Author Topic: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna  (Read 57122 times)

Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #150 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".


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #151 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.


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #152 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.)


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #153 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."


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #154 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?'


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #155 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."


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #156 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.


sanjaya_ganesh

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #157 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
Salutations to Bhagawan

Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #158 on: September 20, 2012, 08:14:15 AM »
Sanjaya,
Yes indeed;this is one of my favourite stories.more on this later.
Namaskar.

Nagaraj

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #159 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.

॥ शांतमात्मनि तिष्ट ॥
Remain quietly in the Self.
~ Vasishta

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #160 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.   

Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #161 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."


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #162 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."


Hari

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #163 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?
Web Page dedicated to the Great Sages:
https://someoneelsebg.000webhostapp.com/Sages/HTML.html

Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #164 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.