Question: Very often I may not recognise my inner self. I do not know whether the voice I hear is the inner voice or the outer voice, and this is extremely confusing.

Sri Chinmoy: I fully understand. But if you get a teacher who is a realised soul, you can go to him for help and find out if what you are doing is correct. Or if you do not get a spiritual teacher, please go deep, deep within and see if you get a voice or a thought or an idea. Then go deep into the voice or thought or idea and see if it gives you a feeling of inner joy or peace, where there are no questions or problems or doubts. When you get this kind of peace and inner joy, you can feel that the voice that you have heard is correct, that it is the real inner voice which will help you in your spiritual life.

To be true, pure, strong and brave, what we need is the inner voice. Our inner voice is the truth-power within; our outer voice is the money-power without. Man is not pure enough to see the truth-power operating in his outer world of desire and demand. Man is not fortunate enough to see the money-power operating in his inner world of aspiration and need. The truth-power used for humanity and the money-power used for divinity can and will change the face of the world. Truth-power will awaken and illumine the slumbering and unlit humanity. Money-power will serve and fulfil the yet unfulfilled divinity on earth.

The inner voice is the heart’s wealth. When an aspirant uses this wealth, it soulfully smiles. When an unbeliever and disbeliever in God attempts to use this wealth, it is mercilessly suffocated.

The inner voice tells us to help the world only in accordance with God’s express Will. If help is rendered otherwise, it is bound to turn into dire calamity later on. He is not only divinely liberal but supremely blessed whose help to another is God-inspired and God-ordained.

To give on second thought a thing requested is to give once. To give a thing for the asking is to give twice. To give a thing unsought is to give thrice. To give a thing when God wants it to be given is to give the thing for good, along with one’s own body and soul.

We shall never hear the song of the inner voice if we consciously or unconsciously make friends with anxiety. What is anxiety? Anxiety is the destructive breath of life’s poverty.

There can be no greater choice or higher prize than to listen to the inner voice. If we wilfully refuse to listen to the inner voice, our false gains will lead us to an inevitable loss. But if we listen soulfully to the inner voice, our true gains will not only protect us from imminent destruction but will also surprisingly hasten our realisation of the transcendental Truth.

An aspirant must realise that the inner voice is not a gift but an achievement. The more soulfully he strives for it, the sooner he unmistakably owns it.

Sincerity tells man he should be truly proud that he has the all-discerning inner voice. Humility tells man he should be supremely proud that the wrong-shunning, right-performing and good-fulfilling inner voice has him.

The inner voice is at once man’s untiring guide and true friend. If a man goes deep within, the inner voice will tell him what to do. If he goes deeper, the inner voice will give him the capacity. If he goes still deeper, the inner voice will convince him that he is doing the right thing in the right way.

There is a word that is very sweet, pure and familiar to us. The word is conscience. Conscience is another name for the inner voice.

Conscience can live in two places: in the heart of truth and in the mouth of falsehood. When conscience strikes us once, we must think that it is showing us its unconditional love. When it strikes us twice, we must feel that it is showing us its unreserved concern. When it strikes us thrice, we must realise that it is offering us its boundless compassion to prevent us from diving deep into the sea of ignorance.

Conscience and passion need not contradict each other if man aspires to offer his heart’s light to his passion and his heart’s surrender to his conscience.

The inner voice is the temple within us. The inner voice is the deity within us. The inner voice is the divine duty within us. The inner voice is the supreme necessity within us.

God has commanded the inner voice to be the friend of aspiring souls and the judge of unaspiring souls.

The inner voice is not only constant constancy, but also perfect Perfection.