Question: You stated that one should live a simple life. How do you define a simple life, and how does one recognise it? How does one live it?

Sri Chinmoy: There are many things we do here on earth that are unnecessary. There are many things we own that are superfluous. You live in a house, and you have a room. In your room, if you want to, you can have a radio, a stereo, a television and many other things which you don't really need. I am speaking from the spiritual point of view. If you want to lead a spiritual life, if you want to live the life of aspiration, if you want to realise God, then to make the fastest progress, it will be better for you to think more of God than of music and television, and all kinds of other things. You have to know what you want. If you want to be a spiritual person, then naturally you have to spend most of your time in spiritual pursuits. All the paraphernalia of the world will only distract you and waste your time.

If you want God, you have to lead a simple life. There are only twenty-four hours in the day, and when they are gone, they do not come back again. If you waste an hour, then it is lost to you forever. You will not be able to retrieve it. You have to decide what you will use each fleeting moment for: for worldly pleasure, or for God. If you feel that your first and foremost necessity is God, then if you simplify your life, you will not be distracted or tempted if you keep all the objects of temptation around you, then you are consciously and deliberately delaying your spiritual progress.