Question: Quite often I find that when I look at someone who is in a peaceful frame of mind, my own inner peace increases. Why is this?1

Sri Chinmoy: If you stand near a peaceful person, naturally your peace will grow. You are not a thief, but if you stand next to a thief or mix with him, then the consciousness of the thief will enter into you. Similarly, if you stand in front of someone who has a good quality, that good quality also will enter into you.

Sometimes you do not even have to be near a person in order to be affected by his consciousness. Suppose you see a beautiful tree. Being an artist, you will appreciate and admire its beauty. Perhaps you will even decide to sit under it and paint. But the moment you sit down, all the world's undivine thoughts may start entering into you. You will say, "Why is this happening to me? I came here with a pure mind only to paint, so how is it that so many impure thoughts are attacking me?" In this case, you have to know that somebody with a low character might have previously sat under the tree and invited the lowest thoughts to enter into him.

Again, it may happen that a saintly person has meditated at the foot of the tree for some time. Then if you come and sit there, you will get a good vibration. So it is not only the physical presence of a person but also his subtle presence that can affect you.

Sometimes, while you are walking along the street, you may get a beautiful, fragrant, flower-like feeling, which is very ethereal and divine. There are no flowers around, and you cannot account for the experience. What has caused this Heavenly feeling? There is every possibility that either a spiritual person has been there previously, or some angels or astral beings happen to be there.

So if you are standing near someone who has more inner capacity or more of a particular spiritual quality than you have, then his presence may help you to acquire more of that capacity or quality. Although outwardly you are not begging him to give you anything and perhaps he is not even conscious of giving you anything, from his very presence you may get something. Like a magnet, your inner existence can pull the quality from him and it will enter into you.

  1. MUN 298. May 1978.