Question: We are supposed to become like God. "You shall be like God," the Bible says. And the New Testament states, "Be perfect like your Father in Heaven." You have also written, "The Supreme will be satisfied with me only when I become like Him, another God, because He wants me to become His companion, not His slave." How much of a metaphor are these sayings, and how far can they be taken word for word?

Sri Chinmoy: It entirely depends on the development of the individual. These are extremely lofty spiritual goals. The Christ said, “I and my Father are one.” Is there any sincere truth-seeker and God-lover who will disagree with his illumining realisation? But if an ordinary person who does not pray and meditate or lead a spiritual life says this, nobody will take him seriously. A thief can tell me not to steal, but will I be inspired by his words? But if a saint or a great spiritual Master tells me not to steal, it is entirely different. When a spiritual Master asks me to do something, he is consciously putting a force behind his words so that I will succeed. He not only inspires me but also helps me inwardly to succeed.

When a spiritual aspirant has become inseparably one with the highest Absolute and knows that he has become a real instrument of God’s transcendental Will, he is entitled to say that he has become like God, or even that he is one with God or that he has become another God. When the tiny drop has merged into the ocean and become part and parcel of the ocean, you cannot tell it apart. Similarly, if an individual becomes one with the universe on the strength of his aspiration and realisation, at that time it is absolutely true to say that the finite has become the Infinite.

I am very grateful that you have read my writings. My philosophy is founded upon love, devotion and surrender. The message of love, devotion and surrender comes from the spiritual heart and finds its fulfilment in the universal oneness-heart.