Question: Did you see any basic differences in the quality of aspiration or the quality of the souls in different countries of the world? And do you feel that your trip was successful?

Sri Chinmoy: Aspiration I noticed in all the places I visited, although some places naturally had more than others. On the inner plane each country, each city is aspiring according to its capacity, but on the outer plane we can observe slight differences. For example, in one city I saw tremendous determination even in the people who were not spiritually conscious or aspiring. There was tremendous determination on the physical plane and the vital plane. In another city, even though there was aspiration on the inner plane, on the outer plane there was tremendous chaos, confusion, uneasiness, uncertainty. Aspiration was there — each place has aspiration — but when it is a matter of manifestation on the outer plane, at one place the inner message is properly carried, and at another place it is not.

Also, the inhabitants of different cities tend to invoke spiritual Light in different ways. In one city I visited they invoke spiritual Light more through the mind than through the heart. They are invoking Light, praying and meditating, but through the mind. And there are places where the people invoke Light through the aspiring and dynamic vital and the physical. I also saw some fortunate cities where the majority of the people invoke Light through the psychic, the inner heart.

The first time I went to Europe, I entered into an unknown world. I knew nothing about Europe, and Europe knew nothing about me. The second time I went, the European countries saw something in me. This time, they saw something more in me. The atmosphere, the vibration, was more respectful and devoted than on my previous visits. I wish to say that I am the same man, with the same consciousness and the same boundless love, as I was two years ago. But when there are friends, admirers and devotees around, then the rest of the world gives more attention. So fortunately or unfortunately, now that I am a little well-known, people see more in me. In my case, however, my disciples and other seekers do not have to become well-known in order for me to see what they are. To me they are all instruments of God, divine instruments. From the very outset, the first time I see someone I see him as a divine instrument who will definitely work for God either with my dedicated assistance or under the guidance of some other spiritual Master.

Another thing I noticed is that the world is aspiring more and more. On the outer plane we see quarrelling, fighting and war, so we misunderstand. But on the inner plane, I see that these places have more aspiration and more determination than they did during my previous visits. Just because they are becoming more spiritual, more divine, they are seeing more in our path.

Sometimes we are inspired to run towards the goal because there are many others who are running, and this makes us feel that the goal has something to offer. And sometimes we go to the goal, not because others are running, but because we ourselves have the intense inner cry. Our inner cry has increased, our need for Love and Truth and Light has increased, and so we run towards the goal. So this time people have been attracted to our path for two reasons. One reason is that people have come to know about me through radio, television and newspaper articles, through Mahavishnu and Devadip, and through my writings. And the second reason is that the aspiration of all the disciples who follow my path devotedly and faithfully has definitely entered into the world atmosphere, and this helps the rest of the world to see something more in me. This is why we can say that my visit to Europe has been a tremendous success.