Sri Chinmoy's spiritual path, in his own words
In the following writing, Sri Chinmoy himself described his spiritual path and philosophy, from his book Master and Disciple.
Our path is basically the path of the heart and not the path of the mind. This does not mean that we are criticising the path of the mind. Far from it. We just feel that the path of the heart leads us faster towards our goal. Suppose I want to go to a place 500 miles away. I can reach my destination either by walking or by flying.
Undoubtedly, I shall reach my destination considerably faster if I fly in a jet plane. Similarly, if we use the aspiring heart and not the doubting mind, we shall reach our goal much faster. The heart is all love. The mind is quite often all confusion. When we say the heart, we mean the spiritual heart, which is flooded with divine love.
The heart is strikingly significant because inside it is the living presence of the soul. True, the consciousness of the soul permeates the entire body, but the actual location of the soul is inside the heart. The soul has everything: Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure. We get these divine qualities inside the heart directly from the soul. And from the heart, we can bring them to the mind, to the vital and to the physical proper.
God is extremely simple. It is we who think of Him as someone complicated. God speaks the simplest language, only we don't understand Him. We are all deaf. We have been deaf for millennia. Poor God, He has been talking constantly, tirelessly, but we do not have time to listen to Him.
Our path is the path of simplicity. A child is simple; he loves his mother. He does not have to love anybody else: his mother is his whole world. He devotes himself to his mother. If his mother asks him to do something, he listens to his mother. A child is so simple that he tries to do everything to please his mother; and in pleasing his mother, he is doing the right thing and reaching his highest goal.
In the ordinary life, if someone loves another individual, then he spends most of his time with that particular person. He devotes his precious time to that person. If it is real human love-not divine love, but human love-then he sometimes surrenders to the other's whims even if they are absurd. He surrenders because the two of them have formed an inner and outer bond on the strength of their love. So if one loves another person, then one is ready even to sacrifice one's precious wisdom.
In the spiritual life it is totally different. Divine love never binds us. On the contrary, it expands us and liberates us. When we see and feel that we are being liberated, we feel inwardly a divine obligation to do something for our Inner Pilot. How can we remain aloof from the One who has given us everything, who has brought us the message of divine Love and Compassion? Will it be possible for us not to offer Him something in return? If we remain in the outer life, we only try to grab and possess everything, even what belongs to others. But if we live in the soul, we try to constantly give all that we have and all that we are to the Inner Pilot. Divine love means self giving.
But just giving something, just offering something, is not enough. It has to be done with enthusiasm and an intense inner urge. We give to the Inner Pilot in ourselves and in others. While we are giving to someone else, we have to feel that we are giving to the divine in the other person, to the Supreme within him, who now needs this help from us. When we offer divine love to someone, we must do it gladly and soulfully. But while giving, we must not feel that we are doing the other person a great favour, that because we are in a position to help him, we are superior. No! We have to feel that God has given us a great opportunity to be of service to Him and we should be grateful to the person who has put us in a position to help or serve the Supreme in him. We have to feel grateful that we have become His chosen instruments when He could just as well have chosen others. We have to show constant gratitude for the very fact that He has employed us. This kind of devotion is our dedicated service.
Then comes surrender. This surrender is not the surrender of a slave to a master. An ordinary master will find fault with the slave, while feeling that he himself is always perfect. But in the case of the Supreme, it is not like that. When He deals with us, He feels that our imperfections are His imperfections. When he finds mistakes in our nature, He feels that these are all His mistakes. Unless and until we are perfect, God never feels that He is perfect. God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent; it is true. But when it is a matter of perfection manifested on earth, God feels that He is still imperfect in me, in you, in everybody. The message of perfect perfection has not yet dawned on earth. We surrender to God wholeheartedly, knowing perfectly well that what we have is next to nothing and what we are is next to nothing. If we give our nothingness to Him, we become a chosen instrument of the Supreme and permit His Perfection to grow in us.
Love, fulfilment and God always go together. God will never be satisfied with something incomplete, unrealised, unfulfilled and unmanifested. He wants from us realisation, revelation, manifestation and perfection. If these things don't take place in this lifetime, then we shall have to take many more incarnations. But God will never allow anybody to remain unrealised and unfulfilled. Today it is time for you to realise God. Tomorrow it will be the time for your friend to realise God. The day after tomorrow it will be the time for somebody else to realise God. There is for each person an hour, which we call "God's chosen Hour." At God's chosen Hour a person is bound to realise God. We feel that our path is easier and more effective in the sense that we don't have to read millions of books to know what the Truth is. We don't have to exercise our mind day in and day out to know what the Truth looks like. No! Truth is inside us, and it is crying to come to the fore. But unfortunately, we have kept the door shut and we are not allowing the Truth to come out.
How how can we bring the Truth out of its prison cell? Again, I have to say it is through love. Love for whom? Love for God. And who is God? God is the highest illumined part in us. God is nothing and nobody else. I have a head and two feet. Let us say that my head represents the highest in me and my feet represent the lowest in me, my ignorance. I know that the highest and the lowest are both mine. The lowest has to enter into the highest in order to be transformed, liberated and fulfilled. The highest has to enter into the lowest in order to be revealed and manifested.
In our path, the sense of identification is absolutely necessary. The highest has to feel its total oneness with the lowest. The lowest has to feel its total oneness with the highest. Needless to say, the highest always feels its oneness with the lowest. It is the lowest that finds it extremely difficult to be one with the highest because of its fear, doubt, jealousy and so forth.
What kind of commitment is necessary to follow our path? It is not the kind of commitment that you have to make in other spiritual or cultural organisations. For these organisations, you may have to give a regular fee. But when I ask you to make a commitment, it is different. I say that if you see something in me, if you see or feel light inside me, then if you want to follow our path, you can. There will be no monetary demands. You do not have to give me five dollars or ten dollars or anything like that. No! Here it is a matter of your own aspiration-how sincere and regular you can be in your spiritual life. If you are not sincere, then you will not be able to run fast. But if you are sincere and dedicated, then you will run very fast. The commitment I ask for in our path is regularity in your meditation and aspiration, a sincere inner cry. I ask nothing else from any student.
Our path, the path of the heart, is also the path of acceptance. We have to accept the world. If we enter into a Himalayan cave or sit on a mountain top and cry for our personal achievement and satisfaction, then we are not going to do anything for the world. It will be like this: I shall eat food to my heart's content and let my brothers remain unfed and starving. That is not good. If I am a real human being, I have to see that my brothers also eat along with me. If we eat together, then only we shall get real satisfaction.
Similarly, in the spiritual life, real spiritual Masters feel that it is their bounden duty to eat in front of humanity and share the spiritual food with humanity. Now, if humanity as a whole does not want to eat as it should, if many are still sleeping and have not yet felt the spiritual hunger, then what can the spiritual Master do? But if there are a few sincerely hungry seekers, the spiritual Master tells them, "The meal is ready. Let us eat together."
In our path of acceptance, we have to know that the earth is far from perfection. But unless we accept the earth consciousness, how are we going to perfect it? If someone has some pain, I have to massage him. Then only his pain will go. Similarly, if the earth is imperfect at a particular place, I have to touch it with my aspiration and concern. Then only can I transform it. As long as the earth consciousness is not fully realised, I will try to remain on earth to be of service to mankind with my inner consciousness.
Sri Chinmoy, The Master and The Disciple