Question: Here in our meditation group we have a Hindu, we have several who are Roman Catholics, some who practise Zen, and others. What we do is sit in silence. I think that energises us in the morning. We sit Monday and Wednesday early in the morning before we go to work. But we have not been able to get the word out. I don't know how else to put it. It is difficult to spread the word, and everybody has such a busy schedule, but it would be really nice if more people joined us.Sri Chinmoy: I am so glad that in your group all the religions are mixed. They are all one, but they are different branches of the life-tree. There are so many branches of the life-tree. And again, we develop our good qualities by uniting with others.
About thirty-four years ago I went to a chapel in Puerto Rico. The nuns saw me. They knew that I was a Hindu, and I was not dressed properly, the way they expected me to be dressed. They were furious! The Mother Superior scolded me and insulted me like anything, because I was not a Christian. But then she forgave me because with folded hands I was looking at the Saviour.
Again, about twenty years later, what happened? In Switzerland a Mother Superior invited me to meditate with so many nuns! In front of them I meditated, and then she and the nuns asked me many questions on Christianity and on the Christ. They were following his path, but I was the one they asked. And I must say, they were not asking me questions to examine me, to see whether I had studied the Bible or had personal experiences of the Saviour. With utmost sincerity they were asking me questions. They showed me such love and reverence. So, at one place the Mother Superior “blessed” me, and at another place the nuns had the inner hunger and felt that this fellow knew something. For about two hours I was there with them.
Mahatma Gandhi is known as the father of the Indian nation. Like that, in Ireland it was de Valera. When I met him, he was in the evening of his life and I was about forty years old. How he approached me with folded hands, as soon as he saw me! With folded hands he asked me questions about the Saviour Christ and the Bible, one after another. A volley of questions he asked me, not in the spirit of judging me, no! He had the utmost sincere hunger, and he wanted to know if I could be of any help. He was at that time eighty years old.
Some people see something in me, and some people do not see anything in me. If they see something in me, I am definitely, wholeheartedly going to be of service to them. And if they do not see anything in me, then they have to find somebody else if they have the inner hunger. They must feed their hunger. If I am hungry and one restaurant does not satisfy me, I can go to another restaurant. I shall go to quite a few places, if necessary, to feed and satisfy my hunger.
To come back to your question, please, you have to see if you feel that you can lead the seekers and guide them. There should always be a leader. If there is no leader, nothing grows. The leader has to supply the seekers with light, delight, energy, peace and the message of the higher worlds and the inner worlds. Otherwise, forgive me to say, if the leader is simply one of the group, it will not work out. Here we are all democrats; we are all equal. That is true, but a leader’s consciousness has to be higher and deeper so that he can be of service to those who come to the group. In a class there is a teacher. If everyone is a student and each one starts teaching the rest of the group, then it will be total chaos. Somebody has to know more. Somebody has to have more inner wisdom and inner light to be of service to the seekers.
I am not criticising you, but if you have a group, then there should be someone who has the capacity to lead them, guide them, inspire them. Otherwise, when they see that there is no real leader, it may not grow. Either they have to have faith in you, or they have to have faith in someone else. In order to play the role of a leader, somebody has to be more developed spiritually. Otherwise people who are thirsty and hungry will come, and then, if they ask a question, you may say, “Read the Bible, everything is there.” Then they will say, “I am reading the Bible, but I am not getting an adequate answer, so that is why I have come to you.” Then what will you do? How will you satisfy them, or how will they satisfy you?
This is no personal criticism; please do not misunderstand me. It is only that the leader has to be more advanced; otherwise there will be chaos. Nobody is going to listen; they will contradict each other and they will say, “What do you know?” But somebody who is an authority, somebody who knows something about spirituality, will say, “Either follow my way, or follow some other way. There are other ways that you can follow, but you have to follow one particular road.” All roads lead to Rome, but you have to follow one road. You cannot change your path every day. Then you will be nowhere! For you there will be no goal. Today if you follow this Master, tomorrow that Master and the day after tomorrow a third one, then there will be no goal for you.