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



Seeing God everywhere:
Sri Ramakrishana
MASTER: "But this is not possible without intense love of God.  One sees nothing but God everywhere when one loves Him with great intensity.  It is like a person with jaundice, who sees everything yellow.   Then one feels, 'I am verily He'. 

"A drunkard, deeply intoxicated, says, 'Verily I am Kāli!' The gopis, intoxicated with love, exclaimed, 'Verily I am Krishna!'

"One who thinks of God, day and night, beholds Him everywhere.  It is like a man's seeing flames on all sides after he has gazed fixedly at one flame for some time."

"But that isn't the real flame", flashed through M.'s mind. 

Sri Ramakrishna, who could read a man's inmost thought, said: "One doesn't lose consciousness by thinking of Him who is all Spirit, all Consciousness.  Shivanath once remarked that too much thinking about God confounds the brain.  Thereupon I said to him, 'How can one become unconscious by thinking of Consciousness?' "

M: "Yes, sir, I realize that.  It isn't like thinking of an unreal object.  How can a man lose his intelligence if he always fixes his mind on Him whose very nature is eternal Intelligence?"

MASTER (with pleasure): "It is through God's grace that you understand that.  The doubts of the mind will not disappear without His grace.  Doubts do not disappear without Self-realization. 

"But one need not fear anything if one has received the grace of God.  It is rather easy for a child to stumble if he holds his father's hand; but there can be no such fear if the father holds the child's hand.  A man does not have to suffer any more if God, in His grace, removes his doubts and reveals Himself to him.  But this grace descends upon him only after he has prayed to God with intense yearning of heart and practised spiritual discipline.  The mother feels compassion for her child when she sees him running about breathlessly.  She has been hiding herself; now she appears before the child."

"But why should God make us run about?" thought M

Immediately Sri Ramakrishna said: "It is His will that we should run about a little.  Then it is great fun.  God has created the world in play, as it were.  This is called Mahamaya, the Great Illusion.  Therefore one must take refuge in the Divine Mother, the Cosmic Power Itself.  It is She who has bound us with the shackles of illusion.  The realization of God is possible only when those shackles are severed."

Worship of the Divine Mother:
The Master continued: "One must propitiate the Divine Mother, the Primal Energy, in order to obtain God's grace.  God Himself is Mahamaya, who deludes the world with Her illusion and conjures up the magic of creation, preservation, and destruction.  She has spread this veil of ignorance before our eyes.  We can go into the inner chamber only when She lets us pass through the door.  Living outside, we see only outer objects, but not that Eternal Being, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.  Therefore it is stated in the purna that deities like Brahma praised Mahamaya for the destruction of the demons Madhu and Kaitabha. 

"Śakti alone is the root of the universe.  That Primal Energy has two aspects: vidyā and avidyā.  Avidyā deludes.  Avidyā conjures up 'woman and gold', which casts the spell.  Vidyā begets devotion, kindness, wisdom, and love, which lead one to God.  This avidyā must be propitiated, and that is the purpose of the rites of Śakti worship. 

"The devotee assumes various attitudes toward Śakti in order to propitiate Her: the attitude of a handmaid, a 'hero', or a child.  A hero's attitude is to please Her even as a man pleases a woman through intercourse. 

"The worship of Śakti is extremely difficult.  It is no joke.  I passed two years as the handmaid and companion of the Divine Mother.  But my natural attitude has always been that of a child toward its mother.  I regard the breasts of any woman as those of my own mother. 

Master's attitude toward women:
"Women are, all of them, the veritable images of Śakti.  In northwest India the bride holds a knife in her hand at the time of marriage; in Bengal, a nut-cutter.  The meaning is that the bridegroom, with the help of the bride, who is the embodiment of the Divine Power, will sever the bondage of illusion.  This is the 'heroic' attitude.  I never worshipped the Divine Mother that way.  My attitude toward Her is that of a child toward its mother. 

"The bride is the very embodiment of Śakti.  Haven't you noticed, at the marriage ceremony, how the groom sits behind like an idiot? But the bride - she is so bold!

His love for Narendra:
Narendra (Vivekananda)
"After attaining God one forgets His external splendour; the glories of His creation.  One doesn't think of God's glories after one has seen Him.  The devotee, once immersed in God's Bliss, doesn't calculate any more about outer things.  When I see Narendra (Swami Vivekananda), I don't need to ask him: 'What's your name? Where do you live?' Where is the time for such questions? Once a man asked Hanuman which day of the fortnight it was.  'Brother,' said Hanuman, 'I don't know anything of the day of the week, or the fortnight, or the position of the stars.  I think of Rama alone.' "

SOURCE: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishana

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