Re: Recollections on Sri Chinmoy
- Once somebody gave Guru incorrect information, telling him that I went to Princeton. I did not go to Princeton. I went to a nice college. But it was not Princeton.
From that day on, Guru was convinced that I really had gone to Princeton. Even when I told him that no, I had not actually gone there, I think he still believed that I actually attended that most venerable ivy-covered institution.
My grades and SAT scores would have made a Princeton admissions counselor laugh.
But all this goes to show that Guru did not see us as we were, but rather as we wish we were. He saw me at my very, very best- the absolute ideal me that I may never reach but is still buried somewhere deep inside my heart.
How different my life would be if I could see myself the way Guru saw me.
- Mahiruha's note reminds me that I was amazed when I saw Guru bowing to his disciples and others. Here was this extraordinary, enlightened being, one who is one with God, and he was bowing to the likes of me and others. How could we possibly deserve this salutation from the Enlightened One?
Guru himself gave the answer. He said that the first thing he sees when he looks at a person is the soul, the representative of God in that person. He does not see us as we see ourselves or even as our friends and enemies see us. He sees us as the wonderful soul, which has come into human incarnation with a very, very lofty and important mission. The soul is a portion of God within us. Further, when you hear Guru's description of the soul--a description embodied in the spiritual name or soul's name that Guru offered to many people, you see that the soul is, indeed, our guide and our God within. That certainly deserves a bow.
- Nayak, I can't help but repost this message you sent to the group some years ago. It's brilliant beyond belief. Hope you don't mind!
'Faxed Bananas' by Nayak
The strangest thing happened the other day. I was sitting on a bench
in downtown Seattle, when suddenly a man walked up and handed me a
sheet of paper and walked off. I opened the paper and found the poem
below scrawled upon it. I went to find the man, but he was nowhere to
be found. Do any of you know him? He was about my height and age and
he was wearing clothes.
They faxed me some bananas.
Seeing the bananas appear from the fax machine,
yellow and all
was a big surprise.
I told my secretary to take some dictation and
I dictated a long letter of gratitude to George,
who invented bananas. "George," I said,
and it went on from there, on and on and on.
It was an epic letter, and it took me four years
to complete it, including the P.S. of 36 chapters--
by this time, my secretary, George (that was her name)
was getting hungry, so we sent out for sandwiches and toast
but I had to play some golf while waiting for the sandwich delivery,
and that was hard, very hard, 'cause George
kept eating the golf balls.
Meantime, the bananas were gradually coming through the fax machine,
and with the greatest patience, I informed the parents
that it was a boy and that I would be the godfather if
they so chose.
It was a grand show, with the band playing "Mother"
and spinach draped all over the furniture.
The furniture salesman, "Mart", called up to
see how the golf was going, and when I told him
about the banana boy, he cried and they captured it
Saturday was even better, because it was
cancelled, and Thursday was substituted for it,
though Wednesday had an argument with Friday,
and they finally agreed to swap places.
This all happened yesterday. What will happen
today? I don't know, but I will definitely try to find
some jam for the toast.
- I like the scene from Guru's play on Lord Krishna, the "Singer of the Eternal Beyond" where a great scholar sees a brahmin holding a copy of the Bhagavad Gita and weeping. He asks the brahmin what part of the Gita he finds difficult to grasp, and offers to explain it to him. The brahmin responds very politely that he understands the Gita perfectly well. He is weeping because whenever he reads this sacred scripture he sees Krishna in his chariot. "These are my psychic tears," he says. The scholar is humbled, and realises that no amount of mental erudition can ever equal genuine spiritual experience.
That's a hard lesson for me to learn because I was raised in the Western tradition which prizes intellectual achievement above all else. Therefore, I always found Guru's spontaneous simplicity so charming and refreshing!
I have started keeping a journal of my experiences with the Master. I have divided it into different themes, like Guru's smiles, Guru's stories, Joy Days with the Master, etc. It has helped me a lot, and I wholeheartedly recommend it as a way of staying inspired and happy.
- I really miss those days when we used to meet at one of two or three public schools, either PS 86 or PS 117. I mean, there was something special about meditating with this great spiritual Master in an enclosed space. When we meditated with him at Aspiration-Ground I felt that his luminous goodwill and compassion diffused and spread all over the world. When we meditated together in the school auditoriums or cafeterias, it was as if the light and grace stayed in the room. You could feel the power in a much more intimate way. The meditations at those schools had more of a family or an ashram feeling.
I did not go on the Christmas trips. But I did not mind because the Wednesday night meditations at Annam Brahma were so beautiful and so soulful. Even though Guru was not physically there, I really felt his presence, his breath, pervading the restaurant. I really have to give the Annam Brahma staff great credit for transforming their restaurant into a beautiful meditation space every week. I also remember Satyajit's group's absolutely sublime performances with great fondness. I enjoyed the congregational feeling in meditating and singing in a private, intimate and sacred space.
- This experience happened perhaps in 2003 or 2004. I did not take notes, so some parts of this story may be misremembered by me. If someone knows a more complete or perfect account of this story I would be extremely grateful if you would post it.
I remember Guru was talking about his recent concert tour in central Europe. He had given a concert in a certain country. Afterwards, there was a function just for disciples. Guru mentioned some ex-disciples had driven practically across Europe to see the Master, and they had approached one of his attendants, asking if they could possibly sit in on the function. Guru said that he had personally asked these people to leave the Centre; they did not choose to leave. The guard did not want to admit them, but they asked repeatedly and soulfully, so he finally approached Guru with their request. Guru said that since they had driven so many hours unconditionally that they should be allowed to just take prasad. He said they passed by him as they took the prasad, and he smiled at them.
Guru was touched by their devotion and love.
- I remember I was working with a talented chef at Oneness-Fountain-Heart who mentioned casually to one of Guru's attendants that he's like to create a cookbook. When the attendant mentioned this idea to Guru, Guru said,"Cooking is not in a book. Cooking is in the hand."
I like the fact that Guru could speak with perfect confidence and authority about any subject. In one of the Sri Chinmoy Answers books he gives a famous marathon runner very specific, concrete advice about running.
Cooking is in the hand. I suppose that means that to learn how to be a great cook, you have to watch the hands of a cook, see what he does, how his fingers touch and interact with the food.
How grateful I am to have a spiritual teacher who can answer any question!
- That is very interesting, Mahiruha. It is good to find in you someone who not only received the Master's wisdom-light first-hand but who also shares it with the rest of the world.
P.S. A belated happy, happy soulsday to you.
- In early 2000 I was taking a bus to work, some twenty miles outside of Philadelphia. I was reading one of Guru's "Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Tree" books. A woman happened to look over my shoulder, saw what I was reading and asked me if I had acquired that book in a "holy store".
I was not familiar with the term, so I asked her what that was. She said, "Where they sell Bibles and crosses and other things."
I said, "Yes!"
- Recollections on Sri Chinmoy
In January 2001, while Sri Chinmoy was still on his annual Christmas trip (maybe to Myanmar or Indonesia) he composed a beautiful song, called "Shuno Shuno Bishwa Basi" the words to which you can find here:
It's a song that's full of energy and joy. I sing it often.
When the Master returned from his Christmas trip a few weeks later, two groups of disciples, one group of men and another group of women, arranged and performed the song.
Usually the women far outshine the men singers in musicianship, but that night the men really outdid themselves. Sahishnu played the tabla, Premik played the flute and all of them sang with such enthusiasm and brio. The women, however, had better costumes. They dressed up like the Indian gods and goddesses. After both performances were over, and we all took prasad, one of the women singers happened to walk past Guru, still wearing her blue face paint.
"Who are you," Guru asked her, "Kali?"
The woman nodded, and Guru said, "To me, she is not blue. When I see Mother Kali, she is always golden."
Here are some more interesting remarks that Guru made about Mother Kali:
- I remember one time, in New York, around 1995, i was a relatively new disciple and I was thinking a lot about whether or not Guru really knew me. I often thought that Guru knew my every move, my every conversation, my every thought, but at that time I started wondering whether that was really true. Then, one evening, before a function, I walked into one of the doors to the auditorium at PS86. It was one of the doors farthest away from the stage and Guru was up on the stage facing a few disciples that were getting ready for the function. I think he had a microphone. As soon as I walked in, I heard Guru say, "Mark!", like he was really happy to see me. Then he said, "How are you? I was meditating on you." For a moment I was thinking, "Am I supposed to talk to Guru, even though I'm way back here?" At that time I had never talked to Guru outwardly before. Then I realized he was actually talking to another disciple named 'Mark' up front. He was talking to both of us at the same time. But one message had been for me and another message had been for the other disciple. It was so cute. I've been impacted by that ever since.
- Dear Mark,
Thank you so much for contributing to this thread. I really appreciate it.
I received personal birthday blessings from Guru maybe three or four times, but often I would have my most profound experiences when he was meditating on other people for their birthdays. His deep meditative consciousness was available for all, no matter who he was blessing or concentrating on at that moment.
Thank you again. I'm always really happy and grateful when new people join our forum.