Question: Let me ask you some questions about the relationship between leading a spiritual life and being involved in secular activities, such as politics. I know you yourself are involved in the United Nations, so apparently you don't think they are two incongruous ways of life.

Sri Chinmoy: We have to accept the world, but we have to know if the world that we are accepting is accepting us or not. We have to know if the world at large is ready to give us the opportunity to be of service to it. At the same time, we have to know whether we have the capacity and the willingness to transform the face of the world.

Both the outer method and the inner method of bringing about peace are effective. At the United Nations they are using the outer methods, political means; I am using the inner method. I go there twice a week and hold meditations. At that time we invoke peace and the presence of God from above. In our human life, the outer life and the inner life have to go together. We cannot ignore the outer life. If we ignore the outer life, then we will remain imperfect. And if we ignore the inner life, then we will have nothing to offer. So in my philosophy I feel that we have to accept the world. The outer life and the inner life must run side by side.