Question: Since you have been in the West, what has pleased you most about the disciples and what has pleased you least?

Sri Chinmoy: The oneness-heart of the disciples — without any exception — has pleased me most, and the division-mind of the disciples has displeased me ruthlessly.

Oneness has to come not from thought or from the mind, and not even from the breath; oneness has to come from the imagination. We have to imagine that God at every moment is playing a Game, entering into us and going out of us. Let us take our body as a room. We must imagine that God, the most beautiful One, the most powerful One, is entering this room and playing His Cosmic Game in and through our physical existence. If we can have that feeling, then God will be most pleased with us.

A few things more I also wish to say. I have a heart, and my heart feels how many times you people do not take me seriously when I talk about the soul. For one day someone will value what I say about the soul: "Oh, Guru is telling me that my soul is pleased or displeased with me." But even those who believe my utterances about the soul do not want to feel the presence of the soul or see the reality of the soul. And there are many occasions when these same disciples will even deny the existence of the soul.

For me, the soul is the most important reality. I have said that the soul can be not only felt but also seen, exactly the way I see you. If you cannot have faith in the reality of your soul, then how can you have faith in God? To realise God is infinitely more difficult than to come in contact with the soul. The soul is like a guide that takes us slowly, steadily and unerringly, according to our own speed, to the destination. If you do not believe in the guide, then how are you going to arrive at the destination, which is God?

When you die at the age of 70, 80 or 90, you clearly will see that your soul is your permanent, eternal reality. But in order to make real progress, you have to see and feel this now, while you are on earth. People who not only believe in the existence of the soul but also want to feel their soul's presence and see their soul's reality are pleasing me most. Again, people who are not paying any attention to their soul or who are not paying any attention to my utterances in regard to the soul are displeasing me tremendously.

I have so many Centres. On a daily basis I am getting messages from them, and I get the vibration about what is happening there. When I get a general vibration, I do not have to ask about each individual. When you boil rice and want to see if it is fully cooked, you just take a few grains and immediately you know if the rest of the rice is ready to be eaten. Similarly, I immediately get from one or two powerful souls in a Centre the correct feeling about whether others in the Centre are aspiring or not.

In this life I have thousands of disciples and many admirers, friends, acquaintances and so forth. On the physical plane, I am dealing with a few thousand people. But when I am in the inner world, the higher world, I am dealing with thousands and thousands of souls. Most of the disciples think that in the soul's world I am dealing only with a few people like Agni and ten or twenty other disciples who have died over the years. This is a most deplorable mistake. In the inner world I am in touch with absolutely countless souls.

People who have accepted me and are close to me in this world, I shall be responsible for in the other world after they die, according to their acceptance and according to their closeness. Some people who are not pleasing me in this world think that once they go to the other world, they will all at once be close, closer, closest. But it is not like that. You people are not preparing yourselves. I am not thinking of your death — never, never! But when I am in another existence, most of you will have to come back and go through life and death again and again, whereas my Beloved Supreme has promised that this will be my last incarnation. So if you want to have a strong connection with me in future incarnations, you have to be close to me and please me now.

What will happen to people who do not think of the higher regions but think only of their earthly life and material needs? What will they have? If they do not have the aspiration to go to the higher worlds, then desire life will bind them. The more I am seeing that you people are thinking only of the material world and not of the inner world, the more I am disheartened. Each of you can imagine during your meditation that there is another world where you will one day have to go, either willingly or unwillingly. If you want to work for me and serve me when you go to that world, then do not spend all your time thinking of the material world now.

There are infinitely more things displeasing me on earth than things that are pleasing me. This is true whether I look at the disciples individually or collectively. Happiness comes only when I see that somebody has not given up. If somebody is still struggling to become a better person, a better seeker, a better disciple, then I am so happy. Many, many have given up. They are staying in the boat sleeping and snoring, but they have given up; they feel that it is a hopeless case. When it is a matter of progressing, going forward, diving deeper, jumping further and flying higher, they are not doing it.

I want my disciples not to give up. He who has not given up, she who has not given up — these are the ones who are pleasing me. People who have given up and are saying that theirs is a hopeless case already have become useless. But people who are still struggling to become good disciples, better disciples, best disciples are definitely pleasing me. I myself have not given up on them, but I have more faith in some than in others.

Again as I said before, the ultimate faith, the highest faith, the supreme faith I have in each and every human being because I clearly see each and every one as the real God. Sri Ramakrishna used to say that he saw Vivekananda as God Himself. Sometimes when I meditate on you, my disciples, in my own highest divine consciousness, I definitely see you as my Lord Beloved Supreme. I do not see you as human beings with human imperfections. No, at that time your outer bodies disappear and your souls I see as the most perfect representatives of our Lord Beloved Supreme. That is the time when I get the utmost happiness. I swim in the sea of ecstasy.