Author Topic: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna  (Read 56901 times)

silentgreen

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The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« 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."

Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

silentgreen

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #1 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.
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #2 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.                   

silentgreen

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #3 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.
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #4 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.

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #5 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.

silentgreen

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #6 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.

Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #7 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.

silentgreen

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #8 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.
"

Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

silentgreen

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #9 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.
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Subramanian.R

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #10 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.               

silentgreen

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #11 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.

Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #12 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.     

silentgreen

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #13 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."
 
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #14 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.