Self-transcendence1

What do we long for? We long for self-transcendence. What do we actually need? We need self-transcendence. In ordinary life, ordinary human beings desire something, but at the same time they do not need it. Again, they may need something, but they do not desire it. Here we are all seekers. We all need self-transcendence and, at the same time, we fervently long for it.

Self-transcendence brings us the message of happiness. We are happy when we fulfil ourselves in our own way. But when we fulfil ourselves in God’s own Way, then we are infinitely happier. When we fulfil our self-imposed duty, we derive joy. But there is something called God-ordained Duty. When we fulfil our God-ordained Duty, we get joy in boundless measure. Our God-ordained Duty is to give what we are. What we are is our aspiration, our inner cry, and what we give is our dedication-life. It is in our ever-transcending self-giving that we grow into God. Self-giving is the precursor of God-becoming, and it is only in God-becoming that true happiness can be found.

Self-transcendence gives us joy in boundless measure. When we transcend ourselves, we do not compete with others. We do not compete with the rest of the world, but at every moment we compete with ourselves. We compete only with our previous achievements. And each time we surpass our previous achievements, we get joy.

We measure our doubting mind and we measure our sacrificing heart. How far we are away from the doubting mind, or how much we have illumined our doubting mind, or how much we have cultivated receptivity in the inmost recesses of our heart — this we try to measure. At every moment we see how much we have transcended ourselves by measuring the capacity that we already have.

There are quite a few ways to transcend ourselves, but the two main ways are the humility-way and the awareness-way. We try to cultivate humility, true and soulful humility. It is through humility that we acquire the power of receptivity. When we have the power of receptivity, at that time Peace, Light and Bliss in boundless measure descend from above, and with no difficulty we can embody these divine attributes.

We have to be aware of our Source, which is flooded with Light and Delight. When we are tempted to do something undivine, if we can become aware of our Source — which is all Light and Delight — we will get the inner message which will prevent us from committing a misdeed. If we are aware of our Source, we will feel that it is beneath our dignity to wallow in the pleasures of ignorance; we will feel that it is beneath our dignity to swim in the sea of darkness. This is what we get from constant awareness, and this is the only way we can establish a free access to our own divinity and highest delight. So to achieve self-transcendence, either we can walk along the way of true humility, or we can walk along the way of awareness.

Transcendence is satisfaction and satisfaction and perfection go together. Satisfaction and perfection are the obverse and reverse of the same coin. Again, perfection and happiness go together. If we become perfect, then we are happy. At the same time, when we are happy, soulfully happy, we grow into fruitful perfection.


  1. VSC 7. 30 September 1978, 8:00 p.m., Bakersfield State University, Bakersfield, California

Sri Chinmoy, The Vision-Sky of California.First published by Agni Press in 1980.

This is the 406th 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 Vision-Sky of California, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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