Question: I practised pranayama before I met you. Now you are offering a different technique. I was wondering if meditating on you is the same as delving within myself?

Sri Chinmoy: This is an interesting question. The answer is: it entirely depends on the individual. Suppose you are a disciple of mine. You have become my disciple precisely because you feel something in me — Peace, Light, Bliss or Power. Some divine quality you have felt in me, and you feel that this divine quality can easily enter into you or has already entered into you.

I have all kinds of disciples — first-class, second-class, third-class, fourth-class and fifth-class disciples. The fifth-class disciple naturally cannot be as good as the first-class disciple. But no matter which category one belongs to, if a disciple of mine can meditate on my Transcendental picture, then he is bound to enter into my inner divine consciousness.

Suppose you have not received any specific meditation from me, but you feel that you are inwardly drawn towards me. What you should do is concentrate on my picture and try to enter into the consciousness that you see there. If you have already seen something or felt something inside me, if you have seen around me a blue light or some other colour light, then you have faith and it becomes really easy for you to enter into me. The best way to enter into me is through my forehead, through my third eye, which is the eye of vision. If you find that difficult, then try to breathe in slowly and steadily and imagine that I am also breathing with you rhythmically at the same time. You can be as close as possible to my picture, and when you breathe in, try to imagine that I am also breathing in with you. If you feel that we are breathing simultaneously, then it will be extremely easy for you to enter into me consciously.

But if purification has not taken place in your outer nature, then it may be difficult for you to enter into me. Your own impurity prevents you. But don't think that you are the only impure person, and that all the other disciples are very pure. Far from it. You have asked me a sincere question, so I am answering you. Impurity can be in the physical, in the vital, in the mind, or in the heart. Only when you develop purity does it become very easy to enter into the consciousness of a spiritual person. When you have meditated for some time, a day will come when you will feel that there is no difference between your highest consciousness and the consciousness of your spiritual Master. You will feel that the spiritual Master is only your own highest part, the most developed part of your own self. When one realises God, one does not realise God as a third person or a second person or in somebody else. No! One realises one's own highest consciousness, and this consciousness one sees is really one and inseparable with the highest consciousness of the Master.

On our path you don't have to practise pranayama or any other spiritual techniques. I do not give importance to these things. I only give importance to aspiration. To practise pranayama without real guidance is very dangerous. I know of three persons who have died from it — a father and two sons. If you really want to practise pranayama, then you should do it under the guidance of a spiritual Master. But I tell you, there are other ways, other paths to the same goal. There are many ways to go to Rome, but one road may bring you there half an hour earlier or even one second earlier than the other roads. As all religions are true in their essence, so all spiritual paths are true; but one path is bound to be a short cut. We call this short cut the sunlit path.

The sunlit path is the path of aspiration. There can be nothing more fulfilling than aspiration. Through aspiration the seeker becomes part and parcel of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. As freedom is your birthright, God-realisation is also your birthright. You have to realise that at one time you knew God most intimately. But ignorance has entered into your consciousness, into your nature, and now you have forgotten Him. If you really want to get Him back in your life, then aspiration is the only answer. Inside the heart of aspiration, three things must loom large: love, devotion and surrender. They are the keys that can open the doors of Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. Love, devotion and surrender make up our path, which we feel is the true sunlit path.