Archive for June, 2010

THERE ARE MEN AND MEN

MEN may be divided into four classes: those
bound by the fetters of the world, the seekers after
liberation, the liberated and the ever-free.
Among the ever-free we may count sages like
Narada. They live in the world for the good of
others, to teach men spiritual truths.
Those in bondage are sunk in worldliness and are
forgetful of God. Not even by mistake do they
think of God.
The seekers after liberation want to free themselves
from attachment to the world. Some of them
succeed and others do not.
The liberated souls, such as the Sadhus and
Mahatmas, are not entangled in the world, in
‘woman and gold.’ Their minds are free from
worldliness. Besides they always meditate on the
Lotus Feet of God.
Suppose a net has been cast into a lake to catch
fish. Some fish are so clever that they are never
caught in the net. They are like the ever-free. But
most of the fish are entangled in the net. Some of
them try to free themselves from it, and they are
like those who seek liberation. But not all the fish
that straggle succeed.
A very few do jump out of the net, making a big
splash in the water. Then the fishermen shout,
‘Look! There goes a big one!’ But most of the fish
caught in the net cannot escape, nor do they make
any effort to get out.
On the contrary, they burrow into the mud with
the net in their mouths and lie there quietly,
thinking, ‘We need not fear any more; we are quite
safe here.’ But the poor things do not know that
the fishermen will drag them out with the net.
These are like the men bound to the world.

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THERE IS NEED FOR EVERYTHING

THERE IS NEED FOR EVERYTHING

Wicked People are needed too.
At one time the tenants of an estate became unruly.
The landlord had to send Golak Choudhury, who
was a ruffian. He was such a hard administrator
that the tenants trembled at the very mention of
the name.
There is need for everything. Once Sita said to her
husband: “Rama, it would be grand if every house
in Ayodhya were a mansion! I find many houses
are old and dilapidated.” “But, my dear,” said
Rama, “If all the houses were beautiful ones, what
would the masons do?” God has created all kinds
of things. He has created good trees and poisonous
plants and weeds as well. Among the animals there
are good, bad, and all kinds of creatures – tigers,
lions, snakes, and so on.

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ELDER, THE PUMPKIN CUTTER

You must have seen the sort of elderly man who
lives in a family and is always ready, day and night,
to entertain the children. He sits in the parlour and
smokes the hubble-bubble. With nothing in
particular to do, he leads a lazy life. Now and again
he goes to the inner court and cuts a pumpkin; for
since women do not cut pumpkins, they send the
children to ask him to come and do it. This is the
extent of his usefulness – hence his nickname,
‘Elder, the pumpkin cutter.’
He is neither a man of the world nor a devotee of
God. That is not good.

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A WORLDLING IS A POOR EXPONENT OF THE SASTRAS

A MAN wanted to engage a Bhagavata pandit who
could explain the Bhagavata to him. His friend
said: “I know of an excellent pandit. But there is
one difficulty; he does a great deal of farming. He
has four ploughs and eight bullocks and is always
busy with them; he has no leisure.” Thereupon
the man said: “I don’t care for a pandit who has no
leisure.
I am not looking for a Bhagavata scholar burdened
with ploughs and bullocks. I want a pandit who
can really expound the sacred book to me.”

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Men of the World : HOW THEY QUARREL!

IT is not good to say that what we ourselves think
of God is the only truth and what others think is
false; that because we think of God as formless,
therefore He is formless and cannot have any
form; that because we think of God as having
form, therefore He has form and cannot be
formless. Can a man really fathom God’s nature?
This kind of friction exists between the Vaishnavas
and the Saktas. The Vaishnava says, ‘My Kesava is
the only Saviour’, whereas the Sakta insists, ‘My
Bhagavati is the only Saviour.’
Once I took Vaishnavacharan* to Mathur Babu#.
Mathur welcomed him with great courtesy and fed
him from silver plates. Now, Vaishnavacharan was
a very learned Vaishnava and an orthodox devotee
of his sect.
Mathur, on the other hand, was a devotee of the
Divine Mother. They were engaged in a friendly
discussion when suddenly Vaishnavacharan said,
“Kesava is the only Saviour.” No sooner did
Mathur hear this than his face became red with
anger and he blurted out, “You rascal!” He was a
Sakta. Wasn’t it natural for him to say like that? I
gave Vaishnavacharan a nudge!

* A contemporary of Sri Ramakrishna
# The son-in-law of Rani Rasmani, the foundress of the Kali Temple at Dakshineswar, where Sri Ramakrishna lived and did his Sadhana

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