Spiritual power, occult power and will power

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Part I — Spiritual power, occult power and will power

Spiritual power, occult power and will power1

Spiritual power is vastness. Occult power is swiftness. Will power is readiness.

Spiritual power says to the seeker, “Eternity is at your disposal.” Occult power says to the seeker, “Here, here and now.” Will power says to spiritual power and occult power, “We are friends. Both of you are perfectly right; therefore, I wish to help you, serve you, manifest you and fulfil you in your own way.”

Spiritual power is the sea. Occult power is the river. Will power is the current of the river and the tranquillity of the sea.

Spiritual power is self-awareness. Occult power is self-confidence. Will power is self-experience.

Slowly, steadily and unerringly the spiritual power within us grows until eventually it reaches the destination. Occult power speedily, dynamically and amazingly reaches its destination. Occult power has the speed of a deer. It runs very fast and reaches its goal quickly, but that goal is not the ultimate goal. Will power has faithfulness and devotedness. It is devoted to occult power and, at the same time, it is devoted to spiritual power. With its devotedness and faithfulness, will power reaches its destination. We can safely say that will power acts like a faithful dog.

The seeker who is far advanced in the spiritual life tells us that he uses his spiritual power in order to climb up high, higher, highest. The seeker who is far advanced in the spiritual life tells us that he uses his occult power in order to run fast, faster, fastest. The seeker who has tremendous will power, who is inundated with will power, energises the seeker who has spiritual power and the seeker who has occult power. The role of the seeker who is inundated with will power is to help the seeker who has spiritual power and the seeker who has occult power.

Spiritual power almost whisperingly tells us that right is might. If you have the divine right, inside that right you must feel the divine power. If you have the right, then use your power. Occult power bravely tells us that might is right. If you have the capacity, that is your right. Occultism is simple. But the seeker with tremendous will power will tell us that the cry of Mother Earth is the might of Mother Earth and the smile of Father Heaven is the right of Father Heaven. We need only one might and that is the inner cry of Mother Earth. We need only one right and that is the smile of Father Heaven.

How do we acquire spiritual power? We acquire spiritual power by self-giving, constant self-giving. How do we acquire occult power? We acquire occult power by self-examining. How do we acquire will power? We acquire will power by self-affirming. In self-giving, what do we give? We give what we have and what we are. What we have is love of God and what we are is concern for mankind. In self-examining, what do we examine? We examine sincerely our capacity and our incapacity. We examine our incapacity in order to transform it into capacity and we examine our capacity in order to make it absolutely perfect. In self-affirming, what do we affirm? We affirm ourselves. But we have to know that this self-affirmation is not like the self-affirmation of Julius Caesar, who declared, “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Our self-affirmation will be: “I came, I loved and I became.” This is our divine self-affirmation: “I came into the world, I loved all human beings and I established my inseparable oneness with all human beings.”

If we properly use spiritual power, then we can live here on earth in immortality’s Reality. If we properly use occult power, then the Universal Reality is always at our disposal. Nothing will be able to hide from an occultist’s vision. Anything in the creation will be within an occultist’s reach sooner than at once.

If we misuse spiritual power, we shall be extremely, extremely poor in the spiritual life. Sometimes it has happened that advanced seekers, after misusing spiritual power, have become poorer in aspiration than they were right at the beginning of their spiritual journey. Similarly, if an occultist misuses his occult power, then he becomes totally blind in the spiritual life. This blindness is not physical blindness; it is a much more serious blindness. It is a loss of his inner vision. This seeker will not be able to see the truth anymore. And something worse: when occult power is misused, the power that is misused eventually comes and attacks the occultist. In the case of spiritual power, he who misuses it sometimes escapes the attack of the misused spiritual forces; but when occult power is misused, the person who has misused it will eventually be attacked and punished by the forces that were once upon a time his own and at his beck and call.

With will power, what can we do? With will power we can identify ourselves with God’s creation; we can identify ourselves with God’s Reality. Will power is conscious identification with the reality that exists or with the reality that is going to blossom. Each individual here has a certain amount of will power. But will power can also be cultivated. As we develop our muscles, even so we can develop our will power. But while developing will power, we have to know whether we are going to use this will power only to build in ourselves the temple of truth, the temple of light, the temple of peace, the temple of delight. If this is our goal, then will power will always be ready to help us, mould us and shape us into perfect perfection. Otherwise, will power can also be a true obstacle in our spiritual path.

Spiritual power tells us in unmistakable terms, “I am, I eternally am.” Occult power tells us unmistakably, “I can, I immediately can.” Will power unmistakably tells us, “I enjoy, I divinely enjoy, I supremely enjoy. I enjoy, not in a human way, but in a divine way, in a supreme way.

SPO 1. 21 January 1976

Question: Can you speak about your spiritual teachings?2

Sri Chinmoy: My teachings are that we do not neglect the body and we do not neglect the soul. We need the soul to realise the highest absolute Truth; and we need the body for the manifestation of the highest absolute Truth. The body is the temple and the soul is the shrine. In the spiritual life we give importance to physical fitness and also we give importance to the soul. We need both for complete realisation and for complete manifestation: the soul for complete realisation and the body for complete manifestation.

SPO 2-8. Questions answered following the talk Spiritual power, occult power and will power.

Question: How can we acquire spiritual intensity?

Sri Chinmoy: Here on earth, the thing that keeps you alive is your breath. Each time you breathe in you feel the necessity of breath. When you hold your breath for ten seconds, you feel that you are about to die; then, when you again breath in, you feel tremendous inner and outer intensity in your breath. When you breathe in, try to make yourself feel that this breath exists solely because it contains the Life, Light and Reality of the Supreme. If you can feel the existence of the Supreme’s Light and Love inside each living breath, if you can feel that the Supreme embodies your life-breath, then your love for the Supreme automatically increases.

You have to feel that the Supreme is the Source of your life-breath, and you should always try to go to the Source. If you can constantly aspire for this, you will feel that intensity is coming to the fore in your life of aspiration. You have to cry always for a free access to the Source. When we are aware of the Source and live in the Source, we become perfect instruments of the Supreme.

Question: What is your view of theosophy and spiritualism?

Sri Chinmoy: I have nothing to say against theosophy; it helps seekers in its own way. Only we know that there is something deeper which theosophy cannot touch. The theosophy of Madame Blavatsky and Annie Besant is not wrong. But we have to know whether they are truly God-realised souls.

In Madame Blavatsky’s Secret Doctrine and also in other writings of Annie Besant, they have caught a portion of the truth. But this truth has not come directly from the highest realm of consciousness. It was in the vital world that this truth originated and got its expression. I am not saying anything against their offering. But at the same time we have to know that the truth they offer is different from the truth that comes from a spiritual Master who has entered into the plane called Sat-Chit-Ananda: Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. This plane is infinitely higher than the plane which theosophy has approached or achieved.

There is a great difference between spirituality, real spirituality, which is Yoga, and spiritualism. Spiritualism involves mediums; it involves spirits in the vital world or vital beings that are not purely connected with the soul and our inner being. If we are too interested in spiritualism, we give too much importance to the beings that move around in the vital world and in other worlds which are not at all illumined. They are only frightening, threatening, quarrelling and fighting. They satisfy a kind of curiosity plus a destructive quality in human nature.

Question: There are many gods and goddesses in mythology. Are there different beings in different cultures, or are they the same beings with different names?

Sri Chinmoy: They are different beings; they are not the same. But they may have similar qualities. It is like, say, calling someone a great poet of America. You may want to say, “He is the Shakespeare of America.” Similarly, our Indian goddess Saraswati can be compared with Pallas Athena. She is not the same person, but since she has the same type of quality, you can make a comparison. Still, it is not the same goddess.

Question: How can you become aware of the soul?

Sri Chinmoy: Through your deep prayer and meditation. Once you see your soul, you will be able to see the soul in everything. The soul is not an easy thing to see just now. Now you are studying, seeking for the result of your M.A. course. If a kindergarten student asks about university courses, you can try to explain. But it is difficult to explain to him. Similarly, with your mind you are asking me about the soul and with the mind I have to answer. Mentally we are trying to formulate some ideas, but actually it has to be understood on the strength of one’s own inner awakening, inner experience. Questions can be answered, but if you go deep within, in the process of your own spiritual awakening the answers will be there.

Question: Do we lose all our progress when we die and then do we have to start from the beginning in our next incarnation?

Sri Chinmoy: No, nothing is lost. From the soul’s region you come into the world-battlefield to fight against doubt, anxiety, frustration, and everything else that is undivine. But in this life you have not yet manifested the proper victory for God here on earth. You have not established the divine victory on earth. So with the achievement you have made, you will go back to the soul’s region and take some rest for some time. You come into the world and play your role. Then, as in a game, you become tired and you take rest. After five years or ten years or twelve years, you will come down here again and continue the game. You may not remember, but your soul remembers how much you realised here. So, with that achievement, you will again start your journey. Nothing is lost. Suppose you have an iota of Peace, Light and Bliss in this incarnation. In your next incarnation you start with that iota of Truth. From one dollar we go to three dollars and then to five dollars.

In the spiritual life also, we go from little Light to more Light. When we start our journey, we cannot meditate for five minutes. Then, after two or three months, or years, we can meditate for two hours without any difficulty. Each time we come into the world and aspire, we increase our divinity. Then a time comes when we realise the Highest. At that time, our inner consciousness becomes infinite, our inner joy becomes infinite. A spiritual Master, if he is a real spiritual Master, deals with infinite Peace, infinite Light, in his inner consciousness. Outwardly nobody will know it or value it. Now I have infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. But if I go to a grocer and say that I will give him Peace and Light in exchange for some food, he will tell me to go home. Again, in this world everybody can give and everybody can receive. The Master wants to receive your aspiration; he wants to see if you are sincere and if you want to receive his Light. It is a mutual giving. You give me what you have, your aspiration; I give you what I have, my realisation.

Question: How can we learn to hear the inner music?

Sri Chinmoy: It is through constant prayer and meditation that we can learn to hear the inner music. We have to pray to God soulfully to grant us Light, abundant Light, so that when we dive deep within we can hear His message without being hindered by our doubting mind. The deeper we can dive, the sooner our doubting mind will leave us for good. So it is through prayer that we can listen to the dictates of our soul, dictates that embody music pristine in purity and Light and Delight.

Sometimes a seeker, if he is not a seeker of the purest type, feels that he is acting like a beggar when he is praying. So he does not want to continue praying. But if the seeker meditates, then he has a different feeling. He feels that he has a Source and meditates on the Source, but not in a begging manner. He tells the Source, “You have sent me here to do something for You. Now, I feel it is high time that You come and act in and through me. Kindly bring to the fore the capacity that I embody to please You, to manifest You, to fulfil You.”

If the seeker cannot pray properly, divinely and soulfully, or if his doubting mind or his proud mind interferes and he does not want to act like a beggar, then let him invoke God like a prince invoking the King. Or, like a son, let him invoke the Father to do the needful. That is done through meditation.

Part II — Heaven-Vision and earth-reality

Heaven-Vision and earth-reality3

Heaven-Vision and earth-reality. Heaven-Vision is great; it is appreciated, admired and adored by earth-reality. Earth-reality is good; it is liked, loved and embraced by Heaven-Vision. Heaven-Vision is God’s Duty: eternal expansion. Earth-reality is God’s Beauty: infinite manifestation. Heaven-Vision tells the seeker that there is only one thing that the seeker needs and that is illumination: liberation from the meshes of ignorance. Earth-reality tells the seeker that he needs only one thing and that is transformation: total transformation of his human nature.

When the cry of the finite grows and glows into the smile of the infinite, we call it liberation. When the darkness of the body is transformed into the light of the soul, we call it transformation. Liberation is of the entire being. Transformation is mainly of the physical nature, the earthbound nature. Illumination is the connecting link between liberation and transformation.

When one is liberated, one feels and knows that there is another world to take rest in; and when one is transformed, one feels that it is here, here on earth, that he has to manifest the Absolute Supreme. When one is liberated, one feels that he has worked very hard and now it is high time for him to take rest in some other plane of consciousness. When one is transformed, when one’s outer being is transformed by light, one feels that he has got the golden opportunity to be a perfect instrument of God here on earth.

The light descends from the soul into the heart. Liberation usually starts with the heart. Then the flame of liberation enters into the vital, which may be aggressive, emotional or animal. And finally the flame of liberation enters into the gross physical. The light descends from the soul into the heart, from the heart into the mind, from the mind into the vital and from the vital into the physical. This is how liberation takes place. But transformation starts right in the physical, and for the physical, when the light descends from above.

In the unaspiring human being, Heaven-Vision cannot abide even for a fleeting second. Earth-reality also finds it almost impossible to reside inside the unaspiring human being. But just because human beings remain on earth, with boundless compassion and boundless patience earth-reality does abide inside unaspiring human beings. But inside aspiring human beings Heaven-Vision discovers the only way to reveal God. And inside aspiring human beings earth-reality finds its goal, its only goal: the manifestation of God here on earth.

At the beginning of his spiritual journey, the seeker says to Heaven-Vision, “All that I am is from You. All that I have is from You: it is Your Light, Your Delight, Your Silence, Your Sound.” At the end of the journey’s close, the seeker says to earth-reality, “All that I am and all that I have is for you: infinite patience, infinite compassion, infinite forgiveness.”

Heaven-Vision tells the seeker that if he knows how to believe, then it can make him a perfect instrument of the Absolute Supreme. Earth-reality tells the seeker that if he can listen to the dictates of his Inner Pilot, then earth-reality can make him a perfect instrument of the Absolute Supreme. The sincere seeker knows how to believe and he will believe. He knows how to listen and he will listen to the dictates of his inmost being, the soul, the direct representative of the Supreme.

Heaven-Vision is a flower that, petal by petal, grows inside each seeker. Earth-reality is a fruit that comes into existence at the end of climbing aspiration in the inner world and soulful dedication and loving self-giving in the outer world. Each seeker deep inside him has Heaven-Vision and earth-reality. The Heaven-Vision in the seeker starts the journey. If the seeker starts with earth-reality, he will be making a Himalayan blunder. Heaven-Vision is the Consciousness-tree. The seeker has to climb up the tree and only then can he share the reality-fruit with the world at large.

When we close the door of the doubting, questioning, suspicious mind and open the door of the loving, sympathising oneness-heart, Heaven-Vision enters into us. When we use our indomitable will to see the face of truth and to grow into the very name of truth, earth-reality claims us as its very own. When we cry in the purest recesses of our heart, Heaven-Vision answers. When we smile at ignorance-sea that is inundating the human world, earth-reality embraces us.

Heaven is vision, earth is reality. Again, earth is vision, Heaven is reality. Heaven is the seed, earth is the fruit. When we look at Heaven-Vision in seed form, we see that Heaven-Vision is the pioneer. Again, when we look at the fruit which will offer its seeds, we know that earth-reality is the pioneer. Today the seed is the vision and the fruit is the reality. Tomorrow the same fruit will be the unveiling of vision and the seed will be the illumined and fulfilled reality.

SPO 9. 28 January 1976

Question: Does suffering increase one's inner hunger?4

Sri Chinmoy: When the inner hunger is increased through suffering, I tell you, this hunger does not last. This hunger will be satisfied after a short time and then again you will enter into ignorance-life and immediately be assailed by more suffering. Real hunger constantly increases through inner joy, inner satisfaction. At that time you are constantly transcending yourself.

When one suffers, at that time God becomes real for him. There are many atheists; for them there is no God. But when their children fall sick and it is critical, immediately they invoke God or Light or some Power. Somebody is passing beyond the Curtain of Eternity, so they feel it is time to invoke some higher Power, some higher Light, something which they don’t have that comes from somewhere else. They invoke something and that something is God. They are stark atheists; they don’t believe in God at all. But at that time God comes into the picture just because they are suffering. But the moment their suffering ends, temptation-life or ignorance-life catches them and they forget God.

So if we have to go to God through suffering, then eventually temptation will come and take us away. If we feel we have to go to God by cutting off our arms or limbs, if we feel that when we suffer, at that time God will listen to us, we are making a deplorable mistake. The positive way to go to God is through love, through joy. Constantly we are loving him; that is why we are getting joy. Just because we are in joy we love Him. If we want to increase our inner cry, then we have to love God more and we have to be inwardly and outwardly cheerful. It is through constant cheerfulness that our love of God increases. By remaining always in a state of melancholy we will not make progress. We are only trying to draw sympathy from the world and become an object of pity. But that is not the way. The right way is always to have spontaneous joy. From Delight we came into the world, in Delight we grow and, at the end of our journey’s close, into Delight we retire. This is our philosophy.

Joy and cheerfulness is not a life of pleasure. No! It is the conscious awareness of our inner divinity. When we are happy, when we are really happy, we are making real progress. Through suffering one may make progress, but before he makes progress he curses God. “He is happy, she is happy, everybody is happy. How is it that I am suffering?” So before we actually cry for light, quite often we misunderstand God, we criticise God and find fault with Him. But when we are happy, at that time we don’t criticise God. On the contrary, we show our gratitude. He has made us happy, whereas there are many who are still unhappy because they are wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance. When we become a happy heart, we move forward, we dive deep within, we fly. At that time we make considerable progress. Progress is in movement, and this movement comes only when we have joy and we become joy.

SPO 10-19. Questions answered following the talk Heaven-Vision and earth-reality.

Question: Isn't spirituality a way of escaping from our problems or difficulties?

Sri Chinmoy: We do not give up because the world is full of difficulties; we do not commit suicide because the world is full of difficulties. What we have to do is pay more attention to the spiritual life. Our path is the path of acceptance. We shall accept the outer life in a normal way, but we shall also do something which most people do not do, and that is pay full attention to the inner life as well. Real spirituality will demand acceptance of life as it is. Obstacles we don’t deny, but the obstacles have to be surmounted. We are not saying to ignore them or run away from them. Far from it. But the advice I am giving is that if we can achieve light from above, then only can we conquer these outer obstacles. We are not avoiding them, we are not afraid of them. We are not trying to escape from the hard reality. But if we know that there is a medicine which can cure the maladies of centuries, then if we are wise we will take that medicine. That medicine is inner light.

Question: If one wishes to become a good person, is that a form of aspiration?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. But if we want to be a really good person, our goodness must come not from a sense of morality, but from a sense of divinity. We have to know whether we are looking at good from the moral aspect or from the spiritual aspect. Morally, everyone can know what is good and what is bad. But spiritually, what is good and what is bad only God and our soul know.

The moment you become a better human being, you have to offer your good qualities — your sincerity and your love — to mankind. These good qualities come from God. The inspiration and aspiration to love mankind come not from outside but from inside. If you want to give, you have to receive from someone who has already achieved that thing, and that is God inside you. If you do not first receive, how are you going to give?

You can be a better human being if you think of the Source, the One who makes you good, better, best — the One who is already better than you. You can be a good human being and you can help people, but only if the necessity comes from within.

When we become realised, we become one with everyone according to his own standard. When I deal with a child, I am at one with the child’s standard. If I don’t become one with the child’s standard, he won’t talk to me. Then when I deal with the parents, I am one with their standard. Although I am one with them, I am also a little ahead, one step ahead. By being just a little ahead, I can give more encouragement. But if I am very far ahead of them and if I maintain my own high standard, they will become discouraged and feel that they will never be able to keep up with me. This is why I stay just a little ahead.

Question: Is Peace God?

Sri Chinmoy: God and Peace are synonymous. It is like the obverse and reverse of the same coin. If one wants God, that means he is really crying for Peace. If one is crying for illumination, how can he separate God from God’s Peace?

Question: Can you speak of the personality of God?

Sri Chinmoy: No, we cannot bind God with personality and individuality. He transcends both individuality and personality. God deals with the Universal and Transcendental Consciousness. An individual embodies personality and shows his personality in his earthly activities. But in God’s case it is all universality. He is not bound by anything; therefore we cannot ascribe personality to Him. He far transcends both personality and impersonality precisely because He is both Transcendental and Universal all at once.

Question: Could you speak about Jesus Christ?

Sri Chinmoy: Who am I to pronounce judgement on the Christ? He is a Saviour in the purest sense of the term, not only of the West but of the whole world. He is one of the Saviours like Sri Krishna, Lord Buddha, Sri Ramakrishna and others. They came into the world and they are still in the world. Our human eyes do not see them but our life of aspiration sees and feels them. They are the World Saviours who are trying to illumine the earth-consciousness.

Question: What is the first step in pursuing peace of mind?

Sri Chinmoy: In pursuing peace of mind, the first step is to sincerely feel that no individual is indispensable. If you feel that you are not indispensable to others and that others are not indispensable in your life, then you can easily have peace of mind. We lack peace of mind precisely because we feel that others need something from us or we need something from others. When the feeling that we or others are indispensable goes away, we get peace of mind.

An individual may have a few good qualities, but that doesn’t mean that he or she is indispensable. The same good qualities others may have. The more we give importance to ourselves or others, the more we weaken our own capacity. Only God is indispensable. We have to give all importance to the Source, to the Divine within us, to the Supreme within us. We have to feel that we are able to help or serve others, and they are able to help or serve us, precisely because the Supreme has given us certain qualities. These qualities have a true possessor, and the possessor is the Supreme. If we can consciously and continuously make ourselves feel that He alone is indispensable, then we can have peace of mind. This is the most effective way to bring about peace of mind.

Question: Is there any difference between the awareness of infinity and infinite awareness?

Sri Chinmoy: Awareness of Infinity a seeker develops only when he is on the verge of realisation. But Infinity, as such, has its own awareness, its own universal awareness or transcendental awareness. Infinity has its own awareness, which the seeker gradually becomes one with in his inmost consciousness.

Question: I often get into arguments with people. They say I shouldn't meditate and I say they should aspire more.

Sri Chinmoy: When we aspire, we feel the necessity of Truth alone, Light alone, Divinity alone. We try to become God’s perfect instrument so that we can share His Light with the rest of mankind. So our main concern is to become perfect and for that we have to grow into something divine. If we really want to become good, divine and perfect, then we have to pay all attention to our own life first. We have to pray and meditate. We are not criticising society, we are not condemning others; only we are doing the thing that is of paramount importance in our own life. We won’t say that others are doing everything wrong, whereas we are doing the right thing. No. We will only say that our Hour has struck. Our Hour has struck, so we pray, we meditate. The Hour for others will strike today or tomorrow.

So instead of belittling others or finding fault with them, please feel that what you are doing is absolutely the best thing for you, according to your own understanding and receptivity, and what they are doing right now is right for them, at the present stage of their evolution. If you do your work and they do their work, and if you do not find fault with them and they do not find fault with you, then all of you can run the fastest. In that way, there will be no confusion, there will be no contradiction, there will be no problem at all.

Question: Is there a difference between concentration and meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: When we concentrate, we focus all our energy, all our attention on one subject or object. We do not allow even an iota of thought to enter into our mind, because each thought is like a dark spot on the tablet of our heart. We usually try to concentrate on something very small: tiny, tinier, tiniest. But when we meditate, we meditate on something very vast. At that time we are deeply absorbed in the vastness of the reality. When we concentrate, we try to get the minute reality so that we can become part and parcel of that reality. Then, from there we grow into the vast. But when we meditate, right from the beginning we try to deal with the vastness itself.

Concentration paves the way for meditation by making the mind calm and quiet. Concentration won’t allow any thought, even an iota of thought, to enter into the mind. It is like a guard standing at the door who will not allow anybody to enter. This is concentration. But when we meditate, the mind is already calm and quiet. At that time, we can observe which thoughts are friends and which are enemies. If it is a good thought, a divine thought, a glowing, illumining and fulfilling thought, then we will allow it to enter, because this kind of thought is our real friend. But if fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, jealousy and all these ideas come, we don’t allow them in.

Concentration demands swiftness in the mind. The mind will run very fast to enter into the object or subject so that it can become part and parcel of its reality. At the same time, concentration demands alertness. The mind will not allow anything to enter into it. Concentration has to be practised before one practises meditation. It is like the first rung of a ladder. We have to step on the first rung in order to step on the second.

Part III — Two God-instruments

Two God-instruments5

Both the Master and the disciple are eternal students. The Master is like Socrates, for he is consciously aware that he is an eternal student, whereas the disciple does not know that he is an eternal student. The true Master is God. The spiritual Master is a conscious and dedicated servant of God, a conscious and dedicated student of God. The Master knows that there is a Source and he belongs to that Source; he is of the Source and he is for the Source. He is consciously aware of it. The disciple is, unfortunately, not aware of his oneness with the Source. But the disciple does not always remain unconscious. He, too, develops inner maturity and inner light. Then he feels, like his teacher, that he is also an eternal student.

The spiritual Master is not actually a teacher for his disciples; he is a private tutor. The teacher teaches and then he examines, but it is the student who has to pass the examination with his own effort. If the student does not do well, then he remains in ignorance. But a private tutor gives us special assistance so that we will not remain in ignorance. In the spiritual life, the private tutor is the Master. He helps us to face the ignorance-sea. He privately teaches us how to face the ignorance-sea and how to discover our soul’s reality. In every way he helps us in our self-discovery.

There are some seekers who, unfortunately, feel that the Master is God. But no human being can be God. The Master is not even the real father of the spiritual family. The real father is the Absolute Lord. The Master is only an elder child in the family and the disciples are the younger children. The father has taught the eldest son to teach those very things to the younger ones. The younger ones may not know that their real father is not the eldest brother, but Someone else. But they eventually come to realise this. The role of the eldest brother is over only when he can soulfully, devotedly and successfully take the younger members of his family to his Father, who is also their Father.

The Master plays the role of realisation and the disciple plays the role of aspiration. But realisation and aspiration are inseparable. What we call aspiration is realisation on another plane of consciousness. Here on earth we call it aspiration, but that very thing is realisation on another plane. Similarly, what we call realisation on another plane, on this earth-plane we call aspiration. Realisation is nothing but a continuous act of ever-transcending aspiration and aspiration is nothing short of realisation — either partial realisation or ever-illumining, ever-glowing realisation. It entirely depends on the seeker’s standard, on his inner growth.

The disciple offers his aspiration to the Master. The Master offers realisation to the disciple. The Master offers to the disciple what he considers to be the best in his life of realisation. The disciple offers to the Master what he feels is the best in his life of aspiration. But the Master tells the disciple, “No, this is not your best. It is high time to get up, my child. Do not sleep any more. Do not wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. Awake, arise!” Then the disciple gets up and enters into the life of dynamic spirituality. At that time, the Master tells him, “Please do not delay. Sit on my shoulder. I shall carry you the length and the breadth of the inner world.”

Spirituality is like a divine game. There are quite a few players and each player has a distinct role. The Master plays a significant role and the disciple plays a significant role. But on the highest plane it is the Real in us, the Supreme, who plays the role of the Master in one individual and the role of the disciple in another individual. He is the giver in the heart of the Master and He is the receiver in the life of the disciple.

The Master is the bridge, the connecting link between humanity’s aspiration and divinity’s realisation. He takes what humanity can offer to him for divinity — its soulful cry — and he carries down what divinity can offer to him for humanity — its illumining Smile. The Master is also a messenger. He carries humanity’s hope into the world of God’s Vision and he brings down divinity’s Promise into the human world. He climbs up to the highest with humanity’s hope and he climbs down to the lowest with divinity’s Promise. What for? For the earth-consciousness, for the transformation and perfection of humanity.

The Master is a servant. In the ordinary life, you need the assistance of the servant in order to see the boss. In the spiritual life also, if a seeker or a disciple pleases the Master, who is God’s servant, the servant will tell the Boss that there is someone waiting to see Him. It is the servant who opens the door and tells the real Boss, the Supreme, that somebody is looking for Him. The Master is the secretary. You approach the secretary if you want to make an appointment with the boss.

The role of the Master is to do dedicated service in the silence-life. It is in the life of inner silence that he most effectively works in and through his disciples. It is the silence-life, as a matter of fact, that he offers to his disciples. And it is their sound-life that the disciples offer to him. Silence-life is for realisation; sound-life is for manifestation. Both are of paramount importance.

The Master is most sincere when he becomes part and parcel of humanity’s cry. When humanity is hungry for Peace, Light and Bliss, the Master, on the strength of his oneness, suffers from the same hunger. Like humanity, he also is pinched with an eternal thirst and hunger. But again, the same Master goes up high, higher, highest and becomes one with the Source of infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. There in Heaven he enjoys a feast, a sumptuous feast, and here on earth he is compelled to starve. But both he does devotedly and soulfully. His role in God’s cosmic Drama is to carry humanity’s cry into Heaven’s Delight and to bring down Heaven’s Delight into humanity’s cry.

In God’s Eye, both the Master and the disciple are of equal importance. God knows that His little child, who is known as a disciple, will not always remain young and helpless. He will also be endowed someday with boundless Peace, Light and Bliss. And also God knows that it is He who is playing the role of a little child in and through each disciple. It is He who wants His creation to remain ever new and fresh. Ever-transcending newness and freshness is the world-song in each individual and each creation of His. At the same time, He inspires us and makes us feel that He is the ever-transcending Truth which both the Master and the disciple must embody.

The Master and the disciple become one on the day the inner initiation takes place. Now, initiation can take place in various ways. It can be done in the traditional Indian way, by chanting a mantra and offering a few symbolic sacred items. In this way the disciple is given a sense of renunciation, which is of paramount importance in the spiritual life. Initiation can also take place through the eyes. The Master offers a portion of his soul’s light or a portion of his life-breath to the disciple through the eyes. This is how he accepts a disciple as his very own. Through the Master’s compassion-power the disciple brings to the fore from the inmost recesses of his heart peerless gratitude. When gratitude and compassion work together, initiation takes place. At that time the Master makes a solemn promise to the disciple: “My son, your ignorance of millennia is now in me. I shall illumine it, transform it and make it a perfect instrument of the Lord Supreme.” On the strength of the Master’s absolute oneness with the Supreme and with his disciple, the Master feels that all that he is, all that he was and all that he will be, the disciple himself is, in seed form.

In the course of time, the disciple, like his teacher, becomes fully aware of the undeniable truth that he is also an indispensable instrument of the Absolute Supreme. Then the disciple says to the Master, “Master, you are the body of eternal Truth and I am your limbs. You need me for your manifestation and I need you for my realisation. Let us function together, for it is so ordained. You will play the role of the Universal Consciousness, the transcendental Height, and I will play the role of your earth-manifestation instrument. Together we shall manifest and fulfil the Absolute Supreme.”

The Master, while serving the disciple in silence, knows and feels that he is loving the Beloved Supreme inside the disciple. And there comes a time when he does not see his Beloved Supreme inside the disciple as a separate entity but he sees his Beloved Supreme inside the entire existence of his disciple. He sees the disciple as his Beloved Supreme. And there comes a time when the disciple does not see the Master as another human being but he sees the Master as totally one with his Lord Supreme.

There comes a time when the Absolute Supreme makes both the Master and the disciple feel that He needs them equally, for He embodies both Vision and Reality. His Vision-Light He has already offered to the Master and His Reality-Light is growing inside the disciple. Both His Vision and His Reality must work together in order to establish the world of perfection here on earth. The Master without the disciple is lame and the disciple without the Master is blind. But when they are together they are neither blind nor lame; they are perfect instruments of the Absolute Supreme manifesting the Supreme in His inimitable way.

In conclusion, I wish to say that the Master and disciple are both God’s indispensable chosen instruments. They are indispensable precisely because they want to please the Absolute Supreme in His own way. If the Master wanted to please the Supreme in the Master’s own way, then the Master would not be indispensable. If the disciple wanted to please the Supreme in the disciple’s own way, then the disciple would not be indispensable at all. But when both the Master and the disciple cry and try, try and cry, to please and fulfil the Absolute in the way the Absolute wants to be pleased and fulfilled, then they are pure, perfect and conscious instruments of God.

SPO 20. 4 February 1976

Question: How do you meditate?6

Sri Chinmoy: Before you meditate, you should begin with concentration. In this way your meditation will be easier. Since you are a disciple of mine, you will get a picture of me in my highest Transcendental Consciousness. And then after a few months, if you stay in our Centre, I will give you a special pin to concentrate on. In our New York Centre and other Centres, all disciples without exception look at this pin and concentrate on it. When they concentrate on the pin, they feel that their whole inner attention is entering into my highest consciousness. All their attention is focused on my pin. They have just entered it and they are there, transfixed.

Then, after concentration, you will begin your meditation. This meditation I shall tell you about is only for the disciples; it is not for others. You will look at that pin and then do one of two things, whichever you feel is best. You are concentrating on this pin and you have become totally one with my consciousness. Now, as a disciple, you will try to enter into me totally, with your body, vital, mind, heart and soul. Your whole existence will enter into me, like a river entering into the sea. This is one way. Or you will make yourself totally empty and allow me to enter into you. These are the two ways. Suppose you are meditating today and you are not afraid of me. While you are looking at me, you enter into me. Tomorrow, if you are a little afraid, allow me to enter into you. Do whichever is easier for you. If you want to enter into me, you are most welcome. My heart’s door is wide open. But if you are afraid of entering into me, if you feel that you will be totally lost, then feel you will keep your heart’s door open and allow me to enter into you. At that time, whatever you need, I will bring to you. If you need joy, I will come into you with joy. If you need delight, I will come into you with delight. If you are not afraid of me, then enter into me. Once there you can drink Peace, Light and Bliss; you can swim in my inner ocean of Light and Delight. But if you are afraid of me, then I will come into you according to your receptivity. If you have kept your heart’s door open this much, I will be in it; if you have opened it this much, I will be in it. It is up to you.

SPO 21-31. Question and answers following the talk Two God-Instruments.

Question: Is meditation a dialogue between the mind of man and God?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it is a kind of dialogue, but the only thing is that this dialogue does not take place on the mental plane. In profound meditation, the Absolute Supreme tells the seeker what to do. But when it is prayer, the seeker asks the Supreme what he should do. When you pray soulfully, your aspiration goes up high, higher, highest and you ask the Supreme Father what He wants you to do. When you are meditating, you remain where you are but, like a magnet, you pull the Eternal Pilot, the Supreme, and He comes and tells you what He wants you to do.

So this dialogue goes on, but it is not on the mental plane. It is done on the inner plane, the soul’s plane; and this talk that we have, the conversation or communion, is done with the help of inner Light. The conversation goes on between the Light that you have and you are and the Light that the Eternal Pilot, the Supreme, has and is. It is a conversation, a communion of Light, inner Light. Each individual has inner Light and this inner Light is constantly trying to bring down the infinite Light from above. The infinite Light is the Supreme.

Question: I am curious about your enlightenment. How and when did it come about?

Sri Chinmoy: Enlightenment is a matter of inner study. As you go to school to acquire mental knowledge, even so, when you study within yourself, you acquire inner knowledge; you get Peace, Light and Bliss. Inner study is called inner discipline. When we know how to discipline our lives, when we can establish a free access to the inner planes, we get Peace, Light, Bliss and other divine qualities in abundant measure. But we have to study. When we aspire for a better, higher and more illumining life, automatically we get it.

Question: When did you start meditating?

Sri Chinmoy: I started when I was quite young. At the age of twelve I started meditating consciously. Before that, when I was six, I was meditating, but it was not so conscious. It was at the age of twelve that I consciously accepted the life of aspiration. I became very conscious of it from that age and from the age of seventeen my aspiration was extremely intense, dedicated and surrendered.

Question: What were you doing just now when you looked at me?

Sri Chinmoy: I was bringing your soul forward. Your soul wants to come to the fore so it can manifest its divine qualities. Right now it is unable to manifest its divine qualities because you are not aspiring. When you pray and meditate, when you aspire, the soul comes to the fore and its divine qualities get an opportunity to be manifested on earth. Once the divine qualities of the soul are manifested, we get true satisfaction from life. When I was meditating on you and the other seekers here tonight, I was actually trying to bring the souls to the fore.

Question: How can you tell that you are not just fooling yourself when you follow a spiritual life? How do you know if you are really making progress?

Sri Chinmoy: If you enter into the spiritual life, there comes a time when your inner experiences will prove to you that you are not fooling yourself. Temptation-life will go away, deception-life will go away, insincerity will go away, impurity will go away, anxiety will go away, the life of doubt and self-doubt will go away. So when these things leave you — these friends or enemies or whatever you want to call them — then you will know whether you are fooling yourself or not.

If you see that these forces — fear, doubt, anxiety, worry, temptation and desire-life — are still within you, even though you pray to God, then naturally you are fooling yourself. But if you are living a life of aspiration and every day your desire is decreasing, your anxiety is decreasing, your worries and all other undivine things are leaving you, then naturally you know you are making progress. At that time, you will easily know whether you are fooling yourself or not.

Question: Can anyone attain this infinite Light?

Sri Chinmoy: We are all God’s children. God has created us precisely so He can give us what He has and what He is. But we need to have the inner hunger. He who is hungry will eventually be fed. But if one does not have any hunger, then he won’t eat. So who will go to feed him? When somebody is thirsty he looks around for water. If he is not thirsty, he remains where he is. In the spiritual life also, he who has an eternal, sincere thirst for Light, Truth and Bliss will eventually have his thirst quenched.

Question: When you bring down certain qualities such as Peace, Light, Bliss and Power, do you bring down certain measured amounts or do you just bring down until we stop receiving?

Sri Chinmoy: We don’t measure it in that way. It is like turning on the faucet; it comes in a very fast and endless flow. It is not that I bring down some large measured quantity and then you receive according to your capacity, no. It comes in profuse measure. Then, when I enter into an individual, he receives according to his receptivity. Sometimes the individual receives according to the collective aspiration of the group with which he is meditating. So one time the individual receives according to the power of his aspiration and receptivity; another time, in a collective way, Peace, Light and Bliss are received as a unit.

Very often we see that more Light, more Peace, can enter into the disciple if he has opened up his inner door. Then what happens? The Light and Peace do not go back; they enter and remain inside him. When I bring these things down, nothing goes back. You take as much as you can and the remainder stays with us in the atmosphere.

This reminds me of an incident. The last time we went to Puerto Rico, as one of the disciples came out of her garage, she asked, “Guru, will you kindly close the garage door?” So I pulled the garage door down. She then said to me, “I was asking you to close my outer door, but I am praying to you to open my inner door.” The outer door is the door of the senses. The sooner the disciples can close the outer door — which creates fear, doubt and anxiety when it is open — the more quickly and easily they can open the inner door, through which we get Peace, Light, Bliss and Power. So I wish all of you to give your Guru the chance to close your outer door and open your inner door. If I can do it with your conscious approval, then I shall be most proud of you.

Question: What if a disciple loses desire?

Sri Chinmoy: That is very good. If he loses desire, naturally he is ready for the spiritual life. But there are many people in Indian villages who get up every morning and go to the fields. They plow the fields, then go home and lead a most ordinary life. They are satisfied. They don’t increase their desires but they don’t have any higher aspiration either. They do not have as many desires as we cultured people have. They don’t dare to desire because they feel that it is useless; their desires won’t be fulfilled. So if you lose desire, it is very good in the spiritual life, but losing desire does not mean that you will aspire. Let us say I do not want to be a millionaire because I have failed in my attempt to become one. But that doesn’t mean that I am going to church and praying to God for Peace, Light and Bliss. I have lost my desire, true. But I have not aspired to pray to God to give me Peace, Light and Bliss.

Question: If one completely loses all sense of desire, can you say that one would still have aspiration?

Sri Chinmoy: Let us say that somebody who is now twenty years old has teeming, countless desires. When he is sixty or seventy years old, he knows that these desires are not all going to be fulfilled. This does not mean that he will aspire for something higher. The road ends, but he doesn’t necessarily walk along another road. There are many, many people on earth who start their lives with desires and, at the end, feel that only a few of their desires were fulfilled. But knowing this, they do not immediately change; they do not step onto the road of aspiration. So to lose ordinary desires does not mean that you are entering into the life of aspiration.

Question: Sometimes when I meditate, everything is very sharp and clear and works well. And other times when I meditate, everything is very calm, but I get into it so much that I start to space out and I can't function. It takes me a day to come down.

Sri Chinmoy: When things do not go well after you have meditated, please feel it is because of one of two reasons. The primary reason is that when the mind is not sufficiently pure, no matter how well you meditate, you will not get a sense of satisfaction. Everything will go wrong. The other thing is that even if the mind remains pure, hostile forces may attack. Until you become perfect, they will many times prevent you from having a good meditation. So before you meditate, pray for protection. “Let my meditation be protected by the Will of the Supreme.” As you pray to Him to grant you gratitude, also pray for protection. “Let my meditation be guided and protected by the divine Power of the Supreme.” If your meditation is protected, you will have a very fruitful meditation. You will not have unpleasant experiences.

If you read my writings, many things will be cleared up. I am answering questions all from my inner light, and where does it go? It enters into books. In the form of a book, you can get my inner knowledge, inner wisdom.

Editor's preface to the first edition

Sri Chinmoy delivered a series of seven lectures in early 1976 at Marvin Center, George Washington University, Washing­ton, D.C. The first three of these talks, to­gether with selected questions and answers, have been collected in this volume. The remaining four talks will be published in a subsequent volume, Self-Discovery and World-Mastery, Washington Lecture Series — Part 2.

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