Author Topic: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna  (Read 53213 times)

Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #135 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?"


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #136 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
.



Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #137 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.'


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #138 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.


Hari

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #139 on: September 06, 2012, 11:10:26 AM »
Excellent excerpt, Sri Ravi. Thank you very much for it! Have a nice and positive day!
Web Page dedicated to the Great Sages:
https://someoneelsebg.000webhostapp.com/Sages/HTML.php

Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #140 on: September 07, 2012, 08:08:44 AM »
Hari,
Thanks very much for your Good wishes.
Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #141 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.


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #142 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.)


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #143 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".


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #144 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".



eranilkumarsinha

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #145 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   


Jewell

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #146 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!
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 06:50:00 PM by Jewell »

Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #147 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.

Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #148 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."


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #149 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?"