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Part Two and Final. My America, as Seen Through The Eyes of A Visionary-Seer.
Abraham Lincoln was a visionary human who championed the equality of every man’s birth right, and faith in God’s justice. His Gettysburg address was incomparable:
“He had the gift to dream of union,
The courage and capacity to fight,
The confidence to win,
The patience that knew no flagging.”
- Sri Chinmoy. America in Her Depts. (1973), Agni Press.
John F. Kennedy was ‘the Universal Heart’, Prince of high idealism, Freedom incarnate, and Helper of humanity.” Kennedy: The Universal Heart, (1973), Agni Press.
He was eloquent in his Inaugural Address, “that soul-stirring address that is as deep as the Atlantic in its outlook; ideals as high as the Himalayas and resolutions as powerful as atomic power.” (Ibid).
“President Kennedy is, as it were, the lineal descendant of the American nation’s traditional leadership. As George Washington was the father of The United States, as Abraham Lincoln was its saviour, as Franklyn D Roosevelt was the Voice of America, even so is John F Kennedy the Noble Defender of World freedom and World Peace.” (Ibid).
John F Kennedy
Of course there were others and Sri Chinmoy said that there will be others whose inner experiences have awakened and will be awakening America, illumining and adding to America’s consciousness. Sri Chinmoy has utilised his poetry, songs, aphorisms, prose and even America’s symbols to honour such individuals and America itself.
John Adams, that ‘truth-fighter with a volcano-will’, John Quincy Adams, whose ‘heart cries to elevate the weak, to help the needy’, Benjamin Franklyn, ‘the oldest and the wisest of all.’ Every one of them contributed to America’s present consciousness. The Sacred Fire, Act 4, Scene 3, (1975), Agni Press.
There were also Nathan Hale, ‘Earth’s colossal sacrifice and Heaven’s hallowed satisfaction’, Emily Dickinson who, with her ‘heart’s inner music, blessed America’s children with glowing simplicity, purity and luminosity. She also gave to the American consciousness, a new dimension; a new type of soul-search –soft, delicate and lucid’. And Woodrow Wilson’s sacrifice and contribution to the League of Nations, has added to the glories of America’s hero-warriors that make her proud. (Ibid).
Finally, it is worth mentioning that Sri Chinmoy showed a deep appreciation for the American Flag as embodying ‘divine power, divine purity, divine vastness and spirituality’ and as for the Motto: ‘In God We Trust’, he spoke of it as a Motto of the highest order. On America’s sacred Liberty Torch, here is a most powerful aphorism:
“Birthless are the flames of the Liberty Torch,
Deathless is the light of the Liberty Torch.
The Liberty Torch is a human aspiration,
A divine realisation and supreme perfection”
-Sri Chinmoy.The Liberty Torch, (1976), Agni Press.
“America is a young nation. It does not want to walk; it wants to run as fast as possible in order to breast the tape first. I appreciate America for its dynamism. If you are dynamic, you run towards your goal. If you do not know where the goal is, then you may run from this side to that side. But it is better than to remain static. Americans are running” The Outer Running and the Inner Running, P160, (1984) Agni Press.
The above prose, written in the early eighties, indicates that Sri Chinmoy saw America as a young nation. However, with all its powerful and unprecedented changes in recent times, one wonders as to how this ever-progressive teacher, would see America in the world of today. America means speed, he said. Speed to run the fastest. It is a dynamic country running towards its goal. (Ibid).
Sri Chinmoy spoke of the beauty and inner urge of America many times from the seventies and all the way into the 21st Century. He compared it to representing the ideals of King Janaka – a wise King and seeker after knowledge - Prince Siddhartha – a loving prince about 2,500yrs ago, who later became the Buddha - and Emperor Asoka – a great Indian Emperor of the Maurya Dynasty in ancient times - he is said to have ruled for 63 years.
America utilised her vast wealth for the restoration of Europe, in her service of impoverished India, and in many other countries, large and small, it made her, 'in the modern context, stand forth uniquely as the most fit for the ideals of Janaka, Siddhartha and Asoka'. Eternity's Breath, P105, (1972), Agni Press.
In Sri Chinmoy's view, America's munificence, her ever-progressive mind and the dynamism of her spirit, have been an asset to the whole international community.
Sri Chinmoy saw the process - the ever-evolving consciousness of America - moving rapidly forwards. It makes mistakes, but like the elephant which bounces against a wall, it picks itself up and continues to move. This spirit of Americans running is depicted below:
“They may not be sure of the goal, but they are constantly on the move. They go to one side and run into a wall and get hurt. Then they go to another side and the goal is not there, so they get another blow. But at least they go”. The Outer Running and the Inner Running, P160-161, (1984). Agni Press.
Speaking of the bicentennial presentation of “America the beautiful”, Sri Chinmoy said that it gave him abundant joy, 'because there the soul and the spirit of America are embodied and represented in a most striking manner’ Aum Magazine, Vol 4, No 1, P16, (1977).
Here is a most appropriate poem expressing America’s beauty:
O Beautiful America
“O Beautiful America of the Lord Supreme
You are the pride divine of our soul.
The boundless glory of your giant arms
And the nectar-flood of your loving heart
Are but a collection of delight-flowers in the blue-vast sky."
Songs Dedicated to America. Courtesy of (http://us.srichinmoycentre.org). Last
As previously mentioned, every nation has a soul. This is reflected in its aspirations, aptitudes and capacities placed at the service of the Supreme. Now that there is a spiritual awakening in the world, Sri Chinmoy felt that it was only a question of years before its golden glint falls on the face of every nation. When that happens, its hidden divinity will shine forth to a greater or lesser degree on everyone.
Judging from her history, towards that end, “America holds out the brightest promise of placing, at the service of the Divine, her aspirations, aptitudes and capacities, as she has often, in times of need, placed them at the service of humanity” Eternity's Breath, (1972), P107, Agni Press.
We see this futuristic vision and spiritual assertiveness of Sri Chinmoy expressed in three of his most striking utterances On America:
“The next two hundred years will see the manifestation of the soul’s qualities of America. This manifestation will take place in America’s conscious and unconditional leadership of humanity and America’s constant and self-giving friendship with humanity”
“Undoubtedly the spiritual forces will be able to manifest in the next two hundred years much more than they did in the past two hundred years, for not only America’s but also humanity’s aspiration is continuously proceeding forward, upward and inward.” The Bicentennial Flames At The United Nations, (1976), Agni Press.
“America will offer her unprecedented capacity
For the community of nations
And make all nations feel that
Her height and depth and speed and power
Are for them to claim as their very own,
And thus create a satisfying and satisfied world-family”.
America, The Beautiful
Sri Chinmoy was conscious that America had taken a major part in the economic rehabilitation of India. Interestingly enough, this helps Her, America, in building up the base for a divine new world. In doing so, she will become doubly prosperous:
“Spiritual prosperity being added to the material, and both nourishing and serving the highest cause of a Divine New Creation.” Eternity's Breath, P.107, (1972), Agni Press.
While America means speed, while it wants to run faster than the fastest, Sri Chinmoy felt that endurance was a quality that it initially lacked. In Sri Chinmoy's philosophy, stamina is equally as important as speed:
“If one has only speed, then one cannot ultimately succeed; we need endurance because the goal is quite far. Again, if one has only stamina and no speed, then it will take forever to reach the goal. Only if someone has both qualities will he be able to make very good progress in his spiritual life and achieve something really great in life”. The Outer Running and the Inner Running, P160, (1984), Agni Press
Sri Chinmoy gives examples of America's super-excellent long-distance runners such as Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter and others, to demonstrate that America now feels that both speed and endurance are necessary, that it cares for both. He was also very fond of Jesse Owen, Carl Lewis and Bill Pearl, all three being among the elite of American sport, and embodying the qualities of discipline, dynamism, power and other aspects of the American dream.
Sudahota Carl Lewis
To conclude, one sees that the idea of starting, not wasting time, of being consciously on the move and not hesitating once one knows where one's goal is, was of tremendous significance to Sri Chinmoy and to our Path. This America embodied to the highest, and as such was appealing to him.
Many a time in my thirty four years with my teacher and Mentor, Sri Chinmoy would get his students to sing songs dedicated to America or sing her own national anthem. Over the years, America's spirit of freedom, of power, of opulence and speed in a divine sense has been depicted in his student’s many parades, dramas and plays.
In view of America's faithfulness to the prose below, one can see why it is a country with so much promise and why Sri Chinmoy chose to spend 43 years on her soil:
“Once you feel that your goal is not where you are, that your goal is somewhere ahead of you, then you have to run. And if you run, eventually you are bound to reach your goal” (Ibid. p. 161.)
- Manatita, April 5th, 2010