Caller: I recently made a decision to change my lifestyle and let my family and friends know I was living a spiritual life. Instantly I was besieged with a barrage of complaints and criticisms.

Steve Powers: What you are talking about is the reaction of the people around you to your spirituality. I think that when people try to live a more spiritual life, there is a negative reaction from the people around them, who say such things as, “What, are you out of your mind?”

Sri Chinmoy: It is a matter of choice. If I really want God and if I really feel that my goal is situated to the north, then I shall walk to the north, no matter what others say. Others have not given me satisfaction, but now I feel that there is something or someone else that will be able to give me satisfaction. Those who are criticising you in no way have given you satisfaction. Now you are looking for satisfaction deep within by praying and meditating. If they criticise you, if they ridicule you, you must not pay any attention to them. In this world there will always be people to criticise us, and again, there will be people to sympathise with us and inspire us. So the best thing is to know what you want. If you want satisfaction, then you walk along the road of prayer and meditation.