The Cry and the Smile

A talk by Sri Chinmoy
at the American Church in Paris, France


I wish to give a short talk on the cry and the smile: the outer cry and the inner cry, the outer smile and the inner smile.

The outer cry is for name and fame. The inner cry is for Truth and Light.

When we walk along the road of name and fame, there comes a time when frustration makes friends with us. This frustration-friend takes us to destruction and there our journey ends.

When we walk along the road of Truth and Light, perfection becomes our friend and perfection leads us to satisfaction. But there our journey does not end; on the contrary, there a new and unprecedented journey starts. For this satisfaction is nothing but the ever-transcending Reality. Each time we are satisfied, a new reality inspires us to transcend ourselves.

The outer cry lives in the outer world. The outer cry is to possess the world, to bring it under our dominion, under our jurisdiction for us to use in our own way. We want to possess the world precisely because the outer world is not within us. Anything that is not within us, we feel is not ours.

The inner cry lives in the world of aspiration. Aspiration ultimately grants us realisation. Realisation means oneness with the Infinite. As individual seekers, we become inseparably one with the Infinite when we realise our transcendental Self. Inside our transcendental Reality we see the entire world with its cries and smiles.

The outer smile is the smile of the face. Quite often the outer smile consoles us, although it is not always encouraging and illumining. We notice at times that there is a motive behind the outer smile. The outer smile at times wants to be reciprocated; we smile and we want the world to smile back at us.

The inner smile is the smile of the heart. This smile inspires the seeker and elevates his consciousness. When the inner smile manifests itself through the outer smile, it reminds the seeker of his promise to the Absolute Supreme. His promise is to realise God, reveal God and manifest God here on earth. When the outer smile manifests itself through the inner smile, it is assurance that the outer life offers to the inner life. The outer life says to the inner life, “I am sorry I have stayed away from you for so long. But from now on, I shall become inseparably one with you. I shall help you in every possible way. Not only that, I shall please you and fulfil you in your own way. I shall fulfil you in your own way because I know that your way and God’s Way are absolutely one.”

Human life itself is a cry right from dawn to sunset. The moment a child is born, he offers a cry to Mother Earth. Again, when he is about to pass behind the curtain of Eternity, he offers a cry to Mother Earth. From the outer point of view, the child cries because the world is a stranger. The world is a stranger to the new-born babe; therefore he cries. And the same person, when he is ready to die, is afraid of the other world. Therefore, he offers a cry. This is a human, outer explanation of the reality that we see.

But there is also an inner explanation, an esoteric explanation of the cry. When the soul enters into the world of manifestation with a human body, it offers its gratitude to Mother Earth through its cry. The soul enters into the world-arena and it offers gratitude to Mother Earth for accepting it. And the same soul, at the end of its journey, again offers gratitude to Mother Earth through the physical cry, for the physical body was granted the opportunity by Mother Earth to realise, reveal and manifest Truth and Light on earth.

The human child cries for the mother’s milk. But this human child, on the strength of his aspiration, becomes a divine child. When he becomes a divine child, he prays to the Universal Mother, to the Absolute Supreme, to grant him Nectar, Delight, Immortality. In his human existence, he cries for the milk which nourishes the human existence. In his divine existence, he cries for something divine and immortal.

The human cry and the divine smile at times go together. The human cry in the physical world and the divine smile in the vital world at times go together. When a dear one dies, we cry. When we cry, the soul that is close to us smiles in the vital world. In the vital world, the souls that are attached to us, that still have kept a close connection with the world, get tremendous joy when we cry for them, and their joy they express with a smile. But if these souls are in the inner worlds that are far beyond the vital world, in the intuitive world or in the soul’s world, they only watch the progress of the individuals on earth. If they see that their dear ones who are on earth have manifested everything that they were supposed to manifest before leaving the body, then they are happy. If not, then they feel sad and miserable for their dear ones.

The souls that remain in the soul’s world always abide by the Will of the Supreme. Sometimes the Will of the Supreme tolerates certain things, sometimes it approves and sometimes it is totally committed to certain things taking place on earth. When the soul mixes with the vital, especially the lower vital, it loses its pristine divinity for the time being and it does not always abide by the Will of the Supreme. But it never loses its inmost divinity, which is eternally immortal. The souls that lose a bit of their universal Reality, a bit of their divinity, become one with ignorance and become a miserable cry. Again, the souls that do not mix with the lower vital and remain always above the vital world, here and elsewhere, remain always in perfect peace and bliss. These souls constantly offer smiles both to Heaven and to earth. Again, it is not only ordinary human beings who cry and smile, but also the spiritual Masters of the highest magnitude who offer their cries and smiles to mankind.

Here in the West, the Saviour is Christ. The Christ cried for humanity’s salvation from sin. And sin is nothing but limited consciousness, which unfortunately we claim to be ours. Again, out of his infinite Bounty, the Christ gave us the most luminous Smile when He said, “Let Thy will be done.” When the human in the Christ became one with our cry, he said, “Father, what have I done? Why hast Thou forsaken me?” Again, when the Christ became one with his own divinity, his own transcendental Reality, he offered to the world at large his highest wisdom, his smile: “I and my Father are one.”

In the East, we recall the Buddha’s human cry for a little bird before he got his enlightenment. To save the life of a bird his heart literally bled; and he did save the bird. Again, in his later years, the Lord Buddha cried for the enlightenment of humanity. He got his illumination and his heart cried to offer it to the world at large. He told humanity two most sublime things. First he said, “This world is transitory. Here, if you expect abiding satisfaction, then you are bound to be disappointed.” The second message he offered to the world at large was this: “Discover the Light within. Be the Light unto yourself.”

The Christ taught us to free ourselves from sin consciousness. The Buddha taught us to free ourselves from ignorance and bondage-consciousness. The Christ, out of his infinite Compassion, taught us the message of salvation; and the Buddha, out of his infinite Compassion, taught us the message of liberation. When we achieve salvation, anything within us that is inferior to the highest Reality becomes one with the highest Reality. When we achieve liberation, anything within us that is limited, anything within us that limits or binds us, becomes totally liberated, illumined, perfected and fulfilled.

Aspiration is an inner cry; again, aspiration is an inner smile. When we aspire to reach the highest Height, it is an inner cry that we embody. When we climb down to serve God in each human being, we are embodying an inner smile. Each human life is composed of a cry and a smile. The cry strengthens, the smile expedites. Therefore both the cry and the smile are of paramount importance.

God’s Vision is the inner Cry to manifest His infinite Divinity. God’s Reality is the inner Smile that grows and glows in humanity’s aspiring consciousness. As long as man and God exist, man will cry to God for fulfilment in his own human way and God will cry for fulfilment in and through man in His divine Way. Man will cry to God to give him the capacity to bind the world; God will cry for man to liberate himself and to liberate others. If someone is a desiring person, there will come a time when he becomes an aspiring person. At that time he says to God, “O Lord Supreme, I shall be pleased only when I please You in Your own Way.” God and the seeker smile simultaneously. The earth consciousness accepts the divine Consciousness and the divine Consciousness accepts the earth consciousness for Reality’s transcendental Satisfaction.

Published in My Rose Petals, part 6


Sri Chinmoy Answers

Seekers’ questions
at the American Church in Paris, France


Question: How can a sincere seeker distinguish a true teacher from an untrue teacher?

Sri Chinmoy: A sincere Master will always say that he and the seeker have to work together. The Master says he will not be able to grant the seeker realisation overnight. If the Master says he will grant the seeker realisation if the seeker gives him millions of dollars, then that Master is false. The true teacher says to the seeker, “You show me your aspiration and I shall show you God’s Compassion. I shall unite both God’s Compassion and your aspiration. When they come together, then you become perfect.” The real Master will always tell the seeker that there is something called God’s Hour. It is then that God grants the seeker realisation. There is an hour for preparation and an hour for realisation. When we sow a seed, it takes time to germinate; then gradually it becomes a sapling and finally a tree. Until it becomes a tree, until it offers fruit, it is in the process of preparation. But when the tree bears fruit, it completes its journey. It is no longer preparation; it is realisation.

Question: I feel that there is a reality which is expressed through different religions, but I have read in the Upanishads that one must be able to transcend this reality. However, I find it very difficult.

Sri Chinmoy: You have to pray and meditate. Each religion has a way of expressing the Truth. Reality is One. But it expresses itself through each religion according to the receptivity of that particular religion. When you realise the Highest, then naturally you go through all the religions at once and, at the same time, you reach the Highest.

Question: There are many different spiritual paths to reach the one Reality. What is the difference between these paths and do they all go to the same point?

Sri Chinmoy: If the paths are real, then they lead to the same destination. It is like a school. A school has hundreds of students. Suppose ten or twenty students walk along one road to come to the school. Again, there are a few students who will walk along another road to come to the same school. So there are many roads, but the school remains the same.

But you have to know that some students are more advanced than others. Some will go to kindergarten and some will go to college or university. Again, the kindergarten student will one day graduate and go to elementary school, high school and college and eventually he will get his Master’s degree or Ph.D. So today’s goal may not be tomorrow’s goal. In the beginning, the seeker aims at a particular goal. Then he wants to achieve a higher goal, grow into a higher goal. So collectively, all individuals are coming to the same goal according to their receptivity and capacity. If one’s capacity right now is the high school capacity, then he is coming to the high school. If his capacity is for college, then he is going to college. And no matter what level he goes to, there are many of his standard who will come to the same school. Many will come to the high school; many will come to the college. But the goal for the seekers of one height will be one particular thing, and for the seekers of another standard there will be another goal.

Question: Who determines the capacities and standards?

Sri Chinmoy: The capacity is aspiration; the capacity comes from the inner cry. If you really do need God, if you desperately need God, then your standard is very high. If God comes first, Truth comes first, Light comes first in your life, then automatically the inner cry increases.

Question: Is there a way to increase the inner cry?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. Suppose there are four or five good swimmers. If you want to become a good swimmer, then you will mix with the swimmers. If somebody knows how to swim better than you do, then you will mix with that particular swimmer in order to learn how to swim better. Similarly, if you want to accelerate your spiritual progress, you have to mix with those in whom you have some confidence, some trust that they will be able to guide you and accelerate your progress.

Question: How does one come to know which is one’s dharma?

Sri Chinmoy: If one really wants to know, one can. If one wants to learn, one goes to school. If one wants sing, one goes to a musician, a singer. If one wants to know anything, then one goes to someone who already knows. If someone wants to know what his dharma is, then he has to go to someone who knows everybody’s dharma.

Question: What exactly is realisation?

Sri Chinmoy: Realisation is self-discovery and God-discovery. When one realises God, or the highest Truth, one becomes inseparably one with humanity’s cry and Divinity’s Smile. When he identifies himself with humanity, he cries for humanity because humanity is hungry; and when he identifies himself with Divinity, then he becomes happy because he has got the opportunity to feed humanity. Oneness with Heaven, oneness with earth — conscious, complete, inseparable and eternal oneness — is called realisation.

Question: What role does conscious will play in the spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: Conscious will is of paramount importance in the spiritual life. Unconsciously we do many things, good and bad. But when we do them consciously, with conscious will, then we get the effect immediately.

If we use our conscious will, then we shall get up early in the morning, take a shower and pray to God. But if it is unconscious will, we shall keep in the back of our mind the thought that we have to pray, and that is all. Meanwhile, we shall remain lying down. While sleeping, we may repeat God’s Name once or twice, and then we shall feel that we have prayed or meditated. But we are lethargic, idle; we will not leave the bed. For one second we shall meditate and for ten minutes we shall sleep. This is called unconscious will.

Conscious will is like an express train. It just starts and then it goes to the destination as fast as possible. Unconscious will stops at many stations before it reaches the destination. Each time it reaches a station, it takes a rest there and relaxes its capacity. Then it has to regain its capacity to go to the next station. This way it takes a very, very long time. People who pray and meditate unconsciously will take thousands and millions of years to realise God.

Conscious will values time. It knows the necessity of time. Conscious will teaches us that time is very precious. If we do not realise God today, then how are we going to reveal and manifest God tomorrow? Therefore we have to realise Him as soon as possible. Again, realisation has no end, revelation has no end, manifestation has no end. So we feel that it is the supreme necessity to realise at least some height and then reveal and manifest that height.

Published in My Rose Petals, part 6


Sail My Heartbeat Sail

Sri Chinmoy commenced this series of rhyming poems on Sunday, 14 June 1998 in New York. The first volume is completed in three days.


14 Heart-smile

Whom I seek
Is within me.
I pine His
Heart-Smile to be.

15. Halt

Not my mind-cherishing life,
But my heart-blossoming breath
I need, I love, I treasure
To halt the pride of death.

16. Emptiness

Empty of heaviness-darkness
My mind, my heart today;
Behold, my soul-ecstasy
And I together play!

17. My paintings

My paintings
Tell me what they are.
Their message
I share near and far.

18. My poetry

My poetry
Tells me about its Heaven-Source.
Its sorrows
And joys — my journey's course.

19. My music

My music
Tells me where to dive
And fly
To clasp ecstasy's drive.

20. My sports-life

My sports-life
Shows me the pride of speed;
Transcendence-together lead.

21. My tennis

My tennis
Tells me how to serve and love
And claim
To be my Lord's choicest dove.

22. My prayer

My prayer
Tells me Whom to beg only,
Deep within,
Wide without, sempiternally.

23. My meditation

My meditation
Is compelled by God to be His Voice,
And only Him
To fulfil all-where His express Choice.

24. My aspiration

My aspiration
Tells me I can reach God's Eye,
And also God's Feet
In prayer-tears I can tie.

25. My dedication

My dedication,
My God-manifestation-bloom
To reserve a seat
In God's hallowed Heart-Room.

26. My dear, sweet Lord

My dear Lord,
How can I live
Without Your Life's Compassion-Eye?
My sweet Lord,
How can I breathe
Without Your Heart's Forgiveness-Sky?

Published in Sail My Heartbeat Sail, part 1


Here and Now

Prayers by Sri Chinmoy
at the Peace Concert in the US Capitol Office Building, Washington, DC



I must realise
That my unconditional surrender
To God's Will
Is the most indispensable part
Of my pleasing God.


I must realise
That my God-disobedience
Is my
Immediate and immeasurable


My breath must learn
How to breathe
The breath of the world.


My heart shall learn
How to love
The heart of the world.


My life must learn
How to become
The life of the world.


My God-aspiration-thrill,
My God-dedication-thrill
My God-manifestation-thrill
Are ever new and never old.
This is what I have come to learn


My solemn promise
To myself:
No more desire-slavery.


I shall live my life
Between my desire-banishment
And my God-attachment.


Not what I want
But what I must do
For God-satisfaction
Is the wisdom-light
Of HERE and NOW.


We are deeply in love
With the beauty
Of God the creation.
We must be deeply in love
With the duty
Of God the Creator as well —
Right from today,


I have decided to offer
Only one prayer:
My Lord, do make me the lover,
Server and devourer
Of the golden dust of Your Feet.


The miracle of miracles:
A cute smile of my eyes
Has brought God down
From the Ultimate Beyond.


I never knew that my heart's
Fleeting tears
Had such tremendous power.
HERE and NOW I clearly see
They have brought down
God Himself
With His everlasting Smiles.


I love God.
God loves me.
This is not a new realisation,
But HERE and NOW
I unmistakably see
That we two have
No separate existence.


As I love God,
Even so, He needs me.
As God loves me,
Even so, I need Him.
But HERE and NOW
I see a slight difference:
His Love and Need
Are unconditional.
So far, mine are not!

Published in Here and Now