Writing as Sadhana

Tejvan Pettinger

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.


Source: www.srichinmoyinspiration.com

1st Anniversary of Sri Chinmoy’s Mahasamadhi

This Saturday, October 11, it is one year since a great spiritual master left us, at least on the physical plane. On the subtle plane Sri Chinmoy is more present than ever. Through his many thousand students world-wide he continues to nourish us and all aspiring souls of the world with his infinite peace and poise. Many things changed since his passing and our life is not the same anymore. We changed and all our activities seem to be different. We cannot contact the master outwardly anymore and ask him questions that occupy us. We have to find our own solutions. But we are also riper, grown-up. We manifest his light as good as we can and are loking forward to reach our soul’s goals in this lifetime. We play a divine play and the better we do it, the more rewarded we will be in our next incarnations. So with these thoughts I will approach October 11, which by the way is also my birthday at the same time. So joy and sorrow are tied together and hopefully divine happiness will result as the final goal. This picture is part of a series of Sri Chinmoy in his early years in the West when he started to establish his spiritual centres in the U.S. Some of these  photos are published regularly in the photo blog srichinmoyphotos – Kedar Misani

Celebrating the Master without the Master

This past week nearly 1000 students of Sri Chinmoy came together for the celebration of the day the master had came to America from India in 1964. In the past we were lucky enough to have the master in the physical, but this April we “only” had is inner presence. Many of us had a mixed feeling, coming all the way to New York this time. But I can tell you, we were rewarded by a volley of inspiring activities: spiritual plays, poems and songs from the many thousands Sri Chinmoy has written or videos of his early meditations in New York. It was a different atmosphere but not less intense. We all know that the master has left an immense body of work in all fields, and we all know that his words, mantras, songs and teachings will be accepted and lived more and more. It was also beautiful to see that our big spiritual family can and will offer love, harmony and understanding among us as well as to the world at large. We planned or next projects to manifest Sri Chinmoy’s light and we all look forward to our next gathering: the celebration of his birthday on August 27, 2008. Five years ago this picture was taken on the same “Aspiration-Ground” where we still hold our current meditations and perform our programs. (Photograph by Mandu Trummer)

Manifesting the light of an Avatar

If an Avatar comes down to earth, it is a great privilege to be together with him. With Avatar I mean a fully realized master who represents the highest and is one with the will of the Supreme. Sri Chinmoy certainly fills in this category and with his immense body of creative output is certainly a significant part of today’s spirituality. What we can do as his disciples is to continue manifesting his light, especially now as he is no more with us in the physical.

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.