America's Bicentennial

Forty-five questions answered by Sri Chinmoy
at the United Nations Headquarters, New York

 

This is the most significant year for America, the Bicentennial year. It is my sincere wish to answer a few questions on the Bicentennial offered by the United Nations Meditation Group from the spiritual point of view. If each of you can kindly meditate for a couple of minutes and then give me a question, I shall be very grateful. This will help all the members of the Meditation Group considerably. If the questions are meaningful and soulful and the answers also are soulful, then it will be a great service not only to the soul of the United Nations but also to the soul of America. Something more: It will be a great service to the Universal Soul, for America's independence is something most meaningful and fruitful in God's entire creation.

Question: What could America's contribution be to the family of nations in the next two hundred years?

Sri Chinmoy: In the next two hundred years America's contribution to the family of nations will be equality's universal birthright and reality's transcendental height. America is great. America is good. America's greatness is going to increase in infinite measure in the next two hundred years because America knows what greatness is and where it comes from. Greatness is self-giving and its source is love in peace and peace in love. America's goodness lies in this: God for God's sake, man for God's sake. Aspiration for a higher life is for God's sake. Truth-discovery is for God's sake. Peace-distribution is for God's sake. Delight-manifestation is for God's sake.

America's matchless contribution shall be her supreme universal friendship in which the family of nations will see beckoning hands, oneness-satisfaction and perfection-manifestation. America means contribution. Right now this contribution at times is conditional, at times unconditional. But either in the near or distant future, America's contribution will always be unconditional in the outer life because America is undoubtedly going to make tireless efforts to become a supremely unconditional instrument of the Pilot Supreme.

Question: How can we rekindle the significance of America in our hearts and in the hearts of others?

Sri Chinmoy: We can rekindle the significance of America in our hearts and in the hearts of others by becoming glowing sacrifice in the inner life and growing service in the outer life.

Question: What is the difference between political independence and spiritual independence?

Sri Chinmoy: The difference between political independence and spiritual independence is this: political independence is the individuality of a particular party whereas spiritual independence is the independence of a seeker from darkness, bondage and ignorance.

Read more — 42 questions and answers...


Published in The Bicentennial Flames at the United Nations.

 

Photo by Prabhakar Street

 

Sri Chinmoy delivers a lecture and also receives an honorary degree from the Rector of the Mongolian University of Culture and Arts, at the State Academic Theatre of Drama in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

 

Art: The Beauty of Earth and the Fragrance of Heaven.

A lecture by Sri Chinmoy
at the Mongolian University of Culture and Arts, 
in the State Academic Theatre of Drama in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

 

I am offering this particular talk of mine to the soul of the august Mongolian University of Culture and Arts.

Art: The Beauty of Earth and the Fragrance of Heaven. 

Right at the very outset, I wish to speak about how my own art began. In India, truth to tell, I never, never cared for art. Poetry was more than sufficient for me. I studied art only once a week on Friday for four years. But I did not have any special feeling for painting or drawing. At that time, my artistic interests were fully nourished by the muse of poetry. 

More than ten years after I came to America, in November 1974, I went to Ottawa, Canada, to offer a Peace Concert. One evening it was pouring rain. I do not know why and how I was inspired to draw a rose.

Two very dear students of mine happened to be there. One of them said, “Art will never be your forte.” 

The other one said, “I can clearly see that you can become a great artist.” 

The one who has encouraged me the most is the curator of all my art. She is my secretary as well. It was she who immediately rushed out in that downpour to buy the necessary art supplies. And it was at her place, at a private gathering, where I offered the name Jharna-Kala, which means Fountain-Art, for my art collection.

What encouragement can do! Here is the radiant proof. Since that time, I have painted more than 200,000 paintings, and I have drawn more than 15 million birds. 

To my great joy, my paintings have been exhibited at museums and galleries all over the world, including the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris and the Mall Gallery in London, as well as at the United Nations in New York, the United States Senate and many national Parliaments, plus at the foot of the immortal Kamakura Buddha in Japan. 

At the time I started painting, one artist-teacher of mine happened to be a very close friend of my family in India — Sanjivan Bishwas. When he saw my paintings, he said to my elder brother Chitta, “Tell Madal (my nickname) what a ridiculous waste of time his painting is! Tell Madal that he will never be an artist.”

Two years later in New York, some great artists and curators had a different opinion. They highly appreciated my paintings. My brother Chitta showed some of my paintings to the same artist-teacher in India. This time he exclaimed, “O my God! O my God! Mada! has so much capacity! Tell him to continue. Tell him to continue.” See how he changed his mind when he heard others’ appreciation! 

There is a popular adage by Victor Cousin, “Art for art’s sake.” Being a God-seeker and God-lover, I always say that art is for God’s sake. No matter how great an artist is, he has to feel that the Source is God. 

So my philosophy is, “Art for God’s sake.”

My art is at once my selfless effort and my Lord’s unconditional Grace.

My art does not seek efficiency as such. But it does seek intimacy, God-intimacy. My art and I cry together for a deep, very deep, God-communion. 

Art and heart have to remain always inseparable. 
May my art express the blissful innocence of a child’s heart.
The mind can never be a just judge. The mind gets lost between loveliness and unloveliness.

The mind cannot differentiate between earth-beauty and Heaven-Fragrance; whereas the heart easily can. Indeed, the heart never even judges. It only loves, encourages, strengthens and intensifies all that is beautiful and soulful in a seeker artist’s life.

When we look at a work of art with our human mind, the mind shows us the sound-power of art.

When we look at a work of art with our divine heart, we become the all-pervading silence-sound of art. 

Doubt, specially self-doubt, has to be banished from the mind, for doubt short-circuits our heart-connection with God’s Compassion. 

My request to all art-lovers, if they really want happiness from art, is not to use the thinking mind, but to surcharge the twinkling heart. 

A divine artist is God’s Heart.
A supreme artist is God’s Breath.

Each new art of an artist can change his mind and transform his life. 

When my heart cries to express the inner beauty through my art, God immediately beckons me to join Him in His universal Play: Art. 

As I said before, I have drawn over 15 million birds. Each bird reminds me of freedom in Infinity’s sky.

I have also painted over 200,000 paintings. My paintings are mostly abstract. I wish to offer simplicity, which I feel is next to spirituality, through my art. 

Spirituality means God-oneness. In abstract art, I try to see not only the finite in the Infinite, but also the Infinite in the finite. This moment I look at the finite, and I see it is inside the Infinite. Again, with my inner vision, I see the Infinite inside the finite. 

It is like a drop and the ocean. If we look at the drop, we see that the drop is inside the ocean. Again, with our inner eye, we can see the entire ocean inside a single drop.

Nature’s art is nature’s untouched beauty and purity.
Divinity’s art descends from beyond the horizon
Our art is, indeed, a God-manifested beauty in every sphere of life. 

When we look at a beautiful piece of art, we become exceedingly happy. Unlike other happiness, this happiness cannot be stolen. This happiness forever lasts inside the heart. For what is art, if not a renaissance-consciousness? 

When there is an excellent piece of art, and we offer our gratitude for the art and the artist, we enjoy the presence of ecstasy-plenitude. 

An artist’s desire-fame-hunger blights his life.
An artist’s aspiration-flame-hunger brightens and enlightens his world. 

There are artists who take hours, even days, to complete a piece of art. Along the march of time, if they only perspire in their artistic creation, I am afraid God will not be so happy. God wants the artist to immediately climb up the aspiration-ladder so that he may discover a beautiful piece of art.

If we take art as a God-service of our heart, then this service will always succeed and never err.

The process of thinking must go. The wings of intuition-bird must spread all-where for an artist to reach the acme of art.

In art, intuition can play a major role.
Intuition is the all-penetrating eye of silence.
Intuition reveals and then manifests the beauty of Truth par excellence. 

The mind’s determination is not the answer. The heart’s aspiration is the answer of answers to intensify our capacities and fulfil our deep promises to create the art of the Beyond. 

My heart watches and washes God’s Feet spellbound, and then I prayerfully start my artwork. I feel this is what a God-seeker artist should do. 

I take my artwork as an act of devotion. I try for every heartbeat of mine to pulsate with God-devotion, so that I can create a most beautiful artwork.

An artist’s sole longing is to see his art beyond all heights and beyond all depths. This can only be possible if the artist is the flaming joy of a God-surrendered heart and the blossoming bliss of an unconditional God-loving soul. 

If an artist can bathe in the light of gratitude at the end of his art-creativity, he is bound to win a vast Smile from God. 

My art is not for self-mastery.
My art is for God-discovery.

Inside My Art-Life

Inside my art-life
There are two great art-lovers:
The ancient art-lover
        And
The modern art-lover

Once they had a very serious quarrel.
Each one wanted to declare his supremacy.
I was dumbfounded.
Finally, I told them:
“As far as I am concerned,
I do not care to know
Who is superior
And who is inferior.
I am only concerned with
That art-lover inside me
Who is teaching me
The supreme Art —
The Art of unconditional surrender
To God’s Will
In all my activities.”


Published in World-Oneness-Heart-Song in Mongolian Life