Question: I have already seen a Master and he told me to be happy. So can I still follow you?

Sri Chinmoy: If you see ten Masters, every Master will tell you to be happy. I will give you the same advice. Who will not give you this advice? The world is wanting in happiness, so every Master will give you this same advice. But you have to know which particular Master you want to be your guide. If somebody tells you to be happy, that does not mean that he has accepted you or you have accepted him. Even if he accepts you, you may not accept him. You may say, “No, I don’t want you as my Master.” It is your life that you are going to offer to someone, so there has to be mutual acceptance. The Master has to accept the disciple as his own, and the disciple also has to accept the Master. Then only does the real divine game start.

Every Master will tell you to be happy. The spiritual Master’s task is to bring joy into the earth-atmosphere. All spiritual Masters are trying to do that. Now you have to feel which Master can bring the most joy, light and peace into your life. When you feel that you have found that particular Master, you have to accept him as your own.

There are some Masters who say, “Whoever wants to follow my path is welcome.” These Masters may have twenty thousand disciples, but God alone knows in which way they are helping those disciples. I cannot appreciate that kind of approach. If I accept someone and he accepts me and follows my path sincerely, then I have to be fully responsible for his outer life as well as his inner life. I have disciples, my real disciples, about whom I can tell you everything. I have accepted them as my very own.

I am not criticising the Master you are speaking about. Far from it. I am only telling you that just because this Master has told you to be happy, that does not mean that he has accepted you as his disciple. You have to ask yourself whether you feel deep within that he should be your Master, that you have accepted him as your Master and he has already become your Master. If so, you do not need me or anybody else. But if you feel that you have not accepted him or you have not made a commitment, but he has given you some divine advice, this is absolutely true. It is the duty of all spiritual Masters to tell the seekers that they have to be happy. If you are depressed all the time, cherishing negative, undivine forces, then you will not be able to make progress. But if you are happy, then your spiritual progress becomes really easy.

So the advice he has given you is absolutely correct. The only question is: are you going to go deep within to see whether you want to follow his path or some other path? This question you can answer better than anybody else. You have to ask your heart what commitment you have made to him and what commitment he has made to you.