Question: What special message can be learned when disciples work for you for many hours without sleeping?

Sri Chinmoy: The moment the disciples do something for me soulfully and devotedly, I give them far beyond their imagination. Just the other night they worked for me all night, and for that I showed them such gratitude. Plus, during our Thursday night meditation, I gave them in a fleeting minute what it would have taken them ten months of rigorous prayer and meditation to achieve. Even in ten months, not a single disciple, I tell you, could have got the thing that I gave them in a minute. If they had meditated sincerely, devotedly and one-pointedly for a minimum of ten months, they would have got a certain amount of Light from their prayer and meditation, or from the cosmic gods or, let us say, from God. But that Light, I wish to say, I gave them in one fleeting minute. And this is not a lie, because I have it. I have Peace, Light and Bliss in infinite measure. Or if you want, you can say that I have an iota more than you people. So, just because I have a few more dollars than you have, I can give this wealth to any disciple who has pleased me.

The other day I was giving an interview to X. He is a very rich man. I said if I worked regularly at his place for six months, he would give me a salary. Two hundred or four hundred dollars, let us say, he would give me every month. But if he has the money, he can take six months' salary and give it to me right now. Because he has the money, he does not have to worry; he does not need my six months' regular service. So the person who is the possessor of any power — material power or Light, let us say — if he is pleased with certain individuals, then he can give those persons something that is far beyond their imagination.

The Light that I brought down, I was literally injecting into the disciples. It was far beyond their capacity to receive. Some people were not receptive, even, so I had to force myself inside them. If it had been some other time that they were not receiving, I would have said, "Well and good. I brought it and if they don't receive it, it is too bad." But when I am flooded with compassion, then I say, "All right, they have worked for me but at this moment they are not in a high consciousness, a divine consciousness. What am I going to do?" Out of my overflowing compassion and blessingful gratitude, I enter into them and give them Light. So when people say that they have done something for me, I wish to say that I have done infinitely more for them.

When a child finds a penny on the street and offers it to the father, the father is so pleased that he immediately gives the child a dollar. The father knows that the child could have used this penny to buy a piece of candy. But because the child gave the penny to the father, the father gives the child much more in return. For a child, the penny that he offers to his father is everything he possesses; it is his entire wealth. But when a grown-up gives one day of his earthly existence to some cause, he is not giving proportionately as much wealth as the child. A child's whole treasure is one cent, whereas the adult's capacity is much more than that. You people have worked for me for twenty-four hours. If I had requested, you could have worked perhaps another twenty-four hours. That is easily within your capacity. But ask the child to bring another penny and he will be totally lost. He won't be able to do it because the one penny was the only thing he had.

Once in a blue moon a disciple may spend quite a few hours doing selfless service or working for me. But no disciple of mine will say that he or she has worked for me for many, many hours for several days or even a week. Who will say he has worked for me fifteen hours a day for one week? I want to see the face of that brilliant child and I will expedite his God-realisation overnight. I don't have that kind of fortunate disciple. One day someone will work and then he will make up for it. He will sleep during the day or sleep during his meditation the following day.

I will never ask any disciple to do anything for me unless I have already given him the capacity. And it is not I, but the Supreme in me, who has given him the capacity. I will never ask a three-year-old boy to carry a heavy load on his shoulders, no. I will ask only those in whom I have perfect confidence. I always make a selection. I have over three hundred disciples in the New York area. Out of three hundred disciples, why do I select so and so to do something for me? I make a selection because I have perfect faith that this particular person will do the job satisfactorily. And when he does it satisfactorily, I must say he does it on the strength of the love, concern and unmistakable confidence that I already have in his capacity.

Those who work for me know that they are only working for their own expanded reality. When I work for the disciples, I don't feel that I am working for a third person. Only I feel that I am working for a reality which is constantly expanding, expanding. You are a reality and I am a reality, but by expanding my own reality as such, I become one with you. So first you and I become one. Then, when a third person comes, we try to expand again. In this way, when somebody works for me, he works only for his own expansion.

It is a great honour, a great blessing, when the Master asks a particular disciple to do work for him. First of all, this disciple has been chosen out of all the hundreds of disciples to work for the Master. So chosen people should feel that they are really fortunate. And then, when they do the work satisfactorily, they please someone who can do something really divine and immortal for them, and that is the Supreme in me. So, when you want to know the gain or loss in this game, I wish to say that for the disciples the gain is enormous. At the same time, I am not the loser — not in any way. I have repeatedly said that my achievement is your achievement. Last Sunday I wrote 360 poems. But I repeatedly told the disciples that it was their inspiration, their aspiration, that worked hand in hand with my inspiration and my aspiration. It was their inspiration and aspiration that enabled me to write 360 poems in one day. To be very frank, it is not correct for me to say that I wrote them. You all wrote them in and through me. But if we go deep within, we will again say that this is wrong. I did not write. You people did not write. Who wrote? It was the Supreme in us. He is the inspiration, He is the Creator, He is the creation. He inspired us and, again, He became the flowering of His own inspiration, which was creation.