Sri Chinmoy: In general there are three types of human souls: First what we call most ordinary, unenlightened; then good but ordinary souls; then great, extraordinary souls. When an ordinary man dies, he looks all around to see whether his dear and near ones are crying for him. If he sees that nobody is crying, then he gets terribly disheartened and says to himself: “All my life I have helped them in various ways. Now look at this ingratitude!” These ordinary souls are so attached to their dear ones and so attached to earth that they become disheartened if at this last moment their dear ones do not acknowledge their previous love and sacrifice. There are even some unenlightened souls that take a malicious attitude if their relatives do not mourn for them and come back in a disembodied form to frighten their dear ones after they have left the body. If there are children in the family, the deceased may assume the ugliest form and come in front of the children to frighten them.
The second type of person has been nice, sweet and extremely helpful to the members of his family, and when he is about to die he feels that there should be a bond of affection and attachment which lasts forever. This kind of person does not want to leave the earth-scene. He feels that it is attachment alone that can maintain the connection between this world and the other world, so he tries to draw the utmost affection and sympathy and concern from his dear and near ones. If he sees that his dear and near ones are not showing any sympathy or sorrow for his loss, or are not crying bitterly, then he gets a tremendous pang in his inner existence. He feels: “Here I want to establish something permanently, and I am not getting any help or cooperation from the members of my family.” But it is not the so-called human love, it is not human attachment, that can create an eternal divine bond between the departed soul and the souls that are in the land of the living. The love that binds human beings can never last; it is just like a rope of sand. It is only the divine love that can transcend all barriers.
Then we come to great souls, that is to say, spiritual Masters. When a Master leaves the body and sees that his disciples are crying bitterly over their loss, the Master feels sorry because the disciples do not recognise him fully as a spiritual Master. A spiritual person, one who has realised God, lives on all planes; his consciousness pervades all the worlds. So if his disciples cry bitterly for him, feeling that they will see him no more, then they are putting their Master in the same category as an ordinary person. It is like an insult. The Master knows that he will appear before the disciples who are sincerely praying to him or who are meditating and aspiring sincerely. He knows that he will be all the time guiding, shaping and moulding them. He knows that he will be able to enter into them, and they will be able to enter into him. So naturally he feels sad if his disciples take the attitude: “Now the Master is gone and we will never hear him again. Our prayers to him will be in vain, so it is useless to pray. Let us go to some other Master or let us try to find another means to make spiritual progress.” So spiritual Masters feel sorry when their dearest ones cry or shed bitter tears for them, whereas ordinary people get joy from this.
Yes, for a while the disciples can feel sad that they have lost their Master, that they will not see him in the physical frame. But that sadness must not last because the soul’s joy, the soul’s intense love and all-pervading concern, have to enter into the disciples who had sincerely accepted the Master as the sole Pilot of their lives.