This is an old recording, from 1974, of a talk by Sri Chinmoy entitled ‘Spirituality and Satisfaction‘. The talk was given to the University of Toronto as part of a two week lecture series. Although the sound quality is not as good as we would like, we hope you can enjoy the talk.
In 1974 Sri Chinmoy embarked on a two-week Canadian lecture tour in mid-March that took him to fifteen universities in four Eastern provinces. A book “My Maple Tree” containing these spontaneous lectures was published that year in New York. During the visit in Ontario Sri Chinmoy also visited a newly opened vegetarian restaurant Annapurna operated by his students, that is now the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Ontario.
Spirituality and Satisfaction
“If you want me to define spirituality, I can define it by using only one word: satisfaction. Spirituality is nothing more and nothing less than satisfaction. Now, what is satisfaction? Satisfaction is the manifestation of oneness. Manifestation is the song of permanence, and oneness is the crown of evolution. And what is evolution? Evolution is our heart’s ascending cry for the Highest, for the Absolute. This cry needs only one thing: God’s descending Smile. When our heart’s ascending cry and God’s descending Smile meet together, we fly in the sky of infinite Freedom.
Some enter into the spiritual life because the world has disappointed them. Others enter into the spiritual life out of sheer curiosity, because they feel it may offer something worth achieving. Still others feel that no matter how much they give to the world at large and no matter how much they receive from the world, they will never be able to see the face of satisfaction. They feel that only by leading a spiritual life will their inner satisfaction loom large. They feel that satisfaction lies in self-giving, self-giving to the root of the Life-Tree: God.
Those who enter into the spiritual life because the world has disappointed them or because they have disappointed the world may be tempted to go back to the life of the ordinary world. But those who accept the spiritual life for real and abiding satisfaction will eventually succeed.
A real spiritual life is a life of inner acceptance. Inner acceptance means allowing oneself to be shaped by the Will of God. When we pray and meditate, we try to become consciously one with the Will of God. We know that it is only the Will of God that can ultimately fulfil us and our near and dear ones. No matter how hard we try to please others, we shall fail. No matter how sincerely and genuinely others want to please us, they will sadly fail. But if we invoke the Will of God to please mankind in Divinity’s own way, then, and then only, will the world be satisfied.
A spiritual man is he who does first things first. For an ordinary human being who does not pray and meditate early in the morning, the first thing in his life is his breakfast. He feels that if he eats he will be energised so that he will be able to perform his daily activities. But a spiritual person feels that there is someone inside his heart whom he has to feed first: a little child, a divine child. This little child is the soul, which is the direct representative of God. A spiritual person feels that he must feed his inner existence first, and then only will he be fulfilled in his outer life. He feels that he has to come outward from within, and not the other way around. Early in the morning, therefore, he prays and meditates. When he prays most soulfully, his inner cry immediately knocks at God’s Door and God listens to his cry. His prayer is his speech. He starts conversing with God and God listens. Then, a few minutes later, he meditates. When he meditates, he becomes the listener and God becomes the talker. In a conversation, one talks and the other listens, and then it is reversed. Similarly, when a seeker prays, he talks and God listens; and when a seeker meditates, God talks and the seeker listens, by silencing his mind and by opening his heart.” (My Maple Tree)
University of Toronto
Medical Science Auditorium
March 24, 1974
Sri Chinmoy, My Maple Tree, Agni Press, 1974
Sri Chinmoy’s Canadian schedule:
March 16 – Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia
March 17 – University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick
March 19 – Laval University in Quebec City
March 20 – Sir George Williams University in Montreal
March 21 – Université de Sherbrooke in Sherbrooke, Quebec
March 21 – Université de Montreal in Montreal, Quebec
March 22 – Queens University in Kingston, Ontario (noon)
March 22 – University of Ottawa in Ottawa (8 p.m.)
March 23 – Trent University in Peterborough, Ont.
March 24 – University of Toronto in Toronto (noon)
March 24 – McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. (7:30 p.m.)
March 25 – University of Guelph in Guelph, Ont.
March 26 – Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont.
March 27 – University of Windsor in Windsor. Ont.
March 28 – University of Western Ontario in London, Ont.
March 29 – York University in Toronto
Artist: Sri Chinmoy
Name: Spirituality and Satisfaction
Release year: 1974
Acknowledgements: Sri Chinmoy
Tracks uploaded: Ashish Zubaty | Tejvan Pettinger
Recorded by Utpal Marshal
Technical supervisors: Amiya, Ashirvad
Format: Advanced Audio Coding
Photo by SF Centre Archive (October 1974, Santa Barbara)