Question: The great Catholic mystic Meister Eckhardt once said, "I and my Father are one in my proceedings." Then the Catholic Church threatened to burn him at the stake. To the Church, it was blasphemy. When one attains Self-realisation, to what degree does a human being really possess the right to say, "I and my Father are one"?

Sri Chinmoy: What we call Self-realisation has various levels. There are people who have realised God on the vital plane. Others have realised Him on the physical plane or on the mental plane or on the intuitive plane. Some have realised Him on the supramental plane, which is beyond the overmind, and far beyond the mental plane. But the greatest Yogis have realised God on all the planes, from the highest to the lowest levels of consciousness. They act always from the Divine Consciousness, from God's Consciousness. Since they act from the Divine Consciousness and are absolutely one with God's Cosmic Play, they have every right to say that they are one with God. It is every soul's own birthright to be totally one with God.

The Christ was absolutely right when he said, "I and my Father are one." Sri Ramakrishna, who was the worshipper of Mother Kali, in his later years identified himself with Kali to such an extent that his consort, Sarada Devi, addressed him as Kali and his disciples also said that he and Kali were one. In his early meditative years, Ramakrishna used to pray ardently to Kali. But when his realisation was complete on all the planes, he became totally, consciously one with Kali. His disciples and his consort saw and felt that he was not a human being but the Goddess Kali herself. Kali is a Goddess and the Supreme Goddess. So, when one realises God on all levels of consciousness and is able to act from God's Supreme Consciousness, then one can easily say that he and God are one. But only on the strength of one's absolute conscious identification with God, the Divine, the Supreme, may one declare that he and God are one.