Question: Isn't it easier for people who have very little money, as is true in many Eastern countries, to be detached from worldly things and make faster spiritual progress than we in the West?Sri Chinmoy: If that were so, then the poorest people would all be inclined to follow the spiritual life, but it is not like that. There are millions of beggars in India, and in the West also, who do not care for the spiritual life at all. Poverty does not mean that we are one inch closer to God. It is our mistake to think so. What we own is not responsible for what he does; it is the possessor who is responsible. Some of you may have heard the name of the Indian King Janaka. In spite of having a vast kingdom, he devoted his whole life to God and God-realisation. Similarly, the material prosperity of the West need not be an obstacle to God-realisation. We must feel that we are the possessor, and that we will not be possessed by what we have. Those who do not have, will always harbour the feeling that they are poor and would like to have more things. For them, also, the same difficulties of desire and attachment will arise.
Sri Chinmoy, The hunger of darkness and the feast of light, part 2, Agni Press, 1974