Sita: Some people are saying that Sita is like the 'bad guy' in the play. I am uncertain how to portray the moment when she orders Lakshmana to go and look for Rama. I want to be angry with Lakshmana, but perhaps Sita was more afraid and lost because Rama was gone.

Sri Chinmoy: Let me answer this by telling you a story. Once upon a time, the British ruled India. One evening, a great patriot by the name of Vidyasagar went to a theatre performance. The play was about the actions of the British. You may know by now that the British used to torture the Indians mercilessly. One particular captain was notorious. He instigated others to torture the poor Indians because the Indians were fighting for the freedom of their Motherland. Ruthlessly the British soldiers used to kick and punish the Indians.

Anyway, when it came to a certain point in the play where this captain was behaving most cruelly, the great scholar got furious. He stood up, took off his sandals and threw them at the actor. Immediately the actor picked up Vidyasagar’s sandals and put them on his head and heart saying, “Today I have reached the height of perfection in my performance. I am an Indian, but I am playing the role of a British captain. I have to become fully identified with his brutality.”

So you have to know what part you are playing. My whole Rama play is about the human and the divine. Some individuals are all divine, but in some characters you have to play the human role. Each time a spiritual Avatar descends, he comes with a new message. In Rama’s case, he was identified with society. There was no competition between his reality and society. The main qualities that he manifested in his life were promise, obedience and sacrifice. These are called human morality.

The important thing is not to judge spiritual Masters. If you judge them, you will be totally confused and your aspiration will descend. They are far, far beyond our human judgement. When Rama and Sita returned from Lanka, Rama had to ask his wife to leave him. In Krishna’s case, he asked Arjuna to kill his own relatives. If you use your moral judgement, you will disapprove of the actions of Rama and Krishna most vehemently.

But if an Avatar does not play the human role, who is going to follow him? One moment he has to play the role of an absolutely helpless human being. The next moment he has to be in his highest consciousness. Look at the Saviour Christ. When he was on the cross, he called out, “Father, why have You forsaken me?” At that moment, he was acting like a human being. Then, the next moment, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Before his disciples came to him, Sri Ramakrishna used to go up on the roof and call out, “Where are my disciples? Where are my children?” He would cry most pitifully. He was inseparably one with Mother Kali, but at the same time he was crying helplessly for his disciples to come.

When a spiritual Master is in his highest consciousness, he can go beyond and beyond. He is ever-transcending. But when he identifies with the human level, then there seems to be so much contradiction. The same Supreme asks the spiritual Master to be kicked by human ignorance.

You know the famous story about the scorpion. A scorpion has fallen into the water. A spiritual Master shows compassion to the scorpion and puts out his hand to help it back to the water’s edge. Then, naturally, the scorpion stings him. How ungrateful the scorpion is! When it is suffering and dying, the Master lifts it up, and immediately it stings him. Then, the scorpion falls back into the water. Again it is dying and again the Master tries to help it. Why does the spiritual Master do it? The very nature of the scorpion is to sting, but the spiritual Master is determined to help it. He thinks that one day he will be able to transform its nature.

When you hold the tail of a dog, it is straight. But as soon as you release it, it becomes coiled again. Human nature is exactly the same; it is coiled. Spiritual Masters try to bring the Divine into human nature in the hope that again it will become straight.

The role of Sita has to be played as a blend of the human and the divine. In an absolutely human way she scolded and insulted Lakshmana. Sita was showing the human aspect at that moment. In other scenes, when she says such high, sublime things about Rama, at that time you can bring forward her divine aspect. But at that particular point, if Sita speaks to Lakshmana with utmost compassion, then the human aspect will not be there. So you are doing the right thing by showing anger.

Rama also has to show his human aspect. If he does not show the human aspect, then why did he take human incarnation? He became one with humanity with the hope that he would be able to transform humanity. Why does he have to justify his actions to humanity when he is obeying the Supreme? Humanity is millions and millions of miles below him. Spiritual Masters must not be judged by human standards. They are obeying direct Commands from God Himself. Look at the way Lakshmana obeys his elders: he obeys his brother and he obeys Sita because he has taken Sita as his mother. Even when Sita insults him, he obeys her.

When obedience is needed, you have to show obedience. When promise is needed, you have to show promise. When sacrifice is needed, you have to show sacrifice. What more can Rama sacrifice than his wife, his dearer than the dearest wife? These three things — promise, sacrifice and obedience — are either on the human level or on the divine level, but everything is coming from the Highest.

You cannot say that at the foot of the tree what Rama is doing is wrong, while in the middle of the tree he is perhaps a little wrong and a little right, and at the top of the tree he is only right. No. At the top of the tree the Highest will express itself in one way. In the middle of the tree it will express itself in another way, and at the foot of the tree it is bound to express itself in a different way. If Rama is only right at the top of the tree, then how can there be a tree? If there is no foot of the tree, no trunk, only the topmost branches, what kind of tree is it? The life-tree is not like that. Again, on the life-tree there are so many flowers, leaves and fruits — each one has to play its individual role.

So, according to the receptivity of humanity, the spiritual Master has to fulfil his message of promise and obedience. At every level, God is not bound. Otherwise you will have a fixed God. From your imagination you create an image of God. Imagination is reality, true, but you cannot bind the highest Supreme with your imagination. On the one hand, He is formless. On the other hand, He is with form. When He is with form, He takes millions of forms, countless forms. Perhaps you can see only one form and that form is fixed. Then if you see something else, you may say, “It cannot be God.”

At home, a human father may wear shorts all the time. Then, when he goes to the office, he may wear a nice suit. You may not recognise him in his office clothes. You may say that he is your father only when he is wearing shorts. So God is also like that. He has millions of forms.

My Rama play is about obedience, sacrifice and promise. From these three qualities you have to understand the whole play. We cannot judge the great spiritual Masters like Sri Ramachandra and Sri Krishna. We want to see them with our human eyes, feel them with our human hearts. That is impossible.

Let us say you want to judge the operation performed by a great doctor. If you are a nurse, you may know a little, but again there will be a yawning gulf between your knowledge and that of the doctor. The knowledge that the nurse has is just a drop, whereas a doctor’s knowledge is like an ocean. How can a drop judge the ocean? Similarly, the spiritual Doctor, God, can cure us in millions of ways if He wants to. And if He wants to have an experience in and through us, how are we going to judge Him?

The higher you go, the clearer becomes the message of surrender, promise and obedience. On each level, surrender takes a different form, promise takes a different form, obedience takes a different form.