Question: What do African-American and African people need most in order to overcome the obstacles that they're facing today? And in terms of bringing African-American disciples to the path and keeping them, what do we African-Americans need more of?

Sri Chinmoy: As an African-American, you have to generate more love inside your own heart for other African-Americans who have not yet accepted the spiritual life. Previously, I used to say, “Think of other African-Americans as your little brothers. It is your bounden duty to bring them to the spiritual life, for that is the only life that will help them. No human being can ever find satisfaction unless and until he finds it in a spiritual way. Everything else will fail — in your case today, in his case tomorrow, in somebody else’s case the day after tomorrow.”

But now I am seeing that it is not enough to think of them as your little brothers, just a little inferior to you. No, now I am saying that you have to feel that they are part and parcel of your own body, only you have a little more light than they do. It is like this. You have two limbs. One limb is illumined and one is not illumined. In one part of your body you have illumination and in another part of your body you do not have it. Because of their proximity, the illumined part of your body can easily bring light to the unillumined part. So if you take it this way, definitely you will get better results.

If you see other African-Americans as separate individuals with a different consciousness, then it becomes far more difficult, for then you feel that they are so far away from you. If you feel that they are somewhere else — five thousand miles or even five metres away, then it becomes a very difficult task. But if you feel that they are right here inside your body, a part of your living existence, then it becomes much easier. Every day you are using parts of your own existence. With your eyes you are seeing; with your nose you are breathing. You have to feel that your brother and sister African-Americans are like that: part and parcel of your being that you are using every day in your multifarious activities. That is the only way you will be able to inspire them.