The soul's journey
The heart's truthKnowing the truth is a matter of identification. We see the truth and immediately we feel the truth; finally we become the truth. We know the truth through inner recognition. If we feel that we have to scrutinise the truth to see what it looks like or how many years it has been in existence, then we will never know the truth.
Truth is universal. The Christ said, "Let Thy Will be done." In the Indian gospels also we see surrender to God's Will. It is the same truth, only we are using different languages. You say 'water' and I say jal in Bengali and somebody else will say agua in Spanish, but the water remains the same. Truth is always the same. You and I see the sun. I will call it one thing and you may call it something else. But the sun itself is the same. You use a word which I do not know and I use a word which you do not know, but behind the word is the concept, the reality, and that reality is the sun. Who can deny the sunlight? You can't deny it and I can't deny it.
If we live in the heart, then we are bound to know the universal concept, because the heart is all oneness. But if we live in the mind, it will all be division. Let us say that you are an Italian and I am an Indian. If we live in the mind, we shall fight. But if we live in the heart, we will see that we are both God's children. If God has two sons, one may be tall and one may be short. But they are both going together to the same goal because they live in the heart. If they live in the mind, then the one who is short will be jealous of the one who is tall. But if they live in the heart, they will see that they are like the little finger and the thumb. My little finger is much weaker than my thumb, but they have established their oneness. The little finger does not feel miserable because it is weaker than the thumb. No, the little finger feels that they go together. The little finger is just like a little brother. The elder brother is walking and the little brother is also walking. The little brother does not feel miserable because he is little, for he knows that he and his elder brother are one. They are going towards the same destination. This realisation we get only when we live in the heart and not in the mind.
Concentration and sincerityConcentration, meditation and contemplation entirely depend on our inner cry. When a child is hungry, really hungry, he cries. He may be on the first floor and his mother may be on the third floor, but when the mother hears his cry she comes down immediately to feed the child.
Let us take concentration as an inner hunger. If we are really hungry, our Father Supreme will come running no matter where we are crying. If we have intensity and sincerity in our cry, then I tell you that we can learn concentration in a few days' time. Otherwise, it can take years and years. And then, when will we have time to start our meditation and contemplation, which are more advanced subjects? There are people who have spent forty years learning how to concentrate. Now, they have not developed an inner cry. It is like a good student and a bad student. A bad student will fail and fail and fail, whereas a good student will every year go on to a higher class.
Again, God-realisation is not like drinking water; it is not like instant coffee, something that you will get immediately. No, it takes time. If somebody says he will be able to make you realise God overnight, then do not take him seriously. You have been to school, to college and university. It has taken you twenty years to get your Master's degree, which is based on outer knowledge. And God-realisation, which is infinitely more important and more significant, naturally will take many more years. In no way do I want to discourage you. Only I wish to say that if the hunger is sincere and if you are desperately in need of God, then if you need the power of concentration, I assure you God will give you the power of concentration.
There is also something practical you can do to strengthen you concentration-power. Please feel that inside your mind there is a room and naturally there is also a door. Stand either inside the room or outside the room, just in front of the door, and wait there to see who is coming. As soon as you see that some people are coming — 'people' here means thoughts — you just keep the door closed. In the beginning, in order to become strong, you do not allow anybody in. Otherwise, while you are allowing friends to come in, your enemies may also come in and then you will be totally lost. But there comes a time when you become inwardly strong and you are in a position only to let your friends come in. At that time you will allow your friends in and let the enemies remain outside.
Good thoughts are your friends. Thoughts about loving God, about self-sacrificing, are good thoughts. So when these good thoughts want to enter into your room, you must leave the door open. But as soon as you see bad thoughts like fear, doubt, jealousy, frustration, depression and so on, you will keep the door closed.
If we practise concentration and meditation regularly, we are bound to succeed. If we are really sincere, we will reach the goal. But our difficulty is that we are sincere for one day or for one week; then we feel that it is not meant for us. We want to realise God overnight. If we can't get our God-realisation overnight, then we think, "All right, let us pray for one week, one month, one year." After one year, if we don't realise God we will give up. We feel that the spiritual life is not meant for us; it is only for others.
It is like turning on the stove. If you turn the handle just a little and then stop, there will be no flame. You have to turn the handle to a certain spot and only then will the flame appear. But you move the handle only a little and then think, "There will be no flame, so the best thing is to bring the handle back or to leave it where it is." This is what happens. People go one step and feel that God is not there. But God is standing at the end of two steps. If we don't go to the extreme limit where He is, how are we going to see Him?
Two types of prayerWe are crying for the divine life, for Peace, Light and Bliss. We know that this is what we need and what we want, and there comes a time when we see who possesses these things. God possesses all these qualities. Then we can do either of two things. We can say, "I need these qualities to reach Him. When I have Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure, naturally my divinity will come to the fore and I will become one with God." So we can pray for these good qualities. Then there is another way. If we can have a free access to the Possessor of these qualities, then we can go to Him and say, "I am at Your Feet. If it is Your Will, please give me what I need. If it is not Your Will, then don't give me anything."
So these are the two approaches. One way is to gain God's divine qualities — His Peace, Light and Bliss — so that we can become a perfect instrument or image of God. We try to gain a little Peace, Light and Bliss and then grow into His Divinity or our own divinity. The other way is to approach the Supreme, when we are feeling His Presence during our meditation, and say, "Give me what You feel is best, or don't give me anything. If you want me to remain in this imperfect world, in ignorance, then keep me here. If you want me to be in illumination, then I will be illumined." At that time, even if we remain in imperfection, still we will be the happiest person because we are consciously fulfilling God in His own Way.
Now, you have to know that God will not take you to ignorance. But again, if He wants to test the sincerity of your unconditional surrender, you have to pass the examination. Somebody once came to Swami Vivekananda and asked to become his disciple. Vivekananda said, "Are you sure?" The seeker said, "Yes, I want to become your disciple." Then Vivekananda said, "Come up to the roof and jump. If you can jump, then I will accept you as my disciple." The seeker was about to jump but Vivekananda pulled him back. The seeker came with the idea that Vivekananda would be very pleased that he wanted to become his disciple and would give a talk on Peace, Light and Bliss. But first Vivekananda wanted to see if the seeker was sincere. That particular seeker passed Vivekananda's examination. So if the Supreme or your teacher wants to examine you, you have to be fully prepared. He is not giving you ignorance; far from it. But if he wants to examine you to see if you are really sincere, then you have to pass the examination.
Since we need Peace, Light and Bliss, we have every right to pray for it and meditate on it. This is not bad at all. If we receive an iota of Peace and we go on increasing and increasing it, eventually we enter into the vast infinity. Again, if we feel that we do not need anything, it is not because of pride or vanity. Far from it! Here we feel that God knows what is best for us and He is bound to give it to us. This is the highest attitude.
The one way is for us to go up; the other way is for Him to come down. When we have to go up, we may stumble; but if we can bring Him down, He is an expert climber and He will climb down most easily. So daily when we pray and meditate, we can slowly climb, climb up, or we can ask Him to come down and give us what we need. The second way is very easy.
Classes of disciplesYou know the definition of a friend. Often in this world when we speak of our friends, we have to know that most of these friends are only our so-called friends, fair-weather friends. We call them friends, but there is really only one friend and that is our eternal Friend, the Supreme. Then we come to admirers. Admirers are those who may admire one particular quality of ours but, at the same time, they will criticise all our defects mercilessly. In the case of a spiritual Master, followers are those who try to follow the teaching of the Master according to their own light. When the Master says something, at times they understand the correct meaning and real significance, and at other times they are millions of miles away from the Master's truth. So it is very difficult to say who are genuine followers. Only the person who tries to follow the Master's teachings in all sincerity and earnestness will feel in the inmost recesses of his heart that he is a true follower.
Now we come to disciples: first class, second class and third class disciples. First let us think of the third class disciples. The third class disciples have very little to do with their spiritual Teacher or Guru. They are simply bloated with pride that they have a spiritual Master. They will go out in the street saying, "We have a Teacher, we have a Teacher," but they do not practise spirituality even for a second. They have a Guru, but they remain in the world of ignorance, in the world of utter stupidity. They feel that the Guru is somewhere else. They never try to enter into the Guru's consciousness. The Guru and his third class disciples are like North Pole and South Pole. But these disciples will say that they have a Teacher and so they are someone now. At the same time, they open their heart's door to all kinds of undivine suggestions, ideas and fantasies. These are the third class disciples.
Now let us come to the second class disciples. This kind of disciple, you can say, is fifty percent sincere and fifty percent insincere, or twenty-five percent sincere and seventy-five percent insincere. These disciples give a quarter or a half of their existence to the spiritual and inner life, to the Guru's mission or their own mission for the fulfilment of the Supreme's Will here on earth. Whenever they help the mission or their Guru's mission, there will always be a motive behind their help. They think that by helping they will get much more from the Centre, or from the Guru, or from the mission. There is always a motive.
Third class disciples don't have the time to think of whether they are getting or not getting anything. They are getting joy just because they have a Guru; they feel their goal is won. But they have nothing to do with the Guru or his mission. They are absolutely free in this way. Second class disciples accept the highest mission of the Master, but there is always a motive behind their acceptance. Also, they do not dare to embrace the words "liberation" and "Self-realisation". These words are too big for them. All that matters to them is their happiness in the material world. They think, "We will have many unpleasant experiences in the world, but by taking the help of the spiritual Master or by entering into the consciousness of a higher ideal, we will get blessings from the Supreme, from God." But they are afraid of entering into the sea. They just want to drink one drop and feel that is enough for them. I must say that they do have sincerity, even if it is not complete sincerity. Whenever they help they do it sincerely, most sincerely, but they have not accepted the divine life fully or unreservedly. They take it to some extent sincerely, but not with utmost love, concern, devotion and surrender. These divine qualities are not in their life.
First class disciples are the real pride of the Master, of the Supreme and of the Mission. They have totally obliterated the word 'demand' from their dictionary. They do not have anything of their own. They will do everything for the Supreme, for the Guru, for the Mission, with utmost dedication. They feel that it is the greatest privilege to be totally one with the Guru's universal and infinite Consciousness and the transcendental Blessing of the Supreme.
A first class disciple is one hundred percent with the Master's assessment of truth. For the first class disciple, the Master is the first and last word in his inner life and his outer life. The first class disciple accepts the Master wholeheartedly in everything. If a disciple is not like this, then no matter how high he is or how well he meditates, no matter what kind of dedicated service he has offered the Master, still he cannot be called a first class disciple.
Sri Ramachandra had a disciple whose name was Hanuman. When people used to ask Hanuman, "What day of the week is it today?" he would reply, "That is not my business. I do not know. I know only the word 'Rama, Rama'. I have not to think of other things." Like this, first class disciples totally merge into their Guru's consciousness and the Supreme's infinite Blessings.
One who is to make all kinds of possible and impossible sacrifices for the Master, for the Mission, for the Supreme, is a first class disciple. I remember an incident about one of my disciples. Fortunately or unfortunately, he is not here right now. About a year ago he was talking to the president of one of our Centres on the street. He said to the president, "You want me to be like you? When Guru says, 'Stand up,' you will stand up; when Guru says 'Sit down,' you will sit down; or if Guru says, 'Jump into the gutter,' you will do it. That kind of surrender you can make, but I can't do it." The president said to him, "I have come here only to make that kind of surrender. If Guru says 'Stand up,' I'll stand up; if he says, 'Sit down,' I'll sit down; if he says, 'Jump into the gutter,' I will do it." So the president is blessed with his divine wisdom and the other disciple is blessed with his own wisdom.
I have said that the first class disciples have no existence without the Guru. But the Guru also has no existence without the first class disciples, because the first class disciples have become totally one with the Guru's love, the Guru's blessings, the Guru's concern. So, as first class disciples do not exist without me, so also I do not exist without my first class disciples. I can never be separated from my first class disciples, but with the second and third class disciples it is a different story. The second class disciples partially enter into me and I enter into them. But their union is not complete; it is far from satisfactory. In the case of the third class disciples — God bless them — I do not know where they exist and I am in no way responsible for them.
First class disciples are always in the Supreme's Boat. They can never be separated from me and I can never be separated from them. Everybody has the same opportunity to grow into a first class disciple. You say that you have demands, or that you want your own existence. But will you lose anything by becoming a first class disciple? No, only you will enter into the Supreme. A tiny drop enters into the infinite ocean and dares to proclaim that it is the ocean itself. Similarly, the first class disciples have every right to call themselves my dearest, chosen disciples. I will be responsible for them, not only in this life, but through Eternity. I can have disciples not only on earth, but also in the other worlds.
So, dear ones, I am welcoming you and you are welcoming me. Something infinitely more significant than this, the Supreme is welcoming all of us here to live in Him, to grow in Him, to fulfil Him and to manifest Him in all that we do, all that we say, and all that we aspire to become. The Centre, the Mission is not ours; it is the Supreme's. But the Supreme, out of His infinite Bounty, tells us that it is ours. It is mine, it is yours, it is humanity's.
God-realisationIf I myself remain unrealised, then it is not possible to make others realise God. If someone has not tasted a particular food himself, how will he tell others that the food is most delicious? If someone does not study and get his degree, how is he going to become a university professor and teach others? It is not possible. If the mother of the family is illiterate and does not even know the ABC's, then how can she say, "Let me teach you to read, my son"? She herself has to know the subject before she can teach her child. One has to know something before one can teach it to others. This is true in the spiritual life as well as in every other field of life. If I have not realised God, how will I fulfil you and help you to realise God?
If the Master himself has not realised God, then it is impossible for him to make somebody else realise God. Help will come from within the seeker and from God — who is the real Guru within the Master — but the unrealised Master cannot be directly responsible for the realisation of somebody else. If you don't first have the fruit in the refrigerator, then you don't have the ability to give it away.
When I meditate I bring down Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure. Real spiritual Masters have an infinite inner treasure; whereas in the case of ordinary human beings, their possessions are very limited. Material food, for example, is limited; if there are too many people there may not enough food. If five people are expected to eat and ten people come, then we will be totally lost. But in the spiritual life, it is not like that. The infinite treasure will always remain the same; like Krishna's curd, it will not diminish in quantity. As you can eat too much on the physical plane, you can also eat beyond your capacity on the spiritual plane. At that time you will get a headache and a feeling of tension. But the supply of spiritual food will never be exhausted.
The mother gets utmost joy when she is making a sacrifice for her son. At that time she feels that the son is part and parcel of her existence. If both my hands are part and parcel of me, then whether I eat with my right hand or my left hand, it is the same; the same person is getting joy. So, while giving to his spiritual children, the Master gets the same pleasure when they are eating as when he himself is eating. Fulfilment is always the same because at that time there is no sense of separativity. And you have to know that no matter how much the children eat, the spiritual Father's inner wealth is inexhaustible. Again, the ordinary mother feels miserable if her child does not eat her food. In my case, if I am in my divine consciousness and someone does not receive my light, I will simply say that the time has not come for him. But if I am in my highest consciousness, I will say that I am wasting my precious time; I am giving and you people are not eating.
Everyone cannot realise God at the same time. You are getting your Master's degree now, but there are many others who don't even care for a Master's degree. God will not compel everyone right now to realise Him. But even if one doesn't accept the spiritual life right now, in the march of human aspiration everyone eventually has to realise God. Everyone has to realise God today or tomorrow. It takes a long time to realise God, longer to reveal Him and still longer to manifest Him. But if you do it cheerfully, you will be very happy.
The assimilation of LightSometimes when we receive Light, Peace or Bliss on a higher level of consciousness, the physical mind is not convinced that it has actually received anything. But it is not necessary for the higher levels of consciousness to make the physical consciousness aware of what has been received. Light may enter into a higher part of the emotional being and start functioning for a few minutes or a few days or even longer. There it will create a new soil and eventually it will grow a bumper crop of inner experience. Then it may take another few months for these inner experiences to enter into the gross physical consciousness.
If an experience takes place in the physical consciousness, then we can see and feel it with our very senses. At that time naturally we can rely on our own awareness. But if the experience is something very subtle and it is taking place on higher level of consciousness, we may not be aware of it. What we are trying to do is to make the physical consciously aware of what is going on in the subtle body. If the physical and the spiritual in us are simultaneously conscious of what we are doing, then no matter in which plane of consciousness we are having an experience, we will feel it in our physical consciousness. Otherwise, it may happen that when the Highest knocks at the door of the physical, the physical will deny it.
If the physical runs abreast of the soul and is in tune with the soul, then we can receive the highest Light and we can be convinced of what we receive.
If the physical and the soul aspire together, then we will have free access to all planes of consciousness and the physical will not be able to doubt the reality of these subtle experiences. So let us meditate on the highest Supreme with both body and soul. Then we shall realise the ultimate Truth and the ultimate Truth will be able to utilise us in its own way.
Vibrations and the Master's presenceSometimes disciples say that some of their colleagues or acquaintances at work make them feel uncomfortable. The reason is that these people are not spiritual and would probably never want to be in our boat. If you feel uncomfortable in someone's presence, this doesn't mean that you are cherishing superior feelings. Each person carries a special vibration, divine or undivine. When you get a kind of uncomfortable or uneasy feeling, it is usually because the other person is not spiritual. If the person is unaspiring and leading an ordinary, animal life, naturally you will feel a kind of foreign vibration from him. It is not your fault if his vibration makes you feel uncomfortable.
Again, you can't blame the other person; he is at the mercy of the undivine forces. Don't feel that just because you are meditating and have a Master, you are leading a superior life. Even those who are aspiring cannot maintain the same standard all the time. Each individual has different vibrations at different times. On the subway, for instance, or at Times Square, you as an individual will not be able to keep your own highest consciousness. A different vibration is coming right from the street and you can't avoid it, so it is very difficult for you to maintain your height. Here you may be very spiritual, but as soon as you go to mid-Manhattan or to Greenwich Village, automatically your consciousness goes down. At that time, I won't be able to give you more than twenty out of one hundred for your consciousness. But in your meditation, of course, you might get one hundred out of one hundred.
If you are always able to keep your consciousness very high, as in deep meditation, then only can you maintain the same standard. When you can do that, then you have really achieved something. Again, I sympathise with you. As soon as you enter the subway, you encounter this kind of vibration. Similarly, these people who now have undivine vibrations may be trying to become good — who knows? But in spite of their sincere efforts to become seekers, the undivine forces may be intervening and trying to create problems for them, just as in your case the vibrations from the subway or somewhere else may make it very difficult for you to maintain the same spiritual vibration wherever you go.
So if someone or something makes you feel uneasy, at that time you do not have to go to a corner and concentrate and solve the problem. If you are my disciple and have absolute faith in me, then you can immediately invoke my inner presence; and my inner presence will immediately bring down the infinite Grace or Blessing or Power of the Supreme. On the strength of your sincerity and dedication, the response will come from me; and that response will immediately be followed by the infinite Grace of the Supreme. I am there as a bridge inside you, a connecting link between you and the Supreme. You yourself can invoke the Supreme for His immediate help, but your difficulty is that you do not see the Supreme, you have not been blessed with the constant Presence of the Supreme. So it is easier for the aspirant to invoke the presence of the Guru, who knows how to connect him with the Supreme.
I would like to tell you a story about a disciple of mine in another country. I gave her a particular meditation to use to invoke the Supreme whenever she was in difficulty or danger. I told her to pray to the Supreme in a special way at that time. She said, "Guru, you pray to the Supreme and let me pray to you. You have seen the Supreme, so you can pray to Him, but I have not yet seen Him. Please listen to my prayer and let the Supreme listen to your prayer. Since you have taken responsibility for my life, you are the right one to solve my problem." This prayer can be used by all those disciples who have absolute faith in me.
Divine enterprisesWe have several divine enterprises. Only a few of these are doing well and have done well right from the very start. Some of the other enterprises had wonderful promise, but they failed because the owners' attention was diverted to other channels; they had more interest in something else. In the beginning they promised that they would serve the enterprises most devotedly. Then, unfortunately, pride entered. This is human nature.
In one of my distant Centres, when some disciples first started a restaurant, it did not do so well. They said it was all my fault. After a few months, when the restaurant started doing very well and they were finally making money, they left the Centre and left God. Now spirituality has totally gone out of their lives. The owners have gone back to drugs and hippie life. Here it was a matter of money versus God. Money comes and then people throw God out of their life.
Money-power can take us to the animal life or it can take us to the divine life. If money-power is properly used, it is an additional help in the spiritual life. If it is not properly used, look what can happen! When their business does well, some disciples forget the spiritual life. At that time, they think that it is they who have made their business successful. They forget that by the Grace of the Supreme I inaugurated their divine enterprise. As soon as their business goes well, as soon as money comes, they throw away God. Money-power takes them to the animal life.
Some people blame me when they fail; but when they are successful, they feel that they have done everything. Then their success very nicely becomes their downfall. But I wish to tell you that no divine enterprise will fail if we have two things. One thing is proper management. In daily life, we see that if there is no proper management, it is a sad situation: failure after failure. The second thing that is necessary is patience. We sow a seed. The seed may take three or four days to germinate. Let us call the divine enterprises spiritual seeds. It will take three or four months or even four years for these seeds to germinate. So patience is needed. Sometimes it happens that our patience is not enough. After three or four years, by this time if there is no success, we want to give up. But I say, even if you think that your enterprise is a failure, please stick to what you have started. Wait and see what will happen tomorrow.
Reading the Master's writingsWhen my disciples read my writings, they enter into my consciousness. If they read somebody else's writings, they enter into that person's consciousness. My writings contain my inspiration and aspiration, plus my realisation. I ask my disciples to memorise a few of my writings so that they will assimilate my writings and make them part and parcel of their consciousness.
When you read something four or five times in order to memorise it, each time you will get a new light from it. Each time you will see different things and get different meanings, and each meaning is absolutely correct. I personally do not like to explain my writings, especially not my poems. A poem is like a mantra, particularly when it comes from a master. My writings come directly from my heart. To explain them, I have to use my mind; then their inner significance goes away. When I use my mind I feel like a surgeon operating on someone. When I explain my poems or my other writings, it seems to me that they are undergoing surgery. When I read out a poem, there will be a few lines or one word that will give you joy. If it gives you joy, immediately with that word go deep within and there you will get the utmost Joy, Peace and Bliss. When I read out anything, do not feel that you have to know the meaning, the substance or the significance of each word. If any one word or line inspires you, feel that that is enough. Then build your own inspiration, aspiration and realisation on that particular word. If I have to explain it like a schoolteacher, then I will not be able to offer anything.
If you ask a gardener who has produced a flower to pick it for you, he will say, "How can I kill the flower? When a flower is fully blossomed it is like a living creature. How can I cut it into pieces and give it to you?" So, when it is a matter of explaining my poems, it will be an injustice to your own aspiration. I am reluctant because I feel that a poem of mine is like a living creature that is about to be cut into pieces and offered to people. If one starts explaining spiritual poetry, there is nothing in it. Once it is explained, its beauty and reality are gone.
I ask my disciples to try and read my writings for half an hour each day. In addition to reading my writings, you can also sing some of my spiritual songs. Singing is a form of meditation. If you can sing The Supreme (our invocation) most soulfully, that is worth an hour's meditation. Every disciple of mine should sing this song at least once a day. Even if you cannot carry a tune, no harm. The Supreme is not going to give you a mark. Tagore once wrote in a poem that God gave a voice to the bird, so no credit is given when the bird sings. But when a human being sings although God has not given him a voice, that is something. When you don't have something and you are offering it to God, that is something more. Sometimes people ask whether they can sing inwardly. Certainly, that is very good. But inwardly if you sing, you may stop in the middle of a line. Outwardly if you sing, you feel that there is a witness; you will be embarrassed if you don't complete the song.
AurasThe other day a disciple said that he saw my aura and that the colour was blue. Blue is the colour of spirituality and blue also represents infinity. Blue represents creativity in its pristine form. What he saw was the blue colour that constantly grows in our human nature as well as in our divine nature. When it grows in our human nature, it tries to expand our limited human nature; and when it grows in our divine nature, it tries to spread and manifest the light and truth that it already has.
Sky-blue happens to be the colour of the Lord Krishna. Once, after I gave a talk on the Bhagavad-Gita at New York University, Lord Krishna was dancing on my forehead, spreading his blue light all around me, and many, many disciples saw this light around me. Although I was talking, at the same time I was also having a conversation with him in the inner world, and I was seeing his blue light and quite a few other significant things.
Blue is also my colour and it represents my inner realisation of the Highest, the Absolute Supreme. An ordinary human being has only one colour to his aura. Some advanced seekers have two colours. But in the case of a spiritual Master, all the colours are in his aura. If somebody sees orange around me, he is not mistaken because that colour is also in my aura. I have all the colours but again, my favourite colour, my most prominent colour, is blue. Blue here is the highest Truth.
Some of you have seen a gold colour in my aura. This represents revelation. When you see this golden colour, at that time it is the power of manifestation that you are seeing on a higher level of consciousness.
SleepDuring sleep the soul moves from one plane of consciousness to another. The soul is like a free bird. If the physical consciousness wants to observe what the soul is doing, it has to allow itself to be moulded and guided by the soul's light. Only then can one expect to be conscious twenty-four hours a day.
If you wish to be more conscious of your experiences during sleep, the best thing to do is to spend more time in meditation. If you spend one hour now, then try to spend an hour and a half, then two hours. If you want to be conscious of your inner experiences during sleep, during dreams, then please try to devote more time to your spiritual life.
Sometimes you do not get very much sleep because you are doing selfless service or some other spiritual activity. Now some of you, when you go for several nights with only two or three hours' sleep, feel that you will get sick. You fear that you will fall sick and Ultimately die because of lack of sleep. But at that point, when death enters into your mind, say to yourself, "Will Guru or will the Supreme allow me to die when I am trying to conquer sleep through my dedication and aspiration?" Immediately the answer will come: "No!" If what you are doing is beyond your capacity, then your inner wisdom will come and tell you, "No, you need more sleep." But if your inner wisdom is not warning you, the few hours that you are enjoying sleep are more than enough.
How will you recognise your inner wisdom? It is the soul in you that tells you whether you are doing the right thing. You can know whether you are doing the right thing by whether or not you get joy. The soul compels you to meditate and when you meditate you get real joy. Now, you have to know that that inner joy itself is strength and energy. There is no comparison between the energy that you get from sleep and the strength and energy that you get from inner joy. If you sleep for ten hours, you will not get the same strength as from five minutes of inner joy. Very few people have a sound sleep. You may sleep for eight hours, but for only a few minutes perhaps you will have sound sleep. During these ten minutes you can go into the higher world and get real joy. The rest of the time you are in the lower worlds, but it is not registered in your memory.
A few minutes of inner joy can conquer everything. With five minutes of vital joy, emotional joy, ordinary people can go on working for hours. If their vital is encouraged, if somebody has appreciated them on the vital plane, for instance, they can conquer sleep to some extent for two days. If the vital has the capacity to keep you awake, the heart has much more power than the vital and the soul has infinitely more power.
Fighting in the vital world1Today I have asked Ramesh and Rakhal to appreciate each other for a reason totally beyond your imagination. Each person has mental beings, vital beings, all kinds of beings. On the physical plane, their high opinions of each other are absolutely sincere. What Ramesh is saying about Rakhal and what Rakhal is saying about Ramesh is sincere. But in the unconscious vital, there are things happening that they may not be aware of and, in a sense, are not responsible for. Ramesh does not know anything about his vital; Rakhal does not know anything about his vital. But these things have some reality in the subconscious world.
Now, I don't want these two boys to be disheartened and discouraged by what I am going to say, but this morning at around 4:20, for four minutes they had a wonderful fight in the vital world. It was such a terrible fight that I couldn't just send one of my inner beings there to settle their dispute; I had to go there personally with my soul. If the vital and the physical of my disciples become unruly, what can I do? My disciples are like my children; they are my heart's property. The students are supposed to listen to the teacher, but if the students do not listen, the teacher suffers.
It started with Rakhal and then Ramesh started defending himself. But then after defending itself, Ramesh's vital being found that it had become stronger and so it also started attacking. It went on like this for three or four minutes. I will never give the reasons; I am only telling you the scene. It is not only Ramesh and Rakhal who fight; almost everybody has fought. Until your souls' illumination is completely brought forward, naturally these things will happen.
Ramesh and Rakhal are fighting against each other in this other world, but if the fighting is not stopped by some spiritual Master or by the maturity of their own souls, then in the subconscious plane their vital beings gain tremendous strength. This strength unfortunately wants to do something terrible. The strength that we gain in the vital by fighting with each other is like the strength that boxers or wrestlers gain. You may think that they are weakening themselves and hurting each other, but when they wrestle, in some ways they actually gain strength. It is like the strength of a wild elephant, and it is the vital's property. One will eventually become more powerful than the other and defeat the other, but both will become stronger in the subconscious plane.
This can happen between husbands and wives as well. It is not that every time I bless the husband and wife it happens, but it does happen and it has happened many, many times — hundreds of times. Outwardly, if I appreciate the husband for something, immediately the wife shows me a happy face as though she were one with the husband's achievements. But in five minutes she feels, "I am useless." Identification was not there; only a smile. And vice versa, when the wife does something and I appreciate her for doing it extremely well, then the husband looks very happy and makes me feel it is also his achievement. But in five minutes, why does the husband in silence say many undivine things and feel many undivine things about himself? Let the husband make very rapid progress and then the wife starts pulling him down; or if the wife makes very good progress, the husband becomes jealous. It is like a pulley and I must stand in between and pull the lower side up with my compassion.
Sometimes many vital beings fight together. It may start as a fight between two persons and then their friends take sides, since on the vital plane they know if two people are fighting. Sometimes when it is very serious, it lasts for five minutes or ten minutes. Then, the following day, if your early morning meditation was not very good and you did not overcome the ill will, if you see the person with whom you fought, then automatically you will feel a tremendous sense of irritation. You will ask, "Why am I irritated? Why am I getting angry? What is it that happened to me?" You will search back in your mind and see that for three months you didn't have a harsh word against this person. But it is the vital quarrel that is still lingering in your consciousness. If you have meditated well after the fight, if you had a wonderful early morning meditation, then what happened in the vital world will be deleted entirely from your consciousness.
Sometimes one soul or both souls enter into the situation and throw light on the situation. It is like this: two young boys from two different families are fighting, and then the mother and father of one child come and stop them. Either the mother threatens the children or she says something nice to them and tells them that fighting is very bad so they stop. This happens when the souls enter the situation.
Sometimes an individual does not only fight against someone else. The strength and power that he acquires in the vital, in the subconscious plane, is so blind that sometimes it fights against the individual himself — against his soul's possibilities, his heart's possibilities. Your vital being may be gathering strength while your heart is aspiring very sincerely and devotedly. Then, when you try to meditate most devotedly and soulfully, all of a sudden you may get a tremendous attack or tremendous opposition. This undivine power may come and stand in the way of your own aspiration. You will say, "Where is this new obstruction coming from? I am not sitting beside anyone; nobody is pulling my consciousness down." But the obstruction is coming from this other plane, from your own vital plane, from your own subconscious, and you are totally unconscious of it. Many times you complain that you do not know the reason why you cannot meditate, but it is because something has happened in the vital plane and the vital is not letting you meditate.
Although you may have goodwill unconsciously, if you consciously send goodwill to others, then you will never strike each other in the vital plane. So I wish to say that before you go to sleep, for a minute think of all your spiritual brothers and sisters. You can't think of them one by one, but pray to the Supreme, "Please give me goodwill towards all my spiritual brothers and sisters." This prayer takes one second. Then eventually you can enlarge it to include the whole world. If you consciously send goodwill in this way, you will always love your brothers and sisters and it will help your spiritual life considerably.
We may be doing a very good meditation, but when it is a matter of our vital, there are many things happening which we are not outwardly conscious of. To some extent we have to be responsible for those things since we claim the physical, the vital, the mental and everything that we have as our own. We have to strive to transform all the parts of our being.
Rakhal, forgive me. Ramesh, forgive me. Please believe me, I have not tried to embarrass you at all. Only I wish to say that these things happen in the vital world. Here is the proof. You see, Ramesh, that you are speaking highly of Rakhal. And you, Rakhal, are speaking highly of Ramesh. What you say is absolutely true, but there is another world called the vital world. That world is also a world of reality and in that other world other kinds of things happen. I am not trying to discourage you. But I am telling you — all of you — to be aware of the vital.
SJ 12. One morning, after meditation, Sri Chinmoy asked two young men to stand up and speak about each other's good qualities; Sri Chinmoy then gave a talk.↩
The soul's journeyWhen the soul leaves the body after death, there is a transitory period. The soul leaves the physical and flies away from the body-cage. From the physical it enters into the subtle physical, then into the subtle vital, and so on until finally it goes to the soul's world. There the soul takes rest. It depends on the Will of the Supreme how long the soul takes rest. Usually, for ordinary human souls, it is seven or eight years. For great spiritual Masters it is a hundred or two hundred years. Again, there is no hard and fast rule. In the case of some great spiritual Masters, the Supreme may say, "Come back soon to help humanity."
When the soul wants to come back into the world, it has to get the permission or approval of the Supreme. So the soul will have a short interview with the Supreme. This is absolutely true; all the great spiritual Masters know it. In that interview, the soul has to get the approval or sanction from the Supreme for its choice of the family and circumstances into which it wants to reincarnate.
Sometimes your soul chooses the family you will be born into in your next incarnation; sometimes the souls of the parents choose which soul will be born into their family. Again, sometimes the Supreme chooses the soul for particular parents. Sometimes it happens that you are with other souls in the souls' world. Then there is a discussion and you tell those particular souls who are going to be your parents, "You can go to earth a few years before me and then I shall come into your family." This is true. Again, it may happen in the soul's world that the souls of your future parents beg or request your soul to come into their family. At that time, the parents don't act like parents; they are like friends. They say, "Are you going to stay at someone else's place or are you going to stay in our house?" Then your soul will say that it would like to join them. So the request can be made either by the parents or by the children. And again, the soul can be offered by the Supreme. It can be the Supreme's Will that you will have these parents and that these parents will have you. There is no hard and fast rule. Usually the souls that will be able to offer mutual help to each other here on earth come together. This means that when you accept spiritual life, the parents you choose are the right ones so that you can help them in their evolution and they can help you.
It may happen that in this incarnation your parents are very bad and they have tortured you like anything. In your next incarnation you may try to go to your parents just to torture them: tit for tat. Many, many cases I know where souls have taken revenge. And even if you do nothing to take revenge, if your parents have been very bad, there is the cosmic law. In the souls' world some souls are bound to be born with defective bodies or to become deaf or blind. That kind of thing is karma. Into which families will these souls be born? Do you think that the parents will beg of the Supreme to give them defective children? Far from it. But if the parents have done something wrong, the cosmic forces may compel them to accept their due. In one sense it is very, very complicated; at the same time, it is very just; divinely just.
Again, if I have done something wrong, I can pray to God to forgive me, to illumine me so that I don't make the same mistake again. A child goes and strikes his friend. Immediately he sees that his friend is going to strike him back, so he runs to his father for protection. He comes to that person so that his friend cannot strike him. The father will try to protect the son and, at the same time, if he is a good father, he will console the boy who has been attacked by his son. Here also, if you do something wrong, immediately you go to the inner Source, the Supreme, for compassion, for protection, for forgiveness. When you pray and meditate, you try to get the proper divine wisdom so that in your future incarnations you won't make mistakes. But after doing the wrong thing, if you say that you have done the right thing and that the other person deserved what you did to him, then you suffer.
The soul of a yearEach year has a soul of its own. A year also has a body, vital, mind and heart. Even the astrologers can tell something about the soul of a year, just as they can very often tell about the soul of a country.
When a year ends, the soul of that particular year goes back to the soul's region. Again, if another year comes with a soul similar to the soul of a previous year, then this departed soul may offer all its possibilities and potentialities to the soul of the present year. The soul of the past year does not actually enter into the earth plane; it only offers its potentialities and capacities to the present year because it sees the similarity. Suppose the soul of 1972 has the same kind of soul as the year 1960. Then instead of entering the earth along with the soul of 1972, the soul of 1960 will indirectly or directly help the soul of 1972, and it will feel its own fulfilment in 1972 as if it had actually come itself. That is what can happen, but that kind of thing does not happen very often. Again, earth has been in existence for thousands of years, so similar souls are bound to come sometimes. But usually the soul of each year comes with a new message. It is a very complicated matter, very complicated.
In 1971 the soul was absolutely new in the sense that it was not backed or helped by any other soul. It received help only from the Supreme directly. The soul of 1972 is totally different from the soul of 1971. Although the soul of 1971 has not yet left the earth scene, the soul of 1972 has already entered into earth's arena. It is like this: a new boss has come, but the old boss still has not left the office. It is a matter of a few days before the soul of 1971 will leave.
The soul of a year can assume many forms. It is in the tiniest thing and, at the same time, it can stay in the earth-consciousness itself, which is so vast. We can say that it stays within every brief, fleeting second. Again, it can take a symbolic form. If we want to compare the symbolic form of next year's soul with this year's soul, we can say the coming new year symbolically will be like a real elephant, let us say very fast, very dynamic, whereas this year's soul is like a horse or a lion — although more like a horse than a lion. Of course, we can't say this soul is an elephant or that soul is a horse. These are all symbolic images. In the East they call a year "the year of the dragon, or sometimes they portray it in the form of a fish and other kinds of things. There is much truth in what they say, but again, imagination also plays a part here.
Last year on New Year's Eve you meditated at midnight and in Puerto Rico we did the same. If you can meditate from midnight to twelve-thirty this year also, it will be wonderful. I wish to get the names of those who are going to do this; otherwise, I will be wasting my own precious concentration on those who are fast asleep, instead of concentrating just on those who are sincerely trying to receive something.
Each year we can do much for the Supreme. Next year we will do and become much. Becoming is doing; doing is becoming. This year, unfortunately, we have not accomplished much. Why just this year? In previous years also, compared to our capacity, what we have achieved is next to nothing. We have much more capacity than we actually realise. We can talk, but this year let us show how many of us want to work also.
The inspiration of the inner worldRight now, the inner world is able to influence and guide the outer world only to a very limited extent. Let us not use the word 'influence' but 'inspire'. Influence is often ineffective, even if it comes from inside ourselves. When something tries to influence us, we still may not want to do the right thing. Immediately the mind comes forward, the vital comes forward, the physical comes forward. At that time, there is no feeling of oneness. We do not want to be influenced by someone or something that we cannot call our own, and that particular thing also does not claim us. If we are inspired, on the other hand, then we will try to do the right thing. In inspiration we have the feeling of oneness with the thing we are aiming at, and the goal also feels its own oneness with us. If we are inspired to run, at that time we become one with speed; we become speed itself. But when we are influenced, it is not like that.
If the inner world had been able to truly inspire the outer world, then the outer world would now have real meaning, and by this time the outer world would have succeeded in manifesting a considerable amount of divinity. But very often the inner world is not successful in inspiring the outer world. Why? It is not that it is weak. It does have the capacity, but the outer world is not accepting its inspiration. If it is given the chance, the inner world can easily inspire the outer world, but the outer world is not giving it the chance. The mother has the capacity to wash and clean her child if she is just given the opportunity. If the child listens to the mother, then naturally the body of the child will become clean and pure. But sometimes the child does not want the mother to wash him. He will run away from her and mock at her, saying, "No, no, I don't want to be washed by you." The inner world is like the mother, but the outer world won't listen to it. If it would listen, if it would allow itself to be inspired by the inner world, then the outer world would really be able to offer something.
The inner world has the feeling of absolute oneness with whatever it sees or feels. The outer world does not have that kind of oneness. The outer world gets joy by separating; the inner world gets joy by uniting. If the outer world consciously wanted to have the same feeling of oneness as the inner world, then full realisation, full revelation and full manifestation could easily be achieved. In cases when the outer world accepts the offering and the inspiration of the inner world wholeheartedly, people realise the Truth, the Highest.
Divine power can influence world events, but acceptance by the outer world also has to be offered in a divine way; otherwise, if there is no receptivity, the outer world will only break. When we feel that a glass is very strong, we can hold it safely, but when we see that a glass is very delicate, we feel that it will break if we hold it. Similarly, if we see that earth is really strong and can hold divine power, then if we want to use divine power, it will work; otherwise, if the vessel is too weak, we shall only ruin the potentialities of earth. There are many things I am doing for my disciples, but if I use my power aspect instead of my inspiration, the disciples will be crushed. So we have to be very delicate at first. Then, when the outer being is strong, at that time we can use power.
Since the vital is a little bit afraid of divine, dynamic power, it may for one day listen out of fear; but the vital has its own aggressive power. This aggressive power doesn't want to listen to the soul's power and so the battle starts. Sometimes power works, but very often we cannot use it. At these times it is the love of oneness that works. Again, love of oneness is the mightiest power. This love of oneness the vital may kick like anything. But the higher power, the divine power, is very wise. It says, "Take your own time. I am ready to love you in ignorance because I am dealing with eternal time." Then gradually the light enters into the obscure vital itself. There is light everywhere, even in obscurity, and when it comes forward it wants to listen to the higher forces. In that way the vital also eventually realises the highest.