Question: You talk about spiritual practices, either elaborate or very simple. When we, as ordinary people, listen to a piece of music or see a very great piece of art, we feel a certain kind of joy. Is the joy you achieve after many years of spiritual practices the same as the joy we achieve momentarily, or is it greater?

Sri Chinmoy: It is something different. When you hear a piece of music, you are temporarily transported to a realm of ecstasy. Then, after five or ten minutes, the music goes away, and the joy disappears. When you make something, you experience the joy of creation. You are in ecstasy for fifteen minutes or half an hour, or for a day or two. Then your joy vanishes. Why? Because the joy that you get from your creation or from somebody else's creation is limited by the quality of the creation. Your creation may have the capacity to give joy for five or ten minutes. Then it stops. This is because you have not created something infinite or eternal. But when you have meditated for fifteen or twenty years, eight or ten hours a day, at that time, after your meditation, you will still have a free access to something boundless and infinite.

When we meditate, we enter into the vast — the vast sea, or the vast sky, or infinite light. When we enter into the vast, we become, by God's Grace, a channel which flows endlessly, like the Ganges flowing down from the Himalayas. So, when we meditate, we get a continuous flow of inner joy. The joy which we get from some earthly creation lasts for a short time, because both the creator and the creation are bound. But by meditating, we enter into boundlessness. Then when we get joy, it is really spontaneous and permanent. When a spiritual Master says that he has inner peace, inner joy, inner bliss, he has these permanently. They flow constantly from within because he has grown into the Source. This joy is infinitely greater and more fulfilling than the fleeting joy which an ordinary human being may experience.