Interviewer: If the Indian teachers have some knowledge that is helpful to people, why is India such a mess with its caste system and poverty and disease? I am sure you have been asked this question often.

Sri Chinmoy: You are right. I have answered this question many times. I am an individual and I happen to have been born in India. It was not my decision; it was God’s decision. God asked you to be born in America; He asked me to be born in India. When one prays to God, one comes to feel that one’s home is not India or America, but God’s entire creation. An ordinary person, an unaspiring person, feels that his family is the world — his father and mother and brothers and sisters. Then, after some time, he feels that his village is the world; then his town, his city, his province, his country. But a spiritual person feels that the whole world belongs to him. It is immaterial to him whether he happens to have been born in India or elsewhere. He is not confined to any particular place. Just because he feels that he is God’s son, he feels that he lives wherever God lives. If my father is in the court, if my father is in the bank, then I am also there, inside his heart. So, since my eternal Father is omnipresent, I am also everywhere within Him.

As an individual I stayed in India and as an individual I have come here. Now you are asking, “Why don’t you take care of your own house? Why are you bothering to work here?” But being a spiritual man, I will say that my house is not in India or America. My house is wherever God takes me. Tomorrow if He takes me to Europe, then there will be my house. Wherever God feels that I will be of some use to Him, He will bring me. And wherever you will be of some use to Him, He will bring you. So there is no India, no America.

For the suffering of India we can blame mankind, we can blame India. They are lethargic, they are not trying. But we have to know that by blaming India or some individual, we do not accomplish anything. True, there are many things wrong in India. But if you see something wrong in me and you point out all my failings, I tell you that I am not going to change my life. Unless and until somebody from within inspires me to do the right thing, I will not do it. So, if India has some problem, then naturally God will send somebody to take care of that problem. If God says that I am not the right person, then He will send somebody else.