The Third Eye
An historic talk by Sri Chinmoy
June 16, 1976
Third Eye Centre1
350 Sauchiehall Street
Transcription from the original live recording.
Duration of talk: 28 min.
0:57 Sri Chinmoy meditates.
8:58 Sri Chinmoy sings his composition Hiya Pakhi (“O Bird of My Heart”).
11:37 Sri Chinmoy sings his composition Nami Juga Avatar (“I bow to Thee, O Avatar of the Era”).
18:04 Sri Chinmoy chants AUM three times.
18:43 Dear seekers, I am extremely happy to be here with you. I am extremely happy to be at this centre. This centre is called the Third Eye Centre. I wish to give a short talk on the third eye.
19:28 I wish to invoke the third eyes of all the seekers here; therefore, I wish to make a fervent request to all of you, if it is possible, and if you want to, to invoke the third eye. There is a special way to invoke the third eye, and that is to chant AUM. We have six major centres. Each centre has a secret and sacred seed name. The third eye has a secret and sacred seed name. [The] seed name is AUM. Before I give a short talk, I wish the seekers to join me to chant AUM three times.
20.53 AUM . . . AUM . . . AUM . . .
21.50 AUM is a Sanskrit word. It is actually a syllable. It is the combination of three letters: A, U, M. A represents God the Creator. U represents God the Preserver. M represents God the Transformer. There was a time when the seekers felt that God the Creator needed God the Preserver, and God the Preserver, as necessity demanded, would need God the Destroyer. But, in the spiritual process of evolution, the seekers of the highest magnitude have discovered that God does not destroy; He only transforms. Anything that is unlit, obscure, impure in us, [He] transforms it into purity, beauty and divinity. So, when we chant AUM, we at once invoke God the Creator, God the Preserver and God the Transformer.
23:47 The third eye is located between the eyebrows, a little above. [Sri Chinmoy places his fingers on his forehead.] This is the place. This eye is also called ‘the commanding eye’. It commands. It commands our past, immediate future and distant future. Or you can say, past, present and future is at its command. It is the commanding eye. The third eye, when it envisions the past, it feels, it sees the beginning of humanity’s evolution. When it enters into the present, into the immediacy of today, it sees the capacity and receptivity of humanity. And when it enters into the near or distant future, it sees not only the possibility but [the] practicability, the inevitability of humanity’s progress, perfection and satisfaction.
26:00 There are quite a few ways one can open up the third eye — by following quite a few ways — but two significant ways are the prayer and the concentration. If one soulfully prays to the Absolute Lord in order to open up the third eye, the Lord Supreme opens up the third eye. Or if one concentrates on the third eye soulfully, devotedly and consciously, then one can open up the third eye. But, I must say, that here the seeker has to depend ninety-nine per cent on divine Grace, otherwise the sincere effort one cannot make. Although one wants to become sincere, sincerity does not come to the fore all at once. It takes a very, very long time. Therefore, in spite of being insincere, the seeker can open up the third eye. Here sincerity means absolute oneness with God’s Will.
28:10 There are some seekers who have opened up, or opened before, the third eye by virtue of a dynamic will, but, unfortunately, they have not purified the vital. When the third eye is open without having a purified vital, the third eye creates tremendous problems for us. The impurity of the vital enters into our vision and then it blinds our divine, heavenly vision. And it compels the human being, at times, to act like a mad elephant.
29:20 The third eye for the sincere seekers, advanced seekers and the seekers who have totally surrendered to God’s Will is a veritable blessing. If a seeker of that type has opened up his third eye, then this third eye is a great boon. But if the seeker has still earthly desires to fulfil, then it is nothing but a curse.
30:10 There are many seekers who have made considerable progress before their third eye was open. And then, when the third eye was open on the strength of their eagerness, not on the strength of their surrender to God’s Will, their progress stops almost immediately.
30:51 Somebody wants to know the past. He has seen his past. He sees that in his past life he was an atheist. Despondency assails him; he feels that if he was not even a believer of God, how could he realise God in this incarnation?
31:40 I must say that the opening of the third eye does not determine God-realisation at all. Some people may think that if the third eye is open, that means he is realised. No. The third eye can see the Face of God, but it does not indicate that complete oneness with God is established.
32:17 If the past was not satisfactory, the third eye can create problem for the seeker. And if the present, the immediate present, the distant future is not promising, the seeker will be doomed to disappointment. And if the distant future is threatening and frightening, then the third eye may create tremendous problem. When the third eye is opened in accordance with God’s Will, no matter what the seeker did in the past, no matter what is going to happen today or tomorrow, no matter what will take place in the distant future, the seeker will not be affected, for God’s Will will illumine him, perfect him, liberate him and immortalise him.
33:53 The easiest and the safest way to become aware of God’s Will is to become aware of the heart centre. If one opens up the heart centre first, then he becomes inseparably one with God’s Will. At that time, if his third eye is opened up, he cannot make any mistake. His past, his present or future cannot create any problem for him. The happenings of the hoary past or the immediate present or the ultimate future can no longer create any problem for him, for he becomes inseparably one with God’s universal Vision and transcendental Reality. Inside God’s universal Vision and God’s transcendental Reality, all the things that he sees, feels and grows into can be perfectly housed without any problem whatsoever.
35:36 Some of you may be curious to know what actually happens before the third eye opens? Before the third eye actually opens up, the seeker feels a kind of sensation on the third eye. In the beginning, the seeker may feel a tiny ant, sensation of a tiny ant, moving around. A few days or a few months later, the seeker inwardly will envision a disk. It rotates from the left to the right. And when it starts rotating very fast, from the left to the right, it changes its motion from the right to the left. Then it’s done – it rotates from left to right, right to left, it goes.
36:50 And once, after a few months or a few years, you may notice that a fully illumined sun – like a bright sun, midday, noon – you see the sun on the forehead. This sun indicates the total opening of the third eye. Once the third eye is opened up, the infinite Vast, the eternal Height, the immeasurable Depth you can see inside the third eye. You can see yourself as the seed of the entire creation, you can see yourself as the tree of the entire creation, you can see yourself as the fruit of the entire creation. The seed is the past and the tree is the present and the fruit is the future.
38:31 There are some spiritual Masters who tell their students that it is not advisable to open up the third eye. What is of paramount importance is, right from the beginning, to surrender to God’s Will.
36:08 If so is the Will of God, God will grant the Vision which He Himself is. If God wants to give Vision to a certain seeker, He will grant. Why? Just because He wants make a perfect instrument of that person. The hour has struck. But if a seeker untimely pulls the Reality, the Vision-Reality, of the third eye, it will create tremendous disaster for the seeker. On the one hand, the third eye is the eye of illumination for sincere seekers. On the other hand, for the curiosity-mongers, the third eye is nothing but temptation. By the third eye I mean the opening up of the third eye.
40:31 The third eye is like a toy that a child plays with. Then, after a few years he gives up; he does not play with toys any more. He studies for knowledge; he prays and meditates for inner wisdom. Here, the seeker, after he has played for a few years with the third eye — the toy — he wants to acquire infinite wisdom-light. This wisdom-light he gets on the strength of his constant surrender to God’s Will and by virtue of his inmost cry.
41:47 The third eye can see the past, present and future. It can command, also, the past, the present, to do something. But it cannot change humanity’s cry into Divinity’s Smile.
42:15 We see something, but we don’t have the capacity to change it. If we can’t change it, then it remains imperfect. But if we see something and have the capacity to perfect it, then it is worth seeing. But if one has discovered himself, has realised the highest Truth, then if he sees something and if it needs perfection, then he can perfect it. So, it is the self-discovery that can be of real help to the third eye. When the third eye observes something and it needs perfection, the third eye gets the necessary help from the self-discovery.
44:18 Two earthly eyes, human eyes, are side by side together, but they do not, cannot see each other. Here there are two eyes — one cannot see the other. Why? Because of the limitations, because of the bondage that each eye embodies. The nearest thing it cannot observe. But if we stand in front of a mirror, then we at once see both the eyes at our sweet will. And we see how one helps the other.
45:24 Similarly, when we stand in front of our highest Reality — God — and see God with our third eye, then only, the life, human life, reaches its acme [of] perfection. Otherwise, the third eye will see, but it will not offer any satisfactory result, abiding satisfaction, to the seekers of the ultimate Truth. But if it sees God, if it sees infinite Truth, Light, and if it can embody all the time God’s divine Presence, and if it can feel God’s universal Reality inside its Vision, then only the perfection of the opening of the third eye takes place.
46:42 Sri Chinmoy meditates.
49:06 Now I wish to answer a few spiritual questions. I wish to be of dedicated service to all of you. But I wish to make a sincere request to you that I shall accept only spiritual questions. In your life of aspiration, if you have any question, please ask me. I shall be of devoted service to your life of aspiration. Spiritual question please. Would you kindly raise your hand.
Questions and Answers
50:13 Could you explain karma, please, and reincarnation?
50:25 Reincarnation. There are some people who believe in reincarnation, while others don’t believe. In my case, I do believe in reincarnation. I believe in reincarnation for various reasons, but the most important reason is this: that in one incarnation one cannot achieve everything, or the highest thing.
51:03 Suppose you had a desire at the age of four. That desire may take forty or fifty years for its fulfilment. An ordinary, earthly, human desire can take forty, fifty years before it is fulfilled. Now, this is the world of desire. Here we are dealing with the world of aspiration. Aspiration deals with Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. So, if one wants to realise the infinite consciousness within him, or the eternal reality within him or the immortal vision within him, naturally it will take many, many years. Therefore, the seeker will need quite a few incarnations.
52:20 Now, each incarnation is a forward march. It is like a rung of a ladder, spiritual ladder. Each incarnation for a seeker is a great opportunity to realise the highest, to reveal the highest and to manifest the highest. Each incarnation is an opportunity, and it is through the process of reincarnation that we ultimately reach our ultimate Destination.
Next please . . .
53:34 Do you go through the emotion to the spirit?
53:48 Emotion? Yes, now, there are two types of emotion. One is earth-bound emotion, where attachment looms large, where we hear the song of possession, emotion that wants to possess and that wants to be possessed. There is another type of emotion. It is a liberated emotion, Heaven-free emotion. That is: I belong to God. He is Infinite, He is Eternal, He is Immortal. It does not become me, it is beneath my dignity to wallow in the pleasures of ignorance, to mix with ignorance, falsehood. No. So that emotion is divine emotion. Here we identify ourselves with the Eternal, with the Infinite, with the Immortal. If we are one with Infinity, Eternity and Immortality, then there are millions of things we can’t do, we won’t do, because it is simply impossible for us to do. We have taken the side of Light and we cannot change and go and take the side of ignorance.
55:19 So, emotion that is Heaven-free, that is to say, the emotion that makes us free, liberated and vast is good. But the emotion that is attached to the outer life, to the human feelings, and that attachment is constantly playing its role deliberately, that emotion is not the emotion that should be encouraged. But the other emotion, which is founded on oneness with something vast, something illumining and fulfilling, that emotion one has to welcome, for that is the right way. I am God’s child, how can I do this? I am God’s child, I must do this. He is waiting for me. As I need Him, He also needs me. I need Him because I need illumination. He needs me for His manifestation. Therefore, we need each other.
56:47 Here, oneness is saying — oneness of will — with my will, oneness-will, I will realise my highest, which He Himself is. And then, with His Will He will try to manifest Himself in and through me. That is, my instrument. God will say that I as a seeker [am] His instrument. And I will say I as a seeker [am] His instrument. So, the emotion that is divine, the emotion that liberates us or brings us the message of vastness, oneness with each and every individual, is the divine emotion and that emotion is necessary to reach one’s destination.
58:19 You frequently talk in your work about listening to the inner voice and following the dictates of the inner voice. How can you be sure that it is the inner voice of truth that you are listening to and not the inner voice of the illusions of the ego? How do you distinguish?
58:41 Yes. If it is the real inner voice, then you will feel a kind of satisfaction within you. Now, this satisfaction you will get from the result of an incident or an action. But if you feel the result, if the result is satisfactory, that is why you are getting satisfaction and if the result is not satisfactory, you will not be satisfied, then that is not the inner voice. An inner voice will give you message and then inside that message there will be action and reaction, or action, or the result thereof. Now the result will be either in the form of success or failure. But if you can take both success and failure, whatever will come, with the same type of cheerfulness then it is the inner voice that you are getting. Otherwise, sometimes it will be mental hallucination, vital delusion. You are getting the inner voice if it is satisfactory to your desire, then you will say that it is the inner voice, and if it does not fulfil your vital demands, you will immediately discard it. No.
1:00:15 If it is a message of the inner voice, the inner voice will give you the necessary strength to be cheerful, [with] both the results. Results will come in one form, either in the failure or success. And you will be able to identify yourself with the failure to such an extent that failure itself is not a failure, it will be an experience. And it if is a success, you will identify with success. Not as something to boast or to glorify yourself. But it is an experience that God wants to give you.
1:01:01 So, if you are able to assimilate the results in a divine way and from the results you are able to proceed onward towards your destination, ultimate goal, then it is the inner voice, the dictate of the inner voice. Otherwise, it is like the action of an opportunist, you are waiting only for the opportunity. If it is satisfactory, you accept it. If it is dissatisfactory, unsatisfactory, then you discard it, reject it. That will be wrong.
1:01:49 The inner voice only fulfils God’s Will. The inner voice is the messenger. It only brings messages directly from Above. And, whatever the message is brought down by the inner voice, the seeker must accept it cheerfully and soulfully. Then the seeker is bound to know that it is from the highest Authority that the message has come down. So, if one really loves the highest Authority, no matter what the Authority gives, one has to be satisfied with it. For that is the only way to become inseparable with the highest Authority, the Author of all good.
1:02:55 Is there a true and a false illumination?
1:03:00 Yes, there is false illumination, true illumination. If it true illumination, if it is real illumination, then one is bound to have universal oneness with God’s entire universe — if it is proper illumination. But if it is false illumination, then one will see oneself as the only reality and the rest of the world will be, to him, a false reality. He is the only one, he is the only one, who has got illumination, or who has realised the truth, and nobody else has seen it and nobody else has been illumined — then that is false illumination.
1:03:56 True illumination is with all, for all, inside all. But false illumination is only the satisfaction of one’s own vital. I am the only possessor, the rest are all beggars. I have everything, the rest are all beggars. That is false illumination. Here one is aggrandising one’s ego. Whereas, when one sees oneself inside everyone and sees that everybody is inside him and he is inside everyone, that is universal oneness, that is true illumination without fail.
1:04:47 Sri Chinmoy chants AUM and concludes with a meditation.
— End —
1 The Third Eye Centre was founded in 1974 by the Scottish Arts Council with renowned playwright, poet and musician Nityananda Tom McGrath as its first director. It soon became the hub for Glasgow’s alternative arts scene, regularly hosting visiting performers such as Allen Ginsberg and Whoopi Goldberg. In 1992 it became the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA).