Part V

SCA 285-295. Questions asked in Maui on 25-26 January 1995.

Question: Is the spiritual life easier or less strict today than it was in ancient days?

Sri Chinmoy: In ancient times, spiritual Masters used to test and examine their disciples in such severe ways. Matsyendranath, for example, demanded that Gorakshanath pluck out his eye, and immediately he obeyed. That is why Gorakshanath became what he was and had such great occult power. In those days, just to become a disciple of a Master, the seeker had to go through such an ordeal! The initiation process was so difficult. When I initiate a disciple, I only offer light to the disciple's soul, and then it is up to the vital and the mind to accept the light from the soul. Again, if that person decides not to become my disciple but wants to go somewhere else for different blessings, no harm! We are all one family.

Today everything is cheap — as cheap as water. Again, water is life. If we do not have water, we die. But in terms of strictness, there is no comparison between the spiritual life two hundred or four hundred or seven hundred years ago and twentieth century spirituality! In many, many ways we have made the spiritual life simpler and easier. We cannot say that God-realisation has become like instant coffee; that we will never dare to say. But we have made it very, very easy. Because of the kinds of world problems, sufferings, imperfections and weaknesses found in the twentieth century, God uses His Compassion aspect infinitely more than His Justice aspect.