Flames with Commentary


By Sri Chinmoy


What is important
In Infinity?
Smiling flames.
What is important
In Eternity?
Climbing flames.
What is important
In Immortality?
Glowing flames.

From: The Goal is Won by Sri Chinmoy

Why does the modern spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy keep repeating that flames are so important?

Fire has some important layers of meaning as a sacred metaphor. First, it represents intense purification. We are the gold in the alchemist’s crucible, and the fire burns away the dross — imperfections, false attachments — until we shine with our innate essence.

But on an even deeper, mystical level, fire is actually experienced. In ecstasy, there is often a sense of heat — filled with immense love — that permeates the body. This warmth seems to emerge from the seat, flares in the belly, and rises upward, fanning out at the heart. As this fire moves through the body, it also moves through the awareness, consuming all thoughts (or, more accurately, the tremors from which
thoughts emerge). This fire burns away even the thought of “I” – only the sense of this living flame remains.

This is such a wonderful fire that mystics often describe it as a flame of love, so enchanting that, like the moth, you want to dart in and be utterly consumed.

This is Sri Chinmoy’s flame. This is the flame of Infinity, the flame of Eternity, the flame of Immortality.

Commentary by Ivan Granger

From: Poetry Chaikhana – Sacred Poetry from around the world