I sometimes wish I could pull inspiration out of a hat, like some of my friends, and write beautifully and elegantly all the time.
Writing, alas, does not come easy to me. I have to work at it.
Pushkin, the great Russian writer, took Mozart as his model, and endeavored to hide how hard he worked, claiming that for him, as for Mozart, writing was like play. But the truth is, he worked very, very hard on his poetry.
Mozart died at thirty-five. I think it’s ludicrous to think that overwork did not contribute to his collapse. He worked at a feverish pace for years and years.
Artists try to compress reality, squeezing out from it everything but what’s most precious, its real essence and truth. This reminds me of a poem by Sri Chinmoy, from his book, Transcendence-Perfection:
The Mother Of Time
Time itself has fallen asleep
Who will wake you up?
No, not even the Mother of Time:
Truth Reality's satisfaction-dawn.
—Poem 412 from Transcendence-Perfection
Time is an instrument, or maybe a field through which karma and the other big cosmic forces work out their aims and resolve their pressures. But according to this poem, the very source of time, its ‘Mother’, is “Truth Reality’s satisfaction-dawn.”
I do not know what ‘Truth Reality’s satisfaction-dawn means. But if I can break this phrase down, maybe it will be easier.
The first half of the phrase reads: ‘Truth Reality’s’. I feel that the phrase ‘Truth Reality’ is singular for a reason. A Chinese expression states that you should always tell the truth, so that you will never have to remember anything. Truth is always simple, single, and irrefutable. It just is. So, there may perhaps be many illusory false cosmic realities, but there is only one Truth Reality.
‘Satisfaction dawn’ is also an interesting phrase. Dawn implies the very beginning of some process. Therefore, perhaps this phrase has some inner link with the ancient Vedic chant:
Asato ma sade gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Mrityur ma amritam gamaya
Lead me from the unreal to the Real!
Lead me from darkness to Light!
Lead me from death to Immortality!
In other words, satisfaction existed from the very dawn of creation, but God created the universe to enjoy and to manifest ever-transcending, ever-heightening and ever-deepening satisfaction. What we call ‘sin’ or ‘evil’ or ‘darkness’ is only light and goodness and perfection in their incipient forms. Maybe that’s why great spiritual Masters like Sri Chinmoy come down to this humble earth-planet in the first place. According to Indian spiritual teachings, only this planet is in evolution. It is only here that we can embody a conscious, constant hunger to go beyond ourselves in every possible way, and also, at the end of our teeming battles and struggles, to shake hands with God Himself on His own terms, but also as equals.
To combine the phrase: “Truth Reality’s satisfaction-dawn”, implies that Truth is the only reality, that we are moving from lesser to greater and greater satisfaction, and that in time we shall discover that satisfaction and truth are one. In other words, the supreme Satisfaction will one day be found at the Feet and in the Heart of the ultimate, incontrovertible and unique Truth, God.
I am not an old man, but I am thirty-four, and I am slowly stumbling into middle age and I do not like that. But, that’s the way it goes. I don’t fear getting older, as I once did because I have become a conscious seeker. That means that I feel each second of my life is precious; my life has a goal, and that goal is to achieve infinite Light. I may not achieve that goal in this life, and that’s ok. Goals give meaning to our lives. Why not choose the absolutely highest goal if you want the richest and most meaningful life?
For some reason I’ve had a lovely poem of Andrew Marvell on the brain. I can excerpt some lines here:
“But at my back I always hear/ Time's winged chariot hurrying near;/ And yonder all before us lie/ Deserts of vast eternity…
“Thou by the Indian Ganges' side /Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide/ Of Humber would complain. I would /Love you ten years before the Flood, /And you should, if you please, refuse /Till the conversion of the Jews.”
(The only ‘meat’ dish I occasionally pine for is gelfite fish. I wonder how Mr. Marvell would have put that into verse!)
I feel a similar sense of urgency in some of Sri Chinmoy’s late poetry. Take for example this poem from one of his last Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Tree volumes:
You must complete your journey
To God’s Heaven Kingdom
In this life.
I have a little more poise than in earlier stages of my life. I worry less, and enjoy myself more.
Somehow I feel that the greatest gift that Sri Chinmoy gave me are my memories of him. Whenever I feel frustrated or confused, I will think of my Guru, and I get the sense that things will be fine.
Sri Chinmoy wrote the following comments on the power of his smile:
“But for my disciples, my smile has tremendous power. When I smile, it comes from the soles of my feet to the crown of my head. Believe it or not, my smile has even cured the fatal diseases of some disciples. Only by remembering my smiles- at which place I smiled at them, on what occasion and so forth- they have had miraculous results. They knew it was not the medical world, but my smile, that cured them” (Sri Chinmoy Answers, volume 37, page 5).
Recently, I’ve been living in a Centre that has few members, and we do not live very close to each other so I have been spending more time alone that I would absolutely like. Sometimes when I get the blues, I just go to the lip of the Gulf of Mexico, look at the slow tides, and I think of the many times that Sri Chinmoy smiled at me, or just the times that I saw him smile at other people. I remember in the autumn of 2006, when an old lady presented Sri Chinmoy with a very high award. She shed tears of joy when she gave the award to him, and Sri Chinmoy gave her such a sweet smile that I will never be able to formulate it into words.
I think many of my personal experiences with Sri Chinmoy do not belong to me alone; they are stored in the universal consciousness. Anyone who loves divinity and light can get compassion and joy from a Master like Sri Chinmoy.
This reminds me of another poem by Sri Chinmoy, from his Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Tree collection. I am quoting it unofficially as I don’t have the source book in front of me:
God-Smiles blossom not only
In the Heart of time,
But also in the Heart
Of the ever-transcending Beyond.
With gratitude to my ever-expanding world-family,