Sri Sri Thakur’s Teachings from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Today’s Page: 215-216
Chapter 10: THE MASTER WITH THE BRAHMO DEVOTEES (II)
SRI RAMAKRISHNA paid a visit to Benimadhav Pal’s garden house at Sinthi, near Calcutta, on the occasion of the semi-annual festival of the Brahmo Samaj. Many devotees of the Samaj were present and sat around the Master. Now and then some of them asked him questions.
A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: “Sir, what is the way?”
MASTER: “Attachment to God, or, in other words, love for Him. And secondly, prayer.”
BRAHMO DEVOTEE: “Which one is the way-love or prayer?”
MASTER: “First love, and then prayer.”
The Master sang:
Cry to your Mother Syama with a real cry, O mind!
And how can She hold Herself from you?
How can Syama stay away? . . .
Continuing, the Master said: “And one must always chant the name and glories of God and pray to Him. An old metal pot must be scrubbed every day. What is the use of cleaning it only once? Further, one must practise discrimination and renunciation; one must be conscious of the unreality of the world.”
BRAHMO: “Is it good to renounce the world?”
MASTER: “Not for all. Those who have not yet come to the end of their enjoyments should not renounce the world. Can one get drunk on two annas’ worth of wine?”
BRAHMO: “Then should they lead a worldly life?”
MASTER: “Yes, they should try to perform their duties in a detached way. Before you break the jack-fruit open, rub your hands with oil, so that the sticky milk will not smear them. The maidservant in a rich man’s house performs all her duties, but her mind dwells on her home in the country. This is an example of doing duty in a detached way. You should renounce the world only in mind. But a sannyāsi should renounce the world both inwardly and outwardly.”
BRAHMO: “What is the meaning of the ‘end of enjoyments’?”
MASTER: “I mean the enjoyment of ‘woman and gold’. It is risky to put a typhoid patient in a room where pitchers of water and jugs of pickled tamarind are kept. Most people don’t feel any longing for God unless they have once passed through the experience of wealth, name, fame, creature comforts, and the like, that is to say, unless they have seen through these enjoyments.”