Question: In your writings, you talk about the Goddess Kali. Is it necessary to believe in the Cosmic Goddesses?

Sri Chinmoy: I am an Indian. In India, each Indian family, each house, has a presiding deity. We believe that God is inside the presiding deity. In my case, Mother Kali is my presiding deity. Of all the Cosmic Gods and Goddesses, I have the closest connection with her. Because of her, today I am still alive, talking to you. Long before you were born, after running a 400-metre race at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, I collapsed and my soul left my body. Only because of my inner illumination, I saw my soul leaving my body. Then Mother Kali grabbed my soul very forcefully and put it back into my body. I saw it.

Then they took me to my house in a rickshaw. My case was still quite serious. For three days and three nights I could not move, but the entire time I was seeing my Mother Kali at one particular corner of the wall. It was not my imagination. She was watching me and, with infinite compassion and love, she was telling me that I would be physically all right.

Many hundreds and thousands of experiences Mother Kali has given me. But I want my disciples to be devoted to one Person, and that Person is the Supreme. Inside the Supreme is Mother Kali. Mother Kali is a portion of the Supreme. Your Guru, my Guru, everybody's Guru is the Supreme. I will not say to anybody that they should give up the Supreme and take Mother Kali as their all, no.

Then again, right now you cannot see the Supreme, but I can. Since your third eye is still sleeping and you are unable to see the Supreme directly, you can look at my Transcendental Picture. If you have faith in me, if you believe that your Guru has realised God, then this picture can immediately help you to reach the Highest. My Transcendental Picture is inseparably one with the Supreme. Since you cannot see the Supreme directly, you can see the representative of the Supreme in my Transcendental.

In the same way, you may want some divine quality-purity, for example. Since you cannot see your own heart as a most beautiful flower, since right now you do not smell the fragrance of your heart, what can you do? You can keep a flower in front of you to make yourself feel that you are going to be as pure as the flower. A flower embodies purity. When you look at the flower, you are receiving purity in infinite measure. With the help of the flower, you are going to the purity-world. The flower is taking you to purity-consciousness, fragrance-consciousness, nowhere else.

Always we have to have something that takes us to what we want. For my disciples, my Transcendental Picture is the bridge between earth and Heaven. If you do not have a bridge, how are you going to make the crossing? What are you going to do? Heaven is a little higher than earth! Again, always we have to keep something in mind to inspire ourselves. For my disciples, that something is my Transcendental Picture. My Transcendental Picture is also inside you.

In my case, what do I do? I see Someone who is so affectionate to me and so fond of me, Someone who has the power aspect. When I lift thousands of pounds, at that time I see my Mother Kali dancing on my head. This is not my mental hallucination.

But I do not have to go to the Supreme through Mother Kali. I have a very close, direct connection with the Supreme. You can call it a 'hot line'. But also, I do worship Mother Kali because of my childhood life and because she is my family deity.