Sri Chinmoy: You have to know that money can either be a divine power, or it can be misused. With a knife we can cut a fruit and share it with our brothers and sisters, or we can stab others. Money as such is not bad. Only we have to know how we are getting it and using it. We shall not get money by using foul means, and we shall not misuse money: this should be our attitude. Why should it be difficult for you to accept money for your music? Money can be God’s blessing if you use it properly.
I pray with you, I meditate with you, and then, out of your love and gratitude, some of you give me a love offering. Here I have not used foul means to get money. I could have said, “Come, I will give you immediate, instant God-realisation if you give your money to me. If you give me ten thousand dollars or twenty thousand dollars, your God-realisation is assured.” By these foul means I could have become a multimillionaire.
You have to know how you are earning your money. If you are singing lower vital, emotional songs and creating excitement, and if you feel that that is the only way you can earn money, it is absurd. You have to maintain your own standard. You will do something that will elevate the consciousness of others, not stimulate excitement. Vital music stimulates, whereas the soul’s music, psychic music, elevates. From now on, all our musicians must try to elevate the consciousness, not stimulate any excitement.
If you earn money by illumining and elevating somebody’s consciousness and with that money you support yourself or support the Centre, or do something good and divine, then how can anybody blame you? But you have to know how you are getting the money, from whom you are getting it and how you are using it. If you take all these things into consideration, then money-power need not be a stumbling block. Money-power is also God’s power, but it has to be used properly.
Money-power is necessary in this world. I have a little bit of spiritual peace, light and bliss. Now if I go to a grocery store or a restaurant and say that I will give them my peace and light instead of offering money, they will say, “Get out. We don’t need your peace, light and bliss. Give us money.” They are not asking for something strange or unusual from me. They are asking for something which they ask for from everybody else. It is a legitimate request. If I want to eat the same food as others, naturally I have to behave like others and buy it.