Joel Martin: Can I strive for material wealth in my outer life and still be at peace in my inner life?

Sri Chinmoy: Certainly, but we have to know how much material wealth we require. It has to be in proportion to our need. If we want to become the richest person on earth, for that also we can pray and meditate. But we have to know where this prayer is leading us. If we become the richest man by virtue of our prayer, will we be happy? Our prayer and meditation tell us only one thing: God is all joy. If we pray to God to make us the richest person on earth, God may listen to our prayer, but happiness is something totally different. In this world, when God gives us material power, we see that this money-power is not what we really need. Love-power, oneness-power, is what we need.

We may be a millionaire, a billionaire, but when we see that people do not love us, our hearts will break. Like beggars, we will cry for love from others. But our material power, our money-power, is not going to win their love. Only our love-power, our oneness-power, is going to win their love. So when we pray to God, we should ask only for one thing: “Let Thy Will be done.” If it is God’s Will to make an individual the richest person, then God will do it. But if God’s Will is something different, then God will act in a different way. We can pray to God for material power, but we have to be sincere to our cause. Do we want real happiness in life? If we want real happiness in life, then we have to know that material power can be an obstacle to our God-discovery.