^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ SYMBOLS OF TWELVE MAJOR WORLD RELIGIONS ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^





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Q-1[DEVOTEE]: "How ought we to live in the world?"

SRI RAMAKRISHNA' ANSWER: “Do all your duties, but keep your mind on God.

A maidservant in the house of a rich man performs all the household duties, but her thoughts are fixed on her own home in her native village. She brings up her Master's children as if they were her own. She even speaks of them as 'my Rāma' or 'my Hari'. But in her own mind she knows very well that they do not belong to her at all.

If you enter the world without first cultivating love for God, you will be entangled more and more. You will be overwhelmed with its danger, its grief, its sorrows. And the more you think of worldly things, the more you will be attached to them.

First rub your hands with oil and then break open the jack-fruit; otherwise they will be smeared with its sticky milk. First secure the oil of divine love, and then set your hands to the duties of the world.

But one must go into solitude to attain this divine love.

Further, by meditating on God in solitude the mind acquires knowledge, dispassion, and devotion. But the very same mind goes downward if it dwells in the world.

Together with this, you must practise discrimination: 'Lust and Greed' is impermanent. God is the only Eternal Substance. What does a man get with money? Food, clothes, and a dwelling-place - nothing more. You cannot realize God with its help. Therefore money can never be the goal of life.


Q-2 [Devotee]: "Is it possible to see God?"

Sri Ramakrishna: "Yes, certainly. (i) Living in solitude now and then, (ii) repeating God's name and singing His glories, and (iii) discriminating between the Real and the unreal - these are the means to employ to see Him."


Q-3 [Devotee]: Under what conditions does one see God?

Sri Ramakrishna: "Cry to the Lord with an intensely yearning heart and you will certainly see Him. People shed a whole jug of tears for wife and children. They swim in tears for money. But who weeps for God? Cry to Him with a real cry.

Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun. Longing is followed by the vision of God.

God reveals Himself to a devotee who feels drawn to Him by the combined force of these three attractions: (i) the attraction of worldly possessions for the worldly man, (ii) the child's attraction for its mother, and (iii) the husband's attraction for the chaste wife. If one feels drawn to Him by the combined force of these three attractions, then through it one can attain Him.

The point is, to love God even as the mother loves her child, the chaste wife her husband, and the worldly man his wealth. Add together these three forces of love, these three powers of attraction, and give it all to God. Then you will certainly see Him.

It is necessary to pray [To know about PRAYER click] to Him with a longing heart. The kitten knows only how to call its mother, crying, 'Mew, mew!' It remains satisfied wherever its mother puts it. And the mother cat puts the kitten sometimes in the kitchen, sometimes on the floor, and sometimes on the bed. When it suffers it cries only, 'Mew, mew!' That's all it knows. But as soon as the mother hears this cry, wherever she may be; she comes to the kitten.


Q-4 [DEVOTEE]: If a wicked man is about to do harm, or actually does so, should we keep quiet then?

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: "A man living in society should make a show of tamas to protect himself from evil-minded people. But he should not harm anybody in anticipation of harm likely to be done him.


Q-5 [DEVOTEE]:How can we know that all paths are true?"

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: "A man can reach God if he follows one path rightly. Then he can learn about all the other paths. It is like reaching the roof by some means or other. Then one is able to climb down by the wooden or stone stairs, by a bamboo pole, or even by a rope.

"A devotee can know everything when God's grace descends on him. If you but realize Him, you will be able to know all about Him. You should somehow meet the master of a house and become acquainted with him; then he himself will tell you how many houses he owns and all about his gardens and government securities."

Q-6 [DEVOTEE] : "How does one receive the grace of God?"

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: "Constantly you have to chant the name and glories of God and give up worldly thoughts as much as you can. With the greatest effort you may try to bring water into your field for your crops, but it may all leak out through holes in the ridges. Then all your efforts to bring the water by digging a canal will be futile.

"You will feel restless for God when your heart becomes pure and your mind free from attachment to the things of the world. Then alone will your prayer reach God. A telegraph wire cannot carry messages if it has a break or some other defect.


Q-7 [DEVOTEE]: "How can one attain yoga?

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: By completely renouncing attachment to worldly things. The mind must be pure and without blemish, like the telegraph wire that has no defect.


Q-8 [DEVOTEE]: "How can one attain vision of God?

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: "The thing is that one must love God. Through intense love one attains the vision of Him. The attraction of the husband for the chaste wife, the attraction of the child for its mother, the attraction of worldly possessions for the worldly man-when a man can blend these three into one, and direct it all to God, then he gets the vision of God."


Q-9: [A devotee]: "How may we fix our minds on God?"

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: "Repeat God's name and sing His glories, and keep holy company. Now and then visit God's devotees and holy men. It is most necessary to go into solitude now and then and think of God. To fix the mind on God is very difficult in the beginning, unless one practises meditation in solitude. To meditate, you should withdraw within yourself or retire to a secluded corner or to the forest.


Q-10 [A DEVOTEE]: “what is the way out of this world?"
SRI RAMAKRISHNA: "Prayer and the company of holy men. You cannot get rid of an ailment without the help of a physician. But it is not enough to be in the company of religious people only for a day. You should constantly seek it, for the disease has become chronic. Again, you can't understand the pulse rightly unless you live with a physician. Moving with him constantly, you learn to distinguish between the pulse of phlegm and the pulse of bile."

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Q-1:Who is guru?

Q-2: What is meant by initiation?

Q-3: What is the heart-centre?

Q-4. When do we attain true bhakti?

Q-5. What is japa?

Q-6. How to control anger?

Q-7: How to overcome jealousy?

Q-8: How to overcome depression?

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Q-1:Who is guru?
ANS.: Guru is a spiritual teacher who removes darkness of ignorance and brings light of knowledge. It is the Supreme Being alone that is the Spiritual Teacher of all. The individual person through whom we get the Mantra is only a medium like a CD.

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Q-2: What is meant by initiation?
ANS.: Initiation or Diksha means putting one in spiritual path. That means giving a mantra relating to a Deity [Ishta Deva] and putting a disciple on the way of meditation on Him by the Guru.

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 Q-3: What is the heart-centre?

ANS.:It is the centre of our being from which our consciousness radiates. Usually meditation is done in the heart-centre. Lotus symbolizes the heart-centre on which the Deity is meditated upon.

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Q-4. When do we attain true bhakti?
ANS.:True Bhakti is attained only when our mind flows towards God in all circumstances, as the flow of a river to the ocean.

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Q-5. What is japa?
ANS.: Silent repetition of a holy name with concentration and devotion is called japa.

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Q-6. How to control anger?
ANS.: Generally anger comes when one feels that one has been insulted or injured or obstructed from gaining something or in any way harmed one by another . These feelings are moods or thought waves coming in the mind. They are just like clouds coming over the clear sky. When the cloud comes, the sky looks all dark, though really it is clear. If you train your mind to look at these feelings in a detached way when they overtake your mind you will be able to establish control over them gradually. 

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Q-7:How to overcome jealousy?
ANS.: Jealousy comes when one feels that a fellow student or colleague or someone has been able to get greater recognition or reward than oneself.. To overcome it, one must look upon all other persons not as one's rival or enemy but as friend and well wisher. 

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Q-8: How to overcome mental depression?
ANS.:  When you do japa, feel that all the power of the Divine is in it and think that it is a storm that scatters all the clouds of depression that are in your mental sky.  

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