Interviewer: What do you think of the Olympic Games?

Sri Chinmoy: I appreciate and admire the Olympic Games because they are raising the world standard. Right now the athletes are trying to defeat each other. For the time being this is good. If they did not have a competitive spirit, then they would be at home sleeping. It is better to be active and dynamic than lazy and useless. It is better to be moving forward than standing still. While moving forward, if they want to try to go ahead of those who are moving with them, no harm. Although this is not the highest way, it is far better than remaining inactive and lethargic.

After some time they will see that there is a higher way of looking at sports. If victory is the only goal, then the athletes can never find happiness, for even if they win today, tomorrow somebody else will come along and take away their glory. Real happiness can never be found in separating ourselves from others. Real happiness comes only in feeling our oneness with others, even if they defeat us.

We are all members of a family. If your brother defeats you in running, you are not miserable, because he is your brother. Again, if you defeat him in swimming because you have more capacity in that sport, your brother is not going to feel miserable. He will say, “It is my brother who has done it, so it is all right.” Like that, if all the athletes can feel that they belong to one family, then they will be happy no matter who wins.

Regardless of who wins on the sports ground, each one should try to excel in his own life by competing with himself and going forward according to his own capacity to his destined goal. In this way each individual will all the time make progress and achieve greater and greater perfection. True happiness comes only from our increasing sense of perfection which we can achieve only through self-transcendence. But right now the world has not come up to that standard.