Question: What role does sincerity play in one's aspiration?

Sri Chinmoy: I will tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a king who ordered his subjects to dig a pond. Then he said, “There will be no water in this pond. It will be filled only with milk.” So he told all his subjects to bring a jug full of milk the next day.

Now the following day, a brilliant thought flashed across everybody’s mind. They thought, “Let me take a jug full of water to fill the pond. Others will bring milk, so how will the king know who has brought milk and who has brought water?”

So everybody brought water. And when the king and queen went to see the pond in the evening, they saw it was all water; there was no milk at all.

Here also some of the disciples feel, “If I don’t aspire, no harm. Somebody else will aspire. How will the Master know whether I am aspiring or not?” We can deceive an ordinary king by pouring in water instead of milk, but a spiritual Master cannot be fooled. A God-realised person will immediately be able to know who is aspiring and who is not aspiring. If there were four people sitting here in front of me, immediately with my occult vision I would be able to say, “He is aspiring: he is not aspiring.”

With a spiritual Master there is constant forgiveness. A spiritual person will say, “Today he has come without aspiration. But let me forgive him. Let me show him my utmost compassion and tomorrow he will try to come with a real, sincere inner cry.” The king would get angry with his subjects. He would say, “You people have all deceived me. I will punish you.” But a spiritual Master, in spite of knowing that he has been deceived outwardly, will use only his forgiveness-weapon. He says, “If I can forgive this person, if I show him my compassion, then tomorrow he will make an attempt to please me. This time he will really bring milk and not water.” This is what a spiritual Master does.