Question: When one is looking for the inner light and opens oneself to the inner light, does this necessitate a withdrawal from the material life?

Sri Chinmoy: When we look for the inner light, we don't have to give up the material life at all. We have to live on earth. If one gives up the members of his family, his children, his parents and his dear ones, then tomorrow he will give up the inner life also. Then what is he going to get? Where is God? God is inside everyone. Now, what is he going to give up? He is going to give up ignorance. He is going to give up bondage. He is going to give up temptation, his own temptation. The undivine things he is going to give up. But if you say that you have to give up your earthly existence in order to realise God, then it is a mistake. It is not required at all. God is here on earth as He is in heaven. Now, if you look all the time up in the sky — as Bernard Shaw said, "Beware of the man whose God is in the skies" — then you are consciously negating God who is also the Creation. We don't have to be satisfied only with God the Creator. God the Creation we also have to accept. Otherwise, God is not complete. He is both Creator and Creation. We have to realise and fulfil Him here in the Creation itself.