Mrs. Irina Malikova: Mine is not a question. I just wanted to thank you for everything you have done. I had a very nice experience with my surgery. Normally I should have been afraid, because it was major surgery, but to my own and everybody's surprise, I was so sure about everything that I did not feel nervous. The doctors said they had never seen a patient with so little anxiety about his health. It was not a question of my victory. It is just that I physically felt your presence in the surgery room, and that helped me a lot.

Sri Chinmoy: I told you not to worry. I said there would be absolutely no problem, and I promised you that I would be there for your operation. If the consciousness and the vibration of the room had been a little higher, then you would have seen me. But definitely I was there; I was there!

Sometimes when I know the date of an operation, I do not even need to know the exact hour. If someone is close to me, even if he notifies me a month in advance, I can promise to take care of it. And my promise will definitely be fulfilled. At the time of the operation, my physical mind may not even be aware that it is taking place, but I have many, many inner representatives who will act on my behalf. One of my inner beings will keep my promise for me.

But in your case, it was totally different. I did not depend on my inner beings; I was directly involved one hundred per cent. The day before the operation I called you, and also that morning I called you.

Before your experience, I was dealing with the father of one of my disciples. Her whole family — mother, father and brother — are also my disciples, and they are very devoted to me. The mother has such love for me. And she had such faith that I would do everything for her husband, although at the same time she was fully prepared for him to go to the other world. At the time, the doctors gave him two weeks to live, but even now he is still in this world! About a week ago he drove himself to the hospital. The doctors said, "What! How can you drive?" But he did drive. Then, two days ago, he even walked to the hospital, which is nearby. Just a few weeks ago he was not doing well at all. But God was kind to him, really kind.

Faith is needed. And if the person in whom you have faith has the capacity, then anything is possible. Sri Aurobindo said, "If you have faith in anything, that thing will work." No matter how serious the problem, some spiritual Masters will simply say to their disciples, "Take a little mustard oil." There is nothing magical about mustard oil. The Master is only seeing how much faith you have in him. If you take the mustard oil devotedly and feel that it will cure you, then it will do the needful. The Master does not separate himself from his utterance. He is inside that mustard oil, and in and through the mustard oil he will cure you. Again, sometimes he will tell you to go to the doctor.

In my case, I always say, "Take coconut water." For each and every problem I say, "Take coconut water." Doctors are bound to laugh at me! From a scientific point of view, they will say that coconut water has nothing to do with this kind of disease or that kind of disease. But I know coconut water is my medicine, and if the patient has faith in my coconut water, then it will perform miracles. It is a matter of faith. As long as you have faith, you will be cured.

Again, the Master may have the capacity to cure the disciple's disease, and the disciple may have implicit faith in the Master's capacity, but there is a third party. The Supreme may say, "No, for various reasons I do not want that person to live." A spiritual Master is implicitly one with God's Will all the time, but because he is in the physical, which is full of suffering, sometimes he identifies with earth. If somebody who is supposed to die is very devoted to me, I tell the Supreme all the good things that this person has done for me and for the Supreme over the years. Then, at the last minute I beg: "Can he not stay on earth for a few more months or a few more years?" At that time God may agree to a little extension — five or ten years. Again, He may not. But if I see that the Supreme is really serious about someone going to the other world, then I will be the last person to beg Him, "Can You give an extension?" No, no, I will never dare to say something like that! I cannot do that. If someone who is near and dear to me is about to die, and if I see that the Supreme will be disturbed if I start crying and lamenting, then I will be the last person to ask for an extension.

Because spiritual Masters are here on earth, sometimes they act in a human way. My little dog Kanu and I were so fond of one another. During his last year he wanted only to be with me. He even wanted to sleep with me. If I picked him up and put him near my heart, he would get up to go and sleep at my feet. He was always at my feet. So many times I knew that he was gone, absolutely gone, but when I would bring him downstairs, he would again open his eyes. O God! The Supreme is very wise. He did not want me to see my Kanu's passing. So, twelve or thirteen days after I left New York for our Christmas holiday, the Supreme brought Kanu to the other world. When Kanu died, I was crying for days and days, shedding bitter tears. On the one hand, the Supreme was laughing. On the other hand, so powerfully He was consoling me.

Under ordinary circumstances, if the Supreme sees that in my human way I am very affectionate towards someone or something, then He not only forgives my stupid affection or attachment but even enjoys it. But if things go contrary to my human hopes or desires, then immediately I become one with the Will of the Supreme. Although the human in me is crying, the divine in me remains detached and happy.

All spiritual Masters are like this. When one of Sri Ramakrishna's devotees passed away — he was not even a real disciple — Sri Ramakrishna suffered tremendously. But when he saw the soul of that person very happily flying up like a bird, Sri Ramakrishna started clapping. Before that, he was insane with grief. But when he saw how happy the soul was, he also became very happy.

So there is a great difference between Sri Ramakrishna and an ordinary person. An ordinary person might cry and blame God for years. But Sri Ramakrishna completely identified with God's Will. Sometimes Sri Ramakrishna would fight for someone. Although he knew that ultimately he would happily accept the Will of the Supreme, in the beginning he would let the human in him come to the fore because he wanted to be one with earth. Otherwise, he could have just remained in the Himalayan caves and said, "I have realised God. Who cares for the world!" I also have realised God, so I could do the same thing. But God is asking me to live in the world and be of service to Him here in the West, so I am here.

The way of the old Indian tradition was to remain in one place and just repeat God's Name. But today the role of the spiritual Master is different. Both India and America, East and West, have something to give to the world. India is offering the message of peace and the West is offering the message of science. If the West had not given the East the message of science, India would have remained primitive. And if India had not brought an iota of light to the West, then the West would have remained unillumined. Whatever India and America have, each has to give to the other gladly. They are like two brothers in a family. If one brother is a doctor, he will give medicine. If another is an electrician, he will do electrical work. How can the doctor do the work of the electrician, or vice versa? In exactly the same way, whatever India has to offer to the world, the West must gladly accept; and whatever the West has to give, India has to accept. Then only, East and West can become complete.