April 2009

After Realizing God – I

From Chapter 11

“You have to spend a few days in solitude. If you but touch the ‘granny’ you are safe. Turn yourself into gold and then live wherever you please. After realizing God and divine love in solitude one may live in the world as well. (To Rakhal’s father) That is why I ask the youngsters to stay with me; for they will develop love of God by staying here a few days. After that they can very well lead the life of a householder.”

From Chapter 12

MASTER: “I said to Keshab Sen that the ‘I’ that says, ‘I am a leader, I have formed this party, I am teaching people’, is the ‘unripe I’. It is very difficult to preach religion. It is not possible to do so without receiving the commandment of God. The permission of God is necessary. Sukadeva had a command from God to recite the Bhagavata. If, after realizing God, a man gets His command and becomes a preacher or teacher, then that preaching or teaching does no harm. His ‘I’ is not ‘unripe’; it is ‘ripe’.

From Chapter 15

The Master was in a state of intense divine intoxication. In the well-lighted room the Brahmo devotees sat around the Master; Latu, Rakhal, and M. remained near him. He was saying to himself, still filled with divine fervour: “The body and the soul! The body was born and it will die. But for the soul there is no death. It is like the betel-nut. When the nut is ripe it does not stick to the shell. But when it is green it is difficult to separate it from the shell. After realizing God, one does not identify oneself any more with the body. Then one knows that body and soul are two different things.”…..

….. During the period of struggle one should follow the method of discrimination-‘Not this, not this’-and direct the whole mind to God. But the state of perfection is quite different. After reaching God one reaffirms what formerly one denied. To extract butter you must separate it from the buttermilk. Then you discover that butter and buttermilk are intrinsically related to one another. They belong to the same stuff. The butter is not essentially different from the buttermilk, nor the buttermilk essentially different from the butter. After realizing God one knows definitely that it is He who has become everything. In some objects He is manifested more clearly, and in others less clearly….

…. “By turning the mind within oneself one acquires discrimination, and through discrimination one thinks of Truth. Then the mind feels the desire to go for a walk to Kali, the Wish-fulfilling Tree. Reaching that Tree, that is to say, going near to God, you can without any effort gather four fruits, namely, dharma, artha, kama, and moksha. Yes, after realizing God, one can also get, if one so desires, dharma, artha, and kama, which are necessary for leading the worldly life.”…

From Chapter 16

“The ego cannot be done away with. As long as ‘I-consciousness’ exists, living beings and the universe must also exist. After realizing God, one sees that, it is He Himself who has become the universe and the living beings. But one cannot realize this by mere reasoning.

…It was the second day of the dark fortnight of the moon. Soon the moon rose in the sky, bathing temples, trees, flowers, and the rippling surface of the Ganges in its light. The Master was sitting on the couch and M. on the floor. The conversation turned to the Vedanta.

MASTER (to M.): “Why should the universe be unreal? That is a speculation of the philosophers. After realizing God, one sees that it is God Himself who has become the universe and all living beings….

…”After realizing God, one sees all this aright-that it is He who has become the universe, living beings, and the twenty-four cosmic principles. But what remains when God completely effaces the ego cannot be described in words. As Ramprasad said in one of his songs, ‘Then alone will you know whether you are good or I am good!’  I get into even that state now and then.

From Chapter 19

“One may lead a householder’s life after realizing God. It is like churning butter from milk and then keeping the butter in water. Janaka led the life of a householder after attaining Brahmajnana.

After Realizing God – II

From Chapter 37

“Once Vyasadeva was about to cross the Jamuna. The gopis also were there. They wanted to go to the other side of the river to sell curd, milk, and cream. But there was no ferry at that time. They were all worried about how to cross the river, when Vyasa said to them, ‘I am very hungry.’ The milkmaids fed him with milk and cream. He finished almost all their food. Then Vyasa said to the river, ‘O Jamuna, if I have not eaten anything, then your waters will part and we shall walk through.’ It so happened. The river parted and a pathway was formed between the waters. Following that path, the gopis and Vyasa crossed the river. Vyasa had said, ‘If I have not eaten anything’. That means, the real man is Pure Atman. Atman is unattached and beyond Prakriti. It has neither hunger nor thirst; It knows neither birth nor death; It does not age, nor does It die. It is immutable as Mount Sumeru.

“He who has attained this Knowledge of Brahman is a jivanmukta, liberated while living in the body. He rightly understand that the Atman and the body are two separate things. After realizing God one does not identify the Atman with the body. These two are separate, like the kernel and the shell of the coconut when its milk dries up. The Atman moves, as it were, within the body. When the ‘milk’ of worldly-mindedness has dried up, one gets Self-knowledge. Then one feels that Atman and body are two separate things. The kernel of a green almond or betel-nut cannot be separated from the shell; but when they are ripe the juice dries up and the kernel separates from the shell. After the attainment of the Knowledge of Brahman, the ‘milk’ of worldly-mindedness dries up.

From Chapter 39

Noticing the book in Girish’s hand, Sri Ramakrishna said to Girish, M., Ram, and the other devotees: “Those people are busy with the world. That is why they set such a high value on worldly life. They are drowned in ‘woman and gold’. One doesn’t talk that way after realizing God. After enjoying divine bliss, one looks on the world as crow-droppings. At the very outset I utterly renounced  everything. Not only did I renounce the company of worldly people, but now and then the company of devotees as well. I noticed that the devotees were dropping dead one by one, and that made my heart writhe with pain. But now I keep one or two of them with me.”

From Chapter 44

MASTER (to M, pointing to the pundit): “He is very nice. (To the  pundit) Where the mind attains peace by practising the discipline of ‘Neti, neti’, there Brahman is.

“The king dwells in the inmost room of the palace, which has seven gates. The visitor comes to the first gate. There he sees a lordly person with a large retinue, surrounded on all sides by pomp and grandeur. The visitor asks his companion, ‘Is he the king?’ ‘No’, says his friend with a smile.

“At the second and the other gates he repeats the same question to his friend. He finds that the nearer he comes to the inmost part of the palace, the greater is the glory, pomp, and grandeur. When he passes the seventh gate he does not ask his companion whether it is the king; he stands speechless at the king’s immeasurable glory. He realizes that he is face to face with the king. He hasn’t the slightest doubt about it.”

PUNDIT: “One sees God beyond the realm of maya.”

MASTER: “But after realizing God one finds that He alone has become maya, the universe, and all living beings. This world is no doubt a ‘framework of illusion’, unreal as a dream. One feels that way when one discriminates following the process of ‘Not this, not this’. But after the vision of God this very world becomes ‘a mansion of mirth’.

“What will you gain by the mere study of scriptures? The pundits merely indulge in reasoning.”

From Chapter 45

“After realizing God, some souls perform work in order to teach men. Janaka, Narada, and others like them, belong to this group. But one must possess power in order to be able to teach others. The sages of old were busy attaining knowledge for themselves. But teachers like Narada went about doing good to others. They were real heroes.

“A worthless stick floating on the water sinks under the weight of a bird; but a heavy and substantial log floating on the water can support a cow, a man, or even an elephant. A steamboat not only crosses the water itself but carries many human beings with it. Teachers like Narada may be compared to the heavy log of wood or the steamboat.

…”After realizing God, a man becomes like a child five years old. The ego of such a man may be called the ‘ego of a child’, the ‘ripe ego’. The child is not under the control of any of the gunas. He is beyond the three gunas. He is not under the control of any of the gunas-sattva, rajas, or tamas.

Mental Renunciation

From Chapter 7

MASTER: “There are two ways. One is the path of discrimination, the other is that of love. Discrimination means to know the distinction between the Real and the unreal. God alone is the real and permanent Substance; all else is illusory and impermanent. The magician alone is real; his magic is illusory. This is discrimination.

“Discrimination and renunciation. Discrimination means to know the distinction between the Real and the unreal. Renunciation means to have dispassion for the things of the world. One cannot acquire them all of a sudden. They must be practised every day. One should renounce ‘woman and gold’ mentally at first. Then, by the will of God, one can renounce it both mentally and outwardly. It is impossible to ask the people of Calcutta to renounce all for the sake of God. One has to tell them to renounce mentally.

“Through the discipline of constant practice one is able to give up attachment to ‘woman and gold’. That is what the Gita says. By practice one acquires uncommon power of mind. Then one doesn’t find it difficult to subdue the sense-organs and to bring anger, lust, and the like under control. Such a man behaves like a tortoise, which, once it has tucked in its limbs, never puts them out. You cannot make the tortoise put its limbs out again, though you chop it to pieces with an axe.”

From Chapter 12

“The Divine Mother has revealed to me the essence of the Vedanta. It is that Brahman alone is real and the world illusory. The essence of the Gita is what you get by repeating the word ten times. The word becomes reversed. It is then ‘tagi’, which refers to renunciation. The essence of the Gita is: ‘O man, renounce everything and practise spiritual discipline for the realization of God.’ ”

NAVADVIP: “But how can we persuade our minds to renounce?”

MASTER: “You are a goswami. It is your duty to officiate as priest in the temple. You cannot renounce the world; otherwise, who would look after the temple and its services? You have to renounce mentally.

“It is God Himself who has kept you in the world to set an example to men. You may resolve in your mind a thousand times to renounce the world, but you will not succeed. God has given you such a nature that you must perform your worldly duties.

“Krishna said to Arjuna: ‘What do you mean, you will not fight? By your mere will you cannot desist from fighting. Your very nature will make you fight.’ ”

From Chapter 13

MASTER: “Whatever you see, think, or hear is maya. In a word, ‘woman and gold’ is the covering of maya.

“There is no harm in chewing betel-leaf, eating fish, smoking, or rubbing the body with oil. What will one achieve by renouncing only these things? The one thing needful is the renunciation of ‘woman and gold’. That renunciation is the real and supreme renunciation. Householders should go into solitude now and then, to practise spiritual discipline in order to cultivate devotion to God; they should renounce mentally. But the sannyasi should renounce both mentally and physically.

“I once said to Keshab, ‘How can a typhoid patient be cured if he remains in a room where a pitcher of water and a jar of pickles are kept?’ Now and then one should live in solitude “.

From Chapter 49

M: “Yesterday they went to Dakshineswar to meditate. I had a dream.”

MASTER: “What did you dream?”

M: “I dreamt that Narendra and some others had become sannyasis. They were sitting around a lighted fire, I too was there. They were smoking tobacco and blowing out puffs of smoke. I told them that I could smell hemp.”

MASTER: “Mental renunciation is the essential thing. That, too, makes one a sannyasi.”

Sri Ramakrishna kept silent a few minutes and then went on.

MASTER: “But one must set fire to one’s desires. Then alone can one succeed.”

M: “You said to the pundit of the Marwaris from Burrabazar that you had the desire for bhakti. Isn’t the desire for bhakti to be counted as a desire?”.

MASTER: “No, just as hinche greens are not to be counted as greens. Hinche restrains the secretion of bile.

God One’s Own

From Chaper 41

“It is God who does everything. We are His instruments. Some Sikhs said to me in front of the Kali temple, ‘God is compassionate.’ I said, ‘to whom is He compassionate?’ ‘Why, revered sir, to all of us’, said the Sikhs. I said: ‘We are His children. Does compassion to one’s own children mean much? A father must look after his children; or do you expect the people of the neighbourhood to bring them up?’ Well, won’t those who say that God is compassionate ever understand that we are God’s children and not someone else’s?”

CAPTAIN: “You are right. They don’t regard God as their own.”

MASTER: “Should we not, then, address God as compassionate? Of course we should, as long as we practise sadhana. After realizing God, one rightly feels that God is our Father or Mother. As long as we have not realized God, we feel that we are far away from Him, children of someone else.

From Chapter 8

“One does not follow the injunctions of ceremonial worship when one develops raga-bhakti, when one loves God as one’s own. Then it is like crossing a rice-field after the harvest. You don’t have to walk along the balk. You can go straight across the field in any direction.

“When the country is flooded deep with water, one doesn’t have to follow the winding river. Then the fields are deep under water. You can row your boat straight to the village.

“Without this intense attachment, this passionate love, one cannot realize God.”

From Chapter 10

“There are two elements in this ecstatic love: ‘I-ness’ and ‘my-ness’. Yasoda used to think: ‘Who would look after Gopala if I did not? He will fall ill if I do not serve Him.’ She did not look on Krishna as God. The other element is ‘my-ness’. It means to look on God as one’s own-‘my Gopala’. Uddhava said to Yasoda: ‘Mother, your Krishna is God Himself. He is the Lord of the Universe and not a common human being.’ ‘Oh!’ exclaimed Yasoda. ‘I am not asking you about your Lord of the Universe. I want to know how my Gopala fares. Not the Lord of the Universe, but my Gopala.’

From Chapter 32

TRAILOKYA: “What is the way to dry up the craving for worldly pleasure?”

MASTER: “Pray to the Divine Mother with a longing heart. Her vision dries up all craving for the world and completely destroys all attachment to ‘woman and gold’. It happens instantly if you think of Her as your own mother. She is by no means a godmother. She is your own mother. With a yearning heart persist in your demands on Her. The child holds to the skirt of its mother and begs a penny of her to buy a kite. Perhaps the mother is gossiping with her friends. At first she refuses to give the penny and says to the child: ‘No, you can’t have it. Your daddy has asked me not to give you money. When he comes home I’ll ask him about it. You will get into trouble if you play with a kite now.’ The child begins to cry and will not give up his demand. Then the mother says to her friends: ‘Excuse me a moment. Let me pacify this child.’ Immediately she unlocks the cash-box with a click and throws the child a penny.

“You too must force your demand on the Divine Mother. She will come to you without fail. I once said the same thing to some Sikhs when they visited the temple at Dakshineswar. We were conversing in front of the Kali temple. They said, ‘God is compassionate.’ ‘Why compassionate?’ I asked. They said, ‘Why, revered sir, He constantly looks after us, gives us righteousness and wealth, and provides us with our food.’ ‘Suppose’, I said, ‘a man has children. Who will look after them and provide them with food-their own father, or a man from another village?’

SUB-JUDGE: “Is not God, then, compassionate, sir?”

MASTER: “Why should you think that? I just made a remark. What I mean to say is that God is our very own. We can exert force on Him. With one’s own people one can even go so far as to say, ‘You rascal! Won’t you give it to me?’

Of the Nature of Bliss

From Chapter 3

“Men often think they have understood Brahman fully. Once an ant went to a hill of sugar. One grain filled its stomach. Taking another grain in its mouth it started homeward. On its way it thought, ‘Next time I shall carry home the whole hill.’ That is the way shallow minds think. They don’t know that Brahman is beyond one’s words and thought. However great a man may be, how much can he know of Brahman? Sukadeva and sages like him may have been big ants; but even they could carry at the utmost eight or ten grains of sugar!

Suppose a man has seen the ocean, and somebody asks him, ‘Well, what is the ocean like?’ The first man opens his mouth as wide as he can and says: ‘What a sight! What tremendous waves and sounds!’ The description of Brahman in the sacred books is like that. It is said in the Vedas that Brahman is of the nature of Bliss – It is Satchidananda.

From Chapter 5

The Master said: “The Divine Mother is always playful and sportive. This universe is Her play. She is self-willed and must always have Her own way. She is full of bliss. She gives freedom to one out of a hundred thousand.”

A BRAHMO DEVOTEE: “But, sir, if She likes, She can give freedom to all. Why, then, has She kept us bound to the world?”

MASTER: “That is Her will. She wants to continue playing with Her created beings. In a game of hide-and-seek the running about soon stops if in the beginning all the players touch the ‘granny’. If all touch her, then how can the game go on? That displeases her. Her pleasure is in continuing the game.

From Chapter 12

Sri Ramakrishna, accompanied by the devotees, took a carriage to return to Dakshineswar. They were going to pass the temple garden of Mati Seal on the way. For a long time the Master had been asking M. to take him to the reservoir in the garden in order that he might teach him how to meditate on the formless God. There were tame fish in the reservoir. Nobody harmed them. Visitors threw puffed rice and other bits of food into the water, and the big fish came in swarms to eat the food. Fearlessly the fish swam in the water and sported there joyously.

Coming to the reservoir, the Master said to M.: “Look at the fish. Meditating on the formless God is like swimming joyfully like these fish, in the Ocean of Bliss and Consciousness.”

From Chapter 15

“He who is Brahman is the Adyasakti, the Primal Energy. When inactive He is called Brahman, the Purusha; He is called Sakti, or Prakriti, when engaged in creation, preservation, and destruction. These are the two aspects of Reality: Purusha and Prakriti. He who is the Purusha is also Prakriti. Both are the embodiment of Bliss.

From Chapter 43

“The Divine Mother is full of bliss. Creation, preservation, and destruction are the waves of Her sportive pleasure. Innumerable are the living beings. Only one or two among them obtain liberation. And that makes Her happy.

Out of a hundred thousand kites, at best but one or two break free;

And Thou dost laugh and clap Thy hands, O Mother, watching them!

Some are being entangled in the world and some are being liberated from it.

How many are the boats, O mind,

That float on the ocean of this world!

How many are those that sink!”

NANDA: “It may be Her sweet will; but it is death to us.”

MASTER: “But who are you? It is the Divine Mother who has become all this. It is only as long as you do not know Her that you say, ‘I’, ‘I’.

“All will surely realize God. All will be liberated. It may be that some get their meal in the morning, some at noon, and some in the evening: but none  will go without food. All, without any exception, will certainly know their real Self.”

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