Question: Guru, when you give us a spiritual name, is it a quality that we should develop in this life, or is it a natural, eternal quality of the soul?

Sri Chinmoy: When I give a spiritual name, it can be meant only for this incarnation, or for the future incarnations as well, eternally. When I give a spiritual name, it has to do with the soul’s qualities and capacities. The soul has many, many qualities and capacities, and I give the spiritual name for the fulfilment of the soul’s qualities and capacities.

In this incarnation some disciples are with me, but the unfortunate thing is that in their next incarnation they may not care for the spiritual life. They may care for ordinary life, worldly life: getting married, having children and so on. At that time the soul’s qualities and capacities will not be manifested. Then again, after some ordinary lives, if an individual once more enters into the spiritual life, the soul’s qualities that I have seen will again start manifesting. In this incarnation nobody will be able to manifest all the qualities of the soul — nobody, nobody, nobody, nobody! But if the disciples continue to follow the spiritual life, then they will go on, and they will be able to manifest their soul’s qualities. If they take up ordinary life, then again their progress will stop.

In this incarnation, there is great hope. As much as you can, as much as you can, bring to the fore your soul’s qualities and soul’s capacities. Some people are doing quite well with their soul’s qualities. They are manifesting these capacities through aspiration, dedicated service and oneness with my will.

Very good question!