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Ancient texts => Translations and Commentaries by Forum Members => Topic started by: silentgreen on December 14, 2010, 02:51:54 PM

Title: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: silentgreen on December 14, 2010, 02:51:54 PM
February 1882
M.'s first visit to the Master


It was on a Sunday in spring, a few days after Sri Ramakrishna's birthday, that M. met him the first time. Sri Ramakrishna lived at the Kailibari, the temple garden of Mother Kali, on the bank of the Ganges at Dakshineswar.

M., being at leisure on Sundays, had gone with his friend Sidhu to visit several gardens at Baranagore. As they were walking in Prasanna Bannerji's garden, Sidhu said: "There is a charming place on the bank of the Ganges where a paramahamsa lives. Should you like to go there?" M. assented and they started immediately for the Dakshineswar temple garden. They arrived at the main gate at dusk and went straight to Sri Ramakrishna's room. And there they found him seated on a wooden couch, facing the east. With a smile on his face he was talking of God. The room was full of people, all seated on the floor, drinking in his words in deep silence.

M. stood there speechless and looked on. It was as if he were standing where all the holy places met and as if Sukadeva himself were speaking the word of God, or as if Sri Chaitanya were singing the name and glories of the Lord in Puri with Ramananda, Swarup, and the other devotees.

Sri Ramakrishna said: "When, hearing the name of Hari or Rama once, you shed tears and your hair stands on end, then you may know for certain that you do not have to perform such devotions as the sandhya any more. Then only will you have a right to renounce rituals; or rather, rituals will drop away of themselves. Then it will be enough if you repeat only the name of Rama or Hari, or even simply Om."

Continuing, he said, "The sandhya merges in the Gayatri, and the Gayatri merges in Om."

M. looked around him with wonder and said to himself: "What a beautiful place! What a charming man! How beautiful his words are! I have no wish to move from this spot." After a few minutes he thought, "Let me see the place first; then I'll come back here and sit down."

As he left the room with Sidhu, he heard the sweet music of the evening service arising in the temple from gong, bell, drum, and cymbal. He could hear music from the nahabat, too, at the south end of the garden. The sounds travelled over the Ganges, floating away and losing themselves in the distance. A soft spring wind was blowing, laden with the fragrance of flowers; the moon had just appeared. It was as if nature and man together were preparing for the evening worship. M. and Sidhu visited the twelve Siva temples, the Radhakanta temple, and the temple of Bhavatarini. And as M. watched the services before the images his heart was filled with joy.

On the way back to Sri Ramakrishna's room the two friends talked. Sidhu told M. that the temple garden had been founded by Rani Rasmani. He said that God was worshipped there daily as Kali, Krishna, and Siva, and that within the gates sadhus and beggars were fed. When they reached Sri Ramakrishna's door again, they found it shut, and Brinde, the Maid, standing outside. M., who had been trained in English manners and would not enter a room without permission, asked her, "Is the holy man in?" Brinde replied, "Yes he's in the room."

M: "How long has he lived here?"
Brinde: "Oh, he has been here a long time."
M: "Does he read many books?"
Brinde: "Books? Oh, dear no! They're all on his tongue."

M. had just finished his studies in college. It amazed him to hear that Sri Ramakrishna read no books.

M: "Perhaps it is time for his evening worship. May we go into the room? Will you tell him we are anxious to see him?"
Brinde: "Go right in, children. Go in and sit down."

Entering the room, they found Sri Ramakrishna alone, seated on the wooden couch. Incense had just been burnt and all the doors were shut. As he entered, M. with folded hands saluted the Master. Then, at the Master's bidding, he and Sidhu sat on the floor.

Sri Ramakrishna asked them: "Where do you live? What is your occupation? Why have you come to Baranagore?"

M. answered the questions, but he noticed that now and then the Master seemed to become absent-minded. Later he learnt that this mood is called bhava, ecstasy. It is like the state of the angler who has been sitting with his rod: the fish comes and swallows the bait, and the float begins to tremble; the angler is on the alert; he grips the rod and watches the float steadily and eagerly; he will not speak to anyone. Such was the state of Sri Ramakrishna's mind. Later M. heard, and himself noticed, that Sri Ramakrishna would often go into this mood after dusk, sometimes becoming totally unconscious of the outer world.

M: "Perhaps you want to perform your evening worship. In that case may we take our leave?"
Sri Ramakrishna (still in ecstasy): "No - evening worship? No, it is not exactly that."
After a little conversation M. saluted the Master and took his leave. "Come again", Sri Ramakrishna said.

On his way home M. began to wonder: "Who is this serene - looking man who is drawing me back to him? Is it possible for a man to be great without being a scholar? How wonderful it is! I should like to see him again. He himself said, 'Come again.' I shall go tomorrow or the day after."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: silentgreen on December 15, 2010, 07:58:52 AM
Second visit:

M.'s second visit to Sri Ramakrishna took place on the southeast verandah at eight o'clock in the morning. The Master was about to be shaved, the barber having just arrived. As the cold season still lingered he had put on a moleskin shawl bordered with red.

Seeing M., the Master said: "So you have come. That's good. Sit down here." He was smiling. He stammered a little when he spoke.

Sri Ramakrishna (to M.): "Where do you live?"
M: "In Calcutta, sir."
Sri Ramakrishna: "Where are you staying here?"
M: "I am at Baranagore at my older sister's—Ishan Kaviraj's house."
Sri Ramakrishna: "Oh, at Ishan's? Well, how is Keshab now? He was very ill."
M: "Indeed, I have heard so too, but I believe he is well now."

Sri Ramakrishna: "I made a vow to worship the Mother with green coconut and sugar on Keshab's recovery. Sometimes, in the early hours of the morning, I would wake up and cry before Her: 'Mother, please make Keshab well again. If Keshab doesn't live, whom shall I talk with when I go to Calcutta?' And so it was that I resolved to offer Her the green coconut and sugar. "Tell me, do you know of a certain Mr. Cook who has come to Calcutta? Is it true that he is giving lectures? Once Keshab took me on a steamer, and this Mr. Cook, too was in the party."
M: "Yes, sir, I have heard something like that; but I have never been to his lectures. I don't know much about him."

Sri Ramakrishna: "Pratap's brother came here. He stayed a few days. He had nothing to do and said he wanted to live here. I came to know that he had left his wife and children with his father-in-law. He has a whole brood of them! So I took him to task. Just fancy! He is the father of so many children! Will people from the neighbourhood feed them and bring them up? He isn't even ashamed that someone else is feeding his wife and children, and that they have been left at his father-in-law's house. I scolded him very hard and asked him to look for a job. Then he was willing to leave here.

"Are you married?"

M: "Yes, sir."
Sri Ramakrishna (with a shudder): "Oh, Ramlal! Alas, he is married!"

Like one guilty of a terrible offence, M. sat motionless, his eyes fixed on the ground. He thought, "Is it such a wicked thing to get married?"

The Master continued, "Have you any children?"

M. this time could hear the beating of his own heart. He whispered in a trembling voice, "Yes, sir, I have children."

Very sadly Sri Ramakrishna said, "Ah me! He even has children!"

Thus rebuked M. sat speechless. His pride had received a blow. After a few minutes Sri Ramakrishna looked at him kindly and said affectionately: "You see, you have certain good signs. I know them by looking at a person's forehead, his eyes, and so on. Tell me, now, what kind of person is your wife? Has she spiritual attributes, or is she under the power of avidya?"

M: "She is all right. But I am afraid she is ignorant."

Master (with evident displeasure): "And you are a man of knowledge!"

M. had yet to learn the distinction between knowledge and ignorance. Up to this time his conception had been that one got knowledge from books and schools. Later on he gave up this false conception. He was taught that to know God is knowledge, and not to know Him, ignorance. When Sri Ramakrishna exclaimed, "And you are a man of knowledge!", M.'s ego was again badly shocked.

God with and without form:
Master: "Well, do you believe in God with form or without form?"
M., rather surprised, said to himself: "How can one believe in God without form when one believes in God with form? And if one believes in God without form, how can one believe that God has a form? Can these two contradictory ideas be true at the same time? Can a white liquid like milk be black?"

M: "Sir, I like to think of God as formless."

Master: "Very good. It is enough to have faith in either aspect. You believe in God without form; that is quite all right. But never for a moment think that this alone is true and all else false. Remember that God with form is just as true as God without form. But hold fast to your own conviction."

The assertion that both are equally true amazed M.; he had never learnt this from his books. Thus his ego received a third blow; but since it was not yet completely crushed, he came forward to argue with the Master a little more.

Image of Spirit:
M: "Sir, suppose one believes in God with form. Certainly He is not the clay image!"
Master (interrupting): "But why clay? It is an image of Spirit."

M. could not quite understand the significance of this "image of Spirit". "But, sir," he said to the Master, "one should explain to those who worship the clay image that it is not God, and that, while worshipping it, they should have God in view and not the clay image. One should not worship clay."

God the only real teacher:
Master (sharply): "That's the one hobby of you Calcutta people – giving lectures and bringing others to the light! Nobody ever stops to consider how to get the light himself. Who are you to teach others?

"He who is the Lord of the Universe will teach everyone. He alone teaches us, who has created this universe; who has made the sun and moon, men and beasts, and all other beings; who has provided means for their sustenance; who has given children parents and endowed them with love to bring them up. The Lord has done so many things – will He not show people the way to worship Him? If they need teaching, then He will be the Teacher. He is our Inner Guide.

"Suppose there is an error in worshipping the clay image; doesn't God know that through it He alone is being invoked? He will he pleased with that very worship. Why should you get a headache over it? You had better try for knowledge and devotion yourself."

This time M. felt that his ego was completely crushed. He now said to himself: "Yes, he has spoken the truth. What need is there for me to teach others? Have I known God? Do I really love Him? 'I haven't room enough for myself in my bed, and I am inviting my friend to share it with me!' I know nothing about God, yet I am trying to teach others. What a shame! How foolish I am! This is not mathematics or history or literature, that one can teach it to others. No, this is the deep mystery of God. What he says appeals to me."

This was M.'s first argument with the Master, and happily his last.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 15, 2010, 10:46:20 AM



Dear silentgreen,

Excellent.  You should post select passages of the Gospel of
Sri Ramakrishna.  In fact, there are many parallels and many
differences between Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Bhagavan, in their
lives and teachings.  One who has read both thoroughly and also
understood them, should write about these parallels.

Sri Bhagavan also agreed to both worship of god in form and in formless way.  Many devotees who had come to Him were adept in worships with forms of god and He was not eager to push His
Atma vicharam down their throats immediately.   He has said:
"The subtle space of Jnana refers to the extremely pure space
of attribute free consciousness, which shines as Pure Being.  Hence, these two [attributed consciousness and attribute free
consciousness]  are quite different.  Chitrambalam [the subtle space of consciousness], the Heart-space and Chidakasa [the space of consciousness] all refer to the latter.  This is the true form of God who shines as the Atma Swarupa. 

In Day by Day, He says [entry dated 18th April 1946]:

If you have the idea that you are something with form, then you are limited by this body, and that being within this body you have see through these eyes.  God and the world also appear to you as form.  If you realize that you are without form, that you are unlimited, that you alone exist, that you are the eye, the infinite eye, what is there to be seen apart from the infinite eye?  Apart from the eye, there is nothing to be seen.

Even this day, we are all reading Sri Bhagavan and praying to Him along with worship of forms only.  But, a day will come when we realize that  are only the infinite eye and apart from Us, our  infinite eye, there is no thing to be seen. 

Sri Bhagavan had the highest regard for Sri Ramakrishna.  There was some photograph of SRK above his sofa.  Once when someone brought a garland to Him, He told the attendant to place on the photograph of Sri Ramakrishna.



Arunachala Siva.                   
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: silentgreen on December 15, 2010, 01:52:46 PM
Dear Subramanian.R,

What you are saying is correct.
There is a difference between attribute and attribute-free consciousness as far as the experience is concerned. In samadhi, Sri Ramakrishna experienced attribute-free consciousness of Brahman. In waking state the same consciousness is carried over and everything seems to be filled with Brahman.

A person in deep devotion even though he worships a form actually worships both form and formlessness (Chinmaya Rupa). When the devotion deepens formlessness automatically deepens. What else is devotion? Seeing (at least a trace of) the formless Sachhidananda in the form. Otherwise devotion will not arise in the heart at all.

If we see the structure of creation we see that Brahman would have been sufficient being in a static state. What need was there of creation? We praise a saint more when we see that he/she is most often one with Brahman and less in touch with the world. But God, the greatest of Saint, who was originally in the most exalted state, being one with Brahman, wanted creation and thereby created the universe with the power of Maya. He is formless but He wanted to be with form also. He is egoless but He wanted to be with ego also. He out of His joy plays in His world. That is why He is both with form and formless. If God did not like Maya, He could have eliminated it in an instant. God does not have to do sadhana to eliminate Maya. He can withdraw it at any moment He wishes.

My opinion is that, the ideal is to be in the juncture of form and formlessness. Be in a position where at any time you can switch between them. Enjoy their combination as well.

There is a controversy whether God can appear in form. The hardcore Advaitins will tend to deny it as subjective illusion. But if we follow the spiritual history, then we find that there has been plentiful incidents supporting this. To all the Alvars and Nayanmars and so many other saints God has appeared in form. The most striking incident is Thiru Jnana Sambandar. He did not do any sadhana but only cried in the temple premises, and Shiva and Parvati is said to appear before him (must be merits of previous lives). Sri Krishna said in the Gita that whoever calls Him in whichever form, He appears in the same form. A person wishing to have attributeless samadhi will get attributeless samadhi as well.

It does not matter whether God appearing in form is a subjective illusion. The entire creation is illusion and so everything necessarily have to be made of the same substance only. God has created the universe and plays in it in illimitable ways.

I like the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna not only for devotional content but also for humour. Most of the Gospel is humour only. Those who have seen the expressions of Sri Ramakrishna in films etc will understand this. He was a divine comedian. He was like a child and whatever the Divine Mother makes him speak, he speaks out. He does not prepare for anything.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 15, 2010, 04:27:36 PM



Dear silentgreen,

I am quite happy to read your interpretations about form worhsips
and formelss worship.  You have said:  "What is devotion? The
devotion at its peak wants to see at least a trace of formless
consciousness as with form..."  This is the nut, which you have cracked, very correctly.

In course of His stay, Bhagavan Ramana had many many devotees
who had seen Him either as Siva, Sri Dakshinamurty or Skanda.
Even Mother Azhagamma had seen Him as Siva with garlands of
serpents.  Now, without going into the individual cases, these
'seeing' can be classified into two broad categories:

1. Fevered imagination due to intense devotion.
2. Actual Vision at the stage called Bhakti-uttara Jnana. 

The second is the truth, which you have mentioned. 

Bhagavan Ramana has said in an answer to a question of K.M. Jivarajani [Day by Day]:

Visions are not a necessary stage.  To some they come and to others they don't but whether they come or not you always exist and you must stick to that.

Now coming to Nayanmars and Azhwars, yes, they all had what is called Visions.  This visions [as in the case of Jnana Sambandah, who saw Siva and Parvati above Sirkazhi Temple, when he cried for milk] is otherwise called Aham Sphurana, the pulsating I, which is the foretaste of self realization.   This vision results in the opening of the third eye, or the eye of the eye, that is Heart.  Tiru Navukkarasar also had a Kailas Darsan, not in Kailas but when he took bath and rose from water in Tiruvaiyaru Tank.  Because the saint, apart from self realization, also wanted this vision and Siva gave him so.

For many others, Siva did not come as Siva Himself, but in a human form as a brahmin [brahmin need not be interpreted as Brahmin caste but as one who had realized Brahman].  Take Manikkavachagar.  This saint was quite lucky, he had vision of Siva as a Brahmin, in Tiruperundurai, again in Tiruvidai Maruthur and then also in Tiru Kazhu Kunram.  For Sundaramurty, Siva came as an old man to stop his wedding, and then when the saint followed Him upto Tiruvennai Nallur, he went into the Temple as a column of light.  Then Sundaramurty had understood that this was Siva.             

In the pure Ajata Vada sense of nondual consciousness, the Light should be realized within.  But in case of bhakti-saints, the visions also take place of the chosen god either in direct form or in form in
disguise.  This is the Light seen outside before the Aham Sphurti,
permanent abidance in the Self  takes place, Bhakti Uttara Jnana.  Many of Bhakta Vijayam saints had visions of Panduranga, as Panduranga Himself, or as a servant, or a play mate or as a king and so on.  In fact, many stories of Periya Puranam have identical stories in Bhakta Vijayam too.   

Darshan means not only Vision but also Realization.  It is said
that ancient Rishis had mantra darsan.  This only means that they had mantras brimming from the Heart Centre and not that they
'saw' the mantras as if they were written on a wall.   

Thank you once again for you the insight given by you.  This
sort of discussion is very rare in Forum.



Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 15, 2010, 04:30:42 PM



Dear silentgreen,

In fact when Sri Ramakrishna, for a question of Swami Vivekananda
had said:  "Yes.  I have seen God, much more closer than that I see
you."  This also means a statement of truth in the state of bhakti uttara jnana. 



Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: silentgreen on December 15, 2010, 05:49:07 PM
Dear Subramanian.R,

What you say is correct.
During my earlier days, I did an experiment. When I felt a little devotion for one God, I used to mentally switch to another God. The same devotion gets carried over to another God. It is like learning to swim. Once you learn swimming in one pond, you can swim in all the ponds. There may be a little preference for one pond, which is natural. Also once you have learnt swimming, whereever you see a pond, you will feel like swimming.

Sri Ramakrishna also adviced the same. Learn swimming in one pond thoroughly. Then you can swim in all the ponds. Sri Ramakrishna learnt swimming in the pond of the Divine Mother. Thereafter he swam in Radha-Krisha pond, Shiva pond, Advaita pond, Rama pond, Christian pond, Islam pond and many more with ease.

Sri Ramakrishna could easily identify whether you have actually learnt swimming or simply uttering from books like a parrot. He did not appreciate dry intellectual unification of principles. You have to actually learn swimming, not give details of how to move hands and feet in water, how the surface tension of water helps the body float etc. When an aspirant is learning to swim, he did not tolerate others disturbing them, citing big words from scriptures. When Naren (Swami Vivekananda) was initially trying to make fun of Rakhal (Swami Brahmananda) as Rakhal was prostating before the Divine Mother, Sri Ramakrishna scolded Naren. On the other hand the rules for Naren who had an Advaitic tendency was different. Sri Ramakrishna never forced Naren to convert himself to a worshipper of Devi, but he wanted to break the rigidity of Naren and his ridiculing tendency. It is interesting to note that Swami Vivekananda started as an Advaitic and later in his life his inclinations for Divine Mother increased. On the other hand Swami Brahmananda started as a worshipper of God with form and later his inclinations of Advaita increased.

When one learns swimming in one pond, one can swim in all the ponds. This is seen in the life of Swami Vivekananda in a different way. Swami Vivekananda extended the concept of pond (from a saying of Sri Ramakrishna) to include human beings also as ponds apart from Gods. Gods are clear ponds. Human beings are ponds filled with scums. So after you learn swimming in a clear pond, try to swim in a pond with scum, i.e. Jiva-Seva, service to man as God.

It is also interesting to note that when one reads the Yoga books of Swami Vivekananda (Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Raja Yoga), it seems that for each Yoga, Swami Vivekananda is stressing that, that yoga is best. Sometimes people get confused. Which yoga is Swamiji saying as best? The secret is that Swami Vivekananda can swim in all the ponds.

Same for Bhagavad Gita. Sri Krishna can swim in all the ponds effortlessly, whether it be of Karma, Bhakti, Jnana or Yoga. That is why in Gita we find everything.

Bhagavan Ramana once said: I do not understand how one can remain without weeping while listening to Hari Katha. We do not find anywhere in Bhagavan's life where he was specially trained to weep while listening to Hari-Katha. The secret is that the Jnana pond is related to Hari-pond also.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 15, 2010, 06:11:37 PM



Bhagavan Ramana has said, a number of times in His conversations
that Bhakti is Jnana Matha.  An accomplished Jnani will also be a
great bhakta.  They go together.  For some, after realization [Jnana]
bhakti springs like a water fall.  For some others, ardent bhakti
culiminates into Jnana.  All the five poems of Sri Arunachala Stuti
Panchakam had been written, AFTER Bhagavan's realization.



Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: silentgreen on December 16, 2010, 08:36:34 AM
continued ...

Master: "You were talking of worshipping the clay image. Even if the image is made of clay, there is need for that sort of worship. God Himself has provided different forms of worship. He who is the Lord of the Universe has arranged all these forms to suit different men in different stages of knowledge.
"The mother cooks different dishes to suit the stomachs of her different children. Suppose she has five children. If there is a fish to cook, she prepares various dishes from it – pilau, pickled fish, fried fish, and so on – to suit their different tastes and powers of digestion.
"Do you understand me?
"

Need of holy company & Meditation in solitude
M. (humbly): "Yes, sir. How, sir, may we fix our minds on God?"
Master: "Repeat God's name and sing His glories, and keep holy company; and now and then visit God's devotees and holy men. The mind cannot dwell on God if it is immersed day and night in worldliness, in worldly duties and responsibilities; it is most necessary to go into solitude now and then and think of God. To fix the mind on God is very difficult, in the beginning, unless one practises meditation in solitude. When a tree is young it should be fenced all around; otherwise it may be destroyed by cattle.
"To meditate, you should withdraw within yourself or retire to a secluded corner or to the forest. And you should always discriminate between the Real and the unreal. God alone is real, the Eternal Substance; all else is unreal, that is, impermanent. By discriminating thus, one should shake off impermanent objects from the mind.
"

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: silentgreen on December 16, 2010, 10:04:23 AM
Quote
This visions [as in the case of Jnana Sambandah, who saw Siva and Parvati above Sirkazhi Temple, when he cried for milk] is otherwise called Aham Sphurana, the pulsating I, which is the foretaste of self realization

I find the case of Thiru  Jnana Sambandah quite unique because he was a mere child (may be three or four years old). He is unlikely to have any idea of God, Shiva etc. When left alone by his father near the temple tank, he cried, maybe because of hunger, or being left alone. He did not cry for God. It was a simple cry of a child.

Now whatever the mechanism of the vision, whether it is Aham Sphurana or any other form of awakening, it is due to pure grace of Shiva. When his father returned and enquired, he sang several decades of poem-song there and then graphically describing Shiva and Parvati. It is unlikely he has ever listenened to those songs before. And from then on his inspired life continued. A child became a child saint.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 16, 2010, 10:26:56 AM



Dear silentgreen,

Yes.  The story of Tiru Jnana Sambandha is quite unique.  He was
just three years old.  His father Sivapada Hrudayar had prayed to
Siva for a divine child and it appears Skanda Himself was born
as Sambandha.  When the father was bathing in Sirkazhi temple
tank, and placed his head under the water, the child found his
father not being there.  The child cried for not seeing his father.
When he cried, Siva-Parvati appeared above the temple tower,
and Mother gave her breast milk.  There is a humorous element
here.  Mother gave breast milk, because she did not give breast milk to Skanda and it was given to the Kartika mothers [6 mothers]  to breast feed Skanda.  So Paravti made good her lapse with Sambandha!

If we take the avatara theory of Sambandha, then there is no
discussion at all about getting self realized.  The avataras are
god's forms and then there is no need to become a Brahma Jnani. 
If you do not take the avatara theory, then  it is out of Mother's
Grace.  Bhagavan Ramana says that the foremost requirement for
Atma vichara is the grace of guru or god.  All else are only auxillary
requirements.

 
Again if you say how can a three year old child, which cannot even speak properly get Jnana?  Then Jnana-bodha does not require scriptural reading or any reading for that matter.  Prahlada was given Jnana-upadesa by Narada, when the former was in mother's womb.  How can a child which is not even fully formed get Jnana?  The truth is Jnana does not need any reading at all.  Because it is experiential due to divine grace or guru's grace.  Abhimanyu also knew the Chakra Vyuha type of battle, when he was in the womb of his mother.



Arunachala Siva.               
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: silentgreen on December 17, 2010, 10:05:09 AM
God and worldly duties

M. (humbly):"How ought we to live in the world?"

Master: Do all your duties, but keep your mind on God. Live with all – with wife and children, father and mother – and serve them. Treat them as if they were very dear to you, but know in your heart of hearts that they do not belong to you. A maidservant in the house of a rich man performs all the household duties, but her thoughts are fixed on her own home in her native village. She brings up her Master's children as if they were her own. She even speaks of them as 'my Rama' or 'my Hari'. But in her own mind she knows very well that they do not belong to her at all.

The tortoise moves about in the water. But can you guess where her thoughts are? There on the bank, where her eggs are lying. Do all your duties in the world, but keep your mind on God.

If you enter the world without first cultivating love for God, you will be entangled more and more. You will be overwhelmed with its danger, its grief, its sorrows. And the more you think of worldly things, the more you will be attached to them. First rub your hands with oil and then break open the jack-fruit; otherwise they will be smeared with its sticky milk. First secure the oil of divine love, and then set your hands to the duties of the world.

But one must go into solitude to attain this divine love. To get butter from milk you must let it set into curd in a secluded spot; if it is too much disturbed, milk won't turn into curd. Next, you must put aside all other duties, sit in a quiet spot, and churn the curd. Only then do you get butter. Further, by meditating on God in solitude the mind acquires knowledge, dispassion, and devotion. But the very same mind goes downward if it dwells in the world. In the world there is only one thought: 'woman and gold'. The world is water and the mind milk. If you pour milk into water they become one; you cannot find the pure milk any more. But turn the milk into curd and churn it into butter. Then, when that butter is placed in water, it will float. So, practise spiritual discipline in solitude and obtain the butter of knowledge and love. Even if you keep that butter in the water of the world the two will not mix. The butter will float.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 17, 2010, 10:25:07 AM



In this passage, Sri Ramakrishna quotes about tortoise.  Traditionally
in Advaita prakarana granthas, three types of diksha are mentioned.
One is tortoise.  Tortoise merely thinks of the eggs on the bank
and they hatch.[Mano diksha].  The fish sees the eggs in the water
and they hatch. [Sakshu diksha].  The hen touches the eggs with its
feathers and they hatch. [Sparsa diksha].

Again SRK gives the example of applying oil on the palms and
fingers for peeling the jackfruit.  The oil prevents the sticking
of gummy inner skin of the jack fruit and one can remove the fruits.  Sri Bhagavan also says that one can attend to wordly
duties simultaneously inquiring into the Self.

Nice passage from M.  Thanks.



Arunachala Siva.     
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: silentgreen on December 20, 2010, 09:43:29 AM
continued ...

Practice of discrimination
"Together with this, you must practise discrimination. 'Woman and gold' is impermanent. God is the only Eternal Substance. What does a man get with money? Food, clothes, and a dwelling-place – nothing more. You cannot realize God with its  help. Therefore money can never be the goal of life. That is the process of discrimination. Do you understand?"

M: "Yes, sir. I recently read a Sanskrit play called Prabodha Chandrodaya. It deals with discrimination."

Master: "Yes, discrimination about objects. Consider – what is there in money or in a beautiful body? Discriminate and you will find that even the body of a beautiful woman consists of bones, flesh, fat, and other disagreeable things. Why should a man give up God and direct his attention to such things? Why should a man forget God for their sake?"

How to see God
M: "Is it possible to see God?"
Master: "Yes, certainly. Living in solitude now and then, repeating God's name and singing His glories, and discriminating between the Real and the unreal – these are the means to employ to see Him."

Longing and yearning
M: "Under what conditions does one see God?"
Master: "Cry to the Lord with an intensely yearning heart and you will certainly see Him. People shed a whole jug of tears for wife and children. They swim in tears for money. But who weeps for God? Cry to Him with a real cry."

The Master sang:
Cry to your Mother Syama , with a real cry, O mind!
And how can She hold Herself from you?
How can Syama stay away?
How can your Mother Kali hold Herself away?
O mind, if you are in earnest, bring Her an offering
Of bel-leaves and hibiscus flowers;
Lay at Her feet your offering
And with it mingle the fragrant sandal-paste of Love.


Continuing, he said: "Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun. Longing is followed by the vision of God.
"God reveals Himself to a devotee who feels drawn to Him by the combined force of these three attractions: the attraction of worldly possessions for the worldly man, the child's attraction for its mother, and the husband's attraction for the chaste wife. If one feels drawn to Him by the combined force of these three attractions, then through it one can attain Him.
"The point is, to love God even as the mother loves her child, the chaste wife her husband, and the worldly man his wealth. Add together these three forces of love, these three powers of attraction, and give it all to God. Then you will certainly see Him.
"It is necessary to pray to Him with a longing heart. The kitten knows only how to call its mother, crying, 'Mew, mew!' It remains satisfied wherever its mother puts it. And the mother cat puts the kitten sometimes in the kitchen, sometimes on the floor, and sometimes on the bed. When it suffers it cries only, 'Mew, mew!' That's all it knows. But as soon as the mother hears this cry, wherever she may be; she comes to the kitten."
 
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 21, 2010, 09:49:41 AM



Dear silentgreen,

A beautiful entry in Suri Nagamma's Letters from Sri Ramanasramam,
[179]:

A Tamizh youth asked Sri Bhagavan:

"Swami, it is good to love God, is it not?  Then why not follow the
path of love?"

Sri Bhagavan:

"Who said you couldn't follow it?  You can do so.  But when you talk of love, there is duality, is there not -- the person who loves
and the entity called God who is loved?  The individual is not separate from God.  Hence love means one has love towards one's
own Self.  For this, i.e. loving one's own Self, examples have been given in the Vasudeva Mananam, stage by stage.  Man loves money
most; but he loves his son more than money; his own body more
than his son; his indriyas more than the body; the eye most among the organs.  Life more than the eye.  And finally Atma more than life.

This is exemplified thus:

If the son does something untoward, and the government decides to punish him for it, the parents offer money and even bribes to set him free.  Hence the love for son is more than money.  If however, the government does not accept money but say that he will let off the son if the father agrees to undergo punishment himself instead, then he father will say, 'Do whatever you like with the boy.  I have nothing to do with him.'  Hence the father loves his own body more than his son.  If a man does something for which the powers that be, says his eyes must be plucked out, he agrees to save his eyes, by agreeing to bodily torture.  So bodily torture is is preferred to the loss of an organ.  If however, they decide to take his life, by beheading him, he would be prepared to lose his eyes or any other organ, than lose his life.  So life [prana] is loved more than  the organs.  In the same manner, a person who desires
to have Atma-anandam, he would be prepared to lose his life even, if necessary. So the Self is loved more than life.  Hence the idea of a person loving God, is only with a view to being happy himself.  He is, however, the embodiment of happiness and that happiness is God.  Who else is to be loved?  Love itself is God."

Sri Bhagavan further said:

To reject the bad, you must love the good.  In due course, the good also will appear to be an obstacle and will be rejected.  Hence you must first necessarily love what is good.  That means you must first love and then reject the thing you love.  If you thus reject everything, what remains is the Self alone.  That is real love.  One who knows the secret of that love finds the world itself full of universal love."



Arunachala Siva.                     
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: silentgreen on December 21, 2010, 10:26:41 AM
Dear Subramanian.R,

You are correct.
There cannot be love of God without Atman. A human being can love God more than animals and plants because human beings are more Self-aware (have greater Chaitanya Shakti manifested). It may so happen that a person may worship a lion (thinking it to be a vahana of Divine Mother, so Divine Mother Herself) with such great fervour that the person gets realised but the lion remains a lion.

The Hindu idea of devotion is to superimpose the infinite on the finite, and not to truncate the infinite into finite. That is why Sri Ramakrishna said that, why think a clay image as clay, think it to be the "Image of the Spirit". Ideally when a person sees the Sacchidananda within, he sees the Sacchidananda outside also and everything should be as if worshippable. Worshipping and loving God is trying to realise this in the reverse way. It is not required that everyone worship images. If a person is more comfortable with inner worship he will do so. Praying to God in images is same as self-surrender through love (not much different from Self-Enquiry in essence, but often much easier).
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: silentgreen on December 21, 2010, 10:30:28 AM
continued ...

Third visit
It was Sunday afternoon when M. came on his third visit to the Master. He had been profoundly impressed by his first two visits to this wonderful man. He had been thinking of the Master constantly, and of the utterly simple way he explained the deep truths of the spiritual life. Never before had he met such a man. Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on the small couch. The room was filled with devotees, who had taken advantage of the holiday to come to see the Master. M. had not yet become acquainted with any of them; so he took his seat in a corner. The Master smiled as he talked with the devotees.

Narendra
He addressed his words particularly to a young man of nineteen, named Narendranath, who was a college student and frequented the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj. His eyes were bright, his words were full of spirit, and he had the look of a lover of God.

How the spiritually minded should look upon the worldly
M. guessed that the conversation was about worldly men, who look down on those who aspire to spiritual things. The Master was talking about the great number of such people in the world, and about how to deal with them.

Master (to Narendra): "How do you feel about it? Worldly people say all kinds of things about the spiritually minded. But look here! When an elephant moves along the street, any number of curs and other small animals may bark and cry after it; but the elephant doesn't even look back at them. If people speak ill of you, what will you think of them?"

Narendra: "I shall think that dogs are barking at me."

God in every being
Master (Smiling): "Oh, no! You mustn't go that far, my child! (Laughter). God dwells in all beings. But you may be intimate only with good people; you must keep away from the evil-minded. God is even in the tiger; but you cannot embrace the tiger on that account. (Laughter). You may say, 'Why run away from a tiger, which is also a manifestation of God?' The answer to that is: 'Those who tell you to run away are also manifestations of God – and why shouldn't you listen to them?'

Parable of the "elephant God"
"Let me tell you a story. In a forest there lived a holy man who had many disciples. One day he taught them to see God in all beings and, knowing this, to bow low before them all. A disciple went to the forest to gather wood for the sacrificial fire. Suddenly he heard an outcry: 'Get out of the way! A mad elephant is coming!' All but the disciple of the holy man took to their heels. He reasoned that the elephant was also God in another form. Then why should he run away from it? He stood still, bowed before the animal, and began to sing its praises. The mahut of the elephant was shouting: 'Run away! Run away!' But the disciple didn't move. The animal seized him with its trunk, cast him to one side, and went on its way. Hurt and bruised, the disciple lay unconscious on the ground. Hearing what had happened, his teacher and his brother disciples came to him and carried him to the hermitage. With the help of some medicine he soon regained consciousness. Someone asked him, 'You knew the elephant was coming – why didn't you leave the place?' 'But', he said, 'our teacher has told us that God Himself has taken all these forms, of animals as well as men. Therefore, thinking it was only the elephant God that was coming, I didn't run away.' At this the teacher said: 'Yes, my child, it is true that the elephant God was coming; but the mahut God forbade you to stay there. Since all are manifestations of God, why didn't you trust the mahut's words? You should have heeded the words of the mahut God.' (Laughter)
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 21, 2010, 11:16:11 AM



Dear silentgreen,

Very nice post.  Sri Ramakrishna's example of mad elephant and
mahut has also been mentioned by Sri Bhagavan, also, on a couple of occasions.

As we are all aware, there are two ways in which a child understands that a lamp if touched will burn its fingers.  One is to touch it and to get burnt and then avoid touching it.  The other is to listen to mother and know that the lamp will burn if touched by fingers.   

The first is Jnana Marga. To suffer in the worldly life and then
keep away from it. 

The second is Bhakti Marga.  I do not have to suffer.  My teacher
says that the world is full of suffering.  So I should live like a fish,
living in water but not permitting the water to get into its system.
The teacher is the guru.

I remember Sri Vivekananda once saying:  To understand and transcend the Terrible, one should worship the Terrible. 

There was a Vedic pandit, a sattvic brahmin teaching students
and earning some small money for the livelihood of himself and
his wife.  His wife was a nagging type, constanly telling something
and complaining about everything in life. The pandit used to turn a deaf ear.  But one day, she became so terrible, she came to the front portal of the house [where Pandit was teaching boys], with a long knife on hand.  The Pandit stood up said:  O Mother, All along
I was thinking that you are quite sowmya [well disposed towards me], but occasionally shouting at me and nagging me.  Today only
I see you as Bhadrakali, Prostrations to you. 

The lady found this man speaking like this and started laughing
dropping the knife.

Ya devi sarvabhuteshu krodha rupinyai namah | 
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu srungara rupinyai namah |

In Hindu pantheon, there are not two aspects of God and Satan.
There is only one, which appears as both.  Sri Sri Ravishankar said
about Rahul Gandhi's impertinent remarks about Hindu fundamentalists who are more dangerous than even Al-Quaida:

He has not understood Hinduism properly.  If I am given a chance,
I shall even reform the Maoists, and bring them to the mainstream life.

Even tigers in the Hill were not harming Sri Bhagavan, because
they knew that He will do no harm to them. Even the most dangerous animals do not harm a person unless confronted.     



Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: silentgreen on December 22, 2010, 09:17:29 AM
continued ...

"It is said in the scriptures that water is a form of God. But some water is fit to be used for worship, some water for washing the face, and some only for washing plates or dirty linen. This last sort cannot be used for drinking or for a holy purpose. In like manner, God undoubtedly dwells in the hearts of all – holy and unholy, righteous and unrighteous; but a man should not have dealings with the unholy, the wicked, the impure. He must not be intimate with them. With some of them he may exchange words, but with others he shouldn't go even that far. He should keep aloof from such people."

How to deal with the wicked
A Devotee: "Sir, if a wicked man is about to do harm, or actually does so, should we keep quiet then?"
Master: "A man living in society should make a show of tamas to protect himself from evil-minded people. But he should not harm anybody in anticipation of harm likely to be done him.

Parable of the snake
"Listen to a story. Some cowherd boys used to tend their cows in a meadow where a terrible poisonous snake lived. Everyone was on the alert for fear of it. One day a brahmachari was going along the meadow. The boys ran to him and said: 'Revered sir, please don't go that way. A venomous snake lives over there.' 'What of it, my good children?' said the brahmachari. 'I am not afraid of the snake. I know some mantras.' So saying, he continued on his way along the meadow. But the cowherd boys, being afraid, did not accompany him. In the mean time the snake moved swiftly toward him with upraised hood. As soon as it came near, he recited a mantra, and the snake lay at his feet like an earthworm.

The brahmachari said: 'Look here. Why do you go about doing harm? Come, I will give you a holy word. By repeating it you will learn to love God. Ultimately you will realize Him and so get rid of your violent nature.' Saying this, he taught the snake a holy word and initiated him into spiritual life. The snake bowed before the teacher and said, 'Revered sir, how shall I practise spiritual discipline?' 'Repeat that sacred word', said the teacher, 'and do no harm to anybody'. As he was about to depart, the brahmachari said, 'I shall see you again.'

"Some days passed and the cowherd boys noticed that the snake would not bite. They threw stones at it. Still it showed no anger; it behaved as if it were an earthworm. One day one of the boys came close to it, caught it by the tail, and, whirling it round and round, dashed it again and again on the ground and threw it away. The snake vomited blood and became unconscious. It was stunned. It could not move. So, thinking it dead, the boys went their way. "Late at night the snake regained consciousness. Slowly and with great difficulty it dragged itself into its hole; its bones were broken and it could scarcely move.

Many days passed. The snake became a mere skeleton covered with a skin. Now and then, at night, it would come out in search of food. For fear of the boys it would not leave its hole during the day-time. Since receiving the sacred word from the teacher, it had given up doing harm to others. It maintained its life on dirt, leaves, or the fruit that dropped from the trees.

"About a year later the brahmachari came that way again and asked after the snake. The cowherd boys told him that it was dead. But he couldn't believe them. He knew that the snake would not die before attaining the fruit of the holy word with which it had been initiated. He found his way to the place and, searching here and there, called it by the name he had given it. Hearing the teacher's voice, it came out of its hole and bowed before him with great reverence. 'How are you?' asked the brahmachari. 'I am well, sir', replied the snake. 'But', the teacher asked, 'why are you so thin?' The snake replied: 'Revered sir, you ordered me not to harm any body. So I have been living only on leaves and fruit. Perhaps that has made me thinner.'

"The snake had developed the quality of sattva; it could not be angry with anyone. It had totally forgotten that the cowherd boys had almost killed it. "The brahmachari said: 'It can't be mere want of food that has reduced you to this state. There must be some other reason. Think a little.' Then the snake remembered that the boys had dashed it against the ground. It said: 'Yes, revered sir, now I remember. The boys one day dashed me violently against the ground. They are ignorant, after all. They didn't realize what a great change had come over my mind. How could they know I wouldn't bite or harm anyone?' The brahmachari exclaimed: 'What a shame! You are such a fool! You don't know how to protect yourself. I asked you not to bite, but I didn't forbid you to hiss. Why didn't you scare them by hissing?'

"So you must hiss at wicked people. You must frighten them lest they should do you harm. But never inject your venom into them. One must not injure others. "In this creation of God there is a variety of things: men, animals, trees, plants. Among the animals some are good, some bad. There are ferocious animals like the tiger. Some trees bear fruit sweet as nectar, and others bear fruit that is poisonous. Likewise, among human beings, there are the good and the wicked, the holy and the unholy. There are some who are devoted to God, and others who are attached to the world.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 22, 2010, 11:39:31 AM



Dear silentgreen,

Your post on Sri Ramakrishna telling about the snake.  I remember
a story about a snake told by Sri Bhagavan. 

Entry of 10th December 1945:
[Day by Day by Devaraja Mudaliar].

Yesterday or the day before, in the morning a snake was seen
by Chinnaswami and others in the Asramam premises somewhere
near Sri Bhagavan's Hall.  We heard the cries, "What kind of snake
is it?" "Beat it!  Beat it!  When we heard the noise of actual beating, Sri Bhagavan cried out: "Who is beating it?"  Apparently,
this remonstrance of Sri Bhagavan, was not heard the party, and the snake was killed.  Sri Bhagavan added:  "If these persons are
beaten like that, then they will know what it means."

Sri Bhagavan always considered that the animals, reptiles and birds in the Hill are the real owners of the Hill.  The people and
the Asramam are intruders.  When they are going here and there,
not harming the people, why should people chase them and kill them?  If it is a tiger instead of a snake, will they dare to challenge it and do it?

If you find anyone wicked, keep away from them.  Do not try to
correct them. Or do not try to punish them.  This is the attitude
of all Jnanis.



Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: silentgreen on December 23, 2010, 09:01:48 AM
Four classes of men
"Men may be divided into four classes: those bound by the fetters of the world, the seekers after liberation, the liberated, and the ever-free.

"Among the ever-free we may count sages like Narada. They live in the world for the good of others, to teach men spiritual truth. "Those in bondage are sunk in worldliness and forgetful of God. Not even by mistake do they think of God. "The seekers after liberation want to free themselves from attachment to the world. Some of them succeed and others do not.

"The liberated souls, such as the sadhus and mahatmas, are not entangled in the world, in 'woman and gold'. Their minds are free from worldliness. Besides, they always meditate on the Lotus Feet of God.

"Suppose a net has been cast into a lake to catch fish. Some fish are so clever that they are never caught in the net. They are like the ever-free. But most of the fish are entangled in the net. Some of them try to free themselves from it, and they are like those who seek liberation. But not all the fish that struggle succeed. A very few do jump out of the net, making a big splash in the water. Then the fishermen shout, 'Look! There goes a big one!' But most of the fish caught in the net cannot escape, nor do they make any effort to get out. On the contrary, they burrow into the mud with the net in their mouths and lie there quietly, thinking, 'We need not fear any more; we are quite safe here.' But the poor things do not know that the fishermen will drag them out with the net. These are like the men bound to the world.

"The bound souls are tied to the world by the fetters of 'woman and gold'. They are bound hand and foot. Thinking that 'woman and gold' will make them happy and give them security, they do not realize that it will lead them to annihilation. When a man thus bound to the world is about to die, his wife asks, 'You are about to go; but what have you done for me?' Again, such is his attachment to the things of the world that, when he sees the lamp burning brightly, he says: 'Dim the light. Too much oil is being used.' And he is on his death-bed!

"The bound souls never think of God. If they get any leisure they indulge in idle gossip and foolish talk, or they engage in fruitless work. If you ask one of them the reason, he answers, 'Oh, I cannot keep still; so I am making a hedge.' When time hangs heavy on their hands they perhaps start playing cards."

There was deep silence in the room.



Redeeming power of faith
A Devotee: "Sir, is there no help, then, for such a worldly person?"
Master: "Certainly there is. From time to time he should live in the company of holy men, and from time to time go into solitude to meditate on God. Furthermore, he should practise discrimination and pray to God, 'Give me faith and devotion.' Once a person has faith he has achieved everything. There is nothing greater than faith.

(To Kedar) "You must have heard about the tremendous power of faith. It is said in the purana that Rama, who was God Himself – the embodiment of Absolute Brahman – had to build a bridge to cross the sea to Ceylon. But Hanuman, trusting in Rama's name, cleared the sea in one jump and reached the other side. He had no need of a bridge. (All laugh)

"Once a man was about to cross the sea. Bibhishana wrote Rama's name on a leaf, tied it in a corner of the man's wearing-cloth, and said to him: 'Don't be afraid. Have faith and walk on the water. But look here – the moment you lose faith you will be drowned.' The man was walking easily on the water. Suddenly he had an intense desire to see what was tied in his cloth. He opened it and found only a leaf with the name of Rama written on it. 'What is this?' he thought. 'Just the name of Rama!'
As soon as doubt entered his mind he sank under the water.

"If a man has faith in God, then even if he has committed the most heinous sins – such as killing a cow, a brahmin, or a woman – he will certainly be saved through his faith. Let him only say to God, 'O Lord, I Will not repeat such an action', and he need not be afraid of anything."

When he had said this, the Master sang:
If only I can pass away repeating Durga's name,
How canst Thou then, O Blessed One,
Withhold from me deliverance,
Wretched though I may be?
I may have stolen a drink of wine, or killed a child unborn,
Or slain a woman or a cow,
Or even caused a brahmin's death;
But, though it all be true,
Nothing of this can make me feel the least uneasiness;
For through the power of Thy sweet name
My wretched soul may still aspire
Even to Brahmanhood.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on December 23, 2010, 10:46:07 AM



Dear silentgreen,

Yes.  Pure, blemishless love for God [or chanting His sweet names] alone would do.  It will remove all the inadequacies.  Sri Bhagavan
sings in Verse 7 of Sri Arunachala Nava Mani Maalai:

That moment when as Annamalai, You called me and made me
your own, You took sole charge of my spirit and my body.  What
more do I want?  Merits or inadequacies I know none apart from
You.  My very life You are.  Do with me what You will.  Only,
only, give me ever increasing LOVE FOR YOUR OWN TWIN FEET.



Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 03, 2012, 07:48:32 AM
Friends,
"During my earlier days, I did an experiment. When I felt a little devotion for one God, I used to mentally switch to another God. The same devotion gets carried over to another God. It is like learning to swim. Once you learn swimming in one pond, you can swim in all the ponds. There may be a little preference for one pond, which is natural. Also once you have learnt swimming, whereever you see a pond, you will feel like swimming."

I came across this post by silentgreen.How true and so simply stated!We do not get to see this devotee posting in recent times.I went through his website elsewhere and it is so neat and wonderful.Warmly recommended.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 06, 2012, 06:36:55 PM
Parable of the homa bird
Pointing to Narendra, the Master said: "You all see this boy. He behaves that way here. A
naughty boy seems very gentle when with his father. But he is quite another person when
he plays in the chandni. Narendra and people of his type belong to the class of the everfree.
They are never entangled in the world. When they grow a little older they feel the
awakening of inner consciousness and go directly toward God. They come to the world
only to teach others. They never care for anything of the world. They are never attached to
'woman and gold'.
"The Vedas speak of the homa bird. It lives high up in the sky and there it lays its egg. As
soon as the egg is laid it begins to fall; but it is so high up that it continues to fall for many
days. As it falls it hatches, and the chick falls. As the chick falls its eyes open; it grows
wings. As soon as its eyes open, it realizes that it is falling and will be dashed to pieces on
touching the earth. Then it at once shoots up toward the mother bird high in the sky."
At this point Narendra left the room. Kedar, Prankrishna, M., and many others remained.
Master praises Narendra
MASTER: "You see, Narendra excels in singing, playing on instruments, study, and
everything. The other day he had a discussion with Kedar and tore his arguments to shreds.
(All laugh.)
(To M.) "Is there any book in English on reasoning?"
M: "Yes, sir, there is. It is called Logic."
MASTER: "Tell me what it says."
M. was a little embarrassed. He said: "One part of the book deals with deduction from the
general to the particular. For example: All men are mortal. Scholars are men. Therefore
scholars are mortal. Another part deals with the method of reasoning from the particular to
the general. For example: This crow is black. That crow is black. The crows we see
everywhere are black. Therefore all crows are black. But there may be a fallacy in a
conclusion arrived at in this way; for on inquiry one may find a white crow in some
country. There is another illustration: If there is rain, there is, or has been, a cloud.
Therefore rain comes from a cloud. Still another example: This man has thirty-two teeth.
That man has thirty-two teeth. All the men we see have thirty-two teeth. Therefore men
have thirty-two teeth. English logic deals with such inductions and deductions."                                             
Sri Ramakrishna barely heard these words. While listening he became absent-minded. So
the conversation did not proceed far.
When the meeting broke up, the devotees sauntered in the temple garden. M. went in the
direction of the Panchavati. It was about five o'clock in the afternoon. After a while he
returned to the Master's room. There, on the small north verandah, he witnessed an amazing
sight.
(http://www.kalisbrood.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Sri-Ramakrishna-Paramahamsa-1.jpg)
Sri Ramakrishna was standing still, surrounded by a few devotees, and Narendra was                   
singing. M. had never heard anyone except the Master sing so sweetly. When he looked at
Sri Ramakrishna he was struck with wonder; for the Master stood motionless, with eyes
transfixed. He seemed not even to breathe. A devotee told M. that the Master was in
samadhi. M. had never before seen or heard of such a thing. Silent with wonder, he thought:
"Is it possible for a man to be so oblivious of the outer world in the consciousness of God?
How deep his faith and devotion must be to bring about such a state!"
Narendra was singing:
Meditate, O my mind, on the Lord Hari,
The Stainless One, Pure Spirit through and through.
How peerless is the Light that in Him shines!
How soul-bewitching is His wondrous form!
How dear is He to all His devotees!
Ever more beauteous in fresh-blossoming love
That shames the splendour of a million moons,
Like lightning gleams the glory of His form,
Raising erect the hair for very joy.                                                                                                       

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 07, 2012, 07:08:31 AM
The Master shuddered when this last line was sung. His hair stood on end, and tears of joy
streamed down his cheeks. Now and then his lips parted in a smile. Was he seeing the
peerless beauty of God, "that shames the splendour of a million moons"? Was this the
vision of God, the Essence of Spirit? How much austerity and discipline, how much faith
and devotion, must be necessary for such a vision!
The song went on:
Worship His feet in the lotus of your heart;
With mind serene and eyes made radiant
With heavenly love, behold that matchless sight.
Again that bewitching smile. The body motionless as before, the eyes half shut, as if
beholding a strange inner vision.
The song drew to a close. Narendra sang the last lines:
Caught in the spell of His love's ecstasy,
Immerse yourself for evermore, O mind"
In Him who is Pure Knowledge and Pure Bliss.
The sight of the samadhi, and the divine bliss he had witnessed, left an indelible impression
on M.'s mind. He returned home deeply moved. Now and then he could hear within himself
the echo of those soul-intoxicating lines:
Immerse yourself for evermore, O mind,
In Him who is Pure Knowledge and Pure Bliss
.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 08, 2012, 08:28:35 AM
Fourth visit
The next day, too, was a holiday for M. He arrived at Dakshineswar at three o'clock in the
afternoon. Sri Ramakrishna was in his room; Narendra, Bhavanath, and a few other
devotees were sitting on a mat spread on the floor. They were all young men of nineteen or
twenty. Seated on the small couch, Sri Ramakrishna was talking with them and smiling.
No sooner had M. entered the room than the Master laughed aloud and said to the boys,
"There! He has come again." They all joined in the laughter. M. bowed low before him and
took a seat. Before this he had saluted the Master with folded hands, like one with an
English education. But that day he learnt to fall down at his feet in orthodox Hindu fashion.
The peacock and the opium
Presently the Master explained the cause of his laughter to the devotees, He said: "A man
once fed a peacock with a pill of opium at four o'clock in the afternoon. The next day,
exactly at that time, the peacock came back. It had felt the intoxication of the drug and
returned just in time to have another dose."(All laugh.)
M. thought this a very apt illustration. Even at home he had been unable to banish the
thought of Sri Ramakrishna for a moment. His mind was constantly at Dakshineswar and
he had counted the minutes until he should go again.
In the mean time the Master was having great fun with the boys, treating them as if they
were his most intimate friends. Peals of side-splitting laughter filled the room, as if it were
a mart of joy. The whole thing was a revelation to M. He thought: "Didn't I see him only
yesterday intoxicated with God? Wasn't he swimming then in the Ocean of Divine Love - a
sight I had never seen before? And today the same person is behaving like an ordinary man!
Wasn't it he who scolded me on the first day of my coming here? Didn't he admonish me,
saying, 'And you are a man of knowledge!'? Wasn't it he who said to me that God with
form is as true as God without form? Didn't he tell me that God alone is real and all else
illusory? Wasn't it he who advised me to live in the world unattached, like a maidservant in
a rich man's house?"
Sri Ramakrishna was having great fun with the young devotees; now and then he glanced at
M. He noticed that M. sat in silence. The Master said to Ramlal: "You see, he is a little
advanced in years, and therefore somewhat serious. He sits quiet while the youngsters are
making merry." M. was then about twenty-eight years old.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 10, 2012, 03:51:49 PM
Hanuman's devotion to Rama
The conversation drifted to Hanuman, whose picture hung on the wall in the Master's room.
Sri Ramakrishna said: "Just imagine Hanuman's state of mind. He didn't care for money,
honour, creature comforts, or anything else. He longed only for God. When he was running
away with the heavenly weapon that had been secreted in the crystal pillar, Mandodari
began to tempt him with various fruits so that he might come down and drop the weapon.
But he couldn't be tricked so easily. In reply to her persuasions he sang this song:
Am I in need of fruit?
I have the Fruit that makes this life
Fruitful indeed. Within my heart
The Tree of Rama grows,
Bearing salvation for its fruit.
Under the Wish-fulfilling Tree
Of Rama do I sit at ease,
Plucking whatever fruit I will.
But if you speak of fruit -
No beggar, I, for common fruit.
Behold, I go,
Leaving a bitter fruit for you."
As Sri Ramakrishna was singing the song he went into samadhi. Again the half-closed eyes
and motionless body that one sees in his photograph. Just a minute before, the devotees had
been making merry in his company. Now all eyes were riveted on him. Thus for the second
time M. saw the Master in samadhi.
After a long time the Master came back to ordinary consciousness. His face lighted up with
a smile, and his body relaxed; his senses began to function in a normal way. He shed tears
of joy as he repeated the holy name of Rama. M. wondered whether this very saint was the
person who a few minutes earlier had been behaving like a child of five.
The Master said to Narendra and M., "I should like to hear you speak and argue in
English." They both laughed. But they continued to talk in their mother tongue. It was
impossible for M. to argue any more before the Master. Though Ramakrishna insisted, they
did not talk in English.
At five o'clock in the afternoon all the devotees except Narendra and M. took leave of the
Master. As M. was walking in the temple garden, he suddenly came upon the Master
talking to Narendra on the bank of the goose-pond. Sri Ramakrishna said to Narendra:
"Look here. Come a little more often. You are a new-comer. On first acquaintance people
visit each other quite often, as is the case with a lover and his sweetheart. (Narendra and M.
laugh.) So please come, won't you?"
Narendra, a member of the Brahmo Samaj, was very particular about his promises. He said
with a smile, "Yes, sir, I shall try."
As they were returning to the Master's room, Sri Ramakrishna said to M.: "When peasants
go to market to buy bullocks for their ploughs, they can easily tell the good from the bad by
touching their tails. On being touched there, some meekly lie down on the ground. The
peasants recognize that these are without mettle and so reject them. They select only those
bullocks that frisk about and show spirit when their tails are touched. Narendra is like a
bullock of this latter class. He is full of spirit within."
The Master smiled as he said this, and continued: "There are some people who have no grit
whatever. They are like flattened rice soaked in milk - soft and mushy. No inner strength!"
It was dusk. The Master was meditating on God. He said to M.: "Go and talk to Narendra.
Then tell me what you think of him."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 11, 2012, 07:07:16 AM
Evening worship was over in the temples. M. met Narendra on the bank of the Ganges and
they began to converse. Narendra told M. about his studying in college, his being a member
of the Brahmo Samaj, and so on.
It was now late in the evening and time for M.'s departure; but he felt reluctant to go and
instead went in search of Sri Ramakrishna. He had been fascinated by the Master's singing
and wanted to hear more. At last he found the Master pacing alone in the natmandir in front
of the Kali temple. A lamp was burning in the temple on either side of the image of the
Divine Mother. The single lamp in the spacious natmandir blended light and darkness into a
kind of mystic twilight, in which the figure of the Master could be dimly seen.
M. had been enchanted by the Master's sweet music. With some hesitation he asked him
whether there would be any more singing that evening. "No, not tonight", said Sri
Ramakrishna after a little reflection. Then, as if remembering something, he added: "But
I'm going soon to Balaram Bose's house in Calcutta. Come there and you'll hear me sing."
M. agreed to go.
MASTER: "Do you know Balaram Bose?"
M: "No, sir. I don't."
MASTER: "He lives in Bosepara."
M: "Well, sir, I shall find him."
As Sri Ramakrishna walked up and down the hall with M., he said to him: "Let me ask you
something. What do you think of me?"
M. remained silent. Again Sri Ramakrishna asked: "What do you think of me? How many
annas of knowledge of God have I?"
M: "I don't understand what you mean by 'annas'. But of this I am sure: I have never before
seen such knowledge, ecstatic love, faith in God, renunciation, and catholicity anywhere."
The Master laughed.
M. bowed low before him and took his leave. He had gone as far as the main gate of the
temple garden when he suddenly remembered something and came back to Sri
Ramakrishna, who was still in the natmandir. In the dim light the Master, all alone, was
pacing the hall, rejoicing in the Self - as the lion lives and roams alone in the forest.
In silent wonder M. surveyed that great soul.
MASTER (to M.): "What makes you come back?"
M: "Perhaps the house you asked me to go to belongs to a rich man. They may not let me
in. I think I had better not go. I would rather meet you here."
MASTER: "Oh, no! Why should you think that? Just mention my name. Say that you want
to see me; then someone will take you to me."
M. nodded his assent and, after saluting the Master, took his leave.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 13, 2012, 07:15:33 AM
Chapter 2

IN THE COMPANY OF DEVOTEES

March 11, 1882
Master at Balaram's house

About eight O'Clock in the morning Sri Ramakrishna went as planned to Balaram
Bose's house in Calcutta. It was the day of the Dolayatra. Ram, Manomohan, Rakhal,
Nityagopal, and other devotees were with him. M., too, came, as bidden by the Master.
Devotees in trance
The devotees and the Master sang and danced in a state of divine fervour. Several of them
were in an ecstatic mood. Nityagopal's chest glowed with the upsurge of emotion, and
Rakhal lay on the floor in ecstasy, completely unconscious of the world. The Master put his
hand on Rakhal's chest and said: "Peace. Be quiet." This was Rakhal's first experience of
ecstasy. He lived with his father in Calcutta and now and then visited the Master at
Dakshineswar. About this time he had studied a short while in Vidyasagar's school at
Syampukur.
When the music was over, the devotees sat down for their meal. Balaram stood there
humbly, like a servant. Nobody would have taken him for the master of the house. M. was
still a stranger to the devotees, having met only Narendra at Dakshineswar.
A few days later M. visited the Master at Dakshineswar. It was between four and five
o'clock in the afternoon. The Master and he were sitting on the steps of the Siva temples.
Looking at the temple of Radhakanta, across the courtyard, the Master went into an ecstatic
mood.
Since his nephew Hriday's dismissal from the temple, Sri Ramakrishna had been living
without an attendant. On account of his frequent spiritual moods he could hardly take care
of himself. The lack of an attendant caused him great inconvenience.
Bigotry condemned
Sri Ramakrishna was talking to Kali, the Divine Mother of the Universe. He said: "Mother,
everyone says, 'My watch alone is right.' The Christians, the Brahmos, the Hindus, the
Mussalmans, all say, 'My religion alone is true.' But, Mother, the fact is that nobody's watch
is right. Who can truly understand Thee? But if a man prays to Thee with a yearning heart,
he can reach Thee, through Thy grace, by any path. Mother, show me some time how the
Christians pray to Thee in their churches. But Mother, what will people say if I go in?
Suppose they make a fuss! Suppose they don't allow me to enter the Kali temple again!
Well then, show me the Christian worship from the door of the church."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 14, 2012, 07:21:03 AM
The mind's inability to comprehend God
Another day the Master was seated on the small couch in his room, with his usual beaming
countenance. M. arrived with Kalikrishna, who did not know where his friend M. was
taking him. He had only been told: "If you want to see a grog-shop, then come with me.
You will see a huge jar of wine there." M. related this to Sri Ramakrishna, who laughed
about it. The Master said: "The bliss of worship and communion with God is the true wine,
the wine of ecstatic love. The goal of human life is to love God, Bhakti is the one essential
thing. To know God through jnana and reasoning is extremely difficult."
Then the Master sang:
Who is there that can understand what Mother Kali is?
Even the six darsanas are powerless to reveal Her....
The Master said, again: "The one goal of life is to cultivate love for God, the love that the
milkmaids, the milkmen, and the cowherd boys of Vrindavan felt for Krishna. When
Krishna went away to Mathura, the cowherds roamed about weeping bitterly because of
their separation from Him."
Saying this the Master sang, with his eyes turned upward:
Just now I saw a youthful cowherd
With a young calf in his arms;
There he stood, by one hand holding
The branch of a young tree.
"Where are You, Brother Kanai?" he cried;
But "Kanai" scarcely could he utter;
"Ka" was as much as he could say.
He cried, "Where are You, Brother?"
And his eyes were filled with tears.
When M. heard this song of the Master's, laden with love, his eyes were moist with tears.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 16, 2012, 08:44:53 AM
Master's visit to Keshab April 2, 1882
Sri Ramakrishna was sitting in the drawing-room of Keshab Chandra Sen's house in
Calcutta; it was five o'clock in the afternoon. When Keshab was told of his arrival, he came
to the drawing-room dressed to go out, for he was about to call on a sick friend. Now he
cancelled his plan. The Master said to him: "You have so many things to attend to. Besides,
you have to edit a newspaper. You have no time to come to Dakshineswar; so I have come
to see you. When I heard of your illness I vowed green coconut and sugar to the Divine
Mother for your recovery. I said to Her, 'Mother, if something happens to Keshab, with
whom shall I talk in Calcutta?' "
Sri Ramakrishna spoke to Pratap and the other Brahmo devotees. M. was seated near by.
Pointing to him, the Master said to Keshab: "Will you please ask him why he doesn't come
to Dakshineswar any more? He repeatedly tells me he is not attached to his wife and
children." M. had been paying visits to the Master for about a month; his absence for a time
from Dakshineswar called forth this remark. Sri Ramakrishna had asked M. to write to him,
if his coming were delayed.
Pundit Samadhyayi was present. The Brahmo devotees introduced him to Sri Ramakrishna
as a scholar well versed in the Vedas and the other scriptures. The Master said, "Yes, I can
see inside him through his eyes, as one can see the objects in a room through the glass
door."
Trailokya sang. Suddenly the Master stood up and went into samadhi, repeating the
Mother's name. Coming down a little to the plane of sense consciousness, he danced and
sang:
I drink no ordinary wine, but Wine of Everlasting Bliss,
As I repeat my Mother Kali's name;
It so intoxicates my mind that people take me to be drunk!
First my guru gives molasses for the making of the Wine;
My longing is the ferment to transform it.
Knowledge, the maker of the Wine, prepares it for me then;
And when it is done, my mind imbibes it from the bottle of the mantra,
Taking the Mother's name to make it pure.
Drink of this Wine, says Ramprasad, and the four fruits of life are yours.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 17, 2012, 08:26:00 AM
The Master looked at Keshab tenderly, as if Keshab were his very own. He seemed to fear
that Keshab might belong to someone else, that is to say, that he might become a worldly
person. Looking at him, the Master sang again:
We are afraid to speak, and yet we are afraid to keep still;
Our minds, O Radha, half believe that we are about to lose you!
We tell you the secret that we know -
The secret whereby we ourselves, and others, with our help,
Have passed through many a time of peril;
Now it all depends on you.
Quoting the last part of the song, he said to Keshab: "That is to say, renounce everything
and call on God. He alone is real; all else is illusory. Without the realization of God
everything is futile. This is the great secret."
The Master sat down again and began to converse with the devotees. For a while he
listened to a piano recital, enjoying it like a child. Then he was taken to the inner
apartments, where he was served with refreshments and the ladies saluted him.
As the Master was leaving Keshab's house, the Brahmo devotees accompanied him
respectfully to his carriage.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 18, 2012, 07:31:56 AM
Sunday, April 9, 1882
Sri Ramakrishna was seated with his devotees in the drawing-room of Prankrishna
Mukherji's house in Calcutta; it was between one and two o'clock in the afternoon. Since
Colonel Viswanath lived in that neighbourhood, the Master intended to visit him before
going to see Keshab at the Lily Cottage. A number of neighbours and other friends of
Prankrishna had been invited to meet Sri Ramakrishna. They were all eager to hear his
words.
God and His glory & Dangers of worldly life
MASTER: "God and His glory. This universe is His glory. People see His glory and forget
everything. They do not seek God, whose glory is this world. All seek to enjoy 'woman and
gold'. But there is too much misery and worry in that. This world is like the whirlpool of
the Visalakshi. Once a boat gets into it there is no hope of its rescue. Again, the world is
like a thorny bush: you have hardly freed yourself from one set of thorns before you find
yourself entangled in another. Once you enter a labyrinth you find it very difficult to get
out. Living in the world, a man becomes seared, as it were."
A DEVOTEE: "Then what is the way, sir?"
Prayer and holy company & Earnest longing
MASTER: "Prayer and the company of holy men. You cannot get rid of an ailment without
the help of a physician. But it is not enough to be in the company of religious people only
for a day. You should constantly seek it, for the disease has become chronic. Again, you
can't understand the pulse rightly unless you live with a physician. Moving with him
constantly, you learn to distinguish between the pulse of phlegm and the pulse of bile."
DEVOTEE: "What is the good of holy company?"
MASTER: "It begets yearning for God. It begets love of God. Nothing whatsoever is
achieved in spiritual life without yearning. By constant living in the company of holy men,
the soul becomes restless for God. This yearning is like the state of mind of a man who has
someone ill in the family. His mind is in a state of perpetual restlessness, thinking how the
sick person may be cured. Or again, one should feel a yearning for God like the yearning of
a man who has lost his job and is wandering from one office to another in search of work. If
he is rejected at a certain place which has no vacancy, he goes there again the next day and
inquires, 'Is there an vacancy today?'
"There is another way: earnestly praying to God. God is our very own. We should say to
Him: 'O God, what is Thy nature? Reveal Thyself to me. Thou must show Thyself to me;
for why else hast Thou created me?' Some Sikh devotees once said to me, 'God is full of
compassion.' I said: 'But why should we call Him compassionate? He is our Creator. What
is there to be wondered at if He is kind to us? Parents bring up their children. Do you call
that an act of kindness? They must act that way.' Therefore we should force our demands
on God. He is our Father and Mother, isn't He? If the son demands his patrimony and gives
up food and drink in order to enforce his demand, then the parents hand his share over to
him three years before the legal time. Or when the child demands some pice from his
mother, and says over and over again: 'Mother, give me a couple of pice. I beg you on my
knees!' - then the mother, seeing his earnestness, and unable to bear it any more, tosses the
money to him.
"There is another benefit from holy company. It helps one cultivate discrimination between
the Real and the unreal. God alone is the Real, that is to say, the Eternal Substance, and the
world is unreal, that is to say, transitory. As soon as a man finds his mind wandering away
to the unreal, he should apply discrimination. The moment an elephant stretches out its
trunk to eat a plantain-tree in a neighbour's garden, it gets a blow from the iron goad of the
driver."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on June 18, 2012, 11:26:25 AM
Thanks, Sri Ravi. Beautiful excerpt from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. But I want ask you, is 'woman and gold' synonymous to worldly life for Sri Ramakrishna? Or specifically lust and greed?
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 18, 2012, 08:24:16 PM
Ramana,
"Beautiful excerpt from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. But I want ask you, is 'woman and gold' synonymous to worldly life for Sri Ramakrishna? Or specifically lust and greed"
I will post in the Rough Note Book thread what Sri Ramakrishna means -Actually he does not use the word 'Woman' ,he uses the word 'KAmini' which has a different connotation,i.e 'Woman as an object of Desire'.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 23, 2012, 04:48:39 PM
Explanation of evil
A NEIGHBOUR: "Why does a man have sinful tendencies?"
MASTER: "In God's creation there are all sorts of things. He has created bad men as well
as good men. It is He who gives us good tendencies, and it is He again who gives us evil
tendencies."
NEIGHBOUR: "In that case we aren't responsible for our sinful actions, are we?"
MASTER: "Sin begets its own result. This is God's law. Won't you burn our tongue if you
chew a chilli? In his youth Mathur led a rather fast life; so he suffered from various
diseases before his death.
"One may not realize this in youth. I have looked into the hearth in the kitchen of the Kali
temple when logs are being burnt. At first the wet wood burns rather well. It doesn't seem
then that it contains much moisture. But when the wood is sufficiently burnt, all the
moisture runs back to one end. At last water squirts from the fuel and puts out the fire.
"So one should be careful about anger, passion, and greed. Take, for instance, the case of
Hanuman. In a fit of anger he burnt Ceylon. At last he remembered that Sita was living in
the aśoka grove. Then he began to tremble lest the fire should injure her."
NEIGHHBOUR: "Why has God created wicked people?"
MASTER: "That is His will, His play. In His maya there exists avidya as well as vidya.
Darkness is needed too. It reveals all the more the glory of light. There is no doubt that
anger, lust, and greed are evils. Why, then, has God created them? In order to create saints.
A man becomes a saint by conquering the senses. Is there anything impossible for a man
who has subdued his passions? He can even realize God, through His grace. Again, see how
His whole play of creation is perpetuated through lust.
"Wicked people are needed too. At one time the tenants of an estate became unruly. The
landlord had to send Golak Choudhury, who was a ruffian. He was such a harsh
administrator that the tenants trembled at the very mention of his name.
"There is need of everything. Once Sita said to her Husband: 'Rama, it would be grand if
every house in Ayhodhya were a mansion! I find many houses old and dilapidated.' 'But,
my dear,' said Rama, 'if all the houses were beautiful ones, what would the masons do?'
(Laughter.) God has created all kinds of things. He has created good trees, and poisonous
plants and weeds as well. Among the animals there are good, bad, and all kinds of creatures
- tigers, lions, snakes, and so on."
Washing away the heart's impurities with tears
NEIGHTBOUR: "Sir, is it ever possible to realize God while leading the life of a
householder?"
MASTER: "Certainly. But as I said just now, one must live in holy company and pray
unceasingly. One should weep for God. When the impurities of the mind are thus washed
away, one realizes God. The mind is like a needle covered with mud, and God is like a
magnet. The needle cannot be united with the magnet unless it is free from mud. Tears
wash away the mud, which is nothing but lust, anger, greed, and other evil tendencies, and
the inclination to worldly enjoyments as well. As soon as the mud is washed away, the
magnet attracts the needle, that is to say, man realizes God. Only the pure in heart see God.
A fever patient has an excess of the watery element in his system. What can quinine do for
him unless that is removed?
"Why shouldn't one realize God while living in the world? But, as I said, one must live in
holy company, pray to God, weeping for His grace, and now and then go into solitude.
Unless the plants on a foot-path are protected at first by fences, they are destroyed by
cattle."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 25, 2012, 07:22:12 AM
Need of a guru
NEIGHBOUR: "Then householders, too, will have the vision of God, won't they?"
MASTER: "Everybody will surely be liberated. But one should follow the instructions of
the guru; if one follows a devious path, one will suffer in trying to retrace one's steps. It
takes a long time to achieve liberation. A man may fail to obtain it in this life. Perhaps he
will realize God only after many births. Sages like Janaka performed worldly duties. They
performed them, bearing God in their minds, as a dancing-girl dances, keeping jars or trays
on her head. Haven't you seen how the women in northwest India walk, talking and
laughing while carrying water-pitchers on their heads?"
NEIGHBOUR: "You just referred to the instructions of the guru. How shall we find him?"
MASTER: "Anyone and everyone cannot be a guru. A huge timber floats on the water and
can carry animals as well. But a piece of worthless wood sinks, if a man sits on it, and
drowns him. Therefore in every age God incarnates Himself as the guru, to teach humanity.
Satchidananda alone is the guru.
"What is knowledge? And what is the nature of this ego? 'God alone is the Doer, and none
else' - that is knowledge. I am not the doer; I am a mere instrument in His hand. Therefore I
say: 'O Mother, Thou art the Operator and I am the machine. Thou art the Indweller and I
am the house. Thou art the Driver and I am the carriage. I move as Thou movest me. I do as
Thou makest me do. I speak as Thou makest me speak. Not I, not I, but Thou, but Thou.' "
From Prankrishna's house the Master went to Colonel Viswanath's and from there to the
Lily Cottage.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 26, 2012, 07:22:03 AM
Chapter 3
VISIT TO VIDYASAGAR August 5, 1882
Pundit Iswar chandra Vidyasagar was born in the village of Beersingh, not
far from Kamarpukur, Sri Ramakrishna's birthplace. He was known as a great scholar,
educator, writer, and philanthropist. One of the creators of modern Bengali, he was also
well versed in Sanskrit grammar and poetry. His generosity made his name a household
word with his countrymen, most of his income being given in charity to widows, orphans,
indigent students, and other needy people. Nor was his compassion limited to human
beings: he stopped drinking milk for years so that the calves should not be deprived of it,
and he would not drive in a carriage for fear of causing discomfort to the horses. He was a
man of indomitable spirit, which he showed when he gave up the lucrative position of
principal of the Sanskrit College of Calcutta because of a disagreement with the authorities.
His affection for his mother was especially deep. One day, in the absence of a ferryboat, he
swam a raging river at the risk of his life to fulfil her wish that he should be present at his
brother's wedding. His whole life was one of utter simplicity. The title Vidyasagar,
meaning "Ocean of Learning", was given him in recognition of his vast erudition.
Master's visit to the scholar
Sri Ramakrishna had long wanted to visit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar. Learning from M.
that he was a teacher at Vidyasagar's school, the Master asked: "Can you take me to
Vidyasagar? I should like very much to see him." M. told Iswar Chandra of Sri
Ramakrishna's wish, and the pundit gladly agreed that M. should bring the Master, some
Saturday afternoon at four o'clock. He only asked M. what kind of paramahamsa the Master
was, saying, "Does he wear an ochre cloth?" M. answered: "No, sir. He is an unusual
person. He wears a red-bordered cloth and polished slippers. He lives in a room in Rani
Rasmani's temple garden. In his room there is a couch with a mattress and mosquito net. He
has no outer indication of holiness. But he doesn't know anything except God. Day and
night he thinks of God alone."
On the afternoon of August 5 the Master left Dakshineswar in a hackney carriage,
accompanied by Bhavanath, M., and Hazra. Vidyasagar lived in Badurbagan, in central
Calcutta, about six miles from Dakshineswar. On the way Sri Ramakrishna talked with his
companions; but as the carriage neared Vidyasagar's house his mood suddenly changed. He
was overpowered with divine ecstasy. Not noticing this, M. pointed out the garden house
where Raja Rammohan Roy had lived. The Master was annoyed and said, "I don't care
about such things now." He was going into an ecstatic state.
The carriage stopped in front of. Vidyasagar's house. The Master alighted, supported by M.,
who then led the way. In the courtyard were many flowering plants. As the Master walked
to the house he said to M., like a child, pointing to his shirt-button: "My shirt is unbuttoned.
Will that offend Vidyasagar?" "Oh, no!" said M. "Don't be anxious about it. Nothing about
you will be offensive. You don't have to button your shirt." He accepted the assurance
simply, like a child.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 27, 2012, 07:13:02 AM
Vidyasagar was about sixty-two years old, sixteen or seventeen years older than the Master.
He lived in a two-storey house built in the English fashion, with lawns on all sides and
surrounded by a high wall. After climbing the stairs to the second floor, Sri Ramakrishna
and his devotees entered a room at the far end of which Vidyasagar was seated facing them,
with a table in front of him. To the right of the table was a bench. Some friends of their host
occupied chairs on the other two sides.
Vidyasagar rose to receive the Master. Sri Ramakrishna stood in front of the bench, with
one hand resting on the table. He gazed at Vidyasagar, as if they had known each other
before, and smiled in an ecstatic mood. In that mood he remained standing a few minutes.
Now and then, to bring his mind back to normal consciousness, he said, "I shall have a
drink of water."

In the mean time the young members of the household and a few friends and relatives of
Vidyasagar had gathered around. Sri Ramakrishna, still in an ecstatic mood, sat on the
bench. A young man, seventeen or eighteen years old, who had come to Vidyasagar to seek
financial help for his education, was seated there. The Master sat down at a little distance
from the boy, saying in an abstracted mood: "Mother, this boy is very much attached to the
world. He belongs to Thy realm of ignorance."
Vidyasagar told someone to bring water and asked M. whether the Master would like some
sweetmeats also. Since M. did not object, Vidyasagar himself went eagerly to the inner
apartments and brought the sweets. They were placed before the Master. Bhavanath and
Hazra also received their share. When they were offered to M., Vidyasagar said: "Oh, he is
like one of the family. We needn't worry about him." Referring to a young devotee, the
Master said to Vidyasagar: "He is a nice young man and is sound at the core. He is like the
river Phalgu. The surface is covered with sand; but if you dig a little you will find water
flowing underneath."
After taking some of the sweets, the Master, with a smile, began to speak to Vidyasagar.
Meanwhile the room had become filled with people; some were standing and others were
seated.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on June 28, 2012, 07:52:29 AM
MASTER: "Ah! Today, at last, I have come to the ocean. Up till now I have seen only
canals, marshes, or a river at the most. But today I am face to face with the sagar, the
ocean."(All laugh.)
VIDYASAGAR (smiling): "Then please take home some salt water." (Laughter.)
MASTER: "Oh, no! Why salt water? You aren't the ocean of ignorance. You are the ocean
of vidya, knowledge. You are the ocean of condensed milk."(All laugh.)
VIDYASAGAR: "Well, you may put it that way."
The pundit became silent. Sri Ramakrishna said: "Your activities are inspired by sattva.
Though they are rajasic, they are influenced by sattva. Compassion springs from sattva.
Though work for the good of others belongs to rajas, yet this rajas has sattva for its basis,
and is not harmful. Suka and other sages cherished compassion in their minds to give
people religious instruction, to teach them about God. You are distributing food and
learning. That is good too. If these activities are done in a selfless spirit they lead to God.
But most people work for fame or to acquire merit. Their activities are not selfless. Besides,
you are already a siddha."
VIDYASAGAR: "How is that, sir?"
MASTER (laughing): "When potatoes and other vegetables are well cooked, they become
soft and tender. And you possess such a tender nature! You are so
compassionate!"(Laughter.)
VIDYASAGAR (laughing): "But when the paste of kalai pulse is boiled it becomes all the
harder."
Uninspired scholarship condemned
MASTER: "But you don't belong to that class. Mere pundits are like diseased fruit that
becomes hard and will not ripen at all. Such fruit has neither the freshness of green fruit nor
the flavour of ripe. Vultures soar very high in the sky, but their eyes are fixed on rotten
carrion on the ground. The book-learned are reputed to be wise, but they are attached to
'woman and gold'. Like the vultures, they are in search of carrion. They are attached to the
world of ignorance. Compassion, love of God, and renunciation are the glories of true
knowledge."
Vidyasagar listened to these words in silence. The others, too, gazed at the Master and were
attentive to every word he said.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on July 06, 2012, 08:32:53 PM
Quote
Uninspired scholarship condemned
MASTER: "But you don't belong to that class. Mere pundits are like diseased fruit that
becomes hard and will not ripen at all. Such fruit has neither the freshness of green fruit nor
the flavour of ripe. Vultures soar very high in the sky, but their eyes are fixed on rotten
carrion on the ground. The book-learned are reputed to be wise, but they are attached to
'woman and gold'. Like the vultures, they are in search of carrion. They are attached to the
world of ignorance. Compassion, love of God, and renunciation are the glories of true
knowledge."
Vidyasagar listened to these words in silence. The others, too, gazed at the Master and were
attentive to every word he said.

This is exactly what Lord Jesus taught and said to Pharisees but they didn't understand Him right.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 07, 2012, 09:10:02 AM
Vidyasagar was very reticent about giving religious instruction to others. He had studied
Hindu philosophy. Once, when M. had asked him his opinion of it, Vidyasagar had said, "I
think the philosophers have failed to explain what was in their minds." But in his daily life
he followed all the rituals of Hindu religion and wore the sacred thread of a brahmin. About
God he had once declared: "It is indeed impossible to know Him. What, then, should be our
duty? It seems to me that we should live in such a way that, if others followed our example,
this very earth would be heaven. Everyone should try to do good to the world."

The world of duality & Transcendental nature of Brahman

Sri Ramakrishna's conversation now turned to the Knowledge of Brahman.
MASTER: "Brahman is beyond vidya and avidya, knowledge and ignorance. It is beyond
maya, the illusion of duality.
"The world consists of the illusory duality of knowledge and ignorance. It contains
knowledge and devotion, and also attachment to 'Woman and gold'; righteousness and
unrighteousness; good and evil. But Brahman is unattached to these. Good and evil apply to
the jiva, the individual soul, as do righteousness and unrighteousness; but Brahman is not at
all affected by them.
"One man may read the Bhagavata by the light of a lamp, and another may commit a
forgery by that very light; but the lamp is unaffected. The sun sheds its light on the wicked
as well as on the virtuous.
"You may ask, 'How, then, can one explain misery and sin and unhappiness?' The answer is
that these apply only to the jiva. Brahman is unaffected by them. There is poison in a snake;
but though others may die if bitten by it, the snake itself is not affected by the poison.

Brahman cannot be expressed in words

"What Brahman is cannot he described. All things in the world - the Vedas, the Puranas, the
Tantras, the six systems of philosophy - have been defiled, like food that has been touched
by the tongue, for they have been read or uttered by the tongue. Only one thing has not
been defiled in this way, and that is Brahman. No one has ever been able to say what
Brahman is."
VIDYASAGAR (to his friends): "Oh! That is a remarkable statement. I have learnt
something new today."
MASTER: "A man had two sons. The father sent them to a preceptor to learn the
Knowledge of Brahman. After a few years they returned from their preceptor's house and
bowed low before their father. Wanting to measure the depth of their knowledge of
Brahman, he first questioned the older of the two boys. 'My child,' he said, 'You have
studied all the scriptures. Now tell me, what is the nature of Brahman?' The boy began to
explain Brahman by reciting various texts from the Vedas. The father did not say anything.
Then he asked the younger son the same question. But the boy remained silent and stood
with eyes cast down. No word escaped his lips. The father was pleased and said to him: 'My
child, you have understood a little of Brahman. What It is cannot be expressed in words.'

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on July 07, 2012, 07:39:38 PM
Dear Ravi,

The anecdote about the two sons is quite nice. Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.

Sri Bhagavan says the same idea in Arunachala Padigam, Verse 5. 'You brought me in stealth. When some one asks me
your nature, you made my head hung in shame like a speechless statue......"

Arunachala Siva. 
 
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 08, 2012, 11:31:30 AM
Subramanian,
There is this wonderful verse of thAyumAnavar from 'pAyappuli'(Leaping Tiger),Verse 14:

நானென் றொருமுத லுண்டென்ற நான்தலை நாணஎன்னுள்
தானென் றொருமுதல் பூரண மாகத் தலைப்பட்டொப்பில்
ஆனந்தந் தந்தென் அறிவையெல் லாமுண் டவசநல்கி
மோனந் தனைவிளைந் தால்இனி யாதுமொழிகுவதே.

I who said that there is this Capital 'I'
Had to bend my head in shame
As  the Self in fullness appeared
And conferred incomparable bliss
And consumed all my sentience
And made me lose my consciousness
And caused the state of silentness.
What more am I to say?

All the Great ones have expressed it in exactly the same way!
Namaskar


Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 08, 2012, 11:34:48 AM
Parable of ant and sugar hill

"Men often think they have understood Brahman fully. Once an ant went to a hill of sugar.
One grain filled its stomach. Taking another grain in its mouth it started homeward. On its
way it thought, 'Next time I shall carry home the whole hill.' That is the way shallow minds
think. They don't know that Brahman is beyond one's words and thought. However great a
man may be, how much can he know of Brahman? Sukadeva and sages like him may have
been big ants; but even they could carry at the utmost eight or ten grains of sugar!
"As for what has been said in the Vedas and the Puranas, do you know what it is like?
Suppose a man has seen the ocean, and somebody asks him, 'Well, what is the ocean like?'
The first man opens his mouth as wide as he can and says: 'What a sight! What tremendous
waves and sounds!' The description of Brahman in the sacred books is like that. It is said in
the Vedas that Brahman is of the nature of Bliss - It is Satchidananda.
"Suka and other sages stood on the shore of this Ocean of Brahman and saw and touched
the water. According to one school of thought they never plunged into it. Those who do,
cannot come back to the world again.

Parable of salt doll

"In samadhi one attains the Knowledge of Brahman - one realizes Brahman. In that state
reasoning stops altogether, and man becomes mute. He has no power to describe the nature
of Brahman.
"Once a salt doll went to measure the depth of the ocean. (All laugh.) It wanted to tell
others how deep the water was. But this it could never do, for no sooner did it get into the
water than it melted. Now who was there to report the ocean's depth?"
A DEVOTEE: "Suppose a man has obtained the Knowledge of Brahman in samadhi.
Doesn't he speak any more?"
MASTER: "Sankaracharya retained the 'ego of Knowledge' in order to teach others. After
the vision of Brahman a man becomes silent. He reasons about It as long as he has not
realized It. If you heat butter in a pan on the stove, it makes a sizzling sound as long as the
water it contains has not dried up. But when no trace of water is left the clarified butter
makes no sound. If you put an uncooked cake of flour in that butter it sizzles again. But
after the cake is cooked all sound stops. Just so, a man established in samadhi comes down
to the relative plane of consciousness in order to teach others, and then he talks about God.
"The bee buzzes as long as it is not sitting on a flower. It becomes silent when it begins to
sip the honey. But sometimes, intoxicated with the honey, it buzzes again.
"An empty pitcher makes a gurgling sound when it is dipped in water. When it fills up it
becomes silent. (All laugh.) But if the water is poured from it into another pitcher, then you
will hear the sound again. (Laughter.)

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on July 08, 2012, 02:54:31 PM
Quote:
However great a
man may be, how much can he know of Brahman? Sukadeva and sages like him may have
been big ants; but even they could carry at the utmost eight or ten grains of sugar


"Once a salt doll went to measure the depth of the ocean. (All laugh.) It wanted to tell
others how deep the water was. But this it could never do, for no sooner did it get into the
water than it melted. Now who was there to report the ocean's depth?"

Dear Sri Ravi,

And salt doll was dissolved in the ocean and only ocean is there now, and no one is left to tell the story of its dissolution and the measurement of the depth of the ocean.   

Sri Bhagwan Ramana has taught that a Jnani, an Enlightened One, is God Himself whereas even an Incarnation is only an Aspect of God. The great Vedanta teaches, ‘“Aham Brahmasm’, and ‘Knower of Brahman is Brahman Himself.’”

Therefore, as I have understood, an Enlightened One doesn’t carry one, two, or even ten particles of sugar, but He is the sugar hill Himself. Moreover, He is forever the Silent One. His Sahaja State makes it possible for Him to live in the world among the people and devotees and behave like a normal human being—engaging in activities, teaching, et al. Although he appears thus engaged in activities, a Jnani in Sahaja State is always established in Brahma Nishtha, in Jnana.

Dear Sri Ravi, after reading your post, a little doubt crept in and nudged, and so, I wish you to kindly clarify regarding the above.

Thanks very much, sir.

Regards,
  Anil         

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 08, 2012, 04:42:59 PM
Anil,
The words of Sri Ramakrishna are born from the Depths of Truth and as such cannot but be true.Any doubt that we may have should be only to do with our understanding of what is said.
1.What he says is that one may know the Essence but not the Extent of Truth,as it is infinite.Satyam jnAnam anatham Brahma.One may only express certain aspects and not the Totality of it.This is what is meant by 'Carrying eight or ten Grains'.
2.It is not true that an avatar need not be Jnani-Both Sri Rama as well as Sri Krishna were Brahma Jnanis as well as avatars.Sri Ramakrishna is also considered as an avatar(He himself has confirmed this to Narendra-'He who was Rama,he who was Krishna is now Sri Ramakrishna,and not in your advaitic sense'!This was at a time when Sri Ramakrishna was on his death bed,down with cancer and Narendra doubted whether Sri Ramakrishna could say so emphatically at that critical juncture!As the though crossed his mind,the Master turned to him and uttered these words!).
I do believe that Jesus ,The Christ was also an incarnation of God and he was a Brahma JnAni as well,as can be understood from his wonderful and inspiring and rousing words -The Sermon on the Mount is full of such inspired utterances.
Both Jesus and Sri Ramakrishna never spoke in abstract terms but had the gift of expressing deep truths through homely parables.Actually towards the end of Gospel,there is a very interesting conversation about the Master visiting two sisters and where the conversation and happening is exactly like the way Martha and Mary had with Lord Jesus!
We will see it later.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on July 08, 2012, 07:00:25 PM
Quote:
“1.What he says is that one may know the Essence but not the Extent of Truth,as it is infinite.Satyam jnAnam anatham Brahma.One may only express certain aspects and not the Totality of it.This is what is meant by 'Carrying eight or ten Grains'.
2.It is not true that an avatar need not be Jnani-Both Sri Rama as well as Sri Krishna were Brahma Jnanis as well as avatars.Sri Ramakrishna is also considered as an avatar(He himself has confirmed this to Narendra-'He who was Rama,he who was Krishna is now Sri Ramakrishna,and not in your advaitic sense'!This was at a time when Sri Ramakrishna was on his death bed,down with cancer and Narendra doubted whether Sri Ramakrishna could say so emphatically at that critical juncture!As the though crossed his mind,the Master turned to him and uttered these words!).”

Dear Sri Ravi,

Yes. Thanks very much, sir, for your response.  I didn’t mean to say that Brahman or the Self can be expressed by a Great One in Its Totality. That is simply unthinkable. What I meant to say is that a Jnani’s Mind is Itself Brahman or Knower of Brahman is Himself Brahman. Sri Bhagwan says:
“That is why it is said that the Jnani’s mind is Brahmakara or Akhanakara. But in reality his mind is itself Brahman.”
“When once the mind is lost in the Brahman, to call the mind Brahmakara is like saying that a river is like the ocean; when once all the river get lost in the ocean, it is all one vast sheet of water. Can you then distinguish in that vast sheet of water, ‘This is  the Ganges, this is Goutami, This river is so long, that river is so wide’, and so on? It is the same with regard to the mind also.”   

Dear Sri Ravi, for me there is no distinction between two Jnanis on the one hand and between a Jnani and an Avatara on the other. Sri Bhagwan has taught that only One exists for ever without a second. And I didn’t mean to say that Lord Sri Rama and Lord Sri Krishna were not enlightened. Lord Sri Krishna delivered the divine Verses of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita which is the Scripture of the mankind. What I meant is this that Sri Bhawan has said that an Avatara is an aspect of God whereas a Jnani is God Himself.
On page 309, in ‘Day by day with Bhagwan’, Sri Devaraja Mudaliar mentions that Sri Bhagwan was pleased to tell him that, according to books, the Jnani was higher than the avatar.  However in Talk—471, when a devotee observes that distinction between Avatars and Jnanis is absurd, for otherwise ‘Knower of Brahman becomes Brahman only is contradicted.

Yes, Sri Bhagwan’s as well as Sri Param Hamsa’s Utterances can never be arbitrary, for they rises from deep within spontaneously.     

Regards,
  Anil



Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on July 08, 2012, 07:29:20 PM
Dear Sri ravi, second line from the last was left incomplete. It shoud read, 'When a devotee observes that distinction between Avatars and Jnanis is absurd, for otherwise 'Knower of brahman becomes Braman' is contradicted, Sri Bhagwan agrred and said, 'Quite so'.

Anil
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 09, 2012, 08:14:38 AM
Anil,
I do not agree that there is no difference between a jnAni and an avatar.The Difference is not in essence but in the manifestation.We will see later on in The Gospel,how the Master talks about this.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 09, 2012, 08:46:42 AM
Rishis of ancient India

"The rishis of old attained the Knowledge of Brahman. One cannot have this so long as
there is the slightest trace of worldliness. How hard the rishis laboured! Early in the
morning they would go away from the hermitage, and would spend the whole day in
solitude, meditating on Brahman. At night they would return to the hermitage and eat a
little fruit or roots. They kept their minds aloof from the objects of sight, hearing, touch,
and other things of a worldly nature. Only thus did they realize Brahman as their own inner
consciousness.
"But in the Kaliyuga, man, being totally dependent on food for life, cannot altogether shake
off the idea that he is the body. In this state of mind it is not proper for him to say, 'I am
He.' When a man does all sorts of worldly things, he should not say, 'I am Brahman.' Those
who cannot give up attachment to worldly things, and who find no means to shake off the
feeling of 'I', should rather cherish the idea 'I am God's servant; I am His devotee.' One can
also realize God by following the path of devotion.

Jnani and Vijnani

"The jnani gives up his identification with worldly things, discriminating, 'Not this, not
this'. Only then can he realize Brahman. It is like reaching the roof of a house by leaving
the steps behind, one by one. But the vijnani, who is more intimately acquainted with
Brahman, realizes something more. He realizes that the steps are made of the same
materials as the roof: bricks, lime, and brick-dust. That which is realized intuitively as
Brahman, through the eliminating process of 'Not this, not this', is then found to have
become the universe and all its living beings. The vijnani sees that the Reality which is
nirguna, without attributes, is also saguna, with attributes.
"A man cannot live on the roof a long time. He comes down again. Those who realize
Brahman in samadhi come down also and find that it is Brahman that has become the
universe and its living beings. In the musical scale there are the notes sa, re ga, ma, pa, dha,
and ni; but one cannot keep one's voice on 'ni' a long time. The ego does not vanish
altogether. The man coming down from samadhi perceives that it is Brahman that has
become the ego, the universe, and all living beings. This is known as vijnana.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on July 09, 2012, 04:20:25 PM
Quote from Sri Ravi:
“I do not agree that there is no difference between a jnAni and an avatar.The Difference is not in essence but in the manifestation.We will see later on in The Gospel,how the Master talks about this.”

Dear Sri Ravi,

Yes. Certainly. From what we have learnt about Jnanis and Avataras, and about their lives while they walked on this Terra Firma, we can safely assume that there may be differences in their manifestation, depending perhaps on the purpose for which they come. For instance, I believe that an Avatara brings about change in a forceful way, even resorting to violence if such need arises. The Great Avataras, such as Lord Sri Rama and Lord Sri Krishna, are examples. On the other hand, a Gnani ushers in change with Love and Knowledge as their only weapons, radiating Grace. I do not a Gnani who ever resorted to a violent means to change the people’s hearts. Bhagwan Sri Raman, Lord Budha, and Bhagwan Sri Ramakrishna Param Hamsa, are quintessential examples.
 Thanks very much, sir, for your response. I wish to add that I read your posts from the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna regularly and derive immense benefit.

Regards,
  Anil   

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on July 09, 2012, 05:08:56 PM
Dear Ravi, Anil,

Sri Bhagavan has said in some conversation that a Jnani is born with some prarabdha, and he removes it along with Agami
and Sanchita with his self inquiry.  Whereas Avatars are born without any stock of prarabdha and other two karmas. Their
'so called  suffering if any' is only a part of their leela.  For example, Rama losing Sita and wailing and going for her search,
is all a divine drama. This was only to lead him to Ravana and kill him and his brothers and sons.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 09, 2012, 08:53:07 PM
Subramanian/Anil,
Yes ,here is an excerpt from The Letters from Sriramanasramam:

17th May, 1947 (116) PRARABDHA
This morning at 9 o’clock one devotee addressed
Bhagavan as follows: “Swami, you said yesterday that a Jnani
will perform such actions as are ordained according to his
prarabdha. But it is said that Jnanis have no prarabdha at all!”

Bhagavan said, in a leisurely way, “How did they get this
body if they have no prarabdha? How do they perform the various
actions? The actions of Jnanis are themselves called prarabdhas. It
is stated that there is prarabdha from Brahma right up to Sadasiva
and the Avatars of Rama and Krishna and others also.

paritrAnAya sAdhunAm vinAsAyacha DushkritAm
Dharma samsthapanArthAya sambhavAmi yuge yuge.


For the protection of the good, for the destruction of
evildoers, for the sake of firmly establishing dharma
(righteousness), I am born from age to age.
Bhagavad Gita, IV: 8

“As stated in this sloka, Ishwara assumes a shape when
the virtues of good people and the sins of bad people mingle
and become prarabdha and he has to establish dharma. That
is called parechcha prarabdha (the acts of other people).
The
body itself is prarabdha. The purpose for which that body
has come into existence will get done of its own accord.”

We will see in The Gospel ,a little later, that Sri Ramakrishna also mentions exactly the same point.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on July 09, 2012, 09:49:53 PM
Sri Ravi, Are Sri Ramana, Sri Ramakrisha and Jesus Avataras or Jnanis according to your understanding and the common Indian belief?
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 10, 2012, 07:30:49 AM
Ramana,
I would certainly consider Lord Jesus,Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Bhagavan as avataras only.Lord Jesus and Sri Ramakrishna had categorically stated that they were avataras.
Sri Bhagavan had avoided deferring to all such distinctions as he had manifested to emphasize the Nondual nature of Truth.
The Word 'avatara' means one who 'Descends'.
Here is an excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:
Monday, December 24, 1883
At eight o'clock in the morning Sri Ramakrishna and M. were talking together in the pinegrove
at the northern end of the temple garden. This was the eleventh day of M.'s stay with
the Master.
It was winter. The sun had just risen. The river was flowing north with the tide. Not far
off could be seen the bel-tree where the Master had practised great spiritual austerities. Sri
Ramakrishna faced the east as he talked to his disciple and told him about the Knowledge
of Brahman.
MASTER: "The formless God is real, and equally real is God with form. Nangta used to
instruct me about the nature of Satchidananda Brahman. He would say that It is like an
infinite ocean- water everywhere, to the right, left, above, and below. Water enveloped in
water. It is the Water of the Great Cause, motionless. Waves spring up when It becomes
active. Its activities are creation, preservation and destruction.
"Again, he used to say that Brahman is where reason comes to stop. There is the instance of
camphor. Nothing remains after it is burnt-not even a trace of ash.
"Brahman is beyond mind and speech. A salt doll entered the ocean to measure its depth;
but it did not return to tell others how deep the ocean was. It melted in the ocean itself.
"The rishis once said to Rama: 'O Rama, sages like Bharadvaja may very well call you an
Incarnation of God, but we cannot do that. We adore the Word-Brahman. We do not want
the human form of God.' Rama smiled and went away, pleased with their adoration.

Different manifestations of the Absolute

"But the Nitya and the Lila are the two aspects of the same Reality. As I have said before, it
is like the roof and the steps leading to it
. The Absolute plays in many ways: as Isvara, as
the gods, as man, and as the universe. The Incarnation is the play of the Absolute as man.
Do you know how the Absolute plays as man? It is like the rushing down of water from a
big roof through a pipe; the power of Satchidananda-nay, Satchidananda Itself-descends
through the conduit of a human form as water descends through the pipe. Only twelve
sages, Bharadvaja and the others, recognized Rama as an Incarnation of God. Not everyone
can recognize an Incarnation
.
"It is God alone who incarnates Himself as man to teach people the ways of love and
knowledge
. Well, what do you think of me?
"Once my father went to Gaya. There Raghuvir said to him in a dream, 'I shall be born as
your son.' Thereupon my father said to Him: 'O Lord, I am a poor brahmin. How shall I be
able to serve You?' 'Don't worry about it', Raghuvir replied. 'It will be taken care of.'
"My sister, Hriday's mother, used to worship my feet with flowers and sandal-paste. One
day I placed my foot on her head and said to her, 'You will die in Benares.'
"Once Mathur Babu said to me: 'Father, there is nothing inside you but God. Your body is
like an empty shell. It may look from outside like a pumpkin, but inside there is nothing neither
flesh nor seed. Once I saw you as someone moving with a veil on.'

There are many such instances in the Gospel where the Master has categorically revealed himself as an avatara.
Namaskar.



Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 12, 2012, 07:44:47 AM
Path of love is easy

"The path of knowledge leads to Truth, as does the path that combines knowledge and love.
The path of love, too, leads to this goal. The way of love is as true as the way of
knowledge. All paths ultimately lead to the same Truth. But as long as God keeps the
feeling of ego in us, it is easier to follow the path of love.
"The vijnani sees that Brahman is immovable and actionless, like Mount Sumeru. This
universe consists of the three gunas - sattva, rajas, and tamas. They are in Brahman. But
Brahman is unattached.

God's supernatural powers

"The vijnani further sees that what is Brahman is the Bhagavan, the Personal God. He who
is beyond the three gunas is the Bhagavan, with His six supernatural powers. Living beings,
the universe, mind, intelligence, love, renunciation, knowledge - all these are the
manifestations of His power. (With a laugh) If an aristocrat has neither house nor property,
or if he has been forced to sell them, one doesn't call him an aristocrat any more. (All
laugh.) God is endowed with the six supernatural powers. If He were not who would obey
Him? (All laugh.)

Different manifestations of God's power

"Just see how picturesque this universe is! How many things there are! The sun, moon, and
stars; and how many varieties of living beings! - big and small, good and bad, strong and
weak - some endowed with more power some with less."
VIDYASAGAR: "Has He endowed some with more power and others with less?"
MASTER: "As the All-pervading Spirit He exists in all beings, even in the ant. But the
manifestations of His Power are different in different beings; otherwise, how can one
person put ten to flight, while another can't face even one? And why do all people respect
you? Have you grown a pair horns? (Laughter.) You have more compassion and learning.
Therefore people honour you and come to pay you their respects. Don't you agree with
me?"
Vidyasagar smiled.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 13, 2012, 07:35:45 AM
The Master continued: "There is nothing in mere scholarship. The object of study is to find
means of knowing God and realizing Him. A holy man had a book. When asked what it
contained, he opened it and showed that on all the pages were written the words 'Om
Rama', and nothing else.
"What is the significance of the Gita? It is what you find by repeating the word ten times. It
is then reversed into 'tagi', which means a person who has renounced everything for God.
And the lesson of. the Gita is: 'O man, renounce everything and seek God alone.' Whether a
man is a monk or a householder, he has to shake off all attachment from his mind.
"Chaitanyadeva set out on a pilgrimage to southern India. One day he saw a man reading
the Gita. Another man, seated at a distance, was listening and weeping. His eyes were
swimming in tears. Chaitanyadeva asked him, 'Do you understand all this?' The man said,
'No, revered sir, I don't understand a word of the text.' 'Then why are you crying?' asked
Chaitanya. The devotee said: 'I see Arjuna's chariot before me. I see Lord Krishna and
Arjuna seated in front of it, talking. I see this and I weep.'
"Why does a vijnani keep an attitude of love toward God? The answer is that 'Iconsciousness'
persists. It disappears in the state of samadhi, no doubt, but it comes back. In
the case of ordinary people the 'I' never disappears. You may cut down the aswattha tree,
but the next day sprouts shoot up. (All laugh.)

Ego causes our sufferings

"Even after the attainment of Knowledge this 'I-consciousness' comes up, nobody knows
from where. You dream of a tiger. Then you awake; but your heart keeps on palpitating!
All our suffering is due to this 'I'. The cow cries, 'Hamba!', which means 'I'. That is why it
suffers so much. It is yoked to the plough and made to work in rain and sun. Then it may be
killed by the butcher. From its hide shoes are made, and also drums, which are mercilessly,
beaten. (Laughter.) Still it does not escape suffering. At last strings are made out of its
entrails for the bows used in carding cotton. Then it no longer says, 'Hamba! Hamba!', 'I! I!'
but 'Tuhu! Tuhu!', 'Thou! Thou!' Only then are its troubles over. O Lord, I am the servant;
Thou art the Master. I am the child; Thou art the Mother.
"Once Rama asked Hanuman, 'How do you look on Me?' And Hanuman replied: 'O Rama,
as long as I have the feeling of "I", I see that Thou art the whole and I am a part; Thou art
the Master and I am Thy servant. But when, O Rama, I have the knowledge of Truth, then I
realize that Thou art I and I am Thou.'
"The relationship of master and servant is the proper one. Since this 'I' must remain, let the
rascal be God's servant.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on July 13, 2012, 03:11:55 PM
Quote
"Once Rama asked Hanuman, 'How do you look on Me?' And Hanuman replied: 'O Rama,
as long as I have the feeling of "I", I see that Thou art the whole and I am a part; Thou art
the Master and I am Thy servant. But when, O Rama, I have the knowledge of Truth, then I
realize that Thou art I and I am Thou.'
"The relationship of master and servant is the proper one. Since this 'I' must remain, let the
rascal be God's servant.

This reminds me about three statements  of Lord Jesus' which confuse many christians many times:

1. "My Father is greater than I", "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father", "My God, My God, why have Thy forsaken Me"

2. "I am in the Father and the Father is in Me"

3. "I and the Father are One", "I am the Light of the world", "I am the Vine, you are the branches"; Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus answered: "Don’t you know Me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, "Show us the Father"?"

Many use His first statements to prove He is not God. Christians use His third sayings to prove He is God. But how can you describe Jesus (God)? Is there anything which He is not? Ant, dog, mouse, stone, wood, human, mountain or the Ocean - everything is His manifestation. Jesus is All in All.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 14, 2012, 09:52:45 AM
Ramana,
Yes,there are many sayings of Sri Ramakrishna that are exactly the same as what lord Jesus said.As you have said -'Jesus is God'.The word 'Jesus' is a deivation from 'yesu' which has the sanskrit root of 'Isa' or Iswara,God.
Muruganar calls Sri Bhagavan as 'ramanesan'(Ramana +isan).
There is an interesting incident that comes later on in the Gospel where Sri Ramakrishna visits the House of two sisters;this is very much like Jesus visiting Martha and Mary.If we read this,we get to visualize what it must have been to come face to Face with Jesus,the Christ.I will post this in the Rough Note Book thread.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 15, 2012, 08:29:31 AM
Evil of "I"and "mine"

"'I' and 'mine' - these constitute ignorance. 'My house', 'my wealth', 'my learning', 'my
possessions' - the attitude that prompts one to say such things comes of ignorance. On the
contrary, the attitude born of Knowledge is: 'O God, Thou art the Master, and all these
things belong to Thee. House, family, children, attendants, friends, are Thine.'
"One should constantly remember death. Nothing will survive death. We are born into this
world to perform certain duties, like the people who come from the countryside to Calcutta
on business. If a visitor goes to a rich man's garden, the superintendent says to him, 'This is
our garden', 'This is our lake', and so forth. But if the superintendent is dismissed for some
misdeed, he can't carry away even his mango-wood chest. He sends it secretly by the gatekeeper.
(Laughter.)
"God laughs on two occasions. He laughs when the physician says to the patient's mother,
'Don't be afraid, mother; I shall certainly cure your boy.' God laughs, saying to Himself, 'I
am going to take his life, and this man says he will save it!' The physician thinks he is the
master, forgetting that God is the Master. God laughs again when two brothers divide their
land with a string, saying to each other, 'This side is mine and that side is your'. He laughs
and says to Himself, 'The whole universe belongs to Me, but they say they own this portion
or that portion.'

"Can one know God through reasoning? Be His servant, surrender yourself to Him, and
then pray to Him.

(To Vidyasagar, with a smile) "Well, what is your attitude?"
VIDYASAGAR (smiling): "Some day I shall confide it to you."(All laugh)
MASTER (laughing): "God cannot be realized through mere scholarly reasoning."
Intoxicated with divine love, the Master sang:
Who is there that can understand what Mother Kali is?
Even the six darsanas are powerless to reveal Her.
It is She, the scriptures say, that is the Inner Self
Of the yogi, who in Self discovers all his joy;
She that, of Her own sweet will, inhabits every living thing.
The macrocosm and microcosm rest in the Mother's womb;
Now do you see how vast it is? In the Muladhara
The yogi meditates on Her, and in the Sahasrara:
Who but Siva has beheld Her as She really is?
Within the lotus wilderness She sports beside Her Mate, the Swan.
When man aspires to understand Her, Ramprasad must smile;
To think of knowing Her, he says, is quite as laughable
As to imagine one can swim across the boundless sea.
But while my mind has understood, alas! my heart has not;
Though but a dwarf, it still would strive to make a captive of the moon.
Continuing, the Master said: "Did you notice?
The macrocosm and microcosm rest in the Mother's womb;
Now do you see how vast it is?
Again, the poet says:
Even the six darsanas are powerless to reveal Her.
She cannot be realized by means of mere scholarship.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on July 17, 2012, 11:41:37 AM
Sri Ravi. What Bhagavan Ramakrishna has pointed here is very important. We think that we depend on us - our efforts, our actions and so on. But the question is "Is that true?". Life is God's Grace. We cannot even move our fingers without His Grace but we always complain "Where is His Grace?". Everything is according to His Grace and Will. This is the Final Conclusion of all major religions and philosophies.

Quote
"The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works." Lord Jesus

Quote
Allah says: "Indeed your Lord is the Doer of what He wills" [Sûrah Hûd: 107].

Quote
"Within the hearts of all living entities, resides the Supreme Lord, o Arjuna and by the potency of the illusory energy orchestrates the movements of all living entities like figurines on a carousel." Lord Krishna
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on July 17, 2012, 12:35:55 PM
Actually Lord Buddhas doctrine about "anatta" is exactly that - there is no self (ego) who performs actions and so on. It has nothing in common with what many modern buddhists teach that Upanishadic Atman is not real. This is because of the misconception during these times that Atman is the ego. The notion that Atman is just another name for Brahman and means just "Brahman within" or "Brahman in the Heart" was too harsh for them. Let's not forget that Hinduism has developed from one very dualistic religious system. I know that many don't want to accept that but it is true. Buddha didn't accept that system and His teachings are direct opposition to the brahmins' false teachings and interpetations of the Scriptures during that time.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 20, 2012, 07:28:37 AM
Ramana,
Yes what you have mentioned is quite in order ,except perhaps this statement:"Let's not forget that Hinduism has developed from one very dualistic religious system."
Hinduism has always acknowledged plurality of approaches but it cannot be said that it evolved.There is no evolution as it pertains to only 'ideas' and 'events' and spiritual Truth is beyond such 'ideas'.The emphasis has always been on Realization than on Evolution.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 20, 2012, 07:39:49 AM
Power of faith
"One must have faith and love. Let me tell you how powerful faith is. A man was about to
cross the sea from Ceylon to India. Bibhishana said to him: 'Tie this thing in a corner of
your wearing-cloth, and you will cross the sea safely. You will be able to walk on the
water. But be sure not to examine it, or you will sink.' The man was walking easily on the
water of the sea - such is the strength of faith - when, having gone part of the way, he
thought, 'What is this wonderful thing Bibhishana has given me, that I can walk even on the
water?' He untied the knot and found only a leaf with the name of Rama written on it. 'Oh,
just this!' he thought, and instantly he sank.
"There is a popular saying that Hanuman jumped over the sea through his faith in Rama's
name, but Rama himself had to build a bridge.

"If a man has faith in God, then He need not be afraid though he may have committed sin -
nay, the vilest sin."

Then Sri Ramakrishna sang a song glorifying the Power of faith:
If only I can pass away repeating Durga's name,
How canst Thou then, O Blessed One,
Withhold from me deliverance,
Wretched though I may be? …

The Master continued: "Faith and devotion. One realizes God easily through devotion. He
is grasped through ecstasy of love."
With these words the Master sang again:
How are you trying, O my mind, to know the nature of God?
You are groping like a madman locked in a dark room.
He is grasped through ecstatic love; how can you fathom Him without it?
Only through affirmation, never negation, can you know Him;
Neither through Veda nor through Tantra nor the six darsanas.

It is in love's elixir only that He delights, O mind;
He dwells in the body's inmost depths, in Everlasting Joy.
And, for that love, the mighty yogis practise yoga from age to age;
When love awakes, the Lord, like a magnet, draws to Him the soul.

He it is, says Ramprasad, that I approach as Mother;
But must I give away the secret, here in the marketplace?
From the hints I have given, O mind, guess what that Being is!

While singing, the Master went into samadhi. He was seated on the bench, facing west, the
palms of his hands joined together, his body erect and motionless. Everyone watched him
expectantly. Vidyasagar, too, was speechless and could not take his eyes from the Master.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on July 20, 2012, 03:22:13 PM
Quote
Ramana,
Yes what you have mentioned is quite in order ,except perhaps this statement:"Let's not forget that Hinduism has developed from one very dualistic religious system."
Hinduism has always acknowledged plurality of approaches but it cannot be said that it evolved.There is no evolution as it pertains to only 'ideas' and 'events' and spiritual Truth is beyond such 'ideas'.The emphasis has always been on Realization than on Evolution.
Namaskar.

Dear Sri Ravi, Hinduism was very dualistic during Vedas Age in my opinion as it is very dualistic even today. Most Hindus tell : "Oh, yes, God is One. It is Krishna and all others are Devas and they serve Him" or "Shiva is the Supreme. The others are just His servants". Such kind of "One God" interpretation is very problematic for me and is pure dualism. That's what is meant. There is very little "shankaric" theologians in India (just my observation) compared to dualistic bhaktic movements and teachings.

Best wishes, ramana 1359
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 05:45:37 AM
Ramana,
I will try to respond to your perceptions in the Rough-note book thread.you have expressed the popular misconceptions that most westerners have with regard to Vedas,Hinduism,sankara,advaita,dvaita,'one God' ,siva,Krishna,Devas,etc.
Let me just say that there are no words like advaita,dvaita or visishtadvaita in the whole of Vedas!These were coined later.I will revert to the Rough notebook thread for a comprehensive response.
Namaskar.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 05:55:52 AM
Brahman and Sakti are identical
After a time Sri Ramakrishna showed signs of regaining the normal state. He drew a deep
breath and said with a smile: "The means of realizing God are ecstasy of love and devotion
- that is, one must love God. He who is Brahman is addressed as the Mother.

He it is, says Ramprasad, that I approach as Mother;
But must I give away the secret, here in the market-place?
From the hints I have given, O mind, guess what that Being is!

"Ramprasad asks the mind only to guess the nature of God. He wishes it to understand that
what is called Brahman in the Vedas is addressed by Him as the Mother. He who is
attributeless also has attributes. He who is Brahman is also Sakti. When thought of as
inactive, He is called Brahman, and when thought of as the Creator, Preserver, and
Destroyer, He is called the Primordial Energy, Kali
.

"Brahman and Sakti are identical, like fire and its power to burn. When we talk of fire we
automatically mean also its power to burn. Again, the fire's power to burn implies the fire
itself. If you accept the one you must accept the other.

"Brahman alone is addressed as the Mother. This is because a mother is an object of great
love. One is able to realize God just through love. Ecstasy of feeling, devotion, love, and
faith - these are the means
. Listen to a song:

'As is a man's meditation, so is his feeling of love;
As is a man's feeling of love, so is his gain;
And faith is the root of all.
If in the Nectar Lake of Mother Kali's feet
My mind remains immersed,
Of little use are worship, oblations, or sacrifice.'

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 12:14:17 PM
Quote
Ramana,
I will try to respond to your perceptions in the Rough-note book thread.you have expressed the popular misconceptions that most westerners have with regard to Vedas,Hinduism,sankara,advaita,dvaita,'one God' ,siva,Krishna,Devas,etc.
Let me just say that there are no words like advaita,dvaita or visishtadvaita in the whole of Vedas!These were coined later.I will revert to the Rough notebook thread for a comprehensive response.
Namaskar.

Dear Sri Ravi. I am not talking about Vedas. I am talking about the way brahmins have interpreted them during Vedic Age. Upanishads were composed exactly because this misconception should be corrected. Exactly during Vedic Age started "division" of God - who is Supreme and who is inferior. Even Upanishads were not enough to disperse this illusion and Puranas were needed to be composed. And these Puranas istead of eliminate this illusion have become foundation for emerging of sects like Vaishnavam, Shaiva, Shaktam, Ganapatyam and so on. Even today this is not changed. I am not talking about what Sages who composed these Sacred Texts intended but how common people understood their message.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on July 22, 2012, 12:33:50 PM
Dear Sri Ravi. Please, tell me what is you opinion about the thinking of the people of India today - are they polytheistic or monotheistic? Beliefs of such kind of "Lord Krishna is the Supreme Lord and Lord Shiva is His servant" does not sound very monotheistic to me. Almost all bhaktas in India are polytheistic and dualistic, even these who recite the Scriptures that God is One. The pure notion of Superiority of a God over other Gods is indicative enough for polytheistic perception of the people who claim that. Mere recitation of the Scriptures does not change anything. Just as the so called advaitins are just visishtadvaitins. They claim that Atman is the Only Reality and so on but they continue to speak and do as if there are many atmas. Behavior and actions are important, not just words and recitation of Scriptures. Orthopraxy is the measure of where you are not, not orthodoxy. This is the same for christians for example. They Scripture say that you must love your enemies. They recite this sometimes but actually they teach hatred, discrimination and so on. I hope you understood what I meant to tell you.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 22, 2012, 03:48:01 PM
Ramana,
"I am not talking about what Sages who composed these Sacred Texts intended but how common people understood their message"
Do we see the Dichotomy here?On the one hand,we want to understand about Vedas and what they have to say,i.e whether dualism,etc,etc and on the other hand we are asking about the common people or the Brahmins(This is another misconception spread by the Buddhists and all the others right upto our present times!),what they understand and Practise!If we take it for granted that they are common people,they can be expected to be common only!
How do we now bridge the gap between the ideal and the actual ?This is exactly what the Vedas have done and all so called Vaishnavam,Shaktam ,Shaivam and all other isms so splendidly have done!All these isms look upto the Vedas as indisputable source of Wisdom.
What you perceive as weakness, split and divergence is exactly where the Strength of sanatana Dharma is.
Please wait for the articles to follow in the Rough Note book thread.
I have got the entire drift of what you have conveyed and I will try to address it.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 24, 2012, 06:00:12 AM
Growth of divine love lessens worldly duties

"What is needed is absorption in God - loving Him intensely. The 'Nectar Lake' is the Lake
of Immortality. A man sinking in It does not die, but becomes immortal. Some people
believe that by thinking of God too much the mind becomes deranged; but that is not true.
God is the Lake of Nectar, the Ocean of Immortality. He is called the 'Immortal' in the
Vedas. Sinking in It, one does not die, but verily transcends death.
Of little use are worship, oblations, or sacrifice. If a man comes to love God, he need not
trouble himself much about these activities. One needs a fan only as long as there is no
breeze. The fan may be laid aside if the southern breeze blows. Then what need is there of a
fan?

(To Vidyasagar) "The activities that you are engaged in are good. It is very good if you can
perform them in a selfless spirit, renouncing egotism, giving up the idea that you are the
doer. Through such action one develops love and devotion to God, and ultimately realizes
Him.
"The more you come to love God, the less you will be inclined to perform action. When the
daughter-in-law is with child, her mother-in-law gives her less work to do. As time goes by
she is given less and less work. When the time of delivery nears, she is not allowed to do
any work at all, lest it should hurt the child or cause difficulty at the time of birth.

"By these philanthropic activities you are really doing good to yourself. If you can do them
disinterestedly, your mind will become pure and you will develop love of God. As soon as
you have that love you will realize Him.

"Man cannot really help the world. God alone does that - He who has created the sun and
the moon, who has put love for their children in parents' hearts, endowed noble souls with
compassion, and holy men and devotees with divine love. The man who works for others,
without any selfish motive, really does good to himself.

"There is gold buried in your heart, but you are not yet aware of it. It is covered with a thin
layer of clay. Once you are aware of it, all these activities of yours will lessen. After the
birth of her child, the daughter-in-law in the family busies herself with it alone. Everything
she does is only for the child. Her mother-in-law doesn't let her do any household duties.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 25, 2012, 08:51:38 AM
Parable of the wood-cutter
"Go forward. A wood-cutter once entered a forest to gather wood. A brahmachari said to
him, 'Go forward.' He obeyed the injunction and discovered some sandal-wood trees. After
a few days he reflected, 'The holy man asked me to go forward. He didn't tell me to stop
here.' So he went forward and found a silver-mine. After a few days he went still farther
and discovered a gold-mine, and next, mines of diamonds and precious stones. With these
he became immensely rich.
"Through selfless work, love of God grows in the heart. Then, through His grace one
realizes Him in course of time. God can be seen. One can talk to him as I am talking to
you
."
In silent wonder they all sat listening to the Master's words. It seemed to them that the
Goddess of Wisdom Herself, seated on Sri Ramakrishna's tongue was addressing these
words not merely to Vidyasagar, but to all humanity for its good.
It was nearly nine o'clock in the evening. The Master was about to leave.
Master (to Vidyasagar, with a smile): "The words I have spoken are really superfluous. You
know all this; you simply aren't conscious of it. There are countless gems in the coffers of
Varuna. But he himself isn't aware of them."
VIDYASAGAR (with a smile): "You may say as you like."
MASTER (smiling): "Oh yes. There are many wealthy people who don't know the names
of all their servants, and are even unaware of many of the precious things in their
houses."(All laugh.)
Everybody was delighted with the Master's conversation. Again addressing Vidyasagar, he
said with a smile: "Please visit the temple garden some time - I mean the garden of
Rasmani. It's a charming place."
VIDYASAGAR: "Oh, of course I shall go. You have so kindly come here to see me, and
shall I not return your visit?"
MASTER: "Visit me? Oh, never think of such a thing!"
VIDYASAGAR: "Why, sir? Why do you say that? May I ask you to explain?"
MASTER (smiling): "You see, we are like small fishing-boats. (All smile.) We can ply in
small canals and shallow waters and also in big rivers. But you are a ship. You may run
aground on the way!" (All laugh.)
Vidyasagar remained silent. Sri Ramakrishna said with a laugh, "But even a ship can go
there at this season."
VIDYASAGR (smiling): "Yes, this is the monsoon season."(All laugh.)
M. said to himself: "This is indeed the monsoon season of newly awakened love. At such
times one doesn't care for prestige or formalities."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 26, 2012, 08:38:52 AM
Sri Ramakrishna then took leave of Vidyasagar, who with his friends escorted the Master to
the main gate, leading the way with a lighted candle in his hand. Before leaving the room,
the Master prayed for the family's welfare, going into an ecstatic mood as he did so.

As soon as the Master and the devotees reached the gate, they saw an unexpected sight and
stood still. In front of them was a bearded gentleman of fair complexion, aged about thirtysix.
He wore his clothes like a Bengali, but on his head was a white turban tied after the
fashion of the Sikhs. No sooner did he see the Master than he fell prostrate before him,
turban and all.

When he stood up the Master said: "Who is this? Balaram? Why so late in the evening?"

BALARAM: "I have been waiting here a long time, sir."
MASTER: "Why didn't you come in?"
BALARAM: "All were listening to you. I didn't like to disturb you." The Master got into
the carriage with his companions.
VIDYASAGAR (to M., softly): "Shall I pay the carriage hire?"
M: "Oh, don't bother, please. It is taken care of."

Vidyasagar and his friends bowed to Sri Ramakrishna, and the carriage started for
Dakshineswar. But the little group, with the venerable Vidyasagar at their head holding the
lighted candle, stood at the gate and gazed after the Master until he was out of sight.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 27, 2012, 06:24:12 AM
Chapter 4 -ADVICE TO HOUSEHOLDERS
August 13, 1882


The Master was conversing with Kedar and some other devotees in his room in
the temple garden. Kedar was a government official and had spent several years at Dacca,
in East Bengal, where he had become a friend of Vijay Goswami. The two would spend a
great part of their time together, talking about Sri Ramakrishna and his spiritual
experiences. Kedar had once been a member of the Brahmo Samaj. He followed the path of
bhakti. Spiritual talk always brought tears to his eyes.

It was five o'clock in the afternoon. Kedar was very happy that day, having arranged a
religious festival for Sri Ramakrishna. A singer had been hired by Ram, and the whole day
passed in joy.

Secret of divine communion

The Master explained to the devotees the secret of communion with God.

MASTER: "With the realization of Satchidananda one goes into samadhi. Then duties drop
away. Suppose I have been talking about the ostad and he arrives. What need is there of
talking about him then? How long does the bee buzz around? So long as it isn't sitting on a
flower. But it will not do for the sadhaka to renounce duties. He should perform his duties,
such as worship, japa, meditation, prayer, and pilgrimage.

"If you see someone engaged in reasoning even after he has realized God, you may liken
him to a bee, which also buzzes a little even while sipping honey from a flower."

The Master was highly pleased with the ostad's music. He said to the musician, "There is a
special manifestation of God's power in a man who has any outstanding gift, such as
proficiency in music."

MUSICIAN: "Sir, what is the way to realize God?"

MASTER: "Bhakti is the one essential thing. To be sure, God exists in all beings. Who,
then, is a devotee? He whose mind dwells on God. But this is not possible as long as one
has egotism and vanity. The water of God's grace cannot collect on the high mound of
egotism. It runs down. I am a mere machine."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 28, 2012, 06:39:52 AM
Master's respect for other faiths
(To Kedar and the other devotees) "God can be realized through all paths. All religions are
true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden
stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole.

Many names of one God

"You may say that there are many errors and superstitions in another religion. I should
reply: Suppose there are. Every religion has errors. Everyone thinks that his watch alone
gives the correct time. It is enough to have yearning for God. It is enough to love Him and
feel attracted to Him: Don't you know that God is the Inner Guide? He sees the longing of
our heart and the yearning of our soul. Suppose a man has several sons. The older boys
address him distinctly as 'Baba' or 'Papa', but the babies can at best call him 'Ba' or 'Pa'.
Now, will the father be angry with those who address him in this indistinct way? The father
knows that they too are calling him, only they cannot pronounce his name well. All
children are the same to the father. Likewise, the devotees call on God alone, though by
different names. They call on one Person only. God is one, but His names are many."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 29, 2012, 07:27:06 AM
Thursday, August 24, 1882.

Sri Ramakrishna was talking to Hazra on the long northeast verandah of his room, when M.
arrived. He saluted the Master reverently.

Spiritual disciplines necessary at the beginning

Master: "I should like to visit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar a few times more. The painter
first draws the general outlines and then puts in the details and colours at his leisure. The
moulder first makes the image out of clay, then plasters it, then gives it a coat of
whitewash, and last of all paints it with a brush. All these steps must be taken successively.
Vidyasagar is fully ready, but his inner stuff is covered with a thin layer. He is now
engaged in doing good works; but he doesn't know what is within himself. Gold is hidden
within him. God dwells within us. If one knows that, one feels like giving up all activities
and praying to God with a yearning soul."

So the Master talked with M. - now standing, now pacing up and down the long verandah.

MASTER: "A little spiritual discipline is necessary in order to know what lies within."

M: "Is it necessary to practise discipline all through life?"

MASTER: "No. But one must be up and doing in the beginning. After that one need not
work hard. The helmsman stands up and clutches the rudder firmly as long as the boat is
passing through waves, storms, high wind, or around the curves of a river; but he relaxes
after steering through them. As soon as the boat passes the curves and the helmsman feels a
favourable wind, he sits comfortably and just touches the rudder. Next he prepares to unfurl
the sail and gets ready for a smoke. Likewise, the aspirant enjoys peace and calm after
passing the waves and storms of 'woman and gold'.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 30, 2012, 08:15:59 AM
"Woman and gold" is the obstruction to yoga

"Some are born with the characteristics of the yogi; but they too should be careful. It is
'woman and gold' alone that is the obstacle; it makes them deviate from the path of yoga
and drags them into worldliness. Perhaps they have some desire for enjoyment. After
fulfilling their desire, they again direct their minds to God and thus recover their former
state of mind, fit for the practise of yoga.

"Have you ever seen the spring trap for fish, called the 'satka-kal'?"

M: "No, sir, I haven't seen it."

MASTER: "They use it in our part of the country. One end of a bamboo pole is fastened in
the ground, and the other is bent over with a catch. From this end a line with a hook hangs
over the water, with bait tied to the hook. When the fish swallows the bait, suddenly the
bamboo jumps up and regains its upright position.

"Again, take a pair of scales for example. If a weight is placed on one side, the lower needle
moves away from the upper one. The lower needle is the mind, and the upper one, God.
The meeting of the two is yoga.

"Unless the mind becomes steady there cannot be yoga. It is the wind of worldliness that
always disturbs the mind, which may be likened to a candle flame. If that flame doesn't
move at all, then one is said to have attained yoga.

" 'Woman and gold' alone is the obstacle to yoga. Always analyse what you see. What is
there in the body of a woman? Only such things as blood, flesh, fat, entrails, and the like.
Why should one love such a body?

"Sometimes I used to assume a rajasic mood in order to practise renunciation. Once I had
the desire to put on a gold-embroidered robe, wear a ring on my finger, and smoke a
hubble-bubble with a long pipe. Mathur Babu procured all these things for me. I wore the
gold-embroidered robe and said to myself after a while, 'Mind! This is what is called a
gold-embroidered robe.' Then I took it off and threw it away. I couldn't stand the robe any
more. Again I said to myself, 'Mind! This is called a shawl, and this a ring, and this,
smoking a hubble-bubble with a long pipe.' I threw those things away once for all, and the
desire to enjoy them never arose in my mind again."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on July 30, 2012, 01:08:05 PM
Thursday, August 24, 1882.

Sri Ramakrishna was talking to Hazra on the long northeast verandah of his room, when M.
arrived. He saluted the Master reverently.

Spiritual disciplines necessary at the beginning

Master: "I should like to visit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar a few times more. The painter
first draws the general outlines and then puts in the details and colours at his leisure. The
moulder first makes the image out of clay, then plasters it, then gives it a coat of
whitewash, and last of all paints it with a brush. All these steps must be taken successively.
Vidyasagar is fully ready, but his inner stuff is covered with a thin layer. He is now
engaged in doing good works; but he doesn't know what is within himself. Gold is hidden
within him. God dwells within us. If one knows that, one feels like giving up all activities
and praying to God with a yearning soul."

So the Master talked with M. - now standing, now pacing up and down the long verandah.

MASTER: "A little spiritual discipline is necessary in order to know what lies within."

M: "Is it necessary to practise discipline all through life?"

MASTER: "No. But one must be up and doing in the beginning. After that one need not
work hard. The helmsman stands up and clutches the rudder firmly as long as the boat is
passing through waves, storms, high wind, or around the curves of a river; but he relaxes
after steering through them. As soon as the boat passes the curves and the helmsman feels a
favourable wind, he sits comfortably and just touches the rudder. Next he prepares to unfurl
the sail and gets ready for a smoke. Likewise, the aspirant enjoys peace and calm after
passing the waves and storms of 'woman and gold'.


Dear Sri Ravi, what is the spiritual discipline Sri Ramakrishna has adviced His students?
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 30, 2012, 09:33:49 PM
Ramana,
Sri Ramakrishna could guide each one according to his predelictions and past tendencies.He did not advocate a set of Practices to each and all.
Yet,in a general sense he advocated broadly two paths,as can be seen from the following conversation(from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna):

Later in the afternoon several Marwari devotees entered the Master's room, where Rakhal
and M. also were seated.

A MARWARI DEVOTEE: "Sir, what is the way?"

Two ways of God-realization

MASTER: "There are two ways. One is the path of discrimination, the other is that of love.
Discrimination means to know the distinction between the Real and the unreal. God alone
is the real and permanent Substance; all else is illusory and impermanent. The magician
alone is real; his magic is illusory. This is discrimination.

"Discrimination and renunciation. Discrimination means to know the distinction between
the Real and the unreal. Renunciation means to have dispassion for the things of the world.

One cannot acquire them all of a sudden. They must be practised every day. One should
renounce 'woman and gold' mentally at first. Then, by the will of God, one can renounce it
both mentally and outwardly. It is impossible to ask the people of Calcutta to renounce all
for the sake of God. One has to tell them to renounce mentally.

Constant practice urged

"Through the discipline of constant practice one is able to give up attachment to 'woman
and gold'. That is what the Gita says. By practice one acquires uncommon power of mind.
Then one doesn't find it difficult to subdue the sense-organs and to bring anger, lust, and
the like under control
. Such a man behaves like a tortoise, which, once it has tucked in its
limbs, never puts them out. You cannot make the tortoise put its limbs out again, though
you chop it to pieces with an axe."

MARWARI DEVOTEE: "Revered sir, you just mentioned two paths. What is the other
path?"

MASTER: "The path of bhakti, or zealous love of God. Weep for God in solitude, with a
restless soul, and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Cry to your Mother Syama with a real
cry, O mind! And how can She hold Herself from you? "

MARWARI DEVOTEE: "Sir, what is the meaning of the worship of the Personal God?
And what is the meaning of God without form or attribute?"
                                                                                                                                             
MASTER: "As you recall your father by his photograph, so likewise the worship of the
image reveals in a flash the nature of Reality
.

"Do you know what God with form is like? Like bubbles rising on an expanse of water,
various divine forms are seen to rise out of the Great akasa of Consciousness. The
Incarnation of God is one of these forms. The Primal Energy sports, as it were, through the
activities of a Divine Incarnation.

"What is there in mere scholarship? God can be attained by crying to Him with a longing
heart. There is no need to know many things.


"He who is an acharya has to know different things. One needs a sword and shield to kill
others; but to kill oneself, a needle or a nail-knife suffices.

"One ultimately discovers God by trying to know who this 'I' is. Is this 'I' the flesh, the
bones, the blood, or the marrow? Is it the mind or the buddhi? Analysing thus, you realize
at last that you are none of these. This is called the process of 'Neti, neti', 'Not this, not this'.
One can neither comprehend nor touch the Atman. It is without qualities or attributes.

"But, according to the path of devotion, God has attributes. To a devotee Krishna is Spirit,
His Abode is Spirit, and everything about Him is Spirit."

The Marwari devotees saluted the Master and took their leave.

At the approach of evening Sri Ramakrishna went out to look at the sacred river. The lamp
was lighted in his room. The Master chanted the hallowed name of the Divine Mother and
meditated on Her. Then the evening worship began in the various temples. The sound of
gongs, floating on the air, mingled with the murmuring voice of the river. Peace and
blessedness reigned everywhere.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on July 31, 2012, 06:46:39 AM
It was almost dusk. The Master and M. stood talking alone near the door on the southeast
verandah.

Master (to M.): "The mind of the yogi is always fixed on God, always absorbed in the
Self. You can recognize such a man by merely looking at him. His eyes are wide open, with
an aimless look, like the eyes of the mother bird hatching her eggs. Her entire mind is fixed
on the eggs, and there is a vacant look in her eyes. Can you show me such a picture?"

M: "I shall try to get one."

As evening came on, the temples were lighted up. Sri Ramakrishna was seated on his small
couch, meditating on the Divine Mother. Then he chanted the names of God. Incense was
burnt in the room, where an oil lamp had been lighted. Sounds of conch-shells and gongs
came floating on the air as the evening worship began in the temple of Kali. The light of the
moon flooded all the quarters. The Master again spoke to M.

God and worldly duties

MASTER: "Perform your duties in an unselfish spirit. The work that Vidyasagar is engaged
in is very good. Always try to perform your duties without desiring any result."

M: "Yes, sir. But may I know if one can realize God while performing one's duties? Can
'Rama' and 'desire' coexist? The other day I read in a Hindi couplet: 'Where Rama is, there
desire cannot be; where desire is, there Rama cannot be.' "

MASTER: "All, without exception, perform work. Even to chant the name and glories of
God is work, as is the meditation of the non-dualist on 'I am He'. Breathing is also an
activity. There is no way of renouncing work altogether. So do your work, but surrender the
result to God."



Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 01, 2012, 08:10:45 AM
God and worldly duties

M: "Sir, may I make an effort to earn more money?"

MASTER: "It is permissible to do so to maintain a religious family. You may try to
increase your income, but in an honest way. The goal of life is not the earning of money,
but the service of God. Money is not harmful if it is devoted to the service of God."

M: "How long should a man feel obliged to do his duty toward his wife and children?"

MASTER: "As long as they feel pinched for food and clothing. But one need not take the
responsibility of a son when he is able to support himself. When the young fledgling learns
to pick its own food, its mother pecks it if it comes to her for food."

M: "How long must one do one's duty?"

MASTER: "The blossom drops off when the fruit appears. One doesn't have to do one's
duty after the attainment of God, nor does one feel like doing it then
.

"If a drunkard takes too much liquor he cannot retain consciousness. If he takes only two
or three glasses, he can go on with his work. As you advance nearer and nearer to God, He
will reduce your activities little by little. Have no fear.

"Finish the few duties you have at hand, and then you will have peace. When the mistress
of the house goes to bathe after finishing her cooking and other household duties, she won't
come back, however you may shout after her."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 02, 2012, 08:19:40 AM
Different groups of devotees

M: "Sir, what is the meaning of the realization of God? What do you mean by God-vision?
How does one attain it?"

MASTER: "According to the Vaishnavas the aspirants and the seers of God may be divided
into different groups. These are the pravartaka, the sadhaka, the siddha, and the siddha of
the siddha. He who has just set foot on the path may be called a pravartaka. He may be
called a sadhaka who has for some time been practising spiritual disciplines, such as
worship, japa, meditation, and the chanting of God's name and glories. He may be called a
siddha who has known from his inner experience that God exists. An analogy is given in
the Vedanta to explain this. The master of the house is asleep in a dark room. Someone is
groping in the darkness to find him. He touches the couch and says, 'No, it is not he.' He
touches the window and says, 'No, it is not he.' He touches the door and says, 'No, it is not
he.' This is known in the Vedanta as the process of 'Neti, neti', 'Not this, not this'. At last his
hand touches the master's body and he exclaims, 'Here he is!' In other words, he is now
conscious of the 'existence' of the master. He has found him, but he doesn't yet know him
intimately.

"There is another type, known as the siddha of the siddha, the 'supremely perfect'. It is quite
a different thing when one talks to the master intimately, when one knows God very
intimately through love and devotion. A siddha has undoubtedly attained God, but the
'supremely perfect' has known God very intimately.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 04, 2012, 08:15:00 AM
Different moods of aspirants

"But in order to realize God, one must assume one of these attitudes: Santa, dasya, sakhya,
vatsalya, or madhur.

"Santa, the serene attitude. The rishis of olden times had this attitude toward God. They did
not desire any worldly enjoyment. It is like the single-minded devotion of a wife to her
husband. She knows that her husband is the embodiment of beauty and love, a veritable
Madan.

"Dasya, the attitude of a servant toward his master. Hanuman had this attitude toward
Rama. He felt the strength of a lion when he worked for Rama. A wife feels this mood also.
She serves her husband with all her heart and soul. A mother also has a little of this attitude,
as Yasoda had toward Krishna.

"Sakhya, the attitude of friendship. Friends say to one another, 'Come here and sit near me.'
Sridama and other friends sometimes fed Krishna with fruit, part of which they had already
eaten, and sometimes climbed on His shoulders.

"Vatsalya, the attitude of a mother toward her child. This was Yasoda's attitude toward
Krishna. The wife, too, has a little of this. She feeds her husband with her very life-blood,
as it were. The mother feels happy only when the child has eaten to his heart's content.
Yasoda would roam about with butter in her hand, in order to feed Krishna.

"Madhur, the attitude of a woman toward her paramour. Radha had this attitude toward
Krishna. The wife also feels it for her husband. This attitude includes all the other four."

M: "When one sees God does one see Him with these eyes?"

MASTER: "God cannot be seen with these physical eyes. In the course of spiritual
discipline one gets a 'love body', endowed with 'love eyes', 'love ears', and so on. One sees
God with those 'love eyes'. One hears the voice of God with those 'love ears'. One even gets
a sexual organ made of love."

At these words M. burst out laughing. The Master continued, unannoyed, "With this 'love
body' the soul communes with God."

M. again became serious.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 05, 2012, 06:42:38 AM
Seeing God everywhere

MASTER: "But this is not possible without intense love of God. One sees nothing but God
everywhere when one loves Him with great intensity. It is like a person with jaundice, who
sees everything yellow. Then one feels, 'I am verily He'.

"A drunkard, deeply intoxicated, says, 'Verily I am Kali!' The gopis, intoxicated with love,
exclaimed, 'Verily I am Krishna!'

"One who thinks of God, day and night, beholds Him everywhere. It is like a man's seeing
flames on all sides after he has gazed fixedly at one flame for some time."

"But that isn't the real flame", flashed through M.'s mind.

Sri Ramakrishna, who could read a man's inmost thought, said: "One doesn't lose
consciousness by thinking of Him who is all Spirit, all Consciousness. Shivanath once
remarked that too much thinking about God confounds the brain. Thereupon I said to him,
'How can one become unconscious by thinking of Consciousness?' "

M: "Yes, sir, I realize that. It isn't like thinking of an unreal object. How can a man lose his
intelligence if he always fixes his mind on Him whose very nature is eternal Intelligence?"

MASTER (with pleasure): "It is through God's grace that you understand that. The doubts
of the mind will not disappear without His grace. Doubts do not disappear without Selfrealization.
"But one need not fear anything if one has received the grace of God. It is rather easy for a
child to stumble if he holds his father's hand; but there can be no such fear if the father
holds the child's hand. A man does not have to suffer any more if God, in His grace,
removes his doubts and reveals Himself to him. But this grace descends upon him only
after he has prayed to God with intense yearning of heart and practised spiritual discipline.
The mother feels compassion for her child when she sees him running about breathlessly.
She has been hiding herself; now she appears before the child."


"But why should God make us run about?" thought M

Immediately Sri Ramakrishna said: "It is His will that we should run about a little. Then it
is great fun. God has created the world in play, as it were. This is called Mahamaya, the
Great Illusion. Therefore one must take refuge in the Divine Mother, the Cosmic Power
Itself. It is She who has bound us with the shackles of illusion. The realization of God is
possible only when those shackles are severed."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 06, 2012, 07:34:38 AM
Worship of the Divine Mother
The Master continued: "One must propitiate the Divine Mother, the Primal Energy, in order
to obtain God's grace. God Himself is Mahamaya, who deludes the world with Her illusion
and conjures up the magic of creation, preservation, and destruction. She has spread this
veil of ignorance before our eyes. We can go into the inner chamber only when She lets us
pass through the door. Living outside, we see only outer objects, but not that Eternal Being,
Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. Therefore it is stated in the purna that deities like
Brahma praised Mahamaya for the destruction of the demons Madhu and Kaitabha.

"Sakti alone is the root of the universe. That Primal Energy has two aspects: vidya and
avidya. Avidya deludes. Avidya conjures up 'woman and gold', which casts the spell. Vidya
begets devotion, kindness, wisdom, and love, which lead one to God. This avidya must be
propitiated, and that is the purpose of the rites of Sakti worship.

"The devotee assumes various attitudes toward Sakti in order to propitiate Her: the attitude
of a handmaid, a 'hero', or a child. A hero's attitude is to please Her even as a man pleases a
woman through intercourse.

"The worship of Sakti is extremely difficult. It is no joke. I passed two years as the
handmaid and companion of the Divine Mother. But my natural attitude has always been
that of a child toward its mother. I regard the breasts of any woman as those of my own
mother.

Master's attitude toward women
"Women are, all of them, the veritable images of Sakti. In northwest India the bride holds a
knife in her hand at the time of marriage; in Bengal, a nut-cutter. The meaning is that the
bridegroom, with the help of the bride, who is the embodiment of the Divine Power, will
sever the bondage of illusion. This is the 'heroic' attitude. I never worshipped the Divine
Mother that way. My attitude toward Her is that of a child toward its mother.

"The bride is the very embodiment of Sakti. Haven't you noticed, at the marriage ceremony,
how the groom sits behind like an idiot? But the bride - she is so bold!

His love for Narendra
"After attaining God one forgets His external splendour; the glories of His creation. One
doesn't think of God's glories after one has seen Him. The devotee, once immersed in God's
Bliss, doesn't calculate any more about outer things. When I see Narendra, I don't need to
ask him: 'What's your name? Where do you live?' Where is the time for such questions?
Once a man asked Hanuman which day of the fortnight it was. 'Brother,' said Hanuman, 'I
don't know anything of the day of the week, or the fortnight, or the position of the stars. I
think of Rama alone.' "

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 08, 2012, 07:58:06 AM
October 16, 1882

It was Monday, a few days before the Durga Puja, the festival of the Divine Mother. Sri
Ramakrishna was in a very happy state of mind, for Narendra was with him. Narendra had
brought two or three young members of the Brahmo Samaj to the temple garden. Besides
these, Rakhal, Ramlal, Hazra, and M. were with the Master.

Narendra had his midday meal with Sri Ramakrishna. Afterwards a temporary bed was
made on the floor of the Master's room so that the disciples might rest awhile. A mat was
spread, over which was placed a quilt covered with a white sheet. A few cushions and
pillows completed the simple bed. Like a child, the Master sat near Narendranath on the
bed. He talked with the devotees in great delight. With a radiant smile lighting his face, and
his eyes fixed on Narendra, he was giving them various spiritual teachings, interspersing
these with incidents from his own life.

MASTER: "After I had experienced samadhi, my mind craved intensely to hear only about
God. I would always search for places where they were reciting or explaining the sacred
books, such as the Bhagavata, the Mahabharata, and the Adhyatma Ramayana. I used to go
to Krishnakishore to hear him read the Adhyatma Ramayana."

Krishnakishore's faith

"What tremendous faith Krishnakishore had! Once, while at Vrindavan, he felt thirsty and
went to a well. Near it he saw a man standing. On being asked to draw a little water for
him, the man said: 'I belong to a low caste, sir. You are a brahmin. How can I draw water
for you?' Krishnakishore said: 'Take the name of Siva. By repeating His holy name you will
make yourself pure.' The low-caste man did as he was told, and Krishnakishore, orthodox
brahmin that he was, drank that water. What tremendous faith!

"Once a holy man came to the bank of the Ganges and lived near the bathing-ghat at
Ariadaha, not far from Dakshineswar. We thought of paying him a visit. I said to Haladhari:
'Krishnakishore and I are going to see a holy man. Will you come with us?' Haladhari
replied, 'What is the use of seeing a mere human body, which is no better than a cage of
clay?' Haladhari was a student of the Gita and Vedanta philosophy, and therefore referred
to the holy man as a mere 'cage of clay'. I repeated this to Krishnakishore. With great anger
he said: 'How impudent of Haladhari to make such a remark! How can he ridicule as a
"cage of clay" the body of a man who constantly thinks of God, who meditates on Rama,
and has renounced all for the sake of the Lord? Doesn't he know that such a man is the
embodiment of Spirit?' He was so upset by Haladhari's remarks that he would turn his face
away from him whenever he met him in the temple garden, and stopped speaking to him.

"Once Krishnakishore asked me, 'Why have you cast off the sacred thread?' In those days
of God-vision I felt as if I were passing through the great storm of Aswin, and everything
had blown away from me. No trace of my old self was left. I lost all consciousness of the
world. I could hardly keep my cloth on my body, not to speak of the sacred thread! I said to
Krishnakishore, 'Ah, you will understand if you ever happen to be as intoxicated with God
as I was.'

"And it actually came to pass. He too passed through a God-intoxicated state, when he
would repeat only the word 'Om' and shut himself up alone in his room. His relatives
thought he was actually mad, and called in a physician. Ram Kaviraj of Natagore came to
see him. Krishnakishore said to the physician, 'Cure me, sir, of my malady, if you please,
but not of my Om.' (All laugh.)

"One day I went to see him and found him in a pensive mood. When I asked him about it,
he said: 'The tax-collector was here. He threatened to dispose of my brass pots, my cups,
and my few utensils, if I didn't pay the tax; so I am worried.' I said: 'But why should you
worry about it? Let him take away your pots and pans. Let him arrest your body even. How
will that affect you? For your nature is that of Kha!' (Narendra and the others laugh.) He
used to say to me that he was the Spirit, all-pervading as the sky. He had got that idea from
the Adhyatma Ramayana. I used to tease him now and then, addressing him as 'Kha'.
Therefore I said to him that day, with a smile: 'You are Kha. Taxes cannot move you!'

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 10, 2012, 08:52:43 AM
Master's outspokenness

"In that state of God-intoxication I used to speak out my mind to all. I was no respecter of
persons. Even to men of position I was not afraid to speak the truth.

"One day Jatindra came to the garden of Jadu Mallick. I was there too. I asked him: 'What
is the duty of man? Isn't it our duty to think of God?' Jatindra replied: 'We are worldly
people. How is it possible for us to achieve liberation? Even King Yudhisthira had to have
a vision of hell.' This made me very angry. I said to him: 'What sort of man are you? Of all
the incidents of Yudhisthira's life, you remember only his seeing hell. You don't remember
his truthfulness, his forbearance, his patience, his discrimination, his dispassion, his
devotion to God.' I was about to say many more things, when Hriday stopped my mouth.
After a little while Jatindra left the place, saying he had some other business to attend to.

"Many days later I went with Captain to see Raja Sourindra Tagore. As soon as I met him, I
said, 'I can't address you as "Raja", or by any such title, for I should be telling a lie.' He
talked to me a few minutes, 'but even so our conversation was interrupted by the frequent
visits of Europeans and others. A man of rajasic temperament, Sourindra was naturally
busy with many things. Jatindra his eldest brother, had been told of my coming, but he sent
word that he had a pain in his throat and couldn't go out.

"One day, in that state of divine intoxication, I went to the bathing-ghat on the Ganges at
Baranagore. There I saw Jaya Mukherji repeating the name of God; but his mind was on
something else. I went up and slapped him twice on the cheeks.

"At one time Rani Rasmani was staying in the temple garden. She came to the shrine of the
Divine Mother, as she frequently did when I worshipped Kali, and asked me to sing a song
or two. On this occasion, while I was singing, I noticed she was sorting the flowers for
worship absent-mindedly. At once I slapped her on the cheeks. She became quite
embarrassed and sat there with folded hands.

"Alarmed at this state of mind myself, I said to my cousin Haladhari: 'Just see my nature!
How can I get rid of it?' After praying to the Divine Mother for some time with great
yearning, I was able to shake off this habit.

His anguish at worldly talk

"When one gets into such a state of mind, one doesn't enjoy any conversation but that about
God. I used to weep when I heard people talk about worldly matters. When I accompanied
Mathur Babu on a pilgrimage, we spent a few days in Benares at Raja Babu's house. One
day I was seated in the drawing-room with Mathur Babu, Raja Babu, and others. Hearing
them talk about various worldly things, such as their business losses and so forth, I wept
bitterly and said to the Divine Mother: 'Mother, where have You brought me? I was much
better off in the temple garden at Dakshineswar. Here I am in a place where I must hear
about "woman and gold". But at Dakshineswar I could avoid it.' "

The Master asked the devotees, especially Narendra, to rest awhile, and he himself lay
down on the smaller couch.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 11, 2012, 07:31:29 AM
His ecstasy in kirtan

Late in the afternoon Narendra sang. Rakhal, Latu, M., Hazra, and Priya, Narendra's
Brahmo friend, were present. The singing was accompanied by the drum:
Meditate, O my mind, on the Lord Hari,
The Stainless One, Pure Spirit through and through.
How peerless is the light that in Him shines!
How soul-bewitching is His wondrous form!
How dear is He to all His devotees! …
After this song Narendra sang:
Oh, when will dawn for me that day of blessedness
When He who is all Good, all Beauty, and all Truth,
Will light the inmost shrine of my heart?
When shall I sink at last, ever beholding Him,
Into that Ocean of Delight?
Lord, as Infinite Wisdom Thou shalt enter my soul,
And my unquiet mind, made speechless by Thy sight,
Will find a haven at Thy feet.
In my heart's firmament, O Lord, Thou wilt arise
As Blissful Immortality;
And as, when the chakora beholds the rising moon,
It sports about for very joy,
So, too, shall I be filled with heavenly happiness
When Thou appearest unto me.
Thou One without a Second, all Peace, the King of Kings!
At Thy beloved feet I shall renounce my life
And so at last shall gain life's goal;
I shall enjoy the bliss of heaven while yet on earth!
Where else is a boon so rare bestowed?
Then shall I see Thy glory, pure and untouched by stain;
As darkness flees from light, so will my darkest sins
Desert me at Thy dawn's approach.
Kindle in me, O Lord, the blazing fire of faith
To be the pole-star of my life;
O Succour of the weak, fulfil my one desire!
Then shall I bathe both day and night
In the boundless bliss of Thy Love, and utterly forget
Myself, O Lord, attaining Thee.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 13, 2012, 07:38:20 AM
Narendra sang again:

With beaming face chant the sweet name of God
Till in your heart the nectar overflows.
Drink of it ceaselessly and share it with all!
If ever your heart runs dry, parched by the flames
Of worldly desire, chant the sweet name of God,
And heavenly love will moisten your arid soul.
Be sure, O mind, you never forget to chant
His holy name: when danger stares in your face,
Call on Him, your Father Compassionate;
With His name's thunder, snap the fetters of sin!
Come, let us fulfil our hearts' desires
By drinking deep of Everlasting Joy,
Made one with Him in Love's pure ecstasy.
Now Narendra and the devotees began to sing kirtan, accompanied by the drum and
cymbals. They moved round and round the Master as they sang:
Immerse yourself for evermore, O mind,
In Him who is Pure Knowledge and Pure Bliss.

Next they sang:

Oh, when will dawn for me that day of blessedness
When He who is all Good, all Beauty, and all Truth
Will light the inmost shrine of my heart? …

At last Narendra himself was playing on the drums, and he sang with the Master, full of
joy:

With beaming face chant the sweet name of God …

When the music was over, Sri Ramakrishna held Narendra in his arms a long time and said,
"You have made us so happy today!" The flood-gate of the Master's heart was open so
wide, that night, that he could hardly contain himself for joy. It was eight o'clock in the
evening. Intoxicated with divine love, he paced the long verandah north of his room. Now
and then he could be heard talking to the Divine Mother. Suddenly he said in an excited
voice, "What can you do to me?" Was the Master hinting that maya was helpless before
him, since he had the Divine Mother for his support?

Narendra, M., and Priya were going to spend the night at the temple garden. This pleased
the Master highly, especially since Narendra would be with him. The Holy Mother, who
was living in the nahabat, had prepared the supper. Surendra bore the greater part of the
Master's expenses. The meal was ready, and the plates were set out on the southeast
verandah of the Masters room.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on August 13, 2012, 11:32:28 AM
Beautiful! Thank you, Sri Ravi!
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 14, 2012, 06:40:19 AM
Ramana,
Yes,friend.M has captured the scenes and talks of the Master so wonderfully.Thanks very much.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 14, 2012, 06:46:08 AM
Near the east door of his room Narendra and the other devotees were gossiping.

NARENDRA: "How do you find the young men nowadays?"

M: "They are not bad; but they don't receive any religious instructions".

NARENDRA: "But from my experience I feel they are going to the dogs. They smoke
cigarettes, indulge in frivolous talk, enjoy foppishness, play truant, and do everything of
that sort. I have even seen them visiting questionable places."

M: "I didn't notice such things during our student days."

NARENDRA: "Perhaps you didn't mix with the students intimately. I have even seen them
talking with people of immoral character. Perhaps they are on terms of intimacy with
them."

M: "It is strange indeed."

NARENDRA: "I know that many of them form bad habits. It would be proper if the
guardians of the boys, and the authorities, kept their eyes on these matters."

They Were talking thus when Sri Ramakrishna came to them and asked with a smile,
"Well, what are you talking about?"

NARENDRA: "I have been asking M. about the boys in the schools. The conduct of
students nowadays isn't all that it should be."

The Master became grave and said to M. rather seriously: "This kind of conversation is not
good. It isn't desirable to indulge in any talk but talk of God. You are their senior, and you
are intelligent. You should not have encouraged them to talk about such matters."


Narendra was then about nineteen years old, and M. about twenty-eight. Thus admonished,
M. felt embarrassed, and the others also fell silent.

While the devotees were enjoying their meal, Sri Ramakrishna stood by and watched them
with intense delight. That night the Master's joy was very great.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 15, 2012, 06:24:51 AM
After supper the devotees rested on the mat spread on the floor of the Master's room. They
began to talk with him. It was indeed a mart of joy. The Master asked Narendra to sing the
song beginning with the line: "In Wisdom's firmament the moon of Love is rising full."

Narendra sang, and other devotees played the drums and cymbals:

In Wisdom's firmament the moon of Love is rising full,
And Love's flood-tide, in surging waves, is flowing everywhere.
O Lord, how full of bliss Thou art! Victory unto Thee!
On every side shine devotees, like stars around the moon;
Their Friend, the Lord All-merciful, joyously plays with them.
Behold! the gates of paradise today are open wide.
The soft spring wind of the New Day raises fresh waves of joy;
Gently it carries to the earth the fragrance of God's Love,
Till all the yogis, drunk with bliss, are lost in ecstasy.
Upon the sea of the world unfolds the lotus of the New Day,
And there the Mother sits enshrined in blissful majesty.
See how the bees are mad with joy, sipping the nectar there!
Behold the Mother's radiant face, which so enchants the heart
And captivates the universe! About Her Lotus Feet
Bands of ecstatic holy men are dancing in delight.
What matchless loveliness is Hers! What infinite content
Pervades the heart when She appears! O brothers, says Premdas,
I humbly beg you, one and all, to sing the Mother's praise!

Sri Ramakrishna sang and danced, and the devotees danced around him.

A devotee's dream

When the song was over, the Master walked up and down the northeast verandah, where
Hazra was seated with M. The Master sat down there. He asked a devotee, "Do you ever
have dreams?"

DEVOTEE: "Yes, sir. The other day I dreamt a strange dream. I saw the whole world
enveloped in water. There was water on all sides. A few boats were visible, but suddenly
huge waves appeared and sank them. I was about to board a ship with a few others, when
we saw a brahmin walking over that expanse of water. I asked him, 'How can you walk
over the deep?' The brahmin said with a smile: 'Oh, there is no difficulty about that. There
is a bridge under the water.' I said to him, 'Where are you going?' 'To Bhawanipur, the city
of the Divine Mother', he replied. 'Wait a little', I cried. 'I shall accompany you.' "

MASTER: "Oh. I am thrilled to hear the story!"

DEVOTEE: "The brahmin said: 'I am in a hurry. It will take you some time to get out of the
boat. Good-bye. Remember this path and come after me.

MASTER: "Oh, my hair is standing on end! Please be initiated by a guru as soon as
possible."

Shortly before midnight Narendra and the other devotees lay down on a bed made on the
floor of the Master's room.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 17, 2012, 08:39:32 PM
At dawn some of the devotees were up. They saw the Master, naked as a child, pacing up
and down the room, repeating the names of the various gods and goddesses. His voice was
sweet as nectar. Now he would look at the Ganges, now stop in front of the pictures
hanging on the wall and bow down before them, chanting all the while the holy names in
his sweet voice. He chanted: "Veda, Purana, Tantra; Gita, Gayatri; Bhagavata, Bhakta,
Bhagavan." Referring to the Gita, he repeated many times, "Tagi, tagi, tagi." Now and then
he would say: "O Mother, Thou art verily Brahman, and Thou art verily Sakti. Thou art
Purusha and Thou art Prakriti. Thou art Virat. Thou art the Absolute, and Thou dost
manifest Thyself as the Relative. Thou art verily the twenty-four cosmic principles."

In the mean time the morning service had begun in the temples of Kali and Radhakanta.
Sounds of conch-shells and cymbals were carried on the air. The devotees came outside the
room and saw the priests and servants gathering flowers in the garden for the divine service
in the temples. From the nahabat floated the sweet melody of musical instruments, befitting
the morning hours.

Narendra and the other devotees finished their morning duties and came to the Master.
With a sweet smile on his lips Sri Ramakrishna was standing on the northeast verandah,
close to his own room.

NARENDRA: "We noticed several sannyasis belonging to the sect of Nanak in the
Panchavati."

MASTER: "Yes, they arrived here yesterday. (To Narendra) I'd like to see you all sitting
together on the mat."

As they sat there the Master looked at them with evident delight. He then began to talk with
them. Narendra asked about spiritual discipline.

MASTER: "Bhakti, love of God, is the essence of all spiritual discipline. Through love one
acquires renunciation and discrimination naturally."

Disciplines of Tantra

NARENDRA: "Isn't it true that the Tantra prescribes spiritual discipline in the company of
woman?"

MASTER: "That is not desirable. It is a very difficult path and often causes the aspirant's
downfall. There are three such kinds of discipline. One may regard woman as one's
mistress or look on oneself as her handmaid or as her child. I look on woman as my mother.
To look on oneself as her handmaid is also good; but it is extremely difficult to practise
spiritual discipline looking on woman as one's mistress. To regard oneself as her child is a
very pure attitude."

The sannyasis belonging to the sect of Nanak entered the room and greeted the Master,
saying, "Namo Narayanaya." Sri Ramakrishna asked them to sit down.

All is possible with God

MASTFR: "Nothing is impossible for God. Nobody can describe His nature in words.
Everything is possible for Him. There lived at a certain place two yogis who were
practising spiritual discipline. The sage Narada was passing that way one day. Realizing
who he was, one of the yogis said: 'You have just come from God Himself. What is He
doing now?' Narada replied, 'Why, I saw Him making camels and elephants pass and repass
through the eye of a needle.' At this the yogi said: 'Is that anything to wonder at?
Everything is possible for God.' But the other yogi said: 'What? Making elephants pass
through the eye of a needle - is that ever possible? You have never been to the Lord's
dwelling-place.' "

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on August 17, 2012, 08:58:33 PM
Yes, Sri Ravi. There is two kind of Tantra. One is called "black", the other "white". Black Tantra 'understands' all prescriptions literally. White Tantra interprets them metaphisically. In my opinion black Tantra can be practiced by very advanced souls.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 18, 2012, 09:11:28 AM
Hari,
Sri Ramakrishna practised Tantric discipline under the Guidance of Bhairavi Brahmani.I have posted this in the 'Rough-Notebook'thread under the 'General Discussion' category.I do not agree with your opinion that 'advanced souls' only can practise what you call as 'Black Tantra'.Why do I say so?A simple reading of my previous post is enough proof!Here Sri Ramakrishna tells Narendra:"That is not desirable. It is a very difficult path and often causes the aspirant's
downfall."
.Narendra is none other than Swami Vivekananda ,who Sri Ramakrishna revered very highly as 'one' who was born to teach the world.
Sri Ramakrishna permitted the Tantric approach for Householders who lived a Dharmic life.With the cooperation and support of a spiritually inclined spouse,it is definitely possible to practise the Tantra way and sublimate the passion and channelise it inwards ,rather than dissipate it outwards.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 18, 2012, 09:19:36 AM
At nine o'clock in the morning, while the Master was still sitting in his room, Manomohan
arrived from Konnagar with some members of his family. In answer to Sri Ramakrishna's
kind inquiries, Manomohan explained that he was taking them to Calcutta. The Master said:
"Today is the first day of the Bengali month, an inauspicious day for undertaking a journey.
I hope everything will be well with you." With a smile he began to talk of other matters.
When Narendra and his friends had finished bathing in the Ganges, the Master said to them
earnestly: "Go to the Panchavati and meditate there under the banyan-tree. Shall I give you
something to sit on?"

Discrimination and dispassion

About half past ten Narendra and his Brahmo friends were meditating in the Panchavati.
After a while Sri Ramakrishna came to them. M., too, was present.

The Master said to the Brahmo devotees: "In meditation one must be absorbed in God. By
merely floating on the surface of the water, can you reach the gems lying at the bottom of
the sea?"


Then he sang:
Taking the name of Kali, dive deep down,
O mind, Into the heart's fathomless depths,
Where many a precious gem lies hid.
But never believe the bed of the ocean bare of gems
If in the first few dives you fail;
With firm resolve and self-control
Dive deep and make your way to Mother Kali's realm.
Down in the ocean depths of heavenly Wisdom lie
The wondrous pearls of Peace, O mind;
And you yourself can gather them,
If you but have pure love and follow the scriptures' rule.
Within those ocean depths, as well,
Six alligators, lurk - lust, anger, and the rest -
Swimming about in search of prey.
Smear yourself with the turmeric of discrimination;
The very smell of it will shield you from their jaws.
Upon the ocean bed lie strewn
Unnumbered pearls and precious gems;
Plunge in, says Ramprasad, and gather up handfuls there!

Narendra and his friends came down from their seats on the raised platform of the
Panchavati and stood near the Master. He returned to his room with them. The Master
continued: "When you plunge in the water of the ocean, you may be attacked by alligators.
But they won't touch you if your body is smeared with turmeric. There are no doubt six
alligators - lust, anger, avarice, and so on - within you, in the 'heart's fathomless depths'.
But protect yourself with the turmeric of discrimination and renunciation, and they won't
touch you.
"

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on August 18, 2012, 10:42:20 AM
Quote
Hari,
Sri Ramakrishna practised Tantric discipline under the Guidance of Bhairavi Brahmani.I have posted this in the 'Rough-Notebook'thread under the 'General Discussion' category.I do not agree with your opinion that 'advanced souls' only can practise what you call as 'Black Tantra'.Why do I say so?A simple reading of my previous post is enough proof!Here Sri Ramakrishna tells Narendra:"That is not desirable. It is a very difficult path and often causes the aspirant's
downfall.".Narendra is none other than Swami Vivekananda ,who Sri Ramakrishna revered very highly as 'one' who was born to teach the world.
Sri Ramakrishna permitted the Tantric approach for Householders who lived a Dharmic life.With the cooperation and support of a spiritually inclined spouse,it is definitely possible to practise the Tantra way and sublimate the passion and channelise it inwards ,rather than dissipate it outwards.
Namaskar.

That's my feeling. To not be influenced negatively by 'black Tantra' you must have advanced Viveka, strong desire for liberation and consciously seeking it by these rituals (eating meat, fish, having sex and so on), not attaching to them and so on. If you are not advanced soul you eventaully will fall as Sri Ramakrishna has pointed out.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 18, 2012, 10:57:17 AM
Hari,
"To not be influenced negatively by 'black Tantra' you must have advanced Viveka, strong desire for liberation and consciously seeking it by these rituals (eating meat, fish, having sex and so on), not attaching to them and so on"

If one has such a Viveka and Vairagya,one will not have anything to overcome!It is only prescribed for people in the early stages who cannot get over them.
It is as simple as this:A Nonsmoker need not free himself from smoking.Only the 'smoker' has to Practise to give up smoking and he can do this by abstaining(the Right handed path) or by 'consciously smoking a limted number and reducing it gradually until it falls off'(vAmachara,the left handed path).
 
It is only the 'Advanced soul' that can fall!The man in the pits cannot fall.Hence the warning from the Master to steer clear of needless curiosity.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on August 18, 2012, 11:09:12 AM
If your Viveka is weak, desire for liberation - small and so on doing 'black Tantra' you just delude yourself that you are doing any sadhana. It is just satisfying your desires and this makes you even falling down from you starting point than advancing. If advanced soul fall then may be it is not advanced enough.

I agree that 'black Tantra' is for those who has such desires but let's not forget that even advanced souls have not lost their desire for sex and food. 'Black Tantra' is meant for overcoming the ritual while doing them. But this cannot happen without Viveka, Mumukshutva and so on. The goal is achieving Vairagya which is pre-requisite for liberation. It is just my opinion. I don't claim I am right.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 18, 2012, 11:44:07 AM
Hari,
I am a householder and have fundamental experience in this matter.I am not saying from a theoretical perspective or just as a matter of opinion.
Even with a little progress ,the Body consciousness loses its hold and it is impossible to continue to practise the 'Black Tantra' as you call it.How do you lift a Weight when the Weight is no longer felt!
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on August 18, 2012, 12:14:25 PM
I think you are talking more about the physical, not mental. I can have sex without identifying with the process. The body is excited, horny and so on and do sex but does it mean tha "I am doing it" is there? My opinion is also based on something. I don't speak just theoretically and I rearly do it. Having sex or not have little in common with spirituality. Sri Ramakrishna is not great just because He has not done sex. There are many jnanis and bhaktas who are householders and have sex. Having or not having sex has more in common with destiny than spirituality. Bhagavan Ramana did not prescribe physical brahmacharya to His followers. The key He said is to mentally abstain from what you are doing. You cannot escape from what your body is destined to experience He has said. Your body can lose interest to sex but does your wife has lost it? Must she be spiritual to marry her?
Quote
How do you lift a Weight when the Weight is no longer felt!

Just as the people who has lost smell and taste continue to eat because their body is designed to do it to survive. It is true that the greater bliss remove lesser one. But lets not forget that in family sex is not something which only concerns you. It concerns your soulmate also. It is the same as everything. It is not right for me to have a family and suddenly to decide to stay at home and to meditate just because you want it and is 'very spiritual'. You have responsibility to your wife and children. 'Spiritual' is very distorted term these days. People think that meditating all day and abstaining from sex and eating particular quantity of food make them very spiritual and advanced. I don't think so. Especially for bhaktas and housholder bhaktas.

So my point is that there is not wrong to eat meat, fish and have sex but this is not for immature souls. For example Bhagavan has said that it is immaterial for jnanis and advanced souls what they eat, but it is important for beginners. Yes, advanced souls can fall down but their fall will be lesser than that of the immature ones because their discrimination, dispassion and so on is more advanced.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 18, 2012, 12:19:30 PM
Hari,
I have nothing more to say.If you have anything further to add,I request you to post it in the Rough-Note book Thread under the General Discussion Category.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on August 18, 2012, 12:21:37 PM
All right. Thank you!
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 19, 2012, 08:19:52 AM
Futility of mere lecturing

"What can you achieve by mere lecturing and scholarship without discrimination and
dispassion? God alone is real, and all else is unreal. God alone is substance, and all else is
nonentity. That is discrimination.

"First of all set up God in the shrine of your heart, and then deliver lectures as much as you
like. How will the mere repetition of 'Brahma' profit you if you are not imbued with
discrimination and dispassion? It is the empty sound of a conch-shell.

"There lived in a village a young man named Padmalochan. People used to call him 'Podo',
for short. In this village there was a temple in a very dilapidated condition. It contained no
image of God. Aswattha and other plants sprang up on the ruins of its walls. Bats lived
inside, and the floor was covered with dust and the droppings of the bats. The people of the
village had stopped visiting the temple. One day after dusk the villagers heard the sound of
a conch-shell from the direction of the temple. They thought perhaps someone had installed
an image in the shrine and was performing the evening worship. One of them softly opened
the door and saw Padmalochan standing in a corner, blowing the conch. No image had been
set up. The temple hadn't been swept or washed. And filth and dirt lay everywhere. Then he
shouted to Podo:

You have set up no image here,
Within the shrine, O fool!
Blowing the conch, you simply make
Confusion worse confounded.
Day and night eleven bats
Scream there incessantly. …

Purification of mind

"There is no use in merely making a noise if you want to establish the Deity in the shrine of
your heart, if you want to realize God. First of all purify the mind. In the pure heart God
takes His seat. One cannot bring the holy image into the temple if the droppings of bats are
all around. The eleven bats are our eleven organs: five of action, five of perception, and the
mind.

"First of all invoke the Deity, and then give lectures to your heart's content. First of all dive
deep. Plunge to the bottom and gather up the gems. Then you may do other things. But
nobody wants to plunge. People are without spiritual discipline and prayer, without
renunciation and dispassion. They learn a few words and immediately start to deliver
lectures. It is difficult to teach others. Only if a man gets a command from God, after
realizing Him, is he entitled to teach."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 20, 2012, 08:03:53 AM
Thus conversing, the Master came to the west end of the verandah. M stood by his side. Sri
Ramakrishna had repeated again and again that God cannot be realized without
discrimination and renunciation. This made M. extremely worried. He had married and was
then a young man of twenty-eight, educated in college in the Western way. Having a sense
of duty, he asked himself, "Do discrimination and dispassion mean giving up 'woman and
gold'?" He was really at a loss to know what to do.

M. (to the Master): "What should one do if one's wife says: 'You are neglecting me. I shall
commit suicide?' "

MASTER (in a serious tone): "Give up such a wife if she proves an obstacle in the way of
spiritual life. Let her commit suicide or anything else she likes. The wife that hampers her
husband's spiritual life is an ungodly wife."
Immersed in deep thought, M. stood leaning against the wall. Narendra and the other
devotees remained silent a few minutes. The Master exchanged several words with them;
then, suddenly going to M., he whispered in his ear: "But if a man has sincere love for God,
then all come under his control - the king, wicked persons, and his wife. Sincere love of
God on the husband's part may eventually help the wife to lead a spiritual life. If the
husband is good, then through the grace of God the wife may also follow his example."

This had a most soothing effect on M.'s worried mind. All the while he had been thinking:
"Let her commit suicide. What can I do?"

M. (to the Master): "This world is a terrible place indeed."

MASTER (to the devotees): "That is the reason Chaitanya said to his companion
Nityananda, 'Listen, brother, there is no hope of salvation for the worldly-minded.' "
On another occasion the Master had said to M. privately: "Yes, there is no hope for a
worldly man if he is not sincerely devoted to God. But he has nothing to fear if he remains
in the world after realizing God. Nor need a man have any fear whatever of the world if he
attains sincere devotion by practising spiritual discipline now and then in solitude.
Chaitanya had several householders among his devotees, but they were householders in
name only, for they lived unattached to the world."

It was noon. The worship was over, and food offerings had been made in the temple. The
doors of the temple were shut. Sri Ramakrishna sat down for his meal, and Narendra and
the other devotees partook of the food offerings from the temple.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 21, 2012, 08:07:22 AM
Sunday, October 22, 1882

It was the day of Vijaya, the last day of the celebration of the worship of Durga, when the
clay image is immersed in the water of a lake or river.

About nine o'clock in the morning M. was seated on the floor of the Master's room at
Dakshineswar, near Sri Ramakrishna, who was reclining on the small couch. Rakhal was
then living with the Master, and Narendra and Bhavanath visited him frequently. Baburam
had seen him only once or twice.

MASTER: "Did you have any holiday during the Durga Puja?"

M: "Yes, sir. I went to Keshab's house every day for the first three days of the worship."

MASTER: "Is that so?"

M: "I heard there a very interesting interpretation of the Durga Puja."

MASTER: "Please tell me all about it."

M: "Keshab Sen held daily morning prayers in his house, lasting till ten or eleven. During
these prayers he gave the inner meaning of the Durga Puja. He said that if anyone could
realize the Divine Mother, that is to say, could install Mother Durga in the shrine of his
heart, then Lakshmi, Sarasvati, Kartika, and Ganesa would come there of themselves.
Lakshmi means wealth, Sarasvati knowledge, Kartika strength, and Ganesa success. By
realizing the Divine Mother within one's heart, one gets all these without any effort
whatever."

Sri Ramakrishna listened to the description, questioning M. now and then about the prayers
conducted by Keshab. At last he said to M.: "Don't go hither and thither. Come here alone.
Those who belong to the inner circle of my devotees will come only here. Boys like
Narendra, Bhavanath, and Rakhal are my very intimate disciples. They are not to be
thought lightly of. Feed them one day. What do you think of Narendra?"

M: "I think very highly of him, sir."

Narendra's many virtues

MASTER: "Haven't you observed his many virtues? He is not only well versed in music,
vocal and instrumental, but he is also very learned. Besides, he has controlled his passions
and declares he will lead a celibate life. He has been devoted to God since his very
boyhood.

Meditation on God with form

Master:"How are you getting along with your meditation nowadays? What aspect of God appeals
to your mind - with form or without form?"

M: "Sir, now I can't fix my mind on God with form. On the other hand, I can't concentrate
steadily on God without form."

Master: "Now you see that the mind cannot be fixed, all of a sudden, on the formless
aspect of God. It is wise to think of God with form during the primary stages."

M: "Do you mean to suggest that one should meditate on clay images?"

Master: "Why clay? These images are the embodiments of Consciousness."

M: "Even so, one must think of hands, feet, and the other parts of body. But again, I realize
that the mind cannot be concentrated unless one meditates, in the beginning, on God with
form. You have told me so. Well, God can easily assume different forms. May one meditate
on the form of one's own mother?"

MASTER: "Yes, the mother should be adored. She is indeed an embodiment of Brahman."

M. sat in silence. After a few minutes he asked the Master: "What does one feel while
thinking of God without form? Isn't it possible to describe it?" After some reflection, the
Master said, "Do you know what it is like?" He remained silent a moment and then said a
few words to M. about one's experiences at the time of the vision of God with and without
form.

MASTER: "You see, one must practise spiritual discipline to understand this correctly.
Suppose, there are treasures in a room. If you want to see them and lay hold of them, you
must take the trouble to get the key and unlock the door. After that you must take the
treasures out. But suppose the room is locked, and standing outside the door you say to
yourself: 'Here I have opened the door. Now I have broken the lock of the chest. Now I
have taken out the treasure.' Such brooding near the door will not enable you to achieve
anything. You must practise discipline
".

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 22, 2012, 08:32:19 AM
Brahman and Divine Incarnations

"The jnanis think of God without form. They don't accept the Divine Incarnation. Praising
Sri Krishna, Arjuna said, 'Thou art Brahman Absolute.' Sri Krishna replied, 'Follow Me,
and you will know whether or not I am Brahman Absolute.' So saying, Sri Krishna led
Arjuna to a certain place and asked him what he saw there. 'I see a huge tree,' said Arjuna,
'and on it I notice fruits hanging like clusters of blackberries.' Then Krishna said to Arjuna,
'Come nearer and you will find that these are not clusters of blackberries, but clusters of
innumerable Krishnas like Me, hanging from the tree.' In other words, Divine Incarnations
without number appear and disappear on the tree of the Absolute Brahman.

"Kavirdas was strongly inclined to the formless God. At the mention of Krishna's name he
would say: 'Why should I worship Him? The gopis would clap their hands while He
performed a monkey dance.' (With a smile) But I accept God with form when I am in the
company of people who believe in that ideal, and I also agree with those who believe in the
formless God."


M. (smiling): "You are as infinite as He of whom we have been talking. Truly, no one can
fathom your depth."


MASTER (smiling): "Ah! I see you have found it out. Let me tell you one thing. One
should follow various paths. One should practise each creed for a time. In a game of
satrancha a piece can't reach the centre square until it completes the circle; but once in the
square it can't be overtaken by any other piece."

M: "That is true, sir."

MASTER: "There are two classes of. yogis: the bahudakas and the kutichakas. The
bahudakas roam about visiting various holy places and have not yet found peace of mind.
But the kutichakas, having visited all the sacred places, have quieted their minds. Feeling
serene and peaceful, they settle down in one place and no longer move about. In that one
place they are happy; they don't feel the need of going to any sacred place. If one of them
ever visits a place of pilgrimage, it is only for the purpose of new inspiration.

"I had to practise each religion for a time - Hinduism, Islam, Christianity. Furthermore, I
followed the paths of the Saktas, Vaishnavas, and Vedantists. I realized that there is only
one God toward whom all are travelling; but the paths are different
.

"While visiting the holy places, I would sometimes suffer great agony. Once I went with
Mathur to Raja Babu's drawing-room in Benares. I found that they talked there only of
worldly matters - money, real estate, and the like. At this I burst into tears. I said to the
Divine Mother, weeping: 'Mother! Where hast Thou brought me? I was much better off at
Dakshineswar.' In Allahabad I noticed the same things that I saw elsewhere - the same
ponds, the same grass, the same trees, the same tamarind-leaves.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 23, 2012, 06:42:32 AM
Master's ecstasy at Vrindavan

"But one undoubtedly finds inspiration in a holy place.

(This is how Sri Ramakrishna will accept all aspects,even apparently contradictory views.Just a little while ago ,he has said 'Mother! Where hast Thou brought me? I was much better off at
Dakshineswar.' In Allahabad I noticed the same things that I saw elsewhere - the same
ponds, the same grass, the same trees, the same tamarind-leaves-Ravi
)

I accompanied Mathur Babu to
Vrindavan. Hriday and the ladies of Mathur's family were in our party. No sooner did I see
the Kaliyadaman Ghat than a divine emotion surged up within me. I was completely
overwhelmed. Hriday used to bathe me there as if I were a small child.

"In the dusk I would walk on the bank of the Jamuna when the cattle returned along the
sandy banks from their pastures. At the very sight of those cows the thought of Krishna
would flash in my mind. I would run along like a madman, crying: 'Oh, where is Krishna?
Where is my Krishna?'

"I went to Syamakunda and Radhakunda in a palanquin and got out to visit the holy Mount
Govardhan. At the very sight of the mount I was overpowered with divine emotion and ran
to the top. I lost all consciousness of the world around me. The residents of the place helped
me to come down. On my way to the sacred pools of Syamakunda and Radhakunda, when I
saw the meadows, the trees, the shrubs, the birds, and the deer, I was overcome with
ecstasy. My clothes became wet with tears. I said: 'O Krishna! Everything here is as it was
in the olden days. You alone are absent.' Seated inside the palanquin I lost all power of
speech. Hriday followed the palanquin. He had warned the bearers to be careful about me.

"Gangamayi became very fond of me in Vrindavan. She was an old woman who lived all
alone in a hut near the Nidhuvan. Referring to my spiritual condition and ecstasy, she said,
'He is the very embodiment of Radha.' She addressed me as 'Dulali'. When with her, I used
to forget my food and drink, my bath, and all thought of going home. On some days Hriday
used to bring food from home and feed me. Gangamayi also would serve me with food
prepared by her own hands.

"Gangamayi used to experience trances. At such times a great crowd would come to see
her. One day, in a state of ecstasy, she climbed on Hriday's shoulders.

"I didn't want to leave her and return to Calcutta. Everything was arranged for me to stay
with her. I was to eat double-boiled rice, and we were to have our beds on either side of the
cottage. All the arrangements had been made, when Hriday said: 'You have such a weak
stomach. Who will look after you?' 'Why,' said Gangamayi, 'I shall look after him. I'll nurse
him.' As Hriday dragged me by one hand and she by the other, I remembered my mother,
who was then living alone here in the nahabat of temple garden. I found it impossible to
stay away from her, and said to Gangamayi, 'No, I must go.' I loved the atmosphere of
Vrindavan."

About eleven o'clock the Master took his meal, the offerings from temple of Kali. After
taking his noonday rest he resumed his conversation with the devotees. Every now and then
he uttered the holy word "Om" or repeated the sacred names of the deities.
After sunset the evening worship was performed in the temples. Since it was the day of
Vijaya, the devotees first saluted the Divine Mother and then took the dust of the Master's
feet.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 24, 2012, 07:40:22 AM
Tuesday, October 24,1882

It was three or four o'clock in the afternoon. The Master was standing near the shelf where
the food was kept, when Balaram and M. arrived from Calcutta and saluted him. Sri
Ramakrishna said to them with a smile: "I was going to take some sweets from the shelf,
but no sooner did I put my hand on them than a lizard dropped on my body. At once I
removed my hand. (All laugh.)

"Oh, yes! One should observe all these things. You see, Rakhal is ill, and my limbs ache
too. Do you know what's the matter? This morning as I was leaving my bed I saw a certain
person, whom I took for Rakhal. (All laugh.) Oh, yes! Physical features should be studied.
The other day Narendra brought one of his friends, a man with only one good eye, though
the other eye was not totally blind. I said to myself, 'What is this trouble that Narendra has
brought with him?'

"A certain person comes here, but I can't eat any food that he brings. He works in an office
at a salary of twenty rupees and earns another twenty by writing false bills. I can't utter a
word in his presence, because he tells lies. Sometimes he stays here two or three days
without going to his office. Can you guess his purpose? It is that I should recommend him
to someone for a job somewhere else.

"Balaram comes from a family of devout Vaishnavas. His father, now an old man, is a
pious devotee. He has a tuft of hair on his head, a rosary of tulsi beads round his neck, and
a string of beads in his hand. He devotes his time to the repetition of God's name. He owns
much property in Orissa and has built temples to Radha-Krishna in Kothar, Vrindavan, and
other places, establishing free guest-houses as well.

(To Balaram) "A certain person came here the other day. I understand he is the slave of that
black hag of a wife. Why is it that people do not see God? It is because of the barrier of
'woman and gold'. How impudent he was to say to you the other day, 'A paramahamsa
came to my father, who fed him with chicken curry!'

"In my present of my mind I can eat a little fish soup if it has been offered to the Divine
Mother beforehand. I can't eat any meat, even if it is offered to the Divine Mother; but I
taste it with the end of my finger lest She should be angry. (Laughter.)"

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 25, 2012, 07:23:00 AM
"Well, can you explain this state of my mind? Once I was going from Burdwan to
Kamarpukur in a bullock-cart, when a great storm arose. Some people gathered near the
cart. My companions said they were robbers. So I began to repeat the names of God, calling
sometimes on Kali, sometimes on Rama, sometimes on Hanuman. What do you think of
that?"

Was the Master hinting that God is one but is addressed differently by different sects?

MASTER (to Balaram): "Maya is nothing but 'woman and gold'. A man living in its midst
gradually loses his spiritual alertness. He thinks all is well with him. The scavenger carries
a tub of night-soil on his head, and in course of time loses his repulsion to it. One gradually
acquires love of God through the practice of chanting God's name and glories. (To M.) One
should not be ashamed of chanting God's holy name. As the saying goes, 'One does not
succeed so long as one has these three: shame, hatred, and fear.'

"At Kamarpukur they sing kirtan very well. The devotional music is sung to the
accompaniment of drums.

(To Balaram) "Have you installed any image at Vrindavan?"

BALARAM: "Yes, sir. We have a grove where Krishna is worshipped."

MASTER: "I have been to Vrindavan. The Nidhu Grove is very nice indeed."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 26, 2012, 08:41:31 AM
Chapter 5 THE MASTER AND KESHAB October 27, 1882

Master's boat trip with Keshab

IT WAS FRIDAY, the day of the Lakshmi Puja. Keshab Chandra Sen had arranged a boat
trip on the Ganges for Sri Ramakrishna.

About four o'clock in the afternoon the steamboat with Keshab and his Brahmo followers
cast anchor in the Ganges alongside the Kali temple at Dakshineswar. The passengers saw
in front of them the bathing-ghat and the chandni. To their left, in the temple compound,
stood six temples of Siva, and to their right another group of six Siva temples. The white
steeple of the Kali temple, the tree-tops of the Panchavati, and the silhouette of pine-trees
stood high against the blue autumn sky. The gardens between the two nahabats were filled
with fragrant flowers, and along the bank of the Ganges were rows of flowering plants. The
blue sky was reflected in the brown water of the river, the sacred Ganges, associated with
the most ancient traditions of Aryan civilization. The outer world appeared soft and serene,
and the hearts of the Brahmo devotees were filled with peace.

Master in samadhi

Sri Ramakrishna was in his room talking with Vijay and Haralal. Some disciples of Keshab
entered. Bowing before the Master, they said to him: "Sir, the steamer has arrived. Keshab
Babu has asked us to take you there." A small boat was to carry the Master to the steamer.
No sooner did he get into the boat than he lost outer consciousness in samadhi. Vijay was
with him.

M. was among the passengers. As the boat came alongside the steamer, all rushed to the
railing to have a view of Sri Ramakrishna. Keshab became anxious to get him safely on
board. With great difficulty the Master was brought back to consciousness of the world and
taken to a cabin in the steamer. Still in an abstracted mood, he walked mechanically,
leaning on a devotee for support. Keshab and the others bowed before him, but he was not
aware of them
. Inside the cabin there were a few chairs and a table. He was made to sit on
one of the chairs, Keshab and Vijay occupying two others. Some devotees were also seated,
most of them on the floor, while many others had to stand outside. They peered eagerly
through the door and windows. Sri Ramakrishna again went into deep samadhi and became
totally unconscious of the outer world.

As the air in the room was stuffy because of the crowd of people, Keshab opened the
windows. He was embarrassed to meet Vijay, since they had differed in certain principles
of the Brāhrno Samaj and Vijay had separated himself from Keshab's organization, joining
another society.

The Brahmo devotees looked wistfully at the Master. Gradually he came back to sense
consciousness; but the divine intoxication still lingered. He said to himself in a whisper:
"Mother, why have You brought me here? They are hedged around and not free. Can I free
them?" Did the Master find that the people assembled there were locked within the prison
walls of the world? Did their helplessness make the Master address these words to the
Divine Mother?

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 27, 2012, 06:44:38 AM
God dwells in devotee's heart

Sri Ramakrishna was gradually becoming conscious of the outside world. Nilmadhav of
Ghazipur and a Brahmo devotee were talking about Pavhari Baba. Another Brahmo
devotee said to the Master: "Sir, these gentlemen visited Pavhari Baba. He lives in
Ghazipur. He is a holy man like yourself." The Master could hardly talk; he only smiled.
The devotee continued, "Sir, Pavhari Baba keeps your photograph in his room." Pointing to
his body the Master said with a smile, "Just a pillow-case."

The Master continued: "But you should remember that the heart of the devotee is the abode
of God. He dwells, no doubt, in all beings, but He especially manifests Himself in the heart
of the devotee. A landlord may at one time or another visit all parts of his estate, but people
say he is generally to be found in a particular drawing-room. The heart of the devotee is the
drawing-room of God.

Attitude of jnanis and bhaktas

"He who is called Brahman by the jnanis is known as Atman by the yogis and as Bhagavan
by the bhaktas. The same brahmin is called priest, when worshipping in the temple, and
cook, when preparing a meal in the kitchen. The jnani sticking to the path of knowledge,
always reasons about the Reality, saying, 'Not this, not this'. Brahman is neither 'this' nor
'that'; It is neither the universe nor its living beings. Reasoning in this way, the mind
becomes steady. Then it disappears and the aspirant goes into samadhi. This is the
knowledge of Brahman. It is the unwavering conviction of the jnani that Brahman alone is
real and the world illusory. All these names and forms are illusory, like a dream. What
Brahman is cannot be described. One cannot even say that Brahman is a Person. This is the
opinion of the jnanis, the followers of Vedanta philosophy.

"But the bhaktas accept all the states of consciousness. They take the waking state to be real
also. They don't think the world to be illusory, like a dream. They say that the universe is a
manifestation of God's power and glory. God has created all these - sky, stars, moon, sun,
mountains, ocean, men, animals. They constitute His glory. He is within us, in our hearts.
Again, He is outside. The most advanced devotees say that He Himself has become all this
- the twenty-four cosmic principles, the universe, and all living beings. The devotee of God
wants to eat sugar, not to become sugar. (All laugh.)

"Do you know how a lover of God feels? His attitude is: 'O God, Thou are the Master, and I
am Thy servant. Thou art the Mother, and I am Thy child.' Or again: 'Thou art my Father
and Mother. Thou art the Whole, and I am a part.' He doesn't like to say, 'I am Brahman.'

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on August 27, 2012, 08:55:50 AM
Is Brahman Sagura or Nirguna? What's the nature of the phenomenal world? Is it real or just appearance? Are the heaven or astral worlds existent? Is every bardo in The Book of the Dead a fact? Is eternal communion with God possible if only non-dual consciousness is real and eternal? If I can have eternal communion with Lord Jesus, Lord Shiva or Lord Rama why should I try to merge in Brahman? When I have been asked such kind of questions I really don't feel competent enough to answer to them. Because I don't know. Questions continue: Why should ego die when it can be purified and directed to serving God? Is serving God (dual) inferior to realizing the Self? Is the desire to be an eternal soul wrong? And I really don't know what to answer. If I say "Oh, serve the Lord but someday this ego will disappear, no matter if you want it or not", this makes me much unsporting and self-sufficient. If I say "Oh, you can be eternal individual soul" I am like lying according to Lord Ramana's teaching. So I don't really know what to answer to such kind of questions.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 27, 2012, 12:10:13 PM
Hari,
What you have asked is something that besets every sincere aspirant.I will post my response in the Rough-Notebook thread when I find time.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on August 27, 2012, 12:21:28 PM
Thank you, Sri Ravi. I appreciate that.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Jewell on August 27, 2012, 01:39:55 PM
Dear Ravi,Hari, I am also enjoying reading everything about Ramakrishna Paramhansa. We are waiting for new stories. :-)
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 27, 2012, 07:50:32 PM
Jewell,
Thanks very much.I will share in the Rough notebook Thread.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 28, 2012, 07:36:34 AM
Attitude of yogis

"The yogi seeks to realize the Paramatman, the Supreme Soul. His ideal is the union of the
embodied soul and the Supreme Soul. He withdraws his mind from sense-objects and tries
to concentrate it on the Paramatman. Therefore, during the first stage of his spiritual
discipline, he retires into solitude and with undivided attention practises meditation in a
fixed posture.

"But the Reality is one and the same. The difference is only in name. He who is Brahman is
verily Atman, and again, He is the Bhagavan. He is Brahman to the followers of the path of
knowledge, Paramatman to the yogis, and Bhagavan to the lovers of God."


The steamer had been going toward Calcutta; but the passengers, with their eyes fixed on
the Master and their ears given to his nectar-like words, were oblivious of its motion.
Dakshineswar, with its temples and gardens, was left behind. The paddles of the boat
churned the waters of the Ganges with a murmuring sound. But the devotees were
indifferent to all this. Spellbound, they looked on a great yogi, his face lighted with a divine
smile, his countenance radiating love, his eyes sparkling with joy-a man who had
renounced all for God and who knew nothing but God. Unceasing words of wisdom flowed
from his lips.

Reasoning of jnanis

MASTIER: "The jnanis, who adhere to the non-dualistic philosophy of Vedanta, say that
the acts of creation, preservation, and destruction, the universe itself and all its living
beings, are the manifestations of Sakti, the Divine Power. If you reason it out, you will
realize that all these are as illusory as a dream. Brahman alone is the Reality, and all else is
unreal. Even this very Sakti is unsubstantial, like a dream.
"But though you reason all your life, unless you are established in samadhi, you cannot go
beyond the jurisdiction of Sakti. Even when you say, 'I am meditating', or 'I am
contemplating', still you are moving in the realm of Sakti, within Its power
.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on August 28, 2012, 12:18:18 PM
Beautiful.

What is Sri Ramakrishna's view on worshipping God without Name and Form? For example I don't know any religion or I am not attached to any religion but I believe in God and worship Him as Personal Consciousness.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Jewell on August 28, 2012, 03:41:09 PM
Dear Sri Ravi, How can i go beyond Shakti,when i am the Shakti? Forgieve me because i call myself Shakti,but all that words are indicating only one thing to me,mind,counciousness. How can i choose Samadhi? It is not in my hands,only God can gave it to me. How can i go beyond world,when i am the world? This question itself is pointless,when question is Maya. But i am still questioning... When i will let it go? But then,what i should,and can to let go!?! And then,only one thing is going trough mind,just be still. But i am still questioning..
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 28, 2012, 08:54:53 PM
Hari,
I will post the response to your question in the Rough notebook thread.
Jewell,
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna simply continues with the question that you have asked!I am posting here.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 28, 2012, 09:01:11 PM
Identity of Brahman and Sakti

"Thus Brahman and Sakti are identical. If you accept the one, you must accept the other. It
is like fire and its power to burn. If you see the fire, you must recognize its power to burn
also. You cannot think of fire without its power to burn, nor can you think of the power to
burn without fire. You cannot conceive of the sun's rays without the sun, nor can you
conceive of the sun without its rays.

"What is milk like? Oh, you say, it is something white. You cannot think of the milk
without the whiteness, and again, you cannot think of the whiteness without the milk.
"Thus one cannot think of Brahman without Sakti, or of Sakti without Brahman. One
cannot think of the Absolute without the Relative, or of the Relative without the Absolute.

"The Primordial Power is ever at play. She is creating, preserving, and destroying in play,
as it were. This Power is called Kali. Kali is verily Brahman, and Brahman is verily Kali. It
is one and the same Reality. When we think of It as inactive, that is to say, not engaged in
the acts of creation, preservation, and destruction, then we call It Brahman. But when It
engages in these activities, then we call It Kali or Sakti. The Reality is one and the same;
the difference is in name and form.

"It is like water, called in different languages by different names, such as 'jal', 'pani', and so
forth. There are three or four ghats on a lake. The Hindus, who drink water at one place,
call it 'jal'. The Mussalmans at another place call it 'pani'. And the English at a third place
call it 'water'. All three denote one and the same thing, the difference being in the name
only. In the same way, some address the Reality as 'Allah', some as 'God', some as
'Brahman', some as 'Kali', and others by such names as 'Rama', 'Jesus', 'Durga', 'Hari.' "

Different manifestations of Kali

KESHAB (with a smile): "Describe to us, sir, in how many ways Kali, the Divine Mother,
sports in this world."

MASTER (with a smile): "Oh, She plays in different ways. It is She alone who is known as
Maha-Kali, Nitya-Kali, Smasana-Kali, Raksha-Kali, and Syama-Kali. Maha-Kali and
Nitya-Kali are mentioned in the Tantra philosophy. When there were neither the creation,
nor the sun, the moon, the planets, and the earth and when darkness was enveloped in
darkness, then the Mother, the Formless One, Maha-Kali, the Great Power, was one with
Maha-Kala, the Absolute.

"Syama-Kali has a somewhat tender aspect and is worshipped in the Hindu households. She
is the Dispenser of boons and the Dispeller of fear. People worship Raksha-Kali, the
Protectress, in times of epidemic, famine, earthquake, drought, and flood. Smasana-Kali is
the embodiment of the power of destruction. She resides in the cremation ground,
surrounded by corpses, jackals, and terrible female spirits. From Her mouth flows a stream
of blood, from Her neck hangs a garland of human heads, and around Her waist is a girdle
made of human hands.

Beginning of a cycle

"After the destruction of the universe, at the end of a great cycle, the Divine Mother garners
the seeds for the next creation. She is like the elderly mistress of the house, who has a
hotchpotch-pot in which she keeps different articles for household use. (All laugh.)
"Oh, yes! Housewives have pots like that, where they keep 'sea-foam', blue pills, small
bundles of seeds of cucumber, pumpkin, and gourd, and so on. They take them out when
they want them. In the same way, after the destruction of the universe, my Divine Mother,
the Embodiment of Brahman, gathers together the seeds for the next creation. After the
creation the Primal Power dwells in the universe itself. She brings forth this phenomenal
world and then pervades it. In the Vedas creation is likened to the spider and its web. The
spider brings the web out of itself and then remains in it. God is the container of the
universe and also what is contained in it.

"Is Kali, my Divine Mother, of a black complexion? She appears black because She is
viewed from a distance; but when intimately known She is no longer so. The sky appears
blue at a distance; but look at it close by and you will find that it has no colour. The water
of the ocean looks blue at a distance, but when you go near and take it in your hand, you
find that it is colourless."

The Master became intoxicated with divine love and sang:
Is Kali, my Mother, really black?
The Naked One, of blackest hue,
Lights the Lotus of the Heart. . . .

The Master continued: "Bondage and liberation are both of Her making. By Her Maya
worldly people become entangled in 'woman and gold', and again, through Her grace they
attain their liberation. She is called Saviour, and the remover of the bondage that binds one
to the world."


Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Jewell on August 29, 2012, 12:20:55 AM
Thank You Very much Sri Ravi! I am pondering on those beautifull words.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 29, 2012, 07:44:15 AM
Divine Mother's sport

Then the Master sang the following song in his melodious voice:

In the world's busy market-place, O Syama, Thou art flying kites;
High up they soar on the wind of hope, held fast by maya's string.
Their frames are human skeletons, their sails of the three gunas made;
But all their curious workmanship is merely for ornament.
Upon the kite-strings Thou hast rubbed the manja-paste of worldliness,
So as to make each straining strand all the more sharp and strong.
Out of a hundred thousand kites, at best but one or two break free;
And Thou dost laugh and clap Thy hands, O Mother, watching them!
On favouring winds, says Ramprasad, the kites set loose will speedily
Be borne away to the Infinite, across the sea of the world.

The Master said: "The Divine Mother is always playful and sportive. This universe is Her
play. She is self-willed and must always have Her own way. She is full of bliss. She gives
freedom to one out of a hundred thousand."

A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "But, sir, if She likes, She can give freedom to all. Why, then,
has She kept us bound to the world?"

MASTER: "That is Her will. She wants to continue playing with Her created beings. In a
game of hide-and-seek the running about soon stops if in the beginning all the players touch
the 'granny'. If all touch her, then how can the game go on? That displeases her. Her
pleasure is in continuing the game. Therefore the poet said:

Out of a hundred thousand kites, at best but one or two break free;
And Thou dost laugh and clap Thy hands, O Mother, watching them!

Reassurance to householders

"It is as if the Divine Mother said to the human mind in confidence, with a sign from Her
eye, 'Go and enjoy the world.' How can one blame the mind? The mind can disentangle
itself from worldliness if, through Her grace, She makes it turn toward Herself. Only then
does it become devoted to the Lotus Feet of the Divine Mother."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 30, 2012, 07:41:19 AM
Whereupon Sri Ramakrishna, taking upon himself, as it were, the agonies of all
householders, sang a song complaining to the Divine Mother:

Mother, this is the grief that sorely grieves my heart,
That even with Thee for Mother, and though I am wide awake,
There should be robbery in my house.
Many and many a time I vow to call on Thee,
Yet when the time for prayer comes round, I have forgotten.
Now I see it is all Thy trick.
As Thou hast never given, so Thou receivest naught;
Am I to blame for this, O Mother? Hadst Thou but given,
Surely then Thou hadst received;
Out of Thine own gifts I should have given to Thee.
Glory and shame, bitter and sweet, are Thine alone;
This world is nothing but Thy play.
Then why, O Blissful One, dost Thou cause a rift in it?
Says Ramprasad: Thou hast bestowed on me this mind,
And with a knowing wink of Thine eye
Bidden it, at the same time, to go and enjoy the world.
And so I wander here forlorn through Thy creation,
Blasted, as it were, by someone's evil glance,
Taking the bitter for the sweet,
Taking the unreal for the Real.

The Master continued: "Men are deluded through Her maya and have become attached to
the world.
Says Ramprasad: Thou hast bestowed on me this mind,
And with a knowing wink of Thine eye
Bidden it, at the same time, to go and enjoy the world."

BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Sir, can't we realize God without complete renunciation?"

MASTER (with a laugh): "Of course you can! Why should you renounce everything? You
are all right as you are, following the middle path-like molasses partly solid and partly
liquid. Do you know the game of nax? Having scored the maximum number of points, I am
out of the game. I can't enjoy it. But you are very clever. Some of you have scored ten
points, some six, and some five. You have scored just the right number; so you are not out
of the game like me. The game can go on. Why, that's fine! (All laugh.)

"I tell you the truth: there is nothing wrong in your being in the world. But you must direct
your mind toward God; otherwise you will not succeed.
Do your duty with one hand and with the other hold to God. After the duty is over, you will
hold to God with both hands".

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on August 30, 2012, 11:27:33 AM
Quote:
“BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Sir, can't we realize God without complete renunciation?"

MASTER (with a laugh): "Of course you can! Why should you renounce everything? You
are all right as you are, following the middle path-like molasses partly solid and partly
liquid. Do you know the game of nax? Having scored the maximum number of points, I am
out of the game. I can't enjoy it. But you are very clever. Some of you have scored ten
points, some six, and some five. You have scored just the right number; so you are not out
of the game like me. The game can go on. Why, that's fine! (All laugh.)

"I tell you the truth: there is nothing wrong in your being in the world. But you must direct
your mind toward God; otherwise you will not succeed.
Do your duty with one hand and with the other hold to God. After the duty is over, you will
 


Dear Sri Ravi,

Bhagwan Sri Param Hamsa’s Teaching is wonderful. If Bhagwan Sri Ramana’s Sacred Utterance and Sacred and Eloquent Silence awakened His devotees to their intrinsic immortality and Infinity, Sri Param Hamsa’s Presenc and Sacred Words awakened in His devotees Divine Love and steadfast and unwavering devotion for the Supreme. Both are one and the same, two aspects of Ishwara, or the Self, and rule the hearts of Their devotees as no emperor can ever hope to do. Their devotees are indeed blessed to be graced by such great, Divine Masters.

Ji. Yes. ‘Holding with one hand worldly duties and with the other the Divine’ is the key to success for devotees who are house-holders. I never read anywhere that Sri Bhagwan advised any devotee to renounce, not even to an inspired and initiated devotees.
Thanks very much, sir.

Pranam,
  Anil




Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 31, 2012, 07:18:39 AM
Anil,
Yes,reading The lives and words of the Great ones is a constant inspiration and reminder that the very purpose of Human life and living is to attain God(Self Realization).
Thanks very much.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 31, 2012, 07:24:51 AM
Bondage and liberation are of the mind

"It is all a question of the mind. Bondage and liberation are of the mind alone. The mind
will take the colour you dye it with. It is like white clothes just returned from the laundry. If
you dip them in red dye, they will be red. If you dip them in blue or green, they will be blue
or green. They will take only the colour you dip them in, whatever it may be. Haven't you
noticed that, if you read a little English, you at once begin to utter English words: Foot fut
it mit? Then you put on boots and whistle a tune, and so on. It all goes together. Or, if a
scholar studies Sanskrit, he will at once rattle off Sanskrit verses. If you are in bad
company, then you will talk and think like your companions. On the other hand, when you
are in the company of devotees, you will think and talk only of God.

"The mind is everything. A man has his wife on one side and his daughter on the other. He
shows his affection to them in different ways. But his mind is one and the same.
"Bondage is of the mind, and freedom is also of the mind. A man is free if he constantly
thinks: 'I am a free soul. How can I be bound, whether I live in the world or in the forest? I
am a child of God, the King of Kings. Who can bind me?' If bitten by a snake, a man may
get rid of its venom by saying emphatically, 'There is no poison in me.' In the same way, by
repeating with grit and determination, 'I am not bound, I am free', one really becomes soone
really becomes free.

"Once someone gave me a book of the Christians. I asked him to read it to me. It talked
about nothing but sin. (To Keshab) Sin is the only thing one hears of at your Brahmo
Samaj, too. The wretch who constantly says, 'I am bound, I am bound' only succeeds in
being bound. He who says day and night, 'I am a sinner, I am a sinner' verily becomes a
sinner".

Redeeming power of faith

"One should have such burning faith in God that one can say: 'What? I have repeated the
name of God, and can sin still cling to me? How can I be a sinner any more? How can I be
in bondage any more?'

"If a man repeats the name of God, his body, mind, and everything become pure. Why
should one talk only about sin and hell, and such things? Say but once, 'O Lord, I have
undoubtedly done wicked things, but I won't repeat them.' And have faith in His name."

Sri Ramakrishna became intoxicated with divine love and sang:
If only I can pass away repeating Durga's name,
How canst Thou then, O Blessed One,
Withhold from me deliverance,
Wretched though I may be? . . .

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on August 31, 2012, 08:55:15 AM
Quote:
"One should have such burning faith in God that one can say: 'What? I have repeated the
name of God, and can sin still cling to me? How can I be a sinner any more? How can I be
in bondage any more?'

"If a man repeats the name of God, his body, mind, and everything become pure. Why
should one talk only about sin and hell, and such things? Say but once, 'O Lord, I have
undoubtedly done wicked things, but I won't repeat them.' And have faith in His name."

Sri Ramakrishna became intoxicated with divine love and sang:
If only I can pass away repeating Durga's name,
How canst Thou then, O Blessed One,
Withhold from me deliverance,
Wretched though I may be? . . .”

Dear Sri Ravi,

Embodiment of such Divine Love is an act of Ishwara’s Grace. Such Divine Love Itself is Jnana (Dhai akhad prem ka, parhe so pundit hoye—Sant Kabir). Bhagwan’s Param Hamsa’s Love and Devotion are infectious and transports the devotees to the transcendental shore of Supreme Bliss.

Thanks very much, sir.

Pranam,
  Anil


Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on August 31, 2012, 11:26:36 AM
Dear Ravi,

Very true. The constant chanting within lips of God's name alone would be sufficient to cross the ocean of samsara. Or even
remembering god is itself sufficient. Sri Muruganar says in Tiruchuzhial Padigam:

O Lord, even if I forget You, my tongue would be uttering Your name.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 01, 2012, 07:45:54 AM
Anil/Subramanian/Friends,
Yes,One day in an inspired mood, M. was trying to describe his Master. He said:

'The Master was like a five-year-old boy always running to meet his Mother.
'The Master was like a beautiful flower whose nature was to bloom and spread its fragrance.
'The Master was like a bonfire from which other lamps were lighted.
The Master was like a celestial vina always absorbed in singing the glory of the Divine Mother.
'The Master was like a big fish joyfully swimming in calm, clear, blue waters, the Ocean of Satchidananda.
'The Master was like a bird which had lost its nest in a storm and then, perched on the threshold of the Infinite, was joyfully moving between the two realms, singing the glory of the Infinite'.

After trying to describe the Master in many ways, he said that all these similes were inadequate. The Infinite cannot be expressed in words.

Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 01, 2012, 07:51:22 AM
Master's prayer

Then he said: "To my Divine Mother I prayed only for pure love. I offered flowers at Her
Lotus Feet and prayed to Her: 'Mother, here is Thy virtue, here is Thy vice. Take them both
and grant me only pure love for Thee. Here is Thy knowledge, here is Thy ignorance. Take
them both and grant me only pure love for Thee. Here is Thy purity, here is Thy impurity.
Take them both, Mother, and grant me only pure love for Thee. Here is Thy dharma, here is
Thy adharma. Take them both, Mother, and grant me only pure love for Thee.'

(To the Brahmo devotees) "Now listen to a song by Ramprasad:
Come, let us go for a walk, O mind, to Kali, the Wish-fulfilling Tree,
And there beneath It gather the four fruits of life.
Of your two wives, Dispassion and Worldliness,
Bring alone Dispassion only, on your way to the Tree,
And ask her son Discrimination about the Truth.
When will you learn to lie, O mind, in the abode of Blessedness,
With Cleanliness and Defilement on either side of you?
Only when you have found the way
To keep these wives contentedly under a single roof,
Will you behold the matchless form of Mother Syama.
Ego and Ignorance, your parents, instantly banish from your sight;
And should Delusion seek to drag you to its hole,
Manfully cling to the pillar of Patience.
Tie to the post of Unconcern the goats of Vice and Virtue,
Killing them with the sword of Knowledge if they rebel.
With the children of Worldliness, your first wife, plead from a goodly distance,
And, if they will not listen, drown them in Wisdom's sea.
Says Ramprasad: If you do as I say,
You can submit a good account, O mind, to the King of Death,
And I shall be well pleased with you and call you my darling."

"Why shouldn't one be able to realize God in this world? King Janaka had such realization.
Ramprasad described the world as a mere 'framework of illusion'. But if one loves God's
hallowed feet, then-

"This very world is a mansion of mirth;
Here I can eat, here drink and make merry.
Janaka's might was unsurpassed;
What did he lack of the world or the Spirit?
Holding to one as well as the other,
He drank his milk from a brimming cup"! (All laugh.)

"But one cannot be a King Janaka all of a sudden. Janaka at first practised much austerity in
solitude.

Solitude for householders

"Even if one lives in the world, one must go into solitude now and then. It will be of great
help to a man if he goes away from his family, lives alone, and weeps for God even for
three days. Even if he thinks of God for one day in solitude, when he has the leisure, that
too will do him good. People shed a whole jug of tears for wife and children. But who cries
for the Lord? Now and then one must go into solitude and practise spiritual discipline to
realize God. Living in the world and entangled in many of its duties, the aspirant, during
the first stage of spiritual life, finds many obstacles in the path of concentration. While the
trees on the foot-path are young, they must he fenced around; otherwise they will be
destroyed by cattle. The fence is necessary when the tree is young, but it can be taken away
when the trunk is thick and strong. Then the tree won't be hurt even if an elephant is tied to
it
".


Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 02, 2012, 07:24:09 AM
Malady of worldly people and its cure

"The disease of worldliness is like typhoid. And there are a huge jug of water and a jar of
savoury pickles in the typhoid patient's room. If you want to cure him of his illness, you
must remove him from that room. The worldly man is like the typhoid patient. The various
objects of enjoyment are the huge jug of water, and the craving for their enjoyment is his
thirst. The very thought of pickles makes the mouth water; you don't have to bring them
near. And he is surrounded with them. The companionship of woman is the pickles. Hence
treatment in solitude is necessary.

"One may enter the world after attaining discrimination and dispassion. In the ocean of the
world there are six alligators: lust, anger, and so forth. But you need not fear the alligators
if you smear your body with turmeric before you go into the water. Discrimination and
dispassion are the turmeric. Discrimination is the knowledge of what is real and what is
unreal. It is the realization that God alone is the real and eternal Substance and that all else
is unreal, transitory, impermanent. And you must cultivate intense zeal for God. You must
feel love for Him and be attracted to Him. The gopis of Vrindavan felt the attraction of
Krishna. Let me sing you a song:

Listen! The flute has sounded in yonder wood.
There I must fly, for Krishna waits on the path.
Tell me, friends, will you come along or no?
To you my Krishna is merely an empty name;
To me He is the anguish of my heart.
You hear His flute-notes onlv with your ears,
But, oh, I hear them in my deepest soul.
I hear His flute calling: 'Radha come out!
Without you the grove is shorn of its loveliness.' "

The Master sang the song with tears in his eyes, and said to Keshab and the other Brahmo
devotees: "Whether you accept Radha and Krishna, or not, please do accept their attraction
for each other. Try to create that same yearning in your heart for God. Yearning is all you
need in order to realize Him."


Gradually the ebb-tide set in. The steamboat was speeding toward Calcutta. It passed under
the Howrah Bridge and came within sight of the Botanical Garden. The captain was asked
to go a little farther down the river. The passengers were enchanted with the Master's
words, and most of them had no idea of time or of how far they had come.

Keshab began to serve some puffed rice and grated coconut. The guests held these in the
folds of their wearing-cloths and presently started to eat. Everyone was joyful. The Master
noticed, however, that Keshab and Vijay rather shrank from each other, and he was anxious
to reconcile them.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 03, 2012, 07:45:30 AM
Disagreements necessary for enriching life

MASTER (to Keshab): "Look here. There is Vijay. Your quarrel seems like the fight
between Siva and Rama. Siva was Rama's s guru. Though they fought with each other, yet
they soon came to terms. But the grimaces of the ghosts, the followers of Siva, and the
gibberish of the monkeys, the followers of Rama, would not come to an end! (Loud
laughter) Such quarrels take place even among one's own kith and kin. Didn't Rama fight
with His own sons, Lava and Kusa? Again, you must have noticed how a mother and
daughter, living together and having the same spiritual end in view, observe their religious
fast separately on Tuesdays, each on her own account-as if the welfare of the mother were
different from the welfare of the daughter. But what benefits the one benefits the other. In
like manner, you have a religious society, and Vijay thinks he must have one too.
(Laughter) But I think all these are necessary. While Sri Krishna, Himself God Incarnate,
played with the gopis at Vrindavan, trouble-makers like Jatila and Kutila appeared on the
scene. You may ask why. The answer is that the play does not develop without troublemakers.
(All laugh.) There is no fun without Jatila and Kutila. (Loud laughter)

"Ramanuja upheld the doctrine of Qualified Non-dualism. But his guru was a pure nondualist.
They disagreed with each other and refuted each other's arguments. That always
happens. Still, to the teacher the disciple is his own."

All rejoiced in the Master's company and his words.

MASTER (to Keshab): "You don't look into people's natures, before you make them your
disciples, and so they break away from you.

"All men look alike, to be sure, but they have different natures. Some have an excess of
sattva, others an excess of rajas, and still others an excess of tamas. You must have noticed
that the cakes known as puli all look alike. But their contents are very different. Some
contain condensed milk, some coconut kernel, and others mere boiled kalai pulse. (All
laugh)

Master's humility

"Do you know my attitude? As for myself, I eat, drink, and live happily. The rest the Divine
Mother knows. Indeed, there are three words that prick my flesh: 'guru', 'master', and
'father'.
"There is only one Guru, and that is Satchidananda. He alone is the Teacher. My attitude
toward God is that of a child toward its mother. One can get human gurus by the million.
All want to be teachers. But who cares to be a disciple?"

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 04, 2012, 07:35:26 AM
Difficulty of preaching

"It is extremely difficult to teach others. A man can teach only if God reveals Himself to
him and gives the command. Narada, Sukadeva, and sages like them had such a command
from God, and Sankara had it too. Unless you have a command from God, who will listen
to your words?

"Don't you know how easily the people of Calcutta get excited? The milk in the kettle puffs
up and boils as long as the fire burns underneath. Take away the fuel and all becomes quiet.
The people of Calcutta love sensations. You may see them digging a well at a certain place.
They say they want water. But if they strike a stone they give up that place; they begin at
another place. And there, perchance, they find sand; they give up the second place too.
Next they begin at a third. And so it goes. But it won't do if a man only imagines that he has
God's command.

"God does reveal Himself to man and speak. Only then may one receive His command.
How forceful are the words of such a teacher! They can move mountains. But mere
lectures? People will listen to them for a few days and then forget them. They will never act
upon mere words.

"At Kamarpukur there is a small lake called the Haldarpukur. Certain people used to befoul
its banks every day. Others who came there in the morning to bathe would abuse the
offenders loudly. But next morning they would find the same thing. The nuisance didn't
stop. (All laugh.) The villagers finally informed the authorities about it. A constable was
sent, who put up a notice on the bank which read: 'Commit no nuisance.' This stopped the
miscreants at once. (All laugh.)

"To teach others, one must have a badge of authority; otherwise teaching becomes a
mockery. A man who is himself ignorant starts out to teach others-like the blind leading the
blind! Instead of doing good, such teaching does harm. After the realization of God one
obtains an inner vision. Only then can one diagnose a person's spiritual malady and give
instruction.

"Without the commission from God, a man becomes vain. He says to himself, 'I am
teaching people.' This vanity comes from ignorance, for only an ignorant person feels that
he is the doer. A man verily becomes liberated in life if he feels: 'God is the Doer. He alone
is doing everything. I am doing nothing.' Man's sufferings and worries spring only from
his persistent thought that he is the doer
.


Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 05, 2012, 08:28:59 AM
Doing good to others

"You people speak of doing good to the world. Is the world such a small thing? And who
are you, pray, to do good to the world? First realize God, see Him by means of spiritual
discipline. If He imparts power, then you can do good to others; otherwise not."

A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Then, sir, we must give up our activities until we realize God?"

MASTER: "No. Why should you? You must engage in such activities as contemplation,
singing His praises, and other daily devotions."

BRAHMO: "But what about our worldly duties-duties associated with our earning money,
and so on?"

MASTER: "Yes, you can perform them too, but only as much as you need for your
livelihood. At the same time, you must pray to God in solitude, with tears in your eyes, that
you may be able to perform those duties in an unselfish manner. You should say to Him: 'O
God, make my worldly duties fewer and fewer; otherwise, O Lord, I find that I forget Thee
when I am involved in too many activities. I may think I am doing unselfish work, but it
turns out to be selfish.' People who carry to excess the giving of alms, or the distributing of
food among the poor, fall victims to the desire of acquiring name and fame.

"Sambhu Mallick once talked about establishing hospitals, dispensaries, and schools,
making roads, digging public reservoirs, and so forth. I said to him: 'Don't go out of your
way to look for such works. Undertake only those works that present themselves to you and
are of pressing necessity-and those also in a spirit of detachment.' It is not good to become
involved in many activities. That makes one forget God. Coming to the Kalighat temple,
some, perhaps, spend their whole time in giving alms to the poor. They have no time to see
the Mother in the inner shrine! (Laughter.) First of all manage somehow to see the image of
the Divine Mother, even by pushing through the crowd. Then you may or may not give
alms, as you wish. You may give to the poor to your heart's content, if you feel that way.
Work is only a means to the realization of God. Therefore I said to Sambhu, 'Suppose God
appears before you; then will you ask Him to build hospitals and dispensaries for you?'
(Laughter.) A lover of God never says that. He will rather say: 'O Lord, give me a place at
Thy Lotus Feet. Keep me always in Thy company. Give me sincere and pure love for Thee.'

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 06, 2012, 08:57:32 AM
Path of devotion most elective for Kaliyuga

"Karmayoga is very hard indeed. In the Kaliyuga it is extremely difficult to perform the
rites enjoined in the scriptures. Nowadays man's life is centred on food alone. He cannot
perform many scriptural rites. Suppose a man is laid up with fever. If you attempt a slow
cure with the old-fashioned indigenous remedies, before long his life may be snuffed out.
He can't stand much delay. Nowadays the drastic 'D Gupta' mixture is appropriate. In the
Kaliyuga the best way is bhaktiyoga, the path of devotion-singing the praises of the Lord,
and prayer. The path of devotion alone is the religion for this age. (To the Brahmo
devotees) Yours also is the path of devotion. Blessed you are indeed that you chant the
name of Hari and sing the Divine Mother's glories. I like your attitude. You don't call the
world a dream like the non-dualists. You are not Brahmajnanis like them; you are bhaktas,
lovers of God. That you speak of Him as a Person is also good. You are devotees. You will
certainly realize Him if you call on Him with sincerity and earnestness."

The boat cast anchor at Kayalaghat and the passengers prepared to disembark. On coming
outside they noticed that the full moon was up. The trees, the buildings, and the boats on
the Ganges were bathed in its mellow light. A carriage was hailed for the Master, and M.
and a few devotees got in with him. The Master asked for Keshab. Presently the latter
arrived and inquired about the arrangements made for the Master's return to Dakshineswar.
Then he bowed low and took leave of Sri Ramakrishna.

The carriage drove through the European quarter of the city. The Master enjoyed the sight
of the beautiful mansions on both sides of the well lighted streets. Suddenly he said: "I am
thirsty. What's to be done?" Nandalal, Keshab's nephew, stopped the carriage before the
India Club and went upstairs to get some water. The Master inquired whether the glass had
been well washed. On being assured that it had been, he drank the water.
As the carriage went along, the Master put his head out of the window and looked with
childlike enjoyment, at the people, the vehicles, the horses, and the streets, all flooded with
moonlight. Now and then he heard European ladies singing at the piano. He was in a very
happy mood.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on September 06, 2012, 11:10:26 AM
Excellent excerpt, Sri Ravi. Thank you very much for it! Have a nice and positive day!
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 07, 2012, 08:08:44 AM
Hari,
Thanks very much for your Good wishes.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 07, 2012, 08:12:21 AM
The carriage arrived at the house of Suresh Mitra, who was a great devotee of the Master
and whom he addressed affectionately as Surendra. He was not at home.

The members of the household opened a room on the ground floor for the Master and his
party. The cab fare was to be paid. Surendra would have taken care of it had he been there.
The Master said to a devotee: "Why don't you ask the ladies to pay the fare? They certainly
know that their master visits us at Dakshineswar. I am not a stranger to them."(All laugh.)

Narendra, who lived in that quarter of the city, was sent for. In the mean time Sri
Ramakrishna and the devotees were invited to the drawing-room upstairs. The floor of the
room was covered with a carpet and a white sheet. A few cushions were lying about. On the
wall hung an oil painting especially painted for Surendra, in which Sri Ramakrishna was
pointing out to Keshab the harmony of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other
religions. On seeing the picture Keshab had once said, "Blessed is the man who conceived
the idea."

Sri Ramakrishna was talking joyously with the devotees, when Narendra arrived. This
made the Master doubly happy. He said to his young disciple, "We had a boat trip with
Keshab today. Vijay and many other Brahmo devotees were there. (Pointing to M.) Ask
him what I said to Keshab and Vijay about the mother and daughter observing their
religious fast on Tuesdays, each on her own account, though the welfare of the one meant
the welfare of the other. I also said to Keshab that trouble-makers like jatila and Kutila
were necessary to lend zest to the play. (To M.) Isn't that so?"

M: "Yes, sir. Quite so."

It was late. Surendra had not yet returned. The Master had to leave for the temple garden,
and a cab was brought for him. M. and Narendra saluted him and took their leave. Sri
Ramakrishna's carriage started for Dakshineswar through the moonlit streets.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 08, 2012, 07:48:54 AM
Chapter 6, THE MASTER WITH THE BRAHMO DEVOTEES (I)

October 28, 1882

IT WAS SATURDAY. The semi-annual Brahmo festival, celebrated each autumn and
spring, was being held in Benimadhav Pal's beautiful garden house at Sinthi, about three
miles north of Calcutta. The house stood in a secluded place suited for contemplation. Trees
laden with flowers, artificial lakes with grassy banks, and green arbours enhanced the
beauty of the grounds. Just as the fleecy clouds were turning gold in the light of the setting
sun, the Master arrived.

Many devotees had attended the morning devotions, and in the afternoon people from
Calcutta and the neighbouring villages joined them. Shivanath, the great Brahmo devotee
whom the Master loved dearly, was one of the large gathering of members of the Brahmo
Samaj who had been eagerly awaiting Sri Ramakrishna's arrival.

When the carriage bringing the Master and a few devotees reached the garden house, the
assembly stood up respectfully to receive him. There was a sudden silence, like that which
comes when the curtain in a theatre is about to be rung up. People who had been conversing
with one another now fixed their attention on the Master's serene face, eager not to lose one
word that might fall from his lips.

Master's joy on seeing Shivanath

At the sight of Shivanath the Master cried out joyously: "Ah! Here is Shivanath! You see,
you are a devotee of God. The very sight of you gladdens my heart. One hemp-smoker feels
very happy to meet another. Very often they embrace each other in an exuberance of joy."
The devotees burst out laughing.

Worldly people's indifference to spiritual life

MASTER: "Many people visit the temple garden at Dakshineswar. If I see some among the
visitors indifferent to God, I say to them, 'You had better sit over there.' Or sometimes I
say, 'Go and see the beautiful buildings.' (Laughter.)

"Sometimes I find that the devotees of God are accompanied by worthless people. Their
companions are immersed in gross worldliness and don't enjoy spiritual talk at all. Since the
devotees keep on, for a long time, talking with me about God, the others become restless.
Finding it impossible to sit there any longer, they whisper to their devotee friends: 'When
shall we be going? How long will you stay here?' The devotees say: 'Wait a bit. We shall go
after a little while.' Then the worldly people say in a disgusted tone: 'Well, then, you can
talk. We shall wait for you in the boat.' (All laugh.)

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 09, 2012, 08:37:14 AM
Power of God's name

"Worldly people will never listen to you if you ask them to renounce everything and devote
themselves whole-heartedly to God. Therefore Chaitanya and Nitai, after some
deliberation, made an arrangement to attract the worldly. They would say to such persons,
'Come, repeat the name of Hari, and you shall have a delicious soup of magur fish and the
embrace of a young woman.' Many people, attracted by the fish and the woman, would
chant the name of God. After tasting a little of the nectar of God's hallowed name, they
would soon realize that the 'fish soup' really meant the tears they shed for love of God,
while the 'young woman' signified the earth. The embrace of the woman meant rolling on
the ground in the rapture of divine love.

"Nitai would employ any means to make people repeat Hari's name. Chaitanya said: 'The
name of God has very great sanctity. It may not produce an immediate result, but one day it
must bear fruit. It is like a seed that has been left on the cornice of a building. After many
days the house crumbles, and the seed falls on the earth, germinates, and at last bears fruit.
'

Three classes of devotees

"As worldly people are endowed with sattva, rajas, and tamas, so also is bakti characterized
by the three gunas.

"Do you know what a worldly person endowed with sattva is like? Perhaps his house is in a
dilapidated condition here and there. He doesn't care to repair it. The worship hall may be
strewn with pigeon droppings and the courtyard covered with moss, but he pays no
attention to these things. The furniture of the house may be old; he doesn't think of
polishing it and making it look neat. He doesn't care for dress at all; anything is good
enough for him. But the man himself is very gentle, quiet, kind, and humble; he doesn't
injure anyone.

"Again, among the worldly there are people with the traits of rajas. Such a man has a watch
and chain, and two or three rings on his fingers. The furniture of his house is all spick and
span. On the walls hang portraits of the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and other prominent
people; the building is whitewashed and spotlessly clean. His wardrobe is filled with a large
assortment of clothes; even the servants have their livery, and all that.

"The traits of a worldly man endowed with tamas are sleep, lust, anger, egotism, and the
like".

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 11, 2012, 08:27:53 AM
Three kinds of bhakti

"Similarly, bhakti, devotion, has its sattva. A devotee who possesses it meditates on God in
absolute secret, perhaps inside his mosquito net. Others think he is asleep. Since he is late
in getting up, they think perhaps he has not slept well during the night. His love for the
body goes only as far as appeasing his hunger, and that only by means of rice and simple
greens. There is no elaborate arrangement about his meals, no luxury in clothes, and no
display of furniture. Besides, such a devotee never flatters anybody for money.

"An aspirant possessed of rajasic bhakti puts a tilak on his forehead and a necklace of holy
rudraksha beads, interspersed with gold ones, around his neck. (All laugh.) At worship he
wears a silk cloth.

"A man endowed with tamasic bhakti has burning faith. Such a devotee literally extorts
boons from God, even as a robber falls upon a man and plunders his money. 'Bind! Beat!
Kill!'-that is his way, the way of the dacoits."

Utilizing tamas for spiritual welfare

Saying this, the Master began to sing in a voice sweet with rapturous love, his eyes turned
upward
:

Why should I go to Ganga or Gaya, to Kasi, Kanchi, or Prabhas,
So long as I can breathe my last with Kali's name upon my lips?
What need of rituals has a man, what need of devotions any more,
If he repeats the Mother's name at the three holy hours?
Rituals may pursue him close, but never can they overtake him.
Charity, vows, and giving of gifts do not appeal to Madan's mind;
The Blissful Mother's Lotus Feet are his whole prayer and sacrifice.
Who could ever have conceived the power Her name possesses?
Siva Himself, the God of Gods, sings Her praise with His five mouths!

The Master was beside himself with love for the Divine Mother. He sang with fiery
enthusiasm:

If only I can pass away repeating Durga's name,
How canst Thou then, O Blessed One,
Withhold from me deliverance,
Wretched though I may be? . . .

Then he said, "One must take the firm attitude: 'What? I have chanted the Mother's name.
How can I be a sinner any more? I am Her child, heir to Her powers and glories.'
"If you can give a spiritual turn to your tamas, you can realize God with its help. Force your
demands on God. He is by no means a stranger to you. He is indeed your very own".


Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: eranilkumarsinha on September 11, 2012, 06:15:10 PM
Then he said, "One must take the firm attitude: 'What? I have chanted the Mother's name.
How can I be a sinner any more? I am Her child, heir to Her powers and glories.'
"If you can give a spiritual turn to your tamas, you can realize God with its help. Force your
demands on God. He is by no means a stranger to you. He is indeed your very own".

Dear Sri Ravi,

This is indeed wonderful. I feel that one must be pure in heart to have overflowing love for God, such that He is no longer a stranger. In the deepening love and devotion for Him, sense of separation or ‘vihakti’ is erased, and one feels so intimate as if He is verily one’s own. Then there is spontaneity in one’s attitude to Him and has even the freedom to force one’s demand on Him, as Bhagwan Sri Param Hamsa did and taught.
Vibhakti is unbearable and how I wish to emulate and have the same love in my pure heart!

Thanks very much, sir.

Pranam,
  Anil   

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Jewell on September 11, 2012, 06:46:53 PM
Quote from Anil:"Dear Sri Ravi,

This is indeed wonderful. I feel that one must be pure in heart to have overflowing love for God, such that He is no longer a stranger. In the deepening love and devotion for Him, sense of separation or ‘vihakti’ is erased, and one feels so intimate as if He is verily one’s own. Then there is spontaneity in one’s attitude to Him and has even the freedom to force one’s demand on Him, as Bhagwan Sri Param Hamsa did and taught.
Vibhakti is unbearable and how I wish to emulate and have the same love in my pure heart"
Dear Sri Anil,
Of all wishes we can have,that is the most pure and beautiful wish. And Arunachala always grand us everything we need. And that is the real freedom,in this mind realm,at least,to talk with God like it is your most intimate friend. Coz He is more than that!
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 12, 2012, 06:55:41 AM
Anil/Jewell/Friends,
"one feels so intimate as if He is verily one’s own. Then there is spontaneity in one’s attitude to Him and has even the freedom to force one’s demand on Him, as Bhagwan Sri Param Hamsa did and taught"
Yes ,this is the essence of Bhakti.Jnana and Bhakti are the same-The way of jnAna is to realize that 'I' am nobody and the way of Bhakti is to realize that God is 'mine'.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 12, 2012, 07:02:11 AM
Illustration of physicians

"Again, you see, the quality of tamas can be used for the welfare of others. There are three
classes of physicians: superior, mediocre, and inferior. The physician who feels the patient's
pulse and just says to him, 'Take the medicine regularly' belongs to the inferior class. He
doesn't care to inquire whether or not the patient has actually taken the medicine. The
mediocre physician is he who in various ways persuades the patient to take the medicine,
and says to him sweetly: 'My good man, how will you be cured unless you use the
medicine? Take this medicine. I have made it for you myself.' But he who, finding the
patient stubbornly refusing to take the medicine, forces it down his throat, going so far as to
put his knee on the patient's chest, is the best physician. This is the manifestation of the
tamas of the physician. It doesn't injure the patient; on the contrary, it does him good.

Three types of gurus

"Like the physicians, there are three types of religious teachers. The inferior teacher only
gives instruction to the disciples but makes no inquiries about their progress. The mediocre
teacher, for the good of the student, makes repeated efforts to bring the instruction home to
him, begs him to assimilate it, and shows him love in many other ways. But there is a type
of teacher who goes to the length of using force when he finds the student persistently
unyielding; I call him the best teacher."

No finality about God's nature

A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Sir, has God forms or has He none?"

MASTER: "No one can say with finality that God is only 'this' and nothing else. He is
formless, and again He has forms. For the bhakta He assumes forms. But He is formless for
the jnani, that is, for him who looks on the world as a mere dream. The bhakta feels that he
is one entity and the world another. Therefore God reveals Himself to him as a Person. But
the jnani-the Vedantist, for instance-always reasons, applying the process of 'Not this, not
this'. Through this discrimination he realizes, by his inner perception, that the ego and the
universe are both illusory, like a dream. Then the jnani realizes Brahman in his own
consciousness. He cannot describe what Brahman is.

"Do you know what I mean? Think of Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, as a
shoreless ocean. Through the cooling influence, as it were, of the bhakta's love, the water
has frozen at places into blocks of ice. In other words, God now and then assumes various
forms for His lovers and reveals Himself to them as a Person. But with the rising of the sun
of Knowledge, the blocks of ice melt. Then one doesn't feel any more that God is a Person,
nor does one see God's forms. What He is cannot be described. Who will describe Him? He
who would do so disappears. He cannot find his 'I' any more."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 13, 2012, 05:58:36 AM
Illusoriness of "I"

"If one analyses oneself, one doesn't find any such thing as 'I'. Take an onion, for instance.
First of all you peel off the red outer skin; then you find thick white skins. Peel these off
one after the other, and you won't find anything inside.

"In that state a man no longer finds the existence of his ego. And who is there left to seek
it? Who can describe how he feels in that state-in his own Pure Consciousness-about the
real nature of Brahman? Once a salt doll went to measure the depth of the ocean. No sooner
was it in the water than it melted. Now who was to tell the depth?

Sign of Perfect Knowledge

"There is a sign of Perfect Knowledge. Man becomes silent when It is attained. Then the 'I',
which may be likened to the salt doll, melts in the Ocean of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss
Absolute and becomes one with It. Not the slightest trace of distinction is left.

"As long as his self-analysis is not complete, man argues with much ado. But he becomes
silent when he completes it. When the empty pitcher has been filled with water, when the
water inside the pitcher becomes one with the water of the lake outside, no more sound is
heard. Sound comes from the pitcher as long as the pitcher is not filled with water.

"People used to say in olden days that no boat returns after having once entered the 'black
waters' of the ocean.

"All trouble and botheration come to an end when the 'I' dies. You may indulge in
thousands of reasoning, but still the 'I' doesn't disappear. For people like you and me, it is
good to have the feeling, 'I am a lover of God.'

Personal God for devotees

"The Saguna Brahman is meant for the bhaktas. In other words, a bhakta believes that God
has attributes and reveals Himself to men as a Person, assuming forms. It is He who listens
to our prayers. The prayers that you utter are directed to Him alone. You are bhaktas, not
jnanis or Vedantists. It doesn't matter whether you accept God with form or not. It is
enough to feel that God is a Person who listens to our prayers, who creates, preserves, and
destroys the universe, and who is endowed with infinite power.

"It is easier to attain God by following the path of devotion."

BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Sir, is it possible for one to see God? If so, why can't we see
Him?"

MASTER: "Yes, He can surely be seen. One can see His forms, and His formless aspect as
well. How can I explain that to you?"

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 14, 2012, 07:42:44 AM
Intense longing enables one to see God

BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "What are the means by which one can see God?"

MASTER: "Can you weep for Him with intense longing of heart? Men shed a jugful of
tears for the sake of their children, for their wives, or for money. But who weeps for God?
So long as the child remains engrossed with its toys, the mother looks after her cooking and
other household duties. But when the child no longer relishes the toys, it throws them aside
and yells for its mother. Then the mother takes the rice-pot down from the hearth, runs in
haste, and takes the child in her arms."

Why so much controversy about God?

BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Sir, why are there so many different opinions about the nature of
God? Some say that God has form, while others say that He is formless. Again, those who
speak of God with form tell us about His different forms. Why all this controversy?"

MASTER: "A devotee thinks of God as he sees Him. In reality there is no confusion about
God. God explains all this to the devotee if the devotee only realizes Him somehow. You
haven't set your foot in that direction. How can you expect to know all about God?

Parable of the chameleon

"Listen to a story. Once a man entered a wood and saw a small animal on a tree. He came
back and told another man that he had seen a creature of a beautiful red colour on a certain
tree. The second man replied: 'When I went into the wood, I also saw that animal. But why
do you call it red? It is green.' Another man who was present contradicted them both and
insisted that it was yellow. Presently others arrived and contended that it was grey, violet,
blue, and so forth and so on. At last they started quarrelling among themselves. To settle
the dispute they all went to the tree. They saw a man sitting under it. On being asked, he
replied: 'Yes, I live under this tree and I know the animal very well. All your descriptions
are true. Sometimes it appears red, sometimes yellow, and at other times blue, violet, grey,
and so forth. It is a chameleon. And sometimes it has no colour at all. Now it has a colour,
and now it has none.'

"In like manner, one who constantly thinks of God can know His real nature; he alone
knows that God reveals Himself to seekers in various forms and aspects. God has attributes;
then again He has none. Only the man who lives under the tree knows that the chameleon
can appear in various colours, and he knows, further, that the animal at times has no colour
at all. It is the others who suffer from the agony of futile argument
.
"Kabir used to say, 'The formless Absolute is my Father, and God with form is my Mother.'
"God reveals Himself in the form which His devotee loves most. His love for the devotee
knows no bounds. It is written in the Purana that God assumed the form of Rama for His
heroic devotee, Hanuman".

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 15, 2012, 07:31:49 AM
Vedantic Non-dualism

"The forms and aspects of God disappear when one discriminates in accordance with the
Vedanta philosophy. The ultimate conclusion of such discrimination is that Brahman alone
is real and this world of names and forms illusory. It is possible for a man to see the forms
of God, or to think of Him as a Person, only so long as he is conscious that he is a devotee.
From the standpoint of discrimination this 'ego of a devotee' keeps him a little away from
God.

"Do you know why images of Krishna or Kali are three and a half cubits high? Because of
distance. Again, on account of distance the sun appears to be small. But if you go near it
you will find the sun so big that you won't be able to comprehend it. Why have images of
Krishna and Kali a dark-blue colour? That too is on account of distance, like the water of a
lake, which appears green, blue, or black from a distance. Go near, take the water in the
palm of your hand, and you will find that it has no colour. The sky also appears blue from a
distance. Go near and you will see that it has no colour at all.

"Therefore I say that in the light of Vedantic reasoning Brahman has no attributes. The real
nature of Brahman cannot be described. But so long as your individuality is real, the world
also is real, and equally real are the different forms of God and the feeling that God is a
Person.

"Yours is the path of bhakti. That is very good; it is an easy path. Who can fully know the
infinite God? and what need is there of knowing the Infinite? Having attained this rare
human birth, my supreme need is to develop love for the Lotus Feet of God.

"If a jug of water is enough to remove my thirst, why should I measure the quantity of
water in a lake? I become drunk on even half a bottle of wine-what is the use of my
calculating the quantity of liquor in the tavern? What need is there of knowing the Infinite?

"The various states of mind of the Brahmajnani are described in the Vedas. The path of
knowledge is extremely difficult. One cannot obtain jnana if one has the least trace of
worldliness and the slightest attachment to 'woman and gold'. This is not the path for the
Kaliyuga.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 16, 2012, 01:02:38 PM
Seven planes of the mind

"The Vedas speak of seven planes where the mind dwells. When the mind is immersed in
worldliness it dwells in the three lower planes- at the naval, the organ of generation, and the
organ of evacuation. In that state the mind loses all its higher visions-it broods only on
'woman and gold'. The fourth plane of the mind is at the heart. When the mind dwells there,
one has the first glimpse of spiritual consciousness. One sees light all around. Such a man,
perceiving the divine light, becomes speechless with wonder and says: 'Ah! What is this?
What is this?' His mind does not go downward to the objects of the world.
"The fifth plane of the mind is at the throat. When the mind reaches this, the aspirant
becomes free from all ignorance and illusion. He does not enjoy talking or hearing about
anything but God. If people talk about worldly things, he leaves the place at once.
"The sixth plane is at the forehead. When the mind reaches it, the aspirant sees the form of
God day and night. But even then a little trace of ego remains. At the sight of that
incomparable beauty of God's form, one becomes intoxicated and rushes forth to touch and
embrace it. But one doesn't succeed. It is like the light inside a lantern. One feels as if one
could touch the light, but one cannot on account of the pane of glass.
"In the top of the head is the seventh plane. When the mind rises there, one goes into
samadhi. Then the Brahmajnani directly perceives Brahman. But in that state his body does
not last many days. He remains unconscious of the outer world. If milk is poured into his
mouth, it runs out. Dwelling on this plane of consciousness, he gives up his body in twentyone
days. That is the condition of the Brahmajnani. But yours is the path of devotion. That
is a very good and easy path.

"Once a man said to me, 'Sir, can you teach me quickly the thing you call samadhi?' (All
laugh.)

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 17, 2012, 06:54:28 PM
Duties drop away with deepening of spiritual mood
"After a man has attained samadhi all his actions drop away. All devotional activities, such
as worship, japa, and the like, as well as all worldly duties, cease to exist for such a person.
At the beginning there is much ado about work. As a man makes progress toward God, the
outer display of his work becomes less and less-so much so that he cannot even sing the
name and glories of God. (To Shivanath) As long as you were not here at the meeting,
people talked a great deal about you and discussed your virtues. But no sooner did you
arrive here than all that stopped. Now the very sight of you makes everyone happy. People
now simply say, 'Ah! Here is Shivanath Babu.' All other talk about you has stopped.

What happens after samadhi

"After attaining samadhi, I once went to the Ganges to perform tarpan. But as I took water
in the palm of my hand, it trickled down through my fingers. Weeping, I said to Haladhari,
'Cousin, what is this?' Haladhari replied, 'It is called galitahasta in the holy books.' After the
vision of God, such duties as the performance of tarpan drop away.

"In the kirtan the devotee first sings, 'Nitai amar mata hati.' As the devotional mood
deepens, he simply sings, 'Hati! Hati!' Next, all he can sing is 'Hati'. And last of all he
simply sings, 'Ha!' and goes into samadhi. The man who has been singing all the while then
becomes speechless.

"Again, at a feast given to the brahmins one at first hears much noise of talking. When the
guests sit on the floor with leaf-plates in front of them, much of the noise ceases. Then one
hears only the cry, 'Bring some luchi!'

As they partake of the luchi and other dishes, three quarters of the noise subsides. When the
curd, the last course, appears, one hears only the sound 'soop, soop' as the guests eat the
curd with their fingers. Then there is practically no noise. Afterwards all retire to sleep, and
absolute silence reigns.

"Therefore I say, at the beginning of religious life a man makes much ado about work, but
as his mind dives deeper into God, he becomes less active. Last of all comes the
renunciation of work, followed by samadhi."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 18, 2012, 08:17:17 AM
"Generally the body does not remain alive after the attainment of samadhi. The only
exceptions are such sages as Narada, who keep their bodies alive in order to bring spiritual
light to others. It is also true of Divine Incarnations, like Chaitanya. After the well is dug,
one generally throws away the spade and the basket. But some keep them in order to help
their neighbours. The great souls who retain their bodies after samadhi feel compassion for
the suffering of others. They are not so selfish as to be satisfied with their own illumination.
You are well aware of the nature of selfish people. If you ask them to spit at a particular
place, they won't, lest it should do you good. If you ask them to bring a sweetmeat worth a
cent from the store, they will perhaps lick it on the way back. (All laugh.)

"But the manifestations of Divine Power are different in different beings. Ordinary souls
are afraid to teach others. A piece of worthless timber may itself somehow float across the
water, but it sinks even under the weight of a bird. Sages like Narada are like a heavy log of
wood, which not only floats on the water but also can carry men, cows, and even elephants.
(To Shivanath and the other Brahmo devotees) "Can you tell me why you dwell so much on
the powers and glories of God? I asked the same thing of Keshab Sen. One day Keshab and
his party came to the temple garden at Dakshineswar. I told them I wanted to hear how they
lectured. A meeting was arranged in the paved courtyard above the bathing-ghat on the
Ganges, where Keshab gave a talk. He spoke very well. I went into a trance. After the
lecture I said to Keshab, 'Why do you so often say such things as: "O God, what beautiful
flowers Thou hast made! O God, Thou hast created the heavens, the stars, and the ocean!"
and so on?' Those who love splendour themselves are fond of dwelling on God's splendour".

"Once a thief stole the jewels from the images in the temple of Radhakanta. Mathur Babu
entered the temple and said to the Deity: 'What a shame, O God! You couldn't save Your
own ornaments.' 'The idea!' I said to Mathur. 'Does He who has Lakshmi for His handmaid
and attendant ever lack any splendour? Those jewels may be precious to you, but to God
they are no better than lumps of clay. Shame on you! You shouldn't have spoken so
meanly. 'What riches can you give to God to magnify His glory?'

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 19, 2012, 08:42:50 AM
"Therefore I say, a man seeks the person in whom he finds joy. What need has he to ask
where that person lives, the number of his houses, gardens, relatives, and servants, or the
amount of his wealth? I forget everything when I see Narendra. Never, even unwittingly,
have I asked him where he lived, what his father's profession was, or the number of his
brothers.
"Dive deep in the sweetness of God's Bliss. What need have we of His infinite creation and
unlimited glory?"

The Master sang:

Dive deep, O mind, dive deep in the Ocean of God's Beauty;
If you descend to the uttermost depths,
There you will find the gem of Love.
Go seek, O mind, go seek Vrindavan in your heart,
Where with His loving devotees
Sri Krishna sports eternally.
Light up, O mind, light up true wisdom's shining lamp,
And let it burn with steady flame
Unceasingly within your heart.
Who is it that steers your boat across the solid earth?
It is your guru, says Kubir;
Meditate on his holy feet.

Sri Ramakrishna continued: "It is also true that after the vision of God the devotee desires
to witness His lila. After the destruction of Ravana at Rama's hands, Nikasha, Ravana's
mother, began to run away for fear of her life. Lakshmana said to Rama: 'Revered Brother,
please explain this strange thing to me. This Nikasha is an old woman who has suffered a
great deal from the loss of her many sons, and yet she is so afraid of losing her own life that
she is taking to her heels!' Rama bade her come near, gave her assurance of safety, and
asked her why she was running away. Nikasha answered: 'O Rama, I am able to witness all
this lila of Yours because I am still alive. I want to live longer so that I may see the many
more things You will do on this earth.' (All laugh.)

(To Shivanath) "I like to see you. How can I live unless I see pure-souled devotees? I feel
as if they had been my friends in a former incarnation."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 20, 2012, 07:41:24 AM
Reincarnation of soul & Inscrutability of God's ways

A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Sir, do you believe in the reincarnation of the soul?"

MASTER: "Yes, they say there is something like that. How can we understand the ways of
God through our small intellects? Many people have spoken about reincarnation; therefore I
cannot disbelieve it. As Bhishma lay dying on his bed of arrows, the Pandava brothers and
Krishna stood around him. They saw tears flowing from the eyes of the great hero. Arjuna
said to Krishna: 'Friend, how surprising it is! Even such a man as our grandsire Bhishma truthful,
self-restrained, supremely wise, and one of the eight Vasus-weeps, through maya,
at the hour of death.' Sri Krishna asked Bhishma about it. Bhishma replied: 'O Krishna, You
know very well that this is not the cause of my grief. I am thinking that there is no end to
the Pandavas' sufferings, though God Himself is their charioteer. A thought like this makes
me feel that I have understood nothing of the ways of God, and so I weep.' "

It was about half past eight when the evening worship began in the prayer hall. Soon the
moon rose in the autumn sky and flooded the trees and creepers of the garden with its light.
After prayer the devotees began to sing. Sri Ramakrishna was dancing, intoxicated with
love of God. The Brahmo devotees danced around him to the accompaniment of drums and
cymbals. All appeared to be in a very joyous mood. The place echoed and re-echoed with
God's holy name. When the music had stopped, Sri Ramakrishna prostrated himself on the
ground and, making salutations to the Divine Mother again and again, said: "Bhagavata-
Bhakta-Bhagavan! My salutations at the feet of the jnanis! My salutations at the feet of the
bhaktas! I salute the bhaktas who believe in God with form, and I salute the bhaktas who
believe in God without form. I salute the knowers of Brahman of olden times. And my
salutations at the feet of the modern knowers of Brahman of the Brahmo Samaj
!"

Then the Master and the devotees enjoyed a supper of delicious dishes, which Benimadhav,
their host, had provided.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on September 20, 2012, 08:05:31 AM
Quote
A thought like this makes
me feel that I have understood nothing of the ways of God, and so I weep.

How true - makes every one of my hair roots stand up...

Sanjay
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 20, 2012, 08:14:15 AM
Sanjaya,
Yes indeed;this is one of my favourite stories.more on this later.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Nagaraj on September 20, 2012, 08:44:11 AM
Two personalities from Mahabharatha, that touch deeply my heart were Bhishma and Karna. Both took the side where there is no righteousness. Even though both knew that their choice was wrong but they stuck to his choice to keep their promises they made to father and friend respectively. Their Tapas is unparalleled. Coupled with this, if one takes a look at their personal lives, none would want such a life. Such sacrifice and such benevolence.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 20, 2012, 01:05:08 PM
Dear Ravi, Nagaraj,

Bhishma and Karna are great characters in Mahabharata. Both because they had eaten food given by some persons (who are
not good), they had to serve them. It is called in Tamizh ChenchoRRuk kadan, paying the debts for eating. So they fought with
Kauravas. But they had a huge mass of punya.  That is why, Karna died a valiant death and attained liberation. Krishna had to
beg even his balance of punya, since that punya was not allowing anyone to conquer him.

Bhishma again is in the same debt. There is a story. When Bhishma was telling about Vishnu Sahasranama, Dradupadi was
smiling from behind.  Bhishma asked: Daughter! Why are you smiling?  Draupadi replied: O Sire, you are telling about all these
dharmas. Where these dharmas had gone away, when Dushchasan was disrobing me? Why didn't you raise even your little
finger?

Bhishma said: Daughter! At that time the bad blood that had formed in my body due to poison like food of Duryodhana was
still there! Now that Arjuna had drained them away completely, I am free from that bad blood. So I am able to teach you all
dharmas!

Arunachala Siva.   
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 21, 2012, 09:05:51 AM
Wednesday, November 15, 1882

Master at the circus

Sri Ramakrishna, accompanied by Rakhal and several other devotees, came to Calcutta in a
carriage and called for M. at the school where he was teaching. Then they all set out for the
Maidan. Sri Ramakrishna wanted to see the Wilson Circus. As the carriage rolled along the
crowded Chitpore Road, his joy was very great. Like a little child he leaned first out of one
side of the carriage and then out of the other, talking to himself as if addressing the passersby.

To M. he said: "I find the attention of the people fixed on earthly things. They are all
rushing about for the sake of their stomachs. No one is thinking of God."

They arrived at the circus. Tickets for the cheapest seats were purchased. The devotees took
the Master to a high gallery, and they all sat on a bench. He said joyfully: "Ha! This is a
good place. I can see the show well from here." There were exhibitions of various feats. A
horse raced around a circular track over which large iron rings were hung at intervals. The
circus rider, an Englishwoman, stood on one foot on the horse's back, and as the horse
passed under the rings, she jumped through them, always alighting on one foot on the
horse's back. The horse raced around the entire circle, and the woman never missed the
horse or lost her balance.

When the circus was over, the Master and the devotees stood outside in the field, near the
carriage. Since it was a cold night he covered his body with his green shawl.

Necessity of spiritual discipline

Sri Ramakrishna said to M.: "Did you see how that Englishwoman stood on one foot on her
horse, while it ran like lightning? How difficult a feat that must be! She must have practised
a long time. The slightest carelessness and she would break her arms or legs; she might
even be killed. One faces the same difficulty leading the life of a householder. A few
succeed in it through the grace of God and as a result of their spiritual practice. But most
people fail. Entering the world, they become more and more involved in it; they drown in
worldliness and suffer the agonies of death. A few only, like Janaka, have succeeded,
through the power of their austerity, in leading the spiritual life as householders. Therefore
spiritual practice is extremely necessary; otherwise one cannot rightly live in the world."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 22, 2012, 09:26:55 AM
The Master got into the carriage with the devotees and went to Balaram Bose's house. He
was taken with his companions to the second floor. It was evening and the lamps were
lighted. The Master described the feats he had seen at the circus. Gradually other devotees
gathered, and soon he was engaged in spiritual talk with them.

Master on caste-system

The conversation turned to the caste-system. Sri Ramakrishna said: "The caste-system can
be removed by one means only, and that is the love of God. Lovers of God do not belong to
any caste. The mind, body, and soul of a man become purified through divine love.
Chaitanya and Nityananda scattered the name of Hari to everyone, including the pariah, and
embraced them all. A brahmin without this love is no longer a brahmin. And a pariah with
the love of God is no longer a pariah. Through bhakti an untouchable becomes pure and
elevated."

Entanglement of householders

Speaking of householders entangled in worldliness, the Master said: "They are like the silkworm.
They can come out of the cocoon of their worldly life if they wish. But they can't
bear to; for they themselves have built the cocoon with great love and care. So they die
there. Or they are like the fish in a trap. They can come out of it by the way they entered,
but they sport inside the trap with other fish and hear the sweet sound of the murmuring
water and forget everything else. They don't even make an effort to free themselves from
the trap. The lisping of children is the murmur of the water; and the other fish are relatives
and friends. Only one or two make good their escape by running away. They are the
liberated souls."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on September 22, 2012, 01:30:19 PM
Entanglement of householders

Speaking of householders entangled in worldliness, the Master said: "They are like the silkworm.
They can come out of the cocoon of their worldly life if they wish. But they can't
bear to; for they themselves have built the cocoon with great love and care. So they die
there. Or they are like the fish in a trap. They can come out of it by the way they entered,
but they sport inside the trap with other fish and hear the sweet sound of the murmuring
water and forget everything else. They don't even make an effort to free themselves from
the trap. The lisping of children is the murmur of the water; and the other fish are relatives
and friends. Only one or two make good their escape by running away. They are the
liberated souls."


But if there is not householders then what is the future of humanity? Many Great Saints were householders and were liberated. Upanishads accept very clearly marriage life. So why the Master was so much against marriage? Is marriage not compatible with bhakti marga?
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 22, 2012, 05:06:30 PM
Hari,
" Speaking of householders entangled in worldliness"-The Master is referring to those entangled in worldliness.He himself had married and he had a number of Household devotees,like Master Mahasaya(the writer of the Gospel) and the great devotee nAg mahAsaya about whom Swami Vivekananda said:'I have traveled many places in the world, but nowhere have I come across such a great soul as Nag Mahashay'.I will post the life of this great householder devotee of Sri Ramakrishna when I get time.

Here is another excerpt from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

Sri Ramakrishna had repeated again and again that God cannot be realized without
discrimination and renunciation. This made M. extremely worried. He had married and was
then a young man of twenty-eight, educated in college in the Western way. Having a sense
of duty, he asked himself, "Do discrimination and dispassion mean giving up 'woman and
gold'?" He was really at a loss to know what to do.
M. (to the Master): "What should one do if one's wife says: 'You are neglecting me. I shall
commit suicide?' "
MASTER (in a serious tone): "Give up such a wife if she proves an obstacle in the way of
spiritual life. Let her commit suicide or anything else she likes. The wife that hampers her
husband's spiritual life is an ungodly wife."
Immersed in deep thought, M. stood leaning against the wall. Narendra and the other
devotees remained silent a few minutes. The Master exchanged several words with them;
then, suddenly going to M., he whispered in his ear: "But if a man has sincere love for God,
then all come under his control - the king, wicked persons, and his wife. Sincere love of
God on the husband's part may eventually help the wife to lead a spiritual life. If the
husband is good, then through the grace of God the wife may also follow his example
."
This had a most soothing effect on M.'s worried mind. All the while he had been thinking:
"Let her commit suicide. What can I do?"

Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 23, 2012, 10:49:18 AM
The Master then sang:
When such delusion veils the world, through Mahamaya's spell,
That Brahma is bereft of sense,
And Vishnu loses consciousness,
What hope is left for men?
The narrow channel first is made, and there the trap is set;
But open though the passage lies,
The fish, once safely through the gate,
Do not come out again.
The silk-worm patiently prepares its closely spun cocoon;
Yet even though a way leads forth,
Encased within its own cocoon,
The worm remains to die.

The Master continued: "Man may be likened to grain. He has fallen between the millstones
and is about to be crushed. Only the few grains that stay near the peg escape. Therefore
men should take refuge at the peg, that is to say, in God. Call on Him. Sing His name. Then
you will be free. Otherwise you will be crushed by the King of Death
."

The Master sang again:
Mother! Mother! My boat is sinking, here in the ocean of this world;
Fiercely the hurricane of delusion rages on every side!
Clumsy is my helmsman, the mind; stubborn my six oarsmen, the passions;
Into a pitiless wind
I sailed my boat, and now it is sinking!
Split is the rudder of devotion; tattered is the sail of faith;
Into my boat the waters are pouring! Tell me, what shall I do?
For with my failing eyes, alas! nothing but darkness do I see.
Here in the waves I will swim,
O Mother, and cling to the raft of Thy name!

Mr. Viswas had been sitting in the room a long time; he now left. He had once been
wealthy but had squandered everything in an immoral life. Finally he had become
indifferent to his wife and children. Referring to Mr. Viswas, the Master said: "He is an
unfortunate wretch. A householder has his duties to discharge, his debts to pay: his debt to
the gods, his debt to his ancestors, his debt to the rishis, and his debt to wife and children. If
a wife is chaste, then her husband should support her; he should also bring up their children
until they are of age. Only a monk must not save; the bird and the monk do not provide for
the morrow. But even a bird provides when it has young. It brings food in its bill for its
chicks."

BALARAM: "Mr. Viswas now wants to cultivate the company of holy people."

MASTER (with a smile): "A monk's kamandalu(a vessel with a handle that monks use to carry water-ravi) goes to the four principal holy places with
him, but it still tastes bitter. Likewise, it is said that the Malaya breeze turns all trees into
sandal-wood. But there are a few exceptions, such as the cotton-tree, the aswattha, and the
hog plum.
"Some frequent the company of holy men in order to smoke hemp. Many monks smoke it,
and these householders stay with them, prepare the hemp, and partake of the prasad."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 24, 2012, 07:22:03 AM
Thursday, November 16, 1882
The Master had come to Calcutta. In the evening he went to the house of Rajmohan, a
member of the Brahmo Samaj, where Narendra and some of his young friends used to meet
and worship according to the Brahmo ceremonies. Sri Ramakrishna wanted to see their
worship. He was accompanied by M. and a few other devotees.

The Master was very happy to see Narendra and expressed a desire to watch the young men
at their worship. Narendra sang and then the worship began. One of the young men
conducted it. He prayed, "O Lord, may we give up everything and be absorbed in Thee!"
Possibly the youth was inspired by the Master's presence and so talked of utter
renunciation. Sri Ramakrishna remarked in a whisper, "Much likelihood there is of that!"
Rajmohan served the Master with refreshments.

Sunday, November 19, 1882

It was the auspicious occasion of the Jagaddhatri Puja, the festival of the Divine Mother.
Sri Ramakrishna was invited to Surendra's house in Calcutta; but first he went to the house
of Manomohan in the neighbourhood.

The Master was seated in Manomohan's parlour. He said: "God very
much relishes the bhakti of the poor and the lowly, just as the cow relishes fodder mixed
with oil-cake. King Duryodhana showed Krishna the splendour of his wealth and riches,
but Krishna accepted the hospitality of the poor Vidura. God is fond of His devotees. He
runs after the devotee as the cow after the calf."

The Master sang:
And, for that love, the mighty yogis practise yoga from age to age;
When love awakes, the Lord, like a magnet, draws to Him the soul.
Then he said: "Chaitanya used to shed tears of joy at the very mention of Krishna's name.
God alone is the real Substance; all else is illusory. Man can realize God if he wants to, but
he madly craves the enjoyment of 'woman and gold'. The snake has a precious stone in its
head, but it is perfectly satisfied to eat a mere frog.

"Bhakti is the one essential thing. Who can ever know God through reasoning? I want love
of God. What do I care about knowing His infinite glories? One bottle of wine makes me
drunk. What do I care about knowing how many gallons there are in the grog-shop? One jar
of water is enough to quench my thirst. I don't need to know the amount of water there is on
earth."


Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 25, 2012, 07:07:03 AM
Sri Ramakrishna arrived at Surendra's house. Many devotees had assembled there,
including Surendra's elder brother, who was a judge.

Futility of reasoning

MASTER (To Surendra's brother): "You are a judge. That is very good. But remember,
everything happens through God's power. It is He who has given you your high position;
that is how you became a judge. People think it is they who are great. The water from the
roof flows through a spout that is shaped like a lion's head. It looks as if the lion were
bringing the water out through its mouth. But look at the source of the water! A cloud
gathers in the sky and rain falls on the roof; then the water flows through the pipe and at
last comes out through the spout
."

SURENDRA'S BROTHER: "The Brahmo Samaj preaches the freedom of women and the
abolition of the caste-system. What do you think about these matters?"

MASTER: "Men feel that way when they are just beginning to develop spiritual yearning.
A storm raises clouds of dust, and one cannot distinguish between the different trees-the
mango, the hog plum, and the tamarind. But after the storm blows over, one sees clearly.
After the first storm of divine passion is quelled, one gradually understands that God alone
is the Highest Good, the Eternal Substance, and that all else is transitory. One cannot grasp
this without tapasya and the company of holy men. What is the use of merely reciting the
written parts for the drum? It is very difficult to put them into practice on the instrument.
What can be accomplished by a mere lecture? It is austerity that is necessary. By that alone
can one comprehend
.

"You asked about caste distinctions. There is only one way to remove them, and that is by
love of God. Lovers of God have no caste. Through this divine love the untouchable
becomes pure, the pariah no longer remains a pariah. Chaitanya embraced all, including the
pariahs.

"The members of the Brahmo Samaj sing the name of Hari. That is very good. Through
earnest prayer one receives the grace of God and realizes Him. God can be realized by
means of all paths. The same God is invoked by different names."

Master on Theosophy

SURENDRA'S BROTHER: "Sir, what do you think of Theosophy?"

MASTER: "I have heard that man can acquire superhuman powers through it and perform
miracles. I saw a man who had brought a ghost under control. The ghost used to procure
various things for his master. What shall I do with superhuman powers? Can one realize
God through them? If God is not realized then everything becomes false."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 25, 2012, 03:39:50 PM
Tushnim,

"Does Sri Ramakrishna disagree with Vasishta "

Sri Ramakrishna generally never refers to any scriptural authority.He did not need one as he always spoke from first hand experience.
On the other hand he will agree with most approaches as he saw validity in every approach ,although he may not advocate such approach indiscriminately to one and all.His advice is always contextual ,depending on the one being addressed.

Here are a couple of excerpts from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna:

"One should not reason too much; it is enough if one loves the Lotus Feet of the Mother.
Too much reasoning throws the mind into confusion. You get clear water if you drink from
the surface of a pool. Put your hand deeper and stir the water, and it becomes muddy
.
Therefore pray to God for devotion".

"There is another benefit from holy company. It helps one cultivate discrimination between
the Real and the unreal. God alone is the Real, that is to say, the Eternal Substance, and the
world is unreal, that is to say, transitory
. As soon as a man finds his mind wandering away
to the unreal, he should apply discrimination
. The moment an elephant stretches out its
trunk to eat a plantain-tree in a neighbour's garden, it gets a blow from the iron goad of the
driver
."

We now have to check whether this corresponds with what vasishta has said about a faultless 'Yukti or Device.I do not see any contradiction!

Namaskar.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 25, 2012, 03:42:24 PM
Dear Tushnim Asanam

Yes. Scriptural Reading is necessary. But not to an unlimited extent. Sri Bhagavan says: All books have got mano nigraha
as the final solution, what is the use of reading books endlessly? Hence a limited reading of scriptural books and constantly
contemplating on the meaning and purport is all that is necessary.

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 25, 2012, 04:05:14 PM
Tushnim,
I request  that discussions if any on what has been posted in this thread may be carried out in  in the Rough-notebook thread in under 'General Discussion' in the General category.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on September 25, 2012, 05:43:15 PM
Dear Tushnim,

This is due to Vasanas. Vasnas in this birth and also of the previous births. These vasanas will be cleansed up only
by purification of mind (chitta shuddhi), by prayers to Guru or God.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 26, 2012, 06:22:54 AM
November 1882
It was about four o'clock in the afternoon when Sri Ramakrishna arrived in Calcutta to
attend the annual festival of the Brahmo Samaj, which was to be celebrated at Manilal
Mallick's house. Besides M. and other devotees of the Master, Vijay Goswami and a
number of Brahmos were present. Elaborate arrangements had been made to make the
occasion a success. Vijay was to conduct the worship.

The kathak recited the life of Prahlada from the Purana. Its substance was as follows:
Hiranyakasipu, Prahlada's father, was king of the demons. He bore great malice toward
God and put his own son through endless tortures for leading a religious life. Afflicted by
his father, Prahlada prayed to God, "O God, please give my father holy inclinations."
At these words the Master wept. He went into an ecstatic mood. Afterwards he began to
talk to the devotees.

MASTER: "Bhakti is the only essential thing. One obtains love of God by constantly
chanting His name and singing His glories
. Ah! What a devotee Shivanath is! He is soaked
in the love of God, like a cheese-cake in syrup.

"One should not think, 'My religion alone is the right path and other religions are false.'
God can be realized by means of all paths. It is enough to have sincere yearning for God.
Infinite are the paths and infinite the opinions.

The pure in heart see God

"Let me tell you one thing. God can be seen. The Vedas say that God is beyond mind and
speech. The meaning of this is that God is unknown to the mind attached to worldly
objects
. Vaishnavcharan used to say, 'God is known by the mind and intellect that are pure.'
Therefore it is necessary to seek the company of holy men, practise prayer, and listen to the
instruction of the guru. These purify the mind. Then one sees God. Dirt can be removed
from water by a purifying agent. Then one sees one's reflection in it. One cannot see one's
face in a mirror if the mirror is covered with dirt
.

"After the purification of the heart one obtains divine love. Then one sees God, through His
grace.
One can teach others if one receives that command from God after seeing Him.
Before that one should not 'lecture'. There is a song that says:

"You have set up no image here,
Within the shrine, O fool!
Blowing the conch, you simply make
Confusion worse confounded".

"You should first cleanse the shrine of your heart. Then you should install the Deity and
arrange worship. As yet nothing has been done. What can you achieve by blowing the
conch-shell and simply making a loud noise?"

Vijay sat on a raised stool and conducted the worship according to the rules of the Brahmo
Samaj. Afterwards he sat by the Master.

MASTER (to Vijay): "Will you tell me one thing? Why did you harp so much on sin? By
repeating a hundred times, 'I am a sinner', one verily becomes a sinner. One should have
such faith as to be able to say, 'What? I have taken the name of God; how can I be a sinner?'
God is our Father and Mother. Tell Him, 'O Lord, I have committed sins, but I won't repeat
them.
' Chant His name and purify your body and mind. Purify your tongue by singing
God's holy name."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 27, 2012, 07:21:00 AM
December 1882

In the afternoon Sri Ramakrishna was seated on the west porch of his room in the temple
garden at Dakshineswar. Among others, Baburam, Ramdayal, and M. were present. These
three were going to spend the night with the Master. M. intended to stay the following day
also, for he was having his Christmas holidays. Baburam had only recently begun to visit
the Master.

MASTER (to the devotees): "A man becomes liberated even in this life when he knows that
God is the Doer of all things
. Once Keshab came here with Sambhu Mallick. I said to him,
'Not even a leaf moves except by the will of God.' Where is man's free will? All are under
the will of God. Nangta was a man of great knowledge, yet even he was about to drown
himself in the Ganges. He stayed here eleven months. At one time he suffered from
stomach trouble. The excruciating pain made him lose control over himself, and he wanted
to drown himself in the river. There was a long shoal near the bathing-ghat. However far he
went into the river, he couldn't find water above his knees. Then he understood everything
and came back. At one time I was very ill and was about to cut my throat with a knife.
Therefore I say: 'O Mother, I am the machine and Thou art the Operator; I am the chariot
and Thou art the Driver. I move as Thou movest me; I do as Thou makest me do.'
"

The devotees sing kirtan in the Master's room:

"Dwell, O Lord, O Lover of bhakti,
In the Vrindavan of my heart,
And my devotion unto Thee
Will be Thy Radha, dearly loved;
My body will be Nanda's home,
My tenderness will be Yasoda,
My longing for deliverance
Will be Thy gentle gopi maids.
Lift the Govardhan of my sin
And slay my six unyielding passions,
Fierce as the demons sent by Kamsa!
Sweetly play the flute of Thy grace,
Charming the milch cow of my mind;
Abide in the pasture of my soul.
Dwell by the Jamuna of my yearning,
Under the banyan of my hope,
For ever gracious to Thy servant;
And, if naught but the cowherds' love
Can hold Thee in Vrindavan's vale,
Then, Lord, let Dasarathi, too,
Become Thy cowherd and Thy slave".

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 29, 2012, 11:30:12 AM
Again they sang:
Sing, O bird that nestles deep within my heart!
Sing, O bird that sits on the Kalpa-Tree of Brahman!
Sing God's everlasting praise.
Taste, O bird, of the four fruits of the Kalpa-Tree,
Dharma, artha, kama, moksha.
Sing, O bird, "He alone is the Comfort of my soul!"
Sing, O bird, "He alone is my life's enduring Joy!"
O thou wondrous bird of my life,
Sing aloud in my heart! Unceasingly sing, O bird!
Sing for evermore, even as the thirsty chatak
Sings for the raindrop from the cloud.

A devotee from Nandanbagan entered the room with his friends. The Master looked at him
and said, "Everything inside him can be seen through his eyes, as one sees the objects in a
room through a glass door." This devotee and his brothers always celebrated the
anniversary of the Brahmo Samaj at their house in Nandanbagan. Sri Ramakrishna had
taken part in these festivals.

The evening worship began in the temples. The Master was seated on the small couch in his
room, absorbed in meditation. He went into an ecstatic mood and said a little later:
"Mother, please draw him to Thee. He is so modest and humble! He has been visiting
Thee." Was the Master referring to Baburam, who later became one of his foremost
disciples?

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 30, 2012, 11:52:54 AM
Why so much suffering in God's creation?
The Master explained the different kinds of samadhi to the devotees. The conversation then
turned to the joy and suffering of life. Why did God create so much suffering?

M: "Once Vidyasagar said in a mood of pique: 'What is the use of calling on God? Just
think of this incident: At one time Chenghiz Khan plundered a country and imprisoned
many people. The number of prisoners rose to about a hundred thousand. The commander
of his army said to him: "Your Majesty, who will feed them? It is risky to keep them with
us. It will be equally dangerous to release them. What shall I do?" Chenghiz Khan said:
"That's true. What can be done? Well, have them killed." The order was accordingly given
to cut them to pieces. Now, God saw this slaughter, didn't He? But He didn't stop it in any
way. Therefore I don't need God, whether He exists or not. I don't derive any good from
Him.'"

MASTER: "Is it possible to understand God's action and His motive? He creates, He
preserves, and He destroys. Can we ever understand why He destroys? I say to the Divine
Mother: 'O Mother, I do not need to understand. Please give me love for Thy Lotus Feet.'
The aim of human life is to attain bhakti. As for other things, the Mother knows best. I have
come to the garden to eat mangoes. What is the use of my calculating the number of trees,
branches, and leaves? I only eat the mangoes; I don't need to know the number of trees and
leaves."

Baburam, M., and Ramdayal slept that night on the floor of the Master's room.
It was an early hour of the morning, about two or three o'clock. The room was dark. Sri
Ramakrishna was seated on his bed and now and then conversed with the devotees.

Compassion and attachment
MASTER: "Remember that daya, compassion, and maya, attachment, are two different
things. Attachment means the feeling of 'my-ness' toward one's relatives. It is the love one
feels for one's parents, one's brother, one's sister, one's wife and children. Compassion is the
love one feels for all beings of the world. It is an attitude of equality. If you see anywhere
an instance of compassion, as in Vidyasagar, know that it is due to the grace of God.
Through compassion one serves all beings. Maya also comes from God. Through maya
God makes one serve one's relatives. But one thing should be remembered: maya keeps us
in ignorance and entangles us in the world, whereas daya makes our hearts pure and
gradually unties our bonds.

"God cannot be realized without purity of heart. One receives the grace of God by subduing
the passions-lust, anger, and greed. Then one sees God. I tried many things in order to
conquer lust".

"When I was ten or eleven years old and lived at Kamarpukur, I first experienced samadhi.
As I was passing through a paddy-field, I saw something and was overwhelmed. There are
certain characteristics of God-vision. One sees light, feels joy, and experiences the upsurge
of a great current in one's chest, like the bursting of a rocket."

The next day Baburam and Ramdayal returned to Calcutta. M. spent the day and the night
with the Master.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 01, 2012, 10:11:00 AM
December 1882
It was afternoon. The Master was sitting in his room at Dakshineswar with M. and one or
two other devotees. Several Marwari devotees arrived and saluted the Master. They
requested Sri Ramakrishna to give them spiritual instruction. He smiled.

MASTER (to the Marwari devotees): "You see, the feeling of 'I' and 'mine' is the result of
ignorance. But to say, 'O God, Thou art the Doer; all these belong to Thee' is the sign of
Knowledge. How can you say such a thing as 'mine'? The superintendent of the garden
says, 'This is my garden.' But if he is dismissed because of some misconduct, then he does
not have the courage to take away even such a worthless thing as his mango-wood box.
Anger and lust cannot be destroyed. Turn them toward God. If you must feel desire and
temptation, then desire to realize God, feel tempted by Him. Discriminate and turn the
passions away from worldly objects. When the elephant is about to devour a plaintain-tree
in someone's garden, the mahut strikes it with his iron-tipped goad.

"You are merchants. You know how to improve your business gradually. Some of you start
with a castor-oil factory. After making some money at that, you open a cloth shop. In the
same way, one makes progress toward God. It may be that you go into solitude, now and
then, and devote more time to prayer.

"But you must remember that nothing can be achieved except in its proper time. Some
persons must pass through many experiences and perform many worldly duties before they
can turn their attention to God; so they have to wait a long time. If an abscess is lanced
before it is soft, the result is not good; the surgeon makes the opening when it is soft and
has come to a head. Once a child said to its mother: 'Mother, I am going to sleep now.
Please wake me up when I feel the call of nature.' 'My child,' said the mother, 'when it is
time for that, you will wake up yourself. I shan't have to wake you.
' "

The Marwari devotees generally brought offerings of fruit, candy, and other sweets for the
Master. But Sri Ramakrishna could hardly eat them. He would say: "They earn their money
by falsehood. I can't eat their offerings." He said to the Marwaris: "You see, one can't
strictly adhere to truth in business. There are ups and downs in business. Nanak once said, 'I
was about to eat the food of unholy people, when I found it stained with blood.' A man
should offer only pure things to holy men. He shouldn't give them food earned by dishonest
means. God is realized by following the path of truth. One should always chant His name.
Even while one is performing one's duties, the mind should be left with God. Suppose I
have a carbuncle on my back. I perform my duties, but the mind is drawn to the carbuncle.
It is good to repeat the name of Rama. 'The same Rama who was the son of King Dasaratha
has created this world. Again, as Spirit, He pervades all beings. He is very near us; He is
both within and without.'
"

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 03, 2012, 08:30:15 AM
Chapter 7THE MASTER AND VIJAY GOSWAMIThursday, December 14, 1882

IT WAS AFTERNOON. Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on his bed after a short noonday rest.
Vijay, Balaram, M., and a few other devotees were sitting on the floor with their faces
toward the Master. They could see the sacred river Ganges through the door. Since it was
winter all were wrapped up in warm clothes. Vijay had been suffering from colic and had
brought some medicine with him.
Vijay, the Brahmo preacher
Vijay was a paid preacher in the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, but there were many things
about which he could not agree with the Samaj authorities. He came from a very noble
family of Bengal noted for its piety and other spiritual qualities. Advaita Goswami, one of
his remote ancestors, had been an intimate companion of Sri Chaitanya. Thus the blood of a
great lover of God flowed in Vijay's veins. As an adherent of the Brahmo Samaj, Vijay no
doubt meditated on the formless Brahman; but his innate love of God, inherited from his
distinguished ancestors, had merely been waiting for the proper time to manifest itself in all
its sweetness. Thus Vijay was irresistibly attracted by the God-intoxicated state of Sri
Ramakrishna and often sought his company. He would listen to the Master's words with
great respect, and they would dance together in an ecstasy of divine love.
It was a week-day. Generally devotees came to the Master in large numbers on Sundays;
hence those who wanted to have intimate talks with him visited him on week-days.

Tendencies from previous births

A boy named Vishnu, living in Ariadaha, had recently committed suicide by cutting his
throat with a razor. The talk turned to him.

MASTER: "I felt very badly when I heard of the boy's passing away. He was a pupil in a
school and he used to come here. He would often say to me that he couldn't enjoy worldly
life. He had lived with some relatives in the western provinces and at that time used to
meditate in solitude, in the meadows, hills, and forests. He told me he had visions of many
divine forms.

"Perhaps this was his last birth. He must have finished most of his duties in his previous
birth. The little that had been left undone was perhaps finished in this one.

"One must admit the existence of tendencies inherited from previous births. There is a story
about a man who practised the sava-sadhana. He worshipped the Divine Mother in a deep
forest. First he saw many terrible visions. Finally a tiger attacked and killed him. Another
man, happening to pass and seeing the approach of the tiger, had climbed a tree. Afterwards
he got down and found all the arrangements for worship at hand. He performed some
purifying ceremonies and seated himself on the corpse. No sooner had he done a little japa
than the Divine Mother appeared before him and said: 'My child, I am very much pleased
with you. Accept a boon from Me.' He bowed low at the Lotus Feet of the Goddess and
said: 'May I ask You one question, Mother? I am speechless with amazement at Your
action. The other man worked so hard to get the ingredients for Your worship and tried to
propitiate You for such a long time, but You didn't condescend to show him Your favour.
And I, who don't know anything of worship, who have done nothing, who have neither
devotion nor knowledge nor love, and who haven't practised any austerities, am receiving
so much of Your grace.' The Divine Mother said with a laugh: 'My child, you don't
remember your previous births. For many births you tried to propitiate Me through
austerities. As a result of those austerities all these things have come to hand, and you have
been blessed with My Vision. Now ask Me your boon.' "

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 04, 2012, 09:04:09 AM
Suicide after the vision of God
A DEVOTEE: "I am frightened to hear of the suicide."

MASTER: "Suicide is a heinous sin, undoubtedly. A man who kills himself must return
again and again to this world and suffer its agony.
"But I don't call it suicide if a person leaves his body after having the vision of God. There
is no harm in giving up one's body that way. After attaining Knowledge some people give
up their bodies. After the gold image has been cast in the clay mould, you may either
preserve the mould or break it.

"Many years ago a young man of about twenty used to come to the temple garden from
Baranagore; his name was Gopal Sen. In my presence he used to experience such intense
ecstasy that Hriday had to support him for fear he might fall to the ground and break his
limbs. That young man touched my feet one day and said: 'Sir, I shall not be able to see you
any more. Let me bid you good-bye.' A few days later I learnt that he had given up his
body.

Four classes of men

"It is said that there are four classes of human beings: the bound, those aspiring after
liberation, the liberated, and the ever-perfect.

Parable of the fish and the net

"This world is like a fishing-net. Men are the fish, and God, whose maya has created this
world, is the fisherman. When the fish are entangled in the net, some of them try to tear
through its meshes in order to get their liberation. They are like the men striving after
liberation. But by no means all of them escape. Only a few jump out of the net with a loud
splash, and then people say, 'Ah! There goes a big one!' In like manner, three or four men
attain liberation. Again, some fish are so careful by nature that they are never caught in the
net; some beings of the ever-perfect class, like Narada, are never entangled in the meshes of
worldliness. Most of the fish are trapped; but they are not conscious of the net and of their
imminent death. No sooner are they entangled than they run headlong, net and all, trying to
hide themselves in the mud. They don't make the least effort to get free. On the contrary,
they go deeper and deeper into the mud. These fish are like the bound men. They are still
inside the net, but they think they are quite safe there. A bound creature is immersed in
worldliness, in 'woman and gold', having gone deep into the mire of degradation. But still
he believes he is quite happy and secure. The liberated, and the seekers after liberation,
look on the world as a deep well. They do not enjoy it. Therefore, after the attainment of
Knowledge, the realization of God, some give up their bodies. But such a thing is rare
indeed.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 05, 2012, 07:35:41 AM
Worldly-minded forget their lessons

"The bound creatures, entangled in worldliness, will not come to their senses at all. They
suffer so much misery and agony, they face so many dangers, and yet they will not wake
up.

"The camel loves to eat thorny bushes. The more it eats the thorns, the more the blood
gushes from its mouth. Still it must eat thorny plants and will never give them up. The man
of worldly nature suffers so much sorrow and affliction, but he forgets it all in a few days
and begins his old life over again. Suppose a man has lost his wife or she has turned
unfaithful. Lo! He marries again.

"Or take the instance of a mother: her son dies and she suffers bitter grief; but after a few
days she forgets all about it. The mother, so overwhelmed with sorrow a few days before,
now attends to her toilet and puts on her jewelry. A father becomes bankrupt through the
marriage of his daughters, yet he goes on having children year after year. People are ruined
by litigation, yet they go to court all the same. There are men who cannot feed the children
they have, who cannot clothe them or provide decent shelter for them; yet they have more
children every year.

"Again, the worldly man is like a snake trying to swallow a mole. The snake can neither
swallow the mole nor give it up. The bound soul may have realized that there is no
substance to the world-that the world is like a hog plum, only stone and skin-but still he
cannot give it up and turn his mind to God.

"I once met a relative of Keshab Sen, fifty years old. He was playing cards. As if the time
had not yet come for him to think of God!

"There is another characteristic of the bound soul. If you remove him from his worldly
surroundings to a spiritual environment, he will pine away. The worm that grows in filth
feels very happy there. It thrives in filth. It will die if you put it in a pot of rice."
All remained silent.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 06, 2012, 05:56:34 AM
Bondage removed by strong renunciation

VIJAY: "What must the bound soul's condition of mind be in order to achieve liberation?"

MASTER: "He can free himself from attachment to 'woman and gold' if, by the grace of
God, he cultivates a spirit of strong renunciation. What is this strong renunciation? One
who has only a mild spirit of renunciation says, 'Well, all will happen in the course of time;
let me now simply repeat the name of God.' But a man possessed of a strong spirit of
renunciation feels restless for God, as the mother feels for her own child. A man of strong
renunciation seeks nothing but God. He regards the world as a deep well and feels as if he
were going to be drowned in it. He looks on his relatives as venomous snakes; he wants to
fly away from them. And he does go away. He never thinks, 'Let me first make some
arrangement for my family and then I shall think of God.' He has great inward resolution.

Parable of the two farmers

"Let me tell you a story about strong renunciation. At one time there was a drought in a
certain part of the country. The farmers began to cut long channels to bring water to their
fields. One farmer was stubbornly determined. He took a vow that he would not stop
digging until the channel connected his field with the river. He set to work. The time came
for his bath, and his wife sent their daughter to him with oil. 'Father,' said the girl, 'it is
already late. Rub your body with oil and take your bath.' 'Go away!' thundered the farmer. 'I
have too much to do now.' It was past midday, and the farmer was still at work in his field.
He didn't even think of his bath. Then his wife came and said: 'Why haven't you taken your
bath? The food is getting cold. You overdo everything. You can finish the rest tomorrow or
even today after dinner.' The farmer scolded her furiously and ran at her, spade in hand,
crying: 'What? Have you no sense? There's no rain. The crops are dying. What will the
children eat? You'll all starve to death. I have taken a vow not to think of bath and food
today before I bring water to my field.' The wife saw his state of mind and ran away in fear.
Through a whole day's back-breaking labour the farmer managed by evening to connect his
field with the river. Then he sat down and watched the water flowing into his field with a
murmuring sound. His mind was filled with peace and joy. He went home, called his wife,
and said to her, 'Now give me some oil and prepare me a smoke.' With serene mind he
finished his bath and meal, and retired to bed, where he snored to his heart's content. The
determination he showed is an example of strong renunciation.

"Now, there was another farmer who was also digging a channel to bring water to his field.
His wife, too, came to the field and said to him: 'It's very late. Come home. It isn't
necessary to overdo things.' The farmer didn't protest much, but put aside his spade and said
to his wife, 'Well, I'll go home since you ask me to.' (All laugh) That man never succeeded
in irrigating his field. This is a case of mild renunciation.

"As without strong determination the farmer cannot bring water to his field, so also without
intense yearning a man cannot realize God. (To Vijay) Why don't you come here now as
frequently as before?"

VIJAY: "Sir, I wish to very much, but I am not free. I have accepted work in the Brahmo
Samaj."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 08, 2012, 06:59:26 AM
Attachment to "woman" creates bondage

MASTER: "It is 'woman and gold' that binds man and robs him of his freedom. It is woman
that creates the need for gold. For woman one man becomes the slave of another, and so
loses his freedom. Then he cannot act as he likes.

Story of Govindaji's priests

"The priests in the temple of Govindaji at Jaipur were celibates at first, and at that time they
had fiery natures. Once the King of Jaipur sent for them, but they didn't obey him. They
said to the messenger, 'Ask the king to come to see us.' After consultation, the king and his
ministers arranged marriages for them. From then on the king didn't have to send for them.
They would come to him of themselves and say: 'Your Majesty, we have come with our
blessings. Here are the sacred flowers of the temple. Deign to accept them.' They came to
the palace, for now they always wanted money for one thing or another: the building of a
house, the rice-taking ceremony of their babies, or the rituals connected with the beginning
of their children's education.

Story of twelve hundred nedas

"There is the story of the twelve hundred nedas and thirteen hundred nedis. Virabhadra, the
son of Nityananda Goswami, had thirteen hundred 'shaven-headed' disciples. They attained
great spiritual powers. That alarmed their teacher. 'My disciples have acquired great
spiritual powers', thought Virabhadra. 'Whatever they say to people will come to pass.
Wherever they go they may create alarming situations; for people offending them
unwittingly will come to grief.' Thinking thus, Virabhadra one day called them to him and
said, 'See me after performing your daily devotions on the bank of the Ganges.' These
disciples had such a high spiritual nature that, while meditating, they would go into
samadhi and be unaware of the river water flowing over their heads during the flood-tide.
Then the ebb-tide would come and still they would remain absorbed in meditation.
"Now, one hundred of these disciples had anticipated what their teacher would ask of them.
Lest they should have to disobey his injunctions, they had quickly disappeared from the
place before he summoned them. So they did not go to Virabhadra with the others. The
remaining twelve hundred disciples went to the teacher after finishing their meditation.
Virabhadra said to them: 'These thirteen hundred nuns will serve you. I ask you to marry
them.' 'As you please, revered sir', they said. 'But one hundred of us have gone away.'
Thenceforth each of these twelve hundred disciples had a wife. Consequently they all lost
their spiritual power. Their austerities did not have their original fire. The company of
woman robbed them of their spirituality because it destroyed their freedom".

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 08, 2012, 07:01:33 AM
Degrading effect of serving others

(To Vijay) "You yourself perceive how far you have gone down by being a servant of
others. Again, one finds that people with many university degrees, scholars with their vast
English education, accept service under their English masters and are daily trampled under
their boots. The one cause of all this is woman. They have married and set up a 'gay fair'
with their wives and children. Now they cannot go back, much as they would like to. Hence
all these insults and humiliations, all this suffering from slavery.

"Once a man realizes God through intense dispassion, he is no longer attached to woman.
Even if he must lead the life of a householder, he is free from fear of and attachment to
woman. Suppose there are two magnets, one big and the other small. Which one will attract
the iron? The big one, of course. God is the big magnet. Compared to Him, woman is a
small one. What can 'woman' do?"

Worshipping woman as Divine Mother

A DEVOTEE: "Sir, shall we hate women then?"

MASTER: "He who has realized God does not look upon a woman with the eye of lust; so
he is not afraid of her. He perceives clearly that women are but so many aspects of the
Divine Mother. He worships them all as the Mother Herself."

(To Vijay) "Come here now and then. I like to see you very much."

VIJAY: "I have to do my various duties in the Brahmo Samaj; that is why I can't always
come here. But I shall visit you whenever I find it possible."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 09, 2012, 08:48:47 AM
Difficulties of preaching

MASTER (to Vijay): "The task of a religious teacher is indeed difficult. One cannot teach
men without a direct command from God. People won't listen to you if you teach without
such authority. Such teaching has no force behind it. One must first of all attain God
through spiritual discipline or some other means. Thus armed with authority from God, one
can deliver lectures.

"After receiving the command from God, one can be a teacher and give lectures anywhere.
He who receives authority from God also receives power from Him. Only then can he
perform the difficult task of a teacher.

"An insignificant tenant was once engaged in a lawsuit with a big landlord. People realized
that there was a powerful man behind the tenant. Perhaps another big landlord was
directing the case from behind. Man is an insignificant creature. He cannot fulfil the
difficult task of a teacher without receiving power direct from God."

VIJAY: "Don't the teachings of the Brahmo Samaj bring men salvation?"

MASTER: "How is it ever possible for one man to liberate another from the bondage of the
world? God alone, the Creator of this world-bewitching maya, can save men from maya.
There is no other refuge but that great Teacher, Satchidananda. How is it ever possible for
men who have not realized God or received His command, and who are not strengthened
with divine strength, to save others from the prison-house of the world?

"One day as I was passing the Panchavati on my way to the pine-grove, I heard a bullfrog
croaking. I thought it must have been seized by a snake. After some time, as I was coming
back, I could still hear its terrified croaking. I looked to see what was the matter, and found
that a water-snake had seized it. The snake could neither swallow it nor give it up. So there
was no end to the frog's suffering. I thought that had it been seized by a cobra it would have
been silenced after three croaks at the most. As it was only a water-snake, both of them had
to go through this agony. A man's ego is destroyed after three croaks, as it were, if he gets
into the clutches of a real teacher. But if the teacher is an 'unripe' one, then both the teacher
and the disciple undergo endless suffering. The disciple cannot get rid either of his ego or
of the shackles of the world. If a disciple falls into the clutches of an incompetent teacher,
he doesn't attain liberation."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 10, 2012, 06:12:08 AM
Ego alone the cause of bondage

VIJAY: "Sir, why are we bound like this? Why don't we see God?"

MASTER: "Maya is nothing but the egotism of the embodied soul. This egotism has
covered everything like a veil. 'All troubles come to an end when the ego dies.' If by the
grace of God a man but once realizes that he is not the doer, then he at once becomes a
Jivanmukta. Though living in the body, he is liberated. He has nothing else to fear.
"This maya, that is to say, the ego, is like a cloud. The sun cannot be seen on account of a
thin patch of cloud; when that disappears one sees the sun. If by the grace of the guru one's
ego vanishes, then one sees God.

"Rama, who is God Himself, was only two and a half cubits ahead of Lakshmana. But
Lakshmana couldn't see Him because Sita stood between them. Lakshmana may be
compared to the jiva, and Sita to maya. Man cannot see God on account of the barrier of
maya. Just look: I am creating a barrier in front of my face with this towel. Now you can't
see me, even though I am so near. Likewise, God is the nearest of all, but we cannot see
Him on account of this covering of maya.

Maya creates upadhis

"The jiva is nothing but the embodiment of Satchidananda. But since maya, or ego, has
created various upadhis, he has forgotten his real Self.

"Each upadhi changes man's nature. If he wears a fine black-bordered cloth, you will at
once find him humming Nidhu Babu's love-songs. Then playing-cards and a walking-stick
follow. If even a sickly man puts on high boots, he begins to whistle and climbs the stairs
like an Englishman, jumping from one step to another. If a man but holds a pen in his hand,
he scribbles on any paper he can get hold of-such is the power of the pen!

"Money is also a great upadhi. The possession of money makes such a difference in a man!
He is no longer the same person. A brahmin used to frequent the temple garden. Outwardly
he was very modest. One day I went to Konnagar with Hriday. No sooner did we get off the
boat than we noticed the brahmin seated on the bank of the Ganges. We thought he had
been enjoying the fresh air. Looking at us, he said: 'Hello there, priest! How do you do?' I
marked his tone and said to Hriday: 'The man must have got some money. That's why he
talks that way.' Hriday laughed.

"A frog had a rupee, which he kept in his hole. One day an elephant was going over the
hole, and the frog, coming out in a fit of anger, raised his foot, as if to kick the elephant,
and said, 'How dare you walk over my head?' Such is the pride that money begets!

"One can get rid of the ego after the attainment of Knowledge. On attaining Knowledge one
goes into samadhi, and the ego disappears. But it is very difficult to obtain such
Knowledge.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 11, 2012, 06:41:57 AM
Seven planes of the mind

"It is said in the Vedas that a man experiences samadhi when his mind ascends to the
seventh plane. The ego can disappear only when one goes into samadhi. Where does the
mind of a man ordinarily dwell? In the first three planes. These are at the organs of
evacuation and generation, and at the navel. Then the mind is immersed only in
worldliness, attached to 'woman and gold'. A man sees the light of God when his mind
dwells in the plane of the heart. He sees the light and exclaims: 'Ah! What is this? What is
this?' The next plane is at the throat. When the mind dwells there he likes to hear and talk
only of God. When the mind ascends to the next plane, in the forehead, between the
eyebrows, he sees the form of Satchidānanda and desires to touch and embrace It. But he is
unable to do so. It is like the light in a lantern, which you can see but cannot touch. You
feel as if you were touching the light, but in reality you are not. When the mind reaches the
seventh plane, then the ego vanishes completely and the man goes into samadhi."

Indescribability of highest plane

VIJAY: "What does a man see when he attains the Knowledge of Brahman after reaching
the seventh plane?"

MASTER: "What happens when the mind reaches the seventh plane cannot be described.
"Once a boat enters the 'black waters' of the ocean, it does not return. Nobody knows what
happens to the boat after that. Therefore the boat cannot give us any information about the
ocean.

"Once a salt doll went to measure the depth of the ocean. No sooner did it enter the water
than it melted. Now who could tell how deep the ocean was? That which could have told
about its depth had melted. Reaching the seventh plane, the mind is annihilated; man goes
into samadhi. What he feels then cannot be described in words".

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 12, 2012, 07:45:44 AM
The "wicked I"

"The 'I' that makes one a worldly person and attaches one to 'woman and gold' is the
'wicked I'. The intervention of this ego creates the difference between jiva and Atman.
Water appears to be divided into two parts if one puts a stick across it. But in reality there is
only one water. It appears as two on account of the stick. This 'I' is the stick. Remove the
stick and there remains only one water as before.

"Now, what is this 'wicked I'? It is the ego that says: 'What? Don't they know me? I have so
much money! Who is wealthier than I?' If a thief robs such a man of only ten rupees, first
of all he wrings the money out of the thief, then he gives him a good beating. But the matter
doesn't end there: the thief is handed over to the police and is eventually sent to jail. The
'wicked I' says: 'What? Doesn't the rogue know whom he has robbed? To steal my ten
rupees! How dare he?' "

VIJAY: "If without destroying the 'I' a man cannot get rid of attachment to the world and
consequently cannot experience samadhi, then it would be wise for him to follow the path
of Brahmajnana to attain samadhi. If the 'I' persists in the path of devotion, then one should
rather choose the path of knowledge."


The "servant I"

MASTER: "It is true that one or two can get rid of the 'I' through samadhi; but these cases
are very rare. You may indulge in thousands of reasonings, but still the 'I' comes back. You
may cut the peepal-tree to the very root today, but you will notice a sprout springing up
tomorrow. Therefore if the 'I' must remain, let the rascal remain as the 'servant I'. As long as
you live, you should say, 'O God, Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant.' The 'I' that
feels, 'I am the servant of God, I am His devotee' does not injure one. Sweet things cause
acidity of the stomach, no doubt, but sugar candy is an exception.

The path of knowledge is very difficult. One cannot obtain Knowledge unless one gets rid
of the feeling that one is the body. In the Kaliyuga the life of man is centred on food. He
cannot get rid of the feeling that he is the body and the ego. Therefore the path of devotion
is prescribed for this cycle.

This is an easy path. You will attain God if you sing His name and glories and pray to Him
with a longing heart. There is not the least doubt about it
.

Suppose you draw a line on the surface of water with a bamboo stick. The water appears
to be divided into two parts; but the line doesn't remain for any length of time. The 'servant
I'or the 'devotee I' or the 'child I' is only a line drawn with the ego and is not real
"

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 13, 2012, 06:26:12 AM
The "ego of a devotee"

VIJAY (to the Master): "Sir, you ask us to renounce the 'wicked I'. Is there any harm in the
'servant I'?"

MASTER: "The 'servant I'-that is, the feeling, 'I am the servant of God, I am the devotee of
God'-does not injure one. On the contrary, it helps one to realize God
."

VIJAY: "Well, sir, what becomes of the lust, anger, and other passions of one who keeps
the 'servant I'?"

MASTER: "If a man truly feels like that, then he has only the semblance of lust, anger, and
the like. If, after attaining God, he looks on himself as the servant or the devotee of God,
then he cannot injure anyone. By touching the philosopher's stone a sword is turned into
gold. It keeps the appearance of a sword but cannot injure.

"When the dry branch of a coconut palm drops to the ground, it leaves only a mark on the
trunk indicating that once there was a branch at that place. In like manner, he who has
attained God keeps only an appearance of ego; there remains in him only a semblance of
anger and lust. He becomes like a child. A child has no attachment to the three gunassattva,
rajas, and tamas. He becomes as quickly detached from a thing as he becomes
attached to it. You can cajole him out of a cloth worth five rupees with a doll worth an
anna, though at first he may say with great determination: 'No, I won't give it to you. My
daddy bought it for me.' Again, all persons are the same to a child. He has no feeling of
high and low in regard to persons. So he doesn't discriminate about caste. If his mother tells
him that a particular man should be regarded as an elder brother, the child will eat from the
same plate with him, though the man may belong to the low caste of a blacksmith. The
child doesn't know hate, or what is holy or unholy.

"Even after attaining samadhi, some retain the 'servant ego' or the 'devotee ego'. The bhakta
keeps this 'I-consciousness'. He says, 'O God, Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant;
Thou art the Lord and I am Thy devotee.' He feels that way even after the realization of
God. His 'I' is not completely effaced. Again, by constantly practising this kind of 'Iconsciousness',
one ultimately attains God. This is called bhaktiyoga
.

"One can attain the Knowledge of Brahman, too, by following the path of bhakti. God is
all-powerful. He may give His devotee Brahmajnana also, if He so wills. But the devotee
generally doesn't seek the Knowledge of the Absolute. He would rather have the
consciousness that God is the Master and he the servant, or that God is the Divine Mother
and he the child."


Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 14, 2012, 07:28:22 AM
Path of bhakti is easy

VIJAY: "But those who discriminate according to the Vedanta philosophy also realize Him
in the end, don't they?"

MASTER: "Yes, one may reach Him by following the path of discrimination too: that is
called Jnanayoga. But it is an extremely difficult path. I have told you already of the seven
planes of consciousness. On reaching the seventh plane the mind goes into samadhi. If a
man acquires the firm knowledge that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory, then his
mind merges in samadhi
. But in the Kaliyuga the life of a man depends entirely on food.
How can he have the consciousness that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory? In
the Kaliyuga it is difficult to have the feeling, 'I am not the body, I am not the mind, I am
not the twenty-four cosmic principles; I am beyond pleasure and pain, I am above disease
and grief, old age and death.' However you may reason and argue, the feeling that the body
is identical with the soul will somehow crop up from an unexpected quarter. You may cut a
peepal-tree to the ground and think it is dead to its very root, but the next morning you will
find a new sprout shooting up from the dead stump. One cannot get rid of this identification
with the body
; therefore the path of bhakti is best for the people of the Kaliyuga. It is an
easy path.

"And, 'I don't want to become sugar; I want to eat it.' I never feel like saying, 'I am
Brahman.' I say, 'Thou art my Lord and I am Thy servant.' It is better to make the mind go
up and down between the fifth and sixth planes, like a boat racing between two points. I
don't want to go beyond the sixth plane and keep my mind a long time in the seventh. My
desire is to sing the name and glories of God. It is very good to look on God as the Master
and oneself as His servant. Further, you see, people speak of the waves as belonging to the
Ganges; but no one says that the Ganges belongs to the waves. The feeling, 'I am He', is not
wholesome. A man who entertains such an idea, while looking on his body as the Self,
causes himself great harm. He cannot go forward in spiritual life; he drags himself down.
He deceives himself as well as others. He cannot understand his own state of mind."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 15, 2012, 06:46:34 AM
Prema-bhakti
"But it isn't any and every kind of bhakti that enables one to realize God. One cannot
realize God without prema-bhakti. Another name for prema-bhakti is raga-bhakti. God
cannot be realized without love and longing. Unless one has learnt to love God, one cannot
realize Him.

"There is another kind of bhakti, known as vaidhi-bhakti, according to which one must
repeat the name of God a fixed number of times, fast, make pilgrimages, worship God with
prescribed offerings, make so many sacrifices, and so forth and so on. By continuing such
practices a long time one gradually acquires raga-bhakti. God cannot be realized until one
has raga-bhakti. One must love God. In order to realize God one must be completely free
from worldliness and direct all of one's mind to Him
.

"But some acquire raga-bhakti directly. It is innate in them. They have it from their very
childhood. Even at an early age they weep for God. An instance of such bhakti is to be
found in Prahlada. Vaidhi-bhakti is like moving a fan to make a breeze. One needs the fan
to make the breeze. Similarly, one practises japa, austerity, and fasting, in order to acquire
love of God. But the fan is set aside when the southern breeze blows of itself.
Such actions as japa and austerity drop away when one spontaneously feels love and
attachment for God. Who, indeed, will perform the ceremonies enjoined in the scriptures,
when mad with love of God
?

"Devotion to God may be said to be 'green' so long as it doesn't grow into love of God; but
it becomes 'ripe' when it has grown into such love.

"A man with 'green' bhakti cannot assimilate spiritual talk and instruction; but one with
'ripe' bhakti can. The image that falls on a photographic plate covered with black film is
retained. On the other hand, thousands of images may be reflected on a bare piece of glass,
but not one of them is retained. As the object moves away, the glass becomes the same as it
was before. One cannot assimilate spiritual instruction unless one has already developed
love of God."


Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 16, 2012, 07:19:14 AM
VIJAY: "Is bhakti alone sufficient for the attainment of God, for His vision?"

MASTER: "Yes, one can see God through bhakti alone. But it must be 'ripe' bhakti, premabhakti
and raga-bhakti. When one has that bhakti, one loves God even as the mother loves
the child, the child the mother, or the wife the husband.

"When one has such love and attachment for God, one doesn't feel the attraction of maya to
wife, children, relatives, and friends. One retains only compassion for them. To such a man
the world appears a strange land, a place where he has merely to perform his duties. It is
like a man's having his real home in the country, but coming to Calcutta for work; he has to
rent a house in Calcutta for the sake of his duties. When one develops love of God, one
completely gets rid of one's attachment to the world and worldly wisdom
.

"One cannot see God if one has even the slightest trace of worldliness. Match-sticks, if
damp, won't strike fire though you rub a thousand of them against the match-box. You only
waste a heap of sticks. The mind soaked in worldliness is such a damp match-stick
. Once
Sri Radha said to her friends that she saw Krishna everywhere-both within and without.
The friends answered: 'Why, we don't see Him at all. Are you delirious?' Radha said,
'Friends, paint your eyes with the collyrium of divine love, and then you will see Him.'

(To Vijay) "It is said in a song of your Brahmo Samaj:
O Lord, is it ever possible to know Thee without love,
However much one may perform worship and sacrifice?
"If the devotee but once feels this attachment and ecstatic love for God, this mature
devotion and longing, then he sees God in both His aspects, with form and without form."


Purity of heart

VIJAY: "How can one see God?"

MASTER: "One cannot see God without purity of heart. Through attachment to 'woman
and gold' the mind has become stained-covered with dirt, as it were. A magnet cannot
attract a needle if the needle is covered with mud. Wash away the mud and the magnet will
draw it. Likewise, the dirt of the mind can be washed away with the tears of our eyes.
This
stain is removed if one sheds tears of repentance and says, 'O God, I shall never again do
such a thing.' Thereupon God, who is like the magnet, draws to Himself the mind, which is
like the needle. Then the devotee goes into samadhi and obtains the vision of God."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 17, 2012, 05:52:49 AM
God's grace is the ultimate help

"You may try thousands of times, but nothing can be achieved without God's grace. One
cannot see God without His grace. Is it an easy thing to receive the grace of God? One must
altogether renounce egotism; one cannot see God as long as one feels, 'I am the doer.'
Suppose, in a family, a man has taken charge of the store-room; then if someone asks the
master, 'Sir, will you yourself kindly give me something from the store-room?', the master
says to him: 'There is already someone in the store-room. What can I do there?'

"God doesn't easily appear in the heart of a man who feels himself to be his own master.
But God can be seen the moment His grace descends. He is the Sun of Knowledge. One
single ray of His has illumined the world with the light of knowledge. That is how we are
able to see one another and acquire varied knowledge. One can see God only if He turns
His light toward His own face.

"The police sergeant goes his rounds in the dark of night with a lantern in his hand. No one
sees his face; but with the help of that light the sergeant sees everybody's face, and others,
too, can see one another. If you want to see the sergeant, however, you must pray to him:
'Sir, please turn the light on your own face. Let me see you.' In the same way one must pray
to God: 'O Lord, be gracious and turn the light of knowledge on Thyself, that I may see Thy
face.'

"A house without light indicates poverty. So one must light the lamp of Knowledge in one's
heart. As it is said in a song:
Lighting the lamp of Knowledge in the chamber of your heart,
Behold the face of the Mother, Brahman's Embodiment."

As Vijay had brought medicine with him, the Master asked a devotee to give him some
water. He was indeed a fountain of infinite compassion. He had arranged for Vijay's boat
fare, since the latter was too poor to pay it. Vijay, Balaram, M., and the other devotees left
for Calcutta in a country boat.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 18, 2012, 07:38:20 AM
Monday, January 1, 1883

At eight o'clock in the morning Sri Ramakrishna was seated on a mat spread on the floor of
his room at Dakshineswar. Since it was a cold day, he had wrapped his body in his
moleskin shawl. Prankrishna and M. were seated in front of him. Rakhal, too, was in the
room. Prankrishna was a high government official and lived in Calcutta. Since he had had
no offspring by his first wife, with her permission he had married a second time. By the
second wife he had a son. Because he was rather stout, the Master addressed him now and
then as "the fat brahmin". He had great respect for Sri Ramakrishna. Though a householder,
Prankrishna studied the Vedanta and had been heard to say: "Brahman alone is real and the
world illusory. I am He." The Master used to say to him: "In the Kaliyuga the life of a man
depends on food. The path of devotion prescribed by Narada is best for this age."

A devotee had brought a basket of jilipi for the Master, which the latter kept by his side.
Eating a bit of the sweets, he said to Prankrishna with a smile: "You see, I chant the name
of the Divine Mother; so I get all these good things to eat.
(Laughter.) But She doesn't give
such fruits as gourd or pumpkin. She bestows the fruit of Amrita, Immortality-knowledge,
love, discrimination, renunciation, and so forth
."

A boy six or seven years old entered the room. The Master himself became like a child. He
covered the contents of the basket with the palm or his hand, as a child does to conceal
sweets from another child lest the latter should snatch them. Then he put the basket aside.
Suddenly the Master went into samadhi and sat thus a long time. His body was transfixed,
his eyes wide open and unwinking, his breathing hardly perceptible. After a long time he
drew a deep breath, indicating his return to the world of sense.

Vision of Divine Mother

MASTER (to Prankrishna): "My Divine Mother is not only formless, She has forms as
well. One can see Her forms. One can behold Her incomparable beauty through feeling and
love. The Mother reveals Herself to Her devotees in different forms.

"I saw Her yesterday. She was clad in a seamless ochre-coloured garment, and She talked
with me."

"She came to me another day as a Mussalman girl six or seven years old. She had a tilak on
her forehead and was naked. She walked with me, joking and frisking like a child."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 19, 2012, 06:42:48 AM
"At Hriday's house I had a vision of Gauranga. He wore a black-bordered cloth.

"Haladhari used to say that God is beyond both Being and Non-being. I told the Mother
about it and asked Her, 'Then is the divine form an illusion?' The Divine Mother appeared
to me in the form of Rati's mother and said, 'Do thou remain in bhava.' I repeated this to
Haladhari.
Now and then I forget Her command and suffer. Once I broke my teeth because
I didn't remain in bhava. So I shall remain in bhava unless I receive a revelation from
heaven or have a direct experience to the contrary. I shall follow the path of love. What do
you say?"

PRANKRISHNA: "Yes, sir."

MASTER: "But why should I ask you about it? There is Someone within me who does all
these things through me
. At times I used to remain in a mood of Godhood and would enjoy
no peace of mind unless I were being worshipped.

"I am the machine and God is the Operator. I act as He makes me act. I speak as He makes
me speak. Keep your raft, says Ramprasad, afloat on the sea of life, Drifting up with the
flood-tide, drifting down with the ebb.

"It is like the cast-off leaf before a gale; sometimes it is blown to a good place and
sometimes into the gutter, according to the direction of the wind.

"As the weaver said in the story: 'The robbery was committed by the will of Rama, I was
arrested by the police by the will of Rama, and again, by the will of Rama, I was set free.'
"Hanuman once said to Rama: 'O Rama, I have taken refuge in Thee. Bless me that I may
have pure devotion to Thy Lotus Feet and that I may not be caught in the spell of Thy
world-bewitching maya.'

"Once a dying bullfrog said to Rama: 'O Rama, when caught by a snake I cry for Your
protection. But now I am about to die, struck by Your arrow. Hence I am silent.'

God's nature like that of a child

"I used to see God directly with these very eyes, just as I see you. Now I see divine visions
in trance.

"After realizing God a man becomes like a child. One acquires the nature of the object one
meditates upon. The nature of God is like that of a child. As a child builds up his toy house
and then breaks it down, so God acts while creating, preserving, and destroying the
universe. Further, as the child is not under the control of any guna, so God is beyond the
three gunas-sattva, rajas, and tamas. That is why paramahamsas keep five or ten children
with them, that they may assume their nature."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 20, 2012, 07:28:52 AM
Sitting on the floor in the room was a young man from Agarpara about twenty-two years
old. Whenever he came to the temple garden, he would take the Master aside, by a sign,
and whisper his thoughts to him. He was a new-comer. That day he was sitting on the floor
near the Master.

MASTER (to the young man): "A man can change his nature by imitating another's
character. He can get rid of a passion like lust by assuming the feminine mood. He
gradually comes to act exactly like a woman. I have noticed that men who take female parts
in the theatre speak like women or brush their teeth like women while bathing. Come again
on a Tuesday or Saturday.

(To Prankrishna) "Brahman and Sakti are inseparable. Unless you accept Sakti, you will
find the whole universe unreal-'I', 'you', house, buildings, and family. The world stands
solid because the Primordial Energy stands behind it.
If there is no supporting pole, no
framework can be made, and without the framework there can be no beautiful image of
Durga.


"Without giving up worldliness a man cannot awaken his spiritual consciousness, nor can
he realize God. He cannot but be a hypocrite as long as he has even a trace of worldly
desire. God cannot be realized without guilelessness.

Cherish love within your heart; abandon cunning and deceit: Through service, worship,
selflessness, does Rama's blessed vision come
.

Even those engaged in worldly activities, such as office work or business, should hold to
the truth. Truthfulness alone is the spiritual discipline in the Kaliyuga."


PRANKRISHNA: "Yes, sir. It is said in the Mahanirvana Tantra: 'O Goddess, this religion
enjoins it upon one to be truthful, self-controlled, devoted to the welfare of others,
unagitated, and compassionate.'"

MASTER: "Yes. But these ideas must be assimilated."

Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on the small couch. He was in an ecstatic mood and looked at
Rakhal. Suddenly he was filled with the tender feeling of parental love toward his young
disciple and spiritual child. Presently he went into samadhi. The devotees sat speechless,
looking at the Master with wondering eyes.

Regaining partial consciousness, the Master said: "Why is my spiritual feeling kindled at
the sight of Rakhal? The more you advance toward God, the less you will see of His glories
and grandeur. The aspirant at first has a vision of the Goddess with ten arms; there is a
great display of power in that image. The next vision is that of the Deity with two arms;
there are no longer ten arms holding various weapons and missiles. Then the aspirant has a
vision of Gopala, in which there is no trace of power. It is the form of a tender child.
Beyond that there are other visions also. The aspirant then sees only Light.
"Reasoning and discrimination vanish after the attainment of God and communion with
Him in samadhi. How long does a man reason and discriminate? As long as he is conscious
of the manifold, as long as he is aware of the universe, of embodied beings, of 'I' and 'you'.
He becomes silent when he is truly aware of Unity. This was the case with Trailanga
Swami
.

"Have you watched a feast given to the brahmins? At first there is a great uproar. But the
noise lessens as their stomachs become more and more filled with food. When the last
course of curd and sweets is served, one hears only the sound 'soop, soop' as they scoop up
the curd in their hands. There is no other sound. Next is the stage of sleep-samadhi. There is
no more uproar.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 21, 2012, 07:10:55 AM
(To M. and Prankrishna) "Many people talk of Brahmajnana, but their minds are always
preoccupied with lower things: house, buildings, money, name, and sense pleasures. As
long as you stand at the foot of the Monument, so long do you see horses, carriages,
Englishmen, and Englishwomen. But when you climb to its top, you behold the sky and the
ocean stretching to infinity. Then you do not enjoy buildings, carriages, horses, or men.
They look like ants.

"All such things as attachment to the world and enthusiasm for 'woman and gold' disappear
after the attainment of the Knowledge of Brahman. Then comes the cessation of all
passions. When the log burns, it makes a crackling noise and one sees the flame. But when
the burning is over and only ash remains, then no more noise is heard. Thirst disappears
with the destruction of attachment. Finally comes peace.

"The nearer you come to God, the more you feel peace. Peace, peace, peace-supreme
peace! The nearer you come to the Ganges, the more you feel its coolness. You will feel
completely soothed when you plunge into the river.

"But the universe and its created beings, and the twenty-four cosmic principles, all exist
because God exists. Nothing remains if God is eliminated. The number increases if you put
many zeros after the figure one; but the zeros don't have any value if the one is not there."

The Master continued: "There are some who come down, as it were, after attaining the
Knowledge of Brahman-after samadhi-and retain the 'ego of Knowledge' or the 'ego of
Devotion', just as there are people who, of their own sweet will, stay in the market-place
after the market breaks up. This was the case with sages like Narada. They kept the 'ego of
Devotion' for the purpose of teaching men. Sankaracharya kept the 'ego of Knowledge' for
the same purpose
.

"God cannot be realized if there is the slightest attachment to the things of the world. A
thread cannot pass through the eye of a needle if the tiniest fibre sticks out.

"The anger and lust of a man who has realized God are only appearances. They are like a
burnt string. It looks like a string, but a mere puff blows it away.

"God is realized as soon as the mind becomes free from attachment. Whatever appears in
the Pure Mind is the voice of God. That which is Pure Mind is also Pure Buddhi; that,
again, is Pure Atman, because there is nothing pure but God. But in order to realize God
one must go beyond dharma and adharma."

The Master sang in his melodious voice:
Come, let us go for a walk, O mind, to Kali, the Wish-fulfilling Tree,
And there beneath It gather the four fruits of life. . . .

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 22, 2012, 06:48:09 AM
Sri Ramakrishna went out on the southeast verandah of his room and sat down. Prankrishna
and the other devotees accompanied him. Hazra, too, was sitting there. The Master said to
Prankrishna with a smile: "Hazra is not a man to be trifled with. If one finds the big dargah
here, then Hazra is the smaller dargah." All laughed at the Master's words. A certain
gentleman, Navakumar by name, came to the door and stood there. At sight of the devotees
he immediately left. "Oh! Egotism incarnate!" Sri Ramakrishna remarked.

About half past nine in the morning Prankrishna took leave of the Master. Soon afterwards
a minstrel sang some devotional songs to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument. The
Master was listening to the songs when Kedar Chatterji, a householder devotee, entered the
room clad in his office clothes. He was a man of devotional temperament and cherished the
attitude of the gopis of Vrindavan. Words about God would make him weep.

The sight of Kedar awakened in the Master's mind the episode of Vrindavan in Sri
Krishna's life. Intoxicated with divine love, the Master stood up and sang, addressing
Kedar:
Tell me, friend, how far is the grove
Where Krishna, my Beloved, dwells?
His fragrance reaches me even here;
But I am tired and can walk no farther. . . .

Sri Ramakrishna assumed the attitude of Sri Radha to Krishna and went into deep samadhi
while singing the song. He stood there, still as a picture on canvas, with tears of divine joy
running down his cheeks.

Kedar knelt before the Master. Touching his feet, he chanted a hymn:

We worship the Brahman-Consciousness in the Lotus of the Heart,
The Undifferentiated, who is adored by Hari, Hara, and Brahma;
Who is attained by yogis in the depths of their meditation;
The Scatterer of the fear of birth and death,
The Essence of Knowledge and Truth, the Primal Seed of the world.

After a time the Master regained consciousness of the relative world. Soon Kedar took his
leave and returned to his office in Calcutta.

At midday Ramlal brought the Master a plate of food that had been offered in the Kali
temple. Like a child he ate a little of everything.

Later in the afternoon several Marwari devotees entered the Master's room, where Rakhal
and M. also were seated.
A MARWARI DEVOTEE: "Sir, what is the way?"

Two ways of God-realization

MASTER: "There are two ways. One is the path of discrimination, the other is that of love.
Discrimination means to know the distinction between the Real and the unreal. God alone
is the real and permanent Substance; all else is illusory and impermanent. The magician
alone is real; his magic is illusory. This is discrimination.

"Discrimination and renunciation. Discrimination means to know the distinction between
the Real and the unreal. Renunciation means to have dispassion for the things of the world.
One cannot acquire them all of a sudden. They must be practised every day. One should
renounce 'woman and gold' mentally at first. Then, by the will of God, one can renounce it
both mentally and outwardly. It is impossible to ask the people of Calcutta to renounce all
for the sake of God. One has to tell them to renounce mentally."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 23, 2012, 07:25:50 AM
Constant practice urged
"Through the discipline of constant practice one is able to give up attachment to 'woman
and gold'. That is what the Gita says. By practice one acquires uncommon power of mind.
Then one doesn't find it difficult to subdue the sense-organs and to bring anger, lust, and
the like under control. Such a man behaves like a tortoise, which, once it has tucked in its
limbs, never puts them out. You cannot make the tortoise put its limbs out again, though
you chop it to pieces with an axe."


MARWARI DEVOTEE: "Revered sir, you just mentioned two paths. What is the other
path?"

MASTER: "The path of bhakti, or zealous love of God. Weep for God in solitude, with a
restless soul, and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Cry to your Mother Syama with a real
cry, O mind! And how can She hold Herself from you? "

MARWARI DEVOTEE: "Sir, what is the meaning of the worship of the Personal God?
And what is the meaning of God without form or attribute?"

MASTER: "As you recall your father by his photograph, so likewise the worship of the
image reveals in a flash the nature of Reality
.

"Do you know what God with form is like? Like bubbles rising on an expanse of water,
various divine forms are seen to rise out of the Great akasa of Consciousness. The
Incarnation of God is one of these forms. The Primal Energy sports, as it were, through the
activities of a Divine Incarnation.

"What is there in mere scholarship? God can be attained by crying to Him with a longing
heart. There is no need to know many things.


"He who is an acharya has to know different things. One needs a sword and shield to kill
others; but to kill oneself, a needle or a nail-knife suffices.

"One ultimately discovers God by trying to know who this 'I' is. Is this 'I' the flesh, the
bones, the blood, or the marrow? Is it the mind or the buddhi? Analysing thus, you realize
at last that you are none of these. This is called the process of 'Neti, neti', 'Not this, not this'.

One can neither comprehend nor touch the Atman. It is without qualities or attributes.
"But, according to the path of devotion, God has attributes. To a devotee Krishna is Spirit,
His Abode is Spirit, and everything about Him is Spirit."

The Marwari devotees saluted the Master and took their leave.

At the approach of evening Sri Ramakrishna went out to look at the sacred river. The lamp
was lighted in his room. The Master chanted the hallowed name of the Divine Mother and
meditated on Her. Then the evening worship began in the various temples. The sound of
gongs, floating on the air, mingled with the murmuring voice of the river. Peace and
blessedness reigned everywhere.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 24, 2012, 09:16:19 AM
Chapter 8 THE MASTER'S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT DAKSHINESWAR

Sunday, February 18, 1883

SRI RAMAKRISHNA arrived at Govinda Mukherji's house at Belgharia, near Calcutta.
Besides Narendra, Ram, and other devotees, some of Govinda's neighbours were present.
The Master first sang and danced with the devotees. After the kirtan they sat down. Many
saluted the Master. Now and then he would say, "Bow before God."

Master's attitude toward the wicked

"It is God alone", he said, "who has become all this. But in certain places- for instance, in a
holy man-there is a greater manifestation than in others. You may say, there are wicked
men also. That is true, even as there are tigers and lions; but one need not hug the 'tiger
God'. One should keep away from him and salute him from a distance. Take water, for
instance. Some water may be drunk, some may be used for worship, some for bathing, and
some only for washing dishes."

Paths of knowledge and devotion

A NEIGHBOUR: "Revered sir, what are the doctrines of Vedanta?"

MASTER: "The Vedantist says, 'I am He.' Brahman is real and the world illusory. Even the
'I' is illusory. Only the Supreme Brahman exists.
"But the 'I' cannot be got rid of. Therefore it is good to have the feeling, 'I am the servant of
God, His son, His devotee.
'

"For the Kaliyuga the path of bhakti is especially good. One can realize God through bhakti
too. As long as one is conscious of the body, one is also conscious of objects. Form, taste,
smell, sound, and touch-these are the objects. It is extremely difficult to get rid of the
consciousness of objects. And one cannot realize 'I am He' as long as one is aware of
objects."

"The sannyasi is very little conscious of worldly objects. But the householder is always
engrossed in them. Therefore it is good for him to feel, 'I am the servant of God.'
"

God's name destroys sin

NEIGHBOUR: "Sir, we are sinners. What will happen to us?"

MASTER: "All the sins of the body flyaway if one chants the name of God and sings His
glories. The birds of sin dwell in the tree of the body. Singing the name of God is like
clapping your hands. As, at a clap of the hands, the birds in the tree flyaway, so do our sins
disappear at the chanting of God's name and glories."

"Again, you find that the water of a reservoir dug in a meadow is evaporated by the heat of
the sun. Likewise, the water of the reservoir of sin is dried up by the singing of the name
and glories of God."

"You must practise it every day. The other day, at the circus, I saw a horse running at top
speed, with an Englishwoman standing on one foot on its back. How much she must have
practised to acquire that skill!"


"Weep at least once to see God.

"These, then, are the two means: practice and passionate attachment to God, that is to say,
restlessness of the soul to see Him."


Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 25, 2012, 11:21:31 AM
Sri Ramakrishna began his midday meal with the devotees. It was about one o'clock. A
devotee sang in the courtyard below:

Awake, Mother! Awake! How long Thou hast been asleep
In the lotus of the Muladhara!
Fulfil Thy secret function, Mother:
Rise to the thousand-petalled lotus within the head,
Where mighty Siva has His dwelling;
Swiftly pierce the six lotuses
And take away my grief, O Essence of Consciousness!

Hearing the song, Sri Ramakrishna went into samadhi; his whole body became still, and his
hand remained touching the plate of food. He could eat no more. After a long time his mind
came down partially to the plane of the sense world, and he said, "I want to go downstairs."
A devotee led him down very carefully. Still in an abstracted mood, he sat near the singer.
The song had ended. The Master said to him very humbly, "Sir, I want to hear the chanting
of the Mother's name again."

The musician sang:

Awake, Mother! Awake! How long Thou hast been asleep
In the lotus of the Muladhara! . . .

The Master again went into ecstasy.

February 25, 1883

After his noon meal the Master conversed with the devotees. Ram, Kedar, Nityagopal, M.,
and others had arrived from Calcutta. Rakhal, Harish, Latu, and Hazra were living with the
Master. Mr.Choudhury, who had three or four university degrees and was a government
officer, was also present. He had recently lost his wife and had visited the Master several
times for peace of mind.

MASTER (to Ram and the other devotees): "Devotees like Rakhal, Narendra, and
Bhavanath may be called nityasiddha. Their spiritual consciousness has been awake since
their very birth. They assume human bodies only to impart spiritual illumination to others.

"There is another class of devotees, known as kripasiddha, that is to say, those on whom the
grace of God descends all of a sudden and who at once attain His vision and Knowledge.
Such people may be likened to a room that has been dark a thousand years, which, when a
lamp is brought into it, becomes light immediately, not little by little.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 27, 2012, 06:55:35 AM
Mystery of God's ways

"Those who lead a householder's life should practise spiritual discipline; they should pray
eagerly to God in solitude. (To Mr. Choudhury) God cannot be realized through
scholarship. Who, indeed, can understand the things of the Spirit through reason? No, all
should strive for devotion to the Lotus Feet of God
.

"Infinite are the glories of God! How little can you fathom them! Can you ever find out the
meaning of God's ways?

"Bhishma was none other than one of the eight Vasus, but even he shed tears on his bed of
arrows. He said: 'How astonishing! God Himself is the companion of the Pandava brothers,
and still there is no end to their troubles and sorrows!' Who can ever understand the ways of
God?

"A man thinks, 'I have practised a little prayer and austerity; so I have gained a victory over
others.' But victory and defeat lie with God. I have seen a prostitute dying in the Ganges
and retaining consciousness to the end."


Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Jewell on October 29, 2012, 03:07:41 AM
(http://animationsa2z.com/attachments/Image/birds/birds43.gif)

“Only two kinds of people can attain self-knowledge:
those who are not encumbered at all with learning, that is to say, whose minds are not over-crowded with thoughts borrowed from others;
and those who, after studying all the scriptures and sciences, have come to realise that they know nothing.”

Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa
(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-i6YYJhfEMUc/UCCJwy0BOwI/AAAAAAAAHYo/YVwbSDXp9Xw/s1600/sri_ramakrishna.jpg)
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 29, 2012, 06:53:21 AM
Jewell,
Thanks very much.This is incredibly beautiful and this is how I truly feel.A Million thanks for this wonderful message.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on October 29, 2012, 01:58:34 PM
Dear Ravi,

Yes. Sri Bhagavan used to say: Learning is learned ignorance. Saying I do not know anything is simple ignorance. Both are
not necessary for for Self abidance.

Arunachala Siva. 
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Subramanian.R on October 29, 2012, 02:04:33 PM
Dear Ravi,

Saint Thayumanavar also reflects this idea in his verse 9 of Siddhar Ganam:


கல்லாத பேர்களே நல்லவர்கள் நல்லவர்கள்
      கற்றும்அறி வில்லாதஎன்
   கர்மத்தை யென்சொல்கேன்மதியையென் சொல்லுகேன்
      கைவல்ய ஞானநீதி
நல்லோ ருரைக்கிலோ கர்மமுக் கியமென்று
      நாட்டுவேன் கர்மமொருவன் 
   நாட்டினா லோபழைய ஞானமுக்கியமென்று
      நவிலுவேன் வடமொழியிலே
வல்லா னொருத்தன்வர வுந்த்ரா விடத்திலே
      வந்ததா விவகரிப்பேன்
   வல்லதமி ழறிஞர்வரின் அங்ஙனே வடமொழியி
      வசனங்கள் சிறிதுபுகல்வேன்
வெல்லாம லெவரையும் மருட்டிவிட வகைவந்த
      வித்தையென் முத்திதருமோ
   வேதாந்த சித்தாந்த சமரசநன் னிலைபெற்ற
      வித்தகச் சித்தர்கணமே. 10.

Arunachala Siva.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 29, 2012, 02:59:20 PM
Subramanian,
Yes,this is one of my favourite ThAyumAnavar songs among many many others of this Great Sage.Thanks very much.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on October 30, 2012, 06:56:25 AM
God-vision through pure love

MR. CHOUDHURY: "How can one see God?"

MASTER: "Not with these eyes. God gives one divine eyes; and only then can one behold
Him. God gave Arjuna divine eyes so that he might see His Universal Form.
"Your philosophy is mere speculation. It only reasons. God cannot be realized that way.

"God cannot remain unmoved if you have raga-bhakti, that is, love of God with passionate
attachment to Him. Do you know how fond God is of His devotees' love? It is like the
cow's fondness for fodder mixed with oil-cake. The cow gobbles it down greedily.

"Raga-bhakti is pure love of God, a love that seeks God alone and not any worldly end.
Prahlada had it. Suppose you go to a wealthy man every day, but you seek no favour of
him; you simply love to see him. If he wants to show you favour, you say: 'No, sir. I don't
need anything. I came just to see you.' Such is love of God for its own sake. You simply
love God and don't want anything from Him, in return."


Saying this, the Master sang:

Though I am never loath to grant salvation,
I hesitate indeed to grant pure love.
Whoever wins pure love surpasses all;
He is adored by men;
He triumphs over the three worlds. . . .

He continued, "The gist of the whole thing is that one must develop passionate yearning for
God and practise discrimination and renunciation
."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 01, 2012, 06:10:58 AM
Guru and Ishta

MR. CHOUDHURY: "Sir, is it not possible to have the vision of God without the help of a
guru?"

MASTER: "Satchidananda Himself is the Guru. At the end of the savasadhana, just when
the vision of the Ishta is about to take place, the guru appears before the aspirant and says
to him, 'Behold! There is your Ishta.' Saying this, the guru merges in the Ishta. He who is
the guru is also the Ishta. The guru is the thread that leads to God. Women perform a
ritualistic worship known as the 'Ananta-vrata', the object of worship being the Infinite. But
actually the Deity worshipped is Vishnu. In Him are the 'infinite' forms of God.

(To Ram and the other devotees) "If you asked me which form of God you should meditate
upon, I should say: Fix your attention on that form which appeals to you most; but know
for certain that all forms are the forms of one God alone
.

"Never harbour malice toward anyone. Siva, Kali, and Hari are but different forms of that
One. He is blessed indeed who has known all as one. Outwardly he appears as Siva's
devotee, But in his heart he worships Kali, the Blissful Mother, And with his tongue he
chants aloud Lord Hari's name".

"The body does not endure without a trace of lust, anger, and the like. You should try to
reduce them to a minimum."

Looking at Kedar, the Master said: "He is very nice. He accepts both the Absolute and the
Relative. He believes in Brahman, but he also accepts the gods and Divine Incarnations in
human form."

In Kedar's opinion Sri Ramakrishna was such an Incarnation.

Looking at Nityagopal, the Master said to the devotees, "He is in a lofty mood.
(To Nityagopal) "Don't go there too often. You may go once in a while. She may be a
devotee, but she is a woman too. Therefore I warn you".

"The sannyasi must observe very strict discipline. He must not look even at the picture of a
woman. But this rule doesn't apply to householders. An aspirant should not associate with a
woman, even though she is very much devoted to God. A sannyasi, even though he may
have subdued his passions, should follow this discipline to set an example to householders.

"Worldly people learn renunciation by seeing the complete renunciation of a monk;
otherwise they sink more and more. A sannyasi is a world teacher."


Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 07, 2012, 06:44:31 AM
Friday, March 9, 1883 Life of worldliness

About nine o'clock in the morning the Master was seated in his room with Rakhal, M., and
a few other devotees. It was the day of the new moon. As usual with him on such days, Sri
Ramakrishna entered again and again into communion with the Divine Mother. He said to
the devotees: "God alone exists, and all else is unreal. The Divine Mother has kept all
deluded by Her maya. Look at men. Most of them are entangled in worldliness. They suffer
so much, but still they have the same attachment to 'woman and gold'. The camel eats
thorny shrubs, and blood gushes from its mouth; still it will eat thorns. While suffering pain
at the time of delivery, a woman says, 'Ah! I shall never go to my husband again.' But
afterwards she forgets.

"The truth is that no one seeks God. There are people who eat the prickly leaves of the
pineapple and not the fruit."

DEVOTEE: "Sir, why has God put us in the world?"

MASTER: "The world is the field of action. Through action one acquires knowledge. The
guru instructs the disciple to perform certain works and refrain from others. Again, he
advises the pupil to perform action without desiring the result. The impurity of the mind is
destroyed through the performance of duty. It is like getting rid of a disease by means of
medicine, under the instruction of a competent physician.


"Why doesn't God free us from the world? Ah, He will free us when the disease is cured.
He will liberate us from the world when we are through with the enjoyment of 'woman and
gold'. Once a man registers his name in the hospital, he cannot run away. The doctor will
not let him go away unless his illness is completely cured."


Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 08, 2012, 06:34:01 AM
Master's love for Rakhal

During these days Sri Ramakrishna's heart overflowed with motherly love like the love
Yasoda felt for Krishna. So he kept Rakhal with him. Rakhal felt toward the Master as a
child feels toward its mother. He would sit leaning on the Master's lap as a young child
leans on its mother while sucking her breast.

Rakhal was thus seated by the Master when a man entered the room and said that a high
tide was coming in the Ganges. The Master and the devotees ran to the Panchavati to see it.
At the sight of a boat being tossed by the tide, Sri Ramakrishna exclaimed: "Look! Look! I
hope nothing happens to it."

They all sat in the Panchavati. The Master asked M. to explain the cause of the tide. M.
drew on the ground the figures of the sun, moon, and earth and tried to explain gravitation,
ebb-tide, flood-tide, new moon, full moon, eclipse, and so forth.

MASTER (to M.): "Stop it! I can't follow you. It makes me dizzy. My head is aching. Well,
how can they know of things so far off?

"You see, during my childhood I could paint well; but arithmetic would make my head
spin. I couldn't learn simple arithmetic."

Sri Ramakrishna returned to his room with the devotees. Looking at a picture of Yasoda, on
the wall, he said: "It is not well done. She looks like a garland-seller."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 09, 2012, 06:20:20 AM
Adhar's first visit

The Master enjoyed a nap after his noon meal. Adhar and other devotees gradually gathered. This was Adhar's first visit.
He was a deputy magistrate and about thirty years old.

Much reasoning condemned

ADHAR (to the Master): "Sir, I have a question to ask. Is it good to sacrifice animals
before the Deity? It certainly involves killing."

MASTER: "The sastra prescribes sacrifice on special occasions. Such sacrifice is not
harmful. Take, for instance, the sacrifice of a goat on the eighth day of the full or new
moon.

"I am now in such a state of mind that I cannot watch a sacrifice. Also I cannot eat meat
offered to the Divine Mother. Therefore I first touch my finger to it, then to my head, lest
She should be angry with me.

"Again, in a certain state of mind I see God in all beings, even in an ant. At that time, if I
see a living being die, I find consolation in the thought that it is the death of the body, the
soul being beyond life and death.

"One should not reason too much; it is enough if one loves the Lotus Feet of the Mother.
Too much reasoning throws the mind into confusion. You get clear water if you drink from
the surface of a pool. Put your hand deeper and stir the water, and it becomes muddy.
Therefore pray to God for devotion.


"Behind Dhruva's devotion there was desire. He practised austerities to gain his father's
kingdom. But Prahlada's love for God was motiveless-a love that sought no return."

A DEVOTEE: "How can one realize God?"

MASTER: "Through that kind of love. But one must force one's demand on God. One
should be able to say: 'O God, wilt Thou not reveal Thyself to me? I will cut my throat with
a knife.' This is the tamas of bhakti."

DEVOTEE: "Can one see God?"

MASTER: "Yes, surely. One can see both aspects of God-God with form and without form.
One can see God with form, the Embodiment of Spirit. Again, God can be directly
perceived in a man with a tangible form. Seeing an Incarnation of God is the same as seeing
God Himself. God is born on earth as man in every age."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 10, 2012, 07:28:25 AM
March 11, 1883 Master's birthday celebration

It was Sri Ramakrishna's birthday. Many of his disciples and devotees wanted to celebrate the happy occasion at the Dakshineswar temple garden.

From early morning the devotees streamed in, alone or in parties. After the morning worship in the temples sweet music was played in the nahabat. It was springtime. The trees, creepers, and plants were covered with new leaves and blossoms. The very air seemed laden with joy. And the hearts of the devotees were glad on this auspicious day.

M. arrived early in the morning and found the Master talking smilingly to Bhavanath, Rakhal, and Kalikrishna. M. prostrated himself before him.

MASTER (to M.): "I am glad you have come. (To the devotees) "One cannot be spiritual as long as one has shame, hatred, or fear. Great will be the joy today. But those fools who will not sing or dance, mad with God's name, will never attain God. How can one feel any shame or fear when the names of God are sung? Now sing, all of you."

Bhavanath and his friend Kalikrishna sang:

Thrice blessed is this day of joy!
May all of us unite, O Lord,
To preach Thy true religion here
In India's holy land!
Thou dwellest in each human heart;
Thy name, resounding everywhere,
Fills the four corners of the sky.
Today Thy devotees proclaim
Thy boundless majesty.
We seek not wealth or friends or fame,
O Lord! No other hope is ours.
For Thee alone Thy devotees
Long with unflagging love.
Safe at Thy feet, what fear have we
Of death or danger? We have found
The Fount of Immortality.
To Thee the victory, O Lord!
To Thee the victory!

As Sri Ramakrishna listened to the song with folded hands, his mind soared to a far-off realm. He remained absorbed in meditation a long time. After a while Kalikrishna
whispered something to Bhavanath. Then he bowed before the Master and rose. Sri Ramakrishna was surprised. He asked, "Where are you going?"

BHAVANATH: "He is going away on a little business."

MASTER: "What is it about?"

BHAVANATH: "He is going to the Baranagore Workingmen's Institute."

MASTER: "It's his bad luck. A stream of bliss will flow here today. He could have enjoyed it. But how unlucky!"

Sri Ramakrishna did not feel well; so he decided not to bathe in the Ganges. About nine o'clock a few jars of water were taken from the river, and with the help of the devotees he finished his bath on the verandah east of his room.

After bathing, the Master put on a new wearing-cloth, all the while chanting the name of God. Accompanied by one or two disciples he walked across the courtyard to the temple of Kali, still chanting Her hallowed name. His eyes had an indrawn look, like that of a bird hatching her eggs.

On entering the temple, he prostrated himself before the image and worshipped the Divine Mother. But he did not observe any ritual of worship. Now he would offer flowers and sandal-paste at the feet of the image, and now he would put them on his own head. After finishing the worship in his own way, he asked Bhavanath to carry the green coconut that had been offered to the Mother. He also visited the images of Radha and Krishna in the Vishnu temple.

When the Master returned to his room, he found that other devotees had arrived, among them Ram, Nityagopal, and Kedar. They all saluted the Master, who greeted them cordially.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 11, 2012, 07:12:46 AM
He asked Nityagopal, "Will you eat something now?" "Yes", the devotee answered.
Nityagopal, who was twenty-three or twenty-four years old and unmarried, was like a child.
His mind was always soaring in the spiritual realm. He visited the Master sometimes alone
and sometimes in Ram's company. The Master had observed the spiritual state of his mind
and had become very fond of him. He remarked now and then that Nityagopal was in the
state of a paramahamsa.

Warning to monks

After Nityagopal had finished eating, the Master took him aside and gave him various
instructions.
A certain woman, about thirty-one years old and a great devotee, often visited Sri
Ramakrishna and held him in high respect. She had been much impressed by Nityagopal's
spiritual state and, looking upon him as her own son, often invited him to her house.

MASTER (to Nityagopal): "Do you go there?"

NITYAGOPAL (like a child): "Yes, I do. She takes me".

MASTER: "Beware, holy man! Go there once in a great while, but not frequently;
otherwise you will slip from the ideal. Maya is nothing but 'woman and gold'. A holy man
must live away from woman. All sink there. 'Even Brahma and Vishnu struggle for life in
that whirlpool.' "

Nityagopal listened to these words attentively.

M. (to himself): "How strange! This young man has developed the state of a paramahamsa.
That is what the Master says now and then. Is there still a possibility of his falling into
danger in spite of his high spiritual state? What an austere rule is laid down for a sadhu! He
may slip from his ideal by associating intimately with women. How can an ordinary manexpect to attain liberation unless such a high ideal is set by holy men? The woman in
question is very devout; but still there is danger. Now I understand why Chaitanya punished
his disciple, the younger Haridas, so severely. In spite of his teacher's prohibition, Haridas
conversed with a widow devotee. But he was a sannyasi. Therefore Chaitanya banished
him. What a severe punishment! How hard is the rule for one who has accepted the life of
renunciation! Again, what love the Master cherishes for this devotee! He is warning him
even now, lest he should run into danger in the future
."

"Beware, holy man!" These words of the Master echoed in the hearts of the devotees, like
the distant rumbling of thunder.



Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 13, 2012, 07:05:09 AM
The Master went with the devotees to the northeast verandah of his room. Among them was
a householder from the village of Dakshineswar, who studied Vedanta philosophy at home.
He had been discussing Om with Kedar before the Master. He said, "This Eternal Word, the
Anahata Sabda, is ever present both within and without."

MASTER: "But the Word is not enough. There must be something indicated by the Word.
Can your name alone make me happy? Complete happiness is not possible for me unless I
see you."

DEVOTEE: "That Eternal Word itself is Brahman."

MASTER (to Kedar): "Oh, don't you understand? He upholds the doctrine of the rishis of
olden times. They once said to Rama: 'O Rama, we know You only as the son of Dasaratha.
Let sages like Bharadvaja worship You as God Incarnate. We want to realize Brahman, the
Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.' At these words Rama smiled and went
away."

KEDAR: "Those rishis could not recognize Rama as an Incarnation of God. They must
have been fools,"

MASTER (seriously): "Please don't say such a thing. People worship God according to
their tastes and temperaments. The mother cooks the same fish differently for her children,
that each one may have what suits his stomach. For some she cooks the rich dish of pilau.
But not all the children can digest it. For those with weak stomachs she prepares soup.
Some, again, like fried fish or pickled fish. It depends on one's taste".

Incarnation of God

"The rishis followed the path of jnana. Therefore they sought to realize Brahman, the
Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. But those who follow the path of
devotion seek an Incarnation of God, to enjoy the sweetness of bhakti
. The darkness of the
mind disappears when God is realized
. In the Purana it is said that it was as if a hundred
suns were shining when Rama entered the court. Why, then, weren't the courtiers burnt up?
It was because the brilliance of Rama was not like that of a material object. As the lotus
blooms when the sun rises, so the lotus of the heart of the people assembled in the court
burst into blossom."

As the Master uttered these words, standing before the devotees, he suddenly fell into an
ecstatic mood. His mind was withdrawn from external objects. No sooner did he say, "the
lotus of the heart burst into blossom", than he went into deep samadhi. He stood
motionless, his countenance beaming and his lips parted in a smile.
After a long time he returned to the normal consciousness of the world.
He drew a long
breath and repeatedly chanted the name of Rama, every word showering nectar into the
hearts of the devotees. The Master sat down, the others seating themselves around him.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 14, 2012, 07:00:45 AM
MASTER (to the devotees): "Ordinary people do not recognize the advent of an Incarnation
of God. He comes in secret. Only a few of His intimate disciples can recognize Him. That
Rama was both Brahman Absolute and a perfect Incarnation of God in human form was
known only to twelve rishis. The other sages said to Him, 'Rama, we know You only as
Dasaratha's son.'

"Can everyone comprehend Brahman, the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss
Absolute? He alone has attained perfect love of God who, having reached the Absolute,
keeps himself in the realm of the Relative in order to enjoy the divine lila
. A man can
describe the ways and activities of the Queen if he has previously visited her in England.
Only then will his description of the Queen be correct. Sages like Bharadvaja adored Rama
and said: 'O Rama, You are nothing but the Indivisible Satchidananda. You have appeared
before us as a human being, but You look like a man because You have shrouded Yourself
with Your own maya.' These rishis were great devotees of Rama: and had supreme love for
God."


Master's different spiritual moods

Presently some devotees from Konnagar arrived, singing kirtan to the accompaniment of
drums and cymbals. As they reached the northeast verandah of Sri Ramakrishna's room, the
Master joined in the music, dancing with them intoxicated with divine joy. Now and then
he went into samadhi, standing still as a statue. While he was in one of these states of
divine unconsciousness, the devotees put thick garlands of jasmine around his neck. The
enchanting form of the Master reminded the devotees of Chaitanya, another Incarnation of
God. The Master passed alternately through three moods of divine consciousness: the
inmost, when he completely lost all knowledge of the outer world; the semi-conscious,
when he danced with the devotees in an ecstasy of love; and the conscious, when he joined
them in loud singing. It was indeed a sight for the gods, to see the Master standing
motionless in samadhi, with fragrant garlands hanging from his neck, his countenance
beaming with love, and the devotees singing and dancing around him.
When it was time for his noon meal, Sri Ramakrishna put on a new yellow cloth and sat on
the small couch. His golden complexion, blending with his yellow cloth, enchanted the
eyes of the devotees
.

After his meal Sri Ramakrishna rested a little on the small couch. Inside and outside his
room crowded the devotees, among them Kedar, Suresh, Ram, Manomohan, Girindra,
Rakhal, Bhavanath, and M. Rakhal's father was also present.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 15, 2012, 06:41:07 AM
Efficacy of earnest japa

A Vaishnava goswami was seated in the room. The Master said to him: "Well, what do you
say? What is the way?"

GOSWAMI: "Sir, the chanting of God's name is enough. The scriptures emphasize the
sanctity of God's name for the Kaliyuga."

MASTER: "Yes, there is no doubt about the sanctity of God's name. But can a mere name
achieve anything, without the yearning love of the devotee behind it? One should feel great
restlessness of soul for the vision of God. Suppose a man repeats the name of God
mechanically, while his mind is absorbed in 'woman and gold'. Can he achieve anything?
Mere muttering of magic words doesn't cure one of the pain of a spider or scorpion sting.
One must also apply the smoke of burning cow-dung."

GOSWAMI: "But what about Ajamila then? He was a great sinner; there was no sin he had
not indulged in. But he uttered the name of Narayana on his death-bed, calling his son, who
also had that name. And thus he was liberated."

MASTER: "Perhaps Ajamila had done many spiritual things in his past births. It is also said
that he once practised austerity; besides, those were the last moments of his life. What is the
use of giving an elephant a bath? It will cover itself with dirt and dust again and become its
former self. But if someone removes the dust from its body and gives it a bath just before it
enters the stable, then the elephant remains clean. .

"Suppose a man becomes pure by chanting the holy name of God, but immediately
afterwards commits many sins. He has no strength of mind. He doesn't take a vow not to
repeat his sins. A bath in the Ganges undoubtedly absolves one of all sins; but what does
that avail? They say that the sins perch on the trees along the bank of the Ganges. No
sooner does the man come back from the holy waters than the old sins jump on his
shoulders from the trees. (All laugh.) The same old sins take possession of him again. He is
hardly out of the water before they fall upon him.

"Therefore I say, chant the name of God, and with it pray to Him that you may have love
for Him. Pray to God that your attachment to such transitory things as wealth, name, and
creature comforts may become less and less every day.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 17, 2012, 09:09:37 AM
Dogmatism condemned
(To the goswami) "With sincerity and earnestness one can realize God through all religions.
The Vaishnavas will realize God, and so will the Saktas, the Vedantists, and the Brahmos.
The Mussalmans and Christians will realize Him too. All will certainly realize God if they
are earnest and sincere.

"Some people indulge in quarrels, saying, 'One cannot attain anything unless one worships
our Krishna', or, 'Nothing can be gained without the worship of Kali, our Divine Mother',
or, 'One cannot be saved without accepting the Christian religion.' This is pure dogmatism.
The dogmatist says, 'My religion alone is true, and the religions of others are false.' This is
a bad attitude. God can be reached by different paths.

"Further, some say that God has form and is not formless. Thus they start quarrelling. A
Vaishnava quarrels with a Vedantist.

"One can rightly speak of God only after one has seen Him. He who has seen God knows
really and truly that God has form and that He is formless as well. He has many other
aspects that cannot be described.

Parable of the elephant and the blind men

"Once some blind men chanced to come near an animal that someone told them was an
elephant. They were asked what the elephant was like. The blind men began to feel its
body. One of them said the elephant was like a pillar; he had touched only its leg. Another
said it was like a winnowing-fan; he had touched only its ear. In this way the others, having
touched its tail or belly, gave their different versions of the elephant. Just so, a man who has
seen only one aspect of God limits God to that alone. It is his conviction that God cannot be
anything else".

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 19, 2012, 05:43:57 AM
Illustration of the ocean and the ice

(To the goswami) "How can you say that the only truth about God is that He has form? It is
undoubtedly true that God comes down to earth in a human form, as in the case of Krishna.
And it is true as well that God reveals Himself to His devotees in various forms. But it is
also true that God is formless; He is the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.
He has been described in the Vedas both as formless and as endowed with form. He is also
described there both as attributeless and as endowed with attributes.

"Do you know what I mean? Satchidananda is like an infinite ocean. Intense cold freezes
the water into ice, which floats on the ocean in blocks of various forms. Likewise, through
the cooling influence of bhakti, one sees forms of God in the Ocean of the Absolute. These
forms are meant for the bhaktas, the lovers of God. But when the Sun of Knowledge rises,
the ice melts; it becomes the same water it was before. Water above and water below,
everywhere nothing but water. Therefore a prayer in the Bhagavata says: 'O Lord, Thou
hast form, and Thou art also formless. Thou walkest before us, O Lord, in the shape of a
man; again, Thou hast been described in the Vedas as beyond words and thought.'
"But you may say that for certain devotees God assumes eternal forms. There are places in
the ocean where the ice doesn't melt at all. It assumes the form of quartz."

KEDAR: "It is said in the Bhagavata that Vyasa asked God's forgiveness for his three
transgressions. He said: 'O Lord, Thou art formless, but I have thought of Thee in my
meditation as endowed with form; Thou art beyond speech, but I have sung Thee hymns;
Thou art the All-pervading Spirit, but I have made pilgrimages to sacred places. Be
gracious, O Lord, and forgive these three transgressions of mine.'"

MASTER: "Yes, God has form and He is formless too. Further, He is beyond both form
and formlessness. No one can limit Him."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 20, 2012, 06:40:31 AM
Rakhal's father was sitting in the room. At that time Rakhal was staying with the Master.
After his mother's death his father had married a second time. Now and then he came to
Dakshineswar because of Rakhal's being there. He did not raise much objection to his son's
living with the Master. Being a wealthy man of the world, he was always involved in
litigation. There were lawyers and deputy magistrates among Sri Ramakrishna's visitors.
Rakhal's father found it profitable to cultivate their acquaintance, since he expected to be
benefited by their counsels in worldly matters.

Now and then the Master cast a glance at Rakhal's father. It was his cherished desire that
Rakhal should live with him permanently at Dakshineswar.

Rakhal's inborn spiritual nature

MASTER (to Rakhal's father and the devotees): "Ah, what a nice character Rakhal has
developed! Look at his face and every now and then you will notice his lips moving.
Inwardly he repeats the name of God, and so his lips move.

Parable of the homa bird

"Youngsters like him belong to the class of the ever-perfect. They are born with God-
Consciousness. No sooner do they grow a little older than they realize the danger of coming
in contact with the world. There is the parable of the homa bird in the Vedas. The bird lives
high up in the sky and never descends to earth. It lays its egg in the sky, and the egg begins
to fall. But the bird lives in such a high region that the egg hatches while falling. The
fledgling comes out and continues to fall. But it is still so high that while falling it grows
wings and its eyes open. Then the young bird perceives that it is dashing down toward the
earth and will be instantly killed. The moment it sees the ground, it turns and shoots up
toward its mother in the sky. Then its one goal is to reach its mother.

"Youngsters like Rakhal are like that bird. From their very childhood they are afraid of the
world, and their one thought is how to reach the Mother, how to realize God.

"You may ask, 'How is it possible for these boys, born of worldly parents and living among
the worldly-minded, to develop such knowledge and devotion?' It can be explained. If a pea
falls into a heap of dung, it germinates into a pea-plant none the less. The peas that grow on
that plant serve many useful purposes. Because it was sown in dung, will it produce another
kind of plant?

"Ah, what a sweet nature Rakhal has nowadays! And why shouldn't it be so? If the yam is a
good one, its shoots also become good. (All laugh.) Like father like son."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 21, 2012, 05:23:54 AM
M. (aside to Girindra): "How well he has explained God with and without form! Do the
Vaishnavas believe only in God with form?"

GIRINDRA: "Perhaps so. They are one-sided."

M: "Did you understand what he meant by the 'eternal form' of God? That 'quartz'? I
couldn't grasp it well."

MASTER (to M.): "Well, what are you talking about?"

M. and Girindra smiled and remained silent.

Later in the afternoon the devotees were singing in the Panchavati, where the Master joined
them. They sang together in praise of the Divine Mother:

High in the heaven of the Mother's feet, my mind was soaring like a kite,
When came a blast of sin's rough wind that drove it swiftly toward the earth.
Maya disturbed its even flight by bearing down upon one side,
And I could make it rise no more.
Entangled in the twisting string of love for children and for wife,
Alas! my kite was rent in twain.
It lost its crest of wisdom soon and downward plunged as I let it go;
How could it hope to fly again, when all its top was torn away?
Though fastened with devotion's cord, it came to grief in playing here;
Its six opponents worsted it.
Now Nareschandra rues this game of smiles and tears, and thinks it better
Never to have played at all.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 22, 2012, 07:25:00 AM
The singing continued. Sri Ramakrishna danced with the devotees. They sang:

"The black bee of my mind is drawn in sheer delight
To the blue lotus flower of Mother Syama's feet,
The blue flower of the feet of Kali, Siva's Consort;
Tasteless, to the bee, are the blossoms of desire.
My Mother's feet are black, and black, too, is the bee;
Black is made one with black! This much of the mystery
My mortal eyes behold, then hastily retreat.
But Kamalakanta's hopes are answered in the end;
He swims in the Sea of Bliss, unmoved by joy or pain".

The kirtan went on:

"O Mother, what a machine is this that Thou hast made!
What pranks Thou playest with this toy
Three and a half cubits high!
Hiding Thyself within, Thou holdest the guiding string;
But the machine, not knowing it,
Still believes it moves by itself.
Whoever finds the Mother remains a machine no more;
Yet some machines have even bound
The Mother Herself with the string of Love".

It was a very happy day for all.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 24, 2012, 07:57:32 AM
The Master, accompanied by M., was coming back to his room, when he met Trailokya, a
Brahmo devotee, on the way. Trailokya bowed before the Master.

MASTER: "They are singing in the Panchavati. Won't you go there?"

TRAILOKYA: "What shall I do there?"

MASTER: "Why, you will enjoy the music."

TRAILOKYA: "I have been there already."

MASTER: "Well, well! That's good."

It was about six o'clock in the evening. The Master was sitting with the devotees on the
southeast verandah of his room.

MASTER: "A holy man who has renounced the world will of course chant the name of
God. That is only natural. He has no other duties to perform. If he meditates on God it
shouldn't surprise anybody. On the other hand, if he fails to think of God or chant His holy
name, then people will think ill of him.
But it is a great deal to his credit if a householder utters the name of the Lord. Think of
King Janaka. What courage he had, indeed! He fenced with two swords, the one of
Knowledge and the other of work. He possessed the perfect Knowledge of Brahman and
also was devoted to the duties of the world. An unchaste woman attends to the minutest
duties of the world, but her mind always dwells on her paramour
".

"The constant company of holy men is necessary. The holy man introduces one to God."

KEDAR: "Yes, sir. The great soul is born in the world for the redemption of humanity. He
leads others to God, just as a locomotive engine takes along with it a long train of carriages.
Or again, he is like a river or lake that quenches the thirst of many people."

The devotees were ready to return home. One by one they saluted the Master. At the sight
of Bhavanath Sri Ramakrishna said: "Don't go away today. The very sight of you inspires
me." Bhavanath had not yet entered into worldly life. A youth of twenty, he had a fair
complexion and handsome features. He shed tears of joy on hearing the name of God. The
Master looked on him as the embodiment of Narayana.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 26, 2012, 06:28:20 AM
Thursday, March 29, 1883

The Master had taken a little rest after his noon meal, when a few devotees arrived from
Calcutta, among them Amrita and the well-known singer of the Brahmo Samaj, Trailokya.
Rakhal was not feeling well. The Master was greatly worried about him and said to the
devotees: "You see, Rakhal is not well. Will soda-water help him? What am I to do now?
Rakhal, please take the prasad from the Jagannath temple."

Even as he spoke these words the Master underwent a strange transformation. He looked at
Rakhal with the infinite tenderness of a mother and affectionately uttered the name of
Govinda. Did he see in Rakhal the manifestation of God Himself? The disciple was a young
boy of pure heart who had renounced all attraction to lust and greed. And Sri Ramakrishna
was intoxicated day and night with love of God. At the sight of Rakhal his eyes expressed
the tender feelings of a mother, a love like that which had filled the heart of Mother Yasoda
at the sight of the Baby Krishna. The devotees gazed at the Master in wonder as he went
into deep samadhi. As his soul soared into the realm of Divine Consciousness, his body
became motionless, his eyes were fixed on the tip of his nose, and his breathing almost
ceased.

Renunciation, false and true

An unknown Bengali, dressed in the ochre cloth of a monk, entered the room and sat on the
floor. The Master's mind was coming down to the ordinary plane of consciousness.
Presently he began to talk, though the spell of samadhi still lingered.

MASTER (at the sight of the ochre cloth): "Why this gerrua? Should one put on such a
thing for a mere fancy? A man once said, 'I have exchanged the Chandi for a drum.' At first
he used to sing the holy songs of the Chandi; now he beats the drum. (All laugh.)

"There are three or four varieties of renunciation. Afflicted with miseries at home, one may
put on the ochre cloth of a monk; but that renunciation doesn't last long. Again, a man out
of work puts on an ochre wearing-cloth and goes off to Benares. After three months he
writes home: 'I have a job here. I shall come home in a few days. Don't worry about me.'
Again, a man may have everything he wants. He lacks nothing, yet he does not enjoy his
possessions. He weeps for God alone. That is real renunciation".

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on November 28, 2012, 05:28:45 AM
"No lie of any sort is good. A false garb, even though a holy one, is not good. If the outer
garb does not correspond to the inner thought, it gradually brings ruin. Uttering false words
or doing false deeds, one gradually loses all fear. Far better is the white cloth of a
householder. Attachment to worldliness, occasional lapses from the ideal, and an outer garb
of gerrua- how dreadful!

"It is not proper for a righteous person to tell a lie or do something false even in a dramatic
performance. Once I went to Keshab's house to see the performance of a play called Nava-
Vrindavan. They brought something on the stage which they called the 'Cross'. Another
actor sprinkled water, which they said was the 'Water of Peace'. I saw a third actor
staggering and reeling in the role of a drunkard."

A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "It was K-."

MASTER: "It is not good for a devotee to play such parts. It is bad for the mind to dwell on
such subjects for a long while. The mind is like white linen fresh from the laundry; it takes
the colour in which you dip it. If it is associated with falsehood for a long time, it will be
stained with falsehood.

"Another day I went to Keshab's house to see the play called Nimai sannyas. Some
flattering disciples of Keshab spoiled the whole performance.
One of them said to Keshab, 'You are the Chaitanya of the Kaliyuga.' Keshab pointed to me
and asked with a smile, 'Then who is he?' I replied: 'Why, I am the servant of your servant.
I am a speck of the dust of your feet.' Keshab had a desire for name and fame."

(To Amrita and Trailokya) "Youngsters like Narendra and Rakhal are ever-perfect. Every
time they are born they are devoted to God. An ordinary man acquires a little devotion after
austerities and a hard struggle. But these boys have love of God from the very moment of
their birth. They are like the natural image of Siva, which springs forth from the earth and
is not set up by human hands".

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 02, 2012, 10:18:29 AM
Nature of the ever-perfect

"The ever-perfect form a class by themselves. Not all birds have crooked beaks. The everperfect
are never attached to the world. There is the instance of Prahlada.

"Ordinary people practise spiritual discipline and cultivate devotion to God; but they also
become attached to the world and are caught in the glamour of 'woman and gold'. They are
like flies, which sit on a flower or a sweetmeat and light on filth as well".

"But the ever-perfect are like bees, which light only on flowers and sip the honey. The
ever-perfect drink only the Nectar of Divine Bliss. They are never inclined to worldly
pleasures".

"The devotion of the ever-perfect is not like the ordinary devotion that one acquires as a
result of strenuous spiritual discipline. Ritualistic devotion consists in repeating the name of
God and performing worship in a prescribed manner. It is like crossing a rice-field in a
roundabout way along the balk. Again, it is like reaching a near-by village by boat in a
roundabout way along a winding river".

"One does not follow the injunctions of ceremonial worship when one develops ragabhakti,
when one loves God as one's own. Then it is like crossing a rice-field after the
harvest. You don't have to walk along the balk. You can go straight across the field in any
direction".

"When the country is flooded deep with water, one doesn't have to follow the winding
river. Then the fields are deep under water. You can row your boat straight to the village".

"Without this intense attachment, this passionate love, one cannot realize God."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 03, 2012, 05:46:30 AM
Master's experiences in samadhi

AMRITA: "Sir, how do you feel in samadhi?"

MASTER: "You may have heard that the cockroach, by intently meditating on the
bhramara, is transformed into a bhramara. Do you know how I feel then? I feel like a fish
released from a pot into the water of the Ganges."

AMRITA: "Don't you feel at that time even a trace of ego?"

MASTER: "Yes, generally a little of it remains. However hard you may rub a grain of gold
against a grindstone, still a bit of it always remains. Or again, take the case of a big fire; the
ego is like one of its sparks. In samadhi I lose outer consciousness completely; but God
generally keeps a little trace of ego in me for the enjoyment of divine communion.
Enjoyment is possible only when 'I' and 'you' remain".

"Again, sometimes God effaces even that trace of 'I'. Then one experiences jada samadhi or
nirvikalpa samadhi. That experience cannot be described. A salt doll went to measure the
depth of the ocean, but before it had gone far into the water it melted away. It became
entirely one with the water of the ocean. Then who was to come back and tell the ocean's
depth?"

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 04, 2012, 07:10:11 AM
Chapter 9 ADVICE TO THE BRAHMOS Saturday, April 7, 1883

SRI RAMAKRISHNA was visiting Balaram in Calcutta, with Narendra, Bhavanath,
Rakhal, M., and others. Balaram, at the Master's bidding, had invited some of the young
devotees to lunch. Sri Ramakrishna often said to him, "Feed them now and then; that will
confer on you the merit of feeding holy men." The Master looked on his young disciples,
yet untouched by "woman and gold", as veritable embodiments of God.

A few days earlier Sri Ramakrishna had been to Keshab's house with Narendra and Rakhal
to see a performance of the play entitled Nava-Vrindavan. Narendra had taken part in the
performance, in which Keshab had played the role of Pavhari Baba.

MASTER: "Keshab came on the stage in the role of a holy man and sprinkled the 'Water of
Peace'. But I didn't like it. The idea of sprinkling such water on a theatrical stage after a
performance!

"Another gentleman played the part of Sin. That is not good either. One should not commit
sin; one should not even feign it."

Narendra's music

The Master wanted to hear Narendra sing. The young disciple was not feeling well, but at
the Master's earnest request he sang to the accompaniment of the tanpura:

Sing, O bird that nestles deep within my heart!
Sing, O bird that sits on the Kalpa-Tree of Brahman!
Sing God's everlasting praise. . . .

Then he sang:

Brahman, Joy of the whole universe, Supreme Effulgence;
God beginningless, Lord of the world, the very Life of life! . . .

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 06, 2012, 05:58:59 AM
And again:
O King of Kings, reveal Thyself to me!
I crave Thy mercy. Cast on me Thy glance!
At Thy dear feet I dedicate my life,
Seared in the fiery furnace of this world.
My heart, alas, is deeply stained with sin;
Ensnared in maya, I am all but dead.
Compassionate Lord! Revive my fainting soul
With the life-giving nectar of Thy grace.

Narendra continued:
Upon the tray of the sky blaze bright
The lamps of Sun and moon;
Like diamonds shine the glittering stars
To deck Thy wondrous form.
The sweet Malaya breeze blows soft,
For fragrant incense smoke;
The moving air sways to and fro
The fan before Thy holy face:
Like gleaming votive lights
The fresh and flowery groves appear.
How wonderful Thy worship is,
O Slayer of birth and death!
The sacred Om, from space arisen,
Is the resounding drum.
My mind craves nectar day and night
At Hari's Lotus Feet;
Oh, shower the waters of Thy grace
On thirsty Nanak, blessed Lord;
And may Thy hallowed name
Become his everlasting home!

He sang again:
In Wisdom's firmament the moon of Love is rising full,
And Love's flood-tide, in surging waves, is flowing everywhere.
O Lord, how full of bliss Thou art! Victory unto Thee! . . .

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 07, 2012, 06:42:20 AM
Then at the Master's bidding Bhavanath sang:

Where is a friend like Thee, O Essence of Mercy?
Where is another friend like Thee
To stand by me through pain and pleasure?
Who, among all my friends, forgives my failings,
Bringing me comfort for my grief,
Soothing my spirit in its terror?
Thou art the Helmsman who dost steer life's craft
Across the world's perilous sea;
Thy grace it is alone, O Lord,
That silences my raging passions' storm.
Thou pourest out the waters of peace
Upon my burning, penitent soul:
And Thine is the bosom that will shelter me
When every other friend I own
Deserts me in my dying hour.

True renunciation

Narendra said to the Master with a smile, referring to Bhavanath, "He has given up fish and
betel-leaf."

MASTER: "Why so? What is the matter with fish and betel-leaf? They aren't harmful. The
renunciation of 'woman and gold' is the true renunciation.
"Where is Rakhal?"

A DEVOTEE: "He is asleep, sir."

MASTER (with a smile): "Once a man went to a certain place to see a theatrical
performance, carrying a mat under his arm. Hearing that it would be some time before the
performance began, he spread the mat on the floor and fell asleep. When he woke up it was
all over. (All laugh.) Then he returned home with the mat under his arm."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 08, 2012, 06:47:49 AM
Ramdayal was very ill and lay in bed in another room. The Master went there to inquire
about him.
About four o'clock in the afternoon some members of the Brahmo Samaj arrived. The
Master began to converse with them.

Study of scriptures for the beginner

A BRAHMO: "Sir, have you read the Panchadasi?"

MASTER: "At first one should hear books like that and indulge in reasoning. But later on-
Cherish my precious Mother Syama
Tenderly within, O mind;
May you and I alone behold Her,
Letting no one else intrude.

"One should hear the scriptures during the early stages of spiritual discipline. After
attaining God there is no lack of knowledge. Then the Divine Mother supplies it without
fail.

"A child spells out every word as he writes, but later on he writes fluently.

"The goldsmith is up and doing while melting gold. As long as the gold hasn't melted, he
works the bellows with one hand, moves the fan with the other, and blows through a pipe
with his mouth. But the moment the gold melts and is poured into the mould, he is relieved
of all anxiety.

"Mere reading of the scriptures is not enough. A person cannot understand the true
significance of the scriptures if he is attached to the world. Though with intense delight I
learnt many poems and dramas, I have forgotten them all, entrapped in Krishna's love".

"Keshab enjoys the world and practises yoga as well. Living in the world, he directs his
mind to God."

A devotee described the Convocation of Calcutta University, saying that the meeting
looked like a forest of human heads.

MASTER: "The feeling of the Divine is awakened in me when I see a great crowd of
people. Had I seen that meeting, I should have been overwhelmed with spiritual fervour."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 09, 2012, 08:41:18 AM
Sunday, April 8, 1883

It was Sunday morning. The Master, looking like a boy, was seated in his room, and near
him was another boy, his beloved disciple Rakhal. M.entered and saluted the Master.
Ramlal also was in the room, and Kishori, Manilal Mallick, and several other devotees
gathered by and by.

Manilal Mallick, a business man, had recently been to Benares, where he owned a
bungalow.

Trailanga Swami and Bhaskarananda

MASTER: "So you have been to Benares. Did you see any holy men there?"

MANILAL: "Yes, sir. I paid my respects to Trailanga Swami, Bhaskarananda, and others."

MASTER: "Tell us something about them."

MANILAL: "Trailanga Swami is living in the same temple where he lived before-on the
Manikarnika Ghat; near the Benimadhav Minaret. People say he was formerly in a more
exalted spiritual state. He could perform many miracles. Now he has lost much of that
power."

MASTER: "That is the criticism of worldly people."

MANILAL: "Trailanga Swami keeps a strict vow of silence. Unlike him, Bhaskarananda is
friendly with all."

MASTER: "Did you have any conversation with Bhaskarananda?"

MANILAL: "Yes, sir. We had a long talk. Among other things we discussed the problem of
good and evil. He said to me: 'Don't follow the path of evil. Give up sinful thoughts. That is
how God wants us to act. Perform only those duties that are virtuous.' "

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Jewell on December 10, 2012, 12:43:05 AM
(http://images.coolchaser.com/themes/t/122874-i58.photobucket.com-albums-g247-Mrsrem05-a_s_01_1321_01_00-vi.gif)(http://images.coolchaser.com/themes/t/122874-i58.photobucket.com-albums-g247-Mrsrem05-a_s_01_1321_01_00-vi.gif)(http://images.coolchaser.com/themes/t/122874-i58.photobucket.com-albums-g247-Mrsrem05-a_s_01_1321_01_00-vi.gif)(http://images.coolchaser.com/themes/t/122874-i58.photobucket.com-albums-g247-Mrsrem05-a_s_01_1321_01_00-vi.gif)
Meditate, O my mind, on the Lord Hari,
The Stainless One, Pure Spirit through and through.
How peerless is the Light that in Him shines!
How soul-bewitching is His wondrous form!
How dear is He to all His devotees!
Ever more beauteous in fresh-blossoming love
That shames the splendour of a million moons,
Like lightning gleams the glory of His form,
Raising erect the hair for very joy.
(http://images.coolchaser.com/themes/t/122874-i58.photobucket.com-albums-g247-Mrsrem05-a_s_01_1321_01_00-vi.gif)(http://images.coolchaser.com/themes/t/122874-i58.photobucket.com-albums-g247-Mrsrem05-a_s_01_1321_01_00-vi.gif)(http://images.coolchaser.com/themes/t/122874-i58.photobucket.com-albums-g247-Mrsrem05-a_s_01_1321_01_00-vi.gif)(http://images.coolchaser.com/themes/t/122874-i58.photobucket.com-albums-g247-Mrsrem05-a_s_01_1321_01_00-vi.gif)
I drink no ordinary wine, but Wine of Everlasting Bliss,
As I repeat my Mother Kali's name;
It so intoxicates my mind that people take me to be drunk!
First my guru gives molasses for the making of the Wine;
My longing is the ferment to transform it.
Knowledge, the maker of the Wine, prepares it for me then;
And when it is done, my mind imbibes it from the bottle of the mantra,
Taking the Mother's name to make it pure.
Drink of this Wine, says Ramprasad, and the four fruits of life are yours.

(http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/c14.0.403.403/p403x403/561486_444442878948706_70767428_n.jpg)
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 10, 2012, 06:21:51 AM
Jewell,
Beautiful painting of Sri Ramakrishna listening to Naren's singing of these wonderful songs,with the Holy Ganges in the background.
Thanks very much.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 10, 2012, 06:25:51 AM
The seer of God transcends good and evil
MASTER: "Yes, that is also a path, meant for worldly-minded people. But those whose
spiritual consciousness has been awakened, who have realized that God alone is real and all
else illusory, cherish a different ideal. They are aware that God alone is the Doer and others
are His instruments.
"Those whose spiritual consciousness has been awakened never make a false step. They do
not have to reason in order to shun evil. They are so full of love of God that whatever
action they undertake is a good action. They are fully conscious that they are not the doers
of their actions, but mere servants of God. They always feel: 'I am the machine and He is
the Operator. I do as He does through me. I speak as He speaks through me. I move as He
moves me.'
"Fully awakened souls are beyond virtue and vice. They realize that it is God who does
everything.
Seeing God in everything
"There was a monastery in a certain place. The monks residing there went out daily to beg
their food. One day a monk, while out for his alms, saw a landlord beating a man
mercilessly. The compassionate monk stepped in and asked the landlord to stop. But the
landlord was filled with anger and turned his wrath against the innocent monk. He beat the
monk till he fell unconscious on the ground. Someone reported the matter to the monastery.
The monks ran to the spot and found their brother lying there. Four or five of them carried
him back and laid him on a bed. He was still unconscious. The other monks sat around him
sad at heart; some were fanning him. Finally someone suggested that he should be given a
little milk to drink. When it was poured into his mouth he regained consciousness. He
opened his eyes and looked around. One of the monks said, 'Let us see whether he is fully
conscious and can recognize us.' Shouting into his ear, he said, 'Revered sir, who is giving
you milk?' 'Brother,' replied the holy man in a low voice, 'He who beat me is now giving
me milk.'
"But one does not attain such a state of mind without the realization of God."
MANILAL: "Sir, what you have just said applies to a man of a very lofty spiritual state. I
talked on such topics in a general way with Bhaskarananda."
MASTER: "Does he live in a house?"
MANILAL: "Yes, sir. He lives with a devotee."
MASTER: "How old is he now?"
MANILAL: "About fifty-five."
MASTER: "Did you talk about anything else?"
MANILAL: "I asked him how to cultivate bhakti. He said: 'Chant the name of God. Repeat
the name of Rama.' "
MASTER: "That is very good."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 11, 2012, 06:34:53 AM
The worship was over in the temples and the bells rang for the food offerings in the shrines.
As it was a summer noon the sun was very hot. The flood-tide began in the Ganges and a
breeze came up from the south. Sri Ramakrishna was resting in his room after his meal.
The people of Basirhat, Rakhal's birth-place, had been suffering from a severe drought
during the summer months.
MASTER (to Manilal): "Rakhal says that the people in his native village have been
suffering seriously from a scarcity of water. Why don't you build a reservoir there? That
will do the people good. (Smiling) You have so much money; what will you do with all
your wealth? But they say that telis are very calculating." (All laugh.)
Manilal was truly a calculating man, though he suffered no lack of money. In later years he
set up an endowment of twenty-five thousand rupees for the maintenance of poor students.
Manilal made no answer to these words of the Master about his caste characteristics. Later
on, in the course of the conversation, he remarked casually: "Sir, you referred to a reservoir.
You might as well have confined yourself to that suggestion. Why allude to the 'oil-man
caste' and all that?"
Some of the devotees smiled to themselves. The Master laughed.
Presently a few elderly members of the Brahmo Samaj arrived. The room was full of
devotees. Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on his bed, facing the north. He kept smiling, and
talked to the Brahmo devotees in a joyous mood.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 12, 2012, 06:21:53 AM
Characteristics of divine love
MASTER: "You talk glibly about prema. But is it such a commonplace thing? There are
two characteristics of prema. First, it makes one forget the world. So intense is one's love of
God that one becomes unconscious of outer things. Chaitanya had this ecstatic love; he
'took a wood for the sacred grove of Vrindavan and the ocean for the dark waters of the
Jamuna'. Second, one has no feeling of 'my-ness' toward the body, which is so dear to man.
One wholly gets rid of the feeling that the body is the soul.

Indications of God-realization
"There are certain signs of God-realization. The man in whom longing for God manifests
its glories is not far from attaining Him. What are the glories of that longing? They are
discrimination, dispassion, compassion for living beings, serving holy men, loving their
company, chanting the name and glories of God, telling the truth, and the like. When you
see those signs of longing in an aspirant, you can rightly say that for him the vision of God
is not far to seek.
"The state of a servant's house will tell you unmistakably whether his master has decided to
visit it. First, the rubbish and jungle around the house are cleared up. Second, the soot and
dirt are removed from the rooms. Third, the courtyard, floors, and other places are swept
clean. Finally the master himself sends various things to the house such as a carpet, a
hubble-bubble for smoking, and the like. When you see these things arriving, you conclude
that the master will very soon come"

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 14, 2012, 05:51:21 AM
A DEVOTEE: "Sir, should one first practise discrimination to attain self-control?"
MASTER: "That is also a path. It is called the path of vichara, reasoning. But the inner
organs are brought under control naturally through the path of devotion as well. It is rather
easily accomplished that way. Sense pleasures appear more and more tasteless as love for
God grows. Can carnal pleasure attract a grief-stricken man and woman the day their child
has died?"
Efficacy of japa and prayer
DEVOTEE: "How can I develop love for God?"
MASTER: "Repeat His name, and sins will disappear. Thus you will destroy lust, anger,
the desire for creature comforts, and so on."
DEVOTEE: "How can I take delight in God's name?"
MASTER: "Pray to God with a yearning heart that you may take delight in His name. He
will certainly fulfil your heart's desire."
So saying, the Master sang a song in his sweet voice, pleading with the Divine Mother to
show Her grace to suffering men:
O Mother, I have no one else to blame:
Alas! I sink in the well these very hands have dug.
With the six passions for my spade,
I dug a pit in the sacred land of earth;
And now the dark water of death gushes forth!
How can I save myself, O my Redeemer?
Surely I have been my own enemy;
How can I now ward off this dark water of death?
Behold, the waters rise to my chest!
How can I save myself? O Mother, save me!
Thou art my only Refuge; with Thy protecting glance
Take me across to the other shore of the world.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 15, 2012, 08:18:00 AM
The Master sang again:
What a delirious fever is this that I suffer from!
O Mother, Thy grace is my only cure.
False pride is the fever that racks my wasted form;
"I" and "mine" are my cry. Oh, what a wicked delusion!
My quenchless thirst for wealth and friends is never-ceasing;
How, then, shall I sustain my life?
Talk about things unreal, this is my wretched delirium,
And I indulge in it always, O Giver of all good fortune!
My eyes in seeming sleep are closed, my stomach is
filled With the vile worms of cruelty.
Alas! I wander about absorbed in unmeaning deeds;
Even for Thy holy name I have no taste, O Mother!
I doubt that I shall ever be cured of this malady.
Then the Master said: " 'Even for Thy holy name I have no taste.' A typhoid patient has
very little chance of recovery if he loses all taste for food; but his life need not be despaired
of if he enjoys food even a little. That is why one should cultivate a taste for God's name.
Any name will do-Durga, Krishna, or Siva. Then if, through the chanting of the name, one's
attachment to God grows day by day, and joy fills the soul, one has nothing to fear. The
delirium will certainly disappear; the grace of God will certainly descend.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 16, 2012, 06:41:52 AM
Parable of the two friends
" 'As is a man's feeling of love, so is his gain.' Once two friends were going along the street,
when they saw some people listening to a reading of the Bhagavata. 'Come, friend', said the
one to the other. 'Let us hear the sacred book.' So saying he went in and sat down. The
second man peeped in and went away. He entered a house of ill fame. But very soon he felt
disgusted with the place. 'Shame on me!' he said to himself. 'My friend has been listening to
the sacred word of Hari; and see where I am!' But the friend who had been listening to the
Bhagavata also became disgusted. 'What a fool I am!' he said. 'I have been listening to this
fellow's blah-blah, and my friend is having a grand time.' In course of time they both died.
The messenger of Death came for the soul of the one who had listened to the Bhagavata
and dragged it off to hell. The messenger of God came for the soul of the one who had been
to the house of prostitution and led it up to heaven.
"Verily, the Lord looks into a man's heart and does not judge him by what he does or where
he lives. 'Krishna accepts a devotee's inner feeling of love.'
"In the Kartabhaja sect, the teacher, while giving initiation, says to the disciple, 'Now
everything depends on your mind.' According to this sect, 'He who has the right mind find
the right way and also achieves the right end.' It was through the power of his mind that
Hanuman leapt over the sea. 'I am the servant of Rama; I have repeated the holy name of
Rama. Is there anything impossible for me?'-that was Hanuman's faith.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 17, 2012, 06:09:54 AM
"Ignorance lasts as long as one has ego. There can be no liberation so long as the ego
remains. 'O God, Thou art the Doer and not I'-that is knowledge.
"By being lowly one can rise high. The chatak bird makes its nest on low ground, but it
soars very high in the sky. Cultivation is not possible on high land; in low land water
accumulates and makes cultivation possible.
"One must take the trouble to seek the company of holy persons. In his own home a man
hears only worldly talk; the disease of worldliness has become chronic with him. The caged
parrot sitting on its perch repeats, 'Rama! Rama!' But let it fly to the forest and it will
squawk in its usual way.
"Mere possession of money doesn't make a nobleman. One sign of the mansion of a
nobleman is that all the rooms are lighted. The poor cannot afford much oil, and
consequently cannot have so many lights. This shrine of the body should not be left dark;
one should illumine it with the lamp of Wisdom. Lighting the lamp of knowledge in the
chamber of your heart, Behold the face of the Mother, Brahman's Embodiment.
"Everyone can attain Knowledge. There are two entities: Jivatma, the individual soul, and
Paramatma, the Supreme Soul. Through prayer all individual souls can be united to the
Supreme Soul
. Every house has a connection for gas, and gas can be obtained from the
main storage-tank of the Gas Company. Apply to the Company, and it will arrange for your
supply of gas. Then your house will be lighted".

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 18, 2012, 07:04:27 AM
In some people spiritual consciousness has already been awakened; but they have special
marks. They do not enjoy hearing or talking about anything but God. They are like the
chatak, which prays for rain-water though the seven oceans, the Ganges, the Jamuna, and
the rivers near it are all filled with water. It won't drink anything but rain-water, even
though its throat is burning with thirst.

The Master wanted to hear a few songs. Ramlal and a brahmin official of the temple garden
sang:

Dwell, O Lord, O Lover of bhakti,
In the Vrindavan of my heart,
And my devotion unto Thee
Will be Thy Radha, dearly loved. . . .

And again:
The dark cloud of the summer storm fades into nothingness,
When, flute in hand and a smile on His lips,
Lighting the world with His loveliness,
Krishna, the Dark One, appears.
His dazzling yellow robe outgleams even the lightning's glare;
A wreath of wild-flowers interwoven
Gently swings from His youthful breast
And softly kisses His feet.
See, there He stands, the Lord of life, the Moon of Nanda's line,
Outshining all the moons in heaven
And with the splendour of His rays
Flooding the Jamuna's bank!
He stands there, stealing the maidens' hearts;
He lures them from hearth and home.
Krishna enters my own heart's shrine,
And with His flute-note steals away
My wisdom, life, and soul.
To whom shall Ganga Narayana pour out his tale of woe?
Ah, friend, you might have understood
Had you but gone to the Jamuna's bank
To fill your water-jar
!

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 22, 2012, 06:08:40 AM
Again they sang:
High in the heaven of the Mother's feet, my mind was soaring like a kite,
When came a blast of sin's rough wind that drove it swiftly toward the earth. . . .

Zeal for the Lord destroys sin

MASTER (to the devotees): "As the tiger devours other animals, so does the 'tiger of zeal
for the Lord' eat up lust, anger, and the other passions. Once this zeal grows in the heart,
lust and the other passions disappear
. The gopis of Vrindavan had that state of mind
because of their zeal for Krishna.
"Again, this zeal for God is compared to collyrium. Radha said to her friends, 'I see Krishna
everywhere.' They replied, 'Friend, you have painted your eyes with the collyrium of love;
that is why you see Krishna everywhere.'
"They say that when your eyes are painted with collyrium made from the ashes of a frog's
head you see snakes everywhere.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 23, 2012, 07:12:08 AM
Traits of bound souls
"They are indeed bound souls who constantly dwell with 'woman and gold' and do not think
of God even for a moment. How can you expect noble deeds of them? They are like
mangoes pecked by a crow, which may not be offered to the Deity in the temple, and which
even men hesitate to eat.
"Bound souls, worldly people, are like silk-worms. The worms can cut through their
cocoons if they want, but having woven the cocoons themselves, they are too much
attached to them to leave them. And so they die there.
"Free souls are not under the control of 'woman and gold'. There are some silk-worms that
cut through the cocoon they have made with such great care. But they are few and far
between.
"It is maya that deludes. Only a few become spiritually awakened and are not deluded by
the spell of maya. They do not come under the control of 'woman and gold'.
Two classes of perfect souls
"There are two classes of perfect souls: those who attain perfection through spiritual
practice, and those who attain it through the grace of God. Some farmers irrigate their fields
with great labour. Only then can they grow crops. But there are some who do not have to
irrigate at all; their fields are flooded by rain. They don't have to go to the trouble of
drawing water. One must practise spiritual discipline laboriously, in order to avoid the
clutches of maya. Those who attain liberation through the grace of God do not have to
labour. But they are few indeed.
"

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Jewell on December 25, 2012, 01:23:01 AM
(http://www.graphicsgrotto.com/glittergraphics/stars/images/gstars34.gif)
Nature of Ātman


"Once Vyasadeva was about to cross the Jamuna. The gopis also were there. They wanted to go to the other side of the river to sell curd, milk, and cream. But there was no ferry at that time. They were all worried about how to cross the river, when Vyāsa said to them, 'I am very hungry.' The milkmaids fed him with milk and cream. He finished almost all their food. Then Vyāsa said to the river, 'O Jamuna, if I have not eaten anything, then your waters will part and we shall walk through.' It so happened. The river parted and a pathway was formed between the waters. Following that path, the gopis and Vyāsa crossed the river. Vyāsa had said, 'If I have not eaten anything'. That means, the real man is Pure Ātman. Ātman is unattached and beyond Prakriti. It has neither hunger nor thirst; It knows neither birth nor death; It does not age, nor does It die. It is immutable as Mount Sumeru.

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Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 25, 2012, 06:58:04 AM
The ever-perfect
"Then there is the class of the ever-perfect. They are born in each life with their spiritual
consciousness already awakened. Think of a spring whose outlet is obstructed. While
looking after various things in the garden, the plumber accidentally clears it and the water
gushes out. Yet people are amazed to see the first manifestations of an ever-perfect soul's
zeal for God. They say, 'Where was all this devotion and renunciation and love?'
"

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 28, 2012, 06:51:59 AM
The conversation turned to the spiritual zeal of devotees, as illustrated in the earnestness of
the gopis of Vrindavan. Ramlal sang:
Thou art my All in All, O Lord!-the Life of my life, the Essence of essence;
In the three worlds I have none else but Thee to call my own.
Thou art my peace, my joy, my hope; Thou my support, my wealth, my glory;
Thou my wisdom and my strength.
Thou art my home, my place of rest; my dearest friend, my next of kin;
My present and my future, Thou; my heaven and my salvation.
Thou art my scriptures, my commandments; Thou art my ever gracious Guru;
Thou the Spring of my boundless bliss.
Thou art the Way, and Thou the Goal; Thou the Adorable One, O Lord!
Thou art the Mother tender-hearted; Thou the chastising Father;
Thou the Creator and Protector; Thou the Helmsman who dost steer
My craft across the sea of life.
MASTER (to the devotees): "Ah! What a beautiful song!-'Thou art my All in All.' "
Ramlal sang again, this time describing the pangs of the gopis on being separated from their
beloved Krishna:
Hold not, hold not the chariot's wheels!
Is it the wheels that make it move?
The Mover of its wheels is Krishna,
By whose will the worlds are moved. . . .
The Master went into deep samadhi. His body was motionless; he sat with folded hands as
in his photograph. Tears of joy flowed from the corners of his eyes.
After a long time his
mind came down to the ordinary plane of consciousness. He mumbled something, of which
only a word now and then could be heard by the devotees in the room. He was saying:
"Thou art I, and I am Thou-Thou eatest-Thou-I eat! . . . What is this confusion Thou hast
created?"
Continuing, the Master said: "I see everything like a man with jaundiced eyes! I see Thee
alone everywhere. O Krishna, Friend of the lowly! O Eternal Consort of my soul! O
Govinda!"
As he uttered the words "Eternal Consort of my soul" and "Govinda", the Master again
went into samadhi. There was complete silence in the room. The eager and unsatiated eyes
of the devotees were fixed on the Master, a God-man of infinite moods.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 29, 2012, 08:19:43 AM
Adhar Sen arrived with several of his friends. He was a deputy magistrate, about thirty
years old. This was his second visit to the Master. He was accompanied by his friend
Saradacharan, who was extremely unhappy because of the death of his eldest son. A retired
deputy inspector of schools, Saradacharan devoted himself to meditation and prayer. Adhar
had brought his friend to the Master for consolation in his afflicted state of mind.
Coming down from samadhi, the Master found the eyes of the devotees fixed on him. He
muttered to himself, still in an abstracted mood.
Worldly people lack perseverance
Then, addressing the devotees, Sri Ramakrishna said: "The spiritual wisdom of worldly
people is seen only on rare occasions. It is like the flame of a candle. No, it is rather like a
single ray of the sun passing through a chink in a wall. Worldly people chant the name of
God, but there is no zeal behind it. It is like children's swearing by God, having learnt the
word from the quarrels of their aunts.
"Worldly people have no grit. If they succeed in an undertaking, it is all right, but if they
don't succeed, it scarcely bothers them at all. When they need water they begin to dig a
well. But as soon as they strike a stone they give up digging there and begin at another
place. Perhaps they come to a bed of sand. Finding nothing but sand, they give that place up
too. How can they succeed in getting water unless they continue to dig persistently where
they started?
"Man reaps the harvest of his own past actions. Hence you read in the song:
O Mother, I have no one else to blame:
Alas! I sink in the well these very hands have dug.
" 'I' and 'mine'-that is ignorance. By discriminating you will realize that what you call 'I' is
really nothing but Atman. Reason it out. Are you the body or the flesh or something else?
At the end you will know that you are none of these. You are free from attributes. Then you
will realize that you have never been the doer of any action, that you have been free from
virtue and faults alike, that you are beyond righteousness and unrighteousness
.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on December 30, 2012, 06:09:34 PM
"From ignorance a man says, 'This is gold and this is brass.' But a man of Knowledge says,
'It is all gold.'
"Reasoning stops when one sees God. But there are instances of people who have realized
God and who still continue to reason. Again, there are people who, even after having seen
God, chant His name with devotion and sing His glories.
"How long does a child cry? So long as it is not sucking at its mother's breast. As soon as it
is nursed it stops crying. Then the child feels only joy. Joyously it drinks the milk from its
mother's breast. But it is also true that, while drinking, the child sometimes plays and
laughs.
"It is God alone who has become everything. But in man He manifests Himself the most.
God is directly present in the man who has the pure heart of a child and who laughs and
cries and dances and sings in divine ecstasy."
By this time Sri Ramakrishna had become better acquainted with Adhar, who related the
cause of his friend's grief. The Master sang, as if to himself:
To arms! To arms, O man! Death storms your house in battle array!
Bearing the quiver of knowledge, mount the chariot of devotion;
Bend the bow of your tongue with the bow-string of love,
And aim at him the shaft of Mother Kali's holy name.
Here is a ruse for the fray: You need no chariot or charioteer;
Fight your foe from the Ganges' bank, and he is easily slain.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 04, 2013, 06:15:29 AM
Master consoles a bereaved father
Then he said: "What can you do? Be ready for Death. Death has entered the house. You
must fight him with the weapon of God's holy name. God alone is the Doer. I say: 'O Lord,
I do as Thou doest through me. I speak as Thou speakest through me. I am the machine and
Thou art the Operator. I am the house and Thou art the Indweller. I am the engine and Thou
art the Engineer.' Give your power of attorney to God. One doesn't come to grief through
letting a good man assume one's responsibilities. Let His will be done.
"But isn't your grief for your son only natural? The son is one's own self reborn.
Lakshmana ran to Ravana when the latter fell dead on the battlefield. Looking at Ravana's
body, he found that everyone of his bones was full of holes. Thereupon he said to Rama: 'O
Rama, glory be to Your arrows! There is no spot in Ravana's body that they have not
pierced.' 'Brother,' replied Rama, 'the holes you see in his bones are not from My arrows.
Grief for his sons has pierced them through and through. These holes are the marks of his
grief. It has penetrated his very bones.'
"But house, wife, and children are all transitory; they have only a momentary existence.
The palm-tree alone is real. One or two fruits have dropped off. Why lament?
"God is engaged in three kinds of activity: creation, preservation, and destruction. Death is
inevitable. All will be destroyed at the time of dissolution. Nothing will remain. At that
time the Divine Mother will gather up the seeds for the future creation, even as the elderly
mistress of the house keeps in her hotchpotch-pot little bags of cucumber seeds, 'sea-foam',
blue pills, and other miscellaneous things. The Divine Mother will take Her seeds out again
at the time of the new creation."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Hari on January 04, 2013, 12:01:47 PM
Master consoles a bereaved father
Then he said: "What can you do? Be ready for Death. Death has entered the house. You
must fight him with the weapon of God's holy name. God alone is the Doer. I say: 'O Lord,
I do as Thou doest through me. I speak as Thou speakest through me. I am the machine and
Thou art the Operator. I am the house and Thou art the Indweller. I am the engine and Thou
art the Engineer.' Give your power of attorney to God. One doesn't come to grief through
letting a good man assume one's responsibilities. Let His will be done.
"But isn't your grief for your son only natural? The son is one's own self reborn.
Lakshmana ran to Ravana when the latter fell dead on the battlefield. Looking at Ravana's
body, he found that everyone of his bones was full of holes. Thereupon he said to Rama: 'O
Rama, glory be to Your arrows! There is no spot in Ravana's body that they have not
pierced.' 'Brother,' replied Rama, 'the holes you see in his bones are not from My arrows.
Grief for his sons has pierced them through and through. These holes are the marks of his
grief. It has penetrated his very bones.'
"But house, wife, and children are all transitory; they have only a momentary existence.
The palm-tree alone is real. One or two fruits have dropped off. Why lament?
"God is engaged in three kinds of activity: creation, preservation, and destruction. Death is
inevitable. All will be destroyed at the time of dissolution. Nothing will remain. At that
time the Divine Mother will gather up the seeds for the future creation, even as the elderly
mistress of the house keeps in her hotchpotch-pot little bags of cucumber seeds, 'sea-foam',
blue pills, and other miscellaneous things. The Divine Mother will take Her seeds out again
at the time of the new creation."



Very true but very difficult to be applied in the life of someone who has lost his/her beloved relative.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 05, 2013, 09:01:52 AM
Hari,
Please see the Rough Note book thread.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 05, 2013, 09:19:05 AM
Sri Ramakrishna began to talk with Adhar on the verandah north of his room.
MASTER (to Adhar): "You are a deputy magistrate. Remember that you have obtained
your position through the grace of God. Do not forget Him, but remember that all men must
one day walk down the same path. We stay in the world only a couple of days.
"This world is our field of activity. We are born here to perform certain duties. People have
their homes in the country but come to Calcutta to work.
"It is necessary to do a certain amount of work. This is a kind of discipline. But one must
finish it speedily. While melting gold, the goldsmith uses everything-the bellows, the fan,
and the pipe-so that he may have the hot fire he needs to melt the metal. After the melting is
over, he relaxes and asks his attendant to prepare a smoke for him. All this time his face has
been hot and perspiring; but now he can smoke.
"One must have stern determination; then alone is spiritual practice possible. One must
make a firm resolve.
"There is great power in the seed of God's name. It destroys ignorance. A seed is tender,
and the sprout soft; still it pierces the hard ground. The ground breaks and makes way for
the sprout
.
"The mind becomes very much distracted if one lives long in the midst of 'woman and
gold'. Therefore one must be very careful. But monks do not have much to fear. The real
sannyasi lives away from 'woman and gold'. Therefore through the practice of spiritual
discipline he can always fix his mind on God.
"True sannyasis, those who are able to devote their minds constantly to God, are like bees,
which light only on flowers and sip their honey. Those who live in the world, in the midst
of 'woman and gold', may direct their attention to God; but sometimes their minds dwell
also on 'woman and gold'. They are like common flies, which light on a piece of candy,
then on a sore or filth.
"Always keep your mind fixed on God. In the beginning you must struggle a little; later on
you will enjoy your pension
."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Jewell on January 07, 2013, 06:04:49 AM
(http://www.graphicsgrotto.com/glittergraphics/borders/dividers/flowers/images/gbdflowers26.gif)(http://www.graphicsgrotto.com/glittergraphics/borders/dividers/flowers/images/gbdflowers26.gif)

Truth is one; only It is called by different names.
All people are seeking the same Truth;
the variance is due to climate, temperament, and name.
A lake has many ghats.
From one ghat the Hindus take water in jars and call it ‘jal’.
From another ghat the Mussalmāns take water in leather bags
 and call it ‘pāni’.
From a third the Christians take the same thing and call it ‘water’.
Suppose someone says that the thing is not ‘jal’ but ‘pāni’,
or that it is not ‘pāni’ but ‘water’,
or that it is not ‘water’ but ‘jal’,
It would indeed be ridiculous.
But this very thing is at the root of the friction among sects,
their misunderstandings and quarrels.
This is why people injure and kill one another,
and shed blood, in the name of religion.
But this is not good. Everyone is going toward God.
They will all realize Him
if they have sincerity and longing of heart.
(http://www.graphicsgrotto.com/glittergraphics/borders/dividers/flowers/images/gbdflowers26.gif)(http://www.graphicsgrotto.com/glittergraphics/borders/dividers/flowers/images/gbdflowers26.gif)
(http://jnanagni.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/Ramakrishna_at_studio.jpg)
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 07, 2013, 07:19:38 AM
Jewell,
yes indeed.This is another simple way the Master says in The Gospel:
"You may say that there are many errors and superstitions in another religion. I should
reply: Suppose there are. Every religion has errors. Everyone thinks that his watch alone
gives the correct time
. It is enough to have yearning for God. It is enough to love Him and
feel attracted to Him: Don't you know that God is the Inner Guide? He sees the longing of
our heart and the yearning of our soul.
Suppose a man has several sons. The older boys
address him distinctly as 'Baba' or 'Papa', but the babies can at best call him 'Ba' or 'Pa'.
Now, will the father be angry with those who address him in this indistinct way? The father
knows that they too are calling him, only they cannot pronounce his name well. All
children are the same to the father. Likewise, the devotees call on God alone, though by
different names. They call on one Person only. God is one, but His names are many."

If this is understood,then all quarrel ceases.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 07, 2013, 07:31:31 AM
Sunday, Apri115, 1883Surendra, a beloved lay disciple of the Master, had invited him to his house on the
auspicious occasion of the Annapurna Puja. It was about six o'clock when Sri Ramakrishna
arrived there with some of his devotees. The image of the Divine Mother had been installed
in the worship hall. At Her feet lay hibiscus flowers and vilwa-leaves; from Her neck hung
a garland of flowers. Sri Ramakrishna entered the hall and bowed down before the image.
Then he went to the open courtyard, where he sat on a carpet, surrounded by his devotees
and disciples. A few bolsters lay on the carpet, which was covered with a white linen sheet.
He was asked to lean against one of these, but he pushed it aside.
Difficulty of overcoming vanity
MASTER (to the devotees): "To lean against a bolster! You see, it is very difficult to give
up vanity. You may discriminate, saying that the ego is nothing at all; but still it comes,
nobody knows from where. A goat's legs jerk for a few moments even after its head has
been cut off. Or perhaps you are frightened in a dream; you shake off sleep and are wide
awake, but still you feel your heart palpitating. Egotism is exactly like that. You may drive
it away, but still it appears from somewhere. Then you look sullen and say: 'What! I have
not been shown proper respect!'"
KEDAR: "One should be lowlier than a straw and patient as a tree."
MASTER: "As for me, I consider myself as a speck of the dust of the devotee's feet."
Vaidyanath arrived. He was a well-educated man, a lawyer of the High Court of Calcutta.
With folded hands he saluted the Master and took his seat at one side.
SURENDRA (to the Master): "He is one of my relatives."
MASTER: "Yes, I see he has a nice nature."
SURENDRA: "He has come here because he wants to ask you a question or two."
Different manifestations of divine power
MASTER (to Vaidyanath): "All that you see is the manifestation of God's Power. No one
can do anything without this Power. But you must remember that there is not an equal
manifestation of God's Power in all things. Vidyasagar once asked me whether God
endowed some with greater power than others. I said to him: 'If there are no greater and
lesser manifestations of His Power, then why have we taken the trouble to visit you? Have
you grown two horns?' So it stands to reason that God exists in all beings as the Allpervasive
Power; but the manifestations of His Power are different in different beings."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 11, 2013, 06:46:51 AM
Free will and God's will
VAIDYANATH: "Sir, I have a doubt. People speak of free will. They say that a man can
do either good or evil according to his will. Is it true? Are we really free to do whatever we
like?"
MASTER: "Everything depends on the will of God. The world is His play. He has created
all these different things-great and small, strong and weak, good and bad, virtuous and
vicious. This is all His maya, His sport. You must have observed that all the trees in a
garden are not of the same kind.
"As long as a man has not realized God, he thinks he is free. It is God Himself who keeps
this error in man. Otherwise sin would have multiplied. Man would not have been afraid of
sin, and there would have been no punishment for it.
"But do you know the attitude of one who has realized God? He feels: 'I am the machine,
and Thou, O Lord, art the Operator. I am the house and Thou art the Indweller. I am the
chariot and Thou art the Driver. I move as Thou movest me; I speak as Thou makest me
speak.'
(To Vaidyanath): "It is not good to argue. Isn't that so?"
VAIDYANATH: "Yes, sir. The desire to argue disappears when a man attains wisdom."
The Master, out of his stock of a dozen English words, said, "Thank you!" in the most
charming way, and all laughed.
MASTER (to Vaidyanath): "You will make spiritual progress. People don't trust a man
when he speaks about God. Even if a great soul affirms that he has seen God, still the
average person will not accept his words. He says to himself, 'If this man has really seen
God, then let him show Him to me.' But can a man learn to feel a person's pulse in one day?
He must go about with a physician for many days; only then can he distinguish the different
pulses. He must be in the company of those with whom the examination of the pulse has
become a regular profession.
"Can anyone and everyone pick out a yarn of a particular count? If you are in that trade,
you can distinguish in a moment a forty-count thread from a forty-one."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 16, 2013, 05:18:48 AM
The kirtan was about to begin. Some Vaishnavas were seated on one side with their
mridangas and cymbals. A drummer began to play on his instrument preparatory to the
singing. The sweet and melodious sound of the mridanga filled the courtyard, calling to
mind the ecstatic kirtan of Sri Gauranga. The Master passed into a deep spiritual state. Now
and then he looked at the drummer and said, "Ah! Ah! My hair is all standing on end."
The singers asked what kind of song they should sing. The Master said humbly,
"Something about Gauranga, if you please."
The kirtan began. They sang about the celestial beauty of Sri Gauranga:
The beauty of Gauranga's face
Glows brighter than the brightest gold;
His smile illumines all the world.
Who cares for even a million moons
Shining in the blue autumn sky?
The chief musician added improvised lines as they sang: "O friend, his face shines like the
full moon!" "But it does not wane nor has it any stain." "It illumines the devotee's heart."
Again he improvised: "His face is bathed with the essence of a million moons."
At these words the Master went into deep samadhi. After a short while he regained
consciousness of the sense world. Then he suddenly stood up, overpowered by his spiritual
mood, and sang improvised lines with the professionals, thinking himself to be a milkmaid
of Vrindavan gone mad with the beauty of Sri Krishna's form: "Whose fault is it-my mind's
or His beauty's?" "In the three worlds I see nothing but my beloved Krishna."
The Master danced and sang. All remained spellbound as they watched. The chief musician
sang the words of a gopi: "O flute, pray stop. Can you not go to sleep?" One of the
musicians added a new line: "How can it sleep? It rests on Krishna's lips."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: sanjaya_ganesh on January 16, 2013, 09:43:08 AM
Who else can explain this more beautifully than Master to have no doubt about it - that every form is also as equal to Satchidananda as Satchidananda.

Quote
I give the Brahmos the illustration of water and ice. Satchidananda is like an endless expanse of water. The water of the great ocean in cold regions freezes into blocks of ice. Similarly, through the cooling influence of divine love, Satchidananda assumes forms for the sake of the bhaktas. The rishis had the vision of the supersensuous Spirit-form and talked with It. But devotees acquire a 'love body',
and with its help they see the Spirit-form of the Absolute.

"It is also said in the Vedas that Brahman is beyond mind and words. The heat of the sun of Knowledge melts the ice-like form of the Personal God. On attaining the Knowledge of Brahman and communing with It in nirvikalpa samadhi, one realizes Brahman, the Infinite, without form or shape and beyond mind and words.

Sanjay.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 17, 2013, 07:15:09 AM
The Master sat down. The music went on. They sang, assuming the mood of Radha: "My
eyes are blinded. My ears are deaf. I have lost the power of smell. All my senses are
paralysed. But, alas, why am I left alone?"
Finally the musicians sang of the union of Radha and Krishna:
Radha and Krishna are joined at last in the Nidhu Grove of Vrindavan;
Incomparable their beauty, and limitless their love!
The one half shines like yellow gold, the other like bluest sapphire;
Round the neck, on one side, a wild-flower garland hangs,
And, on the other, there swings a necklace of precious gems.
A ring of gold adorns one ear, a ring of shell the other;
Half of the brow is bright as the blazing midday sun,
The other softly gleams with the glow of the rising moon.
Upon one half of the head a graceful peacock feather stands,
And, from the other half, there hangs a braid of hair.
As the music came to a close the Master said, "Bhagavata-Bhakta-Bhagavan", and bowed
low to the devotees seated on all sides. He touched with his forehead the ground made holy
by the singing of the sacred music
.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 19, 2013, 05:08:50 AM
It was now about half past nine in the evening. Surendra entertained the Master and the
devotees with a sumptuous feast. When it was time to take leave of their host, the Master,
the devotees, and Surendra entered the worship hall and stood before the image.
SURENDRA (to the Master): "No one has sung anything about the Divine Mother today."
MASTER (pointing to the image): "Ah! Look at the beauty of the hall. The light of the
Divine Mother seems to have lighted the whole place. Such a sight fills the heart with joy.
Grief and desire for pleasure disappear.
"But can one not see God as formless Reality? Of course one can But not if one has the
slightest trace of worldliness. The rishis of olden times renounced everything and then
contemplated Satchidananda, the Indivisible Brahman.
"The Brahmajnanis of modern times sing of God as 'immutable, homogeneous'. It sounds
very dry to me. It seems as if the singers themselves don't enjoy the sweetness of God's
Bliss. One doesn't want a refreshing drink made with sugar candy if one is satisfied with
mere coarse treacle.
"Just see how happy you are, looking at this image of the Deity. But those who always cry
after the formless Reality do not get anything. They realize nothing either inside or
outside."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 20, 2013, 02:19:04 PM
The Master sang a song to the Divine Mother:
O Mother, ever blissful as Thou art,
Do not deprive Thy worthless child of bliss!
My mind knows nothing but Thy Lotus Feet.
The King of Death scowls at me terribly;
Tell me, Mother, what shall I say to him?
It was my heart's desire to sail my boat
Across the ocean of this mortal life,
O Durga, with Thy name upon my lips.
I never dreamt that Thou wouldst drown me here
In the dark waters of this shoreless sea.
Both day and night I swim among its waves,
Chanting Thy saving name; yet even so
There is no end, O Mother, to my grief.
If I am drowned this time, in such a plight,
No one will ever chant Thy name again.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 24, 2013, 06:12:33 AM
Again he sang:
Repeat, O mind, my Mother Durga's hallowed name!
Whoever treads the path, repeating "Durga! Durga!",
Siva Himself protects with His almighty trident.
Thou art the day, O Mother! Thou art the dusk and the night.
Sometimes Thou art man, and sometimes woman art Thou.
Thou mayest even say to me: "Step aside! Go away!"
Yet I shall cling to Thee, O Durga! Unto Thy feet
As Thine anklets I shall cling, making their tinkling sound.
Mother, when as the Kite Thou soarest in the sky,
There, in the water beneath, as a minnow I shall be swimming;
Upon me Thou wilt pounce, and pierce me through with Thy claws.
Thus, when the breath of life forsakes me in Thy grip,
Do not deny me the shelter of Thy Lotus Feet!

The Master saluted the divine image. As he came down the steps, he called softly to
Rakhal: "Where are my shoes? Are they missing?"
As the Master got into the carriage, Surendra and the other devotees bowed down before
him. Then the carriage started for Dakshineswar. The moon still lighted the streets.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 25, 2013, 06:43:29 AM
Chapter 10 THE MASTER WITH THE BRAHMO DEVOTEES (II) April 22, 1883

Master's visit to Brahmo festival
SRI RAMAKRISHNA paid a visit to Benimadhav Pal's garden house at Sinthi, near
Calcutta, on the occasion of the semi-annual festival of the Brahmo Samaj. Many devotees
of the Samaj were present and sat around the Master. Now and then some of them asked
him questions.
Love and prayer
A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Sir, what is the way?"
MASTER: "Attachment to God, or, in other words, love for Him. And secondly, prayer."
BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "Which one is the way-love or prayer?"
MASTER: "First love, and then prayer."
The Master sang:
Cry to your Mother Syama with a real cry, O mind!
And how can She hold Herself from you?
How can Syama stay away? . . .
Continuing, the Master said: "And one must always chant the name and glories of God and
pray to Him. An old metal pot must be scrubbed every day. What is the use of cleaning it
only once? Further, one must practise discrimination and renunciation; one must be
conscious of the unreality of the world."
BRAHMO: "Is it good to renounce the world?"
MASTER: "Not for all. Those who have not yet come to the end of their enjoyments should
not renounce the world. Can one get drunk on two annas' worth of wine?"

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 26, 2013, 08:29:41 AM
How to lead a householder's life
BRAHMO: "Then should they lead a worldly life?"
MASTER: "Yes, they should try to perform their duties in a detached way. Before you
break the jack-fruit open, rub your hands with oil, so that the sticky milk will not smear
them. The maidservant in a rich man's house performs all her duties, but her mind dwells
on her home in the country. This is an example of doing duty in a detached way. You
should renounce the world only in mind. But a sannyasi should renounce the world both
inwardly and outwardly
."
BRAHMO: "What is the meaning of the 'end of enjoyments'?"
MASTER: "I mean the enjoyment of 'woman and gold'. It is risky to put a typhoid patient
in a room where pitchers of water and jugs of pickled tamarind are kept. Most people don't
feel any longing for God unless they have once passed through the experience of wealth,
name, fame, creature comforts, and the like, that is to say, unless they have seen through
these enjoyments."
BRAHMO: "Who is really bad, man or woman?"
MASTER: "As there are women endowed with vidyasakti, so also there are women with
avidyasakti. A woman endowed with spiritual attributes leads a man to God, but a woman
who is the embodiment of delusion makes him forget God and drowns him in the ocean of
worldliness.
"This universe is created by the Mahamaya of God. Mahamaya contains both vidyamaya,
the illusion of knowledge, and avidyamaya, the illusion of ignorance. Through the help of
vidyamaya one cultivates such virtues as the taste for holy company, knowledge, devotion,
love, and renunciation
. Avidyamaya consists of the five elements and the objects of the five
senses-form, flavour, smell, touch, and sound. These make one forget God."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 28, 2013, 08:41:19 AM
Why there is evil in the world
BRAHMO: "If the power of avidya is the cause of ignorance, then why has God created
it?"
MASTER: "That is His play. The glory of light cannot be appreciated without darkness.
Happiness cannot be understood without misery. Knowledge of good is possible because of
knowledge of evil.
"Further, the mango grows and ripens on account of the covering skin. You throwaway the
skin when the mango is fully ripe and ready to be eaten. It is possible for a man to attain
gradually to the Knowledge of Brahman because of the covering skin of maya. Maya in its
aspects of vidya and avidya may be likened to the skin of the mango. Both are necessary."
BRAHMO: "Sir, is it good to worship God with form, an image of the Deity made of
clay?"
MASTER: "You do not accept God with form. That is all right. The image is not meant for
you. For you it is good to deepen your feeling toward your own Ideal. From the
worshippers of the Personal God you should learn their yearning-for instance, Sri Krishna's
attraction for Radha. You should learn from the worshippers of the Personal God their love
for their Chosen Ideal. When the believers in the Personal God worship the images of Kali
and Durga, with what feeling they cry from the depths of their souls, 'Mother! O Mother!'
How much they love the Deity! You should accept that feeling. You don't have to accept
the image."
BRAHMO: "How does one cultivate the spirit of dispassion? Why don't all attain it?"
MASTER: "Dispassion is not possible unless there is satiety through enjoyment. You can
easily cajole a small child with candies or toys. But after eating the candies and finishing its
play, it cries, 'I want to go to my mother.' Unless you take the child to its mother, it will
throw away the toy and scream at the top of its voice."
The members of the Brahmo Samaj are opposed to the traditional guru system of orthodox
Hinduism. Therefore the Brahmo devotee asked the Master about it.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on January 31, 2013, 06:21:32 AM
The need of a guru
BRAHMO: "Is spiritual knowledge impossible without a guru?"
MASTER: "Satchidananda alone is the Guru. If a man in the form of a guru awakens
spiritual consciousness in you, then know for certain that it is God the Absolute who has
assumed that human form for your sake. The guru is like a companion who leads you by the
hand
. After the realization of God, one loses the distinction between the guru and the
disciple. 'That creates a very difficult situation; there the guru and the disciple do not see
each other.' It was for this reason that Janaka said to Sukadeva, 'Give me first my teacher's
fee if you want me to initiate you into the Knowledge of Brahman.' For the distinction
between the teacher and the disciple ceases to exist after the disciple attains to Brahman.
The relationship between them remains as long as the disciple does not see God."
It was dusk. Some of the Brahmo devotees said to the Master, "Perhaps it is time for your
evening devotions."
MASTER: "No, it isn't exactly that. One should pass through these disciplines in the
beginning. Later one doesn't need the rituals of formal worship or to follow the
injunctions."
After dusk the preacher of the Brahmo Samaj conducted the service from the pulpit. The
service was interspersed with recitations from the Upanishads and the singing of Brahmo
songs.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on February 02, 2013, 07:26:51 AM
After the service the Master and the preacher conversed.
Personal God and formless Deity
MASTER: "Well, it seems to me that both the formless Deity and God with form are real.
What do you say?"
PREACHER: "Sir, I compare the formless God to the electric current, which is not seen
with the eyes but can be felt."
MASTER: "Yes, both are true. God with form is as real as God without form. Do you know
what describing God as being formless only is like? It is like a man's playing only a
monotone on his flute, though it has seven holes. But on the same instrument another man
plays different melodies. Likewise, in how many ways the believers in a Personal God
enjoy Him! They enjoy Him through many different attitudes: the serene attitude, the
attitude of a servant, a friend, a mother, a husband, or a lover.
"You see, the thing is somehow or other to get into the Lake of the Nectar of Immortality.
Suppose one person gets into It by propitiating the Deity with hymns and worship, and you
are pushed into It. The result will be the same. Both of you will certainly become immortal.
"I give the Brahmos the illustration of water and ice. Satchidananda is like an endless
expanse of water. The water of the great ocean in cold regions freezes into blocks of ice.
Similarly, through the cooling influence of divine love, Satchidananda assumes forms for
the sake of the bhaktas. The rishis had the vision of the supersensuous Spirit-form and
talked with It. But devotees acquire a 'love body', and with its help they see the Spirit-form
of the Absolute.
"It is also said in the Vedas that Brahman is beyond mind and words. The heat of the sun of
Knowledge melts the ice-like form of the Personal God. On attaining the Knowledge of
Brahman and communing with It in nirvikalpa samadhi, one realizes Brahman, the Infinite,
without form or shape and beyond mind and words.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on February 07, 2013, 06:44:09 AM
God's true nature cannot be described
"The nature of Brahman cannot be described. About It one remains silent. Who can explain
the Infinite in words? However high a bird may soar, there are regions higher still. What do
you say?"
PREACHER: "Yes, sir, it is so stated in the Vedanta philosophy."
MASTER: "Once a salt doll went to the ocean to measure its depth. But it could not come
back to give a report. According to one school of thought, sages like Sukadeva saw and
touched the Ocean of Brahman, but did not plunge into It.
"Once I said to Vidyasagar, 'Everything else but Brahman has been polluted, as it were, like
food touched by the tongue.' In other words, no one has been able to describe what
Brahman is. A thing once uttered by the tongue becomes polluted. Vidyasagar, great pundit
though he was, was highly pleased with my remarks.
"It is said that there are places near Kedar that are covered with eternal snow; he who
climbs too high cannot come back. Those who have tried to find out what there is in the
higher regions, or what one feels there, have not come back to tell us about it.
"After having the vision of God man is overpowered with bliss. He becomes silent. Who
will speak? Who will explain?
"The king lives beyond seven gates. At each gate sits a man endowed with great power and
glory. At each gate the visitor asks, 'Is this the king?' The gate-keeper answers, 'No. Not
this, not this.' The visitor passes through the seventh gate and. becomes overpowered with
joy. He is speechless. This time he doesn't have to ask, 'Is this the king?' The mere sight of
him removes all doubts."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Jewell on February 08, 2013, 04:54:27 AM
(http://yoursmiles.org/gsmile/flower/g10002.gif)    (http://yoursmiles.org/gsmile/flower/g10002.gif)   
Malady of worldly people and its cure


"The disease of worldliness is like typhoid.  And there are a huge jug of water and a jar of savoury pickles in the typhoid patient's room.  If you want to cure him of his illness, you must remove him from that room.  The worldly man is like the typhoid patient.  The various objects of enjoyment are the huge jug of water, and the craving for their enjoyment is his thirst.  The very thought of pickles makes the mouth water; you don't have to bring them near.  And he is surrounded with them.  The companionship of woman is the pickles.  Hence treatment in solitude is necessary. 
 
"One may enter the world after attaining discrimination and dispassion.  In the ocean of the world there are six alligators: lust, anger, and so forth.  But you need not fear the alligators if you smear your body with turmeric before you go into the water.  Discrimination and dispassion are the turmeric.  Discrimination is the knowledge of what is real and what is unreal.  It is the realization that God alone is the real and eternal Substance and that all else is unreal, transitory, impermanent.  And you must cultivate intense zeal for God.  You must feel love for Him and be attracted to Him.  The gopis of Vrindāvan felt the attraction of Krishna.  Let me sing you a song:
"Listen! The flute has sounded in yonder wood.  
There I must fly, for Krishna waits on the path.  
Tell me, friends, will you come along or no? 
To you my Krishna is merely an empty name; 
To me He is the anguish of my heart.  
You hear His flute-notes onlv with your ears, 
But, oh, I hear them in my deepest soul.  
I hear His  flute calling: 'Radha come out! 
Without you the grove is shorn of its loveliness.' ""
The Master sang the song with tears in his eyes, and said to Keshab and the other Brahmo devotees: "Whether you accept Radha and Krishna, or not, please do accept their attraction for each other.  Try to create that same yearning in your heart for God.  Yearning is all you need in order to realize Him."
Gradually the ebb-tide set in.  The steamboat was speeding toward Calcutta.  It passed under the Howrah Bridge and came within sight of the Botanical Garden.  The captain was asked to go a little farther down the river.  The passengers were enchanted with the Master's words, and most of them had no idea of time or of how far they had come. 
Keshab began to serve some puffed rice and grated coconut.  The guests held these in the folds of their wearing-cloths and presently started to eat.  Everyone was joyful. 
(http://yoursmiles.org/gsmile/flower/g10162.gif)
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on February 08, 2013, 06:54:51 AM
Jewell,
Quote
The Master sang the song with tears in his eyes, and said to Keshab and the other Brahmo devotees: "Whether you accept Radha and Krishna, or not, please do accept their attraction for each other.  Try to create that same yearning in your heart for God.  Yearning is all you need in order to realize Him
.
Thanks very much.
Namaskar.
Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on February 08, 2013, 06:59:39 AM
PREACHER: "Yes, sir, it is so described in Vedanta."
MASTER: "When the Godhead is thought of as creating, preserving, and destroying, It is
known as the Personal God, Saguna Brahman, or the Primal Energy, Adyasakti. Again,
when It is thought of as beyond the three gunas, then It is called the Attributeless Reality,
Nirguna Brahman, beyond speech and thought; this is the Supreme Brahman, Parabrahman.
The three gunas
"Under the spell of God's maya man forgets his true nature. He forgets that he is heir to the
infinite glories of his Father. This divine maya is made up of three gunas. And all three are
robbers; for they rob man of all his treasures and make him forget his true nature. The three
gunas are sattva, rajas, and tamas. Of these, sattva alone points the way to God. But even
sattva cannot take a man to God.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on February 10, 2013, 07:17:54 AM
Parable of the three robbers
"Let me tell you a story. Once a rich man was passing through a forest, when three robbers
surrounded him and robbed him of all his wealth. After snatching all his possessions from
him, one of the robbers said: 'What's the good of keeping the man alive? Kill him.' Saying
this, he was about to strike their victim with his sword, when the second robber interrupted
and said: 'There's no use in killing him. Let us bind him fast and leave him here. Then he
won't be able to tell the police.' Accordingly the robbers tied him with a rope, left him, and
went away.
"After a while the third robber returned to the rich man and said: 'Ah! You're badly hurt,
aren't you? Come, I'm going to release you.' The third robber set the man free and led him
out of the forest. When .they came near the highway, the robber said, 'Follow this road and
you will reach home easily.' 'But you must come with me too', said the man. 'You have
done so much for me. We shall all be happy to see you at our home.' 'No,' said the robber,
'it is not possible for me to go there. The police will arrest me.' So saying, he left the rich
man after pointing out his way.
"Now, the first robber, who said: 'What's the good of keeping the man alive? Kill him', is
tamas. It destroys. The second robber is rajas, which binds a man to the world and
entangles him in a variety of activities. Rajas makes him forget God. Sattva alone shows
the way to God. It produces virtues like compassion, righteousness, and devotion. Again,
sattva is like the last step of the stairs. Next to it is the roof. The Supreme Brahman is man's
own abode. One cannot attain the Knowledge of Brahman unless one transcends the three
gunas."
PREACHER: "You have given us a fine talk, sir."
MASTER (with a smile): "Do you know the nature of devotees? When one devotee meets
another, he says, 'Let me speak and you listen; and when you speak I shall listen.'
You are a
preacher and teach so many people! You are a steamship, and I am a mere fishing-boat.'
(All laugh.)

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on February 11, 2013, 06:52:49 AM
Wednesday, May 2, 1883
About five o'clock in the afternoon Sri Ramakrishna arrived at the temple of the Brahmo
Samaj in Nandanbagan, accompanied by M., Rakhal, and a few other devotees. At first the
Master sat in the drawing-room on the ground floor, where the Brahmo devotees gradually
assembled. Rabindranath Tagore and a few other members of the Tagore family were
present on this occasion
.
Sri Ramakrishna was asked to go to the worship hall on the second floor. A dais had been
built on the eastern side of the room. There were a few chairs and a piano in the hall. The
Brahmo worship was to begin at dusk.
Why temples are holy
As soon as the Master entered the worship hall he bowed low before the dais. Having taken
his seat, he said to M. and the other devotees, "Narendra once asked me, 'What good is
there in bowing before the Brahmo Samaj temple?' The sight of the temple recalls to my
mind God alone; then God-Consciousness is kindled in my mind. God is present where
people talk about Him. One feels there the presence of all the holy places. Places of
worship recall God alone to my mind.
"Once a devotee was overwhelmed with ecstasy at the sight of a babla-tree. The idea
flashed in his mind that the handle of the axe used in the garden of the temple of
Radhakanta was made from the wood of the babla. Another devotee had such devotion for
his guru that he would be overwhelmed with divine feeling at the sight of his guru's
neighbours. Krishna-consciousness would be kindled in Radha's mind at the sight of a
cloud, a blue dress, or a painting of Krishna. She would become restless and cry like a mad
person, 'Krishna, where art Thou?' "
GHOSAL: "But madness is not desirable."
MASTER: "What do you mean? Was Radha's madness the madness that comes from
brooding over worldly objects and makes one unconscious? One attains that madness by
meditating on God. Haven't you heard of love-madness and knowledge-madness?"

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on February 16, 2013, 12:26:38 PM
A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: "How can one realize God?"
MASTER: "By directing your love to Him and constantly reasoning that God alone is real
and the world illusory. The aswattha tree alone is permanent; its fruit is transitory."
How to spiritualize the passions
BRAHMO: "We have passions like anger and lust. What shall we do with these?"
MASTER: "Direct the six passions to God. The impulse of lust should be turned into the
desire to have intercourse with Atman. Feel angry at those who stand in your way to God.
Feel greedy for Him. If you must have the feeling of I and Mine, then associate it with God.
Say, for instance, 'My Rama, my Krishna.' If you must have pride, then feel like
Bibhishana, who said, 'I have touched the feet of Rama with my head; I will not bow this
head before anyone else.'"
Responsibility for sins
BRAHMO: "If it is God that makes me do everything, then I am not responsible for my
sins."
MASTER (with a smile): "Yes, Duryodhana also said that. 'O Krishna, I do what Thou,
seated in my heart, makest me do.' If a man has the firm conviction that God alone is the
Doer and he is His instrument, then he cannot do anything sinful. He who has learnt to
dance correctly never makes a false step. One cannot even believe in the existence of God
until one's heart becomes pure."
Sri Ramakrishna looked at the devotees assembled in the worship hall and said: "It is very
good to gather in this way, now and then, and think of God and sing His name and glories.
But the worldly man's yearning for God is momentary. It lasts as long as a drop of water on
a red-hot frying-pan."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on February 19, 2013, 06:59:45 AM
Brahmo worship
The worship was about to begin, and the big hall was filled with Brahmo devotees. Some of
the Brahmo ladies sat on chairs, with music books in their hands. The songs of the Brahmo
Samaj were sung to the accompaniment of harmonium and piano. Sri Ramakrishna's joy
was unbounded. The invocation was followed by a prayer, and then the worship began. The
acharyas, seated on the platform, recited from the Vedas:
Om. Thou art our Father. Give us right knowledge; do not destroy us! We bow to Thee.
The Brahmo devotees chanted in chorus with the acharyas:
Om. Brahman is Truth, Knowledge, Infinity.
It shines as Bliss and Immortality.
Brahman is Peace, Blessedness, and the One without a Second;
It is pure and unstained by sin.
The acharyas chanted in praise of God:
Om. O Reality, Cause of the Universe, we bow to Thee!
Then the acharyas chanted their prayer together:
From the unreal lead us to the Real;
From darkness lead us to Light;
From death lead us to Immortality.
Reach us through and through,
O Rudra, and protect us evermore with Thy Compassionate Face.
As Sri Ramakrishna heard these hymns, he went into a spiritual mood. After this an acharya
read a paper.
The worship was over. Most of the devotees went downstairs or to the courtyard for fresh
air while the refreshments were being made ready. It was about nine o'clock in the evening.
The hosts were so engrossed with the other invited guests that they forgot to pay any
attention to Sri Ramakrishna.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on February 20, 2013, 06:43:42 AM
MASTER (to Rakhal and the other devotees): "What's the matter? Nobody is paying any
attention to us!"
RAKHAL (angrily): "Sir, Let us leave here and go to Dakshineswar."
MASTER (with a smile): "Keep quiet! The carriage hire is three rupees and two annas.
Who will pay that? Stubbornness won't get us anywhere. You haven't a penny, and you are
making these empty threats! Besides, where shall we find food at this late hour of the
night?"
After a long time dinner was announced. The devotees were asked to take their seats. The
Master, with Rakhal and the others, followed the crowd to the second floor. No room could
be found for him inside the hall. Finally, with great difficulty, a place was found for him in
a dusty corner. A brahmin woman served some curry, but Sri Ramakrishna could not eat it.
He ate luchi with salt and took some sweets.
There was no limit to the Master's kindness. The hosts were mere youngsters; how could he
be displeased with them, even though they did not show him proper respect? Further, it
would have been inauspicious for the household if a holy man had left the place without
taking food. Finally the feast had been prepared in the name of God
.
Sri Ramakrishna got into a carriage: but who was to pay the hire? The hosts could not be
found. Referring to this incident afterwards, the Master said to the devotees, jokingly: "The
boys went to our hosts for the carriage hire. First they were put out, but at last they
managed to get together three rupees. Our hosts refused to pay the extra two annas and said,
'No, that will do.' "

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on March 08, 2013, 06:52:23 AM
Sunday, May 13, 1883
The Master paid a visit to the Hari-Bhakti-Pradayini-Sabha of Kansharipara, in Calcutta, on
the anniversary day of that religious society. Kirtan and other forms of devotional music
had been arranged for the occasion. The songs centred round the Vrindavan episode of Sri
Krishna's life. The theme was Radha's pique because of Sri Krishna's having visited
Chandravali, another of the gopis of Vrindavan. Radha's friends tried to console her and
said to her: "Why are you piqued? It seems you are not thinking of Krishna's happiness, but
only of your own." Radha said to them: "I am not angry at His going to Chandravali's
grove. But why should He go there? She doesn't know how to take care of Him."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on March 08, 2013, 06:54:54 AM
May 20,1883
The following Sunday a kirtan was arranged at the house of Ram, one of the Master's
householder devotees. Sri Ramakrishna graced the occasion with his presence. The
musicians sang about Radha's pangs at her separation from Krishna:
Radha said to her friends: "I have loved to see Krishna from my childhood. My finger-nails
are worn off from counting the days on them till I shall see Him. Once He gave me a
garland. Look, it has withered, but I have not yet thrown it away. Alas! Where has the
Moon of Krishna risen now? Has that Moon gone away from my firmament, afraid of the
Rahu of my pique? Alas! Shall I ever see Krishna again? O my beloved Krishna, I have
never been able to look at You to my heart's complete satisfaction. I have only one pair of
eyes; they blink and so hinder my vision. And further, on account of streams of tears I
could not see enough of my Beloved. The peacock feather on the crown of His head shines
like arrested lightning. The peacocks, seeing Krishna's dark-cloud complexion, would
dance in joy, spreading their tails. O friends, I shall not be able to keep my life-breath.
After my death, place my body on a branch of the dark tamala tree and inscribe on my body
Krishna's sweet name."
The Master said: "God and His name are identical; that is the reason Radha said that. There
is no difference between Rama and His holy name."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on March 09, 2013, 07:28:48 AM
May 27, 1883
Sri Ramakrishna was in his room at Dakshineswar, conversing with the devotees. It was
about nine o'clock in the morning.
Religious quarrels condemned
MASTER (to M. and the other devotees): "It is not good to harbour malice. The Saktas, the
Vaishnavas, and the Vedantists quarrel among themselves. That is not wise. Padmalochan
was court pundit of the Maharaja of Burdwan. Once at a meeting the pundits were
discussing whether Siva was superior to Brahma, or Brahma to Siva. Padmalochan gave an
appropriate reply. 'I don't know anything about it', said he. 'I haven't talked either to Siva or
to Brahma.'
Single-minded devotion
"If people feel sincere longing, they will find that all paths lead to God. But one should
have nishtha, single-minded devotion. It is also described as chaste and unswerving
devotion to God. It is like a tree with only one trunk shooting straight up. Promiscuous
devotion is like a tree with five branches.
Such was the single-minded devotion of the gopis to Krishna that they didn't care to look at
anyone but the Krishna they had seen at Vrindavan-the Shepherd Krishna, bedecked with a
garland of yellow wild-flowers and wearing a peacock feather on His crest. At the sight of
Krishna at Mathura with a turban on His head and dressed in royal robes, the gopis pulled
down their veils. They would not look at His face. 'Who is this man?' they said. 'Should we
violate our chaste love for Krishna by talking to him?'
"The devotion of the wife to her husband is also an instance of unswerving love. She feeds
her brothers-in-law as well, and looks after their comforts, but she has a special relationship
with her husband. Likewise, one may have that single-minded devotion to one's own
religion; but one should not on that account hate other faiths. On the contrary, one should
have a friendly attitude, toward them."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on March 10, 2013, 07:50:50 AM
The Master bathed in the Ganges and then went to the Kali temple with M. He sat before
the image and offered flowers at the feet of the Divine Mother. Now and then he put
flowers on his own head and meditated.
After a long time he stood up. He was in a spiritual mood and danced before the image,
chanting the name of Kali. Now and again he said: "O Mother! O Destroyer of suffering! O
Remover of grief and agony!" Was he teaching people thus to pray to the Mother of the
Universe with a yearning heart, in order to get rid of the suffering inevitable in physical
life?
Sri Ramakrishna returned to his room and sat on the west porch. Rakhal, M., Nakur
Vaishnav, and other devotees were with him. Nakur had been known to the Master for
about twenty-five years. He was a devotee of Gauranga and had a small shop which Sri
Ramakrishna had often visited when he first came to Calcutta from Kamarpukur.
Still overpowered with divine ecstasy, the Master sang:
O Kali, my Mother full of Bliss! Enchantress of the almighty Siva!
In Thy delirious joy Thou dancest, clapping Thy hands together!
Eternal One! Thou great First Cause, clothed in the form of the Void
Thou wearest the moon upon Thy brow,
Where didst Thou find Thy garland of heads before the universe was made?
Thou art the Mover of all that move, and we are but Thy helpless toys;
We move alone as Thou movest us and speak as through us Thou speakest.
But worthless Kamalakanta says, fondly berating Thee:
Confoundress! With Thy flashing sword
Thoughtlessly Thou hast put to death my virtue and my sin alike!

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on March 11, 2013, 06:32:51 AM
He sang again:
Mother, Thou art our sole Redeemer,
Thou the Support of the three gunas,
Higher than the most high.
Thou art compassionate, I know,
Who takest away our bitter grief.
Sandhya art Thou, and Gayatri;
Thou dost sustain this universe.
Mother, the Help art Thou
Of those that have no help but Thee,
O Eternal Beloved of Siva!
Thou art in earth, in water Thou;
Thou liest at the root of all.
In me, in every creature,
Thou hast Thy home; though clothed with form,
Yet art Thou formless Reality.
The Master sang a few more songs in praise of the Divine Mother. Then he said to the
devotees: "It is not always best to tell householders about the sorrows of life. They want
bliss. Those who suffer from chronic poverty can go without food for a day or two. But it is
not wise to talk about the sorrows and miseries of life to those who suffer if their food is
delayed a few minutes. Vaishnavcharan used to say: 'Why should one constantly dwell on
sin? Be merry!' "

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on March 14, 2013, 06:26:57 AM
While the Master was resting after his midday meal, Manohor Goswami, a singer of kirtan,
arrived. He sang about the ecstatic love of Gauranga and the divine episode of Vrindavan.
The Master was absorbed in a deep spiritual mood. He tore off his shirt and said, to the
melody of the kirtan, assuming the attitude of Radha: "O Krishna, my Beloved! O friends,
bring Krishna to me. Then you will be real friends. Or take me to Him, and I will be your
slave for ever."
The musician sat spellbound at Sri Ramakrishna's ecstasy; then he said with folded hands,
"Won't you please rid me of my worldliness?"
MASTER: "You are like the holy man who went about the city after first finding a lodging.
You are a sweet person and express many sweet ideas."
MUSICIAN: "Sir, I am like the bullock that only carries the bag of sugar but cannot taste it.
Alas, I myself do not enjoy the sweetness of divine bliss."
The melodious music went on, and all were filled with joy.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on March 17, 2013, 07:21:27 AM
Saturday, June 2, 1883
Sri Ramakrishna had been invited to visit the homes of his devotees Balaram, Adhar, and
Ram in Calcutta. Devotional music had been arranged by Adhar and Ram. The Master was
accompanied in the carriage by Rakhal, M., and others.
As they drove along, Sri Ramakrishna said to the devotees: "You see, sin flies away when
love of God grows in a man's heart, even as the water of the reservoir dug in a meadow
dries up under the heat of the sun. But one cannot love God if one feels attracted to worldly
things, to 'woman and gold'. Merely taking the vow of monastic life will not help a man if
he is attached to the world. It is like swallowing your own spittle after spitting it out on the
ground."
After a few minutes the Master continued: 'The members of the Brahmo Samaj do not
accept God with form. Narendra says that God with form is a mere idol. He says further:
'What? He still goes to the Kali temple!'"
Sri Ramakrishna and his party arrived at Balaram's house. Yajnanath of Nandanbagan came
to invite the Master to his house at four o'clock in the afternoon. Sri Ramakrishna agreed to
go if he felt well. After Yajnanath's departure the Master went into an ecstatic mood. He
said to the Divine Mother: "Mother, what is all this? Stop! What are these things Thou art
showing to me? What is it that Thou dost reveal to me through Rakhal and others? The
form is disappearing. But, Mother, what people call 'man' is only a pillow-case, nothing but
a pillow-case. Consciousness is Thine alone.
"The modern Brahmajnanis have not tasted Thy sweet bliss. Their eyes look dry and so do
their faces. They won't achieve anything without ecstatic love of God.
"Mother, once I asked Thee to give me a companion just like myself. Is that why Thou hast
given me Rakhal?"
The Master went to Adhar's house, where arrangements were being made for the kirtan.
Many devotees and neighbours had gathered in Adhar's drawing-room, anxious to listen to
the Master's words.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on March 18, 2013, 06:38:41 AM
Spiritual inspiration comes from God
MASTER (to the devotees): "Both worldliness and liberation depend on God's will. It is
God alone who has kept man in the world in a state of ignorance; and man will be free
when God, of His own sweet will, calls him to Himself. It is like the mother calling the
child at meal-time, when he is out playing. When the time comes for setting a man free,
God makes him seek the company of holy men. Further, it is God who makes him restless
for spiritual life."
A NEIGIHBOUR: "What kind of restlessness, sir?"
MASTER: "Like the restlessness of a clerk who has lost his job. He makes the round of the
offices daily and asks whether there is any vacancy. When that restlessness comes, man
longs for God. A fop, seated comfortably with one leg over the other, chewing betel-leaf
and twirling his moustaches-a carefree dandy-, cannot attain God."
NEIGHBOUR: "Can one get this longing for God through frequenting the company of holy
men?"
MASTER: "Yes, it is possible. But not for a confirmed scoundrel. A sannyasi's kamandalu,
made of bitter gourd, travels with him to the four great places of pilgrimage but still does
not lose its bitterness."
The kirtan began. The musician sang of Sri Krishna's life in Vrindavan:
RADHA: "Friend, I am about to die. Give me back my Krishna."
FRIEND: "But, Radha; the cloud of Krishna was ready to burst into rain. It was yourself
who blew it away with the strong wind of your pique. You are certainly not happy to see
Krishna happy; or why were you piqued?"
RADHA: "But this pride was not mine. My pride has gone away with Him who made me
proud."
After the music Sri Ramakrishna conversed with the devotees.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on March 19, 2013, 06:32:21 AM
MASTER: "The gopis worshipped Katyayani in order to be united with Sri Krishna.
Everyone is under the authority of the Divine Mother, Mahamaya, the Primal Energy. Even
the Incarnations of God accept the help of maya to fulfil their mission on earth. Therefore
they worship the Primal Energy. Don't you see how bitterly Rama wept for Sita? 'Brahman
weeps, ensnared in the meshes of maya.'
"Vishnu incarnated Himself as a sow in order to kill the demon Hiranyaksha. After killing
the demon, the sow remained quite happy with her young ones. Forgetting her real nature,
she was suckling them very contentedly. The gods in heaven could not persuade Vishnu to
relinquish His sow's body and return to the celestial regions. He was absorbed in the
happiness of His beast form. After consulting among themselves, the gods sent Siva to the
sow. Siva asked the sow, 'Why have you forgotten yourself?' Vishnu replied through the
sow's body, 'Why, I am quite happy here.' Thereupon with a stroke of his trident Siva
destroyed the sow's body, and Vishnu went back to heaven."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on March 20, 2013, 06:41:30 AM
Ramchandra Dutta
From Adhar's house Sri Ramakrishna went to Ram's house. Ramchandra Dutta, one of the
chief householder disciples of the Master, lived in Calcutta. He had been one of the first to
announce the Master as an Incarnation of God. The Master had visited his house a number
of times and unstintingly praised the devotion and generosity of this beloved disciple. A
few of the Master's disciples made Ram's house virtually their own dwelling-place.
Ram had arranged a special festival to celebrate the Master's visit. The small courtyard was
nicely decorated. A kathak, seated on a raised platform, was reciting from the Bhagavata
when the Master arrived. Ram greeted him respectfully and seated him near the reader. The
disciple was extremely happy. The kathak was in the midst of the story of King
Harischandra.
Story of Harischandra
The great King Harischandra of the Purana was the embodiment of generosity. No one ever
went away from him empty-handed. Now, the sage Viswamitra, wanting to test the extent
of the king's charity, extracted from him a promise to grant any boon that he might ask.
Then the sage asked for the gift of the sea-girt world, of which Harischandra was king.
Without the slightest hesitation the king gave away his kingdom. Then Viswamitra
demanded the auxiliary fee, which alone makes charity valid and meritorious. The kathak
continued his recitation:
Viswamitra said to the king: "O King, you have given away the entire world, which was
your kingdom. It now belongs to me; you cannot claim any place here. But you may live in
Benares, which belongs to Siva. I shall lead you there with your wife Saibya, and
Rohitasva, your son. There you can procure the auxiliary fee that you owe me." The royal
family, accompanied by the sage, reached Benares and visited the temple of Siva.
At the very mention of Siva, the Master went into spiritual mood and repeated the holy
name several times indistinctly
.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on March 22, 2013, 07:03:20 AM
The kathak continued:
The king could not procure the fee and was compelled to sell Saibya, his royal consort, to a
brahmin. With her went Prince Rohitasva. But since even that was not enough to redeem
his pledge to the sage, Harischandra sold himself to an untouchable who kept a cremation
ground. He was ordered to supervise the cremations. One day, while plucking flowers for
his brahmin master, Prince Rohitasva was bitten by a venomous snake and that very night
died. The cruel brahmin would not leave his bed to help the poor mother cremate the body.
The night was dark and stormy. Lightning rent the black clouds. Saibya started for the
cremation ground alone, carrying the body of her son in her arms. Smitten with fear and
overpowered with grief, the queen filled heaven and earth with her wailing. Arriving at the
cremation ground, she did not recognize her husband, who demanded the usual fee for the
cremation. Saibya was penniless and wept bitterly at her unending misfortunes. The
impenetrable darkness was illumined only by the terrible flames of the cremation pyres.
Above her the thunder roared, and before her the uncouth guardian of the cremation ground
demanded his fee. She who had once been queen of the world sat there with her only child
dead and cold on her lap.
The devotees burst into tears and loudly lamented this tragic episode of a royal life. And
what was the Master doing? He was listening to the recital with rapt attention. Tear-drops
appeared in his eyes and he wiped them away.
The kathak continued:
When the queen, wailing bitterly, uttered the name of her husband, Harischandra at once
recognized his wife and son. Then the two wept for the dead prince. Yet in all these
misfortunes the king never once uttered a word of regret for his charity.
Finally the sage Viswamitra appeared and told them that he had only wanted to put the
king's charitable impulses to a crucial test. Then, through his spiritual power, the sage
brought the prince back to life and returned to the king his lost kingdom.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on March 23, 2013, 07:15:48 AM
Story of Uddhava
Sri Ramakrishna asked the kathak to recite the episode of Uddhava, the friend and devotee
of Krishna.
At the request of Krishna, Uddhava had gone to Vrindavan to console the cowherds and the
gopis, who were sore at heart because of their separation from their beloved Krishna.
The kathak said:
When Uddhava arrived at Vrindavan, the gopis and cowherd boys ran to him eagerly and
asked him: "How is our Krishna? Has He forgotten us altogether? Doesn't He even speak
our names?" So saying, some of them wept. Others accompanied him to various places in
Vrindavan still filled with Krishna's sweet memory. They said: "Here it was that Krishna
lifted up Mount Govardhan, and here He killed the demons sent by the evil-minded Kamśa.
In this meadow He tended His cows; here on the bank of the Jamuna He sported with the
gopis. Here He played with the cowherd boys, and here in these groves He met the gopis secretly."
Uddhava said to them: "Why are you so grief-stricken at Krishna's absence? He resides in
all beings as their indwelling Spirit. He is God Himself, and nothing can exist without
God." "But", said the gopis, "we do not understand all that. We can neither read nor write.
We know only our Krishna of Vrindavan, who played with us here in so many ways."
Uddhava said: "Krishna is God Himself. By meditating on Him, man escapes from birth
and death in the world and attains liberation." The gopis said: "We do not understand big
words like 'liberation'. We want to see the Krishna of our hearts
."
The Master listened to the story from the Bhagavata with great attention and said at last,
"Yes, the gopis were right."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on March 25, 2013, 06:55:26 AM
Then he sang:
Though I am never loath to grant salvation,
I hesitate indeed, to grant pure love.
Whoever wins pure love surpasses all;
He is adored by men;
He triumphs over the three worlds.
Listen, Chandravali! I shall tell you of love:
Mukti a man may gain, but rare is bhakti.
Solely for pure love's sake did I become
King Vali's door-keeper
Down in his realm in the nether world.
Alone in Vrindavan can pure love be found;
Its secret none but the gopas and gopis know.
For pure love's sake I dwelt in Nanda's house;
Taking him as My father,
I carried his burdens on My head.
The Master said to the kathak: "The gopis had ecstatic love, unswerving and single-minded
devotion to one ideal. Do you know the meaning of devotion that is not loyal to one ideal?
It is devotion tinged with intellectual knowledge. It makes one feel: 'Krishna has become all
these. He alone is the Supreme Brahman. He is Rama, Siva, and Sakti.' But this element of
knowledge is not present in ecstatic love of God
. Once Hanuman came to Dwaraka and
wanted to see Sita and Rama. Krishna said to Rukmini, His queen, 'You had better assume
the form of Sita; otherwise there will be no escape from the hands of Hanuman.'

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on March 26, 2013, 06:16:35 AM
"Once the Pandava brothers performed the Rajasuya sacrifice. All the kings placed
Yudhisthira on the royal throne and bowed low before him in homage. But Bibhishana, the
King of Ceylon, said, 'I bow down to Narayana and to none else.' At these words the Lord
Krishna bowed down to Yudhisthira. Only then did Bibhishana prostrate himself, crown
and all, before him.
"Do you know what devotion to one ideal is like? It is like the attitude of a daughter-in-law
in the family. She serves all the members of the family-her brothers-in-law, father-in-law,
husband, and so forth-, bringing them water to wash their feet, fetching their towels,
arranging their seats, and the like; but with her husband she has a special relationship.
Characteristics of divine love
"There are two elements in this ecstatic love: 'I-ness' and 'my-ness'. Yasoda used to think:
'Who would look after Gopala if I did not? He will fall ill if I do not serve Him.' She did not
look on Krishna as God. The other element is 'my-ness'. It means to look on God as one's
own-'my Gopala'
. Uddhava said to Yasoda: 'Mother, your Krishna is God Himself. He is
the Lord of the Universe and not a common human being.' 'Oh!' exclaimed Yasoda. 'I am
not asking you about your Lord of the Universe. I want to know how my Gopala fares. Not
the Lord of the Universe, but my Gopala.'

"How faithful to Krishna the gopis were! After many entreaties to the door-keeper, the
gopis entered the royal court in Mathura, where Krishna was seated as king. The doorkeeper
took them to Him; but at the sight of King Krishna wearing the royal turban, the
gopis bent down their heads and said among themselves: 'Who is this man with a turban on
his head? Should we violate our chaste love for Krishna by talking to him? Where is our
beloved Krishna with the yellow robe and the bewitching crest with the peacock feather?'
"Did you observe the single-minded love of the gopis for Krishna? The ideal of Vrindavan
is unique
. I am told that the people of Dwaraka worship Krishna, the companion of Arjuna,
but reject Radha."


Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on April 03, 2013, 06:56:46 AM
A DEVOTEE: "Which is the better, ecstatic love or love mixed with knowledge?"
Parable of the three friends
MASTER: "It is not possible to develop ecstatic love of God unless you love Him very
deeply and regard Him as your very own.
"Listen to a story. Once three friends were going through a forest, when a tiger suddenly
appeared before them. 'Brothers,' one of them exclaimed, 'we are lost!' 'Why should you say
that?' said the second friend. 'Why should we be lost? Come, let us pray to God.' The third
friend said: 'No. Why should we trouble God about it? Come, let us climb this tree.'
"The friend who said, 'We are lost!' did not know that there is a God who is our Protector.
The friend who asked the others to pray to God was a jnani. He was aware that God is the
Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer of the world. The third friend, who didn't want to trouble
God with prayers and suggested climbing the tree, had ecstatic love of God. It is the very
nature of such love that it makes a man think himself stronger than his Beloved. He is
always alert lest his Beloved should suffer. The one desire of his life is to keep his Beloved
from even being pricked in the foot by a thorn."
Ram served the Master and the devotees with delicious sweets.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on April 04, 2013, 08:02:55 AM
Chapter 11, WITH THE DEVOTEES AT DAKSHINESWAR (I) Monday, June 4, 1883

About nine o'clock in the morning the devotees began to arrive at the temple
garden. Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on the porch of his room facing the Ganges. M., who
had spent the previous night with the Master, sat near him. Balaram and several other
devotees were present. Rakhal lay on the floor, resting his head on the Master's lap. For the
past few days the Master had been regarding Rakhal as the Baby Krishna.
Seeing Trailokya passing on his way to the Kali temple, Sri Ramakrishna asked Rakhal to
get up. Trailokya bowed to the Master.
MASTER (to Trailokya): "Was there no yatra performance last night?"
TRAILOKYA: "No, sir. We couldn't conveniently arrange it."
MASTER: "What is done is done. But please see that this doesn't happen again. The
traditions of the temple should be properly observed."
Trailokya gave a suitable reply and went on his way. After a while Ram Chatterji, the priest
of the Vishnu temple, came up to Sri Ramakrishna.
MASTER: "Well, Ram, I told Trailokya that the yatra performance should not be omitted
again. Was I right in saying that?”.
RAM: "What of it, sir? Of course you were right. The traditions should be observed."
The Master asked Balaram to stay for his midday meal. Before the meal Sri Ramakrishna
described to the devotees the days of his God-intoxication. Rakhal, M., Ramlal, and a few
others were present.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on April 05, 2013, 07:10:58 AM
Master's attitude toward young disciples
MASTER: "Now and then Hazra comes forward to teach me. He says to me, 'Why do you
think so much about the youngsters?' One day, as I was going to Balaram's house in a
carriage, I felt greatly troubled about it. I said to the Divine Mother: 'Mother, Hazra
admonishes me for worrying about Narendra and the other young boys. He asks me why I
forget God and think about these youngsters.' No sooner did this thought arise in my mind
than the Divine Mother revealed to me in a flash that it is She Herself who has become
man. But She manifests Herself most clearly through a. pure soul. At this vision I went into
samadhi. Afterwards I felt angry with Hazra. I said to myself, 'That rascal made me
miserable.' Then I thought: 'But why should I blame the poor man? How is he to know?'

His yearning for Narendra

"I know these youngsters to be Narayana Himself. At my first meeting with Narendra I
found him completely indifferent to his body. When I touched his chest with my hand, he
lost consciousness of the outer world. Regaining consciousness, Narendra said: 'Oh, what
have you done to me? I have my father and mother at home!' The same thing happened at
Jadu Mallick's house. As the days passed I longed more and more to see him. My heart
yearned for him. One day at that time I said to Bholanath: 'Can you tell me why I should
feel this way? There is a boy called Narendra, of the kayastha caste. Why should I feel so
restless for him?' Bholanath said: 'You will find the explanation in the Mahabharata. On
coming down to the plane of ordinary consciousness, a man established in samadhi enjoys
himself in the company of sattvic people. He feels peace of mind at the sight of such men.'
When I heard this my mind was set at ease. Now and then I would sit alone and weep for
the sight of Narendra.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on April 24, 2013, 06:25:54 AM
Reminiscences of his God-intoxicated state
"Oh, what a state of mind I passed through! When I first had that experience, I could not
perceive the coming and going of day or night. People said I was insane. What else could
they say? They made me marry. I was then in a state of God-intoxication. At first I felt
worried about my wife. Then I thought she too would eat and drink and live like me.
"I visited my father-in-law's house. They arranged a kirtan. It was a great religious festival,
and there was much singing of God's holy name. Now and then I would wonder about my
future. I would say to the Divine Mother, 'Mother, I shall take my spiritual experiences to
be real if the landlords of the country show me respect.' They too came of their own accord
and talked with me.
"Oh, what an ecstatic state it was! Even the slightest suggestion would awaken my spiritual
consciousness. I worshipped the 'Beautiful' in a girl fourteen years old. I saw that she was
the personification of the Divine Mother. At the end of the worship I bowed before her and
offered a rupee at her feet. One day I witnessed a Ramlila performance. I saw the
performers to be the actual Sita, Rama, Lakshmana, Hanuman, and Bibhishana. Then I
worshipped the actors and actresses who played those parts.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on May 08, 2013, 07:31:37 AM
"At that time I used to invite maidens here and worship them. I found them to be
embodiments of the Divine Mother Herself.
"One day I saw a woman in blue standing near the bakul-tree. She was a prostitute. But she
instantly kindled in me the vision of Sita. I forgot the woman. I saw that it was Sita herself
on her way to meet Rama after her rescue from Ravana in Ceylon. For a long time I
remained in samadhi, unconscious of the outer world.
"Another day I had gone to the Maidan in Calcutta for fresh air. A great crowd had
assembled there to watch a balloon ascension. Suddenly I saw an English boy leaning
against a tree. As he stood there his body was bent in three places. The vision of Krishna
came before me in a flash. I went into samadhi.
"Once, at Sihore, I fed the cowherd boys. I put sweetmeats into their hands. I saw that these
boys were actually the cowherd boys of Vrindavan, and I partook of the sweetmeats from
their hands.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on May 28, 2013, 06:46:08 AM
"At that time I was almost unconscious of thc outer world. Mathur Babu kept me at his
Janbazar mansion a few days. While living there I regarded myself as the handmaid of the
Divine Mother. The ladies of the house didn't feel at all bashful with me. They felt as free
before me as women feel before a small boy or girl. I used to escort Mathur's daughter to
her husband's chamber with the maidservant.
"Even now the slightest thing awakens God-Consciousness in me. Rakhal used to repeat the
name of God half aloud. At such times I couldn't control myself. It would rouse my
spiritual consciousness and overwhelm me."
Sri Ramakrishna went on describing the different experiences he had had while
worshipping the Divine Mother as Her handmaid. He said: "Once I imitated a professional
woman, singer for a man singer. He said my acting was quite correct and asked me where I
had learnt it." The Master repeated his imitation for the devotees, and they burst into
laughter.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on May 31, 2013, 08:06:55 AM
After his noon meal the Master took a short rest. Manilal Mallick, an old member of the
Brahmo Samaj, entered the room and sat down after saluting the Master, who was still
lying on his bed. Manilal asked him questions now and then, and the Master, still half
asleep, answered with a word or two. Manilal said that Shivanath admired Nityagopal's
spiritual state. The Master asked in a sleepy tone what they thought of Hazra.
Then Sri Ramakrishna sat up on his bed and told Manilal about Bhavanath's devotion to
God.
MASTER: "Ah, what an exalted state he is in! He has hardly begun to sing about God
before his eyes fill with tears. The very sight of Harish made him ecstatic. He said that
Harish was very lucky. He made the remark because Harish was spending a few days here,
now and then, away from his home."
Sri Ramakrishna asked M., "Well, what is the cause of bhakti? Why should the spiritual
feeling of young boys like Bhavanath be awakened?" M. remained silent.
MASTER: "The fact is, all men may look alike from the outside, but some of them have
fillings of 'condensed milk'. Cakes may have fillings of condensed milk or powdered black
grams, but they all look alike from the outside. The desire to know God, ecstatic love of
Him, and such other spiritual qualities are the 'condensed milk'."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Jewell on August 01, 2013, 10:57:36 PM
Master's spiritual practice


(To the devotees) "God made me pass through the disciplines of various paths. First according to the Purana, then according to the Tantra. I also followed the disciplines of the Vedas. At first I practised sadhana in the Panchavati. I made a grove of tulsi-plants and used to sit inside it and meditate. Sometimes I cried with a longing Heart, 'Mother! Mother!' Or I again, 'Rāma! Rāma!'
"While repeating the name of Rāma, I sometimes assumed the attitude of Hanuman and fixed a tail to the lower end of my backbone. I was in a God-intoxicated state. At that time I used to put on a silk robe and worship the Deity. What joy I experienced in that worship!

"I practised the discipline of the Tantra under the bel-tree. At that time I could see no distinction between the sacred tulsi and any other plant. In that state I sometimes ate the leavings from a jackal's meal, food that had been exposed the whole night, part of which might have been eaten by snakes or other creatures. Yes, I ate that stuff. "Sometimes I rode on a dog and fed him with luchi, also eating part of the bread myself. I realized that the whole world was filled with God alone. One cannot have spiritual realization without destroying ignorance; so I would assume the attitude of a tiger and devour ignorance.

"While practising the disciplines of the Vedas, I became a sannyasi. I used to lie down in the chandni and say to Hriday: 'I am a sannyasi. I shall take my meals here.'

"I vowed to the Divine Mother that I would kill myself if I did not see God. I said to Her: 'O Mother, I am a fool. Please teach me what is contained in the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras, and the other scriptures.' The Mother said to me, 'The essence of the Vedānta is that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory.'The Satchidananda Brahman described in the Vedas is the Satchidananda Śiva of

the Tantra and the Satchidananda Krishna  of the Purana. The essence of the Gitā is what you get by repeating the word ten times. It is reversed into 'tagi', which indicates renunciation.

"After the realization of God, how far below lie the Vedas, the Vedānta, the Purana, the Tantra! (To Hazra) I cannot utter the word 'Om' in samādhi. Why is that? I cannot say 'Om' unless I come down very far from the state of samādhi.

"I had all the experiences that one should have, according to the scriptures, after one's direct perception of God. I behaved like a child, like a madman, like a ghoul, and like an inert thing.

"I saw the visions described in the scriptures. Sometimes I saw the universe filled with sparks of fire. Sometimes I saw all the quarters glittering with light, as if the world were a lake of mercury. Sometimes I saw the world as if made of liquid silver. Sometimes, again, I saw all the quarters illumined as if with the light of Raman candles. So you see my experiences tally with those described in the scriptures.

"It was revealed to me further that God Himself has become the universe and all its living beings and the twenty-four cosmic principles. It is like the process of evolution and involution.

"Oh, what a state God kept me in at that time! One experience would hardly be over before another overcame me. It was like the movement of the husking-machine: no sooner is one end down than the other goes up.

 "I would see God in meditation, in the state of samādhi, and I would see the same God when my mind came back to the outer world. When looking at this side of the mirror I would see Him alone, and when looking on the reverse side I saw the same God."

The devotees listened to these words with rapt attention.

(To the Mukherji brothers) "Captain is now really in the state of the sadhaka. That the mere possession of wealth should create, attachment is by no means true. Sambhu Mallick used to say to Hriday, 'Hridu, I have packed my things and am ready for the journey.' I said to him: 'God forbid! Why do you say such ominous words?' 'No', replied Sambhu. 'Please bless me that I may cast aside all these possessions and go to God.'

"God's devotees have nothing to fear. They are His own He always stands by them. Once Duryodhana and his brothers were imprisoned by the gandharvas. It was Yudhisthira who freed them. Yudhisthira said, 'If our relatives are placed in such a plight, then it is our disgrace.' "

It was about nine o'clock in the evening. The Mukherji brothers were ready to return to Calcutta. The Master left his seat and began to pace the room and the porch. He could hear the kirtan sung in the Vishnu temple. A devotee said that Harish and Lātu were in the singing party.

Sri Ramakrishna and the devotees went to the Vishnu temple and saluted the Deity. The brahmins belonging to the staff of the temple garden, and also the priests, the cooks, and the servants, were singing the kirtan. He stood there a few minutes and encouraged the singers. On the way back to his room he remarked to the devotees, "You see, some of them polish the metal utensils and some go to houses of prostitution."

The Master returned to his room and took his seat. Presently the singers came and bowed low before him. The Master said to them: "One should perspire, dancing and singing the name of God, as people do earning money. I had thought of joining you in the dancing; but I found that you did everything very well. You had flavoured the curry with all the seasoning. What could I add? It will be nice if you sing devotional songs that way now and then."

The Mukherji brothers saluted the Master. Their carriage was ready near the verandah north of the room. The Master stood facing the north. On his left was the Ganges; in front of him were the nahabat, the garden, and the kuthi; and to his right was the road leading to the gate. The night was dark, and a devotee had brought a lantern to show the visitors their way. One by one the devotees bowed and took the dust of the Master's feet. The carriage seemed too heavily loaded for the horses. The Master said, "Aren't there too many people in the carriage?"

Sri Ramakrishna remained standing. As the carriage rolled away, the devotees looked back at the Master's face beaming with compassion and love.


(http://www.rkmpune.org/downloads/wallpapers/sriRamakrishna1280x1024.jpg)(http://i10.glitter-graphics.org/pub/1645/1645790zigi3657oe.gif)
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Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 02, 2013, 05:43:34 AM
Reassurance to the devotees & Parable of the tigress
Sri Ramakrishna spoke reassuringly to the devotees.
MASTER (to M.): "Some think: 'Oh, I am a bound soul. I shall never acquire knowledge and devotion.' But if one receives the guru's grace, one has nothing to fear. Once a tigress attacked a flock of goats. As she sprang on her prey, she gave birth to a cub and died. The cub grew up in the company of the goats. The goats ate grass and the cub followed their example. They bleated; the cub bleated too. Gradually it grew to be a big tiger. One day another tiger attacked the same flock. It was amazed to see the grass-eating tiger. Running after it, the wild tiger at last seized it, whereupon the grass-eating tiger began to bleat. The wild tiger dragged it to the water and said: 'Look at your face in the water. It is just like mine. Here is a little meat. Eat it.' Saying this, it thrust some meat into its mouth. But the grass-eating tiger would not swallow it and began to bleat again. Gradually, however, it got the taste for blood and came to relish the meat. Then the wild tiger said: 'Now you see there is no difference between you and me. Come along and follow me into the forest.'
"So there can be no fear if the guru's grace descends on one. He will let you know who you are and what your real nature is.
"If the devotee practises spiritual discipline a little, the guru explains everything to him.
Then the disciple understands for himself what is real and what is unreal. God alone is real, and the world is illusory.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on August 22, 2013, 08:16:49 AM
Parable of the false ascetic

"One night a fisherman went into a garden and cast his net into the lake in order to steal some fish. The owner heard him and surrounded him with his servants. They brought lighted torches and began to search for him. In the mean time the fisherman smeared his body with ashes and sat under a tree, pretending to be a holy man. The owner and his men searched a great deal but could not find the thief. All they saw was a holy man covered with ashes, meditating under a tree. The next day the news spread in the neighbourhood that a great sage was staying in the garden. People gathered there and saluted him with offerings
of fruit, flowers, and sweets. Many also offered silver and copper coins. 'How strange!' thought the fisherman. 'I am not a genuine holy man, and still people show such devotion to me. I shall certainly realize God if I become a true sadhu. There is no doubt about it.'
"If a mere pretence of religious life can bring such spiritual awakening, you can imagine the effect of real sadhana. In that state you will surely realize what is real and what is unreal. God alone is real, and the world is illusory."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 08, 2013, 10:17:52 AM
The world is a dream
One of the devotees said to himself: "Is the world unreal, then? The fisherman, to be sure, renounced worldly life. What, then, will happen to those who live in the world? Must they too renounce it?" Sri Ramakrishna, who could see into a man's innermost thought, said very tenderly: "Suppose an office clerk has been sent to jail. He undoubtedly leads a prisoner's life there. But when he is released from jail, does he cut capers in the street? Not at all. He gets a job as a clerk again and goes on working as before. Even after attaining Knowledge through the guru's grace, one can very well live in the world as a Jivanmukta." Thus did Sri Ramakrishna reassure those who were living as householders.
MANILAL: "Sir, where shall I meditate on God when I perform my daily worship?"
MASTER: "Why, the heart is a splendid place. Meditate on God there."

Manilal, a member of the Brahmo Samaj, believed in a formless God. Addressing him, the Master said:
"Kabir used to say: 'God with form is my Mother, the formless God my Father. Whom should I blame? Whom should I adore? The two sides of the scales are even.'
During the day-time Haladhari used to meditate on God with form, and at night on the formless God. Whichever attitude you adopt, you will certainly realize God if you have firm faith. You may believe in God with form or in God without form, but your faith must be sincere and whole-hearted. Sambhu Mallick used to come on foot from Baghbazar to his garden house at Dakshineswar. One day a friend said to him: 'It is risky to walk such a long distance. Why don't you come in a carriage?' At that Sambhu's face turned red and he exclaimed: 'I set out repeating the name of God! What danger can befall me?' Through faith alone one attains everything. I used to say, 'I shall take all this to be true if I meet a certain person or if a certain officer of the temple garden talks to me.' What I would think of would
invariably come to pass."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 13, 2013, 08:31:02 AM
M. had studied English logic. In the chapters on fallacies he had read that only superstitious people believed in the coincidence of morning dreams with actual events. Therefore he asked the Master, "Was there never any exception?"
MASTER: "No. At that time everything happened that way. I would repeat the name of God and believe that a certain thing would happen, and it would invariably come to pass.(To Manilal) But you must remember, unless one is guileless and broad-minded, one cannot have such faith. Bony people, the hollow-eyed, the cross-eyed-people with physical traits like those cannot easily acquire faith. What can a man do if there are evil omens on all sides?"
It was dusk. The maidservant entered the room and burnt incense. Manilal and some other devotees left for Calcutta. M. and Rakhal were in the room. The Master was seated on his small couch absorbed in meditation on the Divine Mother. There was complete silence.
After a time Bhagavati, an old maidservant of the temple proprietor, entered the room and saluted the Master from a distance. Sri Ramakrishna bade her sit down. The Master had known her for many years. In her younger days she had lived a rather immoral life; but the Master's compassion was great. Soon he began to converse with her.
MASTER: "Now you are pretty old. Have you been feeding the Vaishnavas and holy men, and thus spending your money in a noble way?"
BHAGAVATI (smiling): "How can I say that?"
MASTER: "Have you been to Vrindavan, Benares, and the other holy places?"
BHAGAVATI (shrinkingly): "How can I say that- I have built a bathing place, and my name is inscribed there on a slab."
MASTER: "Indeed!"
BHAGAVATI: "Yes, sir. My name, 'Srimati Bhagavati Dasi', is written there."
MASTER (with a smile): "How nice!"
Emboldened by the Master's words, Bhagavati approached and saluted him, touching his feet. Like a man stung by a scorpion, Sri Ramakrishna stood up and cried out, "Govinda! Govinda!" A big jar of Ganges water stood in a comer of the room. He hurried there, panting, and washed with the holy water the spot the maidservant had touched. The devotees in the room were amazed to see this incident. Bhagavati sat as if struck dead.
Sri Ramakrishna consoled her and said in a very kindly tone, "You should salute me from a distance." In order to relieve her mind of all embarrassment, the Master said tenderly, "Listen to a few songs."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 14, 2013, 07:07:02 AM
The Master then sang about the Divine Mother:

The black bee of my mind is drawn in sheer delight
To the blue lotus flower of Mother Syama's feet. . . .

Then he sang:
High in the heaven of the Mother's feet, my mind was soaring like a kite,
When came a gust of sin's rough wind that drove it swiftly toward the earth. . . .

Again:
Dwell, O mind, within yourself;
Enter no other's home.
If you but seek there, you will find
All you are searching for.
God, the true Philosopher's Stone,
Who answers every prayer,
Lies hidden deep within your heart,
The richest gem of all.
How many pearls and precious stones
Are scattered all about
The outer court that lies before
The chamber of your heart!

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 17, 2013, 07:00:27 AM
Tuesday, June 5, 1883

Rakhal and Hazra were staying with the Master in the temple garden at Dakshineswar. M., too, had been there since the previous Sunday. As it was a week-day there were only a few devotees in the room. Generally people gathered there in large numbers on Sundays or holidays.
It was afternoon. Sri Ramakrishna was telling the devotees about his experiences during his God-intoxicated state.

MASTER (to M.): "Oh, what a state I passed through! At that time I didn't eat my meals here. I would enter the house of a brahmin in the village or at Baranagore or at Ariadaha. Generally it would be past meal-time. I would just sit down there without saying a word. If the members of the household asked me why I had come, I would simply say, 'I want something to eat.' Now and then I would go, uninvited of course, to Ram Chatterji's house at Alambazar or to the Choudhurys at Dakshineswar. But I didn't relish the food at the Choudhurys' house.

"One day I begged Mathur to take me to Devendra Tagore's house. I said: 'Devendra chants the name of God, I want to see him. Will you take me there?' Mathur Babu was a very proud man. How could one expect him to go to another man's house uninvited? At first he hesitated. But then he said: 'All right. Devendra and I were fellow students. I will take you to him.'

"Another day I learnt of a good man named Dina Mukherji, living at Baghbazar near the bridge. He was a devotee. I asked Mathur to take me there. Finding me insistent, he took me to Dina's house in a carriage. It was a small place. The arrival of a rich man in a big carriage embarrassed the inmates. We too were embarrassed. That day Dina's son was being invested with the sacred thread. The house was crowded, and there was hardly any place for Dina to receive us. We were about to enter a side room, when someone cried out: 'Please don't go into that room. There are ladies there.' It was really a distressing situation. Returning, Mathur Babu said, 'Father, I shall never listen to you again.' I laughed.

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 20, 2013, 08:03:15 AM
"Oh, what a state I passed through! Once Kumar Singh gave a feast to the sadhus and invited me too. I found a great many holy men assembled there. When I sat down for the meal, several sadhus asked me about myself. At once I felt like leaving them and sitting alone. I wondered why they should bother about all that. The sadhus took their seats. I began to eat before they had started. I heard several of them remark, 'Oh! What sort of man
is this?' "
Parable of the farmer
It was about five o'clock in the afternoon. Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on the steps of his verandah. Hazra, Rakhal, and M. were near him. Hazra had the attitude of a Vedantist: "I am He."
MASTER (to Hazra): "Yes, all one's confusion comes to an end if one only realizes that it is God who manifests Himself as the atheist and the believer, the good and the bad, the real and the unreal; that it is He who is present in waking and in sleep; and that He is beyond all these.
"There was a farmer to whom an only son was born when he was rather advanced in age. As the child grew up, his parents became very fond of him. One day the farmer was out working in the fields, when a neighbour told him that his son was dangerously ill-indeed, at the point of death. Returning home he found the boy dead. His wife wept bitterly, but his own eyes remained dry. Sadly the wife said to her ncighbours, 'Such a son has passed away, and he hasn't even one tear to shed!' After a long while the farmer said to his wife: 'Do you know why I am not crying? Last night I dreamt I had become a king, and the father of seven princes. These princes were beautiful as well as virtuous. They grew in stature and acquired wisdom and knowledge in the various arts. Suddenly I woke up. Now I have been wondering whether I should weep for those seven children or this one boy.'
To the jnanis the waking state is no more real than the dream state. "God alone is the Doer. Everything happens by His will."

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 22, 2013, 07:54:07 AM
Law of karma
HAZRA: "But it is very difficult to understand that. Take the case of the sadhu of Bhukailas. How people tortured him and; in a way, killed him! They had found him in
samadhi. First they buried him, then they put him under water, and then they branded him with a hot iron. Thus they brought him back to consciousness of the world. But in the end the sadhu died as a result of these tortures. He undoubtedly suffered at the hands of men, though, as you say, he died by the will of God."
MASTER: "Man must reap the fruit of his own karma. But as far as the death of that holy man is concerned, it was brought about by the will of God. The kavirajs prepare
makaradhvaja in a bottle. The bottle is covered with clay and heated in the fire. The gold inside the bottle melts and combines with the other ingredients, and the medicine is made. Then the physicians break the bottle carefully and take out the medicine. When the medicine is made, what difference does it make whether the bottle is preserved or broken? So people think that the holy man was killed. But perhaps his inner stuff had been made. After the realization of God, what difference does it make whether the body lives or dies?"

Title: Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Post by: Ravi.N on September 24, 2013, 07:56:48 AM
Different kinds of samadhi
"The sadhu of Bhukailas was in samadhi. There are many kinds of samadhi. My own spiritual experiences tally with the words I heard from a sadhu of Hrishikesh. Sometimes I feel the rising of the spiritual current inside me, as though it were the creeping of an ant. Sometimes it feels like the movement of a monkey jumping from one branch to another. Again, sometimes it feels like a fish swimming in water. Only he who experiences it knows what it is like. In samadhi one forgets the world. When the mind comes down a little, I say to the Divine Mother: 'Mother, please cure me of this. I want to talk to people.'
"None but the Isvarakotis can return to the plane of relative consciousness after attaining samadhi. Some ordinary men attain samadhi through spiritual discipline; but they do not come back. But when God Himself is born as a man, as an Incarnation, holding in His hand the key to others' liberation, then for the welfare of humanity the Incarnation returns from samadhi to consciousness of the world."
M. (to himself): "Does the Master hold in his hand the key to man's liberation?"
HAZRA: "The one thing needful is to please God. What does it matter whether an Incarnation of God exists or not?"
It was the day of the new moon. Gradually night descended and dense darkness enveloped the trees and the temples. A few lights shone here and there in the temple garden. The black sky was reflected in the waters of the Ganges.