“Our path is basically the path of the heart and not the path of the mind. This does not mean that we are criticising the path of the mind. Far from it. We just feel that the path of the heart leads us faster towards our goal. Suppose I want to go to a place 300 miles away. I can reach my destination either by walking or by flying. Undoubtedly, I shall reach my destination considerably faster if I fly in a jet plane. Similarly, if we use the aspiring heart and not the doubting mind, we shall reach our goal much faster. The heart is all love. The mind is quite often all confusion. When we say the heart, we mean the spiritual heart, which is flooded with divine love.” - Sri Chinmoy 1
Since his arrival in the West in 1964, Sri Chinmoy established Sri Chinmoy Centres in different parts of the world, for seekers to practise a spiritual life of meditation and selfless service. His teachings form a spiritual path based on a philosophy of ‘love, devotion and surrender’ Sri Chinmoy has also referred to his path as the ‘Sunlit Path’ and the ‘Path of the heart.’
His spiritual path involves acceptance of the world and an integral approach to spirituality, which encompasses meditation, prayer, selfless service, music, art and self-transcendence through sport.
Sri Chinmoy’s spiritual path is open to those who feel a sincere commitment to the inner life. Sri Chinmoy did not wish to start a religion; his path is open to seekers from different religions or no particular religion.
Question: Do your teachings constitute a religion?
Sri Chinmoy: No, I do not preach any religion. I teach Yoga and philosophy. Each religion is confined to a group: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and others. Yet any person belonging to one of these religions can accept our path without detriment to his own religious background.
Questioner: Why do you say that?
Sri Chinmoy: I think that any person who wants to realise God will not have any difficulty in accepting our path. Our path is the path of concentration, meditation and contemplation. A person can follow this path and remain in his own religion. 2
Question: How does one know whether he is ready for the spiritual path or not?
Sri Chinmoy: You can easily know whether you are ready for the spiritual path or not. When you are hungry you know that you have to eat. Your hunger compels you to eat something. In the inner life also when you are hungry for Peace, Light and Bliss, at that time you are ready. When you have that inner cry, that inner need for something, then you are ready for a spiritual path. So when you have the need, you have to realise that you are ready. If you don’t have the need, then you are not ready. Instead of going to a movie or reading newspapers, you have come here. The fact that you have come here to our Centre means that you care for Peace, Light and Bliss. When you go to see a spiritual Master, that means that you are already ready. If you go to church or some other spiritual place, that means you are more than ready to follow a spiritual path. 3
“What kind of commitment is necessary to follow our path? It is not the kind of commitment that you have to make in other spiritual or cultural organisations. For these organisations, you may have to give a regular fee. But when I ask you to make a commitment, it is different. I say that if you see something in me, if you see or feel light inside me, then if you want to follow our path, you can. There will be no monetary demands. You do not have to give me five dollars or ten dollars or anything like that. No! Here it is a matter of your own aspiration — how sincere and regular you can be in your spiritual life. If you are not sincere, then you will not be able to run fast. But if you are sincere and dedicated, then you will run very fast. The commitment I ask for in our path is regularity in your meditation and aspiration, a sincere inner cry. I ask nothing else from any disciple.” 4