The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

Sri Sri Thakur’s Teaching from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

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Chapter 7: THE MASTER AND HIS INJURED ARM

Several devotees arrived from Shibpur. Since they had come from a great distance the Master could not disappoint them. He told them some of the essentials of spiritual life.

MASTER: “God alone is real, and all else illusory. The garden and its owner. God and His splendour. But people look at the garden only. How few seek out the owner!”

A DEVOTEE: “Sir, what is the way?”

MASTER: “Discrimination between the Real and the unreal. One should always discriminate to the effect that God alone is real and the world unreal. And one should pray with sincere longing.”

DEVOTEE: “But, sir, where is our leisure for these things?”

MASTER: “Those who have the time must meditate and worship. But those who cannot possibly do so must bow down whole-heartedly to God twice a day. He abides in the hearts of all; He knows that worldly people have many things to do. What else is possible for them? You don’t have time to pray to God; therefore give Him the power of attorney. But all is in vain unless you attain God and see Him.”

ANOTHER DEVOTEE: “Sir, to see you is the same as to see God.”

MASTER: “Don’t ever say that again. The waves belong to the Ganga, not the Ganga to the waves. A man cannot realize God unless he gets rid of all such egotistic ideas as ‘I am such an important man’ or ‘I am so and so’. Level the mound of ‘I’ to the ground by dissolving it with tears of devotion.”

DEVOTEE: “Why has God put us in the world?”

MASTER: “To perpetuate His creation. It is His will, His maya. He has deluded man with ‘woman and gold’.”

DEVOTEE: “Why has He deluded us? Why has He so willed?”

MASTER: “If but once He should give man a taste of divine joy, then man would not care to lead a worldly life. The creation would come to an end.

“The grain-dealer stores rice in huge bags in his warehouse. Near them he puts some puffed rice in a tray. This is to keep the rats away. The puffed rice tastes sweet to the rats and they nibble at it all night; they do not seek the rice itself. But just think! One seer of rice yields fourteen seers of puffed rice. How infinitely superior is the joy of God to the pleasure of ‘woman and gold’! To one who thinks of the beauty of God, the beauty of even Rambha and Tilottama*1 (1 Two celestial dancing-girls of exquisite beauty) *appears as but the ashes of a funeral pyre.”

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