I am a feather in the Wind more than I am a bird.
Like half-notes and arpeggios,
I play a song in the Wind.
As wishes and more wishes are blown away,
Only one wish remains:
“Oh, Eternal Wind,
Play a divine melody,
One that blows this weightless feather
Across the face of a child.”
With her helpless tears wet and pure,
My hope is that they’ll keep me there,
Ending the Wind’s choreographic reign,
And with the child I shall remain.
~ Arjuna D. Ghose (2001)
This poem reveals how my Sri Chinmoy administered karma has been helping me fulfill all my dreams–the ones deep in my heart–because I wrote it three years before I knew my daughter would exist. My daughter has been a victim of emotional neglect. She used to scream at me to not leave her at school and cry at the classroom window for hours after I left. Why? She was suffering. Prior to her birth, my life was at the command of the mundane demands of life, like school work, like being at the mercy of the Wind blowing me this way and that. After her birth, at the very least, I can stick with her and never leave her. Perhaps at the very least, my presence will give her some comfort and confidence, fulfilling the deeper wishes I had before I knew she would be born.
An Introduction to The Struggle Within: The Wind’s Divine Melody
“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”
— Oscar Wilde
This story details what happened to me and my daughter, Abigail (The Little Sweetheart), and focuses on my struggle within as well as the spiritual progress I have made and continue to make. You are reading The Struggle Within: The Wind’s Divine Melody, which I often refer to as “this book” or “this story.” My intention is that this will be a multi-volume series (eventually printed as one book) about my life while being filled with spiritual lessons and wisdom from me, and most importantly, my Master and Guru Sri Chinmoy.
How Does One Conquer the Unhealthy Ego?
Is it possible to conquer the ego—all your weaknesses and imperfections—with meditation? Can meditation alone produce that kind of illumination, or do you also need to be able to deal with life and people and everything that triggers you? What if everything in your life went fine and dandy and nothing challenged your equanimity? Perhaps the ego can be conquered only through a process of understanding why certain things trigger you. When they no longer trigger you, you have then dissolved that issue.
You will notice in this book that some things triggered me. For example, if my sister accused me of doing something wrong to her and found great fault with me—which has happened several times—I became very upset. Not necessarily to her, but I might get drunk by myself, for example. The key issue, though, is that I was not psychologically well. It hurts, and sometimes I don’t deal with such pain very well. And it is possible that meditation alone—which was the way I initially tried to overcome my weaknesses and imperfections before I lost my ability to meditate when I was twenty-two—can’t help me conquer these kinds of problems. If so, the years of my experience of God’s Embrace—the years I could meditate—indeed involved spiritual progress, but were more like a comfort zone.
I am just proposing this. I haven’t fully figured it out yet as I write these words. I dare say, though, that if it were not for my ego, there wouldn’t be a struggle within, and incidentally, my daughter would not have been born. In fact, in most areas of my life, my ego, as a “shadow of the past,” has not been particularly productive, weakening my potential for success in many endeavors. For example, I could not have important meetings or discussions with people—the kind that would decide the future direction of my life—without my social anxiety getting in the way.
A Blend of Diary and Memoir
In this story, I changed my name to Jacob to help protect the characters within it. Arjuna D. Ghose is also not my birth name. I will explain more about that over the course of this book. I have also changed the names of family and friends who appear in this story as well as some distinguishing characteristics. Aside from these small changes, this story—which is a blend of memoir and diary—provides an honest articulation of what I’ve experienced and witnessed and have come to learn.
I wrote this story as a journey of self-discovery and have come to know myself and my life much more (I would not be able to write these words otherwise). It chronicles my spiritual quest, much of which has been trodden upon with a spiritual dryness that either is or just seems God-imposed (or bestowed)—my own personal Dark Night of the Soul. It may be that one can distinguish this kind of spiritual dryness only after one has been spiritually nourished or experienced some kind of Divine Embrace.
But this is also a story about ingratitude and misapprehensions. And comeuppance—a comeuppance and fulfillment of long-held dreams all-in-one, perhaps exhibiting a powerful message that when something seems negative, perhaps perspective, or wisdom, is everything, and it is not so negative after all.
If you’ve ever written a memoir, then you would know that one of the tricks to writing one lies in having a fairly good memory. I have never been good at recalling and articulating events from the past, perhaps due to trauma, and that is one of the main reasons I started writing this story as a diary 2010. I wanted to tell the story as much as I could as it was happening.
Nothing in this story is fabricated. I don’t use my imagination to fill in the gaps where my memory fails me to make it sound more like a novel. So, having a bad memory, there may seem like there are parts missing because I strive for this book to be completely non-fiction. It is a work in progress, though, so, I’m still hoping to eventually write it better and fill in the gaps.
I sent my early diary entries to my friend, Tammy, through private Facebook messages. I decided to share my story because I was inspired. Surprisingly, my inspiration began when a drug addiction scrambled my mentality, but I felt much more fueled back then. Fueled with what? The Holy Spirit? Inspiration? I am not sure what to call it. I know that I was inspired, but was there also some kind of Holy Spirit filling me?
I may never know, but I relayed my story to Tammy as it was happening, although I excluded several key parts because I was not yet completely honest about my addiction. I added those and other details later in the form of autobiographical text.
Aside from conversations with Tammy, I have included private Facebook conversations with others in the absence of my memory recollecting exact verbatim dialogue. While I wrote my words in these conversations along with my diary notes, all of which appear in this font, in the ever-moving present, I wrote my autobiographical text, displayed in this font, at a later point in time, in retrospect, usually with a greater insight brought on by time and distance from the events. All of my autobiographical text was written and edited from 2015 on. For the most part, I only edited the odd spelling or grammatical error in the diary and conversation text.
I was, in my opinion, an amateur writer when I started writing to Tammy in 2010. Hopefully, I am a bit better now. But back then I believed it would be too difficult to sit down and write for hours and hours, creating the most awesome book. Inspiration does not work that way for me, nor does memory. I like to write things when I think of them and when I am feeling good. When I began writing, I believed I could express my actual personality better that way. Somehow, I knew at that time, deep inside, that what I felt had some kind of Spirit behind it. Because I felt inspired, it almost felt as though this Spirit spoke through me.
I am recording my story as it happens and sharing it with the world because I believe that God has something to say through me. I mostly try not to tell you how to think or behave as though I am your teacher. However, I do sometimes share some teachings I learned from my spiritual guide or gained from experiences I had at the time. These teachings are integral to my story, but my intention is that God does the teaching and inspires you simply by me telling you the complete truth about everything that happened.
Before I subtitled this The Wind’s Divine Melody, I titled it The Burn. It was much more a work in progress then. Despite that and despite not having it seen by a professional editor, I published it as an e-book and started promoting it. I had already gone almost five years without any results from all the work I had done and was eager (and naïve) to feel like I had accomplished something. Not long after, in 2016, I received an inner message clarifying that this memoir should be called The Wind’s Divine Melody, the title of a poem I wrote in 2001. The poem’s overall message is that I will never leave my daughter with her tears from emotional neglect, and this begins my new life born of water and the Spirit. My story has sifted through much editing and rewriting since.
I became a disciple of spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy in 1994 when I was eighteen. My consciousness was screwed up—likely from trauma—and I was aware that meditation could help me. I also knew that Sri Chinmoy—a meditation teacher—could help me with that. By studying his writings, I learned that God has every intention of fulfilling all your dreams (not to be confused with all your desires, many of which He will not fulfill for your own good). It seems God is far more aware of your innermost dreams than you are, even before you are born. Now I am becoming more aware of my own dreams. Dreams that I’ve had for as long as I can remember. Maybe my upbringing and the imperfections it caused in my nature influenced my devotion to perfecting my nature; to striving for inner peace and true happiness so that I might enjoy life better. But it appears I also wanted to care for a child in need.
Sri Chinmoy (1931–2007) was a God-realized spiritual teacher and guide who came to the West from East Bengal (now Bangladesh) in 1964 to serve aspiring seekers. At age thirteen, he again became conscious of his God-realization that he had achieved in previous incarnations. From the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India, he moved to the city of New York, where he lived for the latter half of his life. In October 2007, Sri Chinmoy compassionately left the body to continue serving aspiring seekers from the higher worlds. Today, he has about 7,000 direct disciples around the world and many more admirers. For more information about Sri Chinmoy and his path, please visit About Sri Chinmoy at the back of this book.
I would like to say, friend, that there are many things about me that make me a very unusual person, such as a pathological generalized anxiety, inhibitions, and self-doubt disorder—enough to make me quiet and mask my true self (and self-expression) on my good days. I have always believed that I would be good at manifesting my true self if I could just overcome all the dark spots within me. Many people have anxiety, but I didn’t just have a perverted anxiety disorder. I had a whole army of problems within my consciousness, all working to make me strangely reserved, anxious, and quiet. None of that my true self.
Since graduating from high school, I have struggled to meet people, particularly in person. I then became deeply spiritual and subsequently lived amongst people who did not know how truly spiritual I was, kind of like being “undercover.” I also, somehow, developed an inner (spiritual) communication with my Master, my inner guru or Spirit, or my spiritual guide. Most surprisingly were the “blows” from my Master that no one else on this planet seems to have experienced. But before I explain more, let me fill you in a little about my number one desire (or should I say “dream”).
Despite being a lone wolf, even if not by preference, I’ve always had a deep inner urge for self-manifestation. That is, actualizing my nature. This is perhaps the number one thing that pushes me to try because I have never been close enough to that; I was never one with it. In the spirit of legendary character actor Konstantin Stanislavski’s terminology, which I believe he adopted from other actors, I will call it nature, yet add the word “spiritual” in front of it in an attempt to be more specific. I have always been painfully aware that the blemishes in my consciousness—mainly anxiety and lack of faith in myself—prevented me from actualizing and manifesting this spiritual nature.
That was unacceptable to me.
In his book An Actor Prepares, Stanislavski describes this nature as feelings coming from the subconscious, which we cannot always analyze, that take possession of us for a shorter or longer space of time whenever some inner instinct bids them. This can happen only when you feel your inner and outer existence flowing naturally and normally on the stage. I started reading this book when I felt inspired to become an actor back when I was eighteen. That was when I first learned to meditate.
As an actor, I like the idea of playing an undercover officer. Actually, I would like to be many things, like maybe a social worker, lawyer, or writer. It’s that ego thing again. Is it better that my ego makes me feel insecure and triggered with anger because of how someone treats me? Or would it be better if I be more confident with the help of seeing myself as an undercover officer (for instance). I love detective shows and would love to be some sort of undercover officer. Although it would potentially result in false accusations from people who don’t know what you are truly doing, facing that would help you to develop the confidence you need. When I watch television, I almost always watch a documentary-style show called Forensic Files. I like the idea of catching the bad guys and exonerating the innocent. It’s not necessarily easy to talk about how you’ve had these dreams throughout the years when they’ve usually not been in your mind’s forefront.
But there can be obstructions to this naturally occurring phenomenon. As Stanislavski explains:
It is art. And life is art. And we are all actors on the stage of life, are we not? I wanted to manifest my spiritual nature in all interactions with others as well as any professional actor.
By the time I was eighteen, I knew there was something special inside of me. Something that desperately needed to be manifested, and it pained me that I rarely expressed who I truly wasthe better, real me deep inside.
Listening to good music typically brought out my spiritual nature. My attempt at singing a song let me know how well I was doing. I knew how to enjoy the music, but when I tried to sing it, what I call my nervousness anxiety got in the way. Oh, I had the feeling. I had the emotion. But, man, the abyss of dark-spot obstructions within me, such as deeply embedded anxiety, was not allowing me to feel it and express it while singing in front of others, or even by myself most times. Another way for me to know was my ability to talk to others, although my reason for often settling into a comfort zone of quietness usually was clouded with obscurity. But listening to and enjoying music? That I was good at.
There had always been a thick glass wall separating me from manifesting and dissolving my true self into the selves of others in face-to-face interactions. The serendipity and spontaneity of stumbling upon newly formed relationships were never there. Throughout most of my life, particularly following the advent of the Dark Night of the Soul, which began after I turned twenty-three, I have not been happy enough because of that missing part.
But I don’t just want to manifest to and form wonderful relationships with others—I want to be consciously one with my essence and experience everlasting inner peace regardless of whether I am alone or with others. No matter what is going on in my life. I want to go beyond my fears, mistakes, and misperceptions and move toward a state of consciousness in which I’m able to access the magnificent qualities of my spiritual nature.
Perhaps by going through this Wind’s Divine Melody, which began when my daughter was born, I have been able to further actualize my spiritual nature. Maybe by facing the specious accusations and my daughter’s tarnished impression of me during this Wind’s Divine Melody, I have been able to repair much of my weaknesses and imperfections, bringing me closer to truly manifesting my true self, fearless, carefree, and confident in all circumstances.
Hidden from View
By the time I became a disciple of spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy’s at age eighteen, I had a screwed-up consciousness. I realized quickly that following his path could help me conquer all that hindered me from reaching oneness with my true self, and I became very spiritual in response to the inner nourishment and inspiration I felt.
The spiritual Master’s job is to bring you to God. What does that mean? I think it relates to my deep inner dreams of actualizing my spiritual nature. Liberation, for example, is a milestone along the spiritual journey to God-realization—that which was taught by Sri Chinmoy as being the goal, followed by God-manifestation (because today’s goal is tomorrow’s starting point). It is freedom from anything that stands in your way or obstructs you from the real you. According to Sri Chinmoy, “The human and the unreal in us cease in liberation” (Sri Chinmoy Library, n.d.). Although I didn’t quite grasp what God-realization was, it was exactly what I was looking for. It seemed the clouds in my consciousness blocking my inner sun served as a main driving force, making me determined to actualize this spiritual nature.
Clearly moved by this new, natural way of finding happiness, I became like a monk, though I did not present myself that way. I worked and mingled in the world just like any other person. I did not present or announce who I was deep in my heart to those around me. In fact, I even stumbled into drugs a few times after I turned twenty-three and lost my ability to meditate. If my true occupation was not revealed by my walking around wearing a clerical collar or monk’s robes, then getting into drugs and no longer being able to meditate well certainly covered my true identity even more.
Also hidden from view, particularly after I lost my ability to meditate and the fullness in my face that went with it, was the inner guidance and help I’ve been receiving from my Master. An experience of oneness with him within my own consciousness. But he was not an ordinary man. More like an Avatar, with many, many inner suns inwardly guiding his disciples along the path of self-development from the higher regions. I will explain later how that inner communication developed in the first place.
Could it really be possible for there to be a part of your own consciousness that will always try to help you and never give up on you? It is often hard even for me to believe, and it isn’t well-known in society, at least not in the West. Many people do not realize that a spiritual Master is helping the disciple become better and better; helping him conquer his ego, his weaknesses, and imperfections. He is helping him experience true happiness, an uninterrupted basking in the effulgence of his inner sun (or suns). As I said, even I have questioned it. In fact, had I never questioned it, this story would be significantly different, with a lot less struggle.
The Struggle Within
In case you haven’t realized it yet, this is a story where the main character struggles with mental health issues.
Have you ever been scolded by your parents? Maybe slapped on the bum or put in time-out? Was it humiliating? I remember when I was a little boy, I had a neighbour whose two four-ish-year-old sons would bang their heads on the wall when they became upset. When I asked my mother why, she effortlessly pointed out that they were spoiled. Please consider this idea when you think of my behaviour throughout this story. Yes, I act spoiled. But, yes, it was humiliating.
I am talking about the “blows” that no one else seems to have experienced. I’ve had several experiences combined together, particularly conversations I’ve had with other disciples, which gradually helped me realize that Sri Chinmoy likely deals with no other disciple in this manner. But there is something called inner communication with the Master, and this is well-known in the disciple community. The book On Sri Chinmoy’s Sunlit Path: Stories by disciples of Sri Chinmoy includes a chapter called Inner Communication. I recommend that you read that chapter for more info. Any story in that chapter (or elsewhere in the book) is bound to “blow” you away with inspiration (if you’re a believer). Now, everything from the Master is positive, but the “blows” I am referring to, which you won’t discover in that book and which seemed like a form of discipline or a purification of my ego, were difficult for me to see as anything beyond a humiliation-intrusion. I made the decision time and again to become triggered, to react with negative behaviour and hostility, to lose my equanimity. To take revenge. I would advise you to not be dichotomous in your view of being blown away with inspiration versus being blown by challenges like I was. Instead, use my behaviour as an example of what to avoid. If inspiration proves ineffective in helping you think that way, then perhaps the knowledge that it does indeed have consequences will.
Sri Chinmoy has an aphorism which states:
We painfully call it
We shall call that very thing
I am confident that, from a more awakened perspective, “humiliation” would not be the best way to look at these experiences and therefore not the best word. I have simply used the word humiliation (and “violating”) throughout my story because I often dwelled on that perspective throughout my past.
If you’re someone’s pet, you might bite your master if your master does something violating (even with good intentions), but that doesn’t mean you don’t love your master. You may subsequently feel bad and go back to being affectionate. But if you do that as a human, you might become ostracized from the family, as in my case.
Sri Chinmoy has another aphorism which states:
The blows of my Master
I take as most beautiful flowers
Given to me by my Master.
Yes, it would seem perspective is everything. If I took his blows as most beautiful flowers, I wouldn’t have become upset.
Although you yourself may never experience “blows of the Master,” you will experience other types of blows from life. Therefore, let the words of Jesus Christ permeate through the words in this story articulating my spiteful actions and resulting momentum in the wrong direction: “If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them” (Luke 6:29 NIV). (Even if that person is God.) The Christ also teaches us to forgive so that we may be forgiven. Values I did not learn until much later in life.
I often had a problem—an attitude—with the way my spiritual guide treated me. Therefore, I had to be treated in the very way I found to be problematic. Was he trying to teach me to stop getting angry with him? That probably had something to do with it. I do know that my anger indicates there was something wrong with my ego at that time. Many times my spiritual guide administered a “blow” when I was most unable to forgive him; when I was at my worst, finding fault or blaming him or feeling stress.
A cynic feels
That he has the capacity
To size up spiritual values
And spiritual Masters
In the twinkling of an eye.
— Sri Chinmoy
What is God-Realization?
What other things in my life have offended me? False accusations and misapprehensions about me also triggered me, particularly those backed up with negative emotions from people like my parents. It’s a learning process to realize that you are perfectly capable of remaining calm and equanimous while receiving false-accusation arrows. You don’t have to allow your calm waters to become stormy and turbulent. But it’s a learning process—as I said—and I eventually realized I am much more emotionally mature than I thought.
This story aims to cover the truth as much as humanly possible. So, I do try to clarify facts and illumine speciousness as much as possible, although perhaps not always right away. With respect to Sri Chinmoy, anything about the truth would benefit him. When people maliciously twist the truth (or fabricate a story about him) and deceive, they vandalize his image. However, nothing about the truth would do harm to his image. The philosophy here is, the more you talk about the truth, the more the truth comes out. Although it has required a tremendous amount of work, this book has been quite cathartic for me.
As you read this story, I humbly ask you to see the beauty within strife, within pain, within the struggle because ultimately, God is working through me and He remains my true Employer. Why else would I write this book? I am someone who did so bad, often with empty threats, but my actual occupation—He to which I was truly committed—remained hidden.
I have often suspected on some level that if Sri Chinmoy disciplines you in some way, then he also ensures he turns anything negative that happened as a result of that discipline into something positive. Although that tends to explain one of the reasons why I maliciously believed I could get away with doing wrong things that are completely against my character, I do believe my fate would have been much different had I not repented.
So, I’ve told myself that I have to become a manifestation master, and it seemed I would have to fix the blemishes in my nature to do so. That had a lot to do with wanting to meet and marry a hot girl. How could I be appreciated and admired by a pretty girl unless I repaired my imperfections first? I felt girls would be attracted to me manifesting my mojo and not my psychological immaturities because my mommy or daddy didn’t treat me right. Although that alone seemed a far cry, my ultimate goal had become God-realization and subsequently God-manifestation.
Sri Chinmoy said that his only fee is aspiration. Both intentions of mine are aspirations. That is, my attempt to actualize my spiritual nature so that I am able to enjoy life better would be an aspiration—as opposed to a desire—as far as I’m concerned. And my goal of God-realization is also an aspiration. That’s what this book is about, only I tend to contradict these dreams throughout. Perhaps that is because the goal of God-realization did not come from my upbringing.
Although I was born a Protestant Christian and my mother took me and my sister to a Presbyterian church on most Sundays until I was about twelve, we were hardly a deeply religious family—far from it. Trouble at home certainly wasn’t conducive to helping me follow the words of Jesus, which I never really learned very well anyway. By my teens, I had become lost; I never knew where I was going, which resulted in me getting even more lost.
One outcome of my upbringing is that my feelings are sometimes easily hurt. I can be too sensitive, and I don’t like it. As I said earlier, I’m not generally the type of person who takes false accusations well. And I usually could never find the right words to vindicate myself when people found fault with me. That being said, I often like to mess with people’s heads. I mean, seriously, I don’t like to tell people when I am really just joking around, teasing them, or tricking them. It’s almost as if I am shy but not shy at the same time.
Some accusations don’t bother me at all. It’s specious accusations that disturb me the most. The kind that involve people believing what appears to be true—something negative—based on a superficial understanding. Obviously, perspective plays a major role. Of course, that requires faith, which sometimes I can’t muster. But I do try.
Often there is no way to clarify the truth, particularly for someone like me who can’t express himself right. That’s why it’d be so good if I could become an amazing singer or actor: because I could clarify who I really am. Yeah, you thought I was like that, but I am really like this. That and the fact that it is ingrained onto the tablet of my soul is why I must manifest myself.
I am spending a lot of time writing this story, hardly making any money while doing so, taking a big risk while not knowing how this story will end, whether it will have an ideal or discouraging ending. But faith and inspiration fuel me. I believe in my story. I believe in the divinity pulsating behind it, and I am inspired to write it. I believe God had the Intention to help me fulfill these dreams long before I can say. Even if I sell only a few copies, I will feel like I accomplished something major. A divine story lies within my experiences. God is looking out for me, and I believe in it. Somewhat. I am also a man of little faith sometimes, like Peter when he began to sink (Matthew 14:29–31), and I have thus had struggles.
What you are reading is a memoir and spiritual journey in one. I may fail, suffer, and do stupid things, but ultimately, I am trying to realize God in this incarnation, and this story is my journey toward that goal even though at times this particular goal is less in the forefront of my mind than others. Therefore, I may or may not realize God in this story, which I still have not finished writing.
You may not understand what God-realization is, and I do not blame you; I don’t understand it much yet either. However, I do know that I am trying to be more fulfilled and feel like I have to achieve many things. Because of Sri Chinmoy, I believe a goal exists and in order to be truly fulfilled, I should aim for that goal, or at least aim to be more fulfilled by improving myself and my life. I also feel like I have a debt to pay, one of a more personal nature. Sri Chinmoy addresses a lack of conception of what we are either consciously or unconsciously ultimately doing—gradually blooming toward God-realization (also called Self-realization) throughout our human incarnations—with the following words. I encourage you to read them:
Question: Guru, in the morning prayer that we are supposed to say every day, the second half says, “When I see my Master’s God-smiling eyes, my God-realisation-hope blooms . . .” Because I have no conception of God-realisation, I can’t really relate to the second half of that mantra.
Sri Chinmoy: In the spiritual life, we do not need to have a conception of things. We have not seen God, but we are taught from the very beginning by our soul and by our parents that God exists. We know that God is all kindness and affection, that God embodies all the divine qualities. God and God-realisation are part and parcel of one another. They are like the flower and its fragrance. If God is the fragrance, then God-realisation is the flower and vice versa. If you say that you have no idea of God-realisation, then I will say, “You have no idea of God either, so how can you think of God and love God; how can you pray and meditate?” But you can and do love God; you can and do pray and meditate, even though right now God remains for you only a vague idea.
Before we learn a subject, we have no idea what the subject is all about. In fact, that is the reason we study it. In the case of God-realisation, we study the subject through our prayer, meditation, and other disciplines. It is the most difficult subject, but whoever is praying and meditating sincerely, or even insincerely, is studying the God-realisation subject. To get the fruits of our outer study, let us say a Master’s degree, it takes many years. Step by step we proceed from kindergarten to university. In the spiritual life also, we start with prayer and meditation. Then we dive within and advance to contemplation and, finally, one day we complete our journey. Again, when we complete our inner journey, to our wide surprise we see that we are just at the beginning of a new journey! In the spiritual life, everything is a totally new beginning. It is like discovering a most beautiful garden. We feel that there cannot be any garden more beautiful. But God says, “No, there is a garden infinitely more beautiful.”
Before God-realisation, we can have only the vaguest conception of who and what God is. It is only after we become God-realised that God becomes an absolutely living reality for us. At that time, the Universal Consciousness becomes ours; consciously we become part and parcel of it. What is happening anywhere in the universe we can know if we want to. Also, there are thousands of things a God-realised person does every day that an ordinary human being cannot do. Before God-realisation, I used to do perhaps five or six things per day. Now there is not a single day in which I do not do thousands of things in the inner world. It is the same for all the spiritual Masters who have realised God. God-realised Masters can do all these things because they do not use their minds. With our minds, we can do only one thing at a time. The mind can work very fast; it can accomplish one, two, three things very quickly. But the mind cannot do two things at the same time, whereas the God-realised soul can do many, many things simultaneously.
God-realisation is oneness with God’s Will. Before we enter into the spiritual life, God’s Will is not our concern; we are doing whatever we want to do. But once we enter into the spiritual life, at every moment we try to know what God’s Will is. When we start practising spirituality, God does not come and stand in front of us and tell us what He wants. But always there is somebody inside us who is telling us the right thing and prompting us to do the right thing, and that is God. During our prayers and meditations, our soul or the Supreme tells us inwardly what should be done. If we do it, then we walk toward light; but if we do not listen, then we walk in darkness.
If the seeker is fortunate, God also sends His representative to tell His Will, and this representative happens to be the spiritual Master. The disciple may say, “If God Himself were standing in front of me, perhaps He would give some other Message.” Or the disciple may think, “This Master is not pleasing me; he is not fulfilling my desire. Perhaps God Himself is not hearing my prayer or does not even know what my desire is.” In so many ways the disciple can fool himself by separating God from his Master and convincing himself that God is somewhere else. But if the disciple is spiritually mature, he will feel that God and the Master know what his desires are and, if they do not fulfill his desires, it is because God does not want them to be fulfilled.
If the disciple’s aspiration descends and inwardly or outwardly, he starts doing wrong things, the disciple may think, “Oh, the Master does not know what I am doing.” The Master does know; only he does not speak. If the Master sees that the disciple is always doing the wrong thing, that he is always walking in darkness, then eventually he becomes the silent witness; in silence he witnesses everything. It is just like our human parents. Our parents tell us to do the right thing. But when time and again we do not listen to them, finally they keep quiet and just observe.
I shall tell an incident from around 6:40 this morning. Five disciples were angry with me, but I do not want to say who they are. While I was looking in the mirror and shaving, such blows I was getting inside my head — one after another! Luckily, my face was not cut! I opened my third eye to see who was striking me. The culprits may say, “I was sleeping at that time.” True, they may have been sleeping, but last night their aggressive or dissatisfied vital was so displeased and angry with me that some wrong forces entered into me from them and I got such blows!
These experiences almost all the spiritual Masters have. Absolutely the way Muhammad Ali got punched—that kind of beating we get! Sometimes I do not want to know where it is coming from, because if I see that it is my dear ones who are striking me like this, then I will feel more miserable. The best thing is to get your blows, suffer for a few minutes and then, if you have the capacity, throw the experience into the Universal Consciousness. This morning I did not suffer for more than two minutes. I was strong enough to manage it, so I did not have to bother throwing the attack into the Universal Consciousness. Afterward, I went downstairs and did my exercises.
This is no cock-and-bull story. Believe me! One day you will have the same fate. All of a sudden you will ask yourself why you are getting such blows. What have you done? One does not even have to be a spiritual Master. Sometimes an ordinary individual may stumble for no rhyme or reason. While you are seated, all of a sudden you may get a muscle pull. It is not because something is wrong in your system, but because something has happened in the inner world. Consciously and deliberately someone was aiming such powerful undivine thoughts at you when you were not aware of it. Because your entire being was not energised or dynamic, your body could not resist and you got the attack. Many, many times you suffer from what you think is some physical ailment that all of a sudden appears out of the blue. But it is not a physical ailment; somebody has attacked you! This game goes on and on.
To come back to your question about the Master’s God-smiling eyes, I have shown those God-smiling eyes many, many times, and they are not fake. There shall come a time when each and every disciple of mine will see the truth of what I am saying, whether you now take me seriously or not. The higher you go, the clearer it will be who I am, and the more faith, love, and devotion you will have. Again, the lower you go, the more confusion you will find. But when your God-realisation day dawns, somebody will come and give that realisation. At that time, you will not see a totally strange face or body; no, this very face and body of mine will come! But this applies only to the close disciples; I cannot do it for all.
Using Sri Chinmoy’s Words to Understand My Story Better
I would like you to keep a few things in mind within the above words of Sri Chinmoy. Number one, he said, “Before you learn a subject, you have no idea what the subject is about. In fact, that is the reason why you study it.” In the spirit of these words, I recommend that while reading this story, you keep an open mind and understand that, oftentimes, you may not understand what I am talking about before you learn more about it, and that is why you should calmly continue studying. For those that already have it figured out before even reading it, well, they are not reading this anyway. Too often, though, we think we have it figured out or that we have all the facts. However, those could be preconceived ideas.
Second, Sri Chinmoy does thousands of things in the inner world that an ordinary human being cannot do. He, as a God-realised soul, does many, many things simultaneously. So, while he deals with me, or some other disciple, he does many other things at the same time.
Third, spiritual communication applies to everyone. As Sri Chinmoy said, “But always there is somebody inside us who is telling us the right thing and prompting us to do the right thing, and that is God.”
Fourth, the spiritual Master is God’s representative. The Master does not get impatient or aggravated with you if you are doing “wrong” things. I do not want to give off the wrong impression that Sri Chinmoy is not all love, patience, and compassion. But through a disciple’s bad or upset behaviour, he can give off a negative impression of the path or the Master. I talk more about that later.
Finally, if one becomes angry with the Master, then he likely will send the Master blows and cause him to suffer, which I refer to throughout my story as Muhammad Ali punches. Now, I should clarify, that a “blow of the Master” (the kind I have received) is not like a Muhammad Ali punch. It is more like being slapped on the bum by a parent. Since there’s no physical pain, what is left is only the feeling of humiliation.
I’m Still on the Journey
In this story, good things happen to me, but many negative parts contribute to my story also, some of which may be disturbing to some readers. Much of it comes from being upset with my Master, though it also partially stems from the fact that, between 2010 and 2012, I was somehow trying to live (and thus write) the story according to what I suspected might be impressive. As the Lord Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16:23 (NIV): “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Normally, for one who is not going through a Dark Night of the Soul, God responds when one is sincere and devoted; when one soulfully prays, sings spiritual songs, reads Scripture and meditates, and so forth. This response fulfills you and helps you understand, to an extent, that you are going in the right direction. You get a taste of the Infinite. This response is one of the main reasons why people perform these devotional spiritual disciplines. Meditation itself is the seeker aspiring to be fed spiritually while receiving God’s response. Unless, of course, you are God-realized—then you are aspiring for the sake of others.
Such spiritual efforts feed the seeker; they are spiritually nourishing for the seeker’s heart and soul. On Sri Chinmoy’s path, the ideal way to be fulfilled is through aspiration, which is the secret of meditation, while dark desire is the way of short-term pleasure. According to Sri Chinmoy’s philosophy, for true happiness, and to grow closer to God, one needs not only aspiration but fewer desires.
Before I learned that true fulfillment comes from these efforts of self-improvement and from blessings of the Master, I developed the delusional perspective that true happiness was the act of sitting around having a few drinks with friends or family. There is a difference. But in order to learn that difference, one must be blessed. And I feel that I have been blessed. Because of the Divine Embrace I experienced—which anybody can experience—beginning when I was about seventeen, I realized that happiness is a state of mind and doesn’t have anything to do with enjoying alcohol or some other substance. And more recently, despite all my struggles, I have come to appreciate the beauty within the pain. The Wind’s Divine Melody is how I was able to develop this spiritual perspective, and now I hope to provide this blessing to my daughter. I hope you enjoy and learn something from my long spiritual journey.
Perhaps you need something more than meditation to tame the ego and become one with your true self. If so, then for me I needed a Wind’s Divine Melody—a 15-year-long and still counting ordeal of specious accusations and misjudgments from others while I try to help my daughter and try to improve myself (and often fail); a Dark Night of the Soul—a holy darkness during which you sense the absence of spiritual consolations —what I call spiritual dryness—which included, for me at least, an inability to meditate; and blows of the Master—humiliating blows administered upon me through inner communication with my Master, which were very difficult to just accept as though he were giving me a flower. (Although, that list is not exhaustive.)
As Sri Chinmoy once said, “Our weaknesses come forward so that we can strengthen them.” Yes, this adversity, these tests, and even my life before the Embrace, brought my weaknesses to the fore. And indeed, I have been strengthening them, although I have also endured many failures. But perhaps failure is not a kind of end result but more like a teacher helping us to get better and better.
“To achieve realization a dying to the old self, the ego, is necessary.”
— Mother Meera