Question: In the Bible, it says that there will always be a Joshua to follow a Moses. Joshua was Moses' disciple. I see also in Indian books that there is always a disciple who starts a line of followers. Is this spiritual chain a necessary part of the manifestation?

Sri Chinmoy: It is not quite like that, actually. If the spiritual Guru is really great and has real power, it is quite possible that his power will be given to a spiritual descendant. Sri Ramakrishna had a spiritual descendant, Vivekananda. But at the same time he had a few more disciples who were spiritually great. Undoubtedly, Rakhal (Brahmananda) was one of them. You can say that a master might have one major disciple, but you cannot say that all his spiritual Power, all his Light he gives to this one person, while the others get next to nothing. It is not like that. When the Master realises God, he represents the Divine to his particular disciples. Indeed, because he represents the Divine, his spiritual Power, Knowledge, Peace, Light and Delight are unlimited. Each disciple can get boundless Light, Delight, Peace and Power. "When infinity is taken away from infinity, infinity still remains the same." This is what the Upanishads teach us.

One disciple can play the part of a leader and he can be described as the Master's spiritual descendant, but the Master's spiritual powers and achievements are given to each disciple according to his capacity and receptivity. The master may make one disciple a leader, as Sri Ramakrishna did with Vivekananda. Everybody cannot be a leader. But even the leader will receive from the Master according to his own spiritual capacity and receptivity. There are many sincere disciples who do not have the capacity of leadership, but at the same time, they most sincerely aspire. If they are sincere they, too, can get everything.

Actually, each disciple can think that he is the dearest. How can he know? The moment the disciple feels that he has offered everything, his outer life as well as his inner life, to the Guru, he can feel that he is the dearest and closest. He lives just because the Guru wants him to live. He lives for the sake of the Guru, for the sake of the Divine. If any disciple can do that, undoubtedly he will feel that he is dearest to his Master. This feeling of his is absolutely true. Nobody will have to reassure him on this point. No one will even have to tell him. If any disciple can make a constant, cheerful and unconditional surrender to God, then I must say he is or she is the dearest disciple to the Master. Just to fulfil the Will of the Supreme in the Master, he or she is on earth. This absolute surrender to the Will of the Absolute has no equal in the spiritual life.