Stories by Sri Chinmoy


How the Master gives experiences

There was a great spiritual Master who had only forty or fifty disciples. One day after a very high meditation, a disciple who had been with the Master for seven years stood up and said, “Master, sometimes we get very, very high inner experiences. But whenever we tell you about these spiritual experiences, we don’t get them any more. You say that we should tell our inner experiences only to you, because if we say anything about them to others, they will be jealous of us and will inwardly try to pull us down. But what happens is that when we tell others who are our fellow disciples, we still continue getting these experiences, but when we tell you about them, at that very moment our experiences come to an end.”

The Master was very sad and disturbed. He said, “Right now, the experiences that you get are like the smallest possible fish, the tiniest fish. It is wrong and absurd for you to think that when you give me your little fish, I don’t give them back but greedily devour them myself, just because I have more power than you. I don’t have to eat your little fish. I have very big fish of my own that I can eat every day.

“What you don’t know is that when you tell me about an experience, that experience enters into me as your possession, and I keep it safe. You may think that you are not getting the same experience back once you offer it to me, but that is because I am keeping it safe for you. And if you do not get further experiences of this nature, don’t think that I am jealous of you, that I have taken away your experience and will not give you any more experiences. It is only that the experience that you have received is now with me, and I am preparing you for a greater experience which will take much time and consideration. When the time comes, I will give you that experience. Then you will see the difference between the experience that you think you have lost and the experience that you have gained.”

“Forgive me, Master,” said the disciple. “Forgive my accusation. Now I understand what you are doing for us. I do not know how I could have made that kind of accusation. Forgive me. But Master, still I am a little curious. Is it true that people are always ready for the experiences that you give them? What would happen if someone was not ready for an experience? Instead of being beneficial, would it not unsettle him and perhaps even hold back his spiritual development?”

The Master explained patiently, “When one is ready for it, at that time it is good to give him an experience. When one is not yet ready, the Master can give it to him, but it will only be wasted. The nephew of one of India’s greatest spiritual Masters used to complain that he had served his uncle for so many years, yet his uncle had given him nothing. But when his uncle touched him and gave him the highest experience, his pride came forward. He said, ‘O Uncle, you and I are one.’ It was not his ultimate realisation but his pride that spoke, saying that now he didn’t have to touch his uncle’s feet, he didn’t have to bow to him or serve him. He even became angry because his uncle had so many disciples while he himself had none. His pride came to the fore, instead of the realisation of inseparable oneness, because he was not inwardly prepared for the experience he had received. But when the Master saw what his nephew was doing, he gave him back his old ordinary consciousness and saved him.

“If you do anything untimely, the experience will be useless. Instead of being beneficial, it will simply be wasted. That is why we always say that there is an hour, God’s Hour. If the father is a multimillionaire, he can give his young child all his money, but it will be wasted. When the same child grows up, however and becomes mature, if his father gives him money it will be wisely used.

“If inner wealth is given in a very large quantity, the seeker may be frightened to death. One spiritual giant in India was frightened to death when his Master gave him Nirvikalpa Samadhi. ‘What are you doing, what are you doing?’ he cried out. Immediately he thought of his earthly, human father, and reminded his spiritual father that, after all, he was really the son of his human father. If a great spiritual giant like this was frightened when his Master gave him Nirvikalpa Samadhi, you can imagine the power of the experience although his Master gave it to him as easily as one gives a glass of water. When Krishna gave the same experience to Arjuna, although it was so easy for Krishna to do so, when Arjuna got it, he was immediately frightened. After some time, when Arjuna asked Krishna to give him that same experience once again, Krishna said, ‘How is it that you have forgotten that experience? Why should I give it to you again? Go and ask your brother Bhishma to tell you about this particular experience. He will not have forgotten it. If you had really accepted it as you should have done, you would have been another person today.’ ”

“Master,” said the disciple, “this may be my curiosity again, but do spiritual Masters follow any kind of cosmic rule or law when it is a matter of giving their disciples inner experiences or inner light?”

The Master said, “What I give you, I could use for myself or I could squander. But this would not be divine. It is not as if I am obeying a law that says that when you give me one dollar, I have to give you ten dollars. It is not like that. But just because you have got joy by giving me what you have, I feel that I should now give to you what I have. If what I have is beyond your capacity to receive, then I will give you according to your receptivity. But if I see that you can achieve or receive the amount that I would like to give, then naturally I will be able to give it to you. When a father and child play together, the child gives his utmost capacity. But if the father shows the child the father’s utmost capacity on the physical level, for example, the child will not be able to bear it, and he will be injured. The child has to be made strong before his father can show him his own full strength.”

The disciple bowed to the Master and said, “Master, you have fed my curiosity, you have illumined my heart and soul. Your patience and compassion are also inner experiences for us — very special and very necessary experiences.”

Move on, move on!

“Master, please tell me how I can conquer lethargy.”

“Do you find it very difficult to get up in the morning and meditate?”

“Yes, Master, I have to admit that it is a problem for me.”

“My child, you know that there is something called fear. Once we have come to the spiritual life, it is of paramount importance to conquer fear. If we don’t conquer fear, then we cannot make any progress. But, on the other hand, sometimes a kind of fear can be of help to us. Let me explain what I mean.

“Before we accepted the spiritual life, we had nothing. Now that we have accepted the spiritual life we have something, but we feel that this thing we may lose at any moment. This feeling is what I am calling fear. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Master.”

“Before, when you were a beggar, you worked and amassed some money. But now you are not working; you are just using the money that you have already earned. Naturally, this money may one day be all used up.

“You have to be very alert and conscious. If you don’t get to work by nine o’clock in the morning, your boss has the right to fire you. When you have accepted a spiritual path, you also have a boss and a job. The boss in the inner world is your Inner Pilot and the job He gives you is to pray and meditate. If the Inner Pilot sees that you are not getting up early in the morning to do His Job, that is, to pray and meditate, then He may dispense with that job and take away your inner wealth, which is the aspiration He has given you. When you lose your outer job and no longer get any salary, you are at the mercy of others. And when you don’t have aspiration, you are at the mercy of ignorance and all the hostile forces. Wild ignorance will lord it over you, and then you will be totally ruined. Then you will feel that nobody is a worse beggar than you, that you are helpless and hopeless. Why do you have to become hopeless and useless when once upon a time you were aspiring, running and realising?

“Five or ten years ago you didn’t have this aspiration or inner wealth at all. Now you have it, but if you do not continue to earn it, then you will use it up and your supply will run out. But if you have some fear of losing your inner wealth, you will try your best to keep it. This is not ordinary fear, like the fear that somebody may come and strike you, but rather a feeling that you may lose something that is most precious to you.

“We have come into the world to gain something, but not in the ordinary human way of amassing possessions. We want to increase our inner capacity and potentiality; we want to make progress. If, when you first entered the spiritual life, you were able to get up early in the morning to meditate, but now you can’t, this means that you are regressing. If two years ago you were able to get up at six o’clock, now you should get up at five o’clock. Then a few years later you should get up at four o’clock. This is progress.

“You may wonder how it is possible that a person who could once aspire and run towards the goal can all of a sudden lose his capacity. It is possible just because he has made friends with idleness, with ignorance, with darkness. If you mix with lethargy, an idle fellow who says, ‘I won’t get up’, you won’t get any inspiration from him. Again, if you make friends with sincerity, sincerity will immediately press you onward. Sincerity will create in you an inner urge to get up early in the morning and pray and meditate. But if you are not sincere, then immediately dark forces and ignorance will give you their lethargy.

“The spiritual life is not like the ordinary life. In the ordinary life, if you have come to a particular point and do not want to go further, you can just stay there. But in the spiritual life, if you have come to a point and then do not continue ahead, you cannot remain where you are; ignorance will pull you back. In the ordinary life, if you have come five steps, you can stay there for three months and then, if you want to continue your journey, you can. But in the spiritual life, if after taking five steps you wait for five days, immediately you will be pulled back to your starting point, because ignorance is only one step behind you all the time waiting to grab you. In the spiritual life, my child, you always have to be on the move.

“You were staying with ignorance, but then one day you left while ignorance was sleeping. As soon as ignorance woke up and saw that his friend had left, he started running after you. So all the time he is running, running, running behind you, but he finds it difficult to catch up. However, if you stop to take rest, he will come and grab you and say, ‘Where are you going?’ On the other hand, if you continue running, then you will be able to reach the goal one step ahead of ignorance. And once you touch the effulgence of Light and enter into its flood, ignorance won’t dare to come near you. As soon as he sees the Light, he will be blinded. Then he will go back to his home to see if there are others still sleeping at the same place, and he will make friends with them.

“There is a saying in the Sanskrit scriptures: Charai veti, ‘Move on, move on!’ This was the realisation of our Vedic seers. If you don’t move on, you will be caught by ignorance. So always be alert, cautious and careful, and move on, move on, move on. If you move on, one day you will reach the Goal, where ignorance will not dare to touch you.”

The Master’s prasad

There was an Indian spiritual Master who had lived and taught in the West for many years. One evening after a meditation meeting, the Master wanted to offer his disciples some very special prasad that had been given to him by a seeker who had just returned from a visit to India. But when the Master went downstairs to tell his disciples that he was about to distribute prasad, everybody was talking so loudly that nobody heard him. A few disciples noticed the Master by the door and went to take prasad from him, but most of them paid no attention to him. They were eating and talking to their friends. Finally the Master became furious and asked some of his close disciples to direct everyone back upstairs to the meeting room.

When everyone was seated, the Master said, “In India when we receive prasad from the Master, it is the best form of meditation, the greatest blessing. Taking prasad means an immediate increase of devotion. It is a great help to the seeker’s life of discipline and to his inner progress. Seekers cry and pray for days and months to be able to go to the temple to receive prasad from their favourite deity. When they finally do get prasad, they take it as the highest blessing and grace. But here, when I offer prasad, the correct inner attitude is missing on the part of my disciples. Prasad is not something to be taken lightly, for you to accept or reject at your sweet will.”

“But Master,” one young man said, “I have never understood why food prepared by human beings can be so special.”

The Master made no attempt to conceal his annoyance with this question. “How many times have I told you that when food is soulfully offered to a deity, the food becomes blessed and purified. Even if someone has quarrelled or fought while cooking it, since he has faith in that particular god, that particular god blesses him and his food. Here in the West we do not have that kind of implicit faith. After we cook, we could ask God to purify the food, but we do not even think of offering it to the Supreme for protection, purification or extra grace. We should, but we don’t do it.”

The wife of the young man stood up. “Master, you have made everything very clear to us. From now on, I shall consciously offer the food that I cook to the Supreme for His blessings. But why are you so annoyed with my husband’s question?”

The Master said, “For years I have been offering you people prasad, but when I am giving it to you, the husband will send his wife, like a proxy, to take the blessing for him, and the parents will send their children. Now, the reason that these people cannot come is not because they are doing something most urgent or important. No, they are gossiping downstairs, they are indulging in the most ordinary kinds of conversation; but they can’t come upstairs for the prasad. Sometimes, to catch everyone, I stand by the stairs as everyone is leaving the meeting room, but even then, some people don’t take it from me. They don’t give it any importance.”

One disciple protested, “Master, today was an unfortunate exception. Usually most of us take it from you.”

“Yes,” the Master said, “there are many who come, who do take it from me, but they do not take it seriously and soulfully. They receive prasad casually, while looking at somebody else or talking or eating. In every possible way they show disrespect. Out of sixty or seventy, hardly three or four persons receive prasad from me devotedly.

“But Master,” one disciple asked, “how is it that many people look extremely, extremely devoted to you at that time, and you still say that we don’t show enough respect?”

“Yes, some people are clever; they show false devotion as much as possible. Their hands literally tremble when they come to receive prasad. They are showing others that they are about to collapse at my feet. But I wish to tell you people that devotion has nothing to do with the hands; it is a matter of the heart.”

All the disciples felt miserable that they had been disappointing the Master in this matter for so many years. An older disciple said, “Master, you are right and we are sorry that we were so ignorant. But in a way you have to forgive us. We are so unfamiliar with your Indian customs such as prasad, which you have just explained to us, or other things you sometimes mention, such as the correct way to take something from the Master.”

“True,” said the Master. “When it is a matter of taking prasad or anything else from me, I have told my disciples again and again not to use the left hand. You can say anything you want to, you can call me superstitious or ignorant, but I know that if you cannot use both hands — which is what I prefer — it is better to receive something with your right hand. Left and right hand are equally God’s creation, true; everything is God’s creation. But why do I use my head and not my feet to touch the feet of my Master? I know that it is the best in me, and it is this that I want to humbly offer to the Master.”

One young girl said, “Master I am left-handed. Will that make any difference in what you just said?”

The Master couldn’t help smiling. “What am I going to do with my Western children? If you are left-handed and you happen to have an Indian Master who wants you to use your right hand when you accept something from him, please listen to him. You should feel that the Master is working very hard to please you, to bring down Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure. The Master’s task is much more difficult than your task, which is to use your right hand instead of your left hand. Since this request is so simple for you to follow, you should feel that you must try to please your Master at least in this way. How many requests I have made to my disciples to use either both hands or their right hand, but still it is too difficult for them to remember.”

“Master,” one disciple said, “part of the reason we may forget is that this is so foreign to our culture.”

“It is not a matter of custom or culture,” the Master said. “It is a matter of devotion and soulfulness. Even a child, when he remains in the soul, knows what is the best thing to do. He knows what devotion is. Last week I was playing with a four-year-old child for about half an hour. Suddenly he came and stood in front of my chair and said ‘I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you only.’ Then he took my foot, lifted it to his face and kissed my big toe. Now look, instead of lifting my foot to his face, the child could have played football with my leg or just kicked me. Children often do things like that when I am playing with them. But this child, when he became one with his soul, knew the meaning of devotion.”

“That’s quite remarkable,” one disciple said.

“Yes,” the Master replied. “The other night I had a very different experience. When I was blessing a five-year-old child, she put her hand on my head as if she were returning my blessing. Look at her consciousness. Unlike the young boy, she did not show any devotion. Devotion has to be spontaneous. I wish all my spiritual children to cultivate inner and outer devotion.”

The director of the Master’s ashram stood up and bowed to the Master. “Master, you have made everything very clear to us,” he said. “Please forgive our past insensitivity and ignorance. From now on we will show you the inner and outer devotion and respect that you deserve.”

Then the disciples came up to the Master one by one and devotedly received his blessing and prasad.

Outer devotion and inner meditation

There was once a spiritual Master of the highest calibre who used to hold large public meditations several times a year. After one very successful meditation, a close disciple asked the Master if he would care to meet two of his friends who he felt were extremely spiritual. Because the Master was very fond of this particular disciple, he agreed, although the Master did not usually speak to visiting seekers. When the disciple introduced his friends, the Master meditated with them a moment and then asked, “Is there anything that you would like to ask me?”

The two seekers hesitated a moment and then one of them said, “Master, I can see that you are very great, and I know that my friend is a very sincere disciple of yours. But, forgive me, it seems to me that your disciples were acting like idiots or sheep, folding their hands and bowing to you all night. And you seemed to enjoy all this.”

The disciple was shocked and mortified that anyone could have said such a thing to his Master. Inwardly he cursed himself for bringing this seeker to the Master but outwardly he just signalled to his friends that it was time to leave.

But the Master stopped them and said, “Wait, let me answer his question. When my disciples fold their hands during meditation, the physical in me does not gain anything. At that time, my physical is like a dead body. It is not that I am a greedy fellow who wants my students to fold their hands or bow to me. I do not gain anything from such displays. But when they do these things, their devoted, soulful qualities come forward and they can receive more from me. When I am in my highest consciousness, my soul is flying through many worlds and my consciousness is flooding the hall.”

The close disciple bowed soulfully to his Master and was about to leave with his two friends, when the one who had so far remained silent also folded his hands and bowed to the Master. The first seeker then blurted out, “What happens if we fold our hands just because we see others doing it?”

The Master turned to him and replied, “It all depends on your inner feeling. If you don’t feel it spontaneously, you should not fold your hands at that moment. Why should you imitate somebody else? Why encourage hypocrisy in your life?”

The other seeker said quietly, “Master, I folded my hands in the hope that I would also feel what my friend was feeling.”

The Master smiled, “That is absolutely right. If you fold your hands, the physical has a more devoted consciousness, and you may receive the same inspiration, the same inner feeling, that has prompted somebody else to fold his hands. The outer can help the inner. I am most proud of your aspiration.” 

Then the Master turned back to the first seeker. “Just for the sake of imitation, it is not good to keep your hands folded if there is no feeling of devotion behind it. True, if somebody puts his hands up during a meditation and you follow his example, his inspiration may enter into you. But how do you know that he is not doing it just because someone else has done it? And that person may also have been imitating someone else. So you can see how ridiculous this can become.”

The seeker who had folded his hands was looking at the Master with love and joy. “Master, several times during the evening you looked at me and I felt a tremendous inner force. But since this was my first meditation with you, I wasn’t sure whether or not I should fold my hands.”

The Master looked pleased, “I am so happy that you have received from me. When I look at you during meditation, offering you my Peace, Light and Bliss, at that time if you fold your hands, your physical will actually be able to receive more from me. Your physical mind, your vital, even your heart will be able to receive more from me if you can have a respectful outer consciousness.”

“Master,” the seeker said, “I was happy when you looked at me, but I must admit that I wished you could have meditated on me more often. Of course, there were many, many people here tonight, so I know that it would have been impossible for you to give me any more attention.”

“Here you are making a mistake,” the Master said. “At public meditations and at my regular meetings, my consciousness is permeating the room. Some people, when they think that I am looking at the person next to them and that their turn is coming up, immediately fold their hands and become all alertness, eagerness, devotion and aspiration. Then, as soon as they think their turn is over, they stop aspiring and stop meditating. They relax and wait for their turn to come around again. But sometimes I am tricky. I look away for a moment or two, and then I look back at a disciple. At that time he is caught.

“Also, although I may be looking at someone in the first or second row and my full outer attention is on that person, at that same moment I may also be concentrating inwardly on someone in the back row. The poor people in the back are thinking, ‘When will our turn come? He will never get to us.’ But they should know that I do think of them and meditate on them. I may be looking at those in the first few rows, but my inner concern and guidance is for all. You people don’t realise that I can do many things at once. My concentration is on many things.”

The Master’s disciple said, “Master, I always thought that when you look at someone your full concentration and concern is on that individual. Could you explain what you actually meant just now?”

“When I look at a person,” the Master explained, “my full concentration, love and concern is on that person, but somebody else who is looking at me can easily receive from me more than that particular disciple is receiving because his aspiration, devotion and receptivity are more intense. It has happened many times that someone near the person I am meditating on, who is looking at me at that time, is receiving my Light in abundant measure. During the entire meditation, each seeker should aspire to receive the infinite Peace, Light and Bliss that I am offering to everyone at every moment.”

The seeker said, “I wish I had known that before.”

“Master,” the other seeker said, “I always thought that we are supposed to meditate with our eyes open, and I saw some of your disciples meditating with their eyes closed.”

“Sometimes people are very clever,” said the Master. “When I look at someone they don’t like, someone they consider to be their enemy, they close their eyes very tightly so that they don’t see me concentrating on him. Then, when they think their enemy’s turn is over, they open their eyes again. Or if they see that I am about to look at someone they are jealous of, they close their eyes and wait a few minutes until they think his turn is over.

“But one should meditate on the Master at all times. Why meditate on the back of the person in front of you and try to get your realisation that way? Or why keep your eyes closed and remain in your own world? You are not going to give yourself realisation. If you could, you would not have come to me. Meditate on the Master and enter into his world, his divinity.”

The seeker who had first spoken to the Master said, “Master, forgive my ignorance. You have been very patient with my questions and for that I am most grateful. I have never been able to understand why seekers show so much outer devotion to their Masters, but now I think I finally understand.”

“Both of you,” the Master said to the two seekers, “have received my Light according to your capacity. I am most pleased with you.” Then the Master bowed slowly to the three friends and walked away.

Love creates perfection

One morning during sports practice at his ashram, a spiritual Master was approached by the child of one of his disciples. “Master, Master,” said the little boy excitedly as he ran up to him, “my mother just told me that you are perfect. Is it really true?”

The Master gave the boy a sweet smile and blessed him affectionately. “Perfection is in love, my child. The mother loves her youngest child, and to her he is always perfect, although he may be at the age where he constantly breaks things, makes noise and causes problems. Your mother is one of my most devoted disciples. Since your mother loves me, since my spiritual children love me, to them I am all perfection. When my disciples come to me full of love and devotion, as you are doing now, at that time they feel that I am all perfection. But when they are angry or displeased with me, at that time they feel that I am all imperfection, totally undivine.

“In order to see through the eye of perfection we have to see with our heart of love. The capacity of your little finger is very limited when you compare it with the strength and capacity of your thumb. But if you don’t have as much love for your thumb as you have for your little finger, you will just look at your little finger and appreciate it and appreciate it and appreciate it. You will feel that your little finger is perfection itself.”

The little boy was studying his fingers very intently. The Master explained further. “Let us take a family in which the youngest boy is three years old, and his brother is seven years old. Now, in the mother’s eyes, the little brother who is three years old may be all perfection, but his older brother may be all imperfection. Why? The seven-year-old is more grown up and independent, so the mother has more love for the little one, although he is constantly crying and breaking things, and at every moment creating a holocaust. Still the mother feels that the little brother is perfect and the older child is imperfect, because the mother has more love for her little son. Of course, in your family this does not apply; I know that your mother has all love for all her children.

“When we talk about perfection, it is all in our love. When we love an individual, at that time that person is perfect for us. When we love a thing, that particular thing is perfect. Our heart comes forward and identifies itself with the reality of that thing and makes it perfect. If the heart cannot identify, no matter how many judges, how many witnesses say that this person or thing is the best, since the heart does not respond, for us it is not perfect at all.”

The Master paused. “Are you learning arithmetic, my child?”

The boy nodded.

“One day you will also learn geometry. In geometry, very often we are asked to draw a certain figure: a straight line, a triangle or perhaps a circle. Now, if we do not draw that particular figure, if we are asked to draw a straight line but we draw a circle instead, that is not perfection. If we are supposed to draw a triangle but we draw a square instead, that is not perfection. We may draw a perfect circle or a perfect square, but our teacher will not think our paper is perfect because what she wanted was something else.

“So, have you understood my philosophy?” the Master asked.

“Yes, Master. Thank you.” The little boy smiled, and then ran off to tell his mother everything the Master had said.

The missing disciples

There was once a spiritual Master who lived near the Himalayas. Twice a week he would meditate with his disciples at his own house and share with them his highest meditation. One evening, as he was sitting with his disciples, one of the disciples came in late. The Master looked at him and said, “Rakhal, why are you so angry? Is this why you are late?”

Rakhal looked totally amazed that the Master could read his thoughts. He took his seat, speechless with astonishment, and fixed his eyes on the Master.

The Master turned to the other disciples and said, “I can see your subtle bodies. If a person is planning something destructive, I see this destructive force in its subtle form before it manifests itself on the physical plane. Or if someone is very angry or displeased with me, I see it before he can say or do anything.”

“But Master,” said one disciple, “why should any of us ever be angry or displeased with you?”

“All the disciples throw their negative forces into me,” replied the Master. “I am the culprit for everything. Now, why is Rakhal angry with me? I have not even seen him today. But he is cursing me because he has quarrelled with another disciple. He is not projecting his anger into the person he fought with. He is projecting it into me instead. The disciple who has just quarrelled with another disciple says to me inwardly, ‘Why have you accepted such a rascal as your disciple? He is so undivine.’ I am sitting at home in my chair and I haven’t even seen that person during the day, but his subtle body comes to me and I see anger in the subtle body. Then, a few hours later, I see the disciple and I see the same anger on his face.”

“Master,” asked the same disciple, “how can it happen that part of us becomes angry or part of us does something, not only without our outer knowledge but also without our consent, as it were? How can we be so divided?”

“My son, it is quite possible. You know, sometimes it happens that the subtle life has accepted the spiritual life, but the physical mind is all the time doubting. Acceptance and faith are there in the subtle, but for the physical it takes time. It may accept my path two days or two months or two years later. All this time, the person comes to me regularly and devotedly just because his heart and soul have accepted me, even though his mind has not.

“Inner faith you people already have. Otherwise, you would not be following the spiritual life. But it is outer faith that many of you still need. Outer faith is not just a mechanical thing. You all have inner faith, but the faith that is needed in all your outer activities is lacking. Unless and until we have faith in every plane of our being, we cannot realise the Truth.

“Sometimes disciples tell me things inwardly, but they don’t tell me outwardly. Communication takes place on the inner plane, where they are receptive to my Light. Some receive my Light inwardly, because their inner being receives, but most of the time they resist. There are other disciples who have developed a very good receptive capacity. Even if I don’t speak to them they receive Light from me. But there are many to whom I speak on the phone or in person for hours, but even then they don’t receive my Light. Even if I tell them outwardly that I want to give them some Light or help, they don’t accept it. They have the same problems again and again.”

“Master,” began one of the disciples, “it seems to me that if we don’t want to give you problems all the time, we have to strive to be happy. Isn’t that right? I am happiest when I see you as often as possible, so I come to all the meetings and other functions we have. But, Master, very often I see that my brother and sister disciples don’t come, and I don’t think they have a very good reason for staying away.”

“It is true, my son, that many do not come to all the meetings and functions even though they can. I want everyone to be happy, as you say. If staying at home and sleeping makes them happy, that is up to them. If coming makes them happy, so much the better. But I wish to say that some do not come to different functions just because they are not participating. Just because it is others who are taking part and not themselves, they stay at home. What are they doing at that time? I don’t think they are meditating and raising their consciousness at home. If they stay away to do some other work that I ask them to do, that is another matter. But there are many, many who do not attend quite a few functions because of their jealousy. They know that others are performing on these days and that those people will get appreciation from me. I am sure that some are sick, but not so many people fall sick at the same time.

“I must add, too, that it is mostly women who do this kind of thing. Men have wonderful limitations, countless defects, but when it comes to going and watching a function, they will at least go. They will go, and then criticise it and curse themselves for wasting their time. But the women won’t go right from the beginning, not because they were working late the night before, nor because they lack interest, but because they lack inner oneness. Many people say they do not go to plays because they have seen the play before. But if I saw someone portray a certain character two years ago, is that any reason why I should not see him again now? This is just lethargy or jealousy.

“Some people are under the impression that if they don’t go, no one will notice, because so many others are there. But many have the same idea and, as a result, thirty or forty don’t come. Then all the culprits are caught.

“My children, I don’t want to spend my time endlessly scolding you, but I want you to know what will really make you happy and make me happy. If sleeping or resting really made you happy, then I would ask you to do it. But it is only oneness, soulful participation, that can really create happiness and joy in your life of aspiration. Please don’t fight with each other; don’t be jealous of one another any more. You are all in the same family and it is your inner harmony and oneness that will help to unite you the fastest with the Supreme.”

Published in The Ambition-Deer


A Talk to Boxers

by Sri Chinmoy

My Dear Boxer-Brothers,

When I address you as boxers, I feel that my death is imminent. When I address you as brothers, oneness-brothers, I feel that my immortality is within easy reach. When I think of you as giant boxers, I immediately think that your names are synonymous with your thunder-punches. When I think of you as my oneness-brothers, I hear a most soulful, most illumining and most fulfilling song in my life’s affection-garden.

My dear and divine brothers, you fight and fight — fight against your rivals. Again, you love and love. Whom do you love? You love your dear brothers; you love your oneness-home-family members. As boxers, you are indomitable and invincible. In the same way, I wish you as brothers to be unsurpassable.

Fight we must; but let us illumine our mind first, and see against whom or what we are supposed to fight: against a human being or against his teeming imperfections? Each human being is essentially divine, but alas, the ignorance-night of the world still lords it over us. We see an ocean of imperfections in the form of doubt, weakness, insecurity, jealousy, pride and many other undivine qualities both within us and around us. Before these ignorance-tigers devour our very existence, we must instead challenge and destroy the very breath of imperfection. It is our bounden duty to transcend limitations, not only in ourselves but also in the world at large.

So when we fight against someone, if we can feel we are fighting against his ignorance, and not against his physical strength, then we will get boundless joy from our victory, and also we will immensely please our Heavenly Father, God the Creator. We can feel that by battling against someone’s ignorance and imperfections we are helping that person to become perfect. I fight against your ignorance, and while doing so I am illumining you. And you are fighting against my ignorance in return, to help me reach the highest. While we are perfecting our mutual ignorance-imperfections, this is not and cannot be a destruction-fight, but a most powerful satisfaction-delight. This divine approach to boxing will undoubtedly be an unprecedented and ever-lasting boon to humanity.

We all want happiness. Happiness I can get not by destroying someone but by destroying the negative forces that are inside him — the weaknesses and limitations that cause unhappiness in him and unhappiness in ourselves as well. Happiness abides only in helping others to perfect their lives. Therefore, while boxing, if a boxer sees teeming ignorance-night inside his opponent and feels that he is trying to destroy those undivine qualities so that his opponent can become a better instrument of truth, light and bliss, then this approach to boxing will bring about a new creation of light and delight. With our indomitable strength we create perfection in others, and they do the same for us. If this is the goal we set and keep in mind while boxing, then this can be a helpful way to bring about a peaceful and fruitful world.

I become an instrument of God, truth and light by challenging your undivine qualities. Likewise, you become an instrument of God by challenging my imperfections and transforming them into perfections. I shall help you to become a perfect citizen of the world, and you will do the same thing to make me a perfect instrument of God. May your thunder-blows send a shudder, not to the human mind or human body, but to the undivine human ignorance-life.

Life and sports are one and cannot be separated in the cosmic play of life. Those who are runners, for example, must feel that in our eternal journey, we are trying to go forward as fast as possible, beyond everything that is limiting us and standing against us. If we can be true runners, inwardly and outwardly, then ignorance and imperfections will fall far, far behind us in the life-race. Similarly, if we use our dynamic fighting spirit all the time in the battlefield of life, then world-ignorance will no longer be able to threaten us. If we develop the capacity to use the divine energy in all aspects of life, then we can become excellent players in the life-game. Fortunate you are, for you have cultivated this dynamic spirit that can inspire others to challenge ignorance. You are telling the world:

“Action! Action!
I must act in the body,
With the body.
Because I need
And life-perfection.”

As a boxer you are great, greater and greatest. We all know Muhammad Ali’s birthless and deathless message to mankind: “I am the greatest!” Let each individual offer the same message, “I am the greatest,” not by destroying others but by loving oth­ers more, infinitely more. My divine boxer-brothers, you are not life-destroyers, but life-transformers with the help of God’s universal Oneness-Light.

Again, my boxer-brothers, you are not only great but you are also good. You embody this truth:

“Physical strength I need,
Vital energy I need,
Mental poise I need,
Psychic choice I need
In my Godward thought and deed.”

The determination, dedication and inner and outer strength that you have brought to the fore inspire many others to do the same. Your very presence reminds us that each human be­ing must be a divine warrior, ready to fight against ignorance and imperfections, not only in himself but in the world at large. Your volcano-blows tell the world that humanity can and must challenge ignorance-life.

My dear boxer-brothers, you are among the athletic elite of America — a country herself elite among nations. The dynamic spirit that inspired America to fight for the unparalleled treas­ure of freedom for the New World is still alive in you. While singing ‘America the Beautiful’, what do we actually sing? We sing our own unparalleled inner beauty. Similarly, if we can see our own beauty inside our opponents while fighting, then the dream that we cherish of showing our supremacy to the world can be transformed into the reality of permanent perfection-joy here on earth.

Yours in the Compassion-flooded Heart of the Absolute Boxer Supreme,

Sri Chinmoy

This talk is given to 12 boxing champions, including WBC Light-Heavyweight Champion Donny Lalonde, who are lifted by Sri Chinmoy at Aspiration-Ground in Jamaica, New York.