Question: How can we develop the closest and strongest connection with our Master for this incarnation and all the rest of our incarnations?

Sri Chinmoy: Think of this incarnation. Future incarnations forget! Our future incarnations we do not know. There we are dealing with the unknowable. But in this incarnation, prayer and prayer and prayer and prayer is the only answer to your question.

There are so many disciples who made tremendous, tremendous progress right at the very beginning of their spiritual journey. Now they have been enjoying sabbatical leave for years and years and years. Again, there are some who came many years later who far surpassed them. Then they, too, started enjoying vacation.

Then again, there are some newcomers who are going very, very fast, but we do not know what will happen to them after four years or six years or ten years. It is not guaranteed that one person will reach the goal just because that person is running very fast. It is like a 100-metre race. Somebody may be running very, very fast at the front, but an experienced runner may go ahead of him before the end. There is no hard and fast rule in the spiritual life.

Sri Aurobindo's own Guru, Vishnu Bhaskar Lele, took seven full years to make his mind calm and quiet. Sri Aurobindo did it in three days! Who announced it? The Master himself. Look at this! And there have been some cases where the spiritual Master has become old and the Master's only prayer to the disciple is, "I know you will far surpass me in this incarnation. Promise to me that in my next incarnation you will be my Guru." Can you imagine? In this incarnation, the Guru is praying to the disciple, saying, "I can clearly see you will go far, far beyond me. Promise to me that in my next incarnation, you will be my Guru." Now this present disciple is puzzled. When will he surpass his Master? And then, when will he get his own disciples? But the Master knows. The Master knows that the disciple is going to surpass him. Like this, so many curious things happen.

Sri Ramakrishna brought down another spiritual figure, another great giant like Swami Vivekananda. Alas, he could not find him. For Sri Ramakrishna not to find the other soul! Swami Vivekananda accomplished so much, but Sri Ramakrishna said, "Another Naren would have been here, but I could not find him. He is in darkness and ignorance." Sri Ramakrishna could not trace him. Believe it! Sri Ramakrishna begged Swami Vivekananda's soul to come down from Heaven, from the Highest and he came down. Sri Ramakrishna got Naren for only six years, while he was quite young. The other soul he could not even find.