Question: What does a miracle teach?

Sri Chinmoy: By showing a miracle we cannot raise the consciousness of humanity at all. In India our servants used to live a very pure life for two months, practise austerities and pray to all the cosmic gods. Then they used to walk on fire in front of us. If we walk on fire, our feet will burn. But when it is a matter of real spiritual life, we lead an infinitely better and purer life than these servants did.

Does a miracle help us in any way? It only increases our curiosity. It does not help in raising our consciousness. Sri Ramakrishna used to tell a story about two brothers. The older brother left the family and went into the forest. He meditated and meditated for about twelve years. When he got a little occult power, he came back home. His younger brother said to him, “You have meditated for twelve years, brother. Now show me what you have achieved.” The elder brother said, “All right, come.” He led his younger brother to a tiny river nearby. Then he said, “Look, here is my capacity,” and he started walking on the water. The younger brother immediately called the ferry man, gave him one-quarter of a cent and went across. When he came up to his brother on the other side, he said, “You spent twelve long years in praying to God for something that is not even worth a penny.” Then the elder brother realised his foolishness, and went and prayed sincerely to God.