Gunagriha writes about Sri Chinmoy
Excerpt from the book
“My Master, My Home“
Sri Chinmoy has taught me faith in God. A real, strong and living faith has alighted on me, also because he has taught me where to search for God – the object of my faith –, where to find Him and where to see Him. God is no longer an abstract concept to me but a concrete reality as I am even able to grasp Him with my logical mind. This faith is not merely a statement that I believe in this or that form of God; it is a living and guiding principle of life.
He has taught me to live a life whose sole purpose is to imitate God, a life in which I am gradually increasing my divine qualities. Thus, he has taught me that it is not enough to believe in God, but that it is necessary to live one’s faith and put it into practice. Piece by piece I am supposed to become God Himself, or in other words, perfect. Therefore, I not only believe that humankind is able to attain perfection, I am also constantly striving myself to grow into perfection.
He has taught me that, to this end, I need not reject my bad qualities, but that instead I should focus on imitating the divine. In trying to overcome my negative traits I feel weak, sinful and unworthy of God, as I do not identify with Him. In this way, I am slowing down my evolution. But in focusing exclusively on the qualities of the divine consciousness, I feel safe, well and happy, whereas my bad qualities have lost their home.
He has taught me that the source of my problems lies within myself. Consequently, the solution to my problems also has to come from within. The people around us are not responsible for our problems. We have to take back full responsibility.
He has taught me that I am not indispensable, just like no one of us is indispensable. If I were not here, someone else would take my place. Therefore, I should be grateful for the tasks that have been assigned to me and should not consider them a burden, or act like a martyr.
He has taught me that each human being on this earth is, just like me, a piece of the progressing universal consciousness. I should value and respect all humans because together we form the whole. This requires a completely new philosophy on which to base my life. My way of thinking should center on the things that we have in common and that join us, instead of the things that separate us.
He has taught me that each life form is an expression of the self-searching divine consciousness. All life is a manifestation of this consciousness on the various rungs of evolution. Not only is humanity part of God, but so is the entire creation living on this planet. My respect of life must become the supporting pillar of my human ethics.
He has taught me not to judge. I should not judge anyone, neither his characteristics and abilities nor the deeds originating from them, as peculiar as they may seem. We are all God’s creation and were fashioned by Him according to His sweet will. This implies that we please God the way we are. My role is not that of a judge. By criticizing creation, I would offend the Creator.
He has taught me that pride – which is a justified or unjustified sense of superiority – stems from the false belief that our actual or imagined good qualities and abilities are our own. But in actual fact, they are trinkets from God’s treasury, and He, the owner, dispenses them for our temporary or permanent keeping, or takes them back. For this reason, I should abandon my justified or unjustified sense of pride and become humble. I should keep my distance to my good qualities and abilities, so as to use them when they are available, but without considering myself their owner.
He has taught me that I should make this world a better place through my own goodness. To my fellow human beings, I am an “environmental factor”. The more good experiences someone makes, the better a person he or she will become. As a result, I do carry responsibility as to their self-improvement, and I can fulfill it by showing them unconditional goodness.
He has taught me not to listen to the voice of my calculating mind but to the whispering of my feeling heart. The emotional compass of my spiritual heart navigates me through life’s quicksands of despair. In order to possess divine guidance, I have to live my life from the heart.
He has taught me that whenever I am happy, I am also good. Therefore, my life should not follow the principle of my justice-seeking mind, which says “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, but the key question of my feeling heart, which asks “What makes me happy?”
He has taught me to be free from expectations. When acting, I should not expect anything from the world; rather, I should give unconditionally and complete my tasks unconditionally. This precept lays the foundation for my unalloyed tranquility.
He has taught me that peace is first and foremost an individual and inner condition which is based on non-violent acceptance of our world and non-violent self-acceptance. I may not use force on others or myself. I may also not act out of some personal interests against my conscience.
He has taught me that neglecting the body results in nothing but problems. I cannot be happy without a healthy body. Only by staying physically in shape can I enjoy a peaceful and sound life. Only in a trim body can I experience and manifest the boundlessness of my inner capacities.
He has taught me that asserting my will at any cost does not lead to happiness. Jesus’ prayer, “Thy will be done!” is no longer a hollow phrase to me. I want whatever God wants; and when someone else has it his way, I don’t feel hurt anymore, but I can accept that peacefully.
He has taught me that I should not lecture others. Perfecting others is not my concern. I should just live the way I want others to live their lives. I should only be an example and show love and understanding, but I should not expect others to follow my example.
He has taught me that I should not proselytize and should not allow to myself to be proselytized. Thousands of paths lead to God, and every human being should be entitled to live freely according to his or her doctrines.
He has taught me that thinking is not the highest and most perfect activity of human life. While knowledge is found in the mind, wisdom is found behind it. This is the place where I have to gain access to.
He has taught me that thoughts have power: good thoughts create positive forces and bad thoughts create negative forces. For this reason, I have to take care not to harm others or myself with my thoughts.
He has taught me that no self-transcendence is possible without self-confidence, self-discipline and determination. Without self-transcendence, there is no divine life. God is not static, but continuously self-transcending. This means for me that progress has to be given utmost importance. Each day I should do a few more good things than the previous day.