Interviewer: What makes sports and athleticism such an important part of spirituality for you?

Sri Chinmoy: As I told you before, each individual has to get happiness from what he is doing and from what he is. If I am not physically fit, I will not get up early in the morning. Let us say I am supposed to get up at six o'clock, but physical ailments compel me to stay in bed until nine, ten or eleven o'clock. At that time I enter into the hustle and bustle of life. Then, because I could not take physical exercise, I become a victim to certain other ailments. The supreme necessity of physical fitness is to help us become choice instruments of God. I am not saying that we have to become the world's greatest athlete. Far from it! I do not have to become the world's strongest wrestler or boxer. My goal is only to keep my body fit so that early in the morning I can pray, meditate, run or do whatever divine activity I would like to do.

The body, vital and mind each have a special role to play in our lives. If the vital is not dynamic, then we shall be lethargic. We have to be dynamic with our vital, not aggressive. Then we have to be mentally pure. We have to have pure and illumining thoughts in our mind and not indulge in doubt. Otherwise, one moment I will say that you are a very bad woman. Then the next moment I will tell myself, "What right do I have to say that? She is a very good woman." So, this moment you are very, very good, but before you leave here, my mind can say that you are very bad. Now look at this! Who am I? Am I in a position to judge whether you are good or bad? No! But I am in a position to offer you good thoughts, kind thoughts.

You are being so kind to me here, and I am also trying to be kind to you by offering you good thoughts, illumining thoughts, fulfilling thoughts. The mind has to take the positive attitude and say that you are a very good person. By thinking that you are a bad person, what am I gaining? I am just wasting my precious time. But by thinking and feeling that you are a good person, I am clearing and purifying my mind. And if I have a clear mind, a pure mind, I will be able to achieve many, many encouraging and inspiring things in my life.