Question: How has the patriotic feeling in America changed since the American Revolution?

Sri Chinmoy: Undoubtedly, patriotic feelings in the past were infinitely stronger than what you observe now. The forefathers worked very hard and they became millionaires, but their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren felt that it was not necessary to work any more since they had already had so much wealth: physical, vital, mental wealth. In the days of the American Revolution, patriotism was something living. It was essential, like breathing air. But now patriotism — not only in America but all over the world — has become a mere word. India wanted to get out from under the British yoke, and your boss and our boss happened to be the same. We know how sincere our Indian patriots were once upon a time. They had the purest kind of patriotic feeling. Those patriots are now in Heaven, and the present-day patriots are no match for them. Similarly, here in America the patriots of the present are no match for those of the past. The American patriots of the past felt that life and patriotism were inseparable. They felt that patriotism was the manifestation of life's freedom, that it was the only way to love one's country. And they did not expect anything from the country. They only wanted to give what they had and what they were. Now, not only in America, but everywhere, everybody wants to take from their country. Nobody wants to give to their country. President Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Everywhere we expect from our country, but what have we done for it? Our forefathers did not expect anything from their country.