Sri Chinmoy answers, part 14

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Part I

SCA 531-548. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions from the children of his disciples on 2 July 1997 during a celebration of Grandfather's Day at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York.

Question: What kind of shape does God have?

Sri Chinmoy: God has infinite shapes. But things that are small in shape He prefers to those that are large, larger, largest. Tinier than the tiniest objects or shapes He prefers most.

Question: What does God do with His spare time?

Sri Chinmoy: God cuts jokes with Himself when He has spare time, if He has any at all!

Question: Can people see fairies?

Sri Chinmoy: Definitely people can see fairies, but not everybody. Ordinary human beings can see fairies in their dreams. If you are spiritually advanced, you can easily see fairies at your sweet will, right in front of you.

Question: What is God's favourite sound?

Sri Chinmoy: God’s favourite sound is soundless. At the same time, the soundless sound is louder than the loudest. It is soundless and at the same time louder than the loudest. God’s soundless sound can be louder than an atom bomb.

Question: How can I have the most joy?

Sri Chinmoy: Just by imagining a child infinitely more beautiful than any child that you have seen in this world. You have inside you a child who is infinitely more beautiful. Just imagine it. While imagining you will get utmost joy.

Question: Which of God's children makes Him laugh the most?

Sri Chinmoy: The children who are extremely stupid and try to make God feel that they are the wisest of all make God roar with laughter.

Question: Guru, did you have any pets when you were a kid?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, I had quite a few pets, but my favourite pets were two monkeys: Jadu and Madhu. Here in America, also, I had two monkeys. I gave them the same names, Jadu and Madhu, but now they are with God. My childhood monkeys, although they were my pets, were very, very unkind to me. They used to bite me like anything. I have so many scars and marks. Without any rhyme or reason they would bite. To escape their bites, I discovered a trick: they do not bite dead bodies. So when I saw Madhu or Jadu coming, running fast towards me, I would immediately lie down flat on my back and pretend I was dead. Quite a few times I had the time to lie down on my back. Then they would examine me closely. Meanwhile, I would pretend that I was dead. They were satisfied and they would not bite me. That is how I escaped most of the time, but I still have very, very big marks from those occasions when they caught me by surprise.

Question: What is God's favourite kind of humour?

Sri Chinmoy: God’s favourite humour is when He envisions something and it does not take place the way He wanted. God can do anything, He is omnipotent, but sometimes He uses the natural course. Then if the result on the physical plane, the earthly plane, is diametrically opposite, God enjoys it like anything.

Suppose God wants something to be done on the earthly plane and ignorance-forces delay it or give a totally different result. What does God do? He laughs and laughs. This is His favourite kind of humour. He knows He has omnipotent power, so He can easily do whatever He wants to do. But He has given very limited power to ignorance and to us. Naturally, ignorance never uses its limited power in the proper way and, therefore, the power of ignorance itself only increases.

In the case of human beings, quite often we receive the limited power that God gives us and, because we are truth-seekers and God-lovers, we are able to use the little freedom that He has given in a proper way. When God sees that we are using it properly, He is very pleased with us and He gives us more trust and more power.

Question: Why did I have so many bad dreams when I was small?

Sri Chinmoy: Perhaps your vital wanted to have those dreams. Many times our vital gets malicious pleasure by inviting or invoking wrong forces. Wrong forces in this case means bad dreams. On the one hand, when we are conscious we do not want to have bad dreams, but when we are unconscious, we sometimes invite things that are not divine. I am sure you have been to the zoo many, many times. There we see tigers and lions and all kinds of ferocious and destructive animals. We do not want them to kill us, but we enjoy going as close to them as possible. Similarly, we can say we do not want bad dreams. We do not want them; we never wanted them. But on some level we did want them.

Question: Can someone be spiritually fat or thin?

Sri Chinmoy: Absolutely! Spiritually fat people are those who have made conscious surrender to God’s Will. And spiritually thin people are those who have no faith either in themselves or in God. Those who have made tremendous progress in offering love, devotion and surrender, plus gratitude, are spiritually fat. Here, fat means inundated with divine qualities. Others who have not developed good qualities to offer are spiritually thin.

Question: Does God have a favourite season?

Sri Chinmoy: Each season has a special quality or capacity. So when a season comes in, God is fond of that particular season. And when another one comes, He is equally fond of that one. Let us say a father has five or six children. When each one comes to the father, the father makes that child feel that he is the dearest. And also the child makes the father feel that he loves the father most. Each season is favoured by God in that way. Each season has something special to offer to God and at the same time God has a special blessingful feeling for each season.

Question: What can I do to make God happiest?

Sri Chinmoy: You have to pray to God to give you the capacity to sing at every moment God’s Victory. Even if God has not given you right now the capacity to pray for His Victory all the time, the fact that you are willing and eager to pray for God’s constant Victory will give you joy. So even if you cannot pray or meditate for hours for God’s Victory, no harm. The fact that you are eager and willing to pray for God’s Victory will make God extremely happy.

Question: How can I remain always smiling?

Sri Chinmoy: You can remain always smiling by imagining a most beautiful flower. It can be a rose or any other flower you like. First try to imagine that the flower is right in front of you, and you are admiring and appreciating it. Then try to feel that particular flower is none other than your own self. In this way, you will be able to remain always, always happy and smiling.

I have asked you to always smile, and most of the time you do smile at me. But even though I have not asked your mother, she always smiles whenever she sees me. This is very good. When you smile sincerely, immediately all the poison goes out of your system.

Question: What kind of toys does God play with?

Sri Chinmoy: God’s favourite toys are human beings. And the ones that love to play with Him all the time are His most favourite. We become tired of playing with our friends or with our parents and our dear ones. But there are some aspiring human beings who constantly, sleeplessly, breathlessly and self-givingly want to play with God. So those people are God’s most favourite toys.

Question: Should we try to remember our dreams?

Sri Chinmoy: In our case, we have dreams only when we are fast asleep. In God’s case, He has Vision when He is fully awakened. Our dreams can be very sweet, sweeter than the sweetest. Again, they can be painful, more painful, most painful. We have no idea what kind of dream we will have. But the capacity of our dream is limited. Even if we have the sweetest dream, let us say the absolutely most beautiful dream, it does not last more than a few hours or a few days. Then we forget all about the dream that we had. We have a vague memory that two years ago we had a dream, but there it ends. In the beginning, for a few days or a few hours, we are thrilled to have had such a beautiful dream, but it does not last.

In the case of a spiritual Master or someone who is spiritually advanced, God blesses that person with the capacity to envision. What does he envision? The past, present and future or the entire universe right in front of him. How can you see the entire universe? It is so wide, so vast.

You have to know that this earth planet is not the only world. There are many, many worlds. What God can do is bring all these worlds right in front of you and show them to you. As it is easy for Him to transform the finite into the Infinite, even so, it is very easy for Him to transform the Infinite into the finite. This moment He can show the entire ocean inside a drop. And again, if He wants to, He can transform the drop into the ocean itself. So the vastness of the universe He can easily bring before us when we develop universal vision or transcendental vision-power, or He can transform that same vastness into something which is smaller than the smallest. We call our experience a dream because we are not conscious of what is happening around us. But for God it is His Vision. I use the term ‘Vision’ because while He is having Vision He is fully awakened.

I always say today’s dream is tomorrow’s reality. If you have a good dream, pray to God to manifest it into reality. And if you have a bad dream, pray to God to nullify it as soon as possible so that it does not affect you.

Question: Does God live in the sky?

Sri Chinmoy: God lives everywhere. He lives not only in the sky, not only in the planets, not only in the sun and the moon, but everywhere. But if you ask which place He prefers most — the vastness of the sky or the selflessness of the heart — then I have to say that He prefers the selflessness of the heart to the vastness of the sky. Usually, when something is vast like the sky, we identify it with God. We think that He abides only in vastness. But God is omnipresent and omnipotent. He can be the Infinite itself, and again He can easily transform Himself into the finite. We can find God inside the atom as well as in the vast sky. God’s favourite place to live is inside our aspiration-heart. The aspiring heart prays and meditates for God’s Victory, while the vastness of the sky may not pray to God at all. There are many, many planets, but these planets do not pray for God’s Victory the way the aspiring heart does.

Question: Who is God's best friend?

Sri Chinmoy: The seeker who has made his surrender complete, unconditional, sleepless, breathless and endless naturally is God’s best friend. But again, there is something else which always remains as God’s best friend and that is God’s inner Poise. Nothing on earth can disturb God’s inner Poise. So God’s inner Poise and God are eternal friends and immortal friends.

Question: Who is Mother Kali's best friend?

Sri Chinmoy: Mother Kali’s best friend is Lord Shiva, her consort, her divine partner. He is absolutely her best friend. Again, some souls of the highest height who have taken human incarnation and have prayed and prayed and have become inseparably one with Mother Kali, like Sri Ramakrishna, have become her best friends. They constantly think of Mother Kali, pray to Mother Kali and meditate on Mother Kali. These lofty souls, who became spiritual Masters, have developed constant oneness, inseparable oneness with Mother Kali. Therefore, they are definitely her friends. On the one hand, they are like children and parents. On the other hand, they are best friends. Best friends are those who confide in each other, who are ready to offer themselves for each other. So Lord Shiva is Mother Kali’s best friend. And again, spiritual Masters who have taken human incarnation, such as Sri Ramakrishna, Ramprasad and so on, have become her favourite children and best friends.

On Grandfather's Day2

Grandfather’s Day is sweeter than the sweetest for me. A grandfather will never, never, never expect anything from his grandchildren. He will only give and give and give. The children who expect and demand constantly from the grandparents are going to be their sweetest and dearest grandchildren. Those who expect and demand feel that their grandfather is the only person who will meet with all their sweet expectations and demands. That is absolutely true! Grandparents have a larger than the largest heart for their grandchildren. When it comes to grandchildren, there is no such thing as the mind. It is all heart. So the entire world should be made of the grandchildren’s affection and the grandfather’s fondness. Then this world can be sweeter than the sweetest and beautiful, more beautiful, most beautiful.

To each spiritual grandchild of mine I wish to offer my infinite affection, infinite love and infinite pride and pride and gratitude and gratitude.

Now I wish to tell a few stories about my physical grandparents. My father’s father was named Ramachandra Ghosh. His superior was an Englishman. It happened that this man was engaged in a lawsuit and he asked my grandfather to tell a lie in his defence. My grandfather did not agree; he did not want to tell a lie. As a result, he was demoted. Then, on another occasion, the same English boss asked him to tell another lie in his defence. Again my grandfather did not listen. This time my grandfather was fired! Then he left the village, without taking anything. He said, “I am not going to tell a lie to support this boss. The best thing is to move to another village.”

I can also say something about my paternal grandmother, my father’s mother. When I was born, our house in town caught fire. So her immediate prediction was that this fellow would be the destruction of our whole family. My mother contradicted her. She said that I would bring name and fame to the family.

My other grandmother declared that I would be a clerk. In our Indian villages, to be a clerk is a sign of knowledge. It means that you have gone to school. To be a clerk is something very special, very great. A clerk is one who deals with paper, and in that sense my grandmother was absolutely right. At the age of thirty-two I became a junior clerk here in America for three years. And now, every day, I deal with papers. So her prediction about me came true.

I never saw my mother’s father — not even his picture. But a picture was taken of my mother’s mother. My mother is also in that picture. It was taken before I was born. I have blessed the soul of this grandmother at least ten times while looking at that picture here in New York. I have such compassion for my mother’s mother. So I blessed her soul when she came back into this world. She is no longer in the soul’s world.

SCA 549. Sri Chinmoy's comments at the close of the Grandfather's Day celebration.

Part II

On shyness3

When we see a little child who is extremely shy, we feel that this child is very cute. Unfortunately, from the spiritual point of view, shyness is not a good quality at all. When you express shyness, you outwardly pretend to be what you are not, and you inwardly try to draw all the world’s admiration and attention. Shyness is only a clever way of achieving something. Instead of giving something natural and normal to the world, you try to attract attention by becoming abnormal.

Some things die in themselves; they do not create other feelings. But shyness is not like that. Shyness does not end in shyness. From shyness comes sulkiness, and after sulkiness a kind of destructive quality comes. I strongly feel that the more we encourage children to be shy, the slower their progress becomes. Shyness is something that must be overcome if a child is to be spontaneous, free and natural and if they are to be loved by all and sundry. This opinion of mine is founded upon my personal observation while dealing with my students all over the world.

SCA 550. In 1997 Sri Chinmoy was asked to submit his views on shyness for a forthcoming book entitled Instruction Book for the Shy, to be published by Simon & Schuster.

Part III

SCA 551-557. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions on 7 June 1997 at Annam Brahma Restaurant in Queens, New York.

Question: How can we as disciples trust you more so that we can surrender our ignorance to you?

Sri Chinmoy: Right now you feel that if you increase your trust, you will be able to give me more of your ignorance. But I wish to say that trust is not in the mind. Trust is in the heart. When a mother trusts her child, even if the child is breaking everything, doing everything wrong, she will have faith in the child. She will say, “He is not doing this. Some other force is doing it. He will be all right in a few years.”

The important thing is not to use the mind. You are saying that if you have more trust, then you will have more love, devotion and surrender. I am saying, go the other way. If you have more love, devotion and surrender, you will have more trust. If you are standing on the edge of a swimming pool and you see that the water is warm, then you will be inclined to jump into the water. Otherwise, you will remain standing outside. But if you love water as such, regardless of whether it is cold or hot, then you will simply jump into the water. You will say, “Who cares if it is cold or hot?”

Similarly, in the spiritual life, if one wants to make progress, if one wants to have more faith, then it is not by watching or judging the Master — if he does this, if he says that, then I will have faith in him. No. Only because of the swimmer’s love for water he jumped into the pool. In exactly the same way, if you love the Master, you will not worry about what he says or what he does. You will only establish your oneness with him. When we enter into the water with oneness, we immediately start swimming there. If you love the Master, his path and his spirituality, you will not say, “If he does this, I will have more trust. If he does that, I will have less trust. I will increase and decrease according to what he says and what he does.” Faith is not a matter of increasing or decreasing. That is only the judgement of our stupid mind. You must use the heart.

When we enter into a garden, we do not look to see whether or not each petal is equally formed or if one petal is crooked. We enter into the garden and immediately we embrace the beauty and fragrance of the garden. Then our mind, vital and body become pure, cheerful and joyful. But if we enter into the garden and start looking to see which flower is most beautiful, then we do not get the same joy. If one flower is more beautiful, we will spend five minutes looking at it. Then we will go to another flower and say, “O God, I was mistaken, this flower is more beautiful. Let me stand here for ten minutes.” In the meantime, your time is up! You have to go home. You have more important things to do.

Once you enter into the garden, you have to immediately try to see the beauty and feel the fragrance of the garden. In the same way, once you choose a Master and a path, do not say, “If the path gives me this, then I shall trust it. If the Master says this, then I shall have more faith in him.” No, immediately jump into the sea of the Master’s compassion. You have to say, “If I do not feel the Master’s compassion or affection or love, I will not mind. I came to give him what I have and what I am. I know he will give me everything at his choice hour.”

Always you have to develop the attitude of unconditional oneness. As long as we place conditions on our love and on our faith, we will be disappointed. Our conditions are going to make our lives miserable. We start by saying, “If he gives me 50 per cent, I will give him 50 per cent.” Then we say, “If he gives me 90 per cent, I will do something for him.” Finally, our expectation demands, “He has to give me 99 per cent to make me happy.” First it starts with 50-50. Then greed comes and we make it 60-40, or 70-30. Finally we say, “If he fulfils my desire 99 times out of 100, then he is my Master.”

But why start with conditions? The other way is just to go to the root. We can say, “Even if he does not give me anything, I want to give 100 per cent to him. If he does not give me anything in return, God is there above him to break his head. But that is not my business. My business is to surrender to him. Then he has to account for his behaviour to Somebody else, to his superior.” You may take it in that light, that the Supreme will be displeased with the Master if he does not do the right thing. Again, if you are a real disciple, you will say, “Who cares whether the Supreme will be displeased with him or not? Since I want to follow his path, I must follow his philosophy implicitly.” In my case, my philosophy is love, devotion and surrender. If you follow the path of love, devotion and surrender, will your mind’s lack of trust be able to fight against your heart’s love for me and for my path?

Question: I am not sure about the purpose of prayer. If our aim is to surrender — as the Christ said, "Let Thy Will be done" — why should we be asking God to do something?

Sri Chinmoy: Is it a crime to ask for good things, not bad things? You can pray to God, “Make me my Guru’s best disciple.” I do not think you will ask God to give you ten cars! Always we have to make a good choice. To pray for good things is not bad at all: “God, give me peace, give me joy, give me love.” Then we will say, “God, it is up to You whether to give me these things today or tomorrow, in ten days’ time or in twenty years’ time.” God will be happy that we are asking Him for peace. Then a day will come when we have peace, love and light in a very large measure. At that time, we can start telling God, “Give me whatever You want to give me. Do whatever You want to do with my life.”

You have to be active and dynamic inwardly as well as outwardly. Once you have received some light from God, you can say, “Thy Will be done.” Once you have made your surrender complete, you do not have to say, “Give me this, give me that.” But to make your surrender complete, first you have to pray to God and meditate on God. It is only on the strength of your prayer and meditation that you will be able to become one with God’s Will. If you do not pray or meditate, you will simply be lethargic. You will wallow in the pleasures of idleness and say, “Oh, God will do everything for me.” Why should God do anything for lazy seekers? So, you have to make a choice whether you want light or darkness. We are already in darkness, but if we do not strive for light, then we will remain in darkness.

The Christ said, “Let Thy Will be done.” But before he made his immortal utterance, he prayed, he meditated, he did everything. Then he said, “Now it is up to You.” Otherwise, what is the difference between a God-seeker and people in the street? If surrender means doing nothing and saying, “Let Thy Will be done,” then the street vagabonds who are drinking and smoking have surrendered! Does God need that kind of surrender? No! Always we must pray for good things: “Please, God, give me peace, give me light, give me joy, give me divine love.” Then we wait for God’s Hour when He will fulfil our snow-white prayer.

Always pray and meditate. Prayer is much easier than meditation. Again, while you are praying to God to give you something good, your mind may not be there, or your heart may not be there. Like a parrot, you may be praying. But if you meditate, you have to be serious. At that time you will not allow any thought to come. Everything has to be calm and quiet. Otherwise what kind of meditation is it? Meditation is much more difficult than prayer, but prayer is needed.

The difficulty with prayer is that if you do not get the results, you may become disappointed or disgusted and start sulking. But when you meditate and make your mind calm and quiet, then you get tremendous peace. At that time you do not have to worry about what you are expecting from your meditation. When you make your mind calm and quiet, although you may not have achieved the thing that you want, the very fact that you have made your mind calm and quiet gives you tremendous joy and peace. There is an immediate inner benefit.

We may pray for two days or two months or two years for something, but then if our prayer is not fulfilled, we may become disappointed and disgusted. We may feel that God does not listen to our prayers. We have to know that sometimes God examines us when we pray for something. If we pray to God, “God, please take away my knee pain,” God examines us to see whether we really love Him or not. Then God may actually increase the pain to see the depth of our love for Him. If we really love God, we will not say, “God, how is it that You are so cruel to me?” Instead we will say, “O God, I prayed to You to decrease my pain and You have increased it. It is up to You. I prayed for the right thing, to decrease my pain, but if You want me to prove that I really love You, then increase it, increase it as much as You want to.”

Question: If we are praying for something we know we should be praying for, what is the most effective way of praying?

Sri Chinmoy: If you want to get results, your prayer has to be very, very intense and very, very powerful. Now I am touching my hand lightly, but if I grab it, I can feel how much strength I have there. So when you pray, you have to be very, very intense in your prayer. At that time you have to feel that what you are praying for is being done or is already done. Outwardly it is not done, true. You have to imagine that the thing that you are praying for is not only going to happen, but is bound to happen. Many times when you pray for something — “God, give me this” or “God, do this thing for me” — it is all in the mind. You have to feel the prayer has gone inside you, and if you do not get what you are praying for, the life-train will go away. The train is passing by and if you are not sincere, you will be unable to enter into the train. Intensity is needed, plus eagerness.

Prayer will be more effective if you do it on a regular basis. Punctuality is of supreme importance in the prayer-life or the meditation-life. If you pray and meditate, you are infinitely better than those who do not, but if you want to be an excellent seeker or disciple, do not neglect punctuality. One day you may meditate at six o’clock, one day at seven o’clock, one day at eight o’clock. That is not the right way. You have to be wise. You have to feel there is Somebody who is watching. Nobody is going to stay indefinitely and wait for us to do something good. If you want to do something good, then do it on time. There are many things in which you do not have to be punctual, because you cannot be punctual for everything. But you have to be punctual when it is a matter of prayer and meditation. It is God’s business whether He is watching us or not. But since God is omnipresent and omniscient, He is definitely watching.

Through prayer you can definitely realise God. But if you know how to meditate well, then you have tremendous confidence in your ultimate God-realisation — not over-confidence, but real confidence that you will be able to please God in God’s own Way. When you are only in the world of prayer, it is so risky. You are all the time begging for something to be done. Mentally you will fix a date — it can be tomorrow or ten days from now. Then when a year has passed, you feel that something is wrong with your prayer. But if you meditate well, you are always sure. If you meditate well, you feel, “God does not have to come. I have to go to Him, since I am hungry.” So the prayer aspect is to bring God to feed you and the meditation aspect is to go to God.

These inner things, especially prayer, we can do at any time. While walking, you can pray. While you are in the office, if you do not work for two or three minutes, who is going to catch you? Who is going to know what you are doing? When it is a matter of outer things — you have to write something, do something, say something — then people may say you are not doing your job. But meditation and prayer are inner activities. You can fool the whole world. They see you walking or sitting at your desk, but you are in your deep meditation. So here we have the advantage. When something is inner, nobody can see what we are doing.

To come back to your question, to get results from your prayer, you have to be very strict with yourself. Develop eagerness, eagerness, eagerness. Readiness is there, but readiness has to be transformed into eagerness and punctuality. It has to become like eating. Every day we take our outer food on a regular basis. When it comes to inner food we have to be not only regular but punctual. Most of my disciples, if not all, do not believe in punctuality. So the results remain upstairs. The most delicious mango remains up in the tree. God’s Grace, which is the wind, does not help the mango to descend.

Question: If you have a God-ordained duty and your mind resists it, how can you overcome the resistance of your mind?

Sri Chinmoy: Your God-ordained duty your heart is always ready to fulfil, but the mind is resisting. So you can ask your vital, you can ask your body, whether they are going to help you. Beg your heart to speak to them on your behalf. If they say they are going to help you, then you have three on your side. Then tell the mind, “I do not care whether you are with me or not. We are four members. We do not have to wait for you.”

If your heart can get help from the vital and body, then you are bound to succeed. The heart can also go to the superior, the soul. If the soul, heart, vital and body are on one side, what can the mind do? If four are on one side, then either you can throw the mind somewhere or easily you will be able to drag the mind. If the mind does not want to come, just tell the mind, “Stay where you are.” There are many, many times when the heart is not successful with the mind. If the mind does not want to surrender, at that time we do not need the mind to fulfil our purpose. The soul, heart, vital and body are more than enough.

Question: What does it take to become a perfect disciple?

Sri Chinmoy: To become a perfect disciple only one thing is needed and that is unconditional surrender. Right now, you do not know what God’s Will is. You will pray for yourself, your daughter, your son, your husband. That is absolutely the right thing. You have to pray and pray and pray. Then a day will come when, from within, you will get a message that you have prayed enough for the members of your family. God will say, “Enough, enough. You have prayed enough. Now I will take care of them in My own Way.” At that time, you have to have faith that He will take care of them, even if your mind is saying, “Oh, God is taking care of them in His own Way? Everything is going from bad to worse!” But until you get that message, you have to pray and meditate most sincerely.

Again, it may happen that while you are praying and meditating most sincerely, most devotedly, God will fulfil your prayers. But do not think, “Just because I am praying sincerely, God has to do it.” God has to do it eventually, but God has His own time. Our time is not God’s time.

Many times it happens that if we do not get results from our prayers, we blame ourselves, which means indirectly we are blaming God. Either we say that God has not given us the capacity to be more sincere or more self-giving, or we say, “How sincere I was, how soulful I was! How is it that my prayer was not sanctioned?” But why should our time and God’s Hour be the same? He can have His own time. He is the Supreme Boss.

Let us say that perhaps at eight o’clock your boss has asked you to come so that he can give you some job. Then when you go there, he is reading the newspaper and not paying any attention to you. You came at the time he told you to come, but he is not ready for you. When this boss is God, He will be so pleased that you came on time, but it is His business whether to give you the job at eight o’clock or much later. He has in mind a fixed hour, which means whenever He wants to. You will be waiting at the door until He tells you to do something. That is His choice Hour.

So you continue to pray and meditate. Either your prayers will be fulfilled in the course of time or you will get an inner message. Kindly pray for yourself, your daughter, your husband and your son. They also have accepted the spiritual life, so they are reducing your burden.

Unless we become unconditionally surrendered at every moment, we cannot please God. We have to do it happily, cheerfully, soulfully and self-givingly. Otherwise, that surrender is no surrender. It is the surrender of a street beggar. If you want to become a perfect disciple at every moment, you must become unconditional. You can even do japa by repeating to yourself, “I want to become an unconditionally surrendered disciple.” Then automatically you will become a perfect disciple.

Question: How is it that when you feel you are making spiritual progress, the hostile forces can come?

Sri Chinmoy: When the hostile forces see that you are becoming stronger and stronger, then they give you the last bite. They see that you are going outside their boundary. When they see that you are going to a much higher height, then they give you the last powerful attack. They have been governing a particular area for a long time and you have been in their domain. So when they see you going beyond that boundary, naturally they are going to attack you. You are pleasing God by trying to go beyond. They say, “Where are you going? You have been our subject for such a long time. How do you dare to go?”

Again, God watches to see whether you sincerely want to get out of the mind-prison. If God sees that you sincerely want to break open the jail of the mind, then God opens up a secret door for you. You pass through the door and then you are in the open, free from those hostile attacks.

Question: Several times after running a race or completing a hard running practice, I have had certain special feelings about the planets and stars. I said to myself that it was just my imagination, but then in 1980 you wrote the song "I Am Running around the Clock" for the 24-hour race. In that song you mentioned the sun, moon, stars and planets. So I was wondering, when we do something good physically, when we give our best, do our souls get blessings from the planets, or is that just my imagination?

Sri Chinmoy: It is not your imagination; it is absolutely true. The sun, moon, stars and planets are always watching. When they see that somebody is very prayerful and soulful, in a good consciousness, in addition to watching, they bless that person. Otherwise, they do not bless anyone. So in your case, when you are running, if you are in a very good consciousness, no matter what your timing is, you will get blessings. Again, if you have run well and the result is also most satisfactory, naturally you will get blessings. But it entirely depends on your attitude. If you are in a very soulful consciousness throughout and finish also in a good consciousness, then you are bound to get blessings. This is not your imagination, but an absolute reality.

Stars and planets belong to the entire world, but some countries are favoured by certain stars. Your country, Japan, will definitely have some planets and stars that are of special help to it. They have more affection and concern for Japan than for other countries. And there will be other stars that prefer another country. So in your case, you have the advantage that the stars and planets which favour your country are of real help to you because your consciousness, although you live in America, is one hundred per cent Japanese consciousness. When these stars and planets put their special concentration or favour on Japan, your island, then you will get the result directly. Again, if some Americans are in a very good consciousness, then because of the blessings of the stars that favour America, they will get better results. In your case, quite a few times you have received blessings, love and joy from those planets that have a special feeling or preference for Japan.

Part IV

Question: What is your message for Guatemala?5

Sri Chinmoy: Yesterday I was so fortunate to receive blessings from the Archbishop of Guatemala. He was telling me that this is a most significant period. Now people are coming out of suffering into a new life. They are accepting a new life. It is most inspiring and most encouraging for me to be here at this time.

My prayerful message to the heart, to the soul and to the life of Guatemala is very simple: after suffering, there is always joy and love and happiness. The suffering has ended. Now a new life, a new joy and a new bliss will enter into the heart of Guatemala.

SCA 558. Sri Chinmoy answered this question on 23 December 1997 during a television interview while he was visiting Guatemala City with a group of his students.

Part V

SCA 559-562. Sri Chinmoy made the comments about obedience and answered these questions on 26 December 1997 in Guatemala.

On obedience

In life we can take everything seriously. Again, everything we can take lightly. But it is precisely because we have taken many, many things in life lightly right from the beginning that today our spirituality has become a most difficult task. In our spiritual life, there should be obedience at every moment. Once disobedience starts, there is no end. From a tiny act of disobedience, you dig a grave for yourself. Of course, if people who dig graves for themselves are on our path, I am also inside those unfortunate disciples.

There is no such thing as insignificant disobedience. You have to write this down on the tablet of your heart. If you think, “This is insignificant or that is insignificant,” then the very thing which is most important in your life will come and appear right in front of your nose, but you will say, “Oh, this is also not important.” Then something more will come and something more after that. Gradually, gradually you will see that everything in your life you are taking lightly, while as a God-seeker and God-lover, you are becoming worse and worse.

If you count the number of times you were disobedient, even yesterday, you will be shocked to discover how many times you disobeyed not me, but the Supreme in yourself. I am his mouthpiece for this particular path, but the request or the command is not coming from me. It is coming from the Highest. Your highest and my highest are the same, only I know a little more than you do. That is why God has given me the painful or impossible task of telling you again and again and again what the Supreme expects of you.

To all of you I am saying, when it is a matter of joking between boys and girls, there is no such thing as an insignificant joke. When you tell jokes, is it not an exchange of the vital? You may say that this vital exchange is not on an emotional level, but from there it starts. All the problems in humanity’s life have started from lack of seriousness.

At what point are we going to become serious in our life of aspiration? There is a two-lane road. If we take the wrong lane, we may think that in two seconds we shall come back to the right lane, that nothing will happen to us. But, I tell you, those two seconds may never come. While you are in the wrong lane, you may fall asleep. Then finished! You will have a collision.

When I took my driving test the first time, the examiner asked me to make a left turn, and I made it very nicely from the right side. Immediately I knew I had done the wrong thing. If I had said to the examiner, “I shall not do it again,” why should he believe me? I made a wrong turn, so he failed me. I deserved it. Here also, when you take the wrong lane in your spiritual life and fall into ignorance-sleep, sometimes you say, “O my God, what have I done?” But by then it is too late. Your Examiner, who is none other than our Lord Beloved Supreme, will say, “What have you done? What have you not done?”

Question: The past is dust, but sometimes when I try to do the right thing, my friends keep reminding me of past mistakes. They say they are doing it out of concern.

Sri Chinmoy: It is not out of concern! I am telling you to go forward, not backward. Now you are trying to lead a divine life, but they want to go back to your animal life to trace what you did wrong there. Looking backward is dangerous and destructive. Only the sweet things from the past should you remember. At the age of five, if your mother or father showed you tremendous affection, that you should try to remember. Anything that is sweet and affectionate, try to remember.

Again, you have to know that your mother’s sweetness and affection are not enough for you now. Only when you get affection and smiles from the Supreme is it enough. Again, the little affection that you got from your physical parents — which is nothing, nothing, nothing in comparison to the affection of the Supreme — can remind you of the Supreme’s affection. So it is good to remember those sweet experiences.

But do not try to remember how many mistakes you made in the past or how many unfortunate things you have done. If you are trying desperately to forget these things and if others are reminding you of them out of so-called concern, just tell them to mind their own business. Tell them, “My life is for God. My life is for the Supreme. My life is for my Guru. My life is not for you. It is none of your concern. You take care of your own life.”

I am begging my disciples to deal with their own problems and not to indulge in reminding others of their problems. People who remind you of your past blunders are not your real friends. In most cases, these people have committed more blunders than you have. So let them deal with their blunders. Let them look into their own minds and hearts. They will see what their minds and even their hearts are like. So do not think of them. Only think of the Supreme.

I always say that the past is dust. When I was a lion in my animal incarnation, God knows how many of God’s innocent creatures I devoured. Shall I now think of that and say, “O God, O God, forgive me, forgive me”? God says, “I have already forgiven you. But the moment you think of your past animal incarnations, I withdraw My Forgiveness.” It is the same with the mistakes that we have made in our human incarnations. The moment we cherish and treasure our undivine life of twenty or forty or fifty years ago, our consciousness immediately falls down again to that level. God says, “Only go forward, go forward!”

If you have to think of anything from the past, then think of the times that you had your highest meditations. While you were meditating, you imagined that you were on top of the snow-capped Himalayas, where there was only white snow. Everything was purity-flooded and you were there meditating. Right in front of you was Lord Shiva, who has a close connection with you. If you imagine that kind of thing, it is not mental hallucination; you do have a connection with our Lord Shiva.

So many well-wishers you have. But if you leave the path today — which is something I do not want and you do not want — those so-called well-wishers inwardly will dance with joy. They will say, “Unlike us, she was not meant for the spiritual life.” Their human mind of division will come forward and they will feel happy that only they are meant for the spiritual life. Human friendship is like that. Human concern is all false. Most of the time, others’ concern for us and our concern for others is nothing but a joke.

Many people get malicious pleasure when their so-called dear ones jump out of the spiritual boat and enter again into the quagmire of the ignorance-world. ‘Malicious’ is the right word! Outwardly they will say, “Oh, I am miserable that he or she has left the path.” But ninety out of a hundred do not feel any real sympathy. Even if those unfortunate ones are members of their own family — a father or mother or sister or wife or husband — still they are happy when they leave the boat. Such separativity human beings enjoy! Do I not know anything about the inner world? I see what kind of roguish nature people can have. Human nature is always division, division, division: “I am better, I am better, I am better. That is why I am still on the path.”

Question: What are the main reasons why new disciples leave after a short while?

Sri Chinmoy: They have to see something and feel something inside the older disciples. If I enter into a garden and I see that the garden is really beautiful, most beautiful, then I will spend time there. But if I see that the garden is not beautiful at all, then I will go to look for another garden. This is the main reason why new disciples leave our path.

Again, it may happen that they are not fully ready for this garden. When they see the beauty, fragrance and divinity of the garden, they may say, “O my God, my vital life! What will happen? What will my boyfriend think or what will my girlfriend think? What will my parents think?” Those ideas may come.

When I look at the pictures of seekers and accept them as disciples, I feel there are many, many extremely good seekers. I see that they are definitely meant for our path, but then they leave. So for that I have to blame the disciples. When they look at the old disciples, these new ones say, “Oh, after staying for ten years, fifteen years or twenty years, if they look like this, then I do not need that kind of spiritual life!” A few really remarkable seekers we have lost like that.

Unfortunately, when most of the disciples who have been with us for many, many years meditate, there is no sincere cry. It is only routine work. Regularly you can do routine work or you can do it haphazardly, but it is almost always done unwillingly and reluctantly. If you do your prayer and meditation unwillingly, reluctantly, how will you get the same result as those who are doing it prayerfully, soulfully and self-givingly?

So there are two groups of disciples who leave. One group feels you are too good, and the other group thinks that if this is what you have received after twenty years or twenty-five years, then it is not worth striving for.

Question: Is there any significance in that Mother Teresa and Princess Diana died at nearly the same time?

Sri Chinmoy: For two world figures, Mother Teresa and Princess Diana, to go away in one year! Mother Teresa was fully blossomed, but she could have remained here on earth a few more years fully blossomed. And for Princess Diana to be snatched away in the prime of her life — what a tragedy! She was blooming; she did not start blossoming even. Then before she started blossoming properly, death snatched her away.

Mother Teresa rightly deserves rest. She has worked so hard, so hard, so hard for the Saviour Christ here on earth. Meanwhile, Princess Diana wants to come back to this earth plane. Such a difficult task, such a difficult task! But the Supreme showers extraordinary favour on her. For ordinary souls, there is a minimum of six years before they take incarnation again. Extraordinary souls — spiritual Masters or highly, highly developed souls — can stay in the soul’s world for a long time or you can say indefinitely. But again, if it is God’s Will, the Will of the Omnipotent, no matter how great a human being may be, spiritually or otherwise, God can send that person back to earth with a new name and form in a month or two. Then once again that soul has to enter into the world of ignorance and start leading a spiritual life for many, many years. As it stands, high, higher, highest souls do not take incarnation in such rapid succession. That is to say, they do not come back in six years or ten years.

Part VI

SCA 563-566. On 11 November 1998 at Tweed Airport in New Haven, Connecticut, Sri Chinmoy lifted a fully fueled twin-engine Beechcraft plane using a modified standing calf-raise machine. The weight of the plane, the fuel and the lifting apparatus was 13,040 lbs. After the lift, Sri Chinmoy was interviewed by a reporter from the //New Haven Register//.

Reporter: You lifted heavy things like planes and elephants many years ago. What made you resume it again now?

Sri Chinmoy: I wanted to see if age has anything to do with physical fitness. I have found that it is our human mind that creates the problem. If we can go beyond the mind by challenging the mind, then the physical body obeys us. But the mind makes us feel that we are very old.

Now I am 67 years old. The moment I use my heart, I feel that I am 20 years old. So I try to use my heart when I do these kinds of weightlifting feats. When I use my heart, I feel oneness with the aeroplane. Everything helps me and everybody helps me when I use my oneness. Whereas if I stayed in the mind, I would not be able to lift heavy weights at all.

The human mind is full of division at each and every level. Our mind appreciates our right hand more than our left hand, for example, even though they are both part and parcel of our body. Since the right hand is stronger than the left, our mind prefers our right hand.

Reporter: Is lifting a plane different from lifting anything else?

Sri Chinmoy: Elephants are totally different from planes! As soon as you see the elephant standing in front of you, you get frightened because it is so huge. The one that I lifted was over 8,000 pounds, and when it was standing on the lifting platform it was only a few feet away from me. When I lift an elephant, for some reason I feel that I need more strength.

When I lift planes, I get a feeling of lightness from the plane itself. Plus I get a kind of inner thrill or joy because I fly in planes.

Reporter: Yes, it is hard to think of an elephant as light!

Sri Chinmoy: The mind immediately makes us feel that the elephant is such a solid object. How will it be possible to lift it? So I do not use my mind at all; I use my heart and try to establish my oneness with the elephant.

Reporter: Does that mean that this 13,000-pound plane was easier to lift than the elephant?

Sri Chinmoy: Strangely enough, even though the plane is so large and heavy, it has a kind of charm. That charm takes away the weight of the plane. I feel that I am flying with the plane. When we think of an elephant, on the other hand, a kind of unfettered fear enters into us. So everything depends on our inner feeling.

Reporter: What are you trying to prove when you do these things publicly?

Sri Chinmoy: I lift these heavy weights to inspire people. Inspiration is joy. You are so kind to come and watch my lift in this bad weather. Perhaps you will mention it in your newspaper or it may come out on your local television station. In this way, we are trying to spread our inspiration.

When we, as human beings, are inspired, we do many good things for ourselves and also for the betterment of the world. If we are not inspired, then we will have nothing to offer to the world. We may even try to destroy ourselves or others. Inspiration can bring us so much happiness and, if we are happy, then we will also get peace. Inside happiness abides peace. If we are happy, then we will not quarrel and fight with others. We will not find fault with them. If you are happy, you will be kind to me and I will be kind to someone else, and from there it will spread. So this happiness comes from inspiration. That is my simple philosophy.

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