Question: Can the inspiration we get from reading patriotic poems help our spiritual life?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, they can help you spiritually provided the poems are not based on narrow nationalism. If the patriotic poems have a broader outlook — that my nation is going to serve the world, that my nation will offer light according to its capacity — they will definitely help in your spiritual life because spiritual life is dedicated service. But if the poetry embodies or conveys ideas that confine the reality of other nations — that my country is by far the best, that I am by far the best, that other nations must kiss the dust of my country's feet and that my nation will reign supreme — then those poems will be of no avail. They are not real patriotic poems. They are simply unconscious or conscious expressions of our ego and the ego of our country.