One of the recurring themes in the writings and legacies of the great spiritual teachers all the way down through time is the accent they each place on the preciousness of a human incarnation, especially one in which there is some kind of spiritual awakening. One of India’s teachers spoke of only three real miracles: the rarity of a human birth in this infinitely vast cosmos with its endless possibilities of life; a human incarnation characterized by spiritual awakening and interest; and the culmination of these in finding your inner path and an enlightened teacher to guide you along the road to your own enlightenment.
Part of Sri Chinmoy’s vast legacy, The Jewels of Happiness is an inspirational road map for those seeking wisdom and knowledge, the travelers on the inner journey seeking happiness and fulfillment. It offers a compendium of gold nuggets, lovely visualizations and positive imagery, a sense of hope and the promise of an imminent peacefulness. I really like its focus on meditation and the confident assertions about God.
One of the things that always interests me about meditation is the feeling of close-by discoveries, a sense of being near to a sudden insight or an understanding that can make your life different. Or a veil that could part to show you something, making you happier or closer to God, a little enlightenment experience that could come suddenly like a rainbow in your day. They seem to be a gift rather than an achievement, and though they rarely come, even the promise of them lifts your heart. Reading The Jewels of Happiness encourages me in this way, its sense that happiness and freedom are very close, that God has such an immense love for us.
As my own years multiply I find meditation to be more of an abandonment to God than anything, perhaps recognizing that after a lifetime of struggles and strivings, we haven’t really got the foggiest notion about anything, and that we can’t really reach the loftiest heights on our own. After so many years, after all the meditation practice and self-discovering and immersion in a path, there is a humbling sense of our littleness. Yet in his book, Sri Chinmoy encourages this feeling of being a child and having a child’s innocence, purity, sweetness, simplicity, its helpless dependence on the loving parent.
In a world full of outer enchantments and endless distractions, the great light, beauty and purpose of the human soul becomes lost to us, covered over just as easily as a single cloud can hide the power of the sun. But The Jewels of Happiness brings back to us the sense of our sacred purpose; encouragement and reassurance; the promise of joy and delight; the nearness of God. Sri Chinmoy has mapped out a lovely guidebook for those embarking upon the eternal journey, an exemplar and teacher pointing our way back home.