Question: Sometimes while I'm meditating I get this feeling that I am not existing. I fear this and I want to know if this is my ego fear or is this transcendence?

Sri Chinmoy: It is your earth-bound reality that is afraid of this experience. If it is conscious self-transcendence, then you are bound to be happy. You are practising spirituality just because you feel the need of self-transcendence. But when one makes considerable progress and enters into a higher reality, one consciously does not want to give up one's old reality. That is why he is scared to death. But if one embraces the new reality as something enlarging his realisation and vision, if one feels this new thing is adding to his life of aspiration, then he is not afraid of the new, fulfilling and illumining reality.

So it is your earth-bound consciousness, your limited awareness of your own self, that is afraid of this transcendence. You have to take the experience you are having in meditation as real transcendence of your limitation and feel that you are making progress in your life of aspiration. Then you will not be afraid of this experience. So please try to identify yourself with the experience itself and feel that in your spiritual life it is gradual self-transcendence that will give you real satisfaction, divine satisfaction.

In the ordinary life, when we love someone, we are attached to that person. In divine love we use the term "devotion". At every second we devote our life, we devote our existence to some cause, some higher reality. Since we start our journey in divine love, we want to expand our consciousness. This can be achieved most successfully and quickly if we devote ourselves consciously to the Inner Pilot.

Then, we have to surrender to the Inner Pilot consciously, unreservedly and unconditionally. This is not the surrender of a slave to the master; it is not done under compulsion. Spiritual surrender is cheerful and spontaneous; it comes directly from the soul. The seeker is trying to please the Inner Pilot sincerely, devotedly and unconditionally. And each moment we make a conscious surrender to the Inner Pilot, we are getting something vast, something fulfilling, something really meaningful.

When we make this kind of total surrender, we do not lose anything. We do not lose our individuality, we do not lose our personality. On the contrary, we achieve, we receive, we become the Highest, the Infinite. It is like a tiny drop that merges into the infinite ocean and becomes the ocean itself. There the individuality and personality are expanded. At this time, the Will of the Supreme also becomes our will. "Let Thy will be done." This is our attitude. But this has to be done consciously. There are many people who are lethargic, who do nothing in the spiritual life. This is not spiritual surrender. Real surrender is dynamic. Through our conscious prayer and meditation, we try to become one with the divine Will.

This is our path. There are other paths, but I am not qualified to speak about them. My fee is aspiration and regularity in your meditation. My fee is inner cry. I don't accept disciples who are under the guidance of other spiritual Masters. Before I accept a disciple, I see if that person is really meant for me. I do not accept all seekers who come to me; I accept only those who are meant for my path. I am not the only boatman. There are quite a few sincere boatmen to take the seekers to the Golden Shore.