Question: When we are born, are there different possible futures that we could have?

Sri Chinmoy: If you get a God-realised Master, he expedites the journey. He not only expedites it, he can sometimes shorten the journey or tell someone, “Go this way. It is a short cut.” Again, even a short cut can he full of thorns, full of obstacles. When we get a real spiritual Master, he not only shortens the road, but he also removes many obstacles on the road.

Many times it happens that there is a short cut, but there are high hurdles if you go that way. Again, the other way may be a long journey, very long, but without so many obstacles. But the problem is that it is a very slow process, incarnation after incarnation.

When you get a genuine spiritual Master and when your aspiration is very sincere, he shows you the short cut, plus the obstacles in your path are considerably removed. Again, if there are no obstacles at all, then you will not value the spiritual life. If you get everything for the asking, you will not value it.

When you become spiritually developed, you will see that when you do get what you are asking for, it is because of God’s unconditional Compassion. If I have not given you one dollar, let us say, why should you be grateful to me? Again, if I do give you something, will you not give me a smile? Here on earth always one person has to give something and the other person has to give something in return. It is mutual give and take. We cannot convince our mind that God loves us unconditionally. But when God gives us something, He gives it unconditionally.

Only when we have our spiritual life in the forefront can we convince our mind that God loves each person unconditionally. Ordinary people will never, never be able to believe this. To convince their mind is next to impossible. But spiritual people are different. If we are spiritual, immediately we see that what we give is next to nothing in terms of love of God, devotion to God, service to God. We feel-and it is absolutely true — that God loves us infinitely more than we love Him. Whether it is affection, love, fondness, concern or compassion, He gives us much more than we give Him.

Just because your vessel is so small, you cannot hold what God wants to give you. God comes with a very large quantity, but you cannot hold it because your vessel is so small. He is standing right in front of you, but you are unable to expand, you are unable to have a larger than the largest vessel so that He can pour His Love and Blessings into you.

If, at that moment, you can show God your gratitude, you will immediately get a larger inner vessel. Even by repeating and repeating daily, “I want to love my Lord Beloved Supreme unconditionally,” you will not achieve your aim. You are only hammering away. But, along with your prayer, if you can offer God your gratitude, then immediately your prayer becomes pure. Then your vessel expands automatically.

With gratitude you are increasing the receptivity of your inner vessel. And when gratitude increases, you will be able to see that the road ahead of you becomes quite visible and the journey is shortened.

I wish to tell each and every disciple: offer gratitude to God for what you have already become. Only think of what you have become and what you would have been if you had not followed the spiritual life. Look around and see the outer life. Do you want that life? If you want that life even now, you are free to go back. You gave up that life for a higher life. Now if you see that this higher life is also full of obstacles, perhaps you feel that you had better go back to the other life. Let us not call it a ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ life. Let us call it the ‘other’ life.

If you follow this other life, the ordinary life, I tell you, the process will be very, very slow. One day you will have to realise God, whether in this incarnation or one hundred incarnations from now. Why, why, why, if you know that the Goal is oneness with God’s Will and, in order to reach that Goal, you need faith in God, why do you not cultivate more faith in God and faith in yourself, faith that you do have the capacity to love God unconditionally? Just say to yourself, “If He can love me unconditionally, I can also love Him unconditionally, because I am His creation.” Each individual needs this faith.

If a mother is eating something very sweet and delicious, she is bound to share it with her children. God is infinitely kinder and more affectionate than our mother or our father, so if He is drinking nectar, then He wants to share it with us. Similarly, if He is loving us and blessing us unconditionally, that means He has also given us the capacity to love Him unconditionally.

When you are born, your soul is bound to know this truth. Each soul has very high experiences when it comes into the world. At that time, the soul renews its promise to the Supreme. Sometimes it can be on the day of your birth, sometimes it can be a few days earlier, sometimes a few days later. It does not have to be on the actual day. It can be five, six, ten or even twelve days before your birth.

You have seen that whenever there is a special function somewhere in the world, some people come many hours or days early. They come and sit outside, waiting for the doors to open. In the same way, if the souls are ripe, they come four or five days early to renew their promise that in this life they will love God unconditionally in and through the body, vital, mind and heart.

The soul is the pioneer. The soul says to the other members of its family, “I am loving God unconditionally. My brother heart, you also do the same. My brother mind, my brother vital and my brother body, all of you do the same.” These are the messages you get from your soul on the day of your birth and also when you observe your soul’s day, your birthday, on earth.

How to love God unconditionally? In one sense, there is no short cut, whatever the distance is. The distance from Sydney to Melbourne, let us say, is fixed. You can cover the distance by plane or by boat. The plane can bring you in one hour’s time. Will the boat be able to bring you in one hour?

In the spiritual life, gratitude, love and surrender are like the plane. They will bring you to the Goal much faster. If you have to depend on your personal capacity — your austerity and so forth — then it will be like a long boat journey. A little boat will carry you slowly to the Goal. The distance is the same, but one way is much faster than the other.

I shall give you an example. Today, during our Peace Concert, eleven souls came to me in the inner world. They were eager to make unconditional surrender to the Supreme in me. Four of them were not my disciples. They were seekers, but they wanted to make unconditional surrender to God’s Will in me. I was so happy. My music inspired these people who are not my disciples and who may not become my disciples at all. But their aspiration was so intense, and I was able to intensify it much more. Perhaps they do not have a spiritual Master, but their Master is God. God is everybody’s Master. These souls came to our Peace Concert and they were so moved that they made unconditional surrender to God’s Will. They renewed their promise to the Absolute Lord Supreme. Just an hour ago it took place. I know those four seekers are still maintaining that experience. Perhaps it may continue for a few days or a few months, or even for one year.

I was able to inspire those seekers today. They made their surrender directly to God, but I was the one who helped them to intensify their aspiration. In your case, if you can renew your promise to the Supreme every day, the way you do all your daily activities, then it will become easier for you to make unconditional surrender.

It is the greatest opportunity that people get when they are with other spiritual people. Immediately they respond to the consciousness. I was very, very moved by this experience.

Now anybody can ask me a question. In India I used to have questions sometimes. It frequently happened that I went to the Ashram library, not for the answer to my question, but to read or study. I would be reading some book, browsing, and the answer would be there. It was not a particular book related to my question, but the book would have my answer.