What I need from God
Part I — Lectures in Hawaii
1.Hawaii, Hawaii, Hawaii!
O eastern sun, O western sky!
In you find.
Five soulful friends1Dear seekers, dear brothers and sisters, I wish to give a very short talk on perfection, satisfaction, giving, becoming and transcending.
Perfection and satisfaction are one and inseparable. I need perfection. I pray to God to grant me, out of His boundless Bounty, soulful perfection. I want satisfaction. I meditate on God for His fruitful Satisfaction. I pray to God sleeplessly not to fulfil my desire-life. I meditate on God for His triumphant Manifestation in and through my aspiration-life. My desire-life binds me. My aspiration-life liberates me. My desire-life feeds the animal in me, binds the human in me and blights the divine in me. My aspiration-life silences the animal in me, awakens the human in me and immortalises the divine in me.
Giving and becoming are one and inseparable. I am giving to my Beloved Supreme my ignorance-night. I am giving to mankind an iota of my faith-flame. I am giving to my Beloved Supreme my surrender-heart and gratitude-life. I am giving to mankind my aspiration-cry and dedication-smile. Consciously and constantly I am becoming both God’s messenger and man’s messenger. As a messenger of man, the seeker in me is carrying humanity’s imperfection-sea to God. As a messenger of God, the seeker in me is carrying God’s Compassion-Sky to man.
Becoming and transcending are one and inseparable. At every moment I am transcending, within and without. I am transcending my previous experiences and my previous realisations; I am transcending my earth-bound capacities. At every moment the Supreme in me is making the impossible possible. At every moment the Singer Supreme within me is singing the song of continuous progress. Continuous progress is founded upon self-giving, and self-giving and God-becoming are one and inseparable.
I am giving. I am becoming. I am transcending. Unconditionally I am giving. Unreservedly I am becoming. Unendingly I am transcending.
The human in us cries for success. The divine in us cries for progress. When we live in the success-world, we see that there is no end to our success-march. Each time we succeed in something, we become dissatisfied, because at that very moment a new goal appears before us and we still feel like veritable beggars. But when we live in the progress-world, although our ultimate Goal is still a far cry, at every moment we are finding satisfaction, because progress itself is all-illumining and all-fulfilling satisfaction. Therefore, a sincere, genuine, soulful seeker will always long for progress and not for success. If he longs for progress, only then will he be able to please and fulfil his Beloved Pilot Supreme in the way that He wants to be pleased and fulfilled. And this is the only way that the seeker himself can be truly satisfied — by pleasing God in His own Way.
Each moment the seeker in me is longing for perfection, which is the harbinger of satisfaction. Perfection and satisfaction are always founded upon self-giving, and self-giving is another name for God-becoming. What is God-becoming? God-becoming is nothing other than our conscious and constant realisation of transcending oneness in perfection and transcending perfection in oneness.
WNG 2. Honolulu, Hawaii, 14 March 1980↩
Hope1Hope is at once both simple and profound. It is hope that binds Heaven and earth. Hope is the bridge between Heaven and earth. It is hope that makes us feel, at the beginning of our spiritual journey, that we are of God and that we are for God.
God hopes to manifest Himself in and through us. We hope to realise God so that we can liberate ourselves from the meshes of ignorance. God hopes to make us His perfect instruments. We hope to please God eventually in God’s own Way.
You will say that because there is life, there is hope. You are right. But I wish to add something. Because there is hope, we live eternally — in the inner world, in the outer world, or in both worlds. You will say that hope sees illumining light in teeming darkness. You are perfectly right. But I wish to add something. Hope is itself the light that illumines darkness. I love hope. I may not love God, but in the inmost recesses of my being, in the inmost recesses of my heart, I feel that God loves me. Whether I love God or not, God loves me: this is my fervent hope. I may not care for God, but I do feel in all sincerity that God cares for me. Whether I care for God or not, God cares for me: this is my fervent hope.
There is human hope and divine hope. Human hope is desire-bound; hope divine is aspiration-free. Desire-bound and earth-bound are one and identical. Aspiration-free and Heaven-free are one and the same. Human hope inspires us and energises us. Hope divine awakens in us not only infinite possibilities but also immortal realities.
Human hope inspires our outer journey. Hope divine aspires in and through our inner journey. Our outer journey takes us to name and fame, which will eventually lead to utter frustration. But in the divine world, in the aspiration-world, at the end of our inner journey’s close we see, we feel and we grow into illumination.
When we aspire, we come to realise that hope is a hand, beautiful and powerful, beckoning us towards our psychic transformation. We see and feel that hope is the perfect beginning of our God-realisation. When we do not aspire, hope appears before us in a different way. We feel that perhaps it is all mental hallucination; perhaps it is all deception.
Each individual here on earth, whether he is aspiring or not, cannot escape from hope. But hope itself is not an escape. Hope unites us with a higher reality which illumines and fulfils us.
The world is a body. An ordinary human being is not satisfied with the body-consciousness that he has and that he is. He wants to see the body-consciousness of the future. If he can see the possibilities, potentialities, realities and inevitabilities of the future, then only will he be happy. But a sincere seeker is not interested in seeing the distant or remote future. He feels that this world is an eternal Now. By virtue of his convincing inner hope, he wants to see, feel and grow into the eternal Now.
Perhaps some of you know that I serve the United Nations. We have a group at the United Nations which meets twice a week to pray and meditate for peace. What we call the United Nations was once upon a time known as the League of Nations. The League of Nations was the vision of Woodrow Wilson. Woodrow Wilson was a man of supreme vision. By unifying the souls of all the nations, he envisioned that world peace would come into existence.
At the United Nations there are representatives from every corner of the world. They have come with the sincere hope that a day will dawn when all the world’s calamities and misunderstandings will come to an end, and mankind will be united as one family. Inside this hope, what looms large is possibility. And inside this possibility, what looms large is inevitability.
The world is still millions of miles away from world peace. But just because we do not see the reality all at once, that is no reason to become discouraged. Before the day dawns, it is dark. When we look at the darkness that is all around and identify with the darkness, it is almost impossible for us to have faith that there will be light. But at the end of the tunnel there is light. At the end of the darkness there is light. This light that we talk about is not our mental hallucination or deception. This light is our psychic light, our soul’s light deep within us, and it is all the time trying desperately to come to the fore. It is more than eager to come to the fore to liberate us, illumine us and perfect us. It is like a child and its mother. The mother is always trying inwardly and outwardly to make the child perfect. Similarly, our inner light is trying to free our outer existence from ignorance-night.
At the United Nations, representatives from many, many parts of the world are gathered together to work for world unity. Although unity seems to be a far cry, they still have the inner hope that someday there will be world unity. Right now the countries of the world misunderstand each other, and some of them are undivine, to say the least. But deep within them there is an inner urge. Each nation hopes to someday have peace, light and oneness. Peace, light and oneness will definitely come into the world arena precisely because each nation is inundated with hope. This hope of today will be transformed into the abiding satisfaction of tomorrow only when we believe in hope, grow into hope, and breathe in at every moment the fragrance and the beauty of hope.
WNG 3. Honolulu, Hawaii, 15 March 1980↩
What I need from God1We are all seekers. That means we all need God, love God and want to grow into the very image of God.
When I say, “I need God,” what do I actually mean? God is everything, true, but I need certain aspects of God more than other aspects — at least right now. God is infinite, God is eternal, God is immortal. God is all Power, God is all Light, God is all Justice, God is all Compassion, God is all Forgiveness — God is everything. But for the time being, I need only a few things from God.
To start my spiritual journey, I need God the Forgiveness. First I have to empty myself of my undivine existence. All the undivine thoughts and undivine deeds that are inside me, everything that is unaspiring and uninspiring within me, I have to discard. And for that I need God’s Forgiveness. I have committed Himalayan blunders countless times. If God does not forgive me for the undivine things that I have done over the years, then how can I walk along the spiritual path, the sunlit path? Only if God forgives me can I enter wholeheartedly into the spiritual life. So, to start with, I need God’s Forgiveness.
Then, when I feel that God, out of His infinite Bounty, has forgiven me, at that time I can think of another aspect of God, and that is God’s Compassion. God has forgiven me; now I need His Compassion. I need His Compassion because I am weak, I am ignorant and I am in every way a failure. I fervently desire to do something, to achieve something, to become something, but I do not have the capacity to do what I want to do or to grow into what I want to become. Therefore, I desperately need God’s Compassion. Without God’s Compassion I will not be able to achieve anything, and I will not be able to become anything.
After receiving God’s Forgiveness and Compassion, then I need God’s Blessings. I need God to shower His infinite Blessings on me from above, so that I can succeed in the battlefield of life. Life is a constant battle, and if I am to succeed, then I have to entirely depend on God’s Blessings. If He blesses my devoted head and surrendered heart, only then can I succeed in life and proceed along the spiritual path.
After God has forgiven me, granted me His Compassion and showered His Blessings upon me, then I have to feel at every moment God’s Love. I have to feel that the One who has forgiven me, shown me His Compassion and blessed me, really cares for me. If I feel that God really loves me, then only can I have true and abiding happiness. The Creator is all love for His creation. But the creation quite often does not feel it or realise it. Since I am part of God’s creation, it is my bounden duty to feel God’s Love at every moment. Only then will I try to become good, divine and perfect, and try to please Him in His own Way.
After Love, something very significant and very deep I have to feel, and that is God’s Oneness. Love is not enough. I can love someone or something, but I may not have established my oneness, inseparable oneness, with that person or that thing. So after I have felt God’s Love, I have to develop my conscious, constant and inseparable oneness with Him.
In order to have conscious, constant and inseparable oneness with God, I have to achieve something and become something, and that thing is perfection. How do I become perfect? I become perfect by crying inwardly to receive the things that will uplift me and illumine me, and to conquer the things that torment me and disturb me. When I cry to receive good things and to conquer bad things, God is pleased with me. It is only by pleasing God that I can become perfect.
At every moment I am assailed by bad thoughts or inspired by good thoughts. When I am assailed by a bad thought, I will try to discard it. When I am inspired by a good thought, I will try to develop and enlarge it. When I start meditating early in the morning, if one good thought comes, I will try to enlarge it. Let us say it is a thought of divine love — not the human, emotional love, but divine, universal love — "I love God, I love God’s entire creation.” This thought can be expanded. I can think of love as my ideal, as my ultimate Goal. In this way, if I think of divine Love, universal Love, transcendental Love, then I am identifying myself with the Goal Itself.
Like this, if I expand my good thoughts and throw out my bad thoughts, if I cry to receive divine things and to conquer bad things, then I will feel perfection dawning in my life of aspiration. As perfection dawns, I can begin to establish my oneness with God and achieve abiding satisfaction. Perfection is the harbinger of satisfaction. Before I become perfect, there can be no true satisfaction, no divine satisfaction. But if I am perfect, then God can make me into His choice instrument. Then He can manifest Himself and satisfy Himself in and through me, and that is the true, divine satisfaction.
When my heart’s only cry is to please God in His own Way, then God can manifest Himself in and through me. When my inner cry carries me to God, I say to Him, “O my Beloved Supreme, make me Your perfect instrument.” When God comes to me, He gives me a broad Smile — a wide, soulful, illumining Smile — and says, “My child, I shall make you My perfect instrument and, at the same time, I will manifest Myself in and through you.”
First I need God’s Forgiveness, then God’s Compassion, then His Blessings and then His Love. Only then can perfection dawn in my life. Once perfection dawns in my life, I can become one with God, and God can make me His perfect instrument. At that time, God is satisfied with me and I am satisfied with Him — my life is all satisfaction, illumining and immortalising satisfaction.
WNG 4. Honolulu, Hawaii, 16 March 1980↩
Part II — Questions and answers
Question: How do you receive God's Forgiveness?Sri Chinmoy: You receive God’s Forgiveness only by reminding yourself — constantly, consciously, sleeplessly and breathlessly — that God is Forgiveness Itself. You should not think of God as Justice or as infinite Light or Peace. You should not think of any other aspect of God. You should only think of God’s Forgiveness or of God the Forgiveness. You have to inundate your mind and your heart with one thought: forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness. Instead of thinking of God’s Justice-Light, you should just repeat, “My Lord is all Forgiveness, my Lord is all Forgiveness.” While repeating, “My Lord is all Forgiveness,” you must not think of all the countless undivine things that you have done: “Oh, I have told a lie, I have struck someone, I have done so many other things wrong.” No, you will see only the positive side. You will think only of God’s Forgiveness before you, around you and within you. If hundreds and thousands of times you can repeat most soulfully, “My Lord is all Forgiveness, my Lord is all Forgiveness,” then all your Himalayan blunders will be washed away. All the mistakes that you have made over the years, all the ignorant things that you have done, will be annihilated. At that time, you will not only feel that you are forgiven, but you will feel that you yourself are God’s Forgiveness. If someone asks you your name, you will say, “My name is my Lord’s Forgiveness.” If someone asks who you are, you will say, “I am my Lord’s Forgiveness.”
This will be your only credential. In the ordinary life people have many credentials. They have this university degree, that degree and so on. But a spiritual seeker will say that he has only one credential. He will say either “I am my Lord’s Forgiveness,” or “I am my Lord’s Compassion,” or “I am my Lord’s Love.” So, if somebody asks what your credentials are, immediately you will say, “My Lord’s Compassion is my only credential,” or “My Lord’s Forgiveness is my only credential.” It is not just false humility, for in the inmost recesses of your heart you do feel that your only credential is God’s Compassion or God’s Forgiveness. That is what all seekers must feel.
Question: Should we feel that we have God's Blessing in the same way?Sri Chinmoy: Yes, you have to feel that you have God’s Blessing, and that because you have His Blessing, you will succeed. When you undertake a journey, if a person who is superior blesses you, especially if it is a spiritual person, a spiritual Master, then you are bound to succeed. In the ordinary life, when children are about to do something, their parents bless them. These blessings are of tremendous importance, for the parents are pouring into their children their utmost good wishes. In India, for example, before children go to school for an examination, they first go to their parents for blessings. When the parents bless them, the parents do not feel that they are representing God, far from it. They put their hands on their children and pray to God, “I am blessing my child, but in secret I am praying to You to bless him in and through me.” When the mother places her hand on the child’s head, the child thinks that the mother is blessing him. But the mother knows that the actual Blessing is coming from above, from God. She is only the instrument. Because she sincerely loves the child, she is praying to God, “O God, please descend into my son with all Your Blessings.”
As there is no difference between God and God’s Compassion or God and God’s Forgiveness, similarly, there is no difference between God and God’s Blessing. If I say “Blessing,” then it is God I am speaking of. If I say “God,” you have to know that He is all Blessing. When you have that kind of feeling, then naturally you will have His divine Blessings in your life.
Question: How is it possible to take that first step towards building discipline in your meditation practice?Sri Chinmoy: Let us take discipline as a muscle. Overnight we cannot develop most powerful muscles. Slowly and steadily we have to develop them. First you have to know how many minutes you can meditate. If you can meditate for five minutes, this means that for these five minutes you are disciplining yourself. Early in the morning, while your friends and dear ones are still in the world of sleep, if you get up to pray and meditate for five minutes, you are disciplining yourself.
How can you increase your discipline? The easiest way is to develop a true thirst, an inner cry, for the fruits of discipline. You can do this by seeing what happens when you lead a disciplined life and when you do not lead a disciplined life. You yourself have to be the judge. When you get up at five or six o’clock and meditate for fifteen minutes or half an hour, you feel extremely good. You feel that the whole world is beautiful. You love everybody and everybody loves you. God’s creation is all love for you, and you are all love for God’s creation. Because you got up and meditated for a few minutes, you are inundated with good thoughts. Each thought is a world in itself. The everyday reality that we see around us is not the only world; there are many worlds. Because you got up and meditated, you are running, jumping and flying in the good thought-worlds of beauty, joy, peace and light.
But the day that you don’t get up early to meditate, you hate the world, you hate yourself, and you feel that everybody in the world hates you. So you yourself can see the difference. It is not that you have never meditated early in the morning. The positive results you have had many, many times. Many times you have meditated, and again, many times you have not meditated. So you know the result of each. If you are clever, if you are wise, the good things you will always repeat and the bad things you will shun.
If you are finding it difficult to discipline yourself to do something, look at the result. If you climb up a tree, then you will get most delicious fruits. If you don’t climb up, you will get no fruits. You see that when someone is disciplined, he can climb up and pluck the most delicious mango and eat to his heart’s content. If you discipline yourself, you also can do the same. In this way you can get tremendous satisfaction. So by thinking of this satisfaction, you can easily discipline yourself. There is no other way.
You are seeing people all around you who are wallowing in the pleasures of idleness. There are many in the idleness-boat. But you can say, “No, I don’t want to be in that boat any more. I want to have a new boat, the boat that will sail towards the Golden Shore, towards the Goal.” It is up to you. You can easily discipline yourself by reminding yourself of the joy that you get when you discipline yourself and of the unhappiness you get when you do not.
Question: When you meditate and inwardly cry for something, should you also make an effort to achieve it, or just let it take place naturally?Sri Chinmoy: At the beginning you have to make a conscious effort to achieve something. Then later your actions become spontaneous. Unless and until they become spontaneous, you have to make a personal effort. When a sprinter starts a race, he moves his arms and hands very fast, making such vigorous movements. But after fifty or sixty metres, when he is going at top speed, everything becomes spontaneous. At that time he is not thinking about his arms at all. Others will say that his movements appear effortless. But they have to remember what vigorous movements he made at the start.
It is like sailing a boat. Before you start, while you are making your preparations, you need to do all kinds of things. While you are getting ready, you have to work very hard. It is only when you are actually well on your way that the boat can sail without your constant personal effort. Similarly, in your spiritual life, once your actions become spontaneous, at that time you feel that this spontaneous movement is an act of Grace from above.
Again, if you are sincere, then you will feel that even from the very beginning of your journey God’s Grace was descending. Otherwise, you would not have been inspired even to enter into the spiritual life. When you start out, you feel that you are making a great personal effort. But there comes a time when you realise that this personal effort itself is nothing other than Grace from above. Why are you getting up early to pray and meditate, whereas your friends are still wallowing in the pleasures of lethargy? It is because God’s Grace has descended into you. The deeper you go, the clearer it becomes that it is not your personal effort at all, but God’s Grace that enables you to make progress.
Personal effort is of paramount importance in the beginning, because at that time we don’t feel that God is our unconditional Friend. On the human level, if I give you something, then I expect you to give me something in return. If I don’t give you anything, then I feel that you are under no obligation to give anything to me. But God is not like that. God gives unconditionally, whether we claim Him as our own or not. This moment I may pray to God to fulfil my desire. The next moment, even if He fulfils my desire, immediately I can say, “Oh, I don’t need You. I don’t want to be Your child.” But God cannot do that kind of thing. God always claims us as His own, no matter what we do, no matter how bad we are, because He sees that in hundreds or thousands or millions of years, He will make us perfect. A child can decide to leave his parents at his sweet will, but the parents find it extremely difficult to leave their child. Similarly, I may disown God, my eternal Father, because I am angry with Him or because He has not fulfilled my desire. But He will never disown me, because I am His eternal child.
So-called personal effort is necessary because we do not feel that God is constantly loving us and blessing us unconditionally. Once we feel that He is doing everything for us unconditionally, then the sense of personal effort is not necessary. In the beginning we give fifty percent of the credit to ourselves, because we get up to pray and meditate, and fifty percent to God, because He responds to our prayers and inspires us during our meditation. But when we become sincere, when we become humble and, especially, when we become pure, at that time we feel that it is God who has inspired us to exercise our personal effort. Then we will say that one hundred percent of the credit goes to God.
Peace1What is peace? Is it just a magic word? Is it a reality that will always remain a far cry, that will always be beyond our grasp? No, it is not. Is it a quality that will never abide permanently in the inmost recesses of our heart, or is it some heavenly treasure, a blessingful gift from above, which we can never have here on earth? No, it is not.
What, then, is peace? Peace is a reality which is at once self-revealing and self-fulfilling. When can we have peace of mind? We can have peace of mind only when we surrender our ignorance-night to the Wisdom-Light and Compassion-Height of our Beloved Supreme.
We can say that we are very clever or we are very wise. We offer our Beloved Supreme our ignorance-night and, in exchange, we invoke His Compassion-Light and His Satisfaction-Delight. Our Beloved Supreme takes our ignorance-night and, in return, out of His infinite Bounty, He gives us His infinite Light, Peace, Wisdom and Compassion. But again, we see that quite often, when we do not surrender to Him, our Beloved Supreme Himself surrenders to our ignorance-night. We are like a child asking for something unhealthy. Because of the child’s constant insistence, the parents at times give him what he wants. But when the child realises that it is something harmful, then he stops asking for it. Again, our Absolute Father knows that it is He who is experiencing this unhealthy thing in and through us. Also, He knows that one day we will indeed surrender our ignorance-night to His Wisdom-Light and have peace of mind in infinite measure.
If we do not breathe in life energy, we cannot live. Similarly, without peace we do not and cannot live like true human beings. We desperately need peace — peace within, peace without. So how is it that we do not have peace, which is so important in our life? We do not have peace because of our hunger for possession. We want to possess the world, but when we increase our material possessions, we come to realise that we are still veritable beggars. No matter what we acquire in our life, when we look around we see that somebody else has that very thing in greater measure, and we lose our peace of mind. We become victims to worry, anxiety, depression and frustration, which is always followed by destruction.
As soon as we come to realise that possession is not the answer, that possession will not give us peace of mind, we go to the other extreme. We try to renounce the world. Sooner or later we see how fruitless it is to try to renounce anything. What are we going to renounce? We can renounce only the things that we truly possess. But is there anything on earth which we can claim as our own, very own? We can consider something to be our possession only when we have the last word about it, only if whatever we say goes. But even the members of our own reality-existence — our body, vital and mind — don’t listen to us and are not within our control. Instead, they try to control us.
We want our body to be active, but our body wants to wallow in the pleasures of lethargy. We want our vital to be dynamic, but instead our vital becomes aggressive and tries to destroy others. We want our mind to be inundated with faith, but instead our mind always doubts and suspects. It is inundated with doubt at every moment. It not only doubts others, but it also doubts its own capacities, its own achievements, its own realities, its own realisations. This moment the mind will say that you are a very good person. The next moment the same mind will say that you are very bad. The following moment the mind will wonder, “Am I right in doubting that person?” First we say that someone is nice; next we say that that same person is bad. Then we start doubting our mind’s capacities. Once we start doubting the reality and the authenticity of our mind, destruction starts. When we doubt someone else, we may not gain or lose anything very significant. But when we start doubting ourselves, then our reality-life comes to an end.
If we can’t control our own body, our own vital or our own mind, then how do we dare to claim these as our own? Even if we say that they are our possessions, we see that death will eventually come to snatch them away. The things that we cannot keep permanently, we cannot claim as our own possessions. So how can we renounce them? The very idea of renunciation is ridiculous because we do not have anything to renounce. If we dive deep within, we see that we are veritable beggars. How can a beggar renounce anything?
So possession brings frustration, and renunciation is fruitless. What, then, can give us peace of mind? Only acceptance of God’s Will can give us true peace of mind. By accepting God’s Will as our own, very own, we can get peace. Then only can our life be fruitful. In God’s Eye there is no such thing as possession and renunciation. In God’s Eye there is only one thing: acceptance — acceptance of God’s Will. In our heart, in our life, there is only one ultimate prayer, the prayer that the Saviour Christ has taught us: “Let Thy Will be done.” Millions of prayers have been written from time immemorial, but no prayer can equal this one: “Let Thy Will be done.” When we accept God’s Will as our own, at every moment peace looms large in our life of wisdom, in our life of aspiration and in our life of dedication.
How can we know something is God’s Will? When something is God’s Will, we will feel a kind of inner joy or satisfaction even before we start doing it. While working, we will also get joy. Finally, we feel that we will be equally happy if our action is fruitful or fruitless. In the ordinary life we are happy only when success dawns. Only when we see victory at the end of our journey are we happy and delighted. But if we can have the same kind of happiness, joy and satisfaction whether we succeed or fail, and if we can cheerfully offer the result of our actions at the Feet of our Beloved Supreme, then only can we know that what we have done is God’s Will. Otherwise, when there is success, we feel that what we did was God’s Will, and when there is failure, we say that what we did was the will of a hostile force. Or when we succeed we say it is because of our personal effort, our will, and when we fail we say it is because God does not care for us.
We can blame God at our sweet will. We can misunderstand Him at our sweet will. When we fail, we can blame God, and when we succeed, we can try to get the glory for ourselves. But if we are sincere seekers, and if we want real abiding happiness, then we shall do the things that we feel are good and right, and the results we shall offer to the Supreme. Success and failure are two experiences. These two experiences we have to unify, and whichever experience we get at the end of our endeavour, we have to offer to the Supreme with tremendous joy. If we can place the result at the Feet of our Beloved Supreme soulfully, cheerfully, unreservedly and unconditionally, then without fail we will have true peace of mind. At that time peace of mind will come and knock at our life’s door. We will not have to wait for peace of mind; it will be waiting for us.
To have peace in abundant measure, we have to surrender our earth-bound will to the Heaven-free Will of our Beloved Supreme. We have to cheerfully, soulfully, devotedly, unreservedly and unconditionally surrender our limited human reality to the universal or transcendental Reality. This surrender is not like the surrender of a slave to his master. This surrender is based on the wisdom-light that recognises a difference between our own highest height and our own lowest depth. Right now, even as seekers, we often embody the lowest depth of consciousness, whereas the highest height of Consciousness is represented by our Beloved Supreme. Both the highest and the lowest belong to us. When we surrender our will to the Will of the Supreme, we offer our lowest part to our highest part, for the Supreme is none other than our own highest Self.
We are like a tiny drop, and the Supreme, our Source, is like the vast ocean. When the drop enters into the ocean, it loses its limited individuality and personality and becomes the ocean itself. Again, it does not actually lose anything; it only increases its existence-light unimaginably. Similarly, if we maintain our own individuality and personality, we will always be assailed by fear, doubt and other negative and destructive qualities. But when we enter into the Source, which is all light and delight, at that time we acquire all the divine qualities and capacities of the Source. In this way, when we surrender our lowest self, which we now represent or embody, to our highest Self, we get peace of mind and our entire being is inundated with joy, light and delight.
WNG 9. Honolulu, Hawaii, 17 March 1980.↩
Part III — Interview on "Hawaii Health Line"1
WNG 10. Radio K108, Honolulu, Hawaii, 28 December 1979↩
InterviewInterviewer: With me in the studio this morning we have Sri Chinmoy. Sri Chinmoy, for those of you who are not familiar with the name, is an Indian spiritual Master. He is the founder and director of the meditation group at the United Nations in New York and an exponent of Yoga and Eastern philosophy. Sri Chinmoy spent most of his early years living in an ashram. He is an accomplished composer and performer of music for meditation. And Sri Chinmoy is someone who knows a great deal about meditation — the benefits of meditation and the experiences that are available through it, not only in the area of consciousness, but also in the area of physical health. We are going to be talking primarily about meditation, and along with that we are going to be discovering and exploring, something of the personality and the being of Sri Chinmoy.
Sri Chinmoy, welcome to “Hawaii Health Line.” There are a lot of questions that I would like to ask you. I would like to start by finding out something about your early life. You grew up in an ashram?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, I was brought up in an ashram. There I practised prayer and meditation for twenty years, and also I gave much importance to physical exercise to keep the body fit. I am very happy to be here today because this programme is about both physical fitness and spiritual awareness. These are perfectly harmonious with my philosophy and my code of life.
Interviewer: Was your method of physical fitness primarily in the field of Hatha Yoga, or were there other things as well?Sri Chinmoy: In my case it was mainly athletics. Of course, I took a few Hatha Yoga exercises, but I was very good in track and field, and in volleyball and football — what you call soccer.
Interviewer: What about your musical background? When did you first become interested in music?Sri Chinmoy: When I was four or five years old, my sister started teaching me songs. Then, when I was in my adolescence, God blessed me with a good singing voice. I learned hundreds of songs and composed a few as well. Here in America I started composing songs regularly, and I have written a few thousand. They are all spiritual songs, soulful songs — songs that can and will help us immensely in our spiritual life.
Interviewer: What part does music play in the spiritual life of an individual?Sri Chinmoy: The role of music in the spiritual life is extremely important and significant. God is the Supreme Musician, and His entire creation is His divine Music. At every moment we can be His conscious instruments. And spiritual music itself is an instrument to show us our universal Reality.
Interviewer: Then you agree with the traditional idea of man being a hollow bamboo flute that God plays?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, that is what we are all striving for — to be the instruments of the Supreme.
Interviewer: You are referred to as an Indian spiritual Master.Sri Chinmoy: I am referred to as a spiritual Master, but I will always call myself a seeker, an eternal seeker learning at the Feet of my Beloved Supreme. Life is the greatest opportunity to make progress, and at every moment we can avail ourselves of this opportunity. Each of us is a seeker, walking along Eternity’s Road, which has no beginning and no end.
Interviewer: You are saying that we are all disciples?
Sri Chinmoy: We are all seekers. Some of us are consciously seeking; some are unconsciously seeking. But if we do something consciously, then we derive more benefit.
Interviewer: The term "Master" is something that Westerners very often have difficulty with. Could you talk about the relationship between a Master and a devotee or disciple?Sri Chinmoy: A spiritual Master is one who illumines the seeker. The Master is like a private tutor who helps the seeker learn the inner knowledge, so that he can fight against ignorance-night and swim in the sea of wisdom-light. A private tutor teaches the student and helps him in every way to learn the subject. Then, when the student sits for the examination at school, he does well. So a spiritual Master is he who carefully teaches the student how to pass the inner examination. But there is only one real Teacher, and that is the Lord Supreme Himself. We spiritual Masters are only His instruments.
If I know a little more than you do in one particular field, then I can help you. If you know more than I do about something else, then you can help me in that field. In a family, if the older brother knows more about the father than his younger brothers and sisters, then he is in a position to teach them. But he will not claim to be the father. The older brother will tell the younger ones, “I know a little bit more than you do about our father, so I will tell you how you can approach him.” We who are called spiritual Masters are like older brothers to humanity. We are members of the same family trying to teach our younger brothers and sisters to value, appreciate, admire and adore our heavenly Father.
Interviewer: Are you saying that we are all masters in some area of life?
Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. If I want to know something about how a radio station operates, you will be in a position to teach me. In this field I am totally helpless. So if I want to find out about this, then I will go to an expert in this field and learn from him.
Interviewer: The kind of surrender that you talk about — the willingness to totally give yourself to a Master — takes a lot of courage, doesn't it?Sri Chinmoy: It is a matter of personal choice and inner conviction. In the past we always listened to the mind. Our mind told us to do certain things, and we tried to obey the mind because it was the boss. But we were not satisfied. Now we want our heart to be the boss. Our heart is telling us that there is another way — that if we can identify ourselves with a higher reality, then we will have more satisfaction and more perfection in our life.
Interviewer: What I understand you to be saying is that the mind itself never gives satisfaction.
Sri Chinmoy: You are right; the mind never gives us satisfaction. The mind tells us, “Do this, and you will be happy.” We do what the mind asks, but we never find happiness.
Interviewer: The mind keeps trying to convince us that we are happy.
Sri Chinmoy: The mind wants to convince us of certain realities, but when we dive deep within, we see that the mind is totally wrong. Real happiness we will never get by listening to the mind. Right now the mind is not deliberately fooling us. The mind thinks it knows the truth, but unfortunately it does not. Then there comes a time when the mind becomes fed up with its imperfections and admits that it has failed to give us happiness. It sees that when we knock at our heart’s door and enter into the heart’s room, we get joy. The mind also wants joy and happiness, so at that time the mind becomes the student of the heart.
Interviewer: That’s interesting. The mind then surrenders to the heart.
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it surrenders because it also needs happiness and peace.
Interviewer: Let's talk about the path of the heart — what is referred to in the Eastern tradition as the path of Bhakti. I'd like to also talk about meditation at this point because what we are indicating here is something that is very often misunderstood in regard to meditation. It is believed by many that meditation is an experience of the mind, when in fact it is not — although the mind is involved initially.Sri Chinmoy: Meditation is something that goes beyond the mind. The mind is limited. It always thinks of “I,” “my” and “mine.” But meditation is unlimited. When we meditate, we become aware of our universal Reality, of our universal Oneness. At that time we become one with our self-giving heart. A tiny drop wholeheartedly gives its reality, its finite existence, to the mighty ocean. When it surrenders its separate existence, it becomes one with the ocean itself. So, when we give, we get infinitely more in return. Self-giving is God-becoming. The moment we give ourselves soulfully, devotedly, unreservedly and unconditionally to the Infinite, we become the Infinite Itself. When we offer our little earthly existence to our Beloved Supreme, we become inseparably one with His universal and transcendental Reality.
Interviewer: Could you take a few minutes and talk with the audience about meditation — what it is and what it isn't? What are some of the reasons for and the benefits of meditation?Sri Chinmoy: Meditation is self-discovery. We try to discover many things in life, but unfortunately most of the time we do not try to discover ourselves. When we do discover ourselves through meditation, we see clearly that we are chosen instruments of God. A chosen instrument is he who has peace of mind and who can offer peace of mind to the rest of the world.
Meditation always helps us to see the universal Truth, universal Beauty and universal Delight in ourselves. When we meditate, we feel that the world has real meaning. For most human beings, the world has nothing to offer except suffering, misery and unfortunate experiences. But when we meditate, we see that the world is not like that. It has beauty, it has purity, it has oneness. The world is God’s creation, and God is all Light and Delight. So how can His creation be all suffering? When we meditate, we try to discover the supreme secrets that show us how we can always serve mankind and fulfil our highest Reality.
Interviewer: What about meditation techniques? What do you suggest people use as a method of meditation?Sri Chinmoy: If one does not have a teacher, then I advise the seeker to try to make the mind calm and quiet and not allow any wrong thoughts to enter. As soon as a seeker is assailed by a wrong thought, he has to try to destroy it. He has to open himself only to encouraging, illumining and fulfilling thoughts. If hatred enters into my mind while I am meditating, I will try to replace it with love. If insecurity enters into my mind, I will try to replace it with security. And if doubt about my spiritual capacity enters into my mind, I will immediately try to bring faith to the fore to conquer the doubt.
Interviewer: How about regularity in meditation? How often should we meditate?Sri Chinmoy: Regularity is of paramount importance. Every day we eat at least twice, if not three times, to satisfy the demands of our physical body. Similarly, we have to meditate every day to nourish our soul, our inner existence. So, let us do the first thing first. Since the soul was created before the body, we have to think of the child who came into the family first. If we think of the body before we think of the soul, we are putting the cart before the horse. So at least twice a day every sincere seeker should meditate.
Interviewer: Would it be a good idea to meditate at least for a few minutes before you sit down to eat?Sri Chinmoy: I do not advise my students to meditate seriously immediately before a meal. But they often meditate for a minute or so before they eat.
Interviewer: There are several people in our listening audience who would like to ask you questions. Let's take a call.Caller: As I am listening to Sri Chinmoy on the radio, I feel tremendous divine Love emanating from him, and I am wondering how I can be more receptive to that divine Love.
Sri Chinmoy: You can be more receptive to the divine Love if you can feel every day that your Source is all Love, and that you are on earth to offer constantly, in thought and in action, the love that you already have. At every moment you have many thoughts, so you can offer love through each of your thoughts. And each time you do something, you can feel that this action is nothing but an expression of love. Right now, offering love through thought and action is of supreme importance in your life. While thinking and while acting, if you can feel that you are offering love to mankind, to the rest of the world, then you can be more receptive to the universal Love. In this way you can feel that God’s divine Love is all for you.
Caller: Why are you here helping Americans when there are millions of people starving in India?Sri Chinmoy: God did not send me to earth to be a social worker. My mission is to feed those who are inwardly hungry. By working in America, by serving seekers in the West who are spiritually hungry, I am fulfilling the Will of the Supreme Lord.
Caller: I'm a runner, and I've seen a poster in a shop just recently for a run with Sri Chinmoy's name. Sri Chinmoy must be a runner as well as a meditation Master. I was just wondering what he had to say about that.Sri Chinmoy: Physical fitness is of great importance in our life. If the body is in good condition, then we can perform all our activities well. Running in the outer life makes us active and dynamic. Also, the outer running reminds us that we must run inwardly. Each human being is walking along Eternity’s Road. If we can run in the inner world instead of just walking, then our progress will be much faster, and we will reach our goal sooner. So every day we run or do physical exercises in order to become strong, healthy and dynamic. These qualities in our outer life help us considerably in our inner life. Again, our prayer and meditation also help us in our running. Through prayer and meditation we can develop intense will-power. This will-power can help us do extremely well in our outer running.
Caller: I find that when Sri Chinmoy speaks about meditation, it sounds very familiar and very normal, although I always thought that meditation was something quite remote. The way he expresses it makes it seem very natural and practical. Can Sri Chinmoy comment on that?Sri Chinmoy: It is a wrong conception that meditation is something abnormal, or that we have to enter into the Himalayan caves in order to realise God. God is everywhere. When we approach God with our heart, we feel closeness and oneness with the rest of the world. When we pray and meditate properly, we feel that there is only one family, and that is God’s Family. If we approach reality with our heart, then we will see that there is nothing but oneness. We have to meditate in the heart, with the heart, to bring forward the soul. If we can do this, then we will always feel abiding oneness within us.
Interviewer: My guest in the studio today is Indian spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy, and we've been talking about meditation and our relationship with God. One of the ways in which creativity is expressed through Sri Chinmoy is in the area of music. He has composed thousands of songs, including one piece dedicated to Hawaii. Would you like to tell us a little bit about this song?Sri Chinmoy: A week ago I composed this song, which is my soulful dedication to the soul of Hawaii. I have been deeply moved, inspired and energised by the inner and outer beauty of Hawaii. Here in Hawaii we see two aspects of the divine Reality: power and beauty. Usually we do not see these two mighty attributes together. But here I see both beauty and power. When I look at the mountains, I see beauty and power. When I look at the sea, I see beauty and power. When I look at nature all around, it is all beauty and power. When I look at the individuals who live here, again I see beauty and power. Beauty and power together have inspired and illumined me here in Hawaii, and the result is this, my most humble and most soulful offering to the soul of Hawaii:
Hawaii, Hawaii, Hawaii!
O eastern sun, O western sky!
In you find.
Now I wish to sing the song.
[Sri Chinmoy sings.]
Interviewer: Thank you very much; it’s lovely. You've been listening to spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy singing a song that he composed about a week ago. I love that idea of the beauty and power of Hawaii side by side. A lovely thought, a lovely thought.
One thing I wanted to mention — earlier you were talking about radio. One of the very powerful things that I feel is unique to radio is that it is a very emotional medium. Radio is the medium of the heart, whereas television is a visual medium. I think that one of the things that happens with this programme, and with other radio programmes as well, is that the listener gets a kind of inner feeling about the person who is being interviewed. I think that today the listeners, in addition to hearing what you are saying, have had the opportunity to get a very deep feeling about you. You have been talking about the heart, and I hope that they have been able to feel the universal aspect of your heart and of your work. And I want to really commend you for your contributions, not only to individual seekers, but also to the entire planet through the United Nations. We do live on one planet.
Sri Chinmoy: Absolutely true, and we are of one family; therefore, we should be for one family: mankind. Meditation teaches us the consciousness of oneness, and it is that awareness which unites both Heaven and earth.
Interviewer: It’s past eleven, and I know that you have another engagement. I would love to have you join us again sometime when you are here. You are certainly most welcome, and this has been thoroughly delightful.
Sri Chinmoy: I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me the golden opportunity to be of real, dedicated service to many, many sincere seekers here in Hawaii.
Preface to the first editionThis book consists of four lectures that Sri Chinmoy delivered while visiting Hawaii in March 1980, and a radio interview he gave there a few months earlier. Inspired by the beauty and power of the islands, he composed a song [cite:WING 1] which portrays the inner qualities of Hawaii.