Sri Chinmoy speaks, part 2
Finding a genuine spiritual MasterWhen one is ready, when one is sincerely ready in his spiritual life, either he will go to his Master or the Master will come to him. In India we say that when the student is ready, the Master is bound to come.
When one is thirsty, one goes to fetch a drink from the kitchen or from a pond or somewhere where water is available. Again, there is another way. When the child is crying for milk, the mother comes no matter where she is. If the child is crying in the living room and the mother is in the kitchen, the mother comes running to feed the child. When a seeker is really crying, it is God’s bounden duty to bring someone to feed the spiritual child. In the human life, somebody is there to take care of the child, either the mother or the sister or somebody in the family. In the spiritual life also, if one is really crying, the Guru has to come from somewhere. No sincere prayer will remain unanswered. God’s main business is to please us, to make us happy if He sees that we want the right thing.
There are many, many, many false Gurus, but it is very easy to recognise them. If a Guru says that he will be able to give you God-realisation in one night or ten days or in one month or two months, then he is a false Guru. If the Guru says that you have to give him some set fee for each lesson, and that if you give him a certain amount of money he will be able to give you realisation, then he is a false Guru. It is like a prescribed course. Twenty lessons you will get and after twenty lessons if you do not realise God, then the Guru will say that you are insincere. This is absurd.
Again, even a beginner can easily recognise a genuine Guru. If a beginner sees someone giving out Peace, Light, Bliss and Purity through his eyes and through his consciousness, then he can be sure that this is a true Master. But although that Master is genuine, he need not be the seeker’s own Master.
How can a beginner or anybody know who is his Master? When you see a Master, if you get an inner thrill all of a sudden, then you know that this is your Master. When a child sees his mother after a long separation, he simply jumps with joy. And the mother also gets tremendous joy when she sees her own child after a long time. In the spiritual life it is the same. When a Master sees his spiritual child, outwardly you can’t see it, but inwardly his heart is flooded with joy. When Sri Ramakrishna, the great Master, saw his dearest disciple Vivekananda for the first time, he was inwardly thrilled.
The Master will always know who his real spiritual child is, but he does not tell because he may be misunderstood. If the Master tells a seeker, “You are my disciple,” then immediately the seeker will think, “Perhaps there is some motive behind it. What does he want from me?” But if the disciple makes the commitment himself, then if ever the disciple wants to leave the Master, the disciple cannot blame the Master. That is why wise Masters always tell the seekers, “You accept me first; then I will decide whether or not to accept you. Let us accept each other mutually. Then, if ever you feel the necessity to leave me, you can leave me freely.”
The seeker must judge each Master for himself. In this world everything is comparative. A seeker may get a little joy when he sees one Master. He may get much more joy when he sees another Master, and he will get the most joy from some other Master. The seeker has to give a mark to each Master. I am a Master. Some of you who are seeing me may give me ten, some may give me sixty or seventy, some may give me eighty. Those who are my disciples, those who have accepted me, should give me ninety-nine or a hundred; but those who are not my disciples may give me a zero. They are not making a mistake. I am not meant for them and they are not meant for me. They are the judges. They give marks to each Master according to the joy, the thrill, the inner ecstasy they feel. The Master who gets the highest mark from the seeker is the right one for that seeker.
But this does not mean that you have to go from one Master to another in order to see which one is yours. If you see a Master for the first time and you are able to give him ninety or a hundred out of a hundred, then you do not have to go and see twenty Masters more. If you are lucky enough to see your own Master first, then you don’t have to roam all over the world to see others.
In this connection I wish to say that it is most essential to have only one Master. If you have really accepted a Master, then you should have only him. Why? There is a Goal, which we call the Golden Shore, and each Master has a boat of his own in which to take his disciples there. If today you stay in this boat and tomorrow you jump into another boat, you will not reach the Golden Shore. If you keep one foot in this boat and one foot in another boat, you will fall into the sea of ignorance. All genuine, God-realised Masters are absolutely right. You just have to choose one Master and then follow him.
In school you learn many subjects under the guidance of many teachers. Each subject has a different teacher. But God-realisation is only one subject, self-discovery is only one subject; and for that, one teacher is more than enough. Those who say that each Master has something special to give are right; but that speciality you don’t need. You need only to realise God. And when you realise God, you get all the unique qualities of all the spiritual Masters. Yes, I have something which perhaps my disciples will say is special. And the disciples of other Masters will say the same about their own Masters. But I wish to say that this speciality is next to nothing in comparison to God-realisation. When you realise God with the grace of a Master, you see that you are flooded with Light.
So please follow one path, one Master; stay in one boat. And then, once you reach the Goal, you will see that you have got everything. But on the way, if you constantly change from one boat to another with the hope of getting special things from everyone, then you are only delaying your progress.
Love, service and transformation1How do we love the world? We love the world with our inner peace. How do we serve the world? We serve the world with our inner joy. How do we transform the world? We transform the world with our inner faith.
Outer peace is a mutual compromise. Two individuals or two nations find no better way to bring about some harmony; therefore, they resort to compromise. There is no inner satisfaction here, but just because the two individuals or two nations have to stay together on earth, they feel that there is no other way. If they have to live on earth, then they have to resort to compromise. But inner joy, inner satisfaction, inner peace remain a far cry.
Inner peace is mutual sacrifice. This sacrifice is founded upon conscious awareness of one’s reality. In this sacrifice, the one finds fulfilment in the many and the many find fulfilment in the one. On the strength of their inner oneness, two individuals on the outer plane make a sacrifice. But when they dive deep within, they feel that there is no such thing as sacrifice. It is the supreme necessity in both of them to please, satisfy and fulfil each other.
Outer joy is nothing more than pleasure, pleasure-life. This pleasure-life is followed by depression and frustration-life; and what looms large in depression and frustration is destruction.
Inner joy is spontaneous satisfaction. This satisfaction we discover in the heart of universal oneness. In order to have inner joy we have to give up the desire-life and enter into the domain of aspiration-life. Only in aspiration-life can we discover the heart of universal oneness.
Outer faith is nothing more than a rope of sand; it crumbles in the twinkling of an eye. With outer faith we cannot sing the everlasting song of the Absolute Supreme. Only in everlasting things can the Absolute Supreme sing His transcendental, universal Song.
Inner faith is our divine conviction. Inner faith makes us realise that we are of God, that we have a Source and our Source is God. Inner faith also makes us realise that we are in God and we are for God. When we discover that we are of God, we feel that our life has meaning. Our life has made a promise to God, and our human life, both individual and collective, must fulfil that promise. What is that promise? That promise is to manifest God here on earth in God’s own Way.
We are in God. What does this mean? It means that we have accepted God’s cosmic lila, His divine Game. We want to participate in His cosmic Game. God the eternal Player invites us and inspires us to participate in His cosmic Game and we want to play in the Game. While playing the game we will enjoy peace, bliss and satisfaction in boundless measure.
We are for God. What does this mean? It means that we have become supremely chosen instruments of God and He is manifesting Himself in an unprecedented manner in and through us. He is manifesting His Divinity, His Eternity, His Infinity and His Reality in and through us on earth.
Each human being has three natures: the animal, the human and the divine. The animal in us is nothing short of immediate destruction. The human in us is give and take, or possess and be possessed. The divine in us is self-giving, and self-giving eventually is transformed into God-becoming. The divine in us grows, glows and flows. When it grows, it grows into the transcendental Consciousness, the transcendental Height. When it glows, it covers the length and breadth of the world and finds its existence in the entire universe. When it flows, it flows in Eternity. At that time, Eternity and the divine Love flow together.
Transformation, service and love. What is transformation? Transformation is the unlearning of the things that ignorance has taught us. This ignorance had a favourite student. That student is the physical mind, not the higher mind or the illumined mind. The gross physical mind has taught us quite a few things which we now want to unlearn. The sooner we can unlearn the teachings of ignorance, the sooner our transformation, the transformation of our entire being, will take place.
Service. Whom do we serve? We do not serve the human in others or the human in ourselves. We serve the divine in others, the Supreme in others. And the Supreme in others is the same Supreme who abides in us. When we serve the Supreme in others consciously, soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally, we feel a kind of expansion. In this expansion we feel that we are no longer just for ourselves, but for all. United we are singing, playing and dancing in God’s Garden.
The human in us does not use the term “service”; it immediately uses the term “help”. But when the human in us thinks that it is offering help, the divine in us knows that this is a mistake. The divine in us serves the Supreme, the Absolute Supreme. The Absolute Supreme does not need help; He has and He is everything. He is Infinity, He is Eternity, He is Immortality. But when we serve Him, our humility grows, our spontaneous divinity grows. We feel that we are tiny drops in the ocean, insignificant, infinitesimal drops. But when the drops enter into the ocean, when even the tiniest possible drops lose their personality and individuality, they become the infinite ocean itself. So it is through our service, devoted service, that we consciously grow into the Vast, into Infinity’s Light and Delight.
Love. Why do we love? We love because our Source, He who created us, has taught us one supremely significant thing: love. This is what He has taught the soul in us, and the soul in us tries to bring this teaching always to the fore. The Supreme is the only teacher and He teaches only one subject, and that subject is love. He has infinite Love and He is infinite Love. Just because He is all Love, eternal Love, He is our dearest, He is our sweetest, He is our All. And because we want to love Him for the sake of love alone, without asking Him for any recompense, He feels that we are His chosen instruments.
Love is the greatest power, the most powerful power in us. But it is divine love that is most powerful, not human love. When a seeker enters into the spiritual life, he feels within and without a flood of love. And when he feels this love, he consciously tries to dedicate himself to the Source. He sees and feels that he is becoming consciously and constantly the perfect embodiment of God the eternal Truth, God the eternal Light and God the eternal Delight.
Each individual seeker is God’s conscious representative on earth. A seeker is he who knows that ignorance-life is not the answer. Aspiration-life, which is the life of love divine — love of God, love of truth, love of light — can be the only answer. A seeker may not be consciously aware that he is infinitely higher than those who are unaspiring. Even if he is aware of what he is and who he is, he may not fully manifest what he has and what he is within. For the manifestation of his inner divinity, he has to aspire, constantly aspire, and become the ceaseless, ever-mounting flame. Right now the flame is within him, but there shall come a time when he shall grow into the flame itself. Once the seeker becomes the burning, glowing and illumining flame, the Absolute Supreme manifests Himself in and through this ever-mounting flame. And in this ever-mounting flame the seeker discovers not only his self-transcendence but also God’s Self-transcendence. He and his eternal Beloved together are transcending, constantly transcending the height of Eternity’s experience and Eternity’s realisation.
SCS 36. White Plains, New York, 11 July 1975.↩
O my Inner Pilot1O my Inner Pilot, do grant me the highest boon: love. I wish to love You devotedly and soulfully because You are always my All.
O my Inner Pilot, I wish to love the world because You are its only real reality.
O my Inner Pilot, I wish to love myself because in and through me You want to reveal and manifest Your Dream-Boat, Your Consciousness-Sea and Your Reality-Shore.
O my Inner Pilot, it is such temptation to criticise and chastise the world. It is such temptation to steer the world-boat to an uncharted shore, to a nowhere-shore. It is such temptation to demand the world’s ultimate surrender. It is such temptation to beg of You to please me in my own human way, since it is simply impossible for me to please You in Your own Way even for a fleeting second.
O my Inner Pilot, if I ever do what I want to do, then my name will be changed to selfishness, strangling selfishness. Selfishness is nothing but fruitless loneliness, loneliness is another name for stark frustration and frustration helplessly changes its name to utter destruction.
O my Inner Pilot, I have a tiny world of my own. Here the teeming and increasing demands of my raving vital torture me, my little world. I know I shall not be able to save myself, save my world, on the strength of my love for You. I know my love for You is a tiny drop; its capacity is incapacity itself. But again, out of Your infinite Bounty I know You will save me and guide me to my destined Goal. But O my Inner Pilot, I am tired, I am exhausted, I am practically dead. I beg of You, I implore Your infinite Bounty, to expedite Your Hour. O my Inner Pilot, do save the “I-ness” in me, save it and illumine it so that it can claim You as its very own — as the other divine members of my inner family rightly, devotedly and soulfully claim You as their very own.
O my Inner Pilot, my outer life, which is my mind, desperately needs Your Peace. My inner life, which is my heart, badly needs Your Patience. Your Peace I shall eternally treasure because I know that Your Peace is my ever-increasing success. Your Patience I shall eternally treasure because I know that Your Patience is my ever-fulfilling progress.
O my Inner Pilot, I have all along talked to You. I have talked and talked and promised to give You everything that I claimed as my own — everything, that is, but one thing: my ignorance-life. I have talked and talked and You, my Inner Pilot, have always listened to me. Now, my Inner Pilot, I wish to reverse the game. I wish to listen to You. I do not merely want to hear You but also to listen to You. To hear You is to offer my human ear: in one ear and out the other. But to listen to You is to offer You my divine heart, which exists only to please You in Your own Way at every moment. O my Inner Pilot, do grant me that heart that listens to You at every moment, the heart that is eagerly waiting throughout Eternity only to obey You, only to listen to You and please You in Your own Way. O my Inner Pilot, give me the heart divine.
O my Inner Pilot, You have given me countless opportunities and I have misused all these countless opportunities. At every moment You have showered Your choicest blessings on me in the form of opportunities, but the ignorance in me has not permitted me to use Your opportunities soulfully, devotedly and supremely. Now I wish to reverse the game. Now I wish to give You the opportunity, the constant opportunity, to play Your cosmic Game in and through me. Your opportunities I have misused; I have failed. But I wish You to exercise Your opportunities in and through me. You play Your role in and through me. I leave my heart’s door wide open. Let me become from now on only an ever-mounting cry, an open heart, an open room in which You can play Your cosmic Game, in which You can sing Your cosmic Song, in which You can dance Your cosmic Dance.
O my Inner Pilot, Your creation is vast, infinite. You have created countless worlds, but I know for certain that You have two most affectionate creations: your daughter and your son. Your daughter is our Mother Earth and Your son is our Father Heaven.
O my Inner Pilot, I wish to serve Your daughter, our Mother Earth. I wish to offer her my soulful contribution, which is my heart’s ever-mounting cry.
O my Inner Pilot, I wish to offer my soulful contribution, my soul’s illumining smile, to Heaven, our Father Heaven. I wish to add my smile to Father Heaven’s ever-illumining Smile.
O my Inner Pilot, constant hunger tortures my Mother Earth: hunger for perfection in her children. I wish to offer my devoted service to satisfy her hunger, so that her children, my brothers and sisters, can see the face of perfection.
O my Inner Pilot, do give me the capacity to offer my dedicated service to feed my countless brothers and sisters in my Mother Earth.
O my Inner Pilot, do grant me the capacity to serve Your son, Father Heaven. Let Father Heaven accept my gift of dedicated service, so that when he feeds the hunger of Mother Earth, I can be the dedicated, life-giving, soul-offering reality inside the sumptuous feast that Father Heaven will offer to Mother Earth.
O my Inner Pilot, You have given me many, many things, countless things since I first saw the light of day. But two things I see play their role most powerfully and significantly: my earth-bound body and my Heaven-free soul. My earth-bound body always reminds me of my obscure past, of my precarious present and of my absolutely uncertain future. My past tortures me, my present deceives me; but my future will illumine me.
O my Inner Pilot, You have also granted me a Heaven-free soul. My Heaven-free soul constantly blossoms inside me like morning jasmine, emanating its perfume, its redolent, earth-illumining, soul-fulfilling and Heaven-satisfying fragrance. The soul, the Heaven-free soul, reminds me of what You eternally are and what I, in the world of my inner heart, eternally am: the Eternal Now.
O my Inner Pilot, do grant me only one more boon. Your first boon was love; the second and last boon I ask from You is the Eternal Now, where You and I can grow, glow and flow. Again, there shall come a time when I shall say, “We shall grow, glow and flow together.” Finally, there shall come a time when I shall not say “you and I” or “we”, but only “I”: not the human I, not the ego, but the Universal I, which is the Transcendental I.
SCS 37. Greenwich, Connecticut, 25 July 1975.↩
Religion, spirituality and yoga1Religion is the house, spirituality is the living room, yoga is the prayer and meditation room. The house is beautiful, the living room is meaningful, the prayer and meditation room is fruitful.
When seekers come to the house, they feel a divine vibration. If they are really sincere seekers, they will look for the living room. Otherwise, they will eventually go away from the house. Only sincere seekers feel God’s presence in the house. It gives them tremendous joy, so they want to see God and speak to Him. For this they enter into the living room, where they try to lead a divine life. And from there, when they begin to feel the necessity of fulfilling their aspiration in a most significant way, they enter into the prayer and meditation room in order to achieve satisfaction in their inner life. For they feel that only seeing God and speaking to God is not enough. They feel that it is of utmost importance to pray to God and meditate on God so that they can be divinely and supremely satisfied. They cry to God in their prayer and meditation room for boundless Peace, Light and Bliss so that they can fulfil God on earth. They meditate on God so they can manifest His perfect Perfection in and through themselves.
Human religion and divine religion. Human religion says, “God is everywhere.” Divine religion says, “God is everywhere, I don’t deny it. I fully subscribe to this view. But I want a living God with whom I can talk and mix at every moment. I want to feel Him. I want to see Him. I want to speak to Him. I want a living God.” This is the soulful need of divine religion.
Human spirituality and divine spirituality. Human spirituality says, “God is above, in the highest realm of consciousness. He is only in Heaven. Here in this world of imperfection God is not to be found, not to be seen, not to be expected.” Divine spirituality does not see eye to eye with human spirituality. It says, “God is everywhere. He is in the highest plane of consciousness and, again, He is in the lowest plane, in the lowest chasm. He is everywhere. If God is not here on earth, then I do not need that kind of God. My God is within, He is without, He is below, He is above. He is everywhere. He has to be with me, even on earth, one hundred per cent of the time.” Divine spirituality does not care for the God who stays only in Heaven.
Human yoga and divine yoga. Human yoga is all about the body, the perfection of the body and the perfection of the physical consciousness. In human yoga the body is all. If the body can live without food, then the body is perfect. If the body can live without sleep, then the body is perfect. If the body can walk on water without sinking, or walk on fire without being burned, then the body is perfect. But divine yoga is totally different. Divine yoga wants the real, integral perfection of the body and the soul. It feels that each limb has to aspire to receive light from above. The physical has to be a perfect receptacle. The capacity of receptivity must grow inside the physical along with the growing capacity of the soul. In divine yoga, perfection lies in receiving light from above and also in bringing to the fore the Light, Peace and Bliss that are inherent in the soul.
The divine yoga says, “The smile of the soul has to be manifested here on earth, but first the cry of the body, vital, mind and heart have to reach the highest transcendental Source.” The union of the soul’s manifestation-smile and the body’s aspiration-cry is what the divine yoga needs. Aspiration for the Highest and manifestation of the Highest are what the divine yoga needs. When we aspire, we discover how we shall consciously reach the Light, Peace and Bliss which we eternally need; and when we manifest, we feel that we are offering the Highest to all of God’s creation.
Here on earth we practise religion, spirituality and yoga in a human way. Religion says, “I am great. Why? I am great because I can exercise God’s Justice. I can punish the rest of the world in accordance with the Will of God. I am great because I can tolerate the world. The world is full of imperfections, the world is constantly rejecting and misunderstanding me, but in spite of that I can tolerate the world. Also, although the world is unforgivable, I have the capacity to forgive the world; therefore, I am great.”
Spirituality says, “I am good. I try to love mankind. Although mankind and I have countless limitations and imperfections, according to my power of receptivity and capacity I try to love mankind. I am imperfect and the world is imperfect, but with all my imperfections I try to love the imperfect world as my own, my very own; therefore, I am good.”
Yoga says, “I do not know whether I am great or good. But whether I am great or small, whether I am good or bad, I am what God wants me to be and I will become what He wants me to become. I do not want to be caught by the snares of either greatness or goodness. I want only to be the devoted, dedicated, soulful and self-giving instrument of God.”
Religion speaks to the sleeping world: “Wake up! Can’t you see that God is standing at your door waiting for you? He has come to you out of His infinite Bounty. It is high time for you to wake up.”
Spirituality speaks to the awakening world: “Look, look! Your Eternal Friend is waiting for you. Look at Him, smile at Him, talk to Him. He is your Eternal Friend.”
Yoga speaks to the awakened seeker: “Why are you such a fool? Why can’t you recognise your own self, the real in you? The highest in you, the real Reality in you, is right in front of you. Claim yourself. Claim unreservedly and wholeheartedly what you really and eternally are.”
Religion says to the seeker, “O seeker, I can tell you who God is. I can tell you all about God in unmistakable terms.”
Spirituality says to the seeker, “O seeker, I can do something more for you. Religion says it knows who God is, and it can tell you all about God. But I can tell you where God is. I can show you where He is and what He is doing. I will be able to establish a free access for you to God.”
Yoga says to the seeker, “O seeker, I cannot only tell you about God and show you where God is, but I can make you another God.”
Religion tries to do the right thing precisely because it is afraid of God. It loves God, but it is afraid of God and does not want to displease God in any way. It tries to please God because it feels that by pleasing God it can fulfil itself.
Spirituality feels that it is its bounden duty to please God precisely because God is its Source, its perennial Source, and eventually it has to go back to the Source and claim the Source as its very own.
Yoga knows and feels that God is omnipresent. On the strength of its oneness with God, yoga feels that it can do nothing but please God in every way, at every moment.
Each individual human being has religion in him, spirituality in him and yoga in him. When he uses his religion-power, he is blessed with God’s infinite Greatness-Light. When he uses his spirituality-power, he is blessed with God’s infinite Goodness-Power. When he uses his yoga-power, God blesses him with what He has and what He is. What He has and what He is far transcends His Greatness-Light and His Goodness-Power. It is something beyond human comprehension. It transcends both greatness and goodness; it is a Reality which perfectly houses God’s ever-transcending Height and God’s ever-manifesting Vision-Delight. It is something a yogi grows into and eventually becomes.
SCS 38. Syracuse University, Hendricks Chapel, 26 October 1975.↩
RetardationSome people are retarded because they have done something wrong in a previous life; it is the law of karma. But others are retarded simply because they have been attacked and now they are helpless. That is to say, in some cases a person has violated the cosmic law; in some cases the person has not violated any law but undivine cosmic forces have attacked him.
If someone has done something wrong, then he will meet with the consequences: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. In the case of mental retardation, the punishment is the person’s lack of progress. Time is a factor. If one is prevented from making progress, is this not punishment? It is like this: a child is running a fifty-yard dash and someone prevents him from finishing. The actual punishment is that he is delayed, for eventually he will run and touch his goal.
A retarded person doesn’t even know what his punishment is. Here the cosmic forces are kind; they hide the good things. Here, “good” means things that will tempt him, things that others enjoy, but he cannot; otherwise, his suffering would be beyond his capacity, beyond his imagination. He would be terribly frustrated. It is like an operation. Sometimes, you know, it is necessary for a doctor to make some part of you numb or senseless before an operation. Doctors use chloroform or something else, because that is the only way a person will be able to undergo a very serious operation. If they didn’t use chloroform, then there would be too much pain for that particular person to bear. So the person has to be lifeless. If life were there, he would create a scene.
We have to know that the real soul is not unhappy, but at some point the vital has captured the soul. It is like the vibration in a house. Although this house may have a good soul, the vibration of the house may be ruined. If the vital comes and ruins the vibration of the being, then the soul’s capacity remains fast asleep. The soul cannot do anything with its potential. When we say the soul is sad, we mean that the vital has taken possession of the soul and covered the possibilities of the soul. It is like the sun when the sky is dark and raining; the soul is eclipsed. When the sun is covered by clouds and is not performing its usual function, what good is it to us at that time?
Again, there is always something to pick a person up and carry him to his destination after he has been wounded and that something is Grace, Compassion. A retarded person may come back deaf, blind or crippled, or he may be retarded again in his next life — a crippled soldier of the Divine. But with the Grace of a spiritual Master, a retarded person can come back as a normal person. If Grace intervenes the law of karma has to surrender to evolution. We are evolving when we consciously or unconsciously are doing the right thing. But if we do something seriously wrong, our progress stops there and we are caught by wrong forces that take us away from the path of Truth. Eventually though, we have to follow the path of Truth because deep inside us is the soul, the sea of Truth.
It can happen on rare occasions that if a person has a very large heart, he may take incarnation with a serious defect such as retardation in order to lessen someone else’s bad karma. If the mother has done something very wrong and the daughter is most kind and sympathetic, the daughter may say, “Let me take it,” or they will each take half. If the mother has to suffer, say, for twenty years, in that case the daughter may take ten years of it and the mother will only have to suffer ten years.
The soul may or may not have the consent of the Supreme to do this, because the soul doesn’t ask the Supreme’s permission for every little thing. In the case of the soul, the lifetime during which it takes on the karma is just like a minute in the Supreme’s Eye, so the Supreme doesn’t interfere. This experience, according to the Supreme, is not even as much as a pinch in the soul’s life, although for us it may be unbearable.
Serving othersFirst of all we have to become spiritual ourselves, and only then can we try to raise the consciousness of others. If we are spiritual, then we have to become more spiritual. If we have a little light, then we have to acquire more light. As soon as we come out of our house, we are facing a destructive world; we are entering into the battlefield of life. While in the battlefield we have to be prepared to fight against our enemy. Here our enemy is ignorance.
Just because we are sincere, just because we are following the spiritual life, we feel that we have considerable ignorance within us. So first we try to conquer our own ignorance — the limitations and bondage we have inside us — and then we come into the world and try to fight the ignorance of others. But actually we do not fight; we only try to illumine.
In the ordinary world when we see an opponent, we try to conquer him by hook or by crook. We try to destroy that person and show our supremacy and then only do we feel that we are satisfied. In the spiritual life, we feel that everything is part of God; so we don’t have to destroy our opponents, only we have to illumine them. Unless and until they are illumined, we are not totally satisfied. Here is the difference. In the spiritual life, unless and until we have illumined the world at large — the world around us and before us — we are not satisfied.
Now, in order to do that, we have to prepare ourselves. We prepare ourselves by feeding the soul. If you have to fight against someone, you strengthen your body. You take exercise, you eat properly and in this way you strengthen yourself. As you feed the body in order to be strong physically, so also you have to feed the soul in order to strengthen your inner being. And how do you feed the soul? You feed the soul by aspiring. Aspiration is the real spiritual exercise. When we aspire we energise our being, our entire inner existence.
So every morning before we enter into the world arena, we energise ourselves through prayer and meditation. Before we leave our house and go outside, we pray and meditate to strengthen our inner existence so that we can brave the buffets of life. It is from inside that we come out.
If you want to help the outer world, early in the morning during your meditation you can offer goodwill. If you feel that your near and dear ones are not at all spiritual, then it will take a long time to help them with their problems in the material world. But if they are spiritual, it won’t take much time. The cure depends on their disease and the amount they are suffering.
You have to know that when the morning dawns, the divine within you comes forward and you see what kind of life you are leading. If you have good thoughts, divine thoughts, then immediately you get a kind of inner joy and inner cheerfulness. But if you have undivine thoughts, jealous thoughts, suspicious thoughts, then immediately you feel miserable.
If you have a good thought, you have to feel that it is coming from a good world. And if you have a bad thought, you have to feel that it is coming from a bad world. When you have a thought, consciously or unconsciously you are entering into a world. Now, if it is a divine thought, then you can bring your dear ones into this divine world with you.
From your aspiration, from your prayer, from your meditation, you create a world of your own. It is not that you are in the world of fantasy. No! It is the world of reality. As you aspire you enter into a higher world, a broader world. In that world you can embrace your near and dear ones and the entire outer world. It is on the strength of your own achievement, your own realisation, that you accept the world and change the face of the world. The higher and deeper you go, and the stronger you become, the sooner you are in a position to change the face of the world.
Let us go back to the world of Light and Delight, where there is no death, only Immortality. This is the world that our soul came from. Let us become one with the soul and fly with the wings of the soul. This world is within us, inside the inmost recesses of our heart, where Light and Delight are constantly playing.
Spiritual drynessIn the spiritual life, a seeker should know that he cannot always eat the most delicious food. Once he has eaten something delicious, this does not mean that every meal from now on will be most delicious. It is possible, but only if he is very rich and has an excellent cook. If he is not rich and if he does not have a good cook, he will not be able to have most delicious food every day. In the spiritual life, it is also the same. One must have inside him a seeker who is most sincere, and constantly sincere. When people accept the spiritual life, for five days, for five months, for five years they are sincere. But to be sincere at every moment is something else.
You may think, “Oh, I am following Guru’s path.” Yes, that is true, but to be sincere every day and every hour and every moment is a different thing. In each day there are twenty-four hours. Seven or eight hours we sleep and then five or six hours we waste talking or mixing with others. On spirituality we spend just two hours. And even during these two or three hours sometimes we are not sincere. For two minutes we are sincere and the rest of the time we are daydreaming and building castles in the air.
There is a constant battle going on in us between the heart’s inner cry and the mind’s constant or conscious rejection. When sincerity plays its role constantly, we remain inside the heart. But sometimes the heart loses. When the heart loses in the battlefield of life, it is all a barren desert.
Just because you are experiencing night, you cannot say there will be no day for you. There will be. But if you want to remain in day all the time, then you have to do two things. The first thing is to use your imagination-power. Imagination is something most important in the spiritual life. Today something is all imagination; but tomorrow this very thing becomes inspiration and the day after tomorrow it becomes aspiration. And the following day it becomes realisation. With your imaginative power, think how you used to meditate on the heart centre one year ago or two years ago. Immediately you will be able to go back and catch the bird that used to fly so well in the psychic sky. As soon as you feel that you have reached the stage where you were two years ago, offer your gratitude to the Supreme. So, first use your imagination-power and then use your gratitude-power. In this way you are bound to get back in your day-to-day life the capacity you once had to concentrate, meditate and contemplate on your heart.
Once you have achieved something, you are bound to get it back; only it is a matter of time. But you can expedite your progress through constant inner cry, through imagination-power and gratitude-power. Again, if you have not got something, that does not mean that you are not going to get it. But if you once had some inner treasure, it is always infinitely easier to get back that treasure.
Surrender to the GuruWhen you surrender to the Guru, it is like entering into his room. If you stay in his room, naturally he will feed you. If you stay with your friend, how will your friend eat without giving you anything to eat? Is it possible if he is a real friend? He has allowed you to come into his room to stay with him. Since he is drinking Peace, Light and Bliss, will he not allow you also? Naturally he will. But your problem is to call him your friend, your eternal friend, and then to beg him to allow you to enter into his room. Once you are allowed to enter, naturally he will share with you when he eats.
Sometimes people ask a spiritual Master, “If I surrender to the Guru, how do I know what he is going to do?” I tell them, “If you do not make the surrender, then how are you going to know?” If you do not touch water, you will not know what water feels like. Only if you touch water do you get a feeling of what it is. If you touch a wall, immediately you feel the consciousness of the wall; the consciousness that is inside the wall will give you an immediate feeling. When you make a conscious surrender to the Guru, that means you are touching his consciousness. He is the tree. You have touched, let us say, the foot of the tree or you have touched some of the branches and leaves.
The moment you make surrender to your Master, you have established a free access to him. You can say that one part of your body is making surrender to another part. Let us say my feet are not yet illumined, but my heart is illumined. Now, if my feet are wise enough they will say, “The heart is illumined. Let us surrender to the heart and become one with the heart.” In the spiritual life, surrender means conscious oneness.
In the ordinary life, when one surrenders to someone, it is like a slave making surrender to the master. The master will use him according to his sweet will: “Sit down! Stand up! Go there!” In the spiritual life the Master cannot do that because if he is a real Master he knows perfectly well that he is only an instrument who is executing the Will of the Supreme. If you surrender to an ordinary human being, he lords it over you in his own way. But for the spiritual Master it is a different matter. He knows that he is not receiving your surrender. Somebody else, the Inner Pilot, is receiving your surrender, and the spiritual Master is at the mercy, at the command of the Inner Pilot, who is the real Master.
So the moment you make the surrender and touch the Master’s soul, you will know how he will guide you. If you don’t enter into him, if you don’t touch him inwardly, then you will never know. But in the spiritual life, you should not worry about how he will guide you. That is his business. How he will take you to God is his problem; your problem is to give yourself, to make the surrender. You have to jump into a boat. It is the problem of the boatman to pilot you. Your business is to enter into the boat and it is the business of the boatman to carry you through inclement weather to the goal.
We learn1We learn. We learn from sorrow. We learn from sorrow how to purify our emotional vital. We learn from sorrow how to be watchful, careful and soulful. We learn from sorrow how to widen our hearts and how to heighten our lives.
Our emotional vital is unlit, obscure, impure and unaspiring. When we live in our emotional vital, there comes a time when sorrow and suffering knock at our door. Then we try to purify, sanctify and illumine the vital and make it a perfect instrument of God.
When we are watchful, we do not allow the world around us with its teeming imperfections to enter into our being. When we are careful, we do not allow anything undivine to grow within us. When we are soulful, we are safe both in the outer world and in the inner world precisely because the divine in us takes full care of us. The divine in us protects us, perfects us and immortalises us. When we are soulful, in the inner world we can sing the song of perfection and in the outer world we can dance the dance of satisfaction.
When we widen our hearts, we enter into the Universal Consciousness. When we widen our hearts, we expand ourselves. The finite in us grows into Infinity and the Universal Consciousness becomes part and parcel of our aspiring existence. When we heighten our lives, we grow into the Transcendental Consciousness. This Consciousness constantly transcends its own height. The Transcendental Consciousness is not and cannot be a static consciousness. It is always proceeding, climbing high, higher, highest. It is always transcending its own supernal heights.
We learn. We learn from joy. We learn from joy how to love God, how to serve God, how to fulfil God unconditionally in God’s own Way. When we are happy, we give everything that we have and everything that we are. It is in our soulful self-giving that we eventually become perfect prototypes of our Inner Pilot, the Absolute Supreme. From joy we come to discover what we eternally are: God’s Golden Dream. We are His Dream; we are His Dream-Boat. Again, it is in and through us that He will manifest His Reality-Shore. Either He will carry us to the Golden Shore of the Beyond or He will carry the Golden Shore to us. From joy we learn how to become God-seeds and God-fruits. When we become God-seeds, Heaven treasures us. When we become God-fruits, earth treasures us.
We learn from Heaven; we learn from earth. From Heaven we learn how to smile divinely and compassionately. From earth we learn how to cry ceaselessly and soulfully. From Heaven we learn that God is all Beauty. From earth we learn that God is all Duty. From Heaven we learn why God is, where God is. From earth we learn who God is, how God is.
Why is God? God exists to satisfy Himself divinely and supremely. His divine Satisfaction is far beyond the domain of our mind; the mind will be sadly baffled by it. But the heart, on the strength of its identification with God, can and will realise what God-Satisfaction is. God-Satisfaction is the Nectar-Life in God’s Silence-World, in God’s Sound-World.
Where is God? God is where His children are. God is all-where in His creation. God is the Creator; again, He is creation itself. In Silence-Life He is the Creator. In Sound-Life He is the creation. He is at once the Creator and the creation.
Who is God? God is eternally our Beloved Supreme and our Lover Supreme. When we aspire, when we cry from the inmost recesses of our hearts, when we grow into the burning flame that climbs high, higher, highest, at that time God becomes our Beloved Supreme. When we consciously, devotedly and unconditionally participate in God’s cosmic Drama, Him to satisfy, Him to fulfil, Him to manifest in His own Way, at that time God becomes our Lover Supreme.
How is God? God is fine; God is happy. He tells the seeker in us that He is eternally happy because He feels that it is through His happiness and His happiness-life that He can create, preserve and immortalise His creation. There is no other way. He cannot be otherwise. Only through joy can He create, preserve and immortalise His creation.
We learn from the unreal in us. The unreal in us tells us that we were nothing, we are nothing and we will be nothing. We came from ignorance, in ignorance we dwell and, at the end of our journey’s close, to ignorance we shall return. We learn from the real in us that we are everything. Not only are we everything to ourselves, but we are everything to the Supreme Pilot. The real in us tells us that we came from Delight, in Delight we grow and, at the end of our journey’s close, into Delight we shall retire.
Then the real in us goes one step ahead. It tells us that our life has no end, our life-march knows no halt. It tells us that life is an eternal journey. There is no final destination. The real in us tells us something more. It tells us that when we reach any destination, that destination becomes the starting point for the next day’s journey. Today we are at the starting point. Tomorrow we reach our destination. The day after tomorrow that destination becomes the starting point for a higher goal, a more fulfilling goal. There is no absolute Goal. The Goal is always transcending its own supernal heights.
We learn from man; we learn from God. Man has only one message to offer us: “The future is all darkness. The future is ruthlessly frightening. There is no certainty, there is no reality in the heart of the future. Stick to the past, live in the past, for you know about the past. No matter how deplorable the past was, the past is the only reality. Don’t look ahead. If you look ahead, you are bound to notice the dance of destruction. Stick to the past.” God has a different message, and this message we must try to learn from God. God tells us: “There is no such thing as future, children. My sweet children, there is only here, there is only now, there is only here and now. Try to grow in the immediacy of today. Try to live in My Vision-Boat and My Reality-Shore. Like Me, try to remain always in the Eternal Now. Grow in Me, glow in Me, flow in Me. The Eternal Now is the only reality. He who aspires discovers the reality of the Eternal Now.”
SCS 43. Southampton College Theatre, Southampton, New York, 12 July 1975.↩
You do not know, he does not know, I do not know[Sri Chinmoy was introduced to the audience by Ken Pillar, head of the Yoga Centre.]
Sri Chinmoy: I am extremely grateful to you and your wife for having given us the opportunity to be of devoted, dedicated service to the Supreme in you. Ours is a path of service. Whenever we get an opportunity to serve the Supreme in His children, we feel it is our bounden duty to do so. So it is I who have to be extremely grateful to the seekers here and especially to you and your wife.
You do not know, he does not know and I do not know. Do you know who God is? Does he know who God is? Do I know who God is? No. You positively do not know God, he unmistakably does not know God and I absolutely do not know God. Why don’t we know God? You do not know God because you love your body-consciousness infinitely more than you love God’s Body, His Reality-Consciousness. He does not know God because he loves his own vital pleasure, his vital self-indulgence, infinitely more than he loves God’s Universal Vital. I do not know God because I love my mind, my doubting mind, my judging mind, infinitely more than I love God’s transcendental, universal and eternal Mind.
Let us know the difference between God’s Body and your body. Over the years you have reached a certain height, let us say five feet eight inches. Here your height has come to an end. But God’s Height is endless. He is infinitely tall. In your case, you have reached your maximum height. In God’s case, He is eternally growing because He has discovered the secret of Self-transcendence. He knows what Self-transcendence is, so He is constantly transcending His own inner and outer Height.
Let us know the difference between God’s Vital and his vital. His vital is like a tiny drop and God’s Vital is like the infinite ocean. In his case, he cherishes and treasures this tiny drop. He feels that it is special. He feels that he does not have to increase the size of the drop; he does not have to grow into a larger drop. No, he is self-sufficient. But in God’s case, although He is an infinite ocean, He still feels the necessity of increasing His own Infinity. Always God wants to grow, glow and flow. There is constant flow in God’s movement, constant, everlasting Life.
Let us know the difference between my mind and God’s Mind. My mind is like a tiny streak of light and God’s Mind is like the vast sun. But it is not like the star sun. The star sun, according to the scientists, has already lost some of its warmth and power and in the future it will lose even more. Who knows, in the bosom of Eternity it may even disappear. But the inner sun, which God is, will perpetually shine. And not only will it shine, but it will offer to humanity — to God’s creation — Light, more Light, abundant Light, infinite Light. God the inner Light, the inner Sun, will perpetually shine and illumine the ignorance and inconscience of the world.
You do not know where God is. He does not know where God is. I do not know where God is. You do not know where God is precisely because you live in the temptation-world. He does not know where God is precisely because he lives in the indulgence-world. I do not know where God is precisely because I live in the thought-world.
You do not know, he does not know, I do not know. But there are some people who have discovered who God is and where God is. In the ordinary life, some people have got their Master’s degree and Ph.D., whereas there are many who have not got even a high school diploma. In the spiritual life also, just because we do not have something, that does not mean that others cannot have that very thing. They can have it and a day will dawn when we will all have it. Right now those who have seen and realised God and who are in constant communion with God tell us something quite significant and momentous. They tell us, on the strength of their own realisation, who God is. They tell us that God is our own yet-unrecognised infinite capacity. They also tell us that not only do we need God, but God also needs us equally. We need Him to realise our own height. He needs us so He can manifest Himself on earth in and through us. For self-realisation we need Him; for God-manifestation He needs us.
These God-realised souls tell us something more: they tell us where God is. They tell us that God is everywhere, but there are two places where He is noticeable most of the time. These two places are inside our heart’s mounting cry and inside our soul’s descending smile. Just as a person stays during the day in his living room and kitchen and at night retires to his bedroom, God also distributes His Presence. When we are soulfully crying for Him, He presents Himself inside our mounting cry. And when we are soulfully smiling, He grants us His Reality in a visible form in and through our soul’s smile.
These God-realised souls also tell us that the first and foremost necessity is peace of mind. If we do not have peace of mind, God-realisation will always remain a far cry. How can we have peace of mind? There are a few ways. If we decrease our earthly needs and increase our heavenly needs, then we can get peace of mind. Also, if we do not expect anything from anyone or from anything except from God, then we can have peace of mind. As long as there is expectation, human expectation, earthly expectation, we cannot have peace of mind. Again, we cannot have peace of mind by positive or negative renunciation. Only by affirmative acceptance can we have peace of mind. We have to accept the world, we have to accept the real Reality of God in the world. With our inner cry, with our aspiration, we have to create receptivity inside our body-consciousness so that we can welcome God the Supreme Beloved with His boundless Light and Delight.
In order for us to realise God, we also need purity, especially in our emotional vital. When we purify our emotional vital, we see and feel God’s Presence. Then we have to establish clarity in the mind. When we establish clarity in the mind, we will be able to see God very intimately. Then we have to commune with God all the time. In order to commune with God all the time, we have to create the supreme necessity for this inside our heart. This necessity has to be our psychic necessity. When we have created a psychic necessity to commune with God all the time, we shall without fail see God, talk to God, grow into the very image of God and consciously participate in God’s cosmic Drama as devoted and unconditional instruments of God. At that time we shall feel that God is not only there in Heaven but also here on earth.
God is where His children are. His children are the exact prototypes of His Reality; therefore, wherever we are, God is. But in order to realise this supreme truth, we have to return what we have borrowed from this world: darkness, ignorance, bondage, limitation, imperfection and death. We borrowed these things because we felt that they would considerably help us, but now we have come to realise that they are real obstructions. So these things we must return. And the things that we eternally have in the inmost recesses of our being — Peace, Light, Bliss, Truth — we have to increase. We have to bring them to the fore, for they are the real Reality of our existence. Things that eternally are we have to claim and offer to the world at large. If we do this, you will know who God is and where God is, he will know who God is and where God is and I shall know who God is and where God is.
Part IISCS 45-48. Ellicottville, New York, 13 July 1975.
Question: Does evil exist?Sri Chinmoy: From the strict spiritual point of view there is no such thing as evil. Only when we remain in the world of relativity, in the ordinary human consciousness, do we say that this is evil and this is divine. If we go deep within, we see that there are a few things with less light and there are a few things with more light. Things that have little light or practically no light we call evil. And things that have considerable light we call divine. Each individual has divinity within him. But his divinity has not come to the fore and fully manifested itself. Each individual also has undivine qualities to some extent. His undivine qualities can be transcended, illumined, perfected and transformed into the divine qualities that he already has.
When we use the term “evil”, our mind immediately looks down upon the reality and has a superior feeling. But if we say something right now embodies light in infinitesimal measure, then we get the opportunity, the inspiration, the aspiration to transform it into something divine. So the best thing is to say a limited light is operating in the existence or the reality which we call evil. Then we will try to transform the limited light into abundant light.
Question: What is pure emotion?Sri Chinmoy: Pure emotion is an enlarged, expanded consciousness of our reality. In pure emotion, we feel that we are God’s children and therefore we cannot wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. There are many things we cannot do when we have pure emotion. How can I torture you, or how can I in any way show my superiority to you if I have pure emotion? When we have pure emotion, we are the Universal Consciousness. Since God is universal, we are also universal, because we are His children. So pure emotion is self-expansion, an expansion of our reality.
But impure emotion always binds us. It takes us to the pleasure-life, which is filled with frustration, and what follows frustration is destruction. In the pleasure life we bind others. When we try to bind, we ourselves are bound. But when we try to offer pure emotion, we are liberating ourselves and expanding today’s reality. When we have pure emotion, the reality that we all know is increased, its light is increased, its power is increased.
Question: How can we make spiritual progress?Sri Chinmoy: There are two ways. One way is to cry like a child, soulfully. When the child cries for milk or something else, immediately his mother comes and offers the thing that is needed. But his cry has to be sincere. In the spiritual life also, we have to cry soulfully and constantly so that we can hear the dictates of God, our Inner Pilot. This is one way.
Another way is to take help from someone who can increase our inner cry or who can show us how to listen to the dictates of the Inner Pilot. So one way is to go deep within; we cry and cry. And the other way is to take help from someone who can help us increase our own inner cry.
Question: When should a child start meditating?Sri Chinmoy: A child should start meditating the day he can utter a syllable. The day the child can say a word, at that time the mother should teach the child the word “God”. Right from the beginning, the parents can instruct the child that it is not they who are responsible for his life, but God. The mother will not always be there, but there is someone who will always be there and that person is God. The mother has to direct the child to the right person, to the Source. She has to let him know that there is someone in him, for him and around him all the time, and this person is none other than the Supreme.
Also the mother can pray to God on behalf of the child. The prayer will be most effective when the child is asleep, for at that time the child’s soul comes to the fore. When the child is awake he cries and makes noise; at that time he is not in his soul. When the parents have unruly children, disobedient children, they should meditate beside the children when the children are asleep. Most of the time, their children’s inner divinity comes to the fore during sleep.
Editor's preface to the first editionThis volume consists of a series of lectures Sri Chinmoy gave at various universities and public places, as well as miscellaneous talks he delivered at his Centres.