The WestSister Patricia: Your arrival in the West coincided with a resurgence of meditation, isn't this so?
Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it is absolutely true. Since 1964 I have been serving the West according to my capacity and I have been telling the seekers that there are two approaches to the Ultimate Reality. One is the way of prayer and the other is the way of meditation. In the West, we give most importance to prayer. In the East, especially in India, we give most importance to meditation. But ultimately, both serve the same purpose, although there is a subtle difference between prayer and meditation. I tell my students that when we pray, our inner cry, our aspiration, goes up to the Ultimate Father. We talk to Him: "Lord, grant us Light, Peace and Bliss." We ask God to grant us Peace, Light and Bliss in abundant measure and He listens to us. When we meditate, at that time the Lord speaks and we listen to Him. It is like a conversation. Now I am talking to you, and then you talk to me. This is a proper conversation. So when we pray, we talk to God; and when we meditate, God talks to us.
Bishop Kennedy: And your work here in Adelaide will be to serve those who come to hear you at Adelaide University. Would you describe it as teaching them to meditate?
Sri Chinmoy: I do not teach in the outer sense of the term. Only I pray and meditate and they get some inspiration. Then my role is over. I have come into the world to be of service and this service takes the form of inspiration. If someone gets inspiration from my talk or from my meditation and if for five minutes, he leads a better life, then I feel that my presence in Australia has been worthwhile. I cannot expect anything more. In Perth, for example, I spent two days. I gave talks and seven or eight hundred people came each day. Out of seven or eight hundred, if one person got some inspiration from my talk and decided to lead a better life for five minutes, then I feel that I have done important work.
Again, if not one person received anything from my talk, from my prayer, I shall not feel sad, precisely because I know I have come here to be of dedicated service to the Lord. So I have to place the results of my actions at the Feet of the Lord Supreme. My task is to pray and meditate and serve Him, and His task is to grant success or failure, whichever He chooses. There is no such thing as failure, no such thing as success. They are both only an experience. I am not interested in success; I am interested only in progress. Success may come in the twinkling of an eye. Somebody becomes famous, but then the same person may drop from a tree and break his legs. But when it is a matter of progress, it is a slow and steady process. Slowly and steadily we are making progress towards the ultimate Goal.