Pointers For Spiritual Living. Monday's Inspiration, 22. To Gina Welds-HulseWith Love.
Wisdom of Sri Chinmoy
“Be kind, be all sympathy,
For each and every human being,
Is forced to fight against himself.” –Sri Chinmoy
I have been reading Sri Chinmoy’s writings for some thirty-five years and the above-mentioned quote is still one of my favourites. Guruji reminds us to be kind, empathetic; put ourselves in the other person’s shoes, as each of us have our own struggles; encounter our own experiences.
No one escapes really and the great Seer Sri Ramakrishna used to say that once we have a body, then we have to pay the price. Perhaps this might sound harsh, but it is an unwavering truth.
Who didn’t? Our Lord Christ? Well, we know how he passed. The Buddha? he apparently had food poisoning, given to him by one of his disciples. Sri Ramakrishna loved his disciples so much, that he took on the cancer of one of them and died from it. God’s servants are given that capacity, if it is His Will.
Yes, we are all forced to fight against ourselves and for each one the battle is different. Souls are not usually alike, not even in families and we really do not know what the other person is experiencing.
In fact, sometimes when they tell us, we still do not understand. We might say that we do; we can empathise, but to understand requires wisdom and Love with a capital ‘L.’, a putting aside of self and the bringing together of a deeper kind of empathy and concern.
Wisdom of haziz
Let us look at another of Sri Chinmoy’s quotes:
“It is an exceptional privilege,
To have the beauty of a serene mind,
The purity of a loving Heart,
And the divinity of a humble life.” –Sri Chinmoy.
‘Purity’ and ‘humility’, these are the qualities of the child. How can we acquire these? We have to pray, both verbally and silently; serve humanity; offer Gratitude to the Supreme. Gratitude is the very life-breath of God. It is not just a matter of saying ‘thank you’, but a deep outpouring of our Heart and soul to ‘something larger, to humanity; to the divinity in man and God.
Service expands the Heart and will prepare us for the Higher Light (Grace), descending from above. Frankly, without prayer; without an acknowledgement that we are weak and that our capacity is now famished, serenity does not truly begin.
In the second aphorism, Guruji speaks of an ‘exceptional privilege’ and also of a serene mind. A mind that is still, calm, tranquil. This is not easy and requires input from the Divine. Simplicity is an advanced course, as is humility, according to Sri Chinmoy, and they both require the spiritual practice of serving, as if we are doing this for Christ, or our chosen Ideal.
Therein lies the secret. The recognition that there is no such thing as ‘free will’ but only ‘limited freedom’, that ultimately the Divine has the last word and is also always in charge.
So I have presented a very sublime picture here. Would we stumble? Yes, yes, and yes. Can we rise again? Yes, yes and yes. Never give up! Say the Sages. They also tell us that true failure is when we stay down and refuse to rise. ‘Still I rise’, says Maya Angelou. What a beautiful Soul!
Hope and Faith are also essential.
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
The King James version is different from some of the others, which translate ‘charity’ as Love. Well, Love is essentially everything, really. The yearning of the Heart for the One; the very pulse of Being. But the essence of Charity as we know it, is to serve with a contrite Heart; to offer up ourselves in the spirit of Surrender; to do good deeds without expectation. Whom do we help then?
Again, Guruji comes to our rescue. He asks: ‘”Who is helping whom? Humanity are our brothers and sisters. We can only serve…”
Only God can help. Listen to this lofty sentiment from the visionary Swami Vivekananda:
“Be Grateful to the Man you help, think of Him as God. Is it not a great privilege to be allowed to worship God by helping our fellow men?”
What he goes on to say, is that by helping others, we are indeed helping our larger selves, enlarging our vessels to hold the Light; opening our curtains, so that the sun can come in.
Let me use myself as an example. First, I have stumbled many times. I have also travelled probably over three hundred times and gone to about forty-four countries. I have meditated day after day relentlessly for thirty-five years and in retreat for up to seven hours sometimes and yet I still stumble. Here is the good side.
I feel no great desire for money nor to save. In fact, I’m nearly always sharing in one form or another; yet I can sometimes receive money in the strangest of ways and I’m never hungry. Someone or ‘something’ looks after me. Here is another thing. Some days I feel so happy! I cannot account for it, but I see God in my patients, staff, colleagues and friends. There is this ‘thing’ that wells up in me and makes me want to serve and I serve joyfully.
I can also be irritable though, there is this constant struggle between the mind and the Heart, the psychic Heart. This brings me back to the very first aphorism. Some say that we are all doing time, which is essentially true. Just that devotees and spiritual figures do not put it so crudely.
So Faith, this unwavering and unexplained inner intuitive feel for 'something' unseen; Hope, this inner bird that is always flying, stealthily, like a Ninja’s shadow in our psyche, are essential to our needs.
I have shared with you some pointers for living a practical life, based on some aphorisms of luminaries and my own experiences. I trust you find this useful. Life’s struggle can seem endless and full of difficulties, but it is a rewarding one and who ever seeks the Divine, is truly privileged to be a part of it. Strive! You will stumble, as you will sometimes walk in a spiral of a very long journey. Have Faith … the goal’s in sight. Praise be!
Manatita, The Lantern Carrier.
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