Sri Sri Thakur’s Teaching from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
*Today’s Page: 141-142*
*Chapter 50: THE MASTER AND KESHAB*
*”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.*
*”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.