Mr. Inoue: I understand that you place great importance on taking care of the physical body. Would you please tell me why you do this?

Sri Chinmoy: You come from Japan. In Japan, let us say, there is a Shinto temple with a beautiful shrine. If you value the shrine and everything else that is inside the temple, you will make sure that the temple is kept in good repair so that it will not be blown away if there is a storm. If the temple is not in good condition, then the shrine cannot last. Similarly, inside the body is the heart and soul. The shrine is within. We have to make the body a fit instrument to house the shrine; we have to keep the grounds of the temple in good condition if we care for what is inside the temple.

I am trying to become good, better, best — not in order to defeat you, but in order to love you better. The more progress I can make physically, vitally, mentally and psychically, the more love, the more joy and the more goodwill I am able to offer you. If I become a better person, then I can give you my good qualities. But if I remain a bad person, then I will have nothing to give you. If my body is not in good condition, if I have a headache and an upset stomach, then early in the morning I will not be able to get up to pray and meditate. If I do not pay attention to the physical body and keeping the body fit, my spiritual life will suffer and I will not be able to offer you my goodwill, love and joy in my prayer and meditation. That is why physical health is of great importance.