Sri Chinmoy gave the following talk on 20 June 1998 at P.S. 117 in Queens, New York.
What do we learn from this poem-song? That I am swimming in the sea of sorrows and tears. Each spiritual Master sings in the same vein. There is no spiritual Master who has not suffered ruthlessly at the hands of humanity, so I cannot be an exception. Once you make unconditional surrender to God’s Will and enter into God’s Manifestation-Game, or Lila, then you cannot come out of it. He suffers, you suffer, we all suffer. There is not a single person, whether he is realised or unrealised, who does not suffer.
Many, many, many times I have said to the Supreme, “To realise You is an Herculean task.” It takes countless incarnations to realise God. God-realisation is not like drinking water. You cannot get it for the asking. No, we do not get it for a price. It demands many, many incarnations, inner preparations, outer preparations and the mounting flame of aspiration. But always there is hope. God’s own Hope is keeping His Universe alive. If He loses Hope, then the Game is over.
A spiritual Master comes into the world to expedite the evolution of mankind. In order to do this, he needs constant co-operation from humanity. Here I am with you. Ours is a very small world. But again, I have the whole world. When a spiritual Master comes, he gets a few hundred or a few thousand disciples. But in the inner world, he has to work for the entire humanity. Outwardly, he has to take care of a few hundred or a few thousand, but his inner commitment to God is such that he has to work for the whole world.
When you pray most sincerely and meditate very well, you must realise that your prayers and meditations are entering into the soul and heart of the universe. There you are helping those who are crying for light, love and bliss from God.
On our path, the outer manifestation is very beautiful and powerful. We are manifesting here, there and everywhere. But the inner manifestation is oneness, oneness with God’s Will. At every moment, we have to offer God our love, devotion and surrender. At every moment we have to offer Him our loving, cheerful and self-giving obedience. If we neglect to offer these things to God, what can poor God do? He needs us for His Manifestation; we need Him for our realisation. If I am not a good instrument, then He chooses you. And if you are not a good instrument, He chooses somebody else. In exactly the same way, if I am a good instrument of His, then as many years as He wants me to continue His Mission, I must.
From this particular song-poem, you can see that right from the beginning of my life, I have been swimming in the sea of sorrows. I came of a very insignificant village, smaller than the smallest. Shakpura is even smaller than Briarwood. Then I had to lose my dearest ones, my father and mother. Everything was God’s Plan. Had I not lost them, God knows what would have been my fate. You people are lucky. Some of you have brought your children to the path. Again, some of you saw something in me. That is why you left your parents. You felt that I would be able to play the role of your parents. I have tried my best. You have also tried your best.
In my case, my eldest brother brought me and my brothers and sisters to the path. Our mother’s heart and soul were all for the spiritual life, but her mind was playing its own game; that is what the mind always does. Her mind was thinking that her children must get higher education, that kind of thing. That is why God in the form of a spiritual Master took my parents away, so that the whole family could enter into the spiritual life.
You can say it is a question of speed. I am the youngest in the family. When I think of my eldest brother, he far, far surpassed me in terms of the amount of time he spent in prayer and meditation. Long before I came to the Ashram, he began praying and meditating most intensely. Again, all my brothers were under spiritual Masters of the highest order in their previous incarnations. Some were Jesus Christ’s disciples, some were Sri Ramakrishna’s, one was Sri Chaitanya’s and some were Sri Ramachandra’s direct, direct disciples.
One day, when you realise God – which you should, you must and you will – you will be able to tell the whole world that you were once my direct disciples. You will also be able to claim that you were with me; you were then my contemporaries.
Either in the near future or in the distant future or in one of your future incarnations, you will realise God. I will be at that time in Heaven. God is very, very kind to me. Definitely this is my last incarnation. From Heaven I will be able to see you, help you and fulfil my vision in and through you.
My last and only request to you is this: always think that spirituality is a one-way street, not a two-way street. You may go slowly at times if you are tired, but do not turn around, do not turn back. Please remember it is a one-way street. Many seekers have forgotten, or they deliberately forget, and they make it into a two-way street. If you become indulgent to your own unaspiring life, there is only collision, collision and nothing else. I have had millions of sufferings and inner failures, with regard to the disciples. But He who has created me, He who has created you, will not suffer failures eternally. If that were the case, then God would not have created this world, never.
This poem of mine is flooded with sorrows and I do hope that one day you are the ones who will transform my sorrows into an ocean of delight. You have come into the world to manifest the Supreme, but this manifestation can take place only on the strength of your oneness with the Will of the Supreme. You have to go beyond and beyond and beyond all the barriers – physical, vital, mental, psychic and earthly – all, all, all. You have to conquer all the forces that are standing in your way. All our enemies are inside us, not outside us. They come in the form of doubt, suspicion, disobedience, fear, jealousy and insecurity. These inner enemies are obstructions on the way.
I have not given up and I beg of you all not to give up. Let us continue. Let me continue having faith in you all, and I expect the same from you – mutual faith. I shall give you what the Supreme in me wants me to give you. You will also give me what the Supreme in you wants you to give me. He wants me to give you my compassion, my love, my affection, my divine sweetness, fondness and constant concern to make you happy. At the same time, He expects you to give me your constant readiness, willingness and eagerness in the form of love, devotion, surrender and cheerful obedience at every moment.
What I am supposed to give, I shall definitely, definitely, definitely give, as I am giving. What you are supposed to give, some of you give and then withdraw. For one day you give and then, for months and months, you take rest, enter into vacation.
But I do hope we can have a good family. To have a sweet family, the father has to give what he is supposed to and the children have to give what they are supposed to. Let us turn this family into a very sweet, very illumining, very fulfilling and very satisfying family.
Now I can forget about the sadness of the poem. Excruciating pangs let us forget, completely forget. Let us only grow into sweetness, peace, light and bliss.
— End —