If one wants to have disciples1

The immortal song He Partha Sarathi was composed by Kazi Nazrul Islam, a Muslim. He stood second to Tagore in the poetry-world and in the song-world. He stood next to Tagore in composing. In singing and music he was unparalleled. I learnt this song when I was fifteen or sixteen years old.

If you want to hear a sad story, I can tell you about the singer who taught me this song. He was a great, great singer; sweeter than the sweetest voice he had. But once a strong desire entered into his mind. He wanted to become a Guru. He saw that we were all touching the Mother’s feet and praying to her with such love and devotion, so he wanted to become a Guru.

It seems that God wanted to fulfil his desire. How did God fulfil his desire? From Sri Lanka, five or six seekers came to the Ashram. Those seekers became great admirers of this particular singer-swami. He used to wear an ochre cloth.

I do not wear an ochre cloth. My sister Lily did not want me to be called “Swami.” She wanted me to be known as Sri Chinmoy. She sent me blue, green, red and other coloured garments. I started wearing them, although I wanted to have only a white dhoti and white shirt. She said, “If you wear coloured garments, people will pay more attention to you.” What could I do? She was very adamant in this matter, so I started wearing all kinds of coloured garments. But today I am wearing white cotton. Had I worn silk, I would have suffered much, much more from today’s heat.

To come back to my story, the five seekers invited this swami to come to Sri Lanka. They all became his most devoted disciples, but alas, their devotion did not last more than six months. They could not approve of his lifestyle, which was nothing other than an undivine life. All the five disciples punished him. They struck him ruthlessly, and they beat him black and blue. Alas, he came back to the Ashram only to be refused by the Ashram authorities. He was not allowed to join the Ashram once more, and God alone knows where he went.

This is what can happen sometimes if one wants to have disciples!

In my case, the devotion of so many of my disciples is lasting.


  1. GLC 18. 13 August 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York