Question: I read that the soul has no nationality. What do you mean when you say a soul is Indian or British or Russian or some other nationality?

Sri Chinmoy: I was born into a Hindu family, so you can call me a Hindu. Another person is Muslim and a third person is Christian. But when we pray and meditate, we enter into the Universal Consciousness, and this Universal Consciousness becomes part and parcel of our life. At that time, there is no Hinduism or Islam or Christianity; there is only oneness.

You can say you were born in Russia; so you are a Russian soul. But as you gain inner experience and become more spiritually developed, you will say that you belong not only to Russia but to the Soviet Union. Then gradually you will say that you belong to the whole world. I was born in Bengal; so I am Bengali. Bengal is in India; so I am an Indian. India is in Asia; so I am an Asian. Asia is a continent in the world; so I belong to the whole world. I am a citizen of the whole world.

Each individual is consciously or unconsciously making progress. On the strength of that progress, the individual soul sees and feels its oneness with others. You can call me a Bengali. But because of my inner realisation, I can say that I am cosmopolitan the same way Socrates said that he belonged to the entire world.