Author Topic: Practical Hints on Sadhana from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna  (Read 3404 times)

Ravi.N

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Re: Practical Hints on Sadhana from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2016, 11:56:53 PM »
In Chapter 7,verse 3 of Srimad Bhagavad gita,Lord Sri Krishna says: "Out of thousands of men but a single one endeavors for perfection and of those endeavoring thus there is indeed but a single one who really knows Me"

Sri Ramakrishna refers to four classes of people:
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.


This seems to project a bleak prospect for the seeker but what it emphasizes is that unless the seeker is truly earnest he is not going to make it.

Sri Ramakrishna points out the nature of the  fickle minded:
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.

In contrast,Sri Ramakrishna gives the parable of the pearl oyster:
Parable of pearl oyster
One should have faith in the holy name given by the guru and with it practise spiritual discipline. It is said that the pearl oyster makes itself ready for the rain that falls when the star Svati is in the ascendant. Taking a drop of that rain, it dives into the fathomless depths of the ocean and remains there until the pearl is formed.
The earnest seeker takes up a single simple instruction 'given' by the guru and gets to the bottom of it and realizes it.

continued...
« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 02:50:34 AM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: Practical Hints on Sadhana from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2017, 05:35:25 PM »
The Power of Shraddha

MASTER (to Ishan): "Tell me if you have anymore doubts."
ISHAN: "You said everything when you spoke of faith."
MASTER: "God can be realized by true faith alone. And the realization is hastened if you believe everything about God. The cow that picks and chooses its food gives milk only in dribblets, but if she eats all kinds of plants, then her milk flows in torrents.
"Once I heard a story. A man heard the command of God that he should see his Ideal Deity in a ram. He at once believed it. It is God who exists in all beings.
"A guru said to his disciple, 'It is Rama alone who resides in all bodies.' The disciple was a man of great faith. One day a dog snatched a piece of bread from him and started to run away. He ran after the dog, with a jar of butter in his hand, and cried again and again: 'O Rama, stand still a minute. That bread hasn't been buttered.'

"Sometimes I too feel that way. The Mother reveals to me that She Herself has become everything. One day I was coming from the pine-grove toward the Panchavati. A dog followed me. I stood still for a while near the Panchavati. The thought came to my mind that the Mother might say something to me through that dog.
"You were absolutely right when you said that through faith alone one achieves all."

This is a wonderful excerpt from The Gospel...and it emphasizes the paramount importance of Shraddha or True Faith as the master puts it...It is not what form of  Sadhana that we do that is important....it may be self enquiry or it may be nama japa or it may be prayer or it may be a simple ritual....it is the 'one' who does the sadhana that is paramount and this 'one' who 'does' the sadhana is defined by his shraddha alone...It is no longer the 'person' who does the Sadhana but it is Shraddha that does it.

The Master initiates the conversation by asking "MASTER (to Ishan): "Tell me if you have anymore doubts." and the disciple Ishan responds by saying "You said everything when you spoke of faith.".........and the master ends this phase of the conversation by Saying :"You were absolutely right when you said that through faith alone one achieves all."....Both the guru and the disciple are saying 'You said'!....Shraddha alone matters!

It is shraddha which seizes upon the person and makes him do the Sadhana...if it is absent then the 'person' wallows in his likes and dislikes, even if he thinks from his perspective that he is doing sadhana.

continued...
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 05:38:09 PM by Ravi.N »

Ravi.N

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Re: Practical Hints on Sadhana from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2017, 02:48:16 AM »
Monday, August 20, 1883
Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on his bed, inside the mosquito net, meditating.  It was about eight o'clock in the evening.  M. was sitting on the floor with his friend Hari Babu.  Hari, a young man of twenty-eight, had lost his wife about eleven years before and had not married a second time.  He was much, devoted to his parents, brothers, and sisters.
Hazra was living at Dakshineswar.  Rākhāl  lived with the Master, though now and then he stayed at Adhar's house.  Narendra, Bhavanath, Adhar, M., Ram, Manomohan, and other devotees visited the Master almost every week.
Hriday, Sri Ramakrishna's nephew, was ill in his home in the country.  The Master was worried about him.  One of the devotees had sent him a little money, but the Master did not know it.
When Sri Ramakrishna came out of the mosquito net and sat on the small couch, the devotees saluted him.
MASTER (to M.):  "I was meditating inside the net.  It occurred to me that meditation, after all, was nothing but the imagining of a form, and so I did not enjoy it.  One gets satisfaction if God reveals Himself in a flash.  Again, I said to myself, 'Who is it that meditates, and on whom does he meditate?' "   
M: "Yes, sir.  You said that God Himself has become everything-the universe and all living beings.  Even he who meditates is God."
MASTER: "What is more, one cannot meditate unless God wills it.  One can meditate when God makes it possible for one to do so.  What do you say?"
M: "True, sir.  You feel like that because there is no 'I' in you.  When there is no ego, one feels like that."
MASTER: "But it is good .to have a trace of ego, which makes it possible for a man to feel that he is the servant of God.  As long as a man thinks that it is he who is doing his duties, it is very good for him to feel that God is the Master and he God's servant.  When one is conscious of doing work, one should establish with God the relationship of servant and Master."

M. was always reflecting on the nature of the Supreme Brahman.

There are two key aspects that the master so simply and unassumingly brings out:
1."one cannot meditate unless God wills it.  One can meditate when God makes it possible for one to do so".
2. "I was meditating inside the net.  It occurred to me that meditation, after all, was nothing but the imagining of a form, and so I did not enjoy it.  One gets satisfaction if God reveals Himself in a flash.  Again, I said to myself, 'Who is it that meditates, and on whom does he meditate?' "

Any sadhana is done only when there is this awareness ...that it is on account of the grace of God and not on the strength of egoistic action...and if it is done with this awareness it leads one spontaneously into 'Who is it that meditates, and on whom does he meditate?' (self-enquiry!)

One need not figure out right at the outset that he has to 'do only this and not that'....one may begin with a prayer and if it is from the heart,it would lead to all the rest.

Further the master also points out how to sustain the under current in the course of our day to day activities.He says:
It is good to have a trace of ego, which makes it possible for a man to feel that he is the servant of God.  As long as a man thinks that it is he who is doing his duties, it is very good for him to feel that God is the Master and he God's servant.  When one is conscious of doing work, one should establish with God the relationship of servant and Master.

M was a householder disciple and the sadhana that he was pursuing is reflected here:M. was always reflecting on the nature of the Supreme Brahman. The ways of the Master are often very subtle...and all that transpires is a lesson that cannot be forgotten.

continued...
« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 06:35:25 PM by Ravi.N »