitely be fulfilled. At the time of the operation, my physical mind may not even be aware that it is taking place, but I have many, many inner representatives who will act on my behalf. One of my inner beings will keep my promise for me.

But in your case, it was totally different. I did not depend on my inner beings; I was directly involved one hundred per cent. The day before the operation I called you, and also that morning I called you.

Before your experience, I was dealing with the father of one of my disciples. Her whole family — mother, father and brother — are also my disciples, and they are very devoted to me. The mother has such love for me. And she had such faith that I would do everything for her husband, although at the same time she was fully prepared for him to go to the other world. At the time, the doctors gave him two weeks to live, but even now he is still in this world! About a week ago he drove himself to the hospital. The doctors said, "What! How can you drive?" But he did drive. Then, two days ago, he even walked to the hospital, which is nearby. Just a few weeks ago he was not doing well at all. But God was kind to him, really kind.

Faith is needed. And if the person in whom you have faith has the capacity, then anything is possible. Sri Aurobindo said, "If you have faith in anything, that thing will work." No matter how serious the problem, some spiritual Masters will simply say to their disciples, "Take a little mustard oil." There is nothing magical about mustard oil. The Master is only seeing how much faith you have in him. If you take the mustard oil devotedly and feel that it will cure you, then it will do the needful. The Master does not separate himself from his utterance. He is inside that mustard oil, and in and through the mustard oil he will cure you. Again, sometimes he will tell you to go to the doctor.

In my case, I always say, "Take coconut water." For each and every problem I say, "Take coconut water." Doctors are bound to laugh at me! From a scientific point of view, they will say that coconut water has nothing to do with this kind of disease or that kind of disease. But I know coconut water is my medicine, and if the patient has faith in my coconut water, then it will perform miracles. It is a matter of faith. As long as you have faith, you will be cured.

Again, the Master may have the capacity to cure the disciple's disease, and the disciple may have implicit faith in the Master's capacity, but there is a third party. The Supreme may say, "No, for various reasons I do not want that person to live." A spiritual Master is implicitly one with God's Will all the time, but because he is in the physical, which is full of suffering, sometimes he identifies with earth. If somebody who is supposed to die is very devoted to me, I tell the Supreme all the good things that this person has done for me and for the Supreme over the years. Then, at the last minute I beg: "Can he not stay on earth for a few more months or a few more years?" At that time God may agree to a little extension — five or ten years. Again, He may not. But if I see that the Supreme is really serious about someone going to the other world, then I will be the last person to beg Him, "Can You give an extension?" No, no, I will never dare to say something like that! I cannot do that. If someone who is near and dear to me is about to die, and if I see that the Supreme will be disturbed if I start crying and lamenting, then I will be the last person to ask for an extension.

Because spiritual Masters are here on earth, sometimes they act in a human way. My little dog Kanu and I were so fond of one another. During his last year he wanted only to be with me. He even wanted to sleep with me. If I picked him up and put him near my heart, he would get up to go and sleep at my feet. He was always at my feet. So many times I knew that he was gone, absolutely gone, but when I would bring him downstairs, he would again open his eyes. O God! The Supreme is very wise. He did not want me to see my Kanu's passing. So, twelve or thirteen days after I left New York for our Christmas holiday, the Supreme brought Kanu to the other world. When Kanu died, I was crying for days and days, shedding bitter tears. On the one hand, the Supreme was laughing. On the other hand, so powerfully He was consoling me.

Under ordinary circumstances, if the Supreme sees that in my human way I am very affectionate towards someone or something, then He not only forgives my stupid affection or attachment but even enjoys it. But if things go contrary to my human hopes or desires, then immediately I become one with the Will of the Supreme. Although the human in me is crying, the divine in me remains detached and happy.

All spiritual Masters are like this. When one of Sri Ramakrishna's devotees passed away — he was not even a real disciple — Sri Ramakrishna suffered tremendously. But when he saw the soul of that person very happily flying up like a bird, Sri Ramakrishna started clapping. Before that, he was insane with grief. But when he saw how happy the soul was, he also became very happy.

So there is a great difference between Sri Ramakrishna and an ordinary person. An ordinary person might cry and blame God for years. But Sri Ramakrishna completely identified with God's Will. Sometimes Sri Ramakrishna would fight for someone. Although he knew that ultimately he would happily accept the Will of the Supreme, in the beginning he would let the human in him come to the fore because he wanted to be one with earth. Otherwise, he could have just remained in the Himalayan caves and said, "I have realised God. Who cares for the world!" I also have realised God, so I could do the same thing. But God is asking me to live in the world and be of service to Him here in the West, so I am here.

The way of the old Indian tradition was to remain in one place and just repeat God's Name. But today the role of the spiritual Master is different. Both India and America, East and West, have something to give to the world. India is offering the message of peace and the West is offering the message of science. If the West had not given the East the message of science, India would have remained primitive. And if India had not brought an iota of light to the West, then the West would have remained unillumined. Whatever India and America have, each has to give to the other gladly. They are like two brothers in a family. If one brother is a doctor, he will give medicine. If another is an electrician, he will do electrical work. How can the doctor do the work of the electrician, or vice versa? In exactly the same way, whatever India has to offer to the world, the West must gladly accept; and whatever the West has to give, India has to accept. Then only, East and West can become complete.

Part IV

SCA 447. Sri Chinmoy answered this question on 9 September 1997.

Question: If people do not consciously pray or meditate, but they use their heart to love humanity as it is, can they also get inner messages that way?

Sri Chinmoy: What is meditation? Expansion of the heart. Meditation means to dive deep within and claim the whole world as your own. What is the purpose of prayer? To make me a good person. The real prayer is, "Make me a good person so that I can be of use to You." What is the ultimate prayer? Can there be anything higher than "Let Thy Will be done"? Is that not also the aim of meditation? Jesus Christ's message, "Let Thy Will be done," is the ultimate message. That is called unconditional surrender.

If one makes unconditional surrender, then he is on his way to God-realisation. Let him practise unconditional surrender; then he is bound to realise God. The height of unconditional surrender is "Let Thy Will be done." That is the ultimate height of meditation and prayer. They lead to the same goal. If one is having a good meditation, will he say, "Let my own will be done"? No! Precisely because he has gone deep within, he will say, "God, tell me what I should do, and I will do it." Prayer, with folded hands, also says, "God, tell me what I should do." One goes deep within and says, "God, tell me what I should do." The other looks up and says, "Please, please tell me what I am supposed to do." Both meditation and prayer are saying the same thing. One goes deep inside, and the other looks up. One climbs up the tree, and the other is at the foot of the tree, looking up.

Prayer and meditation are two roads. When I meditate, I bring down God. When I pray, I go up to God. It is the same thing. When I use one way, I say, "Please come down and tell me what I am supposed to do." When I use the other way, I say, "I am coming up. Please tell me what I am supposed to do." Again, in my prayer I say, "Give me peace, give me love, give me light, so that I can please You." And in my meditation I say, "Please tell me what I need, and please, please give me what I need." Both ways are coming to the same goal.

Part V

SCA 448-465. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions during a bus trip to Kingston, Canada, on 25 October 1997.

Question: When chosen instruments fail, does the choice withdraw and go to others?

Sri Chinmoy: When chosen instruments fail, in some cases the Supreme wants me to wait indefinitely for the return of their highest height. In some cases He wants me to wait for a few years and see, and then make the final decision. In some cases He wants me to withdraw completely from them. In some cases He asks me to replace them.

Question: In the inner world, does everybody know who you are?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, in the inner world everybody without exception knows me extremely well. Not only do they know me, but also they value me infinitely, infinitely more than my first-class disciples value me. Here in the outer world I run after my children to please them. In the inner world they run after me to make me happy, to keep me happy, to please me in my own way, for they feel my happiness is their only satisfaction and fulfilment. The higher you go, the sooner you know and the easier it is for you to see the Divine in me, and finally to see me as the Divine Himself.

Question: What does delight look like?

Sri Chinmoy: Delight is not a thing to see. It is a thing to feel, to grow into and to become. But if you want to take delight as an earthly achievement or earthly material object, or in an earthly way if you wish to describe it, then try to imagine you have all at once become the highest mountain-height. You have become the highest mountain, the most beautiful moon, the most powerful sun, the largest ocean. Everything that you can imagine as larger than the largest, higher than the highest and most beautiful and most powerful, if you can imagine that you are those very things, the feeling that you get is delight. But that delight is not the real or pure delight. Real delight is inside; it is deep within. When we become inseparably one with God, we drink in and we breathe in and out God's Will.

Question: Will a disciple's love ever equal the Master's love for the disciple?

Sri Chinmoy: The Master's love for the disciple will almost always far surpass the disciple's love for the Master. But again, on very rare occasions some disciples have surpassed their Master. Naturally at that time the one who was previously a disciple will have more love than his Master. It has happened a few times that disciples have far surpassed their Masters.

Until the disciple has realised God the way the Master has done, the disciple will always have less love for the Master than the Master has for him. Even when the disciple realises God, the Master will not be sleeping. The Master will also make progress the way the disciple has made progress, so the Master will still have more love for the disciple than the disciple has for him. Again, as I said, if the disciple far surpasses the Master, which has happened in some cases, then naturally at that time the disciple's love will be greater than the Master's love.

Question: What is the best way to bring new life into each new day?

Sri Chinmoy: The best way to bring new life into each new day is to offer endless gratitude to God the Creator and God the creation early in the morning. When our gratitude-heart blossoms, it immediately covers the length and breadth of the world. The beauty and fragrance of a gratitude-heart will always remain unsurpassable among all the divine qualities that a seeker has. So the answer is gratitude, gratitude, gratitude!

Question: Should we expect to be attacked by weaknesses we pray to overcome?

Sri Chinmoy: No, we must not expect to be attacked by weaknesses we pray to overcome. If you are praying to God to protect you from something, from disease or from some unfortunate experiences, then you must not even for a fleeting second expect them to come. That is absolutely the wrong way. You must kick them once and for all with no expectation of their attack. If you think of them, then your prayer will be ineffective.

When you pray to God, do not keep these weaknesses in your mind or expect that they will come in a few seconds. Do not feel that they exist. When you pray for their removal or non-existence, you must not expect them to come. If you expect them, then you will indefinitely suffer. Your expectation will be your unconscious invitation to the wrong forces. Never expect, never even think of them. Only pray to God to save you from all the things that are harmful to your spiritual life.

Question: Where does your sweeter than the sweetest sweetness come from?

Sri Chinmoy: Since you are flattering me, I can also flatter myself. Your flattery is nothing in comparison to my self-flattery! My self-flattery far surpasses all your mental hallucinations plus imaginary flatteries.

My sweetness comes from the beauty of my universal heart and the fragrance of my transcendental soul.

Just yesterday at P.S. 86 I became my own universal heart and transcendental soul. It was not just seeing, it was not just feeling, but it was becoming. I do hope some people saw something unusual. For some people to know my transcendental height and universal length is an impossible task. To see and feel the real reality is an impossible task. But to see something or feel something unusual, in a normal sense, is quite possible. I do hope somebody felt something unusual and saw something unusual yesterday at P.S. 86.

Question: Will America recognise and fulfil you while you are here on earth?

Sri Chinmoy: Your question has to be answered either by God Himself or by the disciples like you who are most sincerely and most devotedly trying to manifest my divinity's light on earth. It depends on the disciples who are sleeplessly trying. Again, sleeplessly one can try, but at the same time if sincerity, eagerness and enthusiasm are missing, then one's sleepless effort will be of no avail. One can work for hours and hours, but if there is no sincerity, eagerness or enthusiasm, then nothing can ever happen to establish my light.

The answer to your question can adequately be given either by God Himself or by the disciples who are trying to manifest me all over the world. I am the last person to be able to answer that question.

Question: What do your multi-day races contribute to the world?

Sri Chinmoy: In the outer world, whether it is a long-distance run or a short-distance run, or jumping or throwing, any extraordinary activity we perform on earth is an indication of the fact that in the inner world that capacity does exist. It is only that we have to use it. The capacity that we appreciate, admire and adore can be seen, felt and acquired in the inner world in infinitely greater measure.

The inspiration that we give to ourselves or to the world by exercising our extraordinary capacity comes from the ever-mounting aspiration of the inner world. Our achievements are for the manifestation of divinity, to add to the receptivity of the outer world, to make the outer world eventually ready to accept the inner capacities of love, peace and bliss in infinite measure.

Question: How can I quickly regain my inner and outer strength after a multi-day race?

Sri Chinmoy: Eat voraciously, and do not worry about your weight! No matter how much you weigh, you are not going to be fat. Eat, eat, eat! And while eating, remain happy, happy, happy. You are eating earthly, material food, but feel the divine joy in it. Then also feel gratitude inside your heart that God chose you to accomplish this great feat. Your cheerful gratitude will strengthen your body far beyond your imagination.

Question: How can one be a superior yet still maintain a child's heart?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, you have to know the qualities of a child's heart. The qualities of a child's heart are sympathy, sincerity, purity, sweetness and happiness. If you are a superior, you think that you have to maintain all the time a superior feeling, dignity and so forth. But a divine superior or supervisor will feel that the real supervisor is the Supreme Himself. So try to use all the divine qualities instead of showing off the earthly, human qualities that a supervisor exhibits. When pride speaks, it gets nothing. When sweetness speaks, it gets everything.

Use your smile, use your compassion, use your oneness, use your wisdom at every moment. There cannot be a greater wisdom than a sweet smile. This sweet smile is the spontaneous expression of a child's heart. A supervisor can easily maintain his or her childlike heart and get everything done in a satisfactory manner.

Question: How can we maintain our gratitude even when we are tired?

Sri Chinmoy: We can maintain our gratitude even when we are extremely, extremely tired, even if we are on the point of collapse or if we are dying. Just take a very deep breath and imagine a river flowing. A river is in front of you, and the river is flowing fast, very fast, with a sweeter than the sweetest smile, towards its destination: the infinite ocean.

While breathing in, silently utter the word 'gratitude'. While breathing out, feel that your gratitude is flowing from the inmost recesses of your heart like a running river, carrying your gratitude towards the destination. It is like the Ganges which is entering into the vast ocean. Your soul's name, Bhagirathi, is another name for the Ganges. So feel that the Ganges is running towards the destination, and at the same time it is carrying your gratitude-breath to the source, the Himalayas.

Question: What pleases you most: when we invoke you or enter into you, or both?

Sri Chinmoy: When you are in an ordinary consciousness, you should try to aspire for a higher consciousness — to invoke me, to invoke my presence, my blessings, my love, my concern, my compassion and my joy. But if you are already in a high consciousness, then you should try with utmost awareness, seriousness and soulfulness to enter into my divinity's infinite affection, love, sweetness and bliss.

When you invoke, you look upward. When you want to enter into me, in the inner world you dive deep within. When you invoke me, at that time there is a feeling that you are trying to nullify the sense of separativity — that is to say, the feeling that I am infinitely higher and you are infinitely lower. The human tries to bring down the divine. When we want to establish oneness, inner oneness, inseparable oneness, at that time we know that we are already one. But at times we forget that the drop and the ocean have no separate existence. Then we try our best to make ourselves feel that the drop and the ocean — that is, the human and the divine — are inseparably one.

Question: Do good intentions count in God's Eyes, even if not carried out?

Sri Chinmoy: Definitely good intentions count even if they are not carried out. But if these good intentions are carried out eventually, then you are successful. Just to have good intentions is to get 20 or 30 out of 100. But if the good intentions are carried out, then you get 100 out of 100. If you do not have good intentions, then you get zero. If you have bad intentions, then you get infinitely worse than zero. To have good intentions itself is like taking a giant step towards a remote destination.

Question: Do you ever get bored?

Sri Chinmoy: The human in me at every moment is bored. The divine in me will never be bored. The human in me sees everything as uninspiring, unchanging, unenthusiastic, unprogressive. Therefore, the human in me is bored. But the divine in me is never bored because the divine in me sees in everything, in every person, at every moment, not only a new possibility of hope but also a promise, and this promise comes from the divine Source: our Lord Beloved Supreme.

Question: What is the best way to deal with different people daily?

Sri Chinmoy: We have to deal with each person daily in a specific way, but the most important way is the way of compassion and forgiveness. It is not only the boss or the superiors in an office who have the authority to show compassion or forgiveness to the workers of lower rank. No, no, no! Each and every worker has the divine right or supreme necessity to forgive others and to show compassion to others both inwardly and outwardly. By exercising and by offering compassion and forgiveness, we will develop many, many more divine qualities in ourselves. Each divine quality is like a most beautiful, most luminous and most fruitful gift we get from our Lord Beloved Supreme.

Question: Would you please explain the divine game of praying?

Sri Chinmoy: The whole creation is God's Cosmic Game. Again, praying itself is a game. A game means happiness. If we can pray with happiness, then God will definitely fulfil our prayers. When ordinary people pray to God, many times they pray with anxiety, worries, self-doubt and so forth. When sincere seekers pray, they do not have anxiety, worries or impure thoughts. Everything is positive. They feel the game itself is joy.

In our outer life, we do not feel that the game itself is joy. The importance of the game is only in the results. If we win, then only we get joy. That is a totally mistaken idea. When we pray, we should feel that the prayer itself is joy. We are praying to God Himself. We should be so grateful to God that He has given us the capacity to pray to Him. God says to us, "I want to play with you, My child. But I want you to play happily and self-givingly."

So prayer itself is a game of happiness, cheerfulness and fulness.

Question: How can I become yours eternally?

Sri Chinmoy: My dear daughter, you have already become an eternal disciple of my soul. You do not have to worry. Your soul and heart have established eternal oneness with my soul and with my divinity, and I am very, very proud of your self-giving aspiration and dedication.

Part VI

SCA 466-469. On 3 July 1997, Sri Chinmoy was interviewed by a reporter from the New York newspaper Newsday. The reporter was observing the ongoing Sri Chinmoy 3,100-Mile Race in Jamaica, New York.

Interviewer: Sri Chinmoy, the runners who are your students talked a lot about meditation, your philosophy and how that helps their running. What do you tell them to help them find the strength they need to go on day after day and run 16 hours a day?

Sri Chinmoy: Our philosophy is very simple. We love God, and we would like to serve God. There are many, many ways to please God. Right now we cannot please God in each and every way. But when we pray and meditate, we feel that there shall come a time when we shall be able to please God in each and every way. Why do we have this feeling? Simply because He will give us the capacity. So right now we are praying to God for the capacity to please Him in His own Way.

When we take the next step, then we tell God, "We would like to please You cheerfully, eagerly plus unconditionally." If He wants me at this moment to converse with Him, I will do it happily, gladly and proudly. The next moment if He asks me to play tennis, I will gladly play tennis. Then, the following moment, if He asks me to do something else, that I will also do, happily and proudly. Ultimately we would like to do everything for God unconditionally. We shall not set any condition: "God, if You give me this, then I shall do that for You." That is not our philosophy. We tell God, "We shall give You happily and self-givingly what You want from us. To please You in Your own Way we came into the world." This is our philosophy.

We also have something else in our philosophy, and that is self-transcendence. We shall not be fully satisfied with our past or present achievements. We must go forward, we must go upward and we must go inward.

Interviewer: I am curious about what happens on the day-to-day level.

Sri Chinmoy: Self-discipline is of paramount importance. Self-transcendence comes into existence only by virtue of self-discipline and meditation. In our day-to-day life we like to derive happiness from what we do and from what we are. Here, although outwardly these four runners are completely tired and exhausted, they feel that this is a new way to make themselves happy and to make themselves proud of their own lives.

We give all importance to happiness, happiness, happiness! In happiness abides peace, and vice versa. The runners are running, and at the same time they are happy and they have a peaceful frame of mind.

Interviewer: The one time I did my longest race, ten miles, I remember it was a little bit of an emotional roller coaster. After perhaps three miles I thought, "This is great! I can run 26 miles. I can do a marathon." And then after six miles I thought, "Oh my gosh, my knees are going to ache; my feet hurt. I'm totally exhausted!" I just went up and down. What would you tell your disciples to help them deal with the low part?

Sri Chinmoy: I tell my disciples that they have to use their wisdom at every moment. Sometimes we are physically tired. Sometimes we are mentally tired. Sometimes we are emotionally tired. Sometimes we are tired without any rhyme or reason. Often our mental lethargy makes us feel that we will not be able to complete the race or, if we complete the race, nothing special is going to happen. There are so many ways that our mind can convince us that it is useless and unnecessary to continue. The mind makes us feel, "I am just killing myself without any specific purpose."

If mental lethargy or our own unwillingness tortures us, we must not surrender to these wrong forces. Our motto is, "Never give up!" Only after we have given everything that we have and everything that we are, can we give up if it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, we are making the most deplorable mistake. Most of the time there is every possibility that we shall be able to arrive at our destination. And once we arrive at our destination, it is we who will be the happiest and the proudest person.

Interviewer: What makes sports and athleticism such an important part of spirituality for you?

Sri Chinmoy: As I told you before, each individual has to get happiness from what he is doing and from what he is. If I am not physically fit, I will not get up early in the morning. Let us say I am supposed to get up at six o'clock, but physical ailments compel me to stay in bed until nine, ten or eleven o'clock. At that time I enter into the hustle and bustle of life. Then, because I could not take physical exercise, I become a victim to certain other ailments. The supreme necessity of physical fitness is to help us become choice instruments of God. I am not saying that we have to become the world's greatest athlete. Far from it! I do not have to become the world's strongest wrestler or boxer. My goal is only to keep my body fit so that early in the morning I can pray, meditate, run or do whatever divine activity I would like to do.

The body, vital and mind each have a special role to play in our lives. If the vital is not dynamic, then we shall be lethargic. We have to be dynamic with our vital, not aggressive. Then we have to be mentally pure. We have to have pure and illumining thoughts in our mind and not indulge in doubt. Otherwise, one moment I will say that you are a very bad woman. Then the next moment I will tell myself, "What right do I have to say that? She is a very good woman." So, this moment you are very, very good, but before you leave here, my mind can say that you are very bad. Now look at this! Who am I? Am I in a position to judge whether you are good or bad? No! But I am in a position to offer you good thoughts, kind thoughts.

You are being so kind to me here, and I am also trying to be kind to you by offering you good thoughts, illumining thoughts, fulfilling thoughts. The mind has to take the positive attitude and say that you are a very good person. By thinking that you are a bad person, what am I gaining? I am just wasting my precious time. But by thinking and feeling that you are a good person, I am clearing and purifying my mind. And if I have a clear mind, a pure mind, I will be able to achieve many, many encouraging and inspiring things in my life.

Part VII

SCA 470-478. On 8 July 1997, Sri Chinmoy answered questions at an informal gathering.

Question: Guru, have all the people who used to meditate for hours and hours in previous lives reincarnated?

Sri Chinmoy: Most of them have reincarnated. They had to!

Question: Are they consciously meditating now, or are they more involved in modern life?

Sri Chinmoy: Some of them have not turned to modern life. They are still in India and other Eastern countries, where they are praying and meditating. Again, some wanted to enlarge their experiences and go slowly in their spiritual life. That is why they are now in America and other Western places. Others felt that whatever they had already received was more than enough, so now they could take incarnation in the West. And some, even after achieving partial God-realisation, felt that science is better than spirituality! Their theory is that if science does something great, immediately millions of people will get the benefit. They do not realise that in one second the goodwill of a spiritual Master can affect thousands and millions of people.

I am here cutting jokes with you, but in one second I can send a little bit of goodwill with my occult power and spiritual power, and it will immediately spread. Science cannot do that. That is why Swami Vivekananda and others used to say, "From the top of the Himalayas if a spiritual Master sends goodwill for a few seconds, it will cover the length and breadth of the whole world." Science can drop the atom bomb, but only one or two towns it can destroy. The world is so vast. How many atom bombs will be needed to destroy the whole world? But in the inner world, in a few seconds goodwill immediately enters into the souls of millions and millions of human beings.

This is one hundred per cent true, but you have to come to the level where you can see it and feel it. There are many, many things which we cannot prove to others unless they come to that level. A nurse will know the capacity of a doctor, but what do I know about medicine? Spiritual Masters have attained a certain height. As soon as they send goodwill from that height, it spreads everywhere. Sri Ramana Maharshi used to say that in one second he sent his goodwill and it covered the whole world. He was not imagining this, and he was not fooling himself.

I know that even when I am relaxing with my disciples, if I send goodwill, in a few seconds it goes to everyone, no matter how many souls are alive on earth. And if you are of a different standard, and you want to send goodwill to the other world, immediately it goes to the other world also.

Just yesterday the newspaper was showing the surface of Mars. I was reading the newspaper in a relaxed way when I saw it. It was not my mental hallucination, but while looking at the photograph for perhaps a minute, I was seeing so many beings! Still man has not landed there, but the picture had been taken. This planet looks like such a beautiful place, with greenery, like the surface of the earth. When I concentrated from my porch, believe me, how many beings were voraciously eating my light! 'Voraciously' is the right word.

Was this my imagination? Sri Ramakrishna would say no, this was not imagination; it was absolutely true. Sri Aurobindo would say it was absolutely true. But ask somebody else, an ordinary man, and he will say it was my mental hallucination; it was worse than imagination. Whom to believe? When I am concentrating, I am seeing something, just as I am seeing you here. If somebody else says, "No, he did not see anything," then what am I going to do? Let that person be satisfied by saying that I did not see anything.

After all, I am the one who ate the mango. If I ate the mango and I enjoyed the delicious taste of the mango, but you say, "No, he did not eat the mango," that is fine with me. Now I am eating this pancake, and you people happen to be here, so that is why you believe me. But in the case of people who are not here right now, some may believe me; some may not believe. Am I losing the taste of what I have eaten because so and so does not believe it? No!

Question: Are those beings on Mars consciously aspiring?

Sri Chinmoy: Some of them are consciously aspiring and some of them are not. But there are many that are aspiring. If a family of five people are in one room, when three get up and start making noise, the other two also get up. The first ones get up willingly to pray and meditate; the last two are getting up only because they are compelled. They say, "What will others think of me if I do not get up? Those three got up and they are now praying." So they get up reluctantly, but the first three got up sincerely. The second batch are rogues!

Then again, it may happen that the first three, who got up sincerely, become tired. They may start thinking rubbish thoughts, while the second batch — who started by saying, "What will they think of me if I do not get up?" — now want to become very good seekers. They may try their utmost to aspire sincerely, and sometimes they go far beyond the ones who first got up early in the morning. The first batch may become tired and say, "Oh, we have been praying and meditating with no result." Mechanically they pray. Then, after they have been praying for months and months and no prayer has been sanctioned, they give up. But those in the second group — who started out of sheer curiosity, worrying about what the first group would think of them — may become so sincere that they eventually go beyond the ones who got up first. Again, there may be some who got up early in the morning and gradually, gradually continue to do well.

Question: What kind of beings are these? Are they all on the inner plane? Do they have physical bodies?

Sri Chinmoy: They are much shorter than we are. They have a subtle body. Although they are small, they can come and help us.

Question: They can just travel to the earth?

Sri Chinmoy: Definitely! They can come and help us. They can give us such affection and love. Did my dog Kanu not come from another world? Kanu came and destroyed me with his affection!

Question: You have said that earth is the place where souls can make progress. So how is their prayer aiding these beings on other planets?

Sri Chinmoy: Their prayer is aiding them, but for God-realisation the earth planet is needed. Other planets will not give realisation. The progress that is necessary for God-realisation, the earth planet alone can give. On other planets beings can make progress, but not for God-realisation. They will get light, more light, abundant light. But they have to come down here to realise God. On each plane they can receive light. But for nature's transformation or God-realisation, they have to come here. God has chosen this planet alone for God-realisation. In other places you can accumulate and accumulate, but you have to spend the wealth here.

Question: What do these beings do? Do they have a lifespan? We have a physical lifespan. Are they immortal? Do they live forever?

Sri Chinmoy: They can live as long as they want to. We cannot live as many years as we want to. Even if we do not want to, tomorrow we may have to die if it is God's Will. In their case they can live indefinitely. Again, if they are bored, if it is too much for them, if their life is too long, then they may die.

Question: Were these beings disturbed when the spacecraft landed?

Sri Chinmoy: No, the spacecraft was touching the planet on another level. It did not disturb them. Simply taking pictures does not disturb them, but if people start living there, then it will disturb them. Just taking a picture does not disturb them, because photographs are not able to catch those beings. But if human beings go there and colonise, then definitely the beings will feel that we are disturbing them. Then we will be in trouble.

Question: Will that happen in the future? Will man go there eventually?

Sri Chinmoy: Man will go there, or they will come here. It is like the Russians and the Americans. Previously, Russians could not come to America and Americans could not go to Russia. Now they are going in both directions. But when those beings come here, they will have to take human birth. Again, when man goes there, man will not be able to live in the physical. Man will be able to live there with the tangible subtle body. Human beings also have subtle bodies.

Question: So people will not physically live there?

Sri Chinmoy: Physically I do not think they will be able to live there, because that plane is not for the physical. People can go there only with their subtle bodies. Again, who knows the future? But right now our physical is not ready. If we go just a little above the earth, we freeze to death.

Part VIII

SCA 479-480. On 21 September 1997, Sri Chinmoy answered these questions from one of his mountain-climbing disciples.

Question: It takes a very long time, a lot of effort and a lot of money to go on mountain-climbing trips. Is it really worth all the time, effort and money, or would it be better to do something else with our resources?

Sri Chinmoy: You have to change your attitude. When you climb a mountain or swim the English Channel, you may call it a silly adventure, but I take it as part of our manifestation. In the world of manifestation, there is an outer history and an inner history. One is in the mind and one is in the heart. The mind's history we will forget the next day, but the history of the heart we will forever remember. We will forever remember that somebody became inseparably one with his Guru's will and achieved something remarkable.

Recently one of our Swiss disciples, after swimming the English Channel, went on to do cycling and running all the way to Paris. If you look at her, who would ever imagine she could do this kind of thing?

We now have at least a solid three thousand disciples. Out of three thousand disciples, only five or six are entering into this mountain-climbing aspect of our manifestation. I am sad; if I had the money, I would be the first person to give you money to meet with your expenses. For everything, money is needed. There are many, many disciples who have enough money. But where are they? They have the money, but they do not have the willingness, the eagerness, the self-giving — which you do have. How many people have the daring capacity to climb? As you know, some people are afraid of climbing up stairs, even. It is too much for them. If there are eight floors, they will wait eight hours for the elevator to come!

Question: I don't think that money is really the problem. It's just that sometimes I feel miserable when there are other projects that I cannot participate in. Because I'm concentrating on climbing, I don't do some other things.

Sri Chinmoy: True, there are many other activities. But climbing is something that others cannot do. How many people can even imagine climbing up the Himalayas? Will my "best disciple" dare, even if I give him the money?

"Best disciple": Guru, I don't like the cold.

Sri Chinmoy: He does not like the cold, and somebody else will not like something else!

"Best disciple": I'm also scared of heights.

Sri Chinmoy: You have to see how many people are able to do this. Each thing has such significance in life, individually and collectively: swimming, climbing, running. Look at what a wonderful job our Peace Run has done! Thousands and millions of people know about us because of the Peace Run. In the Peace Run you can invite thousands of people to participate, and everyone will be all oneness-enthusiasm. That is one way, the collective way, and it is a tremendous manifestation. But for other types of manifestation, individually some people have to come forward. When it is a matter of climbing, even if some people have oneness, will they dare to make the attempt? Everything that we achieve is recorded in our minds and hearts.

If people are afraid, if they feel they will die, I will be the last person to ask them to take up climbing. I am praying to God that you people who do take up the challenge do not meet with any accident. To climb the Himalayas is extremely difficult; again, it is a great adventure. In an adventure, if you do not meet with immediate success, you have to feel that eventually you will succeed. In the beginning, the idea of swimming the English Channel seemed impossible. Now a number of our girl disciples are doing it, and one older man is defying age and conquering the Channel. So if somebody else fails, you should not give up. Either you will do it, or there will be somebody else to come who will succeed.

Translations of this page: Italian , Czech
This book series can be cited using cite-key sca-12