Has Sri Chinmoy died? I don’t think so. I would like to give you the reason why I personally don’t believe it. This involves telling quite a few things about myself, or rather, about how I have known him and still know him. Yes, it’s about how I am actually experiencing him these days.
A man named Chinmoy Kumar Ghose died at age 76. He lived a life that cannot be compared to mine. Financially, he didn’t get anywhere. Neither did he build a business empire nor did he amass wealth, or proposed a thesis to attain this much-desired wealth. He didn’t leave us with any political recipe that might lead us to a peaceful coexistence by, for instance, resolving conflicts diplomatically.
Still, Sri Chinmoy was no ordinary human being, he was a phenomenon. A phenomenon of something that seems incredible and supernatural to us. He was an interesting person who lacked a well-structured ego, for this reason he never claimed anything for himself. And if he did, then only to be able to give something back to those of whom he had requested something. But most people didn’t realize this. Even while being around him, we hardly noticed anything about his inner life.
But was there anything he could give as he didn’t possess any of those sought-after riches? He did give something, a power, an inner light, which he possessed in boundless measure. However, he didn’t use the mind. His mind was forever buried in the silent depths of inner oneness. He acted out of this ocean of universal consciousness. A prophet of silence he was. He lived in silence, worked starting from silence and taught with the power of silence.
Whenever I talked to him and made requests to him, he went into another world. It seemed as if he left his body to go somewhere far away, just to return with a message that was absolutely tailored to my inner and outer being. These messages always made me ecstatic. Only someone who knows you better than you can give such messages. And this he did. He was the master of my life, of my fate.
But he wasn’t just the master of my life, he also was the master of thousands of his followers.
Many years ago, we had the opportunity to send photos to New York to have Guru tell us our best and worst quality and how we could make the fastest progress. My whole family sent a photo. Although I wasn’t present while Guru was meditating on the pictures, I was later told that he wrote down the qualities seemingly mechanically. In this manner, he determines the qualities of a great number of students in a very short time. Asked how he did it, he said that it was a game and that he himself had actually nothing to do with it. When looking at a photo, it takes him only a few seconds to get in touch with the soul, which likes to brag about the person and tells everything about them. Be that as it may, the qualities Guru had found out for us were so true. Guru kind of scored a bull’s eye as for my family. But others that I talked to also waxed lyrical about the accuracy of the qualities Guru had given them.
He acted out of vision, which is an unsolvable enigma to me even today. By concretizing the future situation in his vision, he changed my life and my fate in the twinkling of an eye. Then it was only a matter of time for his vision to manifest in my daily life.
In 2003 I was very sick. Early that year, my shoulder started aching and got increasingly worse. At the end of the year I was virtually paralyzed. The movement of my right arm was very limited. Doctors couldn’t help me any more and advised me to retire early. I had already found a buyer for my dental practice. Before signing the contract of sale, I asked Guru for his opinion. What he said surprised me. He informed me that he would not be happy if I gave up the practice, rather, he would be very happy if I established a new and much bigger one.
Alright, I told myself, and accepted the project. Everything went quickly: Within a few days I found the ideal spot and I drew up the interior design of the new practice myself. Completion took no more than four months, the opening was in late March 2004. Meanwhile, my shoulder pain had subsided. One or three months later, it was completely gone. Today my shoulder is better than twenty years ago.
This practice was born of his vision. I always say that it is Sri Chinmoy’s practice. Otherwise I would have long disappeared into boring retirement. The fact that my health has been restored is a miracle, according to my doctor. But what’s more, my implantology skills have reached unprecedented levels over the past three years of my career.
His eyes were somehow universal. When I looked into his eyes, I saw myself. Many people have told me of similar experiences. His eyes were the “real Self”, not just for me, but for several people simultaneously.
He often gave me the opportunity to gaze into his eyes for minutes on end. We looked into each other’s eyes, without any motion. On these occasions his face was totally expressionless. I felt that he looked without a trace of mental activity, and this motivated me to try to return his look without having a thought, which was not always successful of course. Especially during the first years as his student, I threw all my spiritual desires – and sometimes, brazenly, all my demands – into his eyes. However, he never got impatient and his eyes never sent out a warning. He accepted everything. The big elephant ignoring the pesky mosquito. I was ridiculous for sure.
The teaching of silence started through his eyes.
I can at every moment produce the look in his eyes. By that I don’t mean that I recall his eyes, rather I become his eyes, meaning that my eyes become like his, and it all happens without expression or thought. This is how his eyes taught me to be without thoughts, which had the practical and pleasant added benefit of gaining control over my mind.
His quiet eyes have still taught me more.
I have learned to meditate. When I succeeded in feeling his eyes as my own for a longer time, without thoughts, he would reward me, sometimes by addressing a few words or a nod to me, or most of the time by calling my name. In this way he always indicated the right direction. He kept on doing this until I was given the ability to constantly live, work, speak and do virtually everything in a meditative consciousness.
His eyes have taught me to aspire, to develop a state of continuous aspiration. His eyes and everything that was hidden behind them were a mystery to me. This haunted me and I decided to solve this mystery and to experience it. I knew from the start that he was the key in solving the riddle. I would have to dive into his being, into his eyes. This sparked a strong urge or longing in me for the inner world, like a cry without a sound, a call without gestures, or crying without tears. This urge kept growing inside me and became permanent. I ended up feeling this urge, this call, this necessity for the inner world each day. This is actually spiritual aspiration, an incessant desire to consciously feel, possess and merge with one’s own inner world. Without aspiration, there is no response from the master, no response from within.
Aspiration is the engine that keeps me running to untangle the mystery about Sri Chinmoy.
The game of identification, which had actually started in my first year as a student, over time gained primary importance. I kept looking at the master for hours and literally pierced him with my eyes. When he closed his eyes, I would look in his calm face, and this face taught me to feel deep peace. His face radiated such quantities of peace to me as if I were linked to his face by a cable. Sitting in my heart with a blank mind, I looked at his face and felt Sri Chinmoy’s face as my own, and with this feeling his all-fulfilling and deep peace descended on me. This peace now belongs to me. I absorbed this peace from him, or rather, received it as a gift from him and thus the right to keep it.
His eyes have taught me love. Not the love as a student, family man or human, but as the soul. The love of the soul is superhuman, which gives us the incredible power of loving all living beings equally. This is divine love. It is not actually an act in which you feel love or give love, it is a state of being. In this state there is no criticism, only understanding, no hatred, only compassion, neither positive nor negative feelings, only sympathy. And the love of others is sort of the same love you used to feel for your dear ones and for yourself, only on a higher level. At some point, there is essentially no more “I” that loves, there is only the acceptance of everyone.
I am fond of saying, divine love is contagious, and those who are loved divinely will themselves love divinely.
Towards the end of my last and longest spiritual dry spell, Guru once requested a one-on-one interview. He told me that he loved me. Then he explained to me that these are not mere words, that this is not plain love, but that he feels like me and that there is absolutely nothing I could do to make him reject me, be it the worst mistake in the world. He told me in great detail that he had an unbreakable bond with me and that I should always be absolutely certain of his unconditional and expectationless love. I am not able to do anything so bad that he would stop loving me, he said. He talked a lot, which was untypical of him, but he only did it for my sake, to help me. Through his closeness and “declaration of love” he got me out of my deepest and most painful crisis.
This interview was the end of my steeplechase and the start of my unobstructed and carefree march on the open path of self-love. Yes, he has taught me through his love to love myself or my inner being. It may sound crazy, but this is a state where you are in love with your own self. This love does not refer to one’s own body, interests, family or achievements; it is a kind of rapture about one’s own heart. This is divine love that begins in the heart. Without this love of our being that dwells deep within us we are not able to love all beings.
His love has showed me that I am lovable. This happened when, during our stays with him, he expressed his love with a look, with a smile or simply inwardly, which made me feel very light, very pure and very happy. This is how I developed a very special feeling that in the beginning came whenever I was around him; later I was able to have this feeling without his physical presence. This special feeling made me discover that my inner existence is of immense value. I could feel what he loved inside me and so I discovered my deeper self and learned to love him. My master has taught me that if I do not forgive myself, neither will God. Thanks to the sense of self-love, self-esteem is no longer clouded by past mistakes, and you learn to judge yourself according to the true, inner qualities of your soul.
Perhaps I’m writing too much on self-love, but it may well be the key that opens the gate of our ego-castle to expand into the universe.
My master has taught me that if I am capable of loving my own inner being, then only can I see and love the inner being in other life forms, for then only can I claim their beings as my own. Divine love actually connects and unites us.
His universal eyes have still given me more. After hours and days and years of meditation on him I found out that I can not only see myself in his eyes, but in the eyes of a growing number of people. Repeated experiences made me realize that his eyes are something very special, a place where I can find myself. But who would have thought that the eyes of every Tom, Dick and Harry hold the same experiences, after his eyes have taught me this game? By now I’ve got used to recognizing myself in the depth of the eyes of many people.
In this way I learned that the whole creation is the Self, that the Creator can be found anytime in this creation, and that “my Self”, in which I recognize myself, is part of both. This leads me to believe that the Creator and the creation are inseparably one.
My master has taught me to let my feelings steer my life. That wasn’t easy. Often I would ask him what to do and his answer was that I should listen to my feeling. I failed miserably. In the beginning I wondered how my beloved Guru could be so cold-hearted as to put me through all these troubles, but then I started analyzing my feelings, how they were, where I should have paid attention and where I should have reacted differently. Some other time, I had gotten myself into such troubles that he did give me a clear answer. But afterwards it dawned on me that I had tricked myself even before asking the question, because I hadn’t evaluated my deeper feelings. He simply allowed me to blend the sweet feelings of my desires with the pure feelings of my heart. Then I gradually found a way to differentiate between the two. I entered a phase where I no longer asked Guru what to do how, but only presented him with a fait accompli as I was convinced of already acting on my heart. In such cases he didn’t say anything, he only looked at me with his quiet eyes. Carrying it to extremes, I then didn’t even tell him anything anymore. This, in turn, provoked a fiasco. So it went up and down, but I could never quite hit rock bottom as he always saved me at the last minute.
Meanwhile I have developed a well-functioning system of feelings that I can rely on 100 %. This means incredible inner and outer freedom. I do not have to live according to laws, regulations or trial and error, but according to the precepts of my heart. My life is not characterized by the terms “perhaps, possibly, depending on” but exclusively by my soul. It leads my life very efficiently within a fairly narrow path, and whenever I try to leave this path, my soul flexes its muscles by creating violent inner pangs. But naturally, I love following the soul because it makes me aware of the divine guidance.
The game of identification went on and on. I somehow also gradually adopted the gestures of my master. So it happened that I recognized Sri Chinmoy in my own gestures. One movement of the hand, one specific posture – and I suddenly get the feeling of being my master. I may look somewhere and notice that the master is looking there too, and that I’m not even involved in this action. This feeling repeated itself countless times. In his presence I even had the long-lasting impression that he was looking through my eyes. His eyes were closed during such episodes, which could last for hours. I felt as though my eyes had become his, and that I served as his visual aid. Sometimes I realized that, without wanting to imitate him, I had taken the same posture as him.
As for his closed eyes, they gave me very interesting experiences. I loved meditating on his face with his eyes closed, I have done it countless times. On these occasions no thought or desire arose within me. I learned to feel if and where he was looking with his third eye. With absolute certainty I knew when he was looking at me inwardly, or where he was looking. When looking at me eyes closed, I always smiled back at him.
By accepting feelings, emotions and by throwing out thoughts I grew into a state that brought me to the deeper layers of my own being. In particular, the longing for him and the inner world were the magnet that pulled me ever-deeper into my heart.
After all I’ve described here, you might think that I want to become a carbon copy of Sri Chinmoy. Far from it, though this was my original goal and I do have integrated certain frames of his consciousness.
Especially identification with him enabled me to penetrate into my own self, precisely because I adopted so much from him, who is a consciousness that already dwells permanently in the universal self.
The truth that everybody is actually one with their own source makes this copycat comparison unimportant.
The fact is that the master, through his selfless, loving, unconditional and expectationless surrender, has led me to a life of happiness that surpassed my wildest dreams.
And it came to pass that during his past three earthly years I have evolved to a point where I didn’t even know what a life’s problem is supposed to be. My life was a stream of carefreeness, filled with bliss and supported by an unprecedented absence of desire. My life’s only goal of living for him was animated by the power of this immense longing for the mystery of Sri Chinmoy. I wanted nothing else, neither earthly nor heavenly things. I not even wanted to reach the state of Yoga, that is, God-realization. I always told myself, what do I need these things for, if my master has them it is more than enough for me. He always gave me what he considered right for me. My life was like sitting on an armchair padded with cotton. I was like a child, responsibility rested with him. I lived happily and left it all up to him. In my inner being, I was constantly filled to the brim with his being.
I used to say to Guru: “Guru, I don’t want anything from you, I only want you.” And I did get him, he gave himself to me and I gave myself to him.
Vienna, March 15, 2008