classes ::: Hinduism, Hinduism, author, Philosophy, Mysticism, Saint, Avatar,
children ::: Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna (text), Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna (toc), Sri Ramakrishna (quotes)
branches ::: Sri Ramakrishna
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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.

--- 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:Hinduism
subject:Philosophy
class:author
subject class:Philosophy
class:Mysticism
class:Saint
class:Avatar



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--- OBJECT INSTANCES [0]

TOPICS

Sri_Ramakrishna_(quotes)

AUTH


BOOKS

1.00_-_Gospel_Preface
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(text)
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(toc)
The_Gospel_of_Sri_Ramakrishna

CHAPTERS

1.00_-_Gospel_Preface
1.sk_-_Is_there_anyone_in_the_universe
2.01_-_MASTER_AND_DISCIPLE
2.02_-_IN_THE_COMPANY_OF_DEVOTEES
2.03_-_VISIT_TO_VIDYASAGAR
2.04_-_ADVICE_TO_HOUSEHOLDERS
2.05_-_THE_MASTER_AND_KESHAB
2.06_-_THE_MASTER_WITH_THE_BRAHMO_DEVOTEES
2.07_-_THE_MASTER_AND_VIJAY_GOSWAMI
2.08_-_THE_MASTERS_BIRTHDAY_CELEBRATION_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
2.09_-_ADVICE_TO_THE_BRAHMOS
2.10_-_THE_MASTER_WITH_THE_BRAHMO_DEVOTEES_(II)
2.11_-_WITH_THE_DEVOTEES_AT_DAKSHINEWAR
2.12_-_THE_FESTIVAL_AT_PNIHTI
2.13_-_THE_MASTER_AND_M.
2.14_-_INSTRUCTION_TO_VAISHNAVS_AND_BRHMOS
2.15_-_LAST_VISIT_TO_KESHAB
2.16_-_WITH_THE_DEVOTEES_AT_DAKSHINESWAR
2.17_-_M._AT_DAKSHINEWAR
2.18_-_M._AT_DAKSHINESWAR
2.19_-_THE_MASTER_AND_HIS_INJURED_ARM
Sayings_of_Sri_Ramakrishna_(text)

--- PRIMARY CLASS


author
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quotes
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--- SEE ALSO


--- SIMILAR TITLES [0]


31.04 - Sri Ramakrishna
Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna
Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna (text)
Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna (toc)
Sri Ramakrishna
Sri Ramakrishna (quotes)
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
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--- DICTIONARIES (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



--- QUOTES [141 / 141 - 500 / 694] (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



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   1 Sri Ramakrishna?
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1:Great men have the nature of a child. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
2:Alone the sage can recognize the sage. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
3:It is all He, only in different forms. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
4:You would succeed if you were sincere. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
5:Do yourself what you wish others to do. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
6:The soul bound is man; free, it is God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
7:Man suffers through lack of faith in God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
8:What you wish others to do, do yourselves. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
9: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,
10:Surrender everything at His feet and give Him the general power of attorney. Let Him do what He considers best for you. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
11: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,
12: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,
13:Once a person has faith, he has achieved everything. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
14:True knowledge leads to unity, ignorance to diversity. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
15:Cultivate love and devotion for God and so pass your days. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
16:Verily, I say to thee; he who seeks the Eternal, finds Him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
17:Man is divine so long as he is in communion with the Eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
18:All the gods and goddesses are only varied aspects of the One. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
19:The world is impermanent. One should constantly remember death. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
20:The world is not impermanent if one lives there after knowing God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
21:Weep for God, and the tears will wash away the dirt from your mind. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
22:Who is whose Guru? God alone is the guide and Guru of the universe. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
23:Finish the few duties you have at hand, and then you will have peace. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
24:Whoever wants God intensely, finds Him. Go and verify it in your own life. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
25:Pray to Him anyway you like, He can even hear the footfall of an ant. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
26:The greater his aspiration and concentration, the more he finds the Eternal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
27:If you live one sixth of what is taught you, you will surely attain the goal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
28:All this has been revealed to Me. I do not know much about what your books say. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
29:God is fond of His devotees. He runs after the devotee as the cow after the calf. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
30:The company of saints and sages is one of the chief agents of spiritual progress. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
31:If a devotee prays to God with real longing, God cannot help revealing Himself to him. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
32:One must be very particular about telling the truth. Through truth one can realize God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
33:Do not seek illumination unless you seek it as a man whose hair is on fire seeks a pond. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
34:One cannot have the vision of God as long as one has these three- shame, hatred, and fear. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
35:When the Sun of Knowledge rises, the ice melts; it becomes the same water it was before. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
36:The knowledge which purifies the intelligence is true knowledge. All the rest is ignorance. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
37:One who thinks that his spiritual guide is merely a man, can draw no profit from his contact. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
38:The depth of the heart, the retired corner, and the forest are the three places for meditation. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
39:Intense cold freezes the water into ice, which floats on the ocean in blocks of various forms. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
40:One should constantly repeat the name of God. The name of God is highly effective in the Kaliyuga. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
41:Everyone is going toward God. They will all realize Him if they have sincerity and longing of heart. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
42:Many are the names of God and infinite the forms through which He may be approached. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
43:His name is conscious spirit, His abode is conscious spirit and He, the Lord, is all conscious spirit. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
44:The breeze of grace is always blowing on you. You have to open the sails and your boat will move forward. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
45:All I want to tell you is this. Follow both; perform your duties in the world and also cultivate love of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
46:Many good sayings are to be found in holy books, but merely reading them will not make one religious. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
47:Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun. Longing is followed by the vision of God. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
48:That knowledge which purifies the mind and heart alone is true Knowledge, all else is only a negation of Knowledge. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
49:If you are keen on realising God, repeat His name with firm faith, and try to discriminate the Real from the unreal. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
50:There are people who spout verses from the Scriptures and talk big, but in their conduct they are quite different. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
51: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,
52:To fix the mind on God is very difficult, in the beginning, unless one practices meditation in solitude. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
53:Once the mind has been trained to fix itself on formed images, it can easily accustom itself to fix on formless realities. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
54:By repeating with grit and determination 'I am not bound I am Free' one really becomes so - one really becomes free. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
55: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,
56: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,
57: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,
58: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,
59: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,
60: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,
61: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,
62: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,
63: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,
64: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,
65: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,
66: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,
67: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,
68: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,
69: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 ,
70: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,
71: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,
72: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,
73: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,
74: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,
75: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,
76: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,
77: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,
78: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?,
79: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,
80: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,
81: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,
82: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,
83: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,
84: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,
85: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,
86: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,
87: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,
88: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,
89: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 ,
90: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,
91: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,
92: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,
93: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,
94: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,
95: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,
96: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,
97:"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,
98: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,
99: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,
100: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,
101: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,
102: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,
103: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,
104: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,
105: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,
106: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,
107: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,
108:"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,
109: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,
110: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,
111: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 ,
112: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,
113: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,
114: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,
115: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,
116: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,
117: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,
118: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,
119: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,
120: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. ,
121: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 ,
122: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 ,
123: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 ,
124: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,
125: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,
126: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 ,
127: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,
128: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,
129: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,
130:"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 ,
131:823. 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 ,
132: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 ,
133: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,
134: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,
135: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,
136: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,
137: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,
138: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 ,
139: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,
140: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.html">Kheper ,
141: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 ,

*** 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:You veil your eyes and complain that you cannot see the Eternal. If you wish to seeHim, tear from your eyes the veil of the illusion. ~ Sri Ramakrishnan
258: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
259: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
260: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,
261: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,
262: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
263: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
264: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
265: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
266: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
267: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
268: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
269: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,
270: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
271: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
272: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
273: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
274: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
275: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
276: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,
277: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
278: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
279: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
280: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,
281: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
282:"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
283:One must pray to God without any selfish desire. But selfish worship, if practiced with perseverance, is gradually turned into selfless worship. ~ Sri Ramakrishna
284: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
285: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
286: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
287: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
288: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
289: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
290: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
291: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
292: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
293: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,
294: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
295: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
296: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
297: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
298: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
299: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
300: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
301: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
302: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
303: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
304: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,
305: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
306: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
307: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
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 consequence. ~ Sri Ramakrishna,
309: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
310: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,
311: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
312: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
313: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
314: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
315: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
316: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
317: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,
318: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
319: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
320: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
321: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,
322: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
323: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
324: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
325: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
326: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
327: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
328: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
329:Discrimination and dispassion. Differentiating between the real and the unreal in this manner is discrimination. Dispassion means a distaste for worldly things. ~ Sri Ramakrishna
330: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
331: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
332: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,
333: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
334: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
335: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
336: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
337: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,
338: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
339: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
340: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
341: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
342: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
343: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
344: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
345: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
346: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
347: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
348: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
349: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,
350: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
351: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
352: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
353: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
354: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,
355: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,
356: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
357: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
358: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
359: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
360: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
361: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
362: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
363: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
364: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
365: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
366: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
367: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
368: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
369: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
370: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
371: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
372: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
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: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
375: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
376: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
377:As clouds cover the sun, so the Illusion hides theDivinity. When the clouds recede, the sun becomes visible; even so when the Illusion is dissipated, theEternal can be seen. ~ Sri Ramakrishnan
378: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
379: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,
380: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
381: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
382: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,
383: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,
384: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
385: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,
386: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
387: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,
388: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
389: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
390: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
391: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
392: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
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: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
395: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
396: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
397: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,
398: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
399: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,
400: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,
401: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
402: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,
403: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
404: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
405: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
406: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
407: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,
408: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?,
409: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
410: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
411: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,
412: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
413: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
414: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
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: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
417: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,
418: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
419: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
420: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
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: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
423: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,
424: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
425: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
426: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,
427: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
428: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,
429: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
430: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
431: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
432: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
433: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,
434: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
435: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
436: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
437: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
438: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,
439: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
440: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
441: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
442: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
443: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
444: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
445: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
446: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
447: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,
448: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,
449: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
450: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
451: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
452: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
453: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
454: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
455: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
456: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
457: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
458: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
459: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
460: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
461: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
462: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
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: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,
465: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,
466: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
467: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
468: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
469: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
470: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
471: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
472: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,
473: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
474: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,
475: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
476: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
477: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
478: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
479: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
480: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
481: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
482: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
483: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
484: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
485: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
486: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,
487: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
488: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
489: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
490: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
491: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
492: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,
493: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
494: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,
495: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
496: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
497: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
498: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,
499: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
500: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

--- IN CHAPTERS (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)



10

   19 Integral Yoga
   2 Philosophy
   1 Psychology
   1 Mythology


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


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


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:
  

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.
  

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.
  

1.00_-_Gospel, #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 open-heartedness. My father, an orthodox brhmin, never accepted gifts from the udrs. 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 Gyatri, his chest flushed and tears rolled down his cheeks. He spent his leisure hours making garlands for the Family Deity, Raghuvir."
  
  Khudirm Chattopdhyya and Chandra Devi, the parents of Sri Ramakrishna, were married in 1799. At that time Khudirm was living in his ancestral village of Derepore, not far from Kmrpukur. Their first son, Rmkumr, was born in 1805, and their first daughter, Ktyyani, in 1810. In 1814 Khudirm 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 Kmrpukur, 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.
  
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  The temple garden stands directly on the east bank of the Ganges. The northern section of the land and a portion to the east contain an orchard, flower gardens, and two small reservoirs. The southern section is paved with brick and mortar. The visitor arriving by boat ascends the steps of an imposing bathing-Ght, which leads to the Chndni, a roofed terrace, on either side of which stand in a row six temples of iva. East of the terrace and the iva temples is a large court, paved, rectangular in shape, and running north and south. Two temples stand in the centre of this court, the larger one, to the south and facing south, being dedicated to Kli, and the smaller one, facing the Ganges, to Radhknta, that is, Krishna, the Consort of Rdh. Nine domes with spires surmount the temple of Kli, and before it stands the spacious Natmandir, or music hall, the terrace of which is supported by stately pillars. At the northwest and southwest 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 iva 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 footpath, 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 Rni Rsmani'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.
  
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   Sri Ramakrishna - henceforth we shall call Gaddhar by this familiar name - came to the temple garden with his elder brother Rmkumr, who was appointed priest of the Ka1i temple. Sri Ramakrishna did not at first approve of Rmkumr's working for the udr
  
  Rsmani. 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 brhmin. 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 Rni Rsmani and Mathur Bbu, the living presence of the Goddess Kli 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 Bbu, who was impressed by the young man's religious fervour and wanted him to participate in the worship in the Kli 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 jewellery of the temple. Mathur had to wait for a suitable occasion.
  
  At this time there came to Dakshinewar a youth of sixteen, destined to play an important role in Sri Ramakrishna's life. Hriday, a distant nephew of Sri Ramakrishna, hailed from Sihore, a village not far from Kmrpukur, 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 Dakshinewar in search of a job, and Sri Ramakrishna was glad to see him.
  
  Unable to resist the persuasion of Mathur Bbu, 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 Kli.
  
  One day the priest of the Radhknta temple accidentally dropped the image of Krishna on the floor, breaking one of its legs. The pundits advised the Rni to install a new image, since the worship of an image with a broken limb was against the scriptural injunctions. But the Rni 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 Rni 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 Rni. Sri Ramakrishna himself mended the break. The priest was dismissed for his carelessness, and at Mathur Bbu's earnest request, Sri Ramakrishna accepted the Office of priest in the Radhknta temple.
  
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  Born in an orthodox brhmin 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.
  
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  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.
  
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  Rmkumr wanted Sri Ramakrishna to learn the intricate rituals of the worship of Kli.
  
  To become a priest of Kli one must undergo a special form of initiation from a qualified guru, and for Sri Ramakrishna a suitable brhmin was found. But no sooner did the brhmin 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 Kli 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 Kli.
  
  In 1856 Rmkumr 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.
  
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  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 brhminical thread.
  
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  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 Kamalknta and Rmprasd. 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 altoge ther.
  
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  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 Kli. 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 Bbu.
  
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  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 sannysi 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.
  
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  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 Rni Rsmani 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 lawsuit. 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 Bbu with two hibiscus flowers growing on the same stalk, one red and one white.
  
  Mathur and Rni Rsmani 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 Samdhi uttering Her name.
  
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  In 1858 there came to Dakshinewar a cousin of Sri Ramakrishna, Haladhri 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 Kli 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 brhmin, 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 Haladhri 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 Bhva-mukha, 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 Kmrpukur 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.
  
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  Saradmani, a little girl of five, lived in the neighbouring village called Jayrmbti. 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.
  
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  But in this case the marriage remained for ever unconsummated. Sri Ramakrishna lived at Kmrpukur about a year and a half and then returned to Dakshinewar.
  
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  He saw the sannysi 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 sannysi 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.
  
  Rni Rsmani, 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"
  
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  There came to Dakshinewar at this time a brhmin woman who was to play an important part in Sri Ramakrishna's spiritual unfoldment. Born in East Bengl, she was an adept in the Tntrik 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.
  
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  Very soon a tender relationship sprang up between Sri Ramakrishna and the Brhmani, 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 Samdhi, 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 Brhmani 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 Rm, Krishna, Buddha, and Chaitanya, though he admitted Sri Ramakrishna's extraordinary spirituality. Whereupon the Brhmani 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 Kli 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 Brhmani, 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 Brhmani. He declared that Sri Ramakrishna had undoubtedly experienced Mah-bhva 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 Ramakrishna 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 Brhmani and Vaishnavcharan. To Sri Ramakrishna's remark that Vaishnavcharan had declared him to be an Avatr, 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?"
  
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  "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."
  
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  After completing the Tntrik sdhana Sri Ramakrishna followed the Brhmani in the disciplines of Vaishnavism. The Vaishnavas are worshippers of Vishnu, the "All-pervading", the Supreme God, who is also known as Hari and Nryana. Of Vishnu's various Incarnations the two with the largest number of followers are Rm and Krishna.
  
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   Sri Ramakrishna, much impressed with his devotion, requested Jatdhri to spend a few days at Dakshinewar. Soon Ramll 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.
  
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  One day Jatdhri requested Sri Ramakrishna to keep the image and bade him adieu with tearful eyes. He declared that Ramll 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 Ramll with a vision of Rmachandra, whereby he realized that the Rm of the Ramayana, the son of Daaratha, 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, attri bute, or name.
  
  While worshipping Ramll 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.
  
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   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 Vrindvan, mad with longing for her divine Sweetheart. At his request Mathur provided him with woman's dress and jewellery. 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.
  
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  Now one with Rdh, he manifested the great ecstatic love, the Mah-bhva 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, Mah-bhva. 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 Rdh is the precursor of the resplendent vision of Sri Krishna, and Sri Ramakrishna soon experienced that vision. The enchanting 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.
  
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  The Brhmani 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 Brhmani, on whom he had depended for three years saw her son escape from her to follow the comm and 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 Totpuri, 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.
  
  Totpuri was the bearer of a philosophy new to Sri Ramakrishna, the non-dualistic Vednta philosophy, whose conclusions Totpuri had experienced in his own life. This ancient Hindu system designates the Ultimate Reality as Brahman, also described as Satchidnanda, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. Brahman is the only Real Existence.
  
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  Totpuri, discovering at once that Sri Ramakrishna was prepared to be a student of Vednta, asked to initiate him into its mysteries. With the permission of the Divine Mother, Sri Ramakrishna agreed to the proposal. But Totpuri explained that only a sannysi could receive the teaching of Vednta. 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 Dakshinewar.
  
  On the appointed day, in the small hours of the morning, a fire was lighted in the Panchavati. Totpuri and Sri Ramakrishna sat before it. The flame played on their faces.
  
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  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 loincloth and ochre robe, the emblems of his new life.
  
  The teacher and the disciple repaired to the meditation room near by. Totpuri began to impart to Sri Ramakrishna the great truths of Vednta. "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 My, that enchantress who makes the impossible possible, Brahman is really One and undivided. When a seeker merges in the beatitude of Samdhi, he does not perceive time and space or name and form, the offspring of My. Whatever is within the domain of My 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 Samdhi. 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, Totpuri said "That knowledge is shallow by which one sees or hears or knows another. What is shallow is worthless and can never give real felicity. But the Knowledge by which one does not see another or hear another or know another, which is beyond duality, is great, and through such Knowledge one attains the Infinite Bliss. How can the mind and senses grasp That which shines in the heart of all as the Eternal Subject?"
  
  Totpuri asked the disciple to withdraw his mind from all objects of 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 Kli, 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 Vednta and asked me to withdraw the mind completely from all objects and dive deep into the tman. But in spite of all my attempts I could not altoge ther 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 tman.' He grew excited and sharply said: 'What? You can't do it?
  
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   Sri Ramakrishna remained completely absorbed in Samdhi for three days. "Is it really true?" Totpuri 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 Totpuri, Sri Ramakrishna's mind finally came down to the relative Plane.
  
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  Thus, after Nirvikalpa Samdhi, Sri Ramakrishna realized My in an altoge ther new role. The binding aspect of Kli vanished from before his vision. She no longer obscured his understanding. The world became the glorious manifestation of the Divine Mother.
  
  My became Brahman. The Transcendental Itself broke through the Immanent. Sri Ramakrishna discovered that My operates in the relative world in two ways, and he termed these "Avidy-My" and "Vidy-My". Avidy-My 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 Vidy-My is the higher force of creation: the spiritual virtues, the enlightening qualities, kindness, purity, love, devotion.
  
  --
  
  The Divine Mother asked Sri Ramakrishna not to be lost in the featureless Absolute but to remain in Bhva-mukha, 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.
  
  --
  
  From Sri Ramakrishna Totpuri had to learn the significance of Kli, the Great Fact of the relative world, and of My, Her indescribable Power.
  
  One day, when guru and disciple were engaged in an animated discussion about Vednta, 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. Totpuri flew into a rage and was about to beat the man. Sri Ramakrishna rocked with laughter.
  
  --
  
  Totpuri returned to Dakshinewar and spent the remaining hours of the night meditating on the Divine Mother. In the morning he went to the Kli temple with Sri Ramakrishna and prostrated himself before the image of the Mother. He now realized why he had spent eleven months at Dakshinewar. Bidding farewell to the disciple, he continued on his way, enlightened.
  
  --
  
  After the departure of Totpuri, 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 Dakshinewar 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 comm and of the Divine Mother to remain on the threshold of relative consciousness. Soon thereafter 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.
  
  --
  
  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 Dakshinewar and the liberality of Mathur attracted monks and holy men from all parts of the country. Sdhus of all denominations - monists and dualists, Vaishnavas and Vedntists, kts and worshippers of Rm - 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 sdhana, and Tntriks when he practised the disciplines of Tantra. Vedntists began to arrive after the departure of Totpuri. In the room of Sri Ramakrishna, who was then in bed with dysentery, the Vedntists 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 Dakshinewar. 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 foodstuffs, clothes, and so forth, for distri bution among the wandering monks.
  
  --
  
   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 Dakshinewar 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. Nryan stri, 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 Nryan astri, at his earnest request, into the life of sannys. Pundit Padmalochan, the court pundit of the Maharaja of Burdwan, well known for his scholarship in both the Vednta and the Nyya systems of philosophy, accepted the Master as an Incarnation of God. Krishnakishore, a Vedantist scholar, became devoted to the Master. And there arrived Viwanth Updhyya, 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 Bhgavata, and the Vednta 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 Samdhi 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.
  
  --
  
  His prayers took the form of the Islamic devotions. He forgot the Hindu gods and goddesses - even Kli - 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.
  
  --
  
  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 ambhu 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 at Dakshinewar, when his eyes became fixed on a painting of the Madonna and Child.
  
  --
  
  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 Kli 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.
  
  --
  
  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, Vaishnavs, and the rest. But they never reflect that He who is called Krishna is also called iva, and bears the name of the Primal Energy, Jesus, and Allah as well - the same Rm with a thousand names. A lake has several G hts. At one, the Hindus take water in pitchers and call it 'Jal' ; at another the Mussalmans take water in leather bags and call it 'pni' . At a third the Christians call it 'water' . Can we imagine that it is not 'jal', but only 'pni' 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.
  
  --
  
  In 1867, Sri Ramakrishna returned to Kmrpukur 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 Gaddhar, though they did not fail to notice the great change that had come over him during his years in Calcutta. His wife, Srad Devi, now fourteen years old, soon arrived at Kmrpukur. 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."
  
  --
  
  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, distri bute 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 Banras by boat along the Ganges. When Sri Ramakrishna's eyes fell on this city of iva, 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 Manikarnik Ght, the great cremation ground of the city, he actually saw iva, 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 Banras attains salvation through the grace of iva. He paid a visit to Trailanga Swmi, the celebrated monk, whom he later declared to be a real paramahamsa, a veritable image of iva.
  
  --
  
  She was sixty years old and had frequent trances. She spoke of Sri Ramakrishna as an incarnation of Rdh. With great difficulty he was persuaded to leave her.
  
  On the return journey Mathur wanted to visit Gay, but Sri Ramakrishna declined to go.
  
  --
  
  In 1870 the Master went on a pilgrimage to Nadia, the birthplace 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 Nitynanda, "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.
  
  --
  
  Totpuri, 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 Dakshinewar, but their minds always soared above the worldly plane. A few months after Srad Devi's arrival Sri Ramakrishna arranged, on an auspicious day, a special worship of Kli, the Divine Mother. Instead of an image of the Deity, he placed on the seat the living image, Srad Devi herself. The worshipper and the worshipped went into deep Samdhi 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 lifelong sdhana. This is known in Tantra as the Shodasi 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 his unique spiritual relationship with his wife he proved that husb and 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.
  
  --
  
  In the nirvikalpa Samdhi 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 Vijnna, 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.
  
  --
  
  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, Srad Devi asked the Master, "What do you think of me?"
  
  --
  
  We have now come to the end of Sri Ramakrishna's sdhana, 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 summarised as follows:
  
  --
  
  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.
  
  --
  
  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 ambhu Mallick - who, after Mathur's passing away, had taken care of the Master's comfort. In 1873 died his elder brother Rmewar, 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.
  
  --
  
  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 Brhmo Samj, he spent hours in singing kirtan with his followers. He visited England 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 Brhmo Samj 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 Navavidhn.
  
  In 1878 a schism divided Keshab's Samj. Some of his influential followers accused him of infringing the Brhmo principles by marrying his daughter to a wealthy man before she had attained the marriageable age approved by the Samj. This group seceded and established the Sdhran Brhmo Samj, Keshab remaining the leader of the Navavidhn. 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 Bengl and some other parts of India the Brhmo 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, agitate for the abolition of early marriage, sanctioned the remarriage of widows, and encouraged various educational and social-reform movements. The immediate effect of the Brhmo movement in Bengl was the checking of the proselytising 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.
  
  --
  
  Swmi Daynanda (1824-1883) launched this movement in Bombay in 1875, and soon its influence was felt throughout western India. The Swmi 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 rya Samj 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 Brhmo Samj, the influence of the rya Samj was not confined to the intellectuals. It was a force that spread to the masses. It was a dogmatic movement intolerant of those disagreed with its views, and it emphasized only one way, the rya Samj way, to the realization of Truth. Sri Ramakrishna met Swmi Daynanda when the latter visited Bengl.
  
  --
  
  Keshab Chandra Sen and Sri Ramakrishna met for the first time in the garden house of Jaygopl Sen at Belgharia, a few miles from Dakshinewar, where the great Brhmo 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 Dakshinewar. 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 Kli, the Divine Mother, though he too, in a different way, acknowledged Christ's divinity. Keshab was a householder 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 paralysed. Keshab's concepts of the harmony of religions and the Motherhood of God were deepened and enriched by his contact with Sri Ramakrishna.
  
  --
  
  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 Kli and forthwith went into Samdhi. 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 Brhmo 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 Bengli 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 Bengl, the best products of Western education, with Keshab, the idol of young Bengl, as their leader.
  
  Keshab's sincerity was enough for Sri Ramakrishna. Henceforth the two saw each other frequently, either at Dakshinewar or at the temple of the Brhmo Samj. 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.
  
  --
  
  Gradually other Brhmo 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".7 They measured him according to their own ideals of the householder's life. Some could not understand his Samdhi and described it as a nervous malady. Yet they could not resist his magnetic personality.
  
  --
  
  ivanth, 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 Samdhi 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 sdhus 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 ivanth's books. He took the Master's words literally and failed to see their real import.
  
  --
  
  Pratp Chandra Mazumdr, the right-hand man of Keshab and an accomplished Brhmo 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, Pratp wrote in the "Theistic Quarterly Review": "What is there in common between him and me? I, a Europeanized, civilized, self-centered, semi-sceptical, so-called educated reasoner, and he, a poor, illiterate, unpolished, half-idolatrous, friendless Hindu devotee?
  
  --
  
  The Brhmo leaders received much inspiration from their contact with Sri Ramakrishna.
  
  --
  
  This contact with the educated and progressive Benglis 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.
  
  --
  
  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 conchshells, 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 devotees began to come."
  
  In the year 1879 occasional writings about Sri Ramakrishna by the Brahmos, in the Brhmo magazines, began to attract his future disciples from the educated middle-class Benglis, 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 kts, 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, jnnis 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 Vednta and the soul-melting love of the Purn. Twenty hours out of twenty-four he would speak without 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.
  
  --
  
  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 he 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 streng then their devotion and faith in God through prayer, japa, and meditation. He prescribed for them the companionship of sdhus. 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.
  
  --
  
  The first two householder devotees to come to Dakshinewar were Rm Chandra Dutta and Manomohan Mitra. A medical practitioner and chemist, Rm 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 Rm's spirituality and the latter became one of his foremost lay disciples. It was Rm who introduced Narendranth to Sri Ramakrishna. Narendra was a relative of Rm.
  
  --
  
  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 Rmchandra 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 Kli, and then take it as Her Prasd, 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.
  
  --
  
  Bhavanth 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 Dakshinewar. He was greatly attached to Narendra, and the Master encouraged their friendship. The very sight of him often awakened Sri Ramakrishna's spiritual emotion.
  
  --
  
  Balarm 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."
  
  --
  
  Mahendranth Gupta, known as "M.", arrived at Dakshinewar in February 1882. He belonged to the Brhmo Samj and was headmaster of the Vidysgar High School at ymbazr, 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.
  
  --
  
  Durgcharan Ng, also known as Ng Mahshay, 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 sannysi, 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 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 Durgcharan'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 sdhus themselves would seek his company. No sannysi could have lived a more austere life than Durgcharan.
  
  --
  
  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.
  
  --
  
  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 streng thened 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.
  
  --
  
  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 Nryan, Paltu, the younger Naren, Tejchandra and Purna. These visited the Master sometimes against strong opposition from home.
  
  --
  
  Purna was a lad of thirteen, whom Sri Ramakrishna described as an Ivarakoti, 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.
  
  --
  
   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, Devendranth Tgore, famous all over Bengl 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, Devendranth 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 Mahrja Jatindra Mohan Tgore, a titled aristocrat of Bengl; Kristods Pl, the editor, social reformer, and patriot; Iswar Chandra Vidysgar, the noted philanthropist and educator; Pundit aadhar, a great champion of Hindu orthodoxy; Awini Kumr 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 Bengli 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.
  
  --
  
  The Europeanized Kristods Pl 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 Bengl 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 soo the a guilty conscience. True charity, he taught, is the result of love of God - service to man in a spirit of worship.
  
  --
  
  The first of these young men to come to the Master was Ltu. Born of obscure parents, in Behar, he came to Calcutta in search of work and was engaged by Rmchandra Dutta as house-boy. Learning of the saintly Sri Ramakrishna, he visited the Master at Dakshinewar 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 Ltu declared he had a few pennies and jingled the coins in his pocket. Sri Ramakrishna later requested Rm to allow Ltu to stay with him permanently. Under Sri Ramakrishna's guidance Ltu 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. Ltu was very fond of kirtan and other devotional songs but remained all his life illiterate.
  
  --
  
  Even before Rkhl's coming to Dakshinewar, the Master had had visions of him as his spiritual son and as a playmate of Krishna at Vrindvan. Rkhl 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 Dakshinewar. The relationship between the Master and this beloved disciple was that of mother and child. Sri Ramakrishna allowed Rkhl many liberties denied to others. But he would not hesitate to chastise the boy for improper actions. At one time Rkhl 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.
  
  --
  
  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 Narendranth Dutta, his beloved Naren, later known to the world as Swmi Viveknanda. Even before meeting Narendranth, 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.
  
  --
  
  In a state of mental conflict and torture of soul, Narendra came to Sri Ramakrishna at Dakshinewar. 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 Samdhi. 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.
  
  --
  
  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.
  
  --
  
  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 Brhmo Samj, 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.
  
  --
  
  The Master wanted to train Narendra in the teachings of the non-dualistic Vednta philosophy. But Narendra, because of his Brhmo 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.
  
  --
  
  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."
  
  --
  
  Narendra now realized that he had a spiritual mission to fulfil. He resolved to renounce the world, as his grandfa ther 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 Kli. 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 akti, 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."
  
  --
  
  Others destined to be monastic disciples of Sri Ramakrishna came to Dakshinewar.
  
  --
  
  Bburm Ghosh came to Dakshinewar accompanied by Rkhl, 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 Bburm 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. Bburm 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 Bburm 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 Bburm 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.
  
  --
  
  Jogindranth, 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.
  
  Jogindranth came of an aristocratic brhmin family of Dakshinewar. 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.
  
  --
  
  arat 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.
  
  --
  
  The Master knew Hari's passion for Vednta. But he did not wish any of his disciples to become a dry ascetic or a mere bookworm. So he asked Hari to practise Vednta 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.
  
  --
  
  Hariprasanna, a college student, visited the Master in the company of his friends ashi and arat. Sri Ramakrishna showed him great favour by initiating him into spiritual life.
  
  --
  
  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!
  
  --
  
  Two more young men, Srad 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 Gopl, all of them were in their teens or slightly over. They came from middle-class Bengli 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 attri butes. 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.
  
  --
  
  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.
  
  --
  
  Unsurpassed among the woman devotees of the Master in the richness of her devotion and spiritual experiences was Aghoramani Devi, an orthodox brhmin woman. Widowed at an early age, she had dedicated herself completely to spiritual pursuits. Gopl, the Baby Krishna, was her Ideal Deity, whom she worshipped following the Vtsalya 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 Gopl won her the sobriquet of Gopl M, or Gopl'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 Dakshinewar.
  
  --
  
  One early morning at three o'clock, about a year later, Gopl M 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 Gopl. She was amazed and caught hold of the hand, whereupon the figure vanished and in its place appeared the real Gopl, her Ideal Deity. She cried aloud with joy. Gopl begged her for butter. She pleaded her poverty and gave Him some dry coconut candies. Gopl 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 Dakshinewar like an insane woman. Of course Gopl 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 Samdhi. 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 Gopl's Mother was still roaming in another plane.
  
  --
  
  In 1882 Hriday was, dismissed from service in the Ka1i 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 weekends 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 Kli.
  
  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 weekends, the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna does not contain much mention of the future monastic disciples.
  
  --
  
  In April 1885 the Master's throat became inflamed. Prolonged conversation or absorption in Samdhi, making the blood flow into the throat, would aggravate the pain. Yet when the annual Vaishnava festival was celebrated at Pnihti, 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?"
  
  --
  
  In the beginning of September 1885 Sri Ramakrishna was moved to ympukur. 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 Bhakts, 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 Srad Devi had come to be affectionately known by Sri Ramakrishna's devotees - was brought from Dakshinewar 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.
  
  --
  
  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.
  
  --
  
  When Sri Ramakrishna's illness showed signs of aggravation, the devotees, following the advice of Dr. Sarkr, 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 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 contri buting according to their means. Twelve disciples were constant attendants of the Master: Narendra, Rkhl, Bburm, Niranjan, Jogin, Ltu, Trak, the elder Gopl, Kli, ashi, arat, and the younger Gopl. Srad, Harish, Hari, Gangdhar, and Tulasi visited the Master from time to time and practised sdhana 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 aadhar 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."
  
  --
  
  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 Vysa and Vlmiki 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 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 sannysi 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.
  
  --
  
  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 said later on: "While Sri Ramakrishna lay sick he never actually suffered pain. He would often say: 'O mind!
  
  --
  
  But Narendra could not find it. Gopl, frightened, ran upstairs to the Master. Sri Ramakrishna only said: "Let him stay that way for a time. He has worried me long enough."
  
  --
  
  Some days later, Narendra being alone with the Master, Sri Ramakrishna looked at him and went into Samdhi. Narendra felt the penetration of a subtle force and lost all outer consciousness. Regaining presently the normal mood, he found the Master weeping.
  
  --
  
  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 Samdhi of a rather unusual type. The body became stiff. ai 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 ashi, 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 tones he cried the name of Kli, 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 Mah-samdhi, total absorption, from which his mind never returned. Narendra, unable to bear it, ran downstairs.
  

1.00_-_Gospel_Preface, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
  
  THE GOSPEL OF Sri Ramakrishna
  
  "SRI Sri Ramakrishna KATHAMRITA"
  
  --
  
  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.
  
  --
  
  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.
  
  --
  
  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 altoge ther 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.
  
  --
  
  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.
  
  --
  
  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.
  
  --
  
  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.
  
  --
  
  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.
  
  --
  
  From the mental depression of the modem Vysa, the world has obtained the Kathmrita (Bengali Edition) the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna in English.
  
  --
  
  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.)
  
  --
  
  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.
  
  --
  
  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.
  
  --
  
  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."
  
  --
  
  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.
  
  --
  
  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
  
  --
  
  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."
  
  --
  
  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.
  

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
  

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.
  

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.
  

1.06_-_Quieting_the_Vital, #Sri Aurobindo or the Adventure of Consciousness, #Satprem, #Integral Yoga
  we will know exactly what is going on and whom we are facing (a person's external veneer having usually nothing to do with that unostentatious vibrating reality). Our relationships with the outer world will become clear: we will understand why we instinctively like or dislike someone, why we feel afraid or ill at ease then we will be able to correct our reactions, accept the helpful vibrations, deflect the darker vibrations, and neutralize the harmful ones. Indeed, we will notice quite an interesting phenomenon: our inner silence has power.
  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
  

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 distri bute 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
  

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