Question: How can you obtain a love for humanity in a true practical sense? That is easy to say but difficult to practise.

Sri Chinmoy: It is true that it is easy to say that we love humanity, but in reality we do not love; it is all self-deception. How can we acquire the true love of humanity? In order to love humanity we have to go to the Source. The Source is not humanity: the source is Divinity. If we really can go to the Source and love divinity, then we see that divinity is not something apart from our real existence.

First we have to love God, who is Divinity itself. If we can love God, then we will feel that our inner existence cannot be separated from God. Our true divine existence and God are one. Then we will see what our outer existence is. Our outer existence, which is divine personality, is the entire humanity.

If we love ourselves in an egotistic way, then we are killing and binding ourselves. But when we love ourselves divinely, not emotionally or egotistically, we love ourselves jut because God is breathing inside us, because God wants to fulfil Himself in and through us. In this case our inner existence and God's Reality are one and the same thing.

If you are fully aware of this truth, then you will see humanity inside you. Humanity is not around you or outside you; it is inside you. If you become one with your divine existence, then you will see that inside you is the entire humanity. Whatever is inside you is yours; whatever is outside you is not yours. You can help to fulfil and illumine only that which is inside. So you have to feel that humanity is inside you. Then you will be able to help humanity truly and effectively.

Let us do the first things first. God-realisation is first for a spiritual seeker and not philanthropy, far from it. Philanthropy is a very good word, but real philanthropy starts inside. As it is said, "Charity begins at home", so spirituality, philanthropy and everything else start deep inside yourself. And what is there? Only God, the Real Reality. Realise God. Then you will see that the world is inside you. If you don't realise God, then you will see the world and humanity apart from you. The moment you realise God, you will feel that humanity is yours. So first realise God and then you will feel that the rest of the world is in yourself.