Question: Three times Sri Ramakrishna told Naren to ask Mother Kali for material things for his family, but Naren did not want gourds and pumpkins. Was that disobedience on the part of Naren, or was it a test, or something else?

Sri Chinmoy: No, it was not disobedience on Naren's part. Sri Ramakrishna was clever. Sri Ramakrishna was asking him to make demands of Mother Kali, but inwardly he had told Mother Kali, "Do not fulfil his desire." When Naren was saying, "Give me knowledge, renunciation and discrimination," his soul and his heart were coming to the fore. But Sri Ramakrishna had already answered his prayer in the inner world. Sri Ramakrishna knew what a great soul Naren was.

It all happened because Naren's father had died and people were suing the family, even people whom the father had helped financially. People were saying that Naren had gone to the dogs, that he was mixing with bad people, this and that and he no longer believed in God. Sri Ramakrishna wanted to show that they were wrong, absolutely wrong. His Naren could not fall. His Naren was only for God.

Look how much Naren was suffering financially! So many times he would tell his mother lies: "Today so-and-so has invited me to eat." It was not at all true, but he would come home late without eating because he knew how little food his mother had and he wanted his younger brothers and sisters to eat.

Swami Vivekananda was such a great, great soul. He was like thunder, absolutely like thunder. Sri Ramakrishna wanted to show that Swami Vivekananda's inner life was all for God. Outwardly he was suffering, his mother was suffering, his little, little brothers were suffering. But when it is a question of the human and the divine, the divine will always win. The divine is bound to win.

Look at my physical mother. She came to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram to take my eldest brother, Hriday, back to Chittagong. She came fully prepared, even to the last moment. On the final day, she had an interview with the Mother of the Ashram. My mother was speaking in pure Chittagong dialect and my sister Arpita had to translate it into proper Bengali. Then, from proper Bengali, Nolini had to translate it into English for the Mother.

The first thing my mother said was, "Mother, I am so grateful that you have taken full charge of my eldest son. Please promise to me that you will take care of all my children. I place them at your feet."

Look at this! She came to take her eldest son away. And now she was telling the Mother to take care of all her children. Her mind was dying to take her eldest son away, but her heart was begging the Mother to accept all of us. And the Mother kept her promise. The Mother said, "I will take care of your children." And, when the time came, she took care of us. My mother said something that was completely contradictory to what she had planned to say. This is what happens when the soul is mature.

Once my mother went to see a play about Sri Chaitanya. There Sri Chaitanya was taking sannyasa. The son was leaving the mother and in the audience my mother started crying and crying and crying. Why? What did she have to do with Sri Chaitanya? My brother Chitta said to her, "Mother, do not worry. We will be householders. We are not going to renounce the world."

Then my mother had to tell Chitta, "You fool! I am crying because I want to have children who will do the same. Like Sri Chaitanya, I want my children to devote themselves to God."

When the heart comes to the fore, people say just the opposite of what the mind intended.