Question: Why do some spiritual Masters go out into the world to increase their following?

Sri Chinmoy: A true Master is not interested in the number of his devotees, since by God’s Grace the Master and the aspirant are bound to find each other. But Sri Ramakrishna used to go up to the top floor of his house and cry for spiritual disciples. He used to ask Mother Kali why the disciples he was destined to have did not come to him. Now, people may ask why he could not wait for God’s Hour. But the thing is that God’s Hour had come for Sri Ramakrishna, but the ignorance of the world was blocking its path. God told him to do something and gave him the capacity, but ignorance was standing right in front of him and delaying, delaying, delaying his manifestation. Sri Ramakrishna was not crying for disciples who would come and touch his feet. He was crying for disciples who would be his real arms and hands, who would fly with him into the universal Consciousness, who would work for him, and in that way work for God.

Nobody is indispensable, true. But, at the same time, each person is indispensable so long as he is absolutely sincere in his aspiration and in his service to the Mission of the Supreme. Out of pride and vanity, nobody can feel that he is necessary; but everybody is necessary when he is a sincere, dedicated chosen instrument of God. The Master needs disciples because they are like his hands, his limbs, the expansion of his own consciousness. And when he gets the command from the Highest, then he has to try to find those who are going to be part and parcel of his consciousness to help him fulfil the command.

Traditionally, spiritual Masters used to say, “If you have something, others are bound to come. The pond does not go to the thirsty person; the thirsty person comes to the pond.” This is absolutely true if a mature person is thirsty. But if you feel that the thirsty person is just an infant, then it is all different. The baby will cry in his room, and the mother will have to come running to feed him. The mother does not say to the baby, “You have to come to me, since you want something from me.” No, the mother puts everything aside and comes to the baby. In the spiritual world also, some Masters feel the need to go out into the world, for the outer world is just a baby in consciousness. These Masters feel that there are many children who are crying for spiritual life, spiritual wisdom, spiritual perfection, but who do not know where or how to find it. So the Masters go from place to place and offer their Light with the idea of serving the divinity in humanity. I happen to be one of those. I move around because I feel that there are sincere children who need the Light that the Supreme has given me to offer to mankind. That is why I go to Japan, to Europe, and all over the United States — because I feel that the outer world is my child.

When the world is crying, if we have the capacity, we have to feed it. If I have the capacity to give you something and I also have the capacity to go and stand right in front of you, why do I have to call you to me? If I have the capacity both to place myself before you and to give you the light that you want, then I must do so. If I do not have the capacity, then I have to keep silent.

If a person who calls himself a realised soul feels the necessity and has the capacity, then let him go out into the world to prove God’s existence. If he has the capacity but does not feel the necessity, then let him stay where he is. If he neither feels the necessity nor has the capacity to show God to the world, then let him not try to prove his aspiration and demonstrate his emotion. Why? Because God does not want him to do this. He is not fulfilling God in God’s way, but making a parade of himself before humanity and broadcasting himself before God. Before the world’s eye, he is undesirable; before God’s Eye, he is unpardonable.

The outer world is very limited in comparison to the inner world. The length and breadth of the outer world is no more than a few thousand miles, but the inner world is without limit. A spiritual person feels, on the strength of his own realisation, that all worlds are his, because his Master, the Supreme, is all-pervading. Now, if the Supreme is all-pervading, then why is it beneath the dignity of His son to go from one place to another?

There are various ways to feed the world. Writing is one way; giving talks is another. If one has many capacities, why should he not use all of them? Some spiritual Masters do not have these outer capacities. Sri Ramakrishna, for example, did not write. But that did not prevent him from realising the Highest. At the same time, those who have the capacity to write and give talks are not deprived of their God-realisation.

God plays in various ways. If God gives a spiritual Master the capacity to write, to give talks, to mix with people, to travel from place to place, then that is God’s business. It is God’s Will that the Master is carrying out. And if God does not give the Master the capacity to write and speak, we cannot blame that spiritual Master or say he is inferior. We have to know what God wants from us. If God wants me to write, He will give me the capacity. If God does not want you to write, He will not give you the capacity. In neither case can we find fault. But unfortunately, our traditional India has been very, very narrow-minded in this matter.