Sri Chinmoy: In my case, realisation was achieved quite a few incarnations ago — not in my previous incarnation but quite a few incarnations before this one. But because we have to accept the human mind at the beginning of each incarnation, we are like a tiny plant — helpless in a sense. We have to do quite a few things in order to deal with the world.
A true spiritual Master is God the fully manifested man, whereas a true spiritual seeker is man the evolving God. God the manifested man and man the evolving God are two different things. When a true spiritual Master comes into the world, inside he has and is Infinity, Eternity and Immortality. But he has to come as a human being so that humanity can approach him. The Supreme in him says, "If I come to humanity with My Infinity, Eternity and Immortality, if at every second I am playing with Infinity, Eternity and Immortality, then humanity will be frightened to death. Human beings will not approach Me. They will just try to hide."
When Lord Krishna showed his Universal Form, Arjuna was frightened to death. When Arjuna saw his past, present and future and the entire universe inside Krishna, he did not appreciate it; he was frightened to death. He said, "Forgive me, forgive me. I can't joke with you anymore. I said nasty things to you. I insulted you. I scolded you. Please forgive me, forgive me." All the time Krishna had been playing with Arjuna as a friend. Because of this friendship, Arjuna had been approaching him. But if, from the beginning, Krishna had shown Arjuna who he was, then Arjuna would not have dared to mix with him.
So if the Supreme comes with His Infinity and Eternity, which He has and really is, then humanity will be afraid of Him. The drop will never dare to consciously make friends with the Infinite, with the Vast. But if the drop sees another drop that is a little better or a little larger than itself, then the tiny one is inspired. Some spiritual Masters only reveal a little more capacity than an ordinary individual. Then ordinary individuals can believe in them and receive what they are offering. These Masters take the same human form and same type of consciousness as human beings so that the human beings can have access to them. Outwardly they have to play this game. Otherwise humanity will not be able to approach them. But inwardly they know what they are. So the human way is absolutely necessary to follow for human beings on earth. But inside the human you have to see the Divine.
The seeker, on the other hand, plays the role of man the evolving God. The seeker is trying to reach the Highest; he is aspiring to have the Infinite, the Eternal, the Immortal. Eventually he enters into Infinity, Eternity and immortality, and he is satisfied. Then he has to feel that every other human being is part of himself. He has to feel that he has millions of arms, millions of legs, millions of eyes — like some of the cosmic gods and goddesses who have hundreds of arms. So man the evolving God is aiming at what God the manifested man has and is.