Question: Is it wrong for spiritual aspirants to demonstrate their affection for each other physically in public?

Sri Chinmoy: The display of emotions in public can lead to serious problems for spiritual aspirants. You may feel that your consciousness is very high at all times, but the consciousness of your brother and sister aspirants may not be as high as yours. You have no right to create undivine thoughts in their minds by your conduct. You have every right to do anything you wish in private, but when in public you should also keep the rights of others in mind. Whether your consciousness is on the highest plane or not is for God to judge. But your behaviour may make it difficult for others who are observing you to keep their consciousness high. If they have an iota of aspiration, your demonstrative behaviour may make their aspiration descend. We have come into the world to inspire others. If their aspiration descends because of us then we are committing a real crime against their souls. If you feel that your emotions are pure enough, then do whatever you wish to do in private.

Sometimes others may complain about your conduct because you are doing something which they themselves want to do, but which they don't dare to do. In this case, they are complaining out of jealousy. But in some people's cases no jealousy is involved. They are simply weak; they are not yet strong or solid in their aspiration, so their consciousness and their aspiration descend when they see their friends kissing or embracing, or even just touching each other. A young boy may be struggling to control his vital life, and although you may be superior to him, you can lower his consciousness and re-awaken his lower vital. This is very bad on your part. If something you do decreases the inspiration and aspiration of some of your spiritual brothers and sisters, then you should stop doing it out of the kindness, love and consideration which you feel for them.

The physical exchange of love between girls is most unhealthy, and the same is true for boys; also, when husbands display affection for other women, or when wives display affection for other men.