Question: Sometimes some of the great artists and poets of the past have done works that seem to have been divinely inspired, but their lives did not seem to be spiritual. How is it that one's life can be undivine and his work divine?

Sri Chinmoy: Just because each individual has a soul, there is the possibility that once or twice during a person’s life the soul may come to the fore and then God can manifest in and through the particular poet or artist. The individual has not done it. When he was working on his masterpiece, his soul came forward and one could say that momentarily he became a saint of the highest order. When the soul comes forward, this happens.

The Supreme is not bound by anything. We think that if a person has a bad character, the Supreme should look down on him. But the Supreme sees Himself in all His creation. Who is having the experience in and through the person? The Supreme. The Supreme’s unconditional Compassion does not depend on what a person does in the outer life. Although a person may not be saintly, as long as he is sorry for his weaknesses, at that time the Supreme’s Compassion knows no bounds.

It is one thing to achieve something and it is another to remain in a divine consciousness. Sometimes when a person reaches the height of spirituality, a kind of pride enters into him. Someone else may have inner aspiration, but be weak. How do we know if these undivine people did not have an inner urge to become divine? If we enter into them, we may see that they did. We cannot judge these artists by their outer life. One may lead a bad life for a long time, but there may be purity within him which will eventually come to the fore and then he will become the flower of purity. On the other hand, someone may lead an austere life, yet not be pure.