Further Recollections on Sri Chinmoy
There was a famous spiritual Master in the late seventies, whose philosophy paralleled Oscar Wilde’s famous maxim, that the only way to get rid of a desire is to yield to it. He said that people should try to fulfil their desires as much as possible, and, in that way, would be able to subdue them. Some of Guru’s disciples asked him about this kind of sadhana. Guru did not criticize the Master. He just said, “No, no- desire is an endless train.”
Here’s a poem I like that connects with that idea:
My outer poverty
Follows in the train
My inner poverty
Follows in the train
I know two things:
My helpless hope
Is dependent on all.
My ageless faith
Is independent of all.
(from Sri Chinmoy’s series, “The Dance of Life”)
On another occasion, Guru took some of his disciples to visit the ashram of another Master. The disciples of that Master did not seem to be very serious or disciplined, according to some of Guru’s students. But Guru respected and revered the other Master highly. After they had returned to Queens, one of Guru’s disciples inquired if the disciples of the other Master were of a different category or caliber than Guru’s disciples. Guru simply said in response: “When the city cousins and the country cousins get together, it is all oneness, oneness, oneness.”
I find Guru’s response interesting because if I had to pick out one word that embodied Guru’s philosophy, I would say “Oneness.” Guru always told us not to look down on the so-called unaspiring humanity. He said that some of his disciples have a haughty attitude towards people who do not follow a spiritual path. But he emphasized that some of those “ordinary” people could have more purity and divinity than his disciples!
Once, in the early Seventies, Guru was visiting one of his West Coast disciples. They were having an informal meditation in this person’s kitchen. Then suddenly Guru entered into an exalted mood of revelation and said that he hoped that his spiritual children would one day realise who their Master is, and what he represents. He is not the body, he said, he is something else. I am familiar with this talk. It is entitled “Realise me”. I had not known, of course, that he delivered this beautiful and moving statement while seated in someone’s kitchen in California! I feel it is a sacred piece of literature and therefore I will not post it on the internet.
In the later Seventies, Guru was visiting two of his West Coast disciples, a couple. I will call them Brandon and Alicia. Brandon was driving and Guru was seated next to him. Alicia was in the back seat. Suddenly Guru told them, “Most of my disciples have the choice to stay on the spiritual path, or to leave at their sweet will. But you two can never leave me. From the very beginning you have been closer than the closest to my heart.”
For some reason I am reminded of another Dance of Life poem, which refers to Guru in a car:
One mouth spoke,
One hand wrote,
One hand drove.
Destination offered its pride sublime
To their perfection-height.
Perfection offered its pride sublime
To their aspiration-might.
Aspiration offered its pride sublime
To their oneness-light.
Brandon told me that in the early days what struck him most about Guru was his sweetness. He said that Guru did not have so many disciples in those days and was able to give his spiritual children more attention. He just kept saying how he had never thought a great Indian spiritual Master could be so sweet.
Here’s a little question and answer on Guru’s sweetness that I like very much (from “Sri Chinmoy Answers”):
Question: Where does your sweeter than the sweetest sweetness come from?
Sri Chinmoy: Since you are flattering me, I can also flatter myself. Your flattery is nothing in comparison to my self-flattery! My self-flattery far surpasses all your mental hallucinations plus imaginary flatteries.
My sweetness comes from the beauty of my universal heart and the fragrance of my transcendental soul.
I like that last line, “My sweetness comes from the beauty of my universal heart and the fragrance of my transcendental soul.”
That’s something to meditate on!