Question: Guru, you are always telling us that our souls have the capacity to punish us, and that they will punish us if we displease them. I am wondering, if our souls have so much power that they can actually do physical harm to our body, why do they not appear to have the power to inspire us?

Sri Chinmoy: They have been doing that very thing for thirty years! They have been doing that since you joined the path. Since you joined the path, from that very day, who inspired you to come and meditate? Children will say that their parents brought them. But who inspired the parents to come? Was it not their souls? If the children say their parents brought them, then the parents were brought by their souls. Again, the parents gave the inspiration to their children.

From the day your soul brought you to the path, it has been inspiring, inspiring, inspiring you — begging you! The soul is not just inspiring — it is begging, begging, begging. When you are in a good consciousness, when you have a good meditation, at that time you are bound to feel that somebody within you, some being within you is begging you: "Continue doing this, continue doing this."

The joy that you get after six months' meditation, all of a sudden one day you will receive at a function or at home. With the joy that you are receiving, at that time you are feeding your soul, and the soul is so proud. The soul will say, "This is what I want from you!" This is the actual message you will get. Nobody will be able to deny it. When you have a very powerful meditation, on that day once again you are resolved, you are determined to become an excellent disciple. You resolve that you will conquer insecurity, jealousy, inferiority, superiority or anything else that you feel is uninspiring or undivine. That very day, when you do not have obstacles to your meditation, that is the victory for the soul.

To say that the soul has the capacity to punish is true. But this very soul for years — five years, ten years or fifteen years — has been begging you. Sometimes the soul almost every day for a month or two has been trying to inspire you. Sometimes a soul may say for a week or two that it is a hopeless case. But then the soul tries again and again and again. Is there any disciple who can say that his soul has not inspired him? And if the soul has not inspired him at least to a certain extent, no disciple will stay on the path. No disciple will stay on the path if the soul has not inspired him.

The soul gives inspiration, but how much can the body, the vital and the mind accept? The mind is determined not to accept inspiration. The mind is always ready to see the truth in its own way. The mind is telling the soul, the heart, the Master and even God, "If this is not done, I am not going to go farther. If this is not done for me, I am not going to move." So what can God do? The mind has put a limit before the soul, before God, before the Master. It says, "If I do not get this mango, then I am not going to do anything. If this is not done in my own way, I am not going to budge an inch."

Still the soul continues, with the hope that one day that same mind will say, "Why should it be done in my way? Let it be your way, the soul's way." The soul is only hoping to hear this message from the mind one day because the soul is trying to convince the mind to go in the divine way, to surrender. Surrender to the Master means surrender to the soul on the strength of your devotion and your love. The mind is determined not to surrender to the soul, but still the soul is hoping, hoping, hoping.

Again, the soul sees that in the past — five, ten, fifteen or thirty years earlier — the mind did surrender to the soul. At that time the mind wanted to see the light in the soul's way. But the mind is now determined not to receive light, because the mind has become stronger than anything else. The mind has its own thought: "This has to be the way I want it." The mind has become unaspiring. There was a time when the mind used to search for light, for truth, but now the mind has become stubborn, absolutely unruly. The mind will not listen. At times even if God stands in front of the mind, the mind remains stubborn. God can use His omnipotent Power, but He can only break the mind; He cannot make the mind listen. The mind does not listen even to God — forget about the soul and the Master!

I tell you, sometimes the disciples do not listen to me at all. If the soul, even if God stands right in front of you, you may not listen. The Master is higher than the soul. The Master may not be higher than God, true; but the Master and God are one. But you cannot say, "If my soul comes and stands in front of me and tells me something, then I will listen." If you cannot listen to your Master, will you listen to your soul?

Again, as soon as you see your soul, you may say, "I thought my soul was much more beautiful than this! Is this my soul?" The soul can take any form — that is the trouble! The soul may come to you as a beautiful flower and give you the message to listen to your Master. Then you will say, "Can this flower be my soul?" Or the soul can take the form of a balloon. When the balloon tells you, "Listen to your Master," you will say, "Can this balloon have the capacity to tell me anything?"

Only the spiritual Master knows that the soul has taken the form of a balloon or the form of a flower. The soul can also take the form of a most beautiful child. As soon as you see the child, you may say, "This is a silly child. He does not have more knowledge, more wisdom, more capacity than I have." Then the story is finished! The soul, as a little child, has infinitely more beauty and more power than the mind; only it has taken this particular form. Again, let us say it takes a huge form. It can take the Universal Form. But even if it comes as a lion or an elephant and stands in front of you, still you will not listen. You will say, "How am I going to listen to this? If I do not listen to my soul, then do I have to believe that my soul will devour me?"

When the mind does not want to surrender, whichever way the soul approaches is wrong. Ask any Master! The soul can take any form. If it takes the form of a little, beautiful flower, you will ignore it and say, "This cannot be my soul. My soul has to be beautiful, absolutely solid and robust. I have formed my idea of my soul." Yes, your soul can be like that, but your soul also can be totally different. Your soul can take any form. How many times have I said that the soul can take any form. Only on the strength of God-realisation can you immediately see when the soul is talking to you; but the soul is talking, the soul is talking. Any form the soul can take.

Talking about the soul, when we started our conversation here I said, "Can you wait for five minutes?" Why did I say that? At that time the soul of one of my very first disciples came to me. The soul was right there, standing in front of that wall, under the fluorescent light. She was giving me the request, or emotional or vital demand, to grant her the fastest speed. With her we started our mission. If you want to talk about a pioneer-disciple, there is no one else, only that lady. She was dearer than the dearest to me. Then insecurity, not impurity, came into the picture. Insecurity came and she herself took a "vacation" from our path for many years. Finally she came back. Then she became old, and the story was finished; she went to the other world.

My mission started because of that disciple. She is the one who discovered it — nobody else. Her soul took the form of a deer when it was standing there. She wanted to have the deer-speed from me; she was begging me to help her go the fastest. Now I am talking to you, and also I am rubbing my nose. You are thinking that I am only rubbing my nose. But I am concentrating because I am seeing her so clearly. She has taken the form of a deer. Like a deer, she wants to go fast.

If I did not know that it was that disciple's soul, I would say, "It is just my mental hallucination. I am seeing a deer here; it is my mental hallucination." Even if I keep my human eyes open, I see the same thing that I see with my third eye. Again I am saying, any form the soul can take. Perhaps someone will tell me, "You are absolutely wrong. She did not take the form of a deer." I will say, "Fine, fine, be satisfied. But I am satisfied, because I know that she took the form of a deer."

Fortunately or unfortunately, each soul has its own kind of divinity. The soul's usual form is a most beautiful child — most, most, most beautiful. It can be three, it can be five, it can be ten years old; it depends on the soul.

There is something else, which the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Mother talked about. It is called the psychic being. It is absolutely true that it exists. That psychic being is another part of us. The psychic being is the infant. The soul may be young, or it may be mature, more mature, most mature. But the psychic being that the Divine Mother and then Sri Aurobindo talked about will always remain like a two or three-year-old child. It does not grow up. It will always cry or smile, and then the mother or father will come. It makes me think of my dog. How I wish Chela would not become old! When he jumps nowadays, he comes up to my shoulder. Previously he used to come up to my waist, but now he jumps right to my shoulder. For the last four or five days, I have been afraid he will break his legs because he jumps so high. But at the same time I get joy that he has so much strength to jump up to my shoulder.

Now I am coming back to the subject. The psychic being remains always the same. The soul has its own maturity and divinity. God's representative is the soul or the spiritual Master. Let us not talk about the spiritual Master; God's direct representative is the soul. Again, the soul also has a representative. It is called the psychic being. If you want to see the psychic being, then the psychic being always takes one form: a most beautiful child. The psychic being will not take the form of a flower or a bird or a deer or an elephant. No, it will take a fixed form. It is a most beautiful, most, most, most beautiful child.

When I came to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, it was March. In May or June, or perhaps July, I saw for the first time my psychic being. I could never imagine that a child could be so beautiful! Then again, when you realise the Highest, when you realise God, you may say that the psychic being is childish, in the sense that it is always thinking that if it cries, the mother and father will give it everything. They are bound to give it what it wants. If it is crying, the mother is bound to give it milk, and the father is bound to give it a piece of candy.