Question: When you first arrived in the United States 13 years ago, in 1964, did you see a greater need then than you do now for your teachings? I guess I am trying to say have you seen some changes in the way we Westerners are thinking?Sri Chinmoy: It seems to me that the West has not only become more spiritual, but has also become wiser. When I came here in 1964 there was a strong hippie movement, and people indiscriminately flocked to the Gurus, no matter which one, no matter whether he was sincere or not. But now they have become wiser. Now they try to go deep within. They are looking for the real Gurus. They want something solid, substantial. Previously it was like a young man who wants to see the world by hook or by crook. They didn’t have enough aspiration, patience or wisdom. Now the Western world has become spiritually mature, therefore they are trying to dive deep within sincerely, steadily and purposefully. Previously the Western world was like a restless individual who wanted to acquire everything in the twinkling of an eye. Now the same person has become calm and patient. He has come to know that spiritual wealth or inner illumination cannot be achieved overnight. He has become more sincere, and has cultivated patience in his spiritual life. Since he knows that self-realisation cannot be achieved overnight, he is now walking along the path of spirituality peacefully, devotedly and steadily. This is the right approach.
Sri Chinmoy, Flame-Waves, part 11, Agni Press, 1978