Question: Is there any particular quality by which people would know that we are your disciples, from your point of view?Sri Chinmoy: There is only one way. If each disciple increases his or her love for the Master, then one day all the disciples will see the Master in one another. Now, as soon as you get angry with someone, you do not see me inside the other disciple. You see all the hostile forces in that person. As soon as you are angry with someone, do you see me there? No, you see all the hostile forces inside that person. The disciples should try to see inside others the living presence of the Master.
Sri Ramakrishna's disciple Brahmananda, who was known as Rakhal, was so high in terms of spirituality. He had very, very high experiences. He was quite stout, and Sri Ramakrishna was so thin. But sometimes when Brahmananda was walking in a very high consciousness, not looking at anybody, other disciples used to see him as Sri Ramakrishna. He was in such a high consciousness. They used to adore him and worship him, because they did not see Rakhal as Rakhal at that time. While Brahmananda walked, the disciples used to see that Sri Ramakrishna was walking.
When I wrote my comments on the Bhagavad-Gita, I wrote them in English every Wednesday and then we used to send them to Sudha in Puerto Rico. She would translate them into Spanish. There would be twenty, thirty, sometimes forty disciples at the Puerto Rico Centre when she read out my comments, and my face they used to see on her feminine face. Everybody saw it! I received so many letters from the disciples saying that they used to see my face on her face. She identified herself with me so closely that her own face was no longer there. When the meeting was over, again the disciples saw her as Sudha. It happened so many times! Not only one disciple, but everybody saw my face, believe it or not.
If one goes high, very high, others can not only see the Master inside that person, but they can see the person as the living Master. In my case it happened when I was nineteen or twenty years old. That story I have told you. In the burning Pondicherry heat, at one o'clock in the afternoon, while walking barefoot, I was singing. They were songs that I knew, but all the notes I was deliberately singing incorrectly. I was singing absolutely at the top of my voice! An old lady who was like my second mother saw me. I was acting like a real vagabond, but she saw inside me the living Presence of God. She had never before seen the Presence of God. She came to my sister's place and said, "Your brother was singing so horribly, and in such a peculiar way he was moving around! But I saw the living Presence of God inside him."
One fellow in the ashram would not drink a glass of water without criticising me. We used to work together in the electrical department. People appreciated my poems, but that was too much for him, so he would criticise me. If my absolutely dearest admirer was nearby, nobody could say one word against me. If somebody said my poems were useless, and my admirer had a book in his hand, he would throw it at that fellow. This particular disciple always used to make fun of my admirer by criticising me mercilessly. Whenever people appreciated my poetry, he would say, "Chinmoy's poems? He is useless! Americans are such fools! Here in India will he get one disciple?" It went on like that for years.
One day my mentor, my dearest friend, showed my Transcendental Picture to my critic while they were walking in the street. As soon as he saw the picture, he was stunned. He put it to his forehead and said, "Oh my God! Here is God, here is God!" He was sincerely appreciating the photograph and seeing God. The next moment he returned the picture to my dearest friend, and again he started saying that I was useless! At least for one minute he saw God.
This moment he saw God in my Transcendental Photograph. Then, when he returned my Transcendental Photograph, he again started his usual business.
How many people can see God inside my Transcendental Photograph? Have you all seen Him, or are you waiting to see Him? This fellow said very sincerely that he saw God. At that time he was not cutting jokes.
During one of my visits to the ashram, this critic begged me to show him my palm. I said, "Why do you have to see it? You know everything — say anything you like! You have developed so much occult power. Do I have to show you my palm? Just say anything that you know- — I am ready to hear it. You do not need to read my palm."
Some of Sri Ramakrishna's disciples were really, really close, and again, there were others who suffered from undivine qualities. Swami Vivekananda got so much attention, but sometimes he did not listen to his Master. Yet Sri Ramakrishna would always say that if his disciples spoke ill of Swami Vivekananda, or even heard people speak ill of him, Sri Ramakrishna would be furious.