Question: What is spirituality?1

Sri Chinmoy: Spirituality is the science that teaches us how to achieve peace of mind and supreme satisfaction. Right now we are hankering after many, many things, but nothing we get satisfies us. Spirituality tells us that satisfaction can be found only if we lead a good and divine life — a life of simplicity, purity and humility. When we lead a divine life, we try to transform and illumine our bad qualities and expand our good qualities. In doing this, we are to some extent satisfied with what we have and what we are. But at the same time, we are all the time trying to go beyond what we have and what we are in order to become more receptive to higher realities. By following the path of spirituality, eventually we achieve the divine love that illumines our entire being and offers us perfection in life. Through divine love and divine perfection, we achieve oneness with God, which is nothing short of supreme satisfaction.

Spirituality is very complicated for those who do not practise it. But for those who practise it, spirituality is very simple. If we expect from spirituality peace, joy, love, closeness to God and oneness with God, then spirituality is bound to give us these realities. But if we expect from spirituality earthly name and fame, earthly prosperity and so forth, then spirituality will disappoint us. Only divine things — peace, light, bliss, joy, happiness and satisfaction in the purest sense of the term — will spirituality give us.

The source of spirituality, according to Indian tradition, is yoga. Yoga means union with God. From yoga, spirituality has come into existence and from spirituality, religion has come into existence. Then, from religion, philosophy has come. Philosophy reminds us that this is not the only world, that there are many higher and inner worlds, and it tells us to enter into those worlds.

  1. MUN 380. 24 April 1981.