Question: I understand that a liberated soul can prolong his stay in the physical world for twelve or fifteen days even while he is in nirvikalpa samadhi.

Sri Chinmoy: A liberated soul can safely stay for twenty-one or twenty-two days in nirvikalpa samadhi if the Divine wants that particular soul to continue on the path of dynamic manifestation. If the Divine wants the individual to remain in the Brahman of static realisation, then his soul will not return to the earth-consciousness after he has attained nirvikalpa samadhi and he will have to leave the body. But if the Divine wants, after eleven, twelve or thirteen days, He will say: "I want you to work for Me in the world. You must go back."

The name of the plane from which the Masters come back is the Supermind. This is where the actual creation starts. Higher than this is the level of Sat-Chit-Ananda: Existence-Consciousness-Bliss. The spiritual Masters who want divine manifestation here on earth are trying to manifest first the Supermind, which is the golden Consciousness from which the creation descended. When that is manifested, the spiritual Masters who are here to bring down the highest Consciousness will then bring down Sat-Chit-Ananda. These three qualities can never be separated. They have to come together here on earth. The Supreme wants the whole divine manifestation to take place here on earth, not in Heaven or anywhere else.

In our Indian scriptures it is said that man is greater than the cosmic gods because the cosmic gods are satisfied with the Bliss of Heaven, whereas man is not satisfied until he actually achieves liberation. If the cosmic gods want to make progress, if they want liberation or manifestation, even they have to take human form and come to earth. Manifestation cannot take place anywhere else. In India there are thousands of gods, and we appreciate, we admire, we adore them because right now they are superior to us. When we suffer from a headache, if we soulfully invoke a god, then he will come and take it away. But the cosmic gods can do nothing further than that. When man realises God, at that time these cosmic gods are of no help to him. At that time man is superior, because he is attaining constant and conscious union with the absolute Supreme.