Question: Is it necessary to have a Guru, or teacher, to come to this realisation?

Sri Chinmoy: The person who realised God for the first time didn’t have a human Guru; God was his Guru. But, at the same time, we have to be wise. In this world for everything we need a teacher. Knowledge we can get from books, but still we go to a school for years and years and study under the guidance of a teacher. We feel that if there is a teacher, then the teacher can expedite our journey. Otherwise, in the morning I shall study something and in the afternoon I will doubt whether the thing I learned is correct or incorrect. I am confused. But if the teacher says, “Yes, it is correct,” then immediately I will believe it. We need a spiritual Master in order to expedite our realisation.

A spiritual teacher is like a private tutor. In the ordinary life, when we go to school, the teacher gives us marks. If we fail the examination, then we have to study again and again. In the spiritual life it is not like that. In the spiritual life the tutor privately, and with much affection, teaches us how to stand bravely in front of ignorance and fight ignorance. A private tutor does not give marks; he only teaches the student how to pass the examination. This is what a spiritual Master does.

When I go to school and advance from primary school to high school to college and university, my teachers give me a diploma. But once I have my diploma, I don’t remain in the school. No. My professor has helped me in getting knowledge, wisdom; but once I have it, I don’t always remain his student. In the spiritual life also, once I realise the highest Truth, at that time I don’t have to be under the guidance of a Master.

If I know there is a way to reach my destination sooner than otherwise, then why should I act like a fool? I can come to Boston from New York by plane or by car. By plane if I come, it is a matter of half an hour, or forty-five minutes, whereas by car it takes me five hours. Now, if I can come here in half an hour, then I can do many things. I can have a most significant interview with you; I can hold a meditation in the evening, I can do many things. So time is a great factor. The sooner we can accomplish something, the better for us. God-realisation is our first goal, God-revelation is our second goal, God-manifestation is our third goal. We have three supreme tasks to fulfil. Our first task is still a far cry. So if we have a little wisdom, naturally we will try to run the fastest.