Question: Can you define what you mean by a saint?

Sri Chinmoy: They lead a saintly life, a pure life. It starts with cleanliness. Everything they will touch or see with a purity-heart. They can get married, they can have children, but always there is a kind of sacred feeling in everything they do. Even if they touch a leaf, there is a kind of sacred feeling.

Then come the sages. The sages are, let us say, one thousand steps higher than the saints. The sages pray and meditate a great deal, more than the saints. Sages can enter into a very, very austere life. They want to acquire power, here, there and everywhere. Again, they do not want to go down to humanity's level. They say, "You come up to my level. First, the kindergarten teacher is there for you seekers. Then, if you complete kindergarten, you can come to primary school. I am ready to teach the primary school students, not the kindergarten students.

Then come the seers. The seers have vision — the vision of the past, the vision of the future. They want to remain totally in another world. The seers do not want to come down even to the level of the sages. They are full of mysticism. They are enamoured of the mystic world. There, everything is like beautiful snow. They want to see the past, present and future in that snowy world. The seers say, "We are seeing something divine. If you want to, you can also come and see. But we are not going to show you the way or do anything to help you." The primary school and kindergarten teachers sometimes want to have students. They say, "I would like to have a few pupils." The seers say, "If you come, I am ready to teach you, but I am not eager to have students."

There is a great difference between seers and yogis. A yogi is millions of miles higher than a seer. His goal is only to identify himself with God in each and every action. A yogi prays and meditates twenty-four hours a day. But a yogi's attitude is not like the attitude of saints and sages. The sages would like to get occult power and all kinds of other powers. The seers do not want occult power. They want to be satisfied only with knowing what is happening. Then again, some will say that knowing itself is power. I know what is inside that room. How? By virtue of some wisdom, some intuitive faculty. But yogis pray and meditate only to remain in the consciousness of God. They want to be one with God.

Arjuna said yes to everything that Sri Krishna said. If Sri Krishna said something was black, Arjuna immediately agreed. By saying yes to my Master, I am not acting like a fool. I am a drop, and I want to become the infinite ocean. The world will say I am a fool, I have no sense. But Arjuna said to Sri Krishna, "If I devotedly feel that I am a drop and you are the ocean, then by seeing what you are seeing, I enter into your consciousness." In that way, Arjuna got Krishna-consciousness.

A yogi is he who is one with his Lord God's Will. The others may not always care for God's Will. If the seers can see what is happening in Africa from here, they are satisfied. And the sages say, "If I can have a little occult power, I will be satisfied." The saints only say, "I am saintly. I touch everything with a sacred feeling." Those three have a feeling of separativity, although they are thousands of steps higher than the rest of humanity. But a yogi always wants to remain in God-consciousness. There he is one with God. If God wants him to do something, he will do it. He is only sleeplessly and breathlessly trying to become one with God's Will.

Then come the Avatars. The yogi, you can say, is a very, very huge wave. But when an Avatar comes, there is a vast ocean with thousands of waves. When these thousands of huge waves from different parts of the world subside, they become the ocean itself. And who is the ocean? God Himself is the ocean.

The Avatars are infinitely, infinitely higher than the yogis, because they are fully conscious of their highest divinity, their God-union. But sometimes God tells them, "You will not be able to manifest Me if you remain all the time in your highest consciousness. If you are always in the impersonal aspect, you will not be able to do anything for Me. You have to go down to earth. I want you to embody the personal aspect. I am remaining here with My impersonal aspect. You go down as the personal aspect and you become My representative. I am giving you My Divinity and My Sanction to go down and do My Work. But at times I shall have to veil you. Otherwise you will not be able to mix with humanity. Humanity will say, 'There is such a yawning gulf between your life and ours. You know everything about God. It is an impossibility for us to become like you. It will take millions of incarnations.'"

Avatars pray and meditate, like yogis, but they have bullet speed. Their access to God is like a telephone hotline. No matter when they want to approach God, the door is always open to them. They have a free access to God, and they have the God-touch. Millions and billions of things God does in and through an Avatar which God Himself, in His impersonal aspect, does not want to do. In His personal aspect, as an Avatar, God has to take a human body. He will have human ailments and all kinds of suffering. The nature of the human body is to be subject to pain, suffering and disease.

To the Avatar God says, "You take the suffering from human beings. I am already taking so much from humanity. I am ready to take suffering from you, but I do not want to take it directly from each and every individual. My creation is so vast! There are millions and billions of people. You will directly take care of thousands of people, and the yogis will take care of some." Below the yogis, the standard of the seers and others is of a totally different type. The poor Avatar suffers badly. But while he is suffering, at the same time, inwardly he is happy that he is pleasing God.

Unfortunately the personal aspect of God is almost always misunderstood by humanity. Most people cannot accept a human being as God. In a dream, even if you see your own soul, you will say, "Oh, is that my soul? I thought my soul would be infinitely more beautiful!" If God Himself stands in front of you, and if you try to see God with your own limited capacity, you will observe that God's Nose is not as beautiful as you thought it would be. You thought that God's Ears would be a little larger, or that God would have lots of hair. Whenever you judge something with your mind, you will not be satisfied. You will say, "No, I thought He would look different."

The impersonal aspect of God you do not see. That is best! Here you are chatting with me, cutting jokes and doing all kinds of things, while someone in Germany or Switzerland will be thinking, "Oh, perhaps Guru is meditating right now. He is in the highest consciousness." By not seeing me, those people may develop more love and devotion for the impersonal aspect of God. Again, it is very easy to have love, devotion and surrender to the personal aspect, but to have constant faith, love, devotion and surrender to the impersonal aspect is very difficult.

When it is a matter of accepting an Avatar, most human beings are making a serious mistake. They have utmost difficulty in taking a human being as a God-representative. If they were wise, they would know that there has to be a bridge to go from this shore to the other shore of the ocean of ignorance. Who is that bridge? Who is the guide on the way? The Avatar has to be the bridge. He has to be the guide. After he has carried human beings across the bridge, which he has made himself, and after he has taken his station on the other shore, only then do those human beings say, "O my God, he was the one!" At that time the very person who made the bridge and served as the guide stands before them as God Himself.