Question: Do we really need a spiritual teacher?

Sri Chinmoy: Whatever you want to learn, you will be able to learn faster and better with a teacher. Suppose somebody wants to learn how to sing. Naturally, he will go to a singing teacher. After he has studied under the teacher’s guidance for some time, there comes a time when the student has learned everything. Then he no longer needs the help of a teacher. We need a teacher for everything: singing, dancing, swimming. Meditation also needs to be learned properly, and he who is wise will go to an authority on this subject in order to learn it.

People come to me because they feel that I am familiar with this subject and I can offer them some light, some peace of mind, some inner and outer guidance and assurance. As I said before, books are available in the market about how to concentrate and meditate, but most people need direct guidance if they really want to learn well. People go to school just because they feel the necessity of a teacher to give them direct knowledge and guidance. In the inner life also, if one wants to make fast progress, then one goes to a spiritual Master. I am not the only one; there are a few others on earth. But if one likes my method of teaching or my course of study, then he will come to me. If one likes somebody else’s method, naturally he will go to that other Master. Eventually, my students and the students of other Masters will arrive at the same Goal. All the true spiritual paths lead to the same Goal. The destination is one, although we are walking along many roads.