Sri Sri Thakur’s Teaching from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Today’s Page: 173-174
Chapter 7: THE MASTER AND VIJAY GOSWAMI
“If the devotee but once feels this attachment and ecstatic love for God, this mature devotion and longing, then he sees God in both His aspects, with form and without form.”
VIJAY: “How can one see God?”
MASTER: “One cannot see God without purity of heart. Through attachment to ‘woman and gold’ the mind has become stained-covered with dirt, as it were. A magnet cannot attract a needle if the needle is covered with mud. Wash away the mud and the magnet will draw it. Likewise, the dirt of the mind can be washed away with the tears of our eyes. This stain is removed if one sheds tears of repentance and says, ‘O God, I shall never again do such a thing.’ Thereupon God, who is like the magnet, draws to Himself the mind, which is like the needle. Then the devotee goes into samadhi and obtains the vision of God.
“You may try thousands of times, but nothing can be achieved without God’s grace. One cannot see God without His grace. Is it an easy thing to receive the grace of God? One must altogether renounce egotism; one cannot see God as long as one feels, ‘I am the doer.’ Suppose, in a family, a man has taken charge of the store-room; then if someone asks the master, ‘Sir, will you yourself kindly give me something from the store-room?’, the master says to him: ‘There is already someone in the store-room. What can I do there?’
“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 lanterns (6 A reference to the lantern carried by the night-watch, which has dark glass on three sides.) 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.’
“A house without light indicates poverty. So one must light the lamp of Knowledge in one’s heart. As it is said in a song:
Lighting the lamp of Knowledge in the chamber of your heart,
Behold the face of the Mother, Brahman’s Embodiment.”
As Vijay had brought medicine with him, the Master asked a devotee to give him some water. He was indeed a fountain of infinite compassion. He had arranged for Vijay’s boat fare, since the latter was too poor to pay it. Vijay, Balaram, M., and the other devotees left for Calcutta in a country boat.