Question: Can a real spiritual Master help the soul of a disciple?
Sri Chinmoy: Certainly. A real spiritual Master must have the capacity to help the souls of his disciples. As a matter of fact, if he is a real Master, then every day, either in the morning or in the evening he has to feed the souls of his disciples. If you have children, early in the morning the first thing that you do is to feed your children. It is your bounden duty. When a spiritual Master accepts disciples, they become his spiritual children. Inside the spiritual children is a real hunger and this hunger is the hunger of the soul. So the spiritual Master has to feed the souls of his disciples every day. 1
Question: Why do so many Americans, especially young men and women, seem to be turning to Indian spiritual leaders when there are so many churches and religions in the West?
Sri Chinmoy: The answer is very simple. Americans find in the Indian spiritual Masters what they actually want and need. What is it that they do not get from the churches that they do get from Indian spiritual Masters? They get joy, they get love and they get something else: inner purpose. They learn the importance they should give to inner divinity. The spiritual Masters make them feel that they also can be perfect channels of spiritual light and truth.
Spiritual Masters are offering Yoga to Americans, but Yoga is not a new religion. Yoga is only a path. If one follows the path of a spiritual Master, he does not have to leave his own religion. The young men and women of America are not making a mistake by following Indian spiritual Masters. It is just that they have discovered a path and they feel that by following this path they will get what they want sooner. 2
Question: Does proximity to a spiritual Master increase your capacity?
Sri Chinmoy: There are many who will sit in front of a spiritual Master, talk to a spiritual Master, mix with him, have all kinds of intimate experiences with him, but they will get nothing. It is only aspiration that will be able to bring to the fore all the divine qualities of the Master. If we have no aspiration, then no matter what the Master has, no matter what kind of spiritual height he has, he will not be able to give us anything.
To get the most from your spiritual life, the qualities you need are peace, joy, love, power and sincere inner concern for your spiritual Master. These you can have on the strength of your own aspiration. 3
Question: Is there any difference between our entering into the Master's consciousness and his entering into ours?
Sri Chinmoy: There is a great difference between your entering into the Master's consciousness and the Master entering into your consciousness. If you enter into him, you will see there divinity, light, peace and bliss in infinite measure. But when the spiritual Master enters into you, because you have not yet developed within you infinite Peace, Light and Bliss, the Master has to work to unlock the safe where your treasure lies. But again, the spiritual Master comes not with any kind of contempt. He comes as the dearest loving mother to clean, to purify and to illumine. When the aspirant enters into the spiritual Master, he is in another world and when the spiritual Master enters into him, at that time he also will be in another world. The difference is that an aspirant can give only what he has: his aspiration, his love and devotion. But what a spiritual Master can give is infinite realisation. So if you can enter into the Master's consciousness, you are bound to get a very high and deep experience. The spiritual Master can cultivate in you all these possibilities and sooner or later you are going to get the bumper crop of realisation. At that time your entering into the Master or the Master entering into you will be the same, but not right now. 4
Question: Spiritual Masters come to transform the world. Do the wrong forces in the world at large deliberately challenge a spiritual Master?
Sri Chinmoy: The spiritual Master represents light, while these wrong forces represent darkness. The spiritual Master has come into the world to change the nature of darkness. So from the point of view of these wrong forces, the spiritual Master is an enemy.
Ignorance is saying, “I am fast asleep. I am enjoying my life as it is.” A spiritual Master will say to ignorance, “You can see the light, but you are ignoring it.” Then ignorance says to the spiritual Master, “You stay with light. My darkness is my light.”
Idle people do not do anything, but they are seeing in their idleness, in their laziness, their light. In that way, they are satisfied. Spiritual Masters are sent by God, they are commissioned by the Highest. God tells them, “You go and awaken the sleeping humanity.” So spiritual Masters try to transform untold lives with their love, affection and light.
Ignorance forces feel that if they can come and attack and conquer the spiritual Master, then they will be able to enjoy their rest. If they can destroy the spiritual Master, then they will be able to continue their supremacy. The spiritual Master, on his part, believes that if he can transform ignorance, then it will be for the betterment of the whole world. This is the difference. The spiritual Master cares for the good of the world, whereas ignorance cares only for its own supremacy. 5
Question: Why do spiritual Masters fall sick if they have spiritual and occult power?
Sri Chinmoy: Many times spiritual figures die of so-called fatal diseases. But the poor Master is not responsible. What happens is that the Master identifies himself with his disciples; he tries to take the disciples' imperfections into himself and dissolve them. His love and affection for his disciples is boundless. It is like the case of the mother and the son. When the mother sees that the child is suffering she says, "Give me your suffering; give it to me." You cannot say that because the Guru is suffering he is imperfect. No, he is suffering for his own spiritual children. They have done something wrong, and out of his infinite compassion he draws into himself that imperfection. That is one of the reasons why spiritual Masters fall sick. 6
Question: Could you speak about the mutual acceptance of the Guru and disciple?
Sri Chinmoy: The Guru unconditionally accepts the responsibility for the disciple. This responsibility involves the disciple's aspiration, meditation, love, devotion and surrender. And at the same time, the true disciple wholeheartedly accepts the responsibility of the Guru. The Guru's responsibility is to spread the Message, the Light of the Supreme. On the strength of your oneness with the Guru's consciousness, you become one with the Guru's responsibility. When you fulfil the Guru's responsibility, you feel that you are spreading the Message of the infinite Supreme. When you spread the Message of the Supreme in the Guru, at that time you are taking on your own shoulders the responsibility of the Guru. So the Guru takes the disciple's responsibility and the disciple takes the Guru's responsibility.
You are young. I want you to run the fastest in the inner worlds, like a deer towards the Goal, as I used to run in my teens. You are fresh, green, pure, new. You are energetic. I want you to utilise all your divine, dynamic qualities to the fullest extent in your daily life, inner and outer. So with my heart's deepest joy, love, blessing and concern, I bless you. 7