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What is Spirituality?

In the spiritual life
There are countless questions.
Only one answer satisfies
 All the questions:
 Love God unconditionally.

Sri Chinmoy 1

Spirituality is simplicity, sincerity, purity and humility. A simple life helps the seeker grow. A sincere life helps the seeker fly and dive. A pure life helps the seeker become one with God's Vision and God's transcendental Reality. A humble life helps the seeker embrace the length and breadth of the entire world.

True spirituality starts with love, divine love. The seeker loves God the Creator and God the creation. The seeker also loves himself. If he does not love himself, if he is critical and hyper-critical of himself, then he will not be able to make constant progress. Here we have to know that his love for himself is not a conscious aggrandisement of his ego. No, he loves himself because he sees the presence of God within himself and because he sees himself as an instrument of God. 2

Spirituality is the universality of Truth, Light and Bliss. Spirituality is the conscious necessity for God. Spirituality is the constant opportunity to realise and prove that we all can be as great as God. 3


Sri Chinmoy meditates and plays the flute, Malta, 1991.

Spirituality has a secret key to open the Door of the Divine. This key is meditation. Meditation simplifies our outer life and energises our inner life. Meditation gives us a natural and spontaneous life. This life becomes so natural and spontaneous that we cannot breathe without the consciousness of our divinity. 4

Spirituality and satisfaction

‘Spirituality and Satisfaction’: A lecture given by Sri Chinmoy at the University of Toronto, 1974.

Spirituality is not an escape from the world of reality. Spirituality tells us what the true reality is and how we can discover it here on earth. Spirituality is not the denial of life, but the purest acceptance of life. Life is to be accepted unreservedly. Life is to be realised soulfully. Life is to be transformed totally. Life is to be lived eternally.5

Common questions on spirituality

Question: Does a person have to renounce the world in order to make spiritual progress?

Sri Chinmoy: Renunciation is an ancient spiritual concept. I can even say it is old-fashioned. The world is not at that stage of development anymore. Instead of renouncing the world, slowly and steadily we can illumine the world according to our inner spiritual capacity. 6

Question: In the spiritual life, the importance of purity is always stressed. Are pure actions worthwhile if thoughts are impure? How can we purify our thoughts?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, in the spiritual life the importance of purity is always stressed. It is not only unavoidable but supremely necessary, for without the soulful purity, in the true spiritual life, the aspirant’s life, will have to dance with futility. It is true that when you act, your thoughts must be pure. That is why the spiritual Masters say that it is not so much what you do but how you do it. Since I am one of them, I wish to add that at the beginning, even if your thoughts are impure and motives conditional, do not be upset. Start your inner journey from where you are right now. If you wait for purity to flood your outer consciousness before you start your inner and outer workings, then I tell you that you are doing something absurd. If you stick to the spiritual path, then the divine purity is bound to dawn on your inner life and your outer life in the course of time. You want to know how you can purify your thoughts. You can purify them just by feeling that your thoughts are coming out of your devoted and consecrated inner life and not from your doubting, suspecting, scrutinising, reasoning, fault-finding and correcting mind.7

Question: How can religion overcome a narrow outlook and develop a real acceptance of all other religions as true and necessary?

Sri Chinmoy: Religion as such cannot overcome this narrow outlook. Only when religion takes help from spirituality, its elder brother, does it become possible to overcome this narrow outlook. Religion sees God, but spirituality makes the seeker become God. Religion can go as far as believing in the Light or even seeing the Light. But spirituality goes much higher, much deeper. It helps the seeker or the votary of religion grow into the Light itself and become one with God-Consciousness and God-Light.8

Further reading

  1. Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, part 12, Agni Press, 1999↩︎

  2. Sri Chinmoy, My heart's salutation to Australia, part 2, Agni Press, 1976↩︎

  3. Sri Chinmoy, Yoga and the spiritual life. The journey of India's Soul., Agni Press, 1971↩︎

  4. Sri Chinmoy, Yoga and the spiritual life. The journey of India's Soul., Agni Press, 1971↩︎

  5. Sri Chinmoy, Eastern light for the Western mind, Agni Press, 1973↩︎

  6. Sri Chinmoy, AUM — Vol.II-6, No. 1, January 1980, Vishma Press, 1980↩︎

  7. Sri Chinmoy, Earth's cry meets Heaven's smile, part 1, Agni Press, 1974↩︎

  8. Sri Chinmoy, Earth's cry meets Heaven's smile, part 1, Agni Press, 1974↩︎