Question: It seems as though seekers of the hoary past were more advanced than seekers today. Is that true?

Sri Chinmoy: How can we know what happened thousands of years ago? As soon as we think of the past, we feel that people were all saints, whereas we are all sinners. We are all sinners — all, all, all! Sometimes we think that disciples of the past were better than we are. Then, when we read their biographies, we see how much jealousy, how much insecurity they had! If the biographers also were disciples, they perhaps tried to appreciate their fellow disciples as much as they could. But we may see how many weaknesses some of them had.

One of the direct disciples of Sri Ramakrishna was very outspoken. Swami Vivekananda himself was outspoken! That is why he liked this disciple very much. Some others could not appreciate his nature, but Swami Vivekananda liked him. When Swami Vivekananda became very famous in America, he chose this disciple to propagate his message in the West. He chose this one, and not others who were extremely devoted to him.