The long journey, and thoughts of Agni


An old woman came to my line today.  Her hair is blond; I’m sure she dyes it.  She has youthful eyes, the eyes of a child.

She was fascinated by my name.  I told her I got my name from my spiritual Master, Sri Chinmoy, and that it meant “fast-climbing tree.”

She told me I was doing the right thing, I was on the right path.  She told me that fifty years ago she used to read “Be Here Now” and other spiritual books on a regular basis, but she didn’t pursue it.  Her greatest regret in life is that she never took the time to develop her spiritual self.

I asked her if she wanted to hear a poem, she said yes, so I recited this great mantra from Sri Chinmoy’s The Golden Boat:


“I have just begun my long journey
With my first step.
My Lord says that
I have far advanced on the path.

I have just begun to meditate
In the early hours of the morning.
My Lord says that
My Goal no longer remains
A far cry.”

Sri Chinmoy, The Golden Boat, part 10, Agni Press, 1974

It brought her to tears.  I then wrote down “Beyond Within” and “Sri Chinmoy” on a slip of paper and handed it to her.   I told her this book was written by the man who wrote the poem and who gave me my spiritual name, and that it changed my life.

She told me she felt she was destined to meet me.


I took the bus home from work as it was raining heavily.  A burly, grizzled old man was sitting across the aisle.  He noticed I was reading “A Lost Friend” by Guru and he asked me wat it was about.  I told him it was a book of spiritual philosophy, by my spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy.  He nodded with knowledgeable appreciation, but didn’t say anything.

I noticed he looked a little disoriented, perhaps drunk, but that he had a regal demeanor, great dignity and shiny eyes.  Before I got off the bus I told him I felt Shiva consciousness in him.  He said, “No, no- I am Agni.”

He knows some of the cosmic gods!  Not many people know that Agni is the fire-god.

I told this man that Agni is one of my very favorite gods, because he is a literary god, a lover of the arts, and also kindles within human beings the flaming hunger for self-knowledge.

Interestingly, when Agni appeared before Guru, he spoke in English!  (Please see this page on Sri Chinmoy Library:

I have heard, but have not been able to confirm, that when Thomas Edison invented the radio, he asked the world’s foremost Sanskrit scholar to recite the opening of the Rig Veda as the first transmission (“Agni mile purohitam…”  It is an invocation to Agni.  Apparently he wanted the most ancient scripture in the world to be relayed by the most recent technology.

I try to read my Guru’s books for two hours a day.  I may not be the best at silent meditation, but I can access Guru’s consciousness behind the words.  Often I have seen the Transcendental Photograph when I read Sri Chinmoy’s poems and inspired talks.  Definitely studying his writings is another approach to his highest consciousness.

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