Mrs. Lebenson (Vinaya's mother): Suppose there are those of us who don't recognise God in such an animate way as you do. Certainly I am in awe of all the things in the world — nature, love, knowledge, art — but I don't see the necessity of putting it all in a straitjacket and calling it a blessing of God or, on the other hand, blaming God for a lot of the things that happen throughout the world. I feel that it is enough to be grateful for the things in existence and do the best you can by them.
Sri Chinmoy: I have not made it clear to you. To me God is not only the most beautiful golden Being or Spirit; to me God is everything. You just mentioned nature: a beautiful flower or a beautiful tree. Anything that is God's creation embodies God. Anything that can be seen in God's creation is of God and for God. Anything that you appreciate here on earth is not only an embodiment of God, but God Himself.
When we think of God in Heaven, we have more faith in Him. But God is also here on earth — inside me, inside you, inside everyone. God can be above in any form, or formless, as infinite Light, infinite Peace, infinite Bliss. Again, He can be inside our hearts, where our real existence is. And if we open our eyes and look at nature, at the mountains and rivers, that also is God.
So no matter which way we appreciate the reality or want to identify ourselves with the reality, we have to feel that we are appreciating and identifying ourselves with Divinity; and this Divinity we call either God or Spirit or Being. If you don't want to call it God, you are at perfect liberty not to do so. But you have to call it happiness. Happiness itself is God. You can appreciate the beauty of nature and if you are happy, then the happiness that you are getting is God. In one word, if God has to be defined, then I wish to say God is happiness.
You can forget the word 'God' and say 'Truth.' One of India's great politicians and great saints, Mahatma Gandhi, said, "If you say 'God,' immediately some people will object to the conception, but if you speak of 'Truth,' everybody agrees with you." So if I speak of Truth, boundless Truth inside nature, then I am satisfied, because this Truth is giving me happiness. So anything that gives one happiness is God. It can be nature; it can be a personal being and also an impersonal being. God is everything.