July 11, 1975

Sri Chinmoy

Dear Sir:

Thank you for letting Bankers Trust Company host an exhibition of reproductions of your work at our office at the corner of Third Avenue and 52nd Street from May 22 to June 17, 1975.

The exhibition attracted considerable attention both from passers by on the street and from visitors inside the office.

May you have every success in your artistic endeavors.




President of York College

visits Sri Chinmoy


Sri Chinmoy meets with Dr Josephine Davis, President of York College — a branch of the City University of New York, based in Queens — at Annam Brahma Restaurant in Jamaica, New York.


These are excerpts from their conversation:


Dr. Davis: We are trying very hard to foster the spirit of peace, community, respect and dignity at our College. I am feeling so encouraged because the people who are coming around me now are of like mind and of like spirit; we all have oneness of heart. It is interesting how we are all arriving at the same level, saying that we really need to illumine the darkness. And the only way we are going to do it is through prayer and meditation. I respect very much your work and what you are doing.

After going to Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Berlin and the camp in Dachau, Germany, where they persecuted the Jews, I really had to commit myself to a peaceful existence. When you see the brutalities and the horrors of those places, there is no way that you can foster ill feelings among men. I often try to talk to students about the experiences I had in those four settings because they were the most unnerving, I think, of any that I have had in my life.

Sri Chinmoy: I have not been to Dachau, but I have been many times to Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Berlin. Have you ever been to Kamakura, Japan? For me, it is one of the most peaceful places on earth. There are thousands of statues of Lord Buddha in existence, but the large statue at Kamakura embodies boundless peace. When you go there, no matter how restless you are, no matter how much your mind has been bothering you the whole day, no matter how involved you are in the hustle and bustle of life, as soon as you stand before the statue, all your inner turmoil is washed away. The statue embodies the most powerful peace you can ever imagine or feel.

Dr. Davis: At this stage in my life, I am feeling the need to do more meditation. For the last month now I have been doing mantras while meditating on the heart.

Sri Chinmoy: While you are meditating on your heart, if you do not mind my mentioning it, you could do a few more things. No matter what time of the day you are meditating, even if it is in the evening, imagine the rising sun for a few fleeting seconds. Imagine that the sun is rising and radiating light inside your heart. Or you can imagine a most beautiful and most pure flower opening up and blossoming petal by petal inside your heart.

As soon as you see either the rising sun or the flower, you will feel the light or the purity of your heart. Then, as you breathe in and breathe out, you will feel the light or purity inside your heart increase. The more light and purity you feel in your heart, the brighter will be the rising sun or the flower. Afterwards, try to feel that you have become the rising sun, or try to feel that the purity-flower inside your heart has fully blossomed and that you have become this most beautiful flower. Feel that your very existence, from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head, has become the flower itself, and the beauty, the purity, the fragrance of the flower are your own.

Then, from the rising sun or the most beautiful flower that you have become, light will radiate and purity will spread. When the light and purity spread, they enter into those around you.

Dr. Davis: Is it all right if I share with you what I have been using as a mantra? Does it matter if I tell you?

Sri Chinmoy: It matters if you tell me in front of others. The mantra that you use, others should not hear. It is all right if you tell it privately to a spiritual master like me, for I can be always in tune with you; but others cannot. In India they say that if you share your mantra with others, its inner strength goes away. The mantra that you repeat is like your life-breath. You are repeating it millions and billions of times. It is part and parcel of your divine reality. That most sacred possession of yours represents your very existence on earth; it is not to be shared. Only you and God and the person who has blessed you with the mantra should know it.

Dr. Davis: But if I took the mantra from a book, does that still apply?

Sri Chinmoy: It is the same thing. Even if you got it from a book, that mantra is sacred for you. You are taking it very seriously in your life, and that automatically makes it sacred. Anything that we are serious about eventually becomes sacred in our life. Seriousness and sacredness go together. There are many things that you have read which you have not memorised or recited over and over again. But this one mantra you have selected. It is giving you immense joy and a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment. So this mantra has to be kept very sacred inside your heart; otherwise, it loses its power.

As soon as you share it with someone else, no matter how friendly that person is, immediately jealousy and other negative forces can enter. If the person with whom you share it is undeserving, he or she will ruin it for you. It is like dealing with a monkey. Let us say you have got a most beautiful flower and you are enjoying its beauty and fragrance. If you show the flower to a monkey, the monkey will just tear off the petals, because that is its nature. Similarly, if you reveal your mantra to people who are not praying and meditating, people who are restless and full of self-doubt, they will destroy its sacredness for you. As soon as they touch it, its beauty, its purity and its divinity will go away.

Dr. Davis: I did not realise that. You would think it would be just the opposite, that by sharing you can grow.

Sri Chinmoy: There are a few things that you can share; again, there are a few things that you cannot share. If from within you have acquired a constant supply of God’s Love, God’s Affection, God’s Compassion and God’s Grace, if you have a free access to this divine wealth, then you can and should share it with your dear ones according to their necessity. You can offer them inwardly your purest love and joy. But you should not outwardly share with them the secret way you are getting these things. This has to be very secret and very sacred; it is not their business. What you are giving them, they need. But how you have become a multi-millionaire in the inner world, it is not necessary for them to know.

Again, you have to know how much receptivity someone has. A five-year-old child can handle only one dollar. If you give him fifty or a hundred dollars, he will not know how to use it and he may throw the money into the street. The spiritual standard of your students right now is very limited. If you share with them your unlimited wisdom-light, it will just burst like a balloon because right now they are not ready; they are not mature. To a kindergarten student you cannot give a university course. No, first he has to learn the alphabet, the ABC’s. Otherwise, you will not help him at all but just confuse him.

[In a later impression (print run), this paragraph was edited as follow: /Again, you have to know how much receptivity someone has. A five-year-old child can handle only one dollar. If you give him fifty or a hundred dollars, he will not know how to use it and he may throw the money into the street. The spiritual standard of your students right now may be very limited. If you share with them your unlimited wisdom-light right now they may not be ready; they may not be mature. To a kindergarten student you cannot give a university course. No, first he has to learn the alphabet, the ABC’s. Otherwise, you will not help him at all but just confuse him.”]

Dr. Davis: This is very interesting. The path to spirituality is a very complex one.

Sri Chinmoy: The path to spirituality is not complex. Only there are different roads. If you want to go to Rome from some place in Europe, you can go by car, you can go by boat, you can go by airplane. If you go by plane, it is faster than the fastest. But if you take a boat, God knows how many days it will take. And if you are stupid enough to just start walking, then the road will never end!

In the spiritual life there are two main roads to take us to our destination. One road is longer than the longest; it is zig-zag and serpentine. That is the road of the mind. The other road is the road of the heart. This road is shorter than the shortest. You can say it is a sunlit road.

If you choose the mind-road, you will be constantly haunted by self-doubt: “Am I doing the right thing?” Or you will bring into your system the doubts of others. You will ask yourself, “What are they thinking? Are they saying that I am on the right course?” But if you follow the heart, it is not like that at all. Here there is a magnetic pull between God and you. He is your dearest Father and you are His dearest child, so both of you are using your own special magnets to pull one another closer.”

Dr. Davis: So I am on the right track! It is good that I came to see you. I needed this confirmation. It is truly amazing. It is incredible. I started meditating on the heart because I feel that to protect myself, I must keep my heart pure. I like to radiate peace, love and joy, and I like my face to give off a smile and brilliance. In order for my face to show that, I must feel it inside. I am trying to keep my heart as an open vessel. There’s a trait of youthfulness in me. I try to feel youthful, alive and energetic inside, and I hope it radiates.

Sri Chinmoy: Every day if you think of yourself as a child of four or five years old, then a childlike simplicity, sincerity and purity will abound in your life.

Dr. Davis: That is how I think of myself. What you are saying to me is very timely.

Sri Chinmoy: Your childlike qualities will always inspire others. The very presence of a child gives inspiration. When a child comes into a room, he brings spontaneous joy. And his joy is contagious; it enters into the elderly people who may be quarrelling and fighting there.

Each child is a new dream of God, bringing love, sheer love. When God’s Dream enters into these elderly people who are quarrelling and fighting, they have to be silent. When a child is running here and there, he does not look at my face or your face to see how beautiful you are or how ugly I am. He just runs and shares his spontaneous joy with everybody. Your very presence radiates that kind of love. You do not have to look at somebody; you just have to be there and the love spreads.

Dr. Davis: That is beautiful. My husband and I enjoyed your concert when we were there. It was marvellous to see you play so many different instruments. I did not even know the names of some of the instruments.

Sri Chinmoy: If you are free this Wednesday evening, we will have a special meditation at P.S. 86. About 400 people come to meditate with me. Collectively we try to raise the consciousness of mankind on the strength of our silent meditation.

Dr. Davis: I will try very, very hard to come on Wednesday.

Sri Chinmoy: If you would like to meditate for three or four minutes personally with me on the stage, I would like to offer you my special way of meditation.

It is better not to eat for two hours before the meditation. You can drink a cup of tea or liquid substance, but if you take solid food, the heaviness you feel will create lethargy. We have to be dynamic when we meditate. Peace is nothing but inner dynamism. When we are at peace, twenty things we can accomplish in one second in the inner world. If we are not at peace, we are not able to accomplish even one thing in twenty hours.

Dr. Davis: I notice that everybody wears open and free-flowing clothing. Is that significant?

Sri Chinmoy: Clothing has tremendous significance. When a policeman wears his uniform, the consciousness of the uniform enters into him and he is able to do his job more effectively. If somebody wears a military uniform, then he gets a military spirit. When a basketball champion wears his uniform, immediately the basketball consciousness enters into him. Otherwise, he may be thinking of his family, his wife, this and that. But as soon as he puts on his uniform, he thinks of how to score and other things. When these girls put on saris, immediately they feel serenity. They feel that something within them is inspiring them to lead a spiritual life, a life of peace. If they wear Western garments, they may not be inspired in this way. So no matter what we are doing, if we have a uniform it will help us get into the consciousness of that thing.

Dr. Davis: It appears to me that when you start on the spiritual path, that is when the evil things come at you at a more intense pace.

Sri Chinmoy: When we enter into the spiritual life, sometimes it happens that the hostile forces attack us more vehemently. We enter into the spiritual life to become one with God’s Will. Then the forces attack us and say, “We will not allow you.” God tells us, “You now want to become consciously one with Me. Then prove that you need My Love only.” So we pray and meditate and God inundates us with His Compassion and His Grace to fight against these hostile forces.

The last time when you told us that you could not come to the meeting that we had scheduled, I had such a feeling for your soul. I saw in the inner world that your soul wanted to come. I said, “How is it that the mind is not listening to the heart and soul?”

Dr. Davis: You reached out at the time when I really needed to come. But it was like an avalanche of crises that I had to deal with. So today when my assistant came in and said, “Sri Chinmoy is inviting you, but I know you cannot go,” I said, “No, I will be there.” When he mentioned your name, I said that I would cancel everything.

When I started practising meditation, I used to go to religious book stores and pick up the books you had written. I knew your name when I was in Georgia and Minnesota. Without knowing you, I was reading your books. When I learnt that you live in New York, I was just amazed. I said, “Sri Chinmoy is in Jamaica, New York! I do not believe this!” I was thinking one would have to go to the Himalayas to see you.

This meeting tonight is spiritual food for me. Whenever we begin trying to do something with the spirit, we let the mind take over and we say, “Am I doing the right thing? Should I give up and go on?” A meeting like this says, “You are doing the right thing.” Now I have confirmation.

Dr. Davis: May I ask you a question about the role of candles and burning incense?

Sri Chinmoy: Each thing has a spiritual significance. Incense gives us purity, and the flame of the candle represents our intense inner cry. Like the flame of the candle, our aspiration or inner cry is going up high, higher, highest. Our inner flame is going up to reach the all-illumining inner sun and then it is entering into the sun and becoming one with it. So definitely you should use a candle when you meditate. When you look at the flame, feel that it is burning in the heart, not in the mind.

Dr. Davis: Does the colour matter?

Sri Chinmoy: Use any colour that you like. Again, in each soul one particular colour is predominant. In your case, sky blue will give you much more joy than another colour. My favourite colour is also blue. The significance of that colour is Infinity. Blue represents the most beautiful, spiritual vastness. Although your main colour is blue, you can wear any colour. Similarly, you can select any flower to place on your shrine. You may like a rose whereas I may prefer a lotus.

Dr. Davis: The lotus is my favourite! I use the lotus as the symbol of my life. I started to tell you earlier that when I think about my life, I say that I am rooted in the water.

Sri Chinmoy: My most favourite flower is the lotus.

Dr. Davis: I chose the lotus as a symbol of my life because I want to stay grounded in water with the fluid motion around me. It goes deep. I tell people that I chose it as a symbol of my life because I want to be grounded in my family and God.

Sri Chinmoy: Water means consciousness.

Dr. Davis: When I meditate in the morning, I go to the water.

Sri Chinmoy [offering some books]: For me there is only one religion: love of God. You can be Christian, I can be Hindu, but our love of God is the only religion.

Published in Sri Chinmoy Answers, part 4