Our Path by Sri Chinmoy
“Our path is basically the path of the heart and not the path of the mind. This does not mean that we are criticising the path of the mind. Far from it. We just feel that the path of the heart leads us faster towards our goal. Suppose I want to go to a place five hundred miles away. I can reach my destination either by walking or by flying.”
“Undoubtedly, I shall reach my destination considerably faster if I fly in a jet plane. Similarly, if we use the aspiring heart and not the doubting mind, we shall reach our goal much faster. The heart is all love. The mind is quite often all confusion. When we say the heart, we mean the spiritual heart, which is flooded with divine love.”
“The heart is strikingly significant because inside it is the living presence of the soul. True, the consciousness of the soul permeates the entire body, but the actual location of the soul is inside the heart. The soul has everything: Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure. We get these divine qualities inside the heart directly from the soul. And from the heart, we can bring them to the mind, to the vital and to the physical proper.”
“God is extremely simple. It is we who think of Him as someone complicated. God speaks the simplest language, only we don’t understand Him. We are all deaf. We have been deaf for millennia. Poor God, He has been talking constantly, tirelessly, but we do not have time to listen to Him.”
“Our path is the path of simplicity. A child is simple; he loves his mother. He does not have to love anybody else: his mother is his whole world. He devotes himself to his mother. If his mother asks him to do something, he listens to his mother. A child is so simple that he tries to do everything to please his mother; and in pleasing his mother, he is doing the right thing and reaching his highest goal.”
“In the ordinary life, if someone loves another individual, then he spends most of his time with that particular person. He devotes his precious time to that person. If it is real human love-not divine love, but human love-then he sometimes surrenders to the other’s whims even if they are absurd. He surrenders because the two of them have formed an inner and outer bond on the strength of their love. So if one loves another person, then one is ready even to sacrifice one’s precious wisdom.”
“In the spiritual life it is totally different. Divine love never binds us. On the contrary, it expands us and liberates us. When we see and feel that we are being liberated, we feel inwardly a divine obligation to do something for our Inner Pilot. How can we remain aloof from the One who has given us everything, who has brought us the message of divine Love and Compassion? Will it be possible for us not to offer Him something in return? If we remain in the outer life, we only try to grab and possess everything, even what belongs to others. But if we live in the soul, we try to constantly give all that we have and all that we are to the Inner Pilot. Divine love means self-giving.”
“But just giving something, just offering something, is not enough. It has to be done with enthusiasm and an intense inner urge. We give to the Inner Pilot in ourselves and in others. While we are giving to someone else, we have to feel that we are giving to the divine in the other person, to the Supreme within him, who now needs this help from us. When we offer divine love to someone, we must do it gladly and soulfully. But while giving, we must not feel that we are doing the other person a great favour, that because we are in a position to help him, we are superior. No! We have to feel that God has given us a great opportunity to be of service to Him and we should be grateful to the person who has put us in a position to help or serve the Supreme in him. We have to feel grateful that we have become His chosen instruments when He could just as well have chosen others. We have to show constant gratitude for the very fact that He has employed us. This kind of devotion is our dedicated service.”
“Then comes surrender. This surrender is not the surrender of a slave to a master. An ordinary master will find fault with the slave, while feeling that he himself is always perfect. But in the case of the Supreme, it is not like that. When He deals with us, He feels that our imperfections are His imperfections. When he finds mistakes in our nature, He feels that these are all His mistakes. Unless and until we are perfect, God never feels that He is perfect. God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent; it is true. But when it is a matter of perfection manifested on earth, God feels that He is still imperfect in me, in you, in everybody. The message of perfect perfection has not yet dawned on earth. We surrender to God wholeheartedly, knowing perfectly well that what we have is next to nothing and what we are is next to nothing. If we give our nothingness to Him, we become a chosen instrument of the Supreme and permit His Perfection to grow in us.”
“Love, fulfilment and God always go together. God will never be satisfied with something incomplete, unrealised, unfulfilled and unmanifested. He wants from us realisation, revelation, manifestation and perfection. If these things don’t take place in this lifetime, then we shall have to take many more incarnations. But God will never allow anybody to remain unrealised and unfulfilled. Today it is time for you to realise God. Tomorrow it will be the time for your friend to realise God. The day after tomorrow it will be the time for somebody else to realise God. There is for each person an hour, which we call “God’s chosen Hour.” At God’s chosen Hour a person is bound to realise God. We feel that our path is easier and more effective in the sense that we don’t have to read millions of books to know what the Truth is. We don’t have to exercise our mind day in and day out to know what the Truth looks like. No! Truth is inside us, and it is crying to come to the fore. But unfortunately, we have kept the door shut and we are not allowing the Truth to come out.”
“How can we bring the Truth out of its prison cell? Again, I have to say it is through love. Love for whom? Love for God. And who is God? God is the highest illumined part in us. God is nothing and nobody else. I have a head and two feet. Let us say that my head represents the highest in me and my feet represent the lowest in me, my ignorance. I know that the highest and the lowest are both mine. The lowest has to enter into the highest in order to be transformed, liberated and fulfilled. The highest has to enter into the lowest in order to be revealed and manifested.”
“In our path, the sense of identification is absolutely necessary. The highest has to feel its total oneness with the lowest. The lowest has to feel its total oneness with the highest. Needless to say, the highest always feels its oneness with the lowest. It is the lowest that finds it extremely difficult to be one with the highest because of its fear, doubt, jealousy and so forth.”
“What kind of commitment is necessary to follow our path? It is not the kind of commitment that you have to make in other spiritual or cultural organisations. For these organisations, you may have to give a regular fee. But when I ask you to make a commitment, it is different. I say that if you see something in me, if you see or feel light inside me, then if you want to follow our path, you can. There will be no monetary demands. You do not have to give me five dollars or ten dollars or anything like that. No! Here it is a matter of your own aspiration-how sincere and regular you can be in your spiritual life. If you are not sincere, then you will not be able to run fast. But if you are sincere and dedicated, then you will run very fast. The commitment I ask for in our path is regularity in your meditation and aspiration, a sincere inner cry. I ask nothing else from any student.”
“Our path, the path of the heart, is also the path of acceptance. We have to accept the world. If we enter into a Himalayan cave or sit on a mountain top and cry for our personal achievement and satisfaction, then we are not going to do anything for the world. It will be like this: I shall eat food to my heart’s content and let my brothers remain unfed and starving. That is not good. If I am a real human being, I have to see that my brothers also eat along with me. If we eat together, then only we shall get real satisfaction.”
“Similarly, in the spiritual life, real spiritual Masters feel that it is their bounden duty to eat in front of humanity and share the spiritual food with humanity. Now, if humanity as a whole does not want to eat as it should, if many are still sleeping and have not yet felt the spiritual hunger, then what can the spiritual Master do? But if there are a few sincerely hungry seekers, the spiritual Master tells them, “The meal is ready. Let us eat together.”
“In our path of acceptance, we have to know that the earth is far from perfection. But unless we accept the earth consciousness, how are we going to perfect it? If someone has some pain, I have to massage him. Then only his pain will go. Similarly, if the earth is imperfect at a particular place, I have to touch it with my aspiration and concern. Then only can I transform it. As long as the earth consciousness is not fully realised, I will try to remain on earth to be of service to mankind with my inner consciousness.”
Sri Chinmoy. The Master and The Disciple
Question and Answers
Question: Do your teachings constitute a religion?
Sri Chinmoy: No, I do not preach any religion. I teach Yoga and philosophy. Each religion is confined to a group: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and others. Yet any person belonging to one of these religions can accept our path without detriment to his own religious background.
Questioner: Why do you say that?
Sri Chinmoy: I think that any person who wants to realise God will not have any difficulty in accepting our path. Our path is the path of concentration, meditation and contemplation. A person can follow this path and remain in his own religion.”
Sri Chinmoy. Earth’s cry meets Heaven’s smile, part 3
Question: How does one know whether he is ready for the spiritual path or not?
Sri Chinmoy: You can easily know whether you are ready for the spiritual path or not. When you are hungry you know that you have to eat. Your hunger compels you to eat something. In the inner life also when you are hungry for Peace, Light and Bliss, at that time you are ready. When you have that inner cry, that inner need for something, then you are ready for a spiritual path. So when you have the need, you have to realise that you are ready. If you don’t have the need, then you are not ready. Instead of going to a movie or reading newspapers, you have come here. The fact that you have come here to our Centre means that you care for Peace, Light and Bliss. When you go to see a spiritual Master, that means that you are already ready. If you go to church or some other spiritual place, that means you are more than ready to follow a spiritual path.”
Sri Chinmoy. The spiritual journey: oneness in diversity.
Question: Can your teachings be received by any person, or are there any qualifications that one must have?
Sri Chinmoy: In order to become a disciple of mine one has first of all to be very sincere and earnest. One has to feel that the spiritual life is not the life of pleasure and enjoyment: it is the life of sincerity, simplicity and perfection. Any seeker who is sincere is meant for the spiritual life. But a person may be extremely sincere and, at the same time, he may not be meant for our path.
Our path is the path of love, devotion and surrender. We do not say that because he is not following our path he is not fit for the spiritual life. Millions of people on earth are really fit for the spiritual life, but they are not meant for our path precisely because they do not care so much for the love, devotion and surrender that we want to practise in our lives. But they will be suitable for many other spiritual Masters and other spiritual paths.
Choosing a path is like choosing a college. Two colleges may be of an equally high standard, but one will be more suited to a particular student than another. Yet both are serving mankind with knowledge. In a similar way, ours is only one path, not the only path. It is one path that leads to the Goal. If you follow another path definitely you will also reach your destination. The destination is always the same.”
Sri Chinmoy. The Inner Journey.