Sri Chinmoy answers, part 27
Part ISCA 901-925. Every year at Christmas time, Sri Chinmoy and his disciples spend about two months visiting two or three different countries. All of the questions in this book were answered during the December 1999-January 2000 Christmas trip.
Question: If we pray for our grandparents who died long ago, do our prayers help them in their new incarnation?1Sri Chinmoy: It definitely does help if you pray for your parents or grandparents who are no longer in the physical. But your prayer has to be very, very sincere and intense. It is not enough to pray for just one day and not for the rest of the year.
Suppose your mother passed away long ago. If a sweet incident comes to your mind, you can pray to God, “Wherever my mother’s soul is, please bless her, bless her.” But again, your prayer will be nullified if you remember that one day she struck you very hard or that she was not an affectionate mother. If you want your prayer to be effective, do not see the negative side of your mother at all.
On the physical plane, when you desire something from a friend, because that friend is earthbound and you are earthbound, there can be some clash between your desire and your friend’s fulfilment of that desire. You expect something, but doubt may come into your mind whether he or she will be nice to you. Your mind may be telling you, “Oh, perhaps he will not give me what I want. A few years ago I asked him for something and he was very stingy.” Always doubt is coming forward.
But when you pray to God for the departed souls, this kind of doubt has no foundation because the departed souls do not have the mind. They only deal with the soul. They receive from you the sincerity of your heart, and when God Himself sees the extreme sincerity of your heart, He definitely takes your prayer to the souls of your parents or dear ones who left the body many years ago. They are not receiving your prayer via the mind. They are receiving it with the soul’s light. That light has magnetic power. If your prayer is extremely sincere, then it encounters no obstruction because that person is not in the physical and therefore the mind is not obstructing.
On the physical plane when you are expecting something from someone, you may be thinking how many bad things he has done or how he has not been kind to you. Again, the mind of the person who is receiving your request may be occupied in twenty different directions. Therefore he may not be able to fulfil or perhaps he may not want to fulfil your desire. But you are not expecting anything from your departed ones. You are only trying to offer them your prayer. Your prayer will enter into them as light, peace and bliss.
Definitely you can pray for your departed dear ones. Only think of their good qualities — how affectionate they were, how kind they were. For them to receive your prayer is extremely easy. You are praying for them, but you are not praying to them. You are praying to God. If you are sincere in your prayer, God will take your prayer to your dear ones who are no longer in the physical.
SCA 901-904. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions in Curitiba, Brazil on 4 January 2000.↩
Question: How is expectation different from desire?Sri Chinmoy: Desire and expectation live in the same room. We can say that they are roommates. Desire can arise in the heart, in the mind, in the vital or in the physical, while expectation is always in the mind. Expectation can sometimes be reciprocal — you have given someone something and then you expect something in return from that person. Or just because you have heard from someone that a person is very kind, very affectionate and very good in every way, you may expect something from him, although you may not have given him anything.
Desire is a very broad term. In the beginning desire can be very mild, soft or timid, but afterwards desire can be very, very aggressive. Expectation can be even more aggressive than desire. If your expectation is not fulfilled, you may become hostile. Then you may try to find fault with the other person. The desire-world stops at a certain point. You desire something for a few days or a few weeks and then you give up. But expectation does not leave you. In a certain sense, expectation is more harmful in the spiritual life than desire.
We have to learn from nature. What is the sun expecting from us? The very nature of the sun is only to give light. The things that are most important in our life — water and air — what are they expecting from us? Nothing. If you ask the sun if it expects something from you, the sun will say, “I do not expect anything. I am giving unconditionally. If you use my light, so much the better for me.”
People who do not expect can give. We learn this truth from our prayer-life, from God. But when human beings expect something from God, there is always an after-effect. Let us say that today we need the sun badly. Then if it rains heavily, if there is a veritable downpour, we curse the sun. We say, “Why did you not come out? Today we needed you very badly.” When human beings have expectation, the after-effect is revolt. Then all the destructive feelings that the mind houses come to the fore.
If you have desire, there is a limit. Sometimes you give up your desire when you feel that God or some other person is not going to fulfil it. But when your expectations are not fulfilled, then unconsciously you develop a kind of revolt. All the aggressive qualities come forward. After aggression comes destruction. I always say that after expectation comes frustration and after frustration comes destruction.
Does God not know what we need? Does a spiritual Master not know what we need? It is the bounden duty of a spiritual Master to give us the heart-power and the spiritual light so that we can have a free access to Heaven’s infinite Delight. He who knows best is God. And God has given us the soul or a spiritual Master. It is difficult for everybody to have direct contact with the Absolute Supreme. Then God says, “Take my representative, the soul. If you cannot see the soul or converse with the soul, then take a spiritual Master as your guide.”
What can poor God do? God Himself you cannot approach because you do not see where He is hiding. Then comes the soul, God’s direct representative. You do not know where the soul is. Books have told you and spiritual Masters have told you that the soul is inside your heart. But inside your heart it is like a big supermarket. There you want something, but you get totally lost. You wander from this side to that side. The thing that you are seeking is available, but it is a huge supermarket and you cannot find it.
Then what do you do? You go to the manager or one of the workers. That person will immediately point out the thing that you need. That person is none other than your Master. Your Master will say, “You want to find your soul? Look. It is there.” The inner wealth is yours, not mine. But it is locked inside your heart-safe, and you cannot find the key.
The Master’s role is to help you while you are searching for the key. He has better vision that you have because he has realised the Highest. So he looks this side and that side until he sees the key. Then he gives you the key. He does not claim the key. He says, “Take it. It is yours. Open your heart-safe and then you can see what you have.” To your widest surprise, you see the most beautiful, most expensive diamond inside you. That diamond is your soul.
Just because you do not see it, you cannot say that the soul does not exist. Just because you cannot see the Master’s operation in the inner world — his occult power and spiritual power — you cannot say that he does not have those powers. Build your life entirely on your faith that your Master is genuine and your soul is definitely real. God is real, even though you have not realised Him.
If you take the positive approach — that the soul is real, the Master is real, God is real — then you yourself become real. If everything that you are seeing is real, how can you be unreal? But if you start saying that this is unreal, he is unreal, she is unreal, everything is unreal, then you will be in the midst of unreality.
Who am I not?Sri Chinmoy asks a guest if she has any question.
Guest: When everything is fine, there is nothing to ask.
Sri Chinmoy: That is absolutely true. Questions come only when we are in the mind. When we are in the mind, all the time thoughts attack us — good, bad, healthy, unhealthy, comely, uncomely thoughts. But when we live in the heart, we have the experience of fulness. Fulness means our heart has established its oneness with God’s Will. When we are one with God’s Will inside our heart, there can be no questions. The moment we are inside the heart, questions disappear. But the moment we live inside the mind, so many questions come without any answers.
Again, even if the correct answers come, the mind doubts the answers. Then afterwards the mind doubts even the questions. The mind is asking the questions and the mind does not agree with the answers. Then the mind starts suspecting its own questions. But if we live in the heart, we experience fulness. There everything is complete. There we find that even the questions carry answers. If you live in the heart, one question will come: “Who am I?” Then, when you repeat “Who am I? Who am I?” ten or twenty times, God will add one more word: “Who am I not?” Then the answer is already there. The question of questions is “Who am I?” and the answer of answers is “Who am I not?” By adding one more word, everything is answered.
Question: Could you please speak about music?Sri Chinmoy: Everybody on earth is a musician and a singer. A singer does not have to carry a note perfectly. Music is the language of God. God’s language, music, is not like mathematics or geometry. It is a language of love. If we love music, that is enough. A child loves his father. His father may be a Supreme Court judge. What does the child know about his father’s greatness? He only knows, “My father is a judge.” Because of his love for his father, he receives everything from his father. Similarly, music is something that we can love. If we love music, we do not need to know the proper techniques and so on. If we love music, then the Source of music will come and play in and through us.
Otherwise, if we do not love something most sincerely, most intensely, then no matter how many years we spend practising, we will just learn the techniques. Again, after a few years we may forget them. But once we love God the Supreme Musician, we get everything. We do not have to scrutinise music. We do not have to do anything. Everything is there inside our love. Love means oneness.
The one who creates the music at every moment is God. The universe itself is music. Unfortunately, most of the time we do not hear the music of the universe. Even now, we hear only the air conditioner or some outer noises. But if we can enter into the inner existence of the air conditioner, we will hear music. When we talk, even inside the talking, there is music. In everything, if we can become aware of it, there is music. Everything in God’s creation embodies music. We can hear it only when we dive deep within.
When somebody is singing or playing music, it is very easy for us to identify with it because we are on the same level. But music can be found everywhere. Music is oneness with God’s Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. Music is a universal language. We do not need any other language. I do not have to learn Portuguese. You do not have to learn Bengali. God has created a universal language, and that is music. Because it is universal, it has to be inside any material object.
Music and God cannot be separated, although some music we may not understand or appreciate. I never understand jazz or rock and roll. That is not within my capacity. Again, there will be millions who will understand and appreciate that particular type of music. It depends on one’s capacity. Some can enter into the jazz world. For some, like me, it is torture, but for millions it is sheer ecstasy.
Music keeps us alive. The sweetness and the haunting quality of music teaches us how to behave properly. Our inner music does not allow us to create disharmony. Music gives us the feeling of sweetness, tenderness and softness. The inner music always inspires us to do something good for humanity. Our inner music is a form of prayer and meditation.
Question: My spiritual life is like a roller coaster. I go up and then I go all the way down. When will that end? When will I only go up?1Sri Chinmoy: If it ends, then there will be no fun! [laughter] You are saying ‘roller coaster’, but you have to use a different term: ‘spiral’. Always when you see that you are going very low, immediately try to remember that soon you will be going up. As soon as you are about to descend, remember that there the food is not so delicious. Then you will not want to stay there for a long time. I will answer your question in more detail, but first I wish to tell you a story.
Today I wanted to eat Indian food. Saraswati said that she had already made inquiries, and there is no Indian food available here in Brasilia. I said that there has to be Indian food. If I want to eat it, there will be Indian food. More than two hours we spent looking for it. We went to one place, and they said, “Go to South 1.” Before going to South 1, we went for a long ride and I went shopping to buy your birthday cake.
First I was alone in the store. I wanted the lady to write down the price, but she did not understand me. Then Savyasachi came in. The number of Portuguese words that Savyasachi knows can be counted on the fingertips, but still he tried. Everything was so confusing. More than twenty minutes we wasted there before getting the cake. Then we had no idea whether the cake would melt or not. We placed it in the trunk of the car and then continued on our journey. I completely forgot that the cake was in the trunk. After one hour, Savyasachi said, “Oh, the cake will be ruined.”
I said, “No. Something will remain.”
Finally, with greatest difficulty, we came to South 1. Then they said we had to go to South 3. It went on like that. That section was all residential. The commercial area was only one block. On either side there were a few shops and then there were restaurants — Chinese, Japanese, Italian. But we wanted an Indian restaurant. I was determined to eat Indian food. When we enquired, they said it was not available.
Savyasachi was driving. Poor fellow, he is an excellent, super-excellent driver. Otherwise, somebody else would have done me a great favour and given up. Finally Alo and Saraswati got out of the car and with a little bit of Spanish, Saraswati asked one man. The man said to her in Portuguese, “You should go to see the president of all the restaurants.” He pointed to one restaurant and said, “The owner of that restaurant is the president of the restaurant owners’ association. If you go there, he will be able to tell you whether there is an Indian restaurant here or not.” He said that a few years ago he had eaten in an Indian restaurant, but he did not remember where it was.
We went into the restaurant. It was a huge restaurant and the noise was unbearable. Saraswati spoke to the president. The president said, “This is not an Indian restaurant, but we have an excellent cook. He can easily make Indian food.”
I said, “See, God does listen to my prayers.” Of course, it is human nature to doubt, but again, a challenge is a challenge.
The owner came up to me and we shook hands. Saraswati said something about me. He said, “Definitely we will be able to give you Indian vegetable curry. Our chef knows how to make it.”
We waited about forty-five minutes. Then we made enquiries whether or not the food was coming. In New York also when you go to an Indian restaurant, sometimes you feel that they have gone to buy eggs from India!
Finally they brought the Indian food. I could not believe how delicious it was! I devoured everything. Alo and Saraswati also ate a large quantity. Then Alo took some for you for your birthday.
It was a real Indian meal, but they put French fries with it. They cut the French fries in a very peculiar way. If you looked at them, you would say, “These are not French fries,” but the taste was one hundred per cent French fries. Luckily it was a separate dish.
Never give up! It was not an Indian restaurant, but the man was sincere. His cook made the food, and it was really, really delicious. They were so polite.
While we were eating, a group of delegates, all high ranking officials, came in. They were all dressed in such a dignified manner! When they came in, they were very dignified, but when they sat down, it was like an Indian village market!
To come back to your question, it is very difficult, almost impossible, to maintain one’s high, higher, highest standard throughout the year. Then there is something called readiness, willingness and eagerness — and inside eagerness, intensity. Every day we may not have eagerness and intensity. When you enter into the spiritual life, readiness is already there. From the ordinary life you come into the spiritual life. From the earthbound life you come to the spiritual life, which is the Heaven-free life. Once you enter into the spiritual life, you cannot say, “I made a mistake. I am not ready for the spiritual life.” If you had not been ready, you would not have come to the spiritual life. Someone can make mistakes or lose interest in the spiritual life, but that does not mean that he is not meant for the spiritual life. It only means that his speed has slowed down.
Because we have entered the spiritual life, we know that we are ready. Every day we have to feed our readiness. The next step is willingness. We are willing to pray, we are willing to meditate, we are willing to serve. People who have not entered into the spiritual life are unwilling in everything. But we are willing because we see that by being willing, we are getting satisfactory results. In the beginning of our journey, the results may not appear to be satisfactory. Sometimes we experience inclement weather. When a plane is flying at a very high altitude and it encounters inclement weather, we may feel that it is going to crash, but somehow it reaches the destination.
In our spiritual life, we do not want to go down, but somehow some forces are bringing us down. While coming down, we have to be very strong so that we do not touch the abysmal abyss. When we feel that we are coming down one or two steps, we have to be so cautious, so careful. On one day if you do something wrong, then for the next ten days try to rectify it. The next day do the right thing, and then for at least ten days more do the same good thing. In this way you can deposit some will-power or heart-power in the bank. Otherwise, if one day you do something wrong and you feel that you are coming down, you may think that the next day if you do a good thing, your mistake will be nullified. No. Even if it is nullified, for the following ten days work very, very hard and try to accumulate as much as possible in your spiritual bank. Try to increase your aspiration, your inner cry, so that your inner flame climbs up high, higher, highest.
When some individuals see that they are falling down, they look around and see that there are so many who have already fallen and who do not want to get up. Those individuals who have fallen are quite happy with their standard in their own way. Some students fail and fail and fail. Then they give up studying. Here also, some disciples who are on the path unfortunately have given up. They have fallen down from the aspiration-tree and they are not ready or willing to climb up again. What is saving them is that they have not yet left the foot of the tree. As long as they remain at the foot of the aspiration-tree, there is hope that they may get a sudden inspiration to climb up again. Their inner cry may come to the fore, and they may say, “My God! What have I done? What have I done?”
There are some disciples who touched the rock bottom, but their soul, with the help of the Absolute Supreme, was able to inspire their heart, mind, vital and body to climb up again. Perhaps they have not yet reached their highest height, but they have the inspiration and aspiration that are carrying them again high, higher, highest according to their standard.
For those who want to reach the Highest, this is an excellent year. For those who feel they have seen the spiritual life and that the worldly life is more charming, illumining and fulfilling, this year will be the year of their decision-examination.
Whenever you feel you are descending, immediately be very, very alert. Do not allow yourself to touch the rock bottom. You are not going to touch the ground all at once. True, coming down is faster than going up, but it can take ten years, twenty years, even thirty years to go back to the most ordinary level. While going down, you have to bring forward your inner cry.
When we enter into the spiritual life, there are many, many things that we feel we have to conquer, such as insecurity, jealousy, pride, haughtiness, disobedience to the Master’s will or God’s Will. That eagerness usually lasts for two or three years. After that, relaxation starts. When seekers look around, they see that he has the same defects, she has the same defects, everybody has the same defects — insecurity, jealousy and so on. Then they lose their determination to conquer those shortcomings and they start to descend. Then it becomes very difficult for them to go forward again. What is worse, there is practically nobody to help them. They see that others are enjoying their insecurity, impurity and jealousy, so what is wrong with it? If they saw that there were more people either who were not descending or who had intense eagerness to climb up again, then these people would get more inspiration. But unfortunately, the number of people who have descended is much greater than those who have gone back to their highest height.
Once upon a time we took all the wrong forces that we came to conquer in our spiritual life as our enemies. Unfortunately we did not or we could not conquer them. Then, in many cases, we have taken these forces, which were previously our enemies, as our friends. We feel that by entering into us, these forces are strengthening our mind or our vital. Take insecurity, for example. Outwardly it may appear that someone who is insecure is very timid. We think that insecurity is something very weak. But if you enter into insecurity, you will see that insecurity has such negative power. Inside insecurity there is so much destructive feeling. If someone is insecure, that person may hide. While hiding behind a wall, he is using all his negative, destructive forces.
When you have jealousy, you may think, “Oh, I am jealous of that particular person, but does she know? Does he know? Does Guru even know? Nobody has to know.” As long as you know, you have to feel that you have to conquer it. There are many things that others do not know. If you feel that your Master also does not know, no harm. The problem is you — you and your life, you as an individual seeker. If you do not conquer your jealousy, your pride, all the things that are unspiritual, then you are the one who has to face the consequences. It is not the problem of others. You may think that when you are jealous of someone, you are destroying that person. We cannot destroy anyone with our jealousy. We only get inner fever.
Any undivine forces that we are cherishing will only destroy us. Those people who appear to be causing us suffering, those with whom we are dealing in the inner world or the vital world, have their own problems. Their wrong forces are not going to hurt us. Only our own wrong forces will destroy us. Whatever wrong qualities each of us has, we have to face them. We have to conquer them, either in this incarnation or another incarnation. There is not a single person here on earth who will not have to face the problems of their insecurity, jealousy and all these things. Again, there will not remain in God’s creation even one individual who will not conquer these wrong forces and be able to realise the Highest.
It is a question of satisfaction. First we are satisfied with one dollar. Then we feel that although satisfaction has come, we need a little more satisfaction — we want to have two dollars. Spiritually also, when we have an iota of peace, we are happy. Then, a few days later, our spiritual hunger returns. We want to have more peace. God says, “Definitely you can have more.” Then God gives us a deeper hunger for His Light, for His Bliss, for His Peace. Each time God creates a new hunger inside us, God says, “Go forward! Go forward! Go forward!” So only cry for the inner hunger. You are hungry for earthly food, but if you are hungry for spiritual food — peace, light and bliss — then even if you come down one step, your hunger for inner peace, light and bliss will compel you to go upward again.
Your name means transformation. Transformation is the most difficult subject in God’s entire creation. Trying to transform our nature is like trying to straighten the tail of a dog. You straighten it, and then as soon as you let go, it curls again. Human transformation can take incarnation after incarnation. Realisation is a most difficult subject, but nature’s transformation, world transformation is much more difficult. God-manifestation in God’s own Way is much more difficult than God-realisation. That is why many, many spiritual Masters did not care for God-manifestation. They said, “We have reached the Highest, the topmost branch. No more, no more, no more!” They feel that if they come down and share the fruits of their realisation, they will again be devoured by ignorance-night. Again, when God grants realisation, He gives illumination. When He illumines the heart, mind, vital and body, then inside that illumination, transformation takes place.
The earth-consciousness has to be transformed — not individually, but collectively. Collectively, everybody’s nature has to be transformed. “The Kingdom of Heaven” — these are not just sweet words. These are realities. Whether it takes two hundred years or four million years, there shall come a time when this earth will definitely be the same as Heaven. Whatever is in Heaven you will find on earth. Now Heaven has a few things which it is impossible for earth to have. Again, earth has a few things that Heaven does not have and does not want to have.
If you are extremely rich, you can keep half of your wealth in one room and half of your wealth in another room if you want to. Who can prevent you from doing it? In the same way, whatever God the Creator has kept in Heaven, He will keep the same on earth. That is God’s Plan. That is God’s Vision. When Heaven and earth have the same thing, how can human nature remain untransformed? How can human life remain unillumined? Realisation has to take place, nature’s transformation, illumination of the entire body, vital, mind and heart all have to take place. Then Heaven and earth will be able to shake hands on the same level.
SCA 905. Sri Chinmoy answered this question in Brasilia, Brazil on 25 January 2000.↩
Part IIISCA 906-919. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions on 26 January 2000 in Brasilia, Brazil.
Question: What role does patience play in our spiritual lives when we feel that if we do not transform our nature quickly, it will be too late?Sri Chinmoy: Every day pray to God to give you more love, devotion and surrender. Every day you have to develop these qualities, the way you develop muscle-power. Otherwise, you have your own kind of patience, and God has His own Patience. At what point God will withdraw His Patience, we have no idea. We may do the same thing wrong again and again, today, tomorrow and even the day after tomorrow. But the day after tomorrow God may withdraw His Patience. We may feel that yesterday we did something and today we are doing the same thing, so what is wrong? If God did not punish us yesterday or today, then why will He punish us tomorrow? We have to know that God has His own Hour. God’s Patience is very, very long, but that does not mean that when the time comes, He will not punish us.
When God sees that it is a hopeless case, He withdraws His Patience. So the best thing is to take the spiritual life as seriously as possible, and if we do something wrong, not to be impatient, but to bring down light from Above so that we do not make the same mistake again. When we become impatient because we are doing something wrong, it makes it worse. But if we can have a calm and quiet mind and bring down light from Above, we can make fast progress.
Question: Some things take a long time to accomplish in the outer world. How can we be sure that we are exercising patience and not developing complacency?Sri Chinmoy: Sometimes we think that because a goal is so high, so sublime, we can take a long time. That is the Himalayan mistake we make. We think, “My God! It is such a difficult task! Let it take its own time — four years, five years or even six years — because it is such a great, difficult thing.” But we have no idea at what point lethargy is entering into our mind. If we are working hard every day, every hour and, at the same time, if we have patience, we will say, “Today I am not getting it. Tomorrow I will get it. If tomorrow I do not get it, then the day after tomorrow I will get it.” But unfortunately, after a few weeks or a few months or a year, that intensity is not there. If intensity is absent for some time, then willingness and even readiness go away. At that time, we enjoy our own way of life. Previously we were trying very sincerely, very devotedly to accomplish something. We felt, “I am trying very hard. Today I am not getting it, but tomorrow I will.”
A farmer ploughs the ground with the same sincerity today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Then the seed germinates, and he gets a bumper crop. In our life also, we have to know that God has given us the necessary amount of patience. But if we do not use it, lethargy, complacency and other undivine qualities enter into us and we justify them by saying that our goal is something very significant, very important. We say that Rome was not built in one day. If that kind of idea enters into our mind, then we are simply fooling ourselves. The goal may be very high or very far, but we have to maintain the same speed from day to day. If one day we slacken our speed, the next day we have to increase our speed in order to compensate.
Question: Will God give us any warning before He runs out of His Patience?Sri Chinmoy: Definitely! God gives not one warning, but several. Even in one single day you can get four or five warnings. At the airport they announce the first call for boarding, then the second call, and then the last call. Many times I have seen that after ten or fifteen minutes, again the last call is announced. Two or three times they announce the last call. Similarly, God gives not one, but many, many warnings. His last warning also He continues to give over and over. At the airport only two or three times do they announce the last call, but God gives the last warning a minimum of twenty-one times. After twenty-one times, He feels it is enough.
In the meantime, we are not taking it as a warning. When God’s warning comes to us, our doubt nullifies it. Our doubt convinces us that this is our mental hallucination. Doubt says, “No, it is not true. I am not doing anything wrong.” At least twenty-one times God will give His last warning. If you are conscious, if you are aware of your inner existence, you will definitely feel it.
If some people hear God’s warning five or six times, they will change, while some other people, although they hear the warning, are too lethargic. They say it is too late to change. They go on and on doing the wrong thing and then, after one year or two years, even if they try to change, they find that their inner strength has gone away. They surrender, saying it is too late to change.
Question: Is there any difference between exercising patience towards one's own life and exercising patience towards others?Sri Chinmoy: There is a difference. When we exercise patience in our own life, it is a joke. We only cleverly say that we are using patience. We do not take our shortcomings as shortcomings. We take others’ shortcomings as real shortcomings, but we overlook our own. We can tell twenty lies — it is allowed. But if another person tells one lie, we say, “He is such a bad fellow! He has told me a lie!” How many lies we have told, we do not count.
When it comes to our own shortcomings, we feel that we are helpless. But we do not feel that others are helpless. If we see in someone else even the tiniest fraction of imperfection, we say, “He is the worst possible human being!” We may have the same bad quality to a greater degree than he has, but we feel that in our own case, it is excusable. In that case, we do not use patience. We think, “In the twinkling of an eye I will be able to get rid of all my bad qualities.” But let us try to illumine even one bad quality! It takes years.
Question: Recently you said that the philosophy of the New Millennium is to see only the good qualities in yourself and others. If you only see the good, then patience would not need to exist. Is that true?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, but how often do you see the good in others? When you have a sense of rivalry, when you have jealousy, insecurity, will those negative qualities not stand in your way? As soon as you want to see the good qualities of others, your bad qualities will prevent you from doing so because your bad qualities will be jealous of their good qualities. Bad qualities cannot tolerate somebody else’s good qualities. Usually we enlarge or exaggerate the bad qualities of others, and at the same time, we do not want to see their good qualities.
How many people on earth are ready even to observe the good qualities in somebody else, not to speak of appreciating or admiring them? As soon as we see good qualities, we turn our face away out of jealousy. If somebody is a good singer, so many people who could never become good singers will become jealous. Very rarely does the mind appreciate others’ good qualities or achievements. This moment the mind appreciates them. The next moment, the same mind says, “Oh, that achievement is so silly.”
Another thing the mind says is, “If I had practised, I could have done the same thing.” An Indian village widow will say that if she had practised football, she could have become another Pelé. She will say that either she did not get the opportunity or she did not want it. This is human life. We say, “If I had practised, I could have climbed up the Himalayas or I could have swum the English Channel.” God says, “Then for God’s sake, why did you not try?”
This is how our human jealousy always tries to take away joy from others by diminishing their achievements. But then, who is burning inside? Outwardly we may say to others: “If I had practised, I could have climbed up the Himalayas. I could have done everything. I could have become the world’s fastest sprinter, I could have defeated Carl Lewis.” Inwardly jealousy is burning and burning. Always our jealousy tries to bring down the world standard.
Question: Is there some way to feel that patience is very dynamic and that it is not just waiting?Sri Chinmoy: Patience can be dynamic only in a hopeful sense. Patience hopes that it will be dynamic. At times dynamism may not be constructive. Many times we see that dynamism is very good, but behind dynamism or in front of dynamism there can be a kind of determination that has anger in it. So if you are saying that inside patience you want to see dynamism, I wish to say that inside dynamism, you have to feel that if you are not fully successful in your efforts, then you are not going to destroy your own hard work. You can say that patience has dynamism, but that dynamism may not act in a positive way. Patience may tolerate something for years and years, an indefinite time. Then, inside that patience, if dynamism comes, at that time it may be almost like a destructive power. Patience by nature does not carry dynamism because if dynamism comes, then strictness will come.
If someone in your family is misbehaving and you are patient, you will forgive him again and again. Then if you want to become dynamic, you will take immediate action. But that action may be totally destructive. You may make a serious mistake. Patience goes on continuously, like a boat that is sailing smoothly. Patience is alive, it is active, but if you want to make it dynamic, then you will say that by such and such a date the person has to become perfect. If he does not do so, you will take immediate action. Then you will suffer more. All the things that you worked for may be broken or damaged. Afterwards you will say, “Perhaps I made a mistake. If I had waited only two months more, then perhaps that person would have turned over a new leaf and become what I wanted.”
Question: You say that if we have dynamism in patience, that implies a destructive power. How should we deal with imperfection in ourselves that keeps recurring? If we want to destroy it with dynamism, is that bad? On the other hand, will God's Justice not have a destructive power?Sri Chinmoy: God’s Justice is destructive for our physical, our vital or our mind, not for our soul. Again, God says that it is He Himself who is having an experience. He had the experience of His Patience. Now He is having another experience with His Justice.
You are saying that you want to destroy your imperfections. But destruction is not the answer. Inside patience is light. Light will illumine all our bad qualities. Our ‘bad qualities’ means our darkness. Darkness can only be conquered by light. A room may be full of darkness for years. Then an electrician comes and in a few minutes he brings light into the room. Similarly, we have to bring light into all our imperfections. When we get illumination, all our insecurity, jealousy, impurity, impatience — everything — will be illumined. Light is the answer. The sooner we bring light into our system from Above or bring light to the fore from within the better for us. Otherwise, at any moment we can make mistakes. Light does not make any mistake. It is because we do not have light in boundless measure that we make mistakes. Each mistake is nothing short of darkness. When darkness expresses itself, it becomes a mistake.
Light is the answer. Why should we compel God to use His iron rod? When He was using His Compassion-Eye, what was wrong with us? Why did we not change our nature? If we love God, then we have to feel that God’s Tears are infinitely more powerful than God’s Smiles. If we are weak, then when God smiles at us, either we feel that we did not make any mistake or that God has forgiven us. This is how we deceive ourselves. But God’s Tears offer us another way. If we see tears flowing in God’s Eyes because of our mistake, how can we bear to see His Heart bleeding? If we see that somebody’s heart is bleeding, will we not give our life to make that person happy? And do we not love God infinitely more than we love any human being? So God’s Tears are infinitely more powerful than God’s Smiles. If we want to transform our nature, God’s Tears will be of real help to us.
True, God’s Smiles encourage us, but at the same time, we may misinterpret God’s Smiles. We may go on and on making the same mistakes and still God may give us a Smile. Inside His Smile, God may be suffering, but we take it as encouragement. In one sense, God also takes it as encouragement because He hopes that if He gives us a broad Smile, we will not make the same mistake again. But unfortunately, it does not work.
If you really love God and if you see that He is shedding bitter tears, He is lamenting, He is suffering, then you will immediately transform your life. Today in the prayer I offered before cycling, I said:
My Absolute Lord Supreme,
When I secretly and deliberately hide
Inside my mind-jungle,
Only my God the Father and God the Mother
Search for me
Full of worries and full of anxieties.
If you are good people, then when you do something wrong, you will not hide from God. You will come and stand before Him and say, “I have done something wrong. Now please forgive me. Please illumine me.”
Question: When God uses His Justice-Light, how can we be grateful rather than insecure?Sri Chinmoy: Always say, “Whatever God does is for my good. If He wants to give me a smart slap, it is for my good. If He wants to smile at me or caress me, it is all for my good. If He wants to bless me, it is for my good. If He wants to kick me, it is for my good.” When God uses His Justice-Light, we have to say that it is for our good. We have to say, “I have done wrong for such a long time. Now He has destroyed my wrongdoings, my weaknesses, in the twinkling of an eye.” God waits and waits for us to change. Finally, when He uses His Justice, it is a matter of a few seconds. But how many people are ready to say that it is for our good that He has done it? We say, “God is cruel. Why could He not give me another chance? If He had given me only one more chance, I would have stopped doing the wrong thing.” We feel that we deserve one more chance, but we do not count how many times God has given us chances.
Question: Can you tell us how we can bring down light from Above or from within?Sri Chinmoy: It is very easy. Just invoke light. When you pray, pray to God to inundate your body, vital, mind and heart with light. There is nothing wrong in doing this. It is absolutely necessary to pray to the Supreme to inundate your inner and outer existence with light. Our Upanishadic seers prayed to God for light, light, light. For us also, there is only one thing we need: light, light, light. If you want to bring down light from Above, prayer is the answer. Or, while you are meditating, you can invoke God the Light.
Question: How can we need God desperately and at the same time have patience?Sri Chinmoy: When you are desperately trying to feel God’s Presence in your life, you have to feel how much sincerity is involved, how much purity of mind is involved. If purity of mind is involved when you are desperately trying to achieve something or stop doing something, then the patience-seed will automatically be planted inside you.
Your heart’s sincerity and your mind’s purity will give you the amount of patience that you need. When you desperately need something, and if patience is needed, automatically your sincerity and purity will tell you whether it will take ten days or twenty days or two months. At that time, you do not have to use the word ‘patience’. If sincerity is involved, if purity is involved, then you do not have to worry, even if it takes two years to conquer your problem.
Question: Why is humanity so far away from God? If God is inside everyone, why are we not seeing that?Sri Chinmoy: You are lucky. You are trying so hard to see God. God has put in front of you two fruits. The colour of the fruits is the same. God says, “Now you pray and meditate. If you pray and meditate, you will take the right fruit.” But many people are not ready to pray and meditate. They are so greedy that immediately they grab one fruit, and the one that they have taken is called ignorance. The outer skin of both fruits looks so beautiful. We feel that both of them will be equally delicious. God has told us to pray to Him to grant us the wisdom to choose the right one, but we have no patience. We say, “No, no. I am sure both of them are equally good.” We choose one, only to discover that it is all ignorance. Then we suffer. When we take that fruit, we go farther and farther away from God. But if we had prayed to God to choose the right one, we would have taken the one which is wisdom.
Question: What is the difference between your poise and your patience?Sri Chinmoy: Poise is infinitely, infinitely higher, deeper and wider than patience. In my case, there is no comparison between my poise and my patience. My poise deals at every second with the universal consciousness, the transcendental consciousness. Poise is the product of the universal consciousness, the transcendental consciousness, or you can say it the other way around: from poise we enter into the universal consciousness, from poise we enter into the transcendental consciousness. Patience is like an insect and poise is like one million giants.
The poise of a spiritual Master deals with the universe. Spiritual Masters do not deal with one individual or two individuals, one hundred disciples or two hundred disciples. Poise has to deal with the universe, with all human beings, with the creation itself. Patience deals only with individuals we know — our dear ones or people we encounter in our daily life. But poise deals with humanity, with the universal consciousness. Poise and patience are so different. One is like a tiny drop. The other is like an ocean.
Question: When the Supreme has to exercise His Patience, does the seeker have to have more intuition to recognise God's warnings?Sri Chinmoy: You are making a mistake by bringing intuition into the picture. You have to love God more and more and more. If sincerity is involved in your love, then that love will protect you. There is no need of intuition or any other quality. If you love God with utmost sincerity, your love of God will save you. If you love God, immediately you will feel that if you do something wrong, God will shed bitter tears, ceaseless tears. So love of God will prevent you from doing many wrong things. Love of God is the answer.
Question: Does God's Patience have the capacity to inspire people to change their lives?Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. If somebody has been exercising God’s Patience for a long time, and then if that person has a good heart, he will say, “God is so kind to me. He is so affectionate, so compassionate. How is it that I am torturing Him?” Many naughty children become good when they see that their mother is crying, crying, crying because they are misbehaving. They say, “How long can we torture our mother? She is all love for us, all compassion for us!” Then they turn over a new leaf. At that time the mother’s patience is successful in awakening the good qualities of her children.
Part IVSCA 920-925. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions in Brasilia, Brazil on 29 January 2000.
Question: How can we best deal with the anger that comes with dynamism?Sri Chinmoy: Anger can easily be separated from dynamism, but only if you are in a good consciousness. If you are in a bad consciousness, an animal consciousness, then anger may appear not only in dynamism but even in the slowest movement.
When you are running at your top speed, is it not dynamism? At that time are you angry? No, you are running at top speed to win the race. So much dynamism is involved. Only if you are a very bad person will you curse someone else who is going ahead of you. Otherwise, you will have no time to think of others.
So many things you do fast, very fast, with tremendous dynamism. At that time there is no anger involved. Only if pride enters while you are running very fast does anger come into the picture. Pride can take the form of anger. Again, this pride can easily be humiliated. If somebody is going ahead of you, your pride may be smashed.
Question: Sometimes so-called unevolved things — for example, a dog — can have such noble qualities. A dog might give its life to save somebody. On the other hand, a human being that is more evolved might have such petty qualities.Sri Chinmoy: God has given each individual good qualities. If the individual does not use those good qualities, bad qualities loom large. Good and bad, day and night, light and shade each individual has. Because we are human beings, we are more evolved than animals. But some human beings are infinitely worse than animals. For example, if you give a dog a little food two times a day, it is satisfied. But each human being has to be supplied with new food, most delicious food every day. Otherwise that person may get angry. The poor dog is getting the same meat year after year. But a human being will try to get better food, more delicious food. Is this evolution?
The human mind is highly evolved, but insecurity, jealousy, pride, anger and so forth play their role. When you see a large herd of sheep, immediately you notice how gracefully, how peacefully they are staying together. If one thousand human beings are together, there will be so much screaming and fighting. They will do many unkind things. There will not be any peaceful feeling among them. In that way, the sheep are more developed.
You have said that in many cases, animals, especially dogs, have given their lives for their masters. Many, many more animals have given their lives and will give their lives for human beings than human beings will give for animals. Pets can be so affectionate to their master, so fond of their master, that they can give their lives.
Just recently I read a book about animals that have given their lives and how these animals suffered. Animals far surpass human beings when it comes to sacrifice. As human beings, sometimes we get a kind of unconscious, malicious pleasure when somebody suffers. I have come to realise that in human life there is no such thing as friendship; it is all rivalry. If your friend has achieved something, immediately your heart burns. Unless and until you have established divine friendship, rivalry always exists. If you establish divine friendship, you are safe. At that time you feel oneness. Otherwise, so-called human friendship is made of rivalry and jealousy. Outwardly if your friend achieves something, you will give a broad smile and congratulate him, but inwardly you are cursing your friend or cursing yourself because you could not do that very thing. You feel that you should have done that thing or something better. Animals do not have that kind of developed mind. True, animals can be jealous, but they are not directly entering into the world of jealousy and cursing the person who has achieved something.
There are many, many ways animals can help us in our evolution. Again, in the process of evolution, we are higher because we are conscious of God. The poor animals are not conscious of God. Either we pray to God or meditate on God; it is up to us. But we are conscious that there is somebody in Heaven or inside us who is watching us, while animals are not. Unconsciously they are doing many, many good and divine things.
Again, this does not apply to all animals. In my own case, my dog Kanu used to take my suffering. When I used to get very painful stomach upset, he would sit on my stomach and take it away. So many times when I was miserable with very serious problems, he would come and sleep right beside my head, very, very affectionately. Then my problems would be solved. How many times he took away my real physical headache and my stomach pain. When he used to sit next to me, my problems would go away. I was able to see light on how to solve the problems. This was Kanu. I have kept Kanu in the soul’s world. There he is so huge. My mother takes care of him.
When I was young, we had a dog called Bhaga. Bhaga looked like a tiger. He was very big and very, very kind. He used to guard the whole Ghosh family — five or six houses. When we left Shakpura for good, Bhaga would not stay behind. He entered into the Kharnaphuli River and followed us. Our boat was sailing and he was swimming to catch up. Finally, we put him in the boat with us. We stayed for two or three days at our maternal uncle’s place and Bhaga was so happy. Then we had to go to Pondicherry and we could not take him with us. Our relatives were so kind to this dog, but in one week Bhaga died. That was Bhaga’s sacrifice for our family.
Something more: my physical father would have died at least three or four months before he actually departed had it not been for one of our cows. We had a number of cows, but two cows I remember, Surabhi and Nandini. They were very affectionate to each other. Surabhi was more developed than Nandini. Somehow Surabhi knew that my father would be dying soon. Surabhi did not have any disease, yet she died four or five months before my father. My father lived on earth four or five months more only because of Surabhi’s sacrifice. At that time, I did not know. Later, when I came to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, because of my God-realisation, I was able to see in the inner world why Surabhi died untimely.
We had another dog named Teghā. Our house was in Shakpura and my aunt’s place was in Dhalghat. Teghā used to carry messages from one house to the other. My sister used to write down a message. Then the servant would go with Teghā for a half mile or so. Immediately Teghā knew what he should do. The servant would come back and Teghā would go all the way to my aunt’s place, three miles away, and deliver the message.
If an animal is evolved and very close to its master, then that animal can do something very, very special to prevent a serious calamity from taking place either in the family or among the very dear ones. That kind of supreme sacrifice an animal can make.
Question: You have said that everything has a soul. What things have a heart? For example, I am sure animals have a heart, but do plants have a heart? Do rocks have a heart?Sri Chinmoy: Everything has to have a heart because the soul remains inside the heart. Here is a wooden table. Inside it there is a soul, but the soul does not live directly inside the wood. Inside the wood there is a heart, and inside the heart the soul resides. Without the heart, the soul cannot breathe. The soul-consciousness can be everywhere, but the soul has to have a proper place to live, and that place is the heart.
Question: How can we increase and maintain our intensity?Sri Chinmoy: You have to value time. You have to feel that you have a higher goal, and that goal is still far away. Always intensity will increase if you feel that you have to go far, very far. Otherwise you will not budge an inch. Let us say that you are now in kindergarten and you have to get a Master’s degree or Ph.D. If you are not ready, willing or eager to study, you may take quite a few years just to complete kindergarten. Later on you may become a school drop-out. This is what happens when eagerness is missing. Once you start your journey, your aim should be to reach the goal as soon as possible.
Similarly, in the spiritual life, we have to have eagerness. Eagerness has the power to create intensity. You can say eagerness is the penultimate step and intensity is the ultimate step. If you have eagerness to do something, you can invoke intensity inside that eagerness. Otherwise, right from the beginning you will be so relaxed and feel that you have Eternity at your disposal. Every day we have to feel that we have been given the chance to accomplish everything. If we cannot accomplish everything today, then tomorrow will come with the same opportunity. But if we feel that since it is something very difficult, we can take ten years or twenty years to accomplish it, that ten years will pass and we may not accomplish anything. Every day we have to have the adamantine will-power to achieve everything we want to achieve.
Question: In your poetry you sometimes use 'my Supreme' or 'God' or 'my Lord'. I know that personally I have a different feeling or response to each one. From your point of view, is there a different consciousness or feeling behind the names?Sri Chinmoy: When I say ‘God’, I get one feeling. From ‘my Supreme’ I get another feeling. From ‘my Lord’ and ‘my Absolute Beloved Supreme’ I get still another feeling. A child can call his father by various names. When he uses the term ‘Daddy’, he gets one feeling. When he says ‘Dad’, another feeling comes. When he says ‘Father’, it is something different.
In my case, each time I use a particular name for God, I get a totally different feeling. Again, it may not be the same feeling from day to day. Today when I say, “My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme,” it may not give me the same feeling as yesterday. Not that it is higher or lower in terms of intimacy, but it may carry a different experience. Whichever name gives me the sweetest feeling I use. Again, when I want to invoke God’s Power aspect, I say ‘the Absolute’.
Some spiritual Masters differentiate between the Absolute and the Supreme. They say the Absolute does not take human incarnation; the Absolute does not deal with multifarious earthly and mundane activities. I do not agree with them. If I can be conscious of God’s Sweetness, then I can easily be conscious of His Might and Power. His Compassion aspect and Love aspect I love. But His Power aspect how can I deny? In my case, I do not differentiate between the Supreme and the Absolute. They are one and the same.
If you use the term ‘Beloved’, then you connect God’s Power aspect with His Sweetness, Affection and Fondness aspects. That is why in so many of my writings I use ‘my Lord Beloved Supreme’. It connects God’s Power with His Sweetness, Affection and Intimacy. Early in the morning, when I offer my cycling prayer, I deliberately say ‘my Absolute Lord Supreme’. This is how I try to invoke the Power aspect of God. Then for my weightlifting prayers, when I say ‘my Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme’, it is the prayer of my life-breath. Each seeker will use different names for God for his own purpose, but it is the same Person, the same Person.
Question: Is there any special way to assimilate everything that you have given us on the Christmas trip?Sri Chinmoy: Every morning and every evening, for at least five minutes, please shed gratitude-tears. First you have to enter into your heart. Then you have to feel that you have no mind, you have no eyes, no arms, no legs — nothing, nothing, nothing! No, you have only one thing — the heart — as your possession. Then you have to feel that you yourself have become that possession. It is not that you have something inside which you call the heart; you are the heart itself. While you are the heart, you will become the doer and the seer at the same time. What you are doing, you will observe.
What will you do? For five minutes you will shed gratitude-tears, in the morning and in the evening. If you can offer gratitude-tears from your heart, when you have become the heart itself, then everything that you have gained — everything inspiring, aspiring, illumining and fulfilling — you will be able to keep intact. You are not going to lose anything. On the contrary, all the divine joy and other qualities that you have received here during this trip you will be able to increase in abundant measure.
Also, from time to time you can remember the special occasions during these two months. Remember the very, very special occasions when you were in your highest and when everybody was in a very, very aspiring mood, either in the morning or in the evening, and when I was in a very good mood — no barking, no insulting! Remember when I was in my highest, and how many times I was smiling at individuals, especially at you. You will remember how many times I gave you a most powerful smile, and someone else will remember how many times I gave him or her a most powerful smile. Each individual should remember when he or she received my most powerful smile. Along with other things, each one has to remember the smiles. You do not have to count them! Just remember them — whether it was here or somewhere else. That will help.
Yes, sometimes rain disturbed us, but again, we have to change our attitude. If you have to sing a few songs, rain is giving you the golden opportunity to practise. Then, if there are some very special things that you have been neglecting for a few days or for a few weeks, when it is raining you can easily remember those things and do them. In this way, outer disadvantage can be an inner advantage. Every time there is a disadvantage on one plane, we can derive advantage from another plane.
This is how we can preserve everything good, everything divine that we have done ourselves and that we have observed during the Christmas trip.