Hriday wrote the following 17 commentaries on daily aphorisms that appeared in his youngest brother Chinmoy’s book Meditations: Food for the Soul, published in 1970. His commentaries were initially published in a small, undated pamphlet and are reproduced here in their entirety. Seen side by side, the aphorisms and the commentaries reveal how sympathetic the two brothers were in their wisdom and vision, even their mode of expression. Hriday’s commentaries flow as a natural extension of the original poetic aphorisms and cast light on the philosophical depths they embody.
God does not want to enslave man by a miracle. He wants to guide man with an embrace.
Man in essence is God, as he has been made in His Image and is an exact prototype of Him. God wants that man should be in becoming also as perfect as He. Man has a mind and a vital, which are at present limited, half enlightened and insignificant, and a soul, a direct portion of God, supporting them. God is both omnipotent and All-Love. By His Omnipotence He can stupefy and dazzle the mind and vital with some miracle. But man’s soul will not respond to the action of Power, though his mind and vital will yawn at the wonder. The soul will respond only to the magic wand of love. So, instead of forcing and coercing with His Omnipotence, God, Who is All-Love, makes man feel His intense Love and captivates the soul of man with His loving embrace. His Love and Self-giving make man feel that he belongs exclusively to Him. Being enamoured of His Love, he wishes to be His one lover, and he becomes God, not only in essence but also in manifestation.
I am my Beloved’s. Lo, His spontaneous Love flows towards me. My Beloved is mine. Lo, my spontaneous cry carries me towards Him.
I and my Beloved, Soul and God, are not two different entities. They are in essence and in all reality One and the same. The seeming separation is only for Play – as One and only One cannot play. As long as the Soul remains in Ignorance of this Supreme Truth, she thinks herself separate from her Beloved – and she feels suffocated in the world. But when she sees herself as only God’s, she feels the spontaneous Love of her Beloved flowing to her, and her spontaneous cry also for the complete union draws her to one raison d’être of her existence, her Sole Lover, her God.
A student of mine came to me and said that he had committed a vital sin. He also prayed to God to forgive him. But he is not sure whether God has forgiven him or not. I assured him that God has forgiven him, for he no longer continues to do the wrong thing.
God Who is our Father, Mother, Beloved all combined – nay, even our higher Self from Whom we are born as His exact Image – is not an astute and impartial Judge sitting on His imperial Throne on the Olympic Height, judging scrupulously the merits or demerits of our actions and rewarding or punishing as His inexorable Law dictates or demands. He is the All-Merciful Self, with Infinite Patience and Forgiveness for His children. For, if not He, who will make them as perfect as He? Out of His Omnipotence, He has given us a little freedom. If, due to that little freedom, we commit something wrong and then repent, it is His loving, paternal care that will absolve us and give us strength and guidance to shake off the dust from our soul and make us pure and immaculate. If not He, who will do that, He being our own Higher Self?
Do not be afraid of evil. But be always cheerful in doing good. Evil will soon leave you, for evil is extremely jealous of good.
Two contradictory things cannot co-exist. As two jealous persons fight each other bitterly and at the end only one survives, good and evil also – like light and darkness – can never exist side by side. The best and easiest way to weed out thorny plants from a garden: one has only to plant a few thornless good plants and tend them with care. The good plants will naturally grow and occupy the space of the thorny evil plants. Instead of doing a tedious Herculean task of weeding out the thorny plants, we can allow the thornless plants to kill the thorny ones. It is not only the easiest but also an infallible process of good riddance.
When God’s Will is not my will, everybody can dare to be my master.
God is not only omnipotent but also the Source of all strength to all, irrespective of low or great, weak or strong, good or bad. He knows best: whom to give, how much to give and when to give. When I surrender to Him and identify my will with His, I become Invincible. But when my will is not His Will – everybody can dare it. So it depends on God’s Will or sanction or toleration as to how long I shall remain victorious. Whenever He decides my defeat, He can bring it through anybody. The fate of one-time dictators of the world illustrates this fact.
Man desires the Infinite. He will one day possess the Infinite.
“I and my Father are the same.” So says the Christ. In fact, as God has made man in His Image and out of His seed, man and his Creator are one in essence. Only God knows and feels it, while man is yet to know and feel. What is latent in him, his Infinity, will develop in the course of time through his incessant aspiration and by the Grace of God – and then he will see that he has always been the Infinite.
Love humanity and then do whatever you want to do with humanity. Love Divinity and then do whatever Divinity wants you to do.
The Soul of a true lover of humanity is greater than humanity. If I sincerely love humanity, God will make me His instrument and He will consciously guide me to love it as best I can. He will not allow me to commit blunders. It may seem as if I am doing what I like with humanity, the fact is, it is He – God – Who will get the thing done by me. But if I loved Divinity, as it is omniscient, omnipotent and all-blissful Self of all, I should surrender to God and do consciously what He wants me to do.
When we serve humanity, God loves us. When we love God, both humanity and God serve us. God serves us with His soulful Concern. Humanity serves us with its dedicated feeling of oneness.
God is at once Transcendent and Immanent – Supracosmic and Cosmic – above and in humanity. So, when we love and serve humanity, God loves us and helps us to serve humanity, because in serving humanity we only fulfil His Will: of helping Him in His cosmic play. But when we love God, both humanity and God serve us. Humanity as a whole, a portion of God, is serving God. We are an inalienable part of humanity. So when we love God, in her feeling of dedication, she feels unity of her dedication with ours – and serves us. And God takes all our cares and with soulful Concern serves us, as He is our only Beloved.
My sleeping body I offer to my God’s Compassion. My dreaming body I offer to my God’s Love. My crying body I offer to my God’s Concern.
When man is in complete Ignorance, he needs God’s Compassion to be awakened. So, he must offer his inert nature to God so that he can awaken in it a little consciousness to feel God’s Love. Then he starts dreaming, hoping, aspiring and gradual unfolding. This state man has to offer to God’s Love – more impersonal than personal – that he thinks and feels can fulfil his dream. Last comes his crying, intense aspiration for something positive, which only God’s ever-conscious, all-fulfilling, all-including Concern can grant. He needs and feels also God’s all-accomplishing Concern always for and around him.
Action is bondage when I love my life alone. Action is freedom when I love the life of the world.
When I feel myself separate from the world, I am attached to my ego. Whatever I do then centres round my ego and makes me bound to the fruit of action. When I feel myself an inalienable portion of the world, my life becomes a part of the world and I become a Cosmic Being. In that consciousness, I am no longer a limited ego in Ignorance, but a Cosmic Manifestation of the Supreme in His World-Play. I become identified with Him and whatever is done in and through me is in complete freedom: not for the pleasure and benefit of the limited ego, but for the gradual unfoldment of the Supreme’s Plan, in and through me, for the World-Spirit.
Surrender to God’s Will is the highest realisation of our hidden power.
We are at present beset with so many forces that demand our constant care and attention for their fulfilment: Desires of all kinds – moral, immoral, neutral – have made our lives spiritually miserable. And yet, we have no time to think that we are so; it requires enormous efforts to feel – not merely believe – constantly and tangibly, that God is the omnipotent, omniscient and all-merciful Self of all. When we can realise that, we feel the utter unworthiness of our ego, however great it may look to others, and try to surrender to Him and to His Will for our best benefit. It does come only when the ego feels its utter helplessness after a million rude shocks. This surrender to God’s Will is the highest realisation of the Soul, the hidden divine power in man.
Do not try to approach God with your thinking mind. It may only stimulate your intellectual ideas, activities and beliefs. Try to approach God with your crying heart. It will awaken your soulful, spiritual consciousness.
God is above and beyond mind. He is a Reality that cannot be proved or disproved by arguments or counter-arguments. He is to be felt and then to be realised and lived. In our life we find feeling, especially feeling by identification, is more powerful than thinking by mind. Though the presence of God can be felt everywhere, it is most felt in the heart, where the Soul stays. If we approach God with our thinking mind, He will escape our grasp, as He is always unintelligible. But if we approach God with our heart, where our Soul stays, our Soul, being a portion of the Supreme, will feel identification with the Supreme. And then God will awaken in us His own Spiritual Consciousness. He can escape the reasoning of the thinking mind, but He cannot escape love and surrender of the heart, because God with His eternal portion – Soul – stays in the heart.
Love quickens activity. Devotion radiates humility. Surrender multiplies proficiency.
The motive behind all our actions is either love or fear in some form or other. The love of a mother for her child and vice versa, the love of a husband for his wife and vice versa, the love of a country or an object urges us to sacrifice our everything to please our object of love, be it material or abstract, a living being or an idea. Fear compels us for activity – but only so much as is unavoidable. Whereas love prompts us for spontaneous Self-giving, fear for a person or a thing can extract only the minimum from our unwilling nature. Devotion to a person or a good cause makes us humble, as we find our object of adoration cannot be pleased with our vanity. He or that is above our moral capacity to be pleased with. When humility follows our inborn natural capacity, surrender to a person or the Supreme gives us required guidance and strength to make us proficient and completely successful.
Responsibility is no anxiety. Responsibility is the possibility of opportunity culminating in inevitable fulfilment.
In fact, we all have an inexhaustible power-house in our nature which can fulfil all our demands. Only the demand is to be made. To meet this demand – real or imaginary – nature puts forth required attention and energy. What we cannot do easily – for example, keeping late hours at night – we can easily do if we are asked to keep vigil over a patient relative. In this way, the sense of responsibility awakens in us a greater effort, to regularise, harness and channelise our energy in a particular way. And if it is free from anxiety, as it should be, this responsibility makes us what we should be in a particular time and place and with relation to others. If there is no sense of responsibility, people would stop working and everything will be in disorder. Responsibility makes us unselfish, wide and obedient. It always ends in inevitable fulfilment of the cherished object.
Imagination is no self-deception. Imagination is the road that leads man to the life of practicality wherein lies man’s true fulfilment.
There is nothing unreal. What is materially not true is true in some other plane. For example, ideas. They are true in planes of ideas. In the physical plane, they are to be translated in action before their form and force are felt and seen. So, Imagination of those high Ideas and Ideals is not self-deception. Only they are to be given concrete shape in action. Unless one has Imagination, one cannot have any definite Idea of the thing to be done. So, it is the road that not only gives the vision of the Idea, but also urges the dreamer to get his dream fulfilled in life and therein lies his true fulfilment.
Sacrifice is the common meeting ground for man and God. Man’s sacrifice is his ignorance. God’s sacrifice is His Compassion.
We all can give what we give to whom we love. And it is a two-way traffic, giving and taking, so that in the end our difference diminishes and we become equal. Man has, at present, only his Ignorance and Incapacity. He can give only this to his God – his Creator and One Lover. Nobody wants from us what we do not have and cannot give. Everybody is satisfied with what we can give. God also is satisfied if we give Him what we have – our Ignorance and Incapacity. He in His Turn will give us what He has – His Compassion in the form of Truth, Wisdom, Bliss, Consciousness. This sacrifice is not immolation of a lamb at the altar of a cruel deity. It is the loving offering of the Supreme of His own Self to His dear children. And, as His Source is inexhaustible, it never diminishes. Only this freely giving makes man a true partner of His Divine Kingdom.
Meditation is the language of spirituality. Spirituality is the language of unity. Unity is the language of divinity.
Meditation is the one and only means of gaining spirituality. Spirituality can never be gained by reading, writing and discussing books of spirituality. It cannot be given also by any other means than meditation. It is to be communicated through the Soul – from the Soul to the Soul. If we gain sufficient spirituality, we find unity – real unity – underlying all forms, as all forms are only His. This unity is the substance of Divinity. Divinity expresses itself through spirituality.