Sri Chinmoy speaks, part 4
Love me or hate me, but don't ignore me1The Irish have a saying, “Love me if you will; hate me if you must; but for God’s sake, don’t ignore me.” I wish to address this saying to God. There are three significant ideas here: to be loved, to be hated and to be ignored. I wish to discuss these from the spiritual point of view. “Love me if you will.” Where human love is concerned, sometimes we expect love because of what we have done and sometimes we receive love without making any actual effort to be loved. And, of course, sometimes we don’t get the love that we feel we rightly deserve. In the spiritual world, it is not like that. God is constantly standing right in front of us with His all-fulfilling Love. He is All-Love; He cannot be otherwise. Very often an ordinary human being has to make a conscious effort to try to love others. But in God’s case, He does not have to will or desire to love us. Love is God’s very essence. It flows from Him eternally. An ordinary person sometimes feels that he is wanting in the capacity to love others and he tries to cultivate this divine quality in himself. But if a person is already endowed with a few divine qualities, then the love which is most essential in our human world and in our divine world, he will have in boundless measure.
God’s Dream and God’s Reality go together. He does not separate His Dream from His Reality. If, in His Dream, love looms large, then we can rest assured that in His Reality also love looms large. God’s potentiality and His expression go together. Love itself and its power of expression can never be separated in God’s case. And those who are consciously aspiring to be godlike will have this capacity. Divine love and the expression of this love will be one and simultaneous. Love is the quality and the expression of love is the capacity. So the quality and the capacity can both be achieved if one soulfully aspires for a better and more fulfilling life. “Hate me if you must.” God can never, never hate us. A man who has even a little wisdom cannot hate his fellow beings. Why? Because he knows the reasons that one hates another. One reason is that an individual feels inferior. Another reason is that an individual is afraid of someone. A third reason is that a person feels that his oneness with the other person is not complete; his real identification with the other person is lacking and there is a feeling of division. That is why he starts hating.
But how is it that sometimes one hates oneself? It is quite possible. Sometimes you get angry with yourself. You have done something wrong or you wanted to do something wrong; that is why you hate yourself. You want to do something, achieve something, but unfortunately you are not able to accomplish this. That is why you hate yourself. What do we actually observe in this hatred? We observe that our soul is separated from the physical mind and physical consciousness.
When we are living in the soul, we realise that we are not the doer. We are only an instrument. Also, when we live in the soul, we do not care for success. We care only for progress. It is our job to listen to the dictates of the Inner Pilot. Then it is up to Him whether He gives us the experience of success or failure. So if we live in the soul, we can never hate ourselves. Only we love the divine in us, the Supreme in us, who is also in the world.
If we care most for the soul, then when the soul comes to the fore, it acts like a pilot. The outer physical being can easily be shaped and moulded by the light of the soul. We cannot do it the other way around. From the physical we cannot take light and transform the soul. That is absurd. But very often we think that if we go deep within with our physical capacity or vital capacity or mental capacity, then a time will come when the soul and the physical, the vital and the mental will meet together and together establish the divine Truth on earth. But it is not possible. It is the soul that has to be brought forward and it is the light from the soul that has to inundate the body, the vital, the mind and the heart. From inside we have to come outside; from outside we can’t go inside. That is wrong. “Don’t ignore me.” Who ignores whom? It is when there is no love, no hatred, no concern — when there is nothing between us and someone else — that the question of ignoring others arises. But we have to know that God can never ignore us. He Himself is manifesting in and through us, so He cannot ignore us. When God knows that we are His instruments, His chosen instruments, how can He ignore us? We are His children. He cannot ignore us just as we cannot ignore our eyes, our hands, our feet. Nor can we ignore God, for He is our higher part. God is man yet to be realised; man is God yet to be manifested and fulfilled.
SCS 75. Puerto Rico, 27 January 1970.↩
Part IISCS 76-79. Questions and answers following Love me or hate me, but don't ignore me.
Question: How can one bring harmony into one's inner being when there is conflict in one's life?Sri Chinmoy: In order to acquire harmony, one needs peace of mind; and in order to acquire peace of mind, one has to pray most soulfully. How does one pray soulfully? One prays most soulfully when one offers gratitude to God, the Inner Pilot, or to the Light that makes him feel the necessity of harmony. Harmony has to be invoked, and if one properly invokes harmony one is bound to get peace of mind. And if one gets peace of mind, there will be harmony in what he does and what he becomes. Even in his outer movements there is bound to be harmony. We are wanting in harmony in our outer life only because we do not have an iota of peace of mind. When the mind has peace, then there is always harmony in one’s whole being.
Question: What is the best cure for our human frustration?Sri Chinmoy: The best cure for human frustration is a state of consciousness which never expects anything from anyone, even from oneself. We should act only because God wants us to do something. We should feel that we are His instruments and that He is working in and through us. When we act or speak only to please God in His own Way, without expectation, then only will we cease to experience frustration.
The moment we expect things, we are bound to be frustrated. Expectation always creates frustration. If the individual has a desire and this desire is fulfilled, he is then satisfied for a few days. However, even if the desire is fulfilled, he will not be satisfied for very long because other desires will come and destroy his satisfaction. This moment a fleeting desire is satisfied, but the next moment another desire is not satisfied. And it goes on like this forever.
But if we feel our oneness with everything in God’s creation, then we become inspired. That does not mean we will become lethargic and wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. Far from it. Only we shall feel that we are not the doer and that someone else is acting in and through us. If we feel that we are not the doer, then we will not have expectations. If we can think of ourselves as divine instruments, we will feel that God is having an experience in and through us. And whether this experience takes the form of success or failure does not matter. It is only the experience that is important. In our human life, we feel that if we are successful, we have everything; and if we fail, we have nothing. In the divine life, we feel that we neither lose nor gain; we only rediscover what we are. We are not concerned with the results of our actions; we are interested only in rediscovering our birthright of Eternity and Immortality and bringing to the fore what we are. Everything that God has and everything that God is, is in us. So why do we have to expect anything? We expect only because we have separated ourselves from the divine Light. If we know how to rediscover within ourselves infinite Peace and Light, then we don’t have to expect anything; we only have to claim these qualities as our very own.
Question: Could you speak on accepting guidance from highly advanced beings who are not on earth, but possibly in some other dimension?Sri Chinmoy: There are many good beings in the inner world. If you have access to the good beings, then definitely they will be able to help you and guide you to God-discovery and God-realisation. But again, there are some inner beings that may not be spiritual at all. Sometimes they pretend to be spiritual, like false teachers, and if the seeker depends on them and listens to their dictates, he can make serious blunders. But if the seeker has someone in the inner world who is guiding him and really taking him to God-realisation, then he is very fortunate. It depends on the being that he is in touch with.
Question: How can one be certain of following God's Will?Sri Chinmoy: We can easily know if we are following God’s Will or if we are motivated by our own desires and propensities. When we do something, if we can offer the result of our action with the same joy, the same cheerfulness, whether it is success or failure, then we know we are following God’s Will. If we are not disturbed if we fail and if we do not expect to be extolled to the skies if we succeed, if we can take each action as an experience that the Supreme is having in and through us, then it is God’s Will we are carrying out.
Part IIISCS 80-85. On 29 June 1974, Sri Chinmoy and one of his disciples appeared on Radio Clyde, a radio interview programme in Glasgow, Scotland. A transcript of the broadcast follows.
Interviewer: I would like to ask if you feel only spiritual joy is genuine in this life? Do you deny the existence of physical joy?Sri Chinmoy: No, we do not deny the existence of physical joy. But we feel that if the physical joy becomes an expression of the spiritual joy, only then will it be lasting. Otherwise, it has no backbone, let us say. If there is no real source, if there is no reality behind the physical, then the physical joy cannot last. The Vedic Seers, Indian spiritual figures, came to realise that it is from Joy that we have come into existence; it is in Joy that we exist; and at the end of our journey’s close it is to Joy that we return. But the source has to be spiritual joy, that is to say, God. If God expresses His Light in and through the body, then only will the joy be lasting. Otherwise, if we discard the inner Light, the God-Light, and only care for the physical joy, which is sense-pleasure, then there can never be abiding satisfaction. Right after we indulge in sense-pleasure, we get the experience of frustration; and frustration is followed by destruction. But if the physical becomes a conscious instrument of the spiritual, if the spiritual joy is being expressed through the physical, then the joy lasts.
Interviewer: Joy both physical and spiritual very often emanates from an appreciation of beauty. Now, how are we to recognise beauty and the validity of beauty? John Keats wrote that "Beauty is truth, truth beauty; — that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."Sri Chinmoy: Right. He also said that “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” We have to know that there is a vast difference between the physical beauty and the spiritual beauty. When we see physical beauty, earthly beauty, we immediately want to possess it, grab it. Even when we look at beauty with our naked human eyes, while we are appreciating it, we try to devour it. So appreciation is immediately followed by destruction. We see a flower which is so beautiful and we immediately want to touch it. But when we touch it, the life-force, the life-principle of the flower goes away. When we touch physical beauty, immediately we destroy the essence of the beauty there. But when we touch the inner beauty, the spiritual beauty, at that time we become part and parcel of the beauty itself. We grow into the beauty that we touch.
When we say that physical beauty is skin-deep, there is much truth in this. But inner beauty, the beauty of the soul, is infinite, because in the inner world we are always growing; we are always singing the song of self-transcendence. In the physical everything is limited. Somebody is beautiful, but he can be more beautiful. Somebody is tall, but he can be a little taller. The physical beauty that we notice in human beings or in nature is always limited. But inner beauty comes from the soul and the soul is the direct representative of God, who is all Beauty. Since the soul derives beauty from God directly, the soul’s capacity to express beauty is limitless.
So beauty is truth when we speak of inner beauty. The outer beauty is also truth; but it is temporary and transitory because it fades away. A flower, after one day, fades away. Physical beauty is truth; undoubtedly it is a form of truth, but its capacity is very limited. But inner beauty, which is limitless, is eternal.
Interviewer: Can we turn now to the subject of music? Do you see music as something related to spirituality?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, I do feel that music has a special role in the spiritual life. Next to spirituality is music. Again, if I have to be sincere, as spirituality encompasses music, so do the higher types of music, soulful music, encompass spirituality. It is through music that the universal feeling of oneness can be achieved in the twinkling of an eye. Thousands and thousands of people come to listen to one person who will play for an hour or so. Now, what is he doing? Through his music he is entering into the heart and soul of the audience. For an hour he is showing his capacity; that is to say, he is bringing down some Light from above. Music is not just playing on an instrument. No, music is receptivity to something higher, something from the higher world. First the musician receives it and then he offers it to the world at large. In an hour, thousands of people can feel it as their very own. So music has the opportunity, the capacity, to claim the universe as its very own.
Interviewer: Reading about your background, I see you entered a place called an ashram. Can you tell me something of your experience there?Sri Chinmoy: It is a spiritual community. I stayed there twenty years and I prayed and meditated most sincerely. I also participated in sports, because I saw the necessity of having a fit body. The message of the spirit must be expressed in and through the body. Here we are on earth, in the physical body, and the Light we receive from our meditation must be expressed through the physical. The body-consciousness must not be neglected. The higher messages that we get from our meditation must have a channel for expression and the body is that channel.
Interviewer: In this sense, is some kind of punishment of the body necessary? You know, in the rigorous observance of a fitness regime?Sri Chinmoy: It is not actually punishment. True, we feel it is better to wear out than to rust out. But actually, we do not wear out. The only thing is that if we don’t utilise the body, we don’t know how much capacity it has. The body needs exercise. If we do not take exercise, we do not know how much we are capable of achieving. If we do not eat, we do not know how much we can eat. The capacity of the body remains fast asleep. But when we take exercise, we allow the body or we encourage the body and inspire the body to play its role in the Cosmic Game.
Interviewer: What were your particular interests in the sporting life there?Sri Chinmoy: At that time, I was very fond of athletics: running, jumping and throwing. Also, I was a good football player. But now I am so hesitant. Scotland is excellent, excellent in sports, especially in football. Scottish people play football extremely well.
Interviewer: Oh, that’s very kind of you to say so. Now that you have mentioned Scotland, perhaps we shall come to a Scottish lady who is sitting beside us. [Speaking to her] In fact you run and organise the Centre in Glasgow?
Disciple: Yes. We call it the Sri Chinmoy Centre and we practise meditation under Sri Chinmoy’s guidance. There are ten or twelve of us at the moment and we meet twice a week to meditate. We also make crafts and hope to have a store where we shall sell the things we make.
Interviewer: So there is some kind of practical outlet for this awareness and consciousness of what you are doing?
Disciple: Oh, yes. We are very close. We don’t live together, but we do meet very often. We have a theatre group that puts on plays that Sri Chinmoy has written. We also have a choir.
Interviewer: Sri Chinmoy, thank you very much for talking to Radio Clyde and I hope your stay in Scotland will be a happy one.
Sri Chinmoy: Thank you so much for your most interesting and significant questions. I am so grateful to you. This is the only way I and my students can be of service to mankind. If we had not accepted the world, we would not have met together today. I would have remained in the Himalayan caves and you would have remained in Scotland.
Interviewer: Thank you very much.
Canada tree-planting1O aspiration-dawn of Canada, you will succeed, you will proceed, you will become, you are. You will succeed. The universal earth-cry you will embody. You will proceed. The transcendental Heaven-smile you will reveal. You will become. Infinity’s all illumining Vision you will become. You are. Immortality’s Oneness-Reality you eternally are.
O aspiration dawn of Canada, there is a special reason why we are planting this divine tree here in Ottawa. Ottawa is the capital of Canada. The capital is the heart. Inside the heart is the soul. Inside the soul is God-promise. A few minutes ago I was told that this divine child of ours is going to live for two hundred fifty years. We shall not be on earth for two hundred fifty years, but from Heaven we shall offer our love-light and our gratitude-life to this divine child of ours. The physical in us will pass behind the curtain of Eternity. The spiritual in us, the eternally Real in us, will remain here with this child of ours. Aspiration-dawn is Eternity’s treasure and Immortality’s pride.
It is my fervent wish that the disciples in Ottawa come to visit this divine child of ours once a month for fifteen minutes and pray for this child divine who will, in the course of time, bring us boundless joy, glory and divine pride. Also, I wish that disciples from all parts of the world, when they visit Ottawa, make it a special point to come to this place and offer their aspiration-dedication to this child of ours.
I offer my heart’s deepest gratitude to the government of Ottawa for granting us this unique opportunity to be of service to the soul and body of Canada. Finally, I wish to offer my most soulful blessingful gratitude to Don. You have been a chosen instrument, a supremely chosen instrument, for this divine journey. A tree represents aspiration. Aspiration-dawn is the ever-transcending soul and goal. When I climb up high, higher, highest, either I carry Don or I bring down the Nectar-fruit to offer to him and all his spiritual brothers and sisters, to all our spiritual children.
SCS 86. On 18 November, 1974, Sri Chinmoy planted a young oak tree in Federal Parkland in Ottawa, as an offering to the soul of Canada. What follows is a transcript of Sri Chinmoy's remarks at the planting ceremony.↩
A true seeker1A true seeker does not make complaints, for he knows that each complaint of his is a blight, a spot, in the Heart of his Beloved Supreme. A true seeker is he who does not criticise the world around him, for he knows that each criticism of his is a blight in the Heart of his Beloved Supreme. A true seeker wants a world of perfection. This world of perfection he will find only through his oneness, his ultimate oneness with the world within him, the world around him. Each time he complains, each time he criticises, he fails in his own purpose. It was his own promise, when he was in the soul’s world, to serve the aspiring mankind. This was the solemn promise he made to the Supreme, the Pilot Absolute. It is not through criticism, not through complaining that he can bring about world peace and world harmony. It is through acceptance of earth-reality as such. It is through constant self-giving, which eventually grows into God-becoming. Today’s self-giving is tomorrow’s God-becoming.
A true seeker does not try to influence the world, for he knows that to influence the world is to ask the world to see the reality the way he himself sees it or the way he wants to see it. A true seeker wants only to inspire the world. When he inspires the world, he feels that he is giving the world ample opportunity to see the reality in its own way. Here there is no imposition. Here there is no direct or indirect insistence that the reality be seen in a certain way.
A true seeker is always ready to serve the Supreme Beloved in each individual. First he tries to serve the Supreme according to the world’s receptivity. Then, after he himself makes considerable progress, he tries to serve the world the way the Supreme wants him to serve the world. While he is a beginner, while he himself is making progress, he feels that it is his bounden duty to help the world accelerate its own progress and success the way the world wants to achieve progress and success. But there comes a time when he feels that he has to see the success and progress of the world the way his Inner Pilot wants him to see it.
A true seeker is nothing short of a lamp-post. This lamp-post offers its glow not only to the fellow travellers who walk along his path, but also to those who walk along other paths. He offers light and travellers walking along other paths are able to receive and achieve the light that he offers. His life is for all; but again, for those who want to be in the same boat he is in, he feels that he has extra responsibility. They are his fellow travellers, journeying to Infinity’s Shore.
A true seeker knows what divine authority is and he knows what divine responsibility is. To him, authority is not the power that lords it over the world; authority is the recognition of the illumining and liberating, transforming and immortalising reality as world-power. To him, responsibility is not an unwanted burden. Each responsibility is an added opportunity to serve the Inner Pilot in an inimitable way, in God’s own Way. He feels that each responsibility is an opportunity to add to his soul’s reality and he knows that he can increase this opportunity. How does he increase it? He increases his opportunity by creating happiness. Happiness increases opportunity. And what is happiness? Happiness is a quality of the soul. This quality of the soul we notice and grow into only when we see that the Vision-world and the reality-world can become one.
The Vision-world is God’s Silence-world; the reality-world is God’s sound-world. The seeker comes to realise that either he has to climb up from the body-consciousness to the soul’s loftiest height or he has to bring the soul’s loftiest height down into the gross physical world. When he climbs up, he lifts up humanity’s consciousness and places humanity’s consciousness in the lap of Divinity. And when he brings down Peace, Light and Bliss from above, he feeds humanity’s age-long hunger. But whether he carries humanity up the tree or brings down the fruits, he offers Divinity the golden opportunity to transform, to shape and to mould humanity’s life-breath the way the Eternal Pilot wants humanity transformed, illumined, perfected and fulfilled.
A true seeker has discovered the truth that his Pilot Supreme is not only the Highest but also the lowest. The magnitude and the infinitude of his Beloved Supreme is the reality precisely because the Supreme’s Love-power has become the Universal Consciousness, the Transcendental Consciousness, the Infinite Consciousness, which is expanding at every moment; and also because He is smaller than the smallest, tinier than the tiniest. The Beloved Supreme is the reality just because He can become Infinity and just because He can become the finite, the infinitesimal drop. The true seeker feels a one-pointed inner urge to see the Infinite in the finite and to see the finite in the Infinite.
When a true seeker aspires, he sees that it is the real in him that aspires. The unreal in him just waits for the opportunity to be transformed at God’s choice Hour. The unreal in him cannot aspire; only the real in him can aspire. What is the real in him? The real in him is happiness, delight. What is the unreal in him? The unreal in him is the suffering that he creates for himself. How does he create suffering? He creates suffering by mixing with the unreal in himself. The unreal is his desire-world; the unreal is his thought-world. Each desire is a world of its own; each thought is a world of its own. The unreal in him is sorrow. When he mixes with sorrow, with desire, with suspicion and doubt, when world-suffering assails him and he identifies himself with world-suffering and with his own suffering, at that time he sees darkness within, without, below, above. But when he identifies himself with inner happiness and outer happiness, at every moment he transcends his own reality. At every moment he dances with the reality of self-transcendence.
Instead of staying in the unreal — in the desire-world, in the thought-world — a true seeker wants to live in the aspiration-world and the will-power-world. His aspiration-world tells him, “Not this, not that, but something beyond this, something beyond that.” And what is it that is beyond this, beyond that? It is his constant inner flame, the flame that at every moment achieves satisfaction. Again, at each level of satisfaction he feels an eternal hunger to achieve higher satisfaction. This hunger is not simply a cry for the world of truth and reality which has given him his present satisfaction; it is a ceaseless cry for Light, abundant Light, infinite Light. A true seeker cries for satisfaction and when satisfaction dawns, he cries for higher satisfaction. He is not like an ordinary human being in the desire-world who can never be satisfied. The seeker is satisfied, but at the same time he still wants to go higher. The true seeker’s satisfaction in crying for a higher world, a higher reality, is his spontaneous inner growth. An iota of satisfaction can please him; but he feels that the greater his satisfaction, the greater the opportunity he will have to manifest the Divinity within him. It is not that from dissatisfaction he is going to satisfaction; but from satisfaction he is growing to higher satisfaction. From God’s aspiration-world he is climbing to God’s realisation-world. And inside the realisation-world he tries to see God’s manifestation-world, God’s Perfection-world.
A true seeker is he whose name is always synonymous with devotion. A true seeker has discovered the truth that it is his devotion that can fulfil the Divine in him, the Supreme in him. In his devotion, God’s perfect Perfection and God’s continuous Satisfaction loom large. His devotion is not the devotion of a man touching somebody else’s feet. His devotion is speed, the fastest speed of his own aspiration-reality and God’s Compassion-Reality. When his aspiration-reality and God’s Compassion-Reality are bridged by his own inner cry, which is nothing else but his devotion, at that time he sees the world of the Eternal Now as his own, very own. He sees that there is no past, no future; there is only one Eternal Now, only one Eternal Life, only one Eternal Love. What he has and what he is, and what God has and what God is, are nothing but the Eternal Now. Here he sows, here he grows. Here he is God the seed; again, here he is God the fruit. In the Eternal Now, God’s Self-Transcendence-Reality and his own life-liberating, life-immortalising reality abide.
SCS 87. St. Xavier Auditorium, New York, 2 July 1975.↩
Part VSCS 88-92. Questions and answers following A true seeker.
Question: How can one know God when he is carrying on his day-to-day earthly responsibilities?Sri Chinmoy: He has to know that what he is calling responsibility is not something thrust upon him; it is something necessary in his life. Responsibility is something very painful. Human beings don’t want to be responsible for anything. But necessity plays a role of paramount importance. If someone feels it is a supreme necessity to take care of the members of his family, to do everything that is needed in his family, then he is doing absolutely the right thing. At that time God is acting in and through him.
If an individual takes his tasks as a responsibility, then he is shouldering a heavy burden. On his shoulders he is placing a very heavy burden. But if he takes his life as a supreme necessity for God-realisation, God-revelation and God-manifestation, then no matter what he does, what he says or what he becomes, there will always be satisfaction, abiding satisfaction. Here it is an inner urge that he is fulfilling. It is not that from the outside world somebody has forced him to do something and he is doing it. He is under no compulsion to do it unwillingly. If we accept life as the supreme necessity to love God and serve God in mankind, then we can satisfy ourselves and we can satisfy the rest of the world in the midst of multifarious activities.
If we take life as a necessity, then there is all joy; we do the needful in order to derive happiness. But if we take the world as something foreign to us, as a stranger who is not part and parcel of our life and with whom we have not established our oneness, then naturally anything that we do we will feel was done either under compulsion or because we have a big heart. But if necessity prompts us, then we are not showing any kind of compassion; we are only trying to bring to the fore the oneness-reality that we have within us by loving and serving the human beings around us.
Question: I experience shame, fear and guilt. How can I overcome this?Sri Chinmoy: You find fear, shame and guilt standing between you and your true surrender to the Supreme. Please think of the Supreme as your most beloved father, mother, brother, sister. Also think of Him as someone who is more than prepared to do everything for you unconditionally. No matter how many mistakes you commit or how many wrong things you do, the Supreme will purify, illumine and perfect you.
You may ask, “If there is someone who is so kind to me, why can’t I offer Him these faults on the basis of my oneness?” You say you have doubt, fear, shame; but I wish to say that He is more than willing to accept them as His own. What you have can easily be accepted by Him. If you fear that He will not accept these things because they are not divine, you are making a deplorable mistake. You must offer Him whatever you consider your very own, whether divine or undivine. In your case, all the negative qualities that are standing in your way can easily be surrendered if you are constantly and consciously sincere. If you are sincere, then I assure you that your sincerity will help you in establishing oneness with His boundless, unconditional Concern, Compassion, Forgiveness and Oneness-Light. Very often, human beings observe something but do not give importance to it. But if you give importance to God’s Concern and Love, you will feel the results in your life of aspiration.
Question: Could you speak about patience?Sri Chinmoy: Patience is something that lengthens time. Now we are living in earthbound time. That means our time is very limited. We have bound it with our limited life of ignorance. We should take patience as something that extends our time limit. We want to become a long-distance runner. While we are running, the goal seems far away and we want to reach it in the twinkling of an eye. But if we do not put a limit on the amount of time it should take us to reach our goal, if we don’t bind it, then the light of patience is working in and through us. Patience is our conscious surrender to the Hour of God. We want to reach our goal just because God wants us to reach it, and God selects the Hour. Then, when we do reach the Goal at God’s choice Hour, we have to know it is the realisation of our patience.
Question: What is the best way to control emotions?Sri Chinmoy: If we use the term “control”, then we will encounter difficulties. In this world we cannot control anything; only we shall try to illumine everything. If we try to control unruly children, they disobey us more than they would have done otherwise. A child is naughty, mischievous. If the mother tries to control him, she does not succeed. Only if the mother can throw light into his daily needs or into his life of reality can she transform his life. What will happen then is that he will not find any satisfaction in his mischief; he will get joy only when he leads a better life.
In the spiritual life, when we try to control anything, that particular thing gets new strength, like elephant strength. When we try to control something, we focus attention on that particular object or subject. When we focus attention without the soul’s light, very often our opponent gets strength. If we pay attention to someone undesirable, he bothers us more than before. So we do not try to control anything; we try only to do the right thing. First things first. Instead of entering into the emotional life, we try to enter into the world of light.
Early in the morning, instead of entering into the vital or the emotional world, we try to enter into the soul. Then from the soul we get boundless strength. Since our goal is the light of the soul and not the life of indulgence, we shall always try to pay all attention to the soul’s need, to our life of aspiration. If our goal is situated to the north, we shall look only towards the north and not towards the south. If we cry for truth and light, automatically our need for pleasure-life and indulgence-life goes away from us. What we actually want is love, light and truth, so let us pay all attention to these things and ignore everything else that takes us away from our real life.
Question: Guru, how can I learn to speak to the Supreme during the day all the time?Sri Chinmoy: You can speak to the Supreme at every moment just by remembering one thing, and that thing is your silent inner cry. Always you have to cry in silence, inwardly. The moment you cry in silence, you are bound to feel His Presence inside you. And if you feel His Presence inside you, you will be able to speak to Him. You can do your office work, enter into your household activity, speak to your friends; you can do everything, you will do everything. But while talking and working and mixing with people, try to feel an inner cry. Nobody will know what is happening inside your heart. They will only know what is in your mind. You are telling them something and they are hearing you. But what is happening inside you, only you will know. Easily you can do more than one thing at a time. While you are driving the car, you are watching the road and your hand is on the steering wheel and you are pressing the gas pedal. How many things you can do at once! Similarly, while you are talking to people in the outer world, you can easily cry inwardly in the inner world. So if you can cry in the inner world constantly, you are bound to speak to God.
Love human, love divine, love supreme1Dear seekers, dear sisters and brothers, I wish to give a short talk on love. Love is most significant in our human life, in our earthly existence. Love is life, life is love.
Love human, love divine and love supreme. Human love wants to possess and be possessed by the world. Divine love wants to establish its inseparable oneness with the world and then it wants to divinely enjoy this oneness. Supreme Love transforms human love into divine love and blesses divine love with boundless joy and divine pride.
Fear and doubt quite often torture human love. Cheerfulness and confidence increase and support divine love. Perfection and satisfaction fulfil Supreme Love. This perfection is continuous progress and continuous self-transcendence. This satisfaction is something that each individual needs in his eternal journey towards the ever-transcending Reality-Height.
Human love is nothing but incapacity. If we dive deep within human love, then we see clearly that it is weak and impotent. Divine love is capacity. Slowly and steadily it wins the race. There comes a time when human love becomes transformed into divine love. When divine love wins the race, it is not filled with pride. It shares its success cheerfully and soulfully with the transformed human love. Supreme Love, out of its infinite bounty, grants divine love the boon of transforming humanity and, at the same time, living in the boundless immortal Consciousness. Supreme Love is the endless Reality which always transcends and the immortal Vision which always illumines the earth-consciousness and Heaven-consciousness.
Human love craves for a satisfactory result. Then, when it does not get a satisfactory result, it is doomed to disappointment. It sinks into a chasm where it finds something quite unknown, a stranger: despair. Despair soon is devoured by frustration and this frustration eventually devours human love itself.
Divine love makes a soulful attempt at reaching the goal. It does not pray for or long for the result as such. Its aim is to make a soulful attempt and then it leaves everything in the blessingful care of the Supreme Pilot. It says to the Inner Pilot, “It is up to You to give me success or failure, which is only an experience. I wish to please You, O Supreme, in Your own Way.” This is divine love.
Supreme Love unconditionally gives and gives. What does it give? Compassion in infinite measure, Love in infinite measure, Peace in infinite measure. It depends on the individual to receive its boundless Compassion, Light, Peace and Bliss according to his soul’s receptivity. According to his life’s progress, the individual receives these immortal treasures from above.
Human love says to the world, “I love you; therefore I have the supreme authority to strike you and punish you if and when necessity demands.” Divine love says to the world, “I love you; therefore I feel that it is my bounden duty to perfect you so that you can become a perfect instrument of the Supreme Pilot.” Supreme Love says to the world, “I love you; therefore I feel at every moment a constant necessity in My cosmic Vision and in My cosmic Reality to claim you as My own, very own. I also wish for you, too, to claim Me as your own, very own, at every moment here on earth and there in Heaven.”
Slowly, steadily and gradually human love decreases; and finally it dies. Slowly, steadily and unerringly divine love increases in the aspiring humanity; and then it flies. Compassionately, ceaselessly and unconditionally Supreme Love always remains the boundless sky. From there it guides and illumines the aspiring humanity and illumining divinity.
A doubtful mind, a suspicious mind, an insecure mind is quite often visible in human love. A soulful heart, a climbing heart, a glowing heart is always visible in divine love. A fruitful life, within and without, is eternally visible in Supreme Love.
Imagination reigns supreme in human love. With imagination human love starts its journey and at its journey’s end again it sees imagination. It sees the soul, the body, the vital, the mind, even the goal itself as imagination.
Conviction paramount, conviction illumining, conviction fulfilling always reigns supreme in divine love. This conviction is the soul’s Reality-Light that illumines the entire world. It is this conviction that divine love offers to the seekers of the absolute Truth. This conviction is the treasure-reality which, at the beginning, belongs to the Ultimate Source and which the Ultimate Source offers to the soul to share with aspiring mankind.
Compassion eternal reigns supreme in Supreme Love. This Compassion is the Supreme’s highest Power, deepest Peace and brightest Light. He offers His infinite and immortal Reality to us unconditionally and we receive it according to our inner capacity and our outer receptivity.
Love of the limited self, the very limited self, is another name for human love. Love of the entire world is another name for divine love. A cheerful, beckoning Hand the Supreme offers to divine love for earth’s illumination, salvation and perfection. Love of the limited, unaspiring, desiring, binding and blinding human in us and the unlimited, eternally aspiring, self-giving divine in us is another name for Supreme Love.
In the process of evolution, each individual starts with animal love, love that destroys. Gradually this animal love makes progress. It receives an iota of light and changes its consciousness. Then it goes into human love, which is the song of possession, the song of doubt and insecurity. Eventually this doubtful existence is transformed into faithful existence; this life of insecurity becomes a life of security and confidence. For human love grows into divine love, which feels its identification and oneness with God’s entire creation. Divine love is finally transformed or given the golden opportunity to grow into Supreme Love, which is Infinity’s Perfection and Eternity’s Satisfaction. This is how each individual walks along Eternity’s road to reach the ever-transcending and ever-fulfilling Goal.
SCS 93. State University of New York, at Purchase, 18 February 1976.↩
Part VIISCS 94-96. Questions and answers following Love human, love divine, love supreme.
Question: What role does music play in religion?Sri Chinmoy: Music plays a considerable role in religion. Music is a most convincing instrument to help religion play its role. A great musician can add to the inner cry of the person who practises a religious life. And if the musician himself believes in God wholeheartedly, then his music can be of tremendous help to his own religious practice.
Again, from the core of religion, one can bring illumining spirituality to add the living reality of God to his music. So a musician can help religion with his own search for higher beauty, the all-pervading Beauty and Light. And again, religion can come and help the musician who wants to play devotional, spiritual, illumining and God-manifesting music on earth.
Question: I am an artist and I was wondering if there is any way to use my painting or music to inspire my consciousness.Sri Chinmoy: When we paint, we have to become one with the inner painter. When we sing, we have to become one with the inner singer. Outwardly, we may be very expert in music, but if we do not have the capacity to become one with the inner singer, then our singing will not be soulful.
Inner life is realisation; outer life is expression. First we realise, then we express. If you know that there is an inner painter who has realised the Truth, the Reality, and that this inner painter is trying to reveal the inner Truth through the outer painting, then your painting becomes a form of meditation. We can meditate twenty-four hours a day during all our multifarious activities provided we know that there is somebody doing the thing for us. If we feel that we are doing the work ourselves, with our ego, with our pride, with our personal effort, then there is nobody inside for us. But if we feel that the thing that we are doing is being done by somebody else, the divine part of our being, then it is all meditation, it is all expansion of consciousness, it is all fulfilment of our life of aspiration.
Question: Whenever I have to perform, I become nervous and I end up performing badly. Is there anything I can do about this?Sri Chinmoy: Feel that you are not performing in front of fifty people. Just think that there is only one person listening to you and imagine that that person is an idiot. No matter how badly you sing, no matter how bad your throat is, just think that that person is infinitely inferior to you. Or think that he is a child of only two years old. This is the human way. But the divine way is to see immediately the Supreme before you. If you see the Supreme and feel that you also are the Supreme, then how can one Supreme be afraid of the other Supreme? There is only one Supreme. If you bow down to the Supreme inside each individual in the audience, then immediately you become one with each individual. Then you will not be afraid. Because you do not feel your oneness, you are afraid. But if you are one, then you don’t feel afraid. This is the divine way.
In Jamaica, West Indies, someone once told me a funny story. “We went to a conference and the lecturer stood up and said, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, two persons were supposed to deliver the speech. It was all decided. But my best friend has disappeared, so I am going now in search of him’. God had told him that He would inspire him and that he should not be afraid. But when he came up to the stage, God was not visible anymore. So he forgot everything and said, ‘This is unfair. My friend has deserted me, so I am going to look for him’. He left the platform.”
What does it mean to be spiritual?1What is spirituality? Spirituality is a divine subject. Anyone can study this subject; this subject is open to all. This subject is at once theoretical and practical. If one wants to see God only in Heaven, then spirituality is theoretical. If one wants to see God not only in Heaven but also on earth and everywhere, then in his case spirituality is practical.
Spirituality is an inner cry for the Source. Spirituality is an inner cry, an inner decision and an inner determination for perfection. Perfection is not a fixed standard. It is continuous progress. Perfection is the seeker’s divinely surrendered self-expansion in God’s illumining Satisfaction and fulfilling Manifestation. Perfection is self-transcendence. Perfection is the act of piloting Eternity’s Boat in Infinity’s Sea towards Immortality’s Shore. Perfection is self-giving. Perfection is the flower which grows into a God-nourishing fruit.
Napoleon says, “Ability is of little account without opportunity.” Surprisingly enough, spirituality is both ability and opportunity. Ability is an inner and outer oneness with God’s Vision. Opportunity is an inner and outer oneness with God’s manifestation.
What does it mean to be spiritual? To be spiritual is to be normal, natural and spontaneous. To be spiritual is to be simple, sincere and pure. To be spiritual is to be a lover and server of truth and light. To be spiritual is to become a chosen and perfect instrument of God. To be spiritual is to become a God-representative on earth. To be spiritual is to become a liberator of humanity.
What does it mean to be spiritual? It means we long for God-discovery. It means we long for perfection in our body, vital, mind and heart. It means our old friend, desire-night, is no longer with us. It means we have a new friend: aspiration-day.
A spiritual person is he who loves God, not because God is great, not because God is good, but because God alone is.
How do we become spiritual? We become spiritual by loving, by serving and by surrendering.
Whom do we love? We love man in God. Whom do we serve? We serve God in man. To whom do we surrender? We surrender to God the transcendental Vision, God the universal Reality and God the eternal Will.
Why do we love? We love because love is life. Why do we serve? We serve because service is perfection. Why do we surrender? We surrender because surrender is satisfaction.
How do we love? We love soulfully. How do we serve? We serve devotedly. How do we surrender? We surrender unconditionally.
A spiritual person sees only one thing: God’s Beauty. A spiritual person feels only one thing: God’s Responsibility. A spiritual person becomes only one thing: God’s Compassion-Light. God tells the spiritual person only one thing: “You are My Satisfaction.”
You are spiritual; that means God comes first in your life. You are spiritual; that means God is the only reality in your life. You are spiritual; that means God is your heart’s constant choice and God is your life’s constant voice.
He is a great seeker who feels that God loves him. He is a greater seeker who knows that he loves God. He is the greatest seeker who knows that God and he love each other. God loves man because man is God’s creation. Man loves God because God is man’s salvation, liberation, illumination and realisation. God is man’s salvation from sin-consciousness. God is man’s liberation from bondage-life. God is the illumination of man’s darkness-existence. God is man’s realisation; and realisation is self-discovery and God-discovery. Let us cry and cry within. Then ours will be self-discovery. Let us smile and smile without. Then ours will be God-discovery.
SCS 97. St. Paul's Chapel, Columbia University, New York, 25 February 1976.↩
Part IXSCS 98-107. Questions and answers following What does it mean to be spiritual?
Question: What is the difference between spiritualism and spirituality?Sri Chinmoy: Spiritualism includes mediums and seances and all this. But in spirituality, true spirituality and Yoga, we only think of God, meditate on God and love God; we try to transform and divinise our own nature. Real spiritual people will get boundless Peace, Joy, Love and Bliss from within. But those who practise spiritualism and are deeply involved in the so-called spirit-worlds will never get these qualities.
Question: What is Christian spirituality?Sri Chinmoy: Real spirituality is everywhere the same — in India, in America, in Milan. Everywhere spirituality is the same. Real spirituality means Yoga. Yoga means oneness with God. Now this oneness we establish in two ways. In the West we give more importance to prayer. In the East we give more importance to meditation. In Christian spirituality, prayer comes first. In Indian spirituality, meditation comes first. I believe that the realisation which the Christ had, our Krishna also had. But the Christ spoke so much of prayer, prayer, prayer, whereas our Krishna emphasized meditation, meditation. But when realisation comes, the Goal is the same. To come to the Goal I can take one road, you can take another road; but the Goal remains the same.
Question: What is the difference between a spiritual group and a religious group?Sri Chinmoy: If it is religious, then it becomes to some extent narrow-minded. But if it is spiritual, there is a cosmopolitan view. Spirituality encompasses all religions, no matter which religion or denomination one belongs to. But religion cannot house spirituality in that way. If somebody is religious, naturally he has some spirituality. But if he becomes a staunch follower of a particular religion, he may not like other religions. He may find everything wrong in other religions. He feels that his religion is by far the best. But if one becomes spiritual, really spiritual, he will give due value to all religions. A follower of a particular religion may not, or need not, or cannot, accommodate all religions as true. But if one follows spirituality, then he will feel that all religions are true, that all are good, that all are fulfilling God’s Mission according to their capacity.
Question: Is it possible to distinguish between Jesus the man and what is referred to as the "Christ-Consciousness"?Sri Chinmoy: The conflict is in the seeker’s mind, not in the seeker’s heart. If you think of the Christ as a human being who lived on earth for thirty-three years, then you are mistaken. If you think of the Christ as the representative of the Absolute Father on earth, birthless and deathless, then you are absolutely right. However, if you feel that the Christ is the only Saviour, again you are making a deplorable mistake. We know that this world has existed for more than two thousand years. Sri Krishna and Lord Buddha both lived more than two thousand years ago. We must realise that the Christ-Consciousness, the Buddha-Consciousness and the Krishna-Consciousness are all manifestations of the same Absolute. The Christ, the Buddha and Sri Krishna are not on isolated planes of consciousness, apart from the Absolute. On the one hand, they represent the Absolute; on the other hand, they are the Absolute. Here on earth they represent the Absolute, but in Heaven they actually are the Absolute.
If you have faith in a particular spiritual Master, that Master will help you realise the Absolute, from which the Christ-Consciousness, the Buddha-Consciousness and the Krishna-Consciousness have come. So if you wish to follow our path, I wish to say we are able to take you to the Christ-Consciousness, which is all-pervading and all-illumining, but we are not able to take you to the Jesus-consciousness. If you think of Jesus as the son of Joseph, as a human being like us, that is not the Christ-Consciousness. But if you want the all-illumining and all-fulfilling Christ-Consciousness, it does not matter which path you follow. Whichever path you follow will take you to the one destination, which you can call the Christ-Consciousness, the Buddha-Consciousness or the Krishna-Consciousness. There can be no conflict in Truth. If you really cry for the Truth, you will eventually realise it.
Question: How does a spiritually illumined being illumine evil?Sri Chinmoy: There is no such thing as evil and good. There is only lesser light and greater light. An illumined being will know where there is light in boundless measure and where there is only a small amount of light. What has very little light, others will call evil, or darkness, or destruction; but he will simply call it lesser light. Just because he is in touch with the infinite Light, he will be able to bring down the infinite Light where the infinite Light is wanting. If there is an iota of light, he will bring down more light; if there is abundant light, he will bring down boundless Light. This is what he will do.
Question: Prayer and meditation are the same thing?Sri Chinmoy: Prayer and meditation are the same thing. When we pray there is somebody to listen to us, and that Someone is God. I pray, “God, give me Peace, give me Light, give me Bliss.” My prayer is going up to God. But when we meditate, we become calm and quiet and we feel Peace, Light and Bliss descending. In prayer we are going up to get this, and in meditation we are bringing it down through our aspiration. It is the same thing whether we get it here or we get it there. Through prayer we feel that we go to God. Through meditation we feel that God comes to us. But it is the same thing, absolutely the same. I say that when we pray, we speak and God listens; when we meditate, we listen and God talks. Praying means that I am talking and somebody is listening. Who is listening? God is listening. And when I meditate somebody is talking. Who is talking? God is talking and I am listening.
Question: How can I quiet the mind?Sri Chinmoy: There are many ways, but I will tell you the two main ways. First, you can repeat a specific mantra or you can say “God” or “Supreme” as slowly and quietly as possible. While repeating this, please feel that God’s divine qualities are entering into your mind; do not simply repeat like a parrot. Each time you repeat “God” soulfully, feel that a divine quality is entering into your mind. When this happens, the Power of God’s Light is bound to silence the mind.
You want to silence your mind because it is acting like a restless monkey. Restlessness comes because of darkness; darkness and restlessness are inseparable. Restlessness is due to your lack of receptivity to light. There are two places where light is available: above the head and inside the heart. When the mind is illumined, restlessness is transformed into tranquillity. When you can bring down light or carry it from the heart into the mind, at that time the mind becomes calm and quiet.
Question: How can a seeker clear the confusion and know which path is the correct path for him?Sri Chinmoy: As a student you come to a school and see the teacher and the students. If they satisfy you, if you feel an affinity with them, then you go to that particular school. Similarly, you come to a spiritual Master and see his students and hear about his path. If you feel an affinity with the path, then it is meant for you. When you see a Master, if he gives you intense joy, if you feel he can easily solve your problems or has the capacity to illumine you, if you experience a feeling of oneness, then undoubtedly he is your Master. If you don’t feel an affinity with the Master and his students, it doesn’t mean that you are insincere. No, you are sincere, but he is just not the Master for you.
Question: My own spiritual background has taken me into different paths of meditation: Buddhism, Zen and other forms. I feel myself centred in all these particular areas, but am I really splitting myself by consciously practising more than one type of meditation?Sri Chinmoy: Spirituality is only one subject. It is not like history, geography, science and mathematics, for which you need different classes. It is only one subject, and for that it is advisable to walk along one path. The Goal is one and it is at one particular place. If we constantly change our roads, then our progress will naturally be slow. Today we prefer one road and tomorrow we feel that there is another road which can take us to the Goal faster. So we are only changing from one road to another and not making progress on any road. Each path is right in its own way. No path is faulty. But we have to know which path suits us, which path satisfies us most. Once we discover the path of our soul’s choice, if we walk along that path only, we will reach our destination sooner than otherwise.
Question: The Bhagavad-Gita talks about purification. How can I be purified?Sri Chinmoy: How can you be purified? You can purify your existence, your inner and outer life, just by feeling deep within yourself a living flower, a burning flame and an incense stick that is burning all the time. The incense, the flower and the candle flame symbolise purity. If you can feel within yourself, for example, a beautiful flower, a rose or lotus or any flower that you cherish, then you are doing the right thing. Today it is imagination; but if you continue imagining for five days or ten days or a month or two, then you are bound to see and feel the flower within you. First you may feel it, then you are bound to see the existence of the flower, and then automatically the fragrance and the purity of the flower will enter into you to purify you.
We have to feel that we have within us all the divine qualities. If we feel that we don’t have them, then it is almost impossible to get them. If we feel that God is within us, for that reason one day we shall see God face to face. But if we think that God is not within us, that He is somewhere else, then we will never see God. If we want to achieve something in our life, first we have to feel that we have that very thing within us. And because we have not yet discovered it, we have to use our imagination-power to help bring it to the fore.
Also, we have to feel that we are God’s children. Now we can’t feel it. We have done many things wrong and to say that we are God’s chosen instruments is a self-mockery. This is what we feel. But if we continuously say, “No, we are God’s chosen children. Deep within us is divinity. God is there, only we have covered Him with our ignorance,” then we are bound to bring our inner divinity to the fore. So try to have that kind of feeling. You have to feel that God is within you, purity is within you; only you have to reveal it. How do you reveal it? You reveal it by imagining within yourself the things that you see around you as pure — flowers, incense, candles — and then automatically one day you do become purified.
Editor's preface to the first editionThis volume contains informal talks, lectures, a radio interview and selected questions and answers by Sri Chinmoy.