Question: If somebody were to be awakened in the middle of the night and hear a clear voice say, "Come to me. I am your Teacher," how would he interpret it? Is this a kind of initiation?

Sri Chinmoy: You have to know that initiation can be accomplished in various ways. Sometimes you get a Teacher on the physical plane. Sometimes after you study books written by a spiritual figure, the inspiration you get leads you to a kind of inner initiation by a particular spiritual Teacher.

Again, God may come to you Himself to initiate you. At that time, this inner voice is the Voice of God telling you something. God may show you Light. This Light can take the form of a particular Teacher. Or through this Light God will take you to a particular Teacher.

But when someone says, “Come to me; I am your Teacher,” the word “I” is very complicated at that point. If you have a spiritual Teacher who has left the body and if the Teacher feels that you need more spiritual help and guidance, he may appear to you in a vision and say, “I have come back.” This “I” doesn’t mean that he has physically returned to earth. It means that he sees that somebody else is capable of helping you; and he will say that he, in some other form, is ready to guide you more.

I have three or four disciples whose Guru passed away three or four years ago. Their Guru came to them during a dream or meditation and said, “I have come in another form.” By “I” he meant myself. He used the term “I”, but it did not mean that he had entered into me. No! The other Master realised his oneness with me and used the term “I”. So we have to know what that particular “I” is and what it stands for.