Question: Guru, it seems we cannot totally separate politics and spirituality. Is that correct?

Sri Chinmoy: For spiritual seekers, one thing is to talk about politics; another thing is to be involved. Sometimes we talk about politics in order to digest our food! We enjoy politics because at times it becomes like a circus. We like the circus. We enjoy the entertainment offered by the clowns, the elephants, the lions, the tigers. Each item gives us a kind of joy. The joy that we get from the clowns is quite significant. That is the circus.

Sri Aurobindo realised God. He was a God-realised person of the highest, highest order. Sri Aurobindo gave up politics. C. R. Das, who saved Sri Aurobindo’s life in the Alipore case, came to him for advice about politics. Sri Aurobindo said, “If you want to realise God like me, you have to give up politics.” This man was the dearest friend of Sri Aurobindo, but he said, “No, politics is part of life.” He went to a spiritual Master of a different level and became his disciple. Then he begged Mahatma Gandhi to become a disciple of that Master, but Gandhi did not become a disciple. Sri Aurobindo said that God-realisation and politics will not go together, because in politics, every second there is a lie. And to whom does one tell lies every second? To oneself! Not only to others does one tell lies, but also to oneself. What is the truth in one’s life as a politician, an individual may not know.

This is the story of politics and spirituality. Again, when we go to the circus, we enjoy everything in its own way. When the performers are doing something most difficult on the parallel bars or on the rings, we enjoy it. Everything has its own value. But we have to know what is the most important thing to value. Do we want to realise God, or do we want to remain as we are? When it is a matter of politics and spirituality, I will say the same thing that Sri Aurobindo said. I also have done a little yoga, and I know that politics and spirituality will never go together. They cannot go together. You have to say that this is sugar and that is salt. You cannot say, “Sugar is salt, salt is sugar — what is the difference?” No! The difference you can the taste. You taste a lump of sugar and you know what it is. Then you taste a lump of salt. Politics and spirituality are like that. They cannot be put together — never! They are like the North Pole and the South Pole.