Question: Thank you very much. There seems to be a growing number of young people in the West who are interested in spirituality. Could you comment on that — if you see any reason for that or any future to it?Sri Chinmoy: In the West people are very interested in the spiritual life and yoga. Especially the young generation is deeply interested in yoga. As we all know, yoga is conscious oneness with God. In order to establish this conscious oneness with God, we need to love from within, love from without. Young people today are crying for love. The love that binds is not the love that they are seeking. The love that expands, the love that emancipates, the love that makes them feel that they are of one and, at the same time, of many — this is the love that young people are seeking. Young men and young women have taken to the spiritual life precisely because they have felt an inner hunger for the divine love. I beg to be excused, but perhaps this love they did not get from their families or from their individual churches. If they had discovered or found this love in their parents, in their religious leaders, in their churches, then they would not have had to look for it in the Eastern approach.
The spiritual life is not the sole monopoly of India. Spirituality is for everyone. But there are different approaches. A Westerner is bound to have one approach to Reality; an Easterner will have another approach to Reality. But the Goal is the same. The Western approach is the approach of prayer, mostly of prayer. The Eastern approach, or Indian approach, let us say, is the approach of meditation. In yoga we try to synthesise the two approaches: prayer and meditation. We feel that one can realise God only through meditation, but again, if we know how to synthesise prayer and meditation, then we can expedite our spiritual journey. When we pray with folded hands, we feel that we are speaking to our Almighty Father and that He is listening to us. And when we meditate, we feel that He is talking to us and we are listening to Him. It is like the conversation we are having right now. You are asking me something and I am listening. Then it goes the other way. When we pray, we reach high, higher, highest. And when we meditate, we bring down into our system Peace, Light and Bliss from above. Seekers in the young generation want to speak to God and also they want to hear God’s Voice. Only if we pray can we go up, up, up and tell God what we have to say. And when we meditate we also hear what our Lord has to tell us. So the seekers feel the need of both approaches; that is why they are inclined to follow the path of yoga.