Question: If one tries to contact somebody who has departed from the world, then how can one be sure one has contacted that particular soul and not an evil spirit?

Sri Chinmoy: We have to know what kind of souls we are dealing with. If the person who has left the body is not a very evolved soul, there can very often be difficulties when we try to contact him. Very often destructive beings take beautiful, luminous forms from the vital world and come to us as our relatives.

If you want to know whether it is actually your relative or some other being, what should you do? You should pray to God with all your heart and soul to bring forward all of your purity. Then, when you feel that you have brought all your purity to the fore, you should look at the feet — not the face — of that being. If you are surcharged with purity, then immediately any evil being will disappear. Sometimes they literally burst and make a terrible noise.

If a spiritual Master is not of a very high order, sometimes the hostile forces will take his form. They stand in front of the disciple and say, “Do this! Don’t do this!” The disciple listens and then everything goes wrong. In such cases, when the Master is still on earth, there should always be some means of identification for the disciple.

I know of a case in India where the hostile forces used to take the form of a particular spiritual Master and ask the disciples to commit suicide. “If you commit suicide, I will be able to give you liberation sooner,” it would say. They tried to commit suicide even though the Master told them outwardly that he had never said that. These hostile forces are very clever. They play all kinds of tricks and make all kinds of mischief and destruction, but they have to surrender eventually to the Supreme’s Power.

It is not possible for an ordinary human being to know whether he has contacted the real person or the wrong forces except by his conscience. Conscience comes to the fore and makes him feel immediately that this being is not the correct one. A child does not examine anyone mentally; he does not have the capacity. When two persons stand in front of him, he cannot distinguish which is real and which is not. But his heart or conscience makes him feel that one person is real and the other is unreal.

For an ordinary person, conscience will make him feel whether he has contacted the right person or not. For a spiritual person it will be easier. And for a Master, it takes not a second to tell whether the right being or an undivine being has come.