Question: Why do Avatars have to suffer so much?

Sri Chinmoy: The higher you go, the more you care for the world. The higher you go, the more you have to suffer, because you become one with God. On the one hand, God is beyond all suffering. On the other hand, God suffers infinitely more than His creation. When a child is sick, his mother's whole world collapses. But when the mother falls sick, the child goes and plays football. The mother will give up everything because her child is sick. But if the mother has the same sickness, what can the child do? When a child cries, his mother wants to take it on herself. But when the mother has a stomach upset or headache, the child will feel bad for one minute, and then he will go out to play.

Avatars have to prove that they love God the creation. When we realise God, first we realise God the Creator. Then inside God the Creator, we see God the creation. First we go up, and then we see that up includes all around. At that time we become one with both God the Creator and the creation. Now if the Creator does not care for the creation, who will care? The higher one goes, the more one identifies with God the Creator, the more responsibility one has to take.

Some spiritual Masters want to remain only on the top of the tree. There they are ready with the most delicious fruit. They say, "You come. I am ready for you. I have the fruits." This is the Father aspect of God. The Father aspect is very strict. The Father aspect says, "You have to learn how to climb up the tree. Then only will I give you the fruits." But the Mother aspect is not like that. Even if the child is strong, even if he knows how to climb, the Mother will come down and give the fruits to the child.

The Father aspect is like the entire cow, while the Mother aspect is like the udder, where the milk comes. The Mother will immediately bring the child and say, "This is the place where you will get the milk." The Father aspect will say, "You have to search for the place where the milk is." Then you will go and look at the foot, at the ear or at the head. You will find that there is no milk there. When an Avatar takes the aspect of God the Mother, that is the time when everything falls on his back. But when he takes the aspect of God the Father, he says to the seekers, "Take your own time."

On the one hand, the Mother aspect is slow and steady. The Mother aspect says, "Oh, my child is so weak. Let him take his time." The Father aspect will say, "No. Be strict, be strict, be strict." But the Mother has another aspect, which embodies intensity, intimacy and affection. The Mother wants the child to crawl, to march, to run as soon as possible.

Why do the Avatars have to suffer so much? Because God loves the Avatars. Whoever is loved by someone immediately gets responsibility, whether willingly or unwillingly, whether consciously or unconsciously. Immediately the Avatars feel, "We are responsible." Ordinary people will say, "No, we are not responsible." Again, God does not make anybody indispensable. It is one thing to be responsible and another thing to be indispensable. You may be responsible for doing something. But if you do not do it, do not think you are indispensable.

If someone declares himself to be a spiritual Master and if God also declares in and through certain human beings that that person is a spiritual Master, then that person has to play his role. How can one be a spiritual Master if one does not carry the burden of the world? Whose wisdom, whose oneness with God is more genuine or more established than a spiritual Master's? The higher we go, the more responsibility we have to take. Then, when we take more responsibility, God says, "Do not think that you are indispensable." Sometimes when a spiritual Master takes responsibility, he may feel that he is indispensable, since he is taking care of thousands of disciples. If anyone feels that he is indispensable, God laughs.

Before the Christ, the world existed. Before Sri Krishna, the world existed. Before anybody, the world existed. But when a spiritual Master takes responsibility happily and cheerfully, God says, "You are one with Me. I am carrying a heavy burden. Now you carry as much of that burden as you can." But the moment responsibility becomes proud or haughty — "I am responsible and I am proud that I am responsible" — then comes, "I am indispensable." God can work only in and through individuals who always think that they are not indispensable. They make the fastest progress.

The boss in a factory feels he is indispensable. The boss in a bank feels he is indispensable. The boss in a supermarket feels he is indispensable. But let any of them die today. Then somebody else will come to take his place. Spiritual people, if they are conscious, take responsibility as a blessing. They say, "Because I can take care of hundreds of people, God will be so pleased. He will ask me to take care of 2,000 people, then 5,000 people. He will ask me to take care of the whole world." In that way, taking responsibility is very good. But when we have the feeling of pride — without me, the bank will not function, the factory will not function or the office will not function — then it will be our spiritual downfall. Spiritual Masters take responsibility, but then they are very, very careful. They must not say, "Because I exist, my centre or my mission exists." That is a joke. God laughs.

The higher we go, the more we have to suffer, but again the more joy we feel. Perhaps God has given me the capacity to be of service to 4,000 or 5,000 people. The more I can serve, the more I can get joy.

To come back to your question, a spiritual Master's suffering is absolutely real. But again, in my case, when I suffer, I see that I have taken the suffering in the right way. When I see that my Supreme is very happy because I have taken my suffering with the right attitude, then I get boundless joy.