Question: Is it necessary to come into contact with an enlightened person in order to realise God?

Sri Chinmoy: It is not necessary or obligatory to have a living Master. But if we have a living Master, it may help us considerably. The first person who realised God did it without the help of any human being. God Himself gave him God-realisation. But if we have a living Master, then we have more confidence in ourselves. We are more convinced.

Suppose we had a Master in a previous life. We have to know whether our previous Master was really great and also we have to know what kind of connection we established with the Master during our past incarnation. Each Master has first-class, second-class, third-class, fourth-class, fifth-class, sixth-class and seventh-class disciples. The first-class disciple naturally has a well established inner connection with his Master. This inner connection remains even after the Master leaves the earth-scene. If the Master is really great and if the disciple's inner oneness with the Master is extremely powerful, then it is more than enough for him. He does not need any other Master in this incarnation. But the situation will be different if he happened to be a seventh class disciple, a very bad student. Let us say he had a Master, but still he used to wallow in the pleasures of ignorance. Did he listen to this Master? Did he practice meditation? No. But he was able to say that he had a very striking spiritual figure as a Master and that gave him a tremendous sense of satisfaction. So if one is a disciple that belongs to this category, I wish to say that if his Master is not in the physical, then for him it is better to have another Master. This Master may be far inferior to the previous Master, but he will be more than enough to inspire and guide this seeker. Suppose my father was an eminent doctor, but now he is in the other world. If I get a headache or a stomach upset, what can my father do? I have to go to another doctor who may be far inferior to my father. He may be just an ordinary doctor. But I go to that doctor to be cured. So everything depends on what kind of disciple one is and how deep his connection is with his Master who has left the body. If he feels his Master's constant and conscious presence, then he does not need any other Master.