Question: What does it mean to be a spiritual Master?

Sri Chinmoy: A spiritual Master is a private tutor. He is the elder brother in the family. Either you can call him a private tutor or you can call him an elder brother. The school teacher examines the student and either fails or passes him according to merit. If he has done well, the teacher will pass him in the examination. If he has not done well, the teacher will dispense justice. But the private tutor will all the time teach the student at home so that he can pass the examination. The spiritual teacher privately teaches the student how to stand in front of ignorance and face ignorance so that when ignorance challenges him, he will be able to pass the examination.

Again, the teacher is the eldest member in the family. Just because he has a little more Peace, Light and Bliss than others, God has chosen him to give his little Peace, Light and Bliss to his younger brothers and sisters. He knows that he is not the father. And, also, his younger brothers and sisters know that he is not the father. The father is somebody else. But because he is the elder brother, he is supposed to know where the father is. The elder brother of the family tells the younger ones, "Come, I will show you where our Father is." And once he can bring the younger ones to their common Father, his role is over. They will be on their own as soon as he shows them where the Father is.