Question: Why is there an abundance of gardens with exotic flowers and wonderful birds in your paintings? The inner garden or garden of the Beyond is a very happy state, but it contrasts with the problems of everyday life. It seems almost to evade them. Is this the case? What are you saying through your colourful gardens?

Sri Chinmoy: Spiritually, a bird signifies the soul, which flies in the firmament of Infinity, and a garden represents beauty and purity. If an individual has inner beauty and purity, then easily he can remain in touch with his soul. The soul will bring him the message of freedom from bondage, on the strength of its constant and inseparable oneness with God the Omniscient, God the Omnipotent and God the Omnipresent.

True, in the inner life everything is happiness and beauty, whereas in the outer life the story is almost always the opposite. But in no way am I trying to avoid or evade the outer life of pain and suffering. Through colourful gardens and flowers I am trying to indicate that the outer life also can have harmony, peace, love, light and delight, for I feel that the inner life must inspire the outer life. With my heart’s aspiration and my life’s dedication I am trying to bring to the fore the beauty and purity of the inner life so that it can bring happiness to the outer life.

All the divine qualities that we see in the inner life eventually have to be brought to the fore in the outer life as well. God wants us to participate devotedly and soulfully in His Cosmic Game by manifesting outwardly all the divine qualities that we have within.

I have done thousands and thousands of paintings, and many of these also deal with the battlefield of life and the hard realities that we find there. My art-world is like a big store where each customer can choose what he likes or needs. If you need the heart’s cry, you will find it. If you need the soul’s smile, you will find it. If you need consolation, you will find it. If you need illumination, you will find it. Whatever you want, you will be able to find in my paintings.

In various ways I am trying to serve humanity, and it is my fervent hope that each individual will take what he or she needs from my Fountain-Art.