Question: Is it always best for your disciples to try to see you for many hours a day on the physical plane?

Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the disciple. Sometimes when a disciple can see his Master for hours and hours a day on the physical plane, the disciple forgets who the Master is on the spiritual plane. The problem is that the disciples sometimes create in their own mind a picture of what divinity is supposed to look like. Then when they see their Master suffering or doing various things on the human plane, they cannot feel the divinity in their Master. When they see their Master acting like an ordinary human being, sometimes it is difficult for them to have faith in their Master. They do not realise that if someone is drowning, the Master has to get into the water to save that person. If the Master just remained on shore, if he just remained in the highest plane of light and delight, then he would not be able to help human beings. That is why a spiritual Master must sometimes act like an ordinary human being.

Again, if the disciples who are physically close to the Master use the opportunity properly, they will feel that they are extremely lucky. If they can keep in mind their Master’s divine aspect even while they mix with the Master on the human plane, then they are in a position to go very high and very deep. They will see that their Master can suffer from a cold or fever like an ordinary human being. In spite of these things, he has been able to realise God. These disciples will then feel that they also can realise God. They will say, “He is just like us. If he can realise God, what is wrong with us?”

Some disciples are able to see their Master only a few times a year for perhaps four or five seconds. At other times these disciples do not know what their Master is doing, but they always feel he is in trance. Perhaps their Master is only chatting or reading the newspaper at that particular moment, but because they feel he is in his highest meditation, immediately their love and devotion increase.

Because my disciples can see me on the physical plane for hours and hours, it is difficult for them to maintain their deepest faith in me and their highest love for me. Disciples who are thousands of miles away can feel, “Oh, I am sure the Master is meditating now.” But those who see me on the physical plane will say, for example, “Oh, I see that the Master is only playing tennis.” You have no idea what I am doing on the inner plane while I am playing tennis. Whether I am striking the ball or missing the ball, I am still in touch with my Highest. Again, tennis has a special inner significance; it is a game of love and serve. In the spiritual life, if we can love and serve God prayerfully and devotedly, we will receive so much from Him.

Try to see the divine aspect inside your Master as often as possible. Then no matter where you are, whether you are in front of your Master or a thousand miles away, you will be able to breathe in the divine breath that the Supreme, out of His infinite Bounty, has given to your Master.