Question: I am happiest when I am creating. When I offer my creations to the world, however, I am rejected and become despondent. Is it best to create for creativity's sake and leave the rest to fate?

Sri Chinmoy: When I was thirteen or fourteen years old, I wrote a poem that said, "When I write poems, I am so happy." When I wrote the poem, I was very happy. But when I showed it to others, all my joy went away because they criticised it ruthlessly.

One of my teachers told me, "You fool, if you write poetry for others' appreciation, then you will never become a good poet. Once you are satisfied with your achievement, do not worry about what others say. If you have to show your poems to others and they criticise you, then do not lose your balance. You write only for your own sake. You write to please God inside you, and not others."

Nobody will ever become supremely great if he has to depend entirely on the opinion of others. Today someone will speak ill of you for something you have done and tomorrow he will appreciate you for that very same thing. Once the editor of a particular magazine criticised one of Tagore's poems mercilessly, mercilessly, to say the least. Then, in two weeks' time, Tagore got the Nobel Prize, and the same editor used that very poem in his magazine and extolled Tagore to the skies. So the fate of the poem was changed practically overnight!

When you do something well, especially in the spiritual life, there will always be some so-called friends who will inwardly attack you with their jealousy-arrows. They may not be successful outwardly, but inwardly they will get malicious pleasure in saying and feeling that next time you will not do well in your achievements.

So, we should create only to please the Inner Pilot, according to our capacity and receptivity. According to our inner receptivity, He gives us the power of creativity. There is a saying: "God for God's sake." Creativity also should be for creativity's sake. Creation itself is joy, and our joy should not depend on others' proud comments. If we do something that we feel is good, then we should keep our happiness inside us and not surrender to world-criticism. The only thing that we need, and that God needs, is our happiness.