Question: What is the difference between the consciousness that the Buddha attained and that which the Christ attained?

Sri Chinmoy: Forgive me for saying this, but to know what Jesus Christ achieved or did not achieve will not help you in the least. What matters is whether you are trying to grow into the very image of the Christ. Only that will help you. To know what the Christ achieved, what the Buddha achieved, will be of no avail to you. Only if you are trying to grow into the Christ’s consciousness or the Buddha’s consciousness, will that help you. Again, there comes a time when you have to go beyond even that. You have to feel that God took a particular soul and brought it into the world with an outer form. He called one Christ and another one Buddha. God wanted those particular souls to play the role of the Christ and the Buddha. He wants you to play the role of somebody else.

God wants to play in and through everyone in a unique manner. These great souls have played the role of divine lions let us say. Now God wants you to act like a tiny insect. By acting like lions, they have fulfilled their roles most satisfactorily. In your case, if God wants you to be an insect, then if you play the role of an insect most satisfactorily, God will be highly pleased. He will not ask you, “Why didn’t you play the role of a lion?” He asked you to play the role of the insect, and He does not expect you to do otherwise. Each soul has to play his own role. The Christ, the Buddha, Sri Krishna — they have played their roles successfully just because they were God’s conscious instruments. They are still playing their roles inwardly on earth. Now we seekers have to play our roles. If we do not play our roles, then God will remain unfulfilled and unmanifested.

In India some spiritual Teachers tell their disciples: “Don’t use the terms ‘Infinity’ ‘Immortality’ and ‘Eternity.’ Just think of where you are.” I am telling you the same thing. Do not bother yourself with the Christ’s consciousness or the Buddha’s consciousness. Deal with your own consciousness. Are you aspiring? If you are, then God is most pleased with you. In no way am I trying to discourage you or anybody. But out of curiosity you want to know quite a few things, and these things eventually stand in your way. Right now, if you think of the goal that they have reached, you will be totally lost.

In India many people have gone mad by thinking all the time of the Buddha’s realisation, Krishna’s realisation or Ramakrishna’s realisation, instead of starting the real way, by meditating. By thinking constantly of Krishna’s realisation or the Buddha’s realisation, they convinced themselves that they had attained Krishna’s consciousness or the Buddha’s consciousness. When they thought they had attained that consciousness, they became insane. There were many in Bengal who had physical strength, vital strength, mental strength, so they just thought all the time of Vivekananda until they felt that they were another Vivekananda. Then, when they were examined or tested, when they faced the world, they found that they were the most insignificant creatures.

In the spiritual life it is always better to make progress step by step. When you have gone high, very high, then you will be able to see the Buddha’s consciousness and the Christ s consciousness. But right now it is useless for you to think of these things. It will only confuse you.

The marathon race is more than twenty-six miles long. At the moment the starter fires the gun, if the runner thinks that after twenty-six miles he will reach the goal, he will be totally disgusted. “I have to run twenty-six miles!” he will think; then he will just give up. No, while he is running, he has to think that he is covering a quarter mile, a half a mile, a mile, and so on. If he thinks that he has to reach the goal all at once, the moment he starts, he will be disheartened. He will say it is impossible. If a kindergarten student thinks of his Master’s degree while he is learning the alphabet, then it is impossible. If he thinks he has to get his Master’s degree as soon as possible, he will just go crazy. But if he feels that now he is in kindergarten, tomorrow he will be in primary school, then high school and so on, then he will have constant inspiration.