The inner Guru and the outer Guru

When I was reading the immense numbers of tributes to the life of Sri Chinmoy, some thoughts came into my mind concerning the role this contemporary and modern spiritual master had, and what kind of impact he continues to have on humanity. People who only captured the outer achievements – and there were many – saw only one aspect of Sri Chinmoy’s life: the aspect of the “outer Guru”. He gave 777 concerts, he composed thousands of songs, he wrote 1600 books, he painted 150,000 paintings, he lifted elephants and airplanes, and that is not all. The general public may interpret these feats as a striving for records and numbers. But what is lacking in several articles being published after passing on October 11, 2007, is the understanding of what was behind this great number of achievements.The outer Guru was active, very active. In his youth he was a most gifted athlete. He was among the first in sports activities at the ashram in Bengal where he spent his early years, before coming to the West in 1964. At the same time he translated texts, gave great importance to his spiritual life and started to write his first poems. At the age of 12 he also attained a high state of consciousness: God-realisation. From there his activities and manifestations of the divine goal became his top priorities.

Sri Chinmoy’s days were filled to the brim. Only spending a couple of hours asleep, he was a real fountain of creativity. And here we start to understand why he was so active for the whole span of his 76 years on earth. He had a mission that he got directly from God: to manifest divine light and peace on earth, and recruit crying souls who are eager to make progress: People who want to direct their lives more intensively to spirituality and who are attracted to his path, which is the path of the heart.Unfortunalety not all obituaries gave enough credit to the essence of the “inner Guru”. This Guru, who was meditating day and night, almost 24 hours. This Guru, who was always in a meditative state – when he spoke with luminaries of this world, when he met politicians and heads of states, when he spoke to his own disciples. This state of continuous meditation and contemplation was unique. We can only guess what was happening inside him. And this part was the important one, not the outer achievements. These were vital only to capture the attention of our minds. The real inner work Sri Chinmoy did for the betterment of this world will be remembered for ages to come.

If we only partially understand the “inner Guru”, we realize that all the outer achievements also had their role, and now – as he is no more longer outwardly alive – his spirit will continue to live through these manifestaions of the divine: his poems, his mantras, his songs, his talks, his creative works. It is so inspiring to realize that we – as his students, his followers, his readers – now can and should do our homework: browsing his large body of creative output and teachings, to continue his mission of spreading peace and goodwill to the people around us.

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