Question: How can we best solve our problems?

Sri Chinmoy: We can solve our problems only if we know how to live the life of aspiration, the life of the soul. The soul is ever free. But when the soul enters into the body, as soon as we see the light of day, ignorance tries to envelop us. At that time fate starts its play.

It is our personal effort and God's infinite Grace which can change the face of our fate. A shoemaker's son becomes prime minister; a farmer's son becomes president; a beggar's son becomes a multi-millionaire. How? They have changed the face of their fate. What they needed was adamantine will. On the strength of our will-power we change our fate. Fate can be changed, is changed and must be changed by an unchanging will.

There are four significant spiritual words in Sanskrit: dharma, artha, kama and moksha. Dharma's literal meaning is virtue. If we follow an inner life of discipline and self-giving, then in our day-to-day activities we can acquire dharma.

Artha means wealth. It can mean inner wealth and it can also mean outer or material wealth. For an aspirant, artha is inner wealth; for an ordinary person, it is outer wealth.

Kama means desire. In the lowest sense it means the enjoyment of sex-life, but the root of the word is desire. As human beings we desire. When desire is transformed, it is called aspiration. Desire binds us, aspiration frees us. When we live in aspiration, we enjoy the Peace, Bliss, Light and Power of divine Freedom. When we live in desire, we bind and imprison ourselves every second, every moment of our earthly life.

The fourth word is moksha. Moksha means liberation. Liberation from what? Liberation from ignorance, liberation from limitation and imperfection, liberation from the past: this is moksha.

When we live in dharma, we cannot free ourselves totally from fate. Free will cannot embrace us at that time. When we live in artha, if we cry for inner wealth, then we are running towards the infinite. But if we cry for material wealth, then we are binding ourselves constantly. If we live in the world of kama, then we will ask for one house, two houses, three houses; there will be no end to our hankering. Each time we desire, we enter into the futile world of nothingness. But each time we aspire for moksha, we free ourselves from the prison cell of ignorance and death.