Question: What is more important to the soul in selecting an incarnation: the family or the place?

Sri Chinmoy: The family is more important than the country, but the country also plays an important role. In my case, it was so easy for me to come to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram because I was born into a spiritual family. Then, when it was God’s Intention, I came to America, a young country full of life and promise. America is an excellent place, but it would have been a mistake for me to have taken incarnation in America.

Because I was born in a small village where religion and spiritual life are practised with utmost sincerity and humility, my spiritual background is very solid. The soul-seed was sown in the right place, and then it was nurtured in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, which was also the right place. If I had been born in America, perhaps I might have gone into another line instead of following the spiritual life. So it was absolutely necessary for me to take incarnation in India in a spiritual family.