The following questions were asked at the New Jersey Centre on 17 February 1976.

Question: Is it better to be sincerely sad or falsely happy?

Sri Chinmoy: First of all, it is always better to be sincerely happy. Why should we give a chance to unhappiness? Let us be sincerely happy. That is the goal. Why should we even become falsely happy? Let us wait for happiness, cry for it. If we don’t get pure, clear water to drink when we are thirsty, we don’t drink filthy water; we wait for clear water. We look here and there until we get clean, pure water.

If you are sincerely unhappy, use the antidote. Cry more within. Be more spiritual. Increase your inner cry. Then your unhappiness will be illumined. Your inner cry will make your unhappiness go away. But do not stick to unhappiness or to false happiness. Like false coins, they will be detected. Even you yourself will catch them, because they are false. Again, if you are really happy, if you show off your happiness to others, they will only be jealous. If you are fortunate enough to realise God today, although others know they will get much benefit from your realisation, still they will become jealous. Your happiness does not matter to others.

The best thing is for you to be always happy, but not to show off your happiness. But if you can’t have real inner happiness, instead of displaying false happiness, try to use the medicine, which is your inner cry. That is the best. Instead of becoming insincere, the best thing is to immediately take medicine.