Question: What happens if a person wants to enter the spiritual life but has to adjust himself to the material life?

Sri Chinmoy: As I said before, Yoga and life must go together. We have to go deep within to discover the spiritual life, but without negating the material life. From inside we have to come outside; we cannot go inside while holding on to the values of the outer life. We need the inner life and in the inner life is infinite Joy, Peace and Bliss. From the inner life, we bring to the fore our inner, divine qualities. The material life can then be easily adjusted. The material life, in fact, has its true significance only when it is supported by the inner life. Now at present what is actually happening is that we are trying to separate the material life from the spiritual life. Actually there is no such division, but unfortunately people think that either one has to accept the material life and wallow in the pleasures of riches or else one has to be a complete ascetic; that there can be no compromise. This is not true. Life has to be accepted — the material life — but not in a sense of total indulgence. The material life is to be accepted for the manifestation of our divine, inner qualities. Through the material life, we shall have to fulfil the message of our inner life. Now how can we do this?

One should try to aspire in one's day-to-day life to combine both the material and the spiritual life. One can do this through the remembrance of something higher or deeper. What is that higher and deeper thing? It is God, the Divine. If God comes to one's mind before anything else, then only will God flow through the spiritual life into the material life. God has to be placed first in one's life, without negating the material life or the outer world. If we place God first, then God enters, on our behalf, into the outer world, into the material world. But if we place the material world first, then we cannot reach God because the process is wrong. It is from God that we have to enter into the material life, God looms large in the inner life and from the inner life we can and must bring Him into the outer life. This is how we can adjust ourselves to the material life and make it one with the spiritual life.