|Publisher:||Blue Dove Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.07(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.23(d)|
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Question: How does one increase one's aspiration or as you say, "the hunger for God"?
Sri Chinmoy: What is most important is to try to develop a genuine hunger for God's love, God's compassion and God's blessings. There are two ways to increase one's inner hunger. One way is to cry for God like a helpless child crying for his mother. The other way is to offer one's actions to God while keeping a cheerful attitude. With both these ways the seeker will make real inner progress.
Question: What is the difference between desire and aspiration?
Sri Chinmoy: Desire is a wild fire that burns and burns and finally consumes us. Aspiration is a glowing flame that secretly and sacredly uplifts our consciousness and finally liberates us. Thirst for the Highest is aspiration. Thirst for the lowest is annihilation. Desire is expectation. No expectation, no frustration. With desire killed, true happiness is built. Aspiration is surrender. Surrender is man's conscious oneness with God's Will.
Desire means anxiety. This anxiety finds satisfaction only when it is able to fulfill itself through solid attachment. Aspiration means calmness. This calmness finds satisfaction only when it is able to express itself as all-seeing and all-loving detachment.
In desire and nowhere else abides human passion. Human passion has a dire foe called judgement, the judgement of the divine dispensation. In aspiration and nowhere else dwells man's salvation. Man's salvation has an eternal friendcalled GraceGod's all-fulfilling Grace.
Look at the strength of a bubble of desire! It has the power to engage our entire life for its use alone. Look at the strength of an iota of aspiration! It has the power to make us feel that God the Infinite is absolutely ours. And something more: that God's infinite love, peace, joy and power are for our constant use.
Question: How does one replace desire with aspiration?
Sri Chinmoy: One day a disciple came up to his Master and said, "Master, this mind is horrible, horrible, horrible. I can not take it anymore. It is all meanness, jealousy, hypocrisy and lower vital thoughts."
The Master said, "My son, why do you speak ill of your mind? The mind is not bad; it is only that desire is entering into your mind and agitating it. The mind is not torturing you; it is you who are torturing the mind. Desire comes and wants to play with the mind or strike the mind to get some sound from it. Therefore, the mind starts defending itself and tries to kill you. A snake usually remains peaceful, but if you go and bite the snake, then naturally the snake will come and bite you or kill you. Very rarely will the snake bother you otherwise. So do not blame the mind. Blame your desire that strikes the mind."
The disciple said, "Then how can I get rid of desire?"
The Master said, "Desire has to be replaced, and this is possible only through aspiration. Empty the vessel of desire and fill it with aspiration. It is like emptying a vessel of dirty, filthy water and filling it with clean, pure water."
"How can I do that, Master?" asked the disciple.
The Master answered, "You can do it only by seeing what happens to those who have not emptied their vessels. They suffer unbearably, beyond their imagination. And those who empty desire-ignorance from their inner vessel and fill the vessel with aspiration-wisdom not only make themselves happy, but also make the Beloved Supreme happy. Not only are they fulfilled, but God Himself is fulfilled in and through them.
"So do not blame the mind. Blame desire that comes to torture the mind. Truth to tell, blaming desire is also not the correct way. One should bring into one's system something that will slowly, steadily and unerringly remove desire-life and replace it with its own reality. And that is aspiration. Replace desire with aspiration. Then you will have a heart of illumination and a life of perfection."
Question: How can we best utilize our outer time to better our inner aspiration?
Sri Chinmoy: Right now our time means our earthbound time. Now, we have to know why we have this limited time. Time and life came into existence together. They were very close to each other but unfortunately, when life started playing its role on earth, it became short-lived, and in the same way, time, being a friend of life, also became short-lived. Still, they know that their Source is the Eternal.
You are a seeker. When you pray, concentrate and meditate, you have to feel that each second is infinitely more important than you thought it was previously, before you entered into the spiritual life. This second you can use either for meditation or for gossip or for cherishing impure and undivine thoughts. So when you consciously use time to do something divine, you are entering into the divine time. Divine time means timeless time. When you are consciously thinking of something divine, immediately eternal time comes and shakes hands with you. Usually it does not stay in human beings, because when it stays, it has to stay in doubts, worries, anxieties, jealousies and so forth. But each moment, if you want to go upward through your aspiration, then the eternal time becomes your friend, and then earthbound time and eternal time can become friends.
Now, when you have prayed, meditated and played your part in the spiritual life, if realization is still a far cry, then you do not have to be impatient or worried, because God's hour has not yet struck. You have played your part and you have to feel that God has also played His part in and through you: you are the instrument. Even when your conscious mind wants to make you feel miserable that you have played your part and still God-realization is a far cry, you have to feel that God's hour has not yet struck. Then you will not feel miserable.
Very often we think of a date and set a deadline for our realization. We feel that on such and such a date, perhaps after ten, twenty, forty or fifty years, we shall realize God. Then, even though it is we who have imagined the date and have created this time limit for ourselves, when that time passes by and we have not achieved our realization, we curse our aspiration and we curse God. But if we feel that God has to choose the hour, then we can be happy.
To come back to your question, if you aspire consciously, and if you consciously pray and meditate, you will see that you are using your time most divinely.
Question: Is there a specific way to accelerate realization?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, there is a specific way, and it is called conscious aspiration. God must come first. There must be no mother, no father, no sister, no brother, nothing else but God, only God. True, we want to see God in humanity, but first we have to see Him face to face. Most of us cry for money, name, fame, material success and prosperity; but we do not cry for even an iota of inner wisdom. If we cry sincerely, devotedly and soulfully for unconditional oneness with our Inner Pilot, then today's man of imperfection will be transformed into tomorrow's God, perfect Perfection incarnate.
Aspiration, the inner cry, should come from the physical, the vital, the mind, the heart and the soul. Of course, the soul has been aspiring all the time, but the physical, vital, mental and psychic beings have to become consciously aware of this. When we consciously aspire in all parts of our being, we will be able to accelerate the achievement of liberation.
Question: How do we aspire?
Sri Chinmoy: We aspire through proper concentration, proper meditation and proper contemplation. Aspiration covers both meditation and prayer. In the West, there were many saints who did not care for meditation; they realized God through prayer. He who is praying feels he has an inner cry to realize God, and he who is meditating also feels the need to bring God's Consciousness right into his being. The difference between prayer and meditation is this: when I pray, I talk and God listens; and when I meditate, God talks and I listen. When I pray, God has to listen. But when I meditate, when I make my mind calm and quiet, I hear what God has always been saying to me. Both ways are correct.
Question: Is it possible to achieve perfection through aspiration?
Sri Chinmoy: Each time you aspire, your perfection is increasing. Inside your aspiration, perfection is growing and glowing. Sincere aspiration means the opening of the perfection-lotus. A lotus, you know, has many petals. Each time you aspire most soulfully, one petal of the lotus blooms. And when one petal blossoms, it means perfection is increasing in the entire lotus.
Right now, your idea of perfection, your goal, is realization. That is your height of perfection. But when you realize God, at that time your aim will be to manifest God through your nature's transformation. Realization is transformation into perfection; but complete perfection is the transformation of the human nature into the divine nature. There have been quite a few Masters who never cared for the transformation of their nature. This is a more difficult task than realization. But nature's transformation is real perfection, for by bringing down divinity into your earthly human nature, you will be perfecting your outer life, which is a portion of the outer world.
Question: How can I play my role in life with aspiration?
Sri Chinmoy: Early in the morning, when you leave your bed, you can say to the Supreme, "O Supreme, make me unconditionally devoted to you so that I can serve You in Your own way." Then, before your breakfast you can repeat it again. As soon as you are through with your breakfast, say it once more. When you go to school or to work, you can again repeat it. Before performing any action, consciously pray that you will be able to serve the Supreme most devotedly and unconditionally. Each time, the vibration of your prayer will last for two minutes, six minutes, or ten minutes, depending on its soulful quality. But every time you offer this prayer you renew the vibration. Soon it will be like a bell. After you have started ringing the bell, it will become automatic and you will feel that the bell is ringing inside you constantly.
Question: I am curious about the meaning of these three letters which you pronounce "AUM."
Sri Chinmoy: AUM is a Sanskrit syllable, or you can say, a complete word. We have, in India, the Trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shivathe Creator, the Preserver and the Transformer. "A" represents Brahma, the Creator; "U" represents Vishnu, the Preserver; and "M" represents Shiva, the Transformer. AUM is the breath of the Supreme. The Indian sages, seers and Yogis of yore chanted AUM and they got their souls' illumination and liberation. Even now, most of the seekers in India chant AUM most devotedly. They will achieve their realization by chanting AUM, the power infinite.
Question: What is the meaning of AUM?
Sri Chinmoy: AUM is a syllable that has a special significance and a creative power. AUM is the Mother of all mantras. When we chant AUM, what actually happens is that we bring down peace and light from above and create a universal harmony within and without us. When we repeat AUM, both our inner and outer beings become inspired and surcharged with a divine feeling and aspiration. AUM has no equal. AUM has infinite power. Just by repeating AUM, we can realize God.
When you chant AUM, try to feel that it is God who is climbing up and down within you. Hundreds of seekers in India have realized God simply by repeating AUM. AUM is the symbol of God, the Creator.
When you repeat AUM, please try to observe what actually happens. If you repeat the name of a cat, a dog or a monkey, or even of an ordinary person, you get no inspiration. But when you utter AUM, which is the symbol of the Creator, the life-breath of the Creator, you immediately get an inner feeling, the feeling that inspires your inner and outer movements to enlarge your vision and fulfill your life here on earth. This is the secret of AUM. If you want to cherish a secret all your life, then here is the secret. Please chant AUM and everything will be yours.
Question: When you instructed us in meditation, why did not you give us the word AUM instead of God?
Sri Chinmoy: Everything has its own time. I have now told you about the significance of AUM and the other day I told you about God. You have to know in which word you have more faith. When one person says God, all his love, faith and devotion come to the fore. In other persons, this may not be so. In your case, I told you to repeat the name of God because you go to church and pray in the Christian way. So far you have been familiar with God.
Question: How do we chant AUM?
Sri Chinmoy: The sound of AUM is unique. Generally we hear a sound when two things are struck together. But AUM needs no such action. It is anahata, or unstuck; it is the soundless sound. A Yogi or spiritual Master can hear AUM self-generated in the inmost recesses of his heart.
There are many ways to chant AUM. When you chant it loudly, you feel the omnipotence of the Supreme. When you chant it softly, you feel the delight of the Supreme. When you chant it silently, you feel the peace of the Supreme. The universal AUM put forth by the Supreme is an infinite ocean. The individual AUM chanted by man is a drop in that ocean, but it cannot be separated from the ocean, and it can claim the infinite ocean as its very own. When one chants AUM out loud, one touches and calls forth the cosmic vibration of the supreme Sound.
It is best to chant Aum out loud, so its sound can vibrate even in your physical ears and permeate your entire body. This will convince your outer mind and give you a greater sense of joy and achievement. When chanting out loud, the "M" sound should last at least three times as long as the "AU" sound.
No matter how grave a person's mistakes, if he chants AUM many times from the inmost depths of his heart, the omnipotent compassion of the Supreme will forgive him. In the twinkling of an eye, the power of AUM transforms darkness into Light, ignorance into knowledge and death into immortality. Everything that God has and everything that God is, within and without, AUM can offer because AUM is at once the life, the Body and the Breath of God.
Question: You have said that we can increase our purity by repeating AUM five hundred times a day. But for me to repeat AUM five hundred times a day is very difficult. Can you advise me what to do?
Sri Chinmoy: If it is difficult for you to do it in one stretch, then do it in segments. At ten different times you can repeat it only fifty times. Say that during the day you drink ten glasses of water. If you try to drink all ten glasses at once, you will not be able to do it. So you drink one glass now and after an interval of an hour or two, another glass. Then you can easily drink ten glasses of water. Instead of chanting AUM five hundred times all at once, early in the morning you can repeat it fifty times. Then, in an hour's time, do another fifty. Each hour if you repeat AUM fifty times, it would not take you more than a minute or two each time. Since you can easily offer two minutes in an hour to God, you can do your chanting in this way.
Question: What is the difference between a Yogi and an Avatar?
Sri Chinmoy: A Yogi is a fully realized soul. Higher than a realized soul is a partial Avatar, an Angsha Avatar. Higher than a partial Avatar is a full Avatar, a Purna Avatar. A Yogi can deal with a few people, a section of humanity; an Avatar can deal with the entire world. A Yogi silently acts; an Avatar acts dynamically and speaks confidently. A Yogi is a plant; an Avatar is a huge, tall tree.
An Avatar is a direct descendant of God: a real, solid portion of the Divine which constantly operates in the Highest and also in the lowest. An Avatar has the capacity of a huge sea, while a Yogi has the capacity of a river or a pool. When Yogis want to raise the consciousness of humanity, they will sometimes be affected by the ignorance of the earth. But an Avatar will remain in the Highest and the lowest together, and even in his lowest, his ability to function is not affected. An Avatar has infinitely more capacity than a Yogi in bringing about the total transformation of humanity.
Again, even an Avatar of the highest order may not or cannot function always from the highest level of consciousness because of the world's ignorance, darkness and imperfection. The earth's consciousness is not aspiring, and most human beings do not want his Light. Look at the Christ. Who cared for him? Very few. Look at Sri Krishna. Who accepted him? Very few!
According to Indian philosophy and spiritual teachings, an Avatar is a direct descendant of the Supreme who can commune with Him directly at will. Most of the Yogis cannot do that; it will take them two or three hours to enter into their highest consciousness in order to commune with God. Communion with God in the twinkling of an eye they do not have. Only the Avatar's communion with God is of this type.
An Avatar is a human being; he talks, eats, breathes and does everything else like a human being. But when he enters into his Highest, if ever you can have even a glimpse of his consciousness, your whole life will be an object of complete surrender at his feet. Even if he kicks you, throws you aside, you will remain like a faithful dog, because in him you have got a matchless treasure which nobody else on earth will be able to give you. One has to have a very, very high standard of spiritual consciousness in order to get even the faintest glimpse of an Avatar's height. His consciousness can never be expressed or explained.
To have an Avatar as one's Guru is to have the greatest blessing that man can ever have. Sri Ramakrishna used to say, "If God is a cow, then the udder, which gives the milk, is the Avatar." A great aspirant will say that God in the form of an Avatar is more compassionate than God Himself. The aspirant says, "If I do something wrong, in God's case there is judgement, there is the law of Karma. But with the Guru, it is different. He has only deep affection for his dearest disciples. So when the actual punishment comes to me, the Guru will take the punishment." If the seeker prays to God and cries to God most sincerely and powerfully, then God may forgive him instead of punishing him. But if one has an Avatar as his Guru, and if he has the closest connection with the Avatar, then this Guru actually takes the punishment on the disciple's behalf.
Also, when there is one Avatar on earth, he embodies the consciousness of all other Avatars that came before him. Sri Ramakrishna said, "He who is Rama, he who is Krishna, in one form is Ramakrishna." In the West, unfortunately, you recognize only the Christ as an Avatar. Either you accept him or you reject him. If you accept him, then there can be no other for you. But in this you are making a mistake. The Christ, the Buddha, Sri Krishna and others all came from the same room. If you take the Christ as the divine, infinite Consciousness, then you cannot separate Sri Krishna, the Buddha or Sri Ramakrishna from the Christ. The Supreme entered into the form which you call the Christ; He entered into the form which you call Sri Krishna; He entered into the form which you call Sri Ramakrishna.
Question: Was Swami Vivekananda an Avatar?
Sri Chinmoy: Swami Vivekananda was not an Avatar. He had only a few glimpses of the truth that Sri Ramakrishna lived. Vivekananda was a great Vibhuti, one who is endowed with a special power of God, who acts most dynamically in the world atmosphere. Vibhutis are leaders of mankind who awaken the slumbering consciousness.
We cannot call Napoleon a vibhuti, but what Napoleon accomplished in the material world, Vivekananda accomplished in the spiritual world. The most powerful, dynamic power acted in human form in Vivekananda. Vivekananda's real mission was to spread the message of his Master, Sri Ramakrishna. Ramakrishna achieved, but he did not manifest much. He did not care for worldly achievement or the so-called manifold development. The present-day world needs the mind. The mind need not even be intellectual; it may be just an ordinary mind that can understand basic things. But Sri Ramakrishna did not care even for this ordinary mind. So Vivekananda collected the fruits of the tree that was Ramakrishna and offered them to the world. He came to the West at the age of thirty and brought abundant light to the West.
At the time of Sri Ramakrishna's passing, Vivekananda still doubted his Master's spiritual height. He said inwardly, "If you tell me that you are a great Avatar, I will believe." Ramakrishna read his mind and said, "Naren, you still doubt me? He who is Rama, he who is Krishna, in one form in this body is Ramakrishna." Rama was an Avatar, Krishna was an Avatar, and Vivekananda's Master embodied them both.
Vivekananda was not an Avatar; he cannot be put on the same footing with Sri Ramakrishna. I have great love and admiration for Vivekananda. My connection with him in the inner world is very close. Unfortunately, here in the West I encounter some spiritual people and swamis who belittle Vivekananda and his achievement, and dare to say he was not realized. But all I can say is that those who belittle Vivekananda are not worthy of washing his feet. God-realization he certainly had; he was very advanced.
The height of an Avatar cannot be judged by an ordinary person. It is like a dwarf trying to scale the height of a giant; it is ridiculous. But let us not think of a spiritual Master's height. Let us only think of his presence in our heart. When we can feel his presence in the depth of our heart, he can be our help, our guide, our inspiration, our aspiration, our journey and our goal.
Question: Will you explain the difference between an Avatar and a perfect Master?
Sri Chinmoy: An Avatar is a direct representative of the Supreme, a representative of the highest order. A perfect Master is also a representative of the Supreme. So if one is a real Avatar, then he is a perfect Master; and if he is a perfect Master of the very highest order, then he is also an Avatar.
Again, everybody's Master has to be perfect to that particular seeker. Your Master is perfect to you and somebody else's Master is perfect to him. Every Master should be claimed by his disciples as perfect. In that way only can he move himself forward. Otherwise, the disciple is not going to learn anything. Spirituality is not like a school lesson, where your teacher knows a little more than you. Although your geography teacher has many shortcomings, just because you have to study geography, you have to go and surrender to him and learn from him whatever he knows.
But in the spiritual life, when it is a matter of inner light, inner knowledge and inner wisdom, you have to feel that your Master is perfect. If you do not have the feeling that your Master is perfect, then you cannot go far. If from the very beginning you feel, "No, he knows only a little more than I do; he is not all perfect," then you will not be able to progress.
If the disciple does not see perfection in the Master, then how can he have perfection in his own life? If he sees the very thing that he wants manifested in someone else, then only will he strive to achieve it. But if he does not see the thing that he wants inside his Master then it is absurd for him to stay with the Master. He has to go to some other Master in order to see perfection.
In the case of an Avatar, it is a totally different matter. An Avatar is a direct descendant of God, so he has to be perfect in the absolute sense because he represents the Highest. Other Masters also are descendants of God, but you have to know that there is a great difference between a professor with a Ph.D. and a kindergarten teacher.
Table of Contents
|Devotion to the Guru||74|
|The Disciple-Master Relationship||78|
|Heaven & Hell||189|
|Selected List of Sri Chinmoy Centers||393|
|Selected List of Divine Enterprises of the Sri Chinmoy Centers||394|