Sri Chinmoy answers, part 9
Part ISCA 346-351. On 9 December 1998, at the University of Hawaii's Thomas Jefferson Hall, Sri Chinmoy meditated with staff of the university and other seekers. He then invited spiritual questions.
Question: For the last two years at the university we have been trying to energise a meditation group, but we have failed to get people. I don't know why. Could you please advise us?Sri Chinmoy: There are two ways. One is the way of the flower; the other is the way of the mother. When the flower blossoms, the beauty and fragrance of the flower will draw people to appreciate, admire and receive joy from the flower. We go to a garden and immediately we see a flower. The flower does not come to us; we go to the flower. The flower, with its beauty, fragrance and charm, remains where it is. We go to the flower and receive the divine qualities from the flower. This is one way.
The other way is the way of the mother. The mother feels that the whole world is her creation. Each and every human being is her child. When the child cries, the mother may not be physically near the child. Let us say that in a house there are many floors. The child is crying for milk or for some toys. When the child cries, the mother is bound to come to the child. The child cannot go to the mother because he is an infant. He knows only how to cry. It is the mother who has to come to the baby and see what he needs, whether it is milk or toys or candies or anything else. Then the mother gives to the child according to his need.
So, some spiritual Masters are of the opinion that people have to come to them. They have become like flowers, and people have to come to them if they are in need of anything. Again, other spiritual Masters are of the opinion that these are all their children, and they are all hungry. Each one may not have the same hunger, so it is the bounden duty of the mother to go to her children and give them whatever they need.
There is still a third category of spiritual Masters like Sri Ramakrishna. He applied both ways in his life. He was one of our spiritual Masters of the highest order. He hailed from Bengal, and I also happened to take physical birth in Bengal in this incarnation. At one point he said, “Act like a flower.” At Dakshineshwar, many, many seekers from all around came to visit him. Again, he went to various places. He himself went to many seekers and people who had inner light. Although they were not spiritual in the strict sense of the term, they had hearts larger than the largest. To raise the consciousness not only of Bengal, not only of India, but of the whole world, he used to go and visit people to increase their inspiration, aspiration and other good qualities. So, these two ways Sri Ramakrishna adopted.
I am following in the footsteps of Sri Ramakrishna. I live in America, and here I have become a flower. People from all over the world come to see me and whatever I have to offer, they take. Again, I have become like a mother. I go from place to place. I have been to many, many, many places over the years. When I travel, I see some seekers like you. With all sincerity and determination they come to me. They do not have to be my disciples — far from it! But if I can be of service to these seekers, I feel I have done something for God the creation.
God the Creator we worship and God the creation we serve. We are all God the creation. With my prayerful life I have come here now to serve you. I hope I have made it clear to you.
I have come to Hawaii a few times. About twenty-five years ago I came here for the first time, and since then I have come quite a few times. I come here to be of service to the seekers in Hawaii.
Hawaii has the quality of charming and enchanting our hearts and our lives. Again, it has been specially blessed by many, many spiritual figures in the inner world. You may call them gods and goddesses, but for me all gods and goddesses are spiritual figures of the highest order. So, Hawaii has very special blessings from Above or from within.
Again, Hawaii has a special role to play. It is not only a State of attraction, but it is a State that can offer illumination to those who come here for inner discovery. For outer discovery, people see so many charming, enchanting and attractive things. Again, if they come to Hawaii to meditate, they are bound to receive peace, light and bliss in boundless measure. We have to know what we come here for: for the outer attraction or for the inner illumination, or for both. What the outer world can give here, we shall receive with the utmost sense of purity. And what the inner world can offer here, with utmost devotion we shall receive.
Forgive me, this is not the answer to your question; but only my inner feelings and outer observations about this place I have tried to express.
Question: I notice that you have a picture of Kali on your table. There have been a lot of misconceptions about Kali, even among spiritual people.Sri Chinmoy: Each seeker is right in his own way. I cannot say that what I feel about Mother Kali is absolutely correct and that your conception of Mother Kali is absolutely wrong. That will be the height of my stupidity and absurdity. I can say only what I have inside my own room, my own apartment. What others have in their apartment, I have no way of knowing and I am not even so inclined to know.
For me, Mother Kali is the power of Infinity. Her name is Kali. Kali means ‘time’ and ‘the time beyond’. She carries the message of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. Again, she transcends what she has and what she is. As far as my inner realisation goes, she is the Absolute in feminine form. You can say she is the Absolute. The power aspect she embodies. As the Mother, she embodies everything: peace, light, bliss and all other divine qualities. But she also expedites everything. There are many members in a family. If you ask one person to do you a favour, that person may take five years; whereas if you ask somebody else, that person may give you what you want in the twinkling of an eye, provided your cry or your aspiration is sincere.
This Mother, Mother Kali, is an aspect of the Absolute Supreme, and at the same time she is the Supreme. If we want to separate the parts of our body, we can say, “These are my arms, these are my legs, these are my eyes,” and so on. But they are part and parcel of the same body. If I do not have legs or arms or eyes, I am imperfect. All the limbs together comprise my physical body. So she is at once a portion of the Absolute Supreme, and again, she is the Absolute Supreme. She is also the Mother of speed. Everything she does faster than the fastest.
Mother Kali also illumines our imperfections. In the Western world, we use the term ‘sin’. But according to Indian spiritual philosophy, there is no such thing as sin; it is only imperfection. I am imperfect; therefore, I do quite a few things wrong. And as long as I am imperfect, I will continue to do things wrong. But what do we mean by sin? If our Source — God, the Absolute Supreme — is purer than the purest, how can we be wallowing in the pleasures of sin? We can only say that we are not perfect.
A child may learn ‘A, B, C,’ but he may not be able to read all the letters, whereas his mother and father can read everything. Slowly and steadily he learns to read the whole alphabet, and in a few years’ time he can read big books. But he starts with the alphabet and sometimes he makes mistakes. In exactly the same way, all human beings are now imperfect. Our goal is to arrive at perfection.
Again, perfection has no fixed limits. Perfection is constantly transcending itself. As a student, one may feel that he will be perfect when he gets his M.A. or Ph.D. Then he gets his degree and he sees that there is so much more to learn. He feels that what he knows now is nothing. Wisdom or knowledge is like a vast ocean. The student feels that his Master’s degree is like a few drops in the ocean of knowledge.
Suppose over the years you have done many things wrong, just because you are imperfect. If you pray to Mother Kali, if you cry and cry and cry, she will illumine all your imperfections.
In our Indian philosophy, God, the Supreme, has three aspects: God the Creator, God the Preserver and God the Transformer. But for many, many centuries, instead of ‘transformation’, we used the term ‘destruction’. Our Indian trinity is Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva: Brahma is God the Creator, Vishnu is God the Preserver and Shiva is God the Transformer. We do not destroy; we only transform. If we destroy, what will there be in our life? Suppose I do something wrong; I am angry with someone and give him a smart slap. Then will I rectify my mistake by cutting off my hand? No! That wrong action came from my mind. I have to use my mind in a proper way so that I shall not strike anybody. On the contrary, I shall only show my affection and compassion. So the third aspect of God is transformation, not destruction.
Now, when Mother Kali deals with human beings, with seekers or aspirants, some are terribly afraid of her power aspect. They feel that they have done so many things wrong over the years and that, instead of showing them compassion, she will destroy them. But she does not destroy; she transforms.
There are four aspects of the Divine Mother, the Universal Mother: Maheshwari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati. Of these four aspects, Mother Kali is for speed and for height, higher than the highest height. We can even say that she can take us to the highest sooner than the soonest. The other aspects of the Divine Mother feel that slow and steady wins the race, but this Mother says, “Even if you go fast, faster than the fastest, that does not mean you will fall.”
Again, what I am saying is all from my own personal point of view, from my own realisation. Each individual has his own way of speaking about Mother Kali.
Question: Many of us get attracted to a spiritual path from the readings of Masters who are no longer in the body, and we begin to follow the spiritual path of such a Master. I am sure I speak for many people when I say that, after a while, we really wish to have a Guru in the flesh. However, we feel that it would be a great disloyalty to the teacher we have been following if we were to seek such a Guru. How can a person decide whether the Guru he is following, who is no longer in the flesh, is the right one, since he cannot talk to that person in a way he can understand on an earthly level?Sri Chinmoy: When the first person on earth realised God, whom did he have as a human Guru? Did somebody come to him physically and say, “I am God”? No! He got his realisation from the invisible God. Similarly, there are many, many seekers who have realised God by studying the Bible or our Bhagavad Gita. They did not have a living Guru. Now, Lord Krishna is not in the physical, and the Saviour Christ is not in the physical. Yes, they can manifest in the subtle body, but even if you cry to Lord Krishna, he is not going to take a physical body and come to teach you. Again, Lord Krishna’s teachings and the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Bible, have become part and parcel of humanity’s life-breath.
Now, when you read the Gospel or the Bhagavad Gita or other sacred books, you have to feel how much identification you can develop. If you feel that, after studying some of the messages in the Bible, you can practise them in your day-to-day life, why do you need any Master in the physical? But you have to know whether you can apply in your daily life what you read in the book. It may happen that, while you are reading, you get tremendous inspiration and aspiration, but as soon as you enter into the hustle and bustle of life, you forget everything. You read something and then in two hours’ time you do something diametrically opposite. This is what we human beings often do.
But there is another way. Let us think of ourselves as naughty children. The teacher is around us, like an inspector, so we must behave well. Otherwise the teacher will fail us. The inspector sees that we are not behaving well in the class, so we are afraid of the inspector. We know that he will give us a zero and then we will fail. This is what happens in the case of the teacher or instructor. But there is someone called a private tutor. It is the bounden duty of the private tutor to teach you at home privately, secretly, so that you can pass your examination. He will not be in the school, standing in front of you as a teacher or an instructor or an inspector. He will be at your home, and he will teach you privately. This is the role that the spiritual Master can play when he is in the physical.
We forget that the spiritual Master of the past and the spiritual Master of the present are not two different entities. Here we are making a deplorable mistake. The realisation that the highest Master achieved, he is blessingfully offering to those who are praying. In a family, the grandfather knows something and teaches it to the father, and then the father teaches his own children. In exactly the same way, whatever knowledge and wisdom-light Lord Krishna, Jesus Christ and other spiritual Masters had, they are offering to their spiritual descendants.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I am also a spiritual Master. I can never separate myself from the blessingful consciousness of the Saviour Christ or Lord Krishna or Lord Buddha. I am using only a few examples; there are many spiritual Masters. Here in the Western world, we always think of the Christ, and for the Eastern world, let us take Lord Krishna. Each individual who is a realised soul will offer his realisation in that way.
Again, there are many who claim to be realised. It is up to God or the seekers to feel the truth of what the spiritual Masters say. In India we had a great spiritual figure named Swami Vivekananda. I am sure you have heard his name. He went to East Bengal and there all the seekers came to him saying, “Please, please, come and see my Master! He is the highest! He is an Avatar, a direct descendant of God.” So Swami Vivekananda said that in East Bengal the Avatars grow like mushrooms! Each one claims that his Master is a God-realised soul and an Avatar of the highest order. Again, there is another point of view. If you take your Master as the highest, your prayers go directly to the Highest. In the Bhagavad Gita it says that everything goes to the Absolute Lord Krishna. If you have faith, implicit faith in your Master, even if your Master is not endowed with certain divine qualities, your prayers will go to the Highest Absolute.
Here in the Western world, we use the term ‘Father’. The Christ said, “I and my Father are one.” When we pray sincerely, our prayers go to the Father. On our path we use the term ‘Absolute Supreme’. It is the Absolute Supreme who is receiving our prayers. You may have a Master who is not of the highest calibre; he may not be a God-realised soul or an Avatar. But if you have faith in your Master in boundless measure, your faith goes directly to the real Master, who is God.
There is only one Guru — my Guru, your Guru, everybody’s Guru — and that is God. Now, God has taken human form. You are a human form and I am a human form, but somebody may be more qualified in a particular field. In the spiritual life, spiritual Masters know more. I happen to be a spiritual Master. Again, if you are an engineer, if you are a doctor, if you are a scientist, who am I? I am nobody in those fields. If I have to study science and this kind of thing, I will be useless. So if one wants to know about spiritual life, then one goes to a spiritual Master for spiritual lessons.
You are not going to be disloyal to the Masters who are not in the physical by going to another true spiritual Master. The spiritual Masters come from one family. As you have brothers and sisters in your own family, so also, those who have realised the highest belong to one family. Our Lord Krishna said that he comes in different forms. Each time, we ourselves take human incarnation with a different name and a different form.
The seeker has to feel the living presence of the Master. Your Master may not be in the physical, but if you can have direct contact with the Master, it will be perfect. But very often it is difficult because our mind comes to the fore and says, “Oh no, he did not say this, he did not say that.”
If you have a living Master, you get a special opportunity. The living Master speaks your language and tells you, “This is what you are doing right; this is what you are doing wrong.” Then it is up to you to accept him or reject him. If your Master is not in the physical and you are not highly advanced, your mind will contradict the message you get. This moment you will get some idea and your mind will say it is perfect. Then you will take two steps and immediately you will doubt the idea that you got. Then you will take a few more steps and you will say, “Who am I to judge which idea is right and which one is wrong? I am now confused. I do not know which one to accept.” But if you have a living Master and if you have implicit faith in him, you will hear his words and say, “This is right.” If you have faith in him, then you will go in his way. So, to have a living Master is a great advantage.
Again, if you have no faith, then your problem starts. But if you have faith and you have adamantine will-power, then definitely you do not need a Master in the physical. If you have studied some religious books, spiritual books, books written by spiritual Masters who are not in the physical, and you have developed an intense inner feeling between your aspiration and their compassion, you do not need a living Master. But the difficulty arises that you read something and you are inspired; but then, when you go to be with your friends or when you enter into the hustle and bustle of the outer life, you completely forget your inspiration. It may happen that you cannot carry that feeling, whereas if you have a living spiritual Master of the highest order, then you will see with your own eyes and feel with your heart. In this way it lasts longer.
If you have the opportunity to be in the company of a living spiritual Master and some disciples of that same Master, then you get an added opportunity. But I will never say that in order to realise God you must have a Guru who is in the physical. The first person who realised God did not have a Master in the physical. It all took place in the inner world, in the subtle body. Then again, spiritual Masters who have realised the Highest over the years and are speaking the same inner language, inspiring the same feelings and offering inspiration of the same type in every way, can be of immediate help. So it is up to one’s own inner development. If I am highly developed and my inner connection with the Master who is not in the physical is very strong, no harm. But if I do not have a strong connection, then the same lesson can be given by somebody who is in the physical and who can correct me and perfect me when I am doing something wrong.
Again, if we see twenty people swimming in the ocean, we also are inspired to swim. We say, “Oh, they are swimming! I can also do it.” But if we see nobody swimming, then lethargy, fear and other wrong forces come into the picture and do not allow us to enter into the water. So, if we see a group of people praying and meditating, if we can be in the company of good seekers, then we are inspired. Every day divine inspiration can enter into us; and again, every day lethargy can enter into us. When we see that people are praying and meditating in a group, it is easier for us to join them and bring to the fore our own divine qualities. That is why we feel the necessity of a group. If you are in a group, then the group members will inspire you, and you will inspire them as well.
Question: About twenty years ago on the mainland, a friend took me to see you. You were meditating in silence at that time. Now it seems that you are speaking more. Could you please explain the transition?Sri Chinmoy: I do both. Sometimes I meditate for hours with my students and other seekers. Again, sometimes I give talks and answer questions. We have to feed both the inner life and the outer life. I also give Peace Concerts, like the one I gave the other day here in Hawaii. At that time, mostly we remain in silence. I play quite a few instruments, in a meditative consciousness. I also sing.
Some people get more joy when they hear something, because they feel that their outer senses are nourished. Again, others feel that if we maintain silence, if we are in our highest, in the depth of our meditation, they receive more. So the Master feels that, in a family if one member wants a particular fruit and another member wants something else, he has to be qualified to offer both. There are two individuals who have a different type of hunger. It is like a restaurant. So many people enter, and each one has his own different taste. The restaurant has the capacity to feed each one according to his need. Again, we enter into a garden and there are so many flowers. Each flower has something special to offer. They all offer beauty and fragrance in different ways. So, sometimes I remain silent, and in silence I offer what I am supposed to offer. If I have to choose between talking and remaining silent, I shall definitely choose silence, because in silence, light grows and our divinity grows infinitely more powerful.
Silence and sound are like the obverse and reverse of the same coin, like the beauty and fragrance of a flower. But usually people receive more from me when I am silent and when I offer peace meditations. Previously I gave talks, hundreds and thousands of talks, in so many places. Then I started offering Peace Concerts. I have given hundreds of Peace Concerts, mostly without talking. I feel that the seekers who have come to listen to my music have received much more than they would have if I had given talks. When I give talks and answer questions, mostly it feeds the outer mind. But when we pray and meditate in silence, then we feed our inner existence, our aspiring hearts.
I have been serving the United Nations for the last twenty-seven years. I used to give talks and answer questions almost every week. Now, for the last ten years, I have been going there only to meditate, only to pray. In pindrop silence we pray and meditate, and in that way I feel that I am able to offer more.
Question: Here in our meditation group we have a Hindu, we have several who are Roman Catholics, some who practise Zen, and others. What we do is sit in silence. I think that energises us in the morning. We sit Monday and Wednesday early in the morning before we go to work. But we have not been able to get the word out. I don't know how else to put it. It is difficult to spread the word, and everybody has such a busy schedule, but it would be really nice if more people joined us.Sri Chinmoy: I am so glad that in your group all the religions are mixed. They are all one, but they are different branches of the life-tree. There are so many branches of the life-tree. And again, we develop our good qualities by uniting with others.
About thirty-four years ago I went to a chapel in Puerto Rico. The nuns saw me. They knew that I was a Hindu, and I was not dressed properly, the way they expected me to be dressed. They were furious! The Mother Superior scolded me and insulted me like anything, because I was not a Christian. But then she forgave me because with folded hands I was looking at the Saviour.
Again, about twenty years later, what happened? In Switzerland a Mother Superior invited me to meditate with so many nuns! In front of them I meditated, and then she and the nuns asked me many questions on Christianity and on the Christ. They were following his path, but I was the one they asked. And I must say, they were not asking me questions to examine me, to see whether I had studied the Bible or had personal experiences of the Saviour. With utmost sincerity they were asking me questions. They showed me such love and reverence. So, at one place the Mother Superior “blessed” me, and at another place the nuns had the inner hunger and felt that this fellow knew something. For about two hours I was there with them.
Mahatma Gandhi is known as the father of the Indian nation. Like that, in Ireland it was de Valera. When I met him, he was in the evening of his life and I was about forty years old. How he approached me with folded hands, as soon as he saw me! With folded hands he asked me questions about the Saviour Christ and the Bible, one after another. A volley of questions he asked me, not in the spirit of judging me, no! He had the utmost sincere hunger, and he wanted to know if I could be of any help. He was at that time eighty years old.
Some people see something in me, and some people do not see anything in me. If they see something in me, I am definitely, wholeheartedly going to be of service to them. And if they do not see anything in me, then they have to find somebody else if they have the inner hunger. They must feed their hunger. If I am hungry and one restaurant does not satisfy me, I can go to another restaurant. I shall go to quite a few places, if necessary, to feed and satisfy my hunger.
To come back to your question, please, you have to see if you feel that you can lead the seekers and guide them. There should always be a leader. If there is no leader, nothing grows. The leader has to supply the seekers with light, delight, energy, peace and the message of the higher worlds and the inner worlds. Otherwise, forgive me to say, if the leader is simply one of the group, it will not work out. Here we are all democrats; we are all equal. That is true, but a leader’s consciousness has to be higher and deeper so that he can be of service to those who come to the group. In a class there is a teacher. If everyone is a student and each one starts teaching the rest of the group, then it will be total chaos. Somebody has to know more. Somebody has to have more inner wisdom and inner light to be of service to the seekers.
I am not criticising you, but if you have a group, then there should be someone who has the capacity to lead them, guide them, inspire them. Otherwise, when they see that there is no real leader, it may not grow. Either they have to have faith in you, or they have to have faith in someone else. In order to play the role of a leader, somebody has to be more developed spiritually. Otherwise people who are thirsty and hungry will come, and then, if they ask a question, you may say, “Read the Bible, everything is there.” Then they will say, “I am reading the Bible, but I am not getting an adequate answer, so that is why I have come to you.” Then what will you do? How will you satisfy them, or how will they satisfy you?
This is no personal criticism; please do not misunderstand me. It is only that the leader has to be more advanced; otherwise there will be chaos. Nobody is going to listen; they will contradict each other and they will say, “What do you know?” But somebody who is an authority, somebody who knows something about spirituality, will say, “Either follow my way, or follow some other way. There are other ways that you can follow, but you have to follow one particular road.” All roads lead to Rome, but you have to follow one road. You cannot change your path every day. Then you will be nowhere! For you there will be no goal. Today if you follow this Master, tomorrow that Master and the day after tomorrow a third one, then there will be no goal for you.
Question: Can you speak a little bit more about your meditation, about what you do when you are meditating? All kinds of thoughts come when I try to meditate.Sri Chinmoy: I have answered this question many, many times. Again, I would like to be of service to you.
This hall has quite a few doors and windows which we can close at any time. When we meditate, we close all the doors and windows of our inner life. There is a saying that we are always at the mercy of thoughts. In a fleeting second, a thought can bite us from this side or that side. There is no end to our thoughts. But when we meditate, we shall not allow an iota of thought from any corner to attack us. The highest meditation will be without any thought whatsoever. When there is no thought, we use the term ‘trance’.
After our meditation, we have to enter into the outer world, we have to be with our friends, we have to be with our society, we have to deal with outer activities, we have to go out and work and so on. So what do we do? When we meditate, we have to enter into our highest meditation. Each one has his own highest meditation. My highest meditation need not or cannot be the same as yours. Once we feel that we have reached our highest, we have to remember that we have friends in our inner life, just as we have friends in our outer life. By ‘friends’ we mean good thoughts, uplifting thoughts, good ideas — ideas that we shall help this person and that person, and that we shall become a better person. These friends we shall allow to enter into us.
So, when ideas and thoughts come, first we keep all the doors closed, and then we allow only good thoughts, the thoughts that will help in raising the consciousness of humanity. If you see that there are good thoughts, you will allow them to enter. The other thoughts you will not allow: thoughts that come to you as negative forces or that give you the feeling that you are superior to so-and-so or that you can try to lord it over others. One kind of thought is a desire-thought, and the other is an aspiration-thought. Desiring thoughts will always try to separate you from others. They will make you feel that you are higher than the highest, and that others always have to be at your feet. But aspiring thoughts tell us that we can all grow together. In a garden there are many plants, most beautiful plants. They are all growing together and giving so much joy to the gardener and also to those who are coming to see the garden.
Once again, first you have to keep your mind absolutely quiet, tranquil and vacant, and then you will allow only the thoughts that are going to raise not only your own consciousness, but the consciousness of all those who are around you. You will allow the thoughts that will help you to go from your own heart to cover the entire length and breadth of the world. But before that, you will allow absolutely no thought. This is the highest meditation. First you reach your own highest meditation, and then you let in only the forces that will help mankind and help you to become a better citizen of the world. This is how I meditate and my students meditate.
If we use the heart, we know what forgiveness is.So, I have prayed and meditated. I have tried to be of service to you all, outwardly and inwardly. And I am very, very grateful to you all for having given me this golden opportunity to be of service to the God-seekers, the God-servers and the God-lovers in you.
Now I wish to read out a prayer which I gave yesterday. This prayer the mind may not understand, but the heart will definitely understand the meaning and significance of the prayer. Some people use the word ‘God’, but I prefer ‘Supreme’. A father is ‘Daddy’ to his children, he is ‘Mister’ to his employees and he is addressed by his friends in a different way. If he is a high court judge, people will address him as ‘Your Honour’. So, my favourite way of addressing God is ‘Supreme’. I use the name ‘Supreme’ instead of ‘God’. I get much more joy when I use this name. A child gets much more joy when he calls his father ‘Daddy’ than he gets when he addresses his father the way his father’s friends address him. Similarly, when I use the name ‘Supreme’, I get much more joy than otherwise.
My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme,
Your Newness does not satisfy me.
Your Oneness does not satisfy me.
Your Fulness does not satisfy me.
Only Your Forgiveness satisfies me.
Your Forgiveness satisfies me fully,
Integrally and eternally.
My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme!
If we use the heart, we know what forgiveness is. As soon as I am forgiven by the Highest Absolute, I am fully satisfied. Otherwise, this moment I am fully identified with the Supreme, but then my sense of identification goes away. Even if He shows me something new, even if He shows me His Oneness, His Infinity, His Immortality or His Eternity, I may not be satisfied. But when I see that He has forgiven me, I get boundless joy. At that time I feel I have really become the manifestation of His Will. If we use the mind, we will never understand this message. But if we use the heart, immediately we will feel the meaning of it.
[To one of the seekers, who is a disciple of the Sufi Master Pir Vilayat Khan]: I have the deepest appreciation, admiration, adoration, love and love and love for my dearest Brother-Friend Pir, Pir Vilayat Khan. He and I have established such oneness, inseparable oneness, both in the inner world and in the outer world. I offered him a name: Saumitra. It means friend, universal friend, good, divine, perfect friend, a friend of universal consciousness. Many years ago I went to his place with my students, and my students sang a song that I had composed for him. Pir Vilayat and I have established our oneness-heart, our oneness-soul and our oneness-life-reality. Recently he has sent me his blessingful love.
Part IISCA 353-359. On 10 December 1998, at the University of Hawaii's Thomas Jefferson Hall, Sri Chinmoy invited each of the children singers who were present to ask him a question in honour of the birthday of a member of their singing group.
Question: When I am in trouble inwardly, and I do not feel strong enough to fight whatever form ignorance is taking at that time, is it enough to cry physically to the Supreme and let Him do it for me?Sri Chinmoy: Certainly, it is absolutely the right thing! If somebody attacks you in the street and you cannot fight, then immediately you cry for someone who is very, very strong, or for your dear one. Your dearest is the Supreme. If you are in inner trouble — if you are in any trouble, inner or outer — you have to cry for the Supreme. That is what everybody has to do. With our human power, what can we do? We can achieve nothing, nothing, nothing. Even when an insect bites, we start crying and crying. We have to pray and pray. Then that higher power comes to our rescue.
That is very good. You are doing the right thing by invoking the Supreme, crying to the Supreme for help. That is the thing that everybody has to do.
Question: Guru, I have a question about the poem you gave the other day, the poem about forgiveness, in which you said that we do not value the Supreme's Newness or Oneness or Fulness.Sri Chinmoy: Did I say that we do not value the Supreme’s Newness or Oneness or Fulness? I said that those qualities do not satisfy me. I do not get the utmost joy from the Supreme’s Newness, Oneness or Fulness. I feel that I have done millions and billions and trillions of things wrong in this lifetime. So if I see that the Supreme has forgiven me, then I get tremendous joy. I can easily be in front of the Master, looking at his eyes, but I may say, “Your newness I do not feel. Your oneness lasts only for one second, when you look at me. Then you look at Paree, then you look at somebody else and everybody else, so what kind of oneness is it?”
But if an individual comes to God and gets forgiveness, at that time the relationship between God and the individual is direct. Do you understand? I have done something wrong, so I need forgiveness from Him. I feel that when He forgives me, I get the greatest joy, because now I am totally free from ignorance-night. That is the greatest joy and relief. Everything is emptied. Now I have again become a new vessel. When God forgives me, everything wrong in my system goes away. Then I am ready again to have a new start and become a choice instrument.
That new, intimate feeling comes when we feel that we are completely forgiven by the Supreme. Otherwise the mind comes again and again and says, “Yesterday I said something wrong, the day before yesterday I did something worse,” and that kind of thing. My oneness with God is there, but then all the things that I have done wrong over the years, or even five minutes ago, come forward and torture me. So the best thing is if I get the assurance that God has forgiven me, my immediate past or remote past, or even my future.
Question: Guru, how can we bring newness into our lives this year?Sri Chinmoy: Early in the morning, get up and look through the window. Although every day you get up and look through the same window, you will be able to find something absolutely new. You will look at the same tree in front of your house, or any object that you see every day. That very thing you will not see in the same way if you look at it early in the morning, because at night, during your sleep, many good beings come to you. Bad beings also come and attack us, but most of the time good beings visit us — many, many good beings. We can call them angels or anything else. In silence they visit us. We do not see them. If you are a spiritual Master, you know that they come and give us something, they inject some good qualities into us.
So, even when we look at the same tree or the same plant or the same house, we will have a new feeling. This new feeling is not actually coming from the object, but we have to look at something in particular. It is easier when we look at an object, but actually the feeling of newness is coming from within, because the good beings, the divine visitants, have come and helped us. You will look at the same thing you have been seeing daily, but you will get a newness-feeling from some beings that came at night to visit you and bless you.
Question: Guru, why do I always want special treatment?Sri Chinmoy: If you want special treatment, that means you only want to boost your ego. You like to separate yourself from others. Again, you do not have to go to others for separation. If your consciousness is focused on your eyes, then you will think that your eyes are much more beautiful than your nose or your ears. It depends on where you have focused your consciousness. If you look at your right arm and your consciousness is centred on your right arm, you will feel that your right arm should be infinitely stronger than your left arm.
When you want to have special treatment, that means you are separating yourself from your friend Bimbika and from everybody else. When we want special treatment, we immediately have to feel that we are separating our existence, inner and outer, from others. Your sincerity I deeply appreciate and deeply admire, but unfortunately you are separating yourself. As I said, your nose is yours, your eyes are yours, your hands are yours, but where is your consciousness? It can be focused on one particular limb, or on your entire body. What you are doing is separating yourself from the rest of the world. But if you take the rest of the world as your own, very own, then you will not care for special treatment. If the Master gives special treatment, well and good. But if we want it, that means in some way we want to show our supremacy. We want to show that we are better, we are superior.
Again, the root of the problem is that you are separating yourself from the rest of the world, from others. When you have that desire to be special, the best thing is always to think immediately of others. Think of ten or twelve people who are your friends. Then you will feel that you are in a group. Instead of cherishing the feeling of separativity or the feeling that you want to be special, you will say, “I want to be special along with the rest of the world. I do not want to have Indian sweets alone, while Bimbika eats a vegetarian hot dog. No! If I am taking Indian sweets, which I like, I shall share them with Bimbika. Then only I will be very important.” Bimbika’s smile, when you offer her a portion of your food, will give you much more joy than you would get by separating yourself and secretly eating Indian sweets alone.
The more we can unite with others, prayerfully, soulfully and lovingly, the more joy we get. So your speciality will be in uniting, not in separating. Tell yourself that you want to be special by including Bimbika, Tirtha and Minati, your Centre leader. Just say to yourself, “I want to include all my friends. I want to be special only by uniting them with me, not by separating them from me.”
Spiritual Masters are special. Why? Because they love everybody. They love this country, that country, all the countries. That is why they are special. America is a superpower, true. But if America is united with all the countries, then will America not be special in a unique way? Again, some people will insist on being special only by separating themselves. One way to be special is through aloofness. It is beneath the dignity of some people to mix with others. They become special by negating, not by accepting. But another way to be special is by uniting with the whole world, by becoming part and parcel of the world, by embracing the whole world.
So your way to be special will be only by accepting everybody as your own, very own. The best way to be special is by offering this prayer: “Whatever Your Will is, O Master, O Supreme, let it be executed in and through me.” Then you are safe. If you give the responsibility to God, then whatever He feels is best in your life, He will do. That is absolutely the safest and the most perfect way of becoming special, I tell you, by giving Him the responsibility to take care of your life.
Question: How can one maintain one's inspiration, especially when you are away?Sri Chinmoy: Inspiration you can get if you stand in front of a tree, looking at the beautiful flowers, fruits and leaves. But perhaps while you are looking at the tree, your mind is somewhere else. I may be looking at the tree, but thinking of pizza. I am hungry, and I need pizza. I am wondering whether there will be mushrooms inside, or cheese. Where is my inspiration at that time? The tree is meant for inspiration. It is a beautiful tree, with so many flowers, so many fruits, so many leaves. Immediate silence the tree offers, but where is my consciousness?
We get such an advantage when we are in front of a tree, or in front of a body of water, if our consciousness is focused there. How much inspiration we get! Again, if I am looking at a pool of water, and instead of appreciating the beauty of a fish that is swimming there, if I am greedily wishing I could eat the fish, where is my consciousness? I can appreciate the beauty of the fish and see how charmingly it is swimming, or I can have my undivine thoughts. We have to see where our consciousness is.
Now, you have seen me millions of times. If you want to see me when I am not physically present, for inspiration, just imagine, “My Guru is right in front of me.” Imagination is not mental hallucination. Never! Imagination is a world of its own. Imagination is reality, but we have to bring it down to the physical plane. First we bring imagination down, and then it becomes concrete. When I write a poem, when I compose a song, when I create anything, it comes from that imagination-plane.
When you go back to New York, I may be in Singapore or somewhere else, but try to imagine that I am standing right in front of you. What is wrong with it? It is not mental hallucination. If I have a dear one in my life, whether it is my mother or my father or somebody else, I want to see that person. True, I may not be able to see him right now with my physical eyes, but with my inner eye, with my inner feeling, I can easily imagine that person to be in front of me. Then, let me make that person very real, very concrete in my life.
I am sitting in front of you here, and some people are inspired, but some people are here only to see who else is present, whether he is here or she is here. Or they say to themselves, “If I am not here, what will people think of me?” So each one has his own reason for being in the Master’s presence. Again, some people are saying to themselves, “I do not care whether anybody else has come here or not. That is not my business. My business is only to be with my Guru and get inspiration from him.”
Here we are talking. On the one hand, I am telling very, very sublime things. On the other hand, you can see that I am talking in such a familiar way. This is our chitchat. Again, you are asking me serious questions, and I am answering very seriously and sublimely. To you I am saying, good girl, no matter where you are, just bring me there. When we repeat “Supreme, Supreme,” where do we feel His Presence? We feel it inside our heart, or right in front of us. When we say, “Supreme, Supreme, Supreme,” although the Supreme is higher than the highest, do we feel that He is somewhere on top of the Himalayas? No! He is right here. Because we are repeating very sincerely, “Supreme, Supreme,” we will feel Him here in our heart or just before us, very near. Like that you can bring me, no matter where I am, right in front of your eyes, or in front of your third eye, and then you will be inspired.
Again, as I said before, I may be looking at a tree and thinking of pizza, and then I will not get any inspiration. Or I may be inside a beautiful garden, but thinking of somebody or something else. When we have a Master, definitely the Master is the greatest source of inspiration, but then we have to take full advantage of that inspiration. If I am in a garden, I have to take full advantage of the beauty and fragrance of the garden. If right in front of us is the most inspiring object or person, then we have to accept from him what we need. Otherwise, we may be facing someone or something special but thinking of something else. Our thinking-power is infinitely stronger than our eyesight. We can look at one person and think of somebody else, fooling so many people.
So in your case I am telling you, even if you are physically away from me, if I am in one country and you are in another, you can easily feel that I am standing right in front of you. There is one disciple whose name I do not want to say, but she is an elderly lady. O God! She says that wherever I go, or wherever she moves, from this room to that room and another room, always she sees me, she feels me. Now, where is her city, and where is New York? She is not in New York. Perhaps I will never in this lifetime see that person on the physical plane. Never, never! But it is not her mental hallucination. Only on the strength of imagination, everywhere she sees me right in front of her, beside her — everywhere.
Question: How can we overcome our unwillingness?Sri Chinmoy: If we know that we are supposed to do something good, then we have to take unwillingness as a naughty boy, as a naughty little brother. You are telling your little brother, who is four years old, “Come and eat! It is time for you to eat.” But he is fooling around and he does not want to eat. So what do you do? You grab this little brother and say, “You must eat. Otherwise I will not allow you to remain here.” First he will start misbehaving. He will strike you, kick you and do all kinds of things. But when he sees that you are much stronger than he is, then he will surrender. So, unwillingness we can take as an individual, as a very, very naughty and mischievous boy.
You have to feel that your inner strength is infinitely greater than the strength of this little mischievous boy. You know that your strength — your physical strength, vital strength and mental strength, your strength in everything — far surpasses the strength of that little fellow. So you grab him. First he will be naughty; he will strike you. Then he will become tired. He will see that you are stronger, infinitely stronger, and then he will see that what you are saying is the right thing. When he is ignorant, he does not want to do the right thing, but afterwards he will do it gladly.
You have to be very, very strict with unwillingness. Early in the morning, if you are supposed to get up at six o’clock but unwillingness comes or lethargy comes, then immediately just jump up on the bed and start raising your arms and legs. You have to be abrupt with unwillingness, quicker than the quickest! Unwillingness is something that has developed very slowly inside us, and it is very, very destructive. The source of unwillingness is the mind, not the body or the vital. It comes from the mind that has become very idle and lethargic. So, early in the morning or any time, bring the heart forward and make yourself feel that the strength of your heart is much more powerful than the strength of your unwilling mind.
Unwillingness will fight, as I said. The little brother will fight, but when he sees that you are much stronger, then he will surrender and feel that what you are saying is the right thing for him to do. So, always take unwillingness as a mischievous, naughty boy.
Here there are seven girls. That means we shall go to seven higher worlds, immediately!
[Speaking to the birthday girl] Now it is your chance to ask a question.
Question: Guru, what can I do to please you more?Sri Chinmoy: That is a super-excellent question! The very fact that you are eager to please me, pleases me like anything. How many people will dare to say, even in their wildest imagination, “How can I please you more?” They have lost that possibility. They will have to say, “Will I ever be able to please you again?” Do you understand my English? Hundreds and hundreds of disciples must ask this question: “Oh Guru, will I ever in this incarnation be able to please you once again the way I pleased you thirty years ago?” There are hundreds of disciples who have been with us for over twenty years who should and must ask that question: “Will you give me the capacity, will the Supreme give me the capacity to please you again the way I did twenty-five years ago, thirty years ago?” They will never dare to ask the question, “How can I please you more?” They are not pleasing me at all, so how can they ask how they can please me more? I am very cruel! Point-blank I can say, “Start from the beginning!”
I am telling you, your question is absolutely sincere. You know you have taken positive steps and you feel that you are pleasing me, which is absolutely true. Definitely you are pleasing me, and you want to please me more. But how many can ask your question, “How can I please you more?” If they are not pleasing me at all to start with, how can they dare to ask how to please me more?
Again, insincerity comes to the fore. People will say, “Yes, yes, I am pleasing my Guru.” If they want to fool themselves, who can prevent them from fooling themselves? They can ask, “How can I please you more?” to make the world feel that they are pleasing me already. They can claim that they are entitled to ask their Guru that question.
I am very, very pleased with you, good girl. Now, in the ordinary life there is something called ‘too much’. If I have the capacity to eat only one eggplant sandwich, but I eat three, then I will be in serious trouble! My capacity is to eat only one eggplant sandwich, but if I eat two or three, then I will suffer from stomach upset and all kinds of problems. With anything material or earthly, we have to know that, even if it is good, we have to be very, very careful. But with spiritual things it is not like that. If you pray to God to give you boundless peace, do not become afraid and say, “Oh no! I can hold only an iota of peace.” When He gives, He will see whether you can assimilate an iota of peace or abundant peace or infinite peace.
Your question is, “How can I please you more?” Look at the things that you are doing now, since you have come back to our path. You are doing so many good things, whereas a few years ago you were somewhere else, somewhere else! Now that you are doing so well, you know the good things that you are doing. If you are thinking of me at a particular time, see inside your mind how much sincerity, how much purity, how much closeness and oneness you are feeling, and then those very qualities increase. Then, when you get a little joy, whether I am smiling at you or you are passing by me, or your friends are saying nice things about you, just increase that joy. Everything is action and reaction. You are doing something good, and that is why you are getting a divine feeling. You are good, you are pleasing me, so you have to feel that you can take one step more.
In the outer world, if I take more than one eggplant sandwich, I am in trouble. But in the inner world if I take more peace, more light, more love, more delight from my Master, I will not fall sick. This is the difference. In the ordinary life, in the outer life, if we increase something disproportionately, if it is too much, we suffer. But spirituality is totally different. In the spiritual life if you ask for more joy or more love or more peace or more silence in order to please me more and more, then you are doing the right thing.
So, always remember not to be afraid of asking for more — more light, more peace, more bliss, more compassion, more blessings, more affection, more concern. These are all divine things. The more you can pray, the more you can prayerfully ask for these things, the more you will be able to receive. Only continue to do the right things, which you have been doing. Those very things you will continue to do, but you will do more and more and more and more and more. Early in the morning if you are praying and meditating for ten minutes, then try to meditate for twelve minutes or thirteen minutes. In the morning if you are doing something that you feel is spiritual, that very thing you will do a little more, a little more, a little more.
The best thing is to stand in front of a mirror early in the morning and smile for two or three minutes, as sincerely and soulfully as possible. While smiling, most sincerely, soulfully and prayerfully you have to imagine that I am watching, and I am giving you a mark, whether it is 60, 70, 80, 100 or zero. At that time, your heart’s sincerity and your mind’s purity will be expressed and revealed through your smile.
Then you have to feel that you are not smiling at yourself, but you are smiling at me. At that time you will not be appreciating your hair or your ears or anything else about your appearance. No! You have to feel that only to make me happy you are smiling prayerfully, soulfully and self-givingly. Early in the morning if you start with a smile, then all the rubbish forces — the previous day’s frustration or despair because somebody at your job was not nice to you — will go away. Every morning we should start with a smile so that all the mental poison we took yesterday will disappear. One smile is like the morning sun that has burst forth. When we smile, there are no more clouds in the sky. So, start your journey with a smile, a very sincere, very beautiful, very pure smile. That smile will be the golden start, the most powerful start to please me more, more, more, abundantly more, infinitely more than you are doing now.
Part IIISCA 360-365. On 14 December 1998, at the University of Hawaii's Thomas Jefferson Hall, Sri Chinmoy answered these questions during a disciple gathering.
Question: Is there only a certain amount of progress that a soul can make in a particular life?Sri Chinmoy: If you do not have a teacher and you entirely depend on yourself, then everything has a limit. But when you take help from someone or from your soul, then you go beyond that limit. When you depend on yourself, you can progress only so far. When you take help from your soul, you can go farther. Again, if you take help from your soul, God will definitely come into your soul and lift you. But if you take help from a teacher, you can go even farther and higher.
The progress of the physical, vital and mind is limited when they depend on themselves. If the vital or mind takes help from the soul, then it increases its capacity. Here I am taking exercise, and Unmilan is helping me. If Unmilan is not available, even then there are quite a few things I am able to do. But because he is helping me, he is strengthening me. If I did not get help from him, I would be able to lift only twenty or thirty pounds.
If you entirely depend on the physical body, vital or mind, then everything is limited. You cannot go beyond that limit. But if you take help from your soul or from God or from a spiritual Master, then your progress becomes unlimited. There is no fixed rule at that time. If you depend on a higher force, you can go beyond.
Question: I once saw a rainbow and then I saw your face.Sri Chinmoy: That is good! I am not so beautiful, but if I am inside a rainbow, then I become more beautiful [laughter].
A rainbow is composed of seven colours and seven rays. A rainbow always means success and progress at the same time, even if that success and progress are not in the outer world. A rainbow signifies success, progress, divine victory — everything positive. When you see a rainbow, in the outer world you may not observe your success, but in the inner world, progress has taken place or is about to take place. Again, if it is not destined for you to have success or progress, then you are not going to see a rainbow. Even if the rainbow is there, you will be looking somewhere else. When you are walking, you will be looking at your feet to keep your balance. The rainbow will be there in the sky, but you will miss it. Then for you there will be no success, no progress. If you are meant to have success or progress, then even while driving the car, you will turn your gaze and you will see it. But if you are not going to make progress, you will be looking somewhere else. So always look at the sky. Do not look at the ground all the time.
Question: Is there anything we can do to help you with your knee pain?Sri Chinmoy: Certainly! You can speak to the Old Man [laughter]. If your Great-Great-Great Grandfather wants to listen to your prayer, will I have any objection?
It is so complicated! This pain is not only physical. It has to do with the entire world. People will say, “Oh, he is bragging! He has got bad karma from his past incarnation and in this incarnation he is paying the penalty.”
Some spiritual Masters said that just below the spine is the last chakra or centre, but other spiritual Masters with their occult vision have seen that there are centres in the knees, the ankles, the toes — everywhere. This is so true. So far, the earth-consciousness has received light as far down as the base of the spine. When spiritual Masters try to bring light to the earth-consciousness below that level, how they suffer! How Sri Aurobindo suffered! It started even with Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna was omniscient and omnipotent. What was wrong with his foot, his heel? That was his weak point, and that was where the archer’s arrow entered.
If you had seen Ramana Maharshi walking in the evening of his life, you would have seen how pitifully he was walking! There are many spiritual Masters who suffered like that. Lord Buddha lived about 80 years. After the age of 73, the way Lord Buddha walked! Lord Buddha embodied the infinite Light, yet how pitifully he used to walk in the evening of his life — not for one year, but for quite a few years.
Many, many spiritual Masters have suffered in this way, either in the knee or inside the throat or somewhere else. Once you take human form, you have to pay the penalty. Some say that Jesus Christ’s crucifixion was his supreme sacrifice. But Mother Mary’s sweet inner message is, “No, my son’s human life itself was his greatest sacrifice. The fact that he took human incarnation — that was his greatest sacrifice.”
When spiritual Masters come to raise the consciousness of humanity, their very existence on earth is a supreme sacrifice. When death comes, it is all finished. In a few seconds or a few hours they are gone. But their entire life is a sacrifice. My 67 years on earth is no joke! The Saviour Christ’s 33 years is no joke! A spiritual Master’s earthly existence is the supreme sacrifice. Many will say about the Master’s death, “He sacrificed his life for the earth-consciousness.” That is true in one sense. But while living on earth, he drank poison to save his spiritual children, his big family. Death is one form of sacrifice. If you drink a large quantity of poison all at once, you die. But if you take slow poison every day, every week, every month, do you not suffer more? This can apply to anyone. It does not have to be a spiritual Master. If you are a great man or a good man, then earthly existence itself is a supreme sacrifice.
Again, where is sacrifice? If there is oneness, then there is no sacrifice. The mother does something for the child because of her oneness with the child. The child does something for the mother because of his oneness. If you separate yourself from others, then definitely there is sacrifice. If you separate Heaven from earth, then definitely when a mighty soul comes down from Heaven, it is Heaven’s sacrifice, and when that person leaves the body, it is a sacrifice of Mother Earth. But if there is oneness between Mother Earth and Father Heaven, then there is no sacrifice. At this moment Mother needs my service. I come. Next moment, Father needs my service. I go. That is all.
Question: What is the significance of a comet?Sri Chinmoy: When something most precious leaves the earth-consciousness, then a comet will be visible. From the spiritual point of view, when you see a comet, something very significant has taken place on earth. When Sri Ramana Maharshi passed on, everybody saw a comet in the South Indian sky.
Question: On the islands of Hawaii, nature is so beautiful. Is the beauty of nature preventing the people here from entering deeper into spirituality?Sri Chinmoy: Nature is God the Mother. Nature is supposed to help God’s children. But God the Mother is ready to give like any human mother. If the child wants something to munch on, the mother gives. If the same child wants sugar, if he wants milk or nectar — whatever he wants, the mother gives. If we use the mind and the vital, then nature is only charming and tempting. Let us use the term ‘tempting’. If we see only the outer beauty, then temptation enters and we are ruined. But if we want to see the inner beauty of nature, then immediately we have to pray and meditate. If we want to appreciate the inner beauty of nature, then we can pray and meditate at the foot of a tree or near a river or in a garden.
When we look at a flower, we have to dive deep within. Then immediately we have to ask, “This beauty has come from whom?” It has come from God, not from the gardener. If we pray and meditate, then we appreciate the inner beauty of the flower. But if you do not care for the inner beauty of the flower, then this flower only gives a kind of charm. It can create even vital excitement in us. Then the problem starts.
Here in Hawaii, nature could have been of great help. Nature is always ready to be of help. But people come here not to pray or meditate, not to get inner light or inner beauty. They come here to enjoy the outer beauty. So this place is like a mother or like the famous desire-fulfilling tree. If you ask the tree for the fulfilment of your desire, the tree will give it. If you ask for the fulfilment of your aspiration, the tree will give it. Whatever you want, you will get.
It is like Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is ready to give you anything you want. If you want the power to destroy somebody by putting your hand on their head, Lord Shiva will say, “All right, take it.” Again if you pray to the same Lord Shiva, “Give me realisation as soon as possible,” he says, “Take it.” The same person grants both these boons! So we have to use our wisdom. If I do not ask for something good, then I will have to meet with the consequences. Lord Shiva will say, “It is your fault. You asked me for it, so I gave it to you.” The beauty of nature is also like that. It depends on what you want from the beauty. If we want to enter into the heart of beauty, then we pray and meditate. But if we want to see and appreciate the body of the beauty, then we are lost.
Question: When people in the outer world see you lifting heavy weights, does it do something to their consciousness?Sri Chinmoy: The Supreme, out of His infinite Bounty, has given me quite a few good qualities. He wants to spread His Light in and through me. At times it is difficult for the inner world to manifest itself only through prayer and meditation. But the physical, vital, mental and spiritual planes are all different realms. If the outer world can have some faith in my physical capacity, then the same world will try to have some faith in my vital capacity — which is not destruction, but dynamism and enthusiasm. Again, the same world will try to have faith in my mental capacity and creativity. They will see that I have written so many books and I have created so many paintings, songs and so forth. Then, if the same outer world wants to have faith in my heart, they will look to see how much peace or compassion I have. And if the world wants to have faith in my soul, they will look to see how much illumination I have.
So each realm we can take separately. When one is successful in one realm, the outer world will be inspired to appreciate another realm. In a store, the owner may have all kinds of things. If someone buys something and sees that that thing is helping him, he will have faith. Then he will buy something else from the same store.
Most of the spiritual Masters try to offer something only from the soul or from the heart. As soon as they come to the mind, confusion starts. In my case, the Supreme wants me to be of service on all the planes. If somebody has faith in my lifting up an elephant, that person may develop faith in my spiritual capacity. At our weightlifting function a few weeks ago, one bodybuilder said that I not only lifted the weights, but I lifted something much heavier, and that was the spirit of the audience. Look at this! He is not my disciple, but he was saying that I lifted up the spirit of so many people. See how much inner wisdom he has, how much inner recognition of what I am!
If you cannot reach me at a very high height, then reach me at least at a lower height. People in this world can appreciate physical strength or vital strength or mental strength, which is at a lower level. Psychic strength, who is going to appreciate? Psychic strength is oneness-strength. If you use your psychic power, then inwardly you can go to Africa and with millions of people you can establish your oneness. With psychic strength you can go up to the highest peak of the Himalayas and from there you can send your good will everywhere. Swami Vivekananda said that the whole inner world will resonate with the sound of that psychic will. But who will believe that kind of thing? They will say it is all mental hallucination.
If people are not ready to study the higher course, then they can study something very easy. Step by step they can proceed. If people have faith that I can do one thing, then they will try to believe in my other capacities. Then they will see my dynamism and my enthusiasm, and they may perhaps join our Peace Run or our other activities. Many people who have appreciated my weightlifting have not heard that I am also a spiritual Master.
At one point if people have faith, then they can go one step forward. They will ask, “Does he have anything else to offer?” If you go to a store and you like something, you ask the owner, “Do you have anything else?” But if you do not like anything, then you are finished with that place. Are you going to go there a second time? No!
Sri Ramakrishna once said that if you do not have power, why should anybody listen to you? But this power is not the power of destruction; it is the power of oneness. If others do not see or feel your inner power, then you have to show some manifestation of that power. When Swami Vivekananda went to Chicago, he showed his heart’s oneness-power. The moment he said, “My sisters and brothers”, immediately his words entered into the dynamic vital of humanity. Then he became immortal. This was his power. Power is like a knife. As I always say, with a knife you can destroy yourself and others, or you can cut fruits and share them with others.
Because of the strength that I am showing in my weightlifting, people are saying such nice things. If people have faith in one aspect of my life, then they will try to have faith in another aspect and then another aspect. Gradually they will come to say, “O my God, in this other aspect he has even more to give to the world.” Then they will enter into my heart and soul. There is no comparison between the outer world and the inner world. In the outer world I am lifting 300 pounds, but in the inner world, 300 pounds is a joke! It is like a drop in comparison to what I can lift in the inner world. In the inner world you can put quite a few oceans together; I do have that capacity. Again, people will say that I am bragging, because in the outer world one drop is enough to kill me!
My weightlifting is an opportunity that the Supreme has given to me and to my disciples. I am begging all my disciples to use this opportunity to take me to the farthest corners of the globe. The more you share me with the world, the more you will get me. When you look at the morning sun, you call people to appreciate the sun. Each time you call someone to come and look at the sun, immediately the sun increases the beauty and divinity of your own heart. Always by sharing good qualities with others, by sharing divinity with others, you increase your own capacities.
We can start our journey early in the morning. But what is happening at six o’clock, seven o’clock, eight o’clock? Most of the world is sleeping. If we can get up early in the morning, how many things we can achieve with God’s Grace. This morning at 1:30 I called India and spoke to my sister. After that I meditated a little. At 3:15 I started taking exercise. While taking exercise, I am thinking of God, my Beloved Supreme. Daily I spend quite a few hours exercising on the physical plane. Then I compose songs. On the mental plane I do quite a few things, and on the spiritual plane also I do quite a few things. Early in the morning I start.
Every morning, make a solemn promise to yourself to become a better person than you were yesterday. If you are a good person, then become a better person. Each successive day, make a promise: “Today I will become a better person.” When tomorrow comes, again say, “I am going to become a better person.”
Again, the physical is of utmost importance. There is an old Indian theory: “Do not think of the body. Just let the body take care of itself. Only think of the soul and the heart. The body you can neglect.” But I wish to say that if we do not pay attention to the temple, how can we keep the shrine in good condition? If there is no temple, will the wind not blow the shrine away? We have to keep the physical body fit. I am not saying that one has to become another Muhammad Ali. No! But physical fitness is of paramount importance, and that includes having enthusiasm, eagerness, dynamism and alertness. You may walk, you may jog, you may run, but where is your enthusiasm, where is your dynamism, where is your readiness to receive the light?
To come back to your question, as I always say, if you cannot appreciate one particular flower in a garden, then there are many other flowers. If you appreciate one particular flower, then you are receiving something. Something is better than nothing! If people are not getting spiritual light from me, at least they can try to get some enthusiasm from my physical activities.
All of us are trying to get happiness. If we are happy, then we are not going to quarrel, we are not going to fight. Here I am lifting weights. I am not fighting with anyone. I am doing something which is giving me joy, and you are seeing something which is giving you joy. So here on the physical plane if I can give you joy, and if you can get joy, then we are doing something really great.