Question: Is inner silence equated with prayer and meditation?

Sri Chinmoy: Prayer, meditation, concentration and contemplation are the inner silence. Dedication, service and action are the outer silence. We have to dedicate ourselves and fulfil the Will of God, but only after knowing the Will of God. And this we can do only by practising inner silence. Otherwise, if we try to help mankind in our own way, we may think that we are serving God but really we are just aggrandising our own ego. We say, “I have done this, I have done that.” But the important thing is, “Was I commissioned by God?” If our actions are inspired not by God but by our ego, then the service we offer to the world will be full of darkness and imperfection.