Question: Guru, you said if we wish to serve the world we must have the proper attitude. Could you explain please what that attitude is.

Sri Chinmoy: If we wish to work in the world and for the world, our attitude should be one of dedicated service. We have to feel that the rest of the world is ours, that everyone is a member of the same family. When the attitude of help comes into the picture, we become proud. When we help others, immediately we feel that we are superior to them. But if we take the attitude of service, if we remain in the ordinary consciousness we may feel that we are inferior to others; but if we remain in the divine consciousness, we feel that we have been given a golden opportunity to serve the vast world. Now this opportunity is given to us by the Inner Pilot, the Supreme who is within us and within everyone. So when we are working for others, we have to feel the Inner Pilot has given us the golden opportunity to serve Him in others.

If we are sincere and have the idea only of serving, and if we feel that somebody else could have been given this golden opportunity, then we become humble. Humility is not humiliation but rather the expansion of our consciousness. It is like this. The conscious Light that feels everything as one is in our heart. Now this Light comes and takes my hand as the instrument and says, "Touch your head." I touch it, and then the Light says, "Now touch your feet." But now I am unwilling, because I feel that this time I am becoming a slave whereas before, when I touched my head, I was the master. But when I know that my feet, my heart, my head are all one, I don't feel that it is beneath my dignity to touch my feet. Our attitude here should be the one of surrender, surrender to the command. So if we serve the world with the idea that the world is ours and we are part and parcel of the world, the question of superiority and inferiority can never arise.

We are asked to do something. Why is it that God has asked us and not somebody else? Because He feels that we have the inner surrender, the inner willingness, and we want to do it in a divine way. Now two persons can do something and their outer success will be the same; but their attitudes may totally differ. In God's Eye, the attitude is most important, not the so-called success. If we do something devotedly and unconditionally, then God feels that is a real success. If we achieve something by hook or by crook, by deceiving the world, we may get the success on the surface. But our conscience will torture us and then a day will come when everything will be exposed and we will become victim to both our own inner conscience and the outer public.

When we serve the world, we have to feel that we are not the doer, but that Somebody else is. We may not know Him, we may not see Him, but we can feel Him. God is nearer than our nose, nearer than our eyes, much nearer, but we don't have to see Him in order to know it. We have been sitting here meditating for half an hour; we may not have seen the golden Face of God, but we have felt something guiding and inspiring us. Hundreds of people are working at the United Nations, but why have just you people come here to meditate? It is because Someone has inspired you to do the right thing and to become the right person. And that Someone is God. If Somebody from within had not inspired you, then by this time you would have gone for your lunch break or left to mix with your friends.

Now others who are not paying attention to the spiritual life may be much greater than we are. In the eyes of the world greatness is determined by who has the authority, who has the power of autocracy; it depends on how much physical power or vital power or mental power one can wield. But in God's Eye, whoever wants to expand his heart's capacity, whoever has the heart's magnanimity, is really great. In God's Eye, greatness means goodness. Whoever is good becomes God's chosen son or chosen daughter.

In order to serve God in man and man in God, the first thing we have to do is pray and meditate. When we meditate, inside our meditation we will find the divine message or command, and we will also see how this order can be executed. If we discard prayer and meditation and become world-lovers, philanthropists, we are making a mistake. We will be like a human body without a backbone. No! First we have to become a God-lover, and then see humanity inside God. If through our meditation we see God and feel His Presence, then naturally we shall care for mankind. God is like the root of the cosmic tree. If we want to water the branches or the leaves and fruit, it is impossible; we have to water the base of the tree, the root. That is to say, we have to please God first and only in this way shall we be able to serve and fulfil mankind.