Question: We know that it is very important to have affection between you and us and between God and us, but among your disciples, is there a role for affection? Is it important to feel affection for one another?

Sri Chinmoy: Affection as such is not bad. Affection is sweeter than the sweetest, but unfortunately, right next door to affection is attachment. Affection and attachment are only separated by a wall, and even that wall has a side door. You have to always keep the door between affection and attachment locked from both sides. Many times affection is sweet, sweeter, sweetest. If you bring forward your affection, you can make tremendous progress. But after some time, affection may become attachment. Then, inside attachment, the problem starts. All kinds of emotional demands come forward: "I have been so kind to you, so why did you do something to displease me?" or "Why did you not include me when you were doing something?"

A mother is full of affection for her child. When the child does something on his own, if the mother uses her affection, then the mother will be very, very happy. But if the mother uses her attachment, the mother will say, "Why did you not involve me? Why did you not tell me? How could you do it without my knowledge?" Inside attachment there is expectation and demand, whereas affection will only say, "My child has done this? I am so happy, so happy!"

We have to keep affection and attachment separate. Affection is absolutely necessary — it is sweet, sweeter, sweetest. But if attachment comes, then we only create problems for ourselves. I am so fond of my dog. When I have to go to the United Nations or somewhere else, if I am attached to my dog, then I will try to take him with me. Then the dog will create problems. Exactly the same way, when I am attached to someone, I will try by force to keep that person with me. But affection will say, "Now I am needed somewhere. Please remain here." Affection has wisdom in it, but attachment does not. So affection is very, very good, but you have to keep attachment out of it.