Preface to the first edition

This book is the result of a remarkable collaboration between Don Antonio Tarzia, General Director of the Italian publishing firm Edizioni Paoline; writer and journalist Venanzio Ciampa of Italy’s RAI national television; and Indian spiritual Master Sri Chinmoy.

Sri Chinmoy met with these two men in New York and Rome, where several magazine articles and television specials about Sri Chinmoy’s life and activities were being completed. The first television documentary, aired nationwide in Italy on 23 July 1989, featured a probing interview with Sri Chinmoy at the United Nations, footage of Pope John Paul II receiving Sri Chinmoy in Vatican City and a testimonial to the astonishing power of Sri Chinmoy’s meditation by champion weightlifter Bill Pearl.

As Mr. Tarzia and Mr. Ciampa became more intrigued with Sri Chinmoy, they resolved to produce a unique volume of his spiritual wisdom which would appeal to a popular audience but still offer a glimpse of the salient depth and luminosity that have characterised his writing for decades.

In May 1990, Mr. Tarzia and his staff in Milan prepared some fifty questions, in Italian, for Sri Chinmoy. Mr. Ciampa edited and translated the questions, and in four intensive sessions during the ensuing summer months in New York, Sri Chinmoy dictated his answers.

The subject matter is wide-ranging, punctuated with rare autobiographical elements and fascinating personal anecdotes that serve to unravel complex mysteries. Some of the questions touch on traditional religious ideologies; here the author’s non-parochial sentiment and multicultural background allow new and profound treatment of these issues.