Question: If we burn incense and candles, does this make it easier for us to invoke spirits?

Sri Chinmoy: When I used to have a pain in my feet, my sisters used to see a white figure massaging my feet. They did not see the actual face, but only a shadowy form. I could see the full face, however, and everything else. I told my sisters not to touch the spirit because it was extremely pure. I asked them to burn incense and candles, and set out flowers. Whenever a spirit comes you have to do these things; otherwise it would be very difficult for the spirit to stay with you. Although you may be the purest man on earth, the spirits will find you always full of impurity. But if there is a flower, incense and a candle, then they will find it easier to remain.

Sri Ramakrishna, one of our great spiritual figures, after he had left the body, once went to the house of one of his devotees. The devotee wanted him to stay for a considerable time, but Sri Ramakrishna said: “Here, out of my infinite boundless love, I have come to you, but I see that you are so impure. You should keep incense burning in your room. When I come and stay in this place, it is like sleeping on a bed of thorns. How do you expect me to sleep on a bed of thorns?”