Talk at the beginning of the New Year1This year, 1971, a striking outer manifestation along with the inner realisation will take place. To spread the Light of the Supreme, we have many more Centres this year than we have had before. In many, many parts of the world, the message of the Supreme will be spread through the selfless service of the disciples and through publishers, colleges and universities.
In silence and with utmost love, devotion and surrender, please now offer your love, devotion and surrender to the Supreme and say that you are offering this to Him for His manifestation here on earth. Please do this. Now, one by one, please come up and chant AUM and sit down.
This promise you have made to the Supreme, who is everybody's Guru: my Guru, your Guru, everyone's Guru… the Supreme. And we must try to keep this promise to Him: that we shall be totally surrendered to His Will. We shall love Him. We shall offer Him our devotion. We shall offer Him our unconditional surrender.
We were in Europe for about a month: England, Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland and a few other places. I gave talks in about twenty universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. Almost all the universities responded extremely well. We had tremendous success.
I have told you several times that last year we were entering into the wide world. Now I wish to say that we have definitely entered into the wide world and it has been a tremendous success precisely because the Supreme wants His own Mission to spread all over the world. I am sure all of you have read the newspaper cuttings from Ireland… how devotedly they have accepted your Master. In one newspaper, it says, "Ireland's Guru."
In all the universities, seekers asked most sincere, soulful and enlightened questions. And in many universities the professors and principals themselves asked significant questions. We will not only have the lectures published, but the questions and answers will also be eventually published, which will be of tremendous importance to the sincere seekers everywhere.
Yes, it is true that we have entered into the wide world. We have recently established three important Centres: one in London, England; one in Glasgow, Scotland; one in Dublin, Eire. The success of these three Centres is joyfully expressed in their letters. They are growing spiritually, full of enthusiasm, inspiration and aspiration… these three Centres. I am sure we shall have a Centre in Switzerland, most probably in Zurich, and one in New Zealand and one in Australia.
The idea of having many Centres must not be misunderstood. It is not like the missionaries who are going out to convert people. Far from it. Our aim is not to convert others. If others are following any spiritual or religious path, we are most happy. But there are people on earth who don't have a path of their own and who are crying for a path. To them, we say, "We have a path. If this path suits you, you are most welcome to join us. Ours is the path of love, devotion and surrender. If you feel that this path is going to make you happy and make your life meaningful and fruitful, then do join us."
We don't say that ours is the only path or that ours is the best path. No, never. We say and we sincerely feel that our path is one of the paths, but those who want to follow our path must be totally dedicated to our principles of love, devotion and surrender. And then, if the newcomers feel that this is their path, they should start running inwardly. On the spiritual path, one can walk, one can march, one can run the fastest. So if they feel that this is their path, then instead of walking, they have to be given ample opportunity to run the fastest. In almost all our Centres, there are some disciples who are actually running the fastest.
Now today there are quite a few visitors or, I should say, seekers here. I come here very often, but I do not come to convert you. I come here to inspire you. This land of yours, this island, welcomed me first. This is our Mother Centre, and when I see the disciples who started our journey here in this Centre, it gives me the greatest joy and pride. Sudha and Ananta were with us the day we started, and they are still with us. Very soon Gauri joined us and then Agni and Vijaya, his wife. They are also still with us. There are some early disciples who are missing, who have left us.
So if one wants to reach the Goal, the destined Goal, one has to remain in the Boat. If one jumps out of the Boat, the Boatman cannot be responsible for him. The Boatman cannot wait for him, hoping that he will come back again. No, he has other passengers; sincere and dedicated passengers in the Boat. He has promised them that he will take them to the Golden Shore of the Beyond. So you have to know that he is for those who are constantly with him in his Boat.
And again I say: when we are here among the disciples, most of them come here, but the moment we go away, they also disappear. This is absolutely wrong from the spiritual point of view. In our ordinary human life, it may be "Out of sight, out of mind." But in the spiritual life, it is not like that. It is the bond of inner love, inseparable love, which keeps disciples in the heart of their Master. Those who are coming here faithfully, and meditating devotedly, must feel our presence, our spiritual presence here. Otherwise they would not come; they would not have continued to come. Now how do you feel our presence? How do you communicate with us inwardly? With your love, devotion and surrender. Those who do not have love, devotion and surrender will naturally come only when we are here because they think that the Master's presence is the only thing they need. No, this is a great insult to the spiritual life and also to your own aspiring heart. If you really have an aspiring heart, then your aspiring heart will make you feel that no matter where the Master is, his guidance, his inner guidance, will be there because he has realised the Truth and can move freely in the inner worlds. For him, there is no time or space; they have been conquered by his realisation.
This is the thirteenth day of the New Year, 1971, and I wish to tell you that we will come here this year a few times more, at least twice more this year. I wish to see all the disciples (who claim to be disciples) coming here regularly. In our physical absence, when I see your attendance, I see that twenty or twenty-five disciples only are attending regularly; at most thirty or thirty-one. But when we are here physically in Puerto Rico, we see forty-five or fifty who claim to be our disciples. Why do you disappear? Right now I can see forty disciples who can come and should come and must come regularly simply because they feel themselves to be disciples. These people, when they are elsewhere, also claim to be my disciples. So where do they disappear? Others who are visitors and who come here occasionally do not say anything because they have not accepted me, and this is understood. But the disciples who are so irregular, when they are in need of inner guidance, cry to me at their time of difficulty. When they are in danger, they cry, cry! At that time, I come to their rescue, but they can't receive my help because their receptivity is poor due to their irregular meditation and irregular attendance. So this is what happens. They create a barrier between my assistance and their desiring life. Their life of aspiration lags behind and their life of desire comes forward. That is why they do not come to the Centre regularly. But, as I said, when difficulty arises, when there is real trouble or danger, at that time I am helpless. I cannot help them adequately because their receptivity is very limited.
If you do something every day, you increase your receptivity. Every day, for example, if you read, you develop your mental power. Similarly, every day if you pray and meditate, you develop your psychic power, your inner power. When that happens, it becomes extremely easy for me to be of help to you. Otherwise the vessel that we call "receptivity" is filled with darkness and ignorance. So, as I said in my talk "The New Year's Message," I will not scold you, and this is no scolding at all. This is my sympathetic concern. I am crying for your cause. One thing is to scold; another thing is to sympathise with others' problems. I am trying to sympathise with your unconscious, unaspiring mind and your unaspiring heart! Look at those who are coming regularly and devotedly, doing selfless service here and attending meditation regularly here. Look at their faces. You are bound to see and feel that they made considerable progress in their outer lives (as well as their inner lives). All those who are coming regularly, even if they do not have deep aspiration — one or two may not have deep aspiration — but because they are coming regularly, they are making some progress. It is because of their regular attendance. And those who have aspiration along with their regularity are naturally making tremendous progress. So if one has aspiration along with regularity, naturally one will make enormous progress.
Now if one or two do not have deep aspiration right now, they are bound to get aspiration sooner or later because God is pleased with their regularity. When God is pleased with someone for some reason, He tries to offer His Help in other fields as well. So these one or two unaspiring disciples will also make considerable progress too, because God is pleased with their regularity.
Now my sincere request to all the disciples who are really in my Boat: you should come regularly to the Centre. Otherwise what will happen? In your day-to-day life, you will fall behind. I am seeing it happen. You become depressed, disheartened. You lose your inner contact and finally you become frustrated. Then you feel that the spiritual life is not meant for you; the Master is no good; this path is not the best one; etc. These are the things that you will, consciously or unconsciously, cherish.
Now before we enter into meditation, this is my last request to the sincere seekers: be regular, be as regular as possible. If someone is sick or if you are sick or if something very serious has taken place in the family, it is fully understood that you will not be able to come. Unavoidable circumstances will fully excuse you. But just because you are feeling lazy, or going to see a movie, or watching TV or going out with your friends, that is not acceptable.
So with your kind permission, I wish again to ask my disciples who have come here today to please stand up. We will count the number and when we return to New York, we shall find out the attendance from here. Today most of you have come. So we shall see the attendance list and see how many of you are fulfilling your promise. As I have said countless times, regularity is of paramount importance in the spiritual life. If you are regular, then you can go one step ahead with your love, devotion and surrender. But if you fail in regularity, that means that you are failing at the very first step.
Thirty-seven aspiring seekers are here and two or three unfortunately have not been able to come. Now we will see, out of forty, how many will come regularly. We will be here for three weeks: our next meeting will be on Sunday; then one on Monday, then Wednesday and one on Friday.
TPR 9. Sri Chinmoy Centre, San Juan, 13 January 1971.↩