An exhibition of Sri Chinmoy’s 70,000 Dream-Freedom-Peace-Birds at 66 Crosby St, Soho, New York, NY, USA.
Questions on Art
answered by Sri Chinmoy at the Jhatna-Kala exhibition
Question: How do you find the time to draw, to write, to do everything you do?
Sri Chinmoy: As you know, where there is a will, there is a way. I pray to God and meditate on God. Out of His infinite Compassion, He has given me the capacity to accomplish quite a few things. These creations of mine are not my personal belongings or my personal possessions. These are my dedicated offerings to my Inner Pilot. Out of His infinite Bounty He has given me the capacity, and it is He who receives the fruits.
Question: I notice the drawings are all birds. Why birds?
Sri Chinmoy: I am a man of prayer and meditation. For me, birds have a very special significance on a spiritual level. They fly in the sky, and the sky is all freedom. So when the birds fly in the sky, they remind me of the soul’s infinite freedom. The soul has come from Heaven. When we think of birds, we are also reminded of our Source, and this gives us enormous joy. I feel that if people come here to view these birds, their inner hunger to fly in the sky of infinite freedom will be fed.
Question: I come from Puerto Rico and I was wondering if you could say something about the Spanish culture.
Sri Chinmoy: The most significant event in my life during the years I have lived in the West took place in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I came to America in 1964, and at the end of 1966 we established our first Centre in San Juan. So my aspiration, my dedication and my vision started in Puerto Rico. I am eternally grateful to Spanish culture and Spanish spirituality, for it accepted me first.
Question: When you first went to Puerto Rico, was it difficult for the people to accept you or difficult for you to get accustomed to them?
Sri Chinmoy: No, because they used their hearts and I used my heart. My philosophy is founded upon the heart and not upon the mind. The Puerto Ricans have such a simple mind and pure heart, and my life also tries to be all simplicity, purity and oneness. So when I went to Puerto Rico at the end of 1966, immediately they accepted me and I also found it extremely, extremely easy to accept them as my own.
Question: What gives you the most satisfaction?
Sri Chinmoy: I get the most satisfaction when I am able to please my Beloved Lord Supreme in His own Way. Also, when I see that somebody else is really happy, it gives me the greatest joy; immediately I try to identify myself with that person. When children are moving around and not using their mind, there is no tension, no jealousy, no insecurity, no doubt, no impurity. When I look at the children, they give me immediate joy.
Question: Among your disciples are there people who not only share your beliefs but also whom you are very proud of?
Sri Chinmoy: I am proud of many, many of my spiritual children because not only do they have talent, but also inside their talent they have an inner hunger. If I see that they have an inner hunger, then I deeply appreciate them. Otherwise, there are many, many talented people on earth who are not practising the spiritual life. So, from the strict spiritual point of view, we cannot appreciate them. Our way is that God comes first. If someone puts God first in his life, and then if he is also endowed with capacities, well and good. Again, there are many simple-minded, pure-hearted human beings who do not have outer capacities, but at every moment they are thinking of God and praying to God to become good citizens of the world. So I appreciate them, admire them and love them deeply.
Question: In the span of a 24-hour day, how many hours do you meditate, how many hours do you paint, how many hours do you write and how many hours do you have left for leisure?
Sri Chinmoy: In my case, I fill the time in different ways. And each time I change my activity, I get tremendous satisfaction. Each time I do something new, I feel that I am getting an extra supply of energy to give me joy. I meditate early in the morning — from two or two-thirty until five o’clock. That time is very peaceful. Again, when I enter into the hustle and bustle of life, when I am playing tennis or talking to people, at that time also I can inwardly pray and meditate. It is like being an expert. When someone is an expert, he can do more than one thing at the same time.
Question: What is the most important message that you want to offer to humanity?
Sri Chinmoy: I wish to offer only one message: Pray to the Supreme, meditate on the Supreme Lord, our Heavenly Father, to be of service to Him, most soulfully, most devotedly and most unconditionally. Each and every human being is praying to God in his own way, but there is usually some condition: “God, if You do this for me, then I shall pray to You.” Or someone is praying to God only to fulfil his personal goals — to make him the world’s best singer or the world’s best artist. So most of the time we are praying with conditions. But we have to pray to God unconditionally and meditate on God unconditionally to fulfil God in God’s own Way. Then it is up to God whether or not He wants to fulfil our prayers. We should not pray to God to make us great or unique. No, our goal must be only to please God in God’s own Way. This is my supreme message. It was the same yesterday, it is the same today and it will be the same tomorrow: to please and fulfil God in God’s own Way.
Published in Sri Chinmoy Answers, part 3