Question: What is the process involved in joining your Centre?

Sri Chinmoy: The process here is acceptance. If you feel that you can accept our path the first time you come here, then that is very good. Then you can start your journey immediately. But if you have come here for five or six times and still you do not feel anything in me or in our path, then I wish to tell you that this path will not satisfy you. After four or five times, it is useless to continue coming with the hope that this is your path. If you find it difficult to follow our path, I will never say that you are not sincere or aspiring. It is only that you are not meant for our path; you are meant for somebody else. So, if you are satisfied with us at the very beginning, then tell the Centre president that you would like to follow our path. But if you are not sure, then please come four or five times and try to decide.

You can easily make your decision. Feel that you have a matchstick and just strike it immediately. You need not come here three or four times, because when you first see your own Master, you are bound to feel something. Little by little your aspiration grows, your realisation grows; but the acceptance of the Master comes immediately. If you look at your own Master, you feel immediately who the Master is. If he is not your Master, you can come to see him twenty times and still not be sure. So four times is more than enough for any aspirant to recognise if I am his spiritual Master.

How will you know that this is your path? You will know if you get a kind of joy, peace and love that you do not find elsewhere. If you get peace of mind, inner joy, inner love and a kind of satisfaction here and nowhere else, then this is your path. But if you find that these are the very things that you do not get here, then this path is absolutely wrong for you. I will never say, "Oh, you are a fool. I have everything. How is it that you don't get it?" I may have certain things, but if you do not appreciate what I have, then you can go to another Guru. Then, from him you can get the things that you need. But I have no right to say, "My things are better, far better than the ones he has." No. You are the customer. You accept or reject. Again, the shopkeeper also has the right to say sometimes, "I don't want to sell." But in this case, if the spiritual Master does not accept a student, it is not because the student is bad, but because he will do far better if he goes to another Master.

When a spiritual Master is face to face with the Supreme, the Supreme will ask him, "Have you brought your own children?" He will not ask the Master, "Have you brought the whole world?" Some spiritual Masters have millions and billions of disciples. But it may happen that the Supreme did not ask them to bring this many disciples. Each Master has been allotted some disciples by the Supreme. If I take somebody else's students or disciples, I don't think the Supreme will be pleased with me, because He has not made me the leader, the captain, for those particular persons. The Supreme wants somebody else to be the leader or captain for them. What the Supreme wants from a spiritual Master is of paramount importance. If He wants me to take one of these disciples, I will take him. But the Supreme will be really pleased with me if I take only the ones that He wants me to take. He has sent down quite a few sincere spiritual Masters. But if we start taking each other's disciples, then there will be problems.

So you have every right to accept or reject me, and I also have the same right to accept or reject you. But if the acceptance is good and wholehearted, then you will offer all your aspiration to the Centre, and I will bring from the Supreme His Compassion, Love and Concern. You will receive according to your receptivity. You will give me what you have and I will give you what I have. This is how we accept. It is mutual.

I have said many, many times that each Master has his own path. Mine is very limited. I don't tell any disciple that he is under an obligation to help me financially. Nobody will be compelled to help financially or to make any financial commitment. No. The commitment, the obligation I ask is aspiration and regularity. The real commitment is aspiration. If you can aspire and be regular, and if you can accept me and I can accept you, then all our problems are solved.