Interview in Yogyakarta

Sri Chinmoy answers questions posed by a reporter in Yogyakarta, Indonesia


Question: I would like to ask what the basis of your meditation is.

Sri Chinmoy: It is very simple. We all know what prayer is. With folded hands, we pray to God, whom you call Allah. At that time, we ask God to take us to the highest Height and to give us joy, peace, love and light so that we can become good citizens of the world.

When we pray, it is like climbing a tree. We feel that God is at the top of the tree and we are begging Him to come down and give us His inner Treasures. Again, we are climbing up the tree and going high, higher, highest.

When we meditate, it is like climbing down the tree. We have received many delicious fruits, and now we are bringing them down and we shall offer them to our dear ones and to humanity at large. With meditation we come down and share our fruits — that is, our joy — with others.

Question: Is your meditation like a religion?

Sri Chinmoy: No, there is no religion involved. I was born a Hindu and perhaps you were born a Muslim. If we remain all the time in our respective religions, I may say that my Hinduism is the best and you may say that your Islam is the best. Then a third person will come to contradict us both and say, “No, Christianity is the best.” Like this, the religions may at times compete.

But ours is a way of life. We want to become good citizens of the world, and for this we have to love the Divine in humanity. There is not a single religion that does not love God. When we only care about loving God and we do not worry about whose religion is the best, then there is no problem. Our love of God becomes a way of life. But if we remain in the competition-world, we will claim that our own religion is the best.

I always say that our path is not a religion, but a way of life, based on love of God. So there is no problem.

Question: So you can say you are still a Hindu?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, I am a Hindu. I was born in the Ghose family. My surname is Ghose, which is a Hindu name. How can I deny it? I was born into a Hindu family, so I am a Hindu. But when I mix with my friends, I only use the name Chinmoy. My friends know me as Chinmoy. They do not have to use my surname. Similarly, if I can establish my oneness with the rest of the world and see others as my friends, or as my brothers and sisters, I do not need to think of religion at that time. We have to establish our love and oneness with others, although we all have different religions. Real religion is love of God.

If I truly love God, then I have to go beyond the boundaries of religion and feel my oneness with all of God’s children. But if somebody asks me what religion I was born into, immediately I will have to say that I was born into the Hindu religion.

Question: What can you say about world peace?

Sri Chinmoy: This world has everything save and except peace. Powerful countries say they want peace. Everybody talks about peace. But when we talk about peace, many times we are only juggling with the word ‘peace’. We know the word ‘peace’ so well, but we are only throwing balls into the air.

The problem is that everybody wants peace in a very peculiar way. I may say that as long as I am your lord and you are my servant, we can have peace. I want peace provided I am allowed to stand in front of you. It is not enough for me to stand alongside you. No, I have to be one step ahead of you and you have to remain behind me; then only there will be peace. This is what the world thinks and feels.

But we can never get peace by lording it over others. It is only when everybody is on the same footing that there will be peace. Real peace lies in inseparable oneness. If you are here, I am also here. If you are there, I am also there. This is peace.

Question: Your meditation group wants world peace, but I do not think it is a big enough group to make an impact on world leaders.

Sri Chinmoy: Our meditation group prays and meditates. We feel that if the world is going to change, it will have to change in the heart first. Prayer and meditation come from the heart, not from the mind. The mind is not going to give us peace. It has to get peace from somewhere else, and that place is the heart.

The soul has infinite peace. The heart has peace to a certain extent because it is receiving peace from the soul. But if we can regularly pray and meditate, then our heart will be in tune with God all the time and it will definitely get peace in abundant measure.

The heart is ready and eager to give peace to the mind, but right now the mind is not receiving what the heart has to offer. People who are in the mind are only using the word ‘peace’. They do not feel the necessity of peace, whereas those who live in the heart because of their prayer and meditation do feel the necessity of peace. It is through prayer and meditation that we can intensify and expand this feeling in our heart and eventually bring the message of peace to the mind. I believe that all those who pray and meditate are helping people who sincerely want peace in the world.

Question: Do you believe that world peace will be a reality?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, I do believe it, only I cannot say that tomorrow the whole world will be inundated with peace.

It is like sowing a seed. Today you have put a seed into the ground, but you cannot expect a tree to grow overnight. First it has to become a tiny plant and a sapling, and only after that will it grow into a giant banyan tree. Right now our prayers and meditations are like seeds. It will take time for them to germinate; but it is only a matter of time.

Question: I was invited to your musical performance, but I see that you do not play music by composers like Mozart or Beethoven. You play in a different way.

Sri Chinmoy: I do not dare to compare myself with the great, immortal composers. I am only playing the music that I have composed from my soulful heart. I am a man of prayer. From my prayer-life and my meditation-life I have received inspiration, and this spiritual inspiration I try to convey to the world at large through my music.

Mine is soulful music. It has peace in it. In every way I am trying to offer peace, through my music as well as through my prayer and meditation. Music is part and parcel of my spiritual life.

Question: Is it all right if people call you a prophet?

Sri Chinmoy: No, no, no! I am not a prophet and I do not claim to be a prophet. I am a God-lover. I love God and I pray to God. What I claim to be, every person can also claim to be. I say that I am a God-lover and you can also say the same thing. We are all in the same boat.

Published in You Belong to God



Suva is a peace city — mayor


SUVA'S Lord Mayor, Councillor Manoa Dobui, declared the capital city a Sri Chinmoy Peace Capital on Saturday in honour of a visiting peace ambassador who ended his tour of Fiji yesterday.

Sri Chinmoy and 200 students sponsored a peace run over the weekend that looped from Suva to Nausori, and a track meet at the National Stadium.

Suva becomes the sixth Sri Chinmoy Peace Capital, joining the capital cities of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Iceland and Scotland.

At Saturday’s dedication ceremony, presided over by the Deputy Lord Mayor David Blake.lock, Sri Chinmoy said: “Suva is known as the city of surprises.'”

Noting that a few centuries ago Fiji was a warlike nation, he went on: “Now, here on the soil of Suva and in the heart of Fiji, the dance of peace and universal oneness is reigning supreme.”

Sri Chinmoy arrived in Fiji on December 30 after a stop-over in Samoa.

His visit to Fiji also included a public concert last Wednesday at the Suva Civic Center.

He flew out of Fiji yesterday for the Cook Islands and Tahiti.

He then returns home to New York later this month.

Published in THE FIJI TIMES — MONDAY, JANUARY 10, 1994, page 5


Oldies bring out best

ATHLETICS is not only about winning and beating others — it is about competing and inspiring other athletes to bring out the best qualities in each other.

That was the message at the Sri Chinmoy Masters Games at the National Stadium on Saturday.

The Games was inspired by peace ambassador Sri Chinmoy who was in the country on a peace tour of the South Pacific.

Sri Chinnmoy took part in the 100 metres event.

Among those who turned up to witness the event was Parliamentarian Vincent Lobendahn who participated in the celebrity walk.

The Games also marked the end of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run the world’s longest running relay that went through 80 countries.

On Saturday runners from the Chinmoy group carried a torch to the Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori where they handed it to the town mayor Pita Mawi.

From there the group proceeded to the National Stadium.

Sri Chinmoy spokesperson Vasanti said the purpose of the run was to promote peace through sports. “For older athletes it is not so important to win but to complete the race,” Vasanti said.

The oldest athletes were Daniel Tui Cakau and Sarama Minoli both 67. Local fun run veteran Joeli Bera 57 also participated.

Athletes took part in the one mile, 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres and 800 metres in six age categories. 

Published in THE FIJI TIMES — MONDAY, JANUARY 10, 1994, page 28