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object:Sri Ramakrishna
object:Ramakrishna

influenced ::: Swami Vivekananda, Swami Brahmananda, Swami Premananda, Swami Yogananda, Swami Niranjanananda (The Senior), Swami Saradananda, Swami Shivananda, Swami Ramakrishnananda, Swami Turiyananda, Swami Abhedananda, Swami Adbhutananda, Swami Advaitananda, Swami Nirmalananda, Swami Akhandananda, Swami Trigunatitananda, Swami Subodhananda, Swami Vijnanananda

influenced ::: Rabindranath Tagore, Max Mller, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sri Aurobindo, Leo Tolstoy, Franz Dvorak, Philip Glass.

direct disciples ::: Swami Abhedananda, Swami Adbhutananda, Swami Advaitananda, Swami Akhandananda, Swami Brahmananda, Swami Niranjanananda (The Senior), Swami Nirmalananda, Swami Premananda, Swami Ramakrishnananda, Swami Saradananda, Swami Shivananda, Swami Subodhananda, Swami Trigunatitananda, Swami Turiyananda, Swami Vijnanananda, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Yogananda

householder disciples -




--- WIKI
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (18 February 1836 16 August 1886, born Ramakrishna "Gadadhar" Chattopadhyay, was an Indian Hindu mystic, philosopher, saint and considered as an avatar by many in 19th century Bengal. Sri Ramakrishna experienced spiritual ecstasies from a young age, and was influenced by several religious traditions, including devotion toward the Goddess Kali, Tantra (shakta), Vaishnava (bhakti), and Advaita Vedanta. As a priest at the Dakshineshwar Kali Temple, his mystical temperament and ecstasies gradually gained him widespread acknowledgement, attracting to him various spiritual teachers, social leaders, lay followers and eventually disciples. Reverence and admiration for him among Bengali elites led to his chief disciple Swami Vivekananda founding the Ramakrishna Math, which provides spiritual training for monastics and householder devotees and the Ramakrishna Mission to provide charity, social work and education.

--- PARTIAL BIBLIOGRAPHY
  Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
  Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna
  Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna
  Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna
  Thoughts of Peace and Holiness
  The Learned Pandit
  Ramakrishna : A Biography in Pictures
  Karma-Yoga
  His Words: The Preachings and Parables of Sri Ramkrishna Paramahansa


--- FOOTER
subject class:Hinduism
subject class:Yoga
subject class:Philosophy
class:author
subject class:Philosophy
subject class:Mysticism
title class:Saint
class:Avatar

class:favorite


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now begins generated list of local instances, definitions, quotes, instances in chapters, wordnet info if available and instances among weblinks


OBJECT INSTANCES [0] - TOPICS - AUTHORS - BOOKS - CHAPTERS - CLASSES - SEE ALSO - SIMILAR TITLES

TOPICS
Sri_Ramakrishna_(quotes)
Swami_Virajananda
SEE ALSO


AUTH
Swami_Vivekananda

BOOKS
Infinite_Library
Savitri
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(toc)
The_Gospel_of_Sri_Ramakrishna

IN CHAPTERS TITLE
2.18_-_SRI_RAMAKRISHNA_AT_SYAMPUKUR
31.04_-_Sri_Ramakrishna
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(text)

IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME
0.00_-_INTRODUCTION
0.00_-_THE_GOSPEL_PREFACE
1.01_-_MASTER_AND_DISCIPLE
1.02_-_IN_THE_COMPANY_OF_DEVOTEES
1.03_-_VISIT_TO_VIDYASAGAR
1.04_-_ADVICE_TO_HOUSEHOLDERS
1.05_-_THE_MASTER_AND_KESHAB
1.06_-_THE_MASTER_WITH_THE_BRAHMO_DEVOTEES
1.07_-_THE_MASTER_AND_VIJAY_GOSWAMI
1.08_-_THE_MASTERS_BIRTHDAY_CELEBRATION_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.09_-_ADVICE_TO_THE_BRAHMOS
1.10_-_THE_MASTER_WITH_THE_BRAHMO_DEVOTEES_(II)
1.11_-_WITH_THE_DEVOTEES_AT_DAKSHINEWAR
1.12_-_THE_FESTIVAL_AT_PNIHTI
1.13_-_THE_MASTER_AND_M.
1.14_-_INSTRUCTION_TO_VAISHNAVS_AND_BRHMOS
1.15_-_LAST_VISIT_TO_KESHAB
1.16_-_WITH_THE_DEVOTEES_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.17_-_M._AT_DAKSHINEWAR
1.18_-_M._AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.19_-_THE_MASTER_AND_HIS_INJURED_ARM
1.20_-_RULES_FOR_HOUSEHOLDERS_AND_MONKS
1.21_-_A_DAY_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.22_-_ADVICE_TO_AN_ACTOR
1.23_-_FESTIVAL_AT_SURENDRAS_HOUSE
1.24_-_PUNDIT_SHASHADHAR
1.25_-_ADVICE_TO_PUNDIT_SHASHADHAR
1.26_-_FESTIVAL_AT_ADHARS_HOUSE
1.27_-_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.sk_-_Is_there_anyone_in_the_universe
2.01_-_AT_THE_STAR_THEATRE
2.02_-_THE_DURGA_PUJA_FESTIVAL
2.03_-_THE_MASTER_IN_VARIOUS_MOODS
2.04_-_ADVICE_TO_ISHAN
2.05_-_VISIT_TO_THE_SINTHI_BRAMO_SAMAJ
2.06_-_WITH_VARIOUS_DEVOTEES
2.07_-_BANKIM_CHANDRA
2.08_-_AT_THE_STAR_THEATRE_(II)
2.09_-_THE_MASTERS_BIRTHDAY
2.10_-_THE_MASTER_AND_NARENDRA
2.11_-_WITH_THE_DEVOTEES_IN_CALCUTTA
2.12_-_THE_MASTERS_REMINISCENCES
2.13_-_THE_MASTER_AT_THE_HOUSES_OF_BALARM_AND_GIRISH
2.14_-_AT_RAMS_HOUSE
2.15_-_CAR_FESTIVAL_AT_BALARMS_HOUSE
2.16_-_VISIT_TO_NANDA_BOSES_HOUSE
2.17_-_THE_MASTER_ON_HIMSELF_AND_HIS_EXPERIENCES
2.18_-_SRI_RAMAKRISHNA_AT_SYAMPUKUR
2.19_-_THE_MASTER_AND_DR._SARKAR
2.20_-_THE_MASTERS_TRAINING_OF_HIS_DISCIPLES
2.21_-_IN_THE_COMPANY_OF_DEVOTEES_AT_SYAMPUKUR
2.22_-_THE_MASTER_AT_COSSIPORE
2.23_-_THE_MASTER_AND_BUDDHA
2.24_-_THE_MASTERS_LOVE_FOR_HIS_DEVOTEES
2.25_-_AFTER_THE_PASSING_AWAY
9.99_-_Glossary
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(text)

IN CHAPTERS TEXT
0.00_-_INTRODUCTION
0.00_-_THE_GOSPEL_PREFACE
04.01_-_The_Divine_Man
04.05_-_The_Immortal_Nation
08.29_-_Meditation_and_Wakefulness
1.01_-_MASTER_AND_DISCIPLE
1.02_-_IN_THE_COMPANY_OF_DEVOTEES
1.02_-_Karmayoga
1.03_-_The_House_Of_The_Lord
1.03_-_VISIT_TO_VIDYASAGAR
1.04_-_ADVICE_TO_HOUSEHOLDERS
1.04_-_The_Divine_Mother_-_This_Is_She
1.05_-_THE_MASTER_AND_KESHAB
1.06_-_Quieting_the_Vital
1.06_-_THE_MASTER_WITH_THE_BRAHMO_DEVOTEES
1.07_-_Note_on_the_word_Go
1.07_-_THE_MASTER_AND_VIJAY_GOSWAMI
1.08_-_The_Change_of_Vision
1.08_-_THE_MASTERS_BIRTHDAY_CELEBRATION_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.09_-_ADVICE_TO_THE_BRAHMOS
1.09_-_Talks
1.1.05_-_The_Siddhis
1.10_-_THE_MASTER_WITH_THE_BRAHMO_DEVOTEES_(II)
1.10_-_The_Revolutionary_Yogi
1.11_-_WITH_THE_DEVOTEES_AT_DAKSHINEWAR
1.12_-_THE_FESTIVAL_AT_PNIHTI
1.13_-_THE_MASTER_AND_M.
1.14_-_INSTRUCTION_TO_VAISHNAVS_AND_BRHMOS
1.15_-_LAST_VISIT_TO_KESHAB
1.16_-_WITH_THE_DEVOTEES_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.17_-_M._AT_DAKSHINEWAR
1.18_-_M._AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.19_-_THE_MASTER_AND_HIS_INJURED_ARM
1.20_-_RULES_FOR_HOUSEHOLDERS_AND_MONKS
1.21_-_A_DAY_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.22_-_ADVICE_TO_AN_ACTOR
1.23_-_FESTIVAL_AT_SURENDRAS_HOUSE
1.240_-_1.300_Talks
1.240_-_Talks_2
1.24_-_PUNDIT_SHASHADHAR
1.25_-_ADVICE_TO_PUNDIT_SHASHADHAR
1.26_-_FESTIVAL_AT_ADHARS_HOUSE
1.27_-_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
1.300_-_1.400_Talks
1.400_-_1.450_Talks
1.439
1.450_-_1.500_Talks
1.550_-_1.600_Talks
1951-02-10_-_Liberty_and_license_-_surrender_makes_you_free_-_Men_in_authority_as_representatives_of_the_divine_Truth_-_Work_as_offering_-_total_surrender_needs_time_-_Effort_and_inspiration_-_will_and_patience
1957-07-10_-_A_new_world_is_born_-_Overmind_creation_dissolved
1.sk_-_Is_there_anyone_in_the_universe
2.00_-_BIBLIOGRAPHY
2.01_-_AT_THE_STAR_THEATRE
2.02_-_Meeting_With_the_Goddess
2.02_-_THE_DURGA_PUJA_FESTIVAL
2.03_-_Karmayogin__A_Commentary_on_the_Isha_Upanishad
2.03_-_THE_MASTER_IN_VARIOUS_MOODS
2.04_-_ADVICE_TO_ISHAN
2.05_-_Apotheosis
2.05_-_VISIT_TO_THE_SINTHI_BRAMO_SAMAJ
2.06_-_On_Beauty
2.06_-_WITH_VARIOUS_DEVOTEES
2.07_-_BANKIM_CHANDRA
2.08_-_AT_THE_STAR_THEATRE_(II)
2.09_-_THE_MASTERS_BIRTHDAY
2.10_-_THE_MASTER_AND_NARENDRA
2.11_-_WITH_THE_DEVOTEES_IN_CALCUTTA
2.12_-_THE_MASTERS_REMINISCENCES
2.13_-_THE_MASTER_AT_THE_HOUSES_OF_BALARM_AND_GIRISH
2.14_-_AT_RAMS_HOUSE
2.15_-_CAR_FESTIVAL_AT_BALARMS_HOUSE
2.16_-_VISIT_TO_NANDA_BOSES_HOUSE
2.17_-_THE_MASTER_ON_HIMSELF_AND_HIS_EXPERIENCES
2.18_-_SRI_RAMAKRISHNA_AT_SYAMPUKUR
2.19_-_THE_MASTER_AND_DR._SARKAR
2.20_-_THE_MASTERS_TRAINING_OF_HIS_DISCIPLES
2.21_-_IN_THE_COMPANY_OF_DEVOTEES_AT_SYAMPUKUR
2.22_-_THE_MASTER_AT_COSSIPORE
2.23_-_THE_MASTER_AND_BUDDHA
2.24_-_THE_MASTERS_LOVE_FOR_HIS_DEVOTEES
2.25_-_AFTER_THE_PASSING_AWAY
2.3.3_-_Anger_and_Violence
31.03_-_The_Trinity_of_Bengal
31.04_-_Sri_Ramakrishna
31.05_-_Vivekananda
32.04_-_The_Human_Body
33.08_-_I_Tried_Sannyas
9.99_-_Glossary
r1912_12_05
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(text)
Talks_026-050
Talks_125-150
Talks_151-175

PRIMARY CLASS

author
Avatar
favorite
SIMILAR TITLES
Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna
Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna (toc)
Sri Ramakrishna
Sri Ramakrishna (quotes)
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

DEFINITIONS


TERMS STARTING WITH


TERMS ANYWHERE



QUOTES [1058 / 1058 - 692 / 692]


KEYS (10k)

1018 Sri Ramakrishna
   25 Sri Ramakrishna
   4 SONG from GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA
   2 THE GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA
   2 Sri Ramakrishna?
   1 Swami Saradananda
   1 SWAMI PREMANANDA
   1 SWAMI BRAHMANANDA
   1 Sri Sarada Devi
   1 Sri Ramakrishna: One has to realize the Supreme Self. One has to attain Self-knowledge. After that the body may remain or go. Till then the body has to be taken care of.
   1 M Alan Kazlev
   1 Swami Vivekananda

NEW FULL DB (2.4M)

  667 Sri Ramakrishna
   6 Swami Vivekananda
   5 Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi
   2 Sri Ramakrishnan
   2 Frederick Lenz

1:~ Swami Saradananda, Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play
2:How can Syama stay away? . . ~ THE GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA,
3:When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited. ~ Sri Ramakrishna
4:How can Syama stay away? . . ~ SONG from GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA,
5:To me He is the anguish of my heart. ~ SONG from GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA,
6:Why does God allow evil in the world? To thicken the plot. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
7:I have no disciple. I am the servant of the servant of Rama. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
8:If one has faith one has nothing to fear. ~ SONG from GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA,
9:Do not forget the Mother's name. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
10:Great men have the nature of a child. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
11:Alone the sage can recognize the sage. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
12:It is all He, only in different forms. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
13:The less people know about your thoughts of God, the better for you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
14:You would succeed if you were sincere. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
15:Do yourself what you wish others to do. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
16:The soul bound is man; free, it is God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
17:Man suffers through lack of faith in God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
18:What you wish others to do, do yourselves. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
19:The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need to do is set our sails. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
20:The absolute Brahman is realized in samadhi. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
21:To the blue lotus flower of Mother Syama's feet. . . . ~ SONG from GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA,
22:How quickly a little learning makes men vain! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
23:One who has seen the Lord is a changed being. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
24:The Guru is the mediator. He takes man to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
25:In Thy delirious joy Thou dancest, clapping Thy hands together! ~ THE GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA,
26:Extreme longing is the surest way to God-vision. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
27:Knowledge leads to unity and ignorance to diversity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
28:Once a person has faith, he has achieved everything. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
29:True knowledge leads to unity, ignorance to diversity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
30:Bondage is of the mind and freedom is also of the mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
31:Does the moth seek darkness once it has seen the light? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
32:The Avatars are to God what the waves are to the ocean. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
33:The milk of Divine Love stems to us from God incarnate. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
34:He who has faith has all, and he who lacks it lacks all. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
35:Gentleness and simple faith are the roads to the kingdom. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
36:He who has faith has all -- he who lacks faith lacks all. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
37:Our duty is to fall down and adore where others only bow. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
38:Cultivate love and devotion for God and so pass your days. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
39:It is easy to talk religion, but difficult to practice it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
40:Jnana-Yoga means communion with God by means of knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
41:He who has faith has all, and he who lacks faith lacks all. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
42:The lover only minds the welfare of the beloved and does not care for his own sufferings. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
43:Verily, I say to thee; he who seeks the Eternal, finds Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
44:A soul that is bound, takes a path that leads away from God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
45:First see God, and then talk of lectures and social reforms. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
46:God is nearer to you than anything else, yet by the screen of egotism, you cannot see Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
47:Man is divine so long as he is in communion with the Eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
48:All the gods and goddesses are only varied aspects of the One. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
49:Disease is the tax which the soul pays for the use of the body. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
50:In the Avatar, God fully enjoys his own transcendent sweetness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
51:The world is impermanent. One should constantly remember death. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
52:To find god you must offer to Him your body, mind, and riches.. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
53:One should take some trouble to live in the company of the good. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
54:Our ego, if made pure by realizing God, can do no harm to anyone. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
55:Sri Ramakrishna was a perfect soul. Certainly one can be free from sin by confessing it to Him. ~ Sri Sarada Devi,
56:The devotee often hides their real nature and assumes some other. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
57:The emancipated soul lives in the world but does not mix with it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
58:There is no other path but the mercy of the Sachchitananada Guru. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
59:Unalloyed love of God is the essential thing. All else is unreal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
60:The world is not impermanent if one lives there after knowing God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
61:Always perform your duties unattached, with your mind fixed on God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
62:I am only an instrument in God's hands. I feel myself as Her child. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
63:The best course for you is to renounce desire, and work unattached. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
64:The svapna-siddha attains perfection by means of dream inspiration. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
65:Weep for God, and the tears will wash away the dirt from your mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
66:Who is whose Guru? God alone is the guide and Guru of the universe. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
67:As a lamp cannot burn without oil, so a man cannot live without God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
68:Be as free from vanity as the dead leaf carried on by the high wind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
69:In this Kali Yuga, even three days are enough to make a man perfect. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
70:Dispassion alone is good. God alone is real and all else is illusory. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
71:Finish the few duties you have at hand, and then you will have peace. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
72:He alone who receives God's commandment is competent to teach others. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
73:I look upon Christ as an incarnation of God like our Rama or Krishna. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
74:My Divine Mother has declared that She is the Brahman of the Vedanta. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
75:Seeing visions and so forth, are obstacles to the realization of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
76:The desire for worldly things must be changed into a longing for God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
77:As a lamp does not burn without oil, so a man cannot live without God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
78:God is the only guru and my Divine Mother is the sole doer of actions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
79:Although avatars have taken bodies, they are always in a state of yoga. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
80:An avatar's greatness is essentially the manifestation of divine energy. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
81:Faith can achieve miracles, while vanity or egotism is the death of man. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
82:For the idea of ego-hood to be destroyed, constant practice is required. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
83:One must have true mettle within if one wishes to be successful in life. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
84:So long as a man has not realized God, he will have to be born on earth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
85:By constantly living in the company of a holy man one verily becomes holy. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
86:Honor both spirit and form -- the sentiment within and the symbol without. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
87:Jnana-Yoga is exceedingly difficult in this age, the Kali-Yuga (Iron Age). ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
88:The "I" or "Mine" of the individual comes of Ajnana -- ignorance of truth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
89:The soul immersed in God sees the all-pervading spirit within and without. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
90:Whoever wants God intensely, finds Him. Go and verify it in your own life. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
91:Without intense desire, no one can attain the blessed state of God-Vision. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
92:God with form is visible, we can touch Him, as one does his dearest friend. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
93:Pray to Him anyway you like, He can even hear the footfall of an ant. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, [T5],
94:When a Saviour comes, he carries thousands easily across the ocean of Maya. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
95:Although God abides in all, He manifests Himself in the hearts of the pious. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
96:The greater his aspiration and concentration, the more he finds the Eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
97:The Lord takes the human body for the sake of those pure souls who love God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
98:When the storm of supreme knowledge blows, there is no distinction of class. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
99:You can do whatever you like after making the knowledge of Oneness your own. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
100:Everyone in this world suffers from his own karma. Such is the universal law. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
101:God and his devotee are to be regarded as one, that is one in the same light. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
102:God cannot be reflected by the mind if it is agitated by the wind of desires. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
103:He alone is the true teacher who is illumined by the light of true Knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
104:If you live one sixth of what is taught you, you will surely attain the goal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
105:I know nothing of the niceties of scholastic learning! I know only my Mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
106:Come to my Divine Mother and you will receive not only Bhakti, but also Jnana. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
107:Dive deep into the sea of Divine Love. Fear not. It is the sea of Immortality! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
108:First Bhakti, then work. Work, apart from Bhakti is helpless and cannot stand. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
109:It is a thin ego that Avatars possess. Through this ego God is always visible. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
110:Money can win for you bread only. Do not consider it as your sole end and aim. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
111:One immersed in worldliness one cannot attain to divine knowledge and see God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
112:The hour will come for the culture of the soul in solitary communion with God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
113:The mind, the forest, and the quiet place are the three places for meditation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
114:All women are portions of the Blessed One and should be looked upon as mothers. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
115:Cry unto the Lord with a longing and yearning heart, and then you shall see Him ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
116:First Bhakti, then work. Work, apart from Bhakti, is helpless and cannot stand. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
117:I realize that all women are so many forms, in which the Divine Mother appears. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
118:It is a thin ego that Avatars possess. Through this ego, God is always visible. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
119:Pure knowledge and pure love of God are ultimately one. There is no difference. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
120:When the mind is illumined by true knowledge, all sectarian quarrel disappears. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
121:Woman is disarmed, when you view her as the manifestation of the Divine Mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
122:You may come to Brahman through Vichara (deliberation) if my Mother is willing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
123:God plays invisible in the heart of man, being screened by Maya from human view. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
124:Living in the world cannot taint the person who has entered it after seeing God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
125:One need not have any fear if one takes refuge in God. God protects His devotee. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
126:Sri Ramakrishna had absolutely no sense of egoism. He lived by giving power of attorney to the Divine Mother. ~ SWAMI PREMANANDA,
127:The jiva resides in the heart like iron and the Atman in the head like a magnet. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
128:The sincere devotee finds the Loving Lord ever ready to lend him a helping hand. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
129:When the mind is free from attachment to sense objects, it goes straight to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
130:All this has been revealed to Me. I do not know much about what your books say.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
131:God is fond of His devotees. He runs after the devotee as the cow after the calf. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
132:The company of saints and sages is one of the chief agents of spiritual progress. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
133:The devotee who goes on patiently with his devotions is sure to find God at last. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
134:The easiest means of concentrating the mind is to focus on the flame of a candle. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
135:The mind of the worldly man is largely diluted with the water of impure thoughts. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
136:This annihilation of the idea of the body is exceedingly difficult to accomplish. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
137:Unless one always speaks the truth, one cannot find God who is the soul of truth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
138:As a child cries for the mother, so crying for God is the strength of an aspirant. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
139:In the first place, our life here and now depends upon food. It is Annagata Prana. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
140:Let all have intense love of the Lord. This intense love is the one thing needful. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
141:So long as you say "I know" or "I do not know" you look upon yourself as a person. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
142:The highest teachers are those who say that God is with form, as well as formless. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
143:Before him She stood as the transparent portal to the shrine of Ineffable Reality. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
144:Bhava, the higher form of Bahkti, one becomes speechless and the breath is stilled. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
145:How few are they who can attain samadhi and rid themselves of this aham, this self! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
146:Knowledge cannot be communicated all at once. Its attainment is a question of time. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
147:The knowers of God sometimes live and appear like lunatics, drunkards, or children. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
148:A Sadhu or a God should never be visited empty-handed, however trifling the present. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
149:Avidya-Maya consists of lust, anger, avarice, inordinate attachment, pride and envy. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
150:God cannot be realized so long as there is the least desire for powers in the heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
151:If you want to see God, you must first put away the film of Maya from off your eyes. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
152:Many are the names of God and infinite the forms through which He may be approached. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
153:No one can enter the kingdom of heaven if there be the least trace of desire in him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
154:The knowledge of God may be likened to a man, while the Love of God is like a woman. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
155:The spiritually minded belong to a caste of their own beyond all social conventions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
156:The tender bamboo can be easily bent, so it is easy to bend young hearts towards God ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
157:You will advance in whatever way you may meditate upon God or recite His holy names. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
158:Entire resignation and absolute faith in God are at the root of all miraculous deeds. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
159:God's word, what a wonderful weight it must carry, for a mountain may be moved by it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
160:If you have true faith and longing, you will get everything by the Grace of the Lord. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
161:If you practise meditation and prayer it will make me happy. I look on you as my own. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
162:One may go unasked to participate in religious music. One doesn't have to be invited. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
163:Practice of Bahkti for a long time leads to the higher devotion of love, Raga-Bahkti. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
164:Some have many sins, others have few, but the grace of God purifies them all in time. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
165:When the struggle is at last over and samadhi attained, then indeed the ego vanishes. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
166:Be but trustees and guardians of your children, whose real father is the Lord Himself. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
167:If a devotee prays to God with real longing, God cannot help revealing Himself to him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
168:Know and believe that you are of immense power and the power will come to you at last. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
169:Everybody is anxious to be a master. How many are there who would care to be disciples? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
170:Had you entered the world after obtaining God, what peace and joy you would have found! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
171:In the heart of the Jnana, all is like a dream -- one remains absorbed in his own self. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
172:No one knows the immensity of the sacrifice which God makes when he incarnates himself. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
173:One is a true hero who performs all the duties of the world with the mind fixed on God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
174:One must be very particular about telling the truth. Through truth one can realise God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
175:One must be very particular about telling the truth. Through truth one can realize God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
176:The mantra-siddha is one who attains perfection by means of some sacred text or mantra. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
177:When the mind and speech unite in earnest, asking for a thing, that prayer is answered. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
178:All sins are destroyed by taking God's name. Sense desire, anger -- all these flee away. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
179:Be not afraid, like some foolish people, that you may run to excess in your love of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
180:Do you know the meaning of karmayoga? It is to surrender to God the fruit of all action. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
181:If you possess even one of the eight psychic powers, you will never know My real nature. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
182:One must test oneself from time to time to see whether one has conquered the lower self. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
183:The jar when it is filled makes no noise, and so one who has realized God does not talk. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
184:The worldly person prefers the pleasures of the senses to the bliss of divine communion. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
185:God is nearer to you than anything else, yet by the screen of egotism you cannot see Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
186:if I were to dance in the name of God, what would people say?" - Cast off all such ideas. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
187:The important thing is the mind. Bondage is of the mind, and freedom also is of the mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
188:Those who have not attained to God, what power have they to untie the bonds of the world? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
189:Devotion to God increases in the same proportion as attachment to sense objects decreases. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
190:Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
191:God is in all people, but all people are not in God -- that is the reason why they suffer. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
192:I meditate upon Thee, O Rama, as my Divine Master and think of myself only as Thy servant. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
193:One cannot have the vision of God as long as one has these three- shame, hatred, and fear. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
194:One is truly free, even in this life, who knows that God does all and yet he does nothing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
195:Show great devotion to your parents; but don't obey them if they stand in your way to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
196:The Avatara or Savior is the messenger of God. He is like the viceroy of a mighty monarch. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
197:The realization of God is not the same as the acquirement of the Siddis or psychic powers. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
198:The tree laden with fruit always bends low. So if you wish to be great, be lowly and meek. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
199:When the Sun of Knowledge rises, the ice melts; it becomes the same water it was before.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
200:A divine incarnation is hard to comprehend -- It is the play of the infinite on the finite. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
201:Egotism exists in ignorance, not in knowledge. He attains the Truth who is void of conceit. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
202:If, instead of preaching to others, one worships god all the time that is preaching enough. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
203:It may be given to the householder to see God. It was the case with Janaka, the great sage. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
204:The knowledge which purifies the intelligence is true knowledge. All the rest is ignorance. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
205:There is no delay in attaining God for whom the glories of affection are becoming manifest. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
206:The temple of the body should not be kept in darkness; the lamp of knowledge must light it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
207:To liberated souls and aspirants after Truth, this life seems like a dark and noisome well. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
208:Follow the instruction of holy men who have come to know the Lord after many a hard penance. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
209:Sacred scriptures all point the way to God. Once you know the way, what is the use of books? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
210:By the Lord's grace the spirit must be quickened. Spiritual awakening is followed by Samadhi. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
211:Every being is Narayana, the Lord Himself. The whole universe is Narayana the supreme spirit. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
212:I can have nothing to do with your money. For if I accept it, my mind will be always with it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
213:It is faith in the name of the Lord that works wonders, for faith is life and doubt is death. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
214:It is not for me to bless. It is for the Divine Mother to do so. All blessings come from her. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
215:Maya gives rise to the seed of "I" and "mine" and serves to keep beings chained to the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
216:One who thinks that his spiritual guide is merely a man, can draw no profit from his contact. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
217:Deep within my heart I have planted the name of Kāli,
The Wish-fulfilling Tree of heaven... ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
218:Pure Bhakti is very difficult to obtain. In Bhakti, the mind and soul must be absorbed in God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
219:So long as one goes on questioning and reasoning about God, one has not seen Him as a Reality. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
220:When bound in fetters, the soul is the jiva; when released from them, the same thing is Shiva. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
221:World bound men, cannot resist the temptation of women and gold and direct their minds to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
222:Abide in prayers and devotion, with no thought of samsara for at least three days, if not more. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
223:Bhakti Yoga and not Jnana Yoga or Karma Yoga is the Yuga-Dharma, the adequate path of this age. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
224:Lost in intense God-consciousness I could not know that I was nude the greater part of the day. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
225:The depth of the heart, the retired corner, and the forest are the three places for meditation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
226:There is no difference in work. Do not think that this work will lead to God and that will not. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
227:The society of the holy make even the wicked righteous, awakening awe and reverence within them ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
228:Earnestly pray to God that you may receive the love of His name and He will fulfill your desire. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
229:If I see a pundit without Viveka, without the love of God, I know him to be no better than straw ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
230:Intense cold freezes the water into ice, which floats on the ocean in blocks of various forms.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
231:It is on the bosom of dead divinity (Shiva) that the blissful Mother dances her celestial dance. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
232:It may be given even to the householder to see God. It was the case with Janaka, the great sage. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
233:Listen not if anyone criticizes or censures your Guru. Leave the presence of such a one at once. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
234:Men quarrel among themselves about religion, each having seen some different aspect of the Deity ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
235:Ordinary souls, after long practice and devotional exercises, go into samadhi and do not return. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
236:The anger of the good is like a line which is drawn on the surface of water: it soon disappears. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
237:With devotion within your heart, it is not absolutely necessary that you must visit holy places. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
238:You get what you seek. If you seek God, you get Him. If you seek wealth and power, you get that. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
239:In the Bhagavata it is said that the Incarnations of Vishnu or the Supreme Being are innumerable. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
240:One becomes as one thinks. One who constantly thinks of the Bliss Absolute becomes full of bliss. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
241:Perform your worldly duties, fixing your hold firmly upon God, and you shall be free from danger. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
242:The Jnana Yogi longs to realize Brahman, God the impersonal, the absolute, and the unconditioned. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
243:A soul would do better, in this present age, to love, pray, and surrender oneself entirely to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
244:Few aspire for the higher things! They are attracted by physical beauty, money, honor, and titles. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
245:If a man thinks of the images of gods and goddesses as symbols of the Divine, he reaches Divinity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
246:In the Bhagavata, it is said that the Incarnations of Vishnu or the Supreme Being are innumerable. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
247:It is difficult to lead one God-ward if they have been intoxicated with wine, woman and the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
248:One should constantly repeat the name of God. The name of God is highly effective in the Kaliyuga. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
249:Pray to God in any way you will. He is sure to hear you, for he hears even the footfall of an ant. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
250:The Paramahamsa accepts only what is real, rejecting that which is unreal -- the phenomenal world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
251:Bhakti Yoga reduces karma or work to a minimum. It teaches the necessity of prayer without ceasing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
252:Divine love is like a veritable drunkard and as such, cannot always observe the rules of propriety. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
253:Give me, divine mother, love that knows no incontinence and faith adamantine that cannot be shaken. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
254:Living in the world, one should always be on their guard against the allurements of lust and greed. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
255:People talk glibly of God and Brahman, while all the time they are attached to things of the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
256:So long as the heart of man is directed towards God, he cannot be lost in the ocean of worldliness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
257:Everyone is going toward God. They will all realize Him if they have sincerity and longing of heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
258:He who thinks one's spiritual guru is a mere person cannot make much progress in the spiritual life. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
259:If you go on preaching without a commission from God, it will all be powerless and none will listen. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
260:In Yoga when the indrawn breath remains suspended, one becomes speechless and the breath is stopped. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
261:On meeting with a young woman, you should salute her, addressing her at the same time as your mother ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
262:Remember, the Rishis of old gave up the world in order to attain God. This is the one thing needful. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
263:The Avatar is like the great engineer who strikes a new well in a place where there was none before. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
264:Unselfish love is the highest of all. The unselfish lover cares only for the welfare of the beloved. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
265:Viveka, discrimination, and vairagya, renunciation, are the two great purifying agents for the soul. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
266:If you must be crazy, let it not be with the things of the world; be crazy with the love of the Lord. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
267:Numberless sadhus, devotees, and men of realization have come to holy places to have a vision of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
268:The man of merit and ability is always humble and meek, but the fool is always puffed up with vanity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
269:There is a higher ideal, a higher stage of spirituality, the love of God as our own father or mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
270:The religious teachers of all countries and races receive their inspiration from one almighty source. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
271:The wearing of the orange garb of the Sannyasin causes sacred thoughts naturally to rise in the mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
272:The worldly-minded never come to their senses, even though they suffer and have terrible experiences. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
273:The worldy soul can burst through the meshes of Maya by the wings of discrimination and renunciation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
274:A true lover sees God as his nearest and dearest, just as the milkmaids of Virindaban saw Sri Krishna. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
275:Effort is necessary for God vision. If you simply sit on the shore of a lake, will you catch any fish? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
276:His name is conscious spirit, His abode is conscious spirit and He, the Lord, is all conscious spirit. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
277:Maya makes people so utterly blind that they cannot get out of her meshes even when the way lies open. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
278:No salvation is possible for a man as long as he has desire, as long as he hankers for worldly things. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
279:Only one or two look for its owner. People enjoy the beauty of the world; they do not seek it's owner. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
280:Rama, Krishna, Christ come down now and then to this world and they work wonderful changes in society. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
281:The nearer one approaches God, the more is one's heart flooded with blessed feelings and love for Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
282:The tamasic devotee has fiery faith. He employs force with God, like a robber seizing things by force. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
283:By acquiring the conviction that all is done by the will of God, one becomes only a tool in God's hand. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
284:He who is face to face with reality, blessed with a vision of God, does not regard women with any fear. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
285:Once the way to God is known, the next step is to work one's way to the goal - realization is the goal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
286:The accumulated ignorance and misdoings of innumerable births vanish at one glance of the gracious God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
287:The disciple should never complain about his own guru. One must obey implicitly whatever his guru says. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
288:The two marks of an intense love for God are a forgetfulness of this world and a forgetfulness of self. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
289:Those whose hearts are burnt with the fire of worldly desires cannot be impressed with spiritual ideas. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
290:When a savior becomes incarnate, innumerable are the beings who find salvation by taking refuge in him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
291:You wish to have me show you God while you sit quietly by, without making any effort! How unreasonable! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
292:As you rest firmly on your own faith and opinion, so allow others also equal liberty to stand by theirs. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
293:By doing the right thing one may take refuge in Vidya-Maya (sattva) and by Vidya-Maya one may reach God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
294:Call with Bhakti upon the hallowed name of the Lord and the mountain of your sins shall go out of sight. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
295:Maya is of two kinds, one leading towards God, Vidya-Maya, the other leading away from God, Avidya-Maya. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
296:No one can say what formless samadhi is. It is the absolute transformation of one's own self into God's. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
297:The lover of God gladly devotes one's life to the attainment of divine bliss and cares for nothing else. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
298:There is such a thing as loving God without knowing why. If this comes, there is nothing more to desire. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
299:Though a Guru may visit the unholy rendezvous of drunkenness, still the true Guru is pure and faultless. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
300:When the soul says: "Not I, O Lord, but Thou," it has reached the end of sorrow. This is freedom itself. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
301:After visiting a holy spot or place, you must take hold of the holy thoughts that rise in the mind there. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
302:As the drowning man pants hard for breath, so must ones heart yearn for the Lord before one can find Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
303:I am not the body. I am one with the universal soul. I am that being which is absolute and unconditioned. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
304:If you want to see God, repeat his name with firm faith and try to discriminate the real from the unreal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
305:In trying to reach God one should follow implicitly the advice of a single Guru who knows the way to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
306:The breeze of grace is always blowing on you. You have to open the sails and your boat will move forward. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
307:The mind is removed from God and becomes unbalanced when the pressure of wealth or sex is placed upon it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
308:Those whom you know to be your own, will cease to exist for you, the moment you close your eyes in death. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
309:Wherever I live, I see that I am in Ayodhya, the kingdom of Rama. Yes, this world is the Ayodhya of Rama! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
310:Worldly ideas must go completely, the mind must be wholly fixed on Him, and then alone can you reach God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
311:Compassion springs from Sattva. Sattva leads to preservation, Rajas to creation, and Tamas to destruction. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
312:Even if the egotism of the servant or the worshiper should remain, one who has attained God can hurt none. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
313:God with form and God without form are not two different beings. He who is with form is also without form. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
314:Pure creation issues from my form of absolute knowledge, which resembles a cloudless sky or a still ocean. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
315:Rain water will run down to the lowest level, just as the mercy of God remains in the hearts of the lowly. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
316:Renounce everything and say: "Come, my mind and let us watch together the divinity installed in my heart!" ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
317:The true and earnest aspirant travels from place to place in search of that watchword from a perfect Guru. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
318:Those who come with the Avatars are either souls who are eternally free or who are born for the last time. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
319:A holy man not only pays to womankind honor and respect, but actually worships them as a son does a mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
320:Chant the name of God morning and evening, clapping your hands all the while; all your sins will leave you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
321:Deluded by ignorance, you become attached to sense objects and go deeper and deeper into the abyss of Maya. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
322:It is of no use to read the scriptures without viveka and vairagya, there is no attainment of spirituality. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
323:It is true that God dwells even in the most wicked, but it is not meant that we should associate with them. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
324:Know certainly that the world is God's and not yours; you are His servant only, come to carry out His Will. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
325:Knowingly or unknowingly, in whatever state we utter God's name, we acquire the merit of such an utterance. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
326:The human Guru whispers the sacred formula into the ear. The Divine Guru breathes the spirit into the soul. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
327:After the attainment of samadhi, some retain the ego as the ego of the servant, or the ego of the worshiper. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
328:As a mother fulfills any desire of her crying babe, so God gives to his weeping child whatever it cries for. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
329:As the monkey sacrifices his life at the feet of the hunter, so does a man at the feet of a beautiful woman. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
330:Consciously or unconsciously, in whatever way, one falls into the trough of nectar and one becomes immortal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
331:Knowledge has entry only to the outer rooms of God, and none can enter into His mysteries save only a lover. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
332:One should have faith like that of an innocent child and the longing of a child who wants to see its mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
333:The saviors carry the multitudes, burdened with cares and sorrows of the world, to the feet of the almighty. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
334:When the divinity in you increases, the weaknesses of your human nature will all vanish of their own accord. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
335:All I want to tell you is this. Follow both; perform your duties in the world and also cultivate love of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
336:He alone is clever who sees that God is real and all else is illusory. What need have I of other information? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
337:If through intense Vairagya (renunciation) one attains god, then the inordinate temptations of lust fall off. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
338:In Bhakti one has the ebb and flow within them. They laugh, cry, dance and sing, moved by different emotions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
339:Many good sayings are to be found in holy books, but merely reading them will not make one religious.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna, [T5],
340:The Avatar is the sun of divine knowledge whose light dispels the accumulated darkness and ignorance of ages. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
341:The mind is everything. If the mind loses its liberty, you lose yours. If the mind is free, you are free too. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
342:The two characteristics of Prema are forgetfulness of the external world and forgetfulness of one's own body. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
343:The worldy-minded person can never be fired with enthusiasm, though God be preached to him innumerable times. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
344:When illusion passes away, a single ray of divine light is sufficient to flood you with eternal divine bliss. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
345:As a nail cannot be driven into a stone, so the advice of the pious does not affect the soul of a worldly man. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
346:First fix the mind on forms; and when we have attained success therein, we can easily fix it upon the formless ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
347:For one who lives, moves, has their being in God and is intoxicated with His love, God has incarnated Himself. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
348:Your duty as a married man is to live with your wife as brother and sister after one or two children are born. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
349:At one time I am clothed, at another naked -- so Brahman is at one time with attributes and at another without. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
350:Brahman, God, cannot be explained by words. One who has realized Brahman can only say: "Brahman is everywhere." ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
351:Brahman, the Absolute, has never been defiled, for no one, as yet, has been able to express it by human speech. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
352:Every lover of God should regard women, whether chaste or otherwise, as the manifestation of the Divine Mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
353:For one who lives, moves, has their being in God, and is intoxicated with His love, God has incarnated Himself. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
354:How to harmonize the world and God: Be in the world, but always remember Him and never go astray from His path. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
355:Meditate on the deity of the mantra by performing special rites. While engaged, perform the japa of the mantra. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
356:The Bahkta will generally be content to see and realize the Personal God, the Saguna Brahman of the Upanishads. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
357:The outward form of one who has touched the feet of God remains unchanged, although they no longer do any evil. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
358:The vanity of most may gradually fall away, but the vanity of a saint about his own sainthood dies hard indeed. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
359:With Bhakti in your heart, it is not necessary that you must visit the holy places. You are well where you are. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
360:Do you seek God? Then see Him in man! His divinity is manifest more in man (and woman) than in any other object. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
361:For this Kali-Yuga, Bhakti Yoga, as recommended by Rishi Narada, is enjoyed. There is hardly time for Karma-Yoga ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
362:If one remains in the frying pan of the world after attainment of Jnana, one may acquire from it a little taint. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
363:Many dwell upon the glory of God's works. Many are charmed with the garden, but few seek the Lord of the garden. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
364:Money is a conditioning factor of a very strong nature. As soon as a man becomes rich, he is thoroughly changed. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
365:The Gita says: "Of thousands of people, one strives for perfection, and maybe one among these comes to know Me." ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
366:The God-intoxicated fall down on the earth unable to keep their balance, owing to an excess of God-intoxication. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
367:This man who knew not scripture, had the highest learning, for he had a pure love for God and could realize him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
368:When I think of the lotus feet of the Lord, I forget myself so completely that unconsciously my cloth falls off. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
369:A disciple, having firm faith in the infinite power of his Guru, walked over a river by simply uttering his name. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
370:God is Infinite. Infinite are the Forms in which He manifests Himself. Infinite also are the ways leading to Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
371:If one ponders over the word "I", trying to track it down, one sees that it is only a word which demotes egotism. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
372:So long as the mind is unsteady, it avails nothing, even though a man has got a good Guru and company of the holy ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
373:The Mother showed me that all this is verily maya. She alone is, real, and all else is the splendour of Her maya. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
374:There is no quality higher than forbearance. With a firm determination, endure all that is said or done by others ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
375:The words "My" and "Mine" spring from ignorance. How few of us say things came into existence by the will of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
376:Throw off thoughts of lust and gold. Cry for the Divine Mother, She will come to you and take you up in Her arms. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
377:Whatever boon the disciple asks, the Guru grants. The Guru even takes the disciple to the highest bliss, Nirvana. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
378:Your duty as a married man is to live with your wife as brother and sister after one or two children born to you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
379:A teacher never falls short of the wisdom of life, Divine Wisdom, which is superior to the wisdom taught in books. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
380:Bhakti can arise only when there is a wholehearted devotion to God, such as that of a chaste wife for her husband. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
381:Egotism exists in ignorance, not in knowledge. The rain water stands in low places, but runs off from high places. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
382:Even if one tries hard to suppress the idea of "I" and "Mine", in the field of action the unique ego shows itself. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
383:Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun. Longing is followed by the vision of God.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna, [T5],
384:The anger you feel towards your fellow creatures must be directed towards God, for not manifesting himself to you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
385:The caterpillar shuts itself up and perishes. In the same way, this incarnation is undoubtedly unreal, evanescent. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
386:The idea of the ego makes the soul seem distinct from the Supreme Self. Really, there is no division between them. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
387:The Jnana Yogi says "I am He." But so long as one has the idea of the Self as the body, this egotism is injurious. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
388:The true believer does not give up repeating God's glory even if, with his lifelong devotion, he fails to see God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
389:What is the good of visiting shrines, if you are able to cultivate Bhakti? Pilgrimage without Bhakti is of no use. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
390:You will see God when your yearning for him is as intense as a drowning man's yearning for the next breath of air. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
391:God is far, far away from the worldly-minded. For those who have renounced the world He is in the palm of the hand. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
392:God makes Himself felt anywhere and everywhere when there is an Incarnation who floods the world with spirituality. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
393:Greed is a great flood, a whirlpool sucking one down, a constant yearning, seeking a hold, continually in movement. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
394:He who has the spirit of devotion in him receives an awakening in holy places, and that spirit becomes intensified. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
395:He who thinks that he is a Jiva is a Jiva; he who considers himself God becomes God. As one thinks, so one becomes. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
396:In the love of God, one forgets all outward objects, the universe, and even one's own body, usually so dear to one. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
397:Oh, when will dawn the blessed day
When tears of joy will flow from my eyes
As I repeat Lord Hari's name? ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
398:Pray without ceasing for light and love and self-surrender to the Divine Mother - these are the elements of Bhakti. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
399:Should the divine mother grant your prayer, for she is omnipotent, you will realize Her impersonal Self in samadhi. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
400:That knowledge which purifies the mind and heart alone is true Knowledge, all else is only a negation of Knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
401:The ant loses its life in the syrup but never leaves it. So the Bhakta cleaves unto God forever and leaves all else ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
402:Avail yourself of your home life to raise your spiritual condition before you take to the austerities of asceticism. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
403:f you are keen on realising God, repeat His name' with firm faith, and try to discriminate the Real from the unreal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
404:Hundreds come from all over to see one who is liberated. Just as when a flower opens, the bees come to it uninvited. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
405:If you are keen on realising God, repeat His name with firm faith, and try to discriminate the Real from the unreal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
406:In samadhi, the self is merged in the Universal Soul, never to come back -- this is the case with ordinary devotees. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
407:Knowledge relating to God keeps pace with faith. Where there is little faith, it is idle to look for much knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
408:One is safe to live in the world if one has Jnana and non-attachment, and along with these, intense devotion to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
409:Pray to God earnestly, in time He will surely emancipate you and enable you to swim happily upon the ocean of bliss. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
410:The avatars are born with divine powers and divine qualities. They can go into and stay in any state of realization. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
411:There are people who spout verses from the Scriptures and talk big, but in their conduct they are quite different.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
412:When Divine grace descends, men having the germs of piety and goodness in them are changed at once into holy beings. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
413:When I am blessed, Lord Rama, with Tattva-Jnana, true knowledge -- I see, I realize that "I am Thou and Thou art I." ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
414:You must dive again and again into the ocean to find pearls. God is in the world, but you must persevere to see Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
415:A devotee does not care to relate to any but true Bhaktas the ecstatic joys he experiences in his communion with God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
416:If by realizing God, a man receives a commission and preaches God for the good of others -- there is no harm in that. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
417:One is safe to live in the world, if one has Jnana and non-attachment, and along with these, intense devotion to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
418:One should have faith like that of an innocent child and such longing as a child has when it wants to see its mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
419:Practice devotion and live alone for some time in a quiet place. Enter into the world after gaining Jnana and Bhakti. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
420:The heart of a sinner is like a curled hair. You may pull it ever so long but will not succeed in making it straight. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
421:The man who has not found God is full of vain disputation, but he who has seen Him, enjoys silently the Bliss Divine. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
422:The renunciation of karma comes of itself when the love of God swells up. Let them work who are made to do so by God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
423:What is there in mere book-learning if it is not accompanied with Viveka, discrimination of the Real from the unreal? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
424:Brahman is like an infinite expanse of water. The parts that are frozen are the spirit in personal forms of the deity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
425:In the saints, God manifests himself only in part, like honey in a flower. You suck the flower and get a little honey. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
426:It matters not that you have been walking along a wrong path. The Lord knows what he wants and in the end fulfills it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
427:One who, living amidst the temptations of the world, can discipline the mind by devotional exercises is the true hero. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
428:Some are already awake.They have certain marks. They do not care to hear or speak of anything but what relates to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
429:The ego of the servant, the ego of the worshiper, and the ego of wisdom, vidya -- these are all names of the ripe ego. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
430:There are very few pundits that have realized the things they talk about. They are dry and hard, and good for nothing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
431:Travel to all the four corners of the earth, you will find nothing anywhere. Whatever there is, is here, in the heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
432:As water does not enter into a stone, so religious advice produces no impression on the imprisoned soul or Baddha Jiva. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
433:In this Kali Yuga, Bhakti, communion with God by love, devotion, and self-surrender is recommended by the Rishi Narada. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
434:Loving devotion does not come without a great love for God and a feeling of personal possession such as: "God is mine!" ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
435:Meditate on the Eternal either in an unknown nook or in the solitude of the forests or in the solitude of thy own mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
436:O Mother, make me mad! God cannot be realized through knowledge and reasoning, through the arguments in the scriptures. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
437:Surrender everything at His feet and give Him the general power of attorney. Let Him do what He considers best for you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
438:There is Bhakti Yoga that partakes of the humanity of Sattva, the ostentation of Rajas, and the grosser force of Tamas. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
439:There is no distinction between the impersonal God (Brahman) on the one hand and the personal God (Sakti) on the other. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
440:When going through spiritual exercises do not associate with those who never concern themselves with matters spiritual. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
441:When one advances spiritually, it is not necessary to observe rituals for long. Then the mind gets concentrated on God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
442:You should pray to God that your worldly duties may be reduced. And you will achieve the goal if you renounce mentally. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
443:He who wants to find God, finds God. Go and verify it in your own life! Try for three days and thou art sure to succeed. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
444:To fix the mind on God is very difficult, in the beginning, unless one practices meditation in solitude.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna, [T5],
445:An analysis of the ego convinces us that its ultimate substance is God. When egotism vanishes, divinity manifests itself. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
446:As a drunkard will sometimes put his coat on his head, so the God-intoxicated man is not conscious of the external world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
447:Beneficial to the sages, I am ever-present in the orb of the sun in the form of sakti. Hence the learned call me "Surya." ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
448:Live a worldly life, yet fix your mind on God. Do your work with one hand, and touch the feet of the Lord with the other. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
449:Men value their own goods; hence they think the Lord will view His own works, the sun, moon and stars, in the same light. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
450:The mind, unrestrained, wanton in the luxury of idle thoughts, is calm when struck with the goad of right discrimination. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
451:All that can be learned by going through the whole of the Gita, can be as well accomplished by repeating "Gita" ten times. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
452:Discrimination (viveka) and non-attachment (Vairaga) are the two purifying agents through which the worldly attain purity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
453:Eat mangos! It will satisfy your hunger. What is the good of counting the leaves and making calculations like the pundits. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
454:Everything depends on God's grace. To have His grace, whatever work you perform, do it with sincerity and earnest longing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
455:He who can resign himself to the will of the Almighty with simple faith and guileless love realises the Lord very quickly. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
456:In the conviction that I am God's servant or I am His worshiper, there is no harm. On the other hand, it brings us to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
457:Once the mind has been trained to fix itself on formed images, it can easily accustom itself to fix on formless realities. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
458:The Rajasic devotee may wear on his person the distinctive marks of his religion. He is particular to outward observances. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
459:Visit not miracle-mongers. They are wanderers from the path of Truth with minds entangled in the meshes of psychic powers. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
460:After one has reached perfection, one becomes incapable of doing anything wrong. A perfect dancer never makes a wrong step. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
461:Born to no purpose is the person who, having the rare privilege of being born human, is unable to realize God in this life. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
462:Boys and young men of pure minds should be led early into the path of religion, before worldliness enters deeply into them. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
463:One who lacks the individuality, left to enjoy the Divine, is like one who cannot taste sugar and instead has become sugar! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
464:Realize God in the temple of your heart -- cleanse it of all impurities, all attachment to this world caused by the senses. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
465:See that the world and your ego are derived from the same Supreme Being. God, Man, and nature are faces of the One Reality. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
466:The minds of the learned scholars are attached to things of the world; hence it is that they cannot acquire true knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
467:The virtuous cannot but take care of the body, the temple of the soul in which God has manifested, blessed by God's advent. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
468:Unless one becomes as simple as a child, one cannot reach divine illumination. Give up your vanity about worldly knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
469:You will see God, if your love for Him is as strong as the attachment of the worldly-minded person for things of the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
470:Although the phenomenal universe exists within God, He is beyond and above it. The universe of phenomena exists only for us. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
471:As long as people are with the holy they are full of religious emotion; yet if separated, the flood of devotion leaves them. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
472:Before the Lord comes, he sends yearning, love, reverence and faith into the heart of the devotee whom he is about to honor. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
473:By repeating with grit and determination 'I am not bound I am Free' one really becomes so - one really becomes free.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna, [T5],
474:Give up everything to God, resign yourself to Him and there will be no more trouble for you. Everything is done by His Will. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
475:In this Iron Age, violent devotion is more suitable and brings speedier fruition. The citadel of God must be taken by storm! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
476:So long as there is egotism neither self-knowledge nor liberation is possible, and there is no cessation of birth and death. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
477:The perfected being has their eyes constantly directed towards God, even when weighed down by the burdens of worldly duties. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
478:The world is unreal as long as you know not God. For you do not yet see him in Everything, but fasten yourself to the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
479:The youthful maiden is the ever-youthful earth; so the youthful maiden implies the blessed stage of the God-intoxicated man. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
480:Though egotism is beheaded in the perfected soul, its vitality is left to make them carry on the functions of physical life. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
481:We should persevere to reach our final goal so long as there is no help, but when help comes, stop laboring and persevering. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
482:With the appearance of the sun the ice melts, so on the appearance of knowledge, God with form melts away into the formless. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
483:A devotee of God accepts everything. He accepts the universe and its created beings as well as the indivisible Satchidananda. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
484:As a lover performing duties while thinking of their beloved, perform your worldly duties but let your heart be fixed on God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
485:As a true wife loves her husband and as a miser his hoarded wealth, so must the devotee love God with all his heart and soul. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
486:Nothing is mine, whatever I see, feel, or hear, even this body itself is not mine. I am always eternal, free and all-knowing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
487:One who worships God but also cherishes worldly desires will find their devotion wasted, run through the rat-holes of desire. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
488:Take the pearl and throw away the shell. Follow the teaching of your Guru and throw out of consideration his human frailties. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
489:The easiest means of concentrating the mind is to contemplate the flame of a candle; its inmost blue zone is the causal body. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
490:The human frame is made up of decaying matter. By practicing such analysis for the body constantly, our love for it vanishes. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
491:There is no path safer than resigning the self to the will of the almighty, to have no consciousness that anything is "mine". ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
492:As the rosy dawn comes before the rising sun, so is a longing and yearning heart the forerunner of the glorious vision of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
493:As the waterbird shakes off the water from its wings, so should a worldy person remain in the world entirely unaffected by it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
494:Bhava is the state of being struck dumb at the thought of God -- the devotee sometimes laughs, sometimes weeps, like a madman. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
495:He is a true man to whom money is a servant. Those who have it and do not know how to use it, do not deserve to be called men. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
496:If a man continues to mix with the world, it is likely that he will be tainted; but he will remain pure if he lives out of it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
497:It is a very risky task, this preaching! Sometimes it brings great harm to the preacher; for when honored, one gets puffed up. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
498:Oh lord, I do not want riches, fame, health, happiness or anything else. Grant that I may have pure Bhakti for thy lotus feet! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
499:One enjoys real freedom when one realizes that God is the sole actor in the universe and we are only instruments in His hands. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
500:One succeeds if one develops a strong spirit of renunciation. Give up at once, with determination, what you know to be unreal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
501:One who is totally devoid of Maya will not live more than twenty-one days. So long as one has a body, one must have some Maya. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
502:People do not see that science deals only with conditional knowledge. It brings no message from the land of the unconditioned. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
503:So long as there is egotism, neither self-knowledge nor liberation is possible, nor can there be cessation of birth and death. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
504:The knowledge of oneness makes me see that everything is but a manifestation of God, the absolute, on the plane of the senses. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
505:After realization, should one dance with joy or take up his former work? Go on with your work, leaving the issue with the Lord. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
506:As the waterbird shakes off the water from its wings, so should a worldly person remain in the world entirely unaffected by it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
507:At the end of samadhi, I must come down at least two notes below the highest note in the scale before I can utter another word. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
508:God is absolute, eternal Brahman as well as the father of the universe. The indivisible Brahman is like a vast shoreless ocean. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
509:He who is weighed down by too many cares and anxieties goes down; while he who has fewer rises up towards the feet of the Lord. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
510:It is almost impossible to get rid of the illusion that the Self is one with the body. This delusion, Dehabuddhi, clings to us. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
511:It is difficult to attain samadhi. The ego of ours is so persistent! For this reason alone, one has to be born again and again. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
512:One is truly wise who has seen the Lord becomes like a little child. His individuality is merely in appearance, not in reality. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
513:Spiritual practices are absolutely necessary for self-knowledge, but if there be perfect faith, then little practice is enough. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
514:The "I" which makes one worldly and attached to lust and wealth is mischievous. It separates the individual from the Universal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
515:The lord makes the Bhakta the heir of His infinite glories and gives the realization of God Personal as well as God Impersonal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
516:There is the screen of Maya between the jiva and the Atman, and as soon as this is removed, the meeting of the two takes place. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
517:The worldly will never realize their situation fully unless you can wean them from the objects of their attachments and desire. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
518:To start, one should choose lonely places in which to concentrate the mind; otherwise, many things may distract the meditation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
519:Vanity is like a heap of ashes on which water, as soon as it falls, is dried up. Prayers produce no effect upon the vain heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
520:When the Idea has been perfectly assimilated, one will retain only the appearance of having feelings and impulses of their own. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
521:When the supreme being is inactive, he is styled as God the absolute. When creating, he is styled as Sakti or the personal God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
522:After enlightenment one has no more to return to this world. He has neither to come to this earth nor to go to any other sphere. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
523:Allow a certain time for the enjoyment of this world. When attachment is diminished, then is the time for religious instruction. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
524:At the site of Narendra, I am drunken with joy. Never have I asked him, "Who is your father?" or "How many houses have you got?" ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
525:For a Jnani, in the world there is fear, because living in the midst of sense-attraction there is fear, though it may be slight. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
526:He who is weighted down by too many cares and anxieties goes down; while he who has fewer rises up towards the feet of the Lord. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
527:I actually see that whatever is, is God. It is He who has become all these things, the mind and Buddhi are lost in the absolute. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
528:Lord, I am the yantra, thou art the yantri. I am the room and thou art the tenant. I am the chariot and thou art the charioteer. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
529:O Lord, though alone dost act in all this universe. I am but the smallest of tools in thine hand. Nothing is mine. All is thine! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
530:One ray of light from my Divine Mother, who is the Goddess of Wisdom, has the power to turn the most leaned scholar into a worm. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
531:The human mind becomes ruffled by breathing, hence the yogi concentrates his mind by regulating breath before meditation on God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
532:The human mind is like a package of mustard seeds. It is very difficult to gather the seeds that escape out of the torn package. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
533:The true nature of the soul is eternal existence-knowledge-bliss. It is egotism that has brought about so many limiting factors. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
534:When one has misfortune, they turn to God; but in a short time they are drawn down to the world by its irresistible attractions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
535:When the grace of the Almighty descends, everyone will understand one's mistakes, knowing this you should not argue with others. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
536:A shy horse does not go straight unless his eyes are covered by blinders. Thus prevent yourself from looking about to evil paths. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
537:As Ramanuja says, the Absolute is qualified by the finite soul and the phenomenal world. This is the doctrine of Vishishtadvaita. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
538:Be free. Live in the world like the cast-out leaf-plate from which food has been eaten. It is worthless. Who cares to possess it? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
539:Divine Incarnation is a fact. One cannot make this perfectly clear through words, it must be seen and realized by spiritual eyes. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
540:Divine incarnations and those that are the Lord's own -- their love is not made up of scriptural formula, it springs from within. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
541:It is possible for the human soul to obtain the condition of absolute union with God when one is able to say: "Soham," "I am He." ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
542:One can enter into the world after the attainment of Bhakti. The world is like water and the mind is like milk - they do not mix. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
543:One has attained perfect meditation when, upon sitting down, one is surrounded with the Divine atmosphere and communion with God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
544:Perform all your worldly duties with your hands, never forgetting to repeat and glorify the name of the Lord with all your heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
545:The knowledge of the absolute does away, in the end, with both knowledge and ignorance, since knowledge is free from all duality. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
546:What, I have uttered God's name and yet I remain sinful! But I am His son! I am duly entitled to the inheritance of God's wealth! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
547:A man has the spirit of true renunciation who, upon meeting a beautiful young woman, turns away from her, seeing her as his mother ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
548:As an elephant entering a hut makes it totter, similarly an intense love for God pulls down the frail house called the human body. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
549:God is like the divine wish-yielding tree and gives whatever one asks. So give up worldly desires when the mind has been purified. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
550:If you can detect and find out the universal illusion of Maya, it will fly away from you just as a thief runs away when found out. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
551:If your mind that contemplates God is attached to worldly things, how can you expect to be successful in your religious devotions? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
552:In Persian books it is written that within the flesh are the bones, within the bones are the marrow, and within them all is Prema. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
553:It is immaterial whether one believes or not that Radha and Krishna were incarnations of God. But let all have a yearning for God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
554:So long as one has a body, they must have some Maya, however little it may be, to enable them to carry on the functions of a body. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
555:So long as one has not seen the divine vision, so long there must remain the illusion: "I am the doer. I have done evil and good." ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
556:Souls are said to be of four different classes: the bound, those aspiring to freedom, the freed, and those who are eternally free. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
557:The jiva (soul), possessed by the spirit of Maya (illusion), on realizing that it is self-deluded, becomes at once free from Maya. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
558:The more attachment to the world, the less likely is one to attain Jnana. The less attachment, more likely is one to attain Jnana. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
559:The substance from which we derive our conception of the absolute is the identical substance from which we conceive of the finite. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
560:The sun can do nothing when the clouds shut out its rays. Similarly, so long as egotism is in the heart, God cannot shine upon it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
561:God indeed is in all things; only his power is more or less manifest in them. God incarnate is divinity most manifest in the flesh. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
562:God is indeed infinite. But he is omnipotent. He may ordain that his divinity as love may be manifest in the flesh and be among us. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
563:God is one, but many are God's aspects. Just as the master of the house appears as father, brother, or husband to those around him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
564:He (The Divine) alone is real; all else is illusory. Without the realization of God everything is futile. This is the great secret. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
565:If a holy man, however cautious he may be, lives in the company of a young woman, some casual thought is sure to arise in his mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
566:I see that it is the Absolute who has become all things about us; it is He who appears as the finite soul and the phenomenal world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
567:Men shed rivers of tears for family, love and riches, but who sheds even a drop because he is not fortunate enough to see the Lord? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
568:My Divine Mother says that it is only when you have effaced all I-ness in you that the undifferentiated may be realized in samadhi. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
569:One is truly wise who has seen the Lord and becomes like a little child. His individuality is merely in appearance, not in reality. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
570:So long as the stage of realization is not reached, it is better to regard to Lord as the Master and oneself as his humble servant. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
571:The Bhakta does not long for Brahma-Jnana, the realization of the impersonal, but remains content with realizing the divine mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
572:The heart of the devotee, free form desire, is like a dry match which ignites directly at the slightest mention of the name of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
573:This world is the wilderness. The Jiva is the traveler. The three robbers are the three Gunas of nature - Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
574:Those who have any wish to attain God and make progress should particularly guard themselves against the snares of lust and wealth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
575:To a Bhakta, the Lord manifests in various forms. To one who reaches Jnana (Samadhi), he is the formless Nirguna Brahman once more. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
576:To live in the world or to leave it, depends upon the Will of God. Therefore work, leaving everything to Him. What else can you do? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
577:Why does the devotee take such delight in addressing the Deity as mother? Because the child is free with its mother -- the dearest. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
578:Hanuman was blessed with the vision of God, both Sakara (form) and Nirakara (formless). But he retained the ego of a servant of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
579:Having no egotism or will of their own, the emancipated may be compared to dry leaves blown about here and there by the strong wind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
580:If by the grace of God the spirit of immediate renunciation comes to one, then one may get rid of the attachment to lust and wealth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
581:In devotion, One becomes mad with emotion, constantly and fiercely repeating: "Jai Kali" or dancing like a maniac in praise of Hari. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
582:In past ages people would be busy with devotional exercises. In this Iron-Age, Kali Yuga, life resides in food and the mind is weak. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
583:In samadhi, usually a little ego remains. All outward consciousness disappears, but the Lord keeps a little ego to let me enjoy Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
584:It is the mean-minded who covet supernatural powers. Those who are pure Bhaktas do not want anything but the louts-feet of the Lord. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
585:Like a doll of salt trying to fathom the ocean, the jiva, in trying to fathom God, loses its individuality and becomes one with Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
586:Paper moistened with oil cannot be written upon, so the soul, spoiled by the oil of sense enjoyment is unfit for spiritual devotion. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
587:The disease of a worldly man is of a serious type. Attachment to Kama Kanchana (sex and wealth) has brought all this trouble on him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
588:The disease of a worldly man is of a serious type. Attachment to Kama-Kanchana (sex and wealth) has brought all this trouble on him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
589:The insignificant veil of Maya prevents us from seeing the omnipresent and all-witnessing Sachchidananda: existence-knowledge-bliss. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
590:the Jnani's object is to realize God. He says: "Not this", "Not this" and thus leaves out of account one unreal thing after another. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
591:The loving child of God, by faith and devotion, experiences no trouble passing through life in spite of all its trouble and anxiety. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
592:There is nothing to proud of in money. If you say you are rich, there are richer than you, and in comparison, you are a mere beggar. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
593:The true devotee, firm in his faith, though he may be surrounded by all the impurities of the world, never loses his faith and love. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
594:To play the part of a Guru is like a courtesan's life, selling oneself for such paltry things as gold, status and bodily enjoyments. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
595:What availeth book-learning or delivery of lectures, if there is no Viveka within -- the discrimination of the Real from the unreal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
596:When one is able to effect mental concentration in any environment, the mind will always rise above the environment and rest in God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
597:All that you call your own will pass away. God is really your own. He is your All and All. Obtaining God should be your only concern. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
598:As lead in mercury soon dissolves, so the individual soul melts away, losing its limitations when it falls into the ocean of Brahman. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
599:Chant the name of God, morning and evening, clapping your hands all the while -- and all of your sins and afflictions will leave you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
600:Having no egotism or will of their own, the emancipated may be compared to dry leaves blown about here and there, by the strong wind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
601:Hearing of wisdom from a teacher makes a greater impression than the mere reading of books, but seeing makes the greatest impression. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
602:If once you see the Divine Mother, you will have no more pleasure in wealth, fame, and honor. Leaving all these, you will run to Her. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
603:If one does not stop in progress after attaining a few powers, he becomes, in the end, really rich in the eternal knowledge of truth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
604:If you desire to live in the world unattached you should first practice devotion in solitude for a year, a month or at least 12 days. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
605:If you take God's love from your heart and give it to worldly things, you will have lost the priceless jewel and will be poor indeed. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
606:I must attain perfection in this life! I must find God with a single utterance!" By such violent love, the Lord is quickly attracted. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
607:In samadhi, usually, a little ego remains. All outward consciousness disappears, but the Lord keeps a little ego to let me enjoy Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
608:Know thyself and thou shalt know the non-self, the Lord of all. Ponder deeply and thou shalt know that there is no such thing as "I". ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
609:Many with a show of humility say, "I am like a low worm grovelling in the dust." Thus in time, they become weak in spirit like worms. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
610:One attains God through japa. By repeating the name of God secretly and in solitude one receives divine grace. Then comes His vision. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
611:Siddhas or miraculous powers are to be avoided like filth. He who sets his mind on the Siddhis, remains stuck and cannot rise higher. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
612:The Gita is the essence of all scriptures. A sannyasi may or may not keep with him another book, but he always carries a pocket Gita. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
613:The luminous zone that envelops the blue flame of the candle is the subtle body, and the outermost edge represents the physical body. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
614:There are only three words which prick me to the core: Guru, Karta (doer of action), and Baba (father), because God is the only Guru. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
615:Whether the God-realized dwells in the bustle of the world, or in the solitude of the forest, nothing can ever contaminate him again. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
616:Why talk of sin and hell-fire all the days of your life? Chant the name of God. Have faith in God and you will be purged of all sins. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
617:Women are but so many forms of my Divine Mother. I cannot bear to see them suffer; They are all images of the Mother of the Universe. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
618:As a little child can have no idea of married happiness, so a worldly person cannot at all comprehend the ecstasy of Divine communion. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
619:As soon as a man takes on the responsibility of a family, he is weighed down and feels himself unfit for the high attainments of life. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
620:Be on guard against temptation when living in the world; once fallen into that well, one can hardly come out of it pure and stainless. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
621:Bhakti-Yoga is communion with God by means of devotion or love and self-surrender. It is specially adapted to this age, the Kali-Yuga. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
622:By the influence of the deep devotion of his worshiper, the Infinite reduces himself into the finite and appears as a being with form. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
623:Call with love the name of the Lord and the mountain of your sins shall go away, just as a mountain of cotton will burn up and vanish. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
624:Can an actor on stage throw off his mask? Let worldly people play out their part, in time they will throw off their false appearances. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
625:Dwell, O mind, within yourself;
Enter no other's home.
If you but seek there, you will find
All you are searching for. . . . ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
626:Holy men are like onlookers at a game of chess. They see things in their true light and can judge better than the people of the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
627:However polluted one may become by living amidst the attractions of the phenomenal world, the Lord creates the means for purification. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
628:How wonderful was this devotion of theirs! At the sight of the Tamal tree they were seized with the very madness of love (Premonmadu). ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
629:If you desire to be pure, do not waste your energies in useless scriptural arguments, but slowly go on with your devotional practices. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
630:If you desire to live in the world unattached you should first practice devotion in solitude for a year, a month, or at least 12 days. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
631:If you surrender to the Lord and call on Him with a heart full of yearning, He is bound to listen and take care of everything for you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
632:In the sight of worldly men there are differences of position, but with divine sight there remains no distinction of the high and low. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
633:It is God who constantly inspires thought and sentiment in the heart of devotees, that is why they never lack in what is new and wise. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
634:Just as when a piece of rope is burned it retains its form but cannot bind, so is the ego when burnt by the fire of Supreme Knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
635:One who has attained God keeps only the marks, the withered scars of anger and passion, yet their nature is just like that of a child. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
636:One who has attained God keeps only the marks, the withered scars of anger and passion, yet.their nature is just like that of a child. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
637:The holy, even in their childhood, give up all attachments to the things of the world and soar to the highest regions of divine light. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
638:The worldly should undergo all their hardships, make use of all their learning and perseverance for the sake of God instead of riches. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
639:When realization of the Self is obtained, all fetters drop off of themselves. Then there is no distinction between high caste and low. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
640:When the clay of evil tendencies is washed away by the continued pouring of tears of Bhakti, immediately the Atman attracted the jiva. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
641:Who can know God? It is not for us, nor required, to know God fully. It is enough if we can see and feel that God is the only reality. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
642:You veil your eyes and complain that you cannot see the Eternal. If you wish to see Him, tear from your eyes the veil of the illusion. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
643:A boat can be in the water but water should not be in the boat. An aspirant may live in the world but the world should not live in him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
644:A. He for whom you work will supply you with your necessaries. God made provisions for your support before He sent you into this world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
645:A vessel of garlic retains the odor even after washed; so also lingers egoism even in one's nature that has been purified by knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
646:Even when we are blinded by the fulfillment of every worldly desire there may arise in us this question: "Who am I who enjoy all this?" ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
647:God is formless and God is with form -- and God is that which transcends both form and formlessness. God alone can say what else he is. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
648:If you fortify yourself with the true knowledge of the Atman, and then live in the midst of women and wealth, they will not affect you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
649:If your prayer is sincere, my Mother will respond to it, if you will only wait. Pray to Her if you want to realize Her impersonal self. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
650:It is ignorance that thinks that "I am the doer." All our strength is the strength of God. All is silent if the divine fire is removed. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
651:Long must you struggle in the water before you learn to swim. Long must you struggle before you can hope to swim in the ocean of Bliss. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
652:The child prefers a doll to all the riches of the world and so is the faithful devotee. No one else can set aside all wealth and honor. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
653:The heart is Jnana, discrimination between the real and the unreal, leading up to Nirvikalpa Samadhi, the total effacement of the self. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
654:The jnana yogis say that, first of all, the heart must be purified, hard religious practice must be gone through, then jnana will come. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
655:The kripa-siddhas attain perfection through the manifest grace of God, they are like a poor man made wealthy by the kindness of a king. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
656:The Lord has provided different forms of worship to suit different people with different capacities in different stages of development. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
657:The nearer you come to God the less are you disposed to question and reason. Then it is time for enjoyment which comes through Samadhi. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
658:The one satchitananda, absolute being-Intelligence-bliss is invoked by some as God, by some as Allah, and by others as Hari or Brahman. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
659:There are a few to whom this Raga-Bhakti comes by nature of their birth. Such persons yearn and cry after God, even in their childhood. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
660:To realize God is the one goal of life. The grace of God falls alike on all His children, learned and illiterate―whoever longs for Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
661:Try meditation in solitude. After constant practice, when the mind has been brought under control, you can meditate anywhere you chose. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
662:When you sit in meditation, be wholly absorbed in God. During a perfect meditation one would not know if a bird were to perch upon one. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
663:A man cannot comprehend spiritual things with his ordinary intelligence. To understand them he must live in the company of holy persons. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
664:As on the troubled surface of a lake the moon is reflected in broken images, in Maya the mental reflection of God is partial and broken. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
665:As the same sugar may be made into various candy, so one sweet Divine Mother is worshiped in various ages under various names and forms. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
666:As wet wood put on a furnace loses its moisture, so worldiness dries away for one who has taken refuge in God and repeats His holy name. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
667:But he couldn't altogether destroy the seed of bhakti in me. No matter, where my mind wandered, it would come back to the Divine Mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
668:Even when we are blinded by the fulfillment of every worldly desire there may arise in us this question: "Who am I who enjoys all this?" ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
669:First set up the temple of God in the heart. Speeches, lectures and the rest, these may be taken up after you have seen God, not before. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
670:God is equally manifest everywhere, yet manifests specially in holy places, just as water is everywhere, yet in places will form a lake. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
671:God is the embodiment of all happiness and pleasure at once. Those who realize God can find no attraction in the pleasures of the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
672:I tell those that come to me to lead a life unattached like a maid-servant. I tell them to live unattached to this world, but not of it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
673:Live in the world, but be not worldly. As the saying goes, make the frog dance before the snake, but let not the snake swallow the frog. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
674:Once I took as Mantra the name of Allah from a Mohammedan teacher and repeated the name for several days, strictly observing their ways. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
675:Resist not evil by doing evil in return, but make a show of resistance with a view to self-defense. This is the Dharma of a householder. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
676:The devote Ramprasad called this world a structure of dreams; yet because he loved for the Lord, he was loyal to both God and the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
677:The glories of affection for God are discrimination, dispassion, tenderness to all life, service to the good, and love of their company. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
678:The idea of self is the Maya of the soul. It is our egotism that shuts out the light. When this "I" is gone, all difficulty will vanish. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
679:The intellectual conclusion the Jnana has come to is: "I am not the body. I am one with the Universal Soul, unconditioned and absolute." ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
680:The light of incarnations such as Chaitanya Deva, distinguished by both Jnana and Bhakti, is like the blended light of the sun and moon. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
681:The Lord of the universe manifests differently according to the different likings of His worshipers who each have their own view of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
682:Unless you allow some time to pass, no teaching can ever bear fruit. Those who you teach will not, as a rule, be able to profit at once. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
683:When a doctor assures that he will save the patient, he does not know that no human power can save one whom the Lord chooses to destroy. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
684:As flint does not lose its properties under water, so one favored with God does not change internally, even though immersed in the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
685:As on the troubled surface of a lake, the moon is reflected in broken images, in Maya the mental reflection of God is partial and broken. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
686:First set up the temple of God in the heart. Speeches, lectures, and the rest, these may be taken up after you have seen God, not before. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
687:I am God's servant and I am here to obey God's wishes. When this idea becomes firm, there remains nothing which one could call their own. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
688:If by God's grace the thought that "I am not the doer" is established in the heart, one becomes free in this life; there is no more fear. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
689:In Samadhi one forgets one has a body, loses all attachment to things of this world, and likes no other words than those relating to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
690:Jnana, discrimination of God from the unreal universe, and Karma, work without attachment, are far more difficult than Bhakti in this age ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
691:Just as a hemp smoker finds no pleasure in smoking alone, so the pious find no pleasure in singing all alone the praises of the almighty. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
692:Let a Bhakti pray to God and it will be given to him to realize the impersonal God in samadhi and thus reach the goal of Jnana Yoga also. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
693:Merely reading holy books will not make one religious. One must practice the virtues taught in books in order to acquire the love of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
694:Mere reading will not bring about knowledge or salvation, so long as one is attached to the world -- so long as one loves woman and gold. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
695:The Avatar is always one and the same. Plunging into the ocean of life, he rises up as Krishna, diving again and rising up, he is Christ. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
696:The frog in the well knows nothing bigger and grander than the well. So are all bigots, not seeing anything better than their own creeds. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
697:The Hathat-siddhas attains perfection suddenly, as a poor man may suddenly become rich by finding hidden treasure or marrying into money. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
698:The light of incarnations such as Chjaitanya Deva, distinguished by both Jnana and Bhakti, is like the blended light of the sun and moon. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
699:The Living Light to which one is drawn does not burn and cause death. It is like the light of a gem, shining yet soft, cool and soothing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
700:There are two classes of Yogis, hidden and open. The former go through religious practice in secret and keep hidden from the public gaze. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
701:The servant "I" of a devotee, or the "I" of a child, each of these is like a line drawn with a stick on the water. It does not last long. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
702:The yogi's heart beats for God, as a mother's for her child. A Yogi has the intense feeling of renunciation and wants nothing except God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
703:Those who seek name and fame are under a delusion. They forget that everything is ordained by the great disposer of all things, the Lord. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
704:Those who start their practice by uniting with their Guru and chosen deity, fear no reverses or difficulties ... progress will be smooth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
705:Try to gain mastery over your sexual instincts. If one succeeds, the lower energies are transmuted to the higher Self by the Medha nerve. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
706:When I used to sit in meditation in the temple of Kali, little birds would perch upon my body and move about in sport. Everybody said so. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
707:A devotee of Sattvic nature offers sweetened rice milk to his chosen deity. A Rajasic devotee gives fifty richly-spiced dishes to his God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
708:A devotee would be acting foolishly if he were to beg for psychic powers, neglecting the priceless gift of true knowledge and love of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
709:A Guru does not entrust to a worldly man valuable and exalting precepts, for he is sure to misuse them in pursuit of his own mean designs. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
710:A holy man used to look at a glass prism and smile. He could see various colors, yet he knew these colors were false just as the world is. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
711:By meditation one comes to know that there is only one God, but by philosophical discussion, the sense of unity is displaced by diversity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
712:Doctrine says the absolute must not be considered apart form the world and the soul. These three form a one -- three in one, one in three. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
713:Doctrine says the absolute must not be considered apart from the world and the soul. These three form a one -- three in one, one in three. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
714:Do not consider one's Guru to be merely human. Before you see the Deity, you will see the Guru in the first vision of Divine Illumination. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
715:God cannot be seen so long as we keep the slightest taint of desire. Therefore, satisfy your small desires and renounce the great desires. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
716:He whose hairs stand on end with ecstasy at the mere mention of Sir Hari's name and sheds tears of love, has already taken his last birth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
717:If a man loves God, living upon the flesh of pigs, he is blessed; unlike the man who lives on milk and rice but is fixed on lust and gold. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
718:If one lives in the midst of sense pleasures after having attained the highest knowledge, nothing in the world can daunt or unbalance one. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
719:If you meditate on your ideal, you will acquire its nature. If you think of God day and night, you will acquire the nature of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
720:In Nirvakalpa Samadhi all self is effaced and there is no manifestation whatsoever, even of the divine forms, thus transcending all forms. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
721:Iron must be hammered before it becomes good steel, just as one must be hammered with the persecutions of the world to be pure and humble. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
722:Liberation is attained only by one who has forgotten the self. Even when losing all ego, God may or may not come to take the place of ego. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
723:Maya is attachment and love towards one's own relations. Daya is love extending equally to all beings and comes from the knowledge of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
724:Narada and a few others have come back several steps after the attainment of samadhi and, out of mercy and love, they have taught mankind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
725:Repeating the name of God, fasting on certain occasions, making pilgrimages to shrines and worshiping, all these constitute Vaidhi Bhakti. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
726:Some become drunk on a small glass of wine, others require more. Some are satisfied by a glimpse of God, others must meet God face to face ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
727:Some great souls have reached the seventh, highest plane of samadhi, and have thus become merged in God. They come down for man's benefit. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
728:Some people look upon the sense of sin as the whole of religion. They forget that it marks only the earliest, lower stage of spirituality. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
729:So the mind may be unattached and fixed upon God, you should often retire into solitude -- a place which is away from either men or women. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
730:The divine power is greater in those who are honored, respected and obeyed by a large following, than in those who have no such influence. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
731:The Jnana-Yoga will attain Jnana and Bhakti. It will be given to him to realize Brahman and, the Lord willing, the personal God of Bhakti. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
732:The vain main of intellect is busy finding out the why and wherefore of creation, while the humble man acquaints himself with the creator. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
733:To say God is devoid of love and joy is an absurdity, which proves one has never realized the Supreme Being, the fountain of eternal love. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
734:We should not hastily follow all of our youthful aspirations, taking into account the manifold crises which we shall have to pass through. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
735:When a surface is coated with chemicals, pictures can be printed; just as the human heart coated with Bhakti can impress the image of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
736:When shall I be free? When that "I" has vanished. "I" and "Mine" is ignorance. "Thou" and "Thine" is knowledge. Thou, O Lord are the doer. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
737:When some serve the Lord for a long time, He endows them with all His glory and attributes and raises them to His own seat of sovereignty. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
738:Whoever performs devotional exercises with the belief that there is one God, is bound to attain Him, no matter what aspect He is worshiped ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
739:Why is it that people are fed at religious feasts? It is the same as offering a sacrifice to God, who is the Living Fire in all creatures. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
740:With the teacher who has become one with the Universal Soul, an ego of knowledge is kept, a slight trace to mark their separate existence. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
741:You cannot get rid of the ego until you have realized God. If you find a person free from ego, then know for certain that he has seen God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
742:You go to God and your personality becomes one with God, this is samadhi. Then you retrace your steps, back to your ego where you started. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
743:As Radna neared Krishna, the stronger was his fragrance. The nearer one gets to God, the more one's heart is flooded with blessed feelings. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
744:Brahman is without attributes, unchangeable, immovable, and firm. His name is intelligence. His abode is intelligence ... all-intelligence. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
745:By continual peeling of the onion, we find nothing is left, so on analyzing the ego we found that there is not any real entity that is ego. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
746:Egotism is like a cloud that keeps God hidden from our sight. If by the mercy of the Guru, egotism vanishes, God is seen in His full glory. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
747:Even the hearts of the spiritual fall, at times, into the whirlpools of despondency and unbelief, but these aberrations are only momentary. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
748:Fire itself has no shape but in glowing embers it assumes forms. Similarly, the formless God sometimes invests Himself with definite forms. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
749:For men, women multiple wants of daily life, consequently the necessity for money arises, freedom of action is gone, replaced by servitude. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
750:Humanity must die before divinity manifests itself. But divinity must, in turn, die before the higher manifestation of the blissful Mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
751:If you are in right earnest to be good and pure, God will send you the Sat Guru, the right teacher. Earnestness is the one thing necessary. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
752:If you can attain devotion to the lotus-feet of the Lord, singing His glory, then you will not have to struggle long to control the senses. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
753:If you cannot destroy the self, then let it be the servant. The self that knows itself as the servant/lover of God will do little mischief. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
754:If you fail to see God after a few exercises do not lose heart. Go on patiently with your exercises and you are sure to obtain divine grace ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
755:Look upon all women as your own mother. Never look at the face of a woman, but look towards her feet. All evil thoughts will then fly away. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
756:Not being Identified with the body, neither am I subject to the necessities of the body, such as hunger, thirst, birth, death, and disease. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
757:Of luxury, the Sattvic devotee has none, either in food or dress, no show in his house of furniture and never seeking to rise in this world ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
758:One may be caught halfway in Bhakti. But it doesn't matter; for the ice in which one is held is the ocean of existence-consciousness-bliss. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
759:Renunciation of Kama-Kanchana has been enjoyed by those leading a monastic life. Monks must not do so much as look at the picture of women. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
760:Shiva and Shakti, the absolute and power, are both necessary for creation. With dry clay no potter can make a vessel -- Water is necessary. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
761:Some boast of wealth, power, name, fame, high status -- all these things are for a few days only. None of them will follow one after death. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
762:The divine power is greater in those who are honored, respected, and obeyed by a large following, than in those who have no such influence. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
763:The intoxication of hemp is not had by repeating the word "hemp". What is the use of loudly crying, "Oh God"? Practice devotion to see God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
764:The mind of the worldly is at one time deeply engaged in religious topics, yet at the next moment lost in the enjoyment of lust and wealth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
765:The union of the individual soul (jiva) and the supreme soul (paramatman) is like the union of the hour and minute hands at twelve o'clock. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
766:When the human soul is attracted by Universal Consciousness, it destroys all individuality and sinks into the ocean of God's infinite Love. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
767:Whoever can call on God with sincerity and intense earnestness needs no guru, but such earnestness is rare, hence the necessity for a Guru. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
768:You see many stars at night in the sky but find them not in the day -- just as in the days of your ignorance, you say that there is no God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
769:A devotee of the tamasic type offers goats and other animals as sacrifice. Difference of nature makes all the difference in acts of worship. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
770:After dusk the glow worms make their appearance and think: "We are giving light to the world." But when the stars rise, their pride is gone. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
771:All water is Narayana, but every kind of water is not fit to drink. The almighty dwells in every place, yet every place is not fit to visit. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
772:As a shadow under a lamp, those in proximity to an Avatar do not understand him. Those who live far off are charmed by his spirit and power. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
773:Avatars, like Krishna, act and behave to all appearance as common men, while their heart and soul are adsorbed in the Highest, beyond karma. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
774:Great souls are children of God, so they have no egotism. Their strength is of God, belonging to and coming from Him, nothing of themselves. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
775:I am present in the great lotus chakra dvaadasanta which has a thousand petals and is brilliant like millions of suns and millions of moons. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
776:Let there be harmony between thoughts and words. Don't pray to God as your all-in-all ... while your mind has made the world its all-in-all. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
777:Oh Mother, I am the chariot and you are the driver. I speak as you will me to speak; I act as you, within me, act ... not I, not I, but you! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
778:One feels restless for God when one's soul longs for His vision. To love God is the essence of the whole thing. Bhakti alone is the essence. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
779:One who has acquired supreme wisdom sees the all-pervading spirit both within and without; he lives, as it were, in a room with glass doors. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
780:One with little knowledge will go about preaching, but when the perfection of knowledge is obtained, one ceases to make such a vain display. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
781:Rama, Sita, Krishna and Radha are not mere allegories, they were of flesh and blood; their lives can be seen historically and allegorically. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
782:Rama, Sita, Krishna and Radna are not mere allegories, they were of flesh and blood; their lives can be seen historically and allegorically. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
783:So long as the sound of bell is audible, it exists in form; but when it is no longer heard, it becomes formless. So it is the same with God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
784:The ever-perfect are born as Siddhas, and all their seeming effort for perfection are merely for the sake of setting an example to humanity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
785:The ever-perfect are born as siddhas, and all their seeming effort for perfection are merely for the sake of setting an example to humanity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
786:The idea of an individual ego is just like enclosing a portion of the water of the Ganges and calling the enclosed portion one's own Ganges. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
787:The Sattvic devotee performs his devotions in secret. Of luxury he has none, either in food or dress, and no show in his house of furniture. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
788:When Sri Ramachandra came to this world only twelve sages recognized him as an Avatar. So when God descends few recognize his divine nature. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
789:When you are engaged in devotional practices, keep aloof from those who scoff at them, and also from those who ridicule piety and the pious. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
790:A boat may stay in water, but water should not stay in the boat. An aspirant may live in the world, but the world should not live within him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
791:As the water and bubbles are one, so the jiva and the Atman are, in essence, one and the same -- one is finite and small, the other infinite. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
792:However much one may have studied books, it is all futile unless one has love and devotion for God, unless one has the desire to realize Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
793:In order to be able to renounce, one must pray to God for the will power to do so. One must immediately renounce what one feels to be unreal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
794:You will never succeed by argument, convincing another of their error. When the grace of God descends, each one understands his own mistakes. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
795:Unless the soul is pure, it cannot have genuine love of God and single-minded devotion to the ideal. The mind wanders away to various objects. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
796:Isn't feeding people a kind of service to God? God exists in all beings as fire. To feed people is to offer oblations to that Indwelling Spirit. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
797:What more shall I tell you? Keep your mind on God. Don't forget Him. God will certainly reveal Himself to you if you pray to Him with sincerity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
798:As your attachment to the world diminishes, your spiritual knowledge will increase. Attachment to the world means attachment to 'lust and greed'. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
799:It is not good to say that what we ourselves think of God is the only truth and what others think is false. Can a man really fathom God's nature? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
800:One cannot be guileless without a great deal of spiritual discipline in previous births. A hypocritical and calculating mind can never attain God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
801:As long as the slightest trace of ego remains, one lives within the jurisdiction of the Ādyāśakti. One is under Her sway. One cannot go beyond Her. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
802:As the cloud covers the sun, so Maya hides the Deity. When the cloud moves away, the sun is seen again; when Maya is removed, God becomes manifest. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
803:What offering should be made that we may attain to the Eternal? To find the Eternal thou must offer him thy body, thy mind and all thy possessions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
804:While singing religious songs one should not constantly refer to one's worries. One should rather feel joyous and ecstatic as one chants God's name. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
805:What is prema? He who feels it, this intense and ecstatic love of God, not only forgets the world but forgets even the body, which is so dear to all. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
806:He who relieves us of sin is Hari. He relieves us of our three afflictions in the world. Chaitanya preached the glory of Hari's name; it must be good. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
807:That man whose hair stands on end at the mere mention of the name of God, and from whose eyes flow tears of love—he has indeed reached his last birth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
808:You may impart thousands of instructions to people, but they will not bear fruit except in proper time. One feels yearning for God at the proper time. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
809:As soft clay easily takes an impression, but not hard stone, so also Divine wisdom impresses itself on the heart of a devotee, but not on a bound soul. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
810:What is there in learning and scholarship? You can attain God by calling upon Him with a yearning heart. Knowledge of different kinds is not essential. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
811:A boat can be in the water, but the water ought not to be in the boat. So the aspirant may live in the world, but the world should find no place in him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
812:God is seen, when the mind is tranquil. When the mental sea is agitated by the wind of desires, it cannot reflect God, and then God-vision is impossible ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
813:This is the one thing needful, the chanting of God's name. All else is unreal. Love and devotion alone are real, and other things are of no consequence. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
814:All the sacred Scriptures of the world have become corrupted, but the Ineffable or Absolute has never been corrupted, because no one has ever been able to express It in human speech. ~ Sri Ramakrishna?,
815:At a certain stage in the path of devotion the religious man finds satisfaction in the Divinity with a form, at another stage in the formless Impersonal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
816:There is a greater accumulation of divinity in man. Man is Narayana Himself. If God can manifest Himself through an image, then why not through man also? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
817:You do not involve yourself in quarrels and dissensions any more. Another thing. It is 'lust and gold' that keeps men away from God. That is the barrier. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
818:God, before He comes to the heart, sends servants to make it ready for His coming. And who are those servants? Purity, chastity, humility, loving-kindness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
819:He alone enters the Kingdom of Heaven who is not a thief of his own thoughts. In other words, guilelessness and simple faith are the roads to that Kingdom. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
820:The knowledge of the Eternal and the love of the Eternal are in the end one and the same thing. There is no difference between pure knowledge and pure love. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
821:The aim of prayer, of spiritual discipline, of chanting the name and glories of God, is to realize that everything is God. For that alone a devotee loves God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
822:The truly religious man is he, who does not commit any sin even when he is alone, and when no man observes him, because he feels, that God sees him even then. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
823:Faith in the Guru's words. One attains God by following the Guru's instructions step by step. It is like reaching an object by following the trail of a thread. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
824:To control the mind the best and easiest method is to repeat constantly God's Name. Concentration is attained by fixing the attention on the sound of the Name. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
825:Happiness and suffering are the inevitable characteristics of the body. The one thing needful is jnāna and bhakti. God alone is Substance; all else is illusory. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
826:He who has merely heard of milk is 'ignorant'. He who has seen milk has 'knowledge'. But he who has drunk milk and been strengthened by it has attained vijnāna. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
827:I realized that the whole world was filled with God alone. One cannot have spiritual realization without destroying ignorance; so I would assume the attitude of a tiger and devour ignorance. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
828:What will a man gain by knowing many scriptures? The one thing needful is to know how to cross the river of the world. God alone is real, and all else illusory. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
829:If you spent one-tenth of the time you devoted to distractions like chasing women or making money to spiritual practice, you would be enlightened in a few years. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
830:There is such a thing as abhyasayoga, yoga through practice. Keep up the practice and you will find that your mind will follow in whatever direction you lead it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
831:Many are the names of God and infinite the forms through which He may be approached. In whatever name and form you worship Him, through that you will realise Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
832:God with form and the formless God are both equally true. One cannot keep one's mind on the formless God a long time. That is why God assumes form for His devotees. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
833:The mind of a worldly person is, no doubt, like muddy water; but it can be made clear by a purifying agent. Discrimination and renunciation are the purifying agent. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
834:How dare you talk of helping the world? God alone can do that. First you must be made free from all sense of self; then the Divine Mother will give you a task to do. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
835:Always keep your mind spotless. Don't allow impure thoughts to enter it. If you find such desires tormenting you, pray to God and chant His name. He will protect you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
836:Don't speak ill of anyone. It is Narayana Himself who has assumed all these forms. One can worship even a wicked person. But God dwells in a special way in His devotee. The devotee is His parlour. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
837:If you give God something, you receive it back a thousand times over. That is why after doing meritorious deeds one offers a handful of water to God. It is the symbol of offering the fruit to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
838:You must practice tapasya. Only then can you attain the goal. It will avail you nothing even if you learn the texts of the scriptures by heart. You must swallow some. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
839:GIRISH: "If a man is so strongly tied hand and foot, then what is his way?"
MASTER: "He has nothing to fear if God Himself, as the guru, cuts the chain of maya." ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
840:God's will is both in worldliness and freedom. It is He, who has kept you unconscious in worldly life. And again, at His will, when He calls you, you will be liberated. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
841:Without desires the body cannot live. The body is really impermanent. It is to enjoy God, to sing His name and glories, and to go about visiting His jnanis and bhaktas. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
842:So we should acquire the power of concentration by fixing the mind first on forms and when we have obtained in this a full success, we can easily fix it on the formless. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
843:You must remember one thing. God knows our inner feeling. A man gets the fulfillment of the desire he cherishes while practicing sadhana. As one thinks, so one receives. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
844:As the water of the ocean is now calm and next agitated into waves, so are Brahman and Maya. The ocean in the tranquil state is Brahman, and in the turbulent state, Maya. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
845:Prema is the rope by which you can tether God, as it were. Whenever you want to see Him you have merely to pull the rope. Whenever you call Him, He will appear before you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
846:What is bhaktiyoga? It is to keep the mind on God by chanting His name and glories. For the Kaliyuga the path of devotion is easiest. This is indeed the path for this age. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
847:The Eternal is seen when the mind is at rest. When the sea of the mind is troubled by the winds of desire, it cannot reflect the Eternal and all divine vision is impossible ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
848:Call with Bhakti upon His Hallowed Name and the mountain of your sins shall disappear as a mountain of cotton-wool will vanish in an instant if it catches one spark of fire. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
849:There is one thing you should remember. When a boy walks holding his father's hand, he may fall into the gutter; but what has he to fear if the father holds him by the hand? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
850:After realizing God, one rightly feels that God is our Father or Mother. As long as we have not realized God, we feel that we are far away from Him, children of someone else. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
851:A truly religious man should think that other religions are also so many paths leading to the Truth. We should always maintain an attitude of respect towards other religions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
852:Is there then any place left uncovered by God? A dirty place is as holy as the bank of the Ganges. It is said that the whole creation is the Virat, the Universal Form of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
853:It is enough to call on Him with sincerity of heart. If the devotee is sincere, then God, who is the Inner Guide of all, will certainly reveal to the devotee His true nature. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
854:Make your meditation a continuous state of mind. A great worship is going on all the time, so nothing should be neglected or excluded from your constant meditative awareness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
855:When the fruit appears the blossom drops off. Love of God is the fruit, and rituals are the blossom. The sandhya merges in the Gayatri, the Gayatri in Om, and, Om in samādhi. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
856:Ordinary men pronounce a sackful of discourses on religion, but do not put a grain into practice, while the sage speaks little, but his whole life is religion put in to action ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
857:Q.: Sir, why does one take so much care of his body? ~ Sri Ramakrishna: One has to realize the Supreme Self. One has to attain Self-knowledge. After that the body may remain or go. Till then the body has to be taken care of.,
858:By practicing spiritual disciplines, you attain perfection by His grace. Of course some effort is necessary, but it ultimately ends in Realization of God and attainment of bliss. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
859:The sun can give heat and light to the whole world, but he cannot do so when the clouds shut out his rays. Similarly as long as egotism veils the heart, God cannot shine upon it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
860:A truly religious man ought to think that the other religions are also paths leading towards the Reality. We should always maintain an attitude of respect towards other religions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
861:God is the only Guru. My Divine Mother is the sole doer of actions, I am only an instrument in Her hands. I feel myself always to be Her child. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sayings of Ramakrishna Paramahasma,
862:Knowledge leads to unity, but ignorance to diversity. So long as God seems to be outside and far away, there is ignorance. But when God is realised within, that is true knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
863:The holy company begets yearning for God. It begets love of God. There is another benefit from holy company. It helps one cultivate discrimination between the Real and the Unreal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
864:Why does it take many people such a long time to realize Him? - MASTER: The truth is that a man doesn't feel restless for God unless he is finished with his enjoyments and duties. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
865:Wisdom leads to Unity, but Ignorance to Separation. So long as God seems to be outside and far away, there is ignorance. But when God is realized Within, that is True Knowledge.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
866:without craving the result. One cannot work in such a spirit without first having realized God. Attachment to the result somehow enters the mind, though you may not be aware of it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
867:Pleasure and pain are inevitable in the life of the world. One suffers now and then from a little worry and trouble. Chant the name of Hari morning and evening, clapping your hands. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
868:It is on account of the ego that one is not able to see God. In front of the door of God's mansion lies the stump of ego. One cannot enter the mansion without jumping over the stump. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
869:Man cannot teach by his own power. One cannot conquer ignorance without the power of God. He who teaches men gets his power from God. None but a man of renunciation can teach others. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
870:Whatever may be a householder's profession, it is necessary for him to live in the company of holy men now and then. If a man loves God, he will himself seek the company of holy men. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
871:Sugar and sand may be mixed together, but the ant rejects the sand and carries away the grains of sugar. So the holy Paramahamsas and pious men successfully sift the good from the bad. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
872:Those who wish to attain God and progress in religious devotion, should particularly guard themselves against the snares of lust and wealth. Otherwise they can never attain perfection. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
873:Bow down and adore where others bend the knee; for where so great a number of men pay the tribute of their adoration, the Impersonal must needs manifest Himself, for He is all compassion. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
874:The way to realize God is through discrimination, renunciation, and yearning for Him. What kind of yearning? One should yearn for God as the cow, with yearning heart, runs after its calf. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
875:Krishna said to Arjuna, 'Friend, if you want to realize Me, you will not succeed if you have even one of the eight occult powers.' This is the truth. Occult power is sure to beget pride, and pride makes one forget God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
876:Living in the world one is safe, if one has Viveka (discrimination of the Real from the unreal), and Vairagya (dispassion for worldly things), and along with these intense devotion to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
877:That man is a true man whose mind dwells on God. He alone is a man whose spiritual consciousness has been awakened and who is firmly convinced that God alone is real and all else illusory. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
878:As the darkness of centuries is scattered when the light is brought into a chamber, so the accumulated faults of numberless births vanish before a single shaft of the light of the Almighty. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
879:Whosoever can cry to the All-Powerful with sincerity and an intense passion of the soul has no need of a Master. But so profound an aspiration is very rare; hence the necessity of a Master. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
880:Do you meditate? Do you know what one feels in meditation? The mind becomes like a continuous flow of oil — it thinks of one object only, and that is God. It does not think of anything else. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
881:Subtle are the ways of Dharma. One cannot realize God, if one has even the least trace of desire. A thread cannot pass through the eye of a needle, if it has the smallest fibre sticking out. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
882:A man cannot see God unless he gives his whole mind to Him. The mind is wasted on 'lust and greed'. As long as there is bhoga, there will be less of yoga. Furthermore, bhoga begets suffering. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
883:When by a constant practice a man is capable of effecting mental concentration, then wherever he may be, his mind will always lift itself above his surroundings and will repose in the Eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
884:What good is there in reading a whole lot of scriptures? What good is there in the study of philosophy? What is the use of talking big? At the beginning one should concentrate on God with form. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
885:You have had enough of lectures, arguments, quarrels, discussions, and dissensions. Can such things interest you any more? Now gather your whole mind and direct it to God. Plunge deep into God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
886:God sports in the world as man. He incarnates Himself as man -- as in the case of Krishna, Rama, and Chaitanya. One needs spiritual practice in order to know God and recognize Divine Incarnations. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
887:When God is realized, He Himself provides everything for His devotees. He sees that they do not lack anything. When God is enshrined in the heart, many people come forward to offer their services. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
888:Worldly people think highly of their wealth. They feel that there is nothing like it. But does God care for money? He wants from His devotees knowledge, devotion, discrimination, and renunciation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
889:Truth is one; only It is called by different names. All people are seeking the same Truth; the variance is due to climate, temperament, and name. There is only one Rāma and He has a thousand names. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
890:He who seeks God with a longing heart can see Him, talk to Him as I am talking to you. Believe my words when I say that God can be seen. But ah! To whom am I saying these words? Who will believe me? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
891:Now it is your bounden duty to give your entire mind to God, to plunge deep into the Ocean of His Love. There is no fear of death from plunging into this Ocean, for this is the Ocean of Immortality. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
892:One who during his contemplation is entirely inconscient of all external things to such a point that if birds made a nest in his hair he would not know it, has acquired the perfection of meditation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
893:The nearer you come to God, the less you are disposed to questioning and reasoning. When you actually attain Him, when you behold Him as the Reality, then all noise, all disputations, come to an end. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
894:You are leading a householder's life. That is very good. It is like fighting from a fort. But one should spend some time in solitude and attain Knowledge. Then one can lead the life of a householder. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
895:Longing is the means of realizing Ātman. A man must strive to attain God with all his body, with all his mind, and with all his speech. By thinking day and night of God one acquires the nature of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
896:I keep men's own ideals intact. But this also I say to them 'Never feel that your path alone is right and that the paths of others a wrong and full of errors. A man can realize God by following his own path if his prayer is sincere. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
897:One should learn the essence of the scriptures from the guru and then practice sadhana. If one rightly follows spiritual discipline, then one directly sees God. The discipline is said to be rightly followed only when one plunges in. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
898:Many are the names of God and infinite are the forms through which He may be approached. In whatever name and form you worship Him, through them you will realise Him.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sayings of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa,
899:Do you know my attitude? Books, scriptures, and things like that only point out the way to reach God. After finding the way, what more need is there of books and scriptures? Then comes the time for action. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
900:As one can go up to the top of a house by means of a ladder, a bamboo or a flight of stairs, so are there various means for approaching the Eternal and each religion in the world shows only one of such means. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
901:Don't sit idle simply because your spiritual consciousness has been awakened a little. Go forward. Beyond the forest of sandalwood there are other and more valuable things-silver-mines, gold-mines, and so on. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
902:It is true that God is even in the tiger; but we must not therefore go and face that animal. It is true that God dwells even in the most wicked beings, but it is not proper that we should associate with them. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
903:Right discrimination is of two kinds analytical and synthetical. The first leads one from the phenomena to the Absolute Brahman, while by the second one knows how the Absolute Brahman appears as the universe. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
904:If you want to ask your Guru anything regarding your Sadhana, you must do so in private. I have seen in the case of Sri Ramakrishna how He would take each disciple alone and give him in private the special instructions necessary for him. ~ SWAMI BRAHMANANDA,
905:There are many scriptures like the Vedas. But one cannot realize God without austerity and spiritual discipline. But one should learn the contents of the scriptures and then act according to their injunctions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
906:I tell you that you should constantly live in the company of holy men. You know very well the suffering of the world. You suffer whenever you accept enjoyment. One finds peace of mind in the company of holy men. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
907:Everybody will surely be liberated. But one should follow the instructions of the Guru; if one follows a devious path, one will suffer in trying to retrace one's steps. It takes a long time to achieve Liberation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
908:God alone is the Substance, and all else is illusory. One should worship God with one's whole mind. All else is illusory. This moment the body is and the next moment it is not. One must make haste to worship God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
909:The magnetic needle always points to the north, and hence it is that sailing vessel does not lose her direction. So long as the heart of man is directed towards God, he cannot be lost in the ocean of worldliness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
910:When a man is intoxicated with ecstatic love of God, then who is his father or mother or wife? His love of God is so intense that he becomes mad with it. Then he has no duty to perform. He is free from all debts. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
911:One should know a little of everything. If a man starts a grocery-shop, he keeps all kinds of articles there, including a little lentil and tamarind. An expert musician knows how to play a little on all instruments. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
912:The truth is that you cannot attain God if you have even a trace of desire. Subtle is the way of dharma. If you are trying to thread a needle, you will not succeed if the thread has even a slight fiber sticking out. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
913:A man attains everything when he discovers his true Self in himself. The object of sādhanā is to realize that. That also is the purpose of assuming a human body. The body may be given up after the realization of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
914:If a man gathers his whole, mind and fixes it on Me, then, indeed, he achieves everything. "But what am I? It is all He. I am the machine and He is its Operator. It is God alone who exists in this [meaning his body]. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
915:Names and forms are nothing but the manifestations of the power of Prakriti. Whatever names and forms you see are nothing but the manifestations of the power of ChitŚakti. Everything is the power of ChitŚakti-even meditation and he who meditates. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
916:The angler, anxious to hook a big fish, waits calmly for hours together, having thrown the bait and the hook into water. Similarly the devotee who patiently goes on with his devotions is sure at last to find his God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
917:An egotistic person cannot realize God. Do you know what egotism is like? It is like a high mound, where rain-water cannot collect: the water runs off. Water collects in low land. There seeds sprout and grow into trees. Then the trees bear fruit. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
918:He, who is a devotee of God, must have an understanding, that cannot be shaken under any conditions. He must be like the anvil in a blacksmith's shop. It is constantly being struck by the hammer; still it is unshaken. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
919:I chant the name of Hari. How can I be a sinner? He who constantly repeats: 'I am a sinner! I am a wretch!' verily becomes a sinner. What lack of faith! A man chants the name of God so much, and still he talks of sin! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
920:The snake itself is not affected by the poison in its fangs ; but when it bites, the poison kills the creature bitten. Likewise Maya is in the Lord but does not affect Him, while the same Maya deludes the whole world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
921:Whatever you may do, you will find better and better things if only you go forward. You may feel a little ecstasy as the result of japa, but don't conclude from this that you have achieved everything in spiritual life. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
922:I must attain God in this very life; yea, in three days I must find Him; nay, with a single utterance of His name I will draw Him to me" - with such violent Love the devotee can attract the Lord and realize Him quickly. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
923:You should undoubtedly bow before all views. But there is a thing called unswerving devotion to one ideal. True, you should salute everyone. But you must love one ideal with your whole soul. That is unswerving devotion. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
924:Let me assure you that a man can realize his Inner Self through sincere prayer. But to the extent that he has the desire to 'enjoy worldly objects,his vision of the Self becomes obstructed. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
925:That Brahman, of the nature of Reality, is eternal. It exists in past, present, & future. It is without beginning or end. It cannot be described in words. The utmost that can be said of Brahman is that It is of the very nature of Intelligence & Bliss. ~ Sri Ramakrishna
926:God can be realized through all paths, it is like your coming to Dakshineswar by carriage, by boat, by steamer, or on foot. You have chosen the way according to your convenience and taste; but the destination is the same. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
927:One must pray to God without any selfish desire. But selfish worship, if practiced with perseverance, is gradually turned into selfless worship. Dhruva practiced tapasya to obtain his kingdom, but at last he realized God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
928:What is the use of making pilgrimages if you can attain love of God remaining where you are? Pilgrimage becomes futile if it does not enable you to attain love of God. Love of God is the one essential and necessary thing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
929:You are still under the control of the Divine Mother. You cannot escape Her. You are not free. You must do what She makes you do. A man attains Brahmajnana only when it is given to him by the Ādyāśakti, the Divine Mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
930:A man has certain debts to pay: his debts to the gods and rishis, and his debts to mother, father, and wife. He cannot achieve anything without paying the debt he owes to his parents. A man is indebted to his wife as well. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
931:One must renounce the ' I ' that makes one feel, ' I am so and so', ' I am a learned man, and so on. But the ' ego of Knowledge' does not injure one. Sankaracharya retained the ' ego of Knowledge' in order to teach mankind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
932:A man can reach God if he follows one path rightly. Then he can learn about all the other paths. A devotee can know everything when God's grace descends on him. If you but realize Him, you will be able to know all about Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
933:One cannot completely get rid of the six passions: lust, anger, greed, and the like. Therefore one should direct them to God. If you must have desire and greed, then you should desire love of God and be greedy to attain Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
934:What need is there of your counting the number of trees and branches in an orchard? You have come to the orchard to eat mangoes. Do that and be happy. The aim of human birth is to love God. Realize that love and be at peace. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
935:He who leads the life of a householder should devote fifteen parts of his mind to God; otherwise he will face ruin and fall into the clutches of Death. He should perform the duties of the world with only one part of his mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
936:If a person feels intoxicated with God's love, there is no father, no mother, and no wife for him. He may have so much love for the Lord that he may appear to be mad! Such a person has no duties. He is freed from all his debts. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
937:The best path for this age is bhaktiyoga, the path of bhakti prescribed by Nārada: to sing the name and glories of God and pray to Him with a longing heart, 'O God, give me knowledge, give me devotion, and reveal Thyself to me!' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
938:For the Kaliyuga the path of devotion described by Nārada is best. Where can people find time now to perform their duties according to the scriptural injunctions? I say that it will be enough for them to repeat the Gayatri alone. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
939:One cannot understand the meaning of the scriptures without practicing spiritual discipline. What is the use of merely repeating, 'There is butter in the milk'? Turn the milk into curd and churn it. Only then will you get butter. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
940:A man practices spiritual discipline, but his mind is on 'lust and greed'-it is turned toward enjoyment. Therefore, in his case, the spiritual discipline does not produce the right result. Such people cannot be true to their word. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
941:God is not only inside us; He is both inside and outside. The Divine Mother showed me in the Kāli temple that everything is Chinmaya, the Embodiment of Spirit; that it is She who has become all this. Everything is indeed Chinmaya. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
942:He whom you address as Brahman is none other than She whom I call Śakti, the Primal Energy. It is called Brahman in the Vedas when it transcends speech and thought and is without attributes and action. Mother is a very sweet name. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
943:Live in the world but keep the mind firmly on God. Do your different duties in the world, fixing your mind on God. But practice is necessary, and one should also be alert. Only in this way can one safeguard both―God and the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
944:May my actions, O Divine Mother, be fewer every day till I attain Thee. May I perform, without attachment to the results, only what action is absolutely necessary for me. May I have great love for Thee as I go on with my few duties. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
945:My advice to you is not to become attached to the world. Have a friendly relationship with one another. That will be for your good and make you all happy. Do your worldly duties with a part of your mind and direct most of it to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
946:Meditate upon the Knowledge and the Bliss Eternal, and you will have bliss. The Bliss is indeed eternal, only it is covered and obscured by ignorance. The less your attachment to the sense-objects, the more will be your love for God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
947:There are two signs of knowledge. First, an unshakable buddhi. No matter how many sorrows, afflictions, dangers, and obstacles one may be faced with, one's mind does not undergo any change. And second, manliness --- very strong grit. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
948:You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say that there are no stars in the heavens during the day? Because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
949:So long as one has not become-as simple as a child, one cannot expect the divine illumination. Forget all the knowledge of the world that you have acquired and become as ignorant as a child; then you shall attain to the divine wisdom. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
950:DEVOTEE: "What is the good of holy company?"

MASTER: "It begets yearning for God. It begets love of God. Nothing whatsoever is achieved in spiritual life without yearning. By constantly living in the company of holy men, the soul becomes restless for God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
951:All will surely realize God. All will be liberated. It may be that some get their meal in the morning, some at noon, and some in the evening; but none will go without food. All, without any exception, will certainly know their real Self. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
952:Bhakti is to keep the mind on God by chanting His name and glories ... Bhakti, love of God, is the essence of all spiritual discipline. Through love one acquires renunciation and discrimination naturally. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Ramakrishna,
953:The fact is that one must have the 'spiritual eye'. You will develop that eye as soon as your mind becomes pure. The pure mind acquires a new attitude. Through that mind one sees God in this world. Therefore one needs spiritual discipline. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
954:Numerous are the names of the Ineffable and infinite the forms which lead towards Him. Under whatever name or in whatever form you desire to enter into relation with him, it is in that form and under that name that you will see Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
955:When the water of the fetid pool and the glorious Ganges shall appear to thy eyes as one, when the Sound of the flute and the clamour of this crowd shall have no longer any difference to thy ear, then shalt thou attain to the divine Wisdom, ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
956:You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say that there are no stars in the heavens during the day? O man, because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
957:What is the nature of absolute reliance on God ? It is like that happy state of relaxation felt by a fatigued worker when, reclining on a pillow, he smokes at leisure after a day's hard work. It is the cessation of all anxieties and worries. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
958: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. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
959:God is infinite, and infinite are the ways to reach Him. The important thing is somehow to cultivate devotion to God and love for Him. What is the use of knowing many things? It is enough to cultivate love of God by following any of the paths. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
960:One develop divine love through restlessness- the restlessness a child feels for his mother. The child feels bewildered when he is separated from his mother, and weeps longingly for her. If a man can weep like that for God he can even see Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
961:The mind is like white linen just returned from the laundry. It takes on the colour you dip it in. First is the purification of the mind. Afterwards, if you direct the mind to the contemplation of God, it will be coloured by God-Consciousness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
962:One should perform such worship as the Śiva Puja. Once the mind has become mature, one doesn't have to continue formal worship for long. The mind then always remains united with God; meditation and contemplation become a constant habit of mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
963:The Vedantins say that the Atman is completely unattached. Sin or virtue, pain or pleasure, cannot affect it; but they can inflict sufferings on those who have attachment to the body. The smoke can soil the walls, but can do nothing to the sky. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
964:To him who is perfect in meditation salvation is near" is an old saying. Do you know when a man is perfect in meditation? When as soon as he sits to meditate, he is surrounded with the divine atmosphere and his soul communes with the Ineffable. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
965:Why don't you give your power of attorney to God? Rest all your responsibilities on Him. If you entrust an honest man with your responsibilities, will he misuse his power over you? God alone knows whether or not He will punish you for your sins. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
966:God's will is both in worldliness and freedom. It is He, who has kept you unconscious in worldly life. And again, at His will, when He calls you, you will be liberated. He will give you the company of sadhus, when he wants to grant you Liberation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
967:All doubts disappear when one sees God. It is one thing to hear of God, but quite a different thing to see Him. A man cannot have one hundred per cent conviction through mere hearing. But if he beholds God face to face, then he is wholly convinced. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
968:A man thinks of God, no doubt, but he has no faith in Him. Again and again he forgets God and becomes attached to the world. It is like giving the elephant a bath; afterwards he covers his body with mud and dirt again. 'The mind is a mad elephant.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
969:God can be seen. By practicing spiritual discipline one sees God, through His grace. The rishis directly realized the Self. One cannot know the truth about God through science. Science gives us information only about things perceived by the senses. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
970:You are no doubt in the world. What if you are? You must surrender the fruit of your action to God. You must not seek any result for yourself. But mark one thing. The desire for bhakti cannot be called a desire. You may desire bhakti and pray for it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
971:Stick to that ideal now. There is no need of tearing down and changing one's attitude. You will gradually come to realize that the consciousness in conscious beings is the Consciousness of God. He alone is Consciousness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
972:Devote yourself to spiritual practice and go forward. Through practice you will advance more and more in the path of God. At last you will come to know that God alone is real and all else is illusory, and that the goal of life is the attainment of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
973:HAZRA: "Does God listen to our prayer for bhakti?"

BHAGAVAN SRI RAMAKRISHNA: "Surely. I can assure you of that a hundred times. But the prayer must be genuine and earnest. Do worldly-minded people weep for God as they do for wife and children? Who feels that way for God?" ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
974:Sometimes God acts as the magnet and the devotee as the needle. God attracts the devotee to Himself. Sometimes the devotee acts as the magnet and God as the needle. Such is the attraction of the devotee that God comes to him, unable to resist his love. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
975:The thing is somehow to unite the mind with God. You must not forget Him, not even once. Your thought of Him should be like the flow of oil, without any interruption. If u worship with love even a brick or stone as God, then thro His grace u can see Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
976:The worldly man is a hypocrite. He cannot be guileless. He professes to love God, but he is attracted by worldly objects. He doesn't give God even a very small part of the love he feels for 'lust & greed'. But he says that he loves God. Give up hypocrisy ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
977:What is karmayoga? Its aim is to fix one's mind on God by means of work.If a person performs worship, japa, & other forms of devotion, surrendering the results to God, he may be said to practice karmayoga. Attainment of God alone is the aim of karmayoga. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
978:If a man repeats the name of God, his body, mind, and everything become pure. Why should one talk only about sin and hell, and such things? Say but once, 'O Lord, I have undoubtedly done wicked things, but I won't repeat them.' And have faith in His name. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
979:What will one gain by merely quoting or hearing the scriptures? One must assimilate them. The almanac makes a forecast of the rainfall for the year, but you won't get a drop by squeezing its pages. To understand these things one needs to live with holy men ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
980:Where there is knowledge there is also ignorance. Therefore I ask you to go beyond both knowledge & ignorance. The thorn of ignorance has pierced the sole of a man's foot. He needs the thorn of knowledge to take it out. Afterwards he throws away both thorns ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
981:You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say that there are no stars in the heavens during the day? Because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sayings of Ramakrishna,
982:'Lust and greed' is the cause of bondage. 'Lust and greed' alone constitutes samsara, the world. It is 'lust and greed' that keeps one from seeing God. No sooner is the covering of 'lust and greed' removed than one attains Chidananda, Consciousness and Bliss ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
983:The members of the Brahmo Samaj sing the name of Hari. That is very good. Through earnest prayer one receives the grace of God and realizes Him. God can be realized by means of all paths. The same God is invoked by different names. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Ramakrishna,
984:It matters not if you live the life of a house-holder, only you must fix your mind on God. Do your work with one hand, and hold the feet of the Lord with the other. When you have no work in the world to do, hold His feet fast to your heart with both your hands. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
985:Don't take too much trouble to save money. Those who surrender their hearts and souls to God, those who are devoted to Him and have taken refuge in Him, do not worry much about money. As they earn, so they spend. The money comes in one way and goes out the other ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
986:Remember that work is only the first step in spiritual life. God cannot be realized without sattva-love, discrimination, kindness, and so on. If a man is entangled in too many activities he surely forgets God. He becomes more and more attached to 'lust and gold' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
987:The Self is not attached to anything. Pleasure, pain, sinfulness, righteousness, etc., can never affect the Self in any way; but they can affect those who identify themselves with the body, as smoke can blacken only the wall but not the space enclosed within it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
988:Innumerable are the ways that lead to God. There are the paths of jnāna, of karma, and of bhakti. If you are sincere, you will attain God in the end, whichever path you follow. Roughly speaking, there are three kinds of yoga: jnanayoga, karma yoga, and bhaktiyoga ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
989:Krishna! Krishna! Krishna! Krishna Satchidananda! Nowadays I do not see Your form. Now I see You both inside me and outside. I see that it is You who have become the universe, all living beings, and everything else. You alone have become mind, intelligence, everything ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
990:A wife endowed with spiritual wisdom is a real partner in life. She greatly helps her husband to follow the religious path. Both of them are devotees of God-His servant and His handmaid. Their family is a spiritual family. They are always happy with God and His devotees ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
991:Pray to God with a longing heart. He will surely listen to your prayer if it is sincere. Perhaps He will direct you to holy men with whom you can keep company; and that will help you on your spiritual path. Perhaps someone will tell you, 'Do this and you will attain God.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
992:Better than reading is hearing, & better than hearing is seeing. One understands the scriptures better by hearing them from the lips of the Guru. Then one doesn't have to think about their non-essential part. But seeing is far better than hearing. Then all doubts disappear ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
993:The path of karma is extremely difficult. Therefore one should pray: 'O God, make my duties fewer and fewer; and may I, through Thy grace, do the few duties that Thou givest me without any attachment to their results! May I have no desire to be involved in many activities! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
994:You partake of the nature of him on whom you meditate. By worshipping Śiva you acquire the nature of Śiva. Jnāna is the characteristic of Śiva, and bhakti of Vishnu. One who partakes of Śiva's nature becomes a Jnāni, and one who partakes of Vishnu's nature becomes a bhakta ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
995:Better than reading is hearing, & better than hearing is seeing. One understands the scriptures better by hearing them from the lips of the Guru. Then one doesn't have to think about their non-essential part. But seeing is far better than hearing. Then all doubts disappear. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
996:This maya, that is to say, the ego, is like a cloud. The sun cannot be seen on account of a thin patch of cloud; when that disappears one sees the sun. If by the grace of the guru one's ego vanishes, then one sees God. The jiva is nothing but the embodiment of Satchidananda ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
997:Worship Siva. To perform the worship of God u will be preoccupied for a longtime with such religious duties as plucking flowers, making sandal-paste, polishing the utensils of worship, & arranging offerings. As u perform these duties ur mind will naturally be directed to God ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
998:One must have the true mettle of a man within, if one wishes to be successful in life. But there are many, who have no grit in them ― who are like popped rice soaked in milk, soft & cringing! No strength within! No sustained effort! No power of will! They are failures in life ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
999:There are three kinds of Ānanda, joy: the joy of worldly enjoyment, the joy of worship,& the Joy of Brahman. The joy of worldly enjoyment is the joy of 'lust & greed'. The joy of worship one enjoys while chanting the name & glories of God. The Joy of Brahman is the God-vision ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1000:There is nothing wrong in the life of the world. There is no harm in that. But always keep your mind, on God. Know for certain that house, family & property are not yours. They are God's. Your real home is in God.' pray always with a longing heart for love of God's Lotus Feet ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1001:To follow jnanayoga in this age is very difficult. First, a man's life depends entirely on food. Second, he has a short span of life. Third, he can by no means get rid of body-consciousness;& the Knowledge of Brahman is impossible without the destruction of body-consciousness ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1002:All scriptures-the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras-seek Him alone & no one else, only that one Satchidananda. That which is called Satchidananda Brahman in the Vedas is called Satchidananda Shiva in the Tantra. Again it is He alone who is called Satchidananda Krishna in Purana ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1003:If your mind is soaked in the pleasure of worldly things, in "lust & greed"then God-Consciousness will not be kindled in you. You may try a 1000 times, but your efforts will be futile. But no sooner does attachment to worldly pleasure dry up than the spark of God flashes forth ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1004:The longing of the worldly-minded for God is momentary, like a drop of water on a red-hot frying-pan. The water hisses & dries up in an instant. The attention of the worldly-minded is directed to the enjoyment of worldly pleasure. They do not feel yearning& restlessness for Go ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1005:There is nothing wrong in the life of the world. There is no harm in that. But always keep your mind, on God. Know for certain that house, family & property are not yours. They are God's. Your real home is in God.' pray always with a longing heart for love of God's Lotus Feet. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1006:He whom you address as Brahman is none other than She whom I call Śakti, the Primal Energy. It is called Brahman in the Vedas & is without attributes and action. I call it Śakti, Ādyāśakti, when I find it creating, preserving, and destroying the universe. Mother is a sweet name ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1007:Give up the ego that makes u feel, "I am the doer; I am teaching people." Give up the "wicked ego".' One doesn't have to renounce the ego that makes one feel, 'I am the servant of God; I am His devotee. 'One doesn't develop the 'divine ego' as long as one retains the 'wicked ego ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1008:However much you may try, without God's grace nothing can be attained; He cannot be realized without grace. But Divine grace descends not so easily. You shall have to banish your ego completely from the heart. If you have the egoistic feeling: I am the doer, you can never see Go ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1009:It is true that many things are recorded in the scriptures; but all these are useless without the realization & without devotion to His Lotus Feet. The almanac forecasts the rainfall of the year. But not a drop of water will you get by squeezing the almanac. No not even one drop ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1010:Just try to find out who this 'I' is. While you are searching for 'I', 'He' comes out. 'I am the machine & He is the Operator.' God alone is the Doer. Do your duties in the world as if you were the doer, but knowing all the time that God alone is the Doer & you are the instrumen ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1011:Live in the world like an ant. The world contains a mixture of truth & untruth, sugar & sand. Be an ant & take the sugar. The world is a mixture of milk & water, the bliss of God-Consciousness & the pleasure of sense-enjoyment. Be a swan & drink the milk, leaving the water aside ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1012:One cannot realize Truth by futile arguments and reasoning. I am asking you not to indulge in futile reasoning. But reason, by all means, about the Real and the unreal, about what is permanent and what is transitory. You must reason when you are overcome by lust, anger, or grief ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1013:Through thousands of years of chiseling & modelling, the lives of the great prophets of yore come down to us; & yet, in my opinion, not one stands so high in brilliance as that life which I saw with my own eyes, at whose feet I have learnt everything —the life of Sri Ramakrishna~ Swami Vivekananda,
1014:God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, [Gupta, Mahendranath],
1015:The ordinary man says in his ignorance "My religion is the sole religion, my religion is the best." But when his heart is illumined by the true knowledge, he knows that beyond all the battles of sects and of sectaries presides the one, indivisible, eternal and omniscient Benediction. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1016:Having attained to that unalterable calm which nothing can trouble one can afterwards meditate and form an assured judgment on the essence of things; when one has meditated and formed a sure judgment on the essence of things, afterwards one can attain to the desired state of perfection. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1017:You busy yourself with five different things, but I have one ideal only. I do not enjoy anything but God. This is what God has ordained for me. (Smiling) There are different trees in the forest, some shooting up with one trunk and others spreading out with five branches. (All smile.) ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1018:As for myself, I look upon all women as my Mother. This is a very pure attitude of mind. There is no risk or danger in it. To look upon a woman as one's sister is also not bad. But the other attitudes are very difficult and dangerous. It is almost impossible to keep to the purity of the ideal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1019:The devotee who has seen the One in only one of his aspects, knows Him in that aspect alone. But he who has seen Him in numerous aspects is alone in a position to say; "All these forms are those of the One and the One is multiform." He is without form and in form, and numberless are His forms which we do not know. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1020:A DEVOTEE: "Sir, how can one see God?"
MASTER: "Can you ever see God if you do not direct your whole mind toward Him? The Bhagavata speaks about Sukadeva. When he walked about he looked like a soldier with fixed bayonet. His gaze did not wander; it had only one goal and that was God. This is the meaning of yoga. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1021:A man develops a subtle power as a result of the strict observance of celibacy for twelve years. Then he can understand and grasp very subtle things which otherwise elude his intellect. Through that understanding the aspirant can have direct vision of God. That pure understanding alone enables him to realize Truth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1022:Only two kinds of people can attain "Self-Knowledge": those who are not encumbered at all with learning, that is to say, whose minds are not over-crowded with thoughts borrowed from others; and those who, after studying all the scriptures and sciences, have come to realize that they know nothing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna.,
1023:Truthfulness in speech is the tapasya of the Kaliyuga. It is difficult to practise other austerities in this cycle. By adhering to truth one attains God. Tulsidas said: 'Truthfulness, obedience to God, and the regarding of others' wives as one's mother, are the greatest virtues. If one does not realize God by practising them, then Tulsi is a liar.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1024:When will I have vision of God ?" asked an ardent disciple of the Master. The Master took him to the sea shore and held him completely immersed in water for a while. "How did that feel ?" asked the Master. 'I thought I would die without air to breathe' replied the disciple.

Such a quest of God would reveal Him immediately' is the answer of the Master. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1025:God has made different religions to suit different aspirants, times, and countries. All doctrines are only so many paths; but a path is by no means God himself. Indeed, one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with whole-hearted devotion...One may eat a cake with icing either straight or sidewise. It will taste sweet either way. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
1026:A DEVOTEE: "You say that your spiritual experiences are for others to refer to. Tell us what we should do."
MASTER: "If you want to realize God, then you must cultivate intense dispassion. You must renounce immediately what you feel to be standing in your way. You should not put it off till the future. 'Woman and gold' is the obstruction. The mind must be withdrawn from it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1027:Bhakti is the one essential thing. Who can ever know God through reasoning? I want love of God. What do I care about knowing His infinite glories? One bottle of wine makes me drunk. What do I care about knowing how many gallons there are in the grog-shop? One jar of water is enough to quench my thirst. I don't need to know the amount of water there is on earth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Ramakrishna,
1028:A man forgets God if he is entangled in the world of maya through a woman. It is the Mother of the Universe who has assumed the form of maya, the form of woman. One who knows this rightly does not feel like leading the life of maya in the world. But he who truly realizes that all women are manifestations of the Divine Mother may lead a spiritual life in the world. Without realizing God one cannot truly know what a woman is. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1029:Lila (pronounced Leela) is the play of creation. To awakened consciousness, the entire universe. With all its joys and sorrows, pleasures and pains, appears as a divine game, sport, or drama. It is a play in which the one Consciousness performs all the roles. Alluding to this lila of the Divine Mother the physical universe is a "mansion of mirth." ~ Sri Ramakrishna, in Selections from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (2005), p. 130
1030:MASTER: "I want you to remember this. You may impart thousands of instructions to people, but they will not bear fruit except in proper time. On going to bed, a child said to his mother, 'Mother, please wake me up when I feel the call of nature.' The mother said: 'Don't worry about it, my child. That call will wake you up itself.' (All laugh.) One feels yearning for God at the proper time. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
1031: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 and meditate on God. Furthermore, he should practice 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. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospels of Ramakrishna,
1032:MASTER (to Atul): "What is worrying you? Is it that you haven't that grit, that intense restlessness for God?"
ATUL: "How can we keep our minds on God?"
MASTER: "Abhyasayoga, the yoga of practice. You should practise calling on God every day. It is not possible to succeed in one day; through daily prayer you will come to long for God.
"How can you feel that restlessness if you are immersed in worldliness day and night?" ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1033:You partake of the nature of him on whom you meditate. By worshipping Siva you acquire the nature of Siva. A devotee of Rama meditated on Hanuman day and night. He used to think he had become Hanuman. In the end he was firmly convinced that he had even grown a little tail. Jnana is the characteristic of Siva, and bhakti of Vishnu. One who partakes of Siva's nature becomes a jnani, and one who partakes of Vishnu's nature becomes a bhakta. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1034:The Master came back to the drawing-room and said: "The worldly minded practise devotions, japa, and austerity only by fits and starts. But those who know nothing else but God repeat His name with every breath. Some always repeat mentally, 'Om Rāma'.

Even the followers of the path of knowledge repeat, 'Soham', 'I am He'. There are others whose tongues are always moving, repeating the name of God. One should remember and think of God constantly." ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishana,
1035:If a man but once tastes the joy of God, his desire to argue takes wing. The bee, realizing the joy of sipping honey, doesn't buzz about any more. What will vou achieve by quoting from books? The pundits recite verses and do nothing else.

What will you gain by merely repeating 'siddhi'? You will not be intoxicated even by gargling with a solution of siddhi. It must go into your stomach; not until then will you be intoxicated. One cannot comprehend what I am saying unless one prays to God in solitude, all by oneself, with a longing heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna?,
1036:There are some true and ardent aspirants who travel from place to place in search of this pass-word from a divine and perfect instructor which will open for them the doors of the eternal beatitude, and if in their earnest search one of them is so favoured as to meet such a master and receive from him the word so ardently desired which is capable of breaking all chains, he withdraws immediately from society to enter into the profound retreat of his own heart and dwells there till he has succeeded in conquering eternal peace. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1037:The rishis of old attained the Knowledge of Brahman. One cannot have this so long as there is the slightest trace of worldliness. How hard the rishis laboured ! Early in the morning they would go away from the hermitage, and would spend the whole day in solitude, meditating on Brahman. At night they would return to the hermitage and eat a little fruit or roots. They kept their mind aloof from the objects of sight, hearing, touch, and other things of a worldly nature. Only thus did they realize Brahman as their own inner conciousness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1038:But you must remember one thing. One cannot see God sporting as man unless one has had the vision of Him. Do you know the sign of one who has God-vision? Such a man acquires the nature of a child. Why a child? Because God is like a child. So he who sees God becomes like a child.

God-vision is necessary. Now the question is, how can one get it? Intense renunciation is the means. A man should have such intense yearning for God that he can say, 'O Father of the universe, am I outside Your universe? Won't You be kind to me, You wretch? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1039:The Master always encouraged us to practise spiritual disciplines. He would tell us: "Pray unceasingly. Be sincere. Don't show your spiritual disciplines to others. If the character is not good, what good will japam do? Young women should be very careful. Be pure. The trees suck water from the earth through their roots, unperceived. Likewise, some people show a religious nature outwardly but secretly enjoy lustful things. Don't be a hypocrite."

One time he said to me: "If you cannot remember God, think of me. That will do." ~ Sri Ramakrishna, [Post
1040:The thing is somehow to unite the mind with God. You must not forget Him, not even once. Your thought of Him should be like the flow of oil, without any interruption. If you worship with love even a brick or stone as God, then through His grace you can see Him.

"Remember what I have just said to you. One should perform such worship as the Śiva Puja. Once the mind has become mature, one doesn't have to continue formal worship for long. The mind then always remains united with God; meditation and contemplation become a constant habit of mind." ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Gospel of Ramakrishna,
1041:823. Should you think of God only at the time of meditation and remain forgetful of Him at all other times? Have you not noticed how during Durga Puja a lamp is kept constantly burning near the image? It should never be allowed to go out. If ever it is extinguished, the house-holder meets with some mishap. Similarly, after installing the Deity on the lotus of your heart, you must keep the lamp of remembering Him ever burning. While engaged in the affairs of the world, you should constantly turn your gaze inwards and see whether the lamp is burning or not. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna,
1042:When a man attains the Knowledge of Brahman he shows certain characteristics. The Bhagavata describes four of them: the state of a child, of an inert thing, of a madman, and of a ghoul. Sometimes the knower of Brahman acts like a five-year-old child. Sometimes he acts like a madman. Sometimes he remains like an inert thing. In this state he cannot work; he renounces all action. You may say that jnanis like Janaka were active. The truth is that people in olden times gave responsibility to their subordinate officers and thus freed themselves from worry. Further, at that time men possessed intense faith. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1043:What Brahman is cannot be described in words. Somebody once said that everything in the world has been made impure, like food that has touched the tongue, and that Brahman alone remains undefiled. The meaning is this: All scriptures and holy books — the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras, and so forth — may be said to have been defiled because their contents have been uttered by the tongues of men; but what Brahman is no tongue has yet been able to describe. Therefore Brahman is still undefiled. One cannot describe in words the joy of play and communion with Satchidananda. He alone knows, who has realized it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1044:There are three kinds of devotees: superior, mediocre, and inferior. The inferior devotee says, 'God is out there.' According to him God is different from His creation. The mediocre devotee says: 'God is the Antaryami, the Inner Guide. God dwells in everyone's heart.' The mediocre devotee sees God in the heart. But the superior devotee sees that God alone has become everything; He alone has become the twenty-four cosmic principles. He finds that everything, above and below, is filled with God.

Read the Gita, the Bhagavata, and the Vedanta, and you will understand all this. Is not God in His creation? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1045:But you must remember that nothing can be achieved except in its proper time. Some persons must pass through many experiences and perform many worldly duties before they can turn their attention to God; so they have to wait a long time. If an abscess is lanced before it is soft, the result is not good; the surgeon makes the opening when it is soft and has come to a head. Once a child said to its mother: 'Mother, I am going to sleep now. Please wake me up when I feel the call of nature.' 'My child,' said the mother, 'when it is time for that, you will wake up yourself. I shan't have to wake you.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
1046:A man will cherish the illusion that he is the doer as long as he has not seen God, as long as he has not touched the Philosopher's Stone. So long will he know the distinction between his good and bad actions. This awareness of distinction is due to God's maya; and it is necessary for the purpose of running His illusory world. But a man can realize God if he takes shelter under His vidyamaya and follows the path of righteousness. He who knows God and realizes Him is able to go beyond maya. He who firmly believes that God alone is the Doer and he himself a mere instrument is a jivanmukta, a free soul though living in a body. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1047:Alas! I find no customers who want anything better than kalai pulse. No one wants to give up 'woman and gold'. Man, deluded by the beauty of woman and the power of money, forgets God. But to one who has seen the beauty of God, even the position of Brahma, the Creator, seems insignificant.
A man said to Ravana, 'You have been going to Sita in different disguises; why don't you go to her in the form of Rama?' 'But', Ravana replied, 'when I meditate on Rama in my heart, the most beautiful women - celestial maidens like Rambha and Tilottama - appear no better than ashes of the funeral pyre. Then even the position of Brahma appears trivial to me, not to speak of the beauty of another man's wife.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1048:Lila is by no means the last word. Passing through all these states, I said to the Divine Mother: 'Mother, in these states there is separation. Give me a state where there is no separation.' Then I remained for some time absorbed in the Indivisible Satchidananda. I removed the pictures of the gods and goddesses from my room. I began to perceive God in all beings. Formal worship dropped away. You see that bel-tree. I used to go there to pluck its leaves. One day, as I plucked a leaf, a bit of the bark came off. I round the tree full of Consciousness. I felt grieved because I had hurt the tree. One day I tried to pluck some durva grass, but I found I couldn't do it very well. Then I forced myself to pluck it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1049:The other day I told you the meaning of bhakti. It is to adore God with body, mind, and words. 'With body' means to serve and worship God with one's hands, go to holy places with one's feet, hear the chanting of the name and glories of God with one's ears, and behold the divine image with one's eyes. 'With mind' means to contemplate and meditate on God constantly and to remember and think of His lila. 'With words' means to sing hymns to Him and chant His name and glories.
Devotion as described by Narada is suited to the Kaliyuga. It means to chant constantly the name and glories of God. Let those who have no leisure worship God at least morning and evening by whole-heartedly chanting His name and clapping their hands. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1050:God doesn't easily appear in the heart of a man who feels himself to be his own master. But God can be seen the moment His grace descends. He is the Sun of Knowledge. One single ray of His has illumined the world with the light of knowledge. That is how we are able to see one another and acquire varied knowledge. One can see God only if He turns His light toward His own face.

The police sergeant goes his rounds in the dark of night with a lantern in his hand. No one sees his face; but with the help of that light the sergeant sees everybody's face, and others, too, can see one another. If you want to see the sergeant, however, you must pray to him: 'Sir, please turn the light on your own face. Let me see you.' In the same way one must pray to God: 'O Lord, be gracious and turn the light of knowledge on Thyself, that I may see Thy face.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1051:A disciple asked his teacher, 'Sir, please tell me how I can see God.' Come with me,' said the guru, 'and I shall show you.' He took the disciple to a lake, and both of them got into the water. Suddenly the teacher pressed the disciple's head under the water. After a few moments he released him and the disciple raised his head and stood up. The guru asked him, 'How did you feel?' The disciple said, 'Oh! I thought I should die; I was panting for breath.' The teacher said, 'When you feel like that for God, then you will know you haven't long to wait for His vision.'

Let me tell you something. What will you gain by floating on the surface? Dive a little under the water. The gems lie deep under the water; so what is the good of throwing your arms and legs about on the surface? A real gem is heavy. It doesn't float; it sinks to the bottom. To get the real gem you must dive deep. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1052:Sri Ramakrishna has described the incident: "The Divine Mother revealed to me in the Kāli temple that it was She who had become everything. She showed me that everything was full of Consciousness. The image was Consciousness, the Altar was Consciousness, the water-vessels were Consciousness, the door-sill was Consciousness, the marble floor was Consciousness - all was Consciousness. I found everything inside the room soaked, as it were, in Bliss - the Bliss of God. I saw a wicked man in front of the Kāli temple; but in him also I saw the power of the Divine Mother vibrating. That was why I fed a cat with the food that was to be offered to the Divine Mother. I clearly perceived that all this was the Divine Mother - even the cat. The manager of the temple garden wrote to Mathur Bābu saying that I was feeding the cat with the offering intended for the Divine Mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
1053:A MARWARI DEVOTEE: "Sir, what is the way?"

Two ways of God-realization

MASTER: "There are two ways. One is the path of discrimination, the other is that of love. Discrimination means to know the distinction between the Real and the unreal.

God alone is the real and permanent Substance; all else is illusory and impermanent.

The magician alone is real; his magic is illusory. This is discrimination.

"Discrimination and renunciation. Discrimination means to know the distinction between the Real and the unreal. Renunciation means to have dispassion for the things of the world. One cannot acquire them all of a sudden. They must be practised every day.

One should renounce 'woman and gold' mentally at first. Then, by the will of God, one can renounce it both mentally and outwardly. It is impossible to ask the people of Calcutta to renounce all for the sake of God. One has to tell them to renounce mentally. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1054:Sails across the sea of life in the twinkling of an eye.' One attains the vision of God if Mahamaya steps aside from the door. Mahamaya's grace is necessary: hence the worship of Sakti. You see, God is near us, but it is not possible to know Him because Mahamaya stands between. Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita were walking along. Rama walked ahead, Sita in the middle, and Lakshmana last. Lakshmana was only two and a half cubits away from Rama, but he couldn't see Rama because Sita - Mahamaya - was in the way.
"While worshipping God, one should assume a definite attitude. I have three attitudes: the attitude of a child, the attitude or a maidservant, and the attitude of a friend. For a long time I regarded myself as a maidservant and a woman companion of God; at that time I used to wear skirts and ornaments, like a woman. The attitude of a child is very good.
"The attitude of a 'hero' is not good. Some people cherish it. They regard themselves as Purusha and woman as Prakriti; they want to propitiate woman through intercourse with her. But this method often causes disaster. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1055:
   An Informal Integral Canon: Selected books on Integral Science, Philosophy and the Integral Transformation
   Sri Aurobindo - The Life Divine
   Sri Aurobindo - The Synthesis of Yoga
   Pierre Teilhard de Chardin - The Phenomenon of Man
   Jean Gebser - The Ever-Present Origin
   Edward Haskell - Full Circle - The Moral Force of Unified Science
   Oliver L. Reiser - Cosmic Humanism and World Unity
   Christopher Hills - Nuclear Evolution: Discovery of the Rainbow Body
   The Mother - Mother's Agenda
   Erich Jantsch - The Self-Organizing Universe - Scientific and Human Implications of the Emerging Paradigm of Evolution
   T. R. Thulasiram - Arut Perum Jyothi and Deathless Body
   Kees Zoeteman - Gaiasophy
   Ken Wilber - Sex Ecology Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution
   Don Edward Beck - Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership, and Change
   Kundan Singh - The Evolution of Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo, Sri Ramakrishna, and Swami Vivekananda
   Sean Esbjorn-Hargens - Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World
   ~ M Alan Kazlev, Kheper,
1056:SHYAM: "What is the distinction between the gross body and the subtle body?"

MASTER: "The body consisting of the five gross elements is called the gross body. The subtle body is made up of the mind, the ego, the discriminating faculty, and the mind-stuff. There is also a causal body, by means of which one enjoys the Bliss of God and holds communion with Him. The Tantra calls it the Bhagavati Tanu, the Divine Body. Beyond all these is the Mahakarana, the Great Cause. That cannot be expressed by words.

"What is the use of merely listening to words? Do something! What will you achieve by merely repeating the word 'siddhi'? Will that intoxicate you? You will not be intoxicated even if you make a paste of siddhi and rub it all over your body. You must eat some of it. How can a man recognize yarns of different counts, such as number forty and number forty-one, unless he is in the trade? Those who trade in yarn do not find it at all difficult to describe a thread of a particular count. Therefore I say, practise a little spiritual discipline; then you will know all these — the gross, the subtle, the causal, and the Great Cause. While praying to God, ask only for love for His Lotus Feet." ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1057:During the stage of sadhana one should describe God by all His attributes. One day Hazra said to Narendra: 'God is Infinity. Infinite is His splendour. Do you think He will accept your offerings of sweets and bananas or listen to your music? This is a mistaken notion of yours.' Narendra at once sank ten fathoms. So I said to Hazra, 'You villain! Where will these youngsters be if you talk to them like that?' How can a man live if he gives up devotion? No doubt God has infinite splendour; yet He is under the control of His devotees. A rich man's gate-keeper comes to the parlour where his master is seated with his friends. He stands on one side of the room. In his hand he has something covered with a cloth. He is very hesitant. The master asks him, 'Well, gate-keeper, what have you in your hand?' Very hesitantly the servant takes out a custard-apple from under the cover, places it in front of his master, and says, 'Sir, it is my desire that you should eat this.' The Master is impressed by his servant's devotion. With great love he takes the fruit in his hand and says: 'Ah! This is a very nice custard-apple. Where did you pick it? You must have taken a great deal of trouble to get it.'

"God is under the control of His devotees. King Duryodhana was very attentive to Krishna and said to Him, 'Please have your meal here.' But the Lord went to Vidura's hut. He is very fond of His devotees. He ate Vidura's simple rice and greens as if they were celestial food. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
1058:Yet this was only a foretaste of the intense experiences to come. The first glimpse of the Divine Mother made him the more eager for Her uninterrupted vision. He wanted to see Her both in meditation and with eyes open. But the Mother began to play a teasing game of hide-and-seek with him, intensifying both his joy and his suffering. Weeping bitterly during the moments of separation from Her, he would pass into a trance and then find Her standing before him, smiling, talking, consoling, bidding him be of good cheer, and instructing him. During this period of spiritual practice he had many uncommon experiences. When he sat to meditate, he would hear strange clicking sounds in the joints of his legs, as if someone were locking them up, one after the other, to keep him motionless; and at the conclusion of his meditation he would again hear the same sounds, this time unlocking them and leaving him free to move about. He would see flashes like a swarm of fire-flies floating before his eyes, or a sea of deep mist around him, with luminous waves of molten silver. Again, from a sea of translucent mist he would behold the Mother rising, first Her feet, then Her waist, body, face, and head, finally Her whole person; he would feel Her breath and hear Her voice. Worshipping in the temple, sometimes he would become exalted, sometimes he would remain motionless as stone, sometimes he would almost collapse from excessive emotion. Many of his actions, contrary to all tradition, seemed sacrilegious to the people. He would take a flower and touch it to his own head, body, and feet, and then offer it to the Goddess. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Gospel,

*** WISDOM TROVE ***

1:Bhakti is the one essential thing. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
2:God is one, but His names are many. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
3:Great men have the nature of a child. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
4:If one has faith, one has everything. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
5:To be sure, God exists in all beings. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
6:As long as I live, so long do I learn. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
7:If you want to go east, don't go west. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
8:Do yourself what you wish others to do. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
9:The water of God's grace cannot collect ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
10:Man suffers through lack of faith in God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
11:Respect is heaven, respect is liberation. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
12:The unselfish love is of the highest kind; ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
13:on the high mound of egotism. It runs down. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
14:All troubles come to an end when the ego dies ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
15:Bondage and Liberation are of the mind alone. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
16:Forgiveness is the true nature of the ascetic. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
17:God has created the world in play, as it were. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
18:When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
19:Have love for everyone, no one is other than you. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
20:Infinite are the paths and infinite the opinions. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
21:no matter whether the beloved suffers weal or woe. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
22:Through selfless work, love of God grows in heart. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
23:The grace of God is a wind which is always blowing. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
24:Wisdom leads to unity, but ignorance to separation. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
25:Once a person has faith, he has achieved everything. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
26:Who, then is a devotee? He whose mind dwells on God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
27:Knowledge leads to unity, but ignorance to diversity. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
28:But when God is realised within, that is true knowledge. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
29:Why does God allow evil in the world? To thicken the plot. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
30:You should love everyone because God dwells in all beings. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
31:I have no disciple. I am the servant of the servant of Rama . ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
32:It is easy to talk on religion, but difficult to practice it. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
33:but has an eye towards his own happiness also. It is middling. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
34:But this is not possible as long as one has egotism and vanity. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
35:Different creeds are but different paths to reach the same God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
36:The world is impermanent. One should constantly remember death. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
37:Different creeds are but different paths to reach the same God.” ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
38:God cannot be realizxd if there is the slightest trace of pride. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
39:Unalloyed love of God is the essential thing. All else is unreal. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
40:One cannot be spiritual as long as one has shame, hatred, or fear. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
41:The waves belong to the water. Does the water belong to the waves? ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
42:The world is not impermanent if one lives there after knowing God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
43:Who is whose Guru? God alone is the guide and Guru of the universe. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
44:So long as God seems to be outside and far away, there is ignorance. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
45:So many religions, so many paths to reach the one and the same goal. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
46:Finish the few duties you have at hand, and then you will have peace. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
47:God is in all men, but all men are not in God; that is why we suffer. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
48:In mutual love the lover not only wants the happiness of his beloved; ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
49:It is the mind that makes one wise or ignorant, bound or emancipated. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
50:Pray to Him anyway you like, He can even hear the footfall of an ant. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
51:The goal of life is not the earning of money, but the service of God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
52:The supreme purpose and goal for human life... is to cultivate love. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
53:Finish the few duties you have at hand, and then you will have peace.” ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
54:The winds of grace are always blowing, but you have to raise the sail. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
55:A s the lamp does not burn without oil, so man cannot live without God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
56:One day, it was suddenly revealed to me that everything is pure spirit. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
57:The selfish love is the lowest. It only looks towards its own happiness, ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
58:To work without attachment is to work without the expectation of reward. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
59:The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need to do is set our sails. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
60:With sincerity and earnestness one can realize God through all religions. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
61:As for me, I consider myself as a speck of the dust of the devotee's feet. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
62:It is easy to talk on religion, but difficult to practice it.”14 likesLike ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
63:The breeze of grace is always blowing; set your sail to catch that breeze. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
64:The goal of life is not the earning of money, but the service of God.p.114 ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
65:Whoever wants God intensely, finds Him. Go and verify it in your own life. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
66:What is the use of merely listening to lectures? The real thing is practice. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
67:The winds of God's grace are always blowing, it is for us to raise our sails. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
68:Work, apart from devotion or love of God, is helpless and cannot stand alone. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
69:Live like a mud-fish: its skin is bright and shiny even though it lives in mud. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
70:Honour both spirit and form, the sentiment within as well as the symbol without. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
71:Unless one always speaks the truth, one cannot find God Who is the soul of truth. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
72:God is in all men, but all men are not in God; that is why we suffer.”31 likesLike ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
73:The Man who works for others, without any selfish motive, really does good to himself. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
74:As the snake is separate from its slough, even so is the Spirit separate from the body. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
75:If you must be mad, be it not for the things of the world. Be mad with the love of God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
76:One must be very particular about telling the truth. Through truth one can realize God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
77:The Man who works for others, without any selfish motive, really does good to himself.” ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
78:Try to cultivate love of God. You are born as a human being only to attain divine love. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
79:The tree laden with fruits always bends low. If you wish to be great, be lowly and meek. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
80:Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond.” ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
81:The lover only minds the welfare of the beloved and does not care for his own sufferings. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
82:Men bound hand and foot in the endless chain of cause & effect cannot free each other. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
83:The winds of God's grace are always blowing, it is for us to raise our sails.”27 likesLike ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
84:Why should you renounce everything? You are all right as you are, following the middle... ” ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
85:If a man prays to Thee with a yearning heart, he can reach Thee, through Thy grace, by any path. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
86:The fabled musk deer searches the world over for the source of the scent which comes from itself. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
87:A truly religious man should think that other religions also have many paths leading to the truth. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
88:G od, His scripture, and His devotee are all to be regarded as one, i.e. in one and the same light. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
89:If you must be mad, be it not for the things of the world. Be mad with the love of God.”26 likesLike ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
90:When the fruit appears the blossom drops off. Love of God is the fruit, and rituals are the blossom. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
91:Many good sayings are to be found in holy books, but merely reading them will not make one religious. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
92:The world is indeed a mixture of truth and make-believe. Discard the make-believe and take the truth. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
93:If diving once does not bring you pearls, you need not therefore conclude that the sea is without them. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
94:The breeze of grace is always blowing on you. You have to open the sails and your boat will move forward. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
95:God is everywhere but He is most manifest in man. So serve man as God. That is as good as worshipping God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
96:Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun. Longing is followed by the vision of God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
97:An ocean of bliss may rain down from the heavens, but if you hold up only a thimble, that is all you receive ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
98:Disease is the tax which the soul pays for the body, as the tenant pays house-rent for the use of the house. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
99:Dislodging a green nut from it's shell is almost impossible, but let it dry and the lightest tap will do it. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
100:Every being is Narayana. Man or animal, sage or knave, nay, the whole universe, is Narayana, the Supreme Spirit. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
101:Many good sayings are to be found in holy books, but merely reading them will not make one religious.”11 likesLike ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
102:That knowledge which purifies the mind and heart alone is true Knowledge, all else is only a negation of Knowledge. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
103:He who is called Krishna is also Siva and the Primal Sakti... He again, who is called Jesus and Allah. Truth is one. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
104:That knowledge which purifies the mind and heart alone is true Knowledge, all else is only a negation of Knowledge.” ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
105:The compassion that you see in the kindhearted is God's compassion. He has given it to them to protect the helpless. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
106:God is everywhere but He is most manifest in man. So serve man as God. That is as good as worshipping God.”19 likesLike ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
107:If there are errors in other religions, that is none of our business. God, to whom the world belongs, takes care of that. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
108:The world is impermanent. [All things change. Knowing this helps you see the end of any difficulty and thereby have hope.] ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
109:When the divine vision is attained, all appear equal; and there remains no distinction of good and bad, or of high and low. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
110:Let each man follow his own path. if he sincerely and ardently wishes to know God, peace be unto him! He will surely reach Him. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
111:He is born in vain, who having attained the human birth, so difficult to get, does not attempt to realize God in this very life. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
112:The vanities of all others may gradually die out, but the vanity of a saint regarding his sainthood is hard indeed to wear away. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
113:You should not feel that your path is the only right path and that other paths are wrong. You mustn't bear malice toward others. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
114:In the kingdom of God, reason, intellect and learning are of no avail. There the dumb speaks, the blind sees, and the deaf hears. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
115:God in the form of the saint, God in the form of the sinner, God in the form of the righteous, God in the form of the unrighteous. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
116:If you meditate on your ideal, you will acquire its nature. If you think of God day and night, you will acquire the nature of God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
117:T he Vedantist says, "I am He." Brahman is real and the world illusory. Even the "I" is illusory. Only the Supreme Brahman exists. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
118:I, and "mine" that is ignorance. By discriminating, you will realize that what you call "I" is really nothing but Atman [the Self]. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
119:God is formless, and is with form too, and He is that which transcends both form and formlessness. He alone can say what else He is. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
120:It's enough to have faith in one aspect of God. But never get into your head that your faith alone is true and every other is false. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
121:At a certain stage in the path of devotion, the devotee finds satisfaction in God with form, and at another stage, in God without it. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
122:Man needs a guru. But a man must have faith in the guru's words. He succeeds in spiritual life by looking on his guru as God Himself. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
123:Pray to God that your attachment to such transitory things as wealth, name, and creature comforts may become less and less every day. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
124:The ego is like the root of a banyan tree, you think you have removed it all then one fine morning you see a sprout flourishing again. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
125:S o long as God seems to be outside and far away, so long there is ignorance. But where God is realized within, that is true knowledge. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
126:As a piece of rope, when burnt, retains its form, but cannot serve to bind, so is the ego which is burnt by the fire of supreme Knowledge. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
127:By the mind one is bound; by the mind one is freed. ... He who asserts with strong conviction: "I am not bound, I am free," becomes free. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
128:A man is truly free, even here in this embodied state, if he knows that God is the true agent and he by himself is powerless to do anything. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
129:Bondage is of the mind; freedom too is of the mind. If you say &
130:All religions are true. God can be reached by different religions. Many rivers flow by many ways but they fall into the sea. They all are one. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
131:Sugar and sand may be mixed together, but the ant rejects the sand and goes off with the sugar grain; so pious men lift the good from the bad. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
132:A boat may stay in water, but water should not stay in boat. A spiritual aspirant may live in the world, but the world should not live within him. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
133:When one has love for God, one doesn't feel any physical attraction to wife, children, relatives and friends. One retains only compassion for them. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
134:If a white cloth is stained even with a small spot, the stain appears very ugly indeed. So the smallest fault of a holy man becomes painfully prominent. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
135:Bondage is of the mind; freedom too is of the mind. If you say &
136:Do not be small minded. Do not pray for gourds and pumpkins from God, when you should be asking for pure love and pure knowledge to dawn within every heart. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
137:B rahman is Shakti; Shakti is Brahman. They are not two. These are only two aspects, male and female, of the same Reality-Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
138:It is not lust alone that one should be afraid of in the life of the world. There is also anger. Anger arises when obstacles are placed in the way of desire. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
139:One cannot attain divine knowledge till one gets rid of pride. Water does not stay on the top of a mound; but into low land it flows in torrents from all sides. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
140:If you spent one-tenth of the time you devoted to distractions like chasing women or making money to spiritual practice, you would be enlightened in a few years. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
141:We laugh at the efforts of the musk deer to find the source of the scent which comes from itself and despair at our efforts to find the peace which is our essence. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
142:If you keep your heart immersed always in the depth of that holy love, your heart is sure to remain ever full to overflowing with the Divine fervour of sacred love. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
143:Travel in all the four quarters of the earth, you will find nothing (no true religion) anywhere. Whatever there is, is only here (i .e . in one &
144:Common men talk bagfuls of religion but do not practise even a grain of it. The wise man speaks a little, even though his whole life is religion expressed in action. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
145:When you meditate, go into the solitude of a forest, or a quiet corner, and enter into the chamber of your heart. And always keep your power of discrimination awake. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
146:You must know that there are different tastes. There are also different powers of digestion... different temperaments... differences in the capacity to comprehend. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
147:Common men talk bagfuls of religion but do not practise even a grain of it. The wise man speaks a little, even though his whole life is religion expressed in action.” ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
148:More are the names of God and infinite are the forms through which He may be approached. In whatever name and form you worship Him, through them you will realise Him. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
149:H ow can one attain yoga? By completely renouncing attachment to worldly things. The mind must be pure and without blemish, like the telegraph wire that has no defect. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
150:If you first fortify yourself with the true knowledge of the Universal Self, and then live in the midst of wealth and worldliness, surely they will in no way affect you. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
151:The fool who repeats again and again: "I am bound, I am bound," remains in bondage. He who repeats day and night: "I am a sinner, I am a sinner," becomes a sinner indeed. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
152:As a toy fruit or a toy elephant reminds one of the real fruit and the living animal, so do the images that are worshipped remind one of the God who is formless and eternal. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
153:Through selfless work, love of God grows in the heart. Then through his grace one realize him in course of time. God can be seen. One can talk to him as I am talking to you. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
154:Make your meditation a continuous state of mind. A great worship is going on all the time, so nothing should be neglected or excluded from your constant meditative awareness. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
155:A s fishes playing in a pond covered over with reeds and scum cannot be seen from outside, so God plays in the heart of a man invisibly, being screened by Maya from human view. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
156:The sun can give heat and light to the whole world, but he cannot do so when the clouds shut out his rays. Similarly as long as egotism veils the heart, God cannot shine upon it. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
157:To work without attachment is to work without the expectation of reward or fear of any punishment in this world or the next. Work so done is a means to the end, and God is the end. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
158:It is on account of the ego that one is not able to see God. In front of the door of God's mansion lies the stump of ego. One cannot enter the mansion without jumping over the stump. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
159:Those who wish to attain God and progress in religious devotion, should particularly guard themselves against the snares of lust and wealth. Otherwise they can never attain perfection. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
160:The way of love is as true as the way of knowledge. All paths ultimately lead to the same Truth. But as long as God keeps the feeling of ego in us, it is easier to follow the path of love. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
161:Live in the world like a waterfowl. The water clings to the bird, but the bird shakes it off. Live in the world like a mudfish. The fish lives in the mud, but its skin is always bright and shiny. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
162:The manifestation of the Divinity must be understood to be in greater degree in those who are honoured, respected, and obeyed by a large following, than in those who have gained no such influence. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
163:It is true that God is even in the tiger, but we must not go and face the animal. So it is true that God dwells even in the most wicked, but it is not meet that we should associate with the wicked. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
164:One man may read the Bhagavata by the light of a lamp, and another may commit a forgery by that very light; but the lamp is unaffected. The sun sheds its light on the wicked as well as on the virtuous. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
165:One man may read the Bhagavata by the light of a lamp, and another may commit a forgery by that very light; but the lamp is unaffected. The sun sheds its light on the wicked as well as on the virtuous.” ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
166:The physicians of one class feel the patients and go away, merely prescribing medicine. As they leave the room they simply ask the patient to take the medicine. They are the poorest class of physicians. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
167:As a boy holding to a post or a pillar whirls about it with headlong speed without any fear or falling, so perform your worldly duties, fixing your hold firmly upon God, and you will be free from danger. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
168:As the shell, the pith and the kernel of the fruit are all produced form one parent seed of the tree, so from the one Lord is produced the whole of creation, animate and inanimate, spiritual and material. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
169:Brahman is beyond mind and speech, beyond concentration and meditation, beyond the knower, the known and knowledge, beyond even the conception of the real and unreal. In short, It is beyond all relativity. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
170:N othing exists except the One. That One is the supreme Brahman. So long as He keeps the "I" in us, He reveals to us that -it is He who, as the Primal Energy, creates, preserves, and destroys the universe. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
171:Oh Mother, I don’t want name and fame; I don’t want the eight occult powers; Oh Mother, I have no desire for creature comforts; Please, Mother, Grant me the boon that I may have pure love For Thy lotus feet. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
172:Right discrimination is of two kinds analytical and synthetical. The first leads one from the phenomena to the Absolute Brahman, while by the second one knows how the Absolute Brahman appears as the universe. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
173:One should always maintain an attitude of respect towards other religions. Dispute not, as you rest firmly on your own faith and opinion, allow others also equal liberty to stand by their own faith and opinion. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
174:So long as one does not become simple like a child, one does not get divine illumination. Forget all the worldly knowledge that thou hast acquired and become as a child, and then will thou get the divine wisdom. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
175:If you desire to be pure, have firm faith, and slowly go on with your devotional practices without wasting your energy in useless scriptural discussions and arguments. Your little brain will otherwise be muddled. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
176:The magnetic needle always points to the north, and hence it is that sailing vessel does not lose her direction. So long as the heart of man is directed towards God, he cannot be lost in the ocean of worldliness. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
177:Every person I've known has had an effect on me, as have people whom I've not met in the physical in this life, but whom I've met inwardly, teachers from other eras - Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna and Lao Tse. ~ frederick-lenz, @wisdomtrove
178:The truth is that you cannot attain God if you have even a trace of desire. Subtle is the way of dharma. If you are trying to thread a needle, you will not succeed if the thread has even a slight fiber sticking out. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
179:The young bamboo can be easily bent, but the full grown bamboo breaks when it is bent with force. It is easy to bend the young heart towards God, but the untrained heart of the old escapes the hold whenever it is so drawn. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
180:One cannot completely get rid of the six passions: lust, anger, greed, and the like. Therefore one should direct them to God. If you must have desire and greed, then you should desire love of God and be greedy to attain Him. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
181:If you desire to be pure, have firm faith, and slowly go on with your devotional practices without wasting your energy in useless scriptural discussions and arguments. Your little brain will otherwise be muddled.”13 likesLike ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
182:Who may be called a paramahamsa? He who, like a swan, can take the milk from a mixture of milk and water, leaving aside the water. He who, like an ant, can take the sugar from a mixture of sugar and sand, leaving aside the sand. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
183:As the same sugar is made into various figures of birds and beasts, so one sweet Mother Divine is worshipped in various climes and ages under various names and forms. Different creeds are but different paths to reach the Almighty. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
184:God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
185:In a potter’s shop there are vessels of different shapes and forms&
186:Too much study of the scriptures does more harm than good. The important thing is to know the essence of the scriptures. After that, what is the need of books? One should learn the essence and then dive deep in order to realize God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
187:You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say that there are no stars in the heavens during the day? Because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
188:All will surely realize God. All will be liberated. It may be that some get their meal in the morning, some at noon, and some in the evening; but none will go without food. All, without any exception, will certainly know their real Self. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
189:Do you think these sannyasi children of Sri Ramakrishna are born to simply to sit under trees lighting dhuni-fires? Whenever any of them will take up some work, people will be astonished to see their energy. Learn from them how to work. ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove
190:One should not think, &
191:You will feel restless for God when your heart becomes pure and your mind free from attachment to the things of the world. Then alone will your prayer reach God. A telegraph wire cannot carry messages if it has a break or some other defect. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
192:How long do small girls play with their dolls? As long as they are not married and do not live with their husbands. After marriage they put the dolls away in a box. What further need is there of worshipping the image after the vision of God? ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
193:Meditate upon the Knowledge and Bliss Eternal , and you will also have bliss. The Bliss indeed is eternal, only it is covered and obscured by ignorance. The less your attachment is towards the senses, the more will be your love towards God . ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
194:You speak of doing good to the world. Is the world such a small thing? And who are you, pray, to do good to the world? First realise God, see Him by means of spiritual discipline. If He imparts power you can do good to others; otherwise not. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
195:Y ou speak of doing good to the world. Is the world such a small thing? And who are you, pray, to do good to the world? First realise God, see Him by means of spiritual discipline. If He imparts power you can do good to others; otherwise not. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
196:You speak of doing good to the world. Is the world such a small thing? And who are you, pray, to do good to the world? First realise God, see Him by means of spiritual discipline. If He imparts power you can do good to others; otherwise not.” ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
197:God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole.”13 likesLike ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
198:My son, there is no rest for me. That which Sri Ramakrishna called "Kali" took possession of my body and soul three or four days before his passing away. That makes me work and work and never lets me keep still or look to my personal comfort. ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove
199:As a boy begins to learn writing by drawing big scrawls, before he can master the small-hand, so we must learn concentration of the mind by fixing it first on forms; and when we have attained success therein, we can easily fix it upon the formless. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
200:The implication of the story is that Brahman and the Primal Energy at first appear to be two. But after attaining the knowledge of Brahman, one does not see the two. Then there is no differentiation; it is One, without a second, Advaita-non-duality. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
201:You see many stars at night in the sky, but find them not when the sun rises. Can you say that there are no stars, then, in the heaven of day? So, O man, because you behold not the Almighty in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
202:Spirituality automatically leads to humility. When a flower develops into a fruit, the petals drop off on its own. When one becomes spiritual, the ego vanishes gradually on its own. A tree laden with fruits always bends low. Humility is a sign of greatness. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
203:The waves belong to the Ganges, not the Ganges to the waves. A man cannot realize God unless he gets rid of all such egotistic ideas as "I am such an important man" or "I am so and so". Level the mound of "I" to the ground by dissolving it with tears of devotion. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
204:Do you know how a lover of God feels? His attitude is: "0 God, Thou art the Master, and I am Thy servant. Thou art the Mother, and I am Thy child." Or again: "Thou art my Father and Mother. Thou art the Whole, and I am a part." He doesn't like to say, "I am Brahman." ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
205:These people are like ... a frog living in a well, who has never seen the outside world. He knows only his well, so he will not believe that there is such a thing as the world. Likewise, people talk so much about the world because they have not known the joy of God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
206:Imagine a limitless expanse of water: above and below, before and behind, right and left, everywhere there is water. In that water is placed a jar filled with water. There is water inside the jar and water outside, but the jar is still there. The &
207:Those whose spiritual awareness has been awakened never make a false move. They don't have to avoid evil. They are so replete with love that whatever they do is a good action. They are fully conscious that they are not the doer of their actions, but only servants of God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
208:It is very pleasant to scratch an itching ring-worm, but the sensation one gets afterwards is very painful and intolerable. In the same way the pleasures of this world are very attractive in the beginning, but their consequences are terrible to contemplate and hard to endure. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
209:You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say that there are no stars in the heavens during the day? Because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God.”tags: inspirational, spiritual55 likesLike ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
210:Men are like pillow-cases. The colour of one may be red, that of another blue, and that of the third black; but all contain the same cotton within. So it is with man; one is beautiful, another is ugly, a third holy, and a fourth wicked; but the Divine Being dwells in them all. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
211:Sunlight is one and the same wherever it falls; but only a bright surface like that of water, or of a mirror reflects it fully. So is the light Divine. It falls equally and impartially on all hearts, but the pure and pious hearts of holy men receive and reflect that light well. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
212:With sincerity and earnestness one can realize God through all religions. The Vaishnavas will realize God, and so will the Saktas, the Vedantists, and the Brahmos. The Mussalmans and Christians will realize Him too. All will certainly realize God if they are earnest and sincere. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
213:If you feel proud, let it be in the thought that you are the servant of God, the son of God. Great men have the nature of a child. They are always a child before Him; so they are free from pride. All their strength is of God and not their own. It belongs to Him and comes from Him. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
214:Many people think they cannot have knowledge or understanding of God without reading books. But hearing is better than reading, and seeing is better than hearing. Hearing about Benares is different from reading about it; but seeing Benares is different from either hearing or reading. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
215:All religions- Hinduism, Islam, Christianity-and I have also followed the paths of the different Hindu sects. I have found that it is the same God toward whom all are directing their steps, though along different paths. You must try all beliefs and traverse all the different ways once. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
216:Brahman is the only Reality, ever pure, ever illumined, ever free, beyond the limits of time, space, and causation. Though apparently divided by names and forms through the inscrutable power of maya, that enchantress who makes the impossible possible, Brahman is really One and undivided. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
217:The ordinary man says in his ignorance, "My religion is the sole religion, my religion is the best." But when his heart is illuminated by the true knowledge, he knows that beyond all the battles of sects and of sectaries presides the one, indivisible, eternal and omnipresent Benediction. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
218:The jnani&
219:As for myself, I look upon all women as my Mother. This is a very pure attitude of mind. There is no risk or danger in it. To look upon a woman as one's sister is also not bad. But the other attitudes are very difficult and dangerous. It is almost impossible to keep to the purity of the ideal. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
220:Only two kinds of people can attain self-knowledge: those who are not encumbered at all with learning, that is to say, whose minds are not over-crowded with thoughts borrowed from others; and those who, after studying all the scriptures and sciences, have come to realise that they know nothing. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
221:Further, some say that God has form and is not formless. Thus they start quarelling, ... One can speak rightly of God only after one has seen Him. He who &
222:Work, my children, work with your whole heart and soul! That is the thing. Mind not the fruit of work. What if you go to hell working for others? That is worth more than to gain heaven by seeking your own salvation... Sri Ramakrishna came and gave his life for the world. I will also sacrifice my life. ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove
223:When an unbaked pot is broken, the potter can use the mud to make a new one; but when a baked one is broken, he cannot do the same any longer. So when a person dies in a state of ignorance, he is born again; but when he becomes well baked in the fire of true knowledge and dies a perfect man, he is not born again. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
224:A man develops a subtle power as a result of the strict observance of celibacy for twelve years. Then he can understand and grasp very subtle things which otherwise elude his intellect. Through that understanding the aspirant can have direct vision of God. That pure understanding alone enables him to realize Truth. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
225:G od is the Absolute and Eternal Brahman, as well as the Father of the Universe. The indivisible Brahman is like a vast shoreless ocean, without bounds and limits, in which I can only struggle and sink. But when I approach the always sportive personal Deity (Hari), I get peace, like the sinking man who nears the shore. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
226:It's enough to have faith in one aspect of God. You have faith in God without form. That is very good. But never get into your head that your faith alone is true and every other is false. Know for certain that God without form is real and that God with form is also real. Then hold fast to whichever faith appeals to you. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
227:A devotee who can call on God while living a householder's life is a hero indeed. God thinks: &
228:When the head of a goat is severed from its body, the trunk struggles for some time, still showing signs of life. Similarly, though ahamkara (egotism) is slain in the perfect man, yet enough of its vitality is left to make him carry on the functions of physical life; but it is not sufficient to bind him again into the world. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
229:T he path of knowledge leads to Truth, as does the path that combines knowledge and love [bhakti]. The path of love too leads to this goal. The way of love is as true as the way of knowledge. All paths ultimately lead to the same Truth. But as long as God keeps the feeling of ego in us, it is easier to follow the path of love. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
230:God has revealed to me that only the Paramatman, whom the Vedas describe as the Pure Soul, is as immutable as Mount Sumeru, unattached, and beyond pain and pleasure. There is much confusion in this world of His maya. One can by no means say that &
231:Kali is none other than He whom you call Brahman. Kali is the primal Shakti. When it is inactive, we call It Brahman. But when It has the function of creating, preserving or destroying, we call That Shakti or Kali. He whom you call Brahman, She whom I call Kali, are Do more different from each other than fire and its power of burning. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
232:God has made different religions to suit different aspirants, times, and countries. All doctrines are only so many paths; but a path is by no means God himself. Indeed, one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with whole-hearted devotion... One may eat a cake with icing either straight or sidewise. It will taste sweet either way.” ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
233:My name should not be made prominent. It is my ideas that I want to see realized. The disciples of all the prophets have always inextricably mixed up the ideas of the Master with person, and at last killed the ideas for the person. The disciples of Sri Ramakrishna must guard against doing the same thing. Work for the idea, not the person. ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove
234:As with one gold various ornaments are made, having different forms and names, so one God is worshipped in different countries and ages, and has different forms and names. Though He may be worshipped variously, some loving to call him Father, others Mother, etc, yet it is one God that is being worshipped in all these various relations and modes. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
235:I am what I am, and what I am is always due to him; whatever in me or in my words is good and true and eternal came to me from his mouth, his heart, his soul. Sri Ramakrishna is the spring of this phase of the earth's religious life, of its impulses and activities. If I can show the world one glimpse of my Master, I shall not have lived in vain. ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove
236:Knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or unconsciously, in whatever state we utter His name, we acquire the merit of such utterance. A man who voluntarily goes into a river and bathes therein gets the benefit of the bath; so does likewise he who has been pushed into the river by another, or who while sleeping soundly has water thrown upon him by another. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
237:As one and the same material, viz. water, is called by different names by different people&
238:Dwell, O mind, within yourself; Enter no other's home. If you but seek there, you will find All you are searching for. God, the true Philosopher's Stone, Who answers every prayer, Lies hidden deep within your heart, The richest gem of all. How many pearls and precious stones Are scattered all about The outer court that lies before The chamber of your heart! ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
239:M aya is nothing but the egotism of the embodied soul. This egotism has covered everything like a veil. All troubles come to an end when the ego dies. &
240:Sri Ramakrishna is far greater than the disciples understand him to be. He is the embodiment of infinite spiritual ideas capable of development in infinite ways... .One glance of his gracious eyes can create a hundred thousand Vivekanandas at this instant. If he chooses now, instead, to work through me, making me his instrument, I can only bow to his will. ~ swami-vivekananda, @wisdomtrove
241:A bath in Ganges undoubtedly absolves one of all sins; but what does that avail? They say that the sins perch on trees along the banks of the Ganges. No sooner does the man come back from the holy waters that the old sins jump on his shoulders from the trees. The same old sins take possession of him again. He is hardly out of the waters before they fall upon him. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
242:God reveals Himself to a devotee who feels drawn to Him by the combined force of these three attractions: the attraction of worldly possessions for the worldly man, the child's attraction for its mother, and the husband's attraction for the chaste wife. If one feels drawn to Him by the combined force of these three attractions, then through it one can attain Him. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
243:What Brahman is cannot be described. All things in the world — the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras, the six systems of philosophy — have been defiled, like food that has been touched by the tongue, for they have been read or uttered by the tongue. Only one thing has not been defiled in this way, and that is Brahman. No one has ever been able to say what Brahman is. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
244:W hat Brahman is cannot be described. All things in the world — the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras, the six systems of philosophy — have been defiled, like food that has been touched by the tongue, for they have been read or uttered by the tongue. Only one thing has not been defiled in this way, and that is Brahman. No one has ever been able to say what Brahman is. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
245:It is His will that we should run about a little. Then it is great fun. God has created the world in play, as it were. This is called Mahamaya, the Great Illusion. Therefore one must take refuge in the Divine Mother, the Cosmic Power Itself. It is She who has bound us with the shackles of illusion. The realization of God is possible only when those shackles are severed. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
246:I have now come to a stage of realization in which I see that God is walking in every human form and manifesting Himself alike through the sage and the sinner, the virtuous and the vicious. Therefore when I meet different people I say to myself, God in the form of the saint, God in the form of the sinner, God in the form of the righteous, God in the form of the unrighteous. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
247:The inferior devotee says, "God exists, but He is very far off, up there in heaven." The mediocre devotee says, "God exists is in all beings as life and consciousness." The superior devotee says, "it is God Himself who has become everything; whatever I see is only a form of God. it is He alone who has become maya, the universe, and all living beings. Nothing exists but God." ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
248:One can attain the Knowledge of Brahman too by following the path of bhakti. God is all-powerful. He may give His devotee Brahmajnana [the knowledge of Brahman] also if He so wills. But the devotee generally doesn't seek the Knowledge of the Absolute. He would rather have the consciousness that God is the Master and he the servant, or that God is the Divine Mother and he the child. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
249:A man does not have to suffer any more if God, in His grace, removes his doubts and reveals Himself to him. But this grace descends upon him only after he has prayed to God with intense yearning of heart and practiced spiritual discipline. The mother feels compassion for her child when she sees him running about breathlessly. She has been hiding herself; now she appears before the child. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
250:So long as the bee is outside the petals of the lily, and has not tasted the sweetness of its honey, it hovers around the flower emitting the buzzing sound; but when it is inside the flower, it noiselessly drinks the nectar. So long as a man quarrels and disputes about doctrines and dogmas, he has not tasted the nectar of true faith; when he has tasted it, he becomes quiet and full of peace. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
251:Even after attaining samadhi, some retain the "servant ego," or the "devotee ego." The bhakta keeps this "I-consciousness." He says, "0 God, Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant; Thou art the Lord and I am Thy devotee," He feels that way even after the realization of God. His "I" -is not completely effaced. Again, by constantly practicing this kind of consciousness," one ultimately attains God... ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
252:The phenomenal world belongs to that very Reality to which the Absolute belongs; again, the Absolute belongs to that very Reality to which the phenomenal world belongs. He who is realized as God has also become the universe and its living beings. One who knows the Truth knows that it is He alone who has become father and mother, child and neighbor, man and animal, good and bad, holy and unholy, and so forth. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
253:S ome people indulge in quarrels, saying, "One cannot attain anything unless one worships our Krishna," or "Nothing can be gained without the worship of Kali, our Divine Mother," or "One cannot be saved without accepting the Christian religion." This is pure dogmatism. The dogmatist says, "My religion alone is true, and the religions of others are false." This is a bad attitude. God can be reached by different paths." ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
254:Different people call on [God] by different names: some as Allah, some as God, and others as Krishna, Siva, and Brahman. It is like the water in a lake. Some drink it at one place and call it &
255:The sum and substance of the whole matter is that a man must love God, must be restless for Him. It doesn't matter whether you believe in God with form or God without form. You may or may not believe that God incarnates Himself as man. But you will realize Him if you have that yearning. Then He himself will let you know what He is like. If you must be mad, why should you be mad for the things of the world? If you must be mad, be mad for God alone. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
256:He is indeed a real man who has harmonized everything. Most people are one-sided. But I find that all opinions point to the One. All views-the Shakta, the Vaishnava, the Vedanta-have that One for their center. He who is formless is, again, endowed with form. It is He who appears in different forms. The attributeless Brahman is my Father. God with attributes is my Mother. Whom shall I blame? Whom shall I praise? The two sides of the scale are equally heavy. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
257:Little children play with dolls in the outer room just as they like, without any care of fear or restraint; but as soon as their mother comes in, they throw aside their dolls and run to her crying, "Mamma, mamma." You too, are now playing in this material world, infatuated with the dolls of wealth, honour, fame, etc., If however, you once see your Divine Mother, you will not afterwards find pleasure in all these. Throwing them all aside, you will run to her. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
258:The rishis of old attained the Knowledge of Brahman. One cannot have this so long as there is the slightest trace of worldliness. How hard the rishis laboured ! Early in the morning they would go away from the hermitage, and would spend the whole day in solitude, meditating on Brahman. At night they would return to the hermitage and eat a little fruit or roots. They kept their mind aloof from the objects of sight, hearing, touch, and other things of a worldly nature. Only thus did they realize Brahman as their own inner conciousness. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
259:When a seeker merges in the beatitude of samadbi, he does not perceive time and space or name and form, the offspring of maya. Whatever -is within the domain of maya is unreal. Give it up. Destroy the prison house of name and form arid rush out of it with the strength of a lion. Dive deep in search of the Self and realize It through samadhi, You will find the world of name and form vanishing into void, and the puny ego dissolving in Brahman-Consciousness. You will realize your identity with Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
260:A man sitting under the shade of the Kalpa-vriksha (wishing-tree) wished to be a king, and in an instant he was a king. The next moment he wished to have a charming damsel, and the damsel was instantly by his side. The man then thought within himself, if a tiger came and devoured him, and alas; in an instant he was in the jaws of a tiger! God is like that wishing-tree: whosoever in His presence thinks that he is destitute and poor, remains as such, but he who thinks and believes that the Lord fulfils all his wants, receives everything from Him. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
261:Take the case of the infinite ocean. There is no limit to its water. Suppose a pot is immersed in it: there is water both inside and outside the pot. The jnani sees that both inside and outside there is nothing but Paramatman. Then what is this pot? It is &
262:When I think of the Supreme Being as inactive neither creating nor preserving nor destroying-, I call Him Brahman or Purusha, the Impersonal God. When I think of Him as active-creating, preserving, destroying-, I call Him Shakti or Maya or Prakriti, the Personal God. But the distinction between them does not mean a difference. The Personal and the Impersonal are the same thing, like milk and its whiteness, the diamond and its lustre, the snake and its wriggling motion. Iit is impossible to conceive of the one without the other. The Divine Mother and Brahman are one. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove
263:God laughs on two occasions. He laughs when the physician says to the patient's mother, &
264:One cannot see God without purity of heart. Through attachment to "woman and gold" the mind has become stained -covered with dirt, as it were. A magnet cannot attract a needle if the needle is covered with mud. Wash away the mud and the magnet will draw it. Likewise, the dirt of the mind can be washed away with the tears of our eyes. This stain is removed if one sheds tears of repentence and says, "0 God, I shall never again do such a thing." Thereupon God, who is like the, magnet, draws to Himself the mind, which is like the needle. Then the devotee goes into samadhi and obtains the vision of God. ~ sri-ramakrishna, @wisdomtrove

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:Holy sandals used by ~ Sri Ramakrishna....,
2:Let's not go into the past. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
3:Now... We are going in a loop. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
4:There are three kinds of love; ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
5:Bhakti is the one essential thing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
6:As Long As I Live, So Long Do I Learn ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
7:Great men have the nature of a child. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
8:If one has faith, one has everything. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
9:Alone the sage can recognize the sage. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
10:As long as I live, so long do I learn. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
11:Great men have the nature of a child. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
12:If you want to go east, don't go west. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
13:Alone the sage can recognize the sage. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
14:Do yourself what you wish others to do. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
15:It is all He, only in different forms. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
16:The soul bound is man; free, it is God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
17:You would succeed if you were sincere. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
18:Do yourself what you wish others to do. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
19:The soul bound is man; free, it is God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
20:Man suffers through lack of faith in God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
21:Respect is heaven, respect is liberation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
22:Man suffers through lack of faith in God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
23:What you wish others to do, do yourselves. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
24:What you wish others to do, do yourselves. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
25:All troubles come to an end when the ego dies ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
26:Bondage and Liberation are of the mind alone. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
27:Forgiveness is the true nature of the ascetic. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
28:God has created the world in play, as it were. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
29:When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
30:Have love for everyone, no one is other than you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
31:Infinite are the paths and infinite the opinions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
32:Through selfless work, love of God grows in heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
33:When the flower blooms
The bees come uninvited. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
34:The grace of God is a wind which is always blowing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
35:Once a person has faith, he has achieved everything. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
36:Wisdom leads to unity, but ignorance to separation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
37:It is necessary to pray to Him, with a longing Heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
38:Knowledge leads to unity, but ignorance to diversity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
39:Once a person has faith, he has achieved everything. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
40:True knowledge leads to unity, ignorance to diversity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
41:He who has faith has all, and he who lacks it lacks all. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
42:Let not worldly thoughts and anxieties disturb the mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
43:The Avatars are to God what the waves are to the ocean. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
44:Cultivate love and devotion for God and so pass your days. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
45:Let not worldly thoughts and anxieties trouble your minds. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
46:Why does God allow evil in the world? To thicken the plot. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
47:You should love everyone because God dwells in all beings. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
48:Cultivate love and devotion for God and so pass your days. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
49:Verily, I say to thee; he who seeks the Eternal, finds Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
50:You have, no doubt, the power of His spark within yourself. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
51:Verily, I say to thee; he who seeks the Eternal, finds Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
52:I have no disciple. I am the servant of the servant of Rama . ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
53:It is easy to talk on religion, but difficult to practice it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
54:Man is divine so long as he is in communion with the Eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
55:The spirit and the form; sentiment within and symbol without. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
56:All the gods and goddesses are only varied aspects of the One. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
57:Man is divine so long as he is in communion with the Eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
58:All the gods and goddesses are only varied aspects of the One. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
59:Different creeds are but different paths to reach the same God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
60:The world is impermanent. One should constantly remember death. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
61:God cannot be realizxd if there is the slightest trace of pride. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
62:The world is impermanent. One should constantly remember death. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
63:Unless a man is simple, he cannot recognize God, the Simple One. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
64:Unalloyed love of God is the essential thing. All else is unreal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
65:One cannot be spiritual as long as one has shame, hatred, or fear. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
66:The waves belong to the water. Does the water belong to the waves? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
67:The world is not impermanent if one lives there after knowing God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
68:Weep for God and the tears will wash away the dirt from your mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
69:The world is not impermanent if one lives there after knowing God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
70:Weep for God, and the tears will wash away the dirt from your mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
71:Who is whose Guru? God alone is the guide and Guru of the universe. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
72:He whose heart longs after the Deity, has no time for anything else. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
73:So many religions, so many paths to reach the one and the same goal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
74:The supreme purpose and goal for human life... is to cultivate love. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
75:Weep for God, and the tears will wash away the dirt from your mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
76:Who is whose Guru? God alone is the guide and Guru of the universe. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
77:Finish the few duties you have at hand, and then you will have peace. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
78:God is in all men, but all men are not in God; that is why we suffer. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
79:It is the mind that makes one wise or ignorant, bound or emancipated. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
80:Pray to Him anyway you like, He can even hear the footfall of an ant. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
81:As a lamp does not burn without oil, so a man cannot live without God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
82:Finish the few duties you have at hand, and then you will have peace. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
83:The winds of grace are always blowing, but you have to raise the sail. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
84:One day, it was suddenly revealed to me that everything is pure spirit. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
85:To work without attachment is to work without the expectation of reward. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
86:There is no hope for a worldly man if he is not sincerely devoted to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
87:The winds of grace blow all the time. All we need to do is set our sails. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
88:With sincerity and earnestness one can realize God through all religions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
89:As for me, I consider myself as a speck of the dust of the devotee's feet. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
90:The breeze of grace is always blowing; set your sail to catch that breeze. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
91:The goal of life is not the earning of money, but the service of God.p.114 ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
92:Whoever wants God intensely, finds Him. Go and verify it in your own life. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
93:Whoever wants God intensely, finds Him. Go and verify it in your own life. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
94:Pray to Him anyway you like, He can even hear the footfall of an ant. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, [T5],
95:The greater his aspiration and concentration, the more he finds the Eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
96:Do all your duties, but keep your mind on God. Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,p.81 ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
97:He alone is the true teacher who is illumined by the light of true Knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
98:If you live one sixth of what is taught you, you will surely attain the goal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
99:The greater his aspiration and concentration, the more he finds the Eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
100:The winds of God's grace are always blowing, it is for us to raise our sails. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
101:What is the use of merely listening to lectures? The real thing is practice. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
102:Work, apart from devotion or love of God, is helpless and cannot stand alone. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
103:If you live one sixth of what is taught you, you will surely attain the goal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
104:Give up knowledge and reasoning. Take up bhakti instead. Bhakti is the essence. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
105:Live like a mud-fish: its skin is bright and shiny even though it lives in mud. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
106:Honour both spirit and form, the sentiment within as well as the symbol without. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
107:Who can be the Master of another? The Eternal alone is the guide and the Master. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
108:God is fond of His devotees. He runs after the devotee as the cow after the calf. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
109:The company of saints and sages is one of the chief agents of spiritual progress. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
110:Unless one always speaks the truth, one cannot find God Who is the soul of truth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
111:Unless one always speaks the truth, one cannot find God who is the soul of truth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
112:All this has been revealed to Me. I do not know much about what your books say.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
113:God is fond of His devotees. He runs after the devotee as the cow after the calf. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
114:God provides everything for a genuine devotee, even without his making any effort. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
115:The company of saints and sages is one of the chief agents of spiritual progress. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
116:He who meditates on God for many days has substance in him, has divine power in him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
117:If you practise meditation and prayer it will make me happy. I look on you as my own. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
118:Men bound hand and foot in the endless chain of cause & effect cannot free each other. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
119:The Man who works for others, without any selfish motive, really does good to himself. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
120:As the snake is separate from its slough, even so is the Spirit separate from the body. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
121:If a devotee prays to God with real longing, God cannot help revealing Himself to him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
122:If you must be mad, be it not for the things of the world. Be mad with the love of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
123:I will therefore make ready to render my thought an alien to the illusion of the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
124:One must be very particular about telling the truth. Through truth one can realise God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
125:One must be very particular about telling the truth. Through truth one can realize God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
126:Try to cultivate love of God. You are born as a human being only to attain divine love. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
127:Be indifferent to the praise and blame of men; consider it as if the croakings of frogs. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
128:Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
129:One must be very particular about telling the truth. Through truth one can realize God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
130:The tree laden with fruits always bends low. If you wish to be great, be lowly and meek. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
131:Why should you renounce everything? You are all right as you are, following the middle... ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
132:Do not listen if one criticises or blames thy Master, leave his presence that very moment. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
133:Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
134:One cannot have the vision of God as long as one has these three- shame, hatred, and fear. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
135:Show great devotion to your parents; but don't obey them if they stand in your way to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
136:The knowledge which purifies the intelligence is true knowledge. All the rest is ignorance. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
137:When the Sun of Knowledge rises, the ice melts; it becomes the same water it was before.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
138:The eternal Truth shall never be attained by him who is not entirely truthful in his speech. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
139:The knowledge which purifies the intelligence is true knowledge. All the rest is ignorance. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
140:One who thinks that his spiritual guide is merely a man, can draw no profit from his contact. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
141:One who thinks that his spiritual guide is merely a man, can draw no profit from his contact. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
142:The knowledge which leads one to the realization of God is real knowledge. All else is futile. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
143:Good and evil cannot bind him who has realised the oneness of nature and self with the Eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
144:The depth of the heart, the retired corner, and the forest are the three places for meditation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
145:If a man prays to Thee with a yearning heart, he can reach Thee, through Thy grace, by any path. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
146:One must show respect to the religious garb. Even the mere garb recalls to mind the real object. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
147:The depth of the heart, the retired corner, and the forest are the three places for meditation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
148:Intense cold freezes the water into ice, which floats on the ocean in blocks of various forms.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
149:The fabled musk deer searches the world over for the source of the scent which comes from itself. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
150:One should constantly repeat the name of God. The name of God is highly effective in the Kaliyuga. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
151:A truly religious man should think that other religions also have many paths leading to the truth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
152:One should constantly repeat the name of God. The name of God is highly effective in the Kaliyuga. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
153:Everyone is going toward God. They will all realize Him if they have sincerity and longing of heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
154:When the fruit appears the blossom drops off. Love of God is the fruit, and rituals are the blossom. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
155:Everyone is going toward God. They will all realize Him if they have sincerity and longing of heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
156:Many are the names of God and infinite the forms through which He may be approached.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna, [T5], #index,
157:Many good sayings are to be found in holy books, but merely reading them will not make one religious. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
158:One cannot realize God without sincerity and simplicity. God is far, far away from the crooked heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
159:The world is indeed a mixture of truth and make-believe. Discard the make-believe and take the truth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
160:At the beginning the aspirant should go into solitude now and then. Spiritual discipline is necessary. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
161:His name is conscious spirit, His abode is conscious spirit and He, the Lord, is all conscious spirit. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
162:His name is conscious spirit, His abode is conscious spirit and He, the Lord, is all conscious spirit. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
163:If diving once does not bring you pearls, you need not therefore conclude that the sea is without them. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
164:One has no fear of ‘lust and greed’ when one knows that ‘God is the only Reality and all else ephemeral. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
165:The man who lives in the bosom of the temptations of the world and attains perfection, is the true hero. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
166:All is Narayana, man or animal, the wise and the wicked, the whole world is Narayana, the Supreme Spirit. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
167:As the drowning man pants hard for breath, so must ones heart yearn for the Lord before one can find Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
168:The breeze of grace is always blowing on you. You have to open the sails and your boat will move forward. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
169:The Eternal is in every man, but all men are not in the Eternal; there lies the cause of their suffering. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
170:You must call on God with great yearning. You can hear from the lips of the Guru how God can be realized. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
171:God is everywhere but He is most manifest in man. So serve man as God. That is as good as worshipping God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
172:Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun. Longing is followed by the vision of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
173:The breeze of grace is always blowing on you. You have to open the sails and your boat will move forward. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
174:The Eternal is in every man, but all men are not in the Eternal; there lies the cause of their suffering. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
175:It is easy to meditate on an Incarnation --- God born as man. Yes, God in man. The body is a mere covering. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
176:An ocean of bliss may rain down from the heavens, but if you hold up only a thimble, that is all you receive ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
177:Disease is the tax which the soul pays for the body, as the tenant pays house-rent for the use of the house. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
178:Dislodging a green nut from it's shell is almost impossible, but let it dry and the lightest tap will do it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
179:God is seen when the mind is completely rid of attachment. Whatever rises in a pure mind is the voice of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
180:He whose thought is always fixed on the Eternal has no need of any devotional practice or spiritual exercise. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
181:All I want to tell you is this. Follow both; perform your duties in the world and also cultivate love of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
182:Many good sayings are to be found in holy books, but merely reading them will not make one religious.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna, [T5],
183:Following the path of devotion, one realizes everything through His grace--- both Knowledge and Supreme Wisdom. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
184:A man's spiritual gain depends on his ideas and sentiments; it is the product of his heart and not of his works. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
185:The Mother showed me that all this is verily maya. She alone is, real, and all else is the splendour of Her maya. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
186:Blessed you are indeed that you chant the name of Hari and sing the Divine Mother's glories. I like your attitude. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
187:God is Infinite. Infinite are the Forms in which He manifests Himself. Infinite also are the ways leading to Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
188:Avail yourself of your home-life to rise your spiritual condition before you take to the austerities of asceticism. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
189:Give God the power of attorney. Let Him do whatever He wants. Be like a kitten and cry to Him with a fervent heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
190:He who is called Krishna is also Siva and the Primal Sakti...He again, who is called Jesus and Allah. Truth is one. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
191:Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun. Longing is followed by the vision of God.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna, [T5],
192:That knowledge which purifies the mind and heart alone is true Knowledge, all else is only a negation of Knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
193:f you are keen on realising God, repeat His name' with firm faith, and try to discriminate the Real from the unreal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
194:That knowledge which purifies the mind and heart alone is true Knowledge, all else is only a negation of Knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
195:The compassion that you see in the kindhearted is God's compassion. He has given it to them to protect the helpless. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
196:If you are keen on realising God, repeat His name with firm faith, and try to discriminate the Real from the unreal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
197:Mix with all as if they were all one's own, but bear in mind that they do not belong to you. 'God alone is your own.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
198:The less you attached to the world, the more you love God.The nearer you approach to God, the more you feel His love. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
199:There are people who spout verses from the Scriptures and talk big, but in their conduct they are quite different.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
200:Once the seed of bhakti is sown, the effect is inevitable: it will gradually grow into a tree with flowers and fruits. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
201:Disease is the tax which the soul pays for the use of the body, as the tenant pays house-rent for the use of the house. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
202:Meditate on the Eternal either in an unknown nook or in the solitude of the forests or in the solitude of thy own mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
203:Surrender everything at His feet and give Him the general power of attorney. Let Him do what He considers best for you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
204:Take refuge in God. Meditate on Him. There is no use in giving up God and feeling depressed from thinking about others. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
205:When divine vision is attained, all appear equal; and there remains no distinction of good and bad, or of high and low. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
206:Meditate on the Eternal either in an unknown nook or in the solitude of the forests or in the solitude of thy own mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
207:Surrender everything at His feet and give Him the general power of attorney. Let Him do what He considers best for you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
208:If there are errors in other religions, that is none of our business. God, to whom the world belongs, takes care of that. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
209:There can be no fear, if the Guru's grace descends on one. He will let you know who you are and what your real nature is. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
210:To discern the eternal Reality and to detach oneself from the world are the two means of purification of the human heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
211:To fix the mind on God is very difficult, in the beginning, unless one practices meditation in solitude.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna, [T5], #index,
212:He who can resign himself to the will of the Almighty with simple faith and guileless love realises the Lord very quickly. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
213:Once the mind has been trained to fix itself on formed images, it can easily accustom itself to fix on formless realities. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
214:The world is impermanent. [All things change. Knowing this helps you see the end of any difficulty and thereby have hope.] ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
215:As long as one craves worldly enjoyment, one cannot renounce work. One has to perform work as long as one desires pleasure. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
216:Being born as a human being, it is essential to realize God. All worldly education is futile to cross the ocean of samsara. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
217:Once the mind has been trained to fix itself on formed images, it can easily accustom itself to fix on formless realities. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
218:The individual consciousness by the attempt to measure the Impersonal loses its individual egoism and becomes one with Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
219:When the divine vision is attained, all appear equal; and there remains no distinction of good and bad, or of high and low. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
220:As dawn announces the rising of the sun, so in a man disinterestedness, purity, rectitude forerun the coming of the Eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
221:God incarnates Himself as man and teaches people the path of devotion. He exhorts people to cultivate self-surrender to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
222:God's Incarnation as a man cannot be explained by analogy. One must feel it for oneself and realize it by direct perception. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
223:By repeating with grit and determination 'I am not bound I am Free' one really becomes so - one really becomes free.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna, [T5],
224:Can he rectify false weight whose own scales are uncertain? Can you enlighten your neighbor while you yourself have no light? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
225:If you have loving devotion – zealous love and devotion – God cannot remain unmoved. How great is God’s fondness for devotion! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
226:Pray to God in secret and with yearning, that you may have that passionate attachment and devotion to Him. Shed tears for Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
227:All other vanities can be gradually extinguished, but the vanity of the saint in his saintliness is difficult indeed to banish. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
228:The companionship of a holy man is greatly needed now and then. It enables one to discriminate between the Real and the unreal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
229:This liberation is attained by him alone who has understood the lesson of complete disinterestedness and forgetfulness of self. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
230:What is this divine intoxication? In this state a man forgets the world. He also forgets his own body, which is so dear to all. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
231:A devotee can know everything when God's grace descends on him. If you but realize Him , you will be able to know all about Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
232:He is born in vain, who having attained the human birth, so difficult to get, does not attempt to realize God in this very life. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
233:The vanities of all others may gradually die out, but the vanity of a saint regarding his sainthood is hard indeed to wear away. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
234:You should not feel that your path is the only right path and that other paths are wrong. You mustn't bear malice toward others. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
235:Perform all your worldly duties with your hands, never forgetting to repeat and glorify the name of the Lord with all your heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
236:Such are they who have not acquired self-knowledge, men who vaunt their science, are proud of their wisdom, vain of their riches. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
237:God alone is real. Make an effort to cultivate love for Him and find out the means to realize Him. What will you gain by grieving? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
238:God in the form of the saint, God in the form of the sinner, God in the form of the righteous, God in the form of the unrighteous. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
239:If you meditate on your ideal, you will acquire its nature. If you think of God day and night, you will acquire the nature of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
240:Increase your service to Him ( ~ Sri Ramakrishna) as well as your Japa and meditation, and read books about the Master. ~ Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi,
241:You can’t gain spiritual awareness by just reading books. You have to call upon Him. The Kundalini wakes up when you yearn for God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
242:It's enough to have faith in one aspect of God. But never get into your head that your faith alone is true and every other is false. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
243:At a certain stage in the path of devotion, the devotee finds satisfaction in God with form, and at another stage, in God without it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
244:If one has the grace of the Guru, there is no fear. The Guru will open your eyes and tell you who you are and what your real self is. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
245:Man needs a guru. But a man must have faith in the guru's words. He succeeds in spiritual life by looking on his guru as God Himself. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
246:One attains God through japa. By repeating the name of God secretly and in solitude one receives divine grace. Then comes His vision. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
247:Pray to God that your attachment to such transitory things as wealth, name, and creature comforts may become less and less every day. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
248:So long as the mentality is inconstant and inconsequent, it is worthless, though one have a good teacher and the company of holy men. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
249:That intelligence is the right one which helps one to realize God. And that intelligence is inferior which brings worldly prosperity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
250:When one is sincere, one can realize the Lord through whatsoever path one proceeds. God is Infinite; so are the paths leading to Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
251:If thy first endeavour to find the Eternal bears no fruit, lose not courage. Persevere and at last thou shalt obtain the divine grace. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
252:If you surrender to the Lord and call on Him with a heart full of yearning, He is bound to listen and take care of everything for you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
253:One attains God through japa. By repeating the name of God secretly and in solitude one receives divine grace. Then comes His vision. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
254:Pray to God with a yearning heart. Pray to Him for discrimination. 'God alone is real and all else illusory' - this is discrimination. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
255:The ego is like the root of a banyan tree, you think you have removed it all then one fine morning you see a sprout flourishing again. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
256:The Gita is the essence of all scriptures. A sannyasi may or may not keep with him another book, but he always carries a pocket Gita. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
257:A boat maybe in water but water should not be in the boat. An aspirant may live in the world, but the world should not live within him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
258:Bondage is of the mind; freedom too is of the mind. If you say 'I am a free soul. I am a son of God who can bind me' free you shall be. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
259:If you surrender to the Lord and call on Him with a heart full of yearning, He is bound to listen and take care of everything for you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
260:You veil your eyes and complain that you cannot see the Eternal. If you wish to see Him, tear from your eyes the veil of the illusion. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
261:Live in the world, but be not worldly. As the saying goes, make the frog dance before the snake, but let not the snake swallow the frog. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
262:Now pray to God – pray sincerely – only this prayer: “O Lord, I don’t want the glories of Your world-bewitching Maya, I want You alone!” ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
263:One may perform worship, repetition of the Name, sandhya and other ritual practices, but they yield nothing unless one has faith in God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
264:By the mind one is bound; by the mind one is freed. ... He who asserts with strong conviction: "I am not bound, I am free," becomes free. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
265:As a piece of rope, when burnt, retains its form, but cannot serve to bind, so is the ego which is burnt by the fire of supreme Knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
266:Add your tears to your yearning. And if you can renounce everything through discrimination and dispassion, then you will be able to see God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
267:A man is truly free, even here in this embodied state, if he knows that God is the true agent and he by himself is powerless to do anything. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
268:If you meditate on your ideal, you will acquire its nature. If you think of God day and night, you will acquire the nature of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, #index,
269:The idea of an individual ego is just like enclosing a portion of the water of the Ganges and calling the enclosed portion one's own Ganges. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
270:When you are engaged in devotional practices, keep aloof from those who scoff at them, and also from those who ridicule piety and the pious. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
271:A boat may stay in water, but water should not stay in the boat. An aspirant may live in the world, but the world should not live within him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
272:However much one may have studied books, it is all futile unless one has love and devotion for God, unless one has the desire to realize Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
273:The mind is like a needle covered with mud, and God is like a magnet. The needle cannot be united with the magnet unless it is free from mud. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
274:All religions are true. God can be reached by different religions. Many rivers flow by many ways but they fall into the sea. They all are one. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
275:However much one may have studied books, it is all futile unless one has love and devotion for God, unless one has the desire to realize Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
276:One likes nothing else after experiencing the bliss of God. When one becomes mad with love for God, he is not attracted by money and the rest. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
277:Sugar and sand may be mixed together, but the ant rejects the sand and goes off with the sugar grain; so pious men lift the good from the bad. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
278:With eyes covered with the film of Maya, you complain that you cannot see God. If you wish to see Him, remove the film of Maya from your eyes. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
279:Unless the soul is pure, it cannot have genuine love of God and single-minded devotion to the ideal. The mind wanders away to various objects. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
280:Just discernment is of two kinds. The first conducts us towards the phenomenon, while the second knows how the Absolute appears in the universe. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
281:"O Mother, I am without any sadhana, without Bhajan. O Mother,give me knowledge,give me devotion.O mother,may I have a mind fixed at your feet!" ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
282:One must pray to God without any selfish desire. But selfish worship, if practiced with perseverance, is gradually turned into selfless worship. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
283:So long as the mind is inconstant and inconsequent, it will avail nothing, even though one have a good instructor and the company of the saints. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
284:There are pearls in the depths of the ocean, but one must dare all the perils of the deep to have them. So is. it with the Eternal in the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
285:Trust Him ( ~ Sri Ramakrishna), and submit to His Will..... Even if misfortunes come, or you starve, never let it take you away from Him! ~ SWAMI TRIGUNATITANANDA,
286:You must reach God somehow or other. Call on Him in solitude and pray to Him, 'O Lord! reveal Thyself to me.' Weep for Him with a longing heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
287:A boat may stay in water, but water should not stay in boat. A spiritual aspirant may live in the world, but the world should not live within him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
288:Do all your duties, but keep your mind on God. If you enter the world without first cultivating love for God, you will be entangled more and more. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
289:As the cloud covers the sun, so Maya hides the Deity. When the cloud moves away, the sun is seen again; when Maya is removed, God becomes manifest. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
290:What offering should be made that we may attain to the Eternal? To find the Eternal thou must offer him thy body, thy mind and all thy possessions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
291:When one has love for God, one doesn't feel any physical attraction to wife, children, relatives and friends. One retains only compassion for them. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
292:What offering should be made that we may attain to the Eternal? To find the Eternal thou must offer him thy body, thy mind and all thy possessions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
293:Do your worldly duties but fix your mind on God. And know that house, family, and son do not belong to you; they are God's. You are only His servant. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
294:Live in holy company. Try to be pure. And everything will be achieved gradually. Pray to Sri Ramakrishna. I am with you. Why do you fear? ~ Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi,
295:O world-bound soul, perform all your worldly duties with your hands, never forgetting to repeat and glorify the name of the Lord with all your heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
296:That man whose hair stands on end at the mere mention of the name of God, and from whose eyes flow tears of love—he has indeed reached his last birth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
297:As soft clay easily takes an impression, but not hard stone, so also Divine wisdom impresses itself on the heart of a devotee, but not on a bound soul. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
298:It is not possible to acquire renunciation all at once. By constantly hearing about renunciation one's desire for worldly objects gradually wears away. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
299:When the soul attains to its divine estate, it can live in constant contact wtth innumerable unregenerated souls without being affected by the contact. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
300:A boat can be in the water, but the water ought not to be in the boat. So the aspirant may live in the world, but the world should find no place in him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
301:As is a man's feeling of love, so is his gain. ..... Verily, the Lord looks into a man's heart and does not judge him by what he does or where he lives. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
302:If a white cloth is stained even with a small spot, the stain appears very ugly indeed. So the smallest fault of a holy man becomes painfully prominent. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
303:A boat can be in the water, but the water ought not to be in the boat. So the aspirant may live in the world, but the world should find no place in him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
304:At a certain stage in the path of devotion the religious man finds satisfaction in the Divinity with a form, at another stage in the formless Impersonal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
305:One should perspire, dancing and singing the name of God, as people do earning money. It will be nice if you sing devotional songs that way now and then. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
306:There is a greater accumulation of divinity in man. Man is Narayana Himself. If God can manifest Himself through an image, then why not through man also? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
307:This is the one thing needful, the chanting of God's name. All else is unreal. Love and devotion alone are real, and other things are of no consequence. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
308:This is the one thing needful, the chanting of God's name. All else is unreal. Love and devotion alone are real, and other things are of no consequences. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
309:At a certain stage in the path of devotion the religious man finds satisfaction in the Divinity with a form, at another stage in the formless Impersonal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
310:Be greedy for God-realization. Fall in love with God’s beauty and say: “I am the servant of God. I am His son.” If you have to be proud, be proud of this. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
311:So long as man has not thrown from him the load of worldly desire which he carries about with him, he cannot be in tranquillity and at peace with himself. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
312:God, before He comes to the heart, sends servants to make it ready for His coming. And who are those servants? Purity, chastity, humility, loving-kindness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
313:He alone enters the Kingdom of Heaven who is not a thief of his own thoughts. In other words, guilelessness and simple faith are the roads to that Kingdom. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
314:The aim of life is the attainment of God. Work is only a preliminary step; it can never be the end. Even unselfish work is only a means; it is not the end. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
315:Do not be small minded. Do not pray for gourds and pumpkins from God, when you should be asking for pure love and pure knowledge to dawn within every heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
316:God, before He comes to the heart, sends servants to make it ready for His coming. And who are those servants? Purity, chastity, humility, loving-kindness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
317:Never mind. One can realize God in the world, too, if only one is sincere. 'I' and 'mine'-that is ignorance. But, 'O God! Thou and Thine'-that is knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
318:The knowledge of the Eternal and the love of the Eternal are in the end one and the same thing. There is no difference between pure knowledge and pure love. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
319:It is not lust alone that one should be afraid of in the life of the world. There is also anger. Anger arises when obstacles are placed in the way of desire. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
320:The knowledge of the Eternal and the love of the Eternal are in the end one and the same thing. There is no difference between pure knowledge and pure love. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
321:The virtuous cannot but take care for their body, the temple of the soul in which the Eternal, manifests Himself or which has been consecrated by His coming. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
322:Try to live in God and you will not suffer from misery. Living in God means that one offers one’s body and mind to Him. Have constant recollectedness of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
323:The aim of prayer, of spiritual discipline, of chanting the name and glories of God, is to realize that everything is God. For that alone a devotee loves God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
324:Travel in all the four quarters of the earth, you will find nothing (no true religion) anywhere. Whatever there is, is only here (i .e . in one 's own heart.) ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
325:Who can know God fully? It is not given to us, nor is it required of us, to know Him fully. It is enough if we can see Him - feel that He is the only reality. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
326:There is no danger of thorns, if one is wearing shoes. One has no fear of ‘lust and greed’ when one knows that ‘God is the only Reality and all else ephemeral. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
327:To control the mind the best and easiest method is to repeat constantly God's Name. Concentration is attained by fixing the attention on the sound of the Name. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
328:Discrimination and dispassion. Differentiating between the real and the unreal in this manner is discrimination. Dispassion means a distaste for worldly things. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
329:One cannot attain divine knowledge till one gets rid of pride. Water does not stay on the top of a mound; but into low land it flows in torrents from all sides. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
330:The One is attained when man arrives at ripeness in one of these three states of his spirit, “All is myself, All is thou,” “Thou art the Master, I the servant.” ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
331:To control the mind the best and easiest method is to repeat constantly God's Name. Concentration is attained by fixing the attention on the sound of the Name. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
332:If you spent one-tenth of the time you devoted to distractions like chasing women or making money to spiritual practice, you would be enlightened in a few years. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
333:Take the pearl and throw from you the shell; take the instruction which is given you by your Master and put out of your view the human weaknesses of the teacher. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
334:The perfect man, whose mind is thoroughly disciplined, has his eyes constantly directed towards God even when he is weighed down by the burden of worldly duties. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
335:He is in truth the man of piety who is dead even in his lifetime, that is to say, whose passions and desires have been destroyed and are like a body that is dead. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
336:If you spent one-tenth of the time you devoted to distractions like chasing women or making money to spiritual practice, you would be enlightened in a few years. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
337:Many are the names of God and infinite the forms through which He may be approached. In whatever name and form you worship Him, through that you will realise Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
338:We laugh at the efforts of the musk deer to find the source of the scent which comes from itself and despair at our efforts to find the peace which is our essence. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
339:You must know that there are different tastes. There are also different powers of digestion... different temperaments... differences in the capacity to comprehend. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
340:If a man but once tastes the joy of God, his desire to argue takes wing. What will you achieve by quoting from books? The pundits recite verses and do nothing else. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
341:If you keep your heart immersed always in the depth of that holy love, your heart is sure to remain ever full to overflowing with the Divine fervour of sacred love. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
342:Common men talk bagfuls of religion but do not practise even a grain of it. The wise man speaks a little, even though his whole life is religion expressed in action. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
343:How dare you talk of helping the world? God alone can do that. First you must be made free from all sense of self; then the Divine Mother will give you a task to do. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
344:When you meditate, go into the solitude of a forest, or a quiet corner, and enter into the chamber of your heart. And always keep your power of discrimination awake. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
345:You must be firm in one ideal. Dive deep. Otherwise you cannot get the gems at the bottom of the ocean. You cannot pick up the gems if you only float on the surface. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
346:Always keep your mind spotless. Don't allow impure thoughts to enter it. If you find such desires tormenting you, pray to God and chant His name. He will protect you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
347:He incarnates as a human being, as God-incarnate, and is accompanied by devotees [intimate companions]. This assuming of a human body is for the sake of the devotees. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
348:How dare you talk of helping the world? God alone can do that. First you must be made free from all sense of self; then the Divine Mother will give you a task to do. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
349:Many are the names of God and infinite are the forms through which He may be approached. In whatever name and form you worship Him, through them you will realise Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
350:More are the names of God and infinite are the forms through which He may be approached. In whatever name and form you worship Him, through them you will realise Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
351:So long as a man has a little knowledge, he goes everywhere reading and preaching; but when the perfect knowledge has been attained, one ceases from vain ostentation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
352:What is required is heart, intense hankering, sincere longing for God. When, to a person, life without God is unbearable, then alone God reveals Himself to that soul. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
353:Always keep your mind spotless. Don't allow impure thoughts to enter it. If you find such desires tormenting you, pray to God and chant His name. He will protect you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
354:GIRISH: "If a man is so strongly tied hand and foot, then what is his way?"
MASTER: "He has nothing to fear if God Himself, as the guru, cuts the chain of maya." ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
355:God’s will is both in worldliness and freedom. It is He, who has kept you unconscious in worldly life. And again, at His will, when He calls you, you will be liberated. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
356:Our Master (Sri Ramakrishna) is mother, father, friend, relative, acquaintance, nearest and dearest, and everything. Always think of the Master as your own. ~ Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi,
357:If you first fortify yourself with the true knowledge of the Universal Self, and then live in the midst of wealth and worldliness, surely they will in no way affect you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
358:In the scriptures you will find the way to realize God. But after getting all the information about the path, you must begin to work, Only then can you attain your goal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
359:So we should acquire the power of concentration by fixing the mind first on forms and when we have obtained in this a full success, we can easily fix it on the formless. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
360:As the water of the ocean is now calm and next agitated into waves, so are Brahman and Maya. The ocean in the tranquil state is Brahman, and in the turbulent state, Maya. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
361:It is God alone who makes people see things in different ways. Know that people have different natures. Realize this and mix with them as much as you can. And love all. . ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
362:The fool who repeats again and again: "I am bound, I am bound," remains in bondage. He who repeats day and night: "I am a sinner, I am a sinner," becomes a sinner indeed. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
363:What is bhaktiyoga? It is to keep the mind on God by chanting His name and glories. For the Kaliyuga the path of devotion is easiest. This is indeed the path for this age. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
364:If you first strengthen yourself with the true knowledge of the Universal Self, and then live in the midst of wealth and worldliness, surely they will in no way affect you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
365:In the beginning of spiritual life one goes by a roundabout way. One has to suffer a great deal. But the path becomes very easy when ecstatic love is awakened in the heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
366:It is true that one's spiritual feelings are awakened by looking at the picture of a sadhu. Therefore I tell you that you should constantly live in the company of holy men. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
367:Lay the burden of your mind before Sri Ramakrishna. Tell Him your sorrows with your tears. You will find that He will fill up your arms with the desired object. ~ Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi,
368:Then is the Eternal seen when the mind it at rest. When the sea of mind is tossed by the winds of desire, it cannot reflect the Eternal and all divine vision is impossible. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
369:As a bird of the waters, such as the pelican, can dive into the waves and his plumage is not wetted, the liberated soul lives in the world, but is not affected by the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
370:As a toy fruit or a toy elephant reminds one of the real fruit and the living animal, so do the images that are worshipped remind one of the God who is formless and eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
371:I ask people to renounce mentally. I do not ask them to give up the world. If one lives in the world unattached and seeks God with sincerity, then one is able to attain Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
372:The Eternal is seen when the mind is at rest. When the sea of the mind is troubled by the winds of desire, it cannot reflect the Eternal and all divine vision is impossible ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
373:The Eternal is seen when the mind is at rest. When the sea of the mind is troubled by the winds of desire, it cannot reflect the Eternal and all divine vision is impossible. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
374:Through selfless work, love of God grows in the heart. Then through his grace one realize him in course of time. God can be seen. One can talk to him as I am talking to you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
375:Abhyasayoga, the yoga of practice. You should practice calling on God every day. It is not possible to succeed in one day; through daily prayer you will come to long for God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
376:A truly religious man should think that other religions are also so many paths leading to the Truth. We should always maintain an attitude of respect towards other religions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
377:Call with Bhakti upon His Hallowed Name and the mountain of your sins shall disappear as a mountain of cotton-wool will vanish in an instant if it catches one spark of fire. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
378:Give up everything to the Lord, resign yourself to Him, and your troubles and sorrows will be at an end. Then you will come to know that everything is done by His will alone. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
379:Make your meditation a continuous state of mind. A great worship is going on all the time, so nothing should be neglected or excluded from your constant meditative awareness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
380:There is one thing you should remember. When a boy walks holding his father's hand, he may fall into the gutter; but what has he to fear if the father holds him by the hand? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
381:After realizing God, one rightly feels that God is our Father or Mother. As long as we have not realized God, we feel that we are far away from Him, children of someone else. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
382:He who from the depth of his soul seeks to know God will certainly realize Him. He must. He alone who is restless for God and seeks nothing but Him will certainly realize Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
383:Make your meditation a continuous state of mind. A great worship is going on all the time, so nothing should be neglected or excluded from your constant meditative awareness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
384:Ordinary men pronounce a sackful of discourses on religion, but do not put a grain into practice, while the sage speaks little, but his whole life is religion put in to action ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
385:Ordinary men pronounce a sackful of discourses on religion, but do not put a grain into practice, while the sage speaks little, but his whole life is religion put in to action ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
386:Be devoted to Sri Ramakrishna and take shelter at His feet. It is enough to remember that there is some one call him father or mother , who is always protecting you. ~ Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi,
387:I ask people to live in the world and at the same time fix their minds on God. I don't ask them to give up the world. I say, 'Fulfill your worldly duties and also think of God.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
388:Innumerable are the ways that lead to God. There are the paths of jnana, of karma, and of bhakti. If you are sincere, you will attain God in the end , whichever path you follow. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
389:Whoever thinks himself an imperfect and worldly soul, is really an imperfect and worldly soul; whoever deems himself divine, becomes divine. What a man thinks he is, he becomes. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
390:I say why do you harp on money? You talk so much of your wife and of name and fame. Give all these up and direct your mind to God with full concentration. Enjoy the bliss of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
391:The sun can give heat and light to the whole world, but he cannot do so when the clouds shut out his rays. Similarly as long as egotism veils the heart, God cannot shine upon it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
392:The holy company begets yearning for God. It begets love of God. There is another benefit from holy company. It helps one cultivate discrimination between the Real and the Unreal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
393:The sun can give heat and light to the whole world, but he cannot do so when the clouds shut out his rays. Similarly, as long as egotism veils the heart, God cannot shine upon it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
394:As wet wood, put on a furnace, loses its moisture gradually, so the moisture of worldliness dries away of itself from the man who has taken refuge in God and repeats His holy name. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
395:A truly religious man ought to think that the other religions are also paths leading towards the Reality. We should always maintain an attitude of respect towards other religions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
396:Call with Bhakti (Love) upon His Hallowed Name and the mountain of your sins shall disappear as a mountain of cotton-wool will vanish in an instant if it catches one spark of fire. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
397:God is the only Guru. My Divine Mother is the sole doer of actions, I am only an instrument in Her hands. I feel myself always to be Her child. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sayings of Ramakrishna Paramahasma,
398:Knowledge leads to unity, but ignorance to diversity. So long as God seems to be outside and far away, there is ignorance. But when God is realised within, that is true knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
399:To work without attachment is to work without the expectation of reward or fear of any punishment in this world or the next. Work so done is a means to the end, and God is the end. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
400:Wisdom leads to Unity, but Ignorance to Separation. So long as God seems to be outside and far away, there is ignorance. But when God is realized Within, that is True Knowledge.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
401:God with form and the formless God are both equally true. What do you say? One cannot keep one's mind on the formless God a long time. That is why God assumes form for His devotees. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
402:It is on account of the ego that one is not able to see God. In front of the door of God's mansion lies the stump of ego. One cannot enter the mansion without jumping over the stump. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
403:One acquires the nature of the ideal one meditates upon. By meditating on the Lord night and day, one attains His nature. A salt doll went to fathom the ocean; it became one with it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
404:The mind and intellect become pure the moment they are free from attachment to 'lust and greed'. The pure mind and pure intellect are one and the same. God is known by the pure mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
405:It is on account of the ego that one is not able to see God. In front of the door of God's mansion lies the stump of ego. One cannot enter the mansion without jumping over the stump. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
406:All the sacred Scriptures of the world have become corrupted, but the Ineffable or Absolute has never been corrupted, because no one has ever been able to express It in human speech. ~ Sri Ramakrishna?,
407:Sugar and sand may be mixed together, but the ant rejects the sand and carries away the grains of sugar. So the holy Paramahamsas and pious men successfully sift the good from the bad. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
408:Those who wish to attain God and progress in religious devotion, should particularly guard themselves against the snares of lust and wealth. Otherwise they can never attain perfection. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
409:Those who wish to attain God and progress in religious devotion, should particularly guard themselves against the snares of lust and wealth. Otherwise they can never attain perfection. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
410:Everything depends upon the will of the Lord. Effort is necessary for God-vision. You wish me to show you God while you sit quietly by, without making the least effort! How unreasonable! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
411:Only he who constantly thinks of God can know His real nature. He alone knows that God reveals Himself in different forms and different ways, that He has attributes and, again, has none. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
412:The anvil of the blacksmith remains unshaken under numberless blows of the hammer; so should a man endure with unshaken patience all the ordeals and persecutions which may come upon him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
413:Bow down and adore where others bend the knee; for where so great a number of men pay the tribute of their adoration, the Impersonal must needs manifest Himself, for He is all compassion. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
414:The way to realize God is through discrimination, renunciation, and yearning for Him. What kind of yearning? One should yearn for God as the cow, with yearning heart, runs after its calf. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
415:Bow down and adore where others bend the knee; for where so great a number of men pay the tribute of their adoration, the Impersonal must needs manifest Himself, for He is all compassion. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
416:Living in the world one is safe, if one has Viveka (discrimination of the Real from the unreal), and Vairagya (dispassion for worldly things), and along with these intense devotion to God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
417:That man is a true man whose mind dwells on God. He alone is a man whose spiritual consciousness has been awakened and who is firmly convinced that God alone is real and all else illusory. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
418:The way of love is as true as the way of knowledge. All paths ultimately lead to the same Truth. But as long as God keeps the feeling of ego in us, it is easier to follow the path of love. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
419:As the darkness of centuries is scattered when the light is brought into a chamber, so the accumulated faults of numberless births vanish before a single shaft of the light of the Almighty. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
420:Whosoever can cry to the All-Powerful with sincerity and an intense passion of the soul has no need of a Master. But so profound an aspiration is very rare; hence the necessity of a Master. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
421:As the darkness of centuries is scattered when the light is brought into a chamber, so the accumulated faults of numberless births vanish before a single shaft of the light of the Almighty. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
422:Do you meditate? Do you know what one feels in meditation? The mind becomes like a continuous flow of oil — it thinks of one object only, and that is God. It does not think of anything else. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
423:The feeling ' I am the doer ' is the outcome of ignorance . But the feeling that God does everything is due to knowledge. God alone is the Doer; all others are mere instruments in His hands. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
424:Whosoever can cry to the All-Powerful with sincerity and an intense passion of the soul has no need of a Master. But so profound an aspiration is very rare; hence the necessity of a Master. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
425:A man cannot comprehend spiritual things with his ordinary intelligence. To understand them he must live in the company of holy persons. You learn to feel the pulse by living with a physician ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
426:Do you meditate? Do you know what one feels in meditation? The mind becomes like a continuous flow of oil — it thinks of one object only, and that is God. It does not think of anything else. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
427:I don't know anything, Mother. I have taken refuge at Thy feet. I have sought protection in Thee. O Mother, I pray only that I may have pure love for Thy Lotus Feet, love that seeks no return. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
428:When by a constant practice a man is capable of effecting mental concentration, then wherever he may be, his mind will always lift itself above his surroundings and will repose in the Eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
429:You have had enough of lectures, arguments, quarrels,discussions, and dissensions. Can such things interest you any more? Now gather your whole mind and direct it to God. Plunge deep into God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
430:God always responds if one calls on Him intently with a simple, pure, sincere heart. He always protects His devotees from danger and difficulties. He is graciously affectionate to his devotees. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
431:When by a constant practice a man is capable of effecting mental concentration, then wherever he may be, his mind will always lift itself above his surroundings and will repose in the Eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
432:When the mind is freed from 'lust and greed', it can be directed to God and become absorbed in Him. It is the bound alone who can be freed. The moment the mind turns away from God, it is bound. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
433:In the Ineffable who is the indivisible and eternal bliss, are centred all pleasure and happiness. Those who enjoy him, can find no attraction in the facile and valueless pleasures of the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
434:Live in the world like a waterfowl. The water clings to the bird, but the bird shakes it off. Live in the world like a mudfish. The fish lives in the mud, but its skin is always bright and shiny. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
435:Those who wish to attain God or make progress in their devotional practices should particularly guard themselves against the snares of lust and wealth. Otherwise they can never attain perfection. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
436:God sports in the world as man. He incarnates Himself as man -- as in the case of Krishna, Rama, and Chaitanya. One needs spiritual practice in order to know God and recognize Divine Incarnations. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
437:God sports in the world as man. He incarnates Himself as man --- as in the case of Krishna, Rama, and Chaitanya. One needs spiritual practice in order to know God and recognize Divine Incarnations. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
438:In this age Work without devotion to God has no legs to stand upon. It is like a foundation on sand. First cultivate devotion. Work apart from devotion or love of God, is helpless and cannot stand. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
439:It is true that God is even in the tiger, but we must not go and face the animal. So it is true that God dwells even in the most wicked, but it is not meet that we should associate with the wicked. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
440:Love Him. Lord! Can one ever know You by performing yajna without loving You? Pray, cry, weep aloud to Him in a solitary corner so that you may gain such attraction for Him, such love for the Lord. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
441:The aspirant to the true knowledge, if he does not halt in his progress after acquiring certain extraordinary and supernatural powers, becomes in the end rich in the eternal knowledge of the truth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
442:One who during his contemplation is entirely inconscient of all external things to such a point that if birds made a nest in his hair he would not know it, has acquired the perfection of meditation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
443:Truth is one; only It is called by different names. All people are seeking the same Truth; the variance is due to climate, temperament, and name. There is only one Rāma and He has a thousand names. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
444:Both worldliness and liberation depend on God's will.It is God alone who has kept man in the world in a state of ignorance; and man will be free when God, of His own sweet will, calls him to Himself. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
445:He who seeks God with a longing heart can see Him, talk to Him as I am talking to you. Believe my words when I say that God can be seen. But ah! To whom am I saying these words? Who will believe me? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
446:One who during his contemplation is entirely inconscient of all external things to such a point that if birds made a nest in his hair he would not know it, has acquired the perfection of meditation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
447:The nearer you come to God, the less you are disposed to questioning and reasoning. When you actually attain Him, when you behold Him as the Reality, then all noise, all disputations, come to an end. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
448:There is no use in merely making a noise if you want to establish the Deity in the shrine of your heart, if you want to realize God, First of all purify the mind. In the pure heart God takes His seat. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
449:Live in this world like a mudfish. There is nothing wrong in staying at home. The mudfish lives in the mud but is not soiled by it. Similarly, live in this world but never be contaminated by its evils. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
450:One man may read the Bhagavata by the light of a lamp, and another may commit a forgery by that very light; but the lamp is unaffected. The sun sheds its light on the wicked as well as on the virtuous. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
451:SADHAKA: "Sir, what is the way?"MASTER: "Faith in the guru's words. One attains God by following the guru's instructions step by step. It is like reaching an object by following the trail of a thread." ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
452:Whether you accept Radha and Krishna, or not, please do accept their attraction for each other. Try to create that same yearning in your heart for God. Yearning is all you need in order to realize Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
453:The physicians of one class feel the patients and go away, merely prescribing medicine. As they leave the room they simply ask the patient to take the medicine. They are the poorest class of physicians. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
454:As a boy holding to a post or a pillar whirls about it with headlong speed without any fear or falling, so perform your worldly duties, fixing your hold firmly upon God, and you will be free from danger. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
455:How long does godliness remain in man? Iron is red so long as it is in the fire, but it becomes black the moment it is removed from fire. So man is imbued with God so long as he is in communion with Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
456:If a householder is a genuine devotee, he performs his duties without attachment; he surrenders the fruit of his work to God - his gain or loss, his pleasure or pain. Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (Abridged) ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
457:As the shell, the pith and the kernel of the fruit are all produced form one parent seed of the tree, so from the one Lord is produced the whole of creation, animate and inanimate, spiritual and material. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
458:Bhakti is to keep the mind on God by chanting His name and glories.... Bhakti, love of God, is the essence of all spiritual discipline. Through love one acquires renunciation and discrimination naturally. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
459:How shall we conquer the old man in us? When the flower becomes a fruit, the petals fall of themselves; so when the divinity increases in us, all the weaknesses of human nature vanish of their own accord. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
460:Brahman is beyond mind and speech, beyond concentration and meditation, beyond the knower, the known and knowledge, beyond even the conception of the real and unreal. In short, It is beyond all relativity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
461:Do you know my attitude? Books, scriptures, and things like that only point out the way to reach God. After finding the way, what more need is there of books and scriptures? Then comes the time for action. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
462:Many are the names of God and infinite are the forms through which He may be approached. In whatever name and form you worship Him, through them you will realise Him.
   ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sayings of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa,
463:Do you know my attitude? Books, scriptures, and things like that only point out the way to reach God. After finding the way, what more need is there of books and scriptures? Then comes the time for action. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
464:It will be very good if you can practice unselfish love for God. A man who has such love says: 'O Lord, I do not seek salvation, fame, wealth, or cure of disease. None of these do I seek. I want only Thee.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
465:EgoIf I hold a cloth before me, you cannot see me any more, though I am still as near you as ever. So also though God is nearer to you than anything else, because of the screen of Egotism you cannot see Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
466:O Mother, I pray only that I may have pure love for Thy Lotus Feet, love that seeks no return. And Mother, do not delude me with Thy world-bewitching maya. I seek Thy protection. I have taken refuge in Thee. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
467:The Mother has revealed everything to me. She reveals everything if the devotee cries to Her with a yearning heart. She has shown me everything that is in the Vedas, the Vedanta, the Puranas, and the Tantra. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
468:It is true that God is even in the tiger; but we must not therefore go and face that animal. It is true that God dwells even in the most wicked beings, but it is not proper that we should associate with them. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
469:Right discrimination is of two kinds analytical and synthetical. The first leads one from the phenomena to the Absolute Brahman, while by the second one knows how the Absolute Brahman appears as the universe. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
470:As one can go up to the top of a house by means of a ladder, a bamboo or a flight of stairs, so are there various means for approaching the Eternal and each religion in the world shows only one of such means. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
471:He who is Brahman is none other than Sakti; He who is Purusha has verily become Prakriti. Water is water whether it moves or is still. A snake is a snake whether it wriggles along or stays still and coiled up. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
472:Right discrimination is of two kinds analytical and synthetical. The first leads one from the phenomena to the Absolute Brahman, while by the second one knows how the Absolute Brahman appears as the universe. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
473:Devotee: “What is the good of holy company?” ~ Sri Ramakrishna: It begets yearning for God. It begets love of God. There is another benefit from holy company. It helps one cultivate discrimination between the Real and the Unreal,
474:Everybody will surely be liberated. But one should follow the instructions of the guru; if one follows a devious path, one will suffer in trying to retrace one's steps. It takes long time to achieve liberation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
475:It is useless to grow pale ever the holy Scriptures end the sacred Shastras without a spirit of discrimination exempt from all passions. No spiritual progress can be made without discrimination and renunciation ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
476:Blessed indeed is the householder who performs his duties in the world, at the same time cherishing love for the Lotus Feet of God. He is indeed a hero. One cannot lead such a life without great spiritual power. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
477:So long as one does not become simple like a child, one does not get divine illumination. Forget all the worldly knowledge that thou hast acquired and become as a child, and then will thou get the divine wisdom. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
478:When a man becomes pure and perfect, the sweet influence of his character spreads everywhere, and all who seek the Truth are naturally drawn towards him. He need not go in search of an audience to listen to him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
479:If you desire to be pure, have firm faith, and slowly go on with your devotional practices without wasting your energy in useless scriptural discussions and arguments. Your little brain will otherwise be muddled. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
480:The magnetic needle always points to the north, and hence it is that sailing vessel does not lose her direction. So long as the heart of man is directed towards God, he cannot be lost in the ocean of worldliness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
481:The nearer you approach to God, the less you reason and argue. When you attain Him, then all sounds—all reasoning and disputing—come to an end. Then you go into samadhi—sleep—, into communion with God in silence. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
482:If the devotee practices spiritual discipline a little, the Guru explains everything to him. Then the disciple understands for himself what is real and what is unreal. God alone is real, and the world is illusory. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
483:It is easy to meditate on an Incarnation --- God born as man. Yes, God in man. The body is a mere covering. It is like a lantern with a light burning inside, or like a glass case in which one sees precious things. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
484:The magnetic needle always points to the north, and hence it is that sailing vessel does not lose her direction. So long as the heart of man is directed towards God, he cannot be lost in the ocean of worldliness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
485:Hollow people have no faith. They are always in doubt. As long as you have not realized the Self, doubt doesn’t leave you.Pure love for God is devotion without any desires. You attain Him quickly through this love. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
486:I say to you, dive into the Ocean of Satchidananda. Nothing will ever worry you if you but realize God. There are innumerable pathways leading to the Ocean of Immortality. The essential thing is to reach the Ocean. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
487:Every person I've known has had an effect on me, as have people whom I've not met in the physical in this life, but whom I've met inwardly, teachers from other eras - Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna and Lao Tse. ~ Frederick Lenz,
488:The truth is that you cannot attain God if you have even a trace of desire. Subtle is the way of dharma. If you are trying to thread a needle, you will not succeed if the thread has even a slight fiber sticking out. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
489:One must not cherish any desire whatever. The devotion of a man who has any desire is selfish. But desire less devotion is love for its own sake. You may love me or not, but I love you: this is love for its own sake. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
490:One should know a little of everything. If a man starts a grocery-shop, he keeps all kinds of articles there, including a little lentil and tamarind. An expert musician knows how to play a little on all instruments. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
491:The angler, anxious to hook a big fish, waits calmly for hours together, having thrown the bait and the hook into water. Similarly the devotee who patiently goes on with his devotions is sure at last to find his God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
492:The truth is that you cannot attain God if you have even a trace of desire. Subtle is the way of dharma. If you are trying to thread a needle, you will not succeed if the thread has even a slight fiber sticking out. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
493:He, who is a devotee of God, must have an understanding, that cannot be shaken under any conditions. He must be like the anvil in a blacksmith's shop. It is constantly being struck by the hammer; still it is unshaken. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
494:The path of bhakti, or zealous love of God. Weep for God in solitude, with a restless soul, and ask Him to reveal Himself to you.Cry to your Mother Syama with a real cry, O mind!And how can She hold Herself from you?" ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
495:The snake itself is not affected by the poison in its fangs ; but when it bites, the poison kills the creature bitten. Likewise Maya is in the Lord but does not affect Him, while the same Maya deludes the whole world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
496:He, who is a devotee of God, must have an understanding, that cannot be shaken under any conditions. He must be like the anvil in a blacksmith's shop. It is constantly being struck by the hammer; still it is unshaken. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
497:One should cultivate a taste for God's name. Any name will do - Durga, Krishna, or Siva. Then if, through chanting of the name, one's attachment to God grows day by day, and joy fills the soul, one has nothing to fear. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
498:The insensate enter into the world, seduced by its false splendours. But just as it is easier to get into a net than to escape from it, so is it easier to enter into the world than, having once entered, to renounce it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
499:There should be such faith in the name of the Lord, ‘I have chanted His name, shall I be a sinner still? What sin for me! What bondage for me! By chanting the name of Bhagavan, the body and mind of man all become pure. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
500:Why does the infant cry after coming out of the womb? ‘I was in the womb, in yoga.’ After taking birth he cries and says, ‘Where, where am I? Where have I come? I was meditating on God’s lotus feet, and now where am I? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
501:Just as the fly settles now on an unclean sore and now on the sweetmeats offered to the gods, so a worldly man's thoughts stop for a moment on religious subjects and the next stray into the pleasures of luxury and lust. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
502:The more you meditate on God, the less you will be attached to the trifling things of the world. The more you love the Lotus Feet of God, the less you will crave the things of the world or pay heed to creature comforts. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
503:Unless one has tasted the bliss of God, one cannot understand that bliss. Worldly people talk about God only from hearsay. It is not their fault. Can everybody conceive of Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
504:You do need money in worldly life, but you mustn’t be anxious and worry too much about it. You must be content with whatever comes of its own accord – this is very good. Don’t worry too much about saving for the future. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
505:I am asking you not to indulge in futile reasoning. But reason, by all means, about the Real and the unreal, about what is permanent and what is transitory. You must reason when you are overcome by lust, anger, or grief. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
506:"I must attain God in this very life; yea, in three days I must find Him; nay, with a single utterance of His name I will draw Him to me" - with such violent Love the devotee can attract the Lord and realize Him quickly. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
507:One needs Sadhana. Mere study of the scriptures will not do. What will mere study accomplish? How little one assimilates! The almanac may forecast twenty measures of rain; but you don't get a drop by squeezing its pages. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
508:Your duty is to remain somehow united with God. It doesn't matter what kind of action you are engaged in. You can be united with God through any action provided that, performing it, you give up all desire for its result. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
509:God can be realized through all paths, it is like your coming to Dakshineswar by carriage, by boat, by steamer, or on foot. You have chosen the way according to your convenience and taste; but the destination is the same. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
510:He who has really prayed to Sri Ramakrishna, even once, has nothing to fear. By praying to Him constantly one gets ecstatic love through His grace. This ecstatic love, is the innermost thing of spiritual life. ~ Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi,
511:"I must attain God in this very life; yea, in three days I must find Him; nay, with a single utterance of His name I will draw Him to me" - with such violent Love the devotee can attract the Lord and realize Him quickly. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
512:You are still under the control of the Divine Mother. You cannot escape Her. You are not free. You must do what She makes you do. A man attains Brahmajnana only when it is given to him by the Adyasakti, the Divine Mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
513:God can be realized through all paths, it is like your coming to Dakshineswar by carriage, by boat, by steamer, or on foot. You have chosen the way according to your convenience and taste; but the destination is the same. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
514:The nearer you come to God, the more you feel peace. Peace, peace, peace — Supreme Peace! The nearer you come to the Ganges, the more you feel its coolness. You will feel completely soothed, when you plunge into the river. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
515:The young bamboo can be easily bent, but the full grown bamboo breaks when it is bent with force. It is easy to bend the young heart towards God, but the untrained heart of the old escapes the hold whenever it is so drawn. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
516:A man can reach God if he follows one path rightly. Then he can learn about all the other paths. A devotee can know everything when God's grace descends on him. If you but realize Him, you will be able to know all about Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
517:He who meditates on God for many days has substance in him, has divine power in him. Further, he who sings well, plays well on a musical instrument, or has mastered anyone art, has in him real substance and the power of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
518:One cannot completely get rid of the six passions: lust, anger, greed, and the like. Therefore one should direct them to God. If you must have desire and greed, then you should desire love of God and be greedy to attain Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
519:There are some aspirants who do not calculate how much spiritual practice they do. They only weep and call upon Him with great yearning. Hearing their cries, God cannot stay away, but appears before them to grant His vision. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
520:A man can reach God if he follows one path rightly. Then he can learn about all the other paths. A devotee can know everything when God's grace descends on him. If you but realize Him, you will be able to know all about Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
521:Men insensate enter into the world seduced by a false brilliance. But just as it is easier to enter into a net than to issue out of it, so is it easier to enter into the world than to renounce it when once one has entered in. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
522:One cannot completely get rid of the six passions: lust, anger, greed, and the like. Therefore one should direct them to God. If you must have desire and greed, then you should desire love of God and be greedy to attain Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
523:He who leads the life of a householder should devote fifteen parts of his mind to God; otherwise he will face ruin and fall into the clutches of Death. He should perform the duties of the world with only one part of his mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
524:If a person feels intoxicated with God’s love, there is no father, no mother, and no wife for him. He may have so much love for the Lord that he may appear to be mad! Such a person has no duties. He is freed from all his debts. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
525:As the troubled surface of rolling waters cannot reflect aright the full moon, but gives only broken images of it, so the mentality troubled by the desires and passions of the world cannot reflect fully the light of the Eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
526:If a person feels intoxicated with God’s love, there is no father, no mother, and no wife for him. He may have so much love for the Lord that he may appear to be mad! Such a person has no duties. He is freed from all his debts. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
527:Who may be called a paramahamsa? He who, like a swan, can take the milk from a mixture of milk and water, leaving aside the water. He who, like an ant, can take the sugar from a mixture of sugar and sand, leaving aside the sand. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
528:Higher than reading is hearing, higher than hearing is seeing (or Realization). Hearing of wisdom from the lips of the preceptor makes a greater impression than the mere reading of books; but seeing makes the greatest impression. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
529:'Nishta' leads to bhakti; bhakti, when mature, becomes 'bhava'; 'bhava' when concentrated, becomes 'mahabhava'; and last of all is 'prema'. Prema is like a chord; by 'prema' God is bound to the devotee; He can no longer run away. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
530:Q. How can I go through my devotional practices when I have always to think of my daily bread?A. He for whom you work will supply you with your necessaries. God made provisions for your support before He sent you into this world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
531:When the mind is united with God, one sees God very near. One sees God within one’s own heart. But then it is true that the more one is established in union with God, the greater one’s mind withdraws itself from external objects. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
532:Even as the troubled surface of rolling waters cannot properly reflect the full moon, but only gives broken images of it, so a mind troubled by the desires and passions of the world cannot fully reflect the light of the Ineffable. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
533:God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
534:"In the world a man must fight against passions like lust and anger, against many desires, against attachment. It is convenient to fight from inside a fort - from his own home. Living at home is like facing the battle from a fort. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
535:Live in the world but keep the mind firmly on God. Do your different duties in the world, fixing your mind on God. But practice is necessary, and one should also be alert. Only in this way can one safeguard both―God and the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
536:The feeling of 'I ' and 'mine' is ignorance. This feeling, 'I am the doer', is ignorance. On the contrary, the idea, 'O God, Thou art the Doer and I am only an instrument; Thou art the Operator and I am the machine', is Knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
537:Though my Master should visit the tavern, yet my master shall always be a saint. Though my Master should frequent the impious meeting-place of the drunkards and the sinners, yet shall he be always to me my pure and perfect Master. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
538:That's the one hobby of you people - giving lectures and bringing others to the light! Nobody ever stops to consider how to get the light himself. Who are you to teach others? He who is the Lord of the Universe will teach everyone. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
539:You may quote thousands of arguments from Vedanta philosophy to a true lover of God, and try to explain the world as a dream, but you cannot shake his devotion to God. In spite of all your efforts he will come back to his devotion. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
540:If you must have desire and greed, then you should desire love of God and be greedy to attain Him. If you must be conceited and egotistic, then feel conceited and egotistic thinking that you are the servant of God, the child of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
541:Numerous are the names of the Ineffable and infinite the forms which lead towards Him. Under whatever name or in whatever form you desire to enter into relation with him, it is in that form and under that name that you will see Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
542:Too much study of the scriptures does more harm than good. The important thing is to know the essence of the scriptures. After that, what is the need of books? One should learn the essence and then dive deep in order to realize God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
543:Meditate upon the Knowledge and the Bliss Eternal, and you will have bliss. The Bliss is indeed eternal, only it is covered and obscured by ignorance. The less your attachment to the sense-objects, the more will be your love for God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
544:You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say that there are no stars in the heavens during the day? Because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
545:One should not think, 'My religion alone is the right path and other religions are false.' God can be realized by means of all paths. It is enough to have sincere yearning for God. Infinite are the paths and infinite are the opinions. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
546:So long as one has not become-as simple as a child, one cannot expect the divine illumination. Forget all the knowledge of the world that you have acquired and become as ignorant as a child; then you shall attain to the divine wisdom. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
547:The Knowledge of Brahman is the goal. Devotion is meant to maintain the external aspect of life. The elephant has outer tusks and inner grinders as well. The tusks are mere ornaments; but the elephant chews its food with the grinders. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
548:You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say that there are no stars in the heavens during the day? Because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
549:So long as one has not become-as simple as a child, one cannot expect the divine illumination. Forget all the knowledge of the world that you have acquired and become as ignorant as a child; then you shall attain to the divine wisdom. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
550:The soiled mirror reflects never the sunbeams, and the unclean and impure heart which is subjected to Maya, can never perceive the glory of the Eternal. But the pure in heart sees the Eternal, even as the clear mirror reflects the sun. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
551:There is no sin in disobeying one's superiors for the sake of God. Bharata disobeyed Kaikeyi for the sake of Rama. The Gopis disobeyed their husbands for the sake of seeing Krishna, and Prahlada disobeyed his father for the sake of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
552:All will surely realize God. All will be liberated. It may be that some get their meal in the morning, some at noon, and some in the evening; but none will go without food. All, without any exception, will certainly know their real Self. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
553:God talked to me. It was not merely His vision. Yes, He talked to me. Under the banyan-tree I saw Him coming from the Ganges. Then we laughed so much! By way of playing with me He cracked my fingers. Then He talked. Yes, He talked to me. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
554:All will surely realize God. All will be liberated. It may be that some get their meal in the morning, some at noon, and some in the evening; but none will go without food. All, without any exception, will certainly know their real Self. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
555:Do you think these sannyasi children of Sri Ramakrishna are born to simply to sit under trees lighting dhuni-fires? Whenever any of them will take up some work, people will be astonished to see their energy. Learn from them how to work. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
556:If a man does not read with an intense desire to know the truth renouncing for its sake all that is vain and frivolous and even that which is essential if needs be, mere reading will only inspire him with pedantry, presumption and egoism. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
557:Just as a fly settles now on an unclean sore in the body, now on the offerings consecrated to the gods, so the mind of a worldly man stops for a moment upon religious ideas, but the next it strays away to the pleasures of luxury and lust. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
558:Through spiritual practices man can overcome his evil tendencies, and divine grace can redeem even the worst sinner. Therefore one should not brood over the past mistakes, but should develop a positive outlook on life by depending on God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
559:You tell me that even in Europe educated men become mad by thinking constantly of one subject. But how is it possible to lose one's intelligence and become mad by thinking of that Intelligence by which the whole world is made intelligent? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
560:A man does not have to suffer any more if God, in His grace, removes his doubts and reveals Himself to Him. But this grace descends upon him only after he has prayed to God with intense yearning of heart and practiced spiritual discipline. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
561:Bhakti is to keep the mind on God by chanting His name and glories ... Bhakti, love of God, is the essence of all spiritual discipline. Through love one acquires renunciation and discrimination naturally. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Ramakrishna, #index,
562:When the water of the fetid pool and the glorious Ganges shall appear to thy eyes as one, when the Sound of the flute and the clamour of this crowd shall have no longer any difference to thy ear, then shalt thou attain to the divine Wisdom, ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
563:You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say that there are no stars in the heavens during the day? O man, because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
564:1. Is anything impossible for the grace of God? Suppose you bring a light into a room that has been dark a thousand years; does it remove the darkness little by little? The room is lighted all at once. Intense renunciation is what is needed. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
565:How long do small girls play with their dolls? As long as they are not married and do not live with their husbands. After marriage they put the dolls away in a box. What further need is there of worshipping the image after the vision of God? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
566:Meditate upon the Knowledge and Bliss Eternal , and you will also have bliss. The Bliss indeed is eternal, only it is covered and obscured by ignorance. The less your attachment is towards the senses, the more will be your love towards God . ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
567:Numerous are the names of the Ineffable and infinite the forms which lead towards Him. Under whatever name or in whatever form you desire to enter into relation with him, it is in that form and under that name that you will see Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, #index,
568:The man whose soul aspires to the Eternal cannot give thought to such silly questions as that of daivic food, that is to say, a simple vegetarian diet, and for him who does not desire to attain to the Eternal, beef is as good as daivic food. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
569:What is the nature of absolute reliance on God ? It is like that happy state of relaxation felt by a fatigued worker when, reclining on a pillow, he smokes at leisure after a day's hard work. It is the cessation of all anxieties and worries. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
570:When the water of the fetid pool and the glorious Ganges shall appear to thy eyes as one, when the Sound of the flute and the clamour of this crowd shall have no longer any difference to thy ear, then shalt thou attain to the divine Wisdom, ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
571:You speak of doing good to the world. Is the world such a small thing? And who are you, pray, to do good to the world? First realise God, see Him by means of spiritual discipline. If He imparts power you can do good to others; otherwise not. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
572:A man, who spends his time in discussing the good and the bad qualities of others simply wastes his own time. For it is time spent neither in thinking about one's own self nor about the Supreme Self, but in fruitless thinking of others selves. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
573:My son, there is no rest for me. That which Sri Ramakrishna called "Kali" took possession of my body and soul three or four days before his passing away. That makes me work and work and never lets me keep still or look to my personal comfort. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
574:The Vedantins say that the Atman is completely unattached. Sin or virtue, pain or pleasure, cannot affect it; but they can inflict sufferings on those who have attachment to the body. The smoke can soil the walls, but can do nothing to the sky. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
575:Know thyself and thou shalt know the Non-ego and the Lord of all. Meditate deeply, thou shalt find there is nothing thou canst call “I”. The innermost result of all analysis is the eternal divine. When egoism vanishes, divinity manifests itself. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
576:“To him who is perfect in meditation salvation is near” is an old saying. Do you know when a man is perfect in meditation? When as soon as he sits to meditate, he is surrounded with the divine atmosphere and his soul communes with the Ineffable. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
577:One's spiritual consciousness is not awakened by the mere reading of books. One should also pray to God. The kundalini is aroused if the aspirant feels restless for God. To talk of knowledge from mere study and hearsay! What will that accomplish? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
578:Prayer and the company of holy men. You cannot get rid of an ailment without the help of a physician. But it is not enough to be in the company of religious people only for a day. You should constantly seek it, for the disease has become chronic. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
579:"To him who is perfect in meditation salvation is near" is an old saying. Do you know when a man is perfect in meditation? When as soon as he sits to meditate, he is surrounded with the divine atmosphere and his soul communes with the Ineffable. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
580:I ask people to live in the world after the awakening of their spiritual consciousness. I ask people to live in the world in a spirit of detachment. If you break the jack-fruit after rubbing oil on your hands, its sticky juice will not smear them. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
581:Once the seed of bhakti is sown, the effect is inevitable: it will gradually grow into a tree with flowers and fruits. You may reason and argue a thousand times, but if you have the seed of bhakti within you, you will surely come back to the Lord. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
582:When mind and speech unite in earnestly asking for a thing, that prayer is answered. Of no avail are the prayers of that man who says with his mouth, "These are all yours, O Lord!" and at the same time thinks in his heart that all of them are his. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
583:A man thinks of God, no doubt, but he has no faith in Him. Again and again he forgets God and becomes attached to the world. It is like giving the elephant a bath; afterwards he covers his body with mud and dirt again. 'The mind is a mad elephant.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
584:All doubts disappear when one sees God. It is one thing to hear of God, but quite a different thing to see Him. A man cannot have one hundred per cent conviction through mere hearing. But if he beholds God face to face, then he is wholly convinced. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
585:A man thinks of God, no doubt, but he has no faith in Him. Again and again he forgets God and becomes attached to the world. It is like giving the elephant a bath; afterwards he covers his body with mud and dirt again. 'The mind is a mad elephant.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
586:Intense dispassion is essential to attain God. You must renounce immediately what you think is an obstacle in your way to God. ‘Lust and greed’ are hurdles on the way. You must take your mind off them. It will not do to lack enthusiasm or diligence. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
587:Devote yourself to spiritual practice and go forward. Through practice you will advance more and more in the path of God. At last you will come to know that God alone is real and all else is illusory, and that the goal of life is the attainment of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
588:You people speak of doing good to the world. Is the world such a small thing ? And who are u, pray, to do good to the world ? First realize God, see Him by means of spiritual discipline. If He imparts power, then u can do good to others; otherwise not. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
589:Devote yourself to spiritual practice & go forward. Through practice you will advance more & more in the path of God. At last you will come to know that God alone is real and all else is illusory, and that the goal of life is the attainment of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
590:Spirituality automatically leads to humility. When a flower develops into a fruit, the petals drop off on its own. When one becomes spiritual, the ego vanishes gradually on its own. A tree laden with fruits always bends low. Humility is a sign of greatness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
591:You can’t enjoy the Bliss of God, without first getting rid of animal tendencies. You should pray to God to rid you of these inclinations & you must pray with yearning. He is the controller of our hearts and will surely listen, if the prayer is earnest. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
592:Devote yourself to spiritual practice & go forward. Through practice you will advance more & more in the path of God. At last you will come to know that God alone is real and all else is illusory, & that the goal of life is the attainment of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
593:You see many stars in the sky at night, but not when the sun rises. Can you therefore say that there are no stars in the heavens during the day? Because you cannot find God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sayings of Ramakrishna,
594:The members of the Brahmo Samaj sing the name of Hari. That is very good. Through earnest prayer one receives the grace of God and realizes Him. God can be realized by means of all paths. The same God is invoked by different names. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Ramakrishna,
595:Now, stopping thought is only the beginning. As Brahmananda, who was a disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, once remarked: The inner life begins with samadhi. This is an awesome thought, I realize, for the average person who meditates, that it could begin with samadhi. ~ Frederick Lenz,
596:It matters not if you live the life of a house-holder, only you must fix your mind on God. Do your work with one hand, and hold the feet of the Lord with the other. When you have no work in the world to do, hold His feet fast to your heart with both your hands. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
597:Imagine a limitless expanse of water: above and below, before and behind, right and left, everywhere there is water. In that water is placed a jar filled with water. There is water inside the jar and water outside, but the jar is still there. The 'I' is the jar. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
598:The Self is not attached to anything. Pleasure, pain, sinfulness, righteousness, etc., can never affect the Self in any way; but they can affect those who identify themselves with the body, as smoke can blacken only the wall but not the space enclosed within it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
599:The waves belong to the Ganges, not the Ganges to the waves. A man cannot realize God unless he gets rid of all such egotistic ideas as "I am such an important man" or "I am so and so". Level the mound of "I" to the ground by dissolving it with tears of devotion. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
600:These people are like ... a frog living in a well, who has never seen the outside world. He knows only his well, so he will not believe that there is such a thing as the world. Likewise, people talk so much about the world because they have not known the joy of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
601:Those whose spiritual awareness has been awakened never make a false move. They don't have to avoid evil. They are so replete with love that whatever they do is a good action. They are fully conscious that they are not the doer of their actions, but only servants of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
602:Pray to God with a longing heart. He will surely listen to your prayer if it is sincere. Perhaps He will direct you to holy men with whom you can keep company; and that will help you on your spiritual path. Perhaps someone will tell you, 'Do this and you will attain God.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
603:Visit not the doers of miracles. They have wandered from the path of the truth; they have allowed their minds to be caught in the snare of psychical powers which are so many temptations on the path of the pilgrims to the Brahman. Beware of such powers and do not desire them. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
604:It is very pleasant to scratch an itching ring-worm, but the sensation one gets afterwards is very painful and intolerable. In the same way the pleasures of this world are very attractive in the beginning, but their consequences are terrible to contemplate and hard to endure. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
605:Men are like pillow-cases. The colour of one may be red, that of another blue, and that of the third black; but all contain the same cotton within. So it is with man; one is beautiful, another is ugly, a third holy, and a fourth wicked; but the Divine Being dwells in them all. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
606:Sunlight is one and the same wherever it falls; but only a bright surface like that of water, or of a mirror reflects it fully. So is the light Divine. It falls equally and impartially on all hearts, but the pure and pious hearts of holy men receive and reflect that light well. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
607:With sincerity and earnestness one can realize God through all religions. The Vaishnavas will realize God, and so will the Saktas, the Vedantists, and the Brahmos. The Mussalmans and Christians will realize Him too. All will certainly realize God if they are earnest and sincere. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
608:If you feel proud, let it be in the thought that you are the servant of God, the son of God. Great men have the nature of a child. They are always a child before Him; so they are free from pride. All their strength is of God and not their own. It belongs to Him and comes from Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
609:Many people think they cannot have knowledge or understanding of God without reading books. But hearing is better than reading, and seeing is better than hearing. Hearing about Benares is different from reading about it; but seeing Benares is different from either hearing or reading. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
610:The ordinary man says in his ignorance “My religion is the sole religion, my religion is the best.” But when his heart is illumined by the true knowledge, he knows that beyond all the battles of sects and of sectaries presides the one, indivisible, eternal and omniscient Benediction. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
611:God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, [Gupta, Mahendranath],
612:The ordinary man says in his ignorance "My religion is the sole religion, my religion is the best." But when his heart is illumined by the true knowledge, he knows that beyond all the battles of sects and of sectaries presides the one, indivisible, eternal and omniscient Benediction. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
613:Having attained to that unalterable calm which nothing can trouble one can afterwards meditate and form an assured judgment on the essence of things; when one has meditated and formed a sure judgment on the essence of things, afterwards one can attain to the desired state of perfection. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
614:Having attained to that unalterable calm which nothing can trouble one can afterwards meditate and form an assured judgment on the essence of things; when one has meditated and formed a sure judgment on the essence of things, afterwards one can attain to the desired state of perfection. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
615:The ordinary man says in his ignorance, "My religion is the sole religion, my religion is the best." But when his heart is illuminated by the true knowledge, he knows that beyond all the battles of sects and of sectaries presides the one, indivisible, eternal and omnipresent Benediction. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
616:You busy yourself with five different things, but I have one ideal only. I do not enjoy anything but God. This is what God has ordained for me. (Smiling) There are different trees in the forest, some shooting up with one trunk and others spreading out with five branches. (All smile.) ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
617:But the reality is one and the same; the difference is only in name. He who is Brahman is verily Atman, and again, He is the Bhagavan. He is Brahman to the followers of the path of knowledge, Paramatman to the yogis, and Bhagavan to the lovers of God. ~ Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (1942), p. 132,
618:As for myself, I look upon all women as my Mother. This is a very pure attitude of mind. There is no risk or danger in it. To look upon a woman as one's sister is also not bad. But the other attitudes are very difficult and dangerous. It is almost impossible to keep to the purity of the ideal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
619:As for myself, I look upon all women as my Mother. This is a very pure attitude of mind. There is no risk or danger in it. To look upon a woman as one's sister is also not bad. But the other attitudes are very difficult and dangerous. It is almost impossible to keep to the purity of the ideal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
620:Only two kinds of people can attain self-knowledge: those who are not encumbered at all with learning, that is to say, whose minds are not over-crowded with thoughts borrowed from others; and those who, after studying all the scriptures and sciences, have come to realise that they know nothing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
621:When I see the chaste women of respectable families, I see in them the Divine clothed in the robe of a chaste woman; and again, when I see the public women of the city seated on their verandahs in their rajment of immorality and shame, I see also in them the Divine at play after another fashion. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
622:Work, my children, work with your whole heart and soul! That is the thing. Mind not the fruit of work. What if you go to hell working for others? That is worth more than to gain heaven by seeking your own salvation... Sri Ramakrishna came and gave his life for the world. I will also sacrifice my life. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
623:God has revealed to me that only the Paramatman, whom the Vedas describe as the Pure Soul, is as immutable as Mount Sumeru, unattached, and beyond pain and pleasure. There is much confusion in this world of His maya. One can by no means say that 'this' will come after 'that' or 'this' will produce 'that'. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
624:A devotee who can call on God while living a householder's life is a hero indeed. God thinks: 'He is blessed indeed who prays to me in the midst of his worldly duties. He is trying to find me, overcoming a great obstacle -- pushing away, as it were, a huge block of stone weighing a ton. Such a man is a real hero. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
625:When an unbaked pot is broken, the potter can use the mud to make a new one; but when a baked one is broken, he cannot do the same any longer. So when a person dies in a state of ignorance, he is born again; but when he becomes well baked in the fire of true knowledge and dies a perfect man, he is not born again. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
626:The devotee who has seen the One in only one of his aspects, knows Him in that aspect alone. But he who has seen Him in numerous aspects is alone in a position to say; “All these forms are those of the One and the One is multiform.” He is without form and in form, and numberless are His forms which we do not know. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
627:A man develops a subtle power as a result of the strict observance of celibacy for twelve years. Then he can understand and grasp very subtle things which otherwise elude his intellect. Through that understanding the aspirant can have direct vision of God. That pure understanding alone enables him to realize Truth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
628:The devotee who has seen the One in only one of his aspects, knows Him in that aspect alone. But he who has seen Him in numerous aspects is alone in a position to say; "All these forms are those of the One and the One is multiform." He is without form and in form, and numberless are His forms which we do not know. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
629:The light of the sun is the same every where where it may fall, but it is the clear surfaces, water and mirror and polished metals, that can give its perfect reflection. Even such is the light of the Divine. It falls equally and impartially on every heart, but only the clean and pure heart can perfectly reflect it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
630:A DEVOTEE: "Sir, how can one see God?"
MASTER: "Can you ever see God if you do not direct your whole mind toward Him? The Bhagavata speaks about Sukadeva. When he walked about he looked like a soldier with fixed bayonet. His gaze did not wander; it had only one goal and that was God. This is the meaning of yoga. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
631:A man develops a subtle power as a result of the strict observance of celibacy for twelve years. Then he can understand and grasp very subtle things which otherwise elude his intellect. Through that understanding the aspirant can have direct vision of God. That pure understanding alone enables him to realize Truth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
632:It's enough to have faith in one aspect of God. You have faith in God without form. That is very good. But never get into your head that your faith alone is true and every other is false. Know for certain that God without form is real and that God with form is also real. Then hold fast to whichever faith appeals to you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
633:When the head of a goat is severed from its body, the trunk struggles for some time, still showing signs of life. Similarly, though ahamkara (egotism) is slain in the perfect man, yet enough of its vitality is left to make him carry on the functions of physical life; but it is not sufficient to bind him again into the world. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
634:Only two kinds of people can attain "Self-Knowledge": those who are not encumbered at all with learning, that is to say, whose minds are not over-crowded with thoughts borrowed from others; and those who, after studying all the scriptures and sciences, have come to realize that they know nothing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna.,
635:Hindu almanachs contain predictions about the annual rains foretelling how many centimetres will fall in the country; but by pressing the book which is so full of predictions of rain, you will extract not a drop of water. So also many good words are to be found in pious books, but the mere reading of them does not give spirituality. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
636:Many say with an appearance of humility, “I am even as an earthworm crawling in the dust...”; so always believing themselves to be earthworms, they become in time feeble as the worm. Let not discouragement enter into thy heart; despair is for all the great enemy of our progress. What a man thinks himself to be, that he in fact becomes. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
637:God has made different religions to suit different aspirants, times, and countries. All doctrines are only so many paths; but a path is by no means God himself. Indeed, one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with whole-hearted devotion...One may eat a cake with icing either straight or sidewise. It will taste sweet either way. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
638:When one considers the clamorous emptiness of the world, words of so little sense, actions of so little merit, one loves to reflect on the great reign of silence. The noble silent men scattered here and there each in his province silently thinking and silently acting of whom no morning paper makes mention, these are the salt of the earth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
639:My name should not be made prominent. It is my ideas that I want to see realized. The disciples of all the prophets have always inextricably mixed up the ideas of the Master with person, and at last killed the ideas for the person. The disciples of Sri Ramakrishna must guard against doing the same thing. Work for the idea, not the person. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
640:I am what I am, and what I am is always due to him; whatever in me or in my words is good and true and eternal came to me from his mouth, his heart, his soul. Sri Ramakrishna is the spring of this phase of the earth's religious life, of its impulses and activities. If I can show the world one glimpse of my Master, I shall not have lived in vain. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
641:Truthfulness in speech is the tapasya of the Kaliyuga. It is difficult to practise other austerities in this cycle. By adhering to truth one attains God. Tulsidas said: 'Truthfulness, obedience to God, and the regarding of others' wives as one's mother, are the greatest virtues. If one does not realize God by practising them, then Tulsi is a liar.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
642:Dwell, O mind, within yourself; Enter no other's home. If you but seek there, you will find All you are searching for. God, the true Philosopher's Stone, Who answers every prayer, Lies hidden deep within your heart, The richest gem of all. How many pearls and precious stones Are scattered all about The outer court that lies before The chamber of your heart! ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
643:Sri Ramakrishna is far greater than the disciples understand him to be. He is the embodiment of infinite spiritual ideas capable of development in infinite ways....One glance of his gracious eyes can create a hundred thousand Vivekanandas at this instant. If he chooses now, instead, to work through me, making me his instrument, I can only bow to his will. ~ Swami Vivekananda,
644:A bath in Ganges undoubtedly absolves one of all sins; but what does that avail? They say that the sins perch on trees along the banks of the Ganges. No sooner does the man come back from the holy waters that the old sins jump on his shoulders from the trees. The same old sins take possession of him again. He is hardly out of the waters before they fall upon him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
645:God reveals Himself to a devotee who feels drawn to Him by the combined force of these three attractions: the attraction of worldly possessions for the worldly man, the child's attraction for its mother, and the husband's attraction for the chaste wife. If one feels drawn to Him by the combined force of these three attractions, then through it one can attain Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
646:What Brahman is cannot be described. All things in the world — the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras, the six systems of philosophy — have been defiled, like food that has been touched by the tongue, for they have been read or uttered by the tongue. Only one thing has not been defiled in this way, and that is Brahman. No one has ever been able to say what Brahman is. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
647:God has made different religions to suit different aspirants, times, and countries. All doctrines are only so many paths; but a path is by no means God himself. Indeed, one can reach God if one follows any of the paths with whole-hearted devotion...One may eat a cake with icing either straight or sidewise. It will taste sweet either way. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
648:become.It is said in the Bhagavad Gitâ that the future is determined by the thought that is uppermost at the moment of death, and in the Purâna there is a story that King Bharata was born as a deer p. 48 because when he died, his mind was fixed on the thought of a deer. He who passes away thinking of God and meditating on Him, does not come back to this world. A devotee: ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
649:I have now come to a stage of realization in which I see that God is walking in every human form and manifesting Himself alike through the sage and the sinner, the virtuous and the vicious. Therefore when I meet different people I say to myself, “God in the form of the saint, God in the form of the sinner, God in the form of the righteous, God in the form of the unrighteous. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
650:A DEVOTEE: "You say that your spiritual experiences are for others to refer to. Tell us what we should do."
MASTER: "If you want to realize God, then you must cultivate intense dispassion. You must renounce immediately what you feel to be standing in your way. You should not put it off till the future. 'Woman and gold' is the obstruction. The mind must be withdrawn from it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
651:Bhakti is the one essential thing. Who can ever know God through reasoning? I want love of God. What do I care about knowing His infinite glories? One bottle of wine makes me drunk. What do I care about knowing how many gallons there are in the grog-shop? One jar of water is enough to quench my thirst. I don't need to know the amount of water there is on earth. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Ramakrishna,
652:So long as the bee is outside the petals of the lily, and has not tasted the sweetness of its honey, it hovers around the flower emitting the buzzing sound; but when it is inside the flower, it noiselessly drinks the nectar. So long as a man quarrels and disputes about doctrines and dogmas, he has not tasted the nectar of true faith; when he has tasted it, he becomes quiet and full of peace. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
653:In India the healers by faith command their sick to repeat with absolute conviction the words, “There is no malady in me, Sickness is not.” The sick man repeats and, so mentally denied, his malady disappears. Thus if you believe yourself to be mortally weak, you find yourself actually in that condition. Know and believe that you can have an immense power, and the power will come to you in the end. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
654:Different people call on [God] by different names: some as Allah, some as God, and others as Krishna, Siva, and Brahman. It is like the water in a lake. Some drink it at one place and call it 'jal', others at another place and call it 'pani', and still others at a third place and call it 'water'. The Hindus call it 'jal', the Christians 'water', and the Moslems 'pani'. But it is one and the same thing. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
655:Lila (pronounced Leela) is the play of creation. To awakened consciousness, the entire universe. With all its joys and sorrows, pleasures and pains, appears as a divine game, sport, or drama. It is a play in which the one Consciousness performs all the roles. Alluding to this lila of the Divine Mother the physical universe is a “mansion of mirth.” ~ Sri Ramakrishna, in Selections from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (2005), p. 130,
656:If iron is once changed to gold by the touch of the philosopher’s stone, it may be kept in the earth or thrown into a mass of ordure, but always it will be gold and can never go back to its first condition. So is it with him whose heart has touched, were it but a single time, the feet of the Almighty; let him dwell amidst the tumult of the world or in the solitude of the forest, by nothing can he again be polluted. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
657:MASTER: "I want you to remember this. You may impart thousands of instructions to people, but they will not bear fruit except in proper time. On going to bed, a child said to his mother, 'Mother, please wake me up when I feel the call of nature.' The mother said: 'Don't worry about it, my child. That call will wake you up itself.' (All laugh.) One feels yearning for God at the proper time. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
658: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 and meditate on God. Furthermore, he should practice 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. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospels of Ramakrishna,
659:MASTER (to Atul): "What is worrying you? Is it that you haven't that grit, that intense restlessness for God?"
ATUL: "How can we keep our minds on God?"
MASTER: "Abhyasayoga, the yoga of practice. You should practise calling on God every day. It is not possible to succeed in one day; through daily prayer you will come to long for God.
"How can you feel that restlessness if you are immersed in worldliness day and night?" ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
660:You partake of the nature of him on whom you meditate. By worshipping Siva you acquire the nature of Siva. A devotee of Rama meditated on Hanuman day and night. He used to think he had become Hanuman. In the end he was firmly convinced that he had even grown a little tail. Jnana is the characteristic of Siva, and bhakti of Vishnu. One who partakes of Siva's nature becomes a jnani, and one who partakes of Vishnu's nature becomes a bhakta. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
661:One says, When my son Harish shall have grown up, I will marry him off, give up the burden of the family, renounce the world and begin to practise Yoga. To him the Lord replies: You will never find the opportune moment to practise Yoga; for you will then say, ‘Harish and Girish are very fond of me and cannot do without me’, you will no doubt desire that Harish should have a son and the son marry. There will never be an end to your desires. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
662:Little children play with dolls in the outer room just as they like, without any care of fear or restraint; but as soon as their mother comes in, they throw aside their dolls and run to her crying, "Mamma, mamma." You too, are now playing in this material world, infatuated with the dolls of wealth, honour, fame, etc., If however, you once see your Divine Mother, you will not afterwards find pleasure in all these. Throwing them all aside, you will run to her. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
663:The Eternal Religion, the religion of the rishis, has been in existence from time immemorial and will exist eternally. There exists in this Sanatana Dharma all forms of worship--worship of God with form and worship of the impersonal Deity as well. It contains all paths--the path of knowledge, the path of devotion and so on. Other forms of religion, the modern cults, will remain for a few days and then disappear.

-- Sri Ramakrishna in a conversation with a devotee on March 9, 1884 ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
664:The Master came back to the drawing-room and said: "The worldly minded practise devotions, japa, and austerity only by fits and starts. But those who know nothing else but God repeat His name with every breath. Some always repeat mentally, 'Om Rāma'.

Even the followers of the path of knowledge repeat, 'Soham', 'I am He'. There are others whose tongues are always moving, repeating the name of God. One should remember and think of God constantly." ~ Sri Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishana,
665:There are some true and ardent aspirants who travel from place to place in search of this pass-word from a divine and perfect instructor which will open for them the doors of the eternal beatitude, and if in their earnest search one of them is so favoured as to meet such a master and receive from him the word so ardently desired which is capable of breaking all chains, he withdraws immediately from society to enter into the profound retreat of his own heart and dwells there till he has succeeded in conquering eternal peace. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
666:There are some true and ardent aspirants who travel from place to place in search of this pass-word from a divine and perfect instructor which will open for them the doors of the eternal beatitude, and if in their earnest search one of them is so favoured as to meet such a master and receive from him the word so ardently desired which is capable of breaking all chains, he withdraws immediately from society to enter into the profound retreat of his own heart and dwells there till he has succeeded in conquering eternal peace. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
667:Take the case of the infinite ocean. There is no limit to its water. Suppose a pot is immersed in it: there is water both inside and outside the pot. The jnani sees that both inside and outside there is nothing but Paramatman. Then what is this pot? It is 'I-consciousness'. Because of the pot the water appears to be divided into two parts; because of the pot you seem to perceive an inside and an outside. One feels that way as long as this pot of 'I' exists. When the 'I' disappears, what is remains. That cannot be described in words. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
668:The rishis of old attained the Knowledge of Brahman. One cannot have this so long as there is the slightest trace of worldliness. How hard the rishis laboured ! Early in the morning they would go away from the hermitage, and would spend the whole day in solitude, meditating on Brahman. At night they would return to the hermitage and eat a little fruit or roots. They kept their mind aloof from the objects of sight, hearing, touch, and other things of a worldly nature. Only thus did they realize Brahman as their own inner conciousness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
669:The rishis of old attained the Knowledge of Brahman. One cannot have this so long as there is the slightest trace of worldliness. How hard the rishis laboured ! Early in the morning they would go away from the hermitage, and would spend the whole day in solitude, meditating on Brahman. At night they would return to the hermitage and eat a little fruit or roots. They kept their mind aloof from the objects of sight, hearing, touch, and other things of a worldly nature. Only thus did they realize Brahman as their own inner conciousness. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
670:But you must remember one thing. One cannot see God sporting as man unless one has had the vision of Him. Do you know the sign of one who has God-vision? Such a man acquires the nature of a child. Why a child? Because God is like a child. So he who sees God becomes like a child.

God-vision is necessary. Now the question is, how can one get it? Intense renunciation is the means. A man should have such intense yearning for God that he can say, 'O Father of the universe, am I outside Your universe? Won't You be kind to me, You wretch? ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
671:And naturally I was reading in the library a few days later from a book about the Indian saint Sri Ramakrishna, and I stumbled upon a story about a seeker who once came to see the great master and admitted to him that she feared she was not a good enough devotee, feared that she did not love God enough. And the saint said, "Is there nothing you love?" The woman admitted that she adored her young nephew more than anything else on earth. The saint said, "There, then. He is your Krishna, your beloved. In your service to your nephew, you are serving God. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert,
672: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 yours.' He laughs and says to Himself, 'The whole universe belongs to Me, but they say they own this portion or that portion.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
673:"The thing is somehow to unite the mind with God. You must not forget Him, not even once. Your thought of Him should be like the flow of oil, without any interruption. If you worship with love even a brick or stone as God, then through His grace you can see Him.

"Remember what I have just said to you. One should perform such worship as the Śiva Puja. Once the mind has become mature, one doesn't have to continue formal worship for long. The mind then always remains united with God; meditation and contemplation become a constant habit of mind." ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Gospel of Ramakrishna,
674:823. Should you think of God only at the time of meditation and remain forgetful of Him at all other times? Have you not noticed how during Durga Puja a lamp is kept constantly burning near the image? It should never be allowed to go out. If ever it is extinguished, the house-holder meets with some mishap. Similarly, after installing the Deity on the lotus of your heart, you must keep the lamp of remembering Him ever burning. While engaged in the affairs of the world, you should constantly turn your gaze inwards and see whether the lamp is burning or not. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna,
675:When a man attains the Knowledge of Brahman he shows certain characteristics. The Bhagavata describes four of them: the state of a child, of an inert thing, of a madman, and of a ghoul. Sometimes the knower of Brahman acts like a five-year-old child. Sometimes he acts like a madman. Sometimes he remains like an inert thing. In this state he cannot work; he renounces all action. You may say that jnanis like Janaka were active. The truth is that people in olden times gave responsibility to their subordinate officers and thus freed themselves from worry. Further, at that time men possessed intense faith. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
676:But you must remember that nothing can be achieved except in its proper time. Some persons must pass through many experiences and perform many worldly duties before they can turn their attention to God; so they have to wait a long time. If an abscess is lanced before it is soft, the result is not good; the surgeon makes the opening when it is soft and has come to a head. Once a child said to its mother: 'Mother, I am going to sleep now. Please wake me up when I feel the call of nature.' 'My child,' said the mother, 'when it is time for that, you will wake up yourself. I shan't have to wake you.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
677:One day Jatadhari requested Sri Ramakrishna to keep the image and bade him adieu with tearful eyes. He declared that Rāmlālā had fulfilled his innermost prayer and that he now had no more need of formal worship. A few days later Sri Ramakrishna was blessed through Rāmlālā with a vision of Rāmachandra, whereby he realized that the Rāma of the Rāmāyana, the son of Daśaratha, pervades the whole universe as Spirit and Consciousness; that He is its Creator, Sustainer, and Destroyer; that, in still another aspect, He is the transcendental Brahman, without form, attribute, or name. While worshipping Rāmlālā as the Divine Child, Sri ~ Swami Nikhilananda,
678:The alligator loves to swim on the surface of the water, but is obliged to remain beneath for fear of the hunter. Yet, whenever he finds an opportunity, he rises with a deep whizzing noise, and swims happily on the watery expanse. O man, entangled in the meshes of the world, you too are anxious to swim on the surface of the Ocean of Bliss, but are prevented by the importunate demands of your family! Yet be of good cheer! Whenever you find any leisure, call eagerly upon your God, pray to Him earnestly, and tell Him all your sorrows. In due time, He will surely emancipate you, and enable you to swim happily upon the Ocean of Bliss ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
679:No one can say with finality that God is only 'this' and nothing else. He is formless, and again He has forms. For the bhakta He assumes forms. But He is formless for the jnani, that is, for him who looks on the world as a mere dream. The bhakta feels that he is one entity and the world another. Therefore God, reveals Himself to him as a Person. But the jnani — the Vedantist, for instance — always reasons, applying the process of 'Not this, not this'. Through this discrimination he realizes, by his inner perception, that the ego and the universe are both illusory, like a dream. Then the jnani realizes Brahman in his own consciousness. He cannot describe what Brahman is. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
680:Alas! I find no customers who want anything better than kalai pulse. No one wants to give up 'woman and gold'. Man, deluded by the beauty of woman and the power of money, forgets God. But to one who has seen the beauty of God, even the position of Brahma, the Creator, seems insignificant.
A man said to Ravana, 'You have been going to Sita in different disguises; why don't you go to her in the form of Rama?' 'But', Ravana replied, 'when I meditate on Rama in my heart, the most beautiful women - celestial maidens like Rambha and Tilottama - appear no better than ashes of the funeral pyre. Then even the position of Brahma appears trivial to me, not to speak of the beauty of another man's wife.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
681:Lila is by no means the last word. Passing through all these states, I said to the Divine Mother: 'Mother, in these states there is separation. Give me a state where there is no separation.' Then I remained for some time absorbed in the Indivisible Satchidananda. I removed the pictures of the gods and goddesses from my room. I began to perceive God in all beings. Formal worship dropped away. You see that bel-tree. I used to go there to pluck its leaves. One day, as I plucked a leaf, a bit of the bark came off. I round the tree full of Consciousness. I felt grieved because I had hurt the tree. One day I tried to pluck some durva grass, but I found I couldn't do it very well. Then I forced myself to pluck it. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
682:The other day I told you the meaning of bhakti. It is to adore God with body, mind, and words. 'With body' means to serve and worship God with one's hands, go to holy places with one's feet, hear the chanting of the name and glories of God with one's ears, and behold the divine image with one's eyes. 'With mind' means to contemplate and meditate on God constantly and to remember and think of His lila. 'With words' means to sing hymns to Him and chant His name and glories.
Devotion as described by Narada is suited to the Kaliyuga. It means to chant constantly the name and glories of God. Let those who have no leisure worship God at least morning and evening by whole-heartedly chanting His name and clapping their hands. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
683:Lovers of God possess intense concentration. In prayer their attention rivets itself so completely onto God that nothing can tear it away. Even a suggestion of the divine may draw them into a higher state of consciousness. Occasionally this can be somewhat inconvenient. Sri Ramakrishna once went to see a religious drama produced by his disciple. The curtain went up and a character started singing the praises of the Lord. Sri Ramakrishna immediately began to enter the supreme state of consciousness. The stage faded; the actors and actresses faded. As only a great mystic can, he uttered a protest: "I come here, Lord, to see a play staged by my disciple, and you send me into ecstasy. I won't let it happen!" And he started saying over and over, "Money... money...money," so as to keep some awareness of the temporal world. ~ Eknath Easwaran,
684:God doesn't easily appear in the heart of a man who feels himself to be his own master. But God can be seen the moment His grace descends. He is the Sun of Knowledge. One single ray of His has illumined the world with the light of knowledge. That is how we are able to see one another and acquire varied knowledge. One can see God only if He turns His light toward His own face.

The police sergeant goes his rounds in the dark of night with a lantern in his hand. No one sees his face; but with the help of that light the sergeant sees everybody's face, and others, too, can see one another. If you want to see the sergeant, however, you must pray to him: 'Sir, please turn the light on your own face. Let me see you.' In the same way one must pray to God: 'O Lord, be gracious and turn the light of knowledge on Thyself, that I may see Thy face.' ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
685:A disciple asked his teacher, 'Sir, please tell me how I can see God.' Come with me,' said the guru, 'and I shall show you.' He took the disciple to a lake, and both of them got into the water. Suddenly the teacher pressed the disciple's head under the water. After a few moments he released him and the disciple raised his head and stood up. The guru asked him, 'How did you feel?' The disciple said, 'Oh! I thought I should die; I was panting for breath.' The teacher said, 'When you feel like that for God, then you will know you haven't long to wait for His vision.'

Let me tell you something. What will you gain by floating on the surface? Dive a little under the water. The gems lie deep under the water; so what is the good of throwing your arms and legs about on the surface? A real gem is heavy. It doesn't float; it sinks to the bottom. To get the real gem you must dive deep. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
686:Sri Ramakrishna has described the incident: "The Divine Mother revealed to me in the Kāli temple that it was She who had become everything. She showed me that everything was full of Consciousness. The image was Consciousness, the Altar was Consciousness, the water-vessels were Consciousness, the door-sill was Consciousness, the marble floor was Consciousness - all was Consciousness. I found everything inside the room soaked, as it were, in Bliss - the Bliss of God. I saw a wicked man in front of the Kāli temple; but in him also I saw the power of the Divine Mother vibrating. That was why I fed a cat with the food that was to be offered to the Divine Mother. I clearly perceived that all this was the Divine Mother - even the cat. The manager of the temple garden wrote to Mathur Bābu saying that I was feeding the cat with the offering intended for the Divine Mother. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,
687:A MARWARI DEVOTEE: "Sir, what is the way?"

Two ways of God-realization

MASTER: "There are two ways. One is the path of discrimination, the other is that of love. Discrimination means to know the distinction between the Real and the unreal.

God alone is the real and permanent Substance; all else is illusory and impermanent.

The magician alone is real; his magic is illusory. This is discrimination.

"Discrimination and renunciation. Discrimination means to know the distinction between the Real and the unreal. Renunciation means to have dispassion for the things of the world. One cannot acquire them all of a sudden. They must be practised every day.

One should renounce 'woman and gold' mentally at first. Then, by the will of God, one can renounce it both mentally and outwardly. It is impossible to ask the people of Calcutta to renounce all for the sake of God. One has to tell them to renounce mentally. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
688:Sails across the sea of life in the twinkling of an eye.' One attains the vision of God if Mahamaya steps aside from the door. Mahamaya's grace is necessary: hence the worship of Sakti. You see, God is near us, but it is not possible to know Him because Mahamaya stands between. Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita were walking along. Rama walked ahead, Sita in the middle, and Lakshmana last. Lakshmana was only two and a half cubits away from Rama, but he couldn't see Rama because Sita - Mahamaya - was in the way.
"While worshipping God, one should assume a definite attitude. I have three attitudes: the attitude of a child, the attitude or a maidservant, and the attitude of a friend. For a long time I regarded myself as a maidservant and a woman companion of God; at that time I used to wear skirts and ornaments, like a woman. The attitude of a child is very good.
"The attitude of a 'hero' is not good. Some people cherish it. They regard themselves as Purusha and woman as Prakriti; they want to propitiate woman through intercourse with her. But this method often causes disaster. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
689:
   An Informal Integral Canon: Selected books on Integral Science, Philosophy and the Integral Transformation
   Sri Aurobindo - The Life Divine
   Sri Aurobindo - The Synthesis of Yoga
   Pierre Teilhard de Chardin - The Phenomenon of Man
   Jean Gebser - The Ever-Present Origin
   Edward Haskell - Full Circle - The Moral Force of Unified Science
   Oliver L. Reiser - Cosmic Humanism and World Unity
   Christopher Hills - Nuclear Evolution: Discovery of the Rainbow Body
   The Mother - Mother's Agenda
   Erich Jantsch - The Self-Organizing Universe - Scientific and Human Implications of the Emerging Paradigm of Evolution
   T. R. Thulasiram - Arut Perum Jyothi and Deathless Body
   Kees Zoeteman - Gaiasophy
   Ken Wilber - Sex Ecology Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution
   Don Edward Beck - Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership, and Change
   Kundan Singh - The Evolution of Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo, Sri Ramakrishna, and Swami Vivekananda
   Sean Esbjorn-Hargens - Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World
   ~ M Alan Kazlev, Kheper, #reading list,
690:During the stage of sadhana one should describe God by all His attributes. One day Hazra said to Narendra: 'God is Infinity. Infinite is His splendour. Do you think He will accept your offerings of sweets and bananas or listen to your music? This is a mistaken notion of yours.' Narendra at once sank ten fathoms. So I said to Hazra, 'You villain! Where will these youngsters be if you talk to them like that?' How can a man live if he gives up devotion? No doubt God has infinite splendour; yet He is under the control of His devotees. A rich man's gate-keeper comes to the parlour where his master is seated with his friends. He stands on one side of the room. In his hand he has something covered with a cloth. He is very hesitant. The master asks him, 'Well, gate-keeper, what have you in your hand?' Very hesitantly the servant takes out a custard-apple from under the cover, places it in front of his master, and says, 'Sir, it is my desire that you should eat this.' The Master is impressed by his servant's devotion. With great love he takes the fruit in his hand and says: 'Ah! This is a very nice custard-apple. Where did you pick it? You must have taken a great deal of trouble to get it.'

"God is under the control of His devotees. King Duryodhana was very attentive to Krishna and said to Him, 'Please have your meal here.' But the Lord went to Vidura's hut. He is very fond of His devotees. He ate Vidura's simple rice and greens as if they were celestial food. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
691:Yet this was only a foretaste of the intense experiences to come. The first glimpse of the Divine Mother made him the more eager for Her uninterrupted vision. He wanted to see Her both in meditation and with eyes open. But the Mother began to play a teasing game of hide-and-seek with him, intensifying both his joy and his suffering. Weeping bitterly during the moments of separation from Her, he would pass into a trance and then find Her standing before him, smiling, talking, consoling, bidding him be of good cheer, and instructing him. During this period of spiritual practice he had many uncommon experiences. When he sat to meditate, he would hear strange clicking sounds in the joints of his legs, as if someone were locking them up, one after the other, to keep him motionless; and at the conclusion of his meditation he would again hear the same sounds, this time unlocking them and leaving him free to move about. He would see flashes like a swarm of fire-flies floating before his eyes, or a sea of deep mist around him, with luminous waves of molten silver. Again, from a sea of translucent mist he would behold the Mother rising, first Her feet, then Her waist, body, face, and head, finally Her whole person; he would feel Her breath and hear Her voice. Worshipping in the temple, sometimes he would become exalted, sometimes he would remain motionless as stone, sometimes he would almost collapse from excessive emotion. Many of his actions, contrary to all tradition, seemed sacrilegious to the people. He would take a flower and touch it to his own head, body, and feet, and then offer it to the Goddess. ~ Sri Ramakrishna, Gospel,
692:Is there anyone in the universe, among heavenly or earthly beings, who can understand what Kali is? The systems of all traditions are powerless to describe Her. Is Mother a feminine being or greater than Being itself? Chanting Her transforming Name -- OM KALI OM KALI OM KALI, empowers Lord Shiva, Who is transcendent Knowledge, to drink the negativity of all beings, turning His Throat dark blue. Without Her protection such poison would be deadly, even to the highest Divinity. More than Creator and creation, Mother is sheer Creativity beyond the notion of duality. Universe and Father-God are thrilling glances from Her seductive Eyes. Always pregnant with ecstasy, She gives birth to manifest Being from Her Womb of primal Awareness, nursing it tenderly at Her Breast, then playfully consumes Her Child. The world dissolves instantly upon touching Her white Teeth, attaining the realization of Her brilliant Voidness. The various Divine Forms that manifest throughout history take refuge at Her Lotus Feet. The Essence of Divinity, the Great Ground of Being, lies in ecstatic absorption beneath Her red-soled Feet. Is Mother simply a Goddess? Does She need a male consort to protect or complete Her? The cycle of birth and death bows reverently before Her. Is She simply naked or is She naked Truth? No veil can conceal Her. Her naked radiance slays demons not with weapons but with splendor. If Mother is a conventional wife, why is She dancing fiercely on the breast of Shiva? Her timeless play destroys conventions and conceptions. She is primal purity, Her ecstatic lovers are purity. Purity merges into purity, with no remainder. I am totally inebriated by Her wine of timeless bliss. The wine cup is Her Name -- OM KALI OM KALI OM KALI. Those drunk on ordinary wine assume I am one of them. Not everyone will encounter the dazzling darkness called Goddess Kali. Not everyone can consciously receive the infinite treasure of Her Nature. The foolish mind refuses to perceive and accept that She alone exists. Even the noble Lord Shiva, most enlightened of beings, can barely catch a glimpse of Her flashing crimson Feet. The wealth of world-emperors and the richness of Paradise are but abject poverty to those who meditate on Her. To swim in a single Glance from Her three Cosmic Eyes is to be immersed in an ocean of ecstasy. Not even Shiva, prince of yogis, can focus upon Her dancing Feet without falling into trance. Yet the worthless lover who sings this mad song aspires to conscious union with Her during waking, dream, and deep sleep. [1146.jpg] -- from Great Swan: Meetings with Ramakrishna, by Lex Hixon

~ Sri Ramakrishna, Is there anyone in the universe
,

IN CHAPTERS [89/89]



   56 Yoga
   19 Integral Yoga
   2 Philosophy
   1 Psychology
   1 Mythology


   56 Sri Ramakrishna
   8 Nolini Kanta Gupta
   7 Sri Aurobindo
   4 Sri Ramana Maharshi
   3 Satprem
   3 Nirodbaran
   2 The Mother
   2 Mahendranath Gupta


   55 The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
   10 Talks
   5 Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 07
   3 Twelve Years With Sri Aurobindo
   2 Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness


0.00 - INTRODUCTION, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  About his parents Sri Ramakrishna once said: "My mother was the personification of rectitude and gentleness. She did not know much about the ways of the world; innocent of the art of concealment, she would say what was in her mind. People loved her for her open-heartedness. My father, an orthodox brahmin, never accepted gifts from the sudras. He spent much of his time in worship and meditation, and in repeating God's name and chanting His glories. Whenever in his daily prayers he invoked the Goddess Gayatri, his chest flushed and tears rolled down his cheeks. He spent his leisure hours making garlands for the Family Deity, Raghuvir."
  Khudiram Chattopadhyaya and Chandra Devi, the parents of Sri Ramakrishna, were married in 1799. At that time Khudiram was living in his ancestral village of Dereypore, not far from Kamarpukur. Their first son, Ramkumar, was born in 1805, and their first daughter, Katyayani, in 1810. In 1814 Khudiram was ordered by his landlord to bear false witness in court against a neighbour. When he refused to do so, the landlord brought a false case against him and deprived him of his ancestral property. Thus dispossessed, he arrived, at the invitation of another landlord, in the quiet village of Kamarpukur, where he was given a dwelling and about an acre of fertile land. The crops from this little property were enough to meet his family's simple needs. Here he lived in simplicity, dignity, and contentment.
  Ten years after his coming to Kamarpukur, Khudiram made a pilgrimage on foot to Rameswar, at the southern extremity of India. Two years later was born his second son, whom he named Rameswar. Again in 1835, at the age of sixty, he made a pilgrimage, this time to Gaya. Here, from ancient times, Hindus have come from the four corners of India to discharge their duties to their departed ancestors by offering them food and drink at the sacred footprint of the Lord Vishnu. At this holy place Khudiram had a dream in which the Lord Vishnu promised to he born as his son. And Chandra Devi, too, in front of the Siva temple at Kamarpukur, had a vision indicating the birth of a divine child. Upon his return the husband found that she had conceived.
  --
   corners of the temple compound are two nahabats, or music towers, from which music flows at different times of day, especially at sunup, noon, and sundown, when the worship is performed in the temples. Three sides of the paved courtyard — all except the west — are lined with rooms set apart for kitchens, store-rooms, dining-rooms, and quarters for the temple staff and guests. The chamber in the northwest angle, just beyond the last of the Siva temples, is of special interest to us; for here Sri Ramakrishna was to spend a considerable part of his life. To the west of this chamber is a semicircular porch overlooking the river. In front of the porch runs a foot-path, north and south, and beyond the path is a large garden and, below the garden, the Ganges. The orchard to the north of the buildings contains the Panchavati, the banyan, and the bel-tree, associated with Sri Ramakrishna's spiritual practices. Outside and to the north of the temple compound proper is the kuthi, or bungalow, used by members of Rani Rasmani's family visiting the garden. And north of the temple garden, separated from it by a high wall, is a powder-magazine belonging to the British Government.
   --- SIVA
  --
   Sri Ramakrishna — henceforth we shall call Gadadhar by this familiar name —1 came to the temple garden with his elder brother Ramkumar, who was appointed priest of the Kali temple. Sri Ramakrishna did not at first approve of Ramkumar's working for the sudra Rasmani. The example of their orthodox father was still fresh in Sri Ramakrishna's mind. He objected also to the eating of the cooked offerings of the temple, since, according to orthodox Hindu custom, such food can be offered to the Deity only in the house of a brahmin. But the holy atmosphere of the temple grounds, the solitude of the surrounding wood, the loving care of his brother, the respect shown him by Rani Rasmani and Mathur Babu, the living presence of the Goddess Kali in the temple, and; above all, the proximity of the sacred Ganges, which Sri Ramakrishna always held in the highest respect, gradually overcame his disapproval, and he began to feel at home.
   Within a very short time Sri Ramakrishna attracted the notice of Mathur Babu, who was impressed by the young man's religious fervour and wanted him to participate in the worship in the Kali temple. But Sri Ramakrishna loved his freedom and was indifferent to any worldly career. The profession of the priesthood in a temple founded by a rich woman did not appeal to his mind. Further, he hesitated to take upon himself the responsibility for the ornaments and jewelry of the temple. Mathur had to wait for a suitable occasion.
   At this time there came to Dakshineswar a youth of sixteen, destined to play an important role in Sri Ramakrishna's life. Hriday, a distant nephew2 of Sri Ramakrishna, hailed from Sihore, a village not far from Kamarpukur, and had been his boyhood friend. Clever, exceptionally energetic, and endowed with great presence of mind, he moved, as will be seen later, like a shadow about his uncle and was always ready to help him, even at the sacrifice of his personal comfort. He was destined to be a mute witness of many of the spiritual experiences of Sri Ramakrishna and the caretaker of his body during the stormy days of his spiritual practice. Hriday came to Dakshineswar in search of a job, and Sri Ramakrishna was glad to see him.
   Unable to resist the persuasion of Mathur Babu, Sri Ramakrishna at last entered the temple service, on condition that Hriday should be asked to assist him. His first duty was to dress and decorate the image of Kali.
   One day the priest of the Radhakanta temple accidentally dropped the image of Krishna on the floor, breaking one of its legs. The pundits advised the Rani to install a new image, since the worship of an image with a broken limb was against the scriptural injunctions. But the Rani was fond of the image, and she asked Sri Ramakrishna's opinion. In an abstracted mood, he said: "This solution is ridiculous. If a son-in-law of the Rani broke his leg, would she discard him and put another in his place? Wouldn't she rather arrange for his treatment? Why should she not do the same thing in this case too? Let the image be repaired and worshipped as before." It was a simple, straightforward solution and was accepted by the Rani. Sri Ramakrishna himself mended the break. The priest was dismissed for his carelessness, and at Mathur Babu's earnest request Sri Ramakrishna accepted the office of priest in the Radhakanta temple.
   ^No definite information is available as to the origin of this name. Most probably it was given by Mathur Babu, as Ramlal, Sri Ramakrishna's nephew, has said, quoting the authority of his uncle himself.
   ^Hriday's mother was the daughter of Sri Ramakrishna's aunt (Khudiram's sister). Such a degree of relationship is termed in Bengal that of a "distant nephew".
   --- Sri Ramakrishna AS A PRIEST
   Born in an orthodox brahmin family, Sri Ramakrishna knew the formalities of worship, its rites and rituals. The innumerable gods and goddesses of the Hindu religion are the human aspects of the indescribable and incomprehensible Spirit, as conceived by the finite human mind. They understand and appreciate human love and emotion, help men to realize their secular and spiritual ideals, and ultimately enable men to attain liberation from the miseries of phenomenal life. The Source of light, intelligence, wisdom, and strength is the One alone from whom comes the fulfilment of desire. Yet, as long as a man is bound by his human limitations, he cannot but worship God through human forms. He must use human symbols. Therefore Hinduism asks the devotees to look on God as the ideal father, the ideal mother, the ideal husband, the ideal son, or the ideal friend. But the name ultimately leads to the Nameless, the form to the Formless, the word to the Silence, the emotion to the serene realization of Peace in Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. The gods gradually merge in the one God. But until that realization is achieved, the devotee cannot dissociate human factors from his worship. Therefore the Deity is bathed and clothed and decked with ornaments. He is fed and put to sleep. He is propitiated with hymns, songs, and prayers. And there are appropriate rites connected with all these functions. For instance, to secure for himself external purity, the priest bathes himself in holy water and puts on a holy cloth. He purifies the mind and the sense-organs by appropriate meditations. He fortifies the place of worship against evil forces by drawing around it circles of fire and water. He awakens the different spiritual centres of the body and invokes the Supreme Spirit in his heart. Then he transfers the Supreme Spirit to the image before him and worships the image, regarding it no longer as clay or stone, but as the embodiment of Spirit, throbbing with Life and Consciousness. After the worship the Supreme Spirit is recalled from the image to Its true sanctuary, the heart of the priest. The real devotee knows the absurdity of worshipping the Transcendental Reality with material articles — clothing That which pervades the whole universe and the beyond, putting on a pedestal That which cannot be limited by space, feeding That which is disembodied and incorporeal, singing before That whose glory the music of the spheres tries vainly to proclaim. But through these rites the devotee aspires to go ultimately beyond rites and rituals, forms and names, words and praise, and to realize God as the All-pervading Consciousness.
   Hindu priests are thoroughly acquainted with the rites of worship, but few of them are aware of their underlying significance. They move their hands and limbs mechanically, in obedience to the letter of the scriptures, and repeat the holy mantras like parrots. But from the very beginning the inner meaning of these rites was revealed to Sri Ramakrishna. As he sat facing the image, a strange transformation came over his mind. While going through the prescribed ceremonies, he would actually find himself encircled by a wall of fire protecting him and the place of worship from unspiritual vibrations, or he would feel the rising of the mystic Kundalini through the different centres of the body. The glow on his face, his deep absorption, and the intense atmosphere of the temple impressed everyone who saw him worship the Deity.
   Ramkumar wanted Sri Ramakrishna to learn the intricate rituals of the worship of Kali. To become a priest of Kali one must undergo a special form of initiation from a qualified guru, and for Sri Ramakrishna a suitable brahmin was found. But no sooner did the brahmin speak the holy word in his ear than Sri Ramakrishna, overwhelmed with emotion, uttered a loud cry and plunged into deep concentration.
   Mathur begged Sri Ramakrishna to take charge of the worship in the Kali temple. The young priest pleaded his incompetence and his ignorance of the scriptures. Mathur insisted that devotion and sincerity would more than compensate for any lack of formal knowledge and make the Divine Mother manifest Herself through the image. In the end, Sri Ramakrishna had to yield to Mathur's request. He became the priest of Kali.
   In 1856 Ramkumar breathed his last. Sri Ramakrishna had already witnessed more than one death in the family. He had come to realize how impermanent is life on earth. The more he was convinced of the transitory nature of worldly things, the more eager he became to realize God, the Fountain of Immortality.
   --- THE FIRST VISION OF KALI
   And, indeed, he soon discovered what a strange Goddess he had chosen to serve. He became gradually enmeshed in the web of Her all-pervading presence. To the ignorant She is, to be sure, the image of destruction; but he found in Her the benign, all-loving Mother. Her neck is encircled with a garland of heads, and Her waist with a girdle of human arms, and two of Her hands hold weapons of death, and Her eyes dart a glance of fire; but, strangely enough, Ramakrishna felt in Her breath the soothing touch of tender love and saw in Her the Seed of Immortality. She stands on the bosom of Her Consort, Siva; it is because She is the Sakti, the Power, inseparable from the Absolute. She is surrounded by jackals and other unholy creatures, the denizens of the cremation ground. But is not the Ultimate Reality above holiness and unholiness? She appears to be reeling under the spell of wine. But who would create this mad world unless under the influence of a divine drunkenness? She is the highest symbol of all the forces of nature, the synthesis of their antinomies, the Ultimate Divine in the form of woman. She now became to Sri Ramakrishna the only Reality, and the world became an unsubstantial shadow. Into Her worship he poured his soul. Before him She stood as the transparent portal to the shrine of Ineffable Reality.
   The worship in the temple intensified Sri Ramakrishna's yearning for a living vision of the Mother of the Universe. He began to spend in meditation the time not actually employed in the temple service; and for this purpose he selected an extremely solitary place. A deep jungle, thick with underbrush and prickly plants, lay to the north of the temples. Used at one time as a burial ground, it was shunned by people even during the day-time for fear of ghosts. There Sri Ramakrishna began to spend the whole night in meditation, returning to his room only in the morning with eyes swollen as though from much weeping. While meditating, he would lay aside his cloth and his brahminical thread. Explaining this strange conduct, he once said to Hriday: "Don't you know that when one thinks of God one should be freed from all ties? From our very birth we have the eight fetters of hatred, shame, lineage, pride of good conduct, fear, secretiveness, caste, and grief. The sacred thread reminds me that I am a brahmin and therefore superior to all. When calling on the Mother one has to set aside all such ideas." Hriday thought his uncle was becoming insane.
   As his love for God deepened, he began either to forget or to drop the formalities of worship. Sitting before the image, he would spend hours singing the devotional songs of great devotees of the Mother, such as Kamalakanta and Ramprasad. Those rhapsodical songs, describing the direct vision of God, only intensified Sri Ramakrishna's longing. He felt the pangs of a child separated from its mother. Sometimes, in agony, he would rub his face against the ground and weep so bitterly that people, thinking he had lost his earthly mother, would sympathize with him in his grief. Sometimes, in moments of scepticism, he would cry: "Art Thou true, Mother, or is it all fiction — mere poetry without any reality? If Thou dost exist, why do I not see Thee? Is religion a mere fantasy and art Thou only a figment of man's imagination?" Sometimes he would sit on the prayer carpet for two hours like an inert object. He began to behave in an abnormal manner
  , most of the time unconscious of the world. He almost gave up food; and sleep left him altogether.
  --
   It is said that samadhi, or trance, no more than opens the portal of the spiritual realm. Sri Ramakrishna felt an unquenchable desire to enjoy God in various ways. For his meditation he built a place in the northern wooded section of the temple garden. With Hriday's help he planted there five sacred trees. The spot, known as the Panchavati, became the scene of many of his visions.
   As his spiritual mood deepened he more and more felt himself to be a child of the Divine Mother. He learnt to surrender himself completely to Her will and let Her direct him.
  --
   On a certain occasion Mathur Babu stealthily entered the temple to watch the worship. He was profoundly moved by the young priest's devotion and sincerity. He realized that Sri Ramakrishna had transformed the stone image into the living Goddess.
   Sri Ramakrishna one day fed a cat with the food that was to be offered to Kali. This was too much for the manager of the temple garden, who considered himself responsible for the proper conduct of the worship. He reported Sri Ramakrishna's insane behaviour to Mathur Babu.
   Sri Ramakrishna has described the incident: "The Divine Mother revealed to me in the Kali temple that it was She who had become everything. She showed me that everything was full of Consciousness. The image was Consciousness, the altar was Consciousness, the water-vessels were Consciousness, the door-sill was Consciousness, the marble floor was Consciousness — all was Consciousness. I found everything inside the room soaked, as it were, in Bliss — the Bliss of God. I saw a wicked man in front of the Kali temple; but in him also I saw the power of the Divine Mother vibrating. That was why I fed a cat with the food that was to be offered to the Divine Mother. I clearly perceived that all this was the Divine Mother — even the cat. The manager of the temple garden wrote to Mathur Babu saying that I was feeding the cat with the offering intended for the Divine Mother. But Mathur Babu had insight into the state of my mind. He wrote back to the manager: 'Let him do whatever he likes. You must not say anything to him.'"
   One of the painful ailments from which Sri Ramakrishna suffered at this time was a burning sensation in his body, and he was cured by a strange vision. During worship in the temple, following the scriptural injunctions, he would imagine the presence of the "sinner" in himself and the destruction of this "sinner". One day he was meditating in the Panchavati, when he saw come out of him a red-eyed man of black complexion, reeling like a drunkard. Soon there emerged from him another person, of serene countenance, wearing the ochre cloth of a sannyasi and carrying in his hand a trident. The second person attacked the first and killed him with the trident. Thereafter Sri Ramakrishna was free of his pain.
   About this time he began to worship God by assuming the attitude of a servant toward his master. He imitated the mood of Hanuman, the monkey chieftain of the Ramayana, the ideal servant of Rama and traditional model for this self-effacing form of devotion. When he meditated on Hanuman his movements and his way of life began to resemble those of a monkey. His eyes became restless. He lived on fruits and roots. With his cloth tied around his waist, a portion of it hanging in the form of a tail, he jumped from place to place instead of walking. And after a short while he was blessed with a vision of Sita, the divine consort of Rama, who entered his body and disappeared there with the words, "I bequeath to you my smile."
   Mathur had faith in the sincerity of Sri Ramakrishna's spiritual zeal, but began now to doubt his sanity. He had watched him jumping about like a monkey. One day, when Rani Rasmani was listening to Sri Ramakrishna's singing in the temple, the young priest abruptly turned and slapped her. Apparently listening to his song, she had actually been thinking of a law-suit. She accepted the punishment as though the Divine Mother Herself had imposed it; but Mathur was distressed. He begged Sri Ramakrishna to keep his feelings under control and to heed the conventions of society. God Himself, he argued, follows laws. God never permitted, for instance, flowers of two colours to grow on the same stalk. The following day Sri Ramakrishna presented Mathur Babu with two hibiscus flowers growing on the same stalk, one red and one white.
   Mathur and Rani Rasmani began to ascribe the mental ailment of Sri Ramakrishna in part, at least, to his observance of rigid continence. Thinking that a natural life would relax the tension of his nerves, they engineered a plan with two women of ill fame. But as soon as the women entered his room, Sri Ramakrishna beheld in them the manifestation of the Divine Mother of the Universe and went into samadhi uttering Her name.
   --- HALADHARI
   In 1858 there came to Dakshineswar a cousin of Sri Ramakrishna, Haladhari by name, who was to remain there about eight years. On account of Sri Ramakrishna's indifferent health, Mathur appointed this man to the office of priest in the Kali temple. He was a complex character, versed in the letter of the scriptures, but hardly aware of their spirit. He loved to participate in hair-splitting theological discussions and, by the measure of his own erudition, he proceeded to gauge Sri Ramakrishna. An orthodox brahmin, he thoroughly disapproved of his cousin's unorthodox actions, but he was not unimpressed by Sri Ramakrishna's purity of life, ecstatic love of God, and yearning for realization.
   One day Haladhari upset Sri Ramakrishna with the statement that God is incomprehensible to the human mind. Sri Ramakrishna has described the great moment of doubt when he wondered whether his visions had really misled him: "With sobs I prayed to the Mother, 'Canst Thou have the heart to deceive me like this because I am a fool?' A stream of tears flowed from my eyes. Shortly afterwards I saw a volume of mist rising from the floor and filling the space before me. In the midst of it there appeared a face with flowing beard, calm, highly expressive, and fair. Fixing its gaze steadily upon me, it said solemnly, 'Remain in bhavamukha, on the threshold of relative consciousness.' This it repeated three times and then it gently disappeared in the mist, which itself dissolved. This vision reassured me."
   A garbled report of Sri Ramakrishna's failing health, indifference to worldly life, and various abnormal activities reached Kamarpukur and filled the heart of his poor mother with anguish. At her repeated request he returned to his village for a change of air. But his boyhood friends did not interest him any more. A divine fever was consuming him. He spent a great part of the day and night in one of the cremation grounds, in meditation. The place reminded him of the impermanence of the human body, of human hopes and achievements. It also reminded him of Kali, the Goddess of destruction.
   --- MARRIAGE AND AFTER
  --
   Saradamani, a little girl of five, lived in the neighbouring village of Jayrambati. Even at this age she had been praying to God to make her character as stainless and fragrant as the white tuberose. Looking at the full moon, she would say: "O God, there are dark spots even on the moon. But make my character spotless." It was she who was selected as the bride for Sri Ramakrishna.
   The marriage ceremony was duly performed. Such early marriage in India is in the nature of a betrothal, the marriage being consummated when the girl attains puberty. But in this case the marriage remained for ever unconsummated. Sri Ramakrishna lived at Kamarpukur about a year and a half and then returned to Dakshineswar.
   Hardly had he crossed the threshold of the Kali temple when he found himself again in the whirlwind. His madness reappeared tenfold. The same meditation and prayer, the same ecstatic moods, the same burning sensation, the same weeping, the same sleeplessness, the same indifference to the body and the outside world, the same divine delirium. He subjected himself to fresh disciplines in order to eradicate greed and lust, the two great impediments to spiritual progress. With a rupee in one hand and some earth in the other, he would reflect on the comparative value of these two for the realization of God, and finding them equally worthless he would toss them, with equal indifference, into the Ganges. Women he regarded as the manifestations of the Divine Mother. Never even in a dream did he feel the impulses of lust. And to root out of his mind the idea of caste superiority, he cleaned a pariahs house with his long and neglected hair. When he would sit in meditation, birds would perch on his head and peck in his hair for grains of food. Snakes would crawl over his body, and neither would be aware of the other. Sleep left him altogether. Day and night, visions flitted before him. He saw the sannyasi who had previously killed the "sinner" in him again coming out of his body, threatening him with the trident, and ordering him to concentrate on God. Or the same sannyasi would visit distant places, following a luminous path, and bring him reports of what was happening there. Sri Ramakrishna used to say later that in the case of an advanced devotee the mind itself becomes the guru, living and moving like an embodied being.
   Rani Rasmani, the foundress of the temple garden, passed away in 1861. After her death her son-in-law Mathur became the sole executor of the estate. He placed himself and his resources at the disposal of Sri Ramakrishna and began to look after his physical comfort. Sri Ramakrishna later spoke of him as one of his five "suppliers of stores" appointed by the Divine Mother. Whenever a desire arose in his mind, Mathur fulfilled it without hesitation.
   --- THE BRAHMANI
   There came to Dakshineswar at this time a brahmin woman who was to play an important part in Sri Ramakrishna's spiritual unfoldment. Born in East Bengal, she was an adept in the Tantrik and Vaishnava methods of worship. She was slightly over fifty years of age, handsome, and garbed in the orange robe of a nun. Her sole possessions were a few books and two pieces of wearing-cloth.
   Sri Ramakrishna welcomed the visitor with great respect, described to her his experiences and visions, and told her of people's belief that these were symptoms of madness. She listened to him attentively and said: "My son, everyone in this world is mad. Some are mad for money, some for creature comforts, some for name and fame; and you are mad for God." She assured him that he was passing through the almost unknown spiritual experience described in the scriptures as mahabhava, the most exalted rapture of divine love. She told him that this extreme exaltation had been described as manifesting itself through nineteen physical symptoms, including the shedding of tears, a tremor of the body, horripilation, perspiration, and a burning sensation. The Bhakti scriptures, she declared, had recorded only two instances of the experience, namely, those of Sri Radha and Sri Chaitanya.
   Very soon a tender relationship sprang up between Sri Ramakrishna and the Brahmani, she looking upon him as the Baby Krishna, and he upon her as mother. Day after day she watched his ecstasy during the kirtan and meditation, his samadhi, his mad yearning; and she recognized in him a power to transmit spirituality to others. She came to the conclusion that such things were not possible for an ordinary devotee, not even for a highly developed soul. Only an Incarnation of God was capable of such spiritual manifestations. She proclaimed openly that Sri Ramakrishna, like Sri Chaitanya, was an Incarnation of God.
   When Sri Ramakrishna told Mathur what the Brahmani had said about him, Mathur shook his head in doubt. He was reluctant to accept him as an Incarnation of God, an Avatar comparable to Rama, Krishna, Buddha, and Chaitanya, though he admitted Sri Ramakrishna's extraordinary spirituality. Whereupon the Brahmani asked Mathur to arrange a conference of scholars who should discuss the matter with her. He agreed to the proposal and the meeting was arranged. It was to be held in the natmandir in front of the Kali temple.
   Two famous pundits of the time were invited: Vaishnavcharan, the leader of the Vaishnava society, and Gauri. The first to arrive was Vaishnavcharan, with a distinguished company of scholars and devotees. The Brahmani, like a proud mother, proclaimed her view before him and supported it with quotations from the scriptures. As the pundits discussed the deep theological question, Sri Ramakrishna, perfectly indifferent to everything happening around him, sat in their midst like a child, immersed in his own thoughts, sometimes smiling, sometimes chewing a pinch of spices from a pouch, or again saying to Vaishnavcharan with a nudge: "Look here. Sometimes I feel like this, too." Presently Vaishnavcharan arose to declare himself in total agreement with the view of the Brahmani. He declared that Sri Ramakrishna had undoubtedly experienced mahabhava and that this was the certain sign of the rare manifestation of God in a man. The people assembled
   there, especially the officers of the temple garden, were struck dumb. Sri Rama- krishna said to Mathur, like a boy: "Just fancy, he too says so! Well, I am glad to learn that after all it is not a disease."
   When, a few days later, Pundit Gauri arrived, another meeting was held, and he agreed with the view of the Brahmani and Vaishnavcharan. To Sri Ramakrishna's remark that Vaishnavcharan had declared him to be an Avatar, Gauri replied: "Is that all he has to say about you? Then he has said very little. I am fully convinced that you are that Mine of Spiritual Power, only a small fraction of which descends on earth, from time to time, in the form of an Incarnation."
   "Ah!" said Sri Ramakrishna with a smile, "you seem to have quite outbid Vaishnavcharan in this matter. What have you found in me that makes you entertain such an idea?"
   Gauri said: "I feel it in my heart and I have the scriptures on my side. I am ready to prove it to anyone who challenges me."
   "Well," Sri Ramakrishna said, "it is you who say so; but, believe me, I know nothing about it."
   Thus the insane priest was by verdict of the great scholars of the day proclaimed a Divine Incarnation. His visions were not the result of an over-heated brain; they had precedent in spiritual history. And how did the proclamation affect Sri Ramakrishna himself? He remained the simple child of the Mother that he had been since the first day of his life. Years later, when two of his householder disciples openly spoke of him as a Divine Incarnation and the matter was reported to him, he said with a touch of sarcasm: "Do they think they will enhance my glory that way? One of them is an actor on the stage and the other a physician. What do they know about Incarnations? Why, years ago pundits like Gauri and Vaishnavcharan declared me to be an Avatar. They were great scholars and knew what they said. But that did not make any change in my mind."
   Sri Ramakrishna was a learner all his life. He often used to quote a proverb to his disciples: "Friend, the more I live the more I learn." When the excitement created by the Brahmani's declaration was over, he set himself to the task of practising spiritual disciplines according to the traditional methods laid down in the Tantra and Vaishnava scriptures. Hitherto he had pursued his spiritual ideal according to the promptings of his own mind and heart. Now he accepted the Brahmani as his guru and set foot on the traditional highways.
   --- TANTRA
  --
   Sri Ramakrishna set himself to the task of practising the disciplines of Tantra; and at the bidding of the Divine Mother Herself he accepted the Brahmani as his guru. He performed profound and delicate ceremonies in the Panchavati and under the bel-tree at the northern extremity of the temple compound. He practised all the disciplines of the sixty-four principal Tantra books, and it took him never more than three days to achieve the result promised in any one of them. After the observance of a few preliminary rites, he would be overwhelmed with a strange divine fervour and would go into samadhi, where his mind would dwell in exaltation. Evil ceased to exist for him. The word "carnal" lost its meaning. The whole world and everything in it appeared as the lila, the sport, of Siva and Sakti. He beheld held everywhere manifest the power and beauty of the Mother; the whole world, animate and inanimate, appeared to him as pervaded with Chit, Consciousness, and with Ananda, Bliss.
   He saw in a vision the Ultimate Cause of the universe as a huge luminous triangle giving birth every moment to an infinite number of worlds. He heard the Anahata Sabda, the great sound Om, of which the innumerable sounds of the universe are only so many echoes. He acquired the eight supernatural powers of yoga, which make a man almost omnipotent, and these he spurned as of no value whatsoever to the Spirit. He had a vision of the divine Maya, the inscrutable Power of God, by which the universe is created and sustained, and into which it is finally absorbed. In this vision he saw a woman of exquisite beauty, about to become a mother, emerging from the Ganges and slowly approaching the Panchavati. Presently she gave birth to a child and began to nurse it tenderly. A moment later she assumed a terrible aspect, seized the child with her grim jaws, and crushed it. Swallowing it, she re-entered the waters of the Ganges.
  --
   After completing the Tantrik sadhana Sri Ramakrishna followed the Brahmani in the disciplines of Vaishnavism. The Vaishnavas are worshippers of Vishnu, the "All-pervading", the Supreme God, who is also known as Hari and Narayana. Of Vishnu's various Incarnations the two with the largest number of followers are Rama and Krishna.
   Vaishnavism is exclusively a religion of bhakti. Bhakti is intense love of God, attachment to Him alone; it is of the nature of bliss and bestows upon the lover immortality and liberation. God, according to Vaishnavism, cannot be realized through logic or reason; and, without bhakti, all penances, austerities and rites are futile. Man cannot realize God by self-exertion alone. For the vision of God His grace is absolutely necessary, and this grace is felt by the pure of heart. The mind is to be purified through bhakti. The pure mind then remains for ever immersed in the ecstasy of God-vision. It is the cultivation of this divine love that is the chief concern of the Vaishnava religion.
  --
   Sri Ramakrishna, as the monkey Hanuman, had already worshipped God as his Master. Through his devotion to Kali he had worshipped God as his Mother. He was now to take up the other relationships prescribed by the Vaishnava scriptures.
   --- RAMLALA
  --
   Sri Ramakrishna, much impressed with his devotion, requested Jatadhari to spend a few days at Dakshineswar. Soon Ramlala became the favourite companion of Sri Ramakrishna too. Later on he described to the devotees how the little image would dance gracefully before him, jump on his back, insist on being taken in his arms, run to the fields in the sun, pluck flowers from the bushes, and play pranks like a naughty boy. A very sweet relationship sprang up between him and Ramlala, for whom he felt the love of a mother.
   One day Jatadhari requested Sri Ramakrishna to keep the image and bade him adieu with tearful eyes. He declared that Ramlala had fulfilled his innermost prayer and that he now had no more need of formal worship. A few days later Sri Ramakrishna was blessed through Ramlala with a vision of Ramachandra, whereby he realized that the Rama of the Ramayana, the son of Dasaratha, pervades the whole universe as Spirit and Consciousness; that He is its Creator, Sustainer, and Destroyer; that, in still another aspect, He is the transcendental Brahman, without form, attribute, or name.
   While worshipping Ramlala as the Divine Child, Sri Ramakrishna's heart became filled with motherly tenderness, and he began to regard himself as a woman. His speech and gestures changed. He began to move freely with the ladies of Mathur's family, who now looked upon him as one of their own sex. During this time he worshipped the Divine Mother as Her companion or handmaid.
   --- IN COMMUNION WITH THE DIVINE BELOVED
   Sri Ramakrishna now devoted himself to scaling the most inaccessible and dizzy heights of dualistic worship, namely, the complete union with Sri Krishna as the Beloved of the heart. He regarded himself as one of the gopis of Vrindavan, mad with longing for her divine Sweetheart. At his request Mathur provided him with woman's dress and jewelry. In this love-pursuit, food and drink were forgotten. Day and night he wept bitterly. The yearning turned into a mad frenzy; for the divine Krishna began to play with him the old tricks He had played with the gopis. He would tease and taunt, now and then revealing Himself, but always keeping at a distance. Sri Ramakrishna's anguish brought on a return of the old physical symptoms: the burning sensation, an oozing of blood through the pores, a loosening of the joints, and the stopping of physiological functions.
   The Vaishnava scriptures advise one to propitiate Radha and obtain her grace in order to realize Sri Krishna. So the tortured devotee now turned his prayer to her. Within a short time he enjoyed her blessed vision. He saw and felt the figure of Radha disappearing into his own body.
  --
   Now one with Radha, he manifested the great ecstatic love, the mahabhava, which had found in her its fullest expression. Later Sri Ramakrishna said: "The manifestation in the same individual of the nineteen different kinds of emotion for God is called, in the books on bhakti, mahabhava. An ordinary man takes a whole lifetime to express even a single one of these. But in this body [meaning himself] there has been a complete manifestation of all nineteen."
   The love of Radha is the precursor of the resplendent vision of Sri Krishna, and Sri Ramakrishna soon experienced that vision. The enchanting ing form of Krishna appeared to him and merged in his person. He became Krishna; he totally forgot his own individuality and the world; he saw Krishna in himself and in the universe. Thus he attained to the fulfilment of the worship of the Personal God. He drank from the fountain of Immortal Bliss. The agony of his heart vanished forever. He realized Amrita, Immortality, beyond the shadow of death.
   One day, listening to a recitation of the Bhagavata on the verandah of the Radhakanta temple, he fell into a divine mood and saw the enchanting form of Krishna. He perceived the luminous rays issuing from Krishna's Lotus Feet in the form of a stout rope, which touched first the Bhagavata and then his own chest, connecting all three — God, the scripture, and the devotee. "After this vision", he used to say, "I came to realize that Bhagavan, Bhakta, and Bhagavata — God, Devotee, and Scripture — are in reality one and the same."
  --
   The Brahmani was the enthusiastic teacher and astonished beholder of Sri Ramakrishna in his spiritual progress. She became proud of the achievements of her unique pupil. But the pupil himself was not permitted to rest; his destiny beckoned him forward. His Divine Mother would allow him no respite till he had left behind the entire realm of duality with its visions, experiences, and ecstatic dreams. But for the new ascent the old tender guides would not suffice. The Brahmani, on whom he had depended for, three years, saw her son escape from her to follow the command of a teacher with masculine strength, a sterner mien, a gnarled physique, and a virile voice. The new guru was a wandering monk, the sturdy Totapuri, whom Sri Ramakrishna learnt to address affectionately as Nangta, the "Naked One", because of his total renunciation of all earthly objects and attachments, including even a piece of wearing cloth.
   Totapuri was the bearer of a philosophy new to Sri Ramakrishna, the non-dualistic Vedanta philosophy, whose conclusions Totapuri had experienced in his own life. This ancient Hindu system designates the Ultimate Reality as Brahman, also described as Satchidananda, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. Brahman is the only Real Existence. In It there is no time, no space, no causality, no multiplicity. But through maya, Its inscrutable Power, time, space, and causality are created and the One appears to break into the many. The eternal Spirit appears as a manifold of individuals endowed with form and subject to the conditions of time. The Immortal becomes a victim of birth and death. The Changeless undergoes change. The sinless Pure Soul, hypnotized by Its own maya, experiences the joys of heaven and the pains of hell. But these experiences based on the duality of the subject-object relationship are unreal. Even the vision of a Personal God
   is, ultimately speaking, as illusory as the experience of any other object. Man attains his liberation, therefore, by piercing the veil of maya and rediscovering his total identity with Brahman. Knowing himself to be one with the Universal Spirit, he realizes ineffable Peace. Only then does he go beyond the fiction of birth and death; only then does he become immortal. 'And this is the ultimate goal of all religions — to dehypnotize the soul now hypnotized by its own ignorance.
  --
   Totapuri, discovering at once that Sri Ramakrishna was prepared to be a student of Vedanta, asked to initiate him into its mysteries. With the permission of the Divine Mother, Sri Ramakrishna agreed to the proposal. But Totapuri explained that only a sannyasi could receive the teaching of Vedanta. Sri Ramakrishna agreed to renounce the world, but with the stipulation that the ceremony of his initiation into the monastic order be performed in secret, to spare the feelings of his old mother, who had been living with him at Dakshineswar.
   On the appointed day, in the small hours of the morning, a fire was lighted in the Panchavati. Totapuri and Sri Ramakrishna sat before it. The flame played on their faces. "Ramakrishna was a small brown man with a short beard and beautiful eyes, long dark eyes, full of light, obliquely set and slightly veiled, never very wide open, but seeing half-closed a great distance both outwardly and inwardly. His mouth was open over his white teeth in a bewitching smile, at once affectionate and mischievous. Of medium height, he was thin to emaciation and extremely delicate. His temperament was high-strung, for he was supersensitive to all the winds of joy and sorrow, both moral and physical. He was indeed a living reflection of all that happened before the mirror of his eyes, a two-sided mirror, turned both out and in." (Romain Rolland, Prophets of the New India, pp. 38-9.) Facing him, the other rose like a rock. He was very tall and robust, a sturdy and tough oak. His constitution and mind were of iron. He was the strong leader of men.
   In the burning flame before him Sri Ramakrishna performed the rituals of destroying his attachment to relatives, friends, body, mind, sense-organs, ego, and the world. The leaping flame swallowed it all, making the initiate free and pure. The sacred thread and the tuft of hair were consigned to the fire, completing his severance from caste, sex, and society. Last of all he burnt in that fire, with all that is holy as his witness, his desire for enjoyment here and hereafter. He uttered the sacred mantras giving assurance of safety and fearlessness to all beings, who were only manifestations of his own Self. The rites completed, the disciple received from the guru the loin-cloth and ochre robe, the emblems of his new life.
   The teacher and the disciple repaired to the meditation room near by. Totapuri began to impart to Sri Ramakrishna the great truths of Vedanta.
   "Brahman", he said, "is the only Reality, ever pure, ever illumined, ever free, beyond the limits of time, space, and causation. Though apparently divided by names and forms through the inscrutable power of maya, that enchantress who makes the impossible possible, Brahman is really One and undivided. When a seeker merges in the beatitude of samadhi, he does not perceive time and space or name and form, the offspring of maya. Whatever is within the domain of maya is unreal. Give it up. Destroy the prison-house of name and form and rush out of it with the strength of a lion. Dive deep in search of the Self and realize It through samadhi. You will find the world of name and form vanishing into void, and the puny ego dissolving in Brahman-Consciousness. You will realize your identity with Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute." Quoting the Upanishad, Totapuri said: "That knowledge is shallow by which one sees or hears or knows another
  --
   Totapuri asked the disciple to withdraw his mind from all objects of the relative world, including the gods and goddesses, and to concentrate on the Absolute. But the task was not easy even for Sri Ramakrishna. He found it impossible to take his mind beyond Kali, the Divine Mother of the Universe. "After the initiation", Sri Ramakrishna once said, describing the event, "Nangta began to teach me the various conclusions of the Advaita Vedanta and asked me to withdraw the mind completely from all objects and dive deep into the Atman. But in spite of all my attempts I could not altogether cross the realm of name and form and bring my mind to the unconditioned state. I had no difficulty in taking the mind from all the objects of the world. But the radiant and too familiar figure of the Blissful Mother, the Embodiment of the essence of Pure Consciousness, appeared before me as a living reality. Her bewitching smile prevented me from passing into the Great Beyond. Again and again I tried, but She stood in my way every time. In despair I said to Nangta: 'It is hopeless. I cannot raise my mind to the unconditioned state and come face to face with Atman.' He grew excited and sharply said: 'What? You can't do it? But you have to.' He cast his eyes around. Finding a piece of glass he took it up and stuck it between my eyebrows. 'Concentrate the mind on this point!' he thundered. Then with stern determination I again sat to meditate. As soon as the gracious form of the Divine Mother appeared before me, I used my discrimination as a sword and with it clove Her in two. The last barrier fell. My spirit at once soared beyond the relative plane and I lost myself in samadhi."
   Sri Ramakrishna remained completely absorbed in samadhi for three days. "Is it really true?" Totapuri cried out in astonishment. "Is it possible that he has attained in a single day what it took me forty years of strenuous practice to achieve? Great God! It is nothing short of a miracle!" With the help of Totapuri, Sri Ramakrishna's mind finally came down to the relative plane.
   Totapuri, a monk of the most orthodox type, never stayed at a place more than three days. But he remained at Dakshineswar eleven months. He too had something to learn.
  --
   Sri Ramakrishna, on the other hand, though fully aware, like his guru, that the world is an illusory appearance, instead of slighting maya, like an orthodox monist, acknowledged its power in the relative life. He was all love and reverence for maya, perceiving in it a mysterious and majestic expression of Divinity. To him maya itself was God, for everything was God. It was one of the faces of Brahman. What he had realized on the heights of the transcendental plane, he also found here below, everywhere about him, under the mysterious garb of names and forms. And this garb was a perfectly transparent sheath, through which he recognized the glory of the Divine Immanence. Maya, the mighty weaver of the garb, is none other than Kali, the Divine Mother. She is the primordial Divine Energy, Sakti, and She can no more be distinguished from the Supreme Brahman than can the power of burning be distinguished from fire. She projects the world and again withdraws it. She spins it as the spider spins its web. She is the Mother of the Universe, identical with the Brahman of Vedanta, and with the Atman of Yoga. As eternal Lawgiver, She makes and unmakes laws; it is by Her imperious will that karma yields its fruit. She ensnares men with illusion and again releases them from bondage with a look of Her benign eyes. She is the supreme Mistress of the cosmic play, and all objects, animate and inanimate, dance by Her will. Even those who realize the Absolute in nirvikalpa samadhi are under Her jurisdiction as long as they still live on the relative plane.
   Thus, after nirvikalpa samadhi, Sri Ramakrishna realized maya in an altogether new role. The binding aspect of Kali vanished from before his vision. She no longer obscured his understanding. The world became the glorious manifestation of the Divine Mother. Maya became Brahman. The Transcendental Itself broke through the Immanent. Sri Ramakrishna discovered that maya operates in the relative world in two ways, and he termed these "avidyamaya" and "vidyamaya". Avidyamaya represents the dark forces of creation: sensuous desires, evil passions, greed, lust, cruelty, and so on. It sustains the world system on the lower planes. It is responsible for the round of man's birth and death. It must be fought and vanquished. But vidyamaya is the higher force of creation: the spiritual virtues, the enlightening qualities, kindness, purity, love, devotion. Vidyamaya elevates man to the higher planes of consciousness. With the help of vidyamaya the devotee rids himself of avidyamaya; he then becomes mayatita, free of maya. The two aspects of maya are the two forces of creation, the two powers of Kali; and She stands beyond them both. She is like the effulgent sun, bringing into existence and shining through and standing behind the clouds of different colours and shapes, conjuring up wonderful forms in the blue autumn heaven.
   The Divine Mother asked Sri Ramakrishna not to be lost in the featureless Absolute but to remain, in bhavamukha, on the threshold of relative consciousness, the border line between the Absolute and the Relative. He was to keep himself at the "sixth centre" of Tantra, from which he could see not only the glory of the seventh, but also the divine manifestations of the Kundalini in the lower centres. He gently oscillated back and forth across the dividing line. Ecstatic devotion to the Divine Mother alternated with serene absorption in the Ocean of Absolute Unity. He thus bridged the gulf between the Personal and the Impersonal, the immanent and the transcendent aspects of Reality. This is a unique experience in the recorded spiritual history of the world.
   --- TOTAPURI'S LESSON
   From Sri Ramakrishna Totapuri had to learn the significance of Kali, the Great Fact of the relative world, and of maya, Her indescribable Power.
   One day, when guru and disciple were engaged in an animated discussion about Vedanta, a servant of the temple garden came there and took a coal from the sacred fire that had been lighted by the great ascetic. He wanted it to light his tobacco. Totapuri flew into a rage and was about to beat the man. Sri Ramakrishna rocked with laughter. "What a shame!" he cried. "You are explaining to me the reality of Brahman and the illusoriness of the world; yet now you have so far forgotten yourself as to be about to beat a man in a fit of passion. The power of maya is indeed inscrutable!" Totapuri was embarrassed.
   About this time Totapuri was suddenly laid up with a severe attack of dysentery. On account of this miserable illness he found it impossible to meditate. One night the pain became excruciating. He could no longer concentrate on Brahman. The body stood in the way. He became incensed with its demands. A free soul, he did not at all care for the body. So he determined to drown it in the Ganges. Thereupon he walked into the river. But, lo! He walks to the other bank." (This version of the incident is taken from the biography of Sri Ramakrishna by Swami Saradananda, one of the Master's direct disciples.) Is there not enough water in the Ganges? Standing dumbfounded on the other bank he looks back across the water. The trees, the temples, the houses, are silhouetted against the sky. Suddenly, in one dazzling moment, he sees on all sides the presence of the Divine Mother. She is in everything; She is everything. She is in the water; She is on land. She is the body; She is the mind. She is pain; She is comfort. She is knowledge; She is ignorance. She is life; She is death. She is everything that one sees, hears, or imagines. She turns "yea" into "nay", and "nay" into "yea". Without Her grace no embodied being can go beyond Her realm. Man has no free will. He is not even free to die. Yet, again, beyond the body and mind She resides in Her Transcendental, Absolute aspect. She is the Brahman that Totapuri had been worshipping all his life.
   Totapuri returned to Dakshineswar and spent the remaining hours of the night meditating on the Divine Mother. In the morning he went to the Kali temple with Sri Ramakrishna and prostrated himself before the image of the Mother. He now realized why he had spent eleven months at Dakshineswar. Bidding farewell to the disciple, he continued on his way, enlightened.
   Sri Ramakrishna later described the significance of Totapuri's lessons:
   "When I think of the Supreme Being as inactive — neither creating nor preserving nor destroying —, I call Him Brahman or Purusha, the Impersonal God. When I think of Him as active — creating, preserving, and destroying —, I call Him Sakti or Maya or Prakriti, the Personal God. But the distinction between them does not mean a difference. The Personal and the Impersonal are the same thing, like milk and its whiteness, the diamond and its lustre, the snake and its wriggling motion. It is impossible to conceive of the one without the other. The Divine Mother and Brahman are one."
   After the departure of Totapuri, Sri Ramakrishna remained for six months in a state of absolute identity with Brahman. "For six months at a stretch", he said, "I remained in that state from which ordinary men can never return; generally the body falls off, after three weeks, like a sere leaf. I was not conscious of day and night. Flies would enter my mouth and nostrils just as they do a dead body's, but I did not feel them. My hair became matted with dust."
   His body would not have survived but for the kindly attention of a monk who happened to be at Dakshineswar at that time and who somehow realized that for the good of humanity Sri Ramakrishna's body must be preserved. He tried various means, even physical violence, to recall the fleeing soul to the prison-house of the body, and during the resultant fleeting moments of consciousness he would push a few morsels of food down Sri Ramakrishna's throat. Presently Sri Ramakrishna received the command of the Divine Mother to remain on the threshold of relative consciousness. Soon there-after after he was afflicted with a serious attack of dysentery. Day and night the pain tortured him, and his mind gradually came down to the physical plane.
   --- COMPANY OF HOLY MEN AND DEVOTEES
   From now on Sri Ramakrishna began to seek the company of devotees and holy men. He had gone through the storm and stress of spiritual disciplines and visions. Now he realized an inner calmness and appeared to others as a normal person. But he could not bear the company of worldly people or listen to their talk. Fortunately the holy atmosphere of Dakshineswar and the liberality of Mathur attracted monks and holy men from all parts of the country. Sadhus of all denominations — monists and dualists, Vaishnavas and Vedantists, Saktas and worshippers of Rama — flocked there in ever increasing numbers. Ascetics and visionaries came to seek Sri Ramakrishna's advice. Vaishnavas had come during the period of his Vaishnava sadhana, and Tantriks when he practised the disciplines of Tantra. Vedantists began to arrive after the departure of Totapuri. In the room of Sri Ramakrishna, who was then in bed with dysentery, the Vedantists engaged in scriptural discussions, and, forgetting his own physical suffering, he solved their doubts by referring directly to his own experiences. Many of the visitors were genuine spiritual souls, the unseen pillars of Hinduism, and their spiritual lives were quickened in no small measure by the sage of Dakshineswar. Sri Ramakrishna in turn learnt from them anecdotes concerning the ways and the conduct of holy men, which he subsequently narrated to his devotees and disciples. At his request Mathur provided him with large stores of food-stuffs, clothes, and so forth, for distribution among the wandering monks.
   " Sri Ramakrishna had not read books, yet he possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of religions and religious philosophies. This he acquired from his contacts with innumerable holy men and scholars. He had a unique power of assimilation; through meditation he made this knowledge a part of his being. Once, when he was asked by a disciple about the source of his seemingly inexhaustible knowledge, he replied; "I have not read; but I have heard the learned. I have made a garland of their knowledge, wearing it round my neck, and I have given it as an offering at the feet of the Mother."
   Sri Ramakrishna used to say that when the flower blooms the bees come to it for honey of their own accord. Now many souls began to visit Dakshineswar to satisfy their spiritual hunger. He, the devotee and aspirant, became the Master. Gauri, the great scholar who had been one of the first to proclaim Sri Ramakrishna an Incarnation of God, paid the Master a visit in 1870 and with the Master's blessings renounced the world. Narayan Shastri, another great pundit, who had mastered the six systems of Hindu philosophy and had been offered a lucrative post by the Maharaja of Jaipur, met the Master and recognized in him one who had realized in life those ideals which he himself had encountered merely in books. Sri Ramakrishna initiated Narayan Shastri, at his earnest request, into the life of sannyas. Pundit Padmalochan, the court pundit of the Maharaja of Burdwan, well known for his scholarship in both the Vedanta and the Nyaya systems of philosophy, accepted the Master as an Incarnation of God. Krishnakishore, a Vedantist scholar, became devoted to the Master. And there arrived Viswanath Upadhyaya, who was to become a favourite devotee; Sri Ramakrishna always addressed him as "Captain". He was a high officer of the King of Nepal and had received the title of Colonel in recognition of his merit. A scholar of the Gita, the Bhagavata, and the Vedanta philosophy, he daily performed the worship of his Chosen Deity with great devotion. "I have read the Vedas and the other scriptures", he said. "I have also met a good many monks and devotees in different places. But it is in Sri Ramakrishna's presence that my spiritual yearnings have been fulfilled. To me he seems to be the embodiment of the truths of the scriptures."
   The Knowledge of Brahman in nirvikalpa samadhi had convinced Sri Ramakrishna that the gods of the different religions are but so many readings of the Absolute, and that the Ultimate Reality could never be expressed by human tongue. He understood that all religions lead their devotees by differing paths to one and the same goal. Now he became eager to explore some of the alien religions; for with him understanding meant actual experience.
   --- ISLAM
   Toward the end of 1866 he began to practise the disciplines of Islam. Under the direction of his Mussalman guru he abandoned himself to his new sadhana. He dressed as a Mussalman and repeated the name of Allah. His prayers took the form of the Islamic devotions. He forgot the Hindu gods and goddesses — even Kali — and gave up visiting the temples. He took up his residence outside the temple precincts. After three days he saw the vision of a radiant figure, perhaps Mohammed. This figure gently approached him and finally lost himself in Sri Ramakrishna. Thus he realized the Mussalman God. Thence he passed into communion with Brahman. The mighty river of Islam also led him back to the Ocean of the Absolute.
   --- CHRISTIANITY
   Eight years later, some time in November 1874, Sri Ramakrishna was seized with an irresistible desire to learn the truth of the Christian religion. He began to listen to readings from the Bible, by Sambhu Charan Mallick, a gentleman of Calcutta and a devotee of the Master. Sri Ramakrishna became fascinated by the life and teachings of Jesus. One day he was seated in the parlour of Jadu Mallick's garden house (This expression is used throughout to translate the Bengali word denoting a rich man's country house set in a garden.) at Dakshineswar, when his eyes became fixed on a painting of the Madonna and Child. Intently watching it, he became gradually overwhelmed with divine emotion. The figures in the picture took on life, and the rays of light emanating from them entered his soul. The effect of this experience was stronger than that of the vision of Mohammed. In dismay he cried out, "O Mother! What are You doing to me?" And, breaking through the barriers of creed and religion, he entered a new realm of ecstasy. Christ possessed his soul. For three days he did not set foot in the Kali temple. On the fourth day, in the afternoon, as he was walking in the Panchavati, he saw coming toward him a person with beautiful large eyes, serene countenance, and fair skin. As the two faced each other, a voice rang out in the depths of Sri Ramakrishna's soul: "Behold the Christ, who shed His heart's blood for the redemption of the world, who suffered a sea of anguish for love of men. It is He, the Master Yogi, who is in eternal union with God. It is Jesus, Love Incarnate." The Son of Man embraced the Son of the Divine Mother and merged in him. Sri Ramakrishna krishna realized his identity with Christ, as he had already realized his identity with Kali, Rama, Hanuman, Radha, Krishna, Brahman, and Mohammed. The Master went into samadhi and communed with the Brahman with attributes. Thus he experienced the truth that Christianity, too, was a path leading to God-Consciousness. Till the last moment of his life he believed that Christ was an Incarnation of God. But Christ, for him, was not the only Incarnation; there were others — Buddha, for instance, and Krishna.
   --- ATTITUDE TOWARD DIFFERENT RELIGIONS
   Sri Ramakrishna accepted the divinity of Buddha and used to point out the similarity of his teachings to those of the Upanishads. He also showed great respect for the Tirthankaras, who founded Jainism, and for the ten Gurus of Sikhism. But he did not speak of them as Divine Incarnations. He was heard to say that the Gurus of Sikhism were the reincarnations of King Janaka of ancient India. He kept in his room at Dakshineswar a small statue of Tirthankara Mahavira and a picture of Christ, before which incense was burnt morning and evening.
   Without being formally initiated into their doctrines, Sri Ramakrishna thus realized the ideals of religions other than Hinduism. He did not need to follow any doctrine. All barriers were removed by his overwhelming love of God. So he became a Master who could speak with authority regarding the ideas and ideals of the various religions of the world. "I have practised", said he, "all religions — Hinduism, Islam, Christianity — and I have also followed the paths of the different Hindu sects. I have found that it is the same God toward whom all are directing their steps, though along different paths. You must try all beliefs and traverse all the different ways once. Wherever I look, I see men quarrelling in the name of religion — Hindus, Mohammedans, Brahmos, Vaishnavas, and the rest. But they never reflect that He who is called Krishna is also called Siva, and bears the name of the Primal Energy, Jesus, and Allah as well — the same Rama with a thousand names. A lake has several ghats. At one the Hindus take water in pitchers and call it 'jal'; at another the Mussalmans take water in leather bags and call it pani'. At a third the Christians call it 'water'. Can we imagine that it is not 'jal', but only 'pani' or 'water'? How ridiculous! The substance is One under different names, and everyone is seeking the same substance; only climate, temperament, and name create differences. Let each man follow his own path. If he sincerely and ardently wishes to know God, peace be unto him! He will surely realize Him."
   In 1867 Sri Ramakrishna returned to Kamarpukur to recuperate from the effect of his austerities. The peaceful countryside, the simple and artless companions of his boyhood, and the pure air did him much good. The villagers were happy to get back their playful, frank, witty, kind-hearted, and truthful Gadadhar, though they did not fail to notice the great change that had come over him during his years in Calcutta. His wife, Sarada Devi, now fourteen years old, soon arrived at Kamarpukur. Her spiritual development was much beyond her age and she was able to understand immediately her husband's state of mind. She became eager to learn from him about God and to live with him as his attendant. The Master accepted her cheerfully both as his disciple and as his spiritual companion. Referring to the experiences of these few days, she once said: "I used to feel always as if a pitcher full of bliss were placed in my heart. The joy was indescribable."
   --- PILGRIMAGE
   On January 27, 1868, Mathur Babu with a party of some one hundred and twenty-five persons set out on a pilgrimage to the sacred places of northern India. At Vaidyanath in Behar, when the Master saw the inhabitants of a village reduced by poverty and starvation to mere skeletons, he requested his rich patron to feed the people and give each a piece of cloth. Mathur demurred at the added expense. The Master declared bitterly that he would not go on to Benares, but would live with the poor and share their miseries. He actually left Mathur and sat down with the villagers. Whereupon Mathur had to yield. On another occasion, two years later, Sri Ramakrishna showed a similar sentiment for the poor and needy. He accompanied Mathur on a tour to one of the latter's estates at the time of the collection of rents. For two years the harvests had failed and the tenants were in a state of extreme poverty. The Master asked Mathur to remit their rents, distribute help to them, and in addition give the hungry people a sumptuous feast. When Mathur grumbled, the Master said: "You are only the steward of the Divine Mother. They are the Mother's tenants. You must spend the Mother's money. When they are suffering, how can you refuse to help them? You must help them." Again Mathur had to give in. Sri Ramakrishna's sympathy for the poor sprang from his perception of God in all created beings. His sentiment was not that of the humanist or philanthropist. To him the service of man was the same as the worship of God.
   The party entered holy Benares by boat along the Ganges. When Sri Ramakrishna's eyes fell on this city of Siva, where had accumulated for ages the devotion and piety of countless worshippers, he saw it to be made of gold, as the scriptures declare. He was visibly moved. During his stay in the city he treated every particle of its earth with utmost respect. At the Manikarnika Ghat, the great cremation ground of the city, he actually saw Siva, with ash-covered body and tawny matted hair, serenely approaching each funeral pyre and breathing into the ears of the corpses the mantra of liberation; and then the Divine Mother removing from the dead their bonds. Thus he realized the significance of the scriptural statement that anyone dying in Benares attains salvation through the grace of Siva. He paid a visit to Trailanga Swami, the celebrated monk, whom he later declared to be a real paramahamsa, a veritable image of Siva.
   Sri Ramakrishna visited Allahabad, at the confluence of the Ganges and the Jamuna, and then proceeded to Vrindavan and Mathura, hallowed by the legends, songs, and dramas about Krishna and the gopis. Here he had numerous visions and his heart overflowed with divine emotion. He wept and said: "O Krishna! Everything here is as it was in the olden days. You alone are absent." He visited the great woman saint, Gangamayi, regarded by Vaishnava devotees as the reincarnation of an intimate attendant of Radha. She was sixty years old and had frequent trances. She spoke of Sri Ramakrishna as an incarnation of Radha. With great difficulty he was persuaded to leave her.
   On the return journey Mathur wanted to visit Gaya, but Sri Ramakrishna declined to go. He recalled his father's vision at Gaya before his own birth and felt that in the temple of Vishnu he would become permanently absorbed in God. Mathur, honouring the Master's wish, returned with his party to Calcutta.
   From Vrindavan the Master had brought a handful of dust. Part of this he scattered in the Panchavati; the rest he buried in the little hut where he had practised meditation. "Now this place", he said, "is as sacred as Vrindavan."
   In 1870 the Master went on a pilgrimage to Nadia, the birth-place of Sri Chaitanya. As the boat by which he travelled approached the sand-bank close to Nadia, Sri Ramakrishna had a vision of the "two brothers", Sri Chaitanya and his companion Nityananda, "bright as molten gold" and with haloes, rushing to greet him with uplifted hands. "There they come! There they come!" he cried. They entered his body and he went into a deep trance.
   --- RELATION WITH HIS WIFE
  --
   Totapuri, coming to know of the Master's marriage, had once remarked: "What does it matter? He alone is firmly established in the Knowledge of Brahman who can adhere to his spirit of discrimination and renunciation even while living with his wife. He alone has attained the supreme illumination who can look on man and woman alike as Brahman. A man with the idea of sex may be a good aspirant, but he is still far from the goal." Sri Ramakrishna and his wife lived together at Dakshineswar, but their minds always soared above the worldly plane. A few months after Sarada Devi's arrival Sri Ramakrishna arranged, on an auspicious day, a special worship of Kali, the Divine Mother. Instead of an image of the Deity, he placed on the seat the living image, Sarada Devi herself. The worshipper and the worshipped went into deep samadhi and in the transcendental plane their souls were united. After several hours Sri Ramakrishna came down again to the relative plane, sang a hymn to the Great Goddess, and surrendered, at the feet of the living image, himself, his rosary, and the fruit of his life-long sadhana. This is known in Tantra as the Shorasi Puja, the "Adoration of Woman". Sri Ramakrishna realized the significance of the great statement of the Upanishad: "O Lord, Thou art the woman. Thou art the man; Thou art the boy. Thou art the girl; Thou art the old, tottering on their crutches. Thou pervadest the universe in its multiple forms."
   By his marriage Sri Ramakrishna admitted the great value of marriage in man's spiritual evolution, and by adhering to his monastic vows he demonstrated the imperative necessity of self-control, purity, and continence, in the realization of God. By this unique spiritual relationship with his wife he proved that husband and wife can live together as spiritual companions. Thus his life is a synthesis of the ways of life of the householder and the monk.
   --- THE "EGO" OF THE MASTER
   In the nirvikalpa samadhi Sri Ramakrishna had realized that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory. By keeping his mind six months on the plane of the non-dual Brahman, he had attained to the state of the vijnani, the knower of Truth in a special and very rich sense, who sees Brahman not only in himself and in the transcendental Absolute, but in everything of the world. In this state of vijnana, sometimes, bereft of body-consciousness, he would regard himself as one with Brahman; sometimes, conscious of the dual world, he would regard himself as God's devotee, servant, or child. In order to enable the Master to work for the welfare of humanity, the Divine Mother had kept in him a trace of ego, which he described — according to his mood — as the "ego of Knowledge", the "ego of Devotion", the "ego of a child", or the "ego of a servant". In any case this ego of the Master, consumed by the fire of the Knowledge of Brahman, was an appearance only, like a burnt string. He often referred to this ego as the "ripe ego" in contrast with the ego of the bound soul, which he described as the "unripe" or "green" ego. The ego of the bound soul identifies itself with the body, relatives, possessions, and the world; but the "ripe ego", illumined by Divine Knowledge, knows the body, relatives, possessions, and the world to be unreal and establishes a relationship of love with God alone. Through this "ripe ego" Sri Ramakrishna dealt with the world and his wife. One day, while stroking his feet, Sarada Devi asked the Master, "What do you think of me?" Quick came the answer: "The Mother who is worshipped in the temple is the mother who has given birth to my body and is now living in the nahabat, and it is She again who is stroking my feet at this moment. Indeed, I always look on you as the personification of the Blissful Mother Kali."
   Sarada Devi, in the company of her husband, had rare spiritual experiences. She said: "I have no words to describe my wonderful exaltation of spirit as I watched him in his different moods. Under the influence of divine emotion he would sometimes talk on abstruse subjects, sometimes laugh, sometimes weep, and sometimes become perfectly motionless in samadhi. This would continue throughout the night. There was such an extraordinary divine presence in him that now and then I would shake with fear and wonder how the night would pass. Months went by in this way. Then one day he discovered that I had to keep awake the whole night lest, during my sleep, he should go into samadhi — for it might happen at any moment —, and so he asked me to sleep in the nahabat."
  --
   We have now come to the end of Sri Ramakrishna's sadhana, the period of his spiritual discipline. As a result of his supersensuous experiences he reached certain conclusions regarding himself and spirituality in general. His conclusions about himself may be summarized as follows:
   First, he was an Incarnation of God, a specially commissioned person, whose spiritual experiences were for the benefit of humanity. Whereas it takes an ordinary man a whole life's struggle to realize one or two phases of God, he had in a few years realized God in all His phases.
  --
   Third, Sri Ramakrishna realized the wish of the Divine Mother that through him She should found a new Order, consisting of those who would uphold the universal doctrines illustrated in his life.
   Fourth, his spiritual insight told him that those who were having their last birth on the mortal plane of existence and those who had sincerely called on the Lord even once in their lives must come to him.
   During this period Sri Ramakrishna suffered several bereavements. The first was the death of a nephew named Akshay. After the young man's death Sri Ramakrishna said: "Akshay died before my very eyes. But it did not affect me in the least. I stood by and watched a man die. It was like a sword being drawn from its scabbard. I enjoyed the scene, and laughed and sang and danced over it. They removed the body and cremated it. But the next day as I stood there (pointing to the southeast verandah of his room), I felt a racking pain for the loss of Akshay, as if somebody were squeezing my heart like a wet towel. I wondered at it and thought that the Mother was teaching me a lesson. I was not much concerned even with my own body — much less with a relative. But if such was my pain at the loss of a nephew, how much more must be the grief of the householders at the loss of their near and dear ones!" In 1871 Mathur died, and some five years later Sambhu Mallick — who, after Mathur's passing away, had taken care of the Master's comfort. In 1873 died his elder brother Rameswar, and in 1876, his beloved mother. These bereavements left their imprint on the tender human heart of Sri Ramakrishna, albeit he had realized the immortality of the soul and the illusoriness of birth and death.
   In March 1875, about a year before the death of his mother, the Master met Keshab Chandra Sen. The meeting was a momentous event for both Sri Ramakrishna and Keshab. Here the Master for the first time came into actual, contact with a worthy representative of modern India.
   --- BRAHMO SAMAJ
  --
   Keshab possessed a complex nature. When passing through a great moral crisis, he spent much of his time in solitude and felt that he heard the voice of God, When a devotional form of worship was introduced into the Brahmo Samaj, he spent hours in singing kirtan with his followers. He visited England land in 1870 and impressed the English people with his musical voice, his simple English, and his spiritual fervour. He was entertained by Queen Victoria. Returning to India, he founded centres of the Brahmo Samaj in various parts of the country. Not unlike a professor of comparative religion in a European university, he began to discover, about the time of his first contact with Sri Ramakrishna, the harmony of religions. He became sympathetic toward the Hindu gods and goddesses, explaining them in a liberal fashion. Further, he believed that he was called by God to dictate to the world God's newly revealed law, the New Dispensation, the Navavidhan.
   In 1878 a schism divided Keshab's Samaj. Some of his influential followers accused him of infringing the Brahmo principles by marrying his daughter to a wealthy man before she had attained the marriageable age approved by the Samaj. This group seceded and established the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, Keshab remaining the leader of the Navavidhan. Keshab now began to be drawn more and more toward the Christ ideal, though under the influence of Sri Ramakrishna his devotion to the Divine Mother also deepened. His mental oscillation between Christ and the Divine Mother of Hinduism found no position of rest. In Bengal and some other parts of India the Brahmo movement took the form of unitarian Christianity, scoffed at Hindu rituals, and preached a crusade against image worship. Influenced by Western culture, it declared the supremacy of reason, advocated the ideals of the French Revolution, abolished the caste-system among its own members, stood for the emancipation of women, agitated for the abolition of early marriage, sanctioned the remarriage of widows, and encouraged various educational and social-reform movements. The immediate effect of the Brahmo movement in Bengal was the checking of the proselytizing activities of the Christian missionaries. It also raised Indian culture in the estimation of its English masters. But it was an intellectual and eclectic religious ferment born of the necessity of the time. Unlike Hinduism, it was not founded on the deep inner experiences of sages and prophets. Its influence was confined to a comparatively few educated men and women of the country, and the vast masses of the Hindus remained outside it. It sounded monotonously only one of the notes in the rich gamut of the Eternal Religion of the Hindus.
   --- ARYA SAMAJ
   The other movement playing an important part in the nineteenth-century religious revival of India was the Arya Samaj. The Brahmo Samaj, essentially a movement of compromise with European culture, tacitly admitted the superiority of the West. But the founder of the Arya Samaj was a ' pugnacious Hindu sannyasi who accepted the challenge of Islam and Christianity and was resolved to combat all foreign influence in India. Swami Dayananda (1824-1883) launched this movement in Bombay in 1875, and soon its influence was felt throughout western India. The Swami was a great scholar of the Vedas, which he explained as being strictly monotheistic. He preached against the worship of images and re-established the ancient Vedic sacrificial rites. According to him the Vedas were the ultimate authority on religion, and he accepted every word of them as literally true. The Arya Samaj became a bulwark against the encroachments of Islam and Christianity, and its orthodox flavour appealed to many Hindu minds. It also assumed leadership in many movements of social reform. The caste-system became a target of its attack. Women it liberated from many of their social disabilities. The cause of education received from it a great impetus. It started agitation against early marriage and advocated the remarriage of Hindu widows. Its influence was strongest in the Punjab, the battle-ground of the Hindu and Islamic cultures. A new fighting attitude was introduced into the slumbering Hindu society. Unlike the Brahmo Samaj, the influence of the Arya Samaj was not confined to the intellectuals. It was a force that spread to the masses. It was a dogmatic movement intolerant of those who disagreed with its views, and it emphasized only one way, the Arya Samaj way, to the realization of Truth. Sri Ramakrishna met Swami Dayananda when the latter visited Bengal.
   --- KESHAB CHANDRA SEN
   Keshab Chandra Sen and Sri Ramakrishna met for the first time in the garden house of Jaygopal Sen at Belgharia, a few miles from Dakshineswar, where the great Brahmo leader was staying with some of his disciples. In many respects the two were poles apart, though an irresistible inner attraction was to make them intimate friends. The Master had realized God as Pure Spirit and Consciousness, but he believed in the various forms of God as well. Keshab, on the other hand, regarded image worship as idolatry and gave allegorical explanations of the Hindu deities. Keshab was an orator and a writer of books and magazine articles; Sri Ramakrishna had a horror of lecturing and hardly knew how to write his own name, Keshab's fame spread far and wide, even reaching the distant shores of England; the Master still led a secluded life in the village of Dakshineswar. Keshab emphasized social reforms for India's regeneration; to Sri Ramakrishna God-realization was the only goal of life. Keshab considered himself a disciple of Christ and accepted in a diluted form the Christian sacraments and Trinity; Sri Ramakrishna was the simple child of Kali, the Divine Mother, though he too, in a different way, acknowledged Christ's divinity. Keshab was a householder holder and took a real interest in the welfare of his children, whereas Sri Ramakrishna was a paramahamsa and completely indifferent to the life of the world. Yet, as their acquaintance ripened into friendship, Sri Ramakrishna and Keshab held each other in great love and respect. Years later, at the news of Keshab's death, the Master felt as if half his body had become paralyzed. Keshab's concepts of the harmony of religions and the Motherhood of God were deepened and enriched by his contact with Sri Ramakrishna.
   Sri Ramakrishna, dressed in a red-bordered dhoti, one end of which was carelessly thrown over his left shoulder, came to Jaygopal's garden house accompanied by Hriday. No one took notice of the unostentatious visitor. Finally the Master said to Keshab, "People tell me you have seen God; so I have come to hear from you about God." A magnificent conversation followed. The Master sang a thrilling song about Kali and forthwith went into samadhi. When Hriday uttered the sacred "Om" in his ears, he gradually came back to consciousness of the world, his face still radiating a divine brilliance. Keshab and his followers were amazed. The contrast between Sri Ramakrishna and the Brahmo devotees was very interesting. There sat this small man, thin and extremely delicate. His eyes were illumined with an inner light. Good humour gleamed in his eyes and lurked in the corners of his mouth. His speech was Bengali of a homely kind with a slight, delightful stammer, and his words held men enthralled by their wealth of spiritual experience, their inexhaustible store of simile and metaphor, their power of observation, their bright and subtle humour, their wonderful catholicity, their ceaseless flow of wisdom. And around him now were the sophisticated men of Bengal, the best products of Western education, with Keshab, the idol of young Bengal, as their leader.
   Keshab's sincerity was enough for Sri Ramakrishna. Henceforth the two saw each other frequently, either at Dakshineswar or at the temple of the Brahmo Samaj. Whenever the Master was in the temple at the time of divine service, Keshab would request him to speak to the congregation. And Keshab would visit the saint, in his turn, with offerings of flowers and fruits.
   --- OTHER BRAHMO LEADERS
   Gradually other Brahmo leaders began to feel Sri Ramakrishna's influence. But they were by no means uncritical admirers of the Master. They particularly disapproved of his ascetic renunciation and condemnation of "woman and gold".1 They measured him according to their own ideals of the householder's life. Some could not understand his samadhi and described it as a nervous malady. Yet they could not resist his magnetic personality.
   Among the Brahmo leaders who knew the Master closely were Pratap Chandra Mazumdar, Vijaykrishna Goswami, Trailokyanath Sannyal, and Shivanath Shastri.
   Shivanath, one day, was greatly impressed by the Master's utter simplicity and abhorrence of praise. He was seated with Sri Ramakrishna in the latter's room when several rich men of Calcutta arrived. The Master left the room for a few minutes. In the mean time Hriday, his nephew, began to describe his samadhi to the visitors. The last few words caught the Master's ear as he entered the room. He said to Hriday: "What a mean-spirited fellow you must be to extol me thus before these rich men! You have seen their costly apparel and their gold watches and chains, and your object is to get from them as much money as you can. What do I care about what they think of me? (Turning to the gentlemen) No, my friends, what he has told you about me is not true. It was not love of God that made me absorbed in God and indifferent to external life. I became positively insane for some time. The sadhus who frequented this temple told me to practise many things. I tried to follow them, and the consequence was that my austerities drove me to insanity." This is a quotation from one of Shivanath's books. He took the Master's words literally and failed to see their real import.
   Shivanath vehemently criticized the Master for his other-worldly attitude toward his wife. He writes: "Ramakrishna was practically separated from his wife, who lived in her village home. One day when I was complaining to some friends about the virtual widowhood of his wife, he drew me to one side and whispered in my ear: 'Why do you complain? It is no longer possible; it is all dead and gone.' Another day as I was inveighing against this part of his teaching, and also declaring that our program of work in the Brahmo Samaj includes women, that ours is a social and domestic religion, and that we want to give education and social liberty to women, the saint became very much excited, as was his way when anything against his settled conviction was asserted — a trait we so much liked in him — and exclaimed, 'Go, thou fool, go and perish in the pit that your women will dig for you.' Then he glared at me and said: 'What does a gardener do with a young plant? Does he not surround it with a fence, to protect it from goats and cattle? And when the young plant has grown up into a tree and it can no longer be injured by cattle, does he not remove the fence and let the tree grow freely?' I replied, 'Yes, that is the custom with gardeners.' Then he remarked, 'Do the same in your spiritual life; become strong, be full-grown; then you may seek them.' To which I replied, 'I don't agree with you in thinking that women's work is like that of cattle, destructive; they are our associates and helpers in our spiritual struggles and social progress' — a view with which he could not agree, and he marked his dissent by shaking his head. Then referring to the lateness of the hour he jocularly remarked, 'It is time for you to depart; take care, do not be late; otherwise your woman will not admit you into her room.' This evoked hearty laughter."
   Pratap Chandra Mazumdar, the right-hand man of Keshab and an accomplished Brahmo preacher in Europe and America, bitterly criticized Sri Ramakrishna's use of uncultured language and also his austere attitude toward his wife. But he could not escape the spell of the Master's personality. In the course of an article about Sri Ramakrishna, Pratap wrote in the "Theistic Quarterly Review": "What is there in common between him and me? I, a Europeanized, civilized, self-centred, semi-sceptical, so-called educated reasoner, and he, a poor, illiterate, unpolished, half-idolatrous, friendless Hindu devotee? Why should I sit long hours to attend to him, I, who have listened to Disraeli and Fawcett, Stanley and Max Muller, and a whole host of European scholars and divines? . . . And it is not I only, but dozens like me, who do the same. . . . He worships Siva, he worships Kali, he worships Rama, he worships Krishna, and is a confirmed advocate of Vedantic doctrines. . . . He is an idolater, yet is a faithful and most devoted meditator on the perfections of the One Formless, Absolute, Infinite Deity. . . . His religion is ecstasy, his worship means transcendental insight, his whole nature burns day and night with a permanent fire and fever of a strange faith and feeling. . . . So long as he is spared to us, gladly shall we sit at his feet to learn from him the sublime precepts of purity, unworldliness, spirituality, and inebriation in the love of God. . . . He, by his childlike bhakti, by his strong conceptions of an ever-ready Motherhood, helped to unfold it [God as our Mother] in our minds wonderfully. . . . By associating with him we learnt to realize better the divine attributes as scattered over the three hundred and thirty millions of deities of mythological India, the gods of the Puranas."
   The Brahmo leaders received much inspiration from their contact with Sri Ramakrishna. It broadened their religious views and kindled in their hearts the yearning for God-realization; it made them understand and appreciate the rituals and symbols of Hindu religion, convinced them of the manifestation of God in diverse forms, and deepened their thoughts about the harmony of religions. The Master, too, was impressed by the sincerity of many of the Brahmo devotees. He told them about his own realizations and explained to them the essence of his teachings, such as the necessity of renunciation, sincerity in the pursuit of one's own course of discipline, faith in God, the performance of one's duties without thought of results, and discrimination between the Real and the unreal.
   This contact with the educated and progressive Bengalis opened Sri Ramakrishna's eyes to a new realm of thought. Born and brought up in a simple village, without any formal education, and taught by the orthodox holy men of India in religious life, he had had no opportunity to study the influence of modernism on the thoughts and lives of the Hindus. He could not properly estimate the result of the impact of Western education on Indian culture. He was a Hindu of the Hindus, renunciation being to him the only means to the realization of God in life. From the Brahmos he learnt that the new generation of India made a compromise between God and the world. Educated young men were influenced more by the Western philosophers than by their own prophets. But Sri Ramakrishna was not dismayed, for he saw in this, too, the hand of God. And though he expounded to the Brahmos all his ideas about God and austere religious disciplines, yet he bade them accept from his teachings only as much as suited their tastes and temperaments.
   ^The term "woman and gold", which has been used throughout in a collective sense, occurs again and again in the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna to designate the chief impediments to spiritual progress. This favourite expression of the Master, "kaminikanchan", has often been misconstrued. By it he meant only "lust and greed", the baneful influence of which retards the aspirant's spiritual growth. He used the word "kamini", or "woman", as a concrete term for the sex instinct when addressing his man devotees. He advised women, on the other hand, to shun "man". "Kanchan", or "gold", symbolizes greed, which is the other obstacle to spiritual life.
   Sri Ramakrishna never taught his disciples to hate any woman, or womankind in general. This can be seen clearly by going through all his teachings under this head and judging them collectively. The Master looked on all women as so many images of the Divine Mother of the Universe. He paid the highest homage to womankind by accepting a woman as his guide while practising the very profound spiritual disciplines of Tantra. His wife, known and revered as the Holy Mother, was his constant companion and first disciple. At the end of his spiritual practice he literally worshipped his wife as the embodiment of the Goddess Kali, the Divine Mother. After his passing away the Holy Mother became the spiritual guide not only of a large number of householders, but also of many monastic members of the Ramakrishna Order.
   --- THE MASTER'S YEARNING FOR HIS OWN DEVOTEES
   Contact with the Brahmos increased Sri Ramakrishna's longing to encounter aspirants who would be able to follow his teachings in their purest form. "There was no limit", he once declared, "to the longing I felt at that time. During the day-time I somehow managed to control it. The secular talk of the worldly-minded was galling to me, and I would look wistfully to the day when my own beloved companions would come. I hoped to find solace in conversing with them and relating to them my own realizations. Every little incident would remind me of them, and thoughts of them wholly engrossed me. I was already arranging in my mind what I should say to one and give to another, and so on. But when the day would come to a close I would not be able to curb my feelings. The thought that another day had gone by, and they had not come, oppressed me. When, during the evening service, the temples rang with the sound of bells and conch-shells, I would climb to the roof of the kuthi in the garden and, writhing in anguish of heart, cry at the top of my voice: 'Come, my children! Oh, where are you? I cannot bear to live without you.' A mother never longed so intensely for the sight of her child, nor a friend for his companions, nor a lover for his sweetheart, as I longed for them. Oh, it was indescribable! Shortly after this period of yearning the devotees1 began to come."
   In the year 1879 occasional writings about Sri Ramakrishna by the Brahmos, in the Brahmo magazines, began to attract his future disciples from the educated middle-class Bengalis, and they continued to come till 1884. But others, too, came, feeling the subtle power of his attraction. They were an ever shifting crowd of people of all castes and creeds: Hindus and Brahmos, Vaishnavas and Saktas, the educated with university degrees and the illiterate, old and young, maharajas and beggars, journalists and artists, pundits and devotees, philosophers and the worldly-minded, jnanis and yogis, men of action and men of faith, virtuous women and prostitutes, office-holders and vagabonds, philanthropists and self-seekers, dramatists and drunkards, builders-up and pullers-down. He gave to them all, without stint, from his illimitable store of realization. No one went away empty-handed. He taught them the lofty .knowledge of the Vedanta and the soul
  -melting love of the Purana. Twenty hours out of twenty-four he would speak without out rest or respite. He gave to all his sympathy and enlightenment, and he touched them with that strange power of the soul which could not but melt even the most hardened. And people understood him according to their powers of comprehension.
   ^The word is generally used in the text to denote one devoted to God, a worshipper of the Personal God, or a follower of the path of love. A devotee of Sri Ramakrishna is one who is devoted to Sri Ramakrishna and follows his teachings. The word "disciple", when used in connexion with Sri Ramakrishna, refers to one who had been initiated into spiritual life by Sri Ramakrishna and who regarded him as his guru.
   --- THE MASTER'S METHOD OF TEACHING
  --
   For the householders Sri Ramakrishna did not prescribe the hard path of total renunciation. He wanted them to discharge their obligations to their families. Their renunciation was to be mental. Spiritual life could not be acquired by flying away from responsibilities. A married couple should live like brother and sister after the birth of one or two children, devoting their time to spiritual talk and contemplation. He encouraged the householders, saying that their life was, in a way, easier than that of the monk, since it was more advantageous to fight the enemy from inside a fortress than in an open field. He insisted, however, on their repairing into solitude every now and then to strengthen their devotion and faith in God through prayer, japa, and meditation. He prescribed for them the companionship of sadhus. He asked them to perform their worldly duties with one hand, while holding to God with the other, and to pray to God to make their duties fewer and fewer so that in the end they might cling to Him with both hands. He would discourage in both the householders and the celibate youths any lukewarmness in their spiritual struggles. He would not ask them to follow indiscriminately the ideal of non-resistance, which ultimately makes a coward of the unwary.
   --- FUTURE MONKS
  --
   The first two householder devotees to come to Dakshineswar were Ramchandra Dutta and Manomohan Mitra. A medical practitioner and chemist, Ram was sceptical about God and religion and never enjoyed peace of soul. He wanted tangible proof of God's existence. The Master said to him: "God really" exists. You don't see the stars in the day-time, but that doesn't mean that the stars do not exist. There is butter in milk. But can anybody see it by merely looking at the milk? To get butter you must churn milk in a quiet and cool place. You cannot realize God by a mere wish; you must go through some mental disciplines." By degrees the Master awakened Ram's spirituality and the latter became one of his foremost lay disciples. It was Ram who introduced Narendranath to Sri Ramakrishna. Narendra was a relative of Ram.
   Manomohan at first met with considerable opposition from his wife and other relatives, who resented his visits to Dakshineswar. But in the end the unselfish love of the Master triumphed over worldly affection. It was Manomohan who brought Rakhal to the Master.
  --
   Suresh Mitra, a beloved disciple whom the Master often addressed as Surendra, had received an English education and held an important post in an English firm. Like many other educated young men of the time, he prided himself on his atheism and led a Bohemian life. He was addicted to drinking. He cherished an exaggerated notion about man's free will. A victim of mental depression, he was brought to Sri Ramakrishna by Ramchandra chandra Dutta. When he heard the Master asking a disciple to practise the virtue of self-surrender to God, he was impressed. But though he tried thenceforth to do so, he was unable to give up his old associates and his drinking. One day the Master said in his presence, "Well, when a man goes to an undesirable place, why doesn't he take the Divine Mother with him?" And to Surendra himself Sri Ramakrishna said: "Why should you drink wine as wine? Offer it to Kali, and then take it as Her prasad, as consecrated drink
  . But see that you don't become intoxicated; you must not reel and your thoughts must not wander. At first you will feel ordinary excitement, but soon you will experience spiritual exaltation." Gradually Surendra's entire life was changed. The Master designated him as one of those commissioned by the Divine Mother to defray a great part of his expenses. Surendra's purse was always open for the Master's comfort.
  --
   Bhavanath Chatterji visited the Master while he was still in his teens. His parents and relatives regarded Sri Ramakrishna as an insane person and tried their utmost to prevent him from becoming intimate with the Master. But the young boy was very stubborn and often spent nights at Dakshineswar. He was greatly attached to Narendra, and the Master encouraged their friendship. The very sight of him often awakened Sri Ramakrishna's spiritual emotion.
   --- BALARAM BOSE
   Balaram Bose came of a wealthy Vaishnava family. From his youth he had shown a deep religious temperament and had devoted his time to meditation, prayer, and the study of the Vaishnava scriptures. He was very much impressed by Sri Ramakrishna even at their first meeting. He asked Sri Ramakrishna whether God really existed and, if so, whether a man could realize Him. The Master said: "God reveals Himself to the devotee who thinks of Him as his nearest and dearest. Because you do not draw response by praying to Him once, you must not conclude that He does not exist. Pray to God, thinking of Him as dearer than your very self. He is much attached to His devotees. He comes to a man even before He is sought. There is none more intimate and affectionate than God." Balaram had never before heard God spoken of in such forceful words; every one of the words seemed true to him. Under the Master's influence he outgrew the conventions of the Vaishnava worship and became one of the most beloved of the disciples. It was at his home that the Master slept whenever he spent a night in Calcutta.
   --- MAHENDRA OR M.
   Mahendranath Gupta, better known as "M.", arrived at Dakshineswar in March 1882. He belonged to the Brahmo Samaj and was headmaster of the Vidyasagar High School at Syambazar, Calcutta. At the very first sight the Master recognized him as one of his "marked" disciples. Mahendra recorded in his diary Sri Ramakrishna's conversations with his devotees. These are the first directly recorded words, in the spiritual history of the world, of a man recognized as belonging in the class of Buddha and Christ. The present volume is a translation of this diary. Mahendra was instrumental, through his personal contacts, in spreading the Master's message among many young and aspiring souls.
   --- NAG MAHASHAY
   Durgacharan Nag, also known as Nag Mahashay, was the ideal householder among the lay disciples of Sri Ramakrishna. He was the embodiment of the Master's ideal of life in the world, unstained by worldliness. In spite of his intense desire to become a sannyasi, Sri Ramakrishna asked him to live in the world in the spirit of a monk, and the disciple truly carried out this injunction. He was born of a poor family and even during his boyhood often sacrificed everything to lessen the sufferings of the needy. He had married at an early age and after his wife's death had married a second time to obey his father's command. But he once said to his wife: "Love on the physical level never lasts. He is indeed blessed who can give his love to God with his whole heart. Even a little attachment to the body endures for several births. So do not be attached to this cage of bone and flesh. Take shelter at the feet of the Mother and think of Her alone. Thus your life here and hereafter will be ennobled." The Master spoke of him as a "blazing light". He received every word of Sri Ramakrishna in dead earnest. One day he heard the Master saying that it was difficult for doctors, lawyers, and brokers to make much progress in spirituality. Of doctors he said, "If the mind clings to the tiny drops of medicine, how can it conceive of the Infinite?" That was the end of Durgacharan's medical practice and he threw his chest of medicines into the Ganges. Sri Ramakrishna assured him that he would not lack simple food and clothing. He bade him serve holy men. On being asked where he would find real holy men, the Master said that the sadhus themselves would seek his company. No sannyasi could have lived a more austere life than Durgacharan.
   --- GIRISH GHOSH
   Girish Chandra Ghosh was a born rebel against God, a sceptic, a Bohemian, a drunkard. He was the greatest Bengali dramatist of his time, the father of the modem Bengali stage. Like other young men he had imbibed all the vices of the West. He had plunged into a life of dissipation and had become convinced that religion was only a fraud. Materialistic philosophy he justified as enabling one to get at least a little fun out of life. But a series of reverses shocked him and he became eager to solve the riddle of life. He had heard people say that in spiritual life the help of a guru was imperative and that the guru was to be regarded as God Himself. But Girish was too well acquainted with human nature to see perfection in a man. His first meeting with Sri Ramakrishna did not impress him at all. He returned home feeling as if he had seen a freak at a circus; for the Master, in a semi-conscious mood, had inquired whether it was evening, though the lamps were burning in the room. But their paths often crossed, and Girish could not avoid further encounters. The Master attended a performance in Girish's Star Theatre. On this occasion, too, Girish found nothing impressive about him. One day, however, Girish happened to see the Master dancing and singing with the devotees. He felt the contagion and wanted to join them, but restrained himself for fear of ridicule. Another day Sri Ramakrishna was about to give him spiritual instruction, when Girish said: "I don't want to listen to instructions. I have myself written many instructions. They are of no use to me. Please help me in a more tangible way If you can." This pleased the Master and he asked Girish to cultivate faith.
   As time passed, Girish began to learn that the guru is the one who silently unfolds the disciple's inner life. He became a steadfast devotee of the Master. He often loaded the Master with insults, drank in his presence, and took liberties which astounded the other devotees. But the Master knew that at heart Girish was tender, faithful, and sincere. He would not allow Girish to give up the theatre. And when a devotee asked him to tell Girish to give up drinking, he sternly replied: "That is none of your business. He who has taken charge of him will look after him. Girish is a devotee of heroic type. I tell you, drinking will not affect him." The Master knew that mere words could not induce a man to break deep-rooted habits, but that the silent influence of love worked miracles. Therefore he never asked him to give up alcohol, with the result that Girish himself eventually broke the habit. Sri Ramakrishna had strengthened Girish's resolution by allowing him to feel that he was absolutely free.
   One day Girish felt depressed because he was unable to submit to any routine of spiritual discipline. In an exalted mood the Master said to him: "All right, give me your power of attorney. Henceforth I assume responsibility for you. You need not do anything." Girish heaved a sigh of relief. He felt happy to think that Sri Ramakrishna had assumed his spiritual responsibilities. But poor Girish could not then realize that He also, on his part, had to give up his freedom and make of himself a puppet in Sri Ramakrishna's hands. The Master began to discipline him according to this new attitude. One day Girish said about a trifling matter, "Yes, I shall do this." "No, no!" the Master corrected him. "You must not speak in that egotistic manner. You should say, 'God willing, I shall do it.'" Girish understood. Thenceforth he tried to give up all idea of personal responsibility and surrender himself to the Divine Will. His mind began to dwell constantly on Sri Ramakrishna. This unconscious meditation in time chastened his turbulent spirit.
   The householder devotees generally visited Sri Ramakrishna on Sunday afternoons and other holidays. Thus a brotherhood was gradually formed, and the Master encouraged their fraternal feeling. Now and then he would accept an invitation to a devotee's home, where other devotees would also be invited. Kirtan would be arranged and they would spend hours in dance and devotional music. The Master would go into trances or open his heart in religious discourses and in the narration of his own spiritual experiences. Many people who could not go to Dakshineswar participated in these meetings and felt blessed. Such an occasion would be concluded with a sumptuous feast.
   But it was in the company of his younger devotees, pure souls yet unstained by the touch of worldliness, that Sri Ramakrishna took greatest joy. Among the young men who later embraced the householder's life were Narayan, Paitu, the younger Naren, Tejchandra, and Purna. These visited the Master sometimes against strong opposition from home.
   --- PURNA
   Purna was a lad of thirteen, whom Sri Ramakrishna described as an Isvarakoti, a soul born with special spiritual qualities. The Master said that Purna was the last of the group of brilliant devotees who, as he once had seen in a trance, would come to him for spiritual illumination. Purna said to Sri Ramakrishna during their second meeting, "You are God Himself incarnated in flesh and blood." Such words coming from a mere youngster proved of what stuff the boy was made.
   --- MAHIMACHARAN AND PRATAP HAZRA
  --
   Sri Ramakrishna also became acquainted with a number of people whose scholarship or wealth entitled them everywhere to respect. He had met, a few years before, Devendranath Tagore, famous all over Bengal for his wealth, scholarship, saintly character, and social position. But the Master found him disappointing; for, whereas Sri Ramakrishna expected of a saint complete renunciation of the world, Devendranath combined with his saintliness a life of enjoyment. Sri Ramakrishna met the great poet Michael Madhusudan, who had embraced Christianity "for the sake of his stomach". To him the Master could not impart instruction, for the Divine Mother "pressed his tongue". In addition he met Maharaja Jatindra Mohan Tagore, a titled aristocrat of Bengal; Kristodas Pal, the editor, social reformer, and patriot; Iswar Vidyasagar, the noted philanthropist and educator; Pundit Shashadhar, a great champion of Hindu orthodoxy; Aswini Kumar Dutta, a headmaster, moralist, and leader of Indian Nationalism; and Bankim Chatterji, a deputy magistrate, novelist, and essayist, and one of the fashioners of modern Bengali prose. Sri Ramakrishna was not the man to be dazzled by outward show, glory, or eloquence. A pundit without discrimination he regarded as a mere straw. He would search people's hearts for the light of God, and if that was missing he would have nothing to do with them.
   --- KRISTODAS PAL
   The Europeanized Kristodas Pal did not approve of the Master's emphasis on renunciation and said; "Sir, this cant of renunciation has almost ruined the country. It is for this reason that the Indians are a subject nation today. Doing good to others, bringing education to the door of the ignorant, and above all, improving the material conditions of the country — these should be our duty now. The cry of religion and renunciation would, on the contrary, only weaken us. You should advise the young men of Bengal to resort only to such acts as will uplift the country." Sri Ramakrishna gave him a searching look and found no divine light within, "You man of poor understanding!" Sri Ramakrishna said sharply. "You dare to slight in these terms renunciation and piety, which our scriptures describe as the greatest of all virtues! After reading two pages of English you think you have come to know the world! You appear to think you are omniscient. Well, have you seen those tiny crabs that are born in the Ganges just when the rains set in? In this big universe you are even less significant than one of those small creatures. How dare you talk of helping the world? The Lord will look to that. You haven't the power in you to do it." After a pause the Master continued: "Can you explain to me how you can work for others? I know what you mean by helping them. To feed a number of persons, to treat them when they are sick, to construct a road or dig a well — isn't that all? These, are good deeds, no doubt, but how trifling in comparison with the vastness of the universe! How far can a man advance in this line? How many people can you save from famine? Malaria has ruined a whole province; what could you do to stop its onslaught? God alone looks after the world. Let a man first realize Him. Let a man get the authority from God and be endowed with His power; then, and then alone, may he think of doing good to others. A man should first be purged of all egotism. Then alone will the Blissful Mother ask him to work for the world." Sri Ramakrishna mistrusted philanthropy that presumed to pose as charity. He warned people against it. He saw in most acts of philanthropy nothing but egotism, vanity, a desire for glory, a barren excitement to kill the boredom of life, or an attempt to soothe a guilty conscience. True charity, he taught, is the result of love of God — service to man in a spirit of worship.
   --- MONASTIC DISCIPLES
  --
   The first of these young men to come to the Master was Latu. Born of obscure parents, in Behar, he came to Calcutta in search of work and was engaged by Ramchandra Dutta as house-boy. Learning of the saintly Sri Ramakrishna, he visited the Master at Dakshineswar and was deeply touched by his cordiality. When he was about to leave, the Master asked him to take some money and return home in a boat or carriage. But Latu declared he had a few pennies and jingled the coins in his pocket. Sri Ramakrishna later requested Ram to allow Latu to stay with him permanently. Under Sri Ramakrishna's guidance Latu made great progress in meditation and was blessed with ecstatic visions, but all the efforts of the Master to give him a smattering of education failed. Latu was very fond of kirtan and other devotional songs but remained all his life illiterate.
   --- RAKHAL
   Even before Rakhal's coming to Dakshineswar, the Master had had visions of him as his spiritual son and as a playmate of Krishna at Vrindavan. Rakhal was born of wealthy parents. During his childhood he developed wonderful spiritual traits and used to play at worshipping gods and goddesses. In his teens he was married to a sister of Manomohan Mitra, from whom he first heard of the Master. His father objected to his association with Sri Ramakrishna but afterwards was reassured to find that many celebrated people were visitors at Dakshineswar. The relationship between the Master and this beloved disciple was that of mother and child. Sri Ramakrishna allowed Rakhal many liberties denied to others. But he would not hesitate to chastise the boy for improper actions. At one time Rakhal felt a childlike jealousy because he found that other boys were receiving the Master's affection. He soon got over it and realized his guru as the Guru of the whole universe. The Master was worried to hear of his marriage, but was relieved to find that his wife was a spiritual soul who would not be a hindrance to his progress.
   --- THE ELDER GOPAL
  --
   To spread his message to the four corners of the earth Sri Ramakrishna needed a strong instrument. With his frail body and delicate limbs he could not make great journeys across wide spaces. And such an instrument was found in Narendranath Dutta, his beloved Naren, later known to the world as Swami Vivekananda. Even before meeting Narendranath, the Master had seen him in a vision as a sage, immersed in the meditation of the Absolute, who at Sri Ramakrishna's request had agreed to take human birth to assist him in his work.
   Narendra was born in Calcutta on January 12, 1863, of an aristocratic kayastha family. His mother was steeped in the great Hindu epics, and his father, a distinguished attorney of the Calcutta High Court, was an agnostic about religion, a friend of the poor, and a mocker at social conventions. Even in his boyhood and youth Narendra possessed great physical courage and presence of mind, a vivid imagination, deep power of thought, keen intelligence, an extraordinary memory, a love of truth, a passion for purity, a spirit of independence, and a tender heart. An expert musician, he also acquired proficiency in physics, astronomy, mathematics, philosophy, history, and literature. He grew up into an extremely handsome young man. Even as a child he practised meditation and showed great power of concentration. Though free and passionate in word and action, he took the vow of austere religious chastity and never allowed the fire of purity to be extinguished by the slightest defilement of body or soul.
  --
   In a state of mental conflict and torture of soul, Narendra came to Sri Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar. He was then eighteen years of age and had been in college two years. He entered the Master's room accompanied by some light-hearted friends. At Sri Ramakrishna's request he sang a few songs, pouring his whole soul into them, and the Master went into samadhi. A few minutes later Sri Ramakrishna suddenly left his seat, took Narendra by the hand, and led him to the screened verandah north of his room. They were alone. Addressing Narendra most tenderly, as if he were a friend of long acquaintance, the Master said: "Ah! You have come very late. Why have you been so unkind as to make me wait all these days? My ears are tired of hearing the futile words of worldly men. Oh, how I have longed to pour my spirit into the heart of someone fitted to receive my message!" He talked thus, sobbing all the time. Then, standing before Narendra with folded hands, he addressed him as Narayana, born on earth to remove the misery of humanity. Grasping Narendra's hand, he asked him to come again, alone, and very soon. Narendra was startled. "What is this I have come to see?" he said to himself. "He must be stark mad. Why, I am the son of Viswanath Dutta. How dare he speak this way to me?"
   When they returned to the room and Narendra heard the Master speaking to others, he was surprised to find in his words an inner logic, a striking sincerity, and a convincing proof of his spiritual nature. In answer to Narendra's question, "Sir, have you seen God?" the Master said: "Yes, I have seen God. I have seen Him more tangibly than I see you. I have talked to Him more intimately than I am talking to you." Continuing, the Master said: "But, my child, who wants to see God? People shed jugs of tears for money, wife, and children. But if they would weep for God for only one day they would surely see Him." Narendra was amazed. These words he could not doubt. This was the first time he had ever heard a man saying that he had seen God. But he could not reconcile these words of the Master with the scene that had taken place on the verandah only a few minutes before. He concluded that Sri Ramakrishna was a monomaniac, and returned home rather puzzled in mind.
   During his second visit, about a month later, suddenly, at the touch of the Master, Narendra felt overwhelmed and saw the walls of the room and everything around him whirling and vanishing. "What are you doing to me?" he cried in terror. "I have my father and mother at home." He saw his own ego and the whole universe almost swallowed in a nameless void. With a laugh the Master easily restored him. Narendra thought he might have been hypnotized, but he could not understand how a monomaniac could cast a spell over the mind of a strong person like himself. He returned home more confused than ever, resolved to be henceforth on his guard before this strange man.
   But during his third visit Narendra fared no better. This time, at the Master's touch, he lost consciousness entirely. While he was still in that state, Sri Ramakrishna questioned him concerning his spiritual antecedents and whereabouts, his mission in this world, and the duration of his mortal life. The answers confirmed what the Master himself had known and inferred. Among other things, he came to know that Narendra was a sage who had already attained perfection, and that the day he learnt his real nature he would give up his body in yoga, by an act of will.
   A few more meetings completely removed from Narendra's mind the last traces of the notion that Sri Ramakrishna might be a monomaniac or wily hypnotist. His integrity, purity, renunciation, and unselfishness were beyond question. But Narendra could not accept a man, an imperfect mortal, as his guru. As a member of the Brahmo Samaj, he could not believe that a human intermediary was necessary between man and God. Moreover, he openly laughed at Sri Ramakrishna's visions as hallucinations. Yet in the secret chamber of his heart he bore a great love for the Master.
   Sri Ramakrishna was grateful to the Divine Mother for sending him one who doubted his own realizations. Often he asked Narendra to test him as the money-changers test their coins. He laughed at Narendra's biting criticism of his spiritual experiences and samadhi. When at times Narendra's sharp words distressed him, the Divine Mother Herself would console him, saying: "Why do you listen to him? In a few days he will believe your every word." He could hardly bear Narendra's absences. Often he would weep bitterly for the sight of him. Sometimes Narendra would find the Master's love embarrassing; and one day he sharply scolded him, warning him that such infatuation would soon draw him down to the level of its object. The Master was distressed and prayed to the Divine Mother. Then he said to Narendra: "You rogue, I won't listen to you any more. Mother says that I love you because I see God in you, and the day I no longer see God in you I shall not be able to bear even the sight of you."
   The Master wanted to train Narendra in the teachings of the non-dualistic Vedanta philosophy. But Narendra, because of his Brahmo upbringing, considered it wholly blasphemous to look on man as one with his Creator. One day at the temple garden he laughingly said to a friend: "How silly! This jug is God! This cup is God! Whatever we see is God! And we too are God! Nothing could be more absurd." Sri Ramakrishna came out of his room and gently touched him. Spellbound, he immediately perceived that everything in the world was indeed God. A new universe opened around him. Returning home in a dazed state, he found there too that the food, the plate, the eater himself, the people around him, were all God. When he walked in the street, he saw that the cabs, the horses, the streams of people, the buildings, were all Brahman. He could hardly go about his day's business. His parents became anxious about him and thought him ill. And when the intensity of the experience abated a little, he saw the world as a dream. Walking in the public square, he would strike his head against the iron railings to know whether they were real. It took him a number of days to recover his normal self. He had a foretaste of the great experiences yet to come and realized that the words of the Vedanta were true.
   At the beginning of 1884 Narendra's father suddenly died of heart-failure, leaving the family in a state of utmost poverty. There were six or seven mouths to feed at home. Creditors were knocking at the door. Relatives who had accepted his father's unstinted kindness now became enemies, some even bringing suit to deprive Narendra of his ancestral home. Actually starving and barefoot, Narendra searched for a job, but without success. He began to doubt whether anywhere in the world there was such a thing as unselfish sympathy. Two rich women made evil proposals to him and promised to put an end to his distress; but he refused them with contempt.
   Narendra began to talk of his doubt of the very existence of God. His friends thought he had become an atheist, and piously circulated gossip adducing unmentionable motives for his unbelief. His moral character was maligned. Even some of the Master's disciples partly believed the gossip, and Narendra told these to their faces that only a coward believed in God through fear of suffering or hell. But he was distressed to think that Sri Ramakrishna, too, might believe these false reports. His pride revolted. He said to himself: "What does it matter? If a man's good name rests on such slender foundations, I don't care." But later on he was amazed to learn that the Master had never lost faith in him. To a disciple who complained about Narendra's degradation, Sri Ramakrishna replied: "Hush, you fool! The Mother has told me it can never be so. I won't look at you if you speak that way again."
   The moment came when Narendra's distress reached its climax. He had gone the whole day without food. As he was returning home in the evening he could hardly lift his tired limbs. He sat down in front of a house in sheer exhaustion, too weak even to think. His mind began to wander. Then, suddenly, a divine power lifted the veil over his soul. He found the solution of the problem of the coexistence of divine justice and misery, the presence of suffering in the creation of a blissful Providence. He felt bodily refreshed, his soul was bathed in peace, and he slept serenely.
   Narendra now realized that he had a spiritual mission to fulfil. He resolved to renounce the world, as his grandfather had renounced it, and he came to Sri Ramakrishna for his blessing. But even before he had opened his mouth, the Master knew what was in his mind and wept bitterly at the thought of separation. "I know you cannot lead a worldly life," he said, "but for my sake live in the world as long as I live."
   One day, soon after, Narendra requested Sri Ramakrishna to pray to the Divine Mother to remove his poverty. Sri Ramakrishna bade him pray to Her himself, for She would certainly listen to his prayer. Narendra entered the shrine of Kali. As he stood before the image of the Mother, he beheld Her as a living Goddess, ready to give wisdom and liberation. Unable to ask Her for petty worldly things, he prayed only for knowledge and renunciation, love and liberation. The Master rebuked him for his failure to ask the Divine Mother to remove his poverty and sent him back to the temple. But Narendra, standing in Her presence, again forgot the purpose of his coming. Thrice he went to the temple at the bidding of the Master, and thrice he returned, having forgotten in Her presence why he had come. He was wondering about it when it suddenly flashed in his mind that this was all the work of Sri Ramakrishna; so now he asked the Master himself to remove his poverty, and was assured that his family would not lack simple food and clothing.
   This was a very rich and significant experience for Narendra. It taught him that Sakti, the Divine Power, cannot be ignored in the world and that in the relative plane the need of worshipping a Personal God is imperative. Sri Ramakrishna was overjoyed with the conversion. The next day, sitting almost on Narendra's lap, he said to a devotee, pointing first to himself, then to Narendra: "I see I am this, and again that. Really I feel no difference. A stick floating in the Ganges seems to divide the water; But in reality the water is one. Do you see my point? Well, whatever is, is the Mother — isn't that so?" In later years Narendra would say: " Sri Ramakrishna was the only person who, from the time he met me, believed in me uniformly throughout. Even my mother and brothers did not. It was his unwavering trust and love for me that bound me to him for ever. He alone knew how to love. Worldly people, only make a show of love for selfish ends.
   --- TARAK
   Others destined to be monastic disciples of Sri Ramakrishna came to Dakshineswar. Taraknath Ghoshal had felt from his boyhood the noble desire to realize God. Keshab and the Brahmo Samaj had attracted him but proved inadequate. In 1882 he first met the Master at Ramchandra's house and was astonished to hear him talk about samadhi, a subject which always fascinated his mind. And that evening he actually saw a manifestation of that superconscious state in the Master. Tarak became a frequent visitor at Dakshineswar and received the Master's grace in abundance. The young boy often felt ecstatic fervour in meditation. He also wept profusely while meditating on God. Sri Ramakrishna said to him: "God favours those who can weep for Him. Tears shed for God wash away the sins of former births."
   --- BABURAM
   Baburam Ghosh came to Dakshineswar accompanied by Rakhal, his classmate. The Master, as was often his custom, examined the boy's physiognomy and was satisfied about his latent spirituality. At the age of eight Baburam had thought of leading a life of renunciation, in the company of a monk, in a hut shut out from the public view by a thick wall of trees. The very sight of the Panchavati awakened in his heart that dream of boyhood. Baburam was tender in body and soul. The Master used to say that he was pure to his very bones. One day Hazra in his usual mischievous fashion advised Baburam and some of the other young boys to ask Sri Ramakrishna for some spiritual powers and not waste their life in mere gaiety and merriment. The Master, scenting mischief, called Baburam to his side and said: "What can you ask of me? Isn't everything that I have already yours? Yes, everything I have earned in the shape of realizations is for the sake of you all. So get rid of the idea of begging, which alienates by creating a distance. Rather realize your kinship with me and gain the key to all the treasures.
   --- NIRANJAN
  --
   Jogindranath, on the other hand, was gentle to a fault. One day, under circumstances very like those that had evoked Niranjan's anger, he curbed his temper and held his peace instead of threatening Sri Ramakrishna's abusers. The Master, learning of his conduct, scolded him roundly. Thus to each the fault of the other was recommended as a virtue. The guru was striving to develop, in the first instance, composure, and in the second, mettle. The secret of his training was to build up, by a tactful recognition of the requirements of each given case, the character of the devotee.
   Jogindranath came of an aristocratic brahmin family of Dakshineswar. His father and relatives shared the popular mistrust of Sri Ramakrishna's sanity. At a very early age the boy developed religious tendencies, spending two or three hours daily in meditation, and his meeting with Sri Ramakrishna deepened his desire for the realization of God. He had a perfect horror of marriage. But at the earnest request of his mother he had had to yield, and he now believed that his spiritual future was doomed. So he kept himself away from the Master.
   Sri Ramakrishna employed a ruse to bring Jogindra to him. As soon as the disciple entered the room, the Master rushed forward to meet the young man. Catching hold of the disciple's hand, he said: "What if you have married? Haven't I too married? What is there to be afraid of in that?" Touching his own chest he said: "If this [meaning himself] is propitious, then even a hundred thousand marriages cannot injure you. If you desire to lead a householder's life, then bring your wife here one day, and I shall see that she becomes a real companion in your spiritual progress. But if you want to lead a monastic life, then I shall eat up your attachment to the world." Jogin was dumbfounded at these words. He received new strength, and his spirit of renunciation was re-established.
   --- SASHI AND SARAT
  --
   Sarat's soul longed for the all-embracing realization of the Godhead. When the Master inquired whether there was any particular form of God he wished to see, the boy replied that he would like to see God in all the living beings of the world. "But", the Master demurred, "that is the last word in realization. One cannot have it at the very outset." Sarat stated calmly: "I won't be satisfied with anything short of that. I shall trudge on along the path till I attain that blessed state." Sri Ramakrishna was very much pleased.
   --- HARINATH
  --
   The Master knew Hari's passion for Vedanta. But he did not wish any of his disciples to become a dry ascetic or a mere bookworm. So he asked Hari to practise Vedanta in life by giving up the unreal and following the Real. "But it is not so easy", Sri Ramakrishna said, "to realize the illusoriness of the world. Study alone does not help one very much. The grace of God is required. Mere personal effort is futile. A man is a tiny creature after all, with very limited powers. But he can achieve the impossible if he prays to God for His grace." Whereupon the Master sang a song in praise of grace. Hari was profoundly moved and shed tears. Later in life Hari achieved a wonderful synthesis of the ideals of the Personal God and the Impersonal Truth.
   --- GANGADHAR
  --
   Hariprasanna, a college student, visited the Master in the company of his friends Sashi and Sarat. Sri Ramakrishna showed him great favour by initiating him into spiritual life. As long as he lived, Hariprasanna remembered and observed the following drastic advice of the Master: "Even if a woman is pure as gold and rolls on the ground for love of God, it is dangerous for a monk ever to look at her."
   --- KALI
  --
   Subodh visited the Master in 1885. At the very first meeting Sri Ramakrishna said to him: "You will succeed. Mother says so. Those whom She sends here will certainly attain spirituality." During the second meeting the Master wrote something on Subodh's tongue, stroked his body from the navel to the throat, and said, "Awake, Mother! Awake." He asked the boy to meditate. At once Subodh's latent spirituality was awakened. He felt a current rushing along the spinal column to the brain. Joy filled his soul.
   --- SARADA AND TULASI
   Two more young men, Sarada Prasanna and Tulasi, complete the small band of the Master's disciples later to embrace the life of the wandering monk. With the exception of the elder Gopal, all of them were in their teens or slightly over. They came from middle-class Bengali families, and most of them were students in school or college. Their parents and relatives had envisaged for them bright worldly careers. They came to Sri Ramakrishna with pure bodies, vigorous minds, and uncontaminated souls. All were born with unusual spiritual attributes. Sri Ramakrishna accepted them, even at first sight, as his children, relatives, friends, and companions. His magic touch unfolded them. And later each according to his measure reflected the life of the Master, becoming a torch-bearer of his message across land and sea.
   --- WOMAN DEVOTEES
   With his woman devotees Sri Ramakrishna established a very sweet relationship. He himself embodied the tender traits of a woman: he had dwelt on the highest plane of Truth, where there is not even the slightest trace of sex; and his innate purity evoked only the noblest emotion in men and women alike. His woman devotees often said: "We seldom looked on Sri Ramakrishna as a member of the male sex. We regarded him as one of us. We never felt any constraint before him. He was our best confidant." They loved him as their child, their friend, and their teacher. In spiritual discipline he advised them to renounce lust and greed and especially warned them not to fall into the snares of men.
   --- GOPAL MA
   Unsurpassed among the woman devotees of the Master in the richness of her devotion and spiritual experiences was Aghoremani Devi, an orthodox brahmin woman. Widowed at an early age, she had dedicated herself completely to spiritual pursuits. Gopala, the Baby Krishna, was her Ideal Deity, whom she worshipped following the vatsalya attitude of the Vaishnava religion, regarding Him as her own child. Through Him she satisfied her unassuaged maternal love, cooking for Him, feeding Him, bathing Him, and putting Him to bed. This sweet intimacy with Gopala won her the sobriquet of Gopal Ma, or Gopala's Mother. For forty years she had lived on the bank of the Ganges in a small, bare room, her only companions being a threadbare copy of the Ramayana and a bag containing her rosary. At the age of sixty, in 1884, she visited Sri Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar. During the second visit, as soon as the Master saw her, he said: "Oh, you have come! Give me something to eat." With great hesitation she gave him some ordinary sweets that she had purchased for him on the way. The Master ate them with relish and asked her to bring him simple curries or sweets prepared by her own hands. Gopal Ma thought him a queer kind of monk, for, instead of talking of God, he always asked for food. She did not want to visit him again, but an irresistible attraction brought her back to the temple garden; She carried with her some simple curries that she had cooked herself.
   One early morning at three o'clock, about a year later, Gopal Ma was about to finish her daily devotions, when she was startled to find Sri Ramakrishna sitting on her left, with his right hand clenched, like the hand of the image of Gopala. She was amazed and caught hold of the hand, whereupon the figure vanished and in its place appeared the real Gopala, her Ideal Deity. She cried aloud with joy. Gopala begged her for butter. She pleaded her poverty and gave Him some dry coconut candies. Gopala, sat on her lap, snatched away her rosary, jumped on her shoulders, and moved all about the room. As soon as the day broke she hastened to Dakshineswar like an insane woman. Of course Gopala accompanied her, resting His head on her shoulder. She clearly saw His tiny ruddy feet hanging over her breast. She entered Sri Ramakrishna's room. The Master had fallen into samadhi. Like a child, he sat on her lap, and she began to feed him with butter, cream, and other delicacies. After some time he regained consciousness and returned to his bed. But the mind of Gopala's Mother was still roaming in another plane. She was steeped in bliss. She saw Gopala frequently entering the Master's body and again coming out of it. When she returned to her hut, still in a dazed condition, Gopala accompanied her.
   She spent about two months in uninterrupted communion with God, the Baby Gopala never leaving her for a moment. Then the intensity of her vision was lessened; had it not been, her body would have perished. The Master spoke highly of her exalted spiritual condition and said that such vision of God was a rare thing for ordinary mortals. The fun-loving Master one day confronted the critical Narendranath with this simple-minded woman. No two could have presented a more striking contrast. The Master knew of Narendra's lofty contempt for all visions, and he asked the old lady to narrate her experiences to Narendra. With great hesitation she told him her story. Now and then she interrupted her maternal chatter to ask Narendra: "My son, I am a poor ignorant woman. I don't understand anything. You are so learned. Now tell me if these visions of Gopala are true." As Narendra listened to the story he was profoundly moved. He said, "Yes, mother, they are quite true." Behind his cynicism Narendra, too, possessed a heart full of love and tenderness.
  --
   In 1881 Hriday was dismissed from service in the Kali temple, for an act of indiscretion, and was ordered by the authorities never again to enter the garden. In a way the hand of the Divine Mother may be seen even in this. Having taken care of Sri Ramakrishna during the stormy days of his spiritual discipline, Hriday had come naturally to consider himself the sole guardian of his uncle. None could approach the Master without his knowledge. And he would be extremely jealous if Sri Ramakrishna paid attention to anyone else. Hriday's removal made it possible for the real devotees of the Master to approach him freely and live with him in the temple garden.
   During the week-ends the householders, enjoying a respite from their office duties, visited the Master. The meetings on Sunday afternoons were of the nature of little festivals. Refreshments were often served. Professional musicians now and then sang devotional songs. The Master and the devotees sang and danced, Sri Ramakrishna frequently going into ecstatic moods. The happy memory of such a Sunday would linger long in the minds of the devotees. Those whom the Master wanted for special instruction he would ask to visit him on Tuesdays and Saturdays. These days were particularly auspicious for the worship of Kali.
   The young disciples destined to be monks, Sri Ramakrishna invited on week-days, when the householders were not present. The training of the householders and of the future monks had to proceed along entirely different lines. Since M. generally visited the Master on week-ends, the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna does not contain much mention of the future monastic disciples.
   Finally, there was a handful of fortunate disciples, householders as well as youngsters, who were privileged to spend nights with the Master in his room. They would see him get up early in the morning and walk up and down the room, singing in his sweet voice and tenderly communing with the Mother.
  --
   In April 1885 the Master's throat became inflamed. Prolonged conversation or absorption in samadhi, making the blood flow into the throat, would aggravate the pain. Yet when the annual Vaishnava festival was celebrated at Panihati, Sri Ramakrishna attended it against the doctor's advice. With a group of disciples he spent himself in music, dance, and ecstasy. The illness took a turn for the worse and was diagnosed as "clergyman's sore throat". The patient was cautioned against conversation and ecstasies. Though he followed the physician's directions regarding medicine and diet, he could neither control his trances nor withhold from seekers the solace of his advice. Sometimes, like a sulky child, he would complain to the Mother about the crowds, who gave him no rest day or night. He was overheard to say to Her; "Why do You bring here all these worthless people, who are like milk diluted with five times its own quantity of water? My eyes are almost destroyed with blowing the fire to dry up the water. My health is gone. It is beyond my strength. Do it Yourself, if You want it done. This (pointing to his own body) is but a perforated drum, and if you go on beating it day in and day out, how long will it last?"
   But his large heart never turned anyone away. He said, "Let me be condemned to be born over and over again, even in the form of a dog, if I can be of help to a single soul." And he bore the pain, singing cheerfully, "Let the body be preoccupied with illness, but, O mind, dwell for ever in God's Bliss!"
  --
   In the beginning of September 1885 Sri Ramakrishna was moved to Syampukur. Here Narendra organized the young disciples to attend the Master day and night. At first they concealed the Master's illness from their guardians; but when it became more serious they remained with him almost constantly, sweeping aside the objections of their relatives and devoting themselves whole-heartedly to the nursing of their beloved guru. These young men, under the watchful eyes of the Master and the leadership of Narendra, became the antaranga bhaktas, the devotees of Sri Ramakrishna's inner circle. They were privileged to witness many manifestations of the Master's divine powers. Narendra received instructions regarding the propagation of his message after his death.
   The Holy Mother — so Sarada Devi had come to be affectionately known by Sri Ramakrishna's devotees — was brought from Dakshineswar to look after the general cooking and to prepare the special diet of the patient. The dwelling space being extremely limited, she had to adapt herself to cramped conditions. At three o'clock in the morning she would finish her bath in the Ganges and then enter a small covered place on the roof, where she spent the whole day cooking and praying. After eleven at night, when the visitors went away, she would come down to her small bedroom on the first floor to enjoy a few hours' sleep. Thus she spent three months, working hard, sleeping little, and praying constantly for the Master's recovery.
   At Syampukur the devotees led an intense life. Their attendance on the Master was in itself a form of spiritual discipline. His mind was constantly soaring to an exalted plane of consciousness. Now and then they would catch the contagion of his spiritual fervour. They sought to divine the meaning of this illness of the Master, whom most of them had accepted as an Incarnation of God. One group, headed by Girish with his robust optimism and great power of imagination, believed that the illness was a mere pretext to serve a deeper purpose. The Master had willed his illness in order to bring the devotees together and promote solidarity among them. As soon as this purpose was served, he would himself get rid of the disease. A second group thought that the Divine Mother, in whose hand the Master was an instrument, had brought about this illness to serve Her own mysterious ends. But the young rationalists, led by Narendra, refused to ascribe a
  --
   It was noticed at this time that some of the devotees were making an unbridled display of their emotions. A number of them, particularly among the householders, began to cultivate, though at first unconsciously, the art of shedding tears, shaking the body, contorting the face, and going into trances, attempting thereby to imitate the Master. They began openly to declare Sri Ramakrishna a Divine Incarnation and to regard themselves as his chosen people, who could neglect religious disciplines with impunity. Narendra's penetrating eye soon sized up the situation. He found out that some of these external manifestations were being carefully practised at home, while some were the outcome of malnutrition, mental weakness, or nervous debility. He mercilessly exposed the devotees who were pretending to have visions, and asked all to develop a healthy religious spirit. Narendra sang inspiring songs for the younger devotees, read with them the Imitation of Christ and the Gita, and held before them the positive ideals of spirituality.
   --- LAST DAYS AT COSSIPORE
   When Sri Ramakrishna's illness showed signs of aggravation, the devotees, following the advice of Dr. Sarkar, rented a spacious garden house at Cossipore, in the northern suburbs of Calcutta. The Master was removed to this place on December 11, 1885.
   It was at Cossipore that the curtain fell on the varied activities of the Master's life on the physical plane. His soul lingered in the body eight months more. It was the period of his great Passion, a constant crucifixion of the body and the triumphant revelation of the Soul. Here one sees the humanity and divinity of the Master passing and repassing across a thin border line. Every minute of those eight months was suffused with touching tenderness of heart and breath-taking elevation of spirit. Every word he uttered was full of pathos and sublimity.
   It took the group only a few days to become adjusted to the new environment. The Holy Mother, assisted by Sri Ramakrishna's niece, Lakshmi Devi, and a few woman devotees, took charge of the cooking for the Master and his attendants. Surendra willingly bore the major portion of the expenses, other householders contributing according to their means. Twelve disciples were constant attendants of the Master: Narendra, Rakhal, Baburam, Niranjan, Jogin, Latu, Tarak, the-elder Gopal, Kali, Sashi, Sarat, and the younger Gopal. Sarada, Harish, Hari, Gangadhar, and Tulasi visited the Master from time to time and practised sadhana at home. Narendra, preparing for his law examination, brought his books to the garden house in order to continue his studies during the infrequent spare moments. He encouraged his brother disciples to intensify their meditation, scriptural studies, and other spiritual disciplines. They all forgot their relatives and their
   worldly duties.
  --
   Pundit Shashadhar one day suggested to the Master that the latter could remove the illness by concentrating his mind on the throat, the scriptures having declared that yogis had power to cure themselves in that way. The Master rebuked the pundit. "For a scholar like you to make such a proposal!" he said. "How can I withdraw the mind from the Lotus Feet of God and turn it to this worthless cage of flesh and blood?" "For our sake at least", begged Narendra and the other disciples. "But", replied Sri Ramakrishna, do you think I enjoy this suffering? I wish to recover, but that depends on the Mother."
   NARENDRA: "Then please pray to Her. She must listen to you."
  --
   "I shall make the whole thing public before I go", the Master had said some time before. On January 1, 1886, he felt better and came down to the garden for a little stroll. It was about three o'clock in the afternoon. Some thirty lay disciples were in the hall or sitting about under the trees. Sri Ramakrishna said to Girish, "Well, Girish, what have you seen in me, that you proclaim me before everybody as an Incarnation of God?" Girish was not the man to be taken by surprise. He knelt before the Master and said, with folded hands, "What can an insignificant person like myself say about the One whose glory even sages like Vyasa and Valmiki could not adequately measure?" The Master was profoundly moved. He said: "What more shall I say? I bless you all. Be illumined!" He fell into a spiritual mood. Hearing these words the devotees, one and all, became overwhelmed with emotion. They rushed to him and fell at his feet. He touched them all, and each received an appropriate benediction. Each of them, at the touch of the Master, experienced ineffable bliss. Some laughed, some wept, some sat down to meditate, some began to pray. Some saw light, some had visions of their Chosen Ideals, and some felt within their bodies the rush of spiritual power.
   Narendra, consumed with a terrific fever for realization, complained to the Master that all the others had attained peace and that he alone was dissatisfied. The Master asked what he wanted. Narendra begged for samadhi, so that he might altogether forget the world for three or four days at a time. "You are a fool", the Master rebuked him. "There is a state even higher than that. Isn't it you who sing, 'All that exists art Thou'? First of all settle your family affairs and then come to me. You will experience a state even higher than samadhi."
   The Master did not hide the fact that he wished to make Narendra his spiritual heir. Narendra was to continue the work after Sri Ramakrishna's passing. Sri Ramakrishna said to him: "I leave these young men in your charge. See that they develop their spirituality and do not return home." One day he asked the boys, in preparation for a monastic life, to beg their food from door to door without thought of caste. They hailed the Master's order and went out with begging-bowls. A few days later he gave the ochre cloth of the sannyasi to each of them, including Girish, who was now second to none in his spirit of renunciation. Thus the Master himself laid the foundation of the future Ramakrishna Order of monks.
   Sri Ramakrishna was sinking day by day. His diet was reduced to a minimum and he found it almost impossible to swallow. He whispered to M.: "I am bearing all this cheerfully, for otherwise you would be weeping. If you all say that it is better that the body should go rather than suffer this torture, I am willing." The next morning he said to his depressed disciples seated near the bed: "Do you know what I see? I see that God alone has become everything. Men and animals are only frameworks covered with skin, and it is He who is moving through their heads and limbs. I see that it is God Himself who has become the block, the executioner, and the victim for the sacrifice.' He fainted with emotion. Regaining partial consciousness, he said: "Now I have no pain. I am very well." Looking at Latu he said: "There sits Latu resting his head on the palm of his hand. To me it is the Lord who is seated in that posture."
   The words were tender and touching. Like a mother he caressed Narendra and Rakhal, gently stroking their faces. He said in a half whisper to M., "Had this body been allowed to last a little longer, many more souls would have been illumined." He paused a moment and then said: "But Mother has ordained otherwise. She will take me away lest, finding me guileless and foolish, people should take advantage of me and persuade me to bestow on them the rare gifts of spirituality." A few minutes later he touched his chest and said: "Here are two beings. One is She and the other is Her devotee. It is the latter who broke his arm, and it is he again who is now ill. Do you understand me?" After a pause he added: "Alas! To whom shall I tell all this? Who will understand me?" "Pain", he consoled them again, 'is unavoidable as long as there is a body. The Lord takes on the body for the sake of His devotees."
   Yet one is not sure whether the Master's soul actually was tortured by this agonizing disease. At least during his moments of spiritual exaltation — which became almost constant during the closing days of his life on earth — he lost all consciousness of the body, of illness and suffering. One of his attendants (Latu, later known as Swami Adbhutananda.) said later on: "While Sri Ramakrishna lay sick he never actually suffered pain. He would often say: 'O mind! Forget the body, forget the sickness, and remain merged in Bliss.' No, he did not really suffer. At times he would be in a state when the thrill of joy was clearly manifested in his body. Even when he could not speak he would let us know in some way that there was no suffering, and this fact was clearly evident to all who watched him. People who did not understand him thought that his suffering was very great. What spiritual joy he transmitted to us at that time! Could such a thing have been possible if he had 'been suffering physically? It was during this period that he taught us again these truths: 'Brahman is always unattached. The three gunas are in It, but It is unaffected by them, just as the wind carries odour yet remains odourless.' 'Brahman is Infinite Being, Infinite Wisdom, Infinite Bliss. In It there exist no delusion, no misery, no disease, no death, no growth, no decay.' 'The Transcendental Being and the being within are one and the same. There is one indivisible Absolute Existence.'"
   The Holy Mother secretly went to a Siva temple across the Ganges to intercede with the Deity for the Master's recovery. In a revelation she was told to prepare herself for the inevitable end.
   One day when Narendra was on the ground floor, meditating, the Master was lying awake in his bed upstairs. In the depths of his meditation Narendra felt as though a lamp were burning at the back of his head. Suddenly he lost consciousness. It was the yearned-for, all-effacing experience of nirvikalpa samadhi, when the embodied soul realizes its unity with the Absolute. After a very long time he regained partial consciousness but was unable to find his body. He could see only his head. "Where is my body?" he cried. The elder Gopal entered the room and said, "Why, it is here, Naren!" But Narendra could not find it. Gopal, frightened, ran upstairs to the Master. Sri Ramakrishna only said: "Let him stay that way for a time. He has worried me long enough."
   After another long period Narendra regained full consciousness. Bathed in peace, he went to the Master, who said: "Now the Mother has shown you everything. But this revelation will remain under lock and key, and I shall keep the key. When you have accomplished the Mother's work you will find the treasure again."
   Some days later, Narendra being alone with the Master, Sri Ramakrishna looked at him and went into samadhi. Narendra felt the penetration of a subtle force and lost all outer consciousness. Regaining presently the normal mood, he found the Master weeping.
   Sri Ramakrishna said to him: "Today I have given you my all and I am now only a poor fakir, possessing nothing. By this power you will do immense good in the world, and not until it is accomplished will you return." Henceforth the Master lived in the disciple.
   Doubt, however, dies hard. After one or two days Narendra said to himself, "If in the midst of this racking physical pain he declares his Godhead, then only shall I accept him as an Incarnation of God." He was alone by the bedside of the Master. It was a passing thought, but the Master smiled. Gathering his remaining strength, he distinctly said, "He who was Rama and Krishna is now, in this body, Ramakrishna — but not in your Vedantic sense." Narendra was stricken with shame.
  --
   Sunday, August 15, 1886. The Master's pulse became irregular. The devotees stood by the bedside. Toward dusk Sri Ramakrishna had difficulty in breathing. A short time afterwards he complained of hunger. A little liquid food was put into his mouth; some of it he swallowed, and the rest ran over his chin. Two attendants began to fan him. All at once he went into samadhi of a rather unusual type. The body became stiff. Sashi burst into tears. But after midnight the Master revived. He was now very hungry and helped himself to a bowl of porridge. He said he was strong again. He sat up against five or six pillows, which were supported by the body of Sashi, who was fanning him. Narendra took his feet on his lap and began to rub them. Again and again the Master repeated to him, "Take care of these boys." Then he asked to lie down. Three times in ringing tone's he cried the name of Kali, his life's Beloved, and lay back. At two minutes past one there was a low sound in his throat and he fell a little to one side. A thrill passed over his body. His hair stood on end. His eyes became fixed on the tip of his nose. His face was lighted with a smile. The final ecstasy began. It was mahasamadhi, total absorption, from which his mind never returned. Narendra, unable to bear it, ran downstairs.
   Dr. Sarkar arrived the following noon and pronounced that life had departed not more than half an hour before. At five o'clock the Masters body was brought downstairs, laid on a cot, dressed in ochre clothes, and decorated with sandal-paste and flowers. A procession was formed. The passers-by wept as the body was taken to the cremation ground at the Baranagore Ghat on the Ganges.

0.00 - THE GOSPEL PREFACE, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  THE GOSPEL OF Sri Ramakrishna
  "SRI Sri Ramakrishna KATHAMRITA"
  By Mahendranath Gupta ("M"), His Disciple
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  But, all doctrinal writing is in some measure formal and impersonal, while the autobiographer tends to omit what he regards as trifling matters and suffers from the further disadvantage of being unable to say how he strikes other people and in what way he affects their lives. Moreover, most saints have left neither writings nor self-portraits, and for knowledge of their lives, their characters and their teachings, we are forced to rely upon the records made by their disciples who, in most cases, have proved themselves singularly incompetent as reporters and biographers. Hence the special interest attaching to this enormously detailed account of the daily life and conversations of Sri Ramakrishna.
  "M", as the author modestly styles himself, was peculiarly qualified for his task. To a reverent love for his master, to a deep and experiential knowledge of that master's teaching, he added a prodigious memory for the small happenings of each day and a happy gift for recording them in an interesting and realistic way. Making good use of his natural gifts and of the circumstances in which he found himself, "M" produced a book unique, so far as my knowledge goes, in the literature of hagiography. No other saint has had so able and indefatigable a Boswell. Never have the small events of a contemplative's daily life been described with such a wealth of intimate detail. Never have the casual and unstudied utterances of a great religious teacher been set down with so minute a fidelity. To Western readers, it is true, this fidelity and this wealth of detail are sometimes a trifle disconcerting; for the social, religious and intellectual frames of reference within which Sri Ramakrishna did his thinking and expressed his feelings were entirely Indian. But after the first few surprises and bewilderments, we begin to find something peculiarly stimulating and instructive about the very strangeness and, to our eyes, the eccentricity of the man revealed to us in "M's" narrative. What a scholastic philosopher would call the "accidents" of Ramakrishna's life were intensely Hindu and therefore, so far as we in the West are concerned, unfamiliar and hard to understand; its "essence", however, was intensely mystical and therefore universal. To read through these conversations in which mystical doctrine alternates with an unfamiliar kind of humour, and where discussions of the oddest aspects of Hindu mythology give place to the most profound and subtle utterances about the nature of Ultimate Reality, is in itself a liberal, education in humility, tolerance and suspense of judgment. We must be grateful to the translator for his excellent version of a book so curious and delightful as a biographical document, so precious, at the same time, for what it teaches us of the life of the spirit.
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  The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna is the English translation of the Sri Sri Rmakrishna Kathmrita, the conversations of Sri Ramakrishna with his disciples, devotees, and visitors, recorded by Mahendranth Gupta, who wrote the book under the pseudonym of "M." The conversations in Bengali fill five volumes, the first of which was published in 1897 and the last shortly after M.'s death in 1932. Sri Ramakrishna Math, Madras, has published in two volumes an English translation of selected chapters from the monumental Bengali work. I have consulted these while preparing my translation.
  M., one of the intimate disciples of Sri Ramakrishna, was present during all the conversations recorded in the main body of the book and noted them down in his diary.
  They therefore have the value of almost stenographic records. In Appendix A are given several conversations which took place in the absence of M., but of which he received a first-hand record from persons concerned. The conversations will bring before the reader's mind an intimate picture of the Master's eventful life from March 1882 to April 24, 1886, only a few months before his passing away. During this period he came in contact chiefly with English-educated Benglis; from among them he selected his disciples and the bearers of his message, and with them he shared his rich spiritual experiences.
  I have made a literal translation, omitting only a few pages of no particular interest to English-speaking readers. Often literary grace has been sacrificed for the sake of literal translation. No translation can do full justice to the original. This difficulty is all the more felt in the present work, whose contents are of a deep mystical nature and describe the inner experiences of a great seer. Human language is an altogether inadequate vehicle to express supersensuous perception. Sri Ramakrishna was almost illiterate. He never clothed his thoughts in formal language. His words sought to convey his direct realization of Truth. His conversation was in a village patois. Therein lies its charm. In order to explain to his listeners an abstruse philosophy, he, like Christ before him, used with telling effect homely parables and illustrations, culled from his observation of the daily life around him.
  The reader will find mentioned in this work many visions and experiences that fall outside the ken of physical science and even psychology. With the development of modern knowledge the border line between the natural and the supernatural is ever shifting its position. Genuine mystical experiences are not as suspect now as they were half a century ago. The words of Sri Ramakrishna have already exerted a tremendous influence in the land of his birth. Savants of Europe have found in his words the ring of universal truth.
  But these words were not the product of intellectual cogitation; they were rooted in direct experience. Hence, to students of religion, psychology, and physical science, these experiences of the Master are of immense value for the understanding of religious phenomena in general. No doubt Sri Ramakrishna was a Hindu of the Hindus; yet his experiences transcended the limits of the dogmas and creeds of Hinduism. Mystics of religions other than Hinduism will find in Sri Ramakrishna's experiences a corroboration of the experiences of their own prophets and seers. And this is very important today for the resuscitation of religious values. The sceptical reader may pass by the supernatural experiences; he will yet find in the book enough material to provoke his serious thought and solve many of his spiritual problems.
  There are repetitions of teachings and parables in the book. I have kept them purposely. They have their charm and usefulness, repeated as they were in different settings. Repetition is unavoidable in a work of this kind. In the first place, different seekers come to a religious teacher with questions of more or less identical nature; hence the answers will be of more or less identical pattern. Besides, religious teachers of all times and climes have tried, by means of repetition, to hammer truths into the stony soil of the recalcitrant human mind. Finally, repetition does not seem tedious if the ideas repeated are dear to a man's heart.
  I have thought it necessary to write a rather lengthy Introduction to the book. In it I have given the biography of the Master, descriptions of people who came in contact with him, short explanations of several systems of Indian religious thought intimately connected with Sri Ramakrishna's life, and other relevant matters which, I hope, will enable the reader better to understand and appreciate the unusual contents of this book. It is particularly important that the Western reader, unacquainted with Hindu religious thought, should first read carefully the introductory chapter, in order that he may fully enjoy these conversations. Many Indian terms and names have been retained in the book for want of suitable English equivalents. Their meaning is given either in the Glossary or in the foot-notes. The Glossary also gives explanations of a number of expressions unfamiliar to Western readers. The diacritical marks are explained under Notes on Pronunciation.
  In the Introduction I have drawn much material from the Life of Sri Ramakrishna, published by the Advaita Ashrama, Myvati, India. I have also consulted the excellent article on Sri Ramakrishna by Swami Nirvednanda, in the second volume of the Cultural Heritage of India.
  The book contains many songs sung either by the Master or by the devotees. These form an important feature of the spiritual tradition of Bengal and were for the most part written by men of mystical experience. For giving the songs their present form I am grateful to Mr. John Moffitt, Jr.
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  In the spiritual firmament Sri Ramakrishna is a waxing crescent. Within one hundred years of his birth and fifty years of his death his message has spread across land and sea. Romain Rolland has described him as the fulfilment of the spiritual aspirations of the three hundred millions of Hindus for the last two thousand years. Mahatma Gandhi has written: "His life enables us to see God face to face. . . . Ramakrishna was a living embodiment of godliness." He is being recognized as a compeer of Krishna, Buddha, and Christ.
  The life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna have redirected the thoughts of the denationalized Hindus to the spiritual ideals of their forefa thers. During the latter part of the nineteenth century his was the time-honoured role of the Saviour of the Eternal Religion of the Hindus. His teachings played an important part in liberalizing the minds of orthodox pundits and hermits. Even now he is the silent force that is moulding the spiritual destiny of India. His great disciple, Swami Vivekananda, was the first Hindu missionary to preach the message of Indian culture to the enlightened minds of Europe and America. The full consequence of Swami Vivekn and work is still in the womb of the future.
  May this translation of the first book of its kind in the religious history of the world, being the record of the direct words of a prophet, help stricken humanity to come nearer to the Eternal Verity of life and remove dissension and quarrel from among the different faiths!
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  In the life of the great Saviours and Prophets of the world it is often found that they are accompanied by souls of high spiritual potency who play a conspicuous part in the furtherance of their Master's mission. They become so integral a part of the life and work of these great ones that posterity can think of them only in mutual association. Such is the case with Sri Ramakrishna and M., whose diary has come to be known to the world as the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna in English and as Sri Rmakrishna Kathmrita in the original Bengali version.
  Sri Mahendra Nath Gupta, familiary known to the readers of the Gospel by his pen name M., and to the devotees as Master Mahashay, was born on the 14th of July, 1854 as the son of Madhusudan Gupta, an officer of the Calcutta High Court, and his wife, Swarnamayi Devi. He had a brilliant scholastic career at Hare School and the Presidency College at Calcutta. The range of his studies included the best that both occidental and oriental learning had to offer. English literature, history, economics, western philosophy and law on the one hand, and Sanskrit literature and grammar, Darsanas, Puranas, Smritis, Jainism, Buddhism, astrology and Ayurveda on the other were the subjects in which he attained considerable proficiency.
  --
  Imparting secular education was, however, only his profession ; his main concern was with the spiritual regeneration of man a calling for which Destiny seems to have chosen him. From his childhood he was deeply pious, and he used to be moved very much by Sdhus, temples and Durga Puja celebrations. The piety and eloquence of the great Brahmo leader of the times, Keshab Chander Sen, elicited a powerful response from the impressionable mind of Mahendra Nath, as it did in the case of many an idealistic young man of Calcutta, and prepared him to receive the great Light that was to dawn on him with the coming of Sri Ramakrishna into his life.
  This epoch-making event of his life came about in a very strange way. M. belonged to a joint family with several collateral members. Some ten years after he began his career as an educationist, bitter quarrels broke out among the members of the family, driving the sensitive M. to despair and utter despondency. He lost all interest in life and left home one night to go into the wide world with the idea of ending his life. At dead of night he took rest in his sister's house at Baranagar, and in the morning, accompanied by a nephew Siddheswar, he wandered from one garden to another in Calcutta until Siddheswar brought him to the Temple Garden of Dakshineswar where Sri Ramakrishna was then living. After spending some time in the beautiful rose gardens there, he was directed to the room of the Paramahamsa, where the eventful meeting of the Master and the disciple took place on a blessed evening (the exact date is not on record) on a Sunday in March 1882. As regards what took place on the occasion, the reader is referred to the opening section of the first chapter of the Gospel.
  The Master, who divined the mood of desperation in M, his resolve to take leave of this 'play-field of deception', put new faith and hope into him by his gracious words of assurance: "God forbid! Why should you take leave of this world? Do you not feel blessed by discovering your Guru? By His grace, what is beyond all imagination or dreams can be easily achieved!" At these words the clouds of despair moved away from the horizon of M.'s mind, and the sunshine of a new hope revealed to him fresh vistas of meaning in life. Referring to this phase of his life, M. used to say, "Behold! where is the resolve to end life, and where, the discovery of God! That is, sorrow should be looked upon as a friend of man. God is all good." ( Ibid P.33.)
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  From the mental depression of the modem Vysa, the world has obtained the Kathmrita (Bengali Edition) the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna in English.
   Sri Ramakrishna was a teacher for both the Orders of mankind, Sannysins and householders. His own life offered an ideal example for both, and he left behind disciples who followed the highest traditions he had set in respect of both these ways of life. M., along with Nag Mahashay, exemplified how a householder can rise to the highest level of sagehood. M. was married to Nikunja Devi, a distant relative of Keshab Chander Sen, even when he was reading at College, and he had four children, two sons and two daughters. The responsibility of the family, no doubt, made him dependent on his professional income, but the great devotee that he was, he never compromised with ideals and principles for this reason. Once when he was working as the headmaster in a school managed by the great Vidysgar, the results of the school at the public examination happened to be rather poor, and Vidysgar attri buted it to M's preoccupation with the Master and his consequent failure to attend adequately to the school work. M. at once resigned his post without any thought of the morrow. Within a fortnight the family was in poverty, and M. was one day pacing up and down the verandah of his house, musing how he would feed his children the next day. Just then a man came with a letter addressed to 'Mahendra Babu', and on opening it, M. found that it was a letter from his friend Sri Surendra Nath Banerjee, asking whether he would like to take up a professorship in the Ripon College. In this way three or four times he gave up the job that gave him the wherewithal to support the family, either for upholding principles or for practising spiritual Sadhanas in holy places, without any consideration of the possible dire worldly consequences; but he was always able to get over these difficulties somehow, and the interests of his family never suffered. In spite of his disregard for worldly goods, he was, towards the latter part of his life, in a fairly flourishing condition as the proprietor of the Morton School which he developed into a noted educational institution in the city. The Lord has said in the Bhagavad Git that in the case of those who think of nothing except Him, He Himself would take up all their material and spiritual responsibilities. M. was an example of the truth of the Lord's promise.
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  The life of Sdhan and holy association that he started on at the feet of the Master, he continued all through his life. He has for this reason been most appropriately described as a Grihastha-Sannysi (householder-Sannysin). Though he was forbidden by the Master to become a Sannysin, his reverence for the Sannysa ideal was whole-hearted and was without any reservation. So after Sri Ramakrishna's passing away, while several of the Master's householder devotees considered the young Sannysin disciples of the Master as inexperienced and inconsequential, M. stood by them with the firm faith that the Master's life and message were going to be perpetuated only through them. Swami Vivekananda wrote from America in a letter to the inmates of the Math: "When Sri Thkur (Master) left the body, every one gave us up as a few unripe urchins. But M. and a few others did not leave us in the lurch. We cannot repay our debt to them." (Swami Raghavananda's article on M. in Prabuddha Bharata vol. XXX P. 442.)
  M. spent his weekends and holidays with the monastic brethren who, after the Master's demise, had formed themselves into an Order with a Math at Baranagore, and participated in the intense life of devotion and meditation that they followed. At other times he would retire to Dakshineswar or some garden in the city and spend several days in spiritual practice taking simple self-cooked food. In order to feel that he was one with all mankind he often used to go out of his home at dead of night, and like a wandering Sannysin, sleep with the waifs on some open verandah or footpath on the road.
  After the Master's demise, M. went on pilgrimage several times. He visited Banras, Vrindvan, Ayodhy and other places. At Banras he visited the famous Trailinga Swmi and fed him with sweets, and he had long conversations with Swami Bhaskarananda, one of the noted saintly and scholarly Sannysins of the time. In 1912 he went with the Holy Mother to Banras, and spent about a year in the company of Sannysins at Banras, Vrindvan, Hardwar, Hrishikesh and Swargashram. But he returned to Calcutta, as that city offered him the unique opportunity of associating himself with the places hallowed by the Master in his lifetime. Afterwards he does not seem to have gone to any far-off place, but stayed on in his room in the Morton School carrying on his spiritual ministry, speaking on the Master and his teachings to the large number of people who flocked to him after having read his famous Kathmrita known to English readers as The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.
  This brings us to the circumstances that led to the writing and publication of this monumental work, which has made M. one of the immortals in hagiographic literature.
  While many educated people heard Sri Ramakrishna's talks, it was given to this illustrious personage alone to leave a graphic and exact account of them for posterity, with details like date, hour, place, names and particulars about participants. Humanity owes this great book to the ingrained habit of diary-keeping with which M. was endowed.
  Even as a boy of about thirteen, while he was a student in the 3rd class of the Hare School, he was in the habit of keeping a diary. "Today on rising," he wrote in his diary, "I greeted my father and mother, prostrating on the ground before them" (Swami Nityatmananda's 'M The Apostle and the Evangelist' Part I. P 29.) At another place he wrote, "Today, while on my way to school, I visited, as usual, the temples of Kli, the Mother at Tharitharia, and of Mother Sitala, and paid my obeisance to them." About twenty-five years after, when he met the Great Master in the spring of 1882, it was the same instinct of a born diary-writer that made him begin his book, 'unique in the literature of hagiography', with the memorable words: "When hearing the name of Hari or Rma once, you shed tears and your hair stands on end, then you may know for certain that you do not have to perform devotions such as Sandhya any more."
  In addition to this instinct for diary-keeping, M. had great endowments contri buting to success in this line. Writes Swami Nityatmananda who lived in close association with M., in his book entitled M - The Apostle and Evangelist: "M.'s prodigious memory combined with his extraordinary power of imagination completely annihilated the distance of time and place for him. Even after the lapse of half a century he could always visualise vividly, scenes from the life of Sri Ramakrishna. Superb too was his power to portray pictures by words."
  Besides the prompting of his inherent instinct, the main inducement for M. to keep this diary of his experiences at Dakshineswar was his desire to provide himself with a means for living in holy company at all times. Being a school teacher, he could be with the Master only on Sundays and other holidays, and it was on his diary that he depended for 'holy company' on other days. The devotional scriptures like the Bhagavata say that holy company is the first and most important means for the generation and growth of devotion. For, in such company man could hear talks on spiritual matters and listen to the glorification of Divine attri butes, charged with the fervour and conviction emanating from the hearts of great lovers of God. Such company is therefore the one certain means through which Sraddha (Faith), Rati (attachment to God) and Bhakti (loving devotion) are generated. The diary of his visits to Dakshineswar provided M. with material for re-living, through reading and contemplation, the holy company he had had earlier, even on days when he was not able to visit Dakshineswar. The wealth of details and the vivid description of men and things in the midst of which the sublime conversations are set, provide excellent material to re-live those experiences for any one with imaginative powers. It was observed by M.'s disciples and admirers that in later life also whenever he was free or alone, he would be pouring over his diary, transporting himself on the wings of imagination to the glorious days he spent at the feet of the Master.
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  The two pamphlets in English entitled the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna appeared in October and November 1897. They drew the spontaneous acclamation of Swami Vivekananda, who wrote on 24th November of that year from Dehra Dun to M.:"Many many thanks for your second leaflet. It is indeed wonderful. The move is quite original, and never was the life of a Great Teacher brought before the public untarnished by the writer's mind, as you are doing. The language also is beyond all praise, so fresh, so pointed, and withal so plain and easy. I cannot express in adequate terms how I have enjoyed them. I am really in a transport when I read them. Strange, isn't it? Our Teacher and Lord was so original, and each one of us will have to be original or nothing.
  I now understand why none of us attempted His life before. It has been reserved for you, this great work. He is with you evidently." ( Vednta Kesari Vol. XIX P. 141. Also given in the first edition of the Gospel published from Ramakrishna Math, Madras in 1911.)
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  M. was, in every respect, a true missionary of Sri Ramakrishna right from his first acquaintance with him in 1882. As a school teacher, it was a practice with him to direct to the Master such of his students as had a true spiritual disposition. Though himself prohibited by the Master to take to monastic life, he encouraged all spiritually inclined young men he came across in his later life to join the monastic Order. Swami Vijnanananda, a direct Sannysin disciple of the Master and a President of the Ramakrishna Order, once remarked to M.: "By enquiry, I have come to the conclusion that eighty percent and more of the Sannysins have embraced the monastic life after reading the Kathmrita (Bengali name of the book) and coming in contact with you." ( M
  The Apostle and the Evangelist by Swami Nityatmananda Part I, P 37.)
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  In appearance, M. looked a Vedic Rishi. Tall and stately in bearing, he had a strong and well-built body, an unusually broad chest, high forehead and arms extending to the knees. His complexion was fair and his prominent eyes were always tinged with the expression of the divine love that filled his heart. Adorned with a silvery beard that flowed luxuriantly down his chest, and a shining face radiating the serenity and gravity of holiness, M. was as imposing and majestic as he was handsome and engaging in appearance. Humorous, sweet-tongued and eloquent when situations required, this great Maharishi of our age lived only to sing the glory of Sri Ramakrishna day and night.
  Though a very well versed scholar in the Upanishads, Git and the philosophies of the East and the West, all his discussions and teachings found their culmination in the life and the message of Sri Ramakrishna, in which he found the real explanation and illustration of all the scriptures. Both consciously and unconsciously, he was the teacher of the Kathmrita the nectarine words of the Great Master.
  Though a much-sought-after spiritual guide, an educationist of repute, and a contemporary and close associate of illustrious personages like Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Keshab Chander Sen and Iswar Chander Vidysgar, he was always moved by the noble humanity of a lover of God, which consists in respecting the personalities of all as receptacles of the Divine Spirit. So he taught without the consciousness of a teacher, and no bar of superiority stood in the way of his doing the humblest service to his students and devotees. "He was a commission of love," writes his close devotee, Swami Raghavananda, "and yet his soft and sweet words would pierce the stoniest heart, make the worldly-minded weep and repent and turn Godwards."
  ( Prabuddha Bharata Vol. XXXVII P 499.)
  --
  About twenty-seven years of his life he spent in this way in the heart of the great city of Calcutta, radiating the Master's thoughts and ideals to countless devotees who flocked to him, and to still larger numbers who read his Kathmrita (English Edition : The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna), the last part of which he had completed before June 1932 and given to the press. And miraculously, as it were, his end also came immediately after he had completed his life's mission. About three months earlier he had come to stay at his home at 13/2 Gurdasprasad Chaudhuary Lane at Thakur Bari, where the Holy Mother had herself installed the Master and where His regular worship was being conducted for the previous 40 years. The night of 3rd June being the Phalahrini Kli Pooja day, M.
  had sent his devotees who used to keep company with him, to attend the special worship at Belur Math at night. After attending the service at the home shrine, he went through the proof of the Kathmrita for an hour. Suddenly he got a severe attack of neuralgic pain, from which he had been suffering now and then, of late. Before 6 a.m. in the early hours of 4th June 1932 he passed away, fully conscious and chanting: 'Gurudeva-Ma, Kole tule na-o (Take me in your arms! O Master! O Mother!!)'

04.01 - The Divine Man, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 03, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   The Divine descends as an individual person fundamentally to hasten the evolutionary process and to complete it; he takes the human form to raise humanity to divinity. The fact and the nature of the process have been well exemplified in Sri Ramakrishna who, it is said, took up successively different lines of spiritual discipline and by a supreme and sovereign force of concentration achieved realisation in each line in the course of a few days what might take in normal circumstances years or even lives to do. The Divine gathers and concentrates in himself the world-force, the Nature-Energyeven like adynamo and focuses and canalises it to give it its full, integral and absolute effectivity. And mortal pain he accepts, and swallows the poison of ignorant lifeeven like Nilakantha Shivato transmute it into ecstasy and immortality. The Divine Mother sank into the earth-nature of a human body:
   Of her pangs she made a mystic poignant sword. . .

04.05 - The Immortal Nation, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 01, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   It is true there were periods of decline and almost total disintegration in India, but she survived and revived. And the revival did not mean a negation of her past and of her origins, a complete severance from her essential life and genius. The spirit and even the fundamental outline of the form in which that spirit moulded itself did not change, they remained constant and the same. It is said the Varna and the Ashrama (roughly translated as caste and order) that give the characteristic structure of Indian society even today characterised also the Vedic society; and the system of village autonomy that survives even today ruled Harappan India also. It has also been pointed out that the administrative system pursued by the British in India was nothing brand new imported from outside, but only a continuation, with minor adaptations, of the system consolidated by the Moguls who again had taken it up from the Mauryas; a system initiated perhaps by still earlier legislators and builders of Indian polity. Mussolini of twentieth century Italy is in no way related to Cato or Julius Caesar of ancient Rome, but Sri Ramakrishna or Sri Aurobindo is a direct descendant of the Vedic Rishis.
   What is the cause of this strange longevity or stability that India or China enjoys? Whence this capacity to renew life, to rejuvenate the past that survives and persists? Before dealing with this question let us turn for a while to another curious phenomenon : which is allied to it and may throw some light upon it.

08.29 - Meditation and Wakefulness, #Collected Works of Nolini Kanta Gupta - Vol 04, #Nolini Kanta Gupta, #Integral Yoga
   Sri Ramakrishna used to tell a story in this connection. When asked about the purificatory virtue of a dip in the Holy Ganges he answered that the sins leave you as soon as you are about to enter the waters, but they keep waiting on the shore, and directly you are out they pounce upon you and settle in you as merrily as before.
   ***

1.01 - MASTER AND DISCIPLE, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  IT WAS ON A SUNDAY in spring, a few days after Sri Ramakrishna's birthday, that M.
  met him the first time. Sri Ramakrishna lived at the Kailibari, the temple garden of Mother Kali, on the bank of the Ganges at Dakshineswar.
  M., being at leisure on Sundays, had gone with his friend Sidhu to visit several gardens at Baranagore. As they were walking in Prasanna Bannerji's garden, Sidhu said: "There is a charming place on the bank of the Ganges where a paramahamsa lives. Should you like to go there?" M. assented and they started immediately for the Dakshineswar temple garden. They arrived at the main gate at dusk and went straight to Sri Ramakrishna's room. And there they found him seated on a wooden couch, facing the east. With a smile on his face he was talking of God. The room was full of people, all seated on the floor, drinking in his words in deep silence.
  M. stood there speechless and looked on. It was as if he were standing where all the holy places met and as if Sukadeva himself were speaking the word of God, or as if Sri Chaitanya were singing the name and glories of the Lord in Puri with Ramananda, Swarup, and the other devotees.
  --
  On the way back to Sri Ramakrishna's room the two friends talked. Sidhu told M. that the temple garden had been founded by Rani Rasmani. He said that God was worshipped there daily as Kali, Krishna, and Siva, and that within the gates sadhus and beggars were fed. When they reached Sri Ramakrishna's door again, they found it shut, and Brinde, the Maid, standing outside. M., who had been trained in English manners and would not enter a room without permission, asked her, "Is the holy man in?" Brinde replied, "Yes he's in the room."
  M: "How long has he lived here?"
  --
  M. had just finished his studies in college. It amazed him to hear that Sri Ramakrishna read no books.
  M: "Perhaps it is time for his evening worship. May we go into the room? Will you tell him we are anxious to see him?"
  --
  Entering the room, they found Sri Ramakrishna alone, seated on the wooden couch.
  Incense had just been burnt and all the doors were shut. As he entered, M. with folded hands saluted the Master. Then, at the Master's bidding, he and Sidhu sat on the floor.
   Sri Ramakrishna asked them: "Where do you live? What is your occupation? Why have you come to Baranagore?" M. answered the questions, but he noticed that now and then the Master seemed to become absent-minded. Later he learnt that this mood is called bhava, ecstasy. It is like the state of the angler who has been sitting with his rod: the fish comes and swallows the bait, and the float begins to tremble; the angler is on the alert; he grips the rod and watches the float steadily and eagerly; he will not speak to anyone. Such was the state of Sri Ramakrishna's mind. Later M. heard, and himself noticed, that Sri Ramakrishna would often go into this mood after dusk, sometimes becoming totally unconscious of the outer world.
  M: "Perhaps you want to perform your evening worship. In that case may we take our leave?"
  --
  After a little conversation M. saluted the Master and took his leave. "Come again", Sri Ramakrishna said.
  On his way home M. began to wonder: "Who is this serene-looking man who is drawing me back to him? Is it possible for a man to be great without being a scholar? How wonderful it is! I should like to see him again. He himself said, 'Come again.' I shall go tomorrow or the day after."
  --
  M.'s second visit to Sri Ramakrishna took place on the southeast verandah at eight o'clock in the morning. The Master was about to be shaved, the barber having just arrived. As the cold season still lingered he had put on a moleskin shawl bordered with red. Seeing M., the Master said: "So you have come. That's good. Sit down here." He was smiling. He stammered a little when he spoke.
   Sri Ramakrishna (to M.): "Where do you live?"
  --
  Very sadly Sri Ramakrishna said, "Ah me! He even has children!"
  Thus rebuked M. sat speechless. His pride had received a blow. After a few minutes Sri Ramakrishna looked at him kindly and said affectionately: "You see, you have certain good signs. I know them by looking at a person's forehead, his eyes, and so on. Tell me, now, what kind of person is your wife? Has she spiritual attri butes, or is she under the power of avidya?"
  M: "She is all right. But I am afraid she is ignorant."
  --
  M. had yet to learn the distinction between knowledge and ignorance. Up to this time his conception had been that one got knowledge from books and schools. Later on he gave up this false conception. He was taught that to know God is knowledge, and not to know Him, ignorance. When Sri Ramakrishna exclaimed, "And you are a man of knowledge!", M.'s ego was again badly shocked.
  God with and without form
  --
   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:
  --
  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.
  --
  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?
  --
  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.
  --
  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 newcomer. 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?"
  --
  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."
  --
  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 Balarm Bose's house in Calcutta. Come there and you'll hear me sing." M. agreed to go.
  MASTER. "Do you know Balarm Bose?"
  --
  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."
  --
  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.

1.02 - IN THE COMPANY OF DEVOTEES, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  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
  --
  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
  --
  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 jnna and reasoning is extremely difficult."
  Then the Master sang:
  --
   Sri Ramakrishna spoke to Pratap and the other Brahmo devotees. M. was seated near by. Pointing to him, the Master said to Keshab: "Will you please ask him why he doesn't come to Dakshineswar any more? He repeatedly tells me he is not attached to his wife and children." M. had been paying visits to the Master for about a month; his absence for a time from Dakshineswar called forth this remark. Sri Ramakrishna had asked M. to write to him, if his coming were delayed.
  Pundit Samadhyayi was present. The Brahmo devotees introduced him to Sri Ramakrishna as a scholar well versed in the Vedas and the other scriptures. The Master said, "Yes, I can see inside him through his eyes, as one can see the objects in a room through the glass door."
  Trailokya sang. Suddenly the Master stood up and went into samdhi, repeating the Mother's name. Coming down a little to the plane of sense consciousness, he danced and sang:
  --
   Sri Ramakrishna was seated with his devotees in the drawing-room of Prankrishna Mukherji's house in Calcutta; it was between one and two o'clock in the afternoon. Since Colonel Viswanath4 lived in that neighbourhood, the Master intended to visit him before going to see Keshab at the Lily Cottage. A number of neighbours and other friends of Prankrishna had been invited to meet Sri Ramakrishna. They were all eager to hear his words.
  God and His glory & Dangers of worldly life MASTER: "God and His glory. This universe is His glory. People see His glory and forget everything. They do not seek God, whose glory is this world. All seek to enjoy 'woman and gold'. But there is too much misery and worry in that. This world is like the whirlpool of the Vilki. Once a boat gets into it there is no hope of its rescue. Again, the world is like a thorny bush: you have hardly freed yourself from one set of thorns before you find yourself entangled in another. Once you enter a labyrinth you find it very difficult to get out. Living in the world, a man becomes seared, as it were."

1.02 - Karmayoga, #Essays In Philosophy And Yoga, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  There have been others in the past which have powerfully influenced the national mind and there is no reason why there should not be a yet more perfect synthesis in the future. It is such a synthesis, embracing all life and action in its scope, that the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna and Vivekananda have been preparing. What is dimly beginning now is a repetition on a wider stage of what happened once before in India, more rapidly but to smaller issues, when the Buddha lived and taught his philosophy and ethics to the Aryan nations. Then as now a mighty spirit, it matters not whether Avatar or Vibhuti, the full expression of God in man or a great outpouring of the divine energy, came down among men and brought into their daily life and practice the force and impulse of utter spirituality. And this time it is the full light and not a noble part, unlike Buddhism which, expressing Vedantic morality, yet ignored a fundamental reality of Vedanta and was therefore expelled from its prime seat and cradle. The material result was then what it will be now, a great political, moral and social revolution which made India
  Karmayoga

1.03 - The House Of The Lord, #Twelve Years With Sri Aurobindo, #Nirodbaran, #Integral Yoga
  We were thus installed in the House for an indefinite period. This was the house in which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother lived for about a decade before we broke into their seclusion. Sri Aurobindo had not gone one step out of this house, nor seen any visitors or inmates; only Champaklal, his personal attendant, had glimpses of him. He used to find his body shining like gold. Our work too was to serve the Lord as is done in the temple, not as medical attendants, for henceforth he needed none but to minister to his physical and other minor needs, to be near him, even to amuse him by our talk and presence. That was our Yoga. What better way could there be than to serve personally the Guru, the Divine? Sri Ramakrishna had said to his nephew Hriday, "Serve me and you will get all you want." We had no particular want till then and all our heart was offered to him in utter dedication. It is gratifying for us to remember that Sri Aurobindo had said in the beginning that he was happy to have such a team to serve him. Service was our life, and the hours passed "with a moon-imprinted sail". Sri Aurobindo did not require, in fact, so many hands, since he had almost recovered the use of his own limbs, but it was not Sri Aurobindo's or the Mother's way to dispense with someone, even something, as soon as their need of him was over. Their grace Would always be with him.
  How did we serve him? The best way to give a clear idea about it would be to present a picture of Sri Aurobindo's daily life, now that it had fallen into a definite pattern and woven our activities into it. However, I fear that in depicting his external life, some misconception may be created in the minds of the readers about his real Self. Since man is usually led by surface appearance and expressions, we are likely to be taken up by his outward gestures or words and have not the least idea of the vast consciousness from which these movements flowed. For instance, when he talked to us as a friend, could we ever have imagined that he was the Divine talking to us as divine beings? When he saw Dr. Manilal, could Manilal have perceived that "it was no longer Dr. Manilal but the Divine living in the Divine" that he saw? How could we guess that living confined within the body and the small room, he saw "Paris, Tokyo and New York"? He could say, "My soul unhorizoned widens to measureless sight." Referring to a certain context I once told him, "I am satisfied with you as Sri Aurobindo pure and simple." He replied, "No objection, I only suggested that I don't know who this Sri Aurobindo pure and simple is. If you do, I congratulate you."

1.03 - VISIT TO VIDYASAGAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  PUNDIT ISWAR CHANDRA VIDYASAGAR was born in the village of Beersingh, not far from Kamarpukur, Sri Ramakrishna's birthplace. He was known as a great scholar, educator, writer, and philanthropist. One of the creators of modern Bengali, he was also well versed in Sanskrit grammar and poetry. His generosity made his name a household word with his countrymen, most of his income being given in charity to widows, orphans, indigent students, and other needy people. Nor was his compassion limited to human beings: he stopped drinking milk for years so that the calves should not be deprived of it, and he would not drive in a carriage for fear of causing discomfort to the horses. He was a man of indomitable spirit, which he showed when he gave up the lucrative position of principal of the Sanskrit College of Calcutta because of a disagreement with the authorities. His affection for his mother was especially deep. One day, in the absence of a ferryboat, he swam a raging river at the risk of his life to fulfil her wish that he should be present at his brother's wedding. His whole life was one of utter simplicity. The title Vidyasagar, meaning "Ocean of Learning", was given him in recognition of his vast erudition.
  Master's visit to the scholar
  --
  that he was a teacher at Vidyasagar's school, the Master asked: "Can you take me to Vidyasagar? I should like very much to see him." M. told Iswar Chandra of Sri Ramakrishna's wish, and the pundit gladly agreed that M. should bring the Master, some Saturday afternoon at four o'clock. He only asked M. what kind of paramahamsa the Master was, saying, "Does he wear an ochre cloth?" M. answered: "No, sir. He is an unusual person. He wears a red-bordered cloth and polished slippers. He lives in a room in Rani Rasmani's temple garden. In his room there is a couch with a mattress and mosquito net. He has no outer indication of holiness. But he doesn't know anything except God. Day and night he thinks of God alone."
  On the afternoon of August 5 the Master left Dakshineswar in a hackney carriage, accompanied by Bhavanath, M., and Hazra. Vidyasagar lived in Badurbagan, in central Calcutta, about six miles from Dakshineswar. On the way Sri Ramakrishna talked with his companions; but as the carriage neared Vidyasagar's house his mood suddenly changed. He was overpowered with divine ecstasy. Not noticing this, M. pointed out the garden house where Raja Rammohan Roy had lived. The Master was annoyed and said, "I don't care about such things now." He was going into an ecstatic state.
  The carriage stopped in front of. Vidyasagar's house. The Master alighted, supported by M., who then led the way. In the courtyard were many flowering plants. As the Master walked to the house he said to M., like a child, pointing to his shirt-button: "My shirt is un buttoned. Will that offend Vidyasagar?" "Oh, no!" said M. "Don't be anxious about it.
  --
  Vidyasagar was about sixty-two years old, sixteen or seventeen years older than the Master. He lived in a two-storey house built in the English fashion, with lawns on all sides and surrounded by a high wall. After climbing the stairs to the second floor, Sri Ramakrishna and his devotees entered a room at the far end of which Vidyasagar was seated facing them, with a table in front of him. To the right of the table was a bench.
  Some friends of their host occupied chairs on the other two sides.
  Vidyasagar rose to receive the Master. Sri Ramakrishna stood in front of the bench, with one hand resting on the table. He gazed at Vidyasagar, as if they had known each other before, and smiled in an ecstatic mood. In that mood he remained standing a few minutes. Now and then, to bring his mind back to normal consciousness, he said, "I shall have a drink of water."
  In the mean time the young members of the household and a few friends and relatives of Vidyasagar had gathered around. Sri Ramakrishna, still in an ecstatic mood, sat on the bench. A young man, seventeen or eighteen years old, who had come to Vidyasagar to seek financial help for his education, was seated there. The Master sat down at a little distance from the boy, saying in an abstracted mood: "Mother, this boy is very much attached to the world. He belongs to Thy realm of ignorance."
  Vidyasagar told someone to bring water and asked M. whether the Master would like some sweetmeats also. Since M. did not object, Vidyasagar himself went eagerly to the inner apartments and brought the sweets. They were placed before the Master.
  --
  The pundit became silent. Sri Ramakrishna said: "Your activities are inspired by sattva.
  Though they are rajasic, they are influenced by sattva. Compassion springs from sattva. Though work for the good of others belongs to rajas, yet this rajas has sattva for its basis, and is not harmful. Suka and other sages cherished compassion in their minds to give people religious instruction, to teach them about God. You are distributing food and learning. That is good too. If these activities are done in a selfless spirit they lead to God. But most people work for fame or to acquire merit. Their activities are not selfless. Besides, you are already a siddha."
  --
  The world of duality & Transcendental nature of Brahman Sri Ramakrishna's conversation now turned to the Knowledge of Brahman.
  MASTER: "Brahman is beyond vidy and avidy, knowledge and ignorance. It is beyond maya, the illusion of duality.
  --
  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?
  --
  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 marketplace?
  --
  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.
  --
  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."
  --
  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.
  --------------------

1.04 - ADVICE TO HOUSEHOLDERS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  THE MASTER WAS CONVERSING with Kedr and some other devotees in his room in the temple garden. Kedr was a government official and had spent several years at Dcc, 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. Kedr 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. Kedr 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
  --
  As evening came on, the temples were lighted up. Sri Ramakrishna was seated on his small couch, meditating on the Divine Mother. Then he chanted the names of God.
  Incense was burnt in the room, where an oil lamp had been lighted. Sounds of conch-shells and gongs came floating on the air as the evening worship began in the temple of Kli. The light of the moon flooded all the quarters. The Master again spoke to M.
  --
  Immediately Sri Ramakrishna said: "It is His will that we should run about a little. Then it is great fun. God has created the world in play, as it were. This is called Mahamaya, the Great Illusion. Therefore one must take refuge in the Divine Mother, the Cosmic Power Itself. It is She who has bound us with the shackles of illusion. The realization of God is possible only when those shackles are severed."
  Worship of the Divine Mother
  --
  It was Monday, a few days before the Durga Puja, the festival of the Divine Mother. Sri Ramakrishna was in a very happy state of mind, for Narendra was with him. Narendra had brought two or three young members of the Brahmo Samaj to the temple garden.
  Besides these, Rakhal, Ramlal, Hazra, and M. were with the Master.
  Narendra had his midday meal with Sri Ramakrishna. Afterwards a temporary bed was made on the floor of the Master's room so that the disciples might rest awhile. A mat was spread, over which was placed a quilt covered with a white sheet. A few cushions and pillows completed the simple bed. Like a child, the Master sat near Narendranath on the bed. He talked with the devotees in great delight. With a radiant smile lighting his face, and his eyes fixed on Narendra, he was giving them various spiritual teachings, interspersing these with incidents from his own life.
  MASTER: "After I had experienced samdhi, my mind craved intensely to hear only about God. I would always search for places where they were reciting or explaining the sacred books, such as the Bhagavata, the Mahabharata, and the Adhytma Rmyana. I used to go to Krishnakishore to hear him read the Adhytma Rmyana.
  --
  When the music was over, Sri Ramakrishna held Narendra in his arms a long time and said, "You have made us so happy today!" The flood-gate of the Master's heart was open so wide, that night, that he could hardly contain himself for joy. It was eight o'clock in the evening. Intoxicated with divine love, he paced the long verandah north of his room. Now and then he could be heard talking to the Divine Mother. Suddenly he said in an excited voice, "What can you do to me?" Was the Master hinting that maya was helpless before him, since he had the Divine Mother for his support?
  Narendra, M., and Priya were going to spend the night at the temple garden. This pleased the Master highly, especially since Narendra would be with him. The Holy Mother, who was living in the nahabat, had prepared the supper. Surendra bore the greater part of the Master's expenses. The meal was ready, and the plates were set out on the southeast verandah of the Masters room.
  --
  They Were talking thus when Sri Ramakrishna came to them and asked with a smile, "Well, what are you talking about?"
  NARENDRA: "I have been asking M. about the boys in the schools. The conduct of students nowadays isn't all that it should be."
  --
  While the devotees were enjoying their meal, Sri Ramakrishna stood by and watched them with intense delight. That night the Master's joy was very great.
  After supper the devotees rested on the mat spread on the floor of the Master's room.
  --
  With a sweet smile on his lips Sri Ramakrishna was standing on the northeast verandah, close to his own room.
  NARENDRA: "We noticed several sannyasis belonging to the sect of Nanak in the Panchavati."
  --
  The sannyasis belonging to the sect of Nanak entered the room and greeted the Master, saying, "Namo Narayanaya." Sri Ramakrishna asked them to sit down.
  All is possible with God
  --
  After a while Sri Ramakrishna came to them. M., too, was present.
  The Master said to the Brahmo devotees: "In meditation one must be absorbed in God.
  --
  Thus conversing, the Master came to the west end of the verandah. M stood by his side. 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?' "
  --
  The doors of the temple were shut. Sri Ramakrishna sat down for his meal, and Narendra and the other devotees partook of the food offerings from the temple.
  Sunday, October 22, 1882
  --
  About nine o'clock in the morning M. was seated on the floor of the Master's room at Dakshineswar, near Sri Ramakrishna, who was reclining on the small couch. Rakhal was then living with the Master, and Narendra and Bhavanath visited him frequently.
  Baburam had seen him only once or twice.

1.04 - The Divine Mother - This Is She, #Twelve Years With Sri Aurobindo, #Nirodbaran, #Integral Yoga
  I shall now give an example of the Mother's considerable courage in taking up the charge of a patient suffering from throat cancer. This man, a devotee, arrived from outside. He had refused all medical aid and turned down all entreaties of his relatives for the accepted treatment. He wanted only to be cured by the Mother or to die here. He was very thin, of a nervous type and his general health was poor. I was asked to supervise the case and give daily reports to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo. We shall see in the chapter 'God Departs' another devotee seeking entire refuge in them and being cured of a mysterious illness that endangered her life. I must admit frankly that I was stunned by the Mother's boldness and could not have an unreserved faith. Either in this context or another, I had asked the Mother and Sri Aurobindo if they had cured cancer by their Force. The Mother replied firmly, "Not only cancer, other diseases too, pronounced incurable by the doctors. Isn't it so?" She asked Sri Aurobindo, as if looking for confirmation; he nodded. The Mother once said that there is hardly a disease that Yoga cannot cure. Sri Aurobindo also wrote, "Of course it [Yoga] can, but on condition of faith or openness or both. Even a mental suggestion can cure cancer with luck of course, as is shown by the case of the woman operated on unsuccessfully for cancer, but the doctors lied and told her it had succeeded. Result, cancer symptoms all ceased and she died many years afterwards of another illness altogether," Here was a patient, then, who came with faith in the Mother. I began to do my duty regularly. At first the patient came for Pranam to the Mother. I witnessed her intense concentration and preoccupation with the case. While listening to the report, she would suddenly go into a trance and Sri Aurobindo would intently watch over her. Once she was on the point of falling down. Sri Aurobindo stretched both his arms, exclaiming "Ah!" The Mother regained her control. Things seemed to be moving at a slow pace. If some symptoms improved, new ones appeared; the condition fluctuated from day to day. Some days passed in a comparative restfulness. Our help was mostly psychological: to give courage and instil faith. If some progress was noticed, I would with a cheerful face report it to the Mother. She would just listen quietly. Meanwhile letters from the relatives urged the patient to return. When the Mother heard about it, she replied, "If I can't cure it, there is none who can." The fight continued, it was a grim encounter, indeed. As a result of the Mother's steady Force, things looked bright and I felt we had turned the corner. The Mother kept her vigil and wasted no words. After the February Darshan, however, the picture changed for no apparent reason. The patient went gradually down-hill and in a month or two, life petered out. The patient was brought before the Mother to have her last blessings. She came down and with her soothing touch and the balm of her divine smile wiped away all his distress and made his passage peaceful. Later when I asked Sri Aurobindo the reason for this unaccountable reversal, he replied, "After the Darshan his faith got shaken and he could not get it back." Cancer of the throat is a scourge; one cannot eat, drink or speak; breathing becomes difficult. Let us remember Sri Ramakrishna's classical example. To keep a steady faith needs a heroic will which how many can have? Besides, the family surroundings also were not very congenial.
  I remember Nishikanto, a sadhak-poet, who fell seriously ill after being cured of an equally serious illness. The Mother giving the occult reason told me that when he came to her on his birthday, she saw a definite crack in his faith. But a man of quite a different temperament, he pulled himself up, while the cancer-patient could not. "Why take up such a case at all?" one may ask. Well, it was the patient who made the choice; he had no faith in the usual medico-surgical treatment whose efficacy is at best doubtful. Here, he had at least the unique opportunity to live under the Mother's and Sri Aurobindo's direct care and supervision. For a bhakta, there cannot be a greater boon. If he lives, it will be glorious; if he dies, he will have a better life in the next birth.

1.05 - THE MASTER AND KESHAB, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  IT WAS FRIDAY, the day of the Lakshmi Puja. Keshab Chandra Sen had arranged a boat trip on the Ganges for Sri Ramakrishna.
  About four o'clock in the afternoon the steamboat with Keshab and his Brahmo followers cast anchor in the Ganges alongside the Kli temple at Dakshineswar. The passengers saw in front of them the bathing-ghat and the chandni. To their left, in the temple compound, stood six temples of iva, and to their right another group of six iva temples. The white steeple of the Kli temple, the tree-tops of the Panchavati, and the silhouette of pine-trees stood high against the blue autumn sky. The gardens between the two nahabats were filled with fragrant flowers, and along the bank of the Ganges were rows of flowering plants. The blue sky was reflected in the brown water of the river, the sacred Ganges, associated with the most ancient traditions of Aryan civilization. The outer world appeared soft and serene, and the hearts of the Brahmo devotees were filled with peace.
  --
  M. was among the passengers. As the boat came alongside the steamer, all rushed to the railing to have a view of Sri Ramakrishna. Keshab became anxious to get him safely on board. With great difficulty the Master was brought back to consciousness of the world and taken to a cabin in the steamer. Still in an abstracted mood, he walked mechanically, leaning on a devotee for support. Keshab and the others bowed before him, but he was not aware of them. Inside the cabin there were a few chairs and a table. He was made to sit on one of the chairs, Keshab and Vijay occupying two others.
  Some devotees were also seated, most of them on the floor, while many others had to stand outside. They peered eagerly through the door and windows. Sri Ramakrishna again went into deep samdhi and became totally unconscious of the outer world.
  As the air in the room was stuffy because of the crowd of people, Keshab opened the windows. He was embarrassed to meet Vijay, since they had differed in certain principles of the Brhrno Samaj and Vijay had separated himself from Keshab's organization, joining another society.
  --
  Whereupon Sri Ramakrishna, taking upon himself, as it were, the agonies of all householders, sang a song complaining to the Divine Mother: Mother, this is the grief that sorely grieves my heart, That even with Thee for Mother, and though I am wide awake, There should be robbery in my house.
  Many and many a time I vow to call on Thee,
  --
  Presently the latter arrived and inquired about the arrangements made for the Master's return to Dakshineswar. Then he bowed low and took leave of Sri Ramakrishna.
  The carriage drove through the European quarter of the city. The Master enjoyed the sight of the beautiful mansions on both sides of the well lighted streets. Suddenly he said: "I am thirsty. What's to be done?" Nandalal, Keshab's nephew, stopped the carriage before the India Club and went upstairs to get some water. The Master inquired whether the glass had been well washed. On being assured that it had been, he drank the water.
  --
  Narendra, who lived in that quarter of the city, was sent for. In the mean time Sri Ramakrishna and the devotees were invited to the drawing-room upstairs. The floor of the room was covered with a carpet and a white sheet. A few cushions were lying about. On the wall hung an oil painting especially painted for Surendra, in which Sri Ramakrishna was pointing out to Keshab the harmony of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other religions. On seeing the picture Keshab had once said, "Blessed is the man who conceived the idea."
   Sri Ramakrishna was talking joyously with the devotees, when Narendra arrived. This made the Master doubly happy. He said to his young disciple, "We had a boat trip with Keshab today. Vijay and many other Brahmo devotees were there. (Pointing to M.) Ask him what I said to Keshab and Vijay about the mother and daughter observing their religious fast on Tuesdays, each on her own account, though the welfare of the one meant the welfare of the other. I also said to Keshab that trouble-makers like jatila and Kutila were necessary to lend zest to the play. (To M.) Isn't that so?"
  --
  It was late. Surendra had not yet returned. The Master had to leave for the temple garden, and a cab was brought for him. M. and Narendra saluted him and took their leave. Sri Ramakrishna's carriage started for Dakshineswar through the moonlit streets.
  --------------------

1.06 - Quieting the Vital, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  If, instead of responding to the incoming vibration, we maintain an absolute inner stillness, we will notice that this stillness dissolves the vibration; it's as if we were surrounded by a field of snow in which all impacts are absorbed and neutralized. Let us take the simple example of anger: if, instead of vibrating inwardly in unison with the person facing us, we can remain absolutely still within, we will see that person's anger gradually dissolving. Mother observed that this inner stillness, this power not to respond, can even stop an assassin's hand or a snake's bite. But wearing an impassive mask while we are still boiling on the inside will not do; we cannot cheat with vibrations (as animals know full well). This has nothing to do with so-called selfcontrol, which is only a mastery of appearances, but with true inner mastery. Moreover, this silence can neutralize any vibration at all, for the simple reason that all vibrations are contagious, from the highest vibrations to the lowest (this is how a master can pass on spiritual experiences or a power to a disciple), and it is up to us to accept the contagion or not; if we become afraid, it means we have already accepted the contagion, and hence have already accepted the angry man's blow or the snake's bite. (One can also accept a blow out of love, like Sri Ramakrishna, who at the sight of a cart driver beating an ox, suddenly cried out in pain and found himself lacerated and bleeding, his back covered with lash marks.) The same holds for
  physical pain; we can allow the contagion of a painful vibration to overcome us, or, instead, circumscribe the area of pain and eventually,

1.06 - THE MASTER WITH THE BRAHMO DEVOTEES, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Many devotees had attended the morning devotions, and in the afternoon people from Calcutta and the neighbouring villages joined them. Shivanath, the great Brahmo devotee whom the Master loved dearly, was one of the large gathering of members of the Brahmo Samaj who had been eagerly awaiting Sri Ramakrishna's arrival.
  When the carriage bringing the Master and a few devotees reached the garden house, the assembly stood up respectfully to receive him. There was a sudden silence, like that which comes when the curtain in a theatre is about to be rung up. People who had been conversing with one another now fixed their attention on the Master's serene face, eager not to lose one word that might fall from his lips.
  --
  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 reechoed 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.
  --
   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 passers-by. 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.
  --
  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."
  --
  The Master had come to Calcutta. In the evening he went to the house of Rajmohan, a member of the Brahmo Samaj, where Narendra and some of his young friends used to meet and worship according to the Brahmo ceremonies. Sri Ramakrishna wanted to see their worship. He was accompanied by M. and a few other devotees.
  The Master was very happy to see Narendra and expressed a desire to watch the young men at their worship. Narendra sang and then the worship began. One of the young men conducted it. He prayed, "O Lord, may we give up everything and be absorbed in Thee!" Possibly the youth was inspired by the Master's presence and so talked of utter renunciation. Sri Ramakrishna remarked in a whisper, "Much likelihood there is of that!"
  Rajmohan served the Master with refreshments.
  --
  It was about four o'clock in the afternoon when Sri Ramakrishna arrived in Calcutta to attend the annual festival of the Brahmo Samaj, which was to be celebrated at Manilal Mallick's house. Besides M. and other devotees of the Master, Vijay Goswami and a number of Brahmos were present. Elaborate arrangements had been made to make the occasion a success. Vijay was to conduct the worship.
  The kathak recited the life of Prahlada from the Purana. Its substance was as follows: Hiranyakasipu, Prahlada's father, was king of the demons. He bore great malice toward God and put his own son through endless tortures for leading a religious life. Afflicted by his father, Prahlada prayed to God, "O God, please give my father holy inclinations."
  --
  In the afternoon Sri Ramakrishna was seated on the west porch of his room in the temple garden at Dakshineswar. Among others, Baburam, Ramdayal, and M. were present. These three were going to spend the night with the Master. M. intended to stay the following day also, for he was having his Christmas holidays. Baburam had only recently begun to visit the Master.
  MASTER (to the devotees): "A man becomes liberated even in this life when he knows that God is the Doer of all things. Once Keshab came here with Sambhu Mallick. I said to him, 'Not even a leaf moves except by the will of God.' Where is man's free will? All are under the will of God. Nangta was a man of great knowledge, yet even he was about to drown himself in the Ganges. He stayed here eleven months. At one time he suffered from stomach trouble. The excruciating pain made him lose control over himself, and he wanted to drown himself in the river. There was a long shoal near the bathing-ghat. However far he went into the river, he couldn't find water above his knees. Then he understood everything and came back. At one time I was very ill and was about to cut my throat with a knife. Therefore I say: 'O Mother, I am the machine and Thou art the Operator; I am the chariot and Thou art the Driver. I move as Thou movest me; I do as Thou makest me do.' "
  --
  A devotee from Nandanbagan entered the room with his friends. The Master looked at him and said, "Everything inside him can be seen through his eyes, as one sees the objects in a room through a glass door." This devotee and his brothers always celebrated the anniversary of the Brahmo Samaj at their house in Nandanbagan. Sri Ramakrishna had taken part in these festivals.
  The evening worship began in the temples. The Master was seated on the small couch in his room, absorbed in meditation. He went into an ecstatic mood and said a little later: "Mother, please draw him to Thee. He is so modest and humble! He has been visiting Thee." Was the Master referring to Baburam, who later became one of his foremost disciples?
  --
  It was an early hour of the morning, about two or three o'clock. The room was dark. Sri Ramakrishna was seated on his bed and now and then conversed with the devotees.
  Compassion and attachment
  --
  It was afternoon. The Master was sitting in his room at Dakshineswar with M. and one or two other devotees. Several Marwari devotees arrived and saluted the Master. They requested Sri Ramakrishna to give them spiritual instruction. He smiled.
  MASTER (to the Marwari devotees): "You see, the feeling of 'I' and 'mine' is the result of ignorance. But to say, 'O God, Thou art the Doer; all these belong to Thee' is the sign of Knowledge. How can you say such a thing as 'mine'? The superintendent of the garden says, 'This is my garden.' But if he is dismissed because of some misconduct, then he does not have the courage to take away even such a worthless thing as his mango-wood box. Anger and lust cannot be destroyed. Turn them toward God. If you must feel desire and temptation, then desire to realize God, feel tempted by Him. Discriminate and turn the passions away from worldly objects. When the elephant is about to devour a plaintain-tree in someone's garden, the mahut strikes it with his iron-tipped goad.
  --
  The Marwari devotees generally brought offerings of fruit, candy, and other sweets for the Master. But Sri Ramakrishna could hardly eat them. He would say: "They earn their money by falsehood. I can't eat their offerings." He said to the Marwaris: "You see, one can't strictly adhere to truth in business. There are ups and downs in business. Nanak once said, 'I was about to eat the food of unholy people, when I found it stained with blood.' A man should offer only pure things to holy men. He shouldn't give them food earned by dishonest means. God is realized by following the path of truth. One should always chant His name. Even while one is performing one's duties, the mind should be left with God. Suppose I have a carbuncle on my back. I perform my duties, but the mind is drawn to the carbuncle. It is good to repeat the name of Rama. 'The same Rama who was the son of King Dasaratha has created this world. Again, as Spirit, He pervades all beings. He is very near us; He is both within and without.' "
  --------------------

1.07 - THE MASTER AND VIJAY GOSWAMI, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  IT WAS AFTERNOON. Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on his bed after a short noonday rest. Vijay, Balaram, M., and a few other devotees were sitting on the floor with their faces toward the Master. They could see the sacred river Ganges through the door.
  Since it was winter all were wrapped up in warm clothes. Vijay had been suffering from colic and had brought some medicine with him.
  --
  Vijay was a paid preacher in the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, but there were many things about which he could not agree with the Samaj authorities. He came from a very noble family of Bengal noted for its piety and other spiritual qualities. Advaita Goswami, one of his remote ancestors, had been an intimate companion of Sri Chaitanya. Thus the blood of a great lover of God flowed in Vijay's veins. As an adherent of the Brahmo Samaj, Vijay no doubt meditated on the formless Brahman; but his innate love of God, inherited from his distinguished ancestors, had merely been waiting for the proper time to manifest itself in all its sweetness. Thus Vijay was irresistibly attracted by the God-intoxicated state of Sri Ramakrishna and often sought his company. He would listen to the Master's words with great respect, and they would dance together in an ecstasy of divine love.
  It was a week-day. Generally devotees came to the Master in large numbers on Sundays; hence those who wanted to have intimate talks with him visited him on week-days.
  --
  At eight o'clock in the morning Sri Ramakrishna was seated on a mat spread on the floor of his room at Dakshineswar. Since it was a cold day, he had wrapped his body in his moleskin shawl. Prankrishna and M. were seated in front of him. Rakhal, too, was in the room. Prankrishna was a high government official and lived in Calcutta. Since he had had no offspring by his first wife, with her permission he had married a second time. By the second wife he had a son. Because he was rather stout, the Master addressed him now and then as "the fat brahmin". He had great respect for Sri Ramakrishna. Though a householder, Prankrishna studied the Vedanta and had been heard to say: "Brahman alone is real and the world illusory. I am He." The Master used to say to him: "In the Kaliyuga the life of a man depends on food. The path of devotion prescribed by Narada is best for this age."
  A devotee had brought a basket of jilipi for the Master, which the latter kept by his side.
  --
  The Master said to Prankrishna with a smile: "Hazra is not a man to be trifled with. If one finds the big dargah here, then Hazra is the smaller dargah." All laughed at the Master's words. A certain gentleman, Navakumar by name, came to the door and stood there. At sight of the devotees he immediately left. "Oh! Egotism incarnate!" Sri Ramakrishna remarked.
  About half past nine in the morning Prankrishna took leave of the Master. Soon afterwards a minstrel sang some devotional songs to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument. The Master was listening to the songs when Kedr Chatterji, a householder devotee, entered the room clad in his office clothes. He was a man of devotional temperament and cherished the attitude of the gopis of Vrindvan. Words about God would make him weep.
  --
  At the approach of evening Sri Ramakrishna went out to look at the sacred river. The lamp was lighted in his room. The Master chanted the hallowed name of the Divine Mother and meditated on Her. Then the evening worship began in the various temples.
  The sound of gongs, floating on the air, mingled with the murmuring voice of the river.

1.08 - The Change of Vision, #On the Way to Supermanhood, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  Is this to say that nobody has ever touched this Truth? Of course it has been touched, but on the mental heights, in rare illuminations that left a trace here or there, on a Buddha's face in Indonesia, an Athena in the Par thenon, a smile in Rheims, in some marvelous Upanishads, a few words of grace that have survived as a golden and adorable anachronism, hardly real amidst our concrete structures and civilized savagery; it has been touched in the depths of the heart, stammered out by Saint Francis of Assisi or Sri Ramakrishna. But then the world goes on, and we all know that the last word belongs to the bomb and to the triumph of the latest democratic hero, who will soon join another one under the same layer of inanity. But it has never been touched in matter; it has never been touched there. And so long as it is not touched there, it will remain what it has always been, a brilliant dream over the chaos of the ages, and the world will go on whirling vainly, adding its discoveries that discover nothing and its pseudo-knowledge that always ends up stifling us. Indeed, we labor under a bizarre delusion: we right a wrong here only to cause another one to sprout there; we seal a crack here only to see the wound open wider somewhere else. And it is always the same wound; there is only one wound in the world, and so long as we do not want to be cured of that ill, our millions of drugs and parliaments and systems and laws millions of laws, on every street corner and right in our mailbox will never cure us or the world's illness. We philanthropize and altruize, we distribute and share and equalize; but our good deeds seem to go hand in hand with our misdeeds, and the misery, the great misery of the world, infiltrates everything and gnaws surreptitiously at our functional homes and empty hearts; our equalizations are the huge, gray uniformity that descends upon the earth, smothering equally the good and the less good, the rich and the poor, the crowds from here or there the great mechanized human crowd, disincarnate, manipulated by a thousand radios and newspapers that scream and rumble all the way up to Himalayan villages. And no news at all. Not a single bit of news in those billions of novelties! Not an iota of novelty under the stars: men suffer and die in cities teeming with mental disorders. But tomorrow will be better, we think, with more machines, more drugs, more red or blue or green crosses, more laws and still more laws to remedy the world's cancer. And we seem to hear, from far, far away in the past, six thousand years in the past, the moving little voice of Lopamudra, the wife of Rishi Agastya: Many autumns have I toiled night and day; the dawns age me, age dims the glory of our bodies...,16 and that of Maitreya echoing her: What shall I do with that by which the nectar of Immortality is not attained?17
  Does this mean that we have not progressed? We certainly have not progressed as we imagine. We are not any more human than the Theban or the Athenian, no more advanced than they despite all our machines. As Sri Aurobindo put it, Machinery is necessary to modern humanity because of our incurable barbarism.18 We think we have mastered, but we have mastered nothing at all! Our machines are a testimony to our impotence, a huge prosthesis to correct our incapacity to see far, hear far, penetrate the heart of things and understand instantly and directly. We do not know any better now than ten thousand years ago how to modify matter through willpower (perhaps we even knew it better then), how to illuminate with consciousness and understand through vision. Under all our apparatus, we are less advanced than the animal with its sixth sense and the pygmy of Central Africa. Our machines see better than we, feel better than we, count better than we, and perhaps they will end up living better than we. Matter escapes us completely. It takes a simple power failure for us to revert to the caveman. For progress is not improving the existing world or discovering new procedures: it is a change of consciousness and vision.

1.08 - THE MASTERS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT DAKSHINESWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Hearing the song, Sri Ramakrishna went into samdhi; his whole body became still, and his hand remained touching the plate of food. He could eat no more. After a long time his mind came down partially to the plane of the sense world, and he said, "I want to go downstairs." A devotee led him down very carefully. Still in an abstracted mood, he sat near the singer. The song had ended. The Master said to him very humbly, "Sir, I want to hear the chanting of the Mother's name again."
  The musician sang:
  --
  In Kedr's opinion Sri Ramakrishna was such an Incarnation.
  Looking at Nityagopal, the Master said to the devotees, "He is in a lofty mood.
  --
  About nine o'clock in the morning the Master was seated in his room with Rakhal, M., and a few other devotees. It was the day of the new moon. As usual with him on such days, Sri Ramakrishna entered again and again into communion with the Divine Mother.
  He said to the devotees: "God alone exists, and all else is unreal. The Divine Mother has kept all deluded by Her maya. Look at men. Most of them are entangled in worldliness.
  --
  During these days Sri Ramakrishna's heart overflowed with motherly love like the love Yaoda felt for Krishna. So he kept Rakhal with him. Rakhal felt toward the Master as a child feels toward its mother. He would sit leaning on the Master's lap as a young child leans on its mother while sucking her breast.
  Rakhal was thus seated by the Master when a man entered the room and said that a high tide was coming in the Ganges. The Master and the devotees ran to the Panchavati to see it. At the sight of a boat being tossed by the tide, Sri Ramakrishna exclaimed: "Look! Look! I hope nothing happens to it."
  They all sat in the Panchavati. The Master asked M. to explain the cause of the tide. M.
  --
  It was Sri Ramakrishna's birthday. Many of his disciples and devotees wanted to celebrate the happy occasion at the Dakinewar temple garden.
  From early morning the devotees streamed in, alone or in parties. After the morning worship in the temples sweet music was played in the nahabat. It was springtime. The trees, creepers, and plants were covered with new leaves and blossoms. The very air seemed laden with joy. And the hearts of the devotees were glad on this auspicious day.
  --
  As Sri Ramakrishna listened to the song with folded hands, his mind soared to a far-off realm. He remained absorbed in meditation a long time. After a while Kalikrishna whispered something to Bhavanath. Then he bowed before the Master and rose. Sri Ramakrishna was surprised. He asked, "Where are you going?"
  BHAVANATH: "He is going away on a little business."
  --
  A certain woman, about thirty-one years old and a great devotee, often visited Sri Ramakrishna and held him in high respect. She had been much impressed by Nityagopal's spiritual state and, looking upon him as her own son, often invited him to her house.
  MASTER (to Nityagopal): "Do you go there?"
  --
  Presently some devotees from Konnagar arrived, singing kirtan to the accompaniment of drums and cymbals. As they reached the northeast verandah of Sri Ramakrishna's room, the Master joined in the music, dancing with them intoxicated with divine joy.
  Now and then he went into samdhi, standing still as a statue. While he was in one of these states of divine unconsciousness, the devotees put thick garlands of jasmine around his neck. The enchanting form of the Master reminded the devotees of Chaitanya, another Incarnation of God. The Master passed alternately through three moods of divine consciousness: the inmost, when he completely lost all knowledge of the outer world; the semi-conscious, when he danced with the devotees in an ecstasy of love; and the conscious, when he joined them in loud singing. It was indeed a sight for the gods, to see the Master standing motionless in samdhi, with fragrant garlands hanging from his neck, his countenance beaming with love, and the devotees singing and dancing around him.
  When it was time for his noon meal, Sri Ramakrishna put on a new yellow cloth and sat on the small couch. His golden complexion, blending with his yellow cloth, enchanted the eyes of the devotees.
  After his meal Sri Ramakrishna rested a little on the small couch. Inside and outside his room crowded the devotees, among them Kedr, Suresh, Ram, Manomohan, Girindra, Rakhal, Bhavanath, and M. Rakhal's father was also present.
  Efficacy of earnest japa
  --
  Rakhal's father was sitting in the room. At that time Rakhal was staying with the Master. After his mother's death his father had married a second time. Now and then he came to Dakinewar because of Rakhal's being there. He did not raise much objection to his son's living with the Master. Being a wealthy man of the world, he was always involved in litigation. There were lawyers and deputy magistrates among Sri Ramakrishna's visitors.
  Rakhal's father found it profitable to cultivate their acquaintance, since he expected to be benefited by their counsels in worldly matters.
  --
  The singing continued. Sri Ramakrishna danced with the devotees. They sang: The black bee of my mind is drawn in sheer delight To the blue lotus flower of Mother Syama's feet, The blue flower of the feet of Kli, iva's Consort; Tasteless, to the bee, are the blossoms of desire.
  My Mother's feet are black, and black, too, is the bee; Black is made one with black! This much of the mystery My mortal eyes behold, then hastily retreat.
  --
  The devotees were ready to return home. One by one they saluted the Master. At the sight of Bhavanath Sri Ramakrishna said: "Don't go away today. The very sight of you inspires me." Bhavanath had not yet entered into worldly life. A youth of twenty, he had a fair complexion and handsome features. He shed tears of joy on hearing the name of God. The Master looked on him as the embodiment of Narayana.
  Thursday, March 29, 1883
  --
  Even as he spoke these words the Master underwent a strange transformation. He looked at Rakhal with the infinite tenderness of a mother and affectionately uttered the name of Govinda. Did he see in Rakhal the manifestation of God Himself? The disciple was a young boy of pure heart who had renounced all attraction to lust and greed. And Sri Ramakrishna was intoxicated day and night with love of God. At the sight of Rakhal his eyes expressed the tender feelings of a mother, a love like that which had filled the heart of Mother Yaoda at the sight of the Baby Krishna. The devotees gazed at the Master in wonder as he went into deep samdhi. As his soul soared into the realm of Divine Consciousness, his body became motionless, his eyes were fixed on the tip of his nose, and his breathing almost ceased.
  Renunciation, false and true

1.09 - ADVICE TO THE BRAHMOS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
   Sri Ramakrishna was visiting Balarm in Calcutta, with Narendra, Bhavanath, Rkhl , M., and others. Balarm, at the Master's bidding, had invited some of the young devotees to lunch. Sri Ramakrishna often said to him, "Feed them now and then; that will confer on you the merit of feeding holy men." The Master looked on his young disciples, yet untouched by "woman and gold", as veritable embodiments of God.
  A few days earlier Sri Ramakrishna had been to Keshab's house with Narendra and Rkhl to see a performance of the play entitled Nava-Vrindvan. Narendra had taken part in the performance, in which Keshab had played the role of Pavhari Baba.
  MASTER: "Keshab came on the stage in the role of a holy man and sprinkled the 'Water of Peace'. But I didn't like it. The idea of sprinkling such water on a theatrical stage after a performance!
  --
  The worship was over in the temples and the bells rang for the food offerings in the shrines. As it was a summer noon the sun was very hot. The flood-tide began in the Ganges and a breeze came up from the south. Sri Ramakrishna was resting in his room after his meal.
  The people of Basirhat, Rkhl 's birthplace, had been suffering from a severe drought during the summer months.
  --
  Presently a few elderly members of the Brahmo Samaj arrived. The room was full of devotees. Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on his bed, facing the north. He kept smiling, and talked to the Brahmo devotees in a joyous mood.
  Characteristics of divine love
  --
  Then, addressing the devotees, Sri Ramakrishna said: "The spiritual wisdom of worldly people is seen only on rare occasions. It is like the flame of a candle. No, it is rather like a single ray of the sun passing through a chink in a wall. Worldly people chant the name of God, but there is no zeal behind it. It is like children's swearing by God, having learnt the word from the quarrels of their aunts.
  "Worldly people have no grit. If they succeed in an undertaking, it is all right, but if they don't succeed, it scarcely bothers them at all. When they need water, they begin to dig a well. But as soon as they strike a stone, they give up digging there and begin at another place. Perhaps they come to a bed of sand. Finding nothing but sand, they give that place up too. How can they succeed in getting water unless they continue to dig persistently where they started?
  --
  By this time Sri Ramakrishna had become better acquainted with Adhar, who related the cause of his friend's grief. The Master sang, as if to himself: To arms! To arms, O man! Death storms your house in battle array!
  Bearing the quiver of knowledge, mount the chariot of devotion;
  --
  Surendra, a beloved lay disciple of the Master, had invited him to his house on the auspicious occasion of the Annapurna Puja. It was about six o'clock when Sri Ramakrishna arrived there with some of his devotees. The image of the Divine Mother had been installed in the worship hall. At Her feet lay Hibiscus flowers and vilwa-leaves; from Her neck hung a garl and of flowers. Sri Ramakrishna entered the hall and bowed down before the image. Then he went to the open courtyard, where he sat on a carpet, surrounded by his devotees and disciples. A few bolsters lay on the carpet, which was covered with a white linen sheet. He was asked to lean against one of these, but he pushed it aside.
  Difficulty of overcoming vanity

1.09 - Talks, #Twelve Years With Sri Aurobindo, #Nirodbaran, #Integral Yoga
  The talks of Sri Ramakrishna come naturally to our mind in comparison. Their spirit is perhaps the same, the lightness and vivacity too are there, but his talks were restricted in scope, while all life being yoga for us, no subject was too trivial for our discussions. And in Sri Aurobindo's case always samam brahman, impersonality marked all his utterances, no matter what the subject ofthe discourse. Nevertheless, the warm touch of personality could always be felt from behind the usual frontof impersonality. For instance, though he would, while talking, hardly look at us or address us by our names, for his eyes were cast downwards or looking away in front, still the soft tone of his voice, sparks of personal humour reflected the "sweet rays of a temperate sun."
  I have said so much about his voice, I might as well add a few words about his eyes. Opinions about them vary according to the inner quality of the person who saw them. Sir Edward Baker, Governor of Bengal, archenemy of Sri Aurobindo's fiery nationalism, described them as "the eyes of a madman" when he visited him in Alipore Jail. The English Principal of the Baroda College said, "...There is a mystic fire and light in them. They penetrate into the beyond. If Joan of Arc heard heavenly voices, Aurobindo probably sees heavenly visions." Upen Banerjee, a close associate of Sri Aurobindo during his revolutionary period, describes his first meeting with him, "That sickly, dark, malaria-afflicted man is Aurobindo? He is our Chief?... My spirit was awfully damped at the sight, but just then he turned to look at me. I don't know how to describe that look. There was a liquid sparkle of amusement in it, but the pupils gave me a sense of fathomless wonder that baffled all analysis. Even today the mystery has not left me."

1.1.05 - The Siddhis, #Essays Divine And Human, #Sri Aurobindo, #Integral Yoga
  Eastwards, where only their right practice has been understood, the lives of our saints northern and southern are full of the record of Siddhis. Sri Ramakrishna, whose authority is quoted against
  16

1.10 - THE MASTER WITH THE BRAHMO DEVOTEES (II), #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  About five o'clock in the afternoon Sri Ramakrishna arrived at the temple of the Brahmo Samaj in Nandanbagan, accompanied by M., Rakhal, and a few other devotees. At first the Master sat in the drawing-room on the ground floor, where the Brahmo devotees gradually assembled. Rabindranath Tagore and a few other members of the Tagore family were present on this occasion.
   Sri Ramakrishna was asked to go to the worship hall on the second floor. A dais had been built on the eastern side of the room. There were a few chairs and a piano in the hall. The Brahmo worship was to begin at dusk.
  --
  Some of the Brahmo ladies sat on chairs, with music books in their hands. The songs of the Brahmo Samaj were sung to the accompaniment of harmonium and piano. Sri Ramakrishna's joy was unbounded. The invocation was followed by a prayer, and then the worship began. The acharyas, seated on the platform, recited from the Vedas: Om. Thou art our Father. Give us right knowledge; do not destroy us! We bow to Thee.
  The Brahmo devotees chanted in chorus with the acharyas: Om. Brahman is Truth, Knowledge, Infinity.
  --
  As Sri Ramakrishna heard these hymns, he went into a spiritual mood. After this an chrya read a paper.
  The worship was over. Most of the devotees went downstairs or to the courtyard for fresh air while the refreshments were being made ready. It was about nine o'clock in the evening. The hosts were so engrossed with the other invited guests that they forgot to pay any attention to Sri Ramakrishna.
  MASTER (to Rakhal and the other devotees): "What's the matter? Nobody is paying any attention to us!"
  --
  The Master, with Rakhal and the others, followed the crowd to the second floor. No room could be found for him inside the hall. Finally, with great difficulty, a place was found for him in a dusty corner. A brahmin woman served some curry, but Sri Ramakrishna could not eat it. He ate luchi with salt and took some sweets.
  There was no limit to the Master's kindness. The hosts were mere youngsters; how could he be displeased with them, even though they did not show him proper respect?
  --
  The following Sunday a kirtan was arranged at the house of Ram, one of the Master's householder devotees. Sri Ramakrishna graced the occasion with his presence. The musicians sang about Radha's pangs at her separation from Krishna: Radha said to her friends: "I have loved to see Krishna from my childhood. My finger-nails are worn off from counting the days on them till I shall see Him. Once He gave me a garland. Look, it has withered, but I have not yet thrown it away. Alas! Where has the Moon of Krishna risen now? Has that Moon gone away from my firmament, afraid of the Rahu of my pique? Alas! Shall I ever see Krishna again? O my beloved Krishna, I have never been able to look at You to my heart's complete satisfaction. I have only one pair of eyes; they blink and so hinder my vision. And further, on account of streams of tears I could not see enough of my Beloved. The peacock feather on the crown of His head shines like arrested lightning. The peacocks, seeing Krishna's dark-cloud complexion, would dance in joy, spreading their tails. O friends, I shall not be able to keep my life-breath. After my death, place my body on a branch of the dark tamala tree and inscribe on my body Krishna's sweet name."
  The Master said: "God and His name are identical; that is the reason Radha said that.
  --
   Sri Ramakrishna returned to his room and sat on the west porch. Rakhal, M., Nakur Vaishnav, and other devotees were with him. Nakur had been known to the Master for about twenty-five years. He was a devotee of Gauranga and had a small shop which Sri Ramakrishna had often visited when he first came to Calcutta from Kamarpukur.
  Still overpowered with divine ecstasy, the Master sang: O Kli, my Mother full of Bliss! Enchantress of the almighty iva!
  --
  The musician sat spellbound at Sri Ramakrishna's ecstasy; then he said with folded hands, "Won't you please rid me of my worldliness?"
  MASTER: "You are like the holy man who went about the city after first finding a lodging. You are a sweet person and express many sweet ideas."
  --
  As they drove along, Sri Ramakrishna said to the devotees: "You see, sin flies away when love of God grows in a man's heart, even as the water of the reservoir dug in a meadow dries up under the heat of the sun. But one cannot love God if one feels attracted to worldly things, to 'woman and gold'. Merely taking the vow of monastic life will not help a man if he is attached to the world. It is like swallowing your own spittle after spitting it out on the ground."
  After a few minutes the Master continued: 'The members of the Brahmo Samaj do not accept God with form. Narendra says that God with form is a mere idol. He says further: 'What? He still goes to the Kli temple!'"
   Sri Ramakrishna and his party arrived at Balaram's house. Yajnanath of Nandanbagan came to invite the Master to his house at four o'clock in the afternoon. Sri Ramakrishna agreed to go if he felt well. After Yajnanath's departure the Master went into an ecstatic mood. He said to the Divine Mother: "Mother, what is all this? Stop! What are these things Thou art showing to me? What is it that Thou dost reveal to me through Rakhal and others? The form is disappearing. But, Mother, what people call 'man' is only a pillow-case, nothing but a pillow-case. Consciousness is Thine alone.
  "The modern Brahmajnanis have not tasted Thy sweet bliss. Their eyes look dry and so do their faces. They won't achieve anything without ecstatic love of God.
  --
  After the music Sri Ramakrishna conversed with the devotees.
  MASTER: "The gopis worshipped Katyayani in order to be united with Sri Krishna.
  --
  From Adhar's house Sri Ramakrishna went to Ram's house. Ramchandra Dutta, one of the chief householder disciples of the Master, lived in Calcutta. He had been one of the first to announce the Master as an Incarnation of God. The Master had visited his house a number of times and unstintingly praised the devotion and generosity of this beloved disciple. A few of the Master's disciples made Ram's house virtually their own dwelling-place.
  Ram had arranged a special festival to celebrate the Master's visit. The small courtyard was nicely decorated. A kathak, seated on a raised platform, was reciting from the Bhagavata when the Master arrived. Ram greeted him respectfully and seated him near the reader. The disciple was extremely happy. The kathak was in the midst of the story of King Harischandra.

1.10 - The Revolutionary Yogi, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  unthinkable, absolute, yet supremely real and solely real. This was no mental realization nor something glimpsed somewhere above, no abstraction, it was positive, the only positive reality although not a spatial physical world, pervading, occupying or rather flooding and drowning this semblance of a physical world, leaving no room or space for any reality but itself, allowing nothing else to seem at all actual, positive or substantial. . . . What it [this experience] brought was an inexpressible Peace, a stupendous silence, an infinity of release and freedom.117 Sri Aurobindo had gone straight into what the Buddhists call Nirvana, what the Hindus call the Silent Brahman or That; the Tao of the Chinese; the Transcendent, the Absolute, or the Impersonal of the Westerners. He had reached that famous "liberation" (mukti), which is considered the "peak" of all spiritual life what could there be beyond the Transcendent? Sri Aurobindo could tangibly verify the words of the great Indian mystic Sri Ramakrishna:
  "If we live in God, the world disappears; if we live in the world, God exists no longer." The gulf he had tried to bridge between Matter and Spirit had split open again before his unveiled eyes. The Western and Eastern spiritualists were right in assigning a life beyond as the sole destination of man's effort: paradise, Nirvana, or liberation

1.11 - WITH THE DEVOTEES AT DAKSHINEWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  ABOUT NINE O'CLOCK in the morning the devotees began to arrive at the temple garden. Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on the porch of his room facing the Ganges. M., who had spent the previous night with the Master, sat near him. Balarm and several other devotees were present. Rkhl lay on the floor, resting his head on the Master's lap. For the past few days the Master had been regarding Rkhl as the Baby Krishna.
  Seeing Trailokya passing on his way to the Kali temple, Sri Ramakrishna asked Rkhl to get up. Trailokya bowed to the Master.
  MASTER (to Trailokya): "Was there no yatra performance last night?"
  --
  Trailokya gave a suitable reply and went on his way. After a while Ram Chatterji, the priest of the Vishnu temple, came up to Sri Ramakrishna.
  MASTER: "Well, Ram, I told Trailokya that the yatra performance should not be omitted again. Was I right in saying that?".
  --
  The Master asked Balarm to stay for his midday meal. Before the meal Sri Ramakrishna described to the devotees the days of his God-intoxication. Rkhl, M., Ramlal, and a few others were present.
  Master's attitude toward young disciples
  --
  Then Sri Ramakrishna sat up on his bed and told Manilal about Bhavanath's devotion to God.
  MASTER: "Ah, what an exalted state he is in! He has hardly begun to sing about God before his eyes fill with tears. The very sight of Harish made him ecstatic. He said that Harish was very lucky. He made the remark because Harish was spending a few days here, now and then, away from his home."
  --
  Reassurance to the devotees & Parable of the tigress Sri Ramakrishna spoke reassuringly to the devotees.
  MASTER (to M.): "Some think: 'Oh, I am a bound soul. I shall never acquire knowledge and devotion.' But if one receives the guru's grace, one has nothing to fear. Once a tigress attacked a flock of goats. As she sprang on her prey, she gave birth to a cub and died. The cub grew up in the company of the goats. The goats ate grass and the cub followed their example. They bleated; the cub bleated too. Gradually it grew to be a big tiger. One day another tiger attacked the same flock. It was amazed to see the grass-eating tiger. Running after it, the wild tiger at last seized it, whereupon the grass-eating tiger began to bleat. The wild tiger dragged it to the water and said: 'Look at your face in the water. It is just like mine. Here is a little meat. Eat it.' Saying this, it thrust some meat into its mouth. But the grass-eating tiger would not swallow it and began to bleat again. Gradually, however, it got the taste for blood and came to relish the meat.
  --
  Must they too renounce it?" Sri Ramakrishna, who could see into a man's innermost thought, said very tenderly: "Suppose an office clerk has been sent to jail. He undoubtedly leads a prisoner's life there. But when he is released from jail, does he cut capers in the street? Not at all. He gets a job as a clerk again and goes on working as before. Even after attaining Knowledge through the guru's grace, one can very well live in the world as a Jivanmukta." Thus did Sri Ramakrishna reassure those who were living as householders.
  MANILAL: "Sir, where shall I meditate on God when I perform my daily worship?"
  --
  After a time Bhagavati, an old maidservant of the temple proprietor, entered the room and saluted the Master from a distance. Sri Ramakrishna bade her sit down. The Master had known her for many years. In her younger days she had lived a rather immoral life; but the Master's compassion was great. Soon he began to converse with her.
  MASTER: "Now you are pretty old. Have you been feeding the Vaishnavas and holy men, and thus spending your money in a noble way?"
  --
  Emboldened by the Master's words, Bhagavati approached and saluted him, touching his feet. Like a man stung by a scorpion, Sri Ramakrishna stood up and cried out, "Govinda! Govinda!" A big jar of Ganges water stood in a comer of the room. He hurried there, panting, and washed with the holy water the spot the maidservant had touched.
  The devotees in the room were amazed to see this incident. Bhagavati sat as if struck dead.
  --
  It was afternoon. Sri Ramakrishna was telling the devotees about his experiences during his God-intoxicated state.
  MASTER (to M.): "Oh, what a state I passed through! At that time I didn't eat my meals here. I would enter the house of a brahmin in the village or at Baranagore or at Ariadaha. Generally it would be past meal-time. I would just sit down there without saying a word. If the members of the household asked me why I had come, I would simply say, 'I want something to eat.' Now and then I would go, uninvited of course, to Ram Chatterji's house at Alambazar or to the Choudhurys at Dakshineswar. But I didn't relish the food at the Choudhurys' house.
  --
  It was about five o'clock in the afternoon. Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on the steps of his verandah. Hazra, Rkhl, and M. were near him. Hazra had the attitude of a Vedantist: "I am He."
  MASTER (to Hazra): "Yes, all one's confusion comes to an end if one only realizes that it is God who manifests Himself as the atheist and the believer, the good and the bad, the real and the unreal; that it is He who is present in waking and in sleep; and that He is beyond all these.
  --
  Lying on the mat and resting his head on a pillow, Sri Ramakrishna continued the conversation. He said to M: "My legs are aching. Please stroke them gently." Thus, out of his infinite compassion, the Master allowed his disciple to render him personal service.
  June 8, 1883
  It was a summer day. The evening service in the Kali temple was over. Sri Ramakrishna stood before the image of the Divine Mother and waved the fan a few minutes.
  Ram, Kedar Chatterji, and Tarak arrived from Calcutta with flowers and sweets. Kedar was about fifty years old. At first he had frequented the Brahmo Samaj and joined other religious sects in his search for God, but later on he had accepted the Master as his spiritual guide. He was an accountant in a government office and lived in a suburb of Calcutta.
  --
  He hailed from the village of Barasat not far from Calcutta. His father, a highly spiritual soul, had visited Sri Ramakrishna many times. Tarak often went to Ram's house and used to go to Dakshineswar in the company of Ram and Nityagopal. He worked in a business firm, but his attitude toward the world was one of utter indifference.
  As Sri Ramakrishna came out of the temple, he saw Ram, Kedar, M., Tarak, and other devotees standing outside. He showed his affection for Tarak by touching his chin. He was very happy to see him.
  Returning to his room, the Master sat on the floor in an ecstatic mood, with his legs stretched before him. Ram and Kedar decorated his feet with flowers and garlands. The Master was in samadhi.
  Master's exhortation to a devotee to go forward Kedar believed in certain queer practices of a religious sect to which he had once belonged. He held the Master's big toe in his hand, believing that in this way the Master's spiritual power would be transmitted to him. As Sri Ramakrishna regained partial consciousness, he said, "Mother, what can he do to me by holding my toe?" Kedar sat humbly with folded hands. Still in an ecstatic mood, the Master said to Kedar: "Your mind is still attracted by 'woman and gold'. What is the use of saying you don't care for it? Go forward. Beyond the forest of sandalwood there are many more things: mines of silver, gold, diamonds, and other precious stones. Having a glimpse of spirituality, don't think you have attained everything." The Master was again in an ecstatic mood. He said to the Divine Mother, "Mother, take him away." At these words Kedar's throat dried up.
  In a frightened tone he said to Ram, "What is the Master saying?"
  At the sight of Rkhl, Sri Ramakrishna was again overpowered with a spiritual mood.
  He said to his beloved disciple: "I have been here many days; When did you come?"
  --
  Describing his early life, Sri Ramakrishna said to them: "During my younger days the men and women of Kamarpukur were equally fond of me. They loved to hear me sing. I could imitate other people's gestures and conversation and I used to entertain them that way. The women would put aside things for me to eat. No one distrusted me.
  Everybody took me in as one of the family.
  --
  After his meal Sri Ramakrishna sat on the couch. He had not yet found time to rest.
  The devotees began to assemble. One party arrived from Manirampur and another from Belgharia. Some of the devotees said, "We have disturbed your rest."
  --
  The Master was very happy to see a musician who had come with the devotees from Belghari. Some time before, Sri Ramakrishna had gone into an ecstatic mood on hearing his devotional music. At the Master's request the musician sang a few songs, one of which described the awakening of the Kundalini and the six centres: Awake, Mother! Awake! How long Thou hast been asleep In the lotus of the Muladhara!
  Fulfil Thy secret function, Mother:
  --
  It was dusk. Sri Ramakrishna had had no rest since his midday meal. He had talked unceasingly to the devotees about God. At last the visitors took their leave and went home.
  Friday, June 15, 1883
  It was a holiday on account of the Hindu religious festival Dasahara. Among the devotees who visited Sri Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar that day were Adhar, M., and Rkhl 's father. Rkhl 's father's father-in-law was also present. All were seated on the floor of the Master's room.
  Advice to householders
  --
   Sri Ramakrishna was resting in his room in the temple garden at Dakshineswar. It was afternoon. Adhar and M. arrived and saluted the Master. A Tantrik devotee also came in. Rkhl , Hazra, and Ramlal were staying with Sri Ramakrishna.
  MASTER (to the devotees): "Why shouldn't one be able to attain spirituality, living the life of a householder? But it is extremely difficult. Sages like Janaka entered the world after attaining Knowledge. But still the world is a place of terror. Even a detached householder has to be careful. Once Janaka bent down his head at the sight of a bhairavi. He shrank from seeing a woman. The bhairavi said to him: 'Janaka, I see you have not yet attained Knowledge. You still differentiate between man and woman.'

1.12 - THE FESTIVAL AT PNIHTI, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  The Master had been invited to the festival by Mani Sen, who was the custodian of the temple. Ram, M., Rkhl , Bhavanath, and a few other disciples went with the Master in a carriage. On his way to Pnihti Sri Ramakrishna was in a light mood and joked with the youngsters. But as soon as the carriage reached the place of the festival, the Master, to the utter amazement of' the devotees, shot into the crowd. He joined the kirtan party of Navadvip Goswami, Mani Sen's guru, and danced, totally forgetting the world. Every now and then he stood still in samdhi, carefully supported by Navadvip Goswami for fear he might fall to the ground. Thousands of devotees were gathered together for the festival. Wherever one looked there was a forest of human heads. The crowd seemed to become infected by the Master's divine fervour and swayed to and fro, chanting the name of God, until the very air seemed to reverberate with it. Drums, cymbals, and other instruments produced melodious sounds. The atmosphere became intense with spiritual fervour. The devotees felt that Gaurnga himself was being manifested in the person of Sri Ramakrishna. Flowers were showered from all sides on his feet and head. The shouting of the name of Hari was heard even at a distance, like the rumbling of the ocean.
   Sri Ramakrishna entered by turn into all the moods of ecstasy. In deep samdhi he stood still, his face radiating a divine glow. In the state of partial consciousness he danced, sometimes gently and sometimes with the vigour of a lion. Again, regaining consciousness of the world, he sang, himself leading the chorus: Behold, the two brothers have come, who weep while chanting Hari's name,
  --
  Only a small number could enter. The rest stood outside the portal and jostled with one another to have a look at Sri Ramakrishna. In a mood of intoxication he began to dance in the courtyard of the shrine. Every now and then his body stood transfixed in deep samdhi. Hundreds of people around him shouted the name of God, and thousands outside caught the strain and raised the cry with full-throated voices. The echo travelled over the Ganges, striking a note in the hearts of people in the boats on the holy river, and they too chanted the name of God.
  When the kirtan was over, Mani Sen took Sri Ramakrishna and Navadvip Goswami into a room and served them with refreshments. Afterwards Ram, M., and the other devotees were also served with the prasad.
  In the afternoon, the Master was sitting in Mani Sen's drawing-room with the devotees.
  Navadvip was also near him. Mani offered the carriage hire to Sri Ramakrishna.
  Pointing to Ram and the others, the Master said: "Why should they accept it from you?
  --
  Navadvip introduced his son to the Master. The young man was a student of the scriptures. He saluted Sri Ramakrishna.
  NAVADVIP: "He studies the scriptures at home. Previously one hardly saw a copy of the Vedas in this country. Max Muller has translated them; so people can now read these books."
  --
  Mani Sen said good-bye to the invited brahmins and Vaishnavas with suitable gifts of money. He offered five rupees to Sri Ramakrishna. The latter said that he could not possibly accept any money. But Mani insisted. The Master then asked him in the name of his guru not to press him. Mani requested him again to accept the offering. Sri Ramakrishna asked M., in a distressed voice, whether he should take the money. The disciple made a vehement protest and said, "No, sir. By no means."
  Friends of Mani Sen gave the money to Rkhl , requesting him to buy some mangoes and sweets for the Master. Sri Ramakrishna said to M.: "I have definitely said to Mani that I would not accept the money. I feel free now. But Rkhl has accepted it. His is now the responsibility."
   Sri Ramakrishna, accompanied by the devotees, took a carriage to return to Dakshineswar. They were going to pass the temple garden of Mati Seal on the way. For a long time the Master had been asking M. to take him to the reservoir in the garden in order that he might teach him how to meditate on the formless God. There were tame fish in the reservoir. Nobody harmed them. Visitors threw puffed rice and other bits of food into the water, and the big fish came in swarms to eat the food. Fearlessly the fish swam in the water and sported there joyously.
  --
  It was a hot day in June 1883. Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on the steps of the iva temples in the temple garden. M. arrived with ice and other offerings and sat down on the steps after saluting the Master.
  MASTER (to M.): "The husb and of Mani Mallick's granddaughter was here. He read in a book that God could not be said to be quite wise and omniscient; otherwise, why should there be so much misery in the world? As regards death, it would be much better to kill a man all at once, instead of putting him through slow torture. Further, the author writes that if he himself were the Creator, he would have created a better world."
  --
  A little later Sri Ramakrishna began to talk to a devotee privately, on the verandah north of his room. He said: "It is good to meditate in the small hours of the morning and at dawn. One should also meditate daily after dusk." He instructed the devotee about meditation on the Personal God and on the Impersonal Reality.
  After a time he sat on the semicircular porch west of his room. It was about nine o'clock.
  --
  After a time Sri Ramakrishna began to converse again.
  MASTER: "Those who come here must have been born with good tendencies. Isn't that true?"
  --
  It was about four o'clock in the afternoon when Sri Ramakrishna, with Ramlal and one or two other devotees, started from Dakshineswar for Calcutta in a carriage. As the carriage passed the gate of the Kli temple, they met M. coming on foot with four mangoes in his hand. The carriage stopped and M. saluted the Master. Sri Ramakrishna was going to visit some of his devotees in Calcutta.
  MASTER (to M., with a smile): "Come with us. We are going to Adhar's house."
  M. got joyfully into the carriage. Having received an English education, he did not believe in the tendencies inherited from previous births. But he had admitted a few days before that it was on account of Adhar's good tendencies from past births that he showed such great devotion to the Master. Later on he had thought about this subject and had discovered that he was not yet completely convinced about inherited tendencies. He had come to Dakshineswar that day to discuss the matter with Sri Ramakrishna.
  MASTER: "Well, what do you think of Adhar?"
  --
  The carriage drove on. They were approaching Adhar's house. Sri Ramakrishna said to M., "Dwell in the truth and you will certainly realize God."
  M: "You said the other day to Navadvip Goswami:'O God, I want Thee. Please do not delude me with Thy world-bewitching maya. I want to realize Thee.' "
  --
  Finding that the Master was eager to see Rkhl , Adhar at once sent his carriage to fetch him. Adhar had been yearning to see the Master that day, but he had not definitely known that Sri Ramakrishna was coming.
  ADHAR: "You haven't been here for a long time. I prayed to God today that you might come. I even shed tears"
  --
  It was dusk and the lamps were lighted. Sri Ramakrishna saluted the Divine Mother with folded hands and sat quietly absorbed in meditation. Then he began to chant the names of God in his sweet voice: "Govinda! Govinda! Satchidananda! Hari! Hari!" Every word he uttered showered nectar on the ears of the devotees.
  Ramlal sang in praise of Kli, the Divine Mother: Thy name, I have heard, O Consort of iva, is the destroyer of our fear,
  --
  Adhar served Sri Ramakrishna with fruits and sweets. The Master left for Jadu Mallick's house.
   Sri Ramakrishna entered the room in Jadu's house where the Divine Mother was worshipped. He stood before the image, which had been decorated with flowers, garlands, and sandal-paste, and which radiated a heavenly beauty and splendour. Lights were burning before the pedestal. A priest was seated before the image. The Master asked one of his companions to offer a rupee in the shrine, according to the Hindu custom.
  --
  His body was stamped with the name of God, according to the Vaishnava custom, and he carried in his hand a small bag containing his rosary. He had visited the Master, now and then, at Dakshineswar. But most of the Vaishnavas held narrow religious views; they criticized the Vedantists and the followers of the iva cult. Sri Ramakrishna soon began to speak.
  Dogmatism condemned
  --
  Taking advantage of the holiday, many householder devotees visited Sri Ramakrishna in his room at the Dakshineswar temple garden. The Young devotees, mostly students, generally came on week-days. Sometimes the Master asked his intimate disciples to come on a Tuesday or a Saturday, days that he considered very auspicious for special religious instruction. Adhar, Rkhl , and M. had come from Calcutta in a hired carriage.
   Sri Ramakrishna had enjoyed a little rest after his midday meal. The room had an atmosphere of purity and holiness. On the walls hung pictures of gods and goddesses, among them one of Christ rescuing the drowning Peter. Outside the room were plants laden with fragrant flowers, and the Ganges could be seen flowing toward the south.
  The Master was seated on the small couch, facing the north, and the devotees sat on mats and carpets spread on the floor. All eyes were directed toward him. Mani Mallick, an old Brahmo devotee about sixty-five years of age, came to pay his respects to the Master. He had returned a few months earlier from a pilgrimage to Benares and was recounting his experiences to Sri Ramakrishna.
  Difficulty of the Vedantic method
  --
  It was three or four o'clock in the afternoon. M. found Sri Ramakrishna seated on the couch in an abstracted mood. After some time he heard him talking to the Divine Mother. The Master said, "O Mother, why hast Thou given him only a particle?"
  Remaining silent a few moments, he added: "I understand it, Mother. That little bit will be enough for him and will serve Thy purpose. That little bit will enable him to teach people."
  --
  Rkhl was in the room. Sri Ramakrishna was still in a state of partial consciousness when he said to Rkhl : "You were angry with me, weren't you? Do you know why I made you angry? There was a reason. Only then would the medicine work. The surgeon first brings an abscess to a head. Only then does he apply a herb so that it may burst and dry up."
  After a pause he went on: "Yes, I have found Hazra to be like a piece of dry wood. Then why does he live here? This has a meaning too. The play is enlivened by the presence of trouble-makers like Jatila and Kutila.
  --
  It was dusk. The evening service began in the temples. Sri Ramakrishna was chanting the names of the gods and goddesses. He was seated on the small couch, with folded hands, and became absorbed in contemplation of the Divine Mother. The world outside was flooded with moonlight, and the devotees inside the Master's room sat in silence and looked at his serene face.
  In the mean time Govinda of Belgharia and some of his friends had entered the room.

1.13 - THE MASTER AND M., #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  IT WAS SUNDAY, the first day after the full moon. Sri Ramakrishna was resting after his noon meal. The midday offering had been made in the temples, and the temple doors were closed.
  In the early afternoon the Master sat up on the small couch in his room. M. prostrated himself before him and sat on the floor. The Master was talking to him on the philosophy of Vednta.
  --
  At two or three o'clock in the afternoon Adhar Sen and Balarm arrived. After saluting Sri Ramakrishna, they sat on the floor and asked him if he was well. The Master said, "Yes, I am well physically, but a little troubled in mind." He did not refer to Hriday and his troubles.
  The conversation turned to the Goddess Simhavahini.
  --
  Captain and the other devotees remained, waiting for his return. M. accompanied the Master to the verandah, where Narendra was talking with Hazra. Sri Ramakrishna knew that Hazra always indulged in dry philosophical discussions. Hazra would say: "The world is unreal, like a dream. Worship, food offerings to the Deity, and so forth, are only hallucinations of the mind. The aim of spiritual life is to meditate on one's own real Self." Then he would repeat, "I am He." But, with all that, he had a soft corner in his heart for money, material things, and people's attention.
   Sri Ramakrishna smiled and said to Hazra and Narendra, "Hello! What are you talking about?"
  --
  It was almost dusk when most of the devotees, including Narendra, took leave of the Master. Sri Ramakrishna went out and looked at the Ganges for a few minutes from the west porch. Two priests were bathing in preparation for the evening worship. Young men of the village were strolling in the garden or standing on the concrete embankment, gazing at the murmuring river. Others, perhaps more thoughtful, were walking about in the solitude of the Panchavati.
  It became dark. The maidservant lighted the lamp in Sri Ramakrishna's room and burnt incense. The evening worship began in the twelve temples of iva and in the shrines of Krishna and Kli.
  As it was the first day after the full moon, the moonlight soon flooded the tops of the trees and temples, and touched with silver the numberless waves of the sacred river.
  --
  While the Master was meditating in this fashion on the Divine Mother, a few devotees, coming in from the garden, gathered in his room. Sri Ramakrishna sat down on the small couch. He said to the devotees: "Narendra, Bhavanath, Rkhl , and devotees like them belong to the group of the nityasiddhas; they are eternally free. Religious practice on their part is superfluous. Look at Narendra. He doesn't care about anyone. One day he was going with me in Captain's carriage. Captain wanted him to take a good seat, but Narendra didn't even look at him. He is independent even of me. He doesn't tell me all he knows, lest I should praise his scholarship before others. He is free from ignorance and delusion. He has no bonds. He is a great soul. He has many good qualities. He is expert in music, both as a singer and player, and is also a versatile scholar. Again, he keeps his passions under control and says that he will never marry.
  There is a close friendship between Narendra and Bhavanath; they are just like man and woman. Narendra doesn't come here very often. That is good, for I am overwhelmed by his presence."
  --
  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?' "
  --
  It was about ten o'clock. Sri Ramakrishna finished a light supper of farina pudding and one or two luchis. After saluting him, M. and his friend took their leave.
  Friday, September 7, 1883
  --
  For a time Master and disciple remained silent. Then Sri Ramakrishna began to describe his experiences of Brahman.
  MASTER: "One day I had the vision of Consciousness, non-dual and indivisible. At first it had been revealed to me that there were innumerable men, animals, and other creatures. Among them there were aristocrats, the English, the Mussalmans, myself, scavengers, dogs, and also a bearded Mussalman with an ear thenware tray of rice in his hand. He put a few grains of rice into everybody's mouth. I too tasted a little.
  --
  Some of the devotees wondered, "Is Sri Ramakrishna an Incarnation of God, like Krishna, Chaitanya, and Christ?"
  Sunday, September 9, 1883
  --
  As the conversation went on, several Bengali gentlemen entered the room and, after saluting the Master, sat down. One of them was already known to Sri Ramakrishna.
  These gentlemen followed the cult of Tantra. The Master knew that one of them indulged in immoral acts in the name of religion. The Tantra rituals, under certain conditions, allow the mixing of men and women devotees. But Sri Ramakrishna regarded all women, even prostitutes, as manifestations of the Divine Mother. He addressed them all as "Mother".
  MASTER (with a smile): "Where is Achalananda? My ideal is different from that of Achalananda and his disciples. As for myself, I look on all women as my mother."
  --
  The visiting gentlemen took leave of the Master after saluting him. When they had departed, Sri Ramakrishna smiled and said to M., "You can never make a thief listen to religion. (All laugh.)
  "Well, what do you think of Narendra?"
  --
  The Master was very fond of Ishan. He had been a superintendent in the Accountant General's office, and later on his children also occupied high government positions. One of them was a classmate of Narendra. Ishan's purse was always open for the poor and needy. When he retired from service, he devoted his time to spiritual practices and charity. He often visited Sri Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar.
  MASTER (to Ishan): "Please tell us the story of the boy who posted the letter."

1.14 - INSTRUCTION TO VAISHNAVS AND BRHMOS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  The conversation turned to Hazra's hatred for certain people, which Sri Ramakrishna did not like.
  MASTER (to the devotees): "I used frequently to visit a certain house at Kamarpukur.
  --
  Toward evening, as Sri Ramakrishna was standing in the northwest corner of the courtyard, he went into samdhi. In those days the Master remained almost always in an ecstatic state. He would lose consciousness of the world at the slightest suggestion from outside. But for scant conversation with visiting devotees, he remained in an indrawn mood and was unable to perform his daily worship and devotions.
  Coming down to the relative world, he began to talk to the Divine Mother, still standing where he was. "O Mother," he said, "worship has left me, and japa also. Please see, Mother, that I do not become an inert thing. Let my attitude toward God be that of the servant toward the master. O Mother, let me talk about Thee and chant Thy holy name.
  --
  In the morning Sri Ramakrishna had been to the Kli temple to offer flowers at the Mother's feet.
  Continuing, the Master said: "O Mother, I offered flowers at Thy feet this morning. I thought: 'That is good. My mind is again going back to formal worship.' Then why do I feel like this now? Why art Thou turning me into a sort of inert thing?"
  --
  The previous day Sri Ramakrishna had discouraged Ishan about Vedic worship, saying that it was not suitable for the Kaliyuga. He had asked Ishan to worship God as the Divine Mother.
  The Master said to M., "Are these all my fancies, or are they real?" M. remained silent with wonder at the Master's intimate relationship with the Divine Mother. He thought She must be within us as well as without. Indeed She must be very near us; or why should the Master speak to Her in a whisper?
  --
  Suddenly Sri Ramakrishna caught M.'s attention and said, touching his own chest: "Well, there must be something here. Isn't that so?"
  M. looked wonderingly at the Master. He said to himself: "Does the Mother Herself dwell in the Master's heart? Is it the Divine Mother who has assumed this human body for the welfare of humanity?"
  --
  The evening worship in the temples was over. Sri Ramakrishna was again seated in his room with M.
  M. had been visiting the Master for the past two years and, had received his grace and blessings. He had been told that God was both with form and without form, that He assumed forms for the sake of His devotees. To the worshipper of the formless God, the Master said: "Hold to your conviction, but remember that all is possible with God. He has form, and again, He is formless. He can be many things more."
  --
  M. related his dream experiences to Sri Ramakrishna, who listened to them attentively.
  MASTER (to M.): "That is very good. Don't reason any more. You are a follower of akti."
  --
  Adhar had invited the Master to come to his house on the occasion of the Durga Puja festival. It was the third day of the worship of the Divine Mother. When Sri Ramakrishna arrived at Adhar's house, he found Adhar's friend Sarada, Balarm's father, and Adhar's neighbours and relatives waiting for him.
  The Master went into the worship hall to see the evening worship. When it was over, he remained standing there in an abstracted mood and sang in praise of the Divine Mother: Glories of the Divine Mother
  --
  In that state of divine ecstasy Sri Ramakrishna saw the six centres in his body, and the Divine Mother dwelling in them. He sang a song to that effect.
  Again he sang:
  --
  Sarada was stricken with grief on account of his son's death. So Adhar had taken him to Dakshineswar to visit the Master. Sarada was a devotee of Sri Chaitanya. Sri Ramakrishna looked at him and was inspired with the ideal of Gaurnga.
  He sang:
  --
  Balarm's father was a wealthy man with estates in different parts of Orissa. An orthodox member of the Vaishnava sect, he had built temples and arranged for distribution of food to the pilgrims at various holy places. He had been spending the last years of his life in Vrindvan. The Vaishnavas, for the most part, are bigoted in their religious views. Some of them harbour malicious feelings toward the followers of the Tantra and Vednta. But Sri Ramakrishna never encouraged such a narrow outlook.
  According to his teachings, through earnestness and yearning all lovers of God will ultimately reach the same goal. The Master began the conversation in order to broaden the religious views of Balarm's father.
  --
  As Sri Ramakrishna spoke these words to the devotees, he was overwhelmed with divine fervour. Coming down to partial consciousness of the world, he said to Balarm's father, "Are you the father of Balarm?"
  All sat in silence. Balarm's aged father was silently telling his beads.
  --
  "The Incarnation of God is accepted by those who follow the path of bhakti. A woman belonging to the Kartabhaja sect observed my condition, and remarked: 'You have inner realization. Don't dance and sing too much. Ripe grapes must be preserved carefully in cotton. The mother-in-law lessens her daughter-in-law's activities when the daughter-in-law is with child. One characteristic of God-realization is that the activities of a man with such realization gradually drop away. Inside this man [meaning Sri Ramakrishna]
  is the real Jewel.'
  --
  While talking thus, Sri Ramakrishna went into samdhi. He sat there motionless, completely forgetful of the outer world. Then, coming down to the sense world, he sang:
  Ah, friend! I have not found Him yet, whose love has driven me mad. . . .
  --
  Ishan took his leave and Sri Ramakrishna talked with M. No one else was present. He asked M. what he thought of Narendra, Rkhl , Adhar, and Hazra, and whether they were guileless. "And", asked the Master, "what do you think of me?".
  M. said: "You are simple and at the same time deep. It is extremely difficult to understand you."
  --
  It was the day of the annual festival of the Sinduriapatti Brahmo Samaj. The ceremony was to be performed in Manilal Mallick's house. The worship hall was beautifully decorated with flowers, wreaths, and evergreens, and many devotees were assembled, eagerly awaiting the worship. Their enthusiasm had been greatly heightened by the news that Sri Ramakrishna was going to grace the occasion with his presence. Keshab, Vijay, Shivanath, and other leaders of the Brahmo Samaj held him in high respect. His God intoxicated state of mind, his intense love of spiritual life, his burning faith, his intimate communion with God, and his respect for women, whom he regarded as veritable manifestations of the Divine Mother, together with the unsullied purity of his character, his complete renunciation of worldly talk, his love and respect for all religious faiths, and his eagerness to meet devotees of all creeds, attracted the members of the Brahmo Samaj to him. Devotees came that day from far-off places to join the festival, for it would give them a chance to get a glimpse of the Master and listen to his inspiring talk.
   Sri Ramakrishna arrived at the house before the worship began, and became engaged in conversation with Vijaykrishna Goswami and the other devotees. The lamps were lighted and the divine service was about to begin.
  --
  Saying this, Sri Ramakrishna began to sing in his soul-enthralling voice: Cherish my precious Mother Syama
  Tenderly within, O mind;

1.15 - LAST VISIT TO KESHAB, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  AT TWO O'CLOCK in the afternoon, M. was pacing the footpath of the Circular Road in front of the Lily Cottage, where Keshab Chandra Sen lived. He was eagerly awaiting the arrival of Sri Ramakrishna. Keshab's illness had taken a serious turn, and there was very little chance of his recovery. Since the Master loved Keshab dearly, he was coming from Dakshineswar to pay him a visit.
  On the east side of the Circular Road was Victoria College, where the ladies of Keshab's Brahmo Samaj and their daughters received their education. To the north of the college was a spacious garden house inhabited by an English family. M. noticed that there was a commotion in the house and wondered what was going on. Presently a hearse arrived with the drivers dressed in black, and the members of the household appeared, looking very sad. There had been a death in the family.
  --
  About five o'clock a carriage stopped in front of the Lily Cottage and Sri Ramakrishna got out with Ltu and several other devotees, including Rkhl . He was received by Keshab's relatives, who led him and the devotees upstairs to the verandah south of the drawing-room. The Master seated himself on a couch.
  After a long wait he became impatient to see Keshab. Keshab's disciples said that he was resting and would be there presently. Sri Ramakrishna became more and more impatient and said to Keshab's disciples: "Look here, what need is there of his coming to me? Why can't I go in and see him?"
  PRASANNA (humbly): "Sir, he will come in a few minutes."
  --
  In the mean time Sri Ramakrishna had got down from the couch and was sitting on the floor. Keshab bowed low before the Master and remained in that position a long time, touching the Master's feet with his forehead. Then he sat up. Sri Ramakrishna was still in a state of ecstasy. He muttered to himself. He talked to the Divine Mother.
  Raising his voice, Keshab said: "I am here, sir. I am here." He took Sri Ramakrishna's left hand and stroked it gently. But the Master was in deep samdhi, completely intoxicated with divine love. A stream of words came from his lips as he talked to himself, and the devotees listened to him spellbound.
  Brahman manifesting Itself as the universe
  --
  While talking, Sri Ramakrishna regained the normal consciousness of the world. With a smile on his face he conversed with Keshab. The roomful of men watched them eagerly, and listened to their words. Everybody was amazed to find that neither Keshab nor the Master inquired about each other's health. They talked only of God.
  Meditating on God and not on His glories
  --
  Keshab laughed again and again at the Master's allusion to the hospital. Then Sri Ramakrishna spoke of his own illness. (To Keshab) "Hriday used to say, 'Never before have I seen such ecstasy for God, and never before have I seen such illness.' I was then sriously ill with stubborn diarrhoea. It was as if millions of ants were gnawing at my brain. But all the same, spiritual talk went on day and night. Dr. Rma of Natagore was called in to see me. He found me discussing spiritual truth. 'What a madman!' he said. 'Nothing is left of him but a few bones, and still he is reasoning like that!' "
  MASTER (to Keshab): "All depends on God's will.
  --
  The devotees were deeply touched to hear of Sri Ramakrishna's love for Keshab and his longing for the Brahmo leader.
  MASTER: "But this time, to tell the truth, I didn't feel anxious to that extent. Only for two or three days did I feel a little worried."
  --
  Some refreshments had been arranged for the Master. Keshab's eldest son was seated near him. Amrita introduced the boy and requested Sri Ramakrishna to bless him. The Master said, "It is not given to me to bless anyone." With a sweet smile he stroked the boy's body gently.
  AMRITA (with a smile): "All right, then do as you please."
  --
  Continuing, the Master said: "Keshab is free from the pride of a small minded religious teacher. To many people he has said, 'If you have any doubts, go there2 to have them solved.' It is my way, too, to say: 'What shall I do with people's respect? Let Keshab's virtues increase a millionfold.' Keshab is certainly a great man. Everyone respects him, seekers after wealth as well as holy men." Thus did Sri Ramakrishna praise Keshab before the latter's disciples.
  After partaking of the refreshments the Master was ready to leave. The Brahmo devotees accompanied him to the cab, which was standing in the street. While coming down the stairs the Master noticed that there was no light on the ground floor. He said to Amrita and Keshab's other disciples: "These places should be well lighted. A house without light becomes stricken with poverty. Please see that it doesn't happen again."
  Then Sri Ramakrishna left for Dakshineswar with one or two devotees.
  On his way to Dakshineswar from Keshab's cottage Sri Ramakrishna stopped at Jaygopal Sen's house. It was about seven o'clock in the evening.
  In the drawing-room, Jaygopal's relatives and neighbours had gathered. Vaikuntha, Jaygopal's brother, said to the Master: "Sir, we are worldly people. Please give us some advice."

1.16 - WITH THE DEVOTEES AT DAKSHINESWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  M. had been visiting Sri Ramakrishna for the past two years. Since he had been educated along English lines, he had acquired a fondness for Western philosophy and science, and had liked to hear Keshab and other scholars lecture. Sri Ramakrishna would address him now and then as the "Englishman". Since coming to Sri Ramakrishna, M. had lost all relish for lectures and for books written by English scholars. The only thing that appealed to him now was to see the Master day and night, and hear the words that fell from his blessed lips. M. constantly dwelt on certain of Sri Ramakrishna's sayings. The Master had said, "One can certainly see God through the practice of spiritual discipline", and again, "The vision of God is the only goal of human life."
  MASTER (to M.): "If you practise only a little, someone will come forward to tell you the right path. Observe the ekadasi.
  --
  The Master started again for the Panchavati accompanied by M. No one else was with them. Sri Ramakrishna with a smile narrated to him various incidents of the past years of his life.
  MASTER: "You see, one day I. saw a strange figure covering the whole space from the Kli temple to the Panchavati. Do you believe this?"
  --
  It was evening. Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on the small couch in his room, absorbed in meditation on the Divine Mother. The evening worship in the temples began, with the music of gong and conchshell. M. was going to spend the night with the Master.
  Ater a time Sri Ramakrishna asked M. to read from the Bhaktamala, a book about the Vaishnava saints.
  Story of a Vaishnava devotee
  --
  At nine o'clock in the morning Sri Ramakrishna was standing on the southeast verandah near the door of his room, with Ramlal by his side. Rkhl and Ltu were moving about. M. arrived and prostrated himself before the Master. Sri Ramakrishna said to him affectionately: "You have come. That's very good. Today is an auspicious day."
  It was the last day of the Bengali month and the day of the full moon. M. was going to spend a few days with the Master practising spiritual discipline. The Master had said to him, "If an aspirant practises a little spiritual discipline, then someone comes forward to help him."
  --
  As Sri Ramakrishna listened to Parasurama's hymn, he went into a spiritual mood and now and then chanted the name of Rma in his melodious voice.
  Then the Master asked Ramlal to read about Guhaka. Ramlal read: Guhaka, the pariah, was chief of the untouchables and an intimate friend of Rma.
  --
  After the midday meal Sri Ramakrishna lay down on his bed to rest. M. was seated on the floor. Presently Dr. Shyama and a few devotees arrived. The Master sat up on the bed and began to converse with them.
  Work and worship
  --
  At half past three in the afternoon M. again entered the Master's room and sat on the floor. A teacher from the Broughton Institution had come with several students to pay a visit to Sri Ramakrishna. They were conversing together. Now and then the teacher asked questions. The conversation was about the worship of images.
  MASTER (to the teacher): "What is wrong with image worship? The Vednta says that Brahman manifests Itself where there is 'Existence, Light, and Love'. Therefore nothing exists but Brahman.
  --
  Late in the afternoon Sri Ramakrishna was talking to M. They were standing on the south side of the nahabat. Since it was winter the Master was wrapped in his woolen shawl.
  MASTER: "Where will you sleep? In the hut in the Panchavati?"
  --
  The Master said to M., "The sum and substance of the whole thing is to cultivate devotion for God and love Him." At Sri Ramakrishna's request Ramlal sang a few songs, the Master himself singing the first line of each.
  Ramlal sang:
  --
  Late at night M. sat alone in the nahabat. The sky, the river, the garden, the steeples of the temples; the trees, and the Panchavati were flooded with moonlight. Deep silence reigned everywhere, broken only by the melodious murmuring of the Ganges. M. was meditating on Sri Ramakrishna.
  At three o'clock in the morning M. left his seat. He proceeded toward the Panchavati as Sri Ramakrishna had suggested. He did not care for the nahabat any more and resolved to stay in the hut in the Panchavati.
  Suddenly he heard a distant sound, as if someone were wailing piteously, "Oh, where art Thou, Brother Madhusudana?" The light of the full moon streamed through the thick foliage of the Panchavati, and as he proceeded he saw at a distance one of the Master's disciples sitting alone in the grove, crying helplessly, "Oh, where art Thou, Brother Madhusudana?"
  --
  M. had been staying at Dakshineswar with Sri Ramakrishna. The Master was sitting in his room, listening to the life of Prahlada, which Ramlal was reading from the Bhaktamala. M. was sitting on the floor. Rkhl, Ltu, and Harish were also in the room, and Hazra was on the verandah. While listening to the story of Prahlada's love for God, Sri Ramakrishna went into an ecstatic mood.
  Hiranyakasipu, the king of the demons and father of Prahlada, had put his son to endless torture to divert the boy's mind from the love of God. But through divine grace all the king's attempts to kill Prahlada were ineffective. At last God appeared, assuming the form of Nrisimha, the Manlion, and killed Hiranyakasipu. The gods were frightened at the rage and roaring of the Manlion and thought that the destruction of the world was imminent.
  --
  Addressing Mr. Mukherji, Sri Ramakrishna said: "You are rich, and still you call on God.
  That is very good indeed. It is said in the Git that those who fall from the path of yoga are born in their next birth as devotees of God in rich families."
  --
  M. had studied a little of the Vednta. He also had read the German philosophers, such as Kant and Hegel, whose writings are only a faint echo of the Vednta. But Sri Ramakrishna did not arrive at his conclusions by reasoning, as do ordinary scholars. It was the Divine Mother of the Universe who revealed the Truth to him. These were the thoughts that passed through M.'s mind.
  A little later Sri Ramakrishna and M. were conversing on the porch west of the Master's room. No one else was there. It was a late winter afternoon, and the sun had not yet gone below the horizon.
  Is the world unreal?
  --
  It was evening. Sri Ramakrishna was meditating on the Divine Mother and chanting Her holy name. The devotees also went off to solitary places and meditate on their Chosen Ideals. Evening worship began at the temple garden in the shrines of Kli, Radha-Krishna, and iva.
  It was the second day of the dark fortnight of the moon. Soon the moon rose in the sky, bathing temples, trees, flowers, and the rippling surface of the Ganges in its light. The Master was sitting on the couch and M. on the floor. The conversation turned to the Vednta.
  --
  It was about eight o'clock in the morning. Sri Ramakrishna was in his room with M., when Dr. Madhu arrived and sat down beside the Master on the small couch. He was an elderly man and full of wit. He used to visit the Master when the latter felt indisposed.
  MASTER: "The whole thing, in a nutshell is that one must develop ecstatic love for Satchidananda. What kind of love? How should one love God? Gauri used to say that one must become like Sita to understand Rma; like Bhagavati, the Divine Mother, to understand Bhagavan, iva. One must practise austerity, as Bhagavati did, in order to attain iva. One must cultivate the attitude of Prakriti in order to realize Purusha-the attitude of a friend, a handmaid, or a mother.
  --
  The Master was resting after his noon meal. Mani Mallick arrived and saluted him. Sri Ramakrishna remained lying on the couch and said a word or two to Mani.
  MANI: "I hear you visited Keshab Sen."

1.17 - M. AT DAKSHINEWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  That afternoon the Master, accompanied by M., Rkhl, and some other devotees, set out in a carriage for the temple of Siddhesvari in Calcutta. On the way the offerings were purchased. On reaching the temple, the Master asked the devotees to offer the fruit and sugar to the Divine Mother. They saw the priests and their friends playing cards in the temple. Sri Ramakrishna said: "To play cards in a temple! One should think of God here."
  From the temple the Master went to Jadu Mallick's house. Jadu was surrounded by his admirers, well-dressed dandies. He welcomed the Master.
  --
  Jadu and his mother served refreshments to Sri Ramakrishna and the devotees.
  Wednesday, December 19, 1883
  It was nine o'clock in the morning. Sri Ramakrishna was talking to M. near the bel-tree at Dakshineswar. This tree, under which the Master had practised the most austere sadhana, stood in the northern end of the temple garden. Farther north ran a high wall, and just outside was the government magazine. West of the bel-tree was a row of tall pines that rustled in the wind. Below the trees flowed the Ganges, and to the south could be seen the sacred grove of the Panchavati. The dense trees and underbrush hid the temples. No noise of the outside world reached the bel-tree.
  MASTER (to M.): "But one cannot realize God without renouncing 'woman and gold'."
  --
  At midday, finding that M. had not yet returned, Sri Ramakrishna started toward the bel-tree; but on reaching the Panchavati he met M. carrying his prayer carpet and water-jug. M. saluted the Master.
   Sri Ramakrishna said to M: "I was coming to look for you. Because of your delay I thought you might have scaled the wall and run away. I watched your eyes this morning and felt apprehensive lest you should go away like Narayan Shastri. Then I said to myself: 'No, he won't run away. He thinks a great deal before doing anything.' "
  --
  Following Sri Ramakrishna's direction, M. spent the night in the hut at the Panchavati.
  In the early hours of the morning he was singing alone: I am without the least benefit of prayer and austerity, O Lord!
  --
  Suddenly M. glanced toward the window and saw the Master standing there. Sri Ramakrishna's eyes became heavy with tears as M. sang the line:
  I am the lowliest of the lowly; make me pure with Thy hallowed touch.
  --
  In the afternoon a monk belonging to the sect of Nanak arrived. He was a worshipper of the formless God. Sri Ramakrishna asked him to meditate as well on God with form.
  The Master said to him: "Dive deep; one does not get the precious gems by merely floating on the surface. God is without form, no doubt; but He also has form. By meditating on God with form one speedily acquires devotion; then one can meditate on the formless God. It is like throwing a letter away, after learning its contents, and then setting out to follow its instructions."
  --
  Rkhl, Harish, M., and Ltu had been staying with Sri Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar.
  About nine o'clock in the morning the Master was sitting with them on the southeast verandah of his room, when Balarm's father and Devendra Ghosh of Syampukur arrived.
  --
  Saying this, Sri Ramakrishna sang, assuming the attitude of Akrura: Hold not, hold not the chariot's wheels!
  Is it the wheels that make it move?
  --
  At nine o'clock in the morning Sri Ramakrishna was seated on the southwest porch of his room, with Rkhl , Ltu, M., Harish, and some other devotees. M. had now been nine days with the Master at Dakshineswar. Earlier in the morning Manomohan had arrived from Konnagar on this way to Calcutta. Hazra, too, was present.
  A Vaishnava was singging. Referring to one of the songs, Sri Ramakrishna said: "I didn't enjoy that song very much. The songs of the earlier writers seem to me to have more of the right spirit. Once I sang for Nangta at the Panchavati: 'To arms! To arms, O
  man! Death storms your house in battle array.' I sang another: 'O Mother, I have no one else to blame: Alas! I sink in the well these very hands have dug.'
  --
  After the midday meal Sri Ramakrishna rested a few minutes in his room. M. was sitting on the floor. The Master was delighted to hear the music that was being played in the nahabat. He then explained to M. that Brahman alone has become the universe and all living beings.
  MASTER: "Referring to a certain place, someone once said to me: 'Nobody sings the name of God there. It has no holy atmosphere.' No sooner did he say this than I perceived that it was God alone who had become all living beings. They appeared as countless bubbles, or reflections in the Ocean of Satchidananda.
  --
  said to himself: "Who is this Sri Ramakrishna, acting as my teacher? Has God embodied Himself for our welfare? The master himself says that none but an Incarnation can come down to the phenomenal plane from the state of nirvikalpa samdhi."
  Monday, December 24, 1883
  At eight o'clock in the morning Sri Ramakrishna and M. were talking together in the pine-grove at the northern end of the temple garden. This was the eleventh day of M.'s stay with the Master.
  It was winter. The sun had just risen. The river was flowing north with the tide. Not far off could be seen the bel-tree where the Master had practised great spiritual austerities. Sri Ramakrishna faced the east as he talked to his disciple and told him about the Knowledge of Brahman.
  MASTER: "The formless God is real, and equally real is God with form. Nangta used to instruct me about the nature of Satchidananda Brahman. He would say that It is like an infinite ocean-water everywhere, to the right, left, above, and below. Water enveloped in water. It is the Water of the Great Cause, motionless. Waves spring up when It becomes active. Its activities are creation, preservation and destruction.
  --
  M. entered the room and saluted the Master. The devotees were seated on the floor, but no one was reading the book. Sri Ramakrishna was talking to the devotees.
  MASTER:"The gopis cherished escstatic love for Krishna. There are two elements in such love: 'I-ness' and 'my-ness'. 'I-ness' is the feeling that Krishna will be ill if 'I' do not serve Him. In this attitude the devotee does not look upon his Ideal as God.

1.18 - M. AT DAKSHINESWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  The garden, which Ram had recently purchased, was next to Surendra's. Ram adored the Master as an Incarnation of God. He visited Sri Ramakrishna frequently at Dakshineswar. Manilal Mallick was a member of the Brahmo Samaj. The Brahmos do not believe in Divine Incarnations.
  MASTER (to Manilal): "In order to meditate on God, one should try at first to think of Him as free from upadhis, limitations. God is beyond upadhis. He is beyond speech and mind. But it is very difficult to achieve perfection in this form of meditation.
  --
  Next Sri Ramakrishna proceeded toward Surendra's garden. He walked on foot a little distance and saw a sdhu sitting on a couch under a tree. At once he went up to the holy man and joyfully began a conversation with him.
  MASTER: "To which order of monks do you belong? Have you any title-Giri, Puri, or the like?"
  --
  After a pleasant conversation with the sdhu, the Master returned to the carriage, the holy man walking with him. Sri Ramakrishna looked upon him as a friend of long acquaintance, and they walked arm in arm.
  The Master arrived at Surendra's garden. The very first thing he talked about was the sdhu.
  --
  The temple garden was filled with the sweet music of the dawn service; which mingled with the morning melody from the nahabat. Leaving his bed, Sri Ramakrishna chanted the names of God in sweet tones. Then he bowed before the pictures of the different deities in his room and went to the west porch to salute the Ganges.
  Some of the devotees who had spent the night at the temple garden came to the Master's room and bowed before him. Rkhl was staying with the Master, and Baburam had come the previous evening. M. had been staying there two weeks.
  --
  On all sides plants and trees were in flower, and the river sparkled in the sunlight of the bright winter's day. The Master bowed once more before the pictures. Then, still chanting the name of the Divine Mother, he got into the carriage, followed by M. and Baburam. The devotees took with them Sri Ramakrishna's woolen shawl, woolen cap, and small bag of spices.
   Sri Ramakrishna was very happy during the trip and enjoyed it like a child. About nine o'clock the carriage stopped at the door of Ishan's house.
  --
  Shrish, Ishan's son, was introduced to Sri Ramakrishna. The young man practised law at Alipur. He had been a brilliant student, having stood first in two of the university examinations, but he was extremely modest.
  MASTER (to Shrish): "What is your profession?"
  --
  At noon the host wished to feed the Master and the devotees. Sri Ramakrishna was smilingly pacing the room. Now and then he exchanged a few words with the musician.
  MUSICIAN: "It is God alone who is both the 'instrument' and the 'cause'. Duryodhana said to Krishna: 'O Lord, Thou art seated in my heart. I act as Thou makest me act.'"
  --
  Next to Ishan's was his father-in-law's house. Sri Ramakrishna stood at the door of this house, ready to get into the carriage. Ishan and his friends stood around to bid him adieu. Sri Ramakrishna said to Ishan: "You are living in the world as a mudfish lives in the mud. It lives in the mud but its body is not stained.
  "There are both vidy and avidy in this world of maya. Who may be called a paramahamsa? He who, like a swan, can take the milk from a mixture of milk and water, leaving aside the water. He who, like an ant, can take the sugar from a mixture of sugar and sand, leaving aside the sand."
  It was evening. The Master stopped at Ram's house on his way to Dakshineswar. He was taken to the drawing-room and there he engaged in conversation with Mahendra Goswami. Mahendra belonged to the Vaishnava sect and was Ram's neighbour. Sri Ramakrishna was fond of him.
  MASTER: "The worshippers of Vishnu and the worshippers of akti will all ultimately reach one and the same goal; the ways may be different. The true Vaishnavas do not criticize the Saktas."
  GOSWAMI (smiling): "iva and Parvati are our Father and Mother." Sri Ramakrishna, out of his stock of a dozen English words, said sweetly, "Thank you!" Then he added, "Yes, Father and Mother!"
  GOSWAMI: "Besides, it is a sin to criticize anyone, especially a devotee of God. All sins may be forgiven, but not the sin of criticizing a devotee."
  --
  It was the day of the new moon, auspicious for the worship of the Divine Mother. At one o'clock in the afternoon Sri Ramakrishna got into a carriage to visit the temple of Kli at Kalighat. He intended to stop at Adhar's house on the way, since Adhar was to accompany him to the temple. While the carriage was waiting near the north porch of the Master's room, M. went to the Master and said, "Sir, may I also go with you?"
  MASTER: "Why?"
  --
  At three o'clock in the afternoon, while M. was walking up and down under a tree, a devotee came to him and said that the Master had sent for him. M. went to Sri Ramakrishna's room and found a number of devotees there. He saluted the Master.
  Ram, Kedr, and others had arrived from Calcutta. Ram had brought with him the Vedantist monk whom the Master had visited near his garden a few days earlier. On that occasion Sri Ramakrishna had asked him to bring the sdhu to Dakshineswar.
  The monk was sitting on the small couch with the Master. They were talking happily in Hindusthani.
  --
  At these words Sri Ramakrishna went into samdhi and sat motionless. The monk and the devotees looked wonderingly at him in his ecstatic condition. Kedr said to the monk: "Look at him, sir. This is samdhi."
  The monk had read of samdhi but had never seen it before. After a few minutes the Master began gradually to come down to the normal plane of consciousness. He said to the Divine Mother: "Mother, I want to be normal. Please don't make me unconscious. I should like to talk to the sdhu about Satchidananda. Mother, I want to be merry talking about Satchidananda."
  The monk was amazed to see the Master's condition and to hear these words. Sri Ramakrishna said to him: "Please do away with your 'I am He'. Let us now keep 'I' and 'Thou' to enjoy the fun."
  A little later the Master was walking in the Panchavati with Ram, Kedr, M., and the other devotees.
  --
  Rkhl , Ltu, Harish, Ramlal, and M. had been staying with Sri Ramakrishna at the temple garden. About three o'clock in the afternoon M. found the Master on the west porch of his room engaged in conversation with a Tantrik devotee. The Tantrik was wearing an ochre cloth. Sri Ramakrishna asked M. to sit by his side. Perhaps the Master intended to instruct him through his talk with the Tantrik devotee. Mahima Chakravarty had sent the latter to the Master.
  MASTER (to the Tantrik): "It is a part of the Tantrik discipline to drink wine from a human skull. This wine is called 'karana'. Isn't that so?"
  --
  At eight o'clock that evening the Master was sitting in his room with Rkhl and M. It was the twenty-first day of M.'s stay with Sri Ramakrishna. The Master had forbidden him to indulge in reasoning.
  Futility of reasoning
  --
  At dusk M. was sitting at the Master's feet. Sri Ramakrishna had been told that Keshab's illness had taken a turn for the worse. He was talking about Keshab and incidentally about the Brahmo Samaj.
  MASTER (to M.): "Do they only give lectures in the Brahmo Samaj? Or do they also meditate? I understand that they call their service in the temple 'upasana'.
  --
  It was the twenty-third day of M.'s stay with Sri Ramakrishna. M. had finished his midday meal about one o'clock and was resting in the nahabat when suddenly he heard someone call his name three or four times. Coming out, he saw Sri Ramakrishna calling to him from the verandah north of his room.
  M. saluted the Master and they conversed on the south verandah.
  --
  After dusk Sri Ramakrishna went to the Kli temple and was pleased to see M.
  meditating there.

1.19 - THE MASTER AND HIS INJURED ARM, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  IT WAS THREE O'CLOCK in the afternoon. Sri Ramakrishna had been conversing with Rkhl , Mahimacharan, Hazra, and other devotees, when M. entered the room and saluted him. He brought with him splint, pad, and lint to bandage the Master's injured arm.
  Master's injured arm
  One day, while going toward the pine-grove, Sri Ramakrishna had fallen near the railing and dislocated a bone in his left arm. He had been in an ecstatic mood at the time and no one had been with him.
  MASTER (to M.): "Hello! What was ailing you? Are you quite well now?"
  --
  Again addressing the Mother, Sri Ramakrishna said: "Do I weep because I am hurt? Not at all:
  Mother, this is the grief that sorely grieves my heart, That even with Thee for Mother, and though I am wide awake, There should be robbery in my house."
  --
  At five o'clock in the afternoon Dr. Madhusudan arrived. While he prepared the bandage for the Master's arm, Sri Ramakrishna laughed like a child and said, "You are the Madhusudan of both this world and the next!"
  DR. MADHUSUDAN (smiling): "I only labour under the weight of my name."
  --
  Adhar sat on the floor with the devotees. The Master said to him, "Please stroke here gently." Adhar sat on the end of the couch and gently stroked Sri Ramakrishna's feet.
  The Master conversed with Mahimcharan.
  --
  It was about eight o'clock in the evening. Sri Ramakrishna asked Mahimacharan to recite a few hymns from the scriptures. Mahima read the first verse of the Uttara Git, describing the nature of the Supreme Brahman:
  He, Brahman, is one, partless, stainless, and beyond the ether; Without beginning or end, unknowable by mind or intelligence.
  --
  At noon the following day, after his midday meal, Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on the small couch, when Ram, Surendra, and a few other devotees arrived from Calcutta.
  They were worried about the Master's injured arm. The arm was bandaged. M.
  --
  Mani Mallick told the Master about an exhibition that was being held in Calcutta. He described a beautiful image of Yaoda with the Baby Krishna on her lap. Sri Ramakrishna's eyes filled with tears. On hearing about Yaoda, the embodiment of maternal love, his spiritual consciousness was kindled and he wept.
  MANILAL: "If you were not unwell, you could visit the exhibition in the Maidan."
  --
  Mani Mallick, about sixty-five years old, had been a member of the Brahmo Samaj for many years, and Sri Ramakrishna gave him instruction that would agree with his mood.
  MASTER: "Pundit Jaynarayan had very liberal views. I visited him once and liked his attitude. But his sons wore high boots. He told me he intended to go to Benares and live there, and at last he carried out his intention; for later on he did live in Benares and die there. When one grows old one should retire, like Jaynarayan, and devote oneself to the thought of God. What do you say?"

1.20 - RULES FOR HOUSEHOLDERS AND MONKS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  A hathayogi was staying in the hut at the Panchavati. Ramprasanna, the son of Krishnakishore of Ariadh, and several other men had become his devotees: The yogi needed twenty-five rupees a month for his milk and opium; so Ramprasanna had requested Sri Ramakrishna to speak to his devotees about the yogi and get some money. The Master said to several devotees: "A hathayogi has come to the Panchavati.
  Go and visit him. See what sort of man he is."
  --
  Mahimacharan entered the room and saluted the Master. Sri Ramakrishna said to him: "Ah! He has sung a nice song. Please sing it again." Thakur Dada repeated the song.
  MASTER (to Mahima): "Please recite that verse, the one about devotion to Hari"
  --
  It was not yet dusk. The Master, seated on the couch, was talking to M. Mahimacharan was on the semicircular porch engaged in a loud discussion of the scriptures with the physician friend of Mani Sen. Sri Ramakrishna heard it and with a smile said to M.: "There! He is delivering himself. That is the characteristic of rajas. It stimulates the desire to 'lecture' and to show off one's scholarship. But sattva makes one introspective. It makes one hide one's virtues. But I must say that Mahima is a grand person. He takes such delight in spiritual talk."
  Adhar entered the room, saluted the Master, and sat by M.'s side. He had not come for the past few days.

1.21 - A DAY AT DAKSHINESWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  IT WAS ABOUT EIGHT O'CLOCK in the morning when M. arrived at the temple garden and found Sri Ramakrishna seated on the small couch in his room. A few devotees were sitting on the floor. The Master was talking to them. Prankrishna Mukherji was there.
  Prankrishna belonged to an aristocratic family and lived in the northern part of Calcutta.
  He held a high post in an English business firm. He was very much devoted to Sri Ramakrishna and, though a householder, derived great pleasure from the study of Vednta philosophy. He was a frequent visitor at the temple garden. Once he invited the Master to his house in Calcutta and held a religious festival. Every day, early in the morning, he bathed in the holy water of the Ganges. Whenever it was convenient, he would come to Dakshineswar in a hired country boat.
  That morning he had hired a boat and invited M. to accompany him to Dakshineswar.
  --
  came on foot and found Sri Ramakrishna talking to Prankrishna and the others.
  How the Lord Himself is deluded by His own my
  --
  The hathayogi who had been living in the Panchavati entered the room. He was in the habit of taking milk and opium. He did not eat rice or other food and had no money to buy the milk and opium. The Master had talked with him in the Panchavati. The hathayogi had told Rkhl to ask the Master to make some provision for him, and Sri Ramakrishna had promised to speak about it to the visitors from Calcutta.
  HATHAYOGI (to the Master): "What did you say to Rkhl about me?"
  --
  Is it because Sri Ramakrishna believes in gods and goddesses with form? I don't know anything about God, nor do I understand Him. The Master believes in images; then why shouldn't I too, who am so insignificant a creature, accept them?"
  M. looked at the image of Kli. He saw that the Divine Mother holds in Her two left hands a man's severed head and a sword. With Her two right hands She offers boons and reassurance to Her devotees. In one aspect She is terrible, and in another She is the ever affectionate Mother of Her devotees. The two ideals are harmonized in Her.
  --
  M. remembered this interpretation of Kli given by the Master. He said to himself, "I have heard that Keshab accepted Kli in Sri Ramakrishna's presence. Is this, as Keshab used to say, the Goddess, all Spirit and Consciousness; manifesting Herself through a clay image?"
  M. returned to the Master's room and sat on the floor. Sri Ramakrishna offered him some fruit and sweets to eat. On account of trouble in the family, M. had recently rented a house in another section of Calcutta near his school, his father and brothers continuing to live in the ancestral home. But Sri Ramakrishna wanted him to return to his own home, since a joint family affords many advantages to one leading a religious life. Once or twice the Master had spoken to M. to this effect, but unfortunately he had not yet returned to his family. Sri Ramakrishna referred to the matter again.
  MASTER: "Tell me that you are going to your ancestral home."
  --
  All at once Sri Ramakrishna exclaimed, "Ah, Chaitanya!" and stood up.
  MASTER (to the devotees): "Chaitanya means 'Undivided Consciousness'.
  --
  After this conversation had come to an end, Sri Ramakrishna extolled Ram's virtues.
  MASTER (to the devotees): "How many fine qualities Ram possesses! How many devotees he serves and looks after! (To Ram) Adhar told me that you showed him great kindness."

1.22 - ADVICE TO AN ACTOR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Rkhl sat down to his meal. Sri Ramakrishna again spoke to the actor.
  MASTER: "Why didn't all of you take your meal from the kitchen of the Kli temple? That would have been nice."
  --
  Two ladies, devotees of Sri Ramakrishna, entered the room and saluted the Master. They had been fasting in preparation for this visit. They were sisters-in-law, the wives of two brothers, and were twenty-two or twenty-three years old. They were mothers of children. Both of them had their faces covered with veils.
  MASTER (to the ladies): "Worship iva. This worship is described in a book called the Nityakarma. Learn the rituals from it. In order to perform the worship of God you will be preoccupied for a longtime with such religious duties as plucking flowers, making sandal-paste, polishing the utensils of worship, and arranging offerings. As you perform these duties your mind will naturally be directed to God. You will get rid of meanness, anger, jealousy, and so forth. When you two sisters talk to each other, always talk about spiritual matters.
  --
  Saying this, Sri Ramakrishna asked Ramlal to give the ladies some food. They were given fruit, sweets, drinks, and other offerings from the temple.
  The Master said: "You have eaten something. Now my mind is at peace. I cannot bear to see women fast."
  It was about five o'clock in the afternoon. Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on the steps of the iva temples. Adhar, Dr. Nitai, M., and several other devotees were with him.
  MASTER (to the devotees): "I want to tell you something. A change has been coming over my nature."
  --
  The ladies mentioned before saluted the Master and were about to take their leave. Sri Ramakrishna again said to them: "Perform the iva Puja according to my instruction.
  And have something to eat before you come here. Otherwise I shall feel unhappy. Come another day."
  --
   Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on the cement platform that encircled the trunk of the old banyan-tree in the Panchavati. Vijay, Surendra, Bhavanath, Rkhl , and other devotees were present, a few of them sitting with the Master on the platform, the rest on the ground below. The devotees had thought of celebrating the Master's birthday, which had had to be put off because of his illness. Since Sri Ramakrishna now felt much better, the devotees wanted to have the celebration that day. A woman musician, a famous singer of kirtan, was going to entertain them with devotional songs.
  It was one o'clock in the afternoon. M. had been looking for Sri Ramakrishna in the Master's room. When he did not find him there, he went to the Panchavati and eagerly asked the devotees, "Where is he?" He was standing right in front of the Master but in his excitement did not notice him. The devotees laughed loudly. A moment later M. saw Sri Ramakrishna and felt very much embarrassed. He prostrated himself before the Master, who sat there facing the south and smiling happily. Kedr and Vijay were sitting at his left. These two devotees had had a misunderstanding recently when Kedr had cut off his connexion with the Brahmo Samaj.
  MASTER (to M., with a smile): "You see how I have united them?" The Master had brought a mdhavi creeper from Vrindvan in the year 1868 and had planted it in the Panchavati. The creeper had grown big and strong. Some children were jumping and swinging from it. The Master observed them and laughed. He said: "They are like young monkeys. They will not give up swinging even though they sometimes fall to the ground." Noticing that Surendra was standing before him, the Master said to him affectionately: "Come up and sit with us on the platform. Then you can dangle your feet comfortably." Surendra went up and took his seat. Bhavanath had his coat on. Surendra said to him, "Are you going to England?"
  --
  In answer to Vijay Sri Ramakrishna only said, "That depends on the will of God." Then he went on with his talk about women.
  MASTER: "Everyone I talk to says, 'Yes, sir, my wife is good.' Nobody says that his wife is bad. (All laugh.) Those who constantly live with 'woman and gold' are so infatuated with it that they don't see things properly. Chess-players oftentimes cannot see the right move for their pieces on the board. But those who watch the game from a distance can understand the moves more accurately.
  --
  The Master bowed to the musician and sat down to listen to the music. Now and then he became abstracted. When the musician stopped singing, Sri Ramakrishna began to talk to the devotees.
  Prema
  --
  The Master began to dance, and the devotees joined him. He caught M. by the arm and dragged him into the circle. Thus dancing, Sri Ramakrishna again went into samdhi.
  Standing transfixed, he looked like a picture on canvas.
  --
  A little later Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on the semicircular porch facing the Ganges, the devotees sitting by his side. Now and then the Master would exclaim, "Ah, Krishnachaitanya!"
  MASTER (to Vijay and the others): "There has been much chanting of the Lord's name in the room. That is why the atmosphere has become so intense."
  --
  Referring to Keshab's association with "woman and gold", which had hindered his work as a spiritual teacher, Sri Ramakrishna said to Vijay, "He-do you understand?"
  VIJAY: "Yes, sir."

1.23 - FESTIVAL AT SURENDRAS HOUSE, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  For centuries and centuries the lovers of God in 1ndia have been worshipping the Divine by recreating in themselves the yearning of the gopis for Krishna. Many of the folk-songs of India have as their theme this sweet episode of Krishna's life. Sri Chaitanya revived this phase of Hindu religious life by his spiritual practice and his divine visions. In his ecstatic music Chaitanya assumed the role of Radha and manifested the longing to be united with Krishna. For a long period Sri Ramakrishna also worshipped God as his beloved Krishna, looking on himself as one of the gopis or as God's handmaid.
  At Surendra's garden house the kirtan had begun early in the morning. The musicians were singing about the love of Krishna and Radha for each other. The Master was frequently in samdhi. The room was crowded with devotees, among them Bhavanath, Niranjan, Rkhl , Surendra, Ram, and M., and many members of the Brahmo Samaj.
  --
  When Sri Ramakrishna heard the song he suddenly stood up. Assuming the mood of Radha, he sang in a voice laden with sorrow, improvising the words: "O friend, either bring my beloved Krishna here or take me to Him." Thus singing, he completely lost himself in Radha and could not continue the song. He became speechless, his body motionless, his eyes half closed, his mind totally unconscious of the outer world. He was in deep samdhi.
  Radha's anguish at separation from Krishna
  --
  When the musicians sang, "Where are You, adorable Soul of the gopis?" the Master went into samdhi. As the music neared its end the musicians sang louder. Sri Ramakrishna was on his feet, again in deep samdhi. Regaining partial consciousness, he said in a half articulate voice, "Kitna! Kitna!" He was too much overwhelmed to utter Krishna's name distinctly.
  The kirtan was coming to a close. At the reunion of Radha and Krishna the Master sang with the musicians, composing the lines himself:
  --
  Presently Sri Ramakrishna returned to the main hall of the house. A big pillow was placed near him for his use. Before touching it he said, "Om Tat Sat" Perhaps the pillow had been used by many worldly people, and that was why he purified it in this way.
  Bhavanath, M., and other devotees sat near him. It was getting late, but there was no indication that the meal was going to be served. The Master became impatient, like a child, and said: "I don't see any sign of food.
  --
   Sri Ramakrishna and the devotees enjoyed the meal greatly. Afterwards he rested awhile. About two o'clock in the afternoon Pratap Chandra Mazumdar of the Brahmo Samaj arrived. He was a co-worker of Keshab Chandra Sen and had been to Europe and America in connection with the Brahmo missionary work. He greeted Sri Ramakrishna, and the Master, too, bowed before him with his usual modesty.
  They were soon engaged in conversation.
  --
  At this point Pratap bade the Master good-bye. He did not wait to hear the end of Sri Ramakrishna's words about the renunciation of "woman and gold". Those burning words touched the hearts of the devotees and were carried away on the wind through the gently rustling leaves in the garden.
  A few minutes later Mani Mallick said to Sri Ramakrishna: "Sir, it is time for you to leave for Dakshineswar. Today Keshab's mother and the other ladies of his family are going to the temple garden to visit you. They will be hurt if they do not find you there."
  Keshab had passed away only a few months before. His old mother and his other relatives wanted to visit the Master.
  --
  It was dusk. Sri Ramakrishna was sitting in his room, absorbed in contemplation of the Divine Mother. Now and then he was chanting Her name. Rkhl , Adhar, M., and several other devotees were with him.
  After a while the evening worship began in the temples. Adhar left the room to see the worship.
  --
  Bhuvanmohini was a nurse who used to visit Sri Ramakrishna now and then.
  The Master could not eat the food offerings of everyone, especially of physicians and nurses. It was because they accepted money from the sick in spite of the suffering of these people.

1.240 - 1.300 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  D.: Sri Ramakrishna touched Vivekananda and the latter realised
  Bliss. Is it possible?
  M.: Sri Ramakrishna did not touch all for that purpose. He did not create Atma. He did not create Realisation. Vivekananda was ripe.
  He was anxious to realise. He must have completed the preliminary course in his past births. Such is possible for ripe persons only.
  --
  D.: Sri Ramakrishna says that nirvikalpa samadhi cannot last longer than twenty-one days. If persisted in, the person dies. Is it so?
  M.: When the prarabdha is exhausted the ego is completely dissolved without leaving any trace behind. This is final liberation. Unless prarabdha is completely exhausted the ego will be rising up in its pure form even in jivanmuktas. I still doubt the statement of the maximum duration of twenty-one days. It is said that people cannot live if they fast thirty or forty days. But there are those who have fasted longer, say a hundred days. It means that there is still prarabdha for them.

1.240 - Talks 2, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  D.: Sri Ramakrishna touched Vivekananda and the latter realised
  Bliss. Is it possible?
  M.: Sri Ramakrishna did not touch all for that purpose. He did not create Atma. He did not create Realisation. Vivekananda was ripe.
  He was anxious to realise. He must have completed the preliminary course in his past births. Such is possible for ripe persons only.
  --
  D.: Sri Ramakrishna says that nirvikalpa samadhi cannot last longer than twenty-one days. If persisted in, the person dies. Is it so?
  M.: When the prarabdha is exhausted the ego is completely dissolved without leaving any trace behind. This is final liberation. Unless prarabdha is completely exhausted the ego will be rising up in its pure form even in jivanmuktas. I still doubt the statement of the maximum duration of twenty-one days. It is said that people cannot live if they fast thirty or forty days. But there are those who have fasted longer, say a hundred days. It means that there is still prarabdha for them.
  --
  D.: Sri Ramakrishna and others practised concentration.
  M.: Concentration and all other practices are meant for recognising the absence, i.e., non-existence of ignorance. No one can deny his own being. Being is knowledge, i.e., awareness. That awareness implies absence of ignorance. Therefore everyone naturally admits nonexistence of ignorance. And yet why should he suffer? Because he thinks he is this or that. That is wrong. I am alone is; and not I am so and so, or I am such and such. When existence is absolute it is right; when it is particularised it is wrong. That is the whole truth.
  --
  D.: In Sri Ramakrishnas Life it is said that an idol, Ramlal was animate. Is it true?
  M.: Can you account for the animation of this body? Is the movement of the idol more mysterious than the movement of this body?
  --
  D.: Is it possible to speak to Isvara as Sri Ramakrishna did?
  M.: When we can speak to each other why should we not speak to
  --
  M.: People have read of Vivekananda having asked Sri Ramakrishna,
  Have you seen God? and imitate him now. They also ask, Have you realised God?

1.24 - PUNDIT SHASHADHAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  IT WAS THE DAY of the Rathyatra the Car Festival of the Hindus. At Ishan's invitation Sri Ramakrishna went to his house in Calcutta. For some time the Master had had a desire to meet Pundit Shashadhar. Tarkachudamani, who had been staying with one of Ishan's neighbours. So it was decided that he would visit the pundit in the afternoon.
  A few devotees, including Hazra, accompanied the Master to Ishan's house. Ishan had invited one or two brahmin scholars and a devotee who followed the Tantrik method of worship. Shrish and Ishan's other sons were also present.
  --
  After a while M. and Narendra arrived and bowed before Sri Ramakrishna. The Master had previously informed M. that he would be at Ishan's house.
  The Master joked about the delay in serving their meal. One of the scholars quoted a Sanskrit verse about the anxiety created in people's minds by the pangs of hunger.
  --
  About four o'clock in the afternoon the Master left in a carriage for the house where Pundit Shashadhar was staying. As soon as Sri Ramakrishna got into the carriage he went into samdhi. His physical frame was very tender as a result of the austerities he had undergone during the long years of his spiritual discipline and his constant absorption in God-Consciousness.
  The Master would suffer from the slightest physical discomfort and even from the vibration of worldly thoughts around him. Once Keshab Chandra Sen had said that Sri Ramakrishna, Christ, and Sri Chaitanya belonged to a delicate species of humanity that should be kept in a glass case and protected from the vulgar contact of the world.
  It was the rainy season, and a fine drizzle of rain had made the road muddy. The sky was overcast. The devotees followed the carriage on foot. As the carriage stopped in front of the house, the host and his relatives welcomed the Master and took him upstairs to the drawing-room. There the Master met the pundit.
  --
  It was not yet dusk, and Sri Ramakrishna returned to Ishan's house with the devotees.
  The Master took his seat in the drawing-room with Ishan and his sons, a pundit, and a few devotees.
  --
  A pundit who was present said to Sri Ramakrishna, "You are indeed a great soul."
  MASTER: "You may say that about sages like Nrada, Prahlada, or Sukadeva. I am like your son.
  --
  They were waiting to bid him good-bye. Sri Ramakrishna said to Ishan: "Live in the world like an ant. The world contains a mixture of truth and untruth, sugar and sand. Be an ant and take the sugar.
  "Again, the world is a mixture of milk and water, the bliss of God-Consciousness and the pleasure of sense-enjoyment. Be a swan and drink the milk, leaving the water aside.

1.25 - ADVICE TO PUNDIT SHASHADHAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Pundit Shashadhar was charmed with his singing. Very humbly he said to Sri Ramakrishna, "Are you going to sing anymore?"
  A little later the Master sang again:
  --
  As Sri Ramakrishna sang the line, "And with it have bought Sri Durga's name", the tears flowed from Pundit Shashadhar's eyes. The Master went on with the song: Deep within my heart I have planted the name of Kli, The Wish-fulfilling Tree of heaven;
  When Yama, King of Death, appears,
  --
  The pundit and Mani Mallick became engaged in conversation. Mani was a member of the Brahmo Samaj. The pundit argued vehemently about the good and bad sides of the Samaj. Sri Ramakrishna was seated on the small couch and looked on, smiling. Presently he remarked: "This is the tamasic aspect of sattva, the attitude of a hero. This is necessary. One should not hold one's tongue at the sight of injustice and untruth.
  Suppose a bad woman wants to drag you from the path of righteousness. You must then assume the heroic attitude and say: 'What? You witch! You dare injure my spiritual life? I shall cut your body in two right now.' "
  With a smile Sri Ramakrishna said to the pundit: "Mani Mallick has been following the tenets of the Brahmo Samaj a long time. You can't convert him to your views. Is it an easy thing to destroy old tendencies? Once there lived a very pious Hindu who always worshipped the Divine Mother and chanted Her name. When the Mussalmans conquered the country, they forced him embrace Islam. They said to him: 'You are now a Mussalman. Say "Allah". From now on you must repeat only the name of Allah.' With great difficulty he repeated the word 'Allah', but every now and then blurted out 'Jagadamba'. At that the Mussalmans were about to beat him. Thereupon he said to them: 'I beseech you! Please do not kill me. I have been trying my utmost to repeat the name of Allah, but our Jagadamba has filled me up to the throat. She pushes out your Allah.' (All laugh.)
  Different paths to suit different tastes
  --
  All sat in silence. Sri Ramakrishna said to the pundit, "Go and visit the temples and take a stroll in the garden." It was about half past five in the afternoon. The pundit left the room with his friends and several of the devotees.
  After a while the Master went with M. toward the bathing-ghat on the Ganges. He said to M., "Baburam now says, 'What shall I gain by study?' "On the bank of the river he met the pundit and said to him, "Aren't you going to the Kli temple?" The pundit said: "Yes, sir. Let us go together." With a smiling face Sri Ramakrishna proceeded to the temple through the courtyard. He said to the pundit, "Listen to a song."
  He sang:
  --
  They came to the temple. Sri Ramakrishna saluted the Divine Mother, touching the ground with his forehead.
  Red hibiscus flowers and vilwa-leaves adorned the Mother's feet. Her three eyes radiated love for Her devotees. Two of Her hands were raised as if to give them boons and reassurance; the other two hands held symbols of death. She was clothed in a sari of Benares silk and was decked with ornaments.
  --
  As Sri Ramakrishna was coming back to his room with the devotees, he said to Baburam, "Come with us." M. also joined them.
  It was dusk. The Master was sitting on the semicircular porch west of his room. Baburam and M. sat near him. He was in a mood of partial ecstasy.
  Rkhl was not then living with Sri Ramakrishna, and therefore the Master was having difficulties about his personal service. Several devotees lived with him, but he could not bear the touch of everyone during his spiritual moods. He hinted to Baburam: "Do stay with me. It will be very nice. In this mood I cannot allow others to touch me."
  The pundit entered the Master's room after visiting the temples. The Master said to him from the porch, "Take some refreshments." The pundit said that he had not yet performed his evening devotions. At once Sri Ramakrishna stood up and sang in an exalted mood:
  Why should I go to Ganga or Gaya, to Kasi, Kanchi, or Prabhas,
  --
  Surendra was about to leave. He invited his friends into his carriage. The Master, still in an ecstatic mood, said, "Don't take more people than your horse can draw." Suredra took leave of Sri Ramakrishna. The pundit left the room to perform his worship. M. and Baburam saluted the Master. They were about to leave for Calcutta. Sri Ramakrishna was still in an ecstatic mood.
  MASTER (to M.): "I cannot utter a word now. Stay a few minutes."
  M. again took his seat and waited for the Master's command. Sri Ramakrishna motioned to Baburam to take a seat and asked him to fan him a little. M. also took part in rendering this personal service to the Master.
  MASTER (to M., tenderly): "Why don't you come here so frequently now?"
  --
  The pundit and his friends saluted the Master and were about to take their leave. Sri Ramakrishna said to the pundit: "Come again. One hemp-smoker rejoices in the company of another hemp-smoker. They even embrace each other. But they hide at the sight of people not of their own kind. A cow licks the body of her calf; but she threatens a strange cow with her horns." (All laugh.)
  The pundit left the room. With a smile the Master said: "He has become 'diluted' even in one day. Did you notice how modest he was? And he accepted everything I said."
  Moonlight flooded the semicircular porch. Sri Ramakrishna was still seated there. M. was about to leave.
  MASTER (tenderly): "Must you go now?"
  --
  So saying, Sri Ramakrishna became overwhelmed with divine ecstasy and sang: If only I can pass away repeating Durga's name, How canst Thou then, O Blessed One,
  Withhold from me deliverance,
  --
  In the mean time the small car of Jagannath had been brought to the verandah. Inside the car were the images of Krishna, Balarama, and Subhadra. They were adorned with flowers, garlands, jewelry, and yellow apparel. Balarm was a sattvic worshipper: there was no outward grandeur in his worship. Outsiders did not even know of this Car Festival at his house. The Master and the devotees went to the verandah. Sri Ramakrishna pulled the car by the rope. Then he began to sing:
  See how all Nadia is shaking
  --
  It was not yet dusk. Sri Ramakrishna returned to the drawing-room with the devotees.
  MASTER (to Shashadhar): "This is called bhajanananda, the bliss of devotees in the worship of God. Worldly people keep themselves engrossed in the joy of sensuous objects, of 'woman and gold'. Through worship devotees receive the grace of God, and then His vision. Then they enjoy Brahmananda, the Bliss of Brahman."
  --
  Pundit Shashadhar was ready to leave. Sri Ramakrishna asked a devotee to bring a carriage for the pundit.
  SHASHADHAR: "Don't trouble yourself. I shall walk."
  --
  It was dusk. Sri Ramakrishna began to chant the names of the Divine Mother, Krishna, Rma, and Hari. The devotees sat in silence. The Master chanted the names in such sweet tones that the hearts of the devotees were deeply touched. That day Balarm's house was like Navadvip when Chaitanya lived there. On the verandah it was like Navadvip, and in the parlour it was like Vrindvan.
  That same night Sri Ramakrishna was to go to Dakshineswar. Balarm took him into the inner apartments and served him with refreshments. The ladies of the family saluted the Master.
  The devotees were singing kirtan in the drawing-room, awaiting the Master's coming.
  Presently Sri Ramakrishna came and joined the singers.
  The kirtan went on:

1.26 - FESTIVAL AT ADHARS HOUSE, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  As Sri Ramakrishna sang the last song he went into samdhi. The devotees sat speechless, gazing at his radiant figure. After some time he regained partial consciousness of the world and began to talk to the Divine Mother.
  The Master said, "Mother, please come down from up there." Did he feel his mind still lingering in the seventh plane of consciousness, the thousand petalled lotus of the Sahasrara? "Please do come down", he said. "Don't torment me that way. Be still, Mother, and sit down.
  --
  It was now dusk. Sri Ramakrishna, as was usual with him during this part of the day, chanted the names of God and turned his mind to contemplation. Soon the moon rose in the sky. The temples, courtyards, and trees were bathed in its silvery light, and millions of broken moons played on the rippling surface of the Ganges. Rkhl and M.
  were with the Master in his room.
  --
  A little later M. was sitting at the Bathing-Ghat on the Ganges. The flood tide had just set in. As he listened to the waters lapping against the bank, many pictures of Sri Ramakrishna's divine life flitted before his mind: the Master's deep samdhi, his constant ecstasy, his joy in the love of God, his untiring discourse on spiritual life, his genuine love for the devotees, and, above all, his childlike simplicity. Who was this man? Was it God who had embodied Himself on earth for the sake of His devotees?
  Adhar and M. returned to the Master's room. Adhar had been to Chittagong, in East Bengal, on official duty. He was telling the Master about his visit to the Chandranath Hills and Sitakunda, sacred places of Chittagong.
  --
  About three o'clock in the afternoon Sri Ramakrishna was seated in Adhar's parlour on the second floor. Narendra, the Mukherji brothers, Bhavanath, M., Hazra, and other devotees were with the Master.
  Arrangements were being made for Narendra to sing: While he was tuning the Tnpura, one of the strings snapped, and the Master exclaimed, "Oh! What have you done?"
  --
  The musician sang again. As he improvised new lines describing ecstatic love of God, the Master stood up and danced. He himself improvised lines and sang them with outstretched arms. Soon he went into samdhi and sat down, with his head resting on the bolster in front of him. The musician was also carried away with emotion and sang new songs. Sri Ramakrishna again stood up and began to dance. The devotees could not control themselves. They too danced with the Master. While dancing, Sri Ramakrishna every now and then went into deep samdhi. When he was in the deepest samdhi he could not utter a word and his whole body remained transfixed. The devotees danced encircling him. After a while, regaining partial consciousness, he danced with the strength of a lion, intoxicated with ecstatic love. But even then he could not utter a word. Finally, regaining more of the consciousness of the world, he sang again, improvising the lines. An intense spiritual atmosphere was created in Adhar's parlour. At the sound of the loud music a large crowd had gathered in the street.
   Sri Ramakrishna danced a long time in the company of the devotees. When he resumed his seat, still tinged with the lingering glow of divine fervour, he asked Narendra to sing "O Mother, make me mad with Thy love".
  --
  HAZRA: "The man was a Vaishnava. He came with me to see you [meaning Sri Ramakrishna]. As soon as he sat in front of you, you turned your back on him."
  MASTER: "We learnt later that he led an immoral life. (To Narendra) You used to say, at first, that these were all hallucinations."
  --
  Adhar was a low-caste Hindu. Therefore some of the Master's brahmin devotees hesitated to eat at his house. They came to their senses at last when they saw Sri Ramakrishna himself eating.
  It was about nine o'clock. The Master was resting in the drawing-room with the devotees. He would soon leave for Dakshineswar.
  The Mukherji brothers had arranged with a singer of Kirtan to entertain the Master the following day. Ram was taking singing lessons from this musician. Sri Ramakrishna asked Narendra to come to Dakshineswar to hear the Kirtan.
  MASTER (to Narendra): "Come tomorrow, won't you?"
  --
  As Sri Ramakrishna was about to leave, M. saluted him, touching the Master's feet with his forehead. The Master said to him tenderly: "Then I shall see you tomorrow.
  Narendra! Bhavanath! Please come tomorrow." Then with several devotees he set out for Dakshineswar.

1.27 - AT DAKSHINESWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  When M. saluted Sri Ramakrishna, the Master asked: "Where is Narendra? Isn't he coming?" M. told him that Narendra could not come.
  A brahmin devotee was reading to the Master from a book of devotional songs by Ramprasad. Sri Ramakrishna asked him to continue. The brahmin read a song, the first line of which was: "O Mother, put on Thy clothes."
  MASTER: "Stop, please! These ideas are outlandish and bizarre. Read something that will awaken bhakti."
  --
  Presently the tide came up the Ganges. They heard the sound of the rushing water. The tide struck the bank of the river and flowed toward the north. Sri Ramakrishna looked at it intently and exclaimed like a child: "Look at that boat! I wonder what is going to happen to it."
  The Master and M. sat down for a while in the Panchavati, Sri Ramakrishna placing his umbrella on the cement platform. The conversation turned to Narayan. The boy was a student. Sri Ramakrishna looked upon him as Narayana, God Himself, and was very fond of him.
  MASTER: "Have you noticed Naran's nature? He can mix with all, old and young. One cannot do this without a special power.
  --
  Kishori had several children. His salary was too small to support his family. Sri Ramakrishna said to M.: "Naran said he would get a job for Kishori. Please remind him of it."
  The Master walked away in the direction of the pine-grove. Returning to the Panchavati, he said to M.: "Please ask someone to spread a mat outside my room. I shall lie down a few minutes. I am coming presently."
  --
  A little later Sri Ramakrishna was seated again on his couch, the devotees sitting on the floor. Shyamdas was singing with his party.
  He sang of the gopis' grief at their separation from Sri Krishna: Dry as a desert seemed the happy lake to them: The chatak died of thirst, gazing toward the clouds.
  The Master became somewhat abstracted, but the musician could not create a spiritual atmosphere. Sri Ramakrishna asked Nabai of Konnagar to sing a kirtan. Nabai was Manomohan's uncle. He lived on the bank of the Ganges, devoting his time to prayer and meditation, and was a frequent visitor of Sri Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar.
  Master in ecstasy
  --
  After the kirtan, Sri Ramakrishna resumed his seat. With great feeling he began to sing of the Divine Mother, his eyes turned upward:
  O Mother, ever blissful as Thou art,
  --
  It was about dusk. Many of the devotees took their leave. A lamp was lighted in Sri Ramakrishna's room and incense was burnt.
  After some time the moon came out, flooding the sky with its light.
   Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on his couch. He was in a spiritual mood, absorbed in contemplation of the Divine Mother. Now and then he chanted Her hallowed name. Adhar was sitting on the floor. M. and Niranjan, too, were there. Sri Ramakrishna began to talk to Adhar.
  MASTER: "What! You have come just now! We have had so much kirtan and dancing.
  --
  Like the mother bird brooding over her chicks, Sri Ramakrishna was alert to protect his devotees.
  Adhar and Niranjan went out on the porch to take refreshments. Presently they returned to the room.
  --
  M. had received an English education. Sri Ramakrishna said to him: "It is not possible for me to eat things offered by anyone and everyone. Do you believe this?"
  M: "Gradually I shall have to believe all these things."
  --
  After finishing the meal Sri Ramakrishna washed his mouth. He said to M., "Then will you give the rupee to Naran?" "Yes," said M., "certainly I will."
  The moon rose in the clear autumn sky and was reflected in the river. It was ebb-tide in the Ganges and the river flowed south toward the sea.
  --
  MASTER (smiling): "No, he has been wise like this from his boyhood." (All laugh.) Presently Sri Ramakrishna returned from the pine-grove. The devotees noticed that he was in an ecstatic mood and was reeling like a drunkard. After reaching his room he regained the normal state.
  Many devotees gathered in the room. Among them was a newcomer, a sadhaka from Konnagar, who looked over fifty years of age and seemed to have great vanity of scholarship.
  --
  A devotee from Konnagar sang a song. Every now and then Sri Ramakrishna glanced at the sadhaka. The singer and Narendra became engaged in a furious discussion about musical technique. The sadhaka said to the singer, "What is the use of such discussions?" Referring to another man who had joined in the discussion, Sri Ramakrishna said to the sadhaka, "Why didn't you scold him, too?" It could be seen that the sadhaka was not on friendly terms with his companions from Konnagar.
  Narendra sang:
  --
  The sadhaka closed his eyes in meditation as he listened to the song. It was four o'clock in the afternoon. The rays of the setting sun fell on his body. Sri Ramakrishna quickly opened an umbrella and placed it near the door so that the sun might not disturb the sadhaka.
  Narendra sang again:
  --
  As Narendra sang the last line, Sri Ramakrishna stood up, still absorbed in samdhi.
  Futility of mere study of scriptures
  --
  Saying this, Sri Ramakrishna sang a few lines from a kirtan, assuming the attitude of a gopi:
  Radha has every right to say it;
  --
  Again in an abstracted mood Sri Ramakrishna said: "The beginner, the struggling, the perfect, and the supremely perfect. Which are youperfect or supremely perfect? Come along! Sing for us."
  The musician complied. He sang just a melody.
  --
  Mahendra Mukherji wanted to go on a pilgrimage. He told Sri Ramakrishna so.
  MASTER (smiling): "How is that? Do you want to go when the sprout of divine love has hardly corne up? First comes the sprout, then the tree, then the fruit. We are so happy to have you here to talk to."
  --
  It was about five o'clock in the afternoon. Sri Ramakrishna left his room. The devotees were walking in the garden. Many of them were about to leave.
  The Master was conversing with Hazra on the north verandah. They were talking of Narendra's frequent visits to Annada, the eldest son of the Guhas.
  --
  Accompanied by Narendra and M., Sri Ramakrishna walked to the embankment of the Ganges.
  Narendra sang the gamani: Tell me, my Uma, how have you fared, alone in the Stranger's house?
  --
  After Narendra and several other devotees had saluted the Master and left for Calcutta, Sri Ramakrishna returned to his room. He was absorbed in meditation on the Divine Mother and was chanting Her holy name.
  Master at Jadu's garden
  Jadu Mallick had arrived at his garden house next to the Kli temple. He sent for the Master. Adhar, too, had arrived from Calcutta, and he saluted Sri Ramakrishna. The Master asked Ltu to light the lantern and accompany him to Jadu's garden.
  MASTER (to M.): "Why didn't you bring Naran with you?"
  --
  The Master went to Jadu's drawing-room. It was a well furnished room, with everything spick and span. The lamps were lighted. Jadu was sitting with his friends and was playing with the children. Servants were in attendance. Smiling, Jadu welcomed Sri Ramakrishna, but he did not get up. He treated the Master as a friend of long acquaintance.
  Jadu was a devotee of Gaurnga. He had just seen a performance of Gaurnga's life at the Star Theatre and told the Master about it. The Master listened to his account joyfully and played with the children. M. and the Mukherji brothers sat near him. In the course of the conversation Sri Ramakrishna told Jadu that Adhar had not been able to secure the post of vice-chairman of the Calcutta Municipality. Jadu said that Adhar was still young and could try for it again. At his request the Master sang a few songs about Gaurnga.
  After the music was over, the Mukherjis were about to take their leave. The Master, too, was ready to go, but he was in an ecstatic mood. On coming to the porch he went into samdhi. The gate-keeper of the garden house was a pious man. Now and then he invited the Master to his house and fed him. Sri Ramakrishna stood there in samdhi and the gate-keeper fanned him with a large fan. Ratan, the manager of the garden house, saluted the Master, and Sri Ramakrishna, returning to the consciousness of the relative world, greeted the manager and the gate-keeper, saying, "Narayana". Then, accompanied by the devotees, he went back to the temple-garden through the main gate.
  MASTER (to the Mukherjis, pointing to M.): "Please visit him often."
  --
  They began to talk of Sri Ramakrishna's seeing a play, at the Star Theatre, about the life of Cauranga.
  MASTER (smiling): "Jadu told me that one could see the play very well from a one-rupee seat. Very cheap! Once we were talking about going to Panihati. Jadu wanted me to go in a country boat with a whole crowd of passengers. (All laugh.) "Formerly he liked to hear a little about God. But I don't see Jadu much nowadays. He is always surrounded by flatterers. They have spoiled him. He is a man of a very calculating nature. I would no sooner set foot in his house than he would ask me,. 'How much is the carriage hire?' I would say: 'You don't have to bother about it. You may give two and a half rupees.' That would keep him quiet." (All laugh.) It was late. Adhar was about to depart. The Master asked M. to bring Naran with him.

1.300 - 1.400 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  D.: Sri Ramakrishna and others practised concentration.
  M.: Concentration and all other practices are meant for recognising the absence, i.e., non-existence of ignorance. No one can deny his own being. Being is knowledge, i.e., awareness. That awareness implies absence of ignorance. Therefore everyone naturally admits nonexistence of ignorance. And yet why should he suffer? Because he thinks he is this or that. That is wrong. "I am" alone is; and not "I am so and so", or "I am such and such". When existence is absolute it is right; when it is particularised it is wrong. That is the whole truth.
  --
  D.: In Sri Ramakrishna's Life it is said that an idol, Ramlal was animate. Is it true?
  M.: Can you account for the animation of this body? Is the movement of the idol more mysterious than the movement of this body?
  --
  D.: Is it possible to speak to Isvara as Sri Ramakrishna did?
  369

1.400 - 1.450 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  M.: People have read of Vivekananda having asked Sri Ramakrishna,
  "Have you seen God?" and imitate him now. They also ask, "Have you realised God?"

1.439, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  A Swami belonging to Sri Ramakrishna Mission had a very interesting conversation with Sri Bhagavan in the course of which Sri Bhagavan observed:
  M.: Avidya (ignorance) is the obstacle for knowing your true nature even at the present moment.
  --
  The Swami of Sri Ramakrishna Mission had more questions to ask:
  Swamiji, I went up the hill to see the asramas in which you lived in your youth. I have also read your life. May I know if you did not then feel that there is God to whom you should pray or that you should practise something in order to reach this state?
  --
  D.: It is said that Sri Ramakrishna saw life in the image of Kali which he worshipped. Can it be true?
  M.: The life was perceptible to Sri Ramakrishna and not to all. The vital force was due to himself. It was his own vital force which manifested as if it were outside and drew him in. Were the image full of life it must have been found so by all. But everything is full of life. That is the fact. Many devotees have had experiences similar to those of Sri Ramakrishna.
  D.: How can there be life in stone? It is unconscious.

1.450 - 1.500 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  A Swami belonging to Sri Ramakrishna Mission had a very interesting conversation with Sri Bhagavan in the course of which Sri Bhagavan observed:
  M.: Avidya (ignorance) is the obstacle for knowing your true nature even at the present moment.
  --
  The Swami of Sri Ramakrishna Mission had more questions to ask:
  Swamiji, I went up the hill to see the asramas in which you lived in your youth. I have also read your life. May I know if you did not then feel that there is God to whom you should pray or that you should practise something in order to reach this state?

1.550 - 1.600 Talks, #Talks, #Sri Ramana Maharshi, #Hinduism
  D.: It is said that Sri Ramakrishna saw life in the image of Kali which he worshipped. Can it be true?
  562
  --
  M.: The life was perceptible to Sri Ramakrishna and not to all. The vital force was due to himself. It was his own vital force which manifested as if it were outside and drew him in. Were the image full of life it must have been found so by all. But everything is full of life. That is the fact. Many devotees have had experiences similar to those of Sri Ramakrishna.
  D.: How can there be life in stone? It is unconscious.

1951-02-10 - Liberty and license - surrender makes you free - Men in authority as representatives of the divine Truth - Work as offering - total surrender needs time - Effort and inspiration - will and patience, #Questions And Answers 1950-1951, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
   Sri Ramakrishna used to say that a disciple can choose one of two attitudes: the passive trust of the baby cat which lets itself be carried by its mother (this is the way of surrender, the surest) and the active attitude of the baby monkey which clings to its mother (the way of personal effort).
   ***

1957-07-10 - A new world is born - Overmind creation dissolved, #Questions And Answers 1957-1958, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
    A Bengali film, Rani Rasmani, which describes the lives of Sri Ramakrishna and Rani Rasmani, a rich, very intelligent and religious Bengali widow, who in 1847 built the temple of Kali at Dakshineshwar (Bengal) where Sri Ramakrishna lived and worshipped Kali.
    On 24 November 1926 Sri Aurobindo withdrew into seclusion and Mother assumed charge of the running of the Ashram.

2.00 - BIBLIOGRAPHY, #The Perennial Philosophy, #Aldous Huxley, #Philosophy
  RAMAKRISHNA, SRI. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. Translated from the Bengali narrative of M by Swami Nikhilananda (New York, 1942).
  RUMI, JALAL-UDDIN. Masnavi. Translated by E. H. Whinfield (London, 1898).

2.01 - AT THE STAR THEATRE, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  IT WAS MAHALAYA, a sacred day of the Hindus, and the day of the new moon. At two o'clock in the afternoon Sri Ramakrishna was sitting in his room with Mahendra Mukherji, Priya Mukherji, M., Baburam, Harish, Kishori, and Ltu. Some were sitting on the floor, some standing, and others moving about. Hazra was sitting on the porch. Rkhl was still at Vrindvan with Balarm.
  Master praises Captain's devotion
  --
  Rkhl had been staying at Vrindvan with Balarm. At first he had written excited letters praising the holy place. He had written to M.: "It is the best of all places. Please come here. The peacocks dance around, and one always hears and sees religious music and dancing. There is an unending flow of divine bliss." But then Rkhl had been laid up with an attack of fever. Sri Ramakrishna was very much worried about him and vowed to worship the Divine Mother for his recovery. So he began to talk about Rkhl.
  MASTER: "Rkhl had his first religious ecstasy while sitting here massaging my feet. A Bhagavata scholar had been expounding the sacred book in the room. As Rkhl listened to his words, he shuddered every now and then. Then he became altogether still.
  --
  MASTER: The Brahmos tell him: 'You mix with people who worship God with form. You are an idolater.' Vijay is liberal and straightforward. Unless a man is guileless, he doesn't receive the grace of God. Sri Ramakrishna talked to the Mukherji brothers.
  Mahendra, the elder, had his own business. Priyanath, the younger, had been an engineer. After making some provision for himself, he had given up his job. Mahendra was thirty-five or thirty-six years old. The brothers had homes both in the country and in Calcutta.
  --
  Then Sri Ramakrishna told a few naughty jokes for the young men.
  MASTER (to the devotees): "I don't give the youngsters a pure vegetarian diet: now and then I give them a little water smelling of fish. Otherwise, why should they come?"
  --
  As Sri Ramakrishna was thus talking to God, the devotees listened wonder-struck to his words. The Master's eyes fell upon them.
  MASTER (to the devotees): "One must inherit good tendencies to realize God, One must have done something, some form of tapasya, either in this life or in another.
  --
  Hazra entered the room. He had been living with Sri Ramakrishna in the temple garden for the past two years and had first met the Master in 1880 at Sihore in the house of Hriday, the Master's nephew. Hazra's native village was near Sihore, and he owned some property there. He had a wife and children and also some debts. From youth he had felt a spirit of renunciation and sought the company of holy men and devotees. The Master had asked him to live with him at Dakshineswar and looked after his necessities. Hazra's mind was a jumble of undigested religious moods. He professed the path of knowledge and disapproved of Sri Ramakrishna's attitude of bhakti and his longing for the young devotees. Now and then he thought of the Master as a great soul, but again he slighted him as an ordinary human being. He spent much of his time in telling his beads, and he criticized Rkhl and the other young men for their indifference to the practice. He was a strong advocate of religious conventions and rules of conduct, and made a fad of them.
  He was about thirty-eight years old.
  --
  A large number of devotees were in Sri Ramakrishna's room, among them Ram, Mahendra Mukherji, M., and Chunilal. Chunilal had just returned from Vrindvan, where he had gone with Rkhl and Balarm. The two latter were still there. Nityagopal also was staying there. The Master began to talk with Chunilal about Vrindvan.
  MASTER: "How is Rkhl?"
  --
  About five o'clock that afternoon Sri Ramakrishna was on his way to Calcutta. M., Mahendra Mukherji, and a few other devotees accompanied him in Mahendra's carriage.
  Thinking of God, the Master soon went into an ecstatic mood. After a long time he regained consciousness of the world. He observed: "That fellow Hazra dares teach me!
  --
  Mahendra took the Master to his flour-mill located at Hathibagan. After a little rest Sri Ramakrishna was to go to the theatre. Mahendra did not care to take him to his own house, for the Master was not well acquainted with his father. Priyanath, Mahendra's second brother, was also a devotee of the Master.
   Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on a cot over which a carpet had been spread, and was engaged in spiritual talk.
  --
  The hall was brilliantly lighted. The Master looked down at the pit and saw that it was crowded. The boxes also were full. For every box there was a man to fan those who occupied it. Sri Ramakrishna was filled with joy and said to M., with his childlike smile: "Ah, it is very nice here! I am glad to have come. I feel inspired when I see so many people together. Then I clearly perceive that God Himself has become everything."
  M: "It is true, sir."
  --
  M. was seated beside the Master. Sri Ramakrishna could not control himself. He cried out, "Ah!" and shed tears of love. He said to Baburam and M.: "Don't make a fuss if I fall into an ecstatic mood or go into samdhi. Then the worldly people will take me for a cheat."
  Another scene: Nimai is invested with the sacred thread of the brahmins. He puts on the traditional ochre robe of the sannyasi. Mother Sachi and the women of the neighbourhood stand about while he begs for alms, singing: Drop a morsel of food, I pray, into my begging bowl; Alone I roam, a new-made yogi, on the highways of the world.
  --
  At this song Sri Ramakrishna went into samdhi. He remained in that state a long time.
  The orchestra played on. Gradually his mind came down to the relative plane. In the mean time a young man of Khardaha, born in the holy family of Nityananda, had entered the box. He was standing behind the Master's chair. Sri Ramakrishna was filled with delight at the sight of him. He held his hand and talked to him affectionately. Every now and then he said: "Please sit down here. Your very presence awakens my spiritual feeling." He played tenderly with the young man's hands and lovingly stroked his face.
  After he had left, Sri Ramakrishna said to M.: "He is a great scholar. His father is a great devotee of God. When I go to Khardaha to visit Syamasundar, the father entertains me with sacred offerings such as one cannot buy even for a hundred rupees. This young man has good traits. A little shaking will awaken his inner spirit. At the sight of him my spiritual mood is aroused. I should have been overwhelmed with ecstasy if he had stayed here a little longer."
  The curtain rises: Nityananda is walking in a procession on the public road with his companions, chanting the name of Hari. He meets two ruffians, Jagai and Madhai, who are sworn enemies of all religious people. Madhai strikes Nitai with a piece of broken pottery. Nitai is hurt and bleeds profusely, but he pays no heed, inebriated as he is with the love of God.
  --
  At this point many in the audience burst into tears. Sri Ramakrishna remained still and looked intently at the stage. A single tear appeared in the corner of each eye. The performance was over.
   Sri Ramakrishna was about to enter a carriage. A devotee asked him how he had enjoyed the play. The Master said with a smile, "I found the representation the same as the real."
  The carriage proceeded toward Mahendra's mill. Suddenly, Sri Ramakrishna went into an ecstatic mood and murmured to himself in loving tones: "O Krishna! O Krishna! Krishna is knowledge! Krishna is soul! Krishna is mind! Krishna is life! Krishna is body!" He continued: "O Govinda, Thou art my life! Thou art my soul!"
  The carriage reached the mill. Mahendra fed the Master tenderly with various dishes. M.
  --
  With Mahendra and a few other devotees, Sri Ramakrishna left in the carriage for the Dakshineswar temple garden. The Master was in a happy mood. He sang a song about Gaurnga and Nitai. M. sang with him:
  Gaur and Nitai, ye blessed brothers!

2.02 - Meeting With the Goddess, #The Hero with a Thousand Faces, #Joseph Campbell, #Mythology
  The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, translated into English with an introduc
  tion by Swami Nikhilananda (New York, 1942), p. 9.

2.02 - THE DURGA PUJA FESTIVAL, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  A little after three the Master's carriage drove up. As soon as Sri Ramakrishna stepped out he saluted the temple of the Brahmo Samaj with folded hands. Hazra and a few other devotees were with him. M. bowed before the Master and took the dust of his feet.
  The Master told him that he was going to Shivanath's house. A few minutes later several members of the Brahmo Samaj came and took him to Shivanath's. But Shivanath was not at home. Shortly afterwards Vijay Goswami, Mahalnavish, and several other Brahmo leaders greeted the Master and took him inside the Brahmo temple.
  --
  It was the day of the Mahshtami, the most auspicious day of the worship of Durga, the Divine Mother. At Adhar's invitation Sri Ramakrishna had come to Calcutta to see the holy image at his house. Before going there he went to Ram's. Many devotees, including Narendra, Baburam, M., Niranjan, Vijay, Kedr, Ram, and Surendra, were present.
  Balarm and Rkhl were still at Vrindvan.
  --
  Narendra was seated in front of the Master. He was about twenty-two years old. While Sri Ramakrishna was talking thus his eyes fell upon his beloved disciple. At once the Master stood up and went into samdhi. He placed one foot on Narendra's knee. He was in a deep spiritual mood, his eyes unblinking, his mind completely unconscious of the outer world. After a long time he came down to the relative plane of consciousness; but he still appeared dazed, for the intoxication of divine bliss had not altogether left him.
  Speaking to himself in that ecstatic state, he repeated the name of God. He said: "Satchidananda! Satchidananda! Satchidananda! Shall I repeat that? No, it is the day of the Divine Mother, the Giver of the bliss of divine inebriation. O Mother, full of the bliss of divine inebriation! Sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni. It is not good to keep the voice on 'ni'.
  --
  Saying this, Sri Ramakrishna came down to the normal mood. Then he talked freely with the devotees. The Master asked Kedr to sing.
  Kedr sang:
  --
  Again he became ecstatic and sang of the Divine Mother. As he sang, Vijay suddenly stood up crying the name of Hari. Sri Ramakrishna, full of divine love, began to dance with Vijay and the other devotees.
  The music was over. The Master, Vijay, Narendra, and the other devotees sat down. All eyes were fixed on Sri Ramakrishna, who began conversing with the devotees. He asked about their health. Kedr spoke to him humbly in a soft, sweet voice. Narendra, Chunilal, Ram, M., and Harish were sitting by the Master.
  KEDR (humbly): "How can I get rid of my dizziness?"
  --
  M. wanted to accompany Sri Ramakrishna to Dakshineswar that very day. He became thoughtful.
  Surendra stood near Sri Ramakrishna. He was in the habit of drinking and often went to excess. This had worried the Master greatly, but he had not asked Surendra to give up drinking altogether. He had said to him: "Look here, Surendra! Whenever you drink wine, offer it beforeh and to the Divine Mother. See that your brain doesnt become clouded and that you don't reel The more you think of the Divine Mother, the less you will like to drink The Mother is the Giver of the bliss of divine inebriation. Realizing Her, one feels a natural bliss."
  The Master looked at Surendra and said, "You have had a drink." With these words he went into samdhi. It was dusk. Regaining partial consciousness, the Master sang: Behold my Mother playing with iva, lost in an ecstasy of joy!
  --
  Supper was ready on the roof. Sri Ramakrishna and the devotees were taken there and sumptuously fed. Later the Master went to Adhar's house with M., Niranjan, and others.
  The Divine Mother was being worshipped there, It had been Adhar's earnest prayer that on this sacred day Sri Ramakrishna might bless his house with his presence.
  Monday, September 29, 1884
  --
  Bhavanath, Baburam, Niranjan, and M. had spent the night at Dakshineswar, sleeping on the porch of the Master's room. As soon as they awoke they saw Sri Ramakrishna dancing in an ecstatic mood. He was chanting: "Victory to Mother Durga! Hallowed be the name of Durga!" He was naked and looked like a child as he chanted the name of the Blissful Mother. After a few moments he said: "Oh, the bliss of divine ecstasy! Oh, the bliss of divine drunkenness!" Then he repeatedly chanted the name of Govinda: "O
  Govinda! My life! My soul!"
  The devotees sat on their beds and with unwinking eyes watched Sri Ramakrishna's spiritual mood. Hazra was living at the temple garden. Ltu was also living there to render the Master personal service. Rkhl was still at Vrindvan. Narendra visited Sri Ramakrishna now and then. He was expected that day.
  The devotees washed their faces. The Master took his seat on a mat on the north verandah. Bhavanath and M. sat beside him. Other devotees were coming in and out of the room.
  --
  Presently Narendra arrived, and Sri Ramakrishna was exceedingly happy. Narendra saluted the Master and began to talk with Bhavanath and others in the room. M. was seated near by. A long mat was spread on the floor. While talking, Narendra lay on it flat on his stomach. The Master looked at him and suddenly went into samdhi. He sat on Narendra's back in an ecstatic mood.
  Bhavanath sang:
  --
  With these words Sri Ramakrishna tried to perform a little japa. But hardly had he begun when he went into samdhi. He sat in that state a long time, still holding the rosary in his hand. The devotees looked at him with wonder in their eyes. Hazra also watched the Master without uttering a word. After a long time Sri Ramakrishna regained consciousness of the outer world and said that he was hungry. He often said such things to bring his mind down to the normal plane. M. was going to bring something for him to eat. The Master said, "No, I shall first go to the Kli temple."
  He went across the cement courtyard toward the Kli temple. On the way he bowed with folded hands to the twelve iva temples. On the left was the temple of Radhakanta. He went there first and bowed before the image. Then he entered the Kli temple and saluted the Mother. Sitting on a carpet, he offered flowers at the Mother's holy feet. He also placed a flower on his own head. While returning from the temple he asked Bhavanath to carry the green coconut offered at the temple, and the charanamrita.
  --
  After his meal Sri Ramakrishna rested a few minutes. The devotees were on the verandah engaged in light conversation. He soon joined them and was happy in their company. It was about two o'clock. All were, still sitting on the verandah, when suddenly Bhavanath appeared in the garb of a brahmachari, dressed in an ochre cloth, kamandalu in hand, his face beaming with smiles.
  MASTER (with a smile): "That is his inner feeling. Therefore he has dressed himself as a brahmachari"
  --
  A sdhu was staying at the Panchavati. But he was a hot-tempered man; he scolded and cursed everyone. He came to the Master's room wearing wooden sandals and asked the Master, "Can I get fire here?" Sri Ramakrishna saluted him and stood with folded hands as long as he remained in the room.
  When he had left, Bhavanath said to the Master with a laugh, "What great respect you showed the sdhu!"
  --
  The devotees were engaged in a game of golokdham. Hazra joined them. The Master stood by, watching them play. M. and Kishori reached "heaven". Sri Ramakrishna bowed before them and said, "Blessed are you two brothers." He said to M., aside, "Don't play any more." Hazra fell into "hell". The Master said: "What's the matter with Hazra?
  Again!" No sooner had Hazra got out of "hell" than he fell into it again. All burst into laughter. Ltu, at the first throw of the dice, went to "heaven" from "earth". He began to cut capers of joy. "See Ltu's joy!" said the Master. "He would have been terribly sad if he hadn't achieved this. (Aside to the devotees) This too has a meaning. Hazra is so vain that he thinks he will triumph over all even in this game. This is the law of God, that He never humiliates a righteous person. Such a man is victorious everywhere."
   Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on the small couch in his room. Narendra, Baburam, Bhavanath, and M. were sitting on the floor. Narendra referred to various religious sects-the Ghoshpara, Panchanami, and others. Sri Ramakrishna described their views and condemned their immoral practices. He said that they could not follow the right course of spiritual discipline, but enjoyed sensuous pleasures in the name of religion.
  Danger of Tantrik discipline

2.03 - THE MASTER IN VARIOUS MOODS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Several young men from the village of Dakshineswar entered the room and saluted Sri Ramakrishna. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon. They sat down and began to talk with the Master.
  YOUNG MAN: "Sir, what is Knowledge?"
  --
  Manilal, the Mrwri devotees, the Brahmo devotees from Shibpur, and the young men from Dakshineswar saluted Sri Ramakrishna and took their leave.
  It was evening. Lamps were lighted on the south and west verandahs. A lamp was lighted in the Master's room also, and incense was burnt. He was repeating the name of the Divine Mother, absorbed in contemplation of Her. After a while he talked again to the devotees. There was still some time before the evening worship in the temples.
  --
  Was Sri Ramakrishna hinting at his own state of mind while thus describing the different attitudes of a lover of God?
  Chaitanya's spiritual moods
  --
  It was the day of the first full moon after the Durga Puja. Sri Ramakrishna arrived at the Calcutta house of Nabin Sen, the elder brother of Keshab Chandra Sen. On the previous Thursday Keshab's mother had begged the Master to pay her a visit in Calcutta.
  The Master seated himself in a room on the upper floor of the house. With him were Baburam, Kishori, and a few other devotees. Nandalal and Keshab's other nephews, Keshab's mother, and other relatives of his, waited on the Master. It had been arranged to have devotional music performed in the room. M. was sitting in a room downstairs, listening to the kirtan.
  --
  At Sri Ramakrishna's request the Brahmo devotees sang: Thou art my All in All, O Lord!- the Life of my life, the Essence of essence;
  In the three worlds I have none else but Thee to call my own.
  --
  KALl (to Hazra): "You go about criticizing people; you are like a touchstone, testing what is pure gold and what is impure. Why do you speak so much ill of others?" HAZRA: "Whatever I say, I say to him [meaning Sri Ramakrishna] alone."
  MASTER: "That is so."
  --
  Two monks had arrived at the temple garden in the morning. They were devoted to the study of the Bhagavad Git, the Vednta, and other scriptures. They entered the Master's room, saluted him, and sat on the mat on the floor. Sri Ramakrishna was seated on the small couch. The Master spoke to the sdhus in Hindusthani.
  MASTER: "Have you had your meal?"
  --
  The devotees in the room remained silent. Sri Ramakrishna was smiling a little, a picture of self-contentment. He appeared happy in his own Self.
  One of the sdhus whispered in the other's ear: "Look! This is the state of the paramahamsa."
  --
  By means of questions and answers Sri Ramakrishna now explained to M. his own exalted state.
  MASTER: "At first I went stark mad. Why am I less so now? But I get into that state now and then."
  --
  A few days earlier Sri Ramakrishna had spoken many words of warning to Narayan about women. He had said: "Don't let yourself touch the air near a woman's body. Cover yourself with a heavy sheet lest the air should touch your body. And keep yourself eight cubits, two cubits, or at least one cubit away from all women except your mother."
  MASTER (to M.): "Naran's mother said to him about me, 'Even we are enchanted by the sight of him, not to speak of you, a mere child.' None but the guileless can realize God.
  --
  Hari prepared a smoke for Sri Ramakrishna.
  MASTER (to Hari): "Let me see the palm of your hand. This mark is good sign. Relax your hand."
  --
  The two Mukherjis, Mahendra and Priyanath, were brothers. They did not work in an office, but had their own flour-mill. Priyanath had been an engineer. Sri Ramakrishna talked to Hari about the Mukherji brothers.
  MASTER: "The elder brother is nice, isn't he? He is artless."
  --
  While pacing the verandah Sri Ramakrishna suddenly took M. aside and said, "The less people know about your thoughts of God, the better for You," Saying these words the Master abruptly went away. A short time afterwards he began to talk with Hazra.
  HAZRA: "Nilkantha told you he would pay you a visit. It would be good send for him."
  --
  About three o'clock in the afternoon Sri Ramakrishna was sitting in his room. Nilkantha arrived with five or six of his companions. The Master went toward the east door as if to welcome him. The musicians bowed before the Master, touching the ground with their foreheads.
   Sri Ramakrishna went into samdhi. Baburam stood behind him. M., Nilkantha, and the musicians were in front of him, watching him in great amazement. Dinanath, an officer of the temple, looked on from the north side of the bed. Soon the room was filled with officers of the temple garden. Sri Ramakrishna's ecstasy abated a little. He seated himself on a mat on the floor, surrounded by Nilkantha and other devotees.
  MASTER (still in an ecstatic mood): "I am all right."
  --
  After a few minutes Sri Ramakrishna said to Nilkantha: "You sang so much in the morning, and now you have taken the trouble to come here. But here everything is 'honorary'."
  NILKANTHA: "Why so?"
  --
  When the singing was over, Sri Ramakrishna said to Nilkantha, "I should like to hear that song of yours I heard in Calcutta."
  M: "About Sri Gaurnga?"
  --
  Manomohan was in an ecstatic mood. He was a devotee of Sri Ramakrishna and a brother-in-law of Rkhl. Several ladies of his family had come with him. They were witnessing this divine music and dancing from the north verandah.
   Sri Ramakrishna sang again, this time about Gaurnga and Nityananda: Behold, the two brothers have came, who weep while chanting Hari's name. . . .
  --
  The music was over Sri Ramakrishna bowed to the Divine Mother and said, "Bhagavata-Bhakta-Bhagavan. My salutations to the jnanis, my salutations to the yogis, my salutations to the bhaktas."
  The Master was seated on the semicircular porch with Nilkantha and the other devotees.
  The autumn moon flooded all the quarters with light. Sri Ramakrishna and Nilkantha talked.
  NILKANTHA: "You are none other than Gaurnga."

2.04 - ADVICE TO ISHAN, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  Narayan arrived. Sri Ramakrishna was very happy to see him. He seated Narayan by his side on the small couch. He showed him his love by stroking his body and giving him sweets to eat. Then he asked Narayan tenderly, "Will you have some water?" Narayan was a student at M.'s school. At home his people beat him for visiting Sri Ramakrishna.
  The Master said to Narayan with an affectionate smile, "You had better get a leather jacket; then the beating won't hurt." Turning to Harish, the Master said that he would like to have a smoke.
  Again addressing Narayan, Sri Ramakrishna said: "That woman who has established an artificial relationship of mother and son with Haripada came here the other day. I have warned Haripada very often. She belongs to the Ghoshpara sect. I asked her if she had found her 'man'. She said yes, and mentioned a man's name.
  (To M.) "Ah! Nilkantha came here the other day. What spiritual fervour he has! He said he would come here another day and sing for us. They are dancing over there. Why don't you go and see it? (To Ramlal) There is no oil in the room. (Looking at the oil-jar) The servant hasn't filled it."
  --
  After a little while he returned to his room and sat on the small couch. It was past three in the afternoon. The devotees took their seats on the floor. The Master sat in silence before them, now and then casting a glance at the walls, where many pictures were hanging. To Sri Ramakrishna's left was a picture of Sarasvati, and beyond it, a picture of Gaur and Nitai singing kirtan with their devotees. In front of the Master hung pictures of Dhruva, Prahlada, and Mother Kli. On the wall to his right was another picture of the Divine Mother, Rajarajesvari. Behind him was a picture of Jesus Christ raising the drowning Peter. Suddenly Sri Ramakrishna turned to M. and said: "You see, it is good to keep pictures of sannysis and holy men in one's room. When you get up in the morning you should see the faces of holy persons rather than the faces of other men. People with rajasic qualities keep 'English' pictures on their walls-pictures of rich men, the King, the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and white men and women walking together. That shows their rajasic temperament.
  "You acquire the nature of the people whose company you keep. Therefore even pictures may prove harmful. Again, a man seeks the company that agrees with his own nature.
  --
  A brahmin from Sinthi entered the room and saluted Sri Ramakrishna. He had studied Vednta in Benares. He was stout and had a smiling face.
  MASTER: "Hello! How are you? You haven't been here in a long time."
  --
  The pundit from Sinthi left. It was dusk. Twilight hung over the Panchavati, the temples, and the river. Evening worship began in the different temples, accompanied by the sound of bells, gongs, and conchshells. Sri Ramakrishna bowed before the pictures of the deities in his room. He was sitting on the small couch in an abstracted mood. A few devotees were on the floor. There was silence in the room.
  Master and Ishan
  An hour passed. Ishan and Kishori entered and sat down on the floor after saluting Sri Ramakrishna. Ishan was a great ritualist. He was devoted to the performance of the, various rites and ceremonies prescribed by the scriptures. The Master opened the conversation.
  Characteristics of Knowledge
  --
  Ishan and Hazra had gone to the Kli temple. Sri Ramakrishna was absorbed in meditation. Meanwhile Adhar had arrived. It was about half past seven.
  A little later the Master. went to the Kli temple. He looked at the image, took some sacred Rowers from the feet of the Mother, and placed them on his head. He prostrated himself before the Mother and went round the image. He waved the chamara. He appeared ecstatic with divine fervour. Coming out, he found Ishan performing the sandhya with the kosakusi.
  --
  In the mean time Ishan had been holding Sri Ramakrishna's feet. He said humbly, "It is not my will that I should do those things."
  MASTER: "I know it. This is the Divine Mother's play-Her lila. It is the will of the Great Enchantress that many should remain entangled in the world. Do you know what it is like?
  --
  The devotees listened spellbound to Sri Ramakrishna. His burning words entered their souls, spurring them along the path of renunciation.
  Now he spoke to Ishan in a serious voice.
  --
  Ishan was seated touching Sri Ramakrishna's feet and listening to his words. Now and then he cast a glance at the basalt image of Kli in the shrine. In the light of the lamp She appeared to be smiling. It was as if the living Deity, manifesting Herself through the image, was delighted to hear the Master's words, holy as the words of the Vedas.
  ISHAN (pointing to the image); "Those words from your sacred lips have really come from there."
  --
  After a while Sri Ramakrishna said to Adhar, "Ishan is very charitable, and he practises japa and austerity a great deal." The Master remained quiet a few moments. The eyes of the devotees were fixed on him. Suddenly Sri Ramakrishna said to Adhar, "You have both-yoga and bhoga."
  Saturday, October 18, 1884
  --
  All creation is the sport of my mad Mother Kli The younger brother requested Sri Ramakrishna to sing a certain song about Sri Gaurnga. The Master sang:
  Gaur and Nitai, ye blessed brothers!
  --
  After the music and dancing Sri Ramakrishna sat on the couch and the devotees sat on the floor. He said to M.: "It is a pity you weren't here in the afternoon. The musical recital of the Chandi was very fine."
  Some of the devotees went to the temple to salute the image of the Divine Mother.
  --
  On the floor were trays full of offerings. Red hibiscus flowers and bel-leaves adorned Her feet. She wore garlands round Her neck, M.'s eyes fell on the chamara. Suddenly he remembered that Sri Ramakrishna often fanned the Divine Mother with it. With some hesitation he asked Ramlal if he might fan the image. The priest gave his permission. M.
  joyously fanned the image. The regular worship had not yet begun.
  The devotees again entered the Master's room. Beni Pl had invited Sri Ramakrishna to visit the Sinthi Brahmo Samaj the next day, but had made a mistake in his letter with regard to the date.
  MASTER (to M.): "Beni Pl has sent me an invitation. But why has he put the wrong date?"
  --
  As Sri Ramakrishna spoke, he was standing in the middle of the room with Baburam by his side. He leaned toward the disciple, touching his body.
  Suddenly he went into samdhi. The devotees stood around with their eyes fixed on him.
  --
  Again he appeared thoughtful. He remained standing. He said: "I wish Adhar Sen's duties would become fewer. But I am afraid the English officer will scold him. He may say, 'What is all this nonsense?'" (All smile.) Sri Ramakrishna sat on the small couch, and the devotees on the floor. Baburam. and Kishori came quickly to the Master and began to stroke his feet gently.
  MASTER (to Kishori): "What's the matter? Why so much service today?
  --
  Ramlal entered the room and saluted Sri Ramakrishna, touching the ground with his forehead. Then with great respect he touched the Master's feet. He was ready to worship the Divine Mother in the temple.
  RAMLAL: "Please permit me to go to the shrine."
  --
  It was midnight. The worship began in the Kli temple. The Master went to watch the ceremony. During the worship he stood near the image. Now the sheep was going to be slaughtered. The animal was consecrated before the Deity. People stood in lines watching the ceremony. While the sheep was being taken to the block Sri Ramakrishna returned to his room. He could not bear t