Question: What is the relationship between service and love-offerings to the centre?

Sri Chinmoy: As long as I want you to do your present work, feel that it is not standing in your way. If one is sincere and wants to serve in my mission, and if I see that that person is being hampered by undivine forces, then I will definitely tell that person to leave his job. But you have to feel that right now it is necessary for you to work. You have to support yourself. Also, you make love-offerings to the Centre. My only fee is aspiration and regularity, but we depend on love-offerings to maintain the physical body of the Centre. If you people help to support the body, the physical structure, the Centre, then money becomes at that time an instrument.

I am a spiritual man. If I go to a grocery and ask for a potato and other things and try to pay for it with my light, they will throw me out. At that time I need material power. You earn this money by the sweat of your brow. When you give something it is a form of meditation. If you give one dollar, feel that your hard-earned money is your dedication. There is no difference between selfless dedication and real meditation. Self-dedication is a form of meditation.

But you have to know that money will not be able to bind me. What will be able to bind me is the love, devotion and surrender of the disciples. If you give me millions and millions of dollars or if you give me the Empire State Building, the Supreme's hunger in me for His infinite manifestation will not be satisfied with this. But if devotion and dedication come, then I am fully satisfied. In the Gita, Krishna says that if somebody gives him a leaf, just a leaf, he is satisfied. But again, those who are offering their money with an attitude of dedicated service are being of great help to my mission. I am not belittling those who are giving, but their service is of benefit only if they are doing it with devotion and dedication.

If somebody gives me thousands of dollars and thinks, "Oh, since we have given thousands of dollars, then Guru will not scold us; he will not threaten us," it will be of no use. Try it, you will see. No real spiritual Master can be bound by money. You can give millions of dollars, and the next day you will be asked to leave the Centre if I am not satisfied with your spiritual progress. But I will be your real dedicated slave at every moment if you give me a leaf with dedication and devotion. If you can give me one cent with dedication and devotion, I will be able to place that at the Feet of the Supreme. But if you give just to feel your own importance or to make me feel that you are very great, then that is no service. In that case, you will not be able to make spiritual progress, inner progress. On the contrary, the money will feed your own pride, vanity and conscious or unconscious demand. If your attitude is good, if I see dedication when you give me money, then it is to your benefit, to my benefit and to the Supreme's benefit.