Part II

SCA 367-375. On 18 January 1996, during a Peace Concert tour in South Africa, Sri Chinmoy gave a press conference at the South Beach Holiday Inn in Durban. This is a transcript.

Question: Could you please tell us a little about your philosophy and your way of life?

Sri Chinmoy: Everybody is a seeker of truth and a lover of God — either consciously or unconsciously. In our case, we belong to the first category. Consciously, sleeplessly and breathlessly we are trying to be God-seekers and God-lovers.

There are many good things and many undivine, unaspiring things in our nature. We try to increase and multiply our good qualities and, at the same time, on the strength of our prayers and meditations, we try to decrease and eventually eliminate our undivine qualities. We are not trying to destroy our bad qualities; only we want to transform and illumine them. Darkness has to be transformed into light. The ignorance that we have been cherishing from time immemorial must be illumined.

According to our traditional Indian philosophy, God is the Creator, God is the Preserver and God is the Destroyer. But we feel that God, being the Author of all Good and the Source of Compassion infinite, cannot and will not actually destroy His creation. We feel that, at His choice Hour, He transforms anything within us that is not aspiring and makes it divine, illumining and fulfilling. So there is no such thing as destruction, but only illumination and transformation, which take place at God's choice Hour.

On our path we give due importance to the physical life. Inside the physical is the soul, which is the direct representative of God. The body is the temple, and inside the temple is the soul, the shrine. Both the shrine and the temple must be kept in proper order. We feel that our inner life of aspiration and our outer life of dedication must go side by side. Like the flower and its fragrance, they cannot be separated; they have to be taken as two complementary realities. My students practise meditation and follow the spiritual life, and at the same time, they have their respective jobs. We live in the world and we live for the world.