Question: Should I feel that my spiritual Master is the highest?

Sri Chinmoy: Some spiritual Masters openly declare their God-realisation. Other spiritual Masters secretly tell their choice disciples, very secretly. According to Indian theory, no matter who your Guru is or what his height is, you have to feel that he is the highest.

Do not make the mistake of confusing spiritual power and occult power. Real spirituality has nothing, nothing to do with occult power. Occult power is like some monkeys. They will pinch people this side and that side; they only create a sensation.

While you are on the way to God-realisation, real spiritual powers automatically come. You do not have to beg them. But again, some people pray to God to give them occult power. They want to be satisfied with occult power, not with real spirituality, with God-realisation.

Never be fooled by the display of occult power. When someone shows his occult power, he is surprising all of us. But is there anybody who is really being inspired to go and pray to God either at home or in a church? By the occultist's performances you are excited, you are thrilled, but you are not getting even an iota of inspiration or aspiration to pray and meditate, to increase the power of your prayer-life and meditation-life. But if you go to a spiritual Master, if you go to church, if you have tremendous faith in the Saviour Christ, as you should, then you get so much inner joy, inner feeling.

Never put occult power and real spirituality on the same footing. It will be the height of your stupidity. There are so many spiritual Masters who had tremendous occult power but never used it, never. Again, there are some who did use it. Why? Because God asked them to use it in order to manifest His Light in a special way. But by using occult power, you cannot change anybody's life. Never think that occult power is something needed to make spiritual progress — never, never, never!

Then there is another theory about spiritual Masters. There was a great scholar who was a graduate of Cambridge University. He came to India as a professor of English literature. One day the principal of his university invited the professor to come to his place and eat. O God, as soon as the professor saw the principal's wife, he saw God inside her! She did not pray or meditate, but the professor was a genuine seeker and he recognised her as his Guru. In the beginning, the principal's wife was a little bit embarrassed. Then she started praying and meditating and she went very, very high.

The professor showed such sincere devotion to his Guru that he made tremendous progress. He reached a very high, sublime height. Then this man had to write, "The Guru is higher than God Himself."

How to believe it? The professor explained, "The Guru takes the beating. What is happening inside the real God, if there is a separate God, we do not know. But here we see, when disciples do something wrong — specially close disciples — what kind of beating the Guru gets." He wrote a beautiful article on this theme. Again and again he was justifying his statement that the Guru is higher than God Himself. In one sense, it is ridiculous; but again, the real Guru is God Himself. The God that is inside us and the God that we imagine in Heaven is the same God, the same Guru.

Again and again this professor said, "The one who sees our sufferings and becomes one with our sufferings is higher than God." He did not say whether the God who is upstairs on the highest floor, in Heaven, is suffering or not. He did not want to say, or perhaps he did not even know. But he saw that the Guru in front of him was suffering by becoming one with his suffering, so he felt that this Guru was definitely higher than the Being that we imagine to be God.

Now, let me touch on another point. There are some unfortunate disciples who say, "God knows everything, but my Master does not know everything." By saying that the Guru does not know, if you are a disciple of that type, you are very comfortable. You say, "Oh, I can do all kinds of things because the Master will never know." But who is becoming the loser? The actual loser is you yourself. You are saying, "He does not know, he does not know." Why does the Master even have to know? Why does he have to know what you are doing with your outer life or mental life or vital life? Do whatever you want to, if you have to do it, but do not bring the Master into the picture.

Again, when you do good things you say to yourself, "How I wish the Master knew about it!" At that time, be wise. When you are doing something good, give the credit to the Master by saying, "I am sure the Master has acted in and through me." If you can give the Master or the Supreme the credit, you are doing absolutely the right thing. Just say, "I myself could not have done it. I myself could not have said it. He has acted in and through me. I am only an instrument." Sri Krishna taught us, "Nimitta matram bhava savyasachin" — "Become a mere instrument."

When you pray and meditate, if you pray to the Supreme, I will be the happiest person, believe me, because He is my Guru, He is your Guru. Take Him as the top of the tree and think of me as the foot of the tree. But if you separate me from that tree, you are making a mistake.

The way I have established my oneness with God, unfortunately you have not yet done it. You will also do the same thing, but until you have come to that realisation, always take us as one, take us as one, take us as one. I hope I am making it clear. Pray to the Supreme. I am also praying to the Supreme, but fortunately I have become inseparably one with Him. You will also become inseparably one with Him at God's own Hour, choice Hour. Until that time, try to keep the link, the oneness-link, between me and the Supreme.