Question: You have about a thousand disciples. Does each soul report to you every day or every week?

Sri Chinmoy: Each soul does not necessarily report every day, but the soul can convey messages to me at any time. There are some disciples whom I consider to be very dear to me who have emanations of mine "assigned" to their souls. An emanation is my inner representative that is associated with a particular soul and has a free access to me. At any hour an emanation may bring me a message about what you are doing, although usually it comes to me early in the morning. Sometimes my mind may not receive or be aware of this message. In this case the emanation will try to solve the problem through the disciple's soul. That is, the emanation will bring the message to my soul and my soul will advise the soul directly because the person has accepted me as his Master. Then the disciple's soul will try to convince his mind to do something, and this will come to the mind as a revelation. The mind may not get the direct message from me outwardly and my mind may not know all the physical facts in a situation, such as the precise way in which something is going to happen. But if an emanation comes and tells me that this disciple has done something wrong or is having difficulty in something, and if it feels that my physical mind should know the situation, it will tell my inner beings to inform my physical mind.

Sometimes a disciple may tell me about a situation through letters. Some time ago you left a message for me about a domestic problem. When I received the note, even before I opened it, my inner being said to me that everything was already done. That is, the situation had been resolved in the way the Divine, the Supreme, wanted. My mind did not know the outer details until I read the note line by line.

When I become aware that a problem has been dealt with inwardly, then my mind may ask my soul what was done on the physical plane and what is going to happen now. Otherwise the soul may not necessarily give the message to the physical mind. In the ordinary human life, unless the mind is aware of something, we feel that we do not know about it. But although our physical mind may not know something, another part of our being may be aware of it.

The soul almost all the time asks the physical mind to enlarge itself. The physical mind may read newspapers and learn millions of things — that somebody was stabbed here, a scandal is taking place there. This information gives the physical mind temporary joy. But after an hour, like a garbage collector, the soul takes this away from the mind, since this information does not help us at all in the spiritual life. We are on earth, so we get pleasure by knowing what others are doing. But this does not feed the soul, expedite our manifestation or give us fulfilment.

A spiritual Master need not know or does not know what you are going to have for breakfast or what the President said to his wife yesterday. But he does know the central, most important thing, and that is whether the disciple's soul is climbing up or climbing down the tree, or whether he is stationed at one particular place, be it a very low or a very high place. What compels the soul to come down? It is the emotional vital or the doubting mind that is bringing the soul down. And what lifts up the soul? It is the inner cry, aspiration.

Some people ask me why I do not use occult power to discover outer information, but why should I use it in order to know what is going on in the outer plane? These powers can be used for very high purposes. If you have one dollar, that doesn't mean that you will spend it all on tea and coffee. If you have a dollar, then you will spend it on something worthwhile. Again, there is something which brings outer information even more quickly than occult power, and that is soul power. Inside your house, your being, the main inmate is the soul-bird. If I catch the bird and ask it what is happening, the bird will immediately tell me about its cage. Of course, the soul need not constantly tell the Master what is happening.

Some people may wonder why some close disciples seek my guidance in outer matters, for God has given us enough intelligence to know what to say to others. But sometimes we feel that intelligence does not help at all. We know what is to be said to our friends or to our enemies. Yet even by saying the right thing, often we do not get satisfactory results. But if we tell a spiritual Master about outer circumstances and he knows what we are going to say, immediately there will be additional force behind our words. That additional force does not mean that we will always win. The force will only be applied to you and it will come to you as additional help. Then when you talk to a person, the answer that you receive will not affect you. You may either be victorious or lose the battle, but due to the help the Master has given you, you will not be upset. This is the most important thing: the after-effect, the result of the incident, will not affect you. You will maintain peace. Similarly, I ask my disciples to tell me where they are going even if it is only on a vacation or some ordinary trip because many incidents may take place on such trips. And if they go to do something for our mission such as open a Centre, then there is more reason to keep me informed.

Some ask me why I have to know what a particular disciple is doing, in which place he is putting up posters or with whom he is talking. If the disciple keeps me informed, that he is going to do this or that, then I can put a tremendous force on him. This force enters into him, and even if everything goes wrong, even if there is no outer positive result, he will still feel some inner joy that he is doing his very best for the Supreme. If you know that I am aware of the matter on the outer plane, there is inner joy. That inner joy is itself progress. But if the disciple does not tell me something on the physical plane, my knowledge remains inner.

It is up to the seeker to inform the Master about something. If the seeker feels that the Master is involved, then no matter what the result is, he will be happy and cheerful. But the seeker may feel that he does not need the Master in a particular instance. He has intelligence, he has lawyers, he has everything he needs to face the situation. At that time the Master will not call you a fool. No, the Master will only say that if you can manage the situation yourself, then well and good. The capacity and the confidence you have in yourself, if it is real confidence, has come from above, from the Supreme. So the Master is very happy because there is no difference between his guidance and guidance from the Highest.