Question: Master Chinmoy, I have read in some Eastern books that man is greater than the gods. I wish to hear from you if this statement is correct?

Sri Chinmoy: Thank you. I am glad that you have read Eastern books. There often it is mentioned that man is superior to the gods. What we actually mean by that is that there are many, many gods in the vital world. According to our Indian scriptures, as many human beings, so many are the gods. So, these gods, what do they actually do? They help us at the time of our need. When we suffer from headache or stomach-ache or some minor diseases they come and help us and we pray to them. But there is something else that is called liberation. Liberation or Self-realisation can be had only by a human being. When a soul enters into the human being and starts making progress, in the process of evolution, his soul becomes fully liberated and fully realised; when this particular human being has fully realised himself, he has realised God also. But the gods do not have that opportunity. They do not take the human form. They live in the vital world and from there they operate. So, unless and until they enter into a human body and human form and go through the process of reincarnation, they cannot have the Self-realisation or liberation that we human beings have. When we have Self-realisation, we know that there is nothing greater than that self-realisation. That means we have crossed the barriers of ignorance and travelled across the sea of ignorance and death. That is why we say that man is greater than the gods, superior to gods, because man gets Self-realisation whereas the so-called gods who are in the vital plane do not care for it and do not get it.