Why do I have to become spiritual?

[Dag Hammarskjold Lecture Series]

Why do I have to become spiritual? I have to become spiritual precisely because I wish to see something, do something and become something. There are many people on earth who do not feel the necessity of this, and I do not find fault with them. But my inner being tells me that I have to see something, do something and become something.

What I wish to see is perfection in my life and in the life of each and every individual. What I wish to do is to love mankind unreservedly and divinely. What I wish to become is a conscious and chosen instrument of God.

Two lives: a life of aspiration and a life of desire. I have been in the life of desire. In that life I did not have even an iota of Peace and Bliss. Therefore, I entered consciously and soulfully into a new life, the life of aspiration. In my desire-life, my existence was tossing in a shoreless sea, and it found its reality in a goalless shore. In order to swim in the sea of Reality, in order to reach the Golden Shore of the Beyond, I entered into the life of aspiration.

It is a mistake to think that a spiritual person is impractical. On the contrary, a spiritual person is really practical. An ordinary, unaspiring person thinks of God as being in Heaven, millions and billions and trillions of miles higher than his own existence. His God is not around him, not in front of him, but in an unknown or unknowable Heaven.

But a spiritual person has a different idea of God. He says, “If God exists, then He has to be inside my heart, all around me, right in front of me.” So a seeker is practical. He does not accept the theory that God is in a distant and unattainable Heaven, that God is aloof and uninterested in his life. He says, “Only if my God is right here on earth, will I be able to fulfil my aspiration and my need.”

Once he realises that God is right in front of him, he immediately feels that God is everywhere, both in Heaven and on earth. When he thinks of God in Heaven, he immediately feels that God is the dream-fulfilling Reality. And when he thinks of God on earth, he feels that God is the reality-illumining Dream — Divinity’s conscious and ever-transcending Dream which illumines reality.

In the ordinary life, there are many needs. But in the spiritual life we come to realise that there is only one need, and that is a love for God. There is also something that is not needed, and that is self-proclamation. When I love God, I feel that I am touching the very root of God-Tree. And if I touch the root, then the dynamic flowing energy in the root will take me to all the branches, leaves and flowers. But when I proclaim myself, I just limit and bind myself; I am not able to taste, to enjoy myself as a universal Reality. My self-proclamation immediately separates me from the Whole, which I once upon a time was, which I want to become and which I eventually will be.

A spiritual person is not only practical but also normal and natural. Everything in his life is orderly. He goes from one to two to three, and not the other way around. For a normal person, first things come first. And what is the first thing? It is God, because God is the Creator, God is the Source. Every day dawns with a new life, a new hope, a new sense of Immortality. Now, when the morning dawns, the seeker does first things first. First he prays to God, then he thinks of mankind, and finally he thinks of himself.

When he prays or meditates on God, the seeker uses the divine instrument called surrender. “Let Thy Will be done,” he says. And when he thinks of mankind, he uses the instrument called love. He uses his love-power, his love-instrument to become inseparably one with humanity. Then, when he thinks of himself, he uses his discipline-power, his self-control. If he uses his power of self-control, then at every moment a new dream can be dreamt by the divine within him, the seeker within him. A higher call from above takes him to his reality, which is ever-transcending.

As an individual, I have to know that my physical body is not my only reality. I also have a soul, a heart, a mind and a vital. I have to care for my soul first, because this is the eldest member of my family. The soul is constantly dreaming in and through me, and the dream of the soul is the harbinger of my reality’s perfection. So I have to think of the soul or meditate on the soul first.

Next I think of my heart. My heart needs love; it needs to offer love and it needs to receive love. First it gives love, then it receives love and finally it becomes love itself. After giving and receiving love, my heart will feel its inseparable oneness with everything and everyone.

Then I have to think of my mind. If I just think of my mind, that does not solve any problem at all. I have to meditate on the mind with the idea of expanding and illumining it. I think not of the mind that binds me or limits me or separates me; I think of the mind that will gladly listen to the heart and to the soul, the mind that can feel the universal oneness.

Then I have to think of my vital. When I think of my vital, I have to think of dynamic energy. If there is no dynamic energy, I cannot produce or achieve anything. Life is a river that flows constantly and continuously. Vital energy is the current that carries us to the sea, the sea of illumination and perfection.

When we think of the physical, immediately we think of the mind, because we feel that the mind is the most developed member of our family. This is true before we accept the spiritual life. But after we have accepted the spiritual life, we feel that the heart is an older brother superior to the mind. And when we become really spiritual, we can boldly say that we do not need the mind at all; what we need is the heart and soul to guide us through life. Granted, the mind may have everything that the heart has. If we want a diamond, we can find a diamond in the mind-room, and we can find the same diamond in the heart-room. But the moment we enter into the mind-room, we see that that room is full of rubbish, junk and undivine things. The diamond is covered, and it will take us days, months and years to uncover it. But when we enter into the heart-room, we see that there is nothing else but the diamond. The moment we open the door, the diamond is right there before us.

A spiritual person is a man of wisdom. Just by seeing the diamond, he will not be fully satisfied; he will want to grow into the diamond itself. This spiritual diamond is perfect Perfection. The spiritual person enters into the heart-room, sees the diamond, touches the diamond, meditates on the diamond and grows into the diamond. When he grows into the diamond, that means he has become the perfect instrument of God. Then his real satisfaction dawns. A seeker’s satisfaction dawns only when he becomes a perfect instrument of the Supreme. At that time, he becomes one with earth-consciousness and one with Heaven-consciousness.

A spiritual person wants to realise unity in diversity, harmony in diversity. In the ordinary life, two human beings constantly contradict each other. And even in the spiritual life, two divine qualities in different seekers — if they are not properly guarded or guided — will not become complementary. Let us say one seeker has sincerity and the other seeker has humility. Both these qualities are of paramount importance. But the person who has sincerity feels he is not being admired the way his friend is being admired. He feels that the person who has humility is getting more appreciation from others. So the person with sincerity is not happy. Now, the person who is humble feels that his humility is not giving him total satisfaction either. He feels that the person who is sincere is getting more appreciation and admiration. When we are beginners in the spiritual life, even our divine qualities do not satisfy us.

But when we go deep within, our divine qualities will not oppose one another. On the contrary, each divine quality will complement every other divine quality. When sincerity enters into humility and offers its wealth, immediately humility sees that the only one who is really humble is God. It is God’s Humility that makes Him what He is. And when humility enters into sincerity, sincerity feels its own reality.

After I become spiritual, what is expected of me? I have to empty myself before God and I have to empty myself before mankind. When I empty myself before God, I shall empty my teeming ignorance, the ignorance of millennia. And when I empty myself before mankind, I shall empty my love. Love I have to empty before humanity; Ignorance I have to empty before God.

The life of a spiritual seeker is not the life of a stagnant pool. His is the life of a fresh spring, a spring of ever-flowing Consciousness-Light. When the seeker feels that his life is ever-flowing Consciousness-Light, he feels that Heaven — which is dream — is being manifested on earth, and that earth — which is cry — is being transformed into the ceaseless Smile of the Supreme.

Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium

March 15, 1974

Sri Chinmoy, The tears of nation-hearts.First published by Agni Press in 1974.

This is the 140th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book The tears of nation-hearts, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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