Question: Did the Buddha see God?

Sri Chinmoy: My name is not the Buddha! Anything that I say will be all imagination. Only this much I can say: once you see the personal, it immediately becomes the impersonal. It is like ice and water. You know the difference. This moment it is ice, and the next moment it is water. If you see ice, you cannot imagine there will be water underneath it. If you see water, you cannot imagine that it will form ice. One person will like ice, another person will like water. In the Buddha's case, he liked the impersonal. He did not care for the personal.

In my case, I see both, but I prefer the personal. I am one hundred per cent for the personal. Once in Woodstock I was seeing the impersonal God. I was in front of a bus stand. I was waiting there for the bus to come back to New York from Woodstock. The bus was not on time. I wanted the bus to come, so that I would not be late. I was only watching and watching for the bus.

Then I saw the impersonal Supreme. I said, "I do not need the impersonal. I am dying for the personal!" Then immediately I saw the personal Supreme. At last I noticed that the bus was already there. It was waiting only for me, perhaps.

You can talk to the personal God. With the impersonal, it is like talking to a wall. If you can approach the personal One, you can do anything you like — talk, cry, get scoldings or anything else. With the impersonal God, it is all mental hallucination!

I will give you an example. Some disciples are dissatisfied with me. Inwardly they are saying that they need a better Guru that I do not care for them. A few days ago, here at the hotel, I was telling God, "O my Lord Supreme, what have I done wrong? You have blessed me with some undivine disciples. Can You not inwardly inspire them to leave my boat?"

He said, "Keep quiet! Shut up!"

I said to the Supreme, "Here, when I am asking You to take some people out of my boat, You are asking me to shut up. Why are You so unsympathetic, why?"

He said, "You fool! You made a conscious, unconditional commitment to Me. You have realised Me. Where are they? Realisation is a far cry for them. They have not made even an unconscious or conditional commitment. Based on your commitment, I tell you to shut up. Based on their standard, I tell them, 'Try other boats, try other boats. And if you need My Help, I will help you."'

This is not my mental hallucination. It happened only three or four days ago in this famous place. When it is a matter of the personal Supreme, I can talk to Him face to face. The impersonal will turn a deaf ear.

Sri Ramakrishna was utterly devoted to Mother Kali. Sometimes he used to get mad, furious, and say nasty things to Mother Kali. Would he say these things to the impersonal God? He knew the impersonal would not listen to him.

I am in the physical. If some of my disciples get angry with me, immediately they refer to the personal. At that time, they do not think of my inner vastness, peace and light. One person's consciousness descends and, if I have concern and compassion for that person, I take his anger or jealousy in the form of an attack on my physical body. This morning, about seven or eight minutes before four o'clock, I was standing in my room about to take exercise, when I got such pain, such pain, in my right ankle. What an attack! Somebody in New York was doing me a 'favour' by attacking me with wrong forces.

I shall tell you another incident. Today my weightlifting career could have ended for a few months. I entered into the car and closed the door. Alas, my left thumb was caught between the car and the door. I hurt it badly. I came out of the car and screamed and screamed. In this case, the attack came in the form of my own carelessness. My right arm is bad, and that is why I try to lift more weight with the left. Had I damaged my left thumb, I would not have been able to lift for a long time. But my Supreme's Compassion saved my thumb.

In this way, the personal aspect deals with compassion. The impersonal is like a solid wall. There is no response.

Lord Buddha advocated the middle path, not to go to extremes. This was the Buddha's realisation. He did not eat for many days, and then finally he took sweetmeats from Sujata. He declared, "Do not go to one extreme. Do not go towards either indulgence or austerity." The Buddha's philosophy is the middle path.