Idea and Ideal
A lecture by Sri Chinmoy
in the Peace Room at the United Nations, New York
Each idea is an expansion of the mind. Each ideal is an upward growth of the heart.
When we have an idea, we roam carefully in the forest of thought-life. When we have an ideal, we fly soulfully and confidently in the star-lit sky of heart-life.
The strength that an idea embodies is uncertain, precarious and fleeting. The strength that an ideal embodies is inspiring, encouraging, glowing and fulfilling.
The possessor of an idea quite often walks in an uncertain manner. Sometimes he even walks backward. But the possessor of an ideal always walks, marches and runs forward smilingly and lovingly. The Goal of the Beyond beckons this divine and supreme pilgrim.
An idea can be captured, strangled and devoured by human doubts and human jealousies. But an ideal stands far beyond the domain of blighting doubts and tormenting jealousies.
Each idea is a tender flower that has the opportunity and the capacity to blossom petal by petal. Each ideal is an unwavering flame that glows bright, brighter, brightest.
Idea is a human possession. Ideal is a divine achievement. In the human possession there is always the sense of frustration and uncertainty of what we are doing, what we are seeing, what we are feeling and what we are growing into. In the divine achievement we know what we were, what we are and what we shall forever remain: God the Face of Eternity and God the Smile of Infinity.
Published in AUM – Vol. 2, No. 3, 27 March 1975
Questions after the Lecture
answered by Sri Chinmoy
Question: How can we be more conscious while we are serving, to remind ourselves that what we are doing is for you?
Sri Chinmoy: You can be more conscious in your service if at every moment you can make yourself feel that it is not who does a specific thing for me that matters — whether you or somebody else — but whether the thing is done in my own way. If something is done the way I want it to be done, you get the greatest joy and satisfaction through me. When you satisfy me in my own way and when you feel my satisfaction, then you are bound to become more conscious of your service.
Question: I have difficulty balancing service and inner life.
Sri Chinmoy: You can easily find the balance. If your inner life is genuinely aspiring, then you will be inspired to serve. If you are serving devotedly, then you are aspiring. If you have difficulty serving, then your inner life is not aspiring. If inwardly you are aspiring, then your spontaneous and devoted outer service will be another part of your sincere inner life of aspiration.
Question: How do we get rid of fear of failure?
Sri Chinmoy: Do not take what you now call ‘failure’ as failure, but as experience. Then give that experience to the Supreme. Although the mind says it is a failure, take it as experience and offer it to the Supreme. Then enter into another project. Give the Supreme in me the result of all your actions. That is the real success. Accept every experience with a cheerful frame of mind. If the result of your actions is taken cheerfully, then there can be no failure. Experience has nothing to do with so-called success or failure. Every experience can be offered to the Supreme so that you can go to the Highest.
Question: After meditating in the morning, I feel infinity and vastness. Then at work I enter into small details. I find it difficult to remain in the vastness when I enter into the details of work.
Sri Chinmoy: There is no conflict. Think of yourself in the morning as the sea. At work think of yourself as a drop. Countless drops make the sea. The sea without the drops has no existence. During your morning meditation you become the sea; at work you become a drop. Without the drop the sea has no existence. The drop makes the sea; the sea houses the drop. Take them as one, sea and drops.
Published in AUM – Vol. 2, No. 3, 27 March 1975
How Does One Stop the Mind?
Sri Chinmoy answers this question, which is put to him in writing by the members of the United Nations Meditation Group in Geneva.
There are quite a few ways to stop the mind. One way is to repeat the Name of God and try to forget oneself inside the repetition of the Name. Or one can repeat a particular mantra, which means sacred word or incantation. When one is repeating a mantra or God’s Name, there will be a continuous flow. If it is “God, God, God,” then inside the repetition itself one has to lose oneself. Then the mind stops.
There is also another way. One has to see the mind as a material object. We can take a material object and put it anywhere we want to, or we can throw it the farthest possible distance, according to our strength. So either we can grab the mind like a material object and throw it into the distance, or we can put the mind wherever we want to. If a mischievous child is bothering us, we can take the mischievous child into a corner and threaten him and keep him there. One can do that to the mind also.
A third way is to totally forget about the existence of the mind. Ignore the mind and feel oneself only as the heart. It is not enough to say, “I have a heart.” One must say, “I am the heart, I am the heart.” Then the qualities of the heart will permeate the entire being, and automatically the mind will stop. There are many more ways, but these three ways are quite enough for any individual, and one can choose any of the three in order to stop the mind.
Published in Flame-Waves, part 10
Listen to Sri Chinmoy’s answer...
A lecture by Sri Chinmoy
at 2:00 p.m. in SUNY at Plattsburgh, New York
Pure is our aspiration-plant. Purer is our dedication flower. Purest is our gratitude-heart. Sweet is our soulful smile. Sweeter is our inner cry. Sweetest is our gratitude-heart. Gratitude is pure happiness. Happiness is sure perfection. Perfection is complete satisfaction both in man’s world and in God’s world.
Our gratitude-heart ceaselessly receives blessingful love, soulful concern and fruitful oneness from above. Our gratitude-heart feels that its very existence on earth is an unconditional act of God’s Grace. Our gratitude-heart knows that its acts are for God and for God alone.
In this world we are apt not to value anything or anyone, but our gratitude-heart always values everything in God’s creation. It values God the Creator and God the creation. It values God’s Compassion and it values God the Compassion. It also values God’s Justice-Light and God the Justice-Light, for it knows that God, our Beloved Supreme, is always the Author of all good.
Our gratitude-heart never fails God. It carries with it flaming aspiration, the burning inner cry and a constant self-giving reality. At every moment God pleases our gratitude-heart with His boundless Concern, Compassion and all-loving Oneness.
We aspire for the Infinite, the Eternal and the Immortal. The seeker in us constantly is trying to transcend himself on the strength of his aspiration-cry and dedication-smile. Our seeker-heart’s experience-life, realisation-life and God-fulfilling manifestation-life are clearly read in the Face of our Beloved Supreme. Our own autobiography is clearly read in God’s own Face. We offer Him our gratitude-heart and He gives us His constant Assurance that He has chosen us to be His choice instruments, Him to fulfil in His own way here on earth and there in Heaven.
Published in AUM – Vol. 5, No. 5, 6, 27 May-June 27 1978
World peace from a Hindu perspective:
a Hindu world-peace-dreamer
A lecture by Sri Chinmoy
at College of St. Rose; Albany, New York
I am a Hindu. I love being a Hindu. I am proud to be a Hindu. Why? Why? Why? Because a Hindu soul is a world-peace-dreamer, a Hindu heart is a world-peace-lover and a Hindu life is a world-peace-server.
My spiritual ancestors, the Vedic Seers of the hoary past, taught my soul the song of universal peace. My soul has taught the singer in me that particular song. Now I wish to sing that song lovingly and devotedly for you, my world-peace-dreamer, lover and server brother and sister-friends.
The song is in Sanskrit, the mother of all Indian languages. I wish to give the translation first:
May there be peace in Heaven.
May there be peace in the sky.
May there be peace on earth.
May there be peace in the water.
May there be peace in the plants.
May there be peace in the trees.
May there be peace in the gods.
May there be peace in Brahma.
May there be peace in all.
[Sri Chinmoy then performed the song in Sanskrit, accompanying himself on the harmonium.]
“God, Power infinite You have. God, Light infinite You have. In and through all Your Attributes, You manifest Your Divinity’s Infinity. God, my sole prayer to You is to bless me with Your Compassion-flooded Peace-Eye. This is all I need from You.” This peace-prayer is, indeed, the quintessence of all Hindu prayers.
“God, I do not desire even an atom of Power from You. God, I do not desire even an iota of Light from You. What I need from You is a sea of Peace in which I can swim and dive, a sea of Peace in which I can lovingly and unconditionally invite all my brothers and sisters from the world to join me.” This peace-meditation is, indeed, the quintessence of all Hindu meditations.
A Hindu prayer cries in order to fly up high, higher, highest to reach the Creation’s ultimate peace-height. A Hindu meditation smiles in order to dive deep, deeper, deepest and enter into the heart of the unfathomable Peace-Source.
If you ask a Hindu seeker what he thinks of world peace, his spontaneous and immediate reply will be: “I do not think of world peace. Why? Because the more I think of world peace, the more I puzzle myself and confuse the poor, helpless world! Peace can never bloom and blossom and cover the length and breadth of the world on the strength of dividing and thinking minds. Peace can and shall bloom and blossom and cover the four corners of the globe only by virtue of self-giving oneness-hearts. These self-giving oneness-hearts are made of God-pleasing prayers and God-fulfilling meditations.”
Peace is the alpha and omega of our earth-reality and our Heaven-dream. We are given by the Absolute Lord Himself the signal opportunity to journey, and the infallible assurance that we shall complete our journey, to the Land of ever-transcending Love and Bliss only when we become world-peace-boat-passengers. Everything else will ultimately disappoint us save and except our peace.
Our Lord Beloved Supreme, with His birthless and deathless Compassion-Light, is telling us:
My children, My sweet children,
Yesterday you were.
Today you are.
Tomorrow you shall become.
Hinduism is the temple-heart of a Hindu peace-seeker. In this temple-heart the peace-seeker sleeplessly rings the oneness-bell of a oneness-world-family. Hinduism does not believe in the supremacy of one religion over other religions. Hinduism believes only in the oneness-intimacy of all religions.
Excruciating pangs heavily weigh upon the heart of each and every peace-loving human being because countless unaspiring people use their meddler-muddler-mind-concern to try and solve all the world’s problems and bring about world peace. This approach is, indeed, stupidity’s abysmal absurdity-abyss. Millions and billions of Infinity’s blue-winged, golden peace-birds are sleeplessly flying over the firmament of our division-cherishing minds — trying to enter into and radically transform our minds. All they need is an invitation from our minds to come down to reveal and manifest peace here on earth.
The dictionary word ‘peace’ charmingly yet definitely attracts world attention. The capacity-profundity-velocity of the mind’s peace-word begins and ends in utter failure. But the illumination-perfection of the aspiring heart’s oneness-peace-message can and shall inundate the entire world with peace at God’s choice Hour. Let us all prayerfully, soulfully and self-givingly invoke God to expedite that Hour.
God and His Time will complete His cosmic Self-Manifestation-Picture only when our inner life becomes peace the soulful and our outer life becomes peace the beautiful.
Here I conclude: having a Hindu origin, I personally would like to become a full-time God-loving, God-serving and God-fulfilling peace-instrument-student.
Since our subject is peace, with your kind permission I would like to meditate on peace. I have spoken about peace at many, many places; I have written many books about peace. But my writings and my talks, I feel, are of no avail. It is only when I meditate soulfully that I feel I am of true service to my peace-loving brothers and sisters of the world.
So please allow me to meditate on world peace. I wish all of you to join me. Let us together meditate on world peace, for it is only our prayers and meditations that will definitely bring about world peace. For our prayers and meditations come directly from our heart—the heart that unites us and makes us feel that we all belong to a oneness-world-family.
Published in The Oneness of the Eastern Heart and the Western Mind, part 3