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



December 1882
Sri Ramakrishna
In the afternoon Sri Ramakrishna was seated on the west porch of his room in the temple garden at Dakshineswar.  Among others, Baburam, Ramdayal, and M. were present.  These three were going to spend the night with the Master.  M. intended to stay the following day also, for he was having his Christmas holidays.  Baburam had only recently begun to visit the Master.

MASTER (to the devotees): "A man becomes liberated even in this life when he knows that God is the Doer of all things.  Once Keshab came here with Sambhu Mallick.  I said to him, 'Not even a leaf moves except by the will of God.' Where is man's free will? All are under the will of God.  Nangta was a man of great knowledge, yet even he was about to drown himself in the Ganges.  He stayed here eleven months.  At one time he suffered from stomach trouble.  The excruciating pain made him lose control over himself, and he wanted to drown himself in the river.  There was a long shoal near the bathing-ghat.  However far he went into the river, he couldn't find water above his knees.  Then he understood everything and came back.  At one time I was very ill and was about to cut my throat with a knife.  Therefore I say: 'O Mother, I am the machine and Thou art the Operator; I am the chariot and Thou art the Driver.  I move as Thou movest me; I do as Thou makest me do.' "

The devotees sing kirtan in the Master's room:
Dwell, O Lord, O Lover of bhakti,
In the Vrindāvan of my heart,
And my devotion unto Thee
Will be Thy Radha, dearly loved;
My body will be Nanda's home,
My tenderness will be Yaśoda,
My longing for deliverance
Will be Thy gentle gopi maids.
Lift the Govardhan of my sin
And slay my six unyielding passions,
Fierce as the demons sent by Kamsa!
Sweetly play the flute of Thy grace,
Charming the milch cow of my mind;
Abide in the pasture of my soul.
Dwell by the Jamuna of my yearning,
Under the banyan of my hope,
For ever gracious to Thy servant;
And, if naught but the cowherds' love
Can hold Thee in Vrindāvan's vale,
Then, Lord, let Dasarathi, too,
Become Thy cowherd and Thy slave.

Again they sang:
Sing, O bird that nestles deep within my heart!
Sing, O bird that sits on the Kalpa-Tree of Brahman!
Sing God's everlasting praise.
Taste, O bird, of the four fruits of the Kalpa-Tree,
Dharma, artha, kama, moksha.
Sing, O bird, "He alone is the Comfort of my soul!"
Sing, O bird, "He alone is my life's enduring Joy!"
O thou wondrous bird of my life,
Sing aloud in my heart! Unceasingly sing, O bird!
Sing for evermore, even as the thirsty chatak
Sings for the raindrop from the cloud.

A devotee from Nandanbagan entered the room with his friends.  The Master looked at him and said, "Everything inside him can be seen through his eyes, as one sees the objects in a room through a glass door." This devotee and his brothers always celebrated the anniversary of the Brahmo Samaj at their house in Nandanbagan.  Sri Ramakrishna had taken part in these festivals.

The evening worship began in the temples.  The Master was seated on the small couch in his room, absorbed in meditation.  He went into an ecstatic mood and said a little later: "Mother, please draw him to Thee.  He is so modest and humble! He has been visiting Thee." Was the Master referring to Baburam, who later became one of his foremost disciples?

Why so much suffering in God's creation?
The Master explained the different kinds of samādhi to the devotees.  The conversation then turned to the joy and suffering of life.  Why did God create so much suffering?

M: "Once Vidyasagar said in a mood of pique: 'What is the use of calling on God? Just think of this incident: At one time Chenghiz Khan plundered a
country and imprisoned many people.  The number of prisoners rose to about a hundred thousand.  The commander of his army said to him: "Your Majesty, who will feed them? It is risky to keep them with us.  It will be equally dangerous to release them.  What shall I do?" Chenghiz Khan said: "That's true.  What can be done? Well, have them killed." The order was accordingly given to cut them to pieces.  Now, God saw this slaughter, didn't He? But He didn't stop it in any way.  Therefore I don't need God, whether He exists or not.  I don't derive any good from Him.'"

MASTER: "Is it possible to understand God's action and His motive? He creates, He preserves, and He destroys.  Can we ever understand why He destroys? I say to the Divine Mother: 'O Mother, I do not need to understand.  Please give me love for Thy Lotus Feet.' The aim of human life is to attain bhakti.  As for other things, the Mother knows best.  I have come to the garden to eat mangoes.  What is the use of my calculating the number of trees, branches, and leaves? I only eat the mangoes; I don't need to know the number of trees and leaves."

Baburam, M., and Ramdayal slept that night on the floor of the Master's room.
It was an early hour of the morning, about two or three o'clock.  The room was dark.  Sri Ramakrishna was seated on his bed and now and then conversed with the devotees.

Compassion and attachment:
MASTER: "Remember that daya, compassion, and maya, attachment, are two different things.  Attachment means the feeling of 'my-ness' toward one's relatives.  It is the love one feels for one's parents, one's brother, one's sister, one's wife and children.  Compassion is the love one feels for all beings of the world.  It is an attitude of equality.  If you see anywhere an instance of compassion, as in Vidyasagar, know that it is due to the grace of God.  Through compassion one serves all beings.  Maya also comes from God.  Through maya God makes one serve one's relatives.  But one thing should be remembered: maya keeps us in ignorance and entangles us in the world, whereas daya makes our hearts pure and gradually unties our bonds.

"God cannot be realized without purity of heart.  One receives the grace of God by subduing the passions-lust, anger, and greed.  Then one sees God.  I tried many things in order to conquer lust.

"When I was ten or eleven years old and lived at Kamarpukur, I first experienced samādhi.  As I was passing through a paddy-field, I saw something and was overwhelmed.  There are certain characteristics of God-vision.  One sees light, feels joy, and experiences the upsurge of a great current in one's chest, like the bursting of a rocket."

The next day Baburam and Ramdayal returned to Calcutta.  M. spent the day and the night with the Master.

December 1882
It was afternoon.  The Master was sitting in his room at Dakshineswar with M. and one or two other devotees.  Several Marwari devotees arrived and saluted the Master.  They requested Sri Ramakrishna to give them spiritual instruction.  He smiled.

MASTER (to the Marwari devotees): "You see, the feeling of 'I' and 'mine' is the result of ignorance.  But to say, 'O God, Thou art the Doer; all these belong to Thee' is the sign of Knowledge.  How can you say such a thing as 'mine'? The superintendent of the garden says, 'This is my garden.' But if he is dismissed because of some misconduct, then he does not have the courage to take away even such a worthless thing as his mango-wood box.  Anger and lust cannot be destroyed.  Turn them toward God.  If you must feel desire and temptation, then desire to realize God, feel tempted by Him.  Discriminate and turn the passions away from worldly objects.  When the elephant is about to devour a plaintain-tree in someone's garden, the mahut strikes it with his iron-tipped goad.

"You are merchants.  You know how to improve your business gradually.  Some of you start with a castor-oil factory.  After making some money at that, you open a cloth shop.  In the same way, one makes progress toward God.  It may be that you go into solitude, now and then, and devote more time to prayer.

"But you must remember that nothing can be achieved except in its proper time.  Some persons must pass through many experiences and perform many worldly duties before they can turn their attention to God; so they have to wait a long time.  If an abscess is lanced before it is soft, the result is not good; the surgeon makes the opening when it is soft and has come to a head.  Once a child said to its mother: 'Mother, I am going to sleep now.  Please wake me up when I feel the call of nature.' 'My child,' said the mother, 'when it is time for that, you will wake up yourself.  I shan't have to wake you.' "

The Marwari devotees generally brought offerings of fruit, candy, and other sweets for the Master.  But Sri Ramakrishna could hardly eat them.  He would say: "They earn their money by falsehood.  I can't eat their offerings." He said to the Marwaris: "You see, one can't strictly adhere to truth in business.  There are ups and downs in business.  Nanak once said, 'I was about to eat the food of unholy people, when I found it stained with blood.' A man should offer only pure things to holy men.  He shouldn't give them food earned by dishonest means.  God is realized by following the path of truth.  One should always chant His name.  Even while one is performing one's duties, the mind should be left with God.  Suppose I have a carbuncle on my back.  I perform my duties, but the mind is drawn to the carbuncle.  It is good to repeat the name of Rama.  'The same Rama who was the son of King Dasaratha has created this world.  Again, as Spirit, He pervades all beings.  He is very near us; He is both within and without.' "
SOURCE: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. 

No comments: