Question: If a disciple does not realise God while his Guru is in the body, how would the Guru be able to help the disciple in that person's next incarnation if there were no other living Guru through whom he could work?

Sri Chinmoy: The Guru does not need another Guru to work through. Four thousand years ago Lord Krishna had disciples when he was actually on earth, and even now there are still many of his disciples who have not accepted another Master. They reincarnate, for instance, into a family which is following the path of Krishna, so that Krishna will be able to give them liberation in his own way. It is similar with the other great Masters. There are many of Ramakrishna’s disciples who have come back to earth. They have not gone to any other Guru, yet they are being fulfilled. But if they wanted another Master, Ramakrishna would naturally tell them to go to another one. Some disciples of great Masters have accepted other Gurus. Some of my own disciples, in fact, were with Lord Krishna.

How can a spiritual Master help his disciples if they do not go to some other Guru? He can do it through his conscious will, his soul’s will. I am here on earth, and although I am not in England or Puerto Rico, through my conscious will, early in the morning after 2 am I concentrate on all those who are my disciples there. To concentrate for a fleeting second is enough, but I use more than that to know what the soul is doing, and how far the soul has gone. So even while remaining in the physical, which is real bondage, a spiritual Master can help his disciples in different parts of the world. Then when he leaves the body, he is totally free. From the other shore the spiritual Master works through the soul’s Light or Willpower. The soul’s Light can be offered from any plane of consciousness, from the highest plane right down to the earth plane. So from the higher worlds the Master can easily connect with the disciple’s aspiring soul, and the disciple can respond to the Master’s Light. It is in this way that the Master can and does and must help the disciple.

When a Master accepts someone as a real disciple, a true disciple, he makes a promise to God, the Supreme, and to the soul of the individual seeker that he will be eternally responsible for that soul. But there are many, many who will come to our path — hundreds of thousands. They may stay with us for ten, twenty, thirty or even forty years, but never really accept us. When a Master leaves the body, he is not responsible for these so-called disciples. The Master will leave them to their own fate.

Now some may say, “How is it that we have been coming to the Centre and you have not accepted us as true disciples?” The simple reason is that they have not accepted me wholeheartedly. Only someone who has really accepted our path can be considered a real disciple. Acceptance has to be mutual; nobody can force it. Human parents force, but spiritual parents cannot.

Outwardly I have not personally told all those who are my real disciples, but inwardly I have told them, and they can rest assured that when I leave the body they will not be lost. They will never be lost, neither in this incarnation nor in their future incarnations. The real disciples — those who have taken me as their own and whom I have taken as my very own — are going to be fulfilled and realised in this incarnation or in their next incarnation or in a very few incarnations. Some disciples may take twenty incarnations or more because of their very poor start. Some who have come to me in their first or second human incarnation may take hundreds of incarnations. The first or second human incarnation is a half-animal incarnation. The animal is still there as the predominating factor, so how can they achieve God-realisation? Even in the New York Centre there are many disciples who have had only six or seven human incarnations.

When great Masters come to earth they greatly expedite the progress of their disciples. But how far can they expedite it when the disciples themselves have made so little headway? Still, the Masters try to make a very brave fight; they challenge ignorance. They say, “Let us see how far we can go.” Again, some disciples who have been on earth for only a few incarnations may still run the fastest because of their sincerity, humility and eagerness to run. They do not use their previous obscure qualities, and their mind has not been covered by millions of thoughts and ideas. From the very beginning of their spiritual life they start marching. They come into a spiritual family, or if they are fortunate enough, something pushes them forward from within to come to the Light. There is something called Divine Fortune. Some people have that fortune, and if they utilise it in a proper way, then everything is possible in one incarnation. Otherwise, it takes hundreds of years.