Question: About twenty years ago on the mainland, a friend took me to see you. You were meditating in silence at that time. Now it seems that you are speaking more. Could you please explain the transition?

Sri Chinmoy: I do both. Sometimes I meditate for hours with my students and other seekers. Again, sometimes I give talks and answer questions. We have to feed both the inner life and the outer life. I also give Peace Concerts, like the one I gave the other day here in Hawaii. At that time, mostly we remain in silence. I play quite a few instruments, in a meditative consciousness. I also sing.

Some people get more joy when they hear something, because they feel that their outer senses are nourished. Again, others feel that if we maintain silence, if we are in our highest, in the depth of our meditation, they receive more. So the Master feels that, in a family if one member wants a particular fruit and another member wants something else, he has to be qualified to offer both. There are two individuals who have a different type of hunger. It is like a restaurant. So many people enter, and each one has his own different taste. The restaurant has the capacity to feed each one according to his need. Again, we enter into a garden and there are so many flowers. Each flower has something special to offer. They all offer beauty and fragrance in different ways. So, sometimes I remain silent, and in silence I offer what I am supposed to offer. If I have to choose between talking and remaining silent, I shall definitely choose silence, because in silence, light grows and our divinity grows infinitely more powerful.

Silence and sound are like the obverse and reverse of the same coin, like the beauty and fragrance of a flower. But usually people receive more from me when I am silent and when I offer peace meditations. Previously I gave talks, hundreds and thousands of talks, in so many places. Then I started offering Peace Concerts. I have given hundreds of Peace Concerts, mostly without talking. I feel that the seekers who have come to listen to my music have received much more than they would have if I had given talks. When I give talks and answer questions, mostly it feeds the outer mind. But when we pray and meditate in silence, then we feed our inner existence, our aspiring hearts.

I have been serving the United Nations for the last twenty-seven years. I used to give talks and answer questions almost every week. Now, for the last ten years, I have been going there only to meditate, only to pray. In pindrop silence we pray and meditate, and in that way I feel that I am able to offer more.