26086Thoughts on the Master's personality
- Feb 24, 2014
I considered calling this thread “Adventures in Consciousness”, although that sounds a little hokey to me. But studying with a spiritual Master gives you exactly that opportunity: to journey into distant, uncharted worlds. When I sat and meditated with Sri Chinmoy I felt he had absolutely privileged access to extraordinary regions of consciousness. Just looking at his eyes in meditation, people had remarkable experiences of these far-distant realities.
One of Guru’s poems, from his immortal collection My Flute, presents these experiences in a sublime and yet whimsical way:
It is farewell time;
The play of the heart will now begin.
The banner of Divine Love will
Fly today in the boundless sky.
The sun, the moon, the deathless consciousness,
Infinity's secret wealth, the World-Lord's very Feet,
Far Heaven's blessing-message,
The flood of liberation,
The Abode of divine Nectar,
All will be united in the heart of our world.
I remember one Friday night Seeker’s meditation at Aspiration Ground. Perhaps it was 1997. I had not yet become an official disciple. Guru entered the little complex in a dhoti and kurta. He walked around the court a few times, and then stood stock-still in front of us and folded his hands. Meditation seemed to sweep over us all in a wave of indescribable peace and bliss. We just started meditating. We didn’t need any instructions. His presence was enough. At first, I felt that we were meditating on Sri Chinmoy, the spiritual Master, the great realized Soul. But then, I felt some kind of jolt, and it seemed like I was just gazing into Infinity, that Guru had no human personality, but was just this expanse of light and peace and fulfilment.
I’m just mentioning this because people often ask me what it was like being in Guru’s physical presence, what was Guru like? They ask me to describe his personality. I can tell them about his sweetness, his remarkable gentleness and purity, his graciousness and his broad and sometimes mischievous sense of humor. I could talk about how he always had his two feet firmly on the ground, how he always lived in the moment and valued each second for its fruitful opportunities.
But none of these descriptive things really satisfies me.
Last night, at our Centre meeting, we sang various spiritual songs, and then we started meditating, as we always do, on Guru’s Transcendental Photograph. For one or two minutes, I just looked at this Photograph of Sri Chinmoy’s highest consciousness. Guru valued this photo (understatement!) and asked us to use it as our principal aid for meditation. Just as Guru has a personality, his meditation photographs also have their own selfhood, a sense of personhood. As I was meditating, I felt I was connecting with that divine personality that the picture embodies. Then, suddenly, I had the same experience that I had many years ago at Aspiration-Ground, meditating in Guru’s physical presence: I felt embraced in a rapture of light and peace and plentitude. I was not looking at a picture and trying to meditate on it: it was the Photograph that was bringing the meditation to me, and making me swim effortlessly in the sea of meditation. I was just a casual observer. Guru’s consciousness did all the work.
To me, the sea of light (this is not a metaphor) that I connect with in my good meditations, is Guru’s real identity. His human personality, which was incredibly mature, and absolutely full of spontaneous, overflowing love and concern, was the beautiful veil or tapestry that Guru created so that we would not be blinded by the intense light of his real Self. All spiritual Master must disguise their divinity in this way, for otherwise humanity would never be able to approach them. Guru illustrates this concept in the opening scene of his play on Jesus Christ, The Son:
Father: Since you are taking human incarnation, you have to act like a human being at times. Otherwise, there will be no game. Otherwise, people will always see a yawning gulf between your life of purity and luminosity and their lives of impurity and obscurity. Noticing this, they will never attempt to transcend their earth-bound consciousness. Light must descend into darkness. Only then can Light transform and illumine darkness. There is no other way.
Yes, I miss my Master the human being. I really do. But what he had to offer, his radiant consciousness, is every bit as available to me as it was when he was physically on earth. And if I can make efforts to become more receptive and open to that consciousness, I know I will be able to make him happy in Heaven.
“My Lord Supreme,
Since Your Compassion-Sun I cannot claim, I do not deserve and I cannot even earn, will You not give me the capacity at least to receive Your Compassion-Sun devotedly and unreservedly?”
(From Sri Chinmoy’s book Prayer-Plants, published in 1982. Srichinmoylibrary.com)
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