Interviewer: That is wonderful! I don't think you need it, obviously.

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.

Sri Chinmoy, Sri Chinmoy answers, part 3.First published by Agni Press in 1995.

This is the 1090th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Sri Chinmoy answers, part 3, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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