You belong to God

Return to the table of contents

Question: I would like to ask what the basis of your meditation is.1

Sri Chinmoy: It is very simple. We all know what prayer is. With folded hands, we pray to God, whom you call Allah. At that time, we ask God to take us to the highest Height and to give us joy, peace, love and light so that we can become good citizens of the world.

When we pray, it is like climbing a tree. We feel that God is at the top of the tree and we are begging Him to come down and give us His inner Treasures. Again, we are climbing up the tree and going high, higher, highest.

When we meditate, it is like climbing down the tree. We have received many delicious fruits, and now we are bringing them down and we shall offer them to our dear ones and to humanity at large. With meditation we come down and share our fruits — that is, our joy — with others.

  1. YBG 1-8. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions posed by a reporter in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on 10 January 1988

Question: Is your meditation like a religion?

Sri Chinmoy: No, there is no religion involved. I was born a Hindu and perhaps you were born a Muslim. If we remain all the time in our respective religions, I may say that my Hinduism is the best and you may say that your Islam is the best. Then a third person will come to contradict us both and say, "No, Christianity is the best." Like this, the religions may at times compete.

But ours is a way of life. We want to become good citizens of the world, and for this we have to love the Divine in humanity. There is not a single religion that does not love God. When we only care about loving God and we do not worry about whose religion is the best, then there is no problem. Our love of God becomes a way of life. But if we remain in the competition-world, we will claim that our own religion is the best.

I always say that our path is not a religion, but a way of life, based on love of God. So there is no problem.

Question: So you can say you are still a Hindu?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, I am a Hindu. I was born in the Ghose family. My surname is Ghose, which is a Hindu name. How can I deny it? I was born into a Hindu family, so I am a Hindu. But when I mix with my friends, I only use the name Chinmoy. My friends know me as Chinmoy. They do not have to use my surname. Similarly, if I can establish my oneness with the rest of the world and see others as my friends, or as my brothers and sisters, I do not need to think of religion at that time. We have to establish our love and oneness with others, although we all have different religions. Real religion is love of God.

If I truly love God, then I have to go beyond the boundaries of religion and feel my oneness with all of God's children. But if somebody asks me what religion I was born into, immediately I will have to say that I was born into the Hindu religion.

Question: What can you say about world peace?

Sri Chinmoy: This world has everything save and except peace. Powerful countries say they want peace. Everybody talks about peace. But when we talk about peace, many times we are only juggling with the word 'peace'. We know the word 'peace' so well, but we are only throwing balls into the air.

The problem is that everybody wants peace in a very peculiar way. I may say that as long as I am your lord and you are my servant, we can have peace. I want peace provided I am allowed to stand in front of you. It is not enough for me to stand alongside you. No, I have to be one step ahead of you and you have to remain behind me; then only there will be peace. This is what the world thinks and feels.

But we can never get peace by lording it over others. It is only when everybody is on the same footing that there will be peace. Real peace lies in inseparable oneness. If you are here, I am also here. If you are there, I am also there. This is peace.

Question: Your meditation group wants world peace, but I do not think it is a big enough group to make an impact on world leaders.

Sri Chinmoy: Our meditation group prays and meditates. We feel that if the world is going to change, it will have to change in the heart first. Prayer and meditation come from the heart, not from the mind. The mind is not going to give us peace. It has to get peace from somewhere else, and that place is the heart.

The soul has infinite peace. The heart has peace to a certain extent because it is receiving peace from the soul. But if we can regularly pray and meditate, then our heart will be in tune with God all the time and it will definitely get peace in abundant measure.

The heart is ready and eager to give peace to the mind, but right now the mind is not receiving what the heart has to offer. People who are in the mind are only using the word 'peace'. They do not feel the necessity of peace, whereas those who live in the heart because of their prayer and meditation do feel the necessity of peace. It is through prayer and meditation that we can intensify and expand this feeling in our heart and eventually bring the message of peace to the mind. I believe that all those who pray and meditate are helping people who sincerely want peace in the world.

Question: Do you believe that world peace will be a reality?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, I do believe it, only I cannot say that tomorrow the whole world will be inundated with peace.

It is like sowing a seed. Today you have put a seed into the ground, but you cannot expect a tree to grow overnight. First it has to become a tiny plant and a sapling, and only after that will it grow into a giant banyan tree. Right now our prayers and meditations are like seeds. It will take time for them to germinate; but it is only a matter of time.

Question: I was invited to your musical performance, but I see that you do not play music by composers like Mozart or Beethoven. You play in a different way.

Sri Chinmoy: I do not dare to compare myself with the great, immortal composers. I am only playing the music that I have composed from my soulful heart. I am a man of prayer. From my prayer-life and my meditation-life I have received inspiration, and this spiritual inspiration I try to convey to the world at large through my music.

Mine is soulful music. It has peace in it. In every way I am trying to offer peace, through my music as well as through my prayer and meditation. Music is part and parcel of my spiritual life.

Question: Is it all right if people call you a prophet?

Sri Chinmoy: No, no, no! I am not a prophet and I do not claim to be a prophet. I am a God-lover. I love God and I pray to God. What I claim to be, every person can also claim to be. I say that I am a God-lover and you can also say the same thing. We are all in the same boat.

Question: Before you received the inner Command to come to America, did you feel you were in preparation? Were you waiting consciously?1

Sri Chinmoy: I did not want to know the future. If there is joy, it is not in knowing the future, even if there is a sunlit path ahead. It is like this: if after A, B always comes, then you do not get any joy. It becomes monotonous. But if everything that comes is a surprise, then there is joy.

If your father, let us say, told you everything that would happen from A to Z, from the beginning to the end, you would not value B, C, D and E, because they are all in the beginning. Step by step we have to value our life.

While climbing up the staircase, if you place your right foot and then your left foot, you will not break your legs. But if you try to jump, you may break your legs. You have to go slowly.

  1. YBG 9-10. Sri Chinmoy answered the following questions at his home in Jamaica, New York on 13 June 1988

Question: You were waiting for a long time.

Sri Chinmoy: The Supreme did not tell me all along that I had to go to America. Until 1958 or 1959 I was thinking of going to the Himalayan caves. I was recalling some previous incarnation. After 1959, or around that time, the Supreme gave me the Command. But before that, I was only thinking of the Himalayas. That is the traditional way.

Sometimes a whimsical idea to go to America would come to me, but a solid feeling to go to the West — that God did not give me. I had only a solid feeling to go to the Himalayas. A few years ago, my eldest brother was feeling that one day I might come back to India and go and live in the Himalayas.

When I was fourteen years old, I wrote a short article called, "A Sea of Light." There I said that I was going to give up, I was going to leave this mortal world for my eternal abode in Heaven.

Then the Supreme said to me, "If people like you withdraw, who is going to manifest Me?" That was my revelation. That was my solid experience.

Only towards the end of my Ashram life, two or three years before I came to America, I became fully aware of the manifestation aspect and the possibility of coming to America. Otherwise, no; for me there was primarily aspiration. I was thinking of one day going back to the Himalayan caves. I did not have any special feeling for America or the West.

Question: What happened after Siddhartha attained enlightenment? Did he not see God? Why was it impersonal?1

Sri Chinmoy: The Buddha spoke about Light, about enlightenment. What else is enlightenment, if not God? Illumination is God; Light is God. The Buddha saw the Light and then he became the Light when he attained enlightenment, only he did not use the term 'God'.

After his enlightenment, the Buddha did not want to come down. He wanted to stay in that state where it is all peace. There are two aspects. One is the extinction of all earthly sufferings. If you can go to that realm, there will be no suffering at all. The other aspect is that if you climb up to the top of the tree and eat the most delicious mango yourself, you do not want to come down; as soon as you reach the foot of the tree again, you will see that there are many, many thorns. You feel that the best thing is to remain at the top of the tree, eat and never come down.

The Buddha attained nirvana. Then, after nirvana, he spoke about parinirvana. First comes the extinction of suffering. Then one becomes so completely immersed in the Universal Consciousness that one does not take human incarnation again. The bird has gone out of the cage; it does not want to come back into the cage any more.

  1. YBG 11-14. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions about Lord Buddha in December of 1988 while he and his students were gathered in Thailand for their annual Christmas Trip

Question: Did the Buddha see God?

Sri Chinmoy: My name is not the Buddha! Anything that I say will be all imagination. Only this much I can say: once you see the personal, it immediately becomes the impersonal. It is like ice and water. You know the difference. This moment it is ice, and the next moment it is water. If you see ice, you cannot imagine there will be water underneath it. If you see water, you cannot imagine that it will form ice. One person will like ice, another person will like water. In the Buddha's case, he liked the impersonal. He did not care for the personal.

In my case, I see both, but I prefer the personal. I am one hundred per cent for the personal. Once in Woodstock I was seeing the impersonal God. I was in front of a bus stand. I was waiting there for the bus to come back to New York from Woodstock. The bus was not on time. I wanted the bus to come, so that I would not be late. I was only watching and watching for the bus.

Then I saw the impersonal Supreme. I said, "I do not need the impersonal. I am dying for the personal!" Then immediately I saw the personal Supreme. At last I noticed that the bus was already there. It was waiting only for me, perhaps.

You can talk to the personal God. With the impersonal, it is like talking to a wall. If you can approach the personal One, you can do anything you like — talk, cry, get scoldings or anything else. With the impersonal God, it is all mental hallucination!

I will give you an example. Some disciples are dissatisfied with me. Inwardly they are saying that they need a better Guru that I do not care for them. A few days ago, here at the hotel, I was telling God, "O my Lord Supreme, what have I done wrong? You have blessed me with some undivine disciples. Can You not inwardly inspire them to leave my boat?"

He said, "Keep quiet! Shut up!"

I said to the Supreme, "Here, when I am asking You to take some people out of my boat, You are asking me to shut up. Why are You so unsympathetic, why?"

He said, "You fool! You made a conscious, unconditional commitment to Me. You have realised Me. Where are they? Realisation is a far cry for them. They have not made even an unconscious or conditional commitment. Based on your commitment, I tell you to shut up. Based on their standard, I tell them, 'Try other boats, try other boats. And if you need My Help, I will help you."'

This is not my mental hallucination. It happened only three or four days ago in this famous place. When it is a matter of the personal Supreme, I can talk to Him face to face. The impersonal will turn a deaf ear.

Sri Ramakrishna was utterly devoted to Mother Kali. Sometimes he used to get mad, furious, and say nasty things to Mother Kali. Would he say these things to the impersonal God? He knew the impersonal would not listen to him.

I am in the physical. If some of my disciples get angry with me, immediately they refer to the personal. At that time, they do not think of my inner vastness, peace and light. One person's consciousness descends and, if I have concern and compassion for that person, I take his anger or jealousy in the form of an attack on my physical body. This morning, about seven or eight minutes before four o'clock, I was standing in my room about to take exercise, when I got such pain, such pain, in my right ankle. What an attack! Somebody in New York was doing me a 'favour' by attacking me with wrong forces.

I shall tell you another incident. Today my weightlifting career could have ended for a few months. I entered into the car and closed the door. Alas, my left thumb was caught between the car and the door. I hurt it badly. I came out of the car and screamed and screamed. In this case, the attack came in the form of my own carelessness. My right arm is bad, and that is why I try to lift more weight with the left. Had I damaged my left thumb, I would not have been able to lift for a long time. But my Supreme's Compassion saved my thumb.

In this way, the personal aspect deals with compassion. The impersonal is like a solid wall. There is no response.

Lord Buddha advocated the middle path, not to go to extremes. This was the Buddha's realisation. He did not eat for many days, and then finally he took sweetmeats from Sujata. He declared, "Do not go to one extreme. Do not go towards either indulgence or austerity." The Buddha's philosophy is the middle path.

Question: If the Buddha's theory was to disdain the personal God, did it also apply to the personal Guru?

Sri Chinmoy: If you read books about the Buddha's life, you will see that some say he did care for the personal aspect of his life. According to some, at the age of seventy-eight he passed away; others say that he was over eighty years old. After the age of seventy-five he was unable to walk properly. He became physically lame and he had various diseases. In spite of that, the Buddha used to give sermons. It went on for two or three years like this.

And the Buddha had some unfortunate disciples. After listening to his talks, they would go to another spiritual Teacher only to make a comparison. Then, when they found that the Buddha's talks were better, more inspiring, they used to come back to him.

If the Buddha had not cared for the personal aspect, he would have said, "Who cares? I gave you my wisdom. That is the most important thing. If you find more wisdom in the other Teacher, then go to him. It is all impersonal." But the Buddha did not do that. He used to feel miserable, not because he was losing his disciples, but because they constantly changed their Guru. Then he used to give talks and bring them back.

The personal and the impersonal are inseparable, but we prefer one to the other — that is all. In essence, they are one, inseparable, but we like one more than the other. Most people prefer the personal God.

In the Buddha's case, it was not that the impersonal God came to him. It was not that Somebody stood in front of him as the impersonal God, no. From within, everything became fully illumined, like a million-watt bulb. God was inside, outside, everywhere. The Buddha's inner beings were fully illumined, enlightened. He separated himself from his inner beings. He saw his inner beings right in front of him, and they were fully illumined. He took them as his own impersonal aspect. This is the Buddha's way: to feel that, inside, you are fully illumined, you are another God.

The other way is to feel that through love, devotion and surrender to the personal God, you will get everything. Look at a teacher and his student. In many cases, the student has already learnt as much as the teacher knows, but the student has such humility, adoration and admiration that he still wants to keep that individual as his teacher. Sometimes the student even goes beyond the teacher. He knows more, but he does not want to show it because the teacher taught him for so many years with utmost affection, compassion and fondness.

My eldest brother became a Sanskrit scholar. When the village priest performed rites, so many things he did incorrectly, but my brother used to touch his feet because he first received his knowledge of Sanskrit from the village priests.

When the Buddha's inner beings were illumined, he was fully satisfied. He did not care for the personal aspect. He did not need it. Once he felt himself as the Highest, he was fully satisfied.

In my case, when I realised God, I knew that there was Somebody else, but there was no difference between my Highest and that Somebody else. From that Highest I came. Again, the Highest in the form of realisation and the Highest in the form of manifestation I keep together. In the Buddha's case, the Highest in the form of realisation he took, but the Highest in the form of manifestation he did not care for. I immediately take both — realisation and manifestation. This moment, when I am in the form of realisation, Somebody is being manifested in and through me. Next moment, when I am playing the role of manifestation, Somebody is expressing realisation in and through me. The Buddha followed the realisation way, not the manifestation way. That is why his philosophy is a little bit different from mine. But in the end, it is the same thing, the same thing.

Here we are in the land of Lord Buddha, the Light of Asia. That is why we are talking about the Buddha and meditating on him. I have the greatest admiration and adoration for all the Avatars, but I have absolute love for Sri Krishna. Similarly, Sri Ramakrishna realised all the Cosmic Gods and Goddesses, but for him, Mother Kali was enough.

Question: It seems that the followers of the Buddha worship his personal aspect.

Sri Chinmoy: If they did not worship the personal, would there be millions of statues of the Buddha? My most favourite statue is the Kamakura Buddha in Japan. There I see and feel Lord Buddha's living presence. Each time I go there, we talk and talk and talk. We enjoy a wonderful conversation. We play games, show off our occult power and so forth. In the inner world I know what kind of games we play. And how we talk! At that time I am dealing with the personal Buddha. With the impersonal, will I have this kind of talk, conversation and games? No!

Question: How can we protect ourselves when we are around unaspiring people?1

Sri Chinmoy: Always wisdom has to play its role. Let us say you want to use the gym. Just go there when those who are in a so-called undivine consciousness are not using the machines. Nobody can exercise for eight or ten hours. When they are not there, you can go and practise. This is called wisdom. Then, before exercising, a few times you can chant 'Supreme' because of the vibrations on the machines themselves. By building me so many exercise machines, my disciples have made me very lucky. My vibration, good or bad, is enough for me.

  1. YBG 15-20.Sri Chinmoy answered these questions from his disciples on 8 July 1989 during his visit to New Zealand

Question: In your writings, you talk about the Goddess Kali. Is it necessary to believe in the Cosmic Goddesses?

Sri Chinmoy: I am an Indian. In India, each Indian family, each house, has a presiding deity. We believe that God is inside the presiding deity. In my case, Mother Kali is my presiding deity. Of all the Cosmic Gods and Goddesses, I have the closest connection with her. Because of her, today I am still alive, talking to you. Long before you were born, after running a 400-metre race at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, I collapsed and my soul left my body. Only because of my inner illumination, I saw my soul leaving my body. Then Mother Kali grabbed my soul very forcefully and put it back into my body. I saw it.

Then they took me to my house in a rickshaw. My case was still quite serious. For three days and three nights I could not move, but the entire time I was seeing my Mother Kali at one particular corner of the wall. It was not my imagination. She was watching me and, with infinite compassion and love, she was telling me that I would be physically all right.

Many hundreds and thousands of experiences Mother Kali has given me. But I want my disciples to be devoted to one Person, and that Person is the Supreme. Inside the Supreme is Mother Kali. Mother Kali is a portion of the Supreme. Your Guru, my Guru, everybody's Guru is the Supreme. I will not say to anybody that they should give up the Supreme and take Mother Kali as their all, no.

Then again, right now you cannot see the Supreme, but I can. Since your third eye is still sleeping and you are unable to see the Supreme directly, you can look at my Transcendental Picture. If you have faith in me, if you believe that your Guru has realised God, then this picture can immediately help you to reach the Highest. My Transcendental Picture is inseparably one with the Supreme. Since you cannot see the Supreme directly, you can see the representative of the Supreme in my Transcendental.

In the same way, you may want some divine quality-purity, for example. Since you cannot see your own heart as a most beautiful flower, since right now you do not smell the fragrance of your heart, what can you do? You can keep a flower in front of you to make yourself feel that you are going to be as pure as the flower. A flower embodies purity. When you look at the flower, you are receiving purity in infinite measure. With the help of the flower, you are going to the purity-world. The flower is taking you to purity-consciousness, fragrance-consciousness, nowhere else.

Always we have to have something that takes us to what we want. For my disciples, my Transcendental Picture is the bridge between earth and Heaven. If you do not have a bridge, how are you going to make the crossing? What are you going to do? Heaven is a little higher than earth! Again, always we have to keep something in mind to inspire ourselves. For my disciples, that something is my Transcendental Picture. My Transcendental Picture is also inside you.

In my case, what do I do? I see Someone who is so affectionate to me and so fond of me, Someone who has the power aspect. When I lift thousands of pounds, at that time I see my Mother Kali dancing on my head. This is not my mental hallucination.

But I do not have to go to the Supreme through Mother Kali. I have a very close, direct connection with the Supreme. You can call it a 'hot line'. But also, I do worship Mother Kali because of my childhood life and because she is my family deity.

Question: Guru, I have a skin problem. I have had it ever since I was a baby and it drives me crazy. I itch and I cannot sleep. I was wondering if you could please suggest some outer or inner remedies.

Sri Chinmoy: Only inner remedies can cure you permanently. Through prayer and meditation you can try.

The outer remedies also can help you. You have been to a doctor, I am sure. Ask the doctor if you can sponge with coconut water. Kindly ask the doctor first. If the doctor agrees, if the doctor says it will not be harmful, you can use coconut water to wash your body. It will help you. But please ask your doctor first.

Question: When we are born, are there different possible futures that we could have?

Sri Chinmoy: If you get a God-realised Master, he expedites the journey. He not only expedites it, he can sometimes shorten the journey or tell someone, "Go this way. It is a short cut." Again, even a short cut can he full of thorns, full of obstacles. When we get a real spiritual Master, he not only shortens the road, but he also removes many obstacles on the road.

Many times it happens that there is a short cut, but there are high hurdles if you go that way. Again, the other way may be a long journey, very long, but without so many obstacles. But the problem is that it is a very slow process, incarnation after incarnation.

When you get a genuine spiritual Master and when your aspiration is very sincere, he shows you the short cut, plus the obstacles in your path are considerably removed. Again, if there are no obstacles at all, then you will not value the spiritual life. If you get everything for the asking, you will not value it.

When you become spiritually developed, you will see that when you do get what you are asking for, it is because of God's unconditional Compassion. If I have not given you one dollar, let us say, why should you be grateful to me? Again, if I do give you something, will you not give me a smile? Here on earth always one person has to give something and the other person has to give something in return. It is mutual give and take. We cannot convince our mind that God loves us unconditionally. But when God gives us something, He gives it unconditionally.

Only when we have our spiritual life in the forefront can we convince our mind that God loves each person unconditionally. Ordinary people will never, never be able to believe this. To convince their mind is next to impossible. But spiritual people are different. If we are spiritual, immediately we see that what we give is next to nothing in terms of love of God, devotion to God, service to God. We feel-and it is absolutely true — that God loves us infinitely more than we love Him. Whether it is affection, love, fondness, concern or compassion, He gives us much more than we give Him.

Just because your vessel is so small, you cannot hold what God wants to give you. God comes with a very large quantity, but you cannot hold it because your vessel is so small. He is standing right in front of you, but you are unable to expand, you are unable to have a larger than the largest vessel so that He can pour His Love and Blessings into you.

If, at that moment, you can show God your gratitude, you will immediately get a larger inner vessel. Even by repeating and repeating daily, "I want to love my Lord Beloved Supreme unconditionally," you will not achieve your aim. You are only hammering away. But, along with your prayer, if you can offer God your gratitude, then immediately your prayer becomes pure. Then your vessel expands automatically.

With gratitude you are increasing the receptivity of your inner vessel. And when gratitude increases, you will be able to see that the road ahead of you becomes quite visible and the journey is shortened.

I wish to tell each and every disciple: offer gratitude to God for what you have already become. Only think of what you have become and what you would have been if you had not followed the spiritual life. Look around and see the outer life. Do you want that life? If you want that life even now, you are free to go back. You gave up that life for a higher life. Now if you see that this higher life is also full of obstacles, perhaps you feel that you had better go back to the other life. Let us not call it a 'higher' or 'lower' life. Let us call it the 'other' life.

If you follow this other life, the ordinary life, I tell you, the process will be very, very slow. One day you will have to realise God, whether in this incarnation or one hundred incarnations from now. Why, why, why, if you know that the Goal is oneness with God's Will and, in order to reach that Goal, you need faith in God, why do you not cultivate more faith in God and faith in yourself, faith that you do have the capacity to love God unconditionally? Just say to yourself, "If He can love me unconditionally, I can also love Him unconditionally, because I am His creation." Each individual needs this faith.

If a mother is eating something very sweet and delicious, she is bound to share it with her children. God is infinitely kinder and more affectionate than our mother or our father, so if He is drinking nectar, then He wants to share it with us. Similarly, if He is loving us and blessing us unconditionally, that means He has also given us the capacity to love Him unconditionally.

When you are born, your soul is bound to know this truth. Each soul has very high experiences when it comes into the world. At that time, the soul renews its promise to the Supreme. Sometimes it can be on the day of your birth, sometimes it can be a few days earlier, sometimes a few days later. It does not have to be on the actual day. It can be five, six, ten or even twelve days before your birth.

You have seen that whenever there is a special function somewhere in the world, some people come many hours or days early. They come and sit outside, waiting for the doors to open. In the same way, if the souls are ripe, they come four or five days early to renew their promise that in this life they will love God unconditionally in and through the body, vital, mind and heart.

The soul is the pioneer. The soul says to the other members of its family, "I am loving God unconditionally. My brother heart, you also do the same. My brother mind, my brother vital and my brother body, all of you do the same." These are the messages you get from your soul on the day of your birth and also when you observe your soul's day, your birthday, on earth.

How to love God unconditionally? In one sense, there is no short cut, whatever the distance is. The distance from Sydney to Melbourne, let us say, is fixed. You can cover the distance by plane or by boat. The plane can bring you in one hour's time. Will the boat be able to bring you in one hour?

In the spiritual life, gratitude, love and surrender are like the plane. They will bring you to the Goal much faster. If you have to depend on your personal capacity — your austerity and so forth — then it will be like a long boat journey. A little boat will carry you slowly to the Goal. The distance is the same, but one way is much faster than the other.

I shall give you an example. Today, during our Peace Concert, eleven souls came to me in the inner world. They were eager to make unconditional surrender to the Supreme in me. Four of them were not my disciples. They were seekers, but they wanted to make unconditional surrender to God's Will in me. I was so happy. My music inspired these people who are not my disciples and who may not become my disciples at all. But their aspiration was so intense, and I was able to intensify it much more. Perhaps they do not have a spiritual Master, but their Master is God. God is everybody's Master. These souls came to our Peace Concert and they were so moved that they made unconditional surrender to God's Will. They renewed their promise to the Absolute Lord Supreme. Just an hour ago it took place. I know those four seekers are still maintaining that experience. Perhaps it may continue for a few days or a few months, or even for one year.

I was able to inspire those seekers today. They made their surrender directly to God, but I was the one who helped them to intensify their aspiration. In your case, if you can renew your promise to the Supreme every day, the way you do all your daily activities, then it will become easier for you to make unconditional surrender.

It is the greatest opportunity that people get when they are with other spiritual people. Immediately they respond to the consciousness. I was very, very moved by this experience.

Now anybody can ask me a question. In India I used to have questions sometimes. It frequently happened that I went to the Ashram library, not for the answer to my question, but to read or study. I would be reading some book, browsing, and the answer would be there. It was not a particular book related to my question, but the book would have my answer.

Question: If you are singing one of your Bengali songs that has our name in it, will we receive something at that time?

Sri Chinmoy: If you are in tune with my soul, definitely you will receive benefit. If I am soulfully singing the song Jiban debata daki animesh…, for example, and if your soul [referring to Animesh] is not sleeping at that time, from Australia easily your heart can come and immediately you will get the result. It is a matter of receptivity. Otherwise, I may be singing the same song right in front of you, but if you are thinking of someone else and what he is going to do, that person becomes your Guru. At that time I am not your Guru! Then you have to expect something from that person, not from me.

The day before yesterday, when I came back from the radio station, one of the disciples took me to eat something. Did he not see that I was practising my new song with his name? I was inspired to play my flute there in the restaurant. We were sitting outside, almost in the street.

We were drinking soup and I was playing my flute. Nobody was bothering me; people were eating and I was playing, playing, playing, enjoying that song. They were such nice people that they did not mind.

The song is, Ashar pradip nibe jadi jai… It means, "If ever I allow my hope-dream-flame to be extinguished in my life, then death will immediately use its death-chains to strangle me, while smiling and dancing."

Hope is absolutely necessary. The moment we give up hope, that is our death. Hope is not expectation. There is a great difference between hope and expectation. I give you one cent and then immediately I want two cents from you: that is expectation. But hope is not like that. When you are hoping, at that time you feel that you are helpless. Hope makes us humble. Expectation does not do that. Expectation is a kind of haughtiness inside confidence. Confidence is good, but expectation is haughty confidence.

When the son feels that he has the right to expect something from the father, that is called expectation. But if he hopes that the father will give him something, then there is some prayerful feeling, some humility inside him. Hope carries more divinity in it, real divinity. Hope is a kind of soulful feeling. We feel, "I am not perfect, but still I have hope. I have not conquered all my weaknesses — jealousy, insecurity and so on — but I do hope that one day I will conquer them. I have not reached my goal yet, but one day I will be able to reach my goal. I have not done it, but I will be able to do it." Never give up hope! If hope goes away, then we are in trouble — we are spiritually dead.

I composed this song on the flute, but today at the radio station I wanted to play it on the tote-a-tune. The tote-a-tune was inside my bag. I was looking for Savyasachi, but he was not available. He was carrying my bag. I thought that if I looked at him, he would understand what I needed. I was looking to this side and that side, but he was not there. Luckily my harmonium was there to save me.

Question: What is the best way not to be bothered by the faults of others?

Sri Chinmoy: How not to see somebody else's faults? Let us take faults as something ugly or dirty. On a table you see that ink has been spilt. As soon as you see the ink, your consciousness descends. Now it is up to you whether to look at the ink or to turn around and look at the garden.

Or let us think of a blackboard. You see that children have written some undivine things on the blackboard. They have practically ruined it; it is defaced very badly. What kind of inspiration are you going to get from the blackboard? If you are not getting any inspiration, then you have to be very wise and turn around. As soon as you turn around, you will see a garden or something else that is beautiful.

Always the answer is not to look at someone else's faults. And again, if you look at someone else's defects, you have to feel that your own weaknesses are like a magnet. You also have defects, and like a magnet they draw the weaknesses of the other person. Those very things that you hate, your inner magnet draws into your own system.

Insecurity, fear and stupidity — how we cherish them! How cleverly we try to hold on to them and hold on to them! We feel that they are absolutely necessary. Insecurity, we feel, is necessary; it keeps us alert. Insecurity makes us feel, "Somebody is behind me and he is going to go ahead of me. Those who are ahead of me are not bothering me so much because I am dying to be equal to them. But people who are behind me are creating more problems for me." We are dying to be equal to those who are ahead of us, but it is the ones who are behind us who make us feel insecure. If a world champion goes ahead of me in a race, it is nothing new. But the moment an old lady goes ahead of me, my insecurity kills me! When we are insecure, we are always worried that our inferiors will try to go ahead of us.

In this way, we are constantly pulling problems towards ourselves. In one sense, problems make us feel that we do exist. But why do we not try to see each problem in a different light? It is the inner disease that everybody is suffering from.

To become like Hanuman1

Sri Chinmoy: We think of Hanuman and meditate on Hanuman. Next to him, all the dear, dearer, dearest disciples of all the spiritual Masters and Avatars will badly and sadly fail. Now let us meditate on our own faith — our faith in our Master, our faith in the Lord Supreme and His faith in us.

When the disciple loses faith in the Master, what happens? It is the spiritual death of the disciple. In exactly the same way, when the Master loses faith in the disciple, it is the Master's death. Outwardly I will not be able to explain it to you, but when you dive deep within, you will see that what I am saying is absolutely true.

The race is for the brave. The race is for the swift. If you are brave, you will be swift in the inner world; and if you are swift in the inner world, you will be brave in the outer world. I do hope — I hope against hope — that in this incarnation some Hanuman-like disciples will come into my life or, among the ones that I already have, some can grow into my best disciples. And I do hope that all the messages that I have offered over the years, here, there and everywhere, will be manifested even during my lifetime. Otherwise, when I am gone, physically gone, either slowly and steadily my disciples all over the world will manifest my light, or some new souls from Heaven will descend to expedite the manifestation of my divine and supreme promises that I have offered to the world.

  1. YBG 21-24. Sri Chinmoy gave this talk and answered questions about Hanuman, the great devotee of Sri Ramachandra, on 11 March 1990 at Progress-Promise in Jamaica, New York

Question: How can we be more like Hanuman?

Sri Chinmoy: That question is very ancient. Instead of asking, "How can I become like Hanuman?" just say, "I can do this, I can do this, I can do this!" Then say, "I have done it, I have done it, I have done it!" In the mind or in the inner world, anywhere, on any plane of your consciousness-physical, vital, mental, psychic or spiritual — on any plane if you feel that you cannot accomplish something, just say, "I can do it, I have done it! I can do it, I have done it!"

It is a matter of faith. Faith and surrender go together. If you have faith, then you can have unconditional surrender. If there is anything that you cannot do or cannot become in your life, no matter how difficult it is, just say, "I can do it, I have done it!" You are not fooling yourself. When you say this, you can establish your faith. On the one hand, it is extremely difficult; on the other hand, it is extremely easy.

If you have a problem, and for years you have been unable to conquer that problem, simply say, "No, I can do it." Next you can say, "I have done it." If you have implicit faith in your Master, sleepless and breathless faith, then say, "I can do it and I have done it!"

It is only a matter of changing direction. You know that there are two directions. There is something called forward march and something called backward march. If you are marching backward because you feel that is easier, then I will say, "Go forward, march forward! Who is preventing you from marching forward? Again, who is begging you to march backward?"

Each time you lose faith, each time you lose a divine quality, you have to feel that you are marching backward. And each time you regain your good quality, you are going forward. No matter how many days, how many months or how many years you have marched backward by not listening to your Inner Pilot or your Master or your own soul or your inner being, start again at this moment and say, "The past is dust." That is our philosophy. Just say, "The past is dust. If the past has not given me this Hanuman-type faith, if the past has not given me unconditional surrender, then let me have it in the present, so that I can carry it into the future all my life."

Again, always say, "I can do it and I have done it!" Anything that is wrong, undivine, just forget. Avoid it, avoid it. And if there is anything good that you want to achieve, immediately say, "I can do it." No matter how many times you have failed, even countless times, tell yourself that you can do it and you have done it. As soon as you say you have done it, on the inner plane you have already done it. Then in the outer world you have also accomplished it, because the inner world has come forward. You have sown the seed. Then you will see the plant and the tree.

Question: You said that the race is to the swift. Some people are born with a lot of natural dynamism. If you do not have a lot of energy, can you develop that speed through will-power alone if you are on a spiritual path?

Sri Chinmoy: Absolutely, absolutely! The race is to the swift. But swiftness also comes from faith and Grace. On your part is your faith, and on God's part is His Grace.

Just look at me. I did not want to become a world champion in weightlifting — far from it. But I had faith in the Supreme. I had faith that if the Supreme wanted me to lift heavy weights, He could easily lift in and through me. That much faith I had and I have. If He really wants me to do something, then He will do it in and through me.

There is a theory that poets are born and not made, but I do not agree with it. Some poets are born, true. At the same time, if a seeker wants to be a poet, Grace can descend from Above and turn that person into an excellent poet. It happened in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Sri Aurobindo had quite a few disciples who became excellent poets, but they were not poets in the beginning of their lives. At that time, their poetic capacities were a far cry.

Once you enter into the spiritual life, it is like a river entering into the ocean. If the river has the eagerness, then the ocean will immediately come and meet it. Today I happened to be reading a book about some of our South Indian saints. There it was written, "Who says God does not become impatient?" The Master said it in a very emotional way. I asked myself, "How can God become impatient?" Then he explained, "To see a true devotee and meet with him and converse with him, God definitely becomes impatient." This theory, from a certain point of view, is absolutely true.

Coming back to the point, if one has the eagerness to become a singer or an athlete, or to shine in any other walk of life, he does not necessarily have to have talents. God can endow him with those talents and capacities. My philosophy is that one per cent is our capacity and ninety-nine per cent is God's Capacity, God's Grace. But again, the same God has given us even that one per cent capacity.

Here there are many disciples who are doing very, very well in running, singing and other activities. If they had been left alone with their own capacities, the progress that they have made over the years in these fields they would not have made. The Supreme in me has been extremely, extremely generous. If you think that because you worked hard, very hard, in a certain field you have made this kind of progress, I wish to say that is not true. Other people may have worked harder, infinitely harder.

I used to go to a gym. The owner was a former Mr. Universe. He was a very nice man and he always said such encouraging things to me. When he saw my weightlifting capacities, he said, "You can do it, you can do it!" Then one day he told me how he thought I did it. He said that I remain a few inches above my head. He said that he had worked so hard in weightlifting all his life. In comparison, I had done nothing, according to him. So how was it possible for me to lift up these heavy weights? He said that he could not lift such heavy weights, but because I live a few inches above my head, I could do it.

But I wish to say that I live inside my heart. Very deep inside my heart I live. That is why it is possible for me to lift heavy weights. When you also live inside your heart, Grace from Above will descend most powerfully and most generously.

Right now you may not have the capacity to shine in a certain field, but you cannot say that just because you were not born with this capacity, it will be useless for you to try. No! If you have the inspiration and aspiration to become something, whether in music or in sports or in any other field, the Grace will descend.

Where is the talent in my case? Some people say I am an artist. In our family, nobody went in that direction; nobody showed artistic capacity. In primary school I did study art once a week, but did I ever think of becoming an artist? And did I ever think of becoming a weightlifter? Like this, there are many, many fields which I have entered where I did not have any background.

In the field of literature, my goal was to write two hundred books. Then I went far, far beyond that goal. Sometimes it happens that if God is pleased with you, then when you set a goal, God laughs at you. He says, "You are such a fool! I know what kind of receptivity you have." Then, with God's Grace, you go far beyond anything that you have done previously. I had a set goal in the field of literature — not that I would climb up the Himalayas, just that I would go a few metres. But God's Grace enabled me to climb up higher and higher.

I always say that our goal is not fixed. Today's goal is tomorrow's starting point. Who gives us capacity? Somebody above us, Somebody within us gives us the capacity. Why does He not give it to others? We have to say that He is pleased with us. That means we have done something good for Him. If someone has done something good for God, God is not going to remain indebted to that person.

At this point I wish to say that many, many people have served the Supreme in me over the years. In the outer life perhaps I will remain indebted to you; but in the inner world I will never, never remain indebted to anybody. In the inner world, I will definitely give you more than you deserve. And I do hope that if I can give you something — which I shall do — in the inner world for your aspiration and for the dedication which you have offered over the years, it will compensate for what you have offered to me.

Outwardly many of you are serving me in so many ways, and it is true that, outwardly, I do not thank you adequately. At times I do not express my gratitude in public. Some people feel that unless I express my gratitude in public, that gratitude is no gratitude. But I tell you, when I offer my gratitude to you privately, inwardly, it is infinitely more powerful than when I offer my gratitude outwardly. Outwardly when I give it, at that time the insecurity and undivine qualities of others, like hungry wolves, will try to take it away from you. But inwardly, privately or in silence, let us say, if I offer gratitude to you, and if your heart is at that time receptive, then I assure you that nobody can take my gratitude away from you.

Anything that I give you in silence, nobody will be able to steal. But when I appreciate you outwardly, there will be many who will try to grab my appreciation and take it away from you. Again, if you are very strong, if your faith in me, your love for me and your surrender to me is strong, then nobody can take it away from you. But it is a real challenge at that time, and many people fail to meet the challenge.

Question: If somebody is totally pure, is it really possible for him to lose his purity?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. Some people can be absolutely pure, but then again they can lose their purity. Does a child not lose his purity? Here is the proof. When a child is a few months old or one or two years old, when the child is all heart — before the mind is developed — he is absolutely pure. Then, when the other parts of his being start developing, at that time it becomes difficult for him to maintain his purity. The mind enters, the vital enters and in this way the child loses his purity.

But there is something called aspiration. When we enter into the spiritual life, we do not allow the mind to think wrong thoughts or to direct us in a wrong way. The mind itself cannot say, "This is pure; that is impure." No, only the heart can be the judge of purity. The heart will be the judge by virtue of its implicit faith either in the soul or in something deeper than the heart.

Many human beings do not know about the existence of the soul. I use the term 'soul', but others may not use this term. But they do know that there is something that can be deeper, infinitely more beautiful and infinitely more powerful, let us say, in their life. That something they have to think of.

The heart everyone knows. Immediately we think of the muscle, or we just feel our heart palpitating. But something is inside the heart. Let us call it the soul, or we can say it is God. God is everywhere. He is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. But if we meditate on the heart or concentrate on the heart, either the soul or God will tell us what is right and what is wrong, what is pure and what is impure.

When the mind becomes the judge, many wrong things the mind will say are right. Similarly, many undivine things the mind will say are pure. The mind cannot be the judge; the heart has to be the judge. Again, the heart is not the actual judge, but the heart begs the soul or God to be the judge. When the heart has faith in either the soul or God, then the heart waits for the message from within. And when the heart gets the message, it can keep the entire mind, vital and physical body pure.

Purity is in oneness with God's Will. When we accept God's Will in God's own Way, there is always purity. But in order to accept God's Will in God's own Way, at every moment we need faith in God. For anything that we want, whether it is purity or something else, the first thing God will ask us is, "Do you have faith in Me?" And we also have to ask ourselves if we have faith in God.

The second thing that we have to ask ourselves is how many times we have become happy by pleasing ourselves in our own way and how many times we have become happy by pleasing God in God's own Way. We will see the difference between making ourselves happy by saying something or doing something in our own way and making ourselves happy by listening to our heart or our soul or our Master.

One second of joy if you can get by pleasing me, then this one second of joy can last for days, for weeks, for months. When you have pleased me by doing something or by becoming something, then immediately you can say, "I have pleased Guru in his own way." The joy that you get at that time will last for a very long time. Again, if you have pleased yourself by doing something in your own way, then you may be happy, but that happiness is nothing in comparison to the other happiness — nothing, nothing, nothing.

Purity is only a part of divinity. There are so many other good qualities: simplicity, sincerity, gratitude, oneness with God's Will and so on. These good qualities we can lose, and again, we can get them back. It is not that once we lose them, we shall never regain them. But a time comes when, if we go on losing our divine qualities for days, weeks, months and years — losing and losing and losing — we will have no inclination, no eagerness to regain them. That is what happens. Not only purity, but all the divine qualities that a seeker has, he can lose, he can lose, he can lose.

Real purity is your oneness with God's Will and your one-pointed faith in God's Will. All the divine qualities can be found in your oneness with God's Will. If you want these divine qualities to blossom, if you want them to increase, abundantly and infinitely, then this is the way. There is no divine quality that cannot be increased in boundless measure if you have constant and conscious oneness with God's Will.

I wish to tell you a humorous story about oneness with the Master's will. One day I asked one of my 'famous' disciples to do something. I said to him, "On other days I have asked you to do something in a totally different way, but this time I am requesting you to do something else. I am making it very clear to you. Now tell me what I have just said."

He repeated what I had said. Then he did exactly the opposite! I said, "What did I ask you to do?" Again he repeated what I had asked him to do.

"Why did you do otherwise?" I asked him. He answered, "Usually you ask me to do it the other way."

I asked him to do it one way, and he repeated my request. Then he did it the other way! I said to him, "For centuries and centuries, I meditated inside the Himalayan caves and prayed to God. What for? Only for one disciple like you. God did listen to my prayer, and He gave me you!"

Again, who can tolerate this type of affectionate public comment from me except this famous disciple of mine?


Sri Chinmoy: This island is not only beautiful, but also self-giving. There are many islands that are very, very beautiful, but they are not self-giving, and they are not peaceful. This island is both beautiful and peaceful. This is something rare and unique.

  1. YBG 25-33. Sri Chinmoy answered the following questions at the Loro Parque National Bird Park in Tenerife on 22 January 1992. Loro Parque had just been inaugurated as a Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossom

Question: What is the purpose of the monuments that we have inaugurated?

Sri Chinmoy: The purpose is very simple. When we have something that is dedicated to the cause of peace, it is very significant in our life. The word 'peace' is very, very important in our life. You can say it is the most important thing in our life. Everything else we have in today's world, but we do not have peace. If we want name and fame, prosperity and so forth, we can get them. But when it comes to peace, we do not easily get it. Peace is a most difficult thing to attain. But when there is a monument that mentions peace and people come and see it, they try to have peace in their own lives.

When we look at a flower, we try to be as beautiful and soulful as the flower. We want to be full of fragrance inside our heart. Similarly, the word 'peace' on these plaques and monuments reminds us of our inner peace.

I wish to offer love, joy and gratitude from the very depths of my heart to the owners of this bird park. They have been so kind to me. Each bird, according to me, symbolises the soul. The soul comes down from the highest Heaven and gives us the message of freedom, infinite freedom.

We believe in God, and we feel that each human being has a direct connection with God through the soul. A bird reminds us of our own inner existence. Again, we believe in the process of evolution. I take each bird, each animal, as our predecessor. They are our forebears; you can say they are our great-grandparents. It is our bounden duty to take care of our great-grandparents.

Question: What is your opinion about the pollution of the environment?

Sri Chinmoy: It is a very sad thing that nature is being destroyed, the environment is being destroyed. It is nature that keeps us beautiful and soulful. When nature is destroyed, when artificial things replace the natural beauty, all the good qualities that we, as human beings, have will be ruined.

Unfortunately, people like artificial things, glamorous things. Most people do not like natural things. But natural things have their own beauty, purity and divinity. I feel very sad that the environment is being polluted and destroyed. I feel that we should pray for nature to be preserved. Nature should remain natural. The beauty of nature should remain always as it is, so that we can derive from it our purest joy, purest love and purest oneness.

Question: To what degree does the Eastern philosophy influence the West?

Sri Chinmoy: The Eastern philosophy is based on the inner reality, whereas the Western philosophy is the outer structure. Eastern philosophy is like the seed and Western philosophy is like the tree. But we feel that the tree cannot be beautiful or fruitful unless the seed is very productive. So not only does the seed have to be good, but the soil also has to be very fertile.

Eastern philosophy and Western philosophy must go together. Inner poise is the Eastern philosophy and outer power is the Western philosophy. Inner poise and outer power must go together in order for us to be fulfilled.

Question: Do you mind giving interviews and answering questions?

Sri Chinmoy: If I live in the mind, then I feel it is very unfortunate that I have to give so many interviews. I become very tired. But if I live in the heart, then I feel I am extremely, extremely fortunate that God has appointed me to be of service to so many people here, there and everywhere. For that I am very grateful to Him. When I am not in my heart of oneness, when I am in my mind only, I become very tired. I ask myself, "What am I doing?" But since I am a truth-seeker and a God-lover, I always try to feel that it is a great blessing for me to be of service to so many people in so many places.

Question: In your recent concert, you wanted people to be conscious of Mikhail Gorbachev and you dedicated the concert to him. I was wondering why you did that, since he is no longer serving in the same capacity as he was before.

Sri Chinmoy: I am a great admirer of President Gorbachev. President Gorbachev does not have to remain President. He has done so much for humanity. No human being has done as much as he has already done. Politically, let us say, he is now serving God in a different way. Spiritually, so many Eastern European countries have received liberation, freedom and light only because of him. According to me, he is the greatest man living on earth. Just because he is no longer the President of his country in a political sense, I cannot say that all of his divine qualities have disappeared — no! Right now he is not the leader, the emperor, let us say. But all the good qualities of the emperor he has when he speaks.

In my case, my adoration for him, my love for him, will never diminish, because I have met Gorbachev the man and not Gorbachev the politician. A politician will stay in office for five years or ten years and then he disappears. But as a man, a universal man, President Gorbachev has done so much for mankind. Whether he is President or not, in the heart of humanity he will always remain unparalleled.

Question: What is your attitude towards war? What is the best attitude to have in a situation of war?

Sri Chinmoy: From the spiritual point of view, no war is good, no war is advisable. We are trying to become good human beings, good citizens of the world. Inside each person, there are so many negative qualities: doubt, suspicion and so forth. There is so much quarrelling and fighting going on inside us. Each negative quality we can take as an uninspiring, hostile force within us. Such being the case, why do we have to declare war in our outer life?

From the spiritual point of view, I must say that war is absolutely, absolutely wrong. I do not know anything about politics. I do not know whether a particular war is good or bad from the political point of view. But I do know about the inner life, the spiritual life. We are all trying to become good human beings. How can we have real peace, joy and love when there is war in our outer life?

Question: Many Heads of State have spoken to you about peace, but in their hearts have they really received the message?

Sri Chinmoy: In their heart of hearts they have definitely received the message of peace, but in their outer lives it may not necessarily be taking place. Every leader is sincere in his heart, but in his mind — because of political pressure or some other pressure, or because of the country or because of forces that want to stand against him and prevent him from becoming a good person or a man of peace — it is a different story. In the inner world, all political leaders have a heart, and this heart is always pure. It is the peace-loving heart that we all have.

But when some leaders are in the political world, very often they just repeat certain words. They are talking, but they may not mean it. If they live in the depths of their hearts, what they say, they mean. But when they are in their minds, at times it is not real; it may even be all false. We have to know when a political leader, as a human being, is talking from inside his heart and when he is talking from inside his mind. If he is talking from inside his mind, then unfortunately, it may be all false and deceptive. But if he is talking from inside his heart, then what he says will be absolutely genuine.

Question: Your philosophy is that individuals must feel peace inside themselves before we can have peace in the world. Is meditation the best way to find this peace in ourselves?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, prayer and meditation are the best ways. We have to pray to God to bless us and we have to meditate on God also to bless us. These are the two ways. From here if we have to go to the other side of the lake, then we have to swim. While swimming, we have to use both arms and both legs. Again, if we choose to walk around the lake, then we need two legs. Similarly, what we need in the inner world is prayer and meditation. Through prayer and meditation we can have peace.

One must have peace deep within. Then only one can teach. If I am a teacher, then I have to know the lesson first. Otherwise, how am I going to teach the student? In exactly the same way, if one's inner life is inundated with peace, then he can be of service to the rest of mankind.


Sri Chinmoy: The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Rabindranath Tagore came to Kamakura in the early 1900s. They stood and meditated at the exact place where we stood and meditated. Can you imagine, they came at the beginning of the century and now it is the end of the century! Lord Buddha is immortal. We shall come and go, but Lord Buddha will remain here, generation after generation.

  1. YBG 34-37. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions from his Japanese disciples while he was in Kamakura, Japan, on 9 March 1992. During his lifetime, Sri Chinmoy made many sacred pilgrimages to Kamakura to pay homage to the statue of the Lord Buddha there

Question: During meditation sometimes my hands shake or my body trembles. Sometimes my body bends backwards. Today during the meditation I could not stop crying. What is the meaning of these symptoms?

Sri Chinmoy: Today your soul has come forward. Today your soul has recognised in me something very special. Today your soul has received my blessingful love and light. That is why you were shedding tears today.

Now let me say something about the symptoms you mentioned. When you meditate, you have to breathe in as slowly and quietly as possible, so that your subtle nerves can get nourishment. Some of your subtle nerves are not strong enough. That is why you are assuming all these peculiar poses. There is some disharmony in your subtle nerves.

When you meditate, your breath has to be very calm and quiet. Inhale and exhale very quietly. Then you will be all right. But today's experience was very different. Today you had a very soulful experience.

Question: What is the most important thing to have in mind when I am taking care of my child?

Sri Chinmoy: When you are taking care of your child, you have to think of only good things. All the good qualities that you can think of, that you can imagine, you should try to see inside your child. While you are looking at your child, try and try to see a beautiful flower inside his heart. Look at the moon, and then try to see the moon inside your child's heart. You want your child to be as beautiful, as mild and as kind as the moon. Like that, you can look at something else that is inspiring, and that very thing you can try to see inside your child's heart. This is how you can mould and shape your child by imagining good things, inspiring things, illumining things inside your child's heart.

Question: I heard that, spiritually speaking, sometimes when a person becomes very sick, that sickness may be from the person's past deeds. It is the law of karma. When that is true, how can a spiritual seeker be cured if he does not want to go running for medicines?

Sri Chinmoy: It is very simple. If one does not want to go to a doctor to be cured, then one has to dive deep within. The real Doctor is God. When you go to God to be cured, you have to know that you are going to the doctor's Doctor.

The human doctor has learnt something from someone, and that someone has also learnt it from somebody else. This way, if you go back to the first doctor on earth, whom did he get to teach him? The very first doctor had someone who taught him in silence, either intuitively or spiritually. That first teacher was God.

Perhaps you do not want to go to a human doctor because you do not believe in the doctor, or you feel that it is the law of karma that you are suffering from. You feel that your illness is due to your previous incarnations. You did something-call it wrong deeds or misdeeds, or something which was not advisable, and now you are meeting with the karma. In that case, you have to go to the Source. To negate the karma, or to do something infinitely more powerful than the so-called uninspiring, unaspiring or undivine thing you did in the past, you have to pray to God and meditate on God. Your prayers for perfect health will definitely reach the real Doctor inside your heart, provided they are sincere and provided they are enduring — that is to say, provided the prayers have been going on for years and years.

There is nothing wrong in not going to the doctor. But again, inside the doctor there is also God. God Himself is the real Doctor, true. But if you can think of the human doctor as someone who is nothing but an instrument of the real God, then there is nothing wrong in taking assistance from that person. You know perfectly well that that particular individual will take assistance from somebody else, somebody who can be of real help to you. And that Person is God.

Press conference in Tokyo1

Sri Chinmoy: Good morning! Now I wish to be of dedicated service to you. You are serving your country in a very special way. You bring messages from far abroad and you bring forward messages from your own country. The press serves a very special purpose: to bring home the outer world, the world abroad. Again, it carries the message of home to the outer and wider world. This is the most significant thing that you do. For that I am extremely, extremely grateful to you and I am extremely happy to be here with you all.

  1. YBG 38-43. Sri Chinmoy answered the following questions at a press conference in Tokyo on 10 March 1992

Question: It turns out that on the calendar today is the anniversary of the massive bombing of Tokyo during World War II. How do you feel about the coincidence of your Peace Concert being held on this particular day?

Sri Chinmoy: My students set the date and I gladly accepted it. Now, life has two realities: creation and destruction. When destruction takes place, either intentionally or unintentionally, we feel very sad, very miserable. Then, from the destruction itself, we try to benefit. That is to say, we try not to repeat the same experience. We feel that it is our bounden duty to have a new creation. The past is dust. The mistakes that I made in my past existence — forty, fifty or sixty years ago — I must not repeat. I must do something constructive, for I know that if I do something constructive, then I will be happy and also I will be one of those who will bring about a new creation.

On the one hand, destruction is a most deplorable experience. On the other hand, we should feel that this experience must not be repeated. Let it only remind us to have a better way of life, a better way of understanding, a better way of fulfilling our divine task on earth — that is to say, a better way of ushering in a world of harmony, a world of peace, a world of joy.

Question: What is the main message that you would like to give to the people of Japan through your concert here?

Sri Chinmoy: Each time I perform, I dedicate my Peace Concert to someone who I feel is responsible for world peace. This time I have chosen President Gorbachev. Today's Peace Concert I am offering to him.

This is the message that I will be giving this evening to the audience: "Today's Peace Concert I am most lovingly and most gratefully dedicating to President Gorbachev, whose Perestroika-Vision-Light ended the Cold War and sowed peace-seeds inside the heart-garden of the world-home for the transformation of the human mind and the perfection of human life.

"About a year ago — to be precise, ten months and twenty-three days ago — President Gorbachev came to visit Japan, Beauty's Land and Duty's Hand. At a dinner in the Emperor's Palace his oneness-heart voiced forth, 'Our countries and peoples are neighbours. Our ties are many centuries old. There are many historical documents testifying to the mutual attraction between the Russians and the Japanese.'

"At the same dinner, the unparalleled peace-lover in him also proclaimed, 'Allow me also to express the wish that the presciently chosen name of the era of Your Majesty's rule — Heisei, which means "achievement of universal peace" — may also come true in relations between the Soviet Union and Japan.'

"May the morning light of Japan and the serving heart of President Gorbachev together grow and glow to accelerate the perfection-promise of humanity."1 This is the message I shall offer this evening.

  1. YBG 40,5. Sri Chinmoy, Sixty-One Gratitude-Blossoms from the World-Heart-Home Garden, pp. 82-84. New York: Agni Press, 1992

Question: I understand that Mr. Gorbachev is now in a time of trial. Circumstances around him are not favourable. At this crucial time for him, do you have any advice for him?

Sri Chinmoy: I do not dare to give him any advice, for he does not need any advice, from me or from anybody else. What he has within himself is more than sufficient to prove to the world that he is by far the best political leader plus peace-lover on earth. What he has is confidence. This confidence is coming from the very, very depths of his heart. Because of this confidence, his is not the statement of monarchs who say, "I came and I conquered." No, his statement is, "I came and I loved." His confidence is totally different. His confidence tells us that he loves the world and he wants to become part and parcel of the world.

Many great kings, emperors and monarchs of the past used to express their confidence by saying, "I came and I conquered." That kind of theory they had. But President Gorbachev says, "I have come into the world to love you and to become one with you, and together we shall bring about a better world." The vision of his perestroika is to think in a new way, to feel in a new way and to see the world with new eyes, to feel the world with a new heart, and to become inseparably one with the success and progress of the new world.

I am happy to tell you that I have already written three books about President Gorbachev, and one more book that is in now in preparation will come out shortly. This is my soulful appreciation and prayerful admiration for what he has done for the world at large. How many East European countries, how many people on earth — countless people — he has made happy! Perhaps he could not make all his countrymen happy, but he has made countless people in Eastern Europe happy.

Today there is only one Germany. There is no more East Germany and West Germany; it is all one. Similarly, President Gorbachev liberated Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. I have students all over the world. I know that to make even one student happy is a Herculean task. In spite of my best intentions, I find it so difficult to make them happy. But in Germany, for example, how many families which were doomed to destruction, doomed to disappointment, he has brought together! Family members are now together, whereas before they were completely separated. The Berlin Wall is no more; there is only one heart.

What President Gorbachev has done for humanity is far beyond our imagination. It far exceeds anybody else's achievement. Over the centuries, people have achieved many, many things; but history will bear witness to the fact that there was one person on earth who ended the Cold War, who gave us a new hope: that we could depend on each other, we could trust each other, we could walk and run together. That was President Gorbachev. He made us feel that there should be no fear, no doubt in our lives; we belong to a oneness-world-family.

One year ago President Gorbachev came to Japan and he said many, many nice things about Japan. What he said came from the very depths of his heart. It was not just because he happened to be in Japan. If you come to a new country, you express appreciation, whether you feel it or not; but in his case, he definitely felt it. And it was his most sincere feeling that he expressed in words and offered to the Japanese people. I am happy that he will soon be visiting Japan again. I am sure that he and Japan will be of mutual help to each other.

Question: How many times have you visited Japan in the past?

Sri Chinmoy: Since 1969 I have visited Japan many times. Each time I come, my appreciation, my admiration and my love for Japan only increase. People say if you see something twice, you may not appreciate it the second time the way you appreciated it the first time. In my case, Japan gives me a totally different experience each time I visit.

Being a seeker, when I come to Japan, I see Japan as the most beautiful flower. For me, Japan is nothing other than a most beautiful flower. And what does a flower have? A flower has fragrance as well as beauty. This beauty and fragrance Japan offers to the four corners of the globe.

As soon as we see a flower, our own good qualities come forward to appreciate the beauty and fragrance of the flower. Before we see the flower, we feel that our heart is not so pure. When we think of our mind, we feel that it is full of fear, doubt, anxiety and many, many other undivine qualities. But the moment we see a flower, we feel purity inside our heart, and clarity and luminosity inside our mind.

When I come to Japan, I see the beauty of Japan and the purity of Japan. And Japan gives me another experience which is so significant in my life. Japan is a small country composed of a few islands. There are many countries which are infinitely vaster than Japan. But what does Japan do? Japan embodies the message of the Infinite. Inside these tiny islands, we see the achievements of the Infinite. Look at Japan and the achievements of Japan! How many things Japan has created! That is why I say that Japan gives us the message of the Infinite.

Inside a drop, we can see the ocean. Inside a flame, we can see the morning sun. This is the unique message that Japan offers to the world: that inside the finite we can see the Infinite, and the Infinite can sing in and through the finite. This is something that Japan is offering to the world at large, something that no other country can claim. It is Japan's unparalleled, unique contribution to mankind.

Question: The prosperity of our economy has been noticed throughout the world. But the profound spirituality that Japan has may not be so prominent at this stage.

Sri Chinmoy: This material prosperity has come from sleepless efforts. We do not become prosperous unless we make efforts most sincerely. Japan has made sleepless efforts to further its material progress and success. Who asked other countries to remain idle, to talk foolishly or proudly, and not to act?

Japan does not talk; Japan acts. Sleeplessly Japan has been working for material success, material prosperity. If we do not have inner awakening, we cannot make progress in any field, whether it is the material field or the spiritual field. Now the question arises whether Japan is spiritually as well as materially awakened. I wish to say that the answer is definitely yes. Japan's spirituality and Japan's material success are going side by side.

A few minutes ago, I said that when I think of Japan, when I look at Japan, I see a flower. What does a flower signify? A flower signifies aspiration. When I look at a flower, immediately my good qualities come to the fore and I try to become a good person. Similarly, as soon as I see Japan, my own aspiration increases.

Now, where does this aspiration come from? It comes from the heart, where there is an inner hunger. This is not only the mind's hunger to become prosperous, but also the heart's hunger to love the world and offer to the world the good qualities of the heart. I can sincerely tell you that the spiritual aspect of Japan is also most encouraging and most inspiring.

Yesterday I visited the Lord Buddha's statue at Kamakura. Except for a few regions, I have visited most of the countries of the world. I have visited many countries that love and adore the Lord Buddha. I come from India and the Lord Buddha came from India, but his message has been spread infinitely more in foreign lands than in his own land of India.

Again, there is no such thing as India or Japan or France or Russia; there is only one home, one world-family. The world is like a house with many rooms. If in one room Lord Buddha is not appreciated, as he rightly deserves to be, but people in other rooms appreciate him, admire him, adore him and love him, then it is quite sufficient.

Now let me come back to my answer. I have been to many parts of the world where the message of Lord Buddha is being followed, adored and fulfilled. But when I stand in front of the statue of Lord Buddha in Kamakura and offer him my soulful obeisance, my prayerful love and adoration, I feel that my life has seen something and achieved something most, most valuable. What Japan is, I am saying from my heart's inmost conviction. If an individual feels that Japan is spiritual, and if that particular person stands in front of the statue of Lord Buddha at Kamakura, then the entire spirituality of Japan that person has to feel inside the Lord Buddha, the son of Asia, the beloved son of Asia.

It is very easy for human beings to discredit other nations. It is very difficult to appreciate others. One needs a very powerful heart to appreciate the good qualities of others. Just this morning I wrote something on this subject which I would like to read out:

"It is, indeed, a difficult task for some people — including, perhaps, world figures — to appreciate the lofty achievements of other people and other nations. But, to our extreme joy, President Gorbachev has not studied at the same school. Therefore, on April 19th, 1991, while addressing the Japanese Public Committee, his heart most beautifully and hauntingly sang for the soul, for the heart and for the life of Japan. This is his message: 'Beautiful nature, sakuras in blossom, the combination of the past and the present to the visible breakthrough into the future, friendly people with a strong feeling of self-esteem and respect for others, curiosity and interest in life, the desire to make talents and ambitions a reality — in a word, the Japanese people are a wonderful product of nature and culture. All this is very fascinating and arouses feelings of fond affection. I am glad to have been able to feel the living pulse of the country and to see with my own eyes its achievements, which have rightfully given Japan a place among the leaders in world progress.'"

This kind of appreciation Japan has received from President Gorbachev. In his own way, he is also saying that Japan's spirituality is being expressed through material success. The inner beauty is being expressed through the outer prosperity. A visitor does not have to go to various places in Japan to see and feel the spirituality of Japan.

If one goes to Kamakura alone, it is enough for him to find the tremendous spirituality of Japan. The vibration that Kamakura gives — not only the statue, but the entire town — embodies spirituality in abundant measure. Kamakura alone can feed the aspiration of any human being with boundless spirituality.

Something else I wish to say on a different subject. We all know that Japan has been making faster than the fastest progress in the material world, in material prosperity.

Now, since last year, Japan can claim the faster than the fastest human dynamo: Carl Lewis. Here, in Japan, he broke the world record in the 100-metre race. He became the fastest human dynamo. And I am sure he received tremendous blessings from the soul and from the heart of Japan. He became the fastest human being here in the country that runs the fastest in achieving material success and prosperity. So this is a very, very happy experience both for Carl Lewis and for the soul and heart of Japan. I am deeply honoured that he gave me the shoes that he wore in that race.

Question: I have been living for one and a half years in Japan. I listen to the lectures about spirituality without understanding them because the lectures are in Japanese. Is it possible for me to understand what is being said beyond the language?1

Sri Chinmoy: Definitely! You do not have to understand; it is a matter of feeling. I do not know Western music, for example. I know Indian music, but when Western music is being played by Western musicians, I do appreciate it. Music is the universal language. In exactly the same way, spirituality is also taught in silence in the inner world. The mind does not operate, and the mind does not have to understand what is being said. As long as the heart can feel something beautiful and soulful, it is enough.

  1. YBG 44-51. Sri Chinmoy answered the following questions from spiritual seekers in Tokyo on 14 March 1992

Question: What does it mean when people talk about spiritual development? Does it mean that one's desires are demolished?

Sri Chinmoy: Spirituality deals with aspiration. There are two realities, we can say: desire and aspiration. When we use the term 'aspiration', it belongs to the spiritual world. With aspiration we liberate ourselves, we liberate others, we liberate everybody. With aspiration we are longing for the Infinite so that we can remain inside infinite Peace, Light and Bliss.

The other reality is desire. Desire starts in the mind. With desire we are trying to go from one to many — one house, two houses; one car, two cars. We are only heading towards more and more possessions. Each possession of ours is only binding us, binding us, binding us. We look around and see that someone has more possessions than we have, and so we try to acquire more and more. There is no end to our greed.

But when we deal with aspiration, we are dealing with the Infinite. At that time, we do not want to claim possessions as such. We want to claim only infinite Peace, Light and Bliss. Each time we want to possess something more in the material world, we are separating ourselves more and more from our friends, from our dear ones, from our relatives, from our brothers and sisters of the world. But, in the aspiration-world, each time we gain even an iota of light, we are increasing our friendship, our oneness, with each and every human being.

Question: I feel that my heart or my soul has been very, very dry. Does that mean I have desire? How can my life become more joyful?

Sri Chinmoy: You use the term 'soul', but unfortunately at this stage you are not aware of your soul. You have to develop more intense aspiration. Then you will feel the living presence of the soul in your heart. Right now you do not feel it but, in your case and in many cases, it is not because of desire. It is because there is no intensity. You do not want anything bad, but you do not want anything good, either. There is no intensity in you either to possess something or to renounce something, or to achieve something divine. You do not have that eagerness or willingness — let us use the term 'willingness' — to attain something either material or spiritual.

You are not taking your so-called inner life sincerely, seriously, intensely. First you have to take it sincerely, seriously and intensely. Then you will feel the presence of your soul inside your heart. The spiritual life can help you to bring forward your soul and also your soul's messages or soul's light to illumine your mind and to fulfil your life.

Question: I have been practising Hatha Yoga. I would like to achieve inner progress and inner development. Will I be able to achieve inner development through the practice of Hatha Yoga?

Sri Chinmoy: In the real spiritual life, Hatha Yoga is like kindergarten or primary school. Now, if you want to get your Master's Degree or Ph.D., then you have to study in high school, college and university. Like a student, the seeker has to know whether he will end his studies in primary school or college or university. If he wants to get the highest degree, then he has to practise deeper spirituality — that is to say, concentration, meditation and contemplation. If one wants to have Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure, if one wants to become consciously an embodiment of Truth, Light, Peace and Bliss, then one has to study a deeper form of spirituality.

Question: I have been practising the exercises of prana energy. Quite often I see purple light spreading around my forehead and then it moves forward. Today also, when I was meditating with you, I could not stop shedding tears.

Sri Chinmoy: This is a very high and good experience. Shedding tears means your soul's recognition of who I am and what I stand for — my divinity, my spirituality. And the purple light that you are seeing when you meditate means that the delight which you are experiencing in your inner life is being manifested in your physical, in your vital and in your mind. I am very happy that you are getting this kind of experience.

Question: I am interested in the divine relationship between dance and music and sports.

Sri Chinmoy: It depends on what kind of dance you are practising. Dance will help you in the spiritual life only if it is absolutely devotional. In India, for example, many dancers express their utmost devotion to one of the Indian Cosmic Gods, such as Lord Shiva. If you happen to be a Christian, on the other hand, your dance will show your love, devotion and surrender to the Saviour Christ. "Let Thy Will be done" — that was his sublime message.

If you are dancing for a spiritual purpose, then it can increase your devotion. But if you are dancing to attract the attention of people to your own vital life, to please your emotional life, to be more attractive to the public and to be appreciated and admired by the audience, then it is my feeling that dancing will definitely destroy your spiritual life. So it is you who have to decide whether you want to please God with your devotion, love and gratitude or you want to please your own emotional life.

The same applies to music. We can sing soulful songs. Again, we can sing vital songs, rock and roll and so forth. A seeker will not choose to sing emotional and vital songs. A seeker will choose only soulful and prayerful songs.

Then comes sports. Are you doing sports in order to make progress, or to defeat others? If you are competing with others to increase your own capacities, to see how far you can jump or how fast you can run, no harm. But you have to feel that you are doing it for your own progress and not to defeat somebody by hook or by crook.

Suppose you know how long it takes you to sprint 100 metres. You will be happy by setting a new personal record. While you are making your personal record, if somebody falls behind in the race, it is not your fault. But, while running the race, if you say, "By any means, I have to defeat that person," then it will be a terrible mistake.

Competition helps you only if you are doing it for your own progress. You practise hard and then you see that gradually, gradually you are improving. But if you compete with others only to defeat them, then you will be doing the wrong thing and also you will feel miserable. Today you may defeat someone, but then you will look around and see that there is somebody else who can easily defeat you. When you see that there is somebody to smash your pride, all your joy goes away.

But if you are entering into competition for your own progress, you will get tremendous inner joy. You will say, "This much capacity God has given me, and if God is pleased with me, tomorrow He will give me more capacity." In that way, no matter what the result is, you will be satisfied. But if you want to get joy by defeating someone, I tell you, that joy does not last. If you look around, you will see that there is somebody else who is far, far better than you.

For sports, singing, dancing or anything we do, if there is a spiritual purpose behind it, then we are doing the right thing. If there is no spiritual motive behind it, then it will be a mistake on our part. No matter what we get, even if we are successful, we will never, never be happy.

Question: I feel that I am drawn towards something which I do not know. It is something unknown. I am attracted to something, but I am not sure what it is.

Sri Chinmoy: If it is meditation that you are attracted to, then you have to take it as fragrance. You come to the garden and you see a flower. Inside the flower is a fragrance. But first you have to go to the garden, because you feel that the garden will give you joy. Then, when you see a flower, the flower gives you more joy. And when you discover that the flower has fragrance, you are getting the utmost joy.

But suppose you enter into a forest. Immediately you get frightened. Then you go deep into the forest and you hear the noise of a tiger. When you go deeper still, all of a sudden the tiger is right in front of you, ready to devour you.

In life you have to see what is attracting you, whether it is something positive or something destructive. If you enter into a beautiful garden, it is so good for your inner life. The flowers are so beautiful. But if you enter into the forest of attachments, then you will see all undivine qualities, negative qualities. You will see them right in front of you, quarrelling, fighting and strangling each other. They are like a tiger that is ready to devour you.

Question: Besides reading your writings, are there other things that will help the seekers?

Sri Chinmoy: It will help if you read my writings, and also if you listen to my music. My songs will help you. Then you can come to the courses given by my students. They give talks and they also answer questions, according to their capacity. After doing this, if you feel inspired to follow our path, you can join. But otherwise, just to get inspiration, if you read my books and listen to my music and go to where my students give classes, in general it will help you.

Let us say you go to a swimming pool. You are getting inspiration from watching the people who are swimming there. Then you may say, "I am getting inspiration, but I do not want to swim in this particular swimming pool. I would like to go and swim in some other pool." Again, you may say, "This swimming pool is giving me so much joy. I do not have to go to another swimming pool."

If you want to follow our path, you can try. Or, with inspiration, you can try somebody else's path.

Question: I read that Sri Ramakrishna, just by his touch, was able to send some of his disciples into trance and ecstasy. How was it possible?1

Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the receptivity of the disciple. Yesterday an eighty-year-old Russian lady came to see me from Brooklyn. If you had looked into her eyes, you would have melted. Such ecstasy! Once in twenty years I see that kind of thing. Her eyes were drinking in my divinity's beauty — not my physical beauty, but my divine beauty. I was so moved. An eighty-year-old lady! Jagattarini brought her. She was drinking, drinking my divinity. Is that not trance? I was only praying that she would not fall on me, or fall down. On the one hand, I was giving and giving to her; but on the other hand, I was so worried that I was giving her more than she could receive. Luckily, she did not fall on me and she did not fall down.

Immediately this old lady saw who I was. She was taking such light from my divinity. Did I put my hand on her? No, there was no contact. Without touching her I was able to do it. And I was so proud of her, this eighty-year-old lady. Just yesterday it happened. The pictures will show that she was literally in divine ecstasy.

Question: Guru, that was the third time she tried to come and see you. She got lost the first two times. Yesterday she left home at eight in the morning and she arrived at one o'clock. She came on the subway alone, and she does not speak any English at all.

Sri Chinmoy: From Brooklyn she came, and from eight o'clock to one o'clock she took to come here!

Question: A few years ago you were saying that the Vedic Seers meditated for years to achieve a certain consciousness, and now that consciousness is available for humanity.

Sri Chinmoy: Parents take years to build a house. Their children are so much more advanced that they can do it in a month. Sri Aurobindo attained in three days what his Guru had taken years to realise.

Sri Ramakrishna said that when an Avatar comes, the Avatar is the udder. If you press the right place, you get milk. Do you get milk if you press the leg or the head or the ear of the cow? The udder is the right place. You press it and you get milk. Avatars are like that.

I give, but how many people take what I give? I give through the eyes. Some receive, some do not receive. I was so moved yesterday, so moved by that old lady and so proud that she was able to receive so much from me.

  1. YBG 52. Sri Chinmoy answered this questions in New York on 1 May 1995

Question: What is your opinion about television?1

Sri Chinmoy: Except for the news, if you ask me the percentage of television that is good, I will say only two per cent is a blessing. Ninety-eight per cent of television is a curse, a hostile force. And a day will come when people will agree with me about how far the computer and scientific research have also taken the heart from their life. In the world of the heart, they have become bankrupt.

The material world is good, to a certain extent. It expedites material prosperity. But no matter how rich we become in the material sense, God-realisation will never, never come from material success, material achievements. The two can go side by side, but God-realisation itself can only come from the inner life, the spiritual life.

If I want to know all about world history, then I have to study history. Geography will be of no avail. Similarly, those who want to study science will go in that direction. But I do not think that one day science or computer technology will come forward and say, "This is God. He is standing in front of you." If this were ever the case, then all the spiritual Masters would have to come back from Heaven and surrender to the computer.

  1. YBG 53-56. Sri Chinmoy answered these questions on 11 January 1996 at the Summerstrand Holiday Inn, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, during his annual Christmas Trip with his students

Question: When so many things have to be done at the same time, it is hard for me to decide what I should actually do first. Is there always something that is best to do at a particular time?

Sri Chinmoy: The answer will come from your early morning meditation. You are a good disciple. Each day you are getting up at four o'clock, five o'clock or six o'clock and you are meditating. If you have a good meditation, from your meditation you do not even have to get a particular message. Your meditation will direct you what to do. Your meditation is bound to direct you what to do, what is most important. You do not even have to ask in your meditation: shall I do this or shall I do that? A good meditation has light in it. This light will take you to the right thing to do first.

Let us say there are four things you have to do on a particular day. The mind cannot say which is the most important thing. But the light from your own meditation will tell you. It will guide you: do this, do this. Your meditation will tell you. There is no other way.

Meditation early in the morning is of supreme, supreme importance. In the morning you have to get the message. In your office, your boss tells you what to do. Meditation is the boss here. You are asking the boss what to do. Again, if you can talk to my Transcendental Picture, it will tell you. But I am saying that you do not have to do that. Only try to have a very good meditation, a solid meditation. Meditation embodies light. That light will take you to the right thing. It will tell you the first thing to do.

Please meditate for a minimum of ten minutes each morning. I am not saying you have to get up at five o'clock or six o'clock. Whenever you get up — even if you get up at ten or twelve or one o'clock — that is your morning hour. Even if you get up at one o'clock, please meditate for ten minutes. Just keep the curtain closed. Do not allow the sunlight to come in, because it will disturb you; it will make your life miserable. Only keep the room dark so that you can feel it is still dark outside. You can feel that it is early in the morning and still the sun is not yet up; the sun is also sleeping.

Every morning kindly meditate for at least ten minutes. Then, at the interval of three hours, or at least three times — I am not saying every hour; that may be difficult — kindly be in a meditative consciousness. Early in the morning you will meditate, and then again at around two o'clock, five o'clock and once more. Make sure that at least three times during the day you become most sincerely aware of your meditation.

You may not be able to sit in front of your shrine, but the meditative consciousness which you had early in the morning, at six or seven o'clock, you have to bring forward. Your consciousness is entering into your morning meditation, and your morning meditation again will come and make you aware of your inner life; it will make you serious in your approach to the spiritual life. Even while you are driving or shopping or running or doing anything else, bring back that consciousness. Even while you are chatting with your friends, remind yourself of your meditation early in the morning. You may be talking, you may be saying ordinary things, but remind yourself of the divine activities that you performed early in the morning.

Question: I work on the computer eight to twelve hours a day for my job, and I have not been able to figure out how to be in my heart and be soulful while working on the computer.

Sri Chinmoy: My mind is here, inside this bald head, and I can see you with my human eyes! Again, if I want to see you in a different way, either with my third eye or with my heart, I can. Imagine that inside my heart there are two eyes. If I do not wish to use my human eyes, inside my heart there are two eyes absolutely wide open.

Similarly, when you are working on the computer, your mind or brain has entered into the machine. But if you know that there is something inside you, inside your heart, that is also entering into the machine, then you are bound to feel soulful. When you are focusing your attention or concentration on an object, you feel that this concentration can come only from your mind and not from anywhere else. But you can also concentrate with your heart. Kindly try. A day will come when you will become soulfully one with the machine. Then you will see that everything is coming from the heart. Now we are desperately trying to grab the mind. It is like an unruly monkey. We are trying to grab the monkey and threaten it. In our spiritual life, we are trying to grab the restless mind and put it into the heart.

Your mind is helping you to work and earn a salary. But I am saying that you can use the heart as well. The heart also has that capacity, but right now you are using the mind and the heart separately. A day will come when your mind's concentration will go through your heart to the object. Now it is going there directly. But there shall come a time, there must come a time, when the mind goes through the heart, and with the heart's aspiration, dedication and light it operates. Then you are bound to be soulful while you are working on your computer, no matter how many hours you work.

Question: There is an aspect of science that is very joyful, regarding discoveries that are made and so forth.

Sri Chinmoy: The difference between science and spirituality is this: science is running after discovery, whereas spirituality is running after self-discovery. "Who am I, who am I, who am I?" This question of South India's Sri Ramana Maharshi can never, never be answered mentally. From the spiritual point of view, this question itself is the answer. Spirituality is only digging and digging inside to discover "Who am I?"

Science is always discovering something, and every time it discovers something, we get tremendous joy and pleasure. We say, "Ah, a new discovery!" But science does not consider that thing as its very own. It is only self-expression, self-revelation, not self-manifestation.

In spirituality, when self-discovery is achieved, the achievement itself is the manifestation of its own reality, its own existence. When we say 'self-discovery', it is the same thing as God-discovery. There is no difference between God-discovery and self-discovery. When I discover myself, at that time I do not feel it is something else that I am discovering; it is my own reality. I have become more aware of my own eternal, infinite, immortal reality.

Science does not do that. Science discovers something and immediately feels that it is a new creation. But spirituality says that it is not creation; it is self-unfoldment and self-revelation. I am only revealing myself; now I know who I am. Each time we discover something spiritually, we are only discovering our own immortality, our own infinity, our own eternity. We are diving deep within, and these are our discoveries.

Each time a spiritual seeker discovers something, he is discovering a portion of his birthless and deathless reality. Science does not subscribe to this view. A scientist discovers something out of the blue, and he thinks that he has received it from a planet or from the sky or from the ocean. From somewhere else he has received his discovery. By virtue of his imagination or aspiration he has got it. But he does not feel that it is his own divinity that is emerging, and therefore he cannot claim it as his own. A scientist can claim his scientific research or discovery as his property, his belonging. But he cannot claim it as his own, the way a spiritual person can claim his self-discovery as his own.

A spiritual person is only realising his own highest and deepest. A spiritual person looks inside a drawer and says, "O my God! I did not know that I had kept five dollars inside this drawer." Then he opens up the other drawers and finds ten, twenty, fifty or one hundred dollars. Each time he makes a new discovery, he is not separating himself from what he is getting. He is only becoming identified with it, one with it, like a flower with its fragrance. Where is the difference between the two?

Now we shall consider science. Let us say science has come to know how to make a knife. The scientist is holding the knife and he has got a fruit. I always say that with a knife you can cut a fruit and share it with your friends or you can stab the person near you. Now I am adding something.

Suppose the scientist has cut the fruit and given it to his friends. Then one of them says, "Your fruit is not delicious at all. I saw a much better mango." What does the scientist do? He may become furious. Either he may throw the mango at the other person or he may even go to the extent of using the knife against that person because he has criticised the mango. Science may react by destroying something. Like this, if a weaker party says to a more powerful party, "You are very bad," immediately the one with superior strength may drop a bomb on the weaker one.

When a spiritual Master has discovered himself, on the strength of his self-discovery he does not act in that way. Suppose he is holding the same knife and the same piece of fruit. If somebody criticises the mango or the knife, he will say, "All right, if you do not need my mango, there will be somebody else to appreciate it. Since you do not care for my mango, my brother also has one. Perhaps you can go and see if you like his mango." Or he will say, "If you do not have any appreciation for my mango, no harm. A day will come when you will have to appreciate somebody's mango, because if you do not eat a mango, you are not going to be nourished and you will remain weak. And if you do not have a knife, how will you cut the mango?"

Self-discovery immediately brings us universality, a feeling of universal oneness. You do not appreciate what I have? Then go to this side; there is my brother. Go to that side; there is my sister. Go in that direction; there is my friend. Real spirituality sings the song of oneness. But science does not sing the song of oneness. Science sings the song of supremacy.

Self-discovery spreads. It goes here, there and everywhere. But science, whether it is going this way or that way, brings with it the emotion of supremacy. Spirituality will always carry the message of intimacy, the message of oneness, oneness, oneness. Scientific discovery will be found in the competition-world. But in self-discovery is the feeling of the universal reality.

Science is always running after a new discovery, whereas spirituality is always running after Eternity, Eternity, Eternity. What is Eternity? Eternity is Here and Now. Inside Here is Eternity. Inside Now is Eternity. Science always wants a new discovery. But spirituality says, "I am giving you Eternity." And where is that Eternity? Eternity is inside the words 'Here' and 'Now'.

Question: Do you feel that your disciples have made progress over the years?1

Sri Chinmoy: If I have to be sincere, I must say that people came with such promise, but some of them have destroyed their promise only by comparing themselves with others. They are not comparing themselves with their own lives. If they had examined their progress and felt the necessity of making more progress, if they had felt the necessity of becoming better instruments, then they would have made unimaginable progress. But they made comparisons with others; they looked around, this way and that way. They did not look inside; they did not dive deep within. In the beginning they started looking inside their own existence. But then, after a few years, in many cases their eyes were functioning only to see what was going on around them. Their hearts were not trying to go deeper.

  1. YBG 57-62. Sri Chinmoy answered the following questions from his disciples on 24 January 1996 at the Tropicana Hotel in Durban, South Africa, during their annual Christmas Trip

Question: Sometimes you say that this is your last incarnation and you are so happy about it. I find it difficult to keep a positive view of life's game when the champion player is so overjoyed that he is leaving the game.

Sri Chinmoy: This is my last incarnation. If I have told one truth in this lifetime, then this is it. And for this I begged God. It is not that God never wanted me to come back.

Question: How can those of us who are left behind feel that it is God's Compassion that is giving us life while you, who are the best at it, are happy to be leaving?

Sri Chinmoy: Since I accepted you as my disciples, I have tried to give everything to you unreservedly, if not unconditionally. If you cannot believe that I have given you everything unconditionally, then try to believe that I have given unreservedly. And if you cannot believe that I have given unreservedly, then try to believe that I have given cheerfully. If you cannot believe I have given what I am supposed to give you cheerfully, then say that I have done it reluctantly! But if anyone does not believe that I have given, if anyone feels that I have given nothing, then what can I say? If any individual feels that I have not given him anything that will be the height of his insincerity. I have given, I have given.

Now the question arises, when grace is descending most powerfully, why to waste time? When the sun is so bright, will you enter into a dark room and hide? The grace is descending now. Sri Ramakrishna expressed it in his simple way. He said that the cow has milk, but the milk is not in the tail, not in the legs, not in the ears. The cow's milk is in the udder, where it is supposed to be. Here also, when a spiritual Master of my height enters into the earth arena, my very existence is compassion, my very existence is love. Every second I only breathe in and breathe out love, love and compassion.

I have achieved whatever I was supposed to achieve. But whatever I am supposed to give, unfortunately I am at times unable to give. I give a flower to an individual with the hope that the person will appreciate the beauty of the flower and smell the fragrance of the flower, and then he will try to see the beauty and feel the fragrance inside his own heart. But instead of that, in some cases, the moment I give love or affection or a smile, it is thrown away. Like a mischievous child, the person just throws it away. This is what is happening in some cases.

How much do you value me? That is the question. Again, you do not have to value me; the most important thing is how much you value your spiritual life. Your spiritual life and I are inseparable.

Now let us come to another subject: manifestation. The Supreme started with aspiration, then He added dedication, and then He added manifestation. First, when you started the spiritual life, the Supreme said, "Aspire, aspire!" Then the Supreme said that aspiration and dedication cannot be separated. Finally He said to bring forward manifestation.

During this trip, has manifestation given me joy? Alas, in many cases, "no" is the right answer. Why? Because at times among my disciples there are disputes, there is disharmony — not in the outer world, but in the inner world. At times it happens that each one wants to be the supreme leader.

For whatever you have done, I am grateful. But I wish to say that happiness may be something else, something else. Yes, we have achieved some significant things. These are historical facts. But the attitude is the most important thing. Can you say, "By doing this I made tremendous progress"? The most important thing is to serve lovingly, devotedly, unconditionally.

When I see internal disputes, they make me cry and cry. One person will say, "This is my domain," and another will say the same thing. Sometimes manifestation becomes a kind of wrestling match or tug-of-war between two parties. Then what shall I do? Have I come here to enjoy a tug-of-war? Yes, I enjoy the tug-of-war between the hostile forces and the divine forces, with the hope that the divine forces will win. But I do not enjoy the tug-of-war between people who are supposed to be all the time on the divine side. Where is oneness at that time, where is oneness?

Again I wish to say that aspiration, dedication and manifestation all have to go together. Whatever you have done, whatever I could do, we have done; but our joy and inspiration could have been far greater. Therefore, during this trip I have meditated in my own way. I say that I have realised God, yet even now I meditate much more than you people. Lord Krishna said that he did not have to pray and meditate, but for the sake of humanity he did it. In my case, I have spent hours in my room and in the car meditating. But here in our meeting room when we meditated, I did not get joy at those times when I saw that the intensity which some individuals had twenty or twenty-five years ago has gradually, gradually diminished. Again, it has also happened that outer circumstances have not encouraged me.

Try to bring back your inner joy. Surprise your own thoughts, your own actions, your daily life! Your surprise I will value infinitely more than if two politicians decide to tell the truth and that truth lasts for five minutes. The fact that they have decided to tell the truth is a great surprise, but I care far more for the progress that each individual makes.

The Supreme has told me that there will be surprises this year. There may be something world-shattering or world-illumining for the newspapers to tell the world. Again, since we are all spiritual people, if we do something totally new, different, encouraging and inspiring, that progress is nothing but a surprise. And that surprise is also our progress.

I do not know if I have answered your question or not. I am happy that this is my last incarnation, and you should be happy that you got a good Master who really loves you. You have to use your wisdom to take as much as you can from me so that in your next incarnation you come back with abundant inner wealth. Then, again, you can increase and increase and increase your inner wealth.

Question: If we are not advanced enough to ask you all the questions that we should, is there any way we can find those questions?

Sri Chinmoy: Definitely! There are many questions which you have not asked me. They are like unsung songs, or unshed tears. I have written over one thousand books, but still there is much more I can offer. Spiritual Masters always have the same problem. They have so much wisdom, so much light, so much compassion to offer to humanity, but humanity does not take it, does not accept it. Humanity does not feel the need. What can you do if humanity does not need the wisdom of the spiritual Masters, or does not have the receptivity?

Again and again I am saying that I do not have to get all these questions if you cannot come up with them. There will be many, many questions that you yourselves, as individuals, will be able to answer. Right now there are many questions that you as an individual, he as an individual or she as an individual cannot answer. But there is a particular place in the inner world. If you can go there, if you can knock at the door, the answer is bound to come.

There is one question that embodies all the millions of questions that can be asked, and that question is: do I need God sleeplessly and breathlessly? Do I really need Him? If that one question we do not have deep within, then we shall have to wait indefinitely for all the answers. Only one question we need: do I really need God, desperately, sleeplessly and breathlessly? Inside this question are all the answers to all the questions.

Today, by God's Grace, I am answering your spiritual questions, but I wish to tell you that there is no spiritual question, born or unborn, that I will not be able to answer. When it is a matter of scientific questions, I am not in that line, so what am I going to do? But again, from the inner world I will be able to answer any question. If my physical mind does not know the answer, in a second I can go and ask my soul, or the Supreme will tell me the answer.

I sincerely needed God. That is why He became the Question, He became the Answer. When you also really need God, then inside your question you will find the answer. What more can I say?

Inside each question, there is the answer. It depends on the need. It may happen that for five minutes someone needs God and then for ten hours the same person does not need God. But if that individual can add those ten hours to his five minutes, do you not think that he will make much more progress?

I have answered thousands of questions and I may answer a few thousand more. But the question is, from these thousands of answers, how many people have derived benefit? I have four thousand disciples. Do you think that after I leave this world I will be confined to four thousand? No, my boat will contain many, many passengers! At that time, millions and millions of nondisciples will read my writings. Now if they do not read or cannot read, it is because my writings are not available.

But I shall not have to wait for any prize to be known by the world at large. After twenty years or thirty years, or even ten years, you will see what happens. My disciples will all live on earth for ten years, twenty years or more. Soon you will be able to know how many thousands and millions of people are reading my books. The time has already come but, unfortunately, the books are not yet available.

To come back to your question, I have already answered thousands of questions. Again, there are many, many questions still unasked. I have the capacity to answer and I get joy by answering your questions. That is why I am begging you to ask.

All of you know so much about my philosophy. My philosophy encompasses all the philosophies, believe me. The essence or quintessence of the Vedas and the Upanishads, which is our Indian philosophy, and even the Christian Bible are all inside my philosophy. I have gathered everything and perhaps I have gone beyond. Even if some people say that I have not gone beyond, at least they can say that I have gathered the fragrance of Eastern spirituality and Western spirituality. In my case, I give the honey right from the heart, very delicately, very lovingly and very affectionately.

If I get the opportunity to answer more questions, I will answer them. Some people have definitely derived benefit from my answers. But, to my sorrow, I have to say that there will be people who do not get me as their direct Master who will derive much more benefit from my writings than many of my present disciples. Future generations will take me much more seriously than the present generation, much more.

And again, if more of the present generation, who have been with me from the beginning, had taken me more seriously, then I could have been of greater help to humanity. People who have not accepted my path consciously or openly, I could have helped much more. I am saying this in all sincerity.

Sri Ramakrishna's sixteen main disciples were with him only for six years. Look at their receptivity! For the last two years or two and a half years Swami Vivekananda did not live at home, but most of the time the disciples were coming and going from their Master's place, to be in his presence. My disciples have had me for thirty years, perhaps even more. Definitely Sri Ramakrishna's disciples took him much more seriously than many of my disciples have taken me.

Now, you can say that to get the Master for a long time is either a blessing or a curse! I can say the same: to have disciples for a long time is either a blessing or a curse. God knows which is the truth! I can easily say, "For the first two or three years they were so good that it was a blessing. Now, in the case of those who have descended, it is a curse." Similarly, you can say, "For the first two years after we joined the path, Guru was so compassionate, so affectionate, that it was a blessing. Now, if he does not look at us, it is like a curse!" But by saying it is a blessing or a curse, we will not go one step ahead. Only by becoming something, becoming somebody, will we make progress.

When you read The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, you see that most of the time in the evenings Sri Ramakrishna and his disciples had conversations. Sri Aurobindo also had some conversations for a few years with a small number of disciples. At that time Sri Aurobindo answered many, many questions. In my case, I have said many things and, by your grace, it is all recorded. I have also written considerably. I say it is like a supermarket. Hundreds of items are in the supermarket. You take whatever you like and place it in your heart-home; another person will take whatever he likes and place it in his heart-home.

There are some spiritual Masters who have not written, who have not spoken. They did not get the opportunity to tell the highest Truths. There are many, many questions which you have asked me over the years, for example, which are not in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. In no way am I criticising Sri Ramakrishna or his disciples. Sri Ramakrishna could have answered any spiritual question, but his disciples got him for only six years. It is unfortunate that they could not ask him everything during this time. I am fortunate that I got you for thirty years. Again, this moment we feel we are fortunate, and next moment we feel we are unfortunate!

There is such a difference between reading Sri Ramakrishna's own Bengali words in The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna and reading the English translations. The English is perfect, but the very breath of Sri Ramakrishna's Bengali words, how can you translate? His affection-flooded village words cannot be translated. Great writers have tried, but I do not know how much justice they can do, no matter how perfect their English is. But somehow the world has to get Sri Ramakrishna's teachings. If you cannot get nectar, at least be satisfied with milk. And if you do not get milk, then you have to be satisfied with water. At least water is giving you life. People who know Bengali will definitely profit more from the original Bengali.

In my case, I am writing and speaking in English and you are all English-speaking people. You are lucky and I am lucky that you are getting the message firsthand.

There was a time when Indian scholars said that in English there cannot be mantric utterances. They bragged that only our forefathers, the Vedic Seers, could speak the language of the heart, the language of the soul. They said that mantras could only be found in Sanskrit. I did not agree, and I am sorry to say that I will never agree. If you have to make a comparison, the Sanskrit language has infinitely more mantric utterances, soul-stirring utterances, than the English-speaking world. But again, to say that the English-speaking world has not given birth to mantras is absurdity. Many, many utterances in English can be taken as mantric utterances.

Question: I believe you said that Bengali and Italian are closest to the language of the soul.

Sri Chinmoy: Did I specifically say these languages are closest to the soul? Then some Indian scholars will come and break my head! They will name other languages. People do say, and I also agree, that the Bengali language and the Italian language are both extremely beautiful. But have I heard all the languages? Only I can say that German, for me, is difficult. My German disciples are so devoted to me. Their devotion to me I lovingly, gladly and cheerfully accept, but their mother tongue is so difficult! They will say that their language is the sweetest, but I shall have to say, "Please bring me some other fruit!"

Question: In 1994 you said that we should meditate at six o'clock sharp, and then you said the earlier, the better. Is it better to try for five-thirty?

Sri Chinmoy: I said six o'clock. Why? Because some people are not meditating even at seven o'clock or eight o'clock! Some people just wash their face and run to their office. Five minutes before they are ready to go, they may meditate.

Some people think more of their physical than of their spiritual existence. If they have to leave their home at eight o'clock, at a quarter to eight they get up. For five minutes they run, and then they go to work. Instead of meditating, there are some disciples who run and then go. Their inner run they do not do, but they are ready to do the outer run so that they can be good in their outer running. Perhaps nobody will believe me, but it is true!

Some disciples do not do either the inner running or the outer running. They are wonderful! Some do the inner running and not the outer running. Some do the outer running and not the inner running. But if one does both the inner running and the outer running, that is the best. If you cannot meditate for fifteen or twenty minutes, at least meditate for ten minutes.

Some people who are more advanced can enter into their highest, or reasonably high, in a few seconds. I can enter into my highest in four seconds, but I doubt very much that in four seconds you will be able to enter into your highest consciousness. If you know that it takes you fifteen minutes or twenty minutes, you should be wise and spend the necessary time to enter into your highest. In my case also, God knows, in my previous incarnations perhaps I took four hours to enter into my highest. In this incarnation it did not happen in that way.

We have to be always wise. If we really want something, we have to be wise. On the one hand, I have said that five o'clock or six o'clock is the best time to meditate. On the other hand, I have said that no matter when you get up, that is the best time for you. Think of it in this way: if you are good, then become better. If you are better, then become best. If you are best, then become better than the best.

If you are having a good meditation when you get up at midday, then try to make it earlier. At six o'clock, if you meditate sincerely, you will have a better meditation because nature is not agitated; nature has not yet become restless.

In the morning, people can meditate much more than they are now doing. And in the evening, except for those one or two nights a week when we have our collective meditation, the result could be much better. I said that before you go to bed, you should meditate for a few minutes. But now I see that some people are watching television or reading novels, even romantic novels. Some are enjoying inner romance. So many girls and so many boys read novels. At night if I call some disciples and ask, "What are you doing?" they will say, "I am reading." Then I ask, "What are you reading?" When they tell me that they are reading a novel, I do not have the heart at that time to scold them. They feel they do not have to read my writings because they know my philosophy. They do not have to practise my philosophy; as long as their mind knows it that is enough. Their heart does not have to follow it.

Novels I have rarely read and I cannot write. Very few novels I have read in my entire life; I can count them on my fingertips. That is why I did not dare to write novels. In this lifetime I did start one epic and I do hope, if God allows, I will complete this epic. A novel I am never going to write, and I rarely had the patience to read.

Question: Guru, you always say we should have eagerness and willingness. But why is it that people who have the light, the advanced souls, do not have eagerness to come back and help humanity? They should have the most eagerness because they have the light, they have the peace, they have the joy. How is it that they do not want to come back and help humanity?1

Sri Chinmoy: When they were on earth, these souls did enough and enough and enough! They came with milk, and most of the time humanity waved a stick at them. The souls who came to give nectar did have eagerness, eagerness, eagerness. But how long could they keep their eagerness? They came, but they were bitten. Human beings who do not aspire are like scorpions. They sting so severely. When people do not aspire, the Master brings light. But that light is darkness for some people. Why? Because they are so confused that they do not know what is light and what is darkness. What can the spiritual Master do?

  1. YBG 63-70.Sri Chinmoy answered these questions on 28 February 1996. Some were asked at PS 86 and afterwards the questions continued at his home in Jamaica, New York

Question: I am not talking about the Avatars, but the advanced souls who do have more light than the ordinary person, but are not God-realised. Even then, they do not want to come back.

Sri Chinmoy: Even though they were not realised souls, they had to struggle intensely. Therefore they feel, "Who wants to enter into the battlefield again?"

Question: If they do not get joy from the battle, how can they expect ordinary human beings to get joy from the battle?

Sri Chinmoy: These souls are taking rest, but they will not be allowed to take rest indefinitely. Unlike realised souls, they will not be allowed to rest for a thousand years. Some high souls are allowed to take rest for fifty, sixty or a maximum of a hundred years. But more than that they cannot take; they have to come down. Usually, ordinary souls come back in six or nine years.

Even some of my disciples who are now in the soul's world are begging, begging, begging to take another human incarnation, and they have not been there for eight or nine years. Here on earth perhaps they did not listen to me, and now they are promising me that they will become good, divine instruments. Do I have to believe that they will fulfil their promise?

Sometimes it happens that when ordinary people go to Heaven, they do not like it. They like this side. There they cannot feed their children, they cannot earn their living. They feel, what is the use of staying in the soul's world? They are like camels. A camel eats thorns and then its mouth bleeds, but it continues to eat thorns. In the case of ordinary souls, many times God does not even have to tell them to take a new incarnation. They are eager to come back; they are ready to come back. They do not like to stay in Heaven. After six years, they are all ready to return to earth.

Question: The great souls do not want to come back because it is too discouraging?

Sri Chinmoy: Great souls are tremendously discouraged because they have suffered. Ordinary people suffer, but the higher souls suffer much more. Only if one has realised God, if he has established oneness with a higher Power, does he have a room to which he can escape. When I tell my brother Chitta my problems, he says, "You can escape, but we cannot. When you want to go there, you have a special room. You can go there and hide, but we cannot do that." Then again, if one has real sympathy, affection and love for mankind, one does not want to remain inside another room. A spiritual Master is like a mother. The mother is being rebuffed again and again by the naughty child, but in spite of being badly treated by him, she comes to him again and again.

In my case, I have said that I am not going to take any more human incarnations. Swami Vivekananda said that even if one dog remained unrealised, he would come back. Now count the dogs in this world! And absolutely Swami Vivekananda is still in the soul's world. He has not come back. Sri Ramakrishna pointed to a place on the map and said that he would take incarnation there. That place was Russia. Sri Ramakrishna has not gone there. My sister tells me, "He has sent you to Russia; that is enough."

I do not blame them for making a promise. Their promise was based on their concern, their compassion, their affection, their love for mankind. Those things are absolutely true. But when they go to the soul's world, they become all wisdom. They say, "Again humanity will kick us, so what is the use?"

This world will never be ready for the spiritual Masters. Why? Because the person who has light will always remain one step ahead of humanity, and those who are behind that person will not be able to follow him. When he tries to give light to the people who are behind him, most of the time they do not take it; it is too much for them, too much. If the person who is ahead wants to give even an iota of light, it may be too much. It breaks the inner vessel. So what can the spiritual Master do? He has not come to break humanity; he has come to illumine humanity.

Anything that is good for mankind, mankind will not believe. Each individual wants to be happy in his own way; that is all. Most human beings do not want to be happy by invoking a higher light. But the human way is nothing other than desire-fulfilment. When his desires are fulfilled, the individual cries and cries and cries. At that time he blames God: "O God, if You really love me, why did You fulfil this desire of mine?"

So many people blame God when He fulfils their desires. What can poor God do? No matter what He does is wrong! Again, there are other seekers, sincere seekers, who say, "No matter what God does, it is for my good." It depends entirely on the individual consciousness.

Question: Why have so many Bengalis realised God? I can think of Sri Ramakrishna, Troilanga Swami and Sri Aurobindo. There must have been hundreds.

Sri Chinmoy: I can add a few more names: Bijoy Krishna, Lahiri Mahashoy, Sri Yukteshwar, Paramahansa Yogananda, Ram Thakur and Anandamayee Ma, and others. These were really great spiritual Masters.

Then there was my own maternal uncle, Tara Charan, who saved our family so many times. He lived in the village. Once it happened that my father had to appear before the Chittagong High Court. My father had written that he would be responsible for the debts of my distant uncle. This uncle badly neglected his business and accumulated enormous debts, so the lawyers decided that my father would have to pay everything. In the meantime, my mother went to this maternal uncle, Tara Charan, and begged him to do something. He was very fond of my mother. He said to her, "Do not worry, do not worry." Then, what did he do? On the morning of the trial, occultly he removed my father's signature from the piece of paper. How happily the lawyer was showing the piece of paper to the judge, but when the judge examined it, the signature was missing. Therefore my father did not have to pay.

Question: Was this uncle realised, or was he a great occultist?

Sri Chinmoy: He was a great occultist, but they have their realisation in their own way.

Question: What is it about Bengalis that enables them to realise God quicker and better than others?

Sri Chinmoy: It is only the heart! I am not bragging, but there is no other province or area of India that is as spiritually developed in terms of heart. And the culmination came in Sri Ramakrishna, Bijoy Krishna, Bama Kshepa, Sri Aurobindo and others.

These great spiritual figures cared more for the mother aspect of God, the relationship of the mother and the child. In the beginning, the child does not even know who the father is. The father is in town, the father is in the court, the father is a big shot. It is the mother who takes care of the child. And in India, not only at the age of four or five, or even when one is a teenager, but to the end, people have more fondness for their mother.

In the West, what happens is that when the father gets name and fame, the children go to that side. They want to stay with the father because the father is president of a big corporation, the father is manager of a bank and so on. Always they try to identify themselves with the father. But Bengali children, most of the time, try to identify themselves with the mother. It may happen that the mother is illiterate; she cannot even write a letter. But the mother aspect is all heart.

Many spiritual Masters went through the mind and asked their disciples to go through the mind. Some say to go through the mind and also the heart; they say there should be a balance. I say, "No-go through the heart!" The heart is the safest and the fastest approach. That is why I give so much importance to the heart. The mind is the slowest way. The mind only moves this side and that, in a zigzag manner. It cannot go to the goal directly. The very nature of the mind is to move to and fro, like a snake.

Question: It seems that Bengalis can realise God without the guidance of anybody.

Sri Chinmoy: Swami Vivekananda once said that in Bengal Avatars grow like mushrooms. All are Avatars! Even in Calcutta, there are so many people who say, "Please, please come and see my Guru. He is a God-realised soul!" There, everybody's Guru is God-realised. And in East Bengal, where I come from, Avatars grow like mushrooms. We are all mushrooms!

The way Bengalis describe the heart in their writings, believe me, others have not done. From the writings you can see it. Forget about everything else; when Bengalis use the term 'mother', you will see tears in their hearts. No matter how many times Bengali children call their mother, the mother's heart will be melted.

If we live in the heart, no matter how many times we make mistakes, God readily forgives us. But when we are all the time in the mind, God may not tolerate our mistakes because there is very little light in the mind. When a child makes mistakes, hundreds of times the parents are ready to forgive him; but when a grown-up makes mistakes more than two or three times, it is much more difficult to tolerate. Why? Because the mind always thinks that it is superior. A child never thinks he is superior. That is why, no matter how many times he makes mistakes, his parents are ready to forgive him. They feel that he is only a child.

Question: Is there any change in the Bengali heart since Bangladesh was created? Has it affected the spiritual heart and consciousness?

Sri Chinmoy: I do not think so. Politics cannot change the crying heart. Politically they have divided Bengal. Mahatma Gandhi thought it would be difficult to keep India whole. At the time that the Hindu-Muslim riots took place, the heart completely went away because one party was made to feel inferior. Afterwards, some political figures were so happy and relieved that they did not have to worry about East Bengal.

But the loving heart of Bengal is a totally different subject. That heart East Bengal and West Bengal have both kept. Their crying heart for God is the same, although the mind, the vital and the physical consciousness have got all kinds of ornamentations; they have been Westernised. But the heart that they had, their crying and bleeding heart for God, that heart they have still maintained; it is the same.

Again, many things were considerably good apart from the heart, but those things are now, to a great extent, weaker. The Western civilisation has entered everywhere. In the Indian villages the heart is still the same, but it is the mind, the vital and the physical that are not the same. Before, the heart used to get help from the mind and vital; but now they do not help. Previously they were all pulling together, and now the heart is pulling on its own. Even then, the heart is quite strong, although it is alone. The heart is doing quite well.

About book Fifty oneness-heart-songs of a perfect God and a perfect child1

Sri Chinmoy: When I wrote this particular book, I was really, really in a childlike consciousness. With a childlike consciousness, there is no mind involved. If we can approach children's hearts, if we can be at their level, how sweet it is! In this respect, sometimes grandparents are so good. They are seventy or eighty years old and their grandchildren are little, but they never think of the age difference; they never try to give the little ones advice. On the contrary, they would like to be as simple and as spontaneous as their little ones.

If teachers can teach their students with the same feeling, the students will get tremendous joy from learning. In a child's game, if a grown-up who is very strong and stout joins, and if this person just shows off and scolds the other players, then the children will get tired of playing with him. Why do they need him? But if the same grown-up comes and plays with enthusiasm, and if in spite of being an excellent player he makes mistakes, then the children get such joy. Similarly, when you are teaching children, you have to feel that you are seven years old. Do not feel that you are the oldest and wisest person. Do not think of your power-aspect. Think of your love-aspect.

Children are our dreams. Children are our heart-flowers. If we can welcome them with our hearts, it is to our great advantage.

  1. YBG 71. While he was in China in 2004-2005, Sri Chinmoy wrote a book for children entitled Fifty oneness-heart-songs of a perfect God and a perfect child. He wrote the book while travelling on a bus. On 24 January 2005, in Huangshan, Sri Chinmoy spoke about the book and answered questions about children.

Question: In your book, you present an ideal vision of childhood. What of those people whose childhood experiences were not sweet?

Sri Chinmoy: You are saying that in some countries, because of their poverty, children perhaps have not got sweet experiences from their childhood, from their parents. But, in general, even if they are poorer than the poorest, those children have received affection. There is not a single country where children are not shown affection.

In wartime it is different. During a war, there are horrible stories. There may be a dearth of food. But these stories are very rare. In general, no matter how poor a country is or how poor a family is, as soon as a child takes birth it receives affection. Affection does not depend on material prosperity.

I tell you, many poor people in India have more affection for their children than some wealthy people in America, forgive me to say. I come from Bengal, India. There, in one of the poorest countries, we have more affection and love than many people in the so-called rich countries. In America and in other Western countries, people have money. They can have a maidservant, this and that. Then the parents can go out to work and the children will be with the maidservant in the home. But in India it is not like that. When the children are born, the mothers give up their jobs. No matter how poor the family is, it is a matter of heart. What I am saying is a matter of heart.

If circumstances are adverse, the children may not get sweet experiences; but I wish to say that ninety-nine times out of a hundred, children have got sweet experiences in their childhood.

Question: What if your childhood experiences were of suffering rather than sweetness?

Sri Chinmoy: If you feel that your parents were not nice, if you did not get good treatment from your parents right from your infancy, then you have to take your imagination as a reality. Imagine once again your childhood. You were brought up in one family, but right around you, in your vicinity, some parents were extremely, extremely nice to their children. Identify with them, identify, identify! This is not a false approach. Your parents brought you into the world, true, but I wish to say that imagination is a reality of its own.

Always try identification. You did not receive love and affection, perhaps, but now you can definitely apply your imagination and imagine love and affection. Just think of one particular family where the parents were so indulgent to their children. That imagination will definitely give you sweetness, happiness and a feeling of inner fulfilment. Just spread your imagination-wings! You are like a bird. Spread your wings and just fly to a country, imagine a village and see a particular place. What you are seeing is so true!

Again, you cannot separate your existence from your parents. You were born into a particular family. Definitely you had a father and a mother. If you are dissatisfied with them, with their way of being, you will go your own way. Children grow up and start their own families. But after going their own way, can they say that their parents are no longer their parents? Never!

Now I am coming back to the question. If your parents were not kind, just imagine sweetness, sweetness, sweetness. Early in the morning, look at a flower, look at the dawn. If you can identify yourself with nature, you are getting tremendous joy. At that time, are you thinking about how your parents struck you black and blue? You are the same person, but your wisdom has to work. You have to bring forward sweet memories, sweet memories, sweet memories. If you do not have sweet memories in your immediate family, that cannot prevent you from getting sweetness from your childhood.

Now that you are mature, you have to use wisdom at every moment. Exercise wisdom, wisdom, wisdom! Sometimes in a family, parents get angry. They stop their children when they want to go to university, or they do not pay the costs. Then days turn into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. In the end, if one accepts the spiritual life, it means one has to forgive them. It is very difficult sometimes, when we do not forgive a person, to bring sweetness out of our memories of that person.

If your parents were not nice, first forgive them. By harbouring hitter memories of your parents' so-called misconduct, you will never be able to bring your own inner sweetness to the fore. You have to forgive your parents and forget the sad experience. If absolute necessity demands, you may even have to forget about your parents. Only try to imagine yourself, with your consciousness as a seven-year-old, to see how children elsewhere were given tremendous affection, sweetness and fondness.

Question: How much does our childhood influence us?

Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the family, it depends on the parents, it depends on the environment. If you come of a religious family, a spiritual family, then there is every possibility that this will be stamped on your forehead, or it will be written on the tablet of your heart. There is every possibility that the seed that was sown by your parents will germinate and become a huge tree with many flowers and fruits.

It all depends on the individual. There are many people who have received tremendous, tremendous affection as children. It is stamped in them. I was mischievous to the extreme, I was notorious, but this did not prevent my parents from showing me affection. I still have the source, the inner source. My parents were good, hind and compassionate.

Sometimes, at the very end of one's life, the parents' affection and compassion remains because they have influenced the person's life so much. Again, after fifteen or twenty years, some people do not care for their father's good qualities or their mother's good qualities. They want to stay on their own.

One particular disciple is one of those who thought of their parents' strengths. She was not yet on the wrong side of fifty when her father died. Look how much affection she had for her father! By that time, he was unable to see; he was blind. How lovingly she took care of him! If she had not been a good daughter, she could have said that she had her own life, she had her own husband and children to look after. But the affection and love which she received from her father when she was a little child became so solid and permanent in her heart that at the very end of his life she was full of gratitude to him. Otherwise, during those last years of his life she could have said, "Oh, no — I have other things to do now."

Many children keep no connection with their parents. When they hear that their parents have gone to the other world, only then they come for two or three days. Even for one day some children will not come. And, to my greatest astonishment, even if they live in the same state it may happen that they do not come. Even for two or three weeks at the very end, they cannot take care of their parents. They think that somebody else will do it, their brothers or their sisters will do it. They feel that they have played their role and the parents have played their role.

Everything depends on the individual — how much the individual wants to retain the affection, love, sweetness and fondness from his parents. In some cases, no matter how much you give to the parents, they want more and more and more. Their demands never end. Then what can you do? I have seen a few cases like that. At every moment the parents will expect something from their children. Even when the children are thirty, forty or fifty years old, even when they have their own families, the parents do not give them freedom. They will phone up in the morning and say, "Do this for me, do this for me, do this for me." What can you do at that time? There is no hard and fast rule. Some parents make constant demands. They say, "Because I am your mother" or "Because I am your father you have to do this." These parents have to think of their children's new life as well.

Question: Sometimes an aspirant goes through difficult times in the spiritual life, and the forces of nature hinder and overwhelm his aspiration. At that time, you live in a desert where you know there is aspiration, but you cannot get to it because you are overwhelmed. What can a disciple do at that time to get to the point where aspiration is on the front line again?1

Sri Chinmoy: Very good, very good, very good! I shall try to answer your question in different ways. The main aspect is what to do when the disciple goes through a rough period. Once upon a time he had very intense aspiration, and then unfortunately undivine forces attacked that particular seeker or disciple.

Let us approach it this way. Take these hostile attacks as mud, clay and sand. A child is playing in a field. At one place there is clay, mud and sand. His whole body becomes besmeared with dirt. He knows he is now dirty, whereas before he was not. Again, he has the inner feeling that only his mother can wash him and make him decent and beautiful once more. He goes to his mother, and what does his mother do? Immediately she starts washing and cleaning the whole body of her child. Then her beloved son becomes clean.

This is one way. Just feel that you are God's little child, chosen child, supremely chosen child. When you cry and cry inwardly, God will immediately come and do the needful.

There is another way. The seeker has to feel that he is a flame, a tiny flame, and the wind is blowing very hard. This wind is the hostile force. Then the seeker will cry inwardly, "O God, protect me, protect me! I really do not want to be destroyed by the wind, by the hurricane that is blowing." Then the Supreme is bound to come in response to the sincere cry of the seeker, His child. The Supreme will put protection all around the seeker, like a fence. Here the fence is nothing other than Light.

There is a third thing that you can do. Right now it is night. If we turn off the light, it is all darkness, darkness, darkness. Take the hostile force as darkness. In the outer world, how long does it take to illumine darkness? Only a fleeting moment. You turn on the switch and then it is all light. It is the same in the inner world. Who turns on the switch for you? The Supreme, your Inner Pilot or your Master. Light is already there in the form of God's Compassion. In this case, God plays the role of an electrician. He brings down Compassion, which is like electricity in the outer world, and then He gives it to you.

An ordinary electrician repairs the problem and goes home. Then the person who lives in the house knows that when he turns on the switch, the electricity will be there. Similarly, the seeker knows that when all wrong forces are attacking him, when his life is surrounded by darkness, God has given him the key, the wisdom, to inundate his life with light once more.

Again, if you feel that you are God's little child, you will also have to feel that no matter which floor your mother is on, she will come running. Let us say that you are on the first floor, and your mother is on the third or fourth floor. You are crying, crying, crying either for milk or for a toy, or for something else. Do you not think that immediately your mother will come down from the other floor to make you happy? Whatever you need, your mother will give. Of course, if a child is asking for a knife, the mother is not going to give him the knife. But if the child is asking for a little sweet or a little food, or a toy, the mother will give it. The child has no wisdom. If he asks for a knife, the mother will not give it; but anything else — food, sweets, milk, toys — the mother will give immediately.

Similarly, the seeker, the disciple, must have that inner cry. He must cry to God, "I need this, I need that, but what do I really need now, when the hostile forces are attacking?" Then God will immediately give His Protection.

I have a little dog named Chela. When the weather is bad and it is raining, he will just go upstairs. I am seated on my bed and he stays on the floor near my bed. Even if I do not say a word to him, he feels he is well protected. Again, if he starts crying because he is afraid of the thunder, I come down and comfort him. Here it is exactly the same. The mother will come when the child is a little baby. When the child is five or six years old and any kind of fear enters, he will just go to where his mother or father is for protection.

Our difficulty is that we do not believe in God's Protection. Why? Perhaps yesterday we told a lie or we scolded someone or insulted someone. This kind of idea enters into our mind: we did something wrong, we did something wrong, we did something wrong. Therefore, why should God protect us? If we ask ourselves, "Is God pleased with me?" the answer that will come to us is, "No, He is not pleased with me." We have made up our mind that because we did something wrong a few days ago, God is so displeased with us that today, when we are in trouble, He is not going to help us, He is not going to protect us.

This is what the mind is saying. But where was this tricky mind when we were doing something wrong, when we were telling a lie or something else? How is it that the same tricky mind did not tell us at that time, "It is a wrong thing that you are doing. Do not do it!" The tricky mind allows us or secretly instigates us to go away, farther than the farthest, from our heart. Then the tricky mind will say, "Who asked you to listen to me?" Can you imagine! Three days ago perhaps the mind begged us to do something. The mind came in the form of temptation and said, "Ah, how nice it is to smoke and drink!" Later the same roguish mind will say, "Why did you listen to me? Why did you listen to me?"

Many years ago, I told a famous story about a disciple. The disciple said, "I am supposed to get up in the morning at six o'clock." At six o'clock the following morning, the mind came and said, "Oh, it is still so dark outside. Just for today, why not meditate and pray a little later?"

Instead of six o'clock, it became seven o'clock. At seven o'clock, the mind again came and said, "I think I will be able to do my prayers and meditations quickly today just before I go to work. Therefore, let me sleep a little longer." Each time the disciple woke up, the mind was instigating him to take more rest, more rest.

Alas, at nine o'clock the disciple finally woke up. Then he said, "What have I done? What have I done? It is nine o'clock, and I am so late! When I go to work, my boss will scold me. I do not even have time today to meditate." Then the seeker became angry with his mind. He asked the mind, "Why did you act like this? Now I am so late. The whole day will be difficult for me." The mind's reply was, "Who asked you to listen to me?"

This is the mind we all have. Whenever we think of doing things that the heart tells us are wrong, undivine, the mind will say, "No, no, just a little." It is like taking chilli. If I take a small portion of chilli, I enjoy it. Then I think that perhaps I will be able to take a little more. But when I take a large quantity of chilli, how I suffer! My whole throat burns and burns! I should not take chilli at all. Knowing that it will create problems for me, I should not take it. It is the same when we are about to do anything wrong in our spiritual life.

We have to feel that in our spiritual life we are at a certain height. Once upon a time we were lower. In the course of evolution we were also animals. Now, if the forces are attacking us to bring us down, there is someone to protect us, and that is God. There are billions of people on earth. How many are praying to God sincerely and seriously? Is it not God's Duty, when somebody is sincerely and seriously praying to Him, to protect that person?

Then the question comes: how sincerely can we claim God as our own? Our main difficulty is that when we do something wrong, immediately we separate ourselves from God. We say, "God is angry with me. God will never look at me. He may even punish me." All these wrong thoughts come into our mind.

Instead of that, immediately we should say, "Yes, I have done something wrong, but my Father is there. He is not coming to punish me. He is only coming to show His Compassion. God will tell me, 'My child, do not do this again. Do not do this again. It is wrong, wrong. You see, you are hurting yourself. You are hurting Me.'" We have to have that closeness, that intimate feeling for God.

In your case, you have such a beautiful son and beautiful daughter. Which philosophy will you apply when they do something wrong? Will you come with affection, compassion and forgiveness or will you come with an iron rod? I am sure you will use your affection, compassion and forgiveness.

For God, forgiveness will always come first. Again, who will forgive whom? God forgives whomever He calls His own. When a member of the family does something wrong, the father and mother have so many divine weapons. The first is forgiveness. Then comes compassion. Then comes affection.

Similarly, because God has Affection for you, He is showing His Compassion, and because God has Compassion, He is showing His Forgiveness. Now God is coming in the form of Affection, Compassion and Forgiveness to save you. But the same mind that came in the form of temptation and instigated you to do the wrong thing is now telling you, "Oh, no, God will not even look at you. You are such a bad fellow! God is not going to love you anymore because you did something undivine. Now God will be billions of miles away from you."

That is not God's Way. God's Way is to take each and every human being to his highest, highest, highest. God's other Name is Affection. God's other Name is Compassion. God's other Name is Forgiveness. In so many ways we can invoke God and He will come in the form of Affection, Compassion and Forgiveness. The dark day does not last forever. When God's Forgiveness operates, the seeker becomes very sincere and devoted again. Once more he goes to the highest.

If I drank nectar for a few years, will I be satisfied with drinking rainwater from a ditch? No, I will not. If I had the taste of nectar once upon a time and now I am drinking water from the street, I will say, "O my God, what am I doing?" But the hostile forces darken our mind; they damage our mind. The hostile forces say to the mind, "Tell this person there is no difference. He can drink a little street water for a few days." But if I drink street water, it will not take a few days; in a few seconds I will have to go to the hospital.

Always think of God as Someone who loves you infinitely, infinitely more than anybody else can love you, because He created you. He brought you into the world. He created your soul, He created your body, vital, mind and heart. How can the Creator not think of the Creation and love the Creation?

A little child, four or five years old, has a doll. If she sees that the doll is not properly dressed or if something is wrong with its hand, her whole world revolves around fixing the doll. That is her creation. She is responsible for the little doll. Such affection the child has for her little doll. God the Omnipotent, out of His infinite Compassion, has created this universe. Will He not have Compassion for His Creation? Will He not have Concern for human beings?

Always we must think that God is all Forgiveness, all Love, all Compassion. No matter how many bad things we have done, even if we have done countless bad things, God will forgive us. The human way, when somebody has done something wrong, is to punish that person. The human way is tit-for-tat. If I do something wrong, you retaliate. But the divine way is not like that. The divine way is immediate forgiveness and compassion.

Then we have to think that God the Omnipotent has infinite Power. Can His infinite Power not take away our little wrongdoing? He is infinite. He is the Possessor of infinite Power. No matter how many times we misbehave, no matter how many times we fall down, if He wants to use His omnipotent Power and lift us up, He can.

I am a tiny drop, let us say, and the ocean is so vast; it is infinite. If I want to remain on the ground instead of entering into the ocean, the ocean may say, "Who cares if you do not want to enter?" But if the ocean sees that I am so eager to enter into it, then the ocean comes and takes me, the little drop. Then what do I become? I become the ocean. Nobody will be able to say, "Oh, that silly little drop, where has it gone? Where is the little drop?" It has become the ocean.

Always think of God as Someone who is all eagerness to forgive the people who make spiritual mistakes. He is all ready to forgive, but we do not believe in God's Forgiveness. We feel that our crime is infinitely stronger than God's infinite Power. Is it not a joke? I am an individual and God is all-pervading. Omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent He is. Is His Capacity not infinitely greater than my capacity for doing something wrong?

It is a question of faith. I have to feel that He loves me, He needs me. As I need Him, similarly, He needs me to do His Work on earth. Now I am helpless. I have done something wrong, so I am praying to God, "Please forgive me and take me back."

God replies, "I am taking you back. And I am doing something more: as you need Me, I also need you to do My Work on earth."

Look at this! The omnipotent God is telling the individual, "Forget about your weaknesses. Again come and remain inside My Heart. You need Me, you need My Forgiveness, you need My Compassion. I am ready. I am giving you what you need. But again, I am telling you that I need something from you. I need you to spread My Light. I want you to take My Light and spread it here, there and everywhere, throughout the length and breadth of the world." We need God for His Light, so that we shall always remain illumined. And God needs us to spread His Light here, there and everywhere.

When we do something wrong, with our helpless cries we say to God, "I was Yours, but all of a sudden I feel I am not Yours."

God says, "You fool! You are always Mine, throughout Eternity. Since I created you as a soul, throughout Eternity you are Mine, Mine, Mine."

When I feel that God is mine and I am all His, there is no problem. But unfortunately, when I do something wrong, I feel that God is somebody else, a third party. Such being the case, why should He forgive me? But He is not a third party. He is my own, very own. Alas, unconsciously, or consciously and deliberately, I try to go away from Him. God is running after me, chasing me, to catch me and put me into His Heart once again.

Always try to feel that the human weaknesses are no match for God's Compassion. Human weaknesses are so limited in comparison to God's infinite Compassion. If I feel deep within that there is something which is infinitely better, higher, deeper and stronger, and that very thing is ready to help me, then that infinitely higher existence will grab me, embrace me and make me feel once more that I belong to God only. I do not belong to anybody else. I belong only to God, my Inner Pilot.

The one thing to do from now on is to feel that you belong to God. No matter how many things you do wrong or have done wrong, He is there to awaken you once again, to illumine you and make you feel that you are all His, all His. You belong to Him; He belongs to you. You need Him because you feel that you are helpless. He says, "You are not helpless. You are Mine, but you have allowed wrong forces to enter into you. Now kick them out of your system and claim Me!"

When we claim God as our own, very own, God will not remain fast asleep. He will not be snoring! He will come running and running. God will say, "My child is claiming Me as his own, very own. I will do everything, everything for him to make him see his inner light and inner height again."

Everything God will gladly do for you, for me, for everybody — for whoever needs Him, whoever most sincerely claims Him.

  1. YBG 75. Sri Chinmoy answered this question in Puerto Rico on 15 October 2005

Translations of this page: Russian
This book can be cited using cite-key ybg