Question: Do you believe that activity and meditation contradict one another or do you feel they go hand in hand?1

Sri Chinmoy: The inner life and the outer life go hand in hand. Many human beings negate the inner life. They feel that the inner life is not important as long as they can exist on earth. Again, there are some who think that the outer life is not necessary. They feel that since the outer life is so painful and full of misunderstanding, it is best just to enter into the Himalayan caves and lead a life of solitude. In our philosophy, we do not believe in living a life of solitude and we do not believe in leading an ordinary human life — the so-called modern life that denies the inner reality of the soul.

We feel that the inner life and the outer life must be synthesised and harmonised. The outer life is like a beautiful flower and the inner life is its fragrance. If there is no fragrance, then we cannot appreciate the flower. Again, if there is no flower, how can there be any fragrance? So the inner life and the outer life must go together.


  1. MUN 209. 26 October 1982.