Sri Chinmoy began writing poetry using a traditional style of metre and rhyme. (View: My Flute.) However over time he developed a new style of poem, which seeks to embody a spiritual inspiration, in the minimum of words.
These poems are short; with a mantric, haiku like quality. The reader is able to grasp the essence of the message, with a minimum of mental dissection. The poem touches the heart, rather than dazzling the mind. This is the intended effect, as Sri Chinmoy wishes to lead a reader to uncovering the truth and message embodied in the poems. When read with the right attitude, the poems can feel like a conversation with your own Soul. The poems thus act as a bridge between our highest intention and the practicality of daily existence.
As our spiritual seeker, problems and difficulties are an inherent aspect of our nature, the poems of Sri Chinmoy remind us of their source.
My mind knows
How to make complaints.
And these complaints
Never, never end.
At the same time as highlighting the root of unhappiness, the poems act as a forceful inspiration to transcend and illumine our ignorance.
Do not blame the mind.
Tame the mind.
You will be supremely happy.
Sri Chinmoy suggests that the best way to overcome ignorance is not by thinking and ruminating on ‘sin’ but to focus on light. By bringing our spiritual qualities to the fore, automatically they elevate our consciousness and lift us out of our negative state of mind. For example, as a contrast to the dryness and the critical nature of the mind, Sri Chinmoy exhorts a seeker to use the power of the heart. It is in the heart that we can experience a sense of oneness and closeness to our inner pilot. It is in the heart where we will experience real meditation. Many of Sri Chinmoy’s poems highlight the soulful nature of our aspiring heart.
My heart is a climbing cry.
It will continue climbing
Until it reaches the twinkling beauty
Of the evening star.
Sri Chinmoy’s poems are constantly challenging the reader to choose. With the clarity of a Seer’s vision we are given an alternative between, the joy of spiritual illumination, and the dryness of a critical mind. For a sincere seeker, it is not possible to read the poems of Sri Chinmoy without feeling the necessity, of seeking to transform our nature. We know the effects of an egoistic self-centred life can never give us satisfaction.
One thought can give us
Either the taste of Heaven
Or the taste of Hell.
However Sri Chinmoy’s poems remind us that the rewards of a God centred life are vibrant and real.
My heart lives on
Eternity’s hope rainbow.
the Smile of the heart.
Sri Chinmoy’s poems are not an abstract philosophy but a guide to making spiritual progress. The poems are not just to be read but practiced and implemented in our lives. As Sri Chinmoy suggests:
To know a theory is good,
But to practise it
Is infinitely better.
All poems from Seventy Seven Thousand Service Trees vol 35. by Sri Chinmoy
- Selected Poems of Sri Chinmoy
- Poems of Sri Chinmoy
- Sri Chinmoy’s Recent Poetry by Vidagdha Bennett
- 77,000 Service Trees of Sri Chinmoy
Article by Richard Pettinger