I am grateful to my Beloved Supreme, for out of His infinite Bounty He has given me the capacity to love Him more than I love myself.
I am grateful to my Beloved Supreme, for out of His infinite Bounty He has given me the capacity to feel His Need more than my own need.
I am grateful to my Beloved Supreme, for out of His infinite Bounty He has given me the capacity not to drag Him into my desire-world, but to implore His Presence in my aspiration-world, and also to offer Him my earth-bound will and desire-life, and soulfully declare, “Let Thy Will be done.”
I shall be extremely grateful to my Beloved Supreme the day He makes me a chosen instrument of His.
I shall be extremely, extremely grateful to my Beloved Supreme the day I can feel that my soul-bird lives only for Him inside my body-cage here on earth and there in Heaven.
I shall be extremely, extremely and extremely grateful to my Beloved Supreme the day I can declare to the world within and to the world without that I am what He has and I have what He is.
- Sri Chinmoy, Everest-Aspiration Part 1
Only those who have known their reality to be Shiva [the Self], are those who are soaked in the perfect and natural state of silence. Therefore having removed the ‘I’-sense in anything other than Shiva [that is, having given up one's identification with all adjuncts such as the body], abide without action in Shiva.
The glory of the state of silence – in which one has merged and dissolved in the real principle, God, who is the egoless Self, by enquiring “Who am I, the false first person?” – alone is the nature of the observance of self-surrender.
If we scrutinise what the method is to end forever the movements of the wavering mind or ego, which is like a reflection in wavy water, we will discover that the method is for one to remain silently attending to oneself alone, and not for one to attend to that wavering mind, which will make one slip down from the state of Self.
Those who have perfect knowledge say that the state of true knowledge, in which one remains without ‘I’ [the ego], alone is silence. In order to experience that silence, which is devoid of the feeling “I am this body”, clinging to the Self in the Heart is the spiritual practice.
The pure silence which shines forth when the ‘I’-sense is lost by abiding in the Heart, knowing one’s own real existing state instead of going outwards cherishing and attending to other things, alone is the limit of true knowledge [jnana].
Since, just as the activities seen within and by a dream-person become laughable and non-existent in the outlook of the waking person, even the activities of the individual self [such as his birth and death], which are an imagination seen by him within himself, become non-existent in the true awakened outlook of Self-knowledge, all of those activities, including his bondage and liberation are unreal and are a mere play of illusion.
When the pure gracious Supreme reveals the nature of Self, he who was in the dark room of ignorance will merge in the silence of Self-abidance, drowning in God-knowledge or existence-consciousness, which is the beauty of the Reality.
Know that silence – which is the perfect knowledge of the form of Self and which shines within when the ego reaches the Heart by rejecting all the juggleries of thoughts, which are rarely rejected – alone is the glorious Supreme word [paravak].
Only those who have not keenly listened to the Lord’s language of grace [silence], which is the Supreme word, which shines forth when the wandering mind subsides, will say that the sound of a flute is sweet, that the sound of a veena is sweet, or that the prattling speech of their own babbling children is very sweet.
If the noise of thoughts rising incessantly within does not subside, the ineffable state of silence will not be revealed. Those whose thoughts have subsided within, will not leave the strong and perfect state of silence even in a big battlefield.
Tell me, is not the vocal silence observed by those who do not engage in Self-enquiry and who do not know the real goal, which is the silence that shines forth when the ego, “I am the fleshy and filthy body”, subsides and reaches the Heart, a mere mental endeavour?
The life of Self – the true knowledge which shines forth devoid of the ego-sense due to the drowning of the ego in its source when the madness of desire for the petty, illusory and delusive sense-objects has been completely destroyed – alone is That which can truly satisfy the mind.
Those whose Hearts are surging with joy by experiencing the ever-new ambrosia [amrita] of Self, which shines brightly in the pure silence, will not be spoilt in the world by experiencing the petty sense-objects, which give a little mad pleasure caused by mental delusion.
The Reality which is very clearly known by sages as the goal of all Vedas and Agamas, and the observance of Reality recommended by all the spiritual instructions, is nothing but silence, the state of Supreme peace.
The complete giving up of the other three objectives [purusharthas] of human existence beginning with righteousness, is the glorious state of peace, which is the nature of liberation [the fourth and only true goal]. Therefore completely giving up all thought of the other three false objectives [wealth, desire and righteousness], cling only to silence, the knowledge of the Supreme Self, which is Shiva.
Keep your mind still. That is enough. You will get spiritual help sitting in this hall if you keep yourself still. The aim of all practices is to give up all practices. When the mind becomes still, the power of the Self will be experienced. The waves of the Self are pervading everywhere. If the mind is in peace, one begins to experience them.
Initiation into silence is the most perfect initiation; it comprises looking, touching and teaching. It will purify the individual in every way and establish him in the Reality. Silence is the most potent form of work. However vast and emphatic the scriptures may be, they fail in their effect. The Guru is quiet and peace prevails in all. His silence is more vast and emphatic than all the scriptures put together.
Silence does not mean negation of activity or stagnant inertness. It is not a mere negation of thoughts but something more positive than you can imagine. The one Self, the sole Reality, alone exist eternally. When even the ancient Master, Dakshinamurti, revealed It only through speechless eloquence, who else could convey it by speech or with words?
The silence of the Self is ever there. As long as you run with the running mind you cannot have it. It is a Supreme peace, immutable like a rock, that supports all your activities, in fact, all movements. It is in this silence that God and the liberated souls are rooted. Contact with a enlightened sage is good. They will work through silence. By speaking their power is reduced. Silence is most powerful. Speech is always less powerful than silence, so mental contact is the best.
True realisation is to cherish with one’s understanding, without any obstruction, the first cause of all that is, that silence which is liberation. The perfect silence in which the ego, the root, has been destroyed is the true nature, which will never be vanquished. The eminent and powerful state of silence can be reached in the Heart only by attaining the Self-state, the unmoving axis. Only silence, which is the end point of jnana [the direct knowledge of the Reality that is the Self], is that true vision which is the profound truth of Vedanta. Silence is the ocean into which all the rivers of all the religions discharge themselves. It is the speech of the Self.
Silence, the unique language, ever surging in the Heart [a synonym for the Self], is the state of grace. In silence one is in intimate contact with the surroundings. In the state of silence one merely abides as ‘I-I’. Apart from this, there is neither thinking nor knowing. Silence will manifest itself when the clarity of Self-knowledge, which overflows with the exalted direct experience, causes the trinities of seer-seeing-seen and knower-knowing-known to depart. If the trinities that have risen from silence subside in silence, then bliss will arise.
A mind that has experienced the light of silence will not readily accept the conceptual drama, consisting of the trinities, that appears in the other light [chidabhasa]. It is the mind that is diminished when there is a feeling of deficiency. In the fullness of silence, there is only consciousness, but no thoughts. That bliss that grows in the field of silence is not attained and experienced in any other field. Those who have seen the light of silence are without any attachment to the world, which is an infatuating snare that rises from the “I am the doer” idea, the feeling that there is a person who is performing the actions that the body engages in.
The feeling of remaining young forever is attained in nothing else other than silence, the blossoming of Truth. Since it is thought that creates a sense of deficiency, only thought-free silence is fullness. In order to attain the Supreme state of silence, that which is worthy of attainment by seekers of Truth is the loss of individuality. You should know that the Supreme state of liberation exists only in a mind who has attained the state of silence and nowhere else. The concept-free experience of the vast emptiness of silence will rise, putting an end to the delusion of the ego, the deceiving fixation.
The direct experience of the Self, silence, is the axis of everything. This is the summit, the highest good. Those who have sunk deeply into the ocean of silence and drowned will live on the summit of the Supreme mountain, the expanse of consciousness. From silence came thought, from thought, the ego, and from ego, speech. So if speech is effective, how much more so must be its source?
The pure state [turiya] exists and shines as unceasing pure being in the Heart after the other thoughts that rise from oneself and the Self-forgetfulness that is the basis for their rising are fully destroyed. Clinging to that pure state, which remains without any attachments, is clinging to divine grace. This alone is one’s own state of silence wherein naught else exists. To know and to merge in this state of silence through practice of Self-enquiry, and to remain always as That, is true mental worship. This you should know.
Take either God or Guru as your Lord. Until you attain liberation, keep in your Heart the conviction that you are his subject. Remain without desires and live according to his command. Oh foolish mind, why do you forget this and get deluded? Remaining quiet is what is called wisdom-insight. To remain quiet is to resolve the mind in the Self.
Enthroning the Lord upon the seat of the Heart and fixing the whole mind at his feet, worship him as your own Self, without a sense of difference, because He is your own true nature. You should know that true worship, performed naturally and without a break, is the fair nature of divine silence. The inner silence is self-surrender. And that is living without the sense of ego. Subjugation of the mind is meditation; deep meditation is Eternal speech. Silence is ever-speaking; it’s the perennial flow of ‘language’. It is interrupted by speaking; for words obstruct this mute ‘language’. Silence is permanent and benefits the whole of humanity. Oral lectures are not so eloquent as silence. Silence is unceasing eloquence. It is the best language.
Which is the better, to preach loudly without effect or to sit silently sending out inner force? Know that Self, which is to be enquired into and attained in the Heart as the state of happiness through the requisite tapas or Self-attention, is only the state of silence, which is experienced by removing the delusive and worthless knowledge of differences along with its root, the ignorance or wrong knowledge “I am this body”.
The state of the experience of the one non-dual silence, which is attained as the experience of the unlimited true knowledge, is only the shining of oneself as the empty space devoid of the false imagination which is the rising of the wicked ego-mind. Since the silence of Self, which shines through the pure mind [the pure existence-consciousness which is devoid of all thoughts], alone turns out to be the gateway to liberation, even though they proceed along any path which is agreeable to them, that gate alone is the final refuge.
Attending unceasingly and with a fully concentrated mind to Self, which is the non-dual perfect Reality, alone is the pure Supreme silence; on the other hand, the mere unthinking laziness of the dull mind is nothing but a defective delusion. Know thus. Know that the inner silence – the undecreasing strength of unceasingly praising and worshipping, without worshipping, the Feet of Lord Shiva by the beautiful Supreme word [paravak], which is the pure unrising speech [that is, worshipping by Self-attention, the non-rising of the ego] – alone is the true and natural worship of the Reality.
Ramana Maharshi is the silent one, teaching the pure non-dual essence through perfect silence. What exists in Truth is the Self alone. The Self is that where there is absolutely no ‘I’-thought. That is called silence [mauna]. The Self itself is the world; the Self itself is ‘I'; the Self itself is God.
The inner silence is self-surrender. And that is living without the sense of ego. Solitude is in the mind of humanity. Silence is ever speaking; it is the perennial flow of ‘language’. It is interrupted by speaking; for words obstruct this mute language. Silence is permanent and benefits the whole of humanity. There is consciousness along with quietness in the mind; this is exactly the state to be aimed at.
By silence, eloquence is meant. It is the best language. The thought-free experience of the Self is silence. There is a state when words cease and silence prevails. That state which transcends speech and thought is silence. That state in which the ‘I’-thought does not rise even in the least is silence. The experience of silence is alone the real and perfect knowledge.
Sages say that the state in which the ‘I’-thought does not rise even in the least, alone is Self which is silence. That silent Self alone is God; Self alone is the individual soul. Self alone is this ancient world. All other knowledge are only petty and trivial knowledge; the experience of silence alone is the real and perfect knowledge. Know that the many objective differences are not real but are mere superimpositions on Self, which is the form of true knowledge. That which is, is silence. How can silence be explained in words?
A vow of silence is but a vow. It may help in meditation to some extent, but what is the use of keeping the mouth shut and letting the mind run riot? The pure state of attention to the Self alone is one’s own state of silence, which is devoid of any other thing.
The Guru is the bestower of silence who reveal the light of Self-knowledge, which shines as the residual Reality. Spoken words are of no use whatsoever if the eyes of the Guru meet the eyes of his disciple. Silence, which shines alone as consciousness of being, possesses the glory of being the highest and most potent tapas [spiritual effort].
Silence – which is not only the means to liberation but also that which abides as the very nature of liberation itself – has a matchless magnificence. If you adhere to that path of silence, the means to liberation, there will be no suffering of any kind. The Supreme Reality that is liberation is experienced only by perfect silence. Indulging in thoughts drives it away. To attain liberation, the door to which is silence, the ego that rises as a separate ‘I’ should be completely destroyed.
Silence is the best and most potent initiation. That was practised by Dakshinamurti. Initiation by touch, look, etc. are all of a lower order. Silent initiation changes the Heart of all. Silence of a realised being is most powerful. He sends out waves of spiritual influence which draw many people towards him. Yet he may sit in a cave and maintain complete silence. He never needs to go out among the public. If necessary he can use others as his instrument.
Silence is ever-speaking. It is the perennial flow of language which is interrupted by speaking. These words which I am speaking obstruct that mute language. For example there is electricity flowing in a wire. With resistance to its passage, it glows as a lamp or revolves as a fan. In the wire it remains as electrical energy. Similarly, silence is the flow of language obstructed by words.
When one remains without thinking, one understands another by means of the universal language of silence. What one fails to know by conversation extending to several years can be known instantly through silence. Dakshinamurti is a good example of this. This is the highest and most effective language.
Meditation is the eye that sees the Truth, the heart that feels the Truth and the soul that realises the Truth.
Through meditation the soul becomes fully aware of its evolution in its eternal journey. Through meditation we see the form evolve into the Formless, the finite into the Infinite; and we see the Formless evolve into the form, the Infinite into the finite.
Meditation speaks. It speaks in silence. It reveals. It reveals to the aspirant that matter and spirit are one, quantity and quality are one, the immanent and the transcendent are one. It reveals that life can never be the mere existence of seventy or eighty years between birth and death, but is, rather, Eternity itself. Our birth is a significant incident in God’s own existence. And so is our death. In our birth, life lives in the body. In our death, life lives in the spirit.
Meditation: individual and collective. As the individual and the collective are in essence one, even so are meditation individual and collective. We are all children of God. Our body says that we are human. Our soul says that we are divine.
No matter whether we are human or divine, we are one, inevitably and eternally. We are the inseparable parts of the whole. We complete the whole.
Vast is the ocean. You see a part of it. He sees a part of it. I see a part of it. But the full expanse of the ocean is far beyond our gaze. Our vision is limited. But the portion that each of us sees is not and cannot be separated from the entire ocean.
What does an orchestra produce? It produces a symphonic unity. Different notes from different instruments form the symphony. As each instrument plays its own notes, so each individual may meditate in his own way. But ultimately all will arrive at the same goal and the basic realisation of oneness. And this realisation is nothing other than liberation — liberation from bondage, ignorance and death.
Tat twam asi “That Thou art.” This is indeed the secret that can be revealed in meditation. This “Thou” is not the outer man. This “Thou” is our soul, our divinity within. Our unlit and undivine nature tries to make us feel that the body is everything. Our illumined and divine nature makes us feel that our soul, which has no beginning and no ending, is everything. Indeed, it is the soul that is the breath of our existence both in Heaven and on earth.
Self-knowledge and universal Knowledge are not two different things. Everything in the universe becomes ours the moment we realise our Self. And what is this universe? It is the outer expression of our inner achievements. We are our own Saviours. Within us is our salvation. It is we who have to work for our salvation. We are our own fate-makers. To blame others for the unfavourable conditions of our lives is beneath our dignity. Unfortunately, this act of blaming others is one of man’s oldest diseases. Adam blamed Eve for his temptation. Poor Eve, what could she do? She also blamed another. No, we must not do that. If action is ours, responsibility is also ours. To try to escape the consequences of our actions is simply absurd. But to be free from committing blunders is wisdom; it is the real illumination. Trials and tribulations are within us and without us. We simply have to ignore them. If this act of ignoring is not effective, we must face them. If that, too, is not enough, we have to conquer them here and now. The paramount problem is how to conquer the trials and tribulations. We can conquer them only by our constant aspiration and meditation. There is no substitute, no alternative.
From meditation, when it is deep and one-pointed, we get spiritual knowledge and pure devotion, which act not only simultaneously but also harmoniously. The path of Bhakti, devotion, and the path of Jnana, knowledge, lead us ultimately to the same goal. Devotion is not blind faith. It is not an absurd adherence to our inner feeling. It is a matchless process of spiritual unfoldment. Knowledge is not something dry. Neither is it an aggressive power. Knowledge is the food that energises our earthly and heavenly existence. Devotion is Delight. Knowledge is Peace. Our heart needs Delight and our mind needs Peace, just as God needs us to manifest Himself and we need God to fulfil ourselves.
Meditation: individual and collective. It is easy to meditate individually. The aspirant is fortunate, for no third person stands between him and God’s Grace. It is easy to meditate collectively A student naturally gets joy while he is studying with others in the class. Here also the aspirant is fortunate, for the sincere aspiration of other seekers may inspire him.
True, there are difficulties in meditating individually, for laziness can plague the aspirant. True, there are difficulties in meditating collectively, because there is every possibility that the ignorance and weaknesses of others may unconsciously attack the aspirant’s body, mind and heart.
Whether we meditate individually or collectively, there is one thing we absolutely must do: we have to meditate consciously. Making an unconscious effort is like forcing oneself to play football in spite of one’s utmost unwillingness. One plays, but gets no joy. Conscious effort is like playing football most willingly. One gets real joy. Similarly, conscious meditation gives us inner Delight from the soul.
Finally, each human being must have the spirit of a divine hero. If he is left alone in the thickest forest, he must have the inner strength to meditate without fear. If he is asked to meditate in Times Square amid crowds of people, he must have the inner strength to meditate without being disturbed in the least. Whether alone or with others, the aspirant must dwell in his meditation unshaken and unafraid.
Avidyaya mrityum tirtha vidyaya amritam snute. “By ignorance we cross through death, by knowledge we achieve Immortality.” This is indeed a major realisation.
Realisation means the revelation of God in a human body. Realisation means that man himself is God.
Unfortunately, man is not alone. He has desire, and desire has tremendous power. Nevertheless, it fails to give him lasting joy and peace. Desire is finite. Desire is blind. It tries to bind man, who is boundless by birthright. God’s Grace, which acts through man for God’s full manifestation, is infinite.
Realisation springs from self-conquest. It grows in its oneness with God. It fulfils itself in embracing the finite and the Infinite.
We are seekers of the Supreme. What we need is absolute realisation. With a little realisation we can at most act like a cat. With absolute realisation we shall be able to threaten ignorance like a roaring lion.
The moment I say “my body”, I separate myself from the body. This body undergoes infancy, childhood, adolescence, maturity and old age. It is not really me. The real “I” remains changeless always. When I say that I have grown fat or thin, I am speaking of the body that has grown fat or thin, and not the inner “I”, which is eternal and immortal.
Realisation says that there are no such things as the bondage and freedom which we so often refer to in our day-to-day lives. What actually exists is consciousness — consciousness on various levels, consciousness enjoying itself in its varied manifestations. So long as we think that we are living in the bondage of ignorance, we are at liberty to feel that we can dwell in freedom as well, if we want to. If bondage makes us feel that the world is a field of suffering, then freedom can undoubtedly make us feel that the world is nothing but the blissful consciousness of the Brahman. But realisation makes us feel Sarvam khalvidam Brahma. “All that is extended is Brahman.”
In order to realise what realisation is, we first have to love our inner Self. The second step is to love realisation itself. This is the love that awakens the soul. This is the love that illumines our consciousness. Love and you will be loved. Realise and you will be fulfilled.
Realisation is our inner lamp. If we keep the lamp burning, it will transmit to the world at large its radiant glow. We all, with no exceptions, have the power of self-realisation or, in other words, God-realisation. To deny this truth is to deceive ourselves mercilessly.
We realise the Truth not only when joy fills our mind, but also when sorrow clouds our heart, when death welcomes us into its tenebrous breast, when Immortality places our existence in transformation’s lap.
How far are we from Realisation? We can know the answer by the degree to which we have surrendered to God’s Will. There is no other way to know it. Also we must know that every single day dawns with a new realisation. Life is a constant realisation to him whose inner eye is open.
Why do we want to realise God? We want to realise God because we consciously have made ourselves avenues through which the fruits of God-realisation can flow. Our very body is a divine machine; hence it needs oiling. Realisation is a divine lubricant, which does its work most effectively.
Realisation can be achieved by God’s Grace, the Guru’s grace and the seeker’s aspiration. God’s Grace is the rain. The Guru’s grace is the seed. The seeker’s aspiration is the act of cultivation. Lo, the bumper crop is Realisation!
- Sri Chinmoy, Yoga And The Spiritual Life. The Journey of India’s Soul.
What is religion? Religion is God. Religion is Truth. God and Truth are one. But when I say that my religion is God, there is every possibility that you may misunderstand me. But if I say that my religion is Truth, immediately you see eye to eye with me. Let me be a little clearer. If I say that my religion is Lord Krishna and you must accept him, your eyes emit fire. But if I say that my religion is Truth, you will jump up and say, “So is mine.” Now, instead of saying, “You must accept my religion”, if I say, “Let us accept the universal Truth”, you will cry out, “Already accepted, thank you, my friend!”
Religion is an act of vision that guides and leads us to the Beyond. Religion is intuition. Intuition is so near and dear to each of us, so familiar to our soul and so intimate to our heart, that it requires no definition. Even so, we may as well proclaim the truth that intuition is the consciousness of the all-pervading existence. Ask a man how he is sure of his existence. Silence captures his mouth. He knows what his existence is. He feels it. But the explanation evades him. Religion is that very intuition which defies explanation but which is a self-embodying and self-explanatory truth.
Religion is not fanaticism. Religion, in its purest form, is a feeling of the universal oneness of Truth. A fanatic never sees the truth in its totality, even in his wildest imagination. A fanatic has nothing to offer to the world precisely because he has not kept his heart’s door wide open, and because he lacks the capacity to commune with his soul.
What we need is direct illumination. Lo, differences are buried in oblivion. Through our feeling of universal oneness, we run closer and closer to the Supreme. Our life has a freedom of its own. Our narrowness in thought kills this freedom. This freedom finds no joy in lofty and grandiose pronouncements. This freedom wants to be the living expression of our inner thoughts and feelings. Freedom is union. Union is the all-energising and all-fulfilling Truth.
Religion speaks. It speaks more significantly than words. Unfortunately, its message is often subject to our ruthless distortion. Nevertheless, in the long run, it triumphantly voices forth the truth.
When we think of religion, our attitude should be sympathetic and appreciative rather than critical and competitive. Criticism and competition create disharmony, which is a destructive force. Sympathy and appreciation create harmony, which is a creative force. Harmony, moreover, is the life of existence.
All religions are indispensable to their adherents. All religions, too, are surcharged with inspiration. This inspiration is the conviction of the adherents’ collective soul. Peace must be their watchword, just as Truth is their sole aim.
Momentous are the words of Tagore, who said of religion: “Religion, like poetry, is not a mere idea; it is expression. The self-expression of God is in the endless variedness of creation; and our attitude towards the infinite Being must also in its expression have a variedness of individuality, ceaseless and unending.”
Religion is a living challenge to the highest in human beings to face the stormy problems of life. True, there are countless problems. But there is also an Omnipotent Power. Strangely enough, this power utilises the problems as true instruments for the future blessing of humanity.
Religion expands. It expands our feelings. Religion lives. It lives in the inmost recesses of our heart. Religion conquers. It conquers in our self-giving.
The divine aim of religion is to release the pent-up reservoir of human energy. Life itself is religion — intimate, continuous and fulfilling. Let us live openly and freely. Let us have that religion which includes all human beings who have ever lived on earth, those who are now on the world stage and those who shall dwell here during untold ages to come. Ours is the religion, that will perfect the order of the world. Ours is the religion that will ply between the shores of Eternity and Infinity.
- Sri Chinmoy, Yoga And The Spiritual Life. The Journey of India’s Soul