Part III — Lack of progress

Question: What advice do you have for a seeker who feels that he is not making progress?

Sri Chinmoy: If the seeker has a Master, then he has to go to the Master, who is his spiritual doctor. If you are sick, you go to your own doctor. He knows you because he has treated you quite a few times. He knows all the symptoms of your sickness, and he knows you much better than other doctors do, for others have not treated you. So the best thing you can do at that time is to ask your own teacher.

If you don't have a teacher and you don't want a teacher, if you want to make progress all by yourself, I wish to say that your progress is bound to be very slow. It is not that if you pray to God all by yourself you will not realise Him; the first person on earth who realised God didn't have a human being as his Guru. But if he had had, he would have realised God much sooner. You may as well be wise. You are in need of inner wisdom and there is some-body who has it. There is nothing wrong in taking his help.

The real spiritual Master will never claim a monopoly on illumination. He always says that each seeker has a treasure deep inside him. The key to this treasure is inside his heart, but the key has unfortunately been lost. The Master shows the disciple where the key is hidden and how to unlock his inner treasure. Once he has the key, the seeker easily discovers the treasure inside himself. Whose treasure is it? It is the disciple's. The Master has no claim on it whatsoever. If I had something and I lost it, if somebody comes and tells me that he will be able to help me find it, if I am wise, I will immediately take his help. Once I have found it, I will claim it as my very own. And if I am divine, I will offer him my gratitude.

We have to learn the difference between a school teacher and a spiritual teacher. The school teacher gives marks. If you do well in your studies, he will pass you: If you don't do well, he will fail you. He will pass you or fail you according to your merit. But a spiritual teacher will not do that. He is like a private tutor. He will teach you carefully, lovingly, personally, so that you can pass the examination and leave the school of ignorance. He will not give you marks; he will just teach you with utmost concern so that you can pass your examination.

If you have a teacher, please go to your teacher. He is absolutely the right person to help you with your spiritual progress. If you do not have a teacher, then you should find one in whom you can have implicit faith. If you say you don't want to have one, then I advise you to mix with the disciples of some Masters. If you don't follow their path, no harm. You will get some help from them, although you will not get abundant help or infinite help. But if you want to make a little more progress, you can mix with sincere spiritual people, no matter which path they belong to. Their own aspiration will inspire you and kindle the flame of aspiration within you.