Sri Chinmoy: When I look at a painting, I try to feel its inner existence, which we call the soul. If a painting gives me an immediate inner thrill or a feeling of joy, if it touches my aspiring heart and makes me want to become a better person, then I feel that painting is meaningful for me. But if a particular work of art does not give my aspiring heart immediate inspiration, then I find it very difficult to appreciate. When I get a magnetic pull from a painting, then I become one with it. But if I see there is a yawning gulf between the painting and my own inspiration or aspiration, then I am unable to identify and become inseparably one with the artist and his painting. In no way am I judging these artists or their paintings; it is a question of my incapacity or my capacity. There are millions of people who do appreciate these paintings.
Interviewer: It makes absolute sense to me. You said what I was hoping you would say, because I perceive your work as very unique and apart from other artwork — and I like that.
Sri Chinmoy: Everything that I do comes from my life of prayer and meditation. I do not use the mind; I use the heart. I try to make my heart a receptive instrument so that God, the Supreme Artist, can paint in and through me. I am like a ballpoint pen. Somebody is using me to write something. Somebody is acting in and through me. Through my prayer and meditation, I try only to be receptive to God’s Grace, which is descending from Above. If somebody gives us a gift, we receive it with tremendous gratitude. Similarly, God is supplying me with inspiration and aspiration, and I am extremely, extremely grateful to Him. I know that without Him I can do nothing and I am nothing.
Interviewer: I can’t imagine any better reason to create art. I am very happy with that answer. I marvel at your work! Thank you very much.