Life of Ramakrishna | 18. Some Sayings
18. Some Sayings
You see many stars at night in the sky but find them not when the sun rises; can you say that there are no stars in the heaven of day?
So, O man, because you behold not God in the days of your ignorance, say not that there is no God.
God is formless and God is with form too, and He is that which transcends both form and formlessness. He alone can say what else He is.
God with form is visible, nay we can touch Him, as one does his dearest friend.
So long as the sound of a bell is audible, it exists in the region of form; but when it is no longer heard, it has become formless. Similarly God is both with form and formless.
The watchman can see with a dark lantern (bull’s-eye) everyone on whom he throws its rays, but no one can see him so long as he does not turn the light upon himself. So does God see everyone but no one sees Him until the Lord reveals Himself to him in His mercy.
The sun lights up the earth, but a small cloud will hide it from our view. Similarly, the insignificant veil of Maya prevents us from seeing the omnipresent and all-witnessing Sat-chit-ānanda— Existence-Knowledge-Bliss.
If I hold this cloth before me, you cannot see me anymore, though I am still as near to you as ever. So also, though God is nearer to you than anything else, yet by reason of the screen of egoism you cannot see Him.
When shall I be free? When that ‘I’ has vanished. ‘I and mine’ is ignorance; ‘Thou and Thine’ is knowledge.
By acquiring the conviction that all is done by the will of God, one becomes only a tool in His hand. Then one is free, even in this life.
If, after all, you cannot destroy this ‘I’, then let it remain as ‘I the servant’. The self that knows itself as the servant and lover of God will do little mischief.
If you are in right earnest to be good and pure, God will send you the Sat-Guru, the right Teacher. Earnestness is the one thing necessary.
Very few understand that the aim of human life is to see God.
The worldly-minded never come to their senses, even though they suffer and have terrible experiences. Camels are very fond of thorny shrubs. The more they eat of them, the more do their mouths bleed, yet they do not refrain from making them their food.
As a boy holding to a post or pillar whirls about it with headlong speed without fear of falling, so perform your worldly duties, fixing your hold firmly upon God; and you shall be free from danger.
What are you to do when you are placed in this world? Give up everything to Him, resign yourself to Him, and there will be no more trouble for you. Then you will come to know that every- thing is done by His Will.
A person living in society, especially as a house- holder, should make a show of the spirit of resisting evil for purposes of self-defence, but at the same time trying to avoid paying back evil for evil.
As wet wood put on a furnace, loses its moisture gradually, so the moisture of worldliness dries away of itself from the man who has taken refuge in God and repeats His holy name. He who intends to think of God, after his attachment to things has ceased, will never be able to do so; for that time will never come.
He is born to no purpose who, having the rare privilege of being born a man, is unable to realize God in this life.
God is in all men, but all men are not in God, that is the reason why they suffer.
You cannot get butter by crying yourself hoarse, ‘There is butter in the milk!’ If you wish to make butter, you must turn the milk into curds, and churn it well. Then alone you can get butter. So if you long to see God, practise spiritual exercises.
Verily, verily, I say unto you that he who wants Him finds Him. Go and verify it in your own life; try for three days and you are sure to succeed.
You will see God if your love for Him is as strong as that of the attachment of the worldly- minded person for things of the world.
The darkness of centuries is dispersed as soon as a single light is brought into the room. The accumulated ignorance and misdoings of innumerable births vanish at one glance of the gracious eyes of God.
Pray to Him in any way you will. He is sure to hear you, for He hears even the footfall of an ant.
If there is a small hole in the bottom of a jar, the whole water flows out by and by: similarly, if there be the slightest tinge of worldliness in the aspirant, all his exertions come to nought.
Man is born in this world to realize God, it is not good to forget that and divert the mind to other things.
Only two kinds of people can attain Self- knowledge: those whose minds are not encumbered at all with learning, that is to say, not over- crowded with thoughts borrowed from others, and those who, after studying all the scriptures and sciences, have come to realize that they know nothing.
Q.: Where is God? How can we reach Him?
A.: There are pearls in the sea; but you must dive again and again, until you find them. So God is in the world, but you will have to persevere, to see Him.
There are pearls in the deep sea, but one must hazard all to find them. If diving once does not bring you pearls, you need not therefore conclude that the sea is without them. Dive again and again. You are sure to be rewarded in the end. So is it with the finding of the Lord in this world. If your first attempt proves fruitless, do not lose heart. Persevere in your efforts. You are sure to realize Him at last.
If a man desires to seek the king in his palace, he will have to go to the palace and pass through all the gates; but if after entering the outermost gate he exclaims, ‘Where is the king?’ he will not find him; he must go on through the seven gates and then he will see the king.
It is easy to utter ‘do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si, do’ by mouth, but not so easy to play them on an instrument. So it is easy to talk religion but difficult to practise it.
The intoxication of the hemp is not to be had by repeating the word ‘hemp’. Get the hemp, rub it with water into a solution and drink it, and you will get intoxicated. What is the use of loudly crying, ‘O God, O God!’? Regularly practise devotion and you shall see God.