Question: I know there are certain professions that are not ideal if you are trying to live the spiritual life. Is acting suitable for an aspirant?

Sri Chinmoy: There is no hard and fast rule that an actor cannot be a spiritual seeker. But if the seeker is not well-established in his inner life, then the life of an actor will create more temptation than we will find in another profession.

There are many professions on earth. If we want to simplify our life then we should enter a profession that will create as few problems as possible. We have to use our discretion. If we know that there is an easier way to reach God, let us follow it. Why make our life more complicated? But if one is strong enough not to be bothered by temptations, one can enter the acting profession.

Acting is an art; it is not something detestable. But we also have to know what kind of acting we will be doing. If we will be taking the part of some spiritual figure or a role in some religious work, something inspiring, something divine, then this acting will never bring our consciousness down. But if we are going to be involved in Broadway shows and similar things then spirituality will remain a far cry. Even if we are pure and sincere in our life, there will be hundreds and thousands of people who will look at us and throw their undivine, ugly, impure consciousness into us. Then we will unconsciously become a victim of their imperfections, their impurities. Why should we expose ourselves foolishly to others' weaknesses?

Again, if you are very strong inwardly and outwardly you can say, "No, I am like a fort. Nobody will be able to disturb me." If you have that kind of capacity and if you feel that you can really serve God by acting, you can try. But if your life wants to reach God, then you should try to serve those who really want God, not those who want pleasure. The life of pleasure will never give anyone realisation. On the one hand you want to realise God. On the other hand you are encouraging others to remain in the life of pleasure.

If you want to offer a gift of emotional indulgence to other people, then you are not doing them a favour. If there is something that would not contribute to my realisation, I must not encourage anybody else, even indirectly, to do it. If I cry for God privately, secretly and inwardly, while outwardly I create sensation or temptation for mankind, that is hypocrisy on my part. There are hundreds and thousands of actors and actresses on earth. If you don't follow that profession, God's creation will not fail.

A spiritual Master once asked his disciples not to get married. One disciple said, "Master, you ask us not to get married, but if we don't get married, there will be no future generations. Then how can God's creation continue? We have to get married." The Master said, "My child, there are millions and billions of other people on earth to fulfil this task. God does not need you for that. He needs you to remain unmarried. You do not have to worry about the preservation of God's creation."

In the same way if I say, "No spiritual aspirants should become actors," it is ridiculous for you to say, "If we can't become actors, there will be no actors in God's creation." If you have a burning cry for God, you can rest assured that God will be kind enough to supply someone else for the stage in your place. If you are a sincere seeker, your inner life should come first.