God-realisation is Self-discovery in the highest sense of the term — the conscious realisation of your oneness with God. As long as you remain in ignorance, you will feel that God is somebody else who has infinite Power whereas you are the feeblest person on earth. But the moment you realise God, you come to know that you and God are absolutely one in both the inner and the outer life. God-realisation means your identification with your own absolutely highest Self. When you can identify with your highest Self and remain in that consciousness forever, when you can reveal and manifest it at your own command, at that time you will know that you have realised God.
You have studied books on God and people have told you that God is in everybody. But you have not realised God in your conscious life. For you, this is all mental speculation. But when you are God-realised, you consciously know what God is, what He looks like, what He wills. When you achieve Self-realisation, you remain in God's Consciousness and speak to God face to face. You see God both in the finite and in the Infinite; you see God as both personal and impersonal. This is not mental hallucination or imagination; it is direct reality. This reality is more authentic than my seeing you right here in front of me. When one speaks to a human being, there is always a veil of ignorance — darkness, imperfection, misunderstanding. But between God and the inner being of one who has realised Him, there can be no ignorance, no veil. So you can speak to God more clearly, more intimately, more openly than to a human being.
It is inside the human that the divine exists. We do not have to live in the Himalayan caves to prove our divinity; this divinity we can bring forward in our normal day-to-day life. Unfortunately, we have come to feel that spirituality is abnormal because we see so few spiritual people in this world of ignorance. But real spirituality means the acceptance of life. First we have to accept life as it is, and then we have to try to divinise and transform the face of the world with our aspiration and our realisation.
People sometimes think that a realised person is totally different from an ordinary person and behaves in a very unusual way. But I wish to say that a realised person need not and should not behave abnormally. What has he realised? He has realised the ultimate Truth in God. And who is God? God is someone or something absolutely normal. When someone realises the Highest, it means he has inner Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure. It does not mean that his outer appearance or outer features will be any different. It does not mean that he will become abnormal in some way. No, he is normal. Even after a spiritual Master has realised the Highest, he still eats, talks and breathes just as others do.
Unspiritual people frequently think that a Master, if he is truly realised, has to perform miracles at every moment. But miracles and God-realisation do not necessarily go together. When you look at a spiritual Master, what you see is Peace, Light, Bliss and divine Power. Enter into him and you are bound to feel these things. But if you expect something else from a realised soul, if you come to a spiritual Master thinking that he will fulfil your teeming desires and make you a multi-millionaire, then you will be doomed to disappointment. If it is the Will of the Supreme, the Master can easily bring down material prosperity in abundant measure and make someone a multi-millionaire overnight. But usually this is not the Will of the Supreme. The Will of the Supreme is for inner prosperity, not outer affluence.
A realised Master is like someone who knows how to climb up and down a tree very well. When the Master climbs down, he does not lose anything because he knows that at the next moment he will be able to climb up again. Suppose a child at the foot of the tree says, "Please give me a most delicious mango." Immediately the Master will bring one down and then he will climb up again. And if nobody else asks for a mango, he will sit on the branch and wait.
If you are fast asleep and someone pinches you and shouts, "Get up! Get up!" he is not doing you a favour. You will be annoyed. But the spiritual Master will not bother you; he will not ask you to get up. He will stay beside your bed and wait until you get up, and the moment you get up he will ask you to look at the sun.
Here on earth, if one human being has something to offer and the other person does not take it, then the first person gets furious. He says, "You fool! It is for your own good that I am giving it." He will scold the other person and be very displeased if his offering is not accepted. In the case of a spiritual Master, it is different. He will come with his wealth, but if humanity does not accept it, he will not curse humanity. Even if humanity insults him and speaks ill of him, he will not complain to God. With his boundless patience he will say, "All right, today you are sleeping. Perhaps tomorrow you will get up and see what I have to offer. I will wait for you."
A real spiritual Master will not lose anything if earth rejects what he has, because he is well established in his inner life and inner consciousness. Again, if humanity accepts what he offers, he does not lose anything, either. The more he gives, the more he gets from the Source. This is not true of ordinary aspirants or false Masters. If they give away something, they cannot replace it. But the Master who is in touch with unlimited capacity in the inner world has an infinite ocean for his source. One cannot empty the infinite inner ocean.
The real Master wants to give everything to his devoted disciples, but their power of receptivity is limited. So he tries to widen their vessels so they are able to receive the Peace, Light and Bliss that he brings. But he cannot force an aspirant to receive more than the aspirant can hold. Otherwise, the seeker's vessel will give way. A Master can only pour and pour and pour his infinite Light into his disciples, but once the limit of their capacity is reached, anything more that he gives will be wasted.
Some Masters are very selective and want only souls that are fully dedicated, intensely aspiring and absolutely destined for the spiritual life. Sri Ramakrishna, for example, wanted only a limited number of disciples and was very particular about whom he would accept. But some Masters say, "Anyone who wants to learn anything about the spiritual life is welcome to my community. Then let everyone progress according to his own standard." So they accept thousands of disciples.
But no matter how many disciples they accept, if they are true spiritual Masters they will only accept disciples who are meant for them. If I know that somebody will make faster progress through some other Master, then occultly and spiritually I will make that person feel in a few months' time that he is not meant for me. What matters is not the number of disciples a Master has but whether he takes them to the Goal. If I am realised and somebody else is realised, we are like two brothers with one common Father. Our goal is to take our younger brothers and sisters to the Father. The game will be complete only when all of humanity is taken to God. If two Masters are real brothers, then how can one be unhappy or displeased if somebody goes to their Father through the other? In the spiritual life, what matters is not who has done something but whether the thing has been done. Who has done it is only a question of name and form, which will be obliterated by history. What matters is that evolution has taken place on earth.
Again, you have to know that the true Master cares very deeply whether the disciples destined for him actually come to him. Sri Ramakrishna used to go up to the top floor of his house and cry for spiritual disciples. He used to ask Mother Kali why the disciples he was destined to have did not come to him. People may ask why he could not wait for God's Hour. In fact, God's Hour had come for Sri Ramakrishna, but the ignorance of the world was blocking it. God told him to do something and gave him the capacity, but ignorance was standing right in front of him and delaying, delaying, delaying his manifestation. Sri Ramakrishna was not crying for disciples who would come and touch his feet. He was crying for disciples who would be his real arms and hands, who would fly with him into the Universal Consciousness, who would work for him, and in that way, work for God.
Nobody is indispensable, true. But, at the same time, each person is indispensable as long as he is absolutely sincere in his aspiration and his service to the Mission of the Supreme. Out of pride and vanity nobody should feel that he is necessary; but everybody is necessary if he is a sincere, dedicated, chosen instrument of God. The Master needs disciples because they are the expression of his own consciousness. When he gets the Command from the Highest to do something on earth, then he has to try to find those who are going to be part and parcel of his consciousness to help him fulfil that Command.
Traditionally, spiritual Masters used to say, "If you have something, others are bound to come. The pond does not go to the thirsty person; the thirsty person comes to the pond." This is absolutely true if a mature person is thirsty. But if you feel that the thirsty person is just an infant, then it is all different. The baby will cry in his room, and the mother will have to come running to feed him. The mother does not say to the baby, "You have to come to me, since you want something from me." No, the mother puts everything aside and runs to the baby. In the spiritual world also, some Masters feel the need to go out into the world, for they feel the outer world is just a baby in its consciousness. These Masters feel that there are many children who are crying for spiritual life, spiritual wisdom, spiritual perfection, but who do not know where or how to find it. So the Masters go from place to place and offer their light with the idea of serving the divinity in humanity.
When the world is crying for inner food, if we have the capacity, we have to feed it. If I have the capacity to give you something and I also have the capacity to go and stand right in front of you, why do I have to call you to me? If I have the capacity both to place myself before you and to give you the spiritual nourishment that you want, then I must do so. 1