Fourth of July Meditation

for the Soul of America


Photo by Sarama Minoli


To celebrate America’s 200th birthday, Sri Chinmoy holds a 13-hour public meditation for the Soul of America at the 72nd Street Bandshell in New York City’s Central Park. The meditation begins at midnight on July 4th and ends late in the afternoon. It is the first overnight event the Police Department had ever permitted in Central Park.


Photo by Sarama Minoli


Sri Chinmoy plays the esraj during his 13-hour meditation in honour of America’s Bicentennial, held at New York’s Central Park.

A few days later, a question is asked at the New York Centre about the inner events, at that meditation. Following is the question and Sri Chinmoy’s answer.

Question: Can you tell anything about what happened to the soul of America during the Fourth of July public meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: Oh, you want to hear a cock and bull story. All right, I’ll tell you a cock and bull story. When we started meditating at midnight, only a second or two after I started meditating, I saw the worst possible hostile force — so horrible that it could frighten anybody, even the strongest man. It appeared before me because I have taken the side of America wholeheartedly, unreservedly and unconditionally. My full inner and outer support is for America, for America’s soul. I can’t describe that force to you; you have to identify with my inner vision to see it. But it was most frightening. That hostile force wanted to devour America’s achievements, her glory and joy, her pride and her future possibilities.

America’s achievements of the past two hundred years, although they are on the physical plane, the vital plane and the mental plane, were founded on her inner cry. Otherwise, no nation, in two hundred years, could surpass all the nations of the world put together. America’s sincere inner cry and the response from above made those achievements possible. The inner cry is spiritual and the response from above is spiritual, so two spiritual things were combined to shape America’s history.

A few minutes later I saw another hostile force which was not as powerful as the first one, and later I saw three or four. They all wanted to devour America’s glory. They wanted to see America bow down; they wanted to humiliate America. And this they want to do not only through America’s outer life, but also through America’s internal life. They wanted to create some serious internal disagreements so that some states would fight with other states. Some severe internal conflict like the Civil War would again have taken place to destroy America’s achievements, America’s joy, America’s glory and America’s pride.

Fortunately, the Supreme and I are on the side of America, so there is no hope for these hostile forces. But I wish to say that the greater America becomes, the more she will be challenged by the outer world and the inner world. The hostile forces don’t want anybody or any nation to remain at peace or to increase peace. The greater one becomes, the stronger the opposition. The more we try to reveal divinity, the more we suffer from humanity or from wrong forces. When one is on the verge of achieving something inwardly great, he gets tremendous opposition from the inner world. I did realise God without tremendous inner opposition, but now the Supreme wants to reveal and manifest Himself in and through me, and I am getting opposition at every second not only from those who are unaspiring and from undivine forces in the earth atmosphere, but also from those to whom I am trying to give everything that I have and everything that I am.

The Supreme wants me to give at least an iota of Light, Peace and Bliss to the world, and every day my power is increasing, but the opposition is also increasing like anything. Ten years ago, when we started our mission, we had very few disciples — ten or fifteen disciples. Manifestation did not start at that time, and we had little inner opposition. At that time I used to hold the highest meditations, absolutely the highest. Since then I have not descended from my spiritual height, but no matter how sincerely, how powerfully I meditate, no matter how high I go, the receptivity is next to nothing. If I meditate for five minutes, in five minutes I bring down an absolute sea of Peace, Light and Bliss. But when I see how much has been received, it is only twenty drops or thirty drops or fifty drops. This lack of receptivity is nothing but opposition. You may say, “I am not receiving, but how am I opposing?” But the very fact that you don’t want to make yourself receptive to what I have to give you is opposition. What more opposition do I need? When I am bringing down something and giving it to you, if you say you don’t need it, then you are opposing my purpose, the purpose of the Supreme, who wants to operate in and through me.

America’s achievement is extraordinary. What America has done in two hundred years, no other nation has been able to do, nor will other nations be able to do it. They don’t have the necessary inner cry. Because of America’s inner cry, America got the Compassion-Smile from above. But once you receive something, you have the capacity to receive more. America can receive much more. In two hundred years America has done so much on the physical plane, vital plane and mental plane. The next hundred years can easily be years of spiritual achievement. In a hundred years, if America accepts the spiritual life and gives all value to the spiritual life, if America makes outer achievements of secondary value and gives spirituality utmost importance, again America’s inner cry and the Compassion of the Supreme can make America run the fastest. During the next hundred years America can achieve what no other nation can achieve. It is entirely possible. The only question is whether Americans will do it or not. God alone knows.

Published in AUM – Vol. 3, No. 7, 27 July 1976



Sri Chinmoy’s Independence Day Message

on 3 July 1988


America's Independence Day
Is God the dreaming Child's
Very special

Published in Gratitude-Flower-Hearts



American Independence Day

Sri Chinmoy answers questions
from his disciples after a special meditation for American Independence Day


Question: How can spiritual people with leadership qualities come to the fore in American politics?

Sri Chinmoy: First we have to ask if spiritual people with leadership qualities really want to enter into politics, where there is no mother, no father and everybody is an orphan. In a dark forest you do not find beautiful flowers. Spiritual people with leadership qualities should enter into politics only if they have inner light in abundant, if not boundless, measure and if they are confident of this inner light and feel that they will not be corrupted. So it all depends on the inner development of the spiritual people who have the capacity to become leaders of their countries.

Before they enter into politics, spiritual people have to be fully convinced inwardly that they will be able to transform the minds of other politicians. Right now, this is practically impossible since most politicians are unbearably cynical. They do not care for the spiritual life. Spirituality is something very foreign to them. Not only outwardly but also inwardly they belittle spirituality. At every moment they say they are most sincere, whereas their opponents are only telling lies. What is worse, they do not even trust themselves. If I do not trust you, no harm. But when I do not trust myself, I cannot go even one step forward.

Before spiritual people enter into politics, they have to be absolutely sure that they have enough light. They cannot just do their best and place the results at the Feet of God. This is for people who are primarily involved in the inner life. But spiritual people who want to help mankind have to know their capacity; they have to know how much light they have. Otherwise, the darkness of the world is such that they will only cause problems, leaving the ordinary masses more confused than they were to start with.

Right now, spiritual people have to pray and meditate more and acquire more light. Then the time will come for them to enter into the political arena to transform politics into a divinely inspired experience that will allow society to make progress in a very tangible way.

Question: What do African-American and African people need most in order to overcome the obstacles that they're facing today? And in terms of bringing African-American disciples to the path and keeping them, what do we African-Americans need more of?

Sri Chinmoy: As an African-American, you have to generate more love inside your own heart for other African-Americans who have not yet accepted the spiritual life. Previously, I used to say, "Think of other African-Americans as your little brothers. It is your bounden duty to bring them to the spiritual life, for that is the only life that will help them. No human being can ever find satisfaction unless and until he finds it in a spiritual way. Everything else will fail — in your case today, in his case tomorrow, in somebody else's case the day after tomorrow."

But now I am seeing that it is not enough to think of them as your little brothers, just a little inferior to you. No, now I am saying that you have to feel that they are part and parcel of your own body, only you have a little more light than they do. It is like this. You have two limbs. One limb is illumined and one is not illumined. In one part of your body you have illumination and in another part of your body you do not have it. Because of their proximity, the illumined part of your body can easily bring light to the unillumined part. So if you take it this way, definitely you will get better results.

If you see other African-Americans as separate individuals with a different consciousness, then it becomes far more difficult, for then you feel that they are so far away from you. If you feel that they are somewhere else — five thousand miles or even five metres away, then it becomes a very difficult task. But if you feel that they are right here inside your body, a part of your living existence, then it becomes much easier. Every day you are using parts of your own existence. With your eyes you are seeing; with your nose you are breathing. You have to feel that your brother and sister African-Americans are like that: part and parcel of your being that you are using every day in your multifarious activities. That is the only way you will be able to inspire them.

Question: Is Thomas Jefferson appreciated in the proper way today?

Sri Chinmoy: Thomas Jefferson never was and perhaps never will be appreciated in the way God wanted him to be appreciated because gratitude was not, is not and never will be born in this world. No other President, no other American, has done or perhaps will ever do so much for the progress of the American consciousness as Thomas Jefferson has done. Countries other than America that have developed inner vision will appreciate Jefferson much more than America.

People who bring new light into the world never, never get the appreciation, admiration, adoration and love that they deserve — never! I am speaking not only of Jefferson but also of Krishna, Buddha and the Christ. Did the world appreciate them, admire them and love them — not to the extent that they needed, since they did not need anybody's appreciation or admiration, but to the extent that they deserved? No, and this will never happen, because the kind of gratitude that is worthy of their light and their vision has not been born and never will be born on earth.

Jefferson’s vision elevated the consciousness of the world in the twinkling of an eye. The light that he wanted to show his country and the light that he wanted his country to bring forward was so badly misunderstood! He never got the appreciation that he so rightly deserved and he will never get it, because humanity does not have that kind of gratitude.

Published in Sri Chinmoy Answers, part 1




Photos by Pulak Viscardi


Sri Chinmoy observes a display produced by his students for the Fourth of July at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York. It features a garlanded painting of Thomas Jefferson and, on the scoreboard, the inspiring words he penned for the Declaration of Independence in 1776. (Thomas Jefferson went on to become the Third President of the USA.)


The opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson:

“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Read more...



Photo by Maral Siegel


Sri Chinmoy opens the July 4th celebration in lower Manhattan with a short medi­tation and his students perform several of his songs about America.



The Fourth of July

Remarks by Sri Chinmoy
on July 3rd, at Aspiration-Ground Jamaica, New York


Tomorrow is a very significant day for the American soul, American heart, American consciousness and American life. Let us all try to be in a very, very high consciousness the entire day.

Those who sing very, very well “America the Beautiful” will sing the song tomorrow. That is my most favourite American song. That song is very, very significant.

Published in Only Gratitude-Tears



Photo by Maral Siegel


Sri Chinmoy wearing his own ‘O My America’ T-shirt at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York.


O My America


May America the Beautiful forever
shine bright-brighter-brightest in the Heart of
God the Creator and God the creation.

— Sri Chinmoy


Pictured on the T-shirt (left to right) are, Sri Chinmoy and three of the Founding Fathers — Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin.