Question: In the outer life, when you have a goal, you can imagine it. But in the inner life, sometimes it is hard to imagine what the goal is. Sometimes I look at you and say that you are my goal, but then I see that you have all kinds of problems and physical suffering.

Sri Chinmoy: It is a matter of inner faith. If your own inner faith is strong, then you will see that I am not the body. You have come here not to see my outer body or my outer suffering. You have come here to see if you have a vivid feeling that I have realised the Highest or that I have become the Highest itself. When we recognise the Highest in someone, we are bound to feel that that person is the Highest itself. When we realise the depth of an ocean, our realisation becomes so inseparably one that we become the ocean itself. At that time we are not fooling ourselves. We sincerely feel, completely feel that we are the ocean itself.

Everything starts with faith and continues with faith. If you see that outwardly I am an invalid, how will you think of me as someone who will give you indomitable life-energy? If that were the case, all the spiritual Masters would have been failures. Think of Sri Aurobindo. Think of Ramana Maharshi. Think of Sri Ramakrishna. All of them suffered from physical ailments. Now let us think of the Saviour Christ. When people think of him, when people look at his picture or at the crucifix, they are only seeing what he was inside. He was an Avatar, absolutely, so we remember only what he was in the inner world.

Think of yourself. When you have had a good meditation, are you the same person as you are when you are in your ordinary consciousness? When you are in an ordinary consciousness, you feel that you are most common. But when you have a very high meditation, you feel totally different. You feel that your mind is as vast as the sky and your heart is larger than the Pacific Ocean. You feel peace, Infinity’s peace. At that time outwardly you are still five feet four inches tall, but in the inner world, your height is limitless. When you are in an ordinary consciousness, you are subject to wrong forces, uncomely forces, but when you are in your highest consciousness, you see that these thoughts are silly monkeys near you or you see that you are far, far beyond, where there is nothing — no monkeys, no donkeys, nothing to disturb your poise.

When somebody realises the Highest, he becomes one with the Highest. Then again, there comes a time when he feels he is the Highest. It is not like Muhammad Ali saying “I am the greatest” or Julius Caesar saying “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Here it is a different attitude: “I came, I loved, I became.” I came into one particular family. There my parents and the other members of my family were my dearest ones. Gradually, gradually my consciousness expanded and the whole world became my responsibility, my concern.

The outer appearance of a spiritual Master can be very, very deceptive. If you try to judge the Master from his outer life, you will be totally lost. Only try to see what he is doing in his inner life. In the outer life you see that I cannot walk. But if, by God’s Grace, you could enter for even five seconds into my inner life, you would see how many serious matters I am dealing with. In one minute perhaps you would see that somebody is dying and I am there; somebody else has got serious problems of the worst type and I am there; something else and something else.

The physical is very limited; the physical has to be limited. Again, inside the physical sometimes God wants to do some things. How many spiritual Masters can lift up hundreds of pounds on the physical plane? In no way am I bragging; I am saying you have to look beyond the physical. Beyond the physical is the spiritual Master’s real consciousness.

A spiritual Master or a saint may be eating the same food as others eat. But while he is eating, he feels that God Himself is eating in and through him. There is a famous Indian story about the sage Durvasa. Durvasa saw that Draupadi was feeding Lord Krishna and immediately he felt that the Highest was being fed in and through Lord Krishna. The higher the divinity you can see in your Master, the quicker will be your progress. Outwardly if you see my suffering, my pain, that I cannot solve my own problems, that I have so many defects in my body, you will ask yourself how I can be of any service to you. It is true that outwardly I cannot be of any service to you. But again, if you have faith in yourself, in your own spiritual life, your faith will tell you that inwardly I am dealing with the entire universe. My body is nothing, nothing, nothing — a silly bag of dust in comparison to my soul’s reality, which is universal and transcendental. So wise people will always go beyond the physical. Beyond the physical is the universal, the transcendental, the ultimate.

Do not think of what I am in my outer life or even what I am doing in my outer life. After God-realisation, everything is regulated, everything is manifested according to God’s Will. God’s Will is operating in and through me at every moment. That you have to believe. That your soul once made you feel. That is why you joined the path, why you are still on the path — not to see my outer body, not to feel my pain. Yes, you can identify yourself with my pain. If you identify yourself with my pain, you will see that my pain is not due to my karma. My pain only represents my love for humanity. I love humanity, and I have to prove that I really care for humanity.

If I have understood your question correctly, you are asking how can you imagine that I can be of service to you when you see I am suffering. Not the body, but the soul can be of service, not only to you, but to each and every human being in the world. And not only to the ones that are already here. There are many millions and billions of people who will come into existence. You people will also come and go, come and go. But if you keep a connection with me, then I will be fully responsible, no matter how many incarnations you have to take. Your physical body will last only for a few more years, but your soul will have to continue its journey along Eternity’s Road to reach Infinity and Immortality.