Sri Chinmoy's Transcendental Picture was taken in the late 1960s, it captures a moment when Sri Chinmoy was in a deep state of meditation. It is sometimes just referred to as the "Transcendental".
Note on the copyright of Transcendental Picture
The Transcendental Picture is copyright Sri Chinmoy Centre.
It may not in any circumstances be re-published in any form. If you wish to use a photograph of Sri Chinmoy in meditation, there are many available under a Creative Commons license here.
The Transcendental is considered a sacred image, please respect this.
Sri Chinmoy in meditation (but not the Transcendental)
Selected excerpts from Sri Chinmoy's writings on the Transcendental
When you look at my Transcendental picture, you will see your own highest Existence. My Transcendental picture is your own existence in its highest form. But right now, this Existence is not at your command. It is at my command because I am a realised soul. When you are also realised, when you become totally one with me, then you will not be able to separate my Transcendental Consciousness from your consciousness.1
The Transcendental has everything and it is everything. If I have given something to the world that the world will forever and forever cherish, then that is my Transcendental picture. Believe it or do not believe it! You will go to Heaven God knows how many times, and how many times you will come back from Heaven God knows. But if you keep an inner connection with me, then you will see that millions of miracles the Transcendental will do. Not thousands, but millions and billions of miracles the Transcendental picture will do for mankind.
This is not just a picture; it is my Transcendental consciousness. When you look at that picture, you are definitely concentrating on my Transcendental consciousness — not just on a picture or a piece of paper.2
When you look at my Transcendental picture, try to feel that this person you are seeing is your very own. You have a husband or wife, you have children, and now you can add one more person to your family. You have to feel also that here is someone who is not only your own for this life, but who will be your own forever. If you feel your oneness with me, if you feel that I am not a foreigner but a member of your own family, then automatically you will try to mix with me and your consciousness, your soul, will try to mix with mine. This very mixing is called meditation.
When you meditate on me or on my Transcendental picture, you are becoming one with me. If you look at a tree, you become one with the consciousness of the tree. If you look at a flower, you become one with the fragrance of the flower. Similarly, if you look at my Transcendental picture, you become one with my inner divinity and reality. If you are sincere, at that time you get Peace, Light and Bliss in boundless measure. That is real meditation. But this is only for seekers who want to follow my path.
Those present here who are not my disciples may be thinking that it is the height of folly for my disciples to meditate on my picture. Perhaps they feel that I am proud, conceited and shameless because I allow them to admire that picture. But I can assure you — as my devoted disciples who have faith in me know — that my Transcendental picture does not represent my physical body. It does not represent me, Chinmoy Kumar Ghose. The picture was taken when I was in my highest consciousness; and in that consciousness I am totally one with the Supreme. So that picture represents the Supreme for each seeker who has accepted me as his Guru. When my disciples concentrate, when they meditate in front of that picture, they feel that they are meditating in front of the Supreme.
Those who are my real disciples, dedicated disciples, need not concentrate on anybody's photograph except mine. I tell them to first look at my whole face and then gradually, gradually to try to concentrate on my Third Eye. Whatever they want, if they want a vision or anything else, then my Transcendental picture will give it to them. It has infinite Light, infinite Peace, infinite Bliss; everything it has in infinite measure.3
Question: How should we concentrate on your transcendental picture?
Sri Chinmoy: When you want to concentrate, first look at my face, the whole face. Then gradually try to concentrate on my forehead. Then try to think of the place in between the eyebrows and a little above. Feel that only that particular spot exists, and there is nothing else. Try to bring your eyes to that point and feel at the same time that you don't see anything else in the picture. Then try to dig there; go as deep as possible. Feel that you have got a knife, a divine knife, and you dig, dig, dig, and go as deep as you can. The deeper you go, the stronger will be your power of concentration.
Then, if you want to meditate, try to look at the whole picture. Try to feel that the entire picture is ready to give you whatever you want. If you want Peace, then try to look at the picture with the idea, the inner feeling, that the picture has infinite Peace. If you want Light, if you want Bliss, or anything divine, just feel that the picture has it, which is absolutely true.
To start with you have to have imagination, and then it becomes reality. Scientists discover so many things, but they have to start with imagination first. Then comes intuition and then comes realisation and reality. So, when you start, you have to imagine that this picture has what you want. Then go deep within and there you will find the reality. A day will come, in a few months or a year or two, when you won't have to take help from your imagination. At that time, your own solid inner aspiration will make you feel what the picture has, what consciousness is there.4
Question: What do your disciples meditate on?
Sri Chinmoy: My disciples meditate on a picture of me taken in my transcendental consciousness. This picture embodies my highest consciousness.
When I tell my disciples to meditate on my picture, what I actually mean is for them to go deep within and discover the Supreme, who is more active in me than in them. Again, I tell them that when they are concentrating on my picture, they are not concentrating on the physical, not on me as Sri Chinmoy, but on the Supreme in me. The Supreme in me is my Guru, your Guru, everybody's Guru. No human being can be a real Guru. We are all representatives of the Supreme. But the spiritual Master is more conscious of the real Guru, who is the Supreme, than the beginner-seekers.
My disciples feel that I have realised something and that 'something' for them is the highest. They feel that I have achieved something, that I am something. I tell them that I am only the elder brother in the family. In a family the elder brother is supposed to know a little more than the younger brothers. That is why his Father has asked him to bring the younger ones to Him. He shows the younger brothers where their Father is and he brings the younger brothers to the Father. Our Father is the Supreme. Once he shows his younger brothers the Father, then his role is over. 5
If it is difficult to imagine your own Highest, my Transcendental picture you can take as your Highest. When I go to the other world, I will be able to say that if I have given to this world one thing, that is my Transcendental picture. Again, quite a few years ago I went beyond that height. I always say that the Supreme Himself is making progress. That idea is unbelievable to the mind. He is infinite, He is eternal and He is immortal. But still, in His Infinity, Eternity and Immortality, He is progressing, progressing. Who am I in comparison?
I always say that imagination is a reality in itself. Now it is veiled, but it will become unveiled in the future. If it is difficult for you to imagine your own Highest, once more I wish to say that my Transcendental picture is enough. Take the Transcendental as your own Highest. The more you can think of my Transcendental as your own Highest, the stronger you will be in your spiritual life. That is your ultimate Goal: to reach that consciousness. Again, if you find it difficult to identify yourself completely with my Transcendental, then think of yourself, where you are right now, and go one step forward, one step upward, one step inward.6
Question: How can we make progress if we are not with you physically on our birthday?
Sri Chinmoy: It depends entirely on your inner faith. If you meditate on my highest transcendental consciousness, you are bound to feel my spiritual presence. During your meditation, if you can feel that while I am in that consciousness I am all for you — for your spiritual success and progress — then your meditation will be extremely powerful.7