Historical S-VHS footage of Sri Chinmoy’s Tour through Europe in 1988 with performances in Florence, Antwerp and Den Haag, “Lifting up the world with a oneness-heart” functions in Zurich and Munich, a talk on enthusiasm, a surprise trip to the Swiss mountains, unique improvisations on various percussion instruments and a visit to Natika’s “Oneness-World” bookshop in Zurich. Length: 1:14 h. Filmed and edited by Kedar Misani, kedarvideo Switzerland.
Meditation is invocation. We invoke God’s Presence. God’s Presence is satisfaction. Meditation is an act of inner listening. We listen to the dictates of God. When we listen soulfully, devotedly, unreservedly and unconditionally, we derive satisfaction in boundless measure. Meditation is acceptance. It is the acceptance of life within us, without us and all around us. Acceptance of life is the beginning of human satisfaction. Transformation of life is the culmination of divine satisfaction. Meditation is self-giving. We give what we have and what we are. To the finite reality we give what we have. To the infinite Reality we give what we are. What we have is concern. This concern we offer to the finite. What we are is willingness. This willingness we offer to the infinite.
Assurance we offer to the earth reality. Acknowledgement we offer to the Heaven-Reality. To the earth-reality we offer our constant assurance that we are undoubtedly and unmistakably for the earth-reality, for the transformation and illumination of the earth-reality. To the Heaven-Reality we offer our most sincere acknowledgement of the supreme fact that we are of the Heaven-Reality, that our source is the Heaven-Reality.
Meditation and prayer are two aspects of one and the same soulful reality. The Eastern world is fond of meditation. The Western world is fond of prayer. Both prayer and meditation lead us to the selfsame goal. Meditation and prayer are like brother and sister; they are divine twins. We can say that prayer is the female and meditation is the male. Prayer says to meditation, “Look, brother, there is something high above. Let us cry and fly, fly and cry, and there above we shall get everything that we have been longing for.” Meditation says to prayer, “Look, sister, there is something deep within us. Let us dive deep within and we are sure to get everything that we have been longing for from time immemorial. Let us dive deep within.
Sri Krishna meditated. His meditation-power has taught us many things. But the most important thing it has taught us is this: Truth will ultimately prevail; the justice-light of Truth will one day inundate the entire earth-consciousness.
Lord Buddha meditated. His meditation has taught us that this human life of suffering will, without fail, one day come to an end. The excruciating pangs that each human being undergoes will one day come to an end, and human suffering will be transformed into divine ecstasy.
The Saviour Christ prayed. His prayer has taught us many sublime, soulful and fruitful lessons. It has offered us the message of divinity in its tangible form. But his most essential teaching is that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us. This Kingdom of Heaven is God’s creation, God’s Vision and God’s Reality. God’s transcendental Vision and God’s universal Reality are within this Kingdom of Heaven.
Let us meditate devotedly, soulfully, unreservedly and unconditionally. From our meditation we shall discover the supreme truth that as we need God, even so God needs us. We need Him constantly to reach our own highest height. He needs us constantly to manifest His own deepest depth.
Sri Chinmoy gave this talk at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, on 16 February 1977, published in Sri Chinmoy, A seeker is a singer, Agni Press, 1987.
Sri Chinmoy often encouraged us to write – write about the spiritual life, write about our experiences with Guru. On one occasion Guru said to us: “Can disciples not write for one hour every day?” Later Guru, modified this to: “Can disciples not write for half an hour every day?” Perhaps Guru said this in the hope we might write for perhaps half an hour every week or even half an hour every month…. When I think about what brought me to the spiritual life, a large part was reading accounts by disciples of great Masters – disciples of Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna and Yogananda. They all inspired me to practice meditation and the spiritual life. Now, I am also fortunate to read so many accounts by disciples of our own Guru. – Like Gunagriha’s book, the many miracle stories, Arpan’s function reports and even just short reminiscences from Joy weekends.
There can be something intimidating about writing that first sentence; the mind is adept at finding a 100 excuses / reasons / justifications to delay. But, once we clear some space and devote it to writing, we can often be surprised at how beneficial writing is. I feel it is somewhat like talking to new disciples. As Guru says, when we talk to new seekers, it brings to the fore our good qualities, and reminds our forgetful mind of all the many good experiences we have had in the spiritual life. It is the same with writing, it helps to relive profound experiences and strengthen our aspiration.
Perfection and Speed
Both perfection and speed are aspects of Sri Chinmoy’s path. Guru, of course embodied both; with tremendous dynamism he could also work with great perfection. However, if we start with an idealised model of perfection, our
clever mind may just use this as an excuse never to start. “I’m not a writer, other people can do it better e.t.c.” But, we need to start where we are. It’s best just to write and allow the words to flow; it can always be improved later. (and thanks to all those who send me corrections for my second grade grammar standards… )
I remember one experience as a new disciple. It was my first family Christmas after becoming a disciple. I found the party atmosphere difficult; I just couldn’t enjoy the same things I used to before being a disciple. I remember becoming somewhat wistful and unhappy, but, then I just started writing on a spiritual topic. I don’t think the article was any good, but, it did my consciousness alot of good! The mild unhappiness left and, for the first time, I realised the power of writing as an aspect of spiritual sadhana.
Transendence is certainly one of the key themes in Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy. He always inspired us to go beyond, to never give up and to transcend ourselves. Even he himself said that he has to transcend himself constantly despite the fact the he has already reached a very high state of consciousness and oneness with the Supreme. Let me quote from a talk that Sri Chinmoy gave on transcendence in 1981:
“Transcendence is the revelation of a seeker’s inner urge. Transcendence is the manifestation of a seeker’s inner beauty. Transcendence is the perfection of a seeker’s inner duty. Transcendence is the Satisfaction of a seeker’s Inner Pilot. Transcendence determines at once a stupendous success in the outer domain of our knowledge-light and a momentous progress in the inner domain of our wisdom-delight. Transcendence surprises an ordinary man. Transcendence awakens a great man. Transcendence encourages a good man. Transcendence energises a truth-seeker. Transcendence enlightens a God-lover.
A seeker’s soul lives with the vision-reality of transcendence. A seeker’s heart listens to the vision-reality of transcendence. A seeker’s mind gets inspiration from the vision-reality of transcendence. A seeker’s vital obeys the vision-reality of transcendence. A seeker s body receives purity from the vision-reality of transcendence. A transcendence-cry speedily improves our inner nature’s faith and devotion. A transcendence-smile easily and lovingly transforms our outer nature’s insecurity and impurity into security and purity. There is nothing as frightening as ignorance-night in action. There is nothing as illumining as knowledge-day in action. There is nothing as fulfilling as wisdom-sky in action. There is nothing as satisfying as transcendence-sun in action. There are many people who are satisfied with what they have and what they are. There are only a very few seekers who sincerely want to transcend themselves and divinely enjoy transcendence-delight. These seekers have developed a ceaseless inner cry. If their aspiration-cry is sleeplessly soulful and breathlessly unconditional, then their transcendence-flight towards the ever-transcending Beyond can easily, unmistakably and unimaginably be shortened. These few seekers, at God’s choice Hour, will be blessed with transcendence-delight and will breathe deep of transcendence-delight.
Needless to say, transcendence-delight is extremely difficult to find in ourselves and surely impossible to discover in others. I cannot feel transcendence-delight in others unless and until I have felt it in the inmost recesses of my own inner being. If I want to transcend myself, then I must only sit devotedly at the Feet of my Beloved Supreme. If I want to transcend others, then I must see only their good qualities and make these my very own. If I cannot transcend myself, it is no disgrace. But if I do not want to transcend myself, it is not only a disgrace, but also a fatal failure. I must transcend myself in the outer world so that I can perform divinely my God-ordained earthly duty. I must transcend myself in the inner world so that slowly, steadily and unerringly I can grow into a supremely beautiful Vision-Reality of my Inner Pilot.”
From a talk by Sri Chinmoy at the Stanford University, March 3, 1981, published in the book “Sound And Silence, Part 1, first published by Agni Press in 1982.