Question: If I pray for my own salvation, does that mean that I am ignoring the salvation of humanity?

Sri Chinmoy: If you pray to God, how can you be indifferent? You may say that you are looking only for your own salvation and not caring about others. But I tell you, the very fact that you are looking for your own salvation means that others will be saved. The day you realise God, you will be doing a great favour for Mother Earth, for one less person will be caught by ignorance.

Vivekananda used to say that if one person stood on top of the Himalayas and offered his good will to God, then he was also offering his highest to humanity. You are a representative of Mother Earth. As others have imperfections, you also have imperfections. But you are trying to reach the most Beautiful, the Highest, the Absolute. While you are meditating, while your highest and most purified will is trying to reach the Highest, on the outer plane you might not be looking from side to side to this fellow or that fellow, but on the inner plane you are one with them. You will see that the day you get illumination, there will be others who will also get some of your illumination. Others will come to you precisely because you have got illumination. If you become good, if you achieve some peace or light, then there is one less person who is in ignorance. Then, when others observe you, they are so surprised. At one moment you look so ordinary, just like them; but the next moment they see something in your face.

So if you have got some love for God and pray to God, don't think that you are caring only for yourself. You are caring for yourself, but you are also caring for God. First you realise God, but that is not the ultimate goal. When you realise God and see His Kindness, His Affection, His Love, His Compassion, then your realisation will immediately be followed by manifestation. Automatically the concern you have for your own manifestation also becomes your concern for mankind.

So, if anybody thinks that if he is praying to God, then he is not caring for other people, then he is mistaken. If he is praying to God, he is automatically spreading his inner consciousness, like a bird spreading its wings. If you go to the foot of the tree, you will see that God is the root. If you water the tree, then the creation-tree will grow the way the divine Law wants it to. So, the concern you show for the root of the tree, for God, will feed all the branches which will survive and live according to God's Perfection.