Spare change at the till


Recently, I’ve been studying Sri Chinmoy’s inspired book of poems, The Goal is Won.  He wrote all 360 poems, on a single day, 28 April 1974.  I had not been born at that time.  But even though I wasn’t there, I feel a deep link to these poems.  They possess charm, beauty and power.  I feel like I can read these poems forever and find new things in them.  This book of poems may be closest to my heart.

A few nights ago, it was late at the store, and I was tired.  A young woman came to my line.  Like me, she looked tired, and did not say much as I was ringing up her groceries.  Towards the end of our transaction, I asked her if she would like to hear a poem.  She said she would, and I asked her to give me a topic.  She said, ‘The weather’- so I picked the one in my memory that had to do with ‘the sun’, from The Goal is Won:

“The morning sun
Greets your accomplishment-life.

The evening sun
Salutes your new hunger.

The inner sun
Perfects your life of deception,
Guides your life of aspiration
Fulfils your life of abnegation
Through the power of love-devotion.”

(Sri Chinmoy, The Goal is won, Sri Chinmoy Centre, New York, 1974)

As I was reading out the poem, I felt bathed in light and warmth.  I realised that the problems we face are all temporary.  I can turn towards Guru’s poems for support and consolation in my darkest hours.  They are always there.  The young woman gave me the kindest smile and told me I had transformed her mood.  I told her she had also greatly inspired me.

Yesterday, two middle-aged women came to my line.  They carried a spiritual vibration.  After I had finished ringing their groceries, I asked them if they wanted to hear a poem written by my spiritual Master.  They said they would like that, so I chose this great mantra from The Dance of Life:

“At the pinnacle
Of the Rama-enlightenment,
I became Sacrifice divine.

At the pinnacle
Of the Krishna-enlightenment,
I became Love divine.

At the pinnacle
Of the Buddha-enlightenment,
I became Compassion divine.

At the pinnacle
Of the Christ-enlightenment,
I became Concern divine.

At the pinnacle
Of the Ramakrishna-enlightenment,
I became Cry divine.

At the pinnacle
Of the Chinmoy-enlightenment,
I became Surrender divine.”

(Sri Chinmoy, The Dance of Life, part 5, Aum Press, Puerto Rico, 1973)

Usually, this is a poem I would share only with disciples, but I felt it was the appropriate poem at that time.   When I had finished, one woman said simply “Very soul-touching.”  Her friend said, “I felt that.”  They bowed to me and I bowed to them.

Little by little, we can find ways to manifest our Guru’s Light in the world.  There are always ways.  Today we were understaffed, but I sang Guru’s Kali and Krishna bhajans the whole day to myself, while speedily checking out the groceries.  People told me that they found my singing beautiful and soothing.  My heart is troubled by the news of the world.  I can do nothing outwardly.  But through the intensification of my own sadhana or spiritual practice, I feel I can offer something.  This opportunity is not denied to anyone.

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One thought on “Spare change at the till”

  1. Dear Mahiruha,

    Thanks for writing more stories from the groceries – your working place. I love to hear them and I am astounded that you have the courage to sing and recite in public.

    This morning I watched an old DVD where Guru is talking about the significance of inner peace while organising and running in the Peace Run. It is the 13. edition of Mridang’s series “Wisdom-Pearls.”

    In effect he says that world problems can be solved only by inner peace and asked his disciples to spread it.

    I assume that meanwhile many people in the world are troubled by the world news as they become more obvious. This conviction alone will help the earth-consciousness, I guess. The only thing I can do outwardly, is to keep informed daily by independent News so that my prayers are not only revolving about my own life, which is indeed also effected.

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