Question: What is your purpose in visiting China?

Sri Chinmoy: Every year I go out of New York at Christmas time. It is our annual vacation. This year I came to China for an exchange of culture. Right from my childhood, I have had tremendous admiration for China. India's greatest poet, Rabindranath Tagore, the 1913 Nobel laureate in literature, wrote a book on China 1 and I have learned much, much from that book. A great spiritual hero named Swami Vivekananda also wrote about China in his letters. In addition, since my adolescence, I have read much about China and I have tremendous admiration for your philosophers, for your artists and for your culture.

It is with a heart full of admiration and love that I came to China. Here it is a cultural exchange. My students and I sing and play music. We have developed a love for art and culture and we wish to observe and absorb the inspiring qualities of China while we are here. We have come to offer our goodwill, brotherhood and the feeling of oneness. We wish to offer what we have brought from our respective countries and again, from your beloved country, the country that we most sincerely admire, we wish to receive your good qualities and thus enrich our own qualities. By receiving from you what you have, we increase our inner wealth. And we will be so pleased if our goodwill, our music and our way of life can be of any service to you. So it is a mutual give and take.

  1. CSC 54. Talks in China, Calcutta, 1925.