Question: Is realisation a fairly common experience during any single generation of human beings? In India, for example, are there many realised spiritual Masters?

Sri Chinmoy: There are millions and billions of people on earth, but only a very few of these are actually realised. If you feel there are hundreds of spiritually realised people on earth, then you are mistaken. The world is quite vast, but when it is a matter of truly realised persons, then I wish to say that there are only ten or twelve on earth right now. There are some swamis and teachers who have meditated and sincerely practised Yoga for ten or fifteen years, and who are far superior to their students, but who are not actually God-realised souls. One need not have reached the Highest to teach a beginner, just as one does not need a master’s degree to teach kindergarten. To be very frank with you, these so-called Masters have indulged in doubt, impurity and other undivine things. But those who have really realised the highest Truth are infinitely above such self-indulgences.

There are sincere and insincere Masters. Many insincere Masters come to the West and exploit people. In India, also, false Masters exploit seekers. But God will not allow a sincere student to be deceived forever. The seeker’s own inner cry will take him to a real teacher. If it is God’s Will, the student may get a really high Master who will take him right from the beginning to the Highest. Otherwise, he will get a Master who will take him only through kindergarten, and then he will have to find another teacher.