Part IV — Hartford television interview

On 8 May 1974 Sri Chinmoy was interviewed on a Hartford, Connecticut television show. This is a transcript of the interview.

First interviewer: I've heard about meditation, but I really don't know too much about it. This morning our guest is Sri Chinmoy, who is an expert in the area of meditation. He has lectured at many universities and written several books on the subject, and he also conducts twice-weekly meditations at the United Nations. It's nice to have you here this morning, Sri Chinmoy.

Sri Chinmoy: I am so happy to be here.

First interviewer: I think my first question is that I want to know more about meditation. Is it a mental exercise or is it like self-hypnosis? Is it an alternative to religion? Do people meditate instead of going to church?

Sri Chinmoy: Meditation is not a mental exercise, it is not self-hypnosis and it is not a form of religion. Meditation is an inner study for self-discovery. We meditate in order to empty our mind and in order to empty our heart. When we empty our mind we receive God the Peace. When we empty our heart we receive God the Love. Peace and Love are the two most important things in our life.

First interviewer: I think a lot of people are going to be wondering how you go about meditating. How do you do it? I think the results you are talking about sound good, but most of us don't really know how to meditate.

Sri Chinmoy: I wish to meditate for a few seconds. Then I shall explain how to meditate. [Sri Chinmoy meditates for a moment.] You just observed as I meditated for a couple of seconds. While I was meditating, I felt Peace and Delight all through my body. It was like a stream of Peace, Light and Delight flowing from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet.

Second interviewer: How would you describe what you saw in your mind's eye? Were you seeing some sort of a landscape scene?

Sri Chinmoy: Actually I was not seeing anything. I was growing into something, and that something was flowing Peace, Light and Bliss. I was becoming part and parcel of it.

First interviewer: Do you have to actually clear your mind of everything?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, you have to clear your mind and not allow any thought whatsoever to enter into the mind. If a thought does enter into the mind, then we cannot grow into the divine Reality.

First interviewer: But I think that's really hard for people, because particularly in everyday life, there are so many things that are acting upon you. How do you go about actually clearing the mind and not thinking about something you have to do that day or a problem you have?

Sri Chinmoy: Meditation should be a regular practice. We study regularly in order to pass our examination or achieve something. If we practise daily, it is quite possible to meditate well. But to start with, we should read a few spiritual books to inspire ourselves and go to a spiritual Master who can increase our aspiration. We should try to live a regular, self-disciplined life.

First interviewer: So one can actually go to a class to learn?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes.