Question: Is there a place for prayer and meditation in equal measure?82

Sri Chinmoy: Prayer and meditation can easily go side by side. In the West we hear more about prayer. In the East, especially in India, we hear more about meditation. Prayer and meditation should go together because they lead us to the same destination. Yet they each have distinct qualities and capacities. When we pray soulfully, we feel that something within us — let us call it an inner cry — is climbing high, higher, highest until it reaches the Feet of our Beloved Supreme. We also feel that our Heavenly Father, our Eternal Father, is listening to our prayer or is waiting for our cry to reach Him. But when we meditate, we feel that Something or Someone is coming down to us from Above, from the highest plane of consciousness. The Absolute Lord is descending in order to bless us and tell us what to do.

When we go up in our prayer, we ask God to grant us a specific thing that we need from Him. We pray, “Lord, give me peace, light, love, joy.” But when we go deep within during our meditation, God comes down and tells us what He needs from us. He says, “I want you to become My choice instrument, My devoted instrument. I want you to please Me in my own Way. I shall grant you what I feel is best for you, but you also have to please Me.” We pray because we need God; we meditate because God needs us. They go together, like the obverse and reverse of the same coin.

MUN 216-217. 5 August 1982.