Question: How can the need for affection and admiration be overcome?

Sri Chinmoy: The need for affection is not bad, but the need for admiration creates problems. We all need affection from God, affection from our dear ones. It is the mutual giving of affection that keeps us alive. Without the mother’s affection, it is impossible for us to live. But without admiration, easily we can live. The absence of affection from our dear ones is simply death. But if somebody does not admire us, no harm. Affection is in the same category as love. But admiration is totally different. When we are admired, the ego can come to the fore and destroy us. But when we are shown affection and loved, at that time our divine qualities increase. So when you get affection and love, you don’t have to worry. But when you get admiration, you have to be careful.

If you want to conquer your need for admiration, you have to feel that admiration is short-lived. Also you have to know that the people who are admiring you today may not be sincerely admiring you. For their own motives they are admiring you. Or you have to feel that this admiration is not leading you to anything; only it is increasing your ego. But if you get sincere love, sincere affection from someone, then your heart is expanding, your joy is increasing. So you don’t have to try to overcome it.