Ramakrishna’s Words

Ramakrishna says:  “As fishes playing in a pond covered over with reeds and scum, cannot be seen from outside, so God plays in the heart of a man invisibly, being screened by Maya from human view.”

   “As one and the same material, viz. Water, is called by different names by different people – one calling it ‘water’, another ‘vari’, a third ‘aqua’, and another ‘pani’ – so the  one Sat-Chit-Ananda, the Everlasting-Intelligent-Bliss (that is, Truth-Conscious-Bliss), is invoked by some as God, by some as Allah, by some as Hari, and by others as Brahman.

  “As with one gold various ornaments are made, having different forms and names, so one God is worshiped in different countries and ages, and has different forms and names. Though He may be worshiped variously, some loving to call him Father, others mother, &c., yet it is one God that is being worshiped in all these various relations and modes.

  “Question: If the God of every religion is the same, why is it then that the God is painted differently by different religionists?

  “Answer: God is one, but His aspects are different: as one master of the house is father to one, brother to another, and husband to a third, and is called by these different names by those different persons, so one God is described and called in various ways according to the particular aspect in which He appears to His particular worshiper. God is formless, and is with form too, and He is that which transcends both form and formlessness. He alone can say what else He is.”

  Ramakrishna teaches us by employing everyday things. He says:

 “Man is like a pillow-case. The color of one may be red, another blue, another black, but all contain the same cotton. So it is with man – one is beautiful, one is black, another is holy, a fourth wicked; but the Divine dwells in them all.”

  Ramakrishna says: “As many have merely heard of snow but not seen it, so many are the religious preachers who have read only in books about the attributes of God, but have not realized them in their lives. And, as many may have seen but not tasted it, so many are the religious teachers who have got only a glimpse of Divine Glory, but have not understood its real essence. He who has tasted the snow can say what it is like.

  “He who has enjoyed the society of God in different aspects, now as a servant, now as a friend, now as a lover, or as being absorbed in Him &c., he alone can tell what are the attributes of God.

  “Question: What do you say about the method of religious preaching employed now-a-days?

  Answer: It is inviting hundreds of persons to dinner, when the food supply is sufficient for one only.

  “Instead of preaching to others, if one worships God all that time, that is enough preaching. He, who strives to make himself free, is the real preacher. Hundreds come from all sides, no one knows whence, to him who is free, and is taught.

  “When a flower opens the bees come from all sides uninvited and unasked.

  “Have you got, 0 preacher, the badge of authority? As the humblest subject wearing the badge of the king is heard with respect and awe, and can quell the riot by showing his badge; so must thou, 0 preacher, obtain first the order and inspiration from God. So long as thou hast not this inspiration, thou mayest preach all thy life, but that will be mere waste of breath.

  “Question: Why do religions degenerate?

  Answer: The rainwater is pure, but becomes soiled according to the medium it passes through. If the roof and the pipe be dirty, the discharge is dirty.

  “Be not like the frog in the well. The frog in the well knows nothing bigger and grander than its well. So are all bigots: they do not see anything better than their own creeds.”

  Ramakrishna says:  “The human body is like a boiling pot and the mind and the senses are like water, rice or potato etc.  in it. Put the pot with its ingredients on the fire; it will be so hot as to burn your finger when you touch it. But the heat does not belong to the pot, nor anything contained in it, but it is in the fire.

  “So it is the fire of Brahman in man that causes the mind and the senses to perform their functions, and when that fire ceases to act, the senses also, or the organs, stop.

  “Know thyself, and thou shalt then know the non-self and the Lord of all. What is my ego? Is it my hand, or foot, or flesh, or blood, or muscle, or tendon?

  “Ponder deep, and thou shall know that there is no such thing as I. As by continually peeling off the skin of the onion, so by analyzing the ego it will be found that there is not any real entity corresponding to the ego.

  “The ultimate result of all such analysis is God. When egoism drops

away, Divinity manifests itself.”

  Ramakrishna teaches: “Knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or unconsciously, in whatever state we utter His name and we acquire the merit of such utterance. A man who voluntarily goes into a river and bathes therein gets the benefit of the bath so does likewise he who has been pushed into the river by another, or who while sleeping soundly has water thrown upon him by another.

  “He is truly a pious man who is dead even in life, i.e. whose passions and desires have been all destroyed as in a dead man.

  “So long as the heavenly expanse of the heart is troubled and disturbed by the gusts of desire, there is little chance of our beholding therein the brightness of God.

  “The beatific vision occurs only in the heart which is calm and rapt up in divine communion.

  “Soft clay admits of forms, but the burnt clay does not. So those hearts are consumed with the desire of worldly things cannot realize higher ideas.

  “What you think you should say. Let there be a harmony between your thoughts and your words; otherwise, if you merely tell that God is your all in all, while your mind has made the world its all in all, you cannot derive any benefit thereby.

  “The young of a monkey clasps and clings to its mother. The young kitten cannot clasp its mother, but mews piteously whenever it is near her. If the young monkey lets go its hold on its mother, it falls down and gets hurt. This is because it depends upon its own strength; but the kitten runs no such risk, as the mother herself carries it about from place to place. Such is the difference between self-reliance and entire resignation to the will of God.

  “A man who finds all the hairs of his body standing on end at the bare mention of Sri Hari’s name, through sheer ecstasy, and who sheds tears of love on hearing the name of God, he has reached his last birth (that is, he is just near the point of meeting God).

  “’I must attain perfection in this life, yea, in three days I must find God; nay, with a single utterance of His name I will draw Him to me’. With such a violent love the Lord is attracted soon. The lukewarm lovers take ages to go to him, if at all.

  “Where does the strength of an aspirant lie? It is in his tears. As a mother gives her consent to fulfill the desire of her importunately weeping child, so God vouchsafes to His weeping son whatever he is crying for.

  “Keep thy own sentiments and faith to thyself. Do not talk about them abroad. Otherwise thou wilt be a great loser.

  “If thou art in right earnest to be good and perfect, God will send the true and proper Master (Sad-Guru) to thee.

  “Earnestness is the only thing necessary.

  “Visit not miracle workers. They are wanderers from the path of truth. Their minds have become entangled in the meshes of psychic powers, which lie in the way of the pilgrim towards Brahmn, as temptations. Beware of these powers, and desire them not.

  ‘’Creeds and sects matter nothing. Let every one perform with faith the devotion and practices of his creed. Faith is the only clue to get to God.

  “Every man should follow his own religion. A Christian should follow Christianity; a Mohammedan should follow Mohammedanism, and so on. For the Hindus the ancient path, the path of the Aryan Rishis, is the best.

  “As one can ascend to the top of a house by means of a ladder or a bamboo or a staircase or a rope, so diverse also are the ways and means to approach God, and every religion in the world shows one of these ways.

  “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that he who yearns for God, finds Him.

  “The God with form is visible, nay, we can touch Him face to face, as with one’s dearest friend.

  “Little children play with dolls in a room apart just as they like, but as soon as their mother comes in they throw aside the dolls and run to her crying, ‘Mamma, Mamma!’. You also are now playing in this world deeply absorbed with the dolls of wealth, honor, and fame, and have no fear or anxiety. But if you once see the Divine Mother entering in, you will not find pleasure any more in wealth, honor, and fame. Leaving off all these you will run to her.

  “The Knowledge of God may be likened to a man, while the Love of God is like a woman. Knowledge has entry only up to the outer rooms of God, but no one can enter into the inner mysteries of God save a lover, for a woman has access even into the harem of the Almighty.

  “As a king, before going to the house of his servant, sends from his own stores the necessary seats, ornaments, food, &c., to his servant, so that the later may properly receive him; so before the Lord cometh, He sends love, reverence, faith, yearning, &c., into the heart of the devotee. 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 ignorant about it as a child, and then thou will get the knowledge of the True.”

  Ramakrishna further says:  “So long as a man is far from the market, he hears a loud and indistinct buzzing only, something like ‘Ho! Ho!’ But when he enters the market he no longer hears the uproar, but perceives distinctly that someone is bargaining for potatoes, another for brinjal, and so on. As long as a man is far away from God, he is in the midst of the noise and confusion of reason, argument, and discussion; but when once a person approaches the Almighty, all reasoning, arguments, and discussions cease, and he understands the mysteries of God with vivid and clear perception.

  “So long as a man calls aloud, ‘Allah Ho! Allah Ho!’ (0 God! 0 God!)’, be sure that he has not found God, for he who has found Him becomes still.

  “So long as the bee is outside the petals of the lotus, and has not tasted its honey, it hovers around the flower, emitting its buzzing sound; but when it is inside the flower, it drinks its nectar noiselessly. So long as a man quarrels and disputes about doctrines and dogmas, he has not tasted the nectar of the true faith; when he has tasted it he becomes still.”

  Ramakrishna says: “A spring cushion is squeezed down when one sits upon it, but it soon resumes its original shape when the pressure is removed. So it is with worldly men. They are full of religious sentiments, so long as they hear religious talks; but no sooner do they enter into the daily routine of the world, than they forget all those high and noble thoughts, and become as impure as before.

  “As the fly sits, now on the unclean sore of the human body, and now on the offerings dedicated to the gods, so mind of the worldly man sits at one time deeply engaged in religious topics and at the next moment loses itself in the pleasures of wealth and lust.

  “Worldly persons perform many pious and charitable acts with a hope of worldly rewards, but when misfortune, sorrow, and poverty approach them, they forget them all. They are like the parrot that repeats the Divine name ‘Radha-Krishna, Radha-Krishna’ the livelong day, but cries, ‘Kaw, Kaw’ when caught by a cat, forgetting the Divine name.

  “A worldly man may be endowed with intellect as great as that of Janaka, may take as much pains and trouble as a Yogin, and make as great sacrifices as an ascetic; but all these he makes and does, not for God, but for worldliness, honor, and wealth.

  “The vulture soars high up in the air, but all the while he is looking down into the charnel-pits in search of putrid carcasses. So the book-read pandits speak glibly and volubly about Divine Knowledge, but it is all mere talk, for all the while their mind is thinking about how to get money, respect, honor, power, &c., the vain guerdon of their learning. A worldly man is best known by his antipathy to whatever savours of religion. He does not like to hear any sacred music or psalm, or to utter the holy name of God, and even dissuades others from doing the same. He scoffs at prayers, and pours down a volley of abuse upon all religious societies and men.”

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