SriRamakrishna Parables

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SriRamakrishna Parables Powered By Docstoc
From Gospel of
Sri Ramakrishna
                                 world [water] mind [butter]

"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.
                           different forms of worship

MASTER: "You were talking of worshipping the
clay image. Even if the image is made of clay,
there is need for that sort of worship. God
Himself has provided different forms of worship.
He who is the Lord of the Universe has arranged
all these forms to suit different men in different
stages of knowledge. "The mother cooks
different dishes to suit the stomachs of her
different children. Suppose she has five children.
If there is a fish to cook, she prepares various
dishes from it - pilau, pickled fish,
 fried fish, and so on - to suit their
different tastes and powers of digestion.
                                   secure the oil of divine love

"If   you enter the world without first cultivating love for
God, you will be entangled more and more. You will be
overwhelmed with its danger, its grief, its sorrows. And
the more you think of worldly things, the more you will be
attached to them.
"First rub your hands with oil and then break open the
jack-fruit; otherwise they will be smeared with its sticky
milk. First secure the oil of divine love,
and then set your hands
to the duties of the world."
                               attain   divine love

But one must go into solitude to attain this
divine love. To get butter from milk you must let
it set into curd in a secluded spot; if it is too
much disturbed, milk won't turn into curd. Next,
you must put aside all other duties, sit in a
quiet spot, and churn the curd. Only then do
you get butter.
                                realize God by….

MASTER: "Truthfulness in speech is the tapasya
of the Kaliyuga. It is difficult to practise other
austerities in this cycle. By adhering to truth one
attains God. Tulsidas said: 'Truthfulness,
obedience to God, and the regarding of others'
wives as one's mother, are the
greatest virtues. If one does not
realize God by practising them,
then Tulsi is a liar.'
                             pray longingly
"It is necessary to pray to Him with a longing
heart. The kitten knows only how to call its
mother, crying, 'Mew, mew!' It remains satisfied
wherever its mother puts it. The mother cat puts
the kitten sometimes in the kitchen, sometimes on
the floor, and sometimes on the bed. When it
suffers it cries only, 'Mew, mew!‘ That's all it
knows. As the mother hears this cry, wherever
she may be; she comes to the kitten."
                                            see God in all

     bow low before them!
In a forest there lived a holy       The mahut of the elephant
man and his disciples. He            was shouting: 'Run away!
taught them to see God in all
beings and, knowing this, to
                                     Run away!' But the
bow low before them all. A           disciple didn't move. The
disciple went to gather wood         animal seized him with its
for the sacrificial fire. Suddenly   trunk, cast him to one
he heard an outcry: 'Get out of      side, and went on its way.
the way! A mad elephant is
coming!' The disciple
                                     Hurt and bruised, the
reasoned that the elephant           disciple lay unconscious
was also God in another form.        on the ground.
Then why should he run away
from it? He stood still, bowed
before the animal, and began
to sing its praises.
                                   see God in all
Hearing what had happened, his teacher and his brother
disciples came to him and carried him to the hermitage.
With the help of some medicine he soon regained
consciousness. Someone asked him, 'You knew the
elephant was coming - why didn't you leave the place?'
'But', he said, 'our teacher has told us that God Himself
has taken all these forms, of animals as well as men.
Therefore, thinking it was only the elephant God that was
coming, I didn't run away.' At this the teacher said: 'Yes,
my child, it is true that the elephant God was coming; but
the mahut God forbade you to stay there. Since all are
manifestations of God, why didn't
you trust the mahut's words?
You should have
heeded the words of the mahut God.'
                          Jiva suffers, Love Siva
"One man may read the Bhagavata by the
light of a lamp, and another may commit
a forgery by that very light; but the lamp is
unaffected. The sun sheds its light on the wicked
as well as on the virtuous.
"You may ask, 'How, then, can one explain misery and sin
and unhappiness?‘
The answer is that these apply only to the jiva. Brahman is
unaffected by them. There is poison in a snake; but though
others may die if bitten by it, the snake itself is not affected
by the poison.
                                Brahman is beyond

"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!
                                   - It is Satchidananda

"As for what has been said in the Vedas and the Puranas,
do you know what it is like? 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.
"Suka and other sages stood on the shore of this Ocean of
Brahman and saw and touched the water. According to
one school of thought they never plunged into it. Those
who do, cannot come back to the world again.
                               become pure develop love of God

By the philanthropic activities you are really doing good to
yourself. If you can do them disinterestedly, your mind will
become pure and you will develop love of God. As soon as
you have that love you will realize Him.
"Man cannot really help the world. God alone does that -
He who has created the sun and the moon, who has put
love for their children in parents' hearts, endowed noble
souls with compassion, and holy men and devotees with
divine love. The man who works for others, without any
selfish motive, really does good to himself.
                                cultivate intense zeal for God

One may enter the world after attaining discrimination and
dispassion. In the ocean of the world there are six
alligators: lust, anger, and so forth. But you need not fear
the alligators if you smear your body with turmeric before
you go into the water. Discrimination and dispassion are
the turmeric. Discrimination is the knowledge of what is real
and what is unreal. It is the realization that God alone is the
real and eternal Substance and that all else is unreal,
transitory, impermanent. And you must cultivate intense
zeal for God. You must feel love for Him and be attracted to
Him. The gopis of Vrindāvan felt the attraction of Krishna.
                                    Illusoriness of "I"

"If one analyses oneself, one doesn't find any such thing as
'I'. Take an onion, for instance. First of all you peel off the
red outer skin; then you find thick white skins. Peel these off
one after the other, and you won't find anything inside.
"In that state a man no longer finds the existence of his ego.
And who is there left to seek it? Who can describe how he
feels in that state-in his own Pure Consciousness-about the
real nature of Brahman? Once a salt doll went to measure
the depth of the ocean. No sooner was it in the water than it
melted. Now who was to tell the depth?
                                 Parable of the chameleon

"Listen to a story. Once a man entered a wood
 and saw a small animal on a tree. He came
back and told another man that he had seen a
 creature of a beautiful red colour on a certain
The second man replied:
'When I went into the wood, I also saw that
 animal. But why do you call it red? It is green.'
Another man who was present contradicted them both and
insisted that it was yellow. Presently others arrived and
contended that it was grey, violet, blue, and so forth and so
on. At last they started quarrelling among themselves. To
settle the dispute they all went to the tree….continued
                                Parable of the chameleon

They saw a man sitting under it. On being
asked, he replied: 'Yes, I live under this tree
and I know the animal very well.
All your descriptions are true. Sometimes it
appears red, sometimes yellow, and at other
 times blue, violet, grey, and so forth. It is a chameleon.
And sometimes it has no colour at all. Now it has a colour,
and now it has none.'
"In like manner, one who constantly thinks of God can
know His real nature; he alone knows that God reveals
Himself to seekers in various forms and aspects. God has
attributes; then again He has none. Only the man who
lives under the tree knows that the chameleon can appear
in various colours, and he knows, further, that the animal
at times has no colour at all. It is the others who suffer
from the agony of futile argument.
                                'Why, we don't see Him

"One   cannot see God if one has even the slightest trace
of worldliness.

Match-sticks, if damp, won't strike fire
though you rub a thousand of them
against the match-box.
You only waste a heap of sticks.
The mind soaked in worldliness is such
a damp match-stick.
                                  God is like a child

God's nature like that of a child
"I used to see God directly with these very eyes, just as I
see you. Now I see divine visions in trance.
"After realizing God a man becomes like a child. One
acquires the nature of the object one meditates upon.
The nature of God is like that of a child. As a child builds up
his toy house and then breaks it down, so God
acts while creating, preserving, and destroying the
universe. Further, as the child is not under the control of
any guna, so God is beyond the three gunas-sattva, rajas,
and tamas. That is why paramahamsas keep five
or ten children with them, that they may assume their
                                  need not hug the 'tiger God'.

Master's attitude toward the wicked
"It is God alone", he said, "who has become all this. But in
certain places- for instance, in a holy man-there is a greater
manifestation than in others. You may say, there are wicked
men also. That is true, even as
there are tigers and lions; but one need not
hug the 'tiger God'.
One should keep away from him and salute him
from a distance. Take water, for instance. Some water may
be drunk, some may be used for worship, some for bathing,
and some only for washing dishes."
                                  pure love of God

God cannot remain unmoved if you have raga-bhakti,
that is, love of God with passionate attachment to Him.
Do you know how fond God is of His devotees' love? It
is like the cow's fondness for fodder mixed with oilcake.
The cow gobbles it down greedily.
"Raga-bhakti is pure love of God, a love that seeks God
alone and not any worldly end. Prahlada had it.
Suppose you go to a wealthy man every day, but you
seek no favour of him; you simply love to see him. If he
wants to show you favour, you say: 'No, sir. I don't need
anything. I came just to see you.' Such is love of God
for its own sake. You simply love God and don't want
anything from Him, in return."
                                  signs of God-realization
Indications of God-realization
"There are certain signs of God-realization. The man in
whom longing for God manifests its glories is not far from
attaining Him. What are the glories of that longing? They
• discrimination,
• dispassion,
• compassion for living beings,
• serving holy men, loving their company,
• chanting the name and glories of God,
• telling the truth, and the like.
When you see those signs of longing in an aspirant, you
can rightly say that for him the vision of God is not far to
                              signs of God-realization

"The state of a servant's house will tell you
unmistakably whether his master has decided to
visit it. First, the rubbish and jungle around the
house are cleared up. Second, the soot and dirt
are removed from the rooms.
Third, the courtyard, floors, and other places are
swept clean. Finally the master himself sends
various things to the house such as a carpet, a
hubble-bubble for smoking, and the like. When
you see these things arriving, you conclude that
the master will very soon come"
                                     Perform duty

The impurity of the mind is destroyed through the
performance of duty. It is like getting rid of a disease by
means of medicine, under the instruction of a competent
                         He will free us_pray for it

"Why doesn't God free us from the world?
Ah, He will free us when the disease is cured. He
will liberate us from the world when we are
through with the enjoyment of 'woman and gold'.
Once a man registers his name in the hospital,
he cannot run away. The doctor will not let him go
away unless his illness is completely cured."
                                   vision of God

Parable of the elephant and the blind men
"Once some blind men chanced to come
near an animal that someone told them was
 an elephant. They were asked what the
 elephant was like. The blind men began to feel its
body. One of them said the elephant was like a pillar;
he had touched only its leg. Another said it was like a
winnowing-fan; he had touched only its ear. In this way
the others, having touched its tail or belly, gave their
different versions of the elephant. Just
so, a man who has seen only one aspect of God limits
God to that alone. It is his conviction that God cannot
be anything else.
                                Awake to vision of God

Born with God-Consciousness.
There is the parable of the Homa bird in the Vedas.
The bird lives high up in the sky and never descends to
earth. It lays its egg in the sky, and the egg begins to
fall. But the bird lives in such a high region that the egg
hatches while falling.
 The fledgling comes out and continues to fall. But it is
still so high that while falling it grows wings and its
eyes open.
Then the young bird perceives that it is dashing down
toward the earth and will be instantly killed. The
moment it sees the ground, it turns and shoots up
toward its mother in the sky.
Then its one goal is to reach its mother.
                                Seeing God in everything

"There was a monastery in a certain place. The monks
residing there went out daily to beg their food. One
day a monk, while out for his alms, saw a landlord beating
a man mercilessly. The compassionate monk
stepped in and asked the landlord to stop. But the
landlord was filled with anger and turned his wrath against
the innocent monk. He beat the monk till he fell
unconscious on the ground. Someone reported the matter
to the monastery. The monks ran to the spot and found
their brother lying there. …continued
                                 Seeing God in everything

Four or five of them carried him back and laid him on a
bed. He was still unconscious. The other monks sat
around him sad at heart; some were fanning him. Finally
someone suggested that he should be given a little milk to
drink. When it was poured into his mouth he regained
consciousness. He opened his eyes and looked around.
One of the monks said, 'Let us see whether he is fully
conscious and can recognize us.' Shouting into his ear, he
said, 'Revered sir, who is giving you milk?' 'Brother,'
replied the holy man in a low voice, 'He who beat me is
now giving me milk.'
                                  … so is his gain

" 'As is a man's feeling of love, so is his gain.' Once
two friends were going along the street, when they saw
some people listening to a reading of the Bhagavata.
'Come, friend', said the one to the other. 'Let us hear
the sacred book.' So saying he went in and sat down. The
second man peeped in and went away. He entered
a house of ill fame. But very soon he felt disgusted with
the place. 'Shame on me!' he said to himself. 'My
friend has been listening to the sacred word of Hari; and
see where I am!'
                                   … so is his gain

But the friend who had been listening to the Bhagavata
also became disgusted. 'What a fool I am!' he said. 'I
have been listening to this fellow's blah-blah, and my
friend is having a grand time.' In course of time they both
died. The messenger of Death came for the soul of the
one who had listened to the Bhagavata and dragged it off
to hell. The messenger of God came for the soul of the
one who had been to the house of prostitution and led it
up to heaven.
                                   world is His play

MASTER: "Everything depends on the will of God. The
world is His play. He has created all these different
things - great and small, strong and weak, good and bad,
virtuous and vicious. This is all His maya, His sport.
You must have observed that all the trees in a garden are
not of the same kind. "As long as a man has not realized
God, he thinks he is free. It is God Himself who keeps this
error in man.
Otherwise sin would have multiplied. Man would not have
been afraid of sin, and there would have been no
punishment for it.
"But do you know the attitude of one who has
realized God?
He feels: 'I am the machine, and Thou, O Lord,
art the Operator.
I am the house and Thou art the Indweller.
I am the chariot and Thou art the Driver.
I move as Thou movest me; I speak as Thou
makest me speak.'
                            The 'I-consciousness'
"As  long as God keeps the awareness of 'I' in us,
so long do sense-objects exist; and we cannot
very well speak of the world as a dream. There
is fire in the hearth; therefore the rice and pulse
and potatoes and the other vegetables jump
about in the pot. They jump about as if to say:
'We are here! We are jumping!' This body is the
pot. The mind and intelligence are the water.
The objects of the senses are the rice, potatoes,
and other vegetables. The 'I-consciousness'
identified with the senses says, 'I am jumping
about.' And Satchidananda is the fire.
                                    Oneness of God

"The Truth established in the Vedas, the Puranas, and the
Tantras is but one Satchidananda. In the Vedas It is called
Brahman, in the Puranas It is called Krishna, Rāma, and
so on, and in the Tantras It is called Śiva.
The one Satchidananda is called Brahman, Krishna, and
A man who has seen God sometimes behaves like a
madman: he laughs, weeps, dances, and sings.
Sometimes he behaves like a child, a child five years old-
guileless, generous, without vanity, unattached to
anything, not under the control of any of the gunas,
always blissful.
                                … it is God who has become

"By   taking off, one by one, the sheaths of a banana tree,
one obtains the pith. The sheaths are one thing, and the
pith is another. The sheaths are not the pith, and the pith
is not the sheaths. But in the end one realizes that the
pith cannot exist apart from the sheaths, and the sheaths
cannot exist apart from the pith; they are part and parcel
of one and the same banana tree. Likewise, it is God who
has become the twenty-four cosmic principles; it is He
who has become man.
                                   kinds of devotees

"There are three kinds of devotees: superior, mediocre,
and inferior. The inferior devotee says, 'God is out
there.' According to him God is different from His
creation. The mediocre devotee says: 'God is the
Antaryami, the Inner Guide. God dwells in everyone's
heart. The mediocre devotee sees God in the heart. But
the superior devotee sees that God alone has become
everything; He alone has become the twenty-four
cosmic principles. He finds that everything, above and
below, is filled with God.
                                   Dr. Sarkar & Master
 "Can't you forbid people to salute you by touching your
 "Can all comprehend the Indivisible Satchidananda?"
DR. SARKAR: "But shouldn't you tell people what is right?"
Different disciplines for different temperaments:
MASTER: "People have different tastes. Besides, all have
not the same fitness for spiritual life.“
DR. SARKAR: "How is that?"
MASTER: "Don't you know what difference in taste is?
Some enjoy fish curry; some, fried fish; some, pickled fish;
and again, some, the rich dish of fish pilau. Then too, there
is difference in fitness. I ask people to learn to shoot at a
banana tree first, then at the wick of a lamp, and then at a
flying bird."
                           If U die praying to God…

MASTER: "If a man practises spiritual discipline
before his death and if he gives up his body
praying to God and meditating on Him, when will
sin touch him? It is no doubt the elephant's
nature to smear his body with dust and mud,
even after his bath. But he cannot do so if the
mahut takes him into the stable immediately
after his bath."
                               Parmatman is infinite ocean

"Take the case of the infinite ocean. There is no limit to
its water: Suppose a pot is immersed in it: there is
water both inside and outside the pot. The Jnāni sees
that both inside and outside there is nothing but
Parmatman. Then what is this pot? It is 'I-consciousness'.
Because of the pot the water appears to be divided
into two parts; because of the pot you seem to perceive
an inside and an outside. One feels that way as long
as this pot of 'I' exists. When the 'I' disappears, what is
remains. That cannot be described in words.
                                 'O King, I now understand.'

MASTER: "Listen to a story. There was a king who used
daily to hear the Bhagavata recited by a pundit. Every
day, after explaining the sacred book, the pundit would say
to the king, 'O King, have you understood what I
have said?' And every day the king would reply, 'You had
better understand it first yourself.' The pundit would
return home and think: 'Why does the king talk to me that
way day after day? I explain the texts to him so
clearly, and he says to me, "You had better understand it
first yourself." What does he mean?' The pundit used
to practise spiritual discipline. A few days later he came to
realize that God alone is real and everything else_ house,
family, wealth, friends, name, and fame-illusory. Convinced
of the unreality of the world, he renounced it. As he left
home he asked a man to take this message to the king: 'O
King, I now understand.'
                                God is very near U

"A man wanted a smoke. He went to a neighbour's house
to light his charcoal. It was the dead of night and the
household was asleep. After he had knocked a great
deal, someone came down to open the door. At sight of
the man he asked, 'Hello! What's the matter?' The man
replied: 'Can't you guess? You know how fond I am of
smoking. I have come here to light my charcoal.' The
neighbour said: 'Ha! Ha! You are a fine man indeed! You
took the trouble to come and do all this knocking at the
door! Why, you have a lighted lantern in your hand!' (All
"What a man seeks is very near him. Still he wanders
about from place to place."
                            practice spiritual discipline, C God

MASTER: "Proof? God can be seen. By practising
spiritual discipline one sees God, through His grace.
The rishis directly realized the Self. One cannot know
the truth about God through science. Science gives us
information only about things perceived by the senses,
as for instance: this material mixed with that material
gives such and such a result, and that material mixed
with this material gives such and such a result.
"For this reason a man cannot comprehend spiritual
things with his ordinary intelligence. To understand
them he must live in the company of holy persons. You
learn to feel the pulse by living with a physician."
                                  reveal Thyself to me!'

MASTER: "The best path for this age is the path of bhakti:
to sing the name and glories of God and pray to Him with
a longing heart, 'O God, give me knowledge, give me
devotion, and reveal Thyself to me!' The path of karma is
extremely difficult. Therefore one should pray: 'O God,
make my duties fewer and fewer; and may I, through Thy
grace, do the few duties that Thou givest me without any
attachment to their results! May I have no desire to be
involved in many activities!'
"It is not possible to give up work altogether. Even to think
or to meditate is a kind of work.
As you develop love for God, your worldly activities
become fewer and fewer of themselves. And you lose all
interest in them. Can one who has tasted a drink made of
sugar candy enjoy a drink made of ordinary molasses?"
                                      take the truth
"Live in the world like an ant. The world contains a
mixture of truth and untruth, sugar and sand. Be an ant
and take the sugar.
"Again, the world is a mixture of milk and water, the bliss
of God-Consciousness and the pleasure of sense-
enjoyment. Be a swan and drink the milk, leaving the
water aside.
"Live in the world like a waterfowl. The water clings to the
bird, but the bird shakes it off.
Live in the world like a mudfish. The fish lives in the mud,
but its skin is always bright and shiny.
"The world is indeed a mixture of truth and make-believe.
Discard the make-believe and take the truth."
Sri Ramakrishna
                                     Divine bliss is the highest

"Though   the chatak bird is about to die of a parched
throat, and around it there are seven oceans, rivers, and
lakes overflowing with water, still it will not touch that
water. Its throat is cracking with thirst, and still it will not
drink that water. It looks up, mouth agape, for the rain to
fall when the star Svati is in the ascendant. 'To the chatak
bird all waters are mere dryness beside Swati water.‘
However much a bhakta may experience physical joy
and sorrow, he always has knowledge and the divine
love. This treasure never leaves him.
                          wine of ecstatic love
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 to love God, Bhakti is
the one essential thing. To know God through
jnāna and reasoning is difficult."
                                   water-pitchers on heads

MASTER: "Everybody will surely be liberated. But one
should follow the instructions of the guru; if one follows
a devious path, one will suffer in trying to retrace one's
steps. It takes a long time to achieve liberation. A man
may fail to obtain it in this life. Perhaps he will realize God
only after many births. Sages like Janaka performed worldly
duties. They performed duties, bearing God in their
minds, as a dancing-girl dances, keeping jars or trays
on her head. Haven't you seen how the women in
northwest India walk, talking and laughing while carrying
water-pitchers on their heads?“
                           have faith and love

What is the significance of the Gita? It is what
you find by repeating the word ten times. It is
then reversed into 'tagi', which means a person
who has renounced everything for God. And the
lesson of. the Gita is: 'O man, renounce
everything and seek God alone.' Whether a man
is a monk or a householder, he has to shake off
all attachment from his mind.
One must have faith and love. There is a popular
saying that Hanuman jumped over the sea
through his faith in Rama's name, but Rama
himself had to build a bridge.
                                  Dakshineshwar temple

The whole symbolic world is represented in the temple
garden –
• the Trinity of the Nature Mother (Kāli),
• the Absolute (Śiva), and
•   Love (Radhākānta),
• the Arch spanning heaven and earth. The terrific
    Goddess of the Tantra, the soul-enthralling Flute-Player
    of the Bhāgavata, and the Self-absorbed Absolute of
    the Vedas live together, creating the greatest synthesis
    of religions. All aspects of Reality are represented
                                 the temple garden

But of this divine household, Kāli is the pivot, the
sovereign Mistress. She is Prakriti, the Procreatrix,
Nature, the Destroyer, the Creator. Nay, She is
something greater and deeper still for those who have
eyes to see. She is the Universal Mother, "my Mother" as
Ramakrishna would say, the All-powerful, who reveals
Herself to Her children under different aspects and
Divine Incarnations, the Visible God, who leads the elect
to the Invisible Reality; and if it so pleases Her, She
takes away the last trace of ego from created beings and
merges it in the consciousness of the Absolute, the
undifferentiated God. Through Her grace "the finite ego
loses itself in the illimitable Ego-Ātman-Brahman".

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Description: Spiritual education