Question: I'm going back to Venezuela soon. How can a disciple feel from a distance the same force or magnetism that he feels when he is meditating with you?

Sri Chinmoy: The Master cannot be physically with his disciples twenty-four hours a day; it is impossible. The Master has many disciples and also many things to do. Again, a disciple may actually stay with the Master twenty-four hours a day, but he may not receive anything from him. Ramakrishna's nephew served Ramakrishna for many, many years, but he got practically nothing from Ramakrishna. He did quite a few wrong things and even tried to steal from Ramakrishna, and he was finally turned away. Again, look at Vivekananda. He did not stay with Ramakrishna twenty-four hours a day; far from it. He used to come to Ramakrishna once in two or three months, and then he did not stay for many days at a time.

So it is not the physical proximity that counts most; it is the inner awareness of one's relationship with the Master. Where is the Master? Is he in New York or is he inside the disciple's heart? The disciple has to feel that the Master is something very sacred and spontaneous in his life. He has to feel that just as he cannot exist without his heartbeat, even so he cannot exist without the Master. If he feels these things, and if he feels the necessity of pleasing the Master in everything he does, then only is his relationship with the Master secure and complete.

When you go back to Venezuela, you have to feel that you are carrying me inside your heart, not that you have left me in New York. You have to feel that my real existence is not in only one part of the world. No, you have to feel that my inner existence is everywhere. My outer existence, my physical body, which is five feet eight inches tall, can stay at only one place, but my inner existence can travel to many places. You have to feel the necessity of an inner relationship, an inner connection with my heart and soul. Then only will you be able to make the utmost progress.

Again, if a true, sincere disciple has already established his inner connection with the Master, if he has established a totally intimate and most surrendering and surrendered relationship, and if he stays near the Master, then naturally he will be able to get more benefit. His inner life is already one with the Master and now his outer life is crying to become one with the inner. So naturally he will get a double push and progress infinitely faster.

But very often we see that familiarity breeds contempt. When you speak to the Master and stay around him, cutting jokes and all that, immediately you will say, "He is also like us." But actually the Master is not like an ordinary seeker. In the outer world he may also eat the same food, walk and talk and do everything as you do. But he also can do quite a few things in the inner world which you cannot do. That is why his inner existence has to be approached and adored before his outer existence, and not vice versa. If you have pleased the Master inwardly, then rest assured it is only a matter of a short time before you can please the Master in the outer life as well.

In the outer life, if the Master says: "I would like some stamps," immediately you go to the Post Office and bring back some stamps. Or if he says, "I want to go to a nice place," immediately you will take him. But this kind of connection will not help you considerably in your progress if the inner connection is not complete. If the inner connection is complete, and if I say: "Please take me to the beach," then if a good disciple takes me, he makes me happy. But if he had not already made the inner connection with me, then what happens? Outwardly I want to go to the beach, let us say, and he takes me. So these two hours of our connection may give peace, or harmony or some kind of mutual joy or gratification. Again, at the end of two hours, all vanishes. But in the inner world, when somebody meditates and thinks of me for five minutes and when he offers his life breath and says, "Guru, I am giving this to you," then this lasts forever. This one breath which is offered to your Guru can breathe again and again for you in the outer world. At that time you have fulfilled me and I have fulfilled you.