Question: I realise many times that people want to be involved and do things for the betterment of humanity, but for some reason, their inadequacy or their inefficiency does not allow them to do this. Or they cannot come forward and do what they would like to do. They think often about it but they cannot come forward and do it. What can they do?

Sri Chinmoy: Some people feel, from deep within, an inner urge to serve humanity, and at the same time, they feel their inadequacy. How can they help or serve humanity? Now there are two ways. According to strict Indian spirituality, philosophy and yoga, one has to realise God first and then one can try to illumine others. If it is a question of illumination, first one has to be illumined and then he can illumine others later. If one wants to serve humanity, first one has to serve divinity within himself. Then divinity will tell us how we can effectively serve humanity. Otherwise it would be placing the cart before the horse.

But there is another process. When a spiritual Master takes full responsibility of a particular disciple, he may say, "Now, you help people, serve humanity. I am within you, with you. I am taking full responsibility. The more you help humanity in my name (that is, in the name of the spiritual Master) the swifter will you make your own inner progress and fly to your own self-realisation." Like a flower, you yourself will unfold by the Grace of the Supreme and the Master. At the same time your very unfoldment will inspire people in their self-search, in their spiritual life, their inner discipline.

So either one has to be fully awakened and realised, or one has to be commissioned and authorised by a realised spiritual Master. When the spiritual Master says that he takes full responsibility, at that time you are not making any mistake in the beginning, because he is taking the entire responsibility. He is the Doer. He is in you, with you, through you and for you.

But if, out of self-imposed sympathy, kindness and concern for humanity, one tries to serve humanity, then actually instead of serving, one will be only feeding one's ego consciously. So I wish to tell you that the involvement that you are speaking about should be with the Guru, the Master, for the Supreme. To be totally one with the spiritual Master physically, vitally, mentally, psychically, with His infinite consciousness which represents the Supreme, is one alternative. Or, as I explained first, one must wait until one has totally realised God. This is the traditional, time-honoured and time-proven Indian spiritual method. Either of these two can be followed.

In the ordinary world, if one does not want to go farther, if one wants to remain satisfied with what one has (very little capacity), one will quite naturally try to help others according to one's own capacity. But that kind of help does not help much in the long run. It is just like a blind man leading another blind man. Very soon his wisdom or his light will be totally exhausted. But if there is full realisation or inner oneness with the Supreme or with the Spiritual Master and, at His divine command, the spiritual Master asks a particular disciple to help others, inspire others, at that time, the disciple can, with the deepest joy enter into the field of service. This service will all be dedicated to the Divine, the Supreme, and its dedication will all be offered to the divinity in humanity.