Question: Your practice of Yoga seems to be distinct in some way from the practices of other teachers. When someone comes to you to be a disciple, on what basis do you accept them? What do they have to do in terms of Yoga? In what way is your path distinct from the paths of others?

Sri Chinmoy: Thank you. When a seeker comes to me for guidance, the first thing I do is concentrate on that particular seeker and see if he is meant to follow the path of love, devotion and surrender. If I see that he can do well on our path, I accept him. When I do not accept a seeker, it does not mean that he is not sincere. Far from it. But each individual must follow the proper path for him. There are paths of the mind and there are paths of the heart. Some people are devoted to the mental approach, while others are meant for the heart approach, the psychic approach. Ours is a path of the heart.

The heart means oneness. As soon as I see you, if I feel oneness with you, then you are meant for me, and I am meant for you. But if I try to analyse and scrutinise you and want to know how much wisdom you have or how much capacity you have, then at every moment I will be subject to suspicion, doubt and various wrong forces. So when I look at a seeker, the first thing I see is whether the seeker is really in the heart and for the heart. I go deep within for guidance from my Inner Pilot to see if that particular seeker is ready to follow the path of love, devotion and surrender. The seekers whom I am unable to accept may be sincere, absolutely sincere, but they have to know that they can make faster progress if they follow another path or another Master.

At the end of our journey, my Inner Pilot will not ask me how many millions of seekers I have brought to Him. He will ask me whether or not I have brought the seekers that He wanted me to bring to Him. The number is not important. If I try to take someone who is not meant for our boat, then He will be displeased with me.

If a seeker wants to follow the path of the heart, then there is every possibility that the seeker will fit in with our path, which is divine love, divine devotion and divine surrender. Human love we know is a fast train. It is an express train whose destination is frustration. Frustration is immediately followed by destruction. But divine love is a local train. Slowly and steadily it reaches its destination, which is illumination.

Human devotion is just another name for attachment. We are usually not conscious of it, but eventually there comes a time when we see that it is nothing but attachment, unconscious attachment. Divine devotion is our oneness-cry to the reality, our feeling that there is a purpose for our lives, and our need to establish our deepest oneness with that purpose.

Human surrender is the surrender of a slave to the master. It is forced, fearful and resentful surrender, not spontaneous, loving and devoted. We surrender to our boss because we feel that if we don’t, he will dispense with our services. This is forced surrender. But divine surrender is totally different. Here the finite becomes fully aware of its infinite Source. When a drop enters into the ocean, it becomes the ocean itself. The tiny drop surrenders its limited existence and what does it get in return? It gets the message of vastness, Infinity. This surrender is spontaneous, natural and cheerful. It is divine surrender, surrender to our own highest reality, of which we are right now not conscious.

This is the essence of our path. In our ladder of divine consciousness there are three rungs: love, devotion and surrender. With divine love we start. Then we go to devotion and then to surrender. When we make our surrender we feel that there is no end to our surrender. Each time we surrender soulfully and cheerfully, we reach a specific goal. But that goal is not the ultimate Goal, that goal is only a new starting point, because we are pilgrims walking along Eternity’s Road.