Question: Would an artist have a better understanding of your paintings than an ordinary person?

Sri Chinmoy: Not necessarily. I know many artists and musicians. Either they are extremely spiritual or they like to criticise and find fault with other people’s work. An artist may or may not be kind and have brotherly feelings for other human beings. Dulal’s sister is an excellent artist, and she feels that my paintings are good. But there are many artists who will criticise me or be jealous of me. If an artist sees that someone else is climbing up his tree, he is often afraid that he will be surpassed, so he becomes jealous.

Again, my expression of ideas is one thing, and an artist’s understanding is another. Most of my paintings are not representations of something we see in the outer world, like a bird or a tree. An abstract that I have drawn — which is a reality in another world — another artist may discard because it is beyond his capacity to enter into the realm of that painting. Sometimes when I draw a bird, you may see something wrong in it. There another artist will act like a real judge, and criticise it. But the force that has created these paintings will not remain dormant; it will burst forth. Then my art will not be compared with others’ art because it is a different kind, and there will definitely be some people who will appreciate it.