Question: On what criteria does a seeker take a prospective Master? How can you tell a good one from a bad one?

Sri Chinmoy: Again, it is a matter of inner feeling. Now you see that you have quite a few universities in England. What do you do? Your inner being or something from within tells you, "Go to London University." In England there are many universities, but you feel from within that London University is better for you than Cambridge or Oxford or some other place. That is why you are studying here. As regards your inner life also, you can make your own selection.

In the spiritual life there is a way of knowing one's own Master. Here, the student, the seeker himself, has to play the role of a teacher. How? He has to give marks to the Master. You know that there are quite a few spiritual Masters all over the world. You will write down their names. Write down the names of ten spiritual Masters. Then, you repeat the name of the first Master on the list seven times. You write him on your heart. Then try to see what kind of feeling you get. If you feel an inner thrill, then you give him 60% or 70%. Then you repeat the next Master's name. If you get no feeling from him, you give him zero. Then again, you meditate on somebody else, the next on the list. Repeat his name seven times. If you find you get a greater thrill than you got with the first one, then you give him 75% or 80%. You do this with all the spiritual Masters on your list. Then, the one who gets the highest mark from you is bound to be your Master.

This inner thrill that you feel is not false pleasure or anything of that sort; it is real inner ecstasy that you are getting. The moment one hears the very name of the Master, or one sees the Master, one immediately enters into the highest realm of bliss according to one's own capacity. This has been the experience of many of my students and disciples, just after hearing my name. They have not seen me, but just by seeing my picture in the newspaper, or by hearing someone mention my name to them on the telephone, they have felt an inner thrill from within; now they have become my disciples. Again, there are many who come to me who are not meant for me, who have heard me talking at the universities or some other places, but who didn't feel anything in me. They are perfectly right in going to some other Master who is destined to be their Master.

So, in your case, if you are looking for a Master, you kindly be the judge. You give them marks and see who deserves the highest mark from you. He who gets the highest mark is bound to be your Master. This mark you will give according to your inner ecstasy.