Question: What is the best way of obtaining peace in our inner life and in our outer life?

Sri Chinmoy: In the outer life you cannot have peace unless and until you have first established peace in your inner life. Early in the morning, if you treasure a few divine thoughts before coming out of your home, then these thoughts will enter into the outer life as energising, fulfilling realities. But they perform their task only according to their capacity. The peace you get from the inner world you offer to the world at large. But the outer world does not want it; the outer world does not care for it. The world says it needs peace, but when you give the world the peace-fruit, it just throws the fruit aside.

In the morning you pray to God for peace, and then you come to the United Nations. There your colleagues, who have not prayed or meditated, are quarrelling and fighting. They are in another world. Now you may say, "I prayed for peace. How is it that my colleagues today are still quarrelling over minor things?" But I wish to tell you that if you had not prayed for peace, it could have been infinitely worse. Your prayer has definitely made the situation better than it might have been. Again, if your prayer had been more intense, more soulful, then I wish to say that the turmoil in your particular department could have been less. And if you had had a most powerful meditation early in the morning, I assure you the power of your own prayer and meditation in the inner world could have easily averted the wrong forces, the misunderstanding, among your colleagues.

It is in the inner world that everything starts. The inner world is where we sow the seed. If we sow the seed of peace and love, naturally it will produce a tree of peace and love when it germinates. But if we don't sow the seed, then how are we going to have the plant or the tree? It is impossible! Unfortunately we do not all pray for peace. We pray for joy or for our personal satisfactions. Of course, it is true that we need these things. Today we may need joy, tomorrow we may need love, the day after tomorrow we may need the fulfilment of a particular desire. But again, there is a desire, an aspiration which everybody has, and that is the desire for peace.

The peace we try to bring forward from the outer world is not peace: it is only temporary compromise. You see the political situation. For a few months or years, two parties remain at peace. They feel that while keeping an outer compromise they will secretly strengthen their capacity. Then, when they get the opportunity or when the vital urge compels them, they fight. I wait for the opportunity when I can more powerfully, most powerfully, attack you. But the inner peace is a different matter. The peace we bring to the fore from the inner world through our prayer and meditation is very strong, very powerful, and it lasts. So when we have that peace in our inner life, the outer life is bound to be transformed. It is only a matter of time.