Question: Many teachers that have come out of the East don't particularly like talking about their past.

Sri Chinmoy: In my case also, I always say that the past is dust. We are running towards the golden future. Today’s goal will be only tomorrow’s starting point, so why do I have to waste my time knowing who I was? The most important thing is what I am going to become. If I think of my past, why limit it to 40 or 50 years ago? Why not a few centuries before? At that time I was in the animal kingdom. Perhaps I was a lion or some other animal. Then if you go back even further, I was in the mineral and plant consciousness. So now, will I get joy if somebody tells me, “You were that particular tree” or “You were that tiger or panther?” Or, if somebody says, “No, you were a thief, you were a very undivine person in your past incarnation.” Does it give me any joy?

Interviewer: No.

Sri Chinmoy: Even if someone says, “You were a good person, a simple, honest person in your past incarnation,” does it help me much? Goodness is one thing, but perfection is totally different. We have to have all-embracing good qualities, then alone can we become perfect. So unless and until I have become perfect, I am not satisfied. I do not want to be satisfied with an iota of peace and bliss. I want to have an ocean of peace and bliss.