Stories by Sri Chinmoy's students and friends
Aruna Pohland • Augsburg, Germany

The Drop and the Ocean


When I was around 20 years old, I went through a difficult period in my young life. I had just graduated from school, a new chapter of my life was beginning, and I was quite unsure of what to do with myself.

Before I went to New York for Guru´s Birthday Celebrations in August 1996, I wrote him a long letter, telling him all my thoughts and worries and, most importantly, about my “not so perfect behaviour” of the past which was not up to the standard of a good disciple.

When I arrived in New York, the Celebrations were in full swing. As usual, there were many activities and functions with hundreds of disciples from all over the world. Guru was, as always during these days, very busy. I was quite uncertain if and when Guru would say something to me about my serious letter.

A famous picture of Sri Chinmoy walking on his training track, in the gully behind Aspiration-Ground

Then one day at Aspiration-Ground (the private tennis court where we all met), after Guru had finished playing tennis, he went down to the gully behind the court where he sometimes did his sprinting training.

I was sitting in the bleachers, when quite unexpectedly one of Guru´s attendants approached me to give me the message from Guru, that I should wait about ten minutes, then join Guru down in the gully.

My heart started pounding, since it was very special and a great honour that Guru would bless me with this opportunity to speak to him personally.

After anxiously waiting for a few minutes, I walked along the path leading down to Guru´s training track, trying to be in a soulful consciousness. Guru was walking all alone in a meditative consciousness, and signaled me to walk by his side. It was a most beautiful and extraordinary moment to be in Guru´s close presence, not even a metre away. I could feel the immense love, power, and infinite concern that Guru was radiating.

As we slowly walked side by side Guru started to speak to me. He asked me firmly: “Do you believe that I have realised God?”

“Yes, Guru.” I replied.

Guru went on for a while and amongst giving me very practical advice he also uttered some most blessingful words. He said: “Your heart and soul are happy, they are for me, for the Supreme; but the mind and vital sometimes look for other things. But my divine love, affection and fondness for you are infinitely more, unimaginably more than any other love, human love. And my love does not decrease.”

Guru went on: “You should never hide anything from me – past, present, future mistakes – I forgive anything; I am all Compassion, I am fully responsible.”

The meaning of Aruna's name as given by Sri Chinmoy: 'The most beautiful and most illumining light of the sun in the heart of the Supreme.'

Then he said something very personal to me: “You are the illumining morning sun that takes away darkness and brings light, whenever I hear your name I get immediate joy and an inner thrill.”

I felt so immersed in Guru's world and felt clearly that he was in charge of everything in my life.

Then Guru said something that will forever stay inside my heart: “I am the ocean and you are the drop! Do you not think that the ocean can take everything from the drop?”

I will never forget this most special and blessingful moment with Guru! He showered upon me his love and concern, and wiped away all my difficulties with a single question. I will be always grateful.

Sri Chinmoy with Aruna, on another occasion

I am a tiny drop
Inside an infinite ocean of light.
I have only to expand slowly and steadily
To become the ocean itself,
And then I shall unmistakably
Be able to claim the entire ocean
As my own, very own.

Sri Chinmoy 1

This story is taken from the video interview above, with later reminiscences added by Aruna.

  • 1. Twenty-Seven Thousand Aspiration-Plants, Part 12
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