Part II: Prayer, mantra and invocation

Question: Sometimes when I am walking down the street I feel like chanting to myself. Is this a form of withdrawal?

Sri Chinmoy: While you are walking along the street, if you silently meditate or chant, you are not actually withdrawing. Only you are protecting yourself. The unaspiring world often is like a jungle, full of snakes and other wild animals. We are not criticising the outer world; only we know that aspiring people have to be well-protected. Every second, every minute, you have to be well-protected. Otherwise, immediately you will enter into the roaring jaws of the lion or the tiger that is right in front of you. So if you are chanting for protection, then you are doing the right thing. You are increasing your inner strength, your inner capacity. When you are strong enough inwardly, you will no longer have to chant. You can just move around and you will not be disturbed.

Your business is now to think of the Supreme within you. He is thinking of you twenty-four hours a day. So you can think of Him for a couple of minutes during the day. You are trying to establish your oneness with the Supreme, who is your eternal Teacher. Right now you don’t have to have outer contact with people when you are walking in the street. This does not mean that you should not say, “Hello, how are you?” and “Goodbye.” But this is all the outer contact that you should have. Then, while you are chanting, if you inwardly offer your good will to the people who are around you, at that time you are doing the best form of service. Inner service is a great service. While you are in the street and you are chanting inwardly, if you offer a good thought to those who are around you, you are doing the best form of communication with them. Then, when you become strong inwardly, at that time you can go and spread your light outwardly.