Question: Percentagewise, how much of your suffering is due to the world and how much is due to the disciples?

Sri Chinmoy: There is no percentage. The world is very vast, true. But our little family cannot be separated from the big family. When one member of a family does something wrong, every member is affected.

Again, what kind of realisation do I have if I cannot identify myself with you? If I have realised God the Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent, and if you are God’s creation, how will I dare to say, “Your life is your life. My life is my life.” Spiritual Masters can never say that. Ordinary people can say, “Mind your own business.” But I can never say that. I can only say, “We are one.”

‘Mind your own business’ does not apply to spiritual Masters. As we cannot separate ourselves from the best disciple, we cannot separate ourselves from the lower than the lowest disciple who is undivine to the extreme. Why did Jesus Christ suffer? What kind of evil did he do? He did nothing. When a spiritual Master of his calibre takes human incarnation, his suffering starts. When you identify yourself with others, your suffering increases.

But then, the reward is the Supreme’s Smile. If the Supreme sees that I am identified with you, with him, with her, with everyone’s suffering, then He gives me a Smile, because I am doing His work. The higher you go, the more suffering you have to take. Again, in the inner world there is something called delight and ecstasy. At that time, pain is not pain. Many times I cannot move because I have such pain but, whether you believe it or not, I take it as an experience that my Supreme is having in and through me. Each step I am taking is agonising, but in the very depths of my heart, there is one part of me that is so happy. If this is the pain that He wants to have me go through, then I am more than happy to accept it.

There is not a single spiritual Master to my knowledge who has not suffered on the physical plane. But I will never say that their suffering is sacrifice, far from it. It is all oneness, oneness, oneness. A few days ago I told a story about Mother Mary. She said that her son’s sacrifice was not in the crucifixion. No. Her son’s death was not his sacrifice. Her son’s birth was his sacrifice. In the case of other spiritual Masters also, some people may say that after realising God, their life itself is a supreme sacrifice, not their death. But the real spiritual Masters themselves will say, “Where is sacrifice? It is all oneness, oneness, oneness. If my leg does something for my head, it is not a sacrifice. We are only helping one another.”