During his Ashram years, the young Chinmoy kept a vast number of soft-covered and inexpensive lined notebooks in which he recorded his poems, essays and dramatic works. He used English, Bengali and French as his medium of expression and frequently decorated the pages with artwork. Some of these notebooks are still in existence, while others were lost over the years, mostly in transit between India and America.
The first piece in this selection records an experience Chinmoy had at the tender age of fourteen — that is, in late 1945 or early 1946. The pieces that follow describe various inner experiences that took place when he was seventeen years old. They were initially printed in AUM Magazine, December 1972. Subsequently, several appeared in the slim volume Awakening, compiled and published by Janaka Alan Spence in Scotland in 1988.
In his Introduction to the book, Janaka describes these outpourings of the heart in the following way:
In an intensely heightened and consciously poetic language, [Sri Chinmoy] describes profoundly visionary experiences — meetings and sweet exchanges with personal forms of his ‘Beloved Supreme.’ These are both beautiful and deeply moving.
These lofty writings give us a rare insight into the earliest inner spiritual experiences and realisations of this great soul. They glow with astonishing freshness even across the divide of sixty years.
Compiled by Vidagdha Bennett
Table of Contents
1. A Sea of Light
Whenever I had the opportunity, I flew to the edge of the ever-blue sea and took my seat there in solitude. My bird of consciousness, dancing slowly, rose to the sky and lost itself up there.
On this occasion — it was a full-moon night — as I gazed and gazed upon the blue-white horizon, I found only light, a sea of sweet and serene light. All was engulfed, as it were, in an infinite Ocean of Light which played lovingly on the sweet ripples.
My finite consciousness was in quest of the Infinite and Immortal. I drank deeply of Ambrosia and was floating on an illumined ocean. It seemed that I no longer existed on this earth.
All of a sudden — I do not know why or how — something put an end to my sweet dream. No longer did the air emit its honey-like immortal Bliss, for my own depressed thoughts had come to the fore: “Useless, everything is useless. There is no hope of creating a divine world here on earth. It is only a childish dream.” I felt, too, that I could not go on even with my own life. This seemed to be nothing but a thorny desert strewn with endless difficulties.
“Why should I suffer these unbearable pains and sorrows here? I am the son of the Infinite. I must have freedom. I must have the ecstasy of Paradise. This ecstasy resides ever within me. Why then should I not leave this mortal world for my Eternal Abode in Heaven?”
A sudden flash of lightning appeared over my head. Looking up with awe and bewilderment, I found above me my Beloved, the King of the Universe looking at me. His radiant Face was overcast with sorrow.
“Father,” I asked, approaching him, “what makes Thy Face so sad?”
“How can I be happy, My son, if you do not wish to be My companion and help Me in My Mission? I have, concealed in the world, millions of sweet plans which I shall unravel. If My children do not help Me in My Play, how can I have My Divine Manifestation here on earth?”
Profoundly moved, I bowed and promised: “Father, I will be Thy faithful companion, loving and sincere, throughout Eternity. Shape me and make me worthy of my part in Thy Cosmic Play and Thy Divine Mission.”
2 i). A Vision
A radiant figure with a golden lyre of very soft and sweet cadence was seen singing in my heart. I asked Her, “Who and what art Thou?”
She answered, “I am the Divine Mother. As a fruit of penance covering many aeons I have got thee from my Beloved. I have brought thee forth on the bosom of the universe. In thy happiness and sorrow, in thy victory and defeat, I reside ever with thee. On thy journey to the Goal I lead and guide thee with infinite love and care of the Mother. It is I who am to unite thee, when thy part in the Play is over, with the ever-pure Self of my Beloved, thy Father. Thou art a hero, a prince, a lord of the cosmos. In thee is the seed of the whole immortal Self. And I am the eternal Life-Force, delightful and superconscient, come out from the bosom of the Supreme for Play.”
2 ii). Lord of My Heart
“Who and what am I? Why have I come into this mortal world? And what is the aim of my life?” Some sort of answers to these questions arose in my mind. But my mind was not at all satisfied with them. All of a sudden, in a full moon night of spring, a young boy appeared before me. His face was so beautiful! And it seemed to me that his twinkling eyes were playing with the little waves of light.
He must have been in his teens, most probably fourteen or fifteen. I asked him very gently, “Where have you come from? And what do you want?”
He answered, “From your own heart I have appeared to fulfil your wish. Can’t you recognise me?” Soon I came to know that he was no one else but my Lord. I bowed down before His Lotus Feet and prayed to Him not to leave me alone any more.
My Lord said, “I will never leave you. Remember ever that he alone who loves Me wholeheartedly, without any desire, and likes to play ever with Me, is dear to Me. He is my very soul. Alas! Only a few companions I have in this world.”
2 iii). Farewell of Ahana
Slowly, very slowly Ahana (Dawn) puts off the veil of darkness and shows her face to Dharitri (Earth) for a while. When she appears before Dharitri, Dharitri asks, “Ahana, my sister, where do you go after staying with me?”
“My sister, you do not want me. When I approach you, having smiled a little, you bid me farewell and invite Savita (Sun-God). You know I cannot stay when the chariot of seven lighted horses is seen.”
Savita is seen ready in his golden chariot of light, to court Dharitri. All of a sudden, she cries aloud, “Savita, my friend, and beloved! I shall no more invite thee and thou must not come to me henceforth,” and instantly closes her eyes. Savita is shocked and retires to his home of the other firmament.
Aeons pass away in a sweet and serene trance in expectation of Light. Suddenly Ahana murmurs into the ear of Dharitri, “Sister, my sister! Are you awake? My sisters that are to follow me — the dawns of the future — cannot appear if Savita does not finish his courting with you. Invite then your beloved! I must take leave of this form. I must make way for my sisters — myself in other forms. I come forth from Savita and vanish in him. I must come again and again to paint the sky for the chosen illumined.”
Au revoir, then my sister, au revoir.
2 iv). Slowly — but Steadily and Unerringly
Millions and millions of years our mother earth Basundhara was in one body with Savita, the Sun. Our mother on whose laps we are born, grow, play and retire after finishing our part has taken millions and millions of years to be what she is now.
Banaspati, the King of the trees, hides himself in a tiny seed. With the help of light, air and food gradually it becomes a huge tree. Who will believe by seeing a little particle of seed that it will one day grow into a gigantic banyan tree and will live thousands of years? A time may come when a weakling of today may, gathering courage and strength, become a Timur or Hitler before whom nations trembled in horror. Or an ordinary child of today may grow up as Christ, Ramakrishna, Buddha, or Sri Aurobindo through whom God will reveal Himself to the Earth. Even if we see no mark of progress, no appreciable change, progress and change are going on. Unnoticed yet, under the secret guidance of God through nature.
We should remember what the world-famous poet, Tagore, once sang with so beautiful and sweet voice, “I know well, very well, the river that has lost her flow in the desert-way has not lost herself nor her way.”
One’s endeavour is not finished even when one’s days are numbered with the dead. Death is nothing but changing one flow of life for another. Man is going on slowly, but steadily and unerringly to fulfil his mission, to be the Divine. The finite is going to realise the Infinite hidden in its core. Seeming weal and woe, seeming light and darkness, seeming success and failure are the process through which the Incarnate Supreme is becoming the Transcendent. Everything exists, nothing does perish. What is within, under the pressure of the omniscient and omnipotent is becoming what is above — slowly — though it may seem — but steadily and unerringly.
2 v). Awakening
Midnight. The sky was overcast with clouds. It was raining in torrents. I do not know why and what for a sweet surge of bliss entered my heart and awakened me from my sleep. I got up. After a while I began to look hither and thither. I found nobody and was unable to know from whom the sweet bliss had come. So with a heavy heart I was going to have my sleep again. All of a sudden someone in me cried aloud, saying, “Look to the sky, my dear, just have a look to the sky.” I looked to the sky. It was raining no more. No cloud was seen in the sky. The eternally pure face of the moon was shining brightly.
Soon I felt my bird of consciousness was dancing merrily in the bosom of the Moon. Thither I found a sweet and flower-like hand calling me with great love. Soon dancing with infinite joy, my heart began to fly up to the blue sky from where my friend was beckoning me.
On the way only once I looked down on the earth. There I saw some earthly beings calling me with great affection and requesting me not to go to my Goal. While on the other hand, some were saying, “Our loving friend, proceed on, onward. Hearken, our Beloved is calling you.” I responded to the ardent wish of the latter.
I reached my Goal. The flower-like hand commanded me to go into the depth of my heart and see His whole creation. With what a joy I saw His entire creation in me. Soon the Hand touched my head lightly and transformed me into light, love, and beauty.
1 These dates are in American format.