Talk on The Inner Hunger
by: Sri Chinmoy
Dear sisters and brothers, dear seekers of the infinite Truth, here we are all seated in a boat. The name of this boat is God’s Dream Boat. This Dream Boat is sailed by our Inner Pilot. In it we are safe and it shall take us to the Golden Shore of the Beyond.
Is there anybody on earth who has never been hungry? No! Is there any soul in Heaven who has never been hungry? No! Each human being on earth is suffering from inner hunger. Each soul in Heaven also is suffering from inner hunger. Here we are all seekers. A seeker is hungry for God realisation. A soul in Heaven is hungry for God manifestation.
As an ordinary human being, an unaspiring being, we have already known what earthly hunger is. To fulfil earthly hunger we need material food and material possessions; we need a distinct individuality and personality and we need the pride of supremacy. This is what we notice in our unaspiring earthly hunger, our ordinary human hunger. But when we become spiritual seekers, we have a different hunger. At that time we hunger for God’s Light, Truth, divine Beauty, Peace and Bliss. We hunger for Infinity, Eternity and Immortality.
When we have earthly hunger, very often we adopt foul means to satisfy our hunger. We try to feed ourselves in our own human way without knowing, without feeling and without becoming the inner light. But when we try to satisfy our divine hunger, we try to satisfy it by pleasing God in His own way. We are able to satisfy it only by pleasing the Supreme in His own way. We become the song of unconditional surrender, divine surrender to God’s adamantine Will. This Will is also His all loving Will.
A human child has hunger. He is hungry for affection and love from his parents, but his hunger is not illumined. His hunger is unlit. Within each human seeker there is a divine child. Call it a soul or anything else you want to. This divine child also needs Affection, Love, Concern and Compassion from God the Father and from God the Mother. But there is a striking difference between these two children. When the human child sees that his parents show affection and love to others, he immediately falls victim to jealousy. He feels sad and miserable. The divine child is pleased only when his divine, transcendental Parents offer equal Love, Affection, Concern and Compassion to all his friends, relatives and acquaintances. This child will never be pleased in a selfish way. He will be pleased only if everybody gets the same things that he gets. This child is pleased only when it sees satisfaction within and satisfaction without.
Each individual soul is hungry for God’s Smile. It knows that there is nothing as important as God’s Light in the life of aspiration and dedication. God too is hungry, hungry for the seeker’s smile. That is the only thing He wants from us. He waits for millennia in order to get a smiling face from His earth children.
We pray to God for millions of things; we pray to God to fulfil our countless desires. But when we become seekers we feel that there is only one thing that will satisfy us and that is God’s Smile. If a seeker is not advanced, if he is not on the verge of Self-realisation, he finds it difficult to feel that God is constantly smiling at him from His transcendental Height of divine Concern and Compassion. Because this seeker does not dive deep within, he finds it difficult to believe that God is smiling at him while transforming his agelong ignorance into eternal Wisdom Light.
It has been said that no clock is more regular than the sun. This truth is undeniable. But in the spiritual world we can say that no clock is more regular than our Heart’s inner mounting cry. This inner cry wants to climb high, higher, highest and reach the acme of perfection. This cry is constant inside each fleeting second, and its climbing flame is birthless and deathless.
When we become soulful seekers, we become consciously aware of the inner cry of aspiration. Before that, this inner cry remained hidden inside; we did not feel it. But once we begin to consciously aspire, we feel the need of something eternal and perpetual; once we feel that terrestrial things do not please us, at that time we get the inner cry for something that can satisfy us permanently.
Right now we are beginners in the spiritual life, but we are not going to remain beginners forever. One does not remain in the kindergarten all his life. One hungers for ever increasing wisdom until there comes a time when he gets his master’s degree and Ph.D. Similarly, the beginner-seekers will not be doomed to disappointment. Everyone plays the role of a beginner at some time. But ultimately the beginner becomes advanced and reaches the highest Height.
The body has a hunger of its own. The vital has a hunger of its own. The mind has a hunger of its own. The heart has a hunger of its own. The body’s hunger can be satisfied by material food or by wallowing in the pleasures of ignorance. But the same body consciousness eventually comes to realise that in pleasure life there is not and cannot be any abiding satisfaction. Pleasure life is eventually followed by a sense of tremendous frustration, and inside frustration what looms large is a sense of utter destruction.
The vital’s hunger can be satisfied by domination. To lord it over the world like Napoleon or Julius Caesar is its desire. But the vital, too, eventually comes to realise that in domination there is no abiding satisfaction. There is only an ever increasing craving and an ever mounting frustration which houses destruction within its breast.
The hunger of the mind can be satisfied by doubting the world. If it can doubt the entire creation and nullify or annihilate the whole world, the physical mind gets tremendous satisfaction. The mind feels it is the highest member of the human family and that it alone can illumine the whole being. At times the mind goes so far as to feel that it is in a position to add to the light of the soul, although this idea is most ridiculous. The soul is the guide and representative of the Lord Supreme. The soul has infinitely more light than the mind even at its highest. Nevertheless, the mind cherishes this kind of absurdity. Frustration and destruction loom large in the hunger of the mind.
The hunger of the human heart is to love and to be loved. When the heart is hungry for love, the heart does not see in itself the light of the soul. This is because it consciously or unconsciously mixes with the vital, or we can say that the vital enters into the heart. Rather than inspire, the vital instructs or instigates the human heart to claim love from others, and the heart tries to force its way into others. This is absolutely wrong! When the human heart plays the game of possession, which is not a positive or divine quality, it finds no satisfaction because the person it possesses is a bundle of ignorance. Once again frustration and destruction play their roles. When the heart itself becomes a flood of sincerity, it sees its mistakes and feels miserable that realisation is still a far cry.
When we are insincere, we feel not only that we have reached the goal but also that we are ready to offer the goal to the world at large. When we are sincere, all our imperfections come to the fore and we realise how far we are from our goal. When we pray and meditate, our heart does become sincere. When this sincerity speaks, our heart feels miserable and immediately runs to the soul, to its elder divine brother, for guidance and illumination. Then the soul guides the heart. When the heart establishes a free access to the soul, the heart is safe. The human heart at that time becomes the perfect instrument for God-manifestation on earth.
Earth has a hunger, a special hunger. Earth hungers to see the face of Heaven. Earth has had the vision of Heaven’s face only in silence during its highest plane of wakeful consciousness. But earth wants to see the face of Heaven inside its multifarious activities twenty four hours a day. Earth wants to see the reality of Heaven not in a dream but in its waking hours. Earth feels that Heaven embraces all the Glory, Divinity, Infinity, Eternity and Immortality of the Absolute Supreme. Earth feels that by establishing a deep friendship with Heaven it will be able to get God’s Grace, Compassion, Love and Blessing in the twinkling of au eye.
Heaven too has a special hunger. Heaven hungers to feed the heart of earth. It feels that earth’s heart is simple, sincere, genuine, pure and all loving. Heaven feels that its dream can be manifested only through the aspiring heart of Mother Earth. Heaven tries to make friends with the heart of earth because it feels that this is the only way it can manifest and transform its dream into reality.
Earth feels that by pleasing and becoming one with Heaven’s consciousness it will be able to bring down God’s Light sooner than at once. Heaven feels that by establishing a deep friendship with the heart of earth it will be able to fulfil its dream as soon as possible. This dream was Heaven’s promise to the Absolute Supreme that, with the cooperation of earth, it would manifest God’s Light, God’s Beauty, God’s Truth, God’s Peace and all His divine qualities here on earth.
Human hunger starts with ‘I’, but when it turns spiritual it becomes ‘we’. When it turns absolutely divine, this hunger becomes nothing short of ‘God existence’. When we are hungry to achieve and fulfil God the Root, then only can we begin to fulfil the God Tree’s branches. If we do not have a hunger for the Source, our hunger will not be perpetual, everlasting and immortal. A seeker of the highest Truth comes to realise that with human hunger there will be no satisfaction. Only if we are hungry for the infinite Light will real satisfaction dawn in our lives. The human satisfaction of claiming others we shall deny for the divine satisfaction of self giving. Not by claiming others as our very own, but only by constant self offering to the world at large do we attain lasting satisfaction. When we offer ourselves totally and unconditionally to our Inner Pilot, our life long hunger for oneness with our Source is satisfied for Eternity.
July 1st, 1974
Graduates’ Memorial Building