Sri Chinmoy: Most of the sincere, dedicated disciples have already made such progress in the spiritual life that they have eliminated the need for quite a few incarnations. Dear disciples, first class disciples, have already made such progress that although it will take them many more incarnations to realise God, they will be realised much sooner than they would have otherwise been.
It depends on how fast you run. If you are a slow runner it will take you forty or fifty seconds to run one hundred metres. But a first-class runner will do it in eleven seconds because he has the capacity to run faster. If someone has the eagerness to learn from a coach or an instructor, naturally he will run the fastest. But if somebody does not practise or take instruction from the coach, then how will he run as fast as someone who does? So speed is of utmost importance. In the case of running a race, it is a matter of ten or twenty or thirty seconds. But in the case of the spiritual life, it is a matter of ten or twenty or forty or sixty incarnations. If you run the fastest when a spiritual Master enters into your life, at that time you have a golden opportunity. All spiritual Masters have said that when spiritual figures descend, it is like an oceanliner that can carry many people very fast. The individual seeker is like a ferry, a little tiny boat that may capsize at any moment.