Author Topic: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna  (Read 58308 times)

silentgreen

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2010, 10:26:41 AM »
Dear Subramanian.R,

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

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

silentgreen

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2010, 10:30:28 AM »
continued ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2010, 11:16:11 AM »



Dear silentgreen,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Arunachala Siva.

silentgreen

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2010, 09:17:29 AM »
continued ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"So you must hiss at wicked people. You must frighten them lest they should do you harm. But never inject your venom into them. One must not injure others. "In this creation of God there is a variety of things: men, animals, trees, plants. Among the animals some are good, some bad. There are ferocious animals like the tiger. Some trees bear fruit sweet as nectar, and others bear fruit that is poisonous. Likewise, among human beings, there are the good and the wicked, the holy and the unholy. There are some who are devoted to God, and others who are attached to the world.
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2010, 11:39:31 AM »



Dear silentgreen,

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

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

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

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

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



Arunachala Siva. 

silentgreen

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2010, 09:01:48 AM »
Four classes of men
"Men may be divided into four classes: those bound by the fetters of the world, the seekers after liberation, the liberated, and the ever-free.

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

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

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

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

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

There was deep silence in the room.



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

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

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

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

When he had said this, the Master sang:
If only I can pass away repeating Durga's name,
How canst Thou then, O Blessed One,
Withhold from me deliverance,
Wretched though I may be?
I may have stolen a drink of wine, or killed a child unborn,
Or slain a woman or a cow,
Or even caused a brahmin's death;
But, though it all be true,
Nothing of this can make me feel the least uneasiness;
For through the power of Thy sweet name
My wretched soul may still aspire
Even to Brahmanhood.
Homage to the Universal Being...Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ... Om Shanti ...

Subramanian.R

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2010, 10:46:07 AM »



Dear silentgreen,

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

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



Arunachala Siva.   

Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2012, 07:48:32 AM »
Friends,
"During my earlier days, I did an experiment. When I felt a little devotion for one God, I used to mentally switch to another God. The same devotion gets carried over to another God. It is like learning to swim. Once you learn swimming in one pond, you can swim in all the ponds. There may be a little preference for one pond, which is natural. Also once you have learnt swimming, whereever you see a pond, you will feel like swimming."

I came across this post by silentgreen.How true and so simply stated!We do not get to see this devotee posting in recent times.I went through his website elsewhere and it is so neat and wonderful.Warmly recommended.
Namaskar.

Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2012, 06:36:55 PM »
Parable of the homa bird
Pointing to Narendra, the Master said: "You all see this boy. He behaves that way here. A
naughty boy seems very gentle when with his father. But he is quite another person when
he plays in the chandni. Narendra and people of his type belong to the class of the everfree.
They are never entangled in the world. When they grow a little older they feel the
awakening of inner consciousness and go directly toward God. They come to the world
only to teach others. They never care for anything of the world. They are never attached to
'woman and gold'.
"The Vedas speak of the homa bird. It lives high up in the sky and there it lays its egg. As
soon as the egg is laid it begins to fall; but it is so high up that it continues to fall for many
days. As it falls it hatches, and the chick falls. As the chick falls its eyes open; it grows
wings. As soon as its eyes open, it realizes that it is falling and will be dashed to pieces on
touching the earth. Then it at once shoots up toward the mother bird high in the sky."
At this point Narendra left the room. Kedar, Prankrishna, M., and many others remained.
Master praises Narendra
MASTER: "You see, Narendra excels in singing, playing on instruments, study, and
everything. The other day he had a discussion with Kedar and tore his arguments to shreds.
(All laugh.)
(To M.) "Is there any book in English on reasoning?"
M: "Yes, sir, there is. It is called Logic."
MASTER: "Tell me what it says."
M. was a little embarrassed. He said: "One part of the book deals with deduction from the
general to the particular. For example: All men are mortal. Scholars are men. Therefore
scholars are mortal. Another part deals with the method of reasoning from the particular to
the general. For example: This crow is black. That crow is black. The crows we see
everywhere are black. Therefore all crows are black. But there may be a fallacy in a
conclusion arrived at in this way; for on inquiry one may find a white crow in some
country. There is another illustration: If there is rain, there is, or has been, a cloud.
Therefore rain comes from a cloud. Still another example: This man has thirty-two teeth.
That man has thirty-two teeth. All the men we see have thirty-two teeth. Therefore men
have thirty-two teeth. English logic deals with such inductions and deductions."                                             
Sri Ramakrishna barely heard these words. While listening he became absent-minded. So
the conversation did not proceed far.
When the meeting broke up, the devotees sauntered in the temple garden. M. went in the
direction of the Panchavati. It was about five o'clock in the afternoon. After a while he
returned to the Master's room. There, on the small north verandah, he witnessed an amazing
sight.

Sri Ramakrishna was standing still, surrounded by a few devotees, and Narendra was                   
singing. M. had never heard anyone except the Master sing so sweetly. When he looked at
Sri Ramakrishna he was struck with wonder; for the Master stood motionless, with eyes
transfixed. He seemed not even to breathe. A devotee told M. that the Master was in
samadhi. M. had never before seen or heard of such a thing. Silent with wonder, he thought:
"Is it possible for a man to be so oblivious of the outer world in the consciousness of God?
How deep his faith and devotion must be to bring about such a state!"
Narendra was singing:
Meditate, O my mind, on the Lord Hari,
The Stainless One, Pure Spirit through and through.
How peerless is the Light that in Him shines!
How soul-bewitching is His wondrous form!
How dear is He to all His devotees!
Ever more beauteous in fresh-blossoming love
That shames the splendour of a million moons,
Like lightning gleams the glory of His form,
Raising erect the hair for very joy.                                                                                                       


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2012, 07:08:31 AM »
The Master shuddered when this last line was sung. His hair stood on end, and tears of joy
streamed down his cheeks. Now and then his lips parted in a smile. Was he seeing the
peerless beauty of God, "that shames the splendour of a million moons"? Was this the
vision of God, the Essence of Spirit? How much austerity and discipline, how much faith
and devotion, must be necessary for such a vision!
The song went on:
Worship His feet in the lotus of your heart;
With mind serene and eyes made radiant
With heavenly love, behold that matchless sight.
Again that bewitching smile. The body motionless as before, the eyes half shut, as if
beholding a strange inner vision.
The song drew to a close. Narendra sang the last lines:
Caught in the spell of His love's ecstasy,
Immerse yourself for evermore, O mind"
In Him who is Pure Knowledge and Pure Bliss.
The sight of the samadhi, and the divine bliss he had witnessed, left an indelible impression
on M.'s mind. He returned home deeply moved. Now and then he could hear within himself
the echo of those soul-intoxicating lines:
Immerse yourself for evermore, O mind,
In Him who is Pure Knowledge and Pure Bliss
.


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2012, 08:28:35 AM »
Fourth visit
The next day, too, was a holiday for M. He arrived at Dakshineswar at three o'clock in the
afternoon. Sri Ramakrishna was in his room; Narendra, Bhavanath, and a few other
devotees were sitting on a mat spread on the floor. They were all young men of nineteen or
twenty. Seated on the small couch, Sri Ramakrishna was talking with them and smiling.
No sooner had M. entered the room than the Master laughed aloud and said to the boys,
"There! He has come again." They all joined in the laughter. M. bowed low before him and
took a seat. Before this he had saluted the Master with folded hands, like one with an
English education. But that day he learnt to fall down at his feet in orthodox Hindu fashion.
The peacock and the opium
Presently the Master explained the cause of his laughter to the devotees, He said: "A man
once fed a peacock with a pill of opium at four o'clock in the afternoon. The next day,
exactly at that time, the peacock came back. It had felt the intoxication of the drug and
returned just in time to have another dose."(All laugh.)
M. thought this a very apt illustration. Even at home he had been unable to banish the
thought of Sri Ramakrishna for a moment. His mind was constantly at Dakshineswar and
he had counted the minutes until he should go again.
In the mean time the Master was having great fun with the boys, treating them as if they
were his most intimate friends. Peals of side-splitting laughter filled the room, as if it were
a mart of joy. The whole thing was a revelation to M. He thought: "Didn't I see him only
yesterday intoxicated with God? Wasn't he swimming then in the Ocean of Divine Love - a
sight I had never seen before? And today the same person is behaving like an ordinary man!
Wasn't it he who scolded me on the first day of my coming here? Didn't he admonish me,
saying, 'And you are a man of knowledge!'? Wasn't it he who said to me that God with
form is as true as God without form? Didn't he tell me that God alone is real and all else
illusory? Wasn't it he who advised me to live in the world unattached, like a maidservant in
a rich man's house?"
Sri Ramakrishna was having great fun with the young devotees; now and then he glanced at
M. He noticed that M. sat in silence. The Master said to Ramlal: "You see, he is a little
advanced in years, and therefore somewhat serious. He sits quiet while the youngsters are
making merry." M. was then about twenty-eight years old.


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2012, 03:51:49 PM »
Hanuman's devotion to Rama
The conversation drifted to Hanuman, whose picture hung on the wall in the Master's room.
Sri Ramakrishna said: "Just imagine Hanuman's state of mind. He didn't care for money,
honour, creature comforts, or anything else. He longed only for God. When he was running
away with the heavenly weapon that had been secreted in the crystal pillar, Mandodari
began to tempt him with various fruits so that he might come down and drop the weapon.
But he couldn't be tricked so easily. In reply to her persuasions he sang this song:
Am I in need of fruit?
I have the Fruit that makes this life
Fruitful indeed. Within my heart
The Tree of Rama grows,
Bearing salvation for its fruit.
Under the Wish-fulfilling Tree
Of Rama do I sit at ease,
Plucking whatever fruit I will.
But if you speak of fruit -
No beggar, I, for common fruit.
Behold, I go,
Leaving a bitter fruit for you."
As Sri Ramakrishna was singing the song he went into samadhi. Again the half-closed eyes
and motionless body that one sees in his photograph. Just a minute before, the devotees had
been making merry in his company. Now all eyes were riveted on him. Thus for the second
time M. saw the Master in samadhi.
After a long time the Master came back to ordinary consciousness. His face lighted up with
a smile, and his body relaxed; his senses began to function in a normal way. He shed tears
of joy as he repeated the holy name of Rama. M. wondered whether this very saint was the
person who a few minutes earlier had been behaving like a child of five.
The Master said to Narendra and M., "I should like to hear you speak and argue in
English." They both laughed. But they continued to talk in their mother tongue. It was
impossible for M. to argue any more before the Master. Though Ramakrishna insisted, they
did not talk in English.
At five o'clock in the afternoon all the devotees except Narendra and M. took leave of the
Master. As M. was walking in the temple garden, he suddenly came upon the Master
talking to Narendra on the bank of the goose-pond. Sri Ramakrishna said to Narendra:
"Look here. Come a little more often. You are a new-comer. On first acquaintance people
visit each other quite often, as is the case with a lover and his sweetheart. (Narendra and M.
laugh.) So please come, won't you?"
Narendra, a member of the Brahmo Samaj, was very particular about his promises. He said
with a smile, "Yes, sir, I shall try."
As they were returning to the Master's room, Sri Ramakrishna said to M.: "When peasants
go to market to buy bullocks for their ploughs, they can easily tell the good from the bad by
touching their tails. On being touched there, some meekly lie down on the ground. The
peasants recognize that these are without mettle and so reject them. They select only those
bullocks that frisk about and show spirit when their tails are touched. Narendra is like a
bullock of this latter class. He is full of spirit within."
The Master smiled as he said this, and continued: "There are some people who have no grit
whatever. They are like flattened rice soaked in milk - soft and mushy. No inner strength!"
It was dusk. The Master was meditating on God. He said to M.: "Go and talk to Narendra.
Then tell me what you think of him."


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2012, 07:07:16 AM »
Evening worship was over in the temples. M. met Narendra on the bank of the Ganges and
they began to converse. Narendra told M. about his studying in college, his being a member
of the Brahmo Samaj, and so on.
It was now late in the evening and time for M.'s departure; but he felt reluctant to go and
instead went in search of Sri Ramakrishna. He had been fascinated by the Master's singing
and wanted to hear more. At last he found the Master pacing alone in the natmandir in front
of the Kali temple. A lamp was burning in the temple on either side of the image of the
Divine Mother. The single lamp in the spacious natmandir blended light and darkness into a
kind of mystic twilight, in which the figure of the Master could be dimly seen.
M. had been enchanted by the Master's sweet music. With some hesitation he asked him
whether there would be any more singing that evening. "No, not tonight", said Sri
Ramakrishna after a little reflection. Then, as if remembering something, he added: "But
I'm going soon to Balaram Bose's house in Calcutta. Come there and you'll hear me sing."
M. agreed to go.
MASTER: "Do you know Balaram Bose?"
M: "No, sir. I don't."
MASTER: "He lives in Bosepara."
M: "Well, sir, I shall find him."
As Sri Ramakrishna walked up and down the hall with M., he said to him: "Let me ask you
something. What do you think of me?"
M. remained silent. Again Sri Ramakrishna asked: "What do you think of me? How many
annas of knowledge of God have I?"
M: "I don't understand what you mean by 'annas'. But of this I am sure: I have never before
seen such knowledge, ecstatic love, faith in God, renunciation, and catholicity anywhere."
The Master laughed.
M. bowed low before him and took his leave. He had gone as far as the main gate of the
temple garden when he suddenly remembered something and came back to Sri
Ramakrishna, who was still in the natmandir. In the dim light the Master, all alone, was
pacing the hall, rejoicing in the Self - as the lion lives and roams alone in the forest.
In silent wonder M. surveyed that great soul.
MASTER (to M.): "What makes you come back?"
M: "Perhaps the house you asked me to go to belongs to a rich man. They may not let me
in. I think I had better not go. I would rather meet you here."
MASTER: "Oh, no! Why should you think that? Just mention my name. Say that you want
to see me; then someone will take you to me."
M. nodded his assent and, after saluting the Master, took his leave.


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2012, 07:15:33 AM »
Chapter 2

IN THE COMPANY OF DEVOTEES

March 11, 1882
Master at Balaram's house

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


Ravi.N

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Re: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2012, 07:21:03 AM »
The mind's inability to comprehend God
Another day the Master was seated on the small couch in his room, with his usual beaming
countenance. M. arrived with Kalikrishna, who did not know where his friend M. was
taking him. He had only been told: "If you want to see a grog-shop, then come with me.
You will see a huge jar of wine there." M. related this to Sri Ramakrishna, who laughed
about it. The Master said: "The bliss of worship and communion with God is the true wine,
the wine of ecstatic love. The goal of human life is to love God, Bhakti is the one essential
thing. To know God through jnana and reasoning is extremely difficult."
Then the Master sang:
Who is there that can understand what Mother Kali is?
Even the six darsanas are powerless to reveal Her....
The Master said, again: "The one goal of life is to cultivate love for God, the love that the
milkmaids, the milkmen, and the cowherd boys of Vrindavan felt for Krishna. When
Krishna went away to Mathura, the cowherds roamed about weeping bitterly because of
their separation from Him."
Saying this the Master sang, with his eyes turned upward:
Just now I saw a youthful cowherd
With a young calf in his arms;
There he stood, by one hand holding
The branch of a young tree.
"Where are You, Brother Kanai?" he cried;
But "Kanai" scarcely could he utter;
"Ka" was as much as he could say.
He cried, "Where are You, Brother?"
And his eyes were filled with tears.
When M. heard this song of the Master's, laden with love, his eyes were moist with tears.