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- 1. Sri Ramakrishna
- 2. In the spiritual firmament Sri Ramakrishna is awaxing crescent. His message has spread across landand sea. Romain Rolland has described him as thefulfilment of the spiritual aspirations of the threehundred millions of Hindus for the last two thousandyears. Mahatma Gandhi has written: "His life enablesus to see God face to face. . . . Ramakrishna was aliving embodiment of godliness." He is beingrecognized as a compeer of Krishna, Buddha, andChrist.
- 3. The life and teachings of Sri Ramakrishna have redirected thethoughts of the Hindus to the spiritual ideals of their forefathers.His was the time-honoured role of the Saviour of the EternalReligion of the Hindus. His teachings played an important part inliberalizing the minds of orthodox pundits and hermits. He is thesilent force that is moulding the spiritual destiny of India. Hisdisciple, Swami Vivekananda, was the first Hindu missionary topreach the message of Indian culture to the enlightened minds ofEurope and America. The full consequence of Swami Viveknandwork is still in the womb of the future.
- 4. The one thing necessary for God realization iswhole-hearted and whole-souled devotion to God.It is not our business to correct the errors of otherreligions. He who has created the world will correctthem in time. Our duty is in some way or other torealize Him. God can be reached through manypaths; each of these sectarian religions points out apath which ultimately leads to Divinity.
- 5. He is with form, yet He is formless. He is personal, yetHe is impersonal, and who can say what other aspectsHe may have!In our relation with men all that we can do is to takeheed to ourselves that we mix with good people andavoid bad company. It is true, however, that Godresides in bad people also, yes, even in a tiger; but itdoes not follow that we should embrace a tiger.
- 6. We should recognize Divinity in all, but we shouldnot mix with bad people or with those who do notlove God. Our relation with them must not be veryclose. It is wise to avoid the company of suchpeople. Take refuge with the Lord. Think upon Him.Do not let your mind be disturbed by any otherthing.
- 7. One can think on God even dwelling in the midst ofwicked people. The sages of ancient times, who lived inforests, could meditate on God although surrounded bytigers, bears, and other wild beasts. The nature of thewicked is like that of a tiger or bear. They attack theinnocent and injure them. It is necessary, however, tokeep the company of holy men. Through suchassociation right discrimination will come.
- 8. The world may be likened to water, and the mind to milk. Puremilk once mixed with water cannot be separated from it; but ifit is first turned into butter and then placed in water, it canremain separate. Let the milk of your mind be turned into thebutter of Divine Love by means of religious practices insolitude. The mind then will never get mixed with the water ofworldliness, but will rise above and remain unattached to theworld. Having attained true knowledge and devotion the mindwill stand apart from the world.
- 9. A blind man taking a bath in the holy water of theGanges has his sins washed off, but his blindnesscontinues all the same. It is the result of the actions ofhis previous life. But however the body may be underthe influence of pleasure and pain, however the bodymay be happy or miserable, the true devotee is all thesame rich in spirit, rich in knowledge (Jnana) and thelove of God (Bhakti).
- 10. "If you wish to catch a big fish, which lives in deepwater, you will have to make many preparations toattract him. You must get the line, rod, hook andfloat; you. must put on savory bait ; then when yousee bubbles in the water, you may know that he hascome near. Similarly, if you wish to see God, devoteyourself to the practice of true Bhakti."
- 11. Selfless service is the Best selfserviceFaith and devotion. Onerealizes God easily throughdevotion. He is graspedthrough ecstasy of love.The man who works forothers, without any selfishmotive, really does goodto himself
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