Essential in our inner cry are sincerity, purity and intensity. A half-hearted inner cry is a slap with a feather. Our cry must needs be wholehearted and resolute – at once helpless yet determined, piteous yet adamant, imploring yet commanding.

We cannot know how good a mango tastes by hearing others’ descriptions of it, no matter how vivid and evocative their words: we have to take the mango and eat it for ourselves. So, we cannot know or experience the inner cry by reading or theorising about it. The inner cry has to be invoked, lived, breathed, felt and suffered in every cell and sinew of our being. Our inner cry works only when we give ourselves utterly to it, allowing our aspiration-flame to subsume us, when we grow and flow into, merge with, surrender and become our inner cry.

Sri Chinmoy minces no words in his assessment of the role of aspiration, the inner cry, in our spiritual journey to God:

“Aspiration is the mounting flame within us. If there is no aspiration, then one can never, never realise God. Aspiration has the key to unlock the door of God. Aspiration in concentration, meditation and contemplation is of paramount importance. No aspiration, no realisation. Now this aspiration has to come from the inmost recesses of our hearts. Very often we have mental curiosity and we take it for aspiration. This is absolutely wrong. Aspiration is a burning cry within us. A child is crying for milk. No matter where he is, the mother comes running because the child is crying for milk or something else. The mother comes and feeds the child. In the spiritual life also, when an individual seeker cries ardently, soulfully and devotedly, God comes and stands in front of him.”
– Sri Chinmoy