Warriors of the inner world
Part I — Discourse
Warriors of the inner world1There are many warriors of the inner world, but the main warriors are simplicity, sincerity, purity, aspiration, dedication and surrender. These divine warriors help the seekers discover God. Together they fight against bondage-night and ignorance-day. Their supreme commander is faith.
Simplicity shortens the road that leads to God-discovery. Sincerity expedites the journey. Purity feeds the seeker and the journey together. Aspiration loves the journey. Dedication enjoys the journey. And surrender completes the journey.
Simplicity is a very simple word, but it embodies tremendous power. When we enter into the spiritual life, we value this most significant achievement. We have countless desires. But from our list, if we can take out one desire, then to that extent our life becomes simple. When it becomes simple, an iota of peace dawns in our mental firmament. Each time we become simple, simpler, simplest, our desire-life becomes short, shorter, shortest. Then we enjoy peace of mind; we enjoy Light and Delight.
Sincerity is our peerless achievement. If we can become sincere, then we can run the fastest in our spiritual life. When we make friends with insincerity, at every moment we have to justify our insincere life. Once we tell a lie, we have to tell twenty more lies in order to justify that particular lie. And each time we tell a lie, we add a heavy burden to our shoulders. How can we run the fastest when there is a heavy load on our shoulders? But when we are sincere, we accelerate our progress; we run the fastest like a deer.
Purity is of paramount importance in the spiritual life. Purity means the power of receptivity. When our heart is inundated with purity, we feel that our inner receptacle has become large, larger, largest. Peace, Light and Bliss enter into that vessel from above. And inside the vessel we see our divine qualities sporting, dancing and fulfilling their reality’s Light and Delight. Purity is receptivity’s capacity. Purity is the same thing as capacity’s receptivity. When we are pure, immediately our self-expansion, our divine reality, looms large.
Aspiration, dedication and surrender. Aspiration is our journey’s start. Aspiration is the flow of our journey, the continuous, endless journey itself. Aspiration is an inner cry. This cry liberates us from the meshes of ignorance. This cry eventually makes us one with the Eternal, the Infinite and the Immortal. When we aspire, we feel that deep within us there is a higher reality which we unfortunately right now cannot claim as our very own. But there comes a time when, on the strength of our own aspiration, we can claim this reality — our own reality, our highest, supernal reality — as our own, very own. Each time we aspire, we bring to the fore our own hidden, divine, immortal reality.
Dedication. When we dedicate ourselves to a cause, we expand our own reality-existence. This dedication is not done under any compulsion. Responsibility has not been thrust upon us. It is we who want to expand our reality, so we adopt the right approach and try to expand ourselves through dedication. One becomes many; again, many become one. As an individual, when we dedicate ourselves devotedly, soulfully and unconditionally, we grow into the many. And when we do this as a collective body, we become one. So it is through dedication that we become many and that we become one. When we become one, we fulfil God as Infinity’s Silence, birthless and deathless Silence. When we become many, we fulfil God as the eternal, infinite sound, birthless and deathless sound. Finally, we fulfil God the soundless Sound.
Surrender. Surrender completes the journey. This surrender is our conscious awareness of our highest reality. It is not the surrender of a slave; it is the surrender of the finite in us to the Infinite in us. The unlit, obscure, impure existence of ours is making surrender to the illumined, pure and perfect existence of our own reality-height. We are not surrendering to a second or third person. We are surrendering to the divine within us, to the Infinite within us, to the Immortal within us. Surrender here is our conscious and constant expansion, illumination, liberation and perfection. Each time we surrender our earth-bound existence to our Heaven-free life, we enjoy Nectar, divine Bliss.
When a seeker establishes his body’s reality-oneness with the Will of the Supreme, he becomes the simplicity-warrior. When a seeker establishes his mind’s reality-oneness with the Will of the Supreme, he becomes the sincerity-warrior. When the seeker establishes his vital’s reality-oneness with the Will of the Supreme, he becomes the purity-warrior. When the seeker establishes his heart’s reality-oneness with the Will of the Supreme, he becomes the aspiration-warrior. The same seeker, in the course of time, when he establishes his life’s reality-oneness with the Will of the Supreme, becomes the dedication-warrior. Finally, when the seeker consciously, devotedly, untiringly, unreservedly and unconditionally establishes his soul’s oneness-reality with the Will of the Absolute Supreme, he becomes the surrender-warrior.
As there are many divine warriors of the inner world, even so there are many undivine warriors of the inner world. The main undivine warriors are insecurity, fear, doubt, lethargy, disobedience and indulgence.
Insecurity starts in the mind, but the mind is not aware of insecurity at the beginning. From the mind it enters into the vital and finally it comes to the physical consciousness. At that time we are fully aware of the presence of insecurity. Insecurity is a poisonous disease. If we do not get rid of it, this poison spreads and destroys the whole system eventually.
Fear is worse. Fear of the unknown, not to speak of fear of the unknowable, is a fatal disease within the seeker’s life. The seeker is afraid of everything that is not in his domain, of anything of which he is not aware. He fears others, he fears the unknown, he fears the Vast; finally he becomes afraid of himself. He has a knife. When he looks at his knife, fear enters into his mind. He feels that at any moment this knife can cause an accident in his life. He enters into the kitchen. There is a stove, and he uses it at his sweet will. But even when the stove is not on, he is afraid it may catch fire. At every moment he is afraid of his own possessions, not to speak of others’ achievements or realities. When he is afraid of himself, he loses badly, miserably, in the battlefield of life. Fear is a fatal disease.
Then comes doubt. When the seeker treasures doubt with a view to judging others, he digs his own grave. Each time he doubts someone, he digs his grave. If we judge others with our unlit human mind, with the intellectual mind, with the sophisticated mind, the persons whom we judge do not lose an iota of their achievement, of their reality. But we lose. How do we lose? When we start doubting others, we offer something of our own existence to the outer world; something of our own reality goes and eventually we become very weak.
Doubt is the almost incurable disease in us. When we doubt others, we feel that we are now sitting on a high pedestal and, at the same time, we are on a safe footing. But this is a deplorable mistake. We cannot judge others. We do not know their heights; we do not know their depths. We do not know what is actually happening in others. It is the cosmic Will that is operating in and through each and every individual. So we are in no position to judge others. Each one is guided, moulded, shaped and prepared by the Will of the unseen Hand.
First we doubt someone and immediately afterwards we try to see whether we are correct in doubting that person. Then we begin to judge and doubt ourselves. When we doubt ourselves, we lose everything. So we should follow the path of faith. Faith is the commander in us. Faith tells us of the existence of Reality and Truth in us, for us. Then faith tells us that we not only embody the Truth, eternal Truth, infinite Truth, but we as a matter of fact are this transcendental Truth, this universal Truth ourselves. But right now we are not aware of it precisely because we have made friends with ignorance.
Then comes lethargy. When the Hour of God strikes, if we do not respond, then we cannot start our journey. The road is long, very long. When the Hour strikes, owing to lethargy, if we do not respond to the call of the Hour, we unconsciously lengthen our road. The mind becomes totally immersed in ignorance and feels the road is longer than the longest. When the Hour strikes, if we do not respond, then the road is bound to become longer than it was before. So those who wallow in the pleasure of lethargy will have to walk along the road that never ends.
Disobedience is the worst weakness in the seeker’s life. A seeker may listen to the inner dictates quite often. But if one day he disobeys the inner command, then he is bound to notice a hole in the life-boat which is destined to take him to the Golden Shore of the Beyond. His life-boat has sprung a leak. Gradually the hole will become large, larger, largest, and his spiritual boat will capsize and sink. But if he is obedient, then his life-boat will sail fast, faster, fastest towards the destined Goal, the Goal of the highest ever-transcending Beyond.
The last undivine force or warrior is indulgence. When we enter into the world of indulgence, we run backward. We enter into the animal kingdom. We believe in evolution. From the stone world we came to the plant world. From the plant world we came to the animal world. From the animal world we came to the human world. Now we have to go to the divine world. But if we enter into the world of indulgence, then instead of running forward we run backward. And each time we run backward, we again make friends with our old friend doubt.
A spiritual seeker has to be aware of these undivine forces: insecurity, fear, doubt, lethargy, disobedience and indulgence. The divine warriors have only one thing to tell us: accept light and reject night. Acceptance of light is the only thing that is needed. Night is the ignorance within us. Ignorance-night binds our body, blinds our eyes, stabs our heart. Ignorance-night represents the undivine warriors of insecurity, fear, doubt, lethargy, disobedience and indulgence. When we are attacked by these undivine warriors, the divine warriors come to our rescue and offer us perfection-light. As the representative of the Supreme, this perfection-light first liberates us, then illumines us and grants us vision. It grants vision to our eyes and then immortalises our heart. This is what perfection-light does for us.
There are divine warriors of the outer world as well as of the inner world. The outer warriors are our divine personality and divine individuality, which say, “I am of God and I am for God.” The inner warriors do not fight outwardly. They become one with God’s Will and in this way feel that they are establishing God the eternal Truth and Light in the inner world. The outer warriors feel that they have to fight. The hero-warriors fight for God’s victory on earth at every moment in the outer world.
The outer hero-warriors want to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. They want to see the Infinite in the finite. But the inner hero-warriors see that Infinity is already there in the finite. They see that the finite does not have the eye to see the Infinite, whereas the Infinite can envision its own presence in the finite itself. The inner warriors are aware of what they eternally are, whereas the outer warriors are not aware of what they eternally are. Therefore, they do something in order to become. By doing something, the outer warriors want to become. The inner warriors feel that they don’t have to become; they already are.
But there comes a time when the inner and outer warriors become one, inseparably one. The inner warriors bring to the outer warriors the message of realisation: realisation of the infinite Truth, eternal Light and immortal Delight. And the outer warriors try to manifest the divine realities, the divine treasures that are offered to them by the inner warriors. The inner warriors bring these realities to the earth-arena. The outer warriors manifest these realities in the earth-arena. This way both the inner warriors and the outer warriors complete the cosmic Lila, the divine Game.
WIW 1. University of Ottawa, 21 February 1976↩
Part II — Questions and answers
Question: How can one bring the soul's consciousness into the professional world?Sri Chinmoy: In this world everybody has a profession, a vocation of his own. But one can become a seeker no matter which profession he follows. When someone becomes a seeker, he will be able to feel the presence of the soul and see his soul. When one becomes a seeker, no matter which profession he follows, he will be able to feel the presence of his soul and execute the will of the soul in his profession.
Someone has become a professional because he has studied a particular subject. If this person prays and meditates regularly, then he will also get the result of his inner study. He will get Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure. It is a matter of time, a few months or a few years, but he will definitely get it. Through this inner Light, he will be able to come into contact with the soul. Then, with the light of the soul he can fulfil all his dreams in the field of his profession.
Question: How do we know whether we are shunning our duties to society or doing the right thing?Sri Chinmoy: There is only one thing that is right in life; there is only one thing that is correct, necessary and indispensable and that is to love God. If you love God, then you are doing the right thing. Right now you are a tiny seed or a tiny plant in the spiritual life, and until you become strong, the forces in society have the ability to destroy you. Today you are a tiny plant but tomorrow you will grow into a huge banyan tree. At that time, people can do anything to the tree and the tree will survive. They can tie twenty cows to it with a rope, but the tree is not going to fall down.
When you become inwardly strong, if it is the Will of God for you to throw light onto your friends, neighbours and other members of society, then you can do so. But before that, you have to do first things first, and the first thing is to have one-pointed love for God. While you are loving God, He will give you the inspiration, energy and capacity to distribute your love in a pure way, in a divine way, amongst your fellow travellers in the spiritual life, and you will do it. So by loving God you will know what is best for you — what to say, how to behave, how to act, whether to enter into society. All answers will come if you feel the divine in yourself and try to become as close as possible to the divinity within you.
Question: I feel an element of fear rising in myself when I meditate and reach for light. My ego seems to fear its dissolution.Sri Chinmoy: Where there is love, real love, there can be no fear. Right now, we don’t have inner light but we have outer light, electrical light. When we have to choose between a room that has light and one that has no light, we will choose the room with light. In this electrically lit room, we try to do everything. Here we are meditating, here we are answering questions and here we are trying to illumine ourselves. Just because we love this electric light, we are doing everything right in front of the light, around the light.
Spiritual light is within us and we can claim it as our very own. Unfortunately, we have been with darkness for a long time and we feel that darkness is our only friend, the only member of our family. No, the true members of our family are Peace, Light and Bliss. If we feel these qualities as our very own, then there can be no fear.
Why should a drop be afraid of the ocean itself? The tiniest drop should know that it has come from the ocean and without the ocean it can have no existence of its own. If the drop is taken out of the ocean and placed on the shore, in a few minutes’ time it will dry up and disappear. Just because it is in the ocean, it still exists. The tiniest drop can claim the infinite ocean as its very own on the strength of its love, on the strength of its oneness.
It is like a child and his parents. As the parents can claim the little child as their very own, the child also has the right to claim the parents as his very own. Now, how can we and why should we be afraid of the one we really love? A child is three years old and his father is very strong, very powerful. Everybody is afraid of the father’s physical strength, but the child goes right in front of the father and plays with him. He knows that his father loves him and that he loves his father. Because of his inner feeling of oneness with his father, the child is not at all afraid of him. So where there is true love there can be no fear.
Question: Once a person becomes your disciple, how does the spiritual enlightenment start? We come here to meditate with you once a week, but what else is required?Sri Chinmoy: When one becomes my disciple, one automatically feels the necessity of leading a disciplined life. Before one becomes a disciple of mine, he does many silly things. Previously he considered these things normal and natural. But after he has accepted me, these things become unnatural, abnormal. After one becomes my disciple, one tries to conquer his weaknesses and to get rid of his imperfections.
Through his meditation with me or on my picture, the disciple derives considerable strength from me, from my consciousness. Then it becomes infinitely easier for him to conquer these negative qualities.
When one becomes a disciple, one feels a kind of inner assurance. Of course, it depends on how sincerely the disciple accepts me. In a class, someone is first and someone is last. The best and the worst study in the same class. But when the examination is over, the one who has studied hard naturally procures the highest marks. In the spiritual life also, he who works very hard spiritually, inwardly and outwardly, with dedicated love, devotion and surrender to the Will of the Supreme, naturally makes the fastest progress. So everything depends on how sincerely one has accepted the spiritual life or our path, how much importance he gives to his life of aspiration and realisation, and how soon he wants to reach the Goal.
Question: I recently tried to practise non-attachment. I left things that I considered mine and that I loved, and in doing so I felt anger. I couldn't think of God. All could think of was what I had left behind. Could you tell me if I have misunderstood something?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, you have misunderstood something. One thing is renunciation, another thing is illumination. You have left certain things reluctantly, abruptly, even though you still have a desire for them. This is renunciation. Only through proper meditation can you achieve sincere non-attachment.
In this world everybody has some responsibility. Your first responsibility is to take care of your own body, vital, mind, heart and soul. If you decide to renounce the body, if you neglect the body, then what will happen to the temple which houses your soul? How will you be able to pray or meditate with a weak or unhealthy body? If you dislike or hate your body-consciousness, that means that you have forgotten that inside your body is God.
And if you renounce your vital, thinking that it is very undivine, very impure, you are forgetting that inside the vital is God’s Dynamism. If there is no dynamism, then how are you going to make fast progress?
If you renounce the mind because the mind is constantly bothering you with unruly, undivine thoughts, then again you are making a mistake. Inside the mind you have to develop the poise and peace of a higher reality.
If you want to renounce the heart because you feel that your heart is very weak or emotional, this is the wrong attitude. Your heart is the messenger of divine love and fulfilment. Its weakness must be transformed into strength.
So if you simply renounce and discard the physical existence, the vital existence, the mental existence or the psychic existence, how are you going to achieve anything in your own life? What you have to do is illumine and transform all the parts of your being.
If you are practising spirituality in the purest sense of the term, in the beginning if there are people or things around you that are standing in your way, then you have to be very careful. You cannot go and fight with them and say, “I am all for God, so you have to surrender your wishes to mine.” No, at that time you have to pray secretly, soulfully. If you try to overcome them or renounce them immediately, you won’t have the inner strength or capacity to succeed. As you said in your question, you will feel anger, or you will be thinking all the time of what you have given up.
Suppose you have just launched into the spiritual life and your family is not interested in it. In the beginning, if you say, “Just because I have entered into the spiritual life I have to renounce the members of my family,” that is absurd. Today you will renounce them and go to some other state to live, but tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, all your attachments will loom large and you will say, ‘Oh, what have I done?’
Again, you have to be very careful. Right now you are not in a position to mix with all and sundry. If you want to be spiritual, you have to mix as much as possible with spiritual people. They are your real friends. You have to spend most of your time with them and gradually spend less and less time with those friends or family members who are not spiritual. But this has to be done gradually. And in the meantime, you don’t have to renounce anybody or anything that you love.
What you will renounce immediately is the imperfection and the wrong thinking in yourself. That is the thing that you have to renounce, not the things you love or the things you right now need. Anything that is undivine in you, you try to renounce. Anything that is divine in you, you will not renounce. The divine in you is love and concern for the universe. The divine in you is your inner cry. The divine in you is your feeling of oneness with the Absolute, the highest Truth. These are the things you will not renounce. Undivine things only you have to renounce.
Again, in the spiritual life there comes a time when you realise that you do not renounce anything; only you transform. If there is night inside you, you transform night into day. But this is not something you can do overnight. Right now you do not have enough power. If you deliberately enter into night, you will not be able to transform night into day. So it is always advisable to go slowly. I tell my disciples that they have two rooms: a room that has light and a room that needs light. The best thing is to stay as much as possible in the light-room, which is the heart. Then, when your inner being and outer being, your whole existence, is inundated with light, you can enter into the mind-room, which is right now all darkness and confusion. When you enter into the mind-room with your inner light, you can transform it.
Since you know that your goal is light, always try to face the light. If the sun is to the east, at that time do not go toward the south. The flames of the sun are spiritual people. So if you mix with spiritual people, automatically you will see that your own inner capacity is increasing and the things that have to be transformed and transcended are gradually being transformed and transcended.
Part III — Discourses
The illumination of the intellectRight now the intellect is not illumined; it only cherishes a false feeling of superiority. If somebody does not have intellectual power or has not got a college diploma, an intellectual person will feel that it is beneath his dignity to mix with that person. But if the light of the soul enters into the intellect, then the intellect will have a feeling of oneness, like the heart. The person will see the whole world through the light of the soul instead of seeing only with his intellectual capacity.
An unillumined intellectual frequently falls victim to his own criticism. Very often he will doubt his own intellectual capacities. This moment intellectually he has grasped the whole truth; the next moment he is a beggar, searching here and there for just an iota of truth. Then again, he will suspect both his discoveries — the discovery that he has grasped the entire world with his intellectual strength, and the discovery that he has not grasped even an iota of truth. His third discovery will be tremendous self-doubt. He will say, “Was my first discovery right or wrong? My second discovery, was it right or wrong?” In this way he will contradict his own discoveries.
But when the heart accepts something, it lasts forever. If we love someone, if that love comes from the very depth of our heart, no matter what the person does, we shall love him. A mother’s real, spontaneous love for her child is like that. The child can do anything. He can criticise the mother, insult the mother, leave the house, do anything. But the mother’s heart will always remain inside the heart of the son, because the mother has established her oneness with the son’s heart.
In the spiritual life also, when we follow the path of the heart, once we learn to love God, that is enough. We shall love Him no matter what happens to us. Even if He does not fulfil even one desire of ours out of a million desires, we will not mind. We will just say, “It is up to Him to fulfil our desires or not.” But since we have accepted the spiritual life, we want to encourage our aspiration, not our desire. We are trying, we are aspiring to become good, God-loving and man-fulfilling. These are our goals. We want to love the world because we feel the Presence of God inside the world and inside everyone.
If we follow the path of the heart, there is a constant flow of love and oneness. If we follow the path of the mind, at one moment we will feel that we have achieved everything, and the next moment we will feel that we are veritable beggars; we have achieved nothing, nothing, nothing! In the heart we will never feel like that. In the heart we will feel all oneness. Even if our mind tells us that we have not achieved anything, but someone else has achieved much, our heart will make us feel that his achievement is ours since he is our brother. In the spiritual world, we came from the same Eternal Father, so why should there be any separation between us?
The spiritual heart embraces the whole world as its very own, but the unillumined intellect has to cut everything into pieces in order to see if there is any truth in it. And naturally, if we break the truth into infinitesimal pieces, we do not get the reality. But when this very mind is illumined by the light of the soul, it becomes vast, infinite. It sees the truth the way the truth has to be seen. In my path, the intellect definitely has a role to play, but the intellect has to be illumined. Unless and until the intellect is illumined by the light of the soul, it is very unsafe to follow the path of the mind.
Victory2Everyone needs victory. An animal needs victory. A human being needs victory. The gods need victory. But what the true victory is, this we have to learn.
There are two kinds of victory. One is transient, transitory, like a mound of sand. The other is eternal, everlasting. When we gain victory by force, this victory does not last. But when we gain victory as the result of our soul’s oneness with the Supreme and our soul’s delight, this victory lasts for good.
A man who is by nature cowardly wants to conquer fear. If he can conquer fear, he feels that he will become his true self, his fearless, divine self. A poor man wants to be rich; he wants to become a multimillionaire. By amassing money, he feels that he will gain victory over his poverty. A spiritual man wants to conquer ignorance, limitation, bondage and death. By conquering ignorance, he feels that he can become one with Immortality.
In order to achieve victory, we must have patience, we must have endurance and, most important, we must have will-power. If there is no will-power, then it is useless to fight against anything or to try to transform anything. What we need most is will-power. This will-power is the conviction of our soul. That is to say, it is our soul’s will and determination.
The Indian seers used to sing that human beings want to achieve victory over everything and everyone except the members of their own family. A father does not have to win victory over his children; a spiritual Master does not have to win victory over his disciples. Otherwise, in all other fields one wants to achieve victory. But unfortunately, those golden days are no more. Now what do we see? Today parents often compete with their children. They feel jealous that their own children can do wonderful things which they themselves cannot do. In the States, I have seen many families where the parents are competing with the children. In India, however, most often we see that the parents identify themselves with the children. This is the right attitude. The parents should dream all the time of their children. It is their own dream that is going to be transformed into reality in their children. They must feel that their children are the continuity of their own life-energy. So all parents, instead of competing with their children, should encourage and inspire their children to go far, farther, farthest. They should all feel that their children’s achievements are their own achievements. They should never separate themselves from their children’s achievements and goals.
Unfortunately, there are spiritual teachers who practically act the same as ordinary human parents. They do not allow their disciples to go beyond them. They simply push them down. But, to be very honest with you, these teachers are never realised souls of the first order. They are only partially realised. If one is truly spiritually great, he will get the greatest joy if he sees his spiritual children surpassing him. I shall be full of pride the day I see any of you go beyond me. I will have infinitely more joy and pride than the one who is actually surpassing me because, at that very moment, I shall feel that I am breathing his life-breath. In his achievement, I am there. I can never be separated from my disciples’ achievements, realisation and fulfilment.
So, the true spiritual Master, instead of hindering the disciples’ progress, will always come forward to inspire, help, guide, push and pull the disciples to go beyond, beyond, beyond even his own achievements. That is because he has such oneness with his disciples that he feels that their progress is his own progress,
There are many cosmic gods with limited power who try to prevent great aspirants from achieving the highest spiritual height. These gods very often try to keep an advanced seeker from obtaining spiritual perfection. They bring forward innumerable obstacles, temptations and what-not. But the great seeker overcomes these obstacles and marches to his goal. When he reaches his goal, this is the highest victory, the victory of the Real in him. And this victory brings him Immortality.
I wish to tell you a personal experience. Perhaps all of you know that I used to be a good athlete. I used to stand always first in running, sprinting and so forth. Each time, after the race was over, the other competitors on the track used to observe my face. Right after the competition, they used to see a sense of satisfaction and joy dawning on my face; but the next moment they used to see something else in me. I used to enter into the consciousness of the runner who came in last in the competition. My achievement was over, but I used to enter into his failure and become totally one with him, so that I could taste how painful it is to be last in the competition. His sorrows I used to take as my own sorrows. And when I became part and parcel of his existence, of his suffering, only then did I feel that I had achieved the real victory. This identification was far from contempt or pride. It came from love and a feeling of oneness. I used to get infinitely more joy and delight from my identification with the one who stood last than I got from my original success. So I wish to tell all of you here, please try to identify with others in their suffering, in their joy, in their achievement, in their frustration and in their fulfilment. The moment you can identify with somebody else, you will see that you have expanded your mental and psychic horizon. And the more you expand, the greater shall be your joy and fulfilment. What is the greatest duty in human life? Self-conquest, the conquest of one’s own self. That is to say, the conquest of the lowest self, the animal self, in us. We have two selves: the animal self and the divine Self. We have to conquer the animal in us and place this animal consciousness at the feet of the Divine, the Supreme.
Who actually wins the victory when we conquer the animal in ourselves? It is not us, but God the Supreme within us, who wins the victory. There is a significant story in the Upanishads. Once the gods won a victory over the demons and naturally their pride knew no bounds. They thought that they were fully responsible for their victory. They felt that it was their own strength and power that enabled them to defeat the demons. The Absolute Brahman wanted to smash their pride. So he disguised himself as a brahmin, an old man, an invalid, and approached the cosmic gods. They were a bit surprised and they asked him what he wanted. Then he said, “I do not want anything from you. I just wanted to know what you are boasting of.” So they said, “We have just won a victory over the demons with our strength and valour, so we are rejoicing.” The old man said, “Well, just do me a favour. I am leaving a piece of straw right in front of you. I wish one of you could blow it away or do something with it.” So the wind god came and tried to blow away the straw, but the straw did not budge an inch. Then the fire god, Agni, came and tried to burn the straw; but alas, fire could not devour it. Like this, it went on and on.
Finally, Indra, Lord of the gods, came in. When he came, the brahmin disappeared and in his place there was a goddess in a column of light. Indra asked the goddess about the mystery of this brahmin. The goddess said, “It was not a brahmin, it was the Absolute Brahman who wanted to show you the Truth. It was with His strength that you conquered the demons. You people have no power. It was the Brahman Absolute who wanted to humble your pride and teach you that it was not your strength that won the victory, but His strength.
So, whenever we achieve success or attain to some perfection, we must feel that it is the divine power that has enabled us to do so. We need the help, we need the blessings, of the Supreme. The Supreme wants us to be freed from the fetters of our ignorance. The day we are freed from ignorance, His joy will know no bounds. Right now, we have veiled the divinity inside us. With the blessings of the Supreme and the guidance and loving concern of a spiritual teacher, the pilot of our life-boat, we can easily unveil the divinity within us. At the same time, we can swim across the ocean of ignorance and enter into the ocean of Light. When we enter into the ocean of Light, what we see and feel and become is victory. And whose victory is it? It is the Victory of the Supreme.
Each human being is consciously or unconsciously aspiring for the Victory of the Supreme. But he who is consciously trying to achieve that Victory undoubtedly will reach his destined goal sooner. God’s blessings are constantly being showered on us. Our aspiration is a mounting flame that must reach His Feet of Protection. In man’s case, it is all hope. But in God’s case, it is not hope; it is certainty. It is as true as the truth that today precedes tomorrow and tomorrow succeeds today. Forward, children, forward! On to Victory, on to Truth and Glory! Forward, children, forward!
WIW 8. June 23, 1968↩
Valuing spiritual namesThere are some parents and husbands and wives who call their dear ones by their original American names and not by their spiritual names. It has happened quite a few times, when I am on the phone, that they totally forget that they are talking to me and they call their husbands and wives by their original names. What they call their children, God alone knows. So to the parents and to the husbands and wives, I wish to say that you are not doing the right thing. People are dying to get spiritual names. A spiritual name means rebirth, rebirth of your consciousness. When we give you a spiritual name out of our infinite love and unconditional concern, it is like a true initiation of an inner existence of yours. The quality that your name embodies, that very thing your soul tries to bring to the fore. In most cases, you have literally begged us inwardly if not outwardly to give you a spiritual name. On very rare occasions, we have given names on our own because we felt that you were ready, even more than ready. Otherwise, in the inner world there is not a single disciple who has not cried for a spiritual name. But what actually happens is that when you get something, you don’t value it. When you don’t get something and others do get that thing, at that time you value it like anything.
Also, some of the disciples have made nicknames or abbreviations out of their spiritual names. They call their husbands or wives by the first letter of their name. This is a terrible insult to me. Please don’t abbreviate the names. On very rare occasions, if you want to cut jokes, you can; but to call your wives or your husbands by an abbreviation or nickname is really terrible. So please don’t do it.
Value your spiritual name. Claim your spiritual name. It is part and parcel of your aspiration. I have told you many times that you don’t have to call the Supreme, you don’t have to chant Aum; if you can soulfully chant your spiritual name, you are going to get realisation. Just because you don’t have that kind of faith in your own name, I tell you to chant the Supreme’s Name, or my name, since you have more faith in others than in yourself. But if you have implicit faith in the name you have been given, in that name you will see divinity looming large.
The name that your parents have given you is also your name. But by repeating “Bill” or “Tom” I doubt very much that you will be able to realise God. But by repeating your soul’s name and meditating on your soul’s name, if you feel the necessity and you feel the aspiration, then you are bound to be illumined.
Whenever you do something wrong, God will forgive you, I will forgive you; but there is someone who will not forgive you and that is your soul. For each mistake that you deliberately make, your soul will take time to forgive you. The soul does not forgive so easily because the soul knows that due to this particular mistake, this deliberate mistake, it will have to reincarnate on earth for many more years. It takes so much time for the soul to make you realise and make you reveal and make you manifest, and this will only delay your progress. Each time you make a conscious mistake your soul knows that it is like going a hundred steps backwards. You want to reach your destination and you are given a particular place to start from; but then you are actually starting your journey one hundred metres behind. So naturally you are delaying your journey instead of expediting it. The soul is the eldest brother and it has promised the Supreme Father that the younger members will be taken care of. The soul is fully responsible for your life. When the soul sees that the younger members are not listening and the soul has to account for it, at that time the soul feels miserable.
Why disciples leave their MasterGod has given me a heart, a human heart and a divine heart. My human heart, fortunately or unfortunately, is larger than all the hearts here put together. If you observe my human heart, you may say that it is only a tiny muscle. But I know that this tiny muscle has much more capacity than all the disciples’ heart muscles put together.
There are various reasons why some disciples, after following our path for some time, do not want to continue following our path or do not want to reach their destination with our path. Each individual immediately has an answer why he or she wants to leave our path. There is no hard and fast rule. One reason is that they are tired. They are tired of following this path. Another reason is that they feel that if they follow some other path, then they will run faster. Or they feel that they don’t need any path. They feel that all paths are corrupted, unlit, obscure, and that no single path is illumined. For five minutes a path is illumined and for ten hours it is all dark and dingy, like going through a tunnel. Or they feel that the person in whom they have faith is not the right one for them or that he can be found not only in this Centre, but also in other spiritual places.
Sometimes they say that the path is bad or the followers are bad. They say to the Master, “No, no, no, we don’t suspect you. You are divine. Only it is the disciples who are displeasing us.” But I tell you, no. When members of a family want to fight, at that time they do fight. In Indian villages, we all stay together — seven or eight members of a family. Every day, perhaps, the brothers and sisters quarrel and fight. But they don’t leave their parents. They don’t start calling somebody else their brother. They don’t say, “Since my brothers and sisters are very bad, the best thing is for me to call somebody else Mother and Father and to go to a different family.” In the spiritual life also, it is the same.
I tell you, eventually the Master becomes the culprit. Many, many people who have left say that they left because the disciples are bad. But when they go, the real arrow they aim at the Master. “Why did he keep those rascals in the first place?” First they say, “Because of those rascals, I am leaving.” Then comes the thought, “But who kept those rascals? The Master kept them.” So, in this way or that way, ultimately the Master becomes the culprit. No disciple will leave the Centre unless he feels that the Master is the culprit in some way.
When people leave us, in some way or other we have failed them in their own expectations. If I don’t approach you and speak to you, if I don’t smile at you, then immediately you become displeased with me. But when it is a matter of Master and disciple, since I am the Master, I have to say that I know whom I have to please. I have to please only one Person on earth and in Heaven, and that is the Supreme. As long as I can please the Supreme, I feel that He has the capacity to please you, to please him, to please everybody here. But if I try to please all of you here and forget about the Supreme, then, I tell you, I won’t be able to please even one person even for one fleeting second. It is not my false modesty. No, believe me. Right now, some of you are pleased with me. Why? Not because I am trying to please you, but because I am pleasing Someone who has the capacity to please you. Just because I am pleasing Him, I am still able to keep so many here.
Then again, you have to know that this is a matter of faith. Those who know and feel that I am pleasing the Supreme, these people immediately I am able to please. But some whom I am not pleasing feel that I am not in touch with the Source. They feel that I have no connection with the Supreme, but that I am only exploiting the Supreme. They feel that I am using the Supreme only to escape when they get angry with me. They feel that if I displease them, then I will put all the blame on the Supreme. But if I do something good or divine, then immediately I will come forward and say, “I have done it, I have done it.” This is what some people think I do. But I am not a fool. Always I say, “Supreme, Supreme, let Thy Will be done.” But people who have left us, or who will leave us, have the feeling, consciously or unconsciously, that there is a yawning gap between the Supreme’s Height and my own way of operation. They feel that there is a yawning gap or that there is no connection even. They come even to that point.
If you feel that the Master is good but the disciples or the path are bad, then you are making a mistake. The Master is one with his path and his disciples. In my case, since I am the pathfinder, I have to say that my path is the path of the heart. Since it is the path of the heart, we have to act like the mother and the child. The mother accepts the child’s weaknesses, deficiencies and everything, as her very own. She feels that the child’s imperfections are her own imperfections. Then, from the child’s point of view, the mother is always the mother. If the mother does not have her Master’s degree, it does not bother the child at all. The child will not leave the mother just because she is ignorant. No, here it is only a matter of love. Where love is thick, fault is thin.
In one of my stories I have said that the spiritual Master just hides the disciples’ imperfections. When he hides the disciples’ imperfections, God does not consider him a thief. On the contrary, God is pleased with him because He feels that the Master really loves his children. God has given the Master patience, light, everything, so that the Master will do a job for God. The spiritual Master works for God and God knows that the Master is taking time and hiding his children’s imperfections so that he can illumine them.
So, when people leave the Centre after walking along our path for a few years, ultimately it is I who become the culprit. I am very glad that they consider me the culprit rather than my path or any individual, because after all it was not the disciples or the path that actually brought them. It was my realisation. It was the Peace or the Light or something else that they saw in me. In some part of their being there was the conscious conviction that I had the capacity to solve their life-long problem, their problem of millennia, which is ignorance. It was not because he had already come or she had already come that you came to our path. Far from it. If you are under the impression that he has brought you or she has brought you to the Centre, then you are totally wrong. A particular person may have been an instrument. Somebody on the street has shown you the church where I am. The church is your goal, let us say. But once you reach the goal, you do not go outside and search for the person who has shown you the goal. He himself may not even care for the goal. No, that person has played his role.
So, to all of you I wish to say that I am fully prepared to take the blame for everyone who has left the Centre. Everybody knows what is best for him according to his own standard. But ultimately, I tell you, we are all one. Whether one is in this boat or in that boat, when one reaches the destination, there we are all one. Many have left and many will leave, but you people must not feel that you are the culprit or that the path is not satisfactory. No. The path is satisfactory. That is why you stay with us.
Part IV — Questions and answers
Question: I feel a trembling in the head during meditation.Sri Chinmoy: It is your unconscious fear of the unknown. This is not good. You see the reality which is ahead of you, but you feel it is not going to befriend you. You feel that the reality is a stranger to you. You feel that it may not welcome you; on the contrary, it may harm you. But when you pray and meditate, the reality that will come into your pure heart can never cause any trouble for you. So always try to have faith in the reality-experience that is before you. It is a friend of yours and not an enemy.
There is also another trembling seekers have, which is an ecstatic trembling. It is not in the head or any other part of the body; it is only in the heart. Your inner being or soul will dance. But this is not what is happening in your case. So, do not be afraid of the unknown. Today it may remain unknown, but tomorrow it will be known. When a child is in kindergarten, primary school will be unknown to him. But in one year, the same child will go to primary school. Then he will see that there is nothing strange, nothing wrong in it. It is all gradual progress. The unknown is something waiting for us; only we have to welcome it. But if we don’t pray and meditate, then we will not feel that the unknown is encouraging and illumining.
Question: All the great Masters of the past have revealed something or given something to the disciples. Krishna gave to Arjuna. Jesus gave to his apostles. Would this be the same with a Master today?Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. Sri Krishna gave when he found that Arjuna was in a position to receive. The Christ gave to his disciples when they were in a position to receive. Today also, Masters give when the disciples are in a position to receive. It is like being in a school. The teacher gives the degree at the end of the course; he does not give the degree before the students complete the course. In the spiritual life, one has to complete the course. Then only will the Master give the spiritual diploma. One has to be with the Master and the Master teaches him. Then there comes a time when the Master sees that the student can receive everything that the Master has and everything that the Master is.
Question: Do you see unity in everything?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, I see unity in everything. Unity is in everything, true. But at the same time, we can say that unity is the highest, the deepest plane of consciousness, whereas multiplicity is the plane of manifestation.
When we go deep within, at that time we see unity, we feel unity, we become unity. But again, when we come out, we see the play of multiplicity. It is from unity that multiplicity has come into existence. Let us imagine a tree right in front of us. A tree has branches, leaves, flowers and fruits. These are multiplicity. But when we look at the tree as a whole, immediately we see that there is unity. The leaves, branches, everything is functioning in a different way, but there is a basic unity. Deep within everything there is unity, but when we come into the field of manifestation, it is multiplicity.
Question: What sort of scientific spiritual techniques do you use?Sri Chinmoy: Ours is not a scientific path; we approach God psychically, from the heart. We notice inside our hearts a mounting flame that is climbing high, higher, highest. This flame is our inner cry for God. When we cry, when the inner flame mounts up, it illumines all our darkness, ignorance and bondage. When we pray and meditate, we intensify this cry and our consciousness rises towards the highest. Since this cry comes from the heart, we call our path psychic discovery and not scientific discovery.
Question: Can you say that nations have certain animal qualities?Sri Chinmoy: There is not a single nation that is completely divine. Just like human beings, some nations are more divine than others because they have more good qualities. Similarly, some nations may have more bad qualities than other nations. But when it is a matter of an absolutely perfect nation, there is not a single nation that is absolutely divine.
Question: How can we transform daily anxiety and destructive self-criticism?Sri Chinmoy: Self-criticism you can take as a thorn that has entered into you. You are very bad, undivine, stupid. You feel that all the bad qualities of the world are inside you. Take this self-criticism as a thorn. One thorn has entered into you, and it has many names. One moment it is stupidity, the next moment it is insecurity, and so on. So what you have to do is take the help of another thorn. That thorn is: “I am God’s daughter, God’s chosen daughter, and I am going to be His perfect instrument. There is nothing on earth which can prevent me from becoming His chosen instrument.” You use this thorn to take out the other thorn that is causing you trouble. Self-criticism can only be conquered by proper divine appreciation. You have to claim the right person as your own. God is your Source. You have to take the positive approach. You have to be aware of who you are and what you stand for, not in an aggressive sense, but in a spiritual sense. Right now, you are not aware twenty-four hours a day. But a day will come when you will be aware all the time that you are God’s chosen daughter; you are on earth Him to serve, Him to fulfil.
Question: Can we learn more from failure or success?Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the individual and the way one utilises the experiences. If it is an experience of failure and we use it as an opportunity to perfect our nature, then we are nearing our goal. If it is an experience of success and we use the experience to inspire us toward greater perfection, then we are also nearing our goal. There is no hard and fast rule that says we will learn more from failure or more from success; it is only how we utilise the experience.
Question: How can we know when we do things wrong?Sri Chinmoy: Very often we do not know that we are doing something wrong until after some time. On rare occasions, when undivine desires compel us to do something, we feel that the soul is speaking to us. At that time, we are so much attached to our vital desires that we feel that it is the light that is compelling us to act. Then, after a few months or a few years, we realise that we have made a mistake, that it was not the soul but the vital that instigated us. Again, in spite of knowing that we are doing something wrong, many times we continue to do it because we feel that the pleasure-life is more important and more fascinating than the life of joy. But eventually we have to come to perfection.
Each so-called mistake takes us one step ahead. We can see that perhaps two years ago we were quarrelling and fighting and leading an animal life. Let us think of our animal incarnation, or even what we were ten years ago. But now we are aware that God is evolving in and through us.
If one is brave enough to accept his weaknesses and seek to overcome them, he makes the fastest progress. But people are not like that. We want to cover our weaknesses. In spite of knowing that flattery is very bad for us, when people do flatter us, we like it. But the Supreme never becomes sad, because He knows that sooner or later He will be given the chance to help us transcend our weaknesses and grow into perfection.
Question: Do you think Jesus was God's only son?Sri Chinmoy: God is the tree. A tree will not have only one branch. If you see a tree with only one branch and you also see a tree that has several branches, which one will you appreciate? A father may have only one son. Again, what is wrong if the father has two sons? You can’t say that a father cannot have more than one son. If the father does have more than one child, then one son can be a doctor, one can be an engineer, one can be a poet. But if he has only one son, then that son cannot be everything. Let us take God as a human being. If the human father has more than one son, then he can accomplish many things in and through his children. If he has only one son, that person can do only a few things.
God wants to manifest Himself on earth. We feel that if the kingdom of Heaven has to be brought down to earth, it is a very big task. If we have to bring God-consciousness down to earth, then we need more than one person. Each one is equally important. We will not say that the Christ is not as important as Sri Krishna. Never, never. They are both equally important. It is like the left hand and the right hand. If I am in a tug-of-war, then shall I use only my one hand? I will use both hands. So Sri Krishna, the Buddha, the Christ are all hands of God. God has to utilise all His hands.
Question: Is contemplation what develops when we do breathing exercises?Sri Chinmoy: There are three stages: concentration, meditation and contemplation. Now, we should start with breathing exercises. Physical postures and deep breathing we have to do even before concentration, even before we enter into the subject, let us say. First we relax our body and try to breathe deeply. When we are breathing in and out, we have to do it so gently that if we place a thread in front of our nose, then it will not move to and fro. At that time, we can feel that our breathing is perfect for concentration. Then, when we concentrate, we have to feel that we are focusing our attention on one subject or one object. The mind is not roaming; mental thoughts have all ceased. When this happens, when there are no thoughts, no ideas, concentration is perfect. And then we feel the necessity for meditation.
When we enter into meditation, we see vastness before us, all around us, and we try to enter into that vastness or let it enter into us. Finally, we enter into contemplation. That is the last stage, when we become what we have been aspiring for. For a long time we have been aspiring to become something, to grow into something. When we contemplate, at that time the knower becomes the Known, the lover becomes the Beloved Himself and the finite becomes the Infinite. Each becomes part and parcel of each other.
Question: When one has a feeling of being completely free in one's body and one's mind and, at the same time, one is completely clear — much clearer than what we are seeing and hearing tonight — and, at the same time, completely still, what kind of an experience is this?Sri Chinmoy: It is a very high experience. About this kind of experience we say, “He moves, He moves not”. Look at the sea. If you dive deep within, it is calm and quiet. But on the surface you will see such huge waves all the time restless and dancing. The sea has two aspects. On the surface it is constant movement and at the bottom it is silence. Similarly, when you become really advanced and realise God, inside you there will be total, complete tranquillity even while you are involved in multifarious outer activities. Your inner poise is not disturbed by outer activities.
Question: Is it necessary to see God in His personal aspect?Sri Chinmoy: It is always advisable for seekers, especially in the beginning, to cry for the personal God. The impersonal God is very difficult to approach. When a seeker tries to approach God in His impersonal aspect, he enters into false imagination. Imagination is not bad, but it can be all mental fantasies. But if one starts with the personal God and then lets the personal God show His other form, the impersonal form, at that time it is easy.
If a child sees his father personally, he will be more happy than if he just knows how much strength, peace or light the father has. The child doesn’t care for these things. As long as he sees the father in the physical, in the human body, in the personal form, then he is satisfied. But again, if the child wants to see the father’s capacity, if he wants to see how much weight the father can lift or how much he can do in the mental world, then this is the impersonal way of seeing.
Question: Sometimes when we meditate with you, I feel such peace that I fall asleep. Is this good?Sri Chinmoy: The peace that I bring down is dynamic peace. If you have God’s Peace, this peace is creation, inner creation, continual creation. When you fall asleep, you don’t receive anything. You get absolutely nothing. Only if you fall asleep after meditating, sometimes you have assimilation. But if you don’t receive anything from meditation, then what will rest do? If you have not received anything, then how can you assimilate during your sleep? You are not aspiring; you are sleeping. If you don’t meditate well and then you sleep, do you think an angel will drop from Heaven and meditate for you? No! No angel is going to do that.