Question: The opportunity is not open to everyone. Not everyone finds the right teacher.

Sri Chinmoy: No sincere effort will end in failure. If I am sincere and if you are meant to be my teacher, God will bring us together. But again, there are many wrong forces operating in the world, and I may be deceived by somebody who is not meant for me. But this cannot go on forever. After some time, my own inner being will tell me that this Master is not meant for me.

There are many ways to know which Master is meant for me. The person who gives me the greatest joy is my Master, even if he is not someone who has millions of disciples. Many people make a Himalayan blunder. When they see that somebody has thousands and millions of disciples, immediately they think that he has something; otherwise, nobody would have gone to him. But this is absolutely wrong. Yes, he may have many disciples, but that doesn’t mean that you have to become his disciple. If you feel inner joy in his presence, if you feel from within that he is the right person, this is what matters. Unfortunately, it usually does not happen like that. People have no sense of discrimination; they don’t go deep within. To accept a Master is a most important thing, because it is the Master who guides, moulds and shapes the student in his life of aspiration.

If somebody says that there is a set fee, that if you give him thousands of dollars then God-realisation will come, kindly don’t believe him. If God-realisation could be achieved by material wealth, then all the rich people on earth would have realised God. But, unfortunately, it is not like that.

We are in a terrible hurry. If we hear that somebody can give us God-realisation overnight, we go. In the ordinary life, it takes us twenty-two years to get a Master’s degree, which represents ordinary human knowledge. So how can we expect to get the highest knowledge, inner knowledge, if we don’t study for ten or fifteen or twenty years? Our difficulty is that we want to simplify everything. We want to get everything ready-made, like instant coffee. But it is not like that. How can one get a Master’s degree in one day? He goes to kindergarten, high school, college and then one day he gets his Master’s degree. But if a kindergarten student feels that he can get his Master’s degree today just because his elder brother has got it, then he is just fooling himself. His elder brother has studied hard for twenty years. But then again, there are, unfortunately, some false Masters who tempt the seekers and say that they can give it overnight. Unfortunately, I don’t have that capacity.

I take my disciples’ spiritual life as a serious matter, a most serious matter. What I can give you will take time, and what you have to offer me, your aspiration, will also take time. Aspiration has to increase little by little. My role is to bring down Compassion from above and this also has to increase little by little. It is like this. On your part you will climb up and on my part I will come down and bring down light. There should be a simultaneous effort by the spiritual Master and the disciple. With his inner cry the disciple goes up, and the Master comes down with the Smile of God. This is the role of the spiritual Master. At this moment he identifies with the seeker and he climbs up with his disciple’s inner cry. Then the next moment he comes down with God’s Smile. The perfection of the seeker is his cry and the perfection of God is His Smile. When a seeker can cry from the inmost recesses of his heart, this is perfection. And when God smiles with his heart’s Delight, this is perfection.