Archive for the ‘Ramakrishna Paramhansha’ Category

Vivekanand is the prophet.

Osho : This is the oldest format: the Master is preceded by a disciple who functions as a predecessor and prepares the ground. Because of its defects and limitations, there has been another, the opposite. Ramakrishna is succeeded by Vivekanand; he is not preceded by anybody.

The Master comes first, then the disciple follows. This has its own benefits because the Master creates the whole climate, the Master creates the whole possibility of growth — how the thing is to go. He gives language, pattern, direction, dimension. But there are defects because the Master is infinite and when the disciple comes he is very finite.

Then the disciple has to choose, because he cannot move in all directions. The Master may be showing all the directions, he may be leading you towards infinity, but when the disciple comes he has to choose, he has to select, and then he forces his own pattern on it.

Ramakrishna was succeeded by Vivekanand. Ramakrishna is one of the greatest flowerings that has ever happened; Vivekanand is the prophet. Ramakrishna is the messiah, but Vivekanand set the whole trend. Vivekanand’s own inclinations were extrovert, not introvert.

His own inclinations were more towards social reformation, political change. He was more interested in bringing riches to the people, destroying poverty and hunger and starvation. He turned the whole trend around.

The Ramakrishna Mission is not true to Ramakrishna; the Ramakrishna Mission is true to Vivekanand. Now the Ramakrishna Mission functions as a social service. Wherever there is famine, they are there to serve people. Whenever there is an earthquake, they are there to serve people. Whenever there is flood — and there is no lack of these things in India — they are there. They are good servants, but Ramakrishna’s inward revolution has completely disappeared into the desert land of Vivekanand.

Ramakrishna functioned more freely than Jesus because there was no pattern for him. He lived more spontaneously than Jesus. There was no confinement anywhere; all the directions were open to him. He could fly just like a bird in the sky, no limitations existed. But then comes the disciple. He organizes it. He organizes, of course, in his own way.


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What happens after samādhi

Duties drop away with deepening of spiritual mood
“After a man has attained samādhi all his actions drop away.  All devotional activities, such as worship, japa, and the like, as well as all worldly duties, cease to exist for such a person.  At the beginning there is much ado about work.  As a man makes progress toward God, the outer display of his work becomes less and less-so much so that he cannot even sing the name and glories of God.  (To Shivanath) As long as you were not here at the meeting, people talked a great deal about you and discussed your virtues.  But no sooner did you arrive here than all that stopped.  Now the very sight of you makes everyone happy.  People now simply say, ‘Ah! Here is Shivanath Babu.’ All other talk about you has stopped.
What happens after samādhi
“After attaining samādhi, I once went to the Ganges to perform tarpan.  But as I took water in the palm of my hand, it trickled down through my fingers.  Weeping, I said to Haladhāri, ‘Cousin, what is this?’ Haladhāri replied, ‘It is called galitahasta in the holy books.’ After the vision of God, such duties as the performance of tarpan drop away.
“In the kirtan the devotee first sings, ‘Nitai amar mata hati.’ As the devotional mood deepens, he simply sings, ‘Hati! Hati!’ Next, all he can sing is ‘Hati’.  And last of all he simply sings, ‘Ha!’ and goes into samādhi.  The man who has been singing all the while then becomes speechless.
“Again, at a feast given to the brahmins one at first hears much noise of talking.  When the guests sit on the floor with leaf-plates in front of them, much of the noise ceases.  Then one hears only the cry, ‘Bring some luchi!’
As they partake of the luchi and other dishes, three quarters of the noise subsides.  When the curd, the last course, appears, one hears only the sound ‘soop, soop’ as the guests eat the curd with their fingers.  Then there is practically no noise.  Afterwards all retire to sleep, and absolute silence reigns.

“Therefore I say, at the beginning of religious life a man makes much ado about work, but as his mind dives deeper into God, he becomes less active.  Last of all comes the renunciation of work, followed by samādhi.

“Generally the body does not remain alive after the attainment of samādhi.  The only exceptions are such sages as Narada, who keep their bodies alive in order to bring spiritual light to others.  It is also true of Divine Incarnations, like Chaitanya.  After the well is dug, one generally throws away the spade and the basket.  But some keep them in order to help their neighbours.  The great souls who retain their bodies after samādhi feel compassion for the suffering of others.  They are not so selfish as to be satisfied with their own illumination.  You are well aware of the nature of selfish people.  If you ask them to spit at a particular place, they won’t, lest it should do you good.  If you ask them to bring a sweetmeat worth a cent from the store, they will perhaps lick it on the way back.  (All laugh.)

“But the manifestations of Divine Power are different in different beings.  Ordinary souls are afraid to teach others.  A piece of worthless timber may itself somehow float across the water, but it sinks even under the weight of a bird.  Sages like Narada are like a heavy log of wood, which not only floats on the water but also can carry men, cows, and even elephants.

(To Shivanath and the other Brahmo devotees) “Can you tell me why you dwell so much on the powers and glories of God? I asked the same thing of Keshab Sen.  One day Keshab and his party came to the temple garden at Dakshineswar.  I told them I wanted to hear how they lectured.  A meeting was arranged in the paved courtyard above the bathing-ghat on the Ganges, where Keshab gave a talk.  He spoke very well.  I went into a trance.  After the lecture I said to Keshab, ‘Why do you so often say such things as: “O God, what beautiful flowers Thou hast made! O God, Thou hast created the heavens, the stars, and the ocean!” and so on?’ Those who love splendour themselves are fond of dwelling on God’s splendour.

“Once a thief stole the jewels from the images in the temple of Radhakanta.  Mathur Babu entered the temple and said to the Deity: ‘What a shame, O God! You couldn’t save Your own ornaments.’ ‘The idea!’ I said to Mathur.  ‘Does He who has Lakshmi for His handmaid and attendant ever lack any splendour? Those jewels may be precious to you, but to God they are no better than lumps of clay.  Shame on you! You shouldn’t have spoken so meanly.  ‘What riches can you give to God to magnify His glory?’

“Therefore I say, a man seeks the person in whom he finds joy.  What need has he to ask where that person lives, the number of his houses, gardens, relatives, and servants, or the amount of his wealth? I forget everything when I see Narendra.  Never, even unwittingly, have I asked him where he lived, what his father’s profession was, or the number of his brothers.
“Dive deep in the sweetness of God’s Bliss.  What need have we of His infinite creation and unlimited glory?”
The Master sang:
Dive deep, O mind, dive deep in the Ocean of God’s Beauty;
If you descend to the uttermost depths,
There you will find the gem of Love.
Go seek, O mind, go seek Vrindāvan in your heart,
Where with His loving devotees
Sri Krishna sports eternally.
Light up, O mind, light up true wisdom’s shining lamp,
And let it burn with steady flame
Unceasingly within your heart.
Who is it that steers your boat across the solid earth?
It is your guru, says Kabir;
Meditate on his holy feet.

Sri Ramakrishna continued: “It is also true that after the vision of God the devotee desires to witness His lila.  After the destruction of Ravana at Rama’s hands, Nikasha, Ravana’s mother, began to run away for fear of her life.  Lakshmana said to Rama: ‘Revered Brother, please explain this strange thing to me.  This Nikasha is an old woman who has suffered a great deal from the loss of her many sons, and yet she is so afraid of losing her own life that she is taking to her heels!’ Rama bade her come near, gave her assurance of safety, and asked her why she was running away.  Nikasha answered: ‘O Rama, I am able to witness all this lila of Yours because I am still alive.  I want to live longer so that I may see the many more things You will do on this earth.’ (All laugh.)
(To Shivanath) “I like to see you.  How can I live unless I see pure-souled devotees? I feel as if they had been my friends in a former incarnation.”

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Want to see the God !!!!!!

Intense longing enables one to see God

BRAHMO DEVOTEE: “What are the means by which one can see God?”

MASTER: “Can you weep for Him with intense longing of heart? Men shed a jugful of tears for the sake of their children, for their wives, or for money.  But who weeps for God? So long as the child remains engrossed with its toys, the mother looks after her cooking and other household duties.  But when the child no longer relishes the toys, it throws them aside and yells for its mother.  Then the mother takes the rice-pot down from the hearth, runs in haste, and takes the child in her arms.”

 Why so much controversy about God?

BRAHMO DEVOTEE: “Sir, why are there so many different opinions about the nature of God? Some say that God has form, while others say that He is formless.  Again, those who speak of God with form tell us about His different forms.  Why all this controversy?”

MASTER: “A devotee thinks of God as he sees Him.  In reality there is no confusion about God.  God explains all this to the devotee if the devotee only realizes Him somehow.  You haven’t set your foot in that direction.  How can you expect to know all about God?

Parable of the chameleon

“Listen to a story.  Once a man entered a wood and saw a small animal on a tree.  He came back and told another man that he had seen a creature of a beautiful red colour on a certain tree.  The second man replied: ‘When I went into the wood, I also saw that animal.  But why do you call it red? It is green.’ Another man who was present contradicted them both and insisted that it was yellow.  Presently others arrived and contended that it was grey, violet, blue, and so forth and so on.  At last they started quarrelling among themselves.

 To settle the dispute they all went to the tree.  They saw a man sitting under it.  On being asked, he replied: ‘Yes, I live under this tree and I know the animal very well.  All your descriptions are true.  Sometimes it appears red, sometimes yellow, and at other times blue, violet, grey, and so forth.  It is a chameleon.  And sometimes it has no colour at all.  Now it has a colour, and now it has none.’

“In like manner, one who constantly thinks of God can know His real nature; he alone knows that God reveals Himself to seekers in various forms and aspects.  God has attributes; then again He has none.  Only the man who lives under the tree knows that the chameleon can appear in various colours, and he knows, further, that the animal at times has no colour at all.  It is the others who suffer from the agony of futile argument.

“Kabir used to say, ‘The formless Absolute is my Father, and God with form is my Mother.’“God reveals Himself in the form which His devotee loves most.  His love for the devotee knows no bounds.  It is written in the Purana that God assumed the form of Rama for His heroic devotee, Hanuman.

Vedantic Non-dualism

“The forms and aspects of God disappear when one discriminates in accordance with the Vedanta philosophy.  The ultimate conclusion of such discrimination is that Brahman alone is real and this world of names and forms illusory.  It is possible for a man to see the forms of God, or to think of Him as a Person, only so long as he is conscious that he is a devotee.  From the standpoint of discrimination this ‘ego of a devotee’ keeps him a little away from God.

“Do you know why images of Krishna or Kāli are three and a half cubits high? Because of distance.  Again, on account of distance the sun appears to be small.  But if you go near it you will find the sun so big that you won’t be able to comprehend it.  Why have images of Krishna and Kāli a dark-blue colour? That too is on account of distance, like the water of a lake, which appears green, blue, or black from a distance.  Go near, take the water in the palm of your hand, and you will find that it has no colour.  The sky also appears blue from a distance.  Go near and you will see that it has no colour at all.

“Therefore I say that in the light of Vedantic reasoning Brahman has no attributes.  The real nature of Brahman cannot be described.  But so long as your individuality is real, the world also is real, and equally real are the different forms of God and the feeling that God is a Person. 

“Yours is the path of bhakti.  That is very good; it is an easy path.  Who can fully know the infinite God? and what need is there of knowing the Infinite? Having attained this rare human birth, my supreme need is to develop love for the Lotus Feet of God.

“If a jug of water is enough to remove my thirst, why should I measure the quantity of water in a lake? I become drunk on even half a bottle of wine-what is the use of my calculating the quantity of liquor in the tavern? What need is there of knowing the Infinite?

“The various states of mind of the Brahmajnani are described in the Vedas.  The path of knowledge is extremely difficult.  One cannot obtain jnāna if one has the least trace of worldliness and the slightest attachment to ‘woman and gold’.  This is not the path for the Kaliyuga.

Seven planes of the mind

“The Vedas speak of seven planes where the mind dwells.  When the mind is immersed in worldliness it dwells in the three lower planes- at the naval, the organ of generation, and the organ of evacuation.  In that state the mind loses all its higher visions-it broods only on ‘woman and gold’.  The fourth plane of the mind is at the heart.  When the mind dwells there, one has the first glimpse of spiritual consciousness.  One sees light all around.  Such a man, perceiving the divine light, becomes speechless with wonder and says: ‘Ah! What is this? What is this?’ His mind does not go downward to the objects of the world.
“The fifth plane of the mind is at the throat.  When the mind reaches this, the aspirant becomes free from all ignorance and illusion.  He does not enjoy talking or hearing about anything but God.  If people talk about worldly things, he leaves the place at once.

“The sixth plane is at the forehead.  When the mind reaches it, the aspirant sees the form of God day and night.  But even then a little trace of ego remains.  At the sight of that incomparable beauty of God’s form, one becomes intoxicated and rushes forth to touch and embrace it.  But one doesn’t succeed.  It is like the light inside a lantern.  One feels as if one could touch the light, but one cannot on account of the pane of glass.

“In the top of the head is the seventh plane.  When the mind rises there, one goes into samādhi.  Then the Brahmajnani directly perceives Brahman.  But in that state his body does not last many days.  He remains unconscious of the outer world.  If milk is poured into his mouth, it runs out.  Dwelling on this plane of consciousness, he gives up his body in twenty-one days.  That is the condition of the Brahmajnani.  But yours is the path of devotion.  That is a very good and easy path.

“Once a man said to me, ‘Sir, can you teach me quickly the thing you call samādhi?’ (All laugh.)


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Three types of Physician

“Again, you see, the quality of tamas can be used for the welfare of others. There are three classes of physicians: superior, mediocre, and inferior. The physician who feels the patient’s pulse and just says to him, ‘Take the medicine regularly’ belongs to the inferior class. He doesn’t care to inquire whether or not the patient has actually taken the medicine. The mediocre physician is he who in various ways persuades the patient to take the medicine, and says to him sweetly: ‘My good man, how will you be cured unless you use the medicine? Take this medicine. I have made it for you myself.‘ But he who, finding the patient stubbornly refusing to take the medicine, forces it down his throat, going so far as to put his knee on the patient’s chest, is the best physician. This is the manifestation of the tamas of the physician. It doesn’t injure the patient; on the contrary, it does him good.

Three types of gurus

“Like the physicians, there are three types of religious teachers. The inferior teacher only gives instruction to the disciples but makes no inquiries about their progress. The mediocre teacher, for the good of the student, makes repeated efforts to bring the instruction home to him, begs him to assimilate it, and shows him love in many other ways. But there is a type of teacher who goes to the length of using force when he finds the student persistently unyielding; I call him the best teacher.”
No finality about God’s nature

A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: “Sir, has God forms or has He none?”

MASTER: “No one can say with finality that God is only ‘this’ and nothing else. He is formless, and again He has forms. For the bhakta He assumes forms. But He is formless for the jnani, that is, for him who looks on the world as a mere dream. The bhakta feels that he is one entity and the world another. Therefore God reveals Himself to him as a Person. But the jnani-the Vedantist, for instance-always reasons, applying the process of ‘Not this, not this’. Through this discrimination he realizes, by his inner perception, that the ego and the universe are both illusory, like a dream. Then the jnani realizes Brahman in his own consciousness. He cannot describe what Brahman is.

“Do you know what I mean? Think of Brahman, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, as a shoreless ocean. Through the cooling influence, as it were, of the bhakta’s love, the water has frozen at places into blocks of ice. In other words, God now and then assumes various forms for His lovers and reveals Himself to them as a Person. But with the rising of the sun of Knowledge, the blocks of ice melt. Then one doesn’t feel any more that God is a Person, nor does one see God’s forms. What He is cannot be described. Who will describe Him? He who would do so disappears. He cannot find his ‘I’ any more.
Illusoriness of “I”

“If one analyses oneself, one doesn’t find any such thing as ‘I’. Take an onion, for instance. First of all you peel off the red outer skin; then you find thick white skins. Peel these off one after the other, and you won’t find anything inside.

“In that state a man no longer finds the existence of his ego. And who is there left to seek it? Who can describe how he feels in that state-in his own Pure Consciousness-about the real nature of Brahman? Once a salt doll went to measure the depth of the ocean. No sooner was it in the water than it melted. Now who was to tell the depth?

Sign of Perfect Knowledge

“There is a sign of Perfect Knowledge. Man becomes silent when It is attained. Then the ‘I’, which may be likened to the salt doll, melts in the Ocean of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute and becomes one with It. Not the slightest trace of distinction is left.

“As long as his self-analysis is not complete, man argues with much ado. But he becomes silent when he completes it. When the empty pitcher has been filled with water, when the water inside the pitcher becomes one with the water of the lake outside, no more sound is heard. Sound comes from the pitcher as long as the pitcher is not filled with water.

“People used to say in olden days that no boat returns after having once entered the ‘black waters’ of the ocean. “All trouble and botheration come to an end when the ‘I’ dies. You may indulge in thousands of reasoning, but still the ‘I’ doesn’t disappear. For people like you and me, it is good to have the feeling, ‘I am a lover of God.’

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Who Hates God ?

Worldly people’s indifference to spiritual life

MASTER: “Many people visit the temple garden at Dakshineswar. If I see some among the visitors indifferent to God, I say to them, ‘You had better sit over there.’ Or sometimes I say, ‘Go and see the beautiful buildings.’ (Laughter.)

“Sometimes I find that the devotees of God are accompanied by worthless people. Their companions are immersed in gross worldliness and don’t enjoy spiritual talk at all. Since the devotees keep on, for a long time, talking with me about God, the others become restless. Finding it impossible to sit there any longer, they whisper to their devotee friends: ‘When shall we be going? How long will you stay here?’ The devotees say: ‘Wait a bit. We shall go after a little while.’ Then the worldly people say in a disgusted tone: ‘Well, then, you can talk. We shall wait for you in the boat.’ (All laugh.)

“Worldly people will never listen to you if you ask them to renounce everything and devote themselves whole-heartedly to God. Therefore Chaitanya and Nitai, after some deliberation, made an arrangement to attract the worldly. They would say to such persons, ‘Come, repeat the name of Hari, and you shall have a delicious soup of magur fish and the embrace of a young woman.’ Many people, attracted by the fish and the woman, would chant the name of God. After tasting a little of the nectar of God’s hallowed name, they would soon realize that the ‘fish soup’ really meant the tears they shed for love of God, while the ‘young woman’ signified the earth. The embrace of the woman meant rolling on the ground in the rapture of divine love.

“Nitai would employ any means to make people repeat Hari’s name. Chaitanya said: ‘The name of God has very great sanctity. It may not produce an immediate result, but one day it must bear fruit. It is like a seed that has been left on the cornice of a building. After many days the house crumbles, and the seed falls on the earth, germinates, and at last bears fruit.’

Three classes of devotees:
“As worldly people are endowed with sattva, rajas, and tamas, so also is bakti characterized by the three gunas.

“Do you know what a worldly person endowed with sattva is like? Perhaps his house is in a dilapidated condition here and there. He doesn’t care to repair it. The worship hall may be strewn with pigeon droppings and the courtyard covered with moss, but he pays no attention to these things. The furniture of the house may be old; he doesn’t think of polishing it and making it look neat. He doesn’t care for dress at all; anything is good enough for him. But the man himself is very gentle, quiet, kind, and humble; he doesn’t injure anyone.

“Again, among the worldly there are people with the traits of rajas. Such a man has a watch and chain, and two or three rings on his fingers. The furniture of his house is all spick and span. On the walls hang portraits of the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and other prominent people; the building is whitewashed and spotlessly clean. His wardrobe is filled with a large assortment of clothes; even the servants have their livery, and all that.

The traits of a worldly man endowed with tamas are sleep, lust, anger, egotism, and the like.

Three kinds of bhakti

“Similarly, bhakti, devotion, has its sattva. A devotee who possesses it meditates on God in absolute secret, perhaps inside his mosquito net. Others think he is asleep. Since he is late in getting up, they think perhaps he has not slept well during the night. His love for the body goes only as far as appeasing his hunger, and that only by means of rice and simple greens. There is no elaborate arrangement about his meals, no luxury in clothes, and no display of furniture. Besides, such a devotee never flatters anybody for money.

“An aspirant possessed of rajasic bhakti puts a tilak on his forehead and a necklace of holy rudraksha beads, interspersed with gold ones, around his neck. (All laugh.) At worship he wears a silk cloth.

“A man endowed with tamasic bhakti has burning faith. Such a devotee literally extorts boons from God, even as a robber falls upon a man and plunders his money. ‘Bind! Beat! Kill!’-that is his way, the way of the dacoits.”


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“It is extremely difficult to teach others. A man can teach only if God reveals Himself to him and gives the command. Narada, Sukadeva, and sages like them had such a command from God, and Sankara had it too. Unless you have a command from God, who will listen to your words?

“Don’t you know how easily the people of Calcutta get excited? The milk in the kettle puffs up and boils as long as the fire burns underneath. Take away the fuel and all becomes quiet. The people of Calcutta love sensations. You may see them digging a well at a certain place. They say they want water. But if they strike a stone they give up that place; they begin at another place. And there, perchance, they find sand; they give up the second place too. Next they begin at a third. And so it goes. But it won’t do if a man only imagines that he has God’s command.

“God does reveal Himself to man and speak. Only then may one receive His command. How forceful are the words of such a teacher! They can move mountains. But mere lectures? People will listen to them for a few days and then forget them. They will never act upon mere words.

“At Kamarpukur there is a small lake called the Haldarpukur. Certain people used to befoul its banks every day. Others who came there in the morning to bathe would abuse the offenders loudly. But next morning they would find the same thing. The nuisance didn’t stop. (All laugh.) The villagers finally informed the authorities about it. A constable was sent, who put up a notice on the bank which read: ‘Commit no nuisance.’ This stopped the miscreants at once. (All laugh.)

“To teach others, one must have a badge of authority; otherwise teaching becomes a mockery. A man who is himself ignorant starts out to teach others-like the blind leading the blind! Instead of doing good, such teaching does harm. After the realization of God one obtains an inner vision. Only then can one diagnose a person’s spiritual malady and give instruction.

“Without the commission from God, a man becomes vain. He says to himself, ‘I am teaching people.’ This vanity comes from ignorance, for only an ignorant person feels that he is the doer. A man verily becomes liberated in life if he feels: ‘God is the Doer. He alone is doing everything. I am doing nothing.’ Man’s sufferings and worries spring only from his persistent thought that he is the doer.

I also feel in the same way doer is the problem of all suffering. Love and devotion towards your work comes only after self realization. My feeling is self realization happens in stages. I mean it is a continuous process. one can reach certain degree of awareness.

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How to do Charity ?

Doing good to others

“You people speak of doing good to the world. Is the world such a small thing? And who are you, pray, to do good to the world? First realize God, see Him by means of spiritual discipline. If He imparts power, then you can do good to others; otherwise not.

A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: “Then, sir, we must give up our activities until we realize God?”

MASTER: “No. Why should you? You must engage in such activities as contemplation, singing His praises, and other daily devotions.”

BRAHMO: “But what about our worldly duties-duties associated with our earning money, and so on?”

MASTER: “Yes, you can perform them too, but only as much as you need for your livelihood. At the same time, you must pray to God in solitude, with tears in your eyes, that you may be able to perform those duties in an unselfish manner. You should say to Him: ‘O God, make my worldly duties fewer and fewer; otherwise, O Lord, I find that I forget Thee when I am involved in too many activities. I may think I am doing unselfish work, but it turns out to be selfish.’ People who carry to excess the giving of alms, or the distributing of food among the poor, fall victims to the desire of acquiring name and fame.

“Sambhu Mallick once talked about establishing hospitals, dispensaries, and schools, making roads, digging public reservoirs, and so forth. I said to him: ‘Don’t go out of your way to look for such works. Undertake only those works that present themselves to you and are of pressing necessity-and those also in a spirit of detachment.’ It is not good to become involved in many activities. That makes one forget God. Coming to the Kalighat temple, some, perhaps, spend their whole time in giving alms to the poor. They have no time to see the Mother in the inner shrine! (Laughter.) First of all manage somehow to see the image of the Divine Mother, oven by pushing through the crowd. Then you may or may not give alms, as you wish. You may give to the poor to your heart’s content, if you feel that way. Work is only a means to the realization of God. Therefore I said to Sambhu, ‘Suppose God appears before you; then will you ask Him to build hospitals and dispensaries for you?’ (Laughter.) A lover of God never says that. He will rather say: ‘O Lord, give me a place at Thy Lotus Feet. Keep me always in Thy company. Give me sincere and pure love for Thee.’
Path of devotion most elective for Kaliyuga

“Karmayoga is very hard indeed. In the Kaliyuga it is extremely difficult to perform the rites enjoined in the scriptures. Nowadays man’s life is centred on food alone. He cannot perform many scriptural rites. Suppose a man is laid up with fever. If you attempt a slow cure with the old-fashioned indigenous remedies, before long his life may be snuffed out. He can’t stand much delay. Nowadays the drastic ‘D Gupta’ mixture is appropriate. In the Kaliyuga the best way is bhaktiyoga, the path of devotion-singing the praises of the Lord, and prayer. The path of devotion alone is the religion for this age. (To the Brahmo devotees) Yours also is the path of devotion. Blessed you are indeed that you chant the name of Hari and sing the Divine Mother’s glories. I like your attitude. You don’t call the world a dream like the non-dualists. You are not Brahmajnanis like them; you are bhaktas, lovers of God. That you speak of Him as a Person is also good. You are devotees. You will certainly realize Him if you call on Him with sincerity and earnestness.”

The boat cast anchor at Kayalaghat and the passengers prepared to disembark. On coming outside they noticed that the full moon was up. The trees, the buildings, and the boats on the Ganges were bathed in its mellow light. A carriage was hailed for the Master, and M. and a few devotees got in with him. The Master asked for Keshab. Presently the latter arrived and inquired about the arrangements made for the Master’s return to Dakshineswar. Then he bowed low and took leave of Sri Ramakrishna.

The carriage drove through the European quarter of the city. The Master enjoyed the sight of the beautiful mansions on both sides of the well lighted streets. Suddenly he said: “I am thirsty. What’s to be done?” Nandalal, Keshab’s nephew, stopped the carriage before the India Club and went upstairs to get some water. The Master inquired whether the glass had been well washed. On being assured that it had been, he drank the water. As the carriage went along, the Master put his head out of the window and looked with childlike enjoyment, at the people, the vehicles, the horses, and the streets, all flooded with moonlight. Now and then he heard European ladies singing at the piano. He was in a very happy mood.

The carriage arrived at the house of Suresh Mitra, who was a great devotee of the Master and whom he addressed affectionately as Surendra. He was not at home.

The members of the household opened a room on the ground floor for the Master and his party. The cab fare was to be paid. Surendra would have taken care of it had he been there. The Master said to a devotee: “Why don’t you ask the ladies to pay the fare? They certainly know that their master visits us at Dakshineswar. I am not a stranger to them.”(All laugh.)

Narendra, who lived in that quarter of the city, was sent for. In the mean time Sri Ramakrishna and the devotees were invited to the drawing-room upstairs. The floor of the room was covered with a carpet and a white sheet. A few cushions were lying about. On the wall hung an oil painting especially painted for Surendra, in which Sri Ramakrishna was pointing out to Keshab the harmony of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other religions. On seeing the picture Keshab had once said, “Blessed is the man who conceived the idea.”

Sri Ramakrishna was talking joyously with the devotees, when Narendra arrived. This made the Master doubly happy. He said to his young disciple, “We had a boat trip with Keshab today. Vijay and many other Brahmo devotees were there. (Pointing to M.) Ask him what I said to Keshab and Vijay about the mother and daughter observing their religious fast on Tuesdays, each on her own account, though the welfare of the one meant the welfare of the other. I also said to Keshab that trouble-makers like jatila and Kutila were necessary to lend zest to the play. (To M.) Isn’t that so?”

M: “Yes, sir. Quite so.”

It was late. Surendra had not yet returned. The Master had to leave for the temple garden, and a cab was brought for him. M. and Narendra saluted him and took their leave. Sri Ramakrishna’s carriage started for Dakshineswar through the moonlit streets.


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