Page 2

As the human mind progresses from wisdom to greater wisdom, it comes to possess the highest spiritual truths. Throughout the centuries man has believed that truth is eternal, having neither beginning nor end. With his intuitive seeking man may realise truth but whether he does or not, the universe remains the same. Truth manifests itself in law: the laws of nature, the physical laws, the mental laws, the spiritual laws. It is the revelation of these laws that constitutes the great sacred texts through the ages. From them alone radiates all harmony and order in the universe. However, there are chapters in the history of civilisation when man’s aspiration for truth becomes less pronounced, when standards dissolve and the highest goals become clouded. At such times the eternal laws are held in abeyance until they may be revealed in a new form, according to the needs and conditions of the times. This is the lofty aim that Sri Chinmoy proposes and which he attempts to fulfil through the poems of Ten Thousand Flower-Flames.


What is the real wisdom-light?
The real wisdom-light
Is to help Truth regain
Its lost throne.


Ten Thousand Flower-Flames is a huge concordance of aphorisms, hymns, prayers, lyrics and songs which are woven together into a single whole by the profound seer-vision which underlies them. During the past twenty-six years that he has lived in the West, Sri Chinmoy’s creative output has been prodigious: he has published more than 750 books of poetry, drama, short stories and essays; he has painted over 135,000 mystical paintings and composed some 8,000 songs in English and his native language Bengali. Ten Thousand Flower-Flames represents the crown of these composite achievements and even as the Upanishads have been called the “milk” or quintessence of the Vedas, so this work is perhaps the most concentrated expression of Sri Chinmoy’s inner wealth.

A few gleanings from the poems themselves may serve to introduce the variety to be found in this immense ocean of spiritual expression:


All the world’s problems
Can be solved only when
The inner problem is solved.
What is the inner problem?
The inner problem is:
Who am I?



Your holy steps
Have saved my fettered life.
Your holy steps
Have released my encaged soul.



O heart, my heart,
You are sovereignty ancient,
You are beauty imperishable.


It is at once evident that although these poems have come to us fiery molten from the poet’s consciousness, they are not weighted down by the trammels of personality. There is a great public power in the poems which opens outwards to the reader – at times addressing him directly, at other times reflecting his inner states, as in an unsullied mirror. They are poems that invite our participation. In numerous ways they stretch our souls. Shall we accompany the poet on his soaring flight? Shall we, too, gaze through the windows of the universal soul? Like men who know not that they are thirsty till they pass by a clear lake, we drink of this immortal ambrosia.

Looking back over the literature of this century, we shall perhaps see that Ten Thousand Flower-Flames has emerged at a time when the tide of spirituality is at a low ebb. For many years our literature has been barren of any soul-force and we have waited for a new messenger of the soul – a singer, an ecstatic, a truth-finder to awaken us out of unconsciousness and carry us beyond the fixed domain of the mind to new heights. There has been a sense that we have been preparing for a new surge of creativity and that our current modes of criticism will not keep pace with it. Everything points to a new openness and expansiveness. We hear in the air the stirrings of a new beginning. The ascent of the soul is once more to the fore. The new Poetry of the New Age has come. Let us give it ample reception!