Part I — Discourses
Truth1Truth: earthly truth, heavenly Truth, eternal Truth, universal Truth, transcendental Truth and supreme Truth. Earthly truth my body needs. Heavenly Truth my vital needs. Eternal Truth my mind needs. Universal Truth my heart needs. Transcendental Truth my central being needs. The supreme Truth my soul needs.
Earthly truth awakens my sleeping body. Heavenly Truth disciplines my restless vital. Eternal Truth illumines my sighing mind. Universal Truth liberates my crying heart. Transcendental Truth immortalises my central being. The supreme Truth expedites my soul’s God-manifesting aspiration here on earth.
Truth is beauty. Beauty inspires a God-seeker to see God’s Face of eternal Beauty. Truth is peace. Peace inspires a God-seeker to feel God’s Heart of infinite Peace. Truth is power. Power inspires a God-seeker to watch God’s Eye of immortal Power. Truth is compassion. Compassion inspires a God-seeker to sit at God’s Feet of all-forgiving Compassion.
Truth frightens a weak mind in a human being. Truth enlightens a strong heart in a human being.
Truth nourishes the self-giving seekers. Truth treasures the God-realised souls.
Although man and truth are one, man cannot replace truth, but truth can easily replace man. How and why? Because man is by nature earth-bound and truth is always Heaven-free. Although truth and God are one, truth cannot replace God, but God can easily replace truth. How and why? Because truth is the creation. The creation cannot become inseparably one with the Creator at its sweet will. But the Creator can easily become inseparably one with His creation. Something more, the Creator can easily remain, eternally remain, infinitely higher than the creation’s reach. But out of His infinite Bounty, the Creator keeps Himself inseparably one, eternally one and — to our wide surprise — unconditionally one with His creation.
TFM 1. Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 25 May 1982↩
O my heart1O my heart, how can the human mind ever be happy since it regularly plies its tiny and feeble boat between suspicion-shore and confusion-shore?
I shall not fear my mind’s confusion. I shall not fear my mind’s suspicion. I shall not fear. I shall not resist my heart’s aspiration. I shall not resist. I shall not insist on having a perfection-life. I shall not insist. I shall cheerfully and unconditionally wait for God’s Hour, God’s choice Hour.
O my mind, how can I believe you when you tell me that you do love the world? I find it extremely difficult to believe you. I do not believe you and I cannot believe you when you tell me that you do love the world, for at every moment you cherish world-criticism. Each fleeting moment embodies your world-criticism. Therefore, my mind, I do not and cannot believe you when you tell me that you love the world.
O my heart, I do not and cannot believe you when you tell me that the world does not need you. The world does need you, for the world needs oneness. In oneness abides satisfaction, and it is in you, O heart, it is with you, that satisfaction can and will dawn here on earth. Therefore, O heart, I do not and cannot believe you when you tell me that the world does not need you. The world needs you at every moment, for it is you who embody satisfaction in boundless measure. The world needs you, needs you, O my heart.
My mind’s illumining defeat in the battlefield of life is the most valuable contribution that I shall make to the world at large, for the amazing profits of blossoming posterity. My heart’s sweeping victory in the battlefield of life is the richest bequest I shall leave behind me here on earth smilingly and unreservedly when my life’s final hour thunderously strikes.
TFM 2. Columbia University, New York New York, 1 June 1982↩
Receptivity1Receptivity is emptiness. What we call emptiness today, that very thing we can aptly call fulness tomorrow. Let us try to lead once more a life of simplicity, humility, sincerity, purity, gratitude and surrender. Some of us may think and feel that they are already blessed with these divine qualities. To them, my simple request is this: They should try to discover the capacities of these divine qualities. Simplicity increases receptivity in our physical body. Humility increases receptivity in our vital. Sincerity increases receptivity in our mind. Purity increases receptivity in our heart. Gratitude increases receptivity in our aspiration-life. Surrender increases receptivity in our dedication-life.
The way we live either increases or decreases our power of receptivity. There are two ways of living: wrong living and right living. There are two kinds of human beings on earth: the ignorance-lover and the God-lover. The ignorance-lover wrongly depends on wrong living. The God-lover rightly depends on right living.
Receptivity is available in two worlds: the desire-world and the aspiration-world. In the desire-world, receptivity is found in the thick jungle of attachment. In the aspiration-world, receptivity is found in the beautiful garden of devotedness.
Receptivity succeeds and receptivity proceeds. When we invoke God the divine Light, our receptivity succeeds in the battlefield of life. When we invoke God the supreme Delight, our receptivity proceeds along Eternity’s all-fulfilling and all-satisfying Road.
Measureless and fathomless receptivity we can have if we are not afraid of the unknown and if we are ready to love the Unknowable.
Here we are at Harvard. Harvard embodies unparalleled capacities, and one unparalleled, sky-vast capacity is its sea-deep receptivity. Again, receptivity comes from God’s Compassion-Eye, and God’s Compassion-Eye comes from God’s Oneness-Heart. This Oneness-Heart each seeker can have, provided he claims God’s Oneness-Heart as his own, very own. Once a seeker can claim God’s Oneness-Heart as his very own, his will be the measureless and fathomless receptivity. And inside his fathomless receptivity, at every moment what will loom large is God’s own Transcendental Vision.
TFM 3. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 10 July 1982↩
Surrender1Why do I surrender? I surrender because I want to prove to myself, and to nobody else, that I am a great truth-seeker, a mighty light-discoverer and a perfect God-lover.
What do I surrender? I surrender my unconscious body, my ferocious vital, my doubting mind and my fearful heart.
To whom do I surrender all this? I surrender all this to my Beloved Supreme, to Him alone, whom I claim to be my only sweet Dream and my only pure Reality.
No pretense, no pretense! I do not want to pretend that I have made my surrender complete and perfect. No, my entire being I still have not surrendered to the dictates of my Beloved Supreme. My complete surrender, my unconditional surrender, is still a far cry. Yet I do feel that there shall come a time when my entire being will be His, only His. Then only will my surrender be complete, and will I be His Vision-Reality. For complete surrender what I need is intense aspiration, the constantly mounting flame that climbs up to reach not only the unknown but also the Unknowable.
Lo, I have made my surrender to my Lord Supreme complete. Now, what have I learned from my complete surrender? Previously I thought that God is all Power, but now I clearly see that His Power is nothing other than His Love. I see that I have surrendered not to God the Power but to God the Love, to God who is all Love.
This is not my mind’s hallucination but my heart’s illumination.
Before, I thought that I had many enemies. I did not want to surrender to anybody for I thought that the entire world was my enemy. But now I clearly see that all along I had only one enemy, and that enemy was myself. Now that I have surrendered my very existence to my Lord Supreme, I have no enemies — not even myself. I have only oneness-friends inside the Heart of my universal Oneness-Friend: my Source, my Beloved Supreme.
Before my life of surrender, I wanted world-attention in order to please myself. Now I wish only for my Lord’s constant examination so that I can perfect myself in every way. My new life of surrender will make the world feel that unconditional surrender to the Lord Supreme is not an impossible task. No, it is a task that every human being will eventually have to perform so that perfection will become his outer name and satisfaction will become his inner name.
Now that I have surrendered, I am enjoying vastness in infinite measure. Surrender is my oneness with Eternity’sPeace, Infinity’s Bliss and Immortality’s Love.
TFM 4. University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, 10 August 1982↩
Part II — Interview on the Steve Powers Show, WMCA-AM RadioTFM 5. These are excerpts from an interview broadcast on 24 January 1976.
Steve Powers: I'd like to introduce you to a special guest. His name is Sri Chinmoy. I welcome you, Sri Chinmoy. My first question is: When did you feel that you wanted to devote your life to spirituality?Sri Chinmoy: When I was quite young, I felt deep within me an inner urge to realise God and to be of service to God.
Steve Powers: Do you think that is in every person?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it is within every person, but one has to cultivate this reality. It is like a muscle. If you take exercise, then you develop the muscle.
Steve Powers: Why is that not more natural to us? Shouldn’t that just come naturally?
Sri Chinmoy: It comes naturally, but the difficulty is that we have been wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance for millennia. Then there comes a time when we start walking along the right path. Once we are well established in our path, it becomes normal and spontaneous.
Steve Powers: Why do we have so many problems finding that path? Especially in our society today, people are awfully confused. People do not know which way to go, what to believe in, what not to believe in, what is the truth, what is not the truth, what is good and what is evil. And there is such tremendous input into our minds of new ideas that it’s difficult for us to know what is good and what is not.
Sri Chinmoy: Unfortunately, most people are living in the mind. In the mind, the question of good and bad thoughts, divine and undivine thoughts, plays a considerable role. But if we live in the heart where we find oneness and identification, then we go beyond duality. We suffer from confusion and live in confusion because we live most of the time in the mind — the doubting mind, suspicious mind, intellectual mind, sophisticated mind. If we can live in the heart — the loving heart, the aspiring heart, the oneness-heart — then this confusion will not arise.
Steve Powers: You are not an anti-intellectual as such, are you? You do believe in the intellect?Sri Chinmoy: I do believe in the intellect. I have tremendous faith in the intellect. But at the present time, many intellectuals criticise feelings, inner feelings. Most intellectuals adopt a snobbish attitude. It is not that I am saying that intellectuals are bad or the intellect is very bad, no. But right now the intellect does not care for the light that illumines the world. Those who live in the intellect are satisfied with what they feel they have, and what they feel they have is a superior sense of reality. At times they look down upon those who live in the heart and who feel the necessity of the heart. But if the intellectuals feel the necessity of the light that we see in abundant measure in the heart and if they want to embrace that light, then we feel that they are doing the right thing. For the divine light has to play its role inside the intellect.
Steve Powers: Many people get up in the morning, swallow a quick breakfast, run out of the house and go to their subway, get to work and get completely involved with everyday survival. And before the end of the day it's pretty tough to sit back and take a spiritual view of what's going on because you have to go out there and hustle. You have to earn a living. Is there a way of integrating the spiritual life into what we call the economic life?Sri Chinmoy: Our philosophy is the philosophy of wisdom: first things first. Most human beings are wanting in peace, peace of mind. They enter into the hustle and bustle of life right in the morning, and during the whole day they do not have even an iota of peace. We feel that if we can do first things first we are being wise. Early in the morning, if we can pray to God for at least a few minutes, that means we are doing first things first.
We feel it is money-power, material wealth, that will give us satisfaction. But it is not material power; it is the inner power, spiritual power, that gives us real satisfaction. If God the Almighty Father is satisfied with us, if He is pleased with us, then He will grant us peace of mind. And once we have peace of mind, no matter where we go and what activities we enter into, still we feel a sense of satisfaction. Right now satisfaction is a far cry. But early in the morning if we pray to God and meditate on God for a few minutes, then we get peace of mind to some extent. And this peace of mind is undoubtedly true satisfaction in life.
Steve Powers: Do you believe that God provides?Sri Chinmoy: God does provide. He is the Creator and He is the creation. How can you separate the Creator from the creation? When you write a poem or when you compose a song, you feel your identification and oneness with the creation itself. God has created us, so how can He separate us from His own reality?
Steve Power: Now, let us go to our phones. Good morning, you are live on WMCA.Caller: When I choose a particular Guru, should I look at him as a person or should I try to see him as just a pure channel of God?
Sri Chinmoy: If you have a teacher, then it is best for you to look at the teacher as a channel, as an instrument of God. You are an instrument of God and your teacher is also an instrument of God. But the difference is that the teacher has become a conscious instrument of God whereas right now you are an unconscious instrument of God. So by listening to the teacher, you will eventually become a conscious instrument of God, as the teacher is right now.
Steve Powers: When you say, Sri Chinmoy, that someone should look at his Guru as an instrument of God, are you saying that he should accept whatever the Guru tells him without question?Sri Chinmoy: It entirely depends on his faith. If he has implicit faith in the Master and if he feels that the Master is really sincere, then it is advisable to listen to the Master all the time. But I don’t want him to make a mistake, a blunder, by blindly following the teacher when he does not have implicit faith in him.
Caller: If you learn peace and serenity from a Guru, you may have peace and serenity in your own mind and heart, but what do you do about people in the street who are not the same way?Sri Chinmoy: If I practise spirituality, then I get peace of mind; and if you practice spirituality, then you get peace of mind. If he practices spirituality, then he gets peace of mind. So in this way the number increases. Today you get peace of mind, tomorrow your friends, your relatives, your acquaintances get peace of mind. Again, we believe in vibrations. When we see a spiritual person, a seeker or a saint, immediately we feel a kind of inner purity inside him and we get inspiration from deep within to lead a better life ourselves. Then, we also believe in the theory that birds of a feather flock together. If we become sincere and spiritual, then we shall be mixing with other spiritual and sincere people. In this way we can increase the number of good people here on earth.
Caller: How do you know whether you are speaking to God or just speaking to yourself and saying it's God?Sri Chinmoy: Satisfaction is the only thing that you want, that he wants, that I want. Satisfaction is of paramount importance. Now, I have eaten a mango. If I am satisfied, then it is more than enough for me. If you ask, “How do you know that you have eaten a mango?” then my answer will be: “If you want to see, then next time I am going to eat, you can be my guest. I will invite you to be with me and see for yourself whether I am eating the mango or whether I am fooling myself or fooling you.”
Steve Powers: In other words, experience it in part yourself?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes. If you want a history professor to teach you history, then you have to come and sit in his class. Also, you have to have some basic knowledge about history. Only then will the professor be able to teach you. I am a spiritual teacher. If somebody comes and says, “How do you know that you have realised God?” then I will ask that person to come to me with the basic knowledge, the basic requisites of sincerity and purity. You come to me with sincerity and purity in a meditative mood for a few minutes, and I shall make you feel whether what I am saying is true or not.
Steve Powers: I think one of the callers was asking, in effect: If I become sensitive and mellow and spiritual, will I not get eaten up on the street by the sharks? Do you know what I mean by that?Sri Chinmoy: I know. If I am one with you, then how can you destroy me? Just because I am not one with you, you can do some harm to me. Oneness is strength. When we identify ourselves with a higher reality, how can we be destroyed? How can we be devoured? A child identifies himself with his father. The father is strong; he is a man of knowledge. The child feels that nothing will harm him because his father is there. On the strength of his oneness with his father, the child feels he is quite safe; he can go anywhere he wants to because he has a father with wisdom, strength, capacity. So here also, if one practises spirituality, then one is consciously identifying oneself with the highest omnipotent Power. So how can we be devoured in the street? Identification solves all our problems. If we identify ourselves with a higher Source, a higher Reality, we have to know that this higher Reality definitely has enormous power, boundless power.
Steve Powers: One of the problems I think people have is that even if they pray and meditate or if they just try to be good, when they go out into the world they find there are people there just waiting to rip them off. They see no justice.Sri Chinmoy: There is justice, but we do not know what God’s Justice is, or how it operates. Again, God’s Justice and His Compassion are inseparable. Good people and spiritual people can pray and meditate for divine protection, and also to illumine mankind. If we are assailed by undivine people when we go out, we can easily pray in the morning not only for our own protection, but also for the illumination of unlit people. If we can sincerely pray for the transformation of the undivine people in the world, then this world of darkness and chaos cannot remain as it is.
Steve Powers: You are telling me we can transform humanity as the direct result of prayer?
Sri Chinmoy: Prayer and meditation can solve all our problems. But we cannot expect immediate or overnight results. Everything takes time.
Steve Powers: But don’t you think people are living in very difficult circumstances who do pray, and then watch their children fall prey to drugs and crime and all sorts of abuses in our society?
Sri Chinmoy: Unfortunately, many people feel that this is their only life. Some people feel that this incarnation is the first and last. But we believe in reincarnation. There is a Sanskrit word, karma, the law of action and reaction. Who knows what we or our children did in our previous incarnations? Now we are totally oblivious of these former lives. Sometimes we do something wrong and only after a few years do we pay the penalty. But we do not realise that we may also have to pay the penalty for things we did wrong in previous lives. That is how God’s Justice works.
Caller: I was brought up in my daily life to ask God to help me with the things that I wanted out of life. But I find that I don't have any of the things I wanted, and now God is asking me to do things for Him rather than to expect things from Him.Sri Chinmoy: God will never demand from us more than we can offer Him. We are His beloved children. The mother will not place a heavy load on the shoulders of a small child. Even an ordinary earthly mother knows how much a child can carry. If the mother sees that the load is too much for the child, then she will not ask him to carry it. God is our eternal Father and Mother. He is everything to us. He will not demand of us something we cannot do. God is not imposing on you. God does not impose. Either you are making yourself feel that God expects something from you, or you are making yourself feel that you do not have the capacity to fulfil His expectations.
Caller: I have tried for several years to become a more spiritual person in my own way, with very little knowledge of it. I had one or two experiences which have frightened me. I don't understand them and yet I believe in them. I would like to ask Sri Chinmoy how I could continue to further my knowledge and develop myself so that I could begin to experience more.Sri Chinmoy: It is a matter of sincerity — how sincerely, how earnestly and how desperately you need to go beyond the experiences that you have already had. If you continue practising spirituality, which you have been doing for a number of years, then I assure you that you will make progress. It is a matter of regular practice. You have to practise regularly, soulfully and devotedly what you have been doing it is your regular practice that eventually will give you higher and deeper satisfaction.
Steve Powers: Sri Chinmoy, I know people who are most kind and gentle and yet have no belief in God. They seem to be fine human beings even though they have no interest in spirituality. From your point of view, do they need realisation of what you are talking about?Sri Chinmoy: From my point of view, they do need realisation. They are kind, they are good, they are sympathetic, they are sincere, they are pure, they have magnanimous hearts. These are the divine qualities they have got from the highest Source. But this is not enough. These things do not and cannot complete our human illumination. For our total illumination, we need conscious and constant oneness with the highest Source.
Caller: I was trying to give some healing to my father who was not too well, and I felt some energy moving in my hands. Am I right to feel that this and other kinds of experiences that I've had may be coming from God?Steve Powers: You are asking about healing? I guess first we have to establish whether you believe that there is a force of healing.
Sri Chinmoy: I do believe in the force of healing.
Steve Powers: And the source of the force?
Sri Chinmoy: The source of the force is God, the all-Good. God is omnipotent; again, He is all Love. So it is from His Love that the healing power comes into existence.
Steve Powers: If there is a healing power, why do we need specific methods in order to heal? In other words, let's assume that God is the Source and He is capable of healing whomever He wishes. Why do certain people feel that they have to go through a number of incantations, wave the hand over the disturbed area four times to the right, three times to the left and so on? Why these systems?Sri Chinmoy: It is a matter of faith. Some people feel that if they do particular things, then someone will be cured, while others feel it is not necessary. You are dealing with individual faith. Some people use incantations in order to reach a higher state of consciousness, while others feel it is all within them, so it is necessary only to pray and meditate. You pray to God to give you the capacity to please Him in His own Way, and God will do the rest.
If I pray to God for His own fulfilment in and through my life, naturally He will do what is best for me. Some people pray to God, “God, grant me this. If I have this, then only will I be able to become a good instrument of Yours. I am now suffering from a headache and stomach upset. If You cure me, I will be able to have a good meditation.” But others say, “No, I wish to please You in Your own Way. If it is Your Will that today I do not meditate, if You have something else for me to do, if You want to give me an experience of suffering, then this is best for me. I do not know what is best for me. What is best for me only You know.”
Caller: I have intellectual pursuits, but I do believe in a very, very deep spiritual life and I have become much more of what I would call a human being. But the more you become that, the more you are eaten, as you said before, by the sharks, by the life around you. What is to be done?Steve Powers: That’s a very important question in our society. This woman feels that the more she allows herself to become sensitive, the more pain she feels and the more vulnerable she is to the sharks who seem to be constantly circling her.
Sri Chinmoy: I sympathise with her, I sympathise with you. But I wish to say that sometimes we see a dark tunnel before we see sunlight. Before dawn, the hour is the darkest. Right now we are experiencing the world as a harsh reality. The world is torturing us. We are trying to be good, kind, sympathetic, spiritual in every possible way, but in return we are being tortured by humanity. But we have to continue in our faith that God is all Power and that He is going to have a perfect creation. If we have faith in our own gradual perfection, then we will have the same kind of feeling about others. Right now if I look at myself and see what I am, as compared to what I was ten years ago, I would definitely notice an improvement. Ten years ago I was not, let us say, as divine as I am now. Ten years ago I was also, let us say, undivine. But I cried and I tried and my Lord was pleased with me, so He has granted me some light, some peace, some divine qualities. That’s why today I have become a better human being. So if I can make progress, I feel that others can also make the same progress. Today they are undivine, but tomorrow, like me, they can become divine. Not what one is right now, but what one will eventually become is what is most important. So these people who are now a threat to us need not and cannot remain a threat all the time because it is God’s Will that we make progress.
Caller: If God is all-loving, why does He permit suffering?Sri Chinmoy: ‘Suffering’ is a term we see in the dictionary. When we suffer, we feel tremendous pain inside us; there is no joy inside us. But I wish to say that suffering is a state of consciousness. When we practise spirituality and yoga, we feel that this suffering is nothing but an experience. And when we dive deep within, we feel it is not we who are having this experience of suffering; it is God Himself. He is the Creator; He is the creation. He is the Doer; He is the action itself. So the more we identify ourselves with the Source, the more we feel that what we call suffering is not suffering at all. It is an experience that God Himself is having in and through us for the fulfilment of His infinite Vision. I call it suffering, you call it suffering, but God does not call it suffering. He calls it an experience. It is a state of His own infinite Consciousness.
Steve Powers: Nonetheless, the person who is suffering, in the common sense of the word, is in pain.
Sri Chinmoy: He is in pain because he has identified with the earth-reality. But if he identifies with God, then the suffering itself will be turned into delight.
Steve Powers: If I drop a hammer on your foot, will you feel suffering or will you feel delight?Sri Chinmoy: If I remain in an ordinary consciousness, then I will feel it as suffering. But if I am in a divine consciousness, then either I will take it as delight or I will take it as an experience of God in and through me. At the age of eight or nine I had a serious operation. I told the doctor I would like to watch the operation. The doctor said it was a serious operation, but I said, “No!” Right before the operation I put a very concentrated force on it, and during the operation itself I was smiling at the doctor. The doctor was horrified. On the strength of our concentrative power, we can transform suffering into delight itself if it is God’s Will. And again, if we want to experience the suffering and take it as an experience, we can do this. But if we do not transform suffering into delight, and if we do not take it as an experience of God in and through us, then it will hurt us deeply.
Caller: I recently made a decision to change my lifestyle and let my family and friends know I was living a spiritual life. Instantly I was besieged with a barrage of complaints and criticisms.Steve Powers: What you are talking about is the reaction of the people around you to your spirituality. I think that when people try to live a more spiritual life, there is a negative reaction from the people around them, who say such things as, “What, are you out of your mind?”
Sri Chinmoy: It is a matter of choice. If I really want God and if I really feel that my goal is situated to the north, then I shall walk to the north, no matter what others say. Others have not given me satisfaction, but now I feel that there is something or someone else that will be able to give me satisfaction. Those who are criticising you in no way have given you satisfaction. Now you are looking for satisfaction deep within by praying and meditating. If they criticise you, if they ridicule you, you must not pay any attention to them. In this world there will always be people to criticise us, and again, there will be people to sympathise with us and inspire us. So the best thing is to know what you want. If you want satisfaction, then you walk along the road of prayer and meditation.
Caller: I had a deeper study of religion for about seven years, which gave me a closer relationship to God. I tried to see the good in everyone around me, always to see them as God, as spiritual beings, as good children. At this time I lost a son in an accident. How am I supposed to accept this in my life? Is it God's plan, or is this my reward for being good?Sri Chinmoy: If we really sincerely pray to God, then we develop a specific quality within us of oneness with God. Eventually, we develop the capacity to say soulfully and sincerely, “Let Thy Will be done.” We ultimately feel that it is for a necessary experience that we have had a catastrophe in the family. After all, God loves the child whom we have lost infinitely more than we do. When we love God, we realise that His capacity for Love is infinitely greater than ours. You are God’s child, and the son whom you have lost is also God’s child. The Supreme Father always knows what is best for each individual.
Steve Powers: But don’t you still suffer the loss on a human level?
Sri Chinmoy: We do not suffer very much if our identification and oneness with God is complete. On the strength of our oneness we shall feel that for a few years God gave us another person to stay with us, and now he is needed somewhere else. We will suffer very little if our oneness is complete. But if we have established only a little oneness with God, then we shall suffer miserably on the human level.
Part III — Questions and answers
Question: What is the best way to be in a divine consciousness when we are working very hard?Sri Chinmoy: The best way to remain in a divine consciousness is to stop what you are doing for three minutes every hour. Each hour be alone for three minutes. At the end of each hour, no matter what is happening, for three minutes be alone and meditate. These three minutes will have tremendous power. If you can meditate for three minutes and get peace, light and confidence, then for an hour you can easily retain these qualities. You can be inside a room or in the street, but nobody should be with you or around you when you meditate. That will be the best way to remain in a divine consciousness during your work.
Question: What is the difference between determination and will-power?Sri Chinmoy: With will-power we realise God. With determination we can perhaps win an outer race. Determination comes from the vital or the mind. Will-power comes from the central being. Will-power is infinitely more powerful than determination. If you use determination, then immediately it may be followed by frustration. But if you use will-power, then all around that will-power and inside that will-power you will see God’s Compassion. Once you use will-power, even for two minutes or five minutes, you get tremendous Compassion, boundless Compassion, from Above, and this Compassion is nothing other than divine Light. On the physical, vital and mental planes we use determination. On the psychic and soul’s plane we use will-power.
Question: Is there a difference between 'will' and 'will-power'?Sri Chinmoy: Some people use only the word ‘will’, but I like to use the term ‘will-power’, because there is no difference between inner will and power. When I say ‘will’, I see a seed, and when I say ‘power’, I see a tree. If we say ‘power’ without using ‘will’, that power can be vital, destructive power. Power in itself does not have to be undivine, but immediately vital power may come forward. But if I say ‘will-power’, then I know that it is something divine. So I feel it is good to use ‘will-power’ instead of just ‘will’.
Question: How can we get will-power from determination?Sri Chinmoy: First a child learns how to crawl. Then he can walk, and eventually he can run the fastest. While the child is at the crawling stage, he never thinks of running the fastest. It is impossible for him. But through a natural process he grows up, and eventually he starts running. By natural, continuous progress he gets more and more capacity until he is in a position to run. Similarly, if you have determination and you continue to make inner progress, then one day you will be able to develop will-power.
The best way to develop will-power is through union with God’s Will. Daily there may be many unpleasant happenings in your life. If you can accept them cheerfully, then you can increase your will-power. Again, you can increase your will-power by not being affected by the results of your actions. If something takes place, always try to see the positive side of the story. Suppose you are walking along the street and somebody snatches away your wallet. With your determination you will try to chase him, which is absolutely right on the outer plane. But at the same time, on the inner plane you can offer your gratitude to God that this thief has only snatched away your money, whereas he could have pushed you into the path of a car or stabbed you. If you can always offer this cheerful attitude, then you will develop will-power. You tell God, “Because of Your Love and Compassion for me, only this much has happened. It could have been infinitely worse.”
Question: How can I best inspire others to lead a spiritual life?Sri Chinmoy: By your example. As soon as others see you, they have to see divinity floating in your eyes, in your face. That is the best way to inspire them. When they look at you, immediately they should be able to see the difference between their face and your face, between their heart and your heart. Your own face, your own heart, your own life is the example. As soon as you see a good person’s face, you are inspired. As soon as others see your face, your face will show the light that you have and the kind of spiritual life that you lead. If they are interested in the spiritual life, then as soon as they see your face, they can see that you are leading a spiritual life, and immediately they will try to lead a better life, like yours.
Question: Guru, when you want to express the divine music of the Beyond, do you feel that the instruments that you play — such as esraj and flute — convey properly what you want to convey?Sri Chinmoy: No, they do not. Sometimes when I am playing my old songs, the tune is extremely soulful, but inside the soulful songs there is another melody which I am hearing — an inner melody which is infinitely sweeter, clearer and more beautiful. But I am unable to bring it out on the esraj. Sometimes I am playing so well, but inside the tune that I am playing, I am hearing the same tune in an infinitely sweeter and infinitely more delicate form which the instrument I am playing cannot express.
Sometimes my voice also does not convey what I want to convey. I can easily open the chakras at my sweet will — especially the throat centre, from where the good singing voice comes. But even then, my voice may not express what I hear within. This is because the body is limited. No matter how much spiritual power you have, or what kind of genius you are, the body is all limitation. Sometimes I sing so soulfully; my body, vital and mind are all pleased, and the people who are listening are feeling that it is extremely soulful. But I feel miserable that I am unable to offer the music that I am hearing from within. It does not come absolutely correctly.
Question: Will the inner music ever be heard outwardly on earth?Sri Chinmoy: It will be heard only in deep meditation, deep contemplation. At that time, it is not the Gandharvas or the angels or celestial beings that we will hear. The real musicians have their own music in the inner worlds, and when they are in deep meditation or when they are in a very high consciousness, they hear that music. They may think the music is coming from somewhere else, from some other world, but it is their own music that they are hearing, although they are unable to offer it outwardly.
Question: Will it ever happen that they are able to offer it?
Sri Chinmoy: The inner world will always remain higher, deeper and better than the outer world. But in the process of time, as we evolve and everything evolves, music will also become better and better, and the expression of music will become far better. The things that I am unable to express today will be expressed by me at some later date, or by future generations. What is really beyond our imagination today will someday be expressed by Tom, Dick and Harry. But, unfortunately or fortunately, the inner world will also have a higher music at that time.
Always the inner world keeps one step ahead of us. And once some inner reality is expressed, we cannot say that everything that was within has been revealed, because again God creates some totally new reality which is far better than the one that has just been expressed. All His inner worlds have an infinite supply of new creations. When we grasp a little, we feel that we have got everything. But there is a difference between the inner world and the outer world.
Question: I know it helps my meditation to have an inner cry, but when I have the inner cry I always feel that I can cry more.Sri Chinmoy: There is no limit to the inner cry. You can just go on, go on, go on. As it progresses, it becomes more intense. But when you get something most delicious, you may not want to eat the whole thing. It is so sweet and so delicious, but you do not feel like eating the whole thing, because it pleases you to know that it is at your disposal. You can eat the rest at any time.
There are two kinds of satisfaction. One is the satisfaction you get after eating the whole fruit; another is the satisfaction you get from knowing that you have something delicious to eat at some other time.
There is another reason why you may not be going to the limit of your inner cry. It is because you feel that you have reached the limit. Or, instead of going to the length, you feel that you have covered a long distance and you have the capacity to cover the rest easily. So you get the joy even without covering the whole distance.
Question: Guru, whenever a really spiritual or devoted feeling comes to me, I always sneeze. This breaks the mood completely and I never regain it.Sri Chinmoy: Sneezing has two inner meanings. In one sense, sneezing means approval. When you sneeze, then what you are feeling has been totally approved of. Of course, you know that if you have caught a cold or something, then your sneezing is to be expected. But if there is no rhyme or reason why all of a sudden you have sneezed, that means something has been approved of or sanctioned by some higher force.
The other reason for this kind of sneezing is that somebody is thinking of you in a positive way, with good will. At that time, your soul is responding to that person’s good will. So, in your case, either somebody is soulfully thinking of you, or you have got a good experience, and that experience has been fully sanctioned from Above.
Question: I take the vibration of other people easily. How can I transform this into a divine quality?Sri Chinmoy: Why do you take the vibration from others if afterwards you are going to suffer from that vibration? It is better, at that time, to close your inner doors and inner windows. How do you close your doors and windows so that you do not get wrong vibrations from others? If you can strengthen your inner being with purity, then it will not happen.
It is when we do not have a sufficient amount of purity that we suffer from the vibrations of others. It does not mean that you have no purity. But when the amount of purity that you have is not enough, then it is very easy for others to attack you.
When you are physically weak, you become susceptible to colds, let us say. In the spiritual world, a cold is impurity. If you become spiritually strong, if you can surcharge yourself with purity, then you will not be susceptible to the vibration of others. Their vibration will not be able to hurt you. You do not have to try to transform or illumine this capacity. You just maintain your purity, and they will not be able to attack you.
It is not good at all to take the vibration from others. You have enough headaches. The load that you have on your shoulders is very, very heavy, so why take others’ loads on your shoulders as well? The best thing is to take care of your own burden, and not to accept anybody’s vibration — good or bad. Remain absolutely neutral and unperturbed. Remain in your own height or in your own depth.
You do not have to try to transform others’ vibration. Just do not accept it. Only keep yourself receptive to the Supreme in me, to your Inner Pilot, to your own aspiration and inner meditation, and do not be receptive at all to others. If you show receptivity, then their forces will come and take shelter in you like thieves. It is very difficult to get rid of these thieves once they have entered into your heart-room.
Question: Why can't we get up in the morning?Sri Chinmoy: Because you have so many layers of ignorance, like a very heavy coat that you have put on the soul. The soul cannot breathe. The soul has to struggle in order to wake you up, because layer after layer of ignorance you have put on during sleep.
Question: Is that why it is harder to get up after you have been asleep for a longer time? Sometimes when I sleep for only a short time it is easier to get up.Sri Chinmoy: The difficulty is that when you sleep for a long time you make unnecessary friendship with your lethargy-enemy. When you have less sleep, at that time you do not lose anything. From a medical point of view, sleep is necessary. For the body’s sake it is necessary, absolutely necessary. If the body fails, then how are you going to pray and meditate? But each time you are fast asleep for an hour or more, unless you are realised, it is like being underneath water.
Each time you sleep for six, seven, eight hours, you make friends with failure from a spiritual point of view. For the body’s sake, it is necessary to sleep. Otherwise, how will you meditate? But if the body does not need sleep and you sleep, then it is a mistake.
Question: Are there certain times in the day when you should not sleep?Sri Chinmoy: Indian tradition says that if you sleep during the day, a snake will bite you. But I am of the opinion that people should take rest for fifteen minutes or half an hour during the day so that the physical body can absorb the capacities of the sun. Even if it is raining, the light that illumines the earth during the day can be absorbed. So fifteen minutes to half an hour during the day is good. But again, to sleep two, three or four hours during the day is too much.
Question: If we slept for two or three hours at night and then got up for a half hour and read your books or meditated and prayed and then went back to sleep, would that be better?Sri Chinmoy: Unfortunately, it may happen that only after three hours will you enter into the deeper sleep that you need. For the first three hours you may not have slept properly at all, and then you are entering into a very nourishing and refreshing type of sleep. But mechanically you have set the alarm for three hours, so you may be getting up when you are just about to get the sleep that, in five minutes, will strengthen your nerves. At that moment, if you get up, it is not good.
You have to train the body in such a way that as soon as you go to bed, in five minutes or ten minutes you will fall asleep, before the mind starts thinking of incidents and events. Just think one sweet thought of me — that I gave you a smile one day, or something else. Remember that smile and swim in the sea of that smile as you go to sleep. Anything that gives you joy, that very thing remember. If you can remember that joy for five minutes as you go to sleep, from that joy, peace will enter into you.
Joy gives you peace. Even if you went to bed after quarrelling and fighting, or if unfortunate things have taken place at your job or with your friends, think of my smile, or of how I appreciated you once.
You should write these things down so that if they don’t come to your mind when you are upset, you can just look and refresh your memory. These sweet memories have so much power that they will immediately swallow all the bitter feelings that will prevent you from getting proper sleep.