Question: I have read in the writings of a modern Western philosopher that the soul and the body are inseparable. Can you please tell us your own philosophy on this matter?1

Sri Chinmoy: Body and soul are like a house and its owner. The soul is the owner and the body is the house. We may call the body a temple. Inside the temple is the shrine, the heart. On the shrine is the deity, the soul. But let us speak only of the soul and the body since that is your question. The soul can exist without the body, but the body cannot exist for more than a few hours without the soul. As long as the soul is inside the body, we can hope to realise and manifest something. When the owner is there and the body is in perfect condition, then the message of the soul can be revealed and fulfilled. But when the owner leaves the house permanently, the house is of no more use.

We have to know what the soul can offer us and what the body can offer us. When we enter into our soul through meditation, we realise peace, light and bliss. Then we offer this inner wealth to the world through the body. Each time we look at someone or say or do something, the physical is manifesting what the soul has experienced or realised. We have been meditating here for about twenty minutes. All of us have entered into the soul's realm according to our capacity and received peace, light and bliss from the soul. Some have greater aspiration, so naturally they have entered deeper into their souls, and their physical consciousness has received more. Those with less aspiration have not gone very deep, and they have received less. But whatever we have felt in the inner region will now be manifested by our physical. If we stand in front of a mirror, we will see the difference between what we were an hour ago and what we are now. This obvious physical difference in us is due to the fact that our physical consciousness is manifesting the light that the soul has invoked from Above or brought forward from within.

If the soul does not try to inspire and illumine the body, the body will remain blind, ignorant, obscure and impure. The soul works inside the body, as well as with the body, through the body and for the body-consciousness. The body needs the soul for its realisation, but very often the body is not aspiring for the inner light and truth that the soul can offer it. Again, the soul needs the body for its manifestation. Without the body's co-operation, the soul will remain unmanifested — almost useless. Often we see that the soul is crying for manifestation through the body, but the body is not responding to it. But when both body and soul are functioning properly, the body offers its capacity in service and the soul offers its capacity in meditation. In this way they go together perfectly. So this is my philosophy on the relationship between the body and the soul. Body and soul are not inseparable but complementary; they need each other for their total mutual fulfilment.

  1. MUN 385. 6 April 1973.