Part I — Questions by Mr. Robert Muller

TGS 1e1. In the spring of 1977, the following profound and soulful questions were submitted by Mr. Robert Muller, Director and Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General for Inter-Agency Affairs and Coordination, to Sri Chinmoy, Director of the United Nations Meditation Group. In their interchange, these two luminaries complement each other by becoming soulfully one with humanity's multifarious needs and divinity's gracious gifts.

Mr. Robert Muller: The first three of U Thant's four categories of needs, namely physical, intellectual and moral needs, do not create any insuperable problems, but the last and most important one in his view, spirituality, gives me considerable difficulties. There are indeed so many definitions of that term. U Thant described it as "Faith in oneself, the purity of one's inner self." Suppose — as I would ardently wish — that humanity would adopt some day his four broad categories of goals. How would you define the spiritual goals?

Sri Chinmoy: The seeker in me fully agrees with our beloved brother U Thant's four categories — physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual — which are necessary for an individual to become integrally perfect. The term "spiritual" always creates problems, not only in the minds of seekers who are endowed with few spiritual potentialities but also in the minds of those who are endowed with great spiritual potentialities. Each individual must needs have a way of feeling and describing his own spirituality. To some, it is faith in oneself; to others, the purity of one's inner self; to still others, God for God's sake. Again, there will be no dearth of definitions of the term "spirituality." According to my inner conviction, spirituality is at once self-giving and God-becoming. This self-giving is not an offering to somebody else, to a third party. This self-giving is an offering to one's own higher self. This self-giving is nothing short of an act of self-uncovering. Self-uncovering is another name for self-discovering, and self-discovering blossoms into God-becoming.

Now, what is God-becoming? This question can be answered in billions and trillions of ways. Each individual will have an answer of his own in accordance with his soul's development and his life's needs. Here again, my inner conviction is that God-becoming is the soulful recovery of one's own forgotten self, one's cheerful acceptance of it and one's fruitful discovery of this realisation: "In my yesterday's life, I had; in my today's life, I am. What did I have? God the man as an aspiring seed. What have I become? Man the God as the fulfilling fruit."