June 2009

Power of Attorney

From Chapter 9

The Master sang, as if to himself:

To arms! To arms, O man! Death storms your house in battle array!

Bearing the quiver of knowledge, mount the chariot of devotion;

Bend the bow of your tongue with the bow-string of love,

And aim at him the shaft of Mother Kali’s holy name.

Here is a ruse for the fray: You need no chariot or charioteer;

Fight your foe from the Ganges’ bank, and he is easily slain.

Then he said: “What can you do? Be ready for Death. Death has entered the house. You must fight him with the weapon of God’s holy name. God alone is the Doer. I say: ‘O Lord, I do as Thou doest through me. I speak as Thou speakest through me. I am the machine and Thou art the Operator. I am the house and Thou art the Indweller. I am the engine and Thou art the Engineer.’ Give your power of attorney to God. One doesn’t come to grief through letting a good man assume one’s responsibilities. Let His will be done.

From Chapter 19

A DEVOTEE: “Sir, what is the way?”

MASTER: “Discrimination between the Real and the unreal. One should always discriminate to the effect that God alone is real and the world unreal. And one should pray with sincere longing.”

DEVOTEE: “But, sir, where is our leisure for these things?”

MASTER: “Those who have the time must meditate and worship. But those who cannot possibly do so must bow down whole-heartedly to God twice a day. He abides in the hearts of all; He knows that worldly people have many things to do. What else is possible for them? You don’t have time to pray to God; therefore give Him the power of attorney. But all is in vain unless you attain God and see Him.”

From Chapter 20

SHRISH: “We do not have time to pray to God.”

MASTER (with a smile): “That is true. Nothing comes to pass except at the right time. Going to bed, a child said to his mother, ‘Mother, please wake me up when I feel the call of nature.’ ‘My son,’ said the mother, ‘that urge itself will wake you up. I don’t have to wake you.’

“It is all decided beforehand by God what each one shall receive. A mother-in-law used to measure rice with a dish for her daughters-in-law. But it was not enough for them. One day the dish was broken and that made the girls happy. But the mother-in-law said to them, ‘Children, you may shout and dance, but I can measure the rice with the palm of my hand.’

(To Shrish): “Surrender everything at the feet of God. What else can you do? Give Him the power of attorney. Let Him do whatever He thinks best. If you rely on a great man, he will never injure you.

From Chapter 32

TRAlLOKYA: “Sir, where is people’s leisure? They must serve their English masters.”

MASTER: “Well, then give God the power of attorney. If a man entrusts his affairs to a good person, will the latter do him any harm? With all the sincerity of your heart resign yourself to God and drive all your worries out of your mind. Do whatever duties He has assigned to you. The kitten does not have a calculating mind. It only cries, ‘Mew, mew!’ It lies in the kitchen contentedly if the mother cat leaves it there, and only calls the mother, crying, ‘Mew, mew!’ It has the same feeling of contentment when the mother cat puts it on the soft bed of the master of the house. It only cries for its mother.”

From Chapter 44

MASTER: “There are two classes of devotees. One class has the nature of the kitten. The kitten depends completely on its mother. It accepts whatever its mother does for it. The kitten only cries, ‘Mew, mew!’ It doesn’t know what to do or where to go. Sometimes the mother puts the kitten near the heart, sometimes on the bed. Devotees of this class give God the power of attorney and thus become free of all worry. The Sikhs said to me that God was kind. I said to them: ‘How is that? He is our Father and our Mother. Shouldn’t parents bring up their children after begetting them?Do you mean to say that the neighbours will look after them?’ Devotees of this class have an unwavering conviction that God is our Mother and our Father.

Intense Renunciation

From Chapter 9

The Master sang, as if to himself:

To arms! To arms, O man! Death storms your house in battle array!

Bearing the quiver of knowledge, mount the chariot of devotion;

Bend the bow of your tongue with the bow-string of love,

And aim at him the shaft of Mother Kali’s holy name.

Here is a ruse for the fray: You need no chariot or charioteer;

Fight your foe from the Ganges’ bank, and he is easily slain.

Then he said: “What can you do? Be ready for Death. Death has entered the house. You must fight him with the weapon of God’s holy name. God alone is the Doer. I say: ‘O Lord, I do as Thou doest through me. I speak as Thou speakest through me. I am the machine and Thou art the Operator. I am the house and Thou art the Indweller. I am the engine and Thou art the Engineer.’ Give your power of attorney to God. One doesn’t come to grief through letting a good man assume one’s responsibilities. Let His will be done.

From Chapter 19

A DEVOTEE: “Sir, what is the way?”

MASTER: “Discrimination between the Real and the unreal. One should always discriminate to the effect that God alone is real and the world unreal. And one should pray with sincere longing.”

DEVOTEE: “But, sir, where is our leisure for these things?”

MASTER: “Those who have the time must meditate and worship. But those who cannot possibly do so must bow down whole-heartedly to God twice a day. He abides in the hearts of all; He knows that worldly people have many things to do. What else is possible for them? You don’t have time to pray to God; therefore give Him the power of attorney. But all is in vain unless you attain God and see Him.”

From Chapter 20

SHRISH: “We do not have time to pray to God.”

MASTER (with a smile): “That is true. Nothing comes to pass except at the right time. Going to bed, a child said to his mother, ‘Mother, please wake me up when I feel the call of nature.’ ‘My son,’ said the mother, ‘that urge itself will wake you up. I don’t have to wake you.’

“It is all decided beforehand by God what each one shall receive. A mother-in-law used to measure rice with a dish for her daughters-in-law. But it was not enough for them. One day the dish was broken and that made the girls happy. But the mother-in-law said to them, ‘Children, you may shout and dance, but I can measure the rice with the palm of my hand.’

(To Shrish): “Surrender everything at the feet of God. What else can you do? Give Him the power of attorney. Let Him do whatever He thinks best. If you rely on a great man, he will never injure you.

From Chapter 32

TRAlLOKYA: “Sir, where is people’s leisure? They must serve their English masters.”

MASTER: “Well, then give God the power of attorney. If a man entrusts his affairs to a good person, will the latter do him any harm? With all the sincerity of your heart resign yourself to God and drive all your worries out of your mind. Do whatever duties He has assigned to you. The kitten does not have a calculating mind. It only cries, ‘Mew, mew!’ It lies in the kitchen contentedly if the mother cat leaves it there, and only calls the mother, crying, ‘Mew, mew!’ It has the same feeling of contentment when the mother cat puts it on the soft bed of the master of the house. It only cries for its mother.”

From Chapter 44

MASTER: “There are two classes of devotees. One class has the nature of the kitten. The kitten depends completely on its mother. It accepts whatever its mother does for it. The kitten only cries, ‘Mew, mew!’ It doesn’t know what to do or where to go. Sometimes the mother puts the kitten near the heart, sometimes on the bed. Devotees of this class give God the power of attorney and thus become free of all worry. The Sikhs said to me that God was kind. I said to them: ‘How is that? He is our Father and our Mother. Shouldn’t parents bring up their children after begetting them?Do you mean to say that the neighbours will look after them?’ Devotees of this class have an unwavering conviction that God is our Mother and our Father.

Goal of Life

From Chapter 1

“The world is water and the mind milk. If you pour milk into water they become one; you cannot find the pure milk any more. But turn the milk into curd and churn it into butter. Then, when that butter is placed in water, it will float. So, practise spiritual discipline in solitude and obtain the butter of knowledge and love. Even if you keep that butter in the water of the world the two will not mix. The butter will float.

“Together with this, you must practise discrimination. ‘Woman and gold’ is impermanent. God is the only Eternal Substance. What does a man get with money? Food, clothes, and a dwelling-place – nothing more. You cannot realize God with its help. Therefore money can never be the goal of life. That is the process of discrimination. Do you understand?”

From Chapter 2

Another day the Master was seated on the small couch in his room, with his usual beaming countenance. M. arrived with Kalikrishna, who did not know where his friend M. was taking him. He had only been told:  “If you want to see a grog-shop, then come with me. You will see a huge jar of wine there.” M. related this to Sri Ramakrishna, who laughed about it. The Master said: “The bliss of worship and communion with God is the true wine, the wine of ecstatic love. The goal of human life is to love God, Bhakti is the one essential thing. To know God through jnana and reasoning  is extremely difficult.”

Then the Master sang:

Who is there that can understand what Mother Kali is?

Even the six darsanas are powerless to reveal Her….

The Master said, again: “The one goal of life is to cultivate love for God, the love that the milkmaids, the milkmen, and the cowherd boys of Vrindavan felt for Krishna. When Krishna went away to Mathura, the cowherds roamed about weeping bitterly because of their separation from Him.”

From Chapter 4

M: “Sir, may I make an effort to earn more money?”

MASTER: “It is permissible to do so to maintain a religious family. You may try to increase your income, but in an honest way. The goal of life is not the earning of money, but the service of God. Money is not harmful if it is devoted to the service of God.”

From Chapter 16

M. had been visiting Sri Ramakrishna for the past two years. Since he had been educated along English lines, he had acquired a fondness for Western philosophy and science, and had liked to hear Keshab and other scholars lecture. Sri Ramakrishna would address him now and then as the “English-man”. Since coming to Sri Ramakrishna, M. had lost all relish for lectures and for books written by English scholars. The only thing that appealed to him now was to see the Master day and night, and hear the words that fell from his blessed lips. M. constantly dwelt on certain of Sri Ramakrishna’s sayings. The Master had said, “One can certainly see God through the practice of spiritual discipline”, and again, “The vision of God is the only goal of human life.”


From Chapter 20

MASTER (smiling): “During my boyhood I could understand what the sadhus read at the Lahas’ house at Kamarpukur, although I would miss a little here and there. If a pundit speaks to me in Sanskrit I can follow him, but I cannot speak it myself.

“To realize God is the one goal of life. While aiming his arrow at the mark, Arjuna said, ‘I see only the eye of the bird and nothing else-not the kings, not the trees, not even the bird itself.’

“The realization of God is enough for me. What does it matter if I don’t know Sanskrit?

From Chapter 47

“Hem used to come to the temple garden at Dakshineswar. Whenever he chanced to meet me, he would say: ‘Well, priest, there is only one thing worth having in this world, and that is honour. Isn’t that so?’ Very few indeed say that the goal of human life is the realization of God.”

Surrender

From Chapter 3

“God laughs on two occasions. He laughs when the physician says to the patient’s mother, ‘Don’t be afraid, mother; I shall certainly cure your boy.’ God laughs, saying to Himself, ‘I am going to take his life, and this man says he will save it!’ The physician thinks he is the master, forgetting that God is the Master. God laughs again when two brothers divide their land with a string, saying to each other, ‘This side is mine and that side is your’. He laughs and says to Himself, ‘The whole universe belongs to Me, but they say they own this portion or that portion.’

“Can one know God through reasoning? Be His servant, surrender yourself to Him, and then pray to Him.

From Chapter 4

MASTER: “All, without exception, perform work. Even to chant the name and glories of God is work, as is the meditation of the non-dualist on ‘I am He’. Breathing is also an activity. There is no way of renouncing work altogether. So do your work, but surrender the result to God.”

From Chapter 14

The Master said to Vijay: “Surrender yourself completely to God, and set aside all such things as fear and shame. Give up such feelings as, ‘What will people think of me if I dance in the ecstasy of God’s holy name?’ The saying, ‘One cannot have the vision of God as long as one has these three- shame, hatred, and fear’, is very true. Shame, hatred, fear, caste, pride, secretiveness, and the like are so many bonds. Man is free when he is liberated from all these.

“When bound by ties one is jiva, and when free from ties one is Siva. Prema, ecstatic love of God, is a rare thing.

“First of all one acquires bhakti. Bhakti is single-minded devotion to God, like the devotion a wife feels for her husband. It is very difficult to have unalloyed devotion to God. Through such devotion one’s mind and soul merge in Him.

From  Chapter 15

MASTER: “The world is not impermanent if one lives there after knowing God. Listen to another song:

O mind, you do not know how to farm!

Fallow lies the field of your life.

If you had only worked it well,

How rich a harvest you might reap!

Hedge it about with Kali’s name

If you would keep your harvest safe;

This is the stoutest hedge of all,

For Death himself cannot come near it. . . .

“Did you listen to the song?

Hedge it about with Kali’s name

If you would keep your harvest safe.

Surrender yourself to God and you will achieve everything.

This is the stoutest hedge of all,

For Death himself cannot come near it.

From Chapter 45

Two things are necessary for the realization of God; faith and self-surrender. Man is ignorant by nature. Errors are natural to him. Can a one-seer pot hold four seers of milk? Whatever path you may follow, you must pray to God with a restless heart. He is the Ruler of the soul within. He will surely listen to your prayer if it is sincere. Whether you follow the ideal of the Personal God or that of the Impersonal Truth, you will realize God alone, provided you are restless for Him. A cake with icing tastes sweet whether you eat it straight or sidewise.


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