Question: Does each individual have a specific path or are all paths relatively similar?

Sri Chinmoy: All the paths cannot be the same, only the ultimate goal will be the same. There are different roads, but each road leads to the same Goal. Each individual needs the guidance of a Master, and each individual has to discover his own path. Then he must follow only one path and one Master who is the leader or guide of that path. If someone constantly changes paths, then he will never reach his destination.

Sometimes it happens that the seeker is ready and the Master is moving around right in front of his nose, but the seeker does not know it. The other day at Fairfield University somebody told me that she has been looking for a Master for nineteen or twenty years and I was so surprised. I was positive that her Master was alive. If she had really been searching sincerely and crying for her Master, then her Master would have appeared before her.

So, here I wish to say that if the aspirant is really sincerely crying for a path, then his path will present itself before him. If he really cries for a spiritual Master, either the Master will come to him or he will be able to go to the Master.

Unfortunately, in the West I very often come across people who say that they have been searching for a path and a Master but they haven't found either. At this point I wish to say that their cry is not sincere, and they are not honest in their inner search. No sincere effort ends in vain. If someone makes a sincere effort, then I wish to say that his inner life and outer life are bound to be crowned with success.

So to come back to your question, each individual seeker must necessarily have a path of his own. That doesn't mean that there will not be other seekers in his path. As we say, "Birds of a feather flock together," so there will be others who will want to follow the same path. Souls that have a common feeling of oneness do move in groups just like human beings who have relatives, near ones and dear ones. Their souls move together, aspire together and occultly troop through the world at large together. These are the souls that we call group souls, souls that have inner affinities.

As regards his path, each seeker must have one path and not ten paths to lead him towards his goal. It is foolishness to have ten or twelve guides. Spirituality is not like a school where you have a teacher in each subject: history, geography and so on. No. God-realisation is one subject, and for that subject only one teacher is needed to help you to open the door of God-realisation.