Author Topic: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna  (Read 56931 times)

Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #60 on: July 15, 2012, 08:29:31 AM »
Evil of "I"and "mine"

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

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

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


Hari

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #61 on: July 17, 2012, 11:41:37 AM »
Sri Ravi. What Bhagavan Ramakrishna has pointed here is very important. We think that we depend on us - our efforts, our actions and so on. But the question is "Is that true?". Life is God's Grace. We cannot even move our fingers without His Grace but we always complain "Where is His Grace?". Everything is according to His Grace and Will. This is the Final Conclusion of all major religions and philosophies.

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

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

Quote
"Within the hearts of all living entities, resides the Supreme Lord, o Arjuna and by the potency of the illusory energy orchestrates the movements of all living entities like figurines on a carousel." Lord Krishna
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Hari

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #62 on: July 17, 2012, 12:35:55 PM »
Actually Lord Buddhas doctrine about "anatta" is exactly that - there is no self (ego) who performs actions and so on. It has nothing in common with what many modern buddhists teach that Upanishadic Atman is not real. This is because of the misconception during these times that Atman is the ego. The notion that Atman is just another name for Brahman and means just "Brahman within" or "Brahman in the Heart" was too harsh for them. Let's not forget that Hinduism has developed from one very dualistic religious system. I know that many don't want to accept that but it is true. Buddha didn't accept that system and His teachings are direct opposition to the brahmins' false teachings and interpetations of the Scriptures during that time.
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Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #63 on: July 20, 2012, 07:28:37 AM »
Ramana,
Yes what you have mentioned is quite in order ,except perhaps this statement:"Let's not forget that Hinduism has developed from one very dualistic religious system."
Hinduism has always acknowledged plurality of approaches but it cannot be said that it evolved.There is no evolution as it pertains to only 'ideas' and 'events' and spiritual Truth is beyond such 'ideas'.The emphasis has always been on Realization than on Evolution.
Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #64 on: July 20, 2012, 07:39:49 AM »
Power of faith
"One must have faith and love. Let me tell you how powerful faith is. A man was about to
cross the sea from Ceylon to India. Bibhishana said to him: 'Tie this thing in a corner of
your wearing-cloth, and you will cross the sea safely. You will be able to walk on the
water. But be sure not to examine it, or you will sink.' The man was walking easily on the
water of the sea - such is the strength of faith - when, having gone part of the way, he
thought, 'What is this wonderful thing Bibhishana has given me, that I can walk even on the
water?' He untied the knot and found only a leaf with the name of Rama written on it. 'Oh,
just this!' he thought, and instantly he sank.
"There is a popular saying that Hanuman jumped over the sea through his faith in Rama's
name, but Rama himself had to build a bridge.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Hari

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #65 on: July 20, 2012, 03:22:13 PM »
Quote
Ramana,
Yes what you have mentioned is quite in order ,except perhaps this statement:"Let's not forget that Hinduism has developed from one very dualistic religious system."
Hinduism has always acknowledged plurality of approaches but it cannot be said that it evolved.There is no evolution as it pertains to only 'ideas' and 'events' and spiritual Truth is beyond such 'ideas'.The emphasis has always been on Realization than on Evolution.
Namaskar.

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

Best wishes, ramana 1359
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Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #66 on: July 22, 2012, 05:45:37 AM »
Ramana,
I will try to respond to your perceptions in the Rough-note book thread.you have expressed the popular misconceptions that most westerners have with regard to Vedas,Hinduism,sankara,advaita,dvaita,'one God' ,siva,Krishna,Devas,etc.
Let me just say that there are no words like advaita,dvaita or visishtadvaita in the whole of Vedas!These were coined later.I will revert to the Rough notebook thread for a comprehensive response.
Namaskar.


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #67 on: July 22, 2012, 05:55:52 AM »
Brahman and Sakti are identical
After a time Sri Ramakrishna showed signs of regaining the normal state. He drew a deep
breath and said with a smile: "The means of realizing God are ecstasy of love and devotion
- that is, one must love God. He who is Brahman is addressed as the Mother.

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

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

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

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

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


Hari

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #68 on: July 22, 2012, 12:14:17 PM »
Quote
Ramana,
I will try to respond to your perceptions in the Rough-note book thread.you have expressed the popular misconceptions that most westerners have with regard to Vedas,Hinduism,sankara,advaita,dvaita,'one God' ,siva,Krishna,Devas,etc.
Let me just say that there are no words like advaita,dvaita or visishtadvaita in the whole of Vedas!These were coined later.I will revert to the Rough notebook thread for a comprehensive response.
Namaskar.

Dear Sri Ravi. I am not talking about Vedas. I am talking about the way brahmins have interpreted them during Vedic Age. Upanishads were composed exactly because this misconception should be corrected. Exactly during Vedic Age started "division" of God - who is Supreme and who is inferior. Even Upanishads were not enough to disperse this illusion and Puranas were needed to be composed. And these Puranas istead of eliminate this illusion have become foundation for emerging of sects like Vaishnavam, Shaiva, Shaktam, Ganapatyam and so on. Even today this is not changed. I am not talking about what Sages who composed these Sacred Texts intended but how common people understood their message.
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Hari

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #69 on: July 22, 2012, 12:33:50 PM »
Dear Sri Ravi. Please, tell me what is you opinion about the thinking of the people of India today - are they polytheistic or monotheistic? Beliefs of such kind of "Lord Krishna is the Supreme Lord and Lord Shiva is His servant" does not sound very monotheistic to me. Almost all bhaktas in India are polytheistic and dualistic, even these who recite the Scriptures that God is One. The pure notion of Superiority of a God over other Gods is indicative enough for polytheistic perception of the people who claim that. Mere recitation of the Scriptures does not change anything. Just as the so called advaitins are just visishtadvaitins. They claim that Atman is the Only Reality and so on but they continue to speak and do as if there are many atmas. Behavior and actions are important, not just words and recitation of Scriptures. Orthopraxy is the measure of where you are not, not orthodoxy. This is the same for christians for example. They Scripture say that you must love your enemies. They recite this sometimes but actually they teach hatred, discrimination and so on. I hope you understood what I meant to tell you.
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Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #70 on: July 22, 2012, 03:48:01 PM »
Ramana,
"I am not talking about what Sages who composed these Sacred Texts intended but how common people understood their message"
Do we see the Dichotomy here?On the one hand,we want to understand about Vedas and what they have to say,i.e whether dualism,etc,etc and on the other hand we are asking about the common people or the Brahmins(This is another misconception spread by the Buddhists and all the others right upto our present times!),what they understand and Practise!If we take it for granted that they are common people,they can be expected to be common only!
How do we now bridge the gap between the ideal and the actual ?This is exactly what the Vedas have done and all so called Vaishnavam,Shaktam ,Shaivam and all other isms so splendidly have done!All these isms look upto the Vedas as indisputable source of Wisdom.
What you perceive as weakness, split and divergence is exactly where the Strength of sanatana Dharma is.
Please wait for the articles to follow in the Rough Note book thread.
I have got the entire drift of what you have conveyed and I will try to address it.
Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #71 on: July 24, 2012, 06:00:12 AM »
Growth of divine love lessens worldly duties

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

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

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

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

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


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #72 on: July 25, 2012, 08:51:38 AM »
Parable of the wood-cutter
"Go forward. A wood-cutter once entered a forest to gather wood. A brahmachari said to
him, 'Go forward.' He obeyed the injunction and discovered some sandal-wood trees. After
a few days he reflected, 'The holy man asked me to go forward. He didn't tell me to stop
here.' So he went forward and found a silver-mine. After a few days he went still farther
and discovered a gold-mine, and next, mines of diamonds and precious stones. With these
he became immensely rich.
"Through selfless work, love of God grows in the heart. Then, through His grace one
realizes Him in course of time. God can be seen. One can talk to him as I am talking to
you
."
In silent wonder they all sat listening to the Master's words. It seemed to them that the
Goddess of Wisdom Herself, seated on Sri Ramakrishna's tongue was addressing these
words not merely to Vidyasagar, but to all humanity for its good.
It was nearly nine o'clock in the evening. The Master was about to leave.
Master (to Vidyasagar, with a smile): "The words I have spoken are really superfluous. You
know all this; you simply aren't conscious of it. There are countless gems in the coffers of
Varuna. But he himself isn't aware of them."
VIDYASAGAR (with a smile): "You may say as you like."
MASTER (smiling): "Oh yes. There are many wealthy people who don't know the names
of all their servants, and are even unaware of many of the precious things in their
houses."(All laugh.)
Everybody was delighted with the Master's conversation. Again addressing Vidyasagar, he
said with a smile: "Please visit the temple garden some time - I mean the garden of
Rasmani. It's a charming place."
VIDYASAGAR: "Oh, of course I shall go. You have so kindly come here to see me, and
shall I not return your visit?"
MASTER: "Visit me? Oh, never think of such a thing!"
VIDYASAGAR: "Why, sir? Why do you say that? May I ask you to explain?"
MASTER (smiling): "You see, we are like small fishing-boats. (All smile.) We can ply in
small canals and shallow waters and also in big rivers. But you are a ship. You may run
aground on the way!" (All laugh.)
Vidyasagar remained silent. Sri Ramakrishna said with a laugh, "But even a ship can go
there at this season."
VIDYASAGR (smiling): "Yes, this is the monsoon season."(All laugh.)
M. said to himself: "This is indeed the monsoon season of newly awakened love. At such
times one doesn't care for prestige or formalities."


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #73 on: July 26, 2012, 08:38:52 AM »
Sri Ramakrishna then took leave of Vidyasagar, who with his friends escorted the Master to
the main gate, leading the way with a lighted candle in his hand. Before leaving the room,
the Master prayed for the family's welfare, going into an ecstatic mood as he did so.

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

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

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

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


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #74 on: July 27, 2012, 06:24:12 AM »
Chapter 4 -ADVICE TO HOUSEHOLDERS
August 13, 1882


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

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

Secret of divine communion

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

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

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

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

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

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