Part V — Appendix

Foreword to the first edition

In a world where few feel totally at ease, Sri Chinmoy offers a plan for world and soul survival.

Sri Chinmoy’s deep love for God is known world-wide. Long revered as a spiritual force for peace at the United Nations, this humble, God-directed author asks the people of this planet to look within, to rediscover the essential truths of spirituality that have so blessed his own extraordinary life.

This book lends itself to a wide audience. Christians, Jews, Muslims and other believers will find many passages of deep insight and helpful suggestion.

Sri Chinmoy suggests that the spiritual life’s goal is self-transcendence. While man reaches up to God, God in turn reaches down to man. The connection occurs and deepens as each person aspires to open himself to the Light of God, the Will of God and a higher state of consciousness.

Sri Chinmoy believes in reincarnation. He articulates the notion that the soul progresses to a higher state in each incarnation. He roots his teachings in prayer and encourages his readers to adopt a “cheerful acceptance of the world with a view to transforming the fate and face of the world.” He beckons Westerners to avoid trying “to possess the world” while encouraging Easterners to see that “austerity isn’t the answer.”

He is a champion of peace, attracting believers from all religions to see the oneness of the world. He suggests that true religions are recognised by their forgiveness, tolerance, compassion, oneness and brotherhood.

For those trying to find their way, he proposes a form of prayer that includes: concentration, the focusing of all attention on a small object to become more aware; meditation, reflection on and identification with the vaster universe and the larger issues; and contemplation, an awareness of God so complete that one feels the oneness and love that comes from God and lives in each person and in all of creation.

Sri Chinmoy doesn’t shrink from the exigencies of everyday life. While he does promote soul growth and inner peace, he follows a long tradition of religious teachers who implore truth-seekers to exhibit and live a life of ‘dynamism’ that is transformative of this world.

The name Chinmoy, meaning ‘full of divine consciousness’, bespeaks the mission of this deep soul. He lives to be an unconditional instrument of God. He trusts God. There is a sympathetic oneness with God and people throughout his reflections. He becomes sad when he thinks of how people have used religion to separate themselves from one another.

Sri Chinmoy believes that God will save our world. The Light of God is stronger than the force of evil. While he has deep confidence in God, his tranquil reflections portray an urgency which calls out to mankind: “Wake up! Grow deeper! Love in such a way that ‘God’s Will be done’.”

I found the book to be personally helpful. In an age when stress is real and it is hard to find the proper amount of time to pray, Sri Chinmoy reminded me that placing God at the centre of my life, my work and my prayers will help me make this a better, more peaceful world and become the person of faith and love that I am called to be.

Monsignor Thomas J. Hartman Director of Radio and Television Diocese of Rockville Center, New York