Question: For achieving inner peace, are there other techniques besides meditation that might be more suitable or more effective for certain types of people?1

Sri Chinmoy: You can try prayer if your nature is more oriented towards prayer or if you feel that prayer will help you more than meditation. Prayer and meditation lead to the same goal. Those who practise meditation may find it easier to achieve peace of mind than those who practise prayer, but prayer is also a very good method.

When we pray, we often feel that God is somewhere above us — miles and miles above our head or in the blue sky. We do not know exactly where He is; we only feel that we are here on earth, whereas He is far away, so it may take some time for our prayer to reach Him. We also feel that He has to come from wherever He is in order to give us peace of mind or whatever it is we are asking for.

But when we meditate, we have a totally different concept of God. We feel that He is right beside us or within us — inside our body, vital, mind, heart and soul — observing us. So we do not have to fly into the sky or run after Him. If our meditation is soulful, we feel that He will grant us what we need. In most cases, we feel that meditation can do the needful sooner than prayer or any other method. Again, if our prayer is the manifestation of our heart's intense cry, then it need not take time to reach God. Sooner than at once He will hear us and help us. So prayer and meditation complement each other.


  1. MUN 215. 5 February 1982.