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The Sayings of Râmakrishna: 100-199

100. A man who finds all the hairs of his body standing on end at the bare mention of Srî Hari's name, through sheer ecstasy, and who sheds tears of love on hearing the name of God, he has reached his last birth.

101. The more you scratch the ringworm, the greater grows the itching, and the more pleasure do you find in scratching. Similarly, the devotees once beginning to sing His praises, never get tired of it, but continue for hours and hours together.

102. When grains are measured out to the purchaser in

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the granary of a rich merchant, the measurer unceasingly goes on measuring, while the attending women supply him with basket-fulls of grain from the main store. The measurer does not leave his seat, while the women incessantly supply him with grain. But a small grocer has neither such attendants, nor is his store so inexhaustible. Similarly, it is God Himself who is constantly inspiring thoughts and sentiments in the hearts of His devotees, and that is the reason why the latter are never in lack of new and wise thoughts and sentiments; while, on the other hand, the book-learned, like petty grocers, soon find that their thoughts have become exhausted.

103. A born farmer does not leave off tilling the soil, though it may not rain for twelve consecutive years, while a merchant who has but lately taken himself to the plough is discouraged by one season of drought. The true believer is never discouraged, if even with his lifelong devotion he fails to see God.

104. A true devotee who has drunk deep of the Divine Love is like a veritable drunkard, and, as such, cannot always observe the rules of propriety.

105. Dala (sedge) does not grow in large and pure water-tanks, but in small stagnant and miasmatic pools. Similarly, Dala (schism) does not take place in a party whose adherents are guided by pure, broad, and unselfish motives, but it takes firm root in a party whose advocates are given to selfishness, insincerity, and bigotry. ('Dala,' in Bengâli, means both sedges and schism.)

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106. The Yogins and Samyâsins are like snakes. The snake never digs a hole for itself, but it lives in the hole made by the mouse. When one hole becomes uninhabitable, it enters into another hole. So the Yogins and the Samyâsins make no houses for themselves; they pass their days in other men's houses--to-day in one house, to-morrow in another.

107. The sage alone can recognise a sage. He who deals in cotton twists can alone tell of what number and quality a particular twist is made.

108. A sage was lying in a deep trance (Samâdhi) by a roadside; a thief passing by, saw him, and thought within himself, This fellow, lying here, is a thief. He has been breaking into some house by night, and now sleeps exhausted. The police will very soon be here to catch him. So let me escape in time.' Thus thinking, he ran away. Soon after a drunkard came upon the sage, and said, Hallo! thou hast fallen into the ditch by taking a drop too much. I am steadier than thou, and am not going to tumble.' Last of all came a sage, and understanding that a great sage was in a trance (Samâdhi), he sat down, and touched him, and began to rub gently his holy feet.

109. An itinerant Sâdhu came once upon the Kâlî temple of Râni Râsamani, and seeing a dog eating the remains of a feast, he went up to him and said, embracing him, 'Brother, how is it that thou eatest alone, without giving me a share?' So saying, he began to eat along with the dog. The people of the place naturally thought

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him mad, but when standing before the temple of the Goddess, he began to chant forth some hymns in praise of Kâlî, and the temple appeared to shake through the fervour of his devotion. Then the people knew him to be a great Sâdhu. The true Sâdhus roam about like children or mad men, in dirty clothes, and various other disguises.

110. The true religious man is he who does not do anything wrong or act impiously when he is alone, i.e. when there is none to look after and blame him.

111. In the Bengâli alphabet no three letters are alike in sound except the three sibilants (Sa, sha, and sa), all meaning 'forbear,' 'forbear,' 'forbear.' This shows that even from our childhood we are made to learn forbearance in our very alphabets. The quality of forbearance is of the highest importance to every man.

112. Sugar and sand may be mixed together, but the ant rejects the sand and goes off with the sugar-grain; so pious men sift the good from the bad.

113. It is the nature of the winnowing basket to reject the bad and keep the good; even such is the case with pious men.

114. He is truly a pious man who is dead even in life, i.e. whose passions and desires have been all destroyed as in a dead body.

115. Worldly persons perform many pious and charitable acts with a hope of worldly rewards, but when misfortune, sorrow, and poverty approach them, they forget them all.

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[paragraph continues] They are like the parrot that repeats the Divine name 'Râdhâ-Krishna, Râdhâ-Krishna' the livelong day, but cries 'Kaw, Kaw' when caught by a cat, forgetting the Divine name.

116. A spring cushion is squeezed down when one sits upon it, but it soon resumes its original shape when the pressure is removed. So it is with worldly men. They are full of religious sentiments, so long as they hear religious talks; but no sooner do they enter into the daily routine of the world, than they forget all those high and noble thoughts, and become as impure as before.

117. So long as the iron is in the furnace it is red-hot, but it becomes black as soon as it is taken out of the fire. So also is the worldly man. As long as he is in church or in the society of pious people, he is full of religious emotions, but no sooner does he come out of those associations than he loses them all.

118. Some one said, 'When my boy Harish grows up, I will get him married, and give him the charge of the family; I shall then renounce the world, and begin to practise Yoga.' At this a Sâdhu remarked, 'You will never find any opportunity of practising Yoga (devotion). You will say afterwards, "Harish and Girish are too much attached to me. They do not like to leave my company as yet." Then you will desire perhaps, "Let Harish have a son, and let me see that son married." And thus there will be no end of your desires.'

119. Flies sit at times on the sweetmeats kept exposed

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for sale in the shop of a confectioner; but no sooner does a sweeper pass by with a basket full of filth than the flies leave the sweetmeats and sit upon the filth-basket. But the honey-bee never sits on filthy objects, and always drinks honey from the flowers. The worldly men are like flies. At times they get a momentary taste of Divine sweetness, but their natural tendency for filth soon brings them back to the dunghill of the world. The good man, on the other hand, is always absorbed in the beatific contemplation of Divine Beauty.

N.B. The worldly man is like a filthy worm that always lives and dies in filth, and has no idea of higher things; the good man of the world is like the fly that sits now on the filth and now on the sweet; while the free soul of a Yogin is like the bee that always drinks the honey of God's holy presence, and nothing else.

120. When it was argued that a family-man (Grihastha) may remain in the family, but may have no concern with it, and consequently may remain uncontaminated by the world, an illustration was cited to refute such an argument, which is as follows:

A poor Brâhmana once came to one of those family-men, who are unconcerned with family affairs, to beg some money. When the beggar asked of him some money, he replied, 'Sir, I never touch money. Why are you wasting your time in begging of me?' The Brâhmana, however, would not go away. Tired with his importunate entreaties the man at last resolved in his mind to give him a rupee,

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and told him, 'Well, sir, come to-morrow, I shall see what I can do for you.' Then going in, this typical family-man told his wife, who was the manager of all his affairs, he being unconcerned, 'Look here, dear, a poor Brâhmana is in great difficulty, and wants something of me. I have made up my mind to give him a rupee. What is your opinion about it?' 'Aha! what a generous fellow you are!' she replied, in great excitement at the name of a rupee. 'Rupees are not, like leaves or stones, to be thrown away without any thought.' 'Well, dear,' replied the husband, in an apologising tone, 'the man is very poor and we should not give him less than a rupee.' 'No!' replied the wife, 'I cannot spare that much; here is a two-anna-bit and you can give him that, if you like.' The man of course had no other alternative, being himself unconcerned in all such worldly matters, and he took what his wife gave him. Next day the beggar came, and received only a two-anna-bit. Such uncontaminated family-men are really henpecked persons who are solely guided by their wives, and as such are very poor specimens of humanity.

121. Seeing the water pass glittering through the net of bamboo frame-work 1, the small fry enter into it with great pleasure, and having once entered they cannot get out again--and are caught. Similarly, foolish men enter into the world allured by its false glitter, but as it is easier to enter the net than to get out of it, it is easier to enter the world than renounce it, after having once entered it.

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122. Men always quote the example of the king Ganaka, as that of a man who lived in the world and yet attained perfection. But throughout the whole history of mankind there is only this solitary example. His case was not the rule, but the exception. The general rule is that no one can attain spiritual perfection unless he renounces lust and greed. Do not think yourself to be a Ganaka. Many centuries have rolled away and the world has not produced another Ganaka.

123. This world is like a stage, where men perform many parts under various disguises. They do not like to take off the mask, unless they have played for some time. Let them play for a while, and then they will leave off the mask of their own accord.

124. The heart of the devotee is like a dry match; and the slightest mention of the name of the Deity kindles the fire of love in his heart. But the mind of the worldly, soaked in lust and greed, is like the moist match, and can never be heated to enthusiasm, though God may be preached to him innumerable times.

125. A worldly man may be endowed with intellect as great as that of Ganaka, may take as much pains and trouble as a Yogin, and make as great sacrifices as an ascetic; but all these he makes and does, not for God, but for worldliness, honour, and wealth.

126. As water does not enter into a stone, so religious advice produces no impression on the heart of a worldly man.

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127. As a nail cannot enter into a stone, but can easily be driven into the earth, so the advice of the pious does not affect the soul of a worldly man. It enters into the heart of a believer.

128. As soft clay easily takes an impression, but not so a stone, so also the Divine Wisdom impresses itself on the heart of the devotee, but not on the soul of the worldly man.

129. The characteristic of a thoroughly worldly man is that he does not only not listen to hymns, religious discourses, praises of the Almighty, &c., but also prevents others from hearing them, and abuses religious men and societies, and scoffs at prayers.

130. The alligator has got such a thick and scaly hide that no weapons can pierce it; on the contrary, they fall off harmless. So, howmuchsoever you may preach religion to a worldly man, it will have no effect upon his heart.

131. As the water enters in on one side under the bridge, and soon passes out on the other, so religious advice affects worldly souls. It enters into them by one ear and goes out by the other, without making any impression upon their minds.

132. By talking with a worldly man one can feel that his heart is filled with worldly thoughts and desires, even as the crop of a pigeon is filled with grains.

133. So long as the fire is beneath, the milk boils and bubbles. Remove the fire and it is quiet again. So the

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heart of the neophyte boils with enthusiasm, so long as he goes on with his spiritual exercises, but afterwards it cools down.

134. As to approach a monarch one must ingratiate oneself with the officials that keep the gate and surround the throne, so to reach the Almighty one must practise many devotions, as well as serve many devotees and keep the company of the wise.

135. Keep thy own sentiments and faith to thyself. Do not talk about them abroad. Otherwise thou wilt be a great loser.

136. There are three kinds of dolls; the first made of salt, the second made of cloth, and the third made of stone. If these dolls be immersed in water, the first will get dissolved and lose its form, the second will absorb a large quantity of water but retain its form, while the third will be impervious to the water. The first doll represents the man who merges his self in the Universal and All-pervading Self and becomes one with it, that is the 'Mukta purusha'; the second represents a true lover or Bhakta, who is full of Divine bliss and knowledge; and the third represents a worldly man, who will not absorb the least drop of true knowledge.

137. As when fishes are caught in a net some do not struggle at all, some again struggle hard to come out of the net, while a few are happy enough to effect their escape by rending the net; so there are three sorts of men,

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viz. fettered (Baddha), wriggling (Mumukshu), and released (Mukta).

138. As sieves separate the finer and coarser parts of a pulverized or ground substance, keeping the coarser and rejecting the finer, even so the wicked man takes the evil and rejects the good.

139. Two men went into a garden. The worldly-wise man no sooner entered the gate than he began to count the number of the mango-trees, how many mangoes each tree bore, and what might be the approximate price of the whole orchard. The other went to the owner, made his acquaintance, and quietly going under a mango-tree began to pluck the fruit and eat it with the owner's consent. Now who is the wiser of the two? Eat mangoes, it will satisfy your hunger. What is the good of counting the leaves and making vain calculations? The vain man of intellect is uselessly busy in finding out the 'why and wherefore' of creation, while the humble man of wisdom makes acquaintance with the Creator and enjoys Supreme Bliss in this world.

140. The vulture soars high up in the air, but all the while he is looking down into the charnel-pits in search of putrid carcasses. So the book-read pandits speak glibly and volubly about Divine Knowledge, but it is all mere talk, for all the while their mind is thinking about how to get money, respect, honour, power, &c., the vain guerdon of their learning.

141. Once a dispute arose in the court of the Maharajah

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of Burdwan among the learned men there, as to who was the greater Deity, Siva or Vishnu. Some gave preference to Siva, others to Vishnu. When the dispute grew hot a wise pandit remarked, addressing the Raja, 'Sire, I have neither met Siva nor seen Vishnu; how can I say who is the greater of the two?' At this the dispute stopped, for none of the disputants really had seen the Deities. Similarly none should compare one Deity with another. When a man has really seen a Deity, he comes to know that all the Deities are manifestations of one and the same Brahman.

142. As the elephant has two sets of teeth, the external tusks and the inner grinders, so the God-men, like Srî Krishna, &c., act and behave to all appearances like common men, while their heart and soul rest far beyond the pale of Karman.

143. The Sâdhu who distributes medicines, and uses in-toxicants, is not a proper Sâdhu; avoid the company of such.

144. A Brâhmana was laying down a garden, and looked after it day and night. One day a cow straying into the garden browsed away a mango sapling which was one of the most carefully-watched trees of the Brâhmana. The Brâhmana seeing the cow destroy his favourite plant gave it such a sound beating that it died of the injuries received, The news soon spread like wildfire that the Brâhmana killed the sacred animal.

Now the Brâhmana was a so-called Vedântist, and when taxed with the sin denied it, saying,--'No, I have not

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killed the cow; it is my hand that has done it, and as Indra is the presiding Deity of the hand, so if any one has incurred the guilt of killing the cow, it is Indra and not I.'

Indra in his Heaven heard all this, assumed the shape of an old Brâhmana, came to the owner of the garden, and said, 'Sir, whose garden is this?'

Brâhmana--' Mine.'

Indra--' It is a beautiful garden. You have got a skilful gardener, for see how neatly and artistically he has planted the trees!'

Brâhmana--' Well, sir, that is also my work. The trees are planted under my personal supervision and direction.'

Indra--' Indeed! O, you are very clever. But who has laid out this road? It is very ably planned and neatly executed.'

Brâhmana--' All this has been done by me.'

Then Indra with joined hands said, 'When all these things are yours, and you take credit for all the works done in this garden, it is hard lines for poor Indra to be held responsible for the killing of the cow.'

145. If thou art in right earnest to be good and perfect, God will send the true and proper Master (Sad-Guru) to thee. Earnestness is the only thing necessary.

146. As when going to a strange country, one must abide by the directions of him who knows the way, while taking the advice of many may lead to confusion, so in trying to reach God one should follow implicitly the advice of one single Guru who knows the way to God.

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147. Whoever can call on the Almighty with sincerity and intense earnestness needs no Guru. But such a man is rare, hence the necessity of a Guru or Guide. The Guru should be only one, but Upagurus (assistant Gurus) may be many. He from whom any thing whatsoever is learned is an Upaguru. The great Avadhûta had twenty-four such Gurus.

148. Many roads lead to Calcutta. A certain man started from his home in a distant village towards the metropolis. He asked a man on the road, 'What road must I take to reach Calcutta soon?' The man said, 'Follow this road.' Proceeding some distance, he met another man and asked him, 'Is this the shortest road to Calcutta?' The man replied, 'O, no! You must retrace your footsteps and take the road to your left.' The man did so. Going in that new road for some distance he met a third man who pointed him out another road to Calcutta. Thus the traveller made no progress, but spent the day in changing one road for another. As he wanted to reach Calcutta he should have stuck to the road pointed out to him by the first man. Similarly those who want to reach God must follow one and one only Guide.

149. The disciple should never criticise his own Guru. He must implicitly obey whatever his Guru says. Says a Bengâli couplet:

Though my Guru may visit tavern and still,
My Guru is holy Rai Nityânanda still.

150. The Guru is a mediator. He brings man and God together.

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151. Take the pearl and throw the oyster-shell away. Follow the mantra (advice) given thee by thy Guru and throw out of consideration the human frailties of thy teacher.

152. Listen not, if any one criticises and censures thy Guru. Leave his presence at once.

153. As the moon is the uncle of every child, so God is the Father and Guide of the whole Humanity. (The children in Bengal call the moon their 'maternal uncle.')

154. A disciple, having firm faith in the infinite power of his Guru, walked over a river even by pronouncing his name. The Guru, seeing this, thought within himself, 'Well, is there such a power even in my name? Then I must be very great and powerful, no doubt!' The next day he also tried to walk over the river pronouncing 'I, I, I,' but no sooner had he stepped into the waters than he sank and was drowned. Faith can achieve miracles, while vanity or egoism is the death of man.

155. Gurus can be had by hundreds, but good Chelas (disciples) are very rare.

156. It is easy to utter 'do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si,' by mouth, but not so easy to sing or play them on any instrument. So it is easy to talk religion, but it is difficult to act religion.

157. Common men talk bagfuls of religion, but act not a grain of it, while the wise man speaks little, but his whole life is a religion acted out.

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158. What you wish others to do, do yourself.

159. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that he who yearns for God, finds Him.

160. The petals of the lotus drop off in time, but they leave scars behind. So when true knowledge comes egoism goes off, but its traces remain. These, however, are not at all active for evil.

161. There are two Egos in man, one ripe and the other unripe. The ripe Ego thinks, 'Nothing is mine; whatever I see, or feel, or hear, nay, even this body is not mine, I am always free and eternal.' The unripe Ego, on the contrary, thinks, 'This is my house, my room, my child, my wife, my body, &c.'

162. The cup in which garlic juice is kept retains the nasty odour, though it may be rubbed and scoured hundreds of times. Egohood also is such an obstinate creature. It never leaves us completely.

163. The leaves of the cocoa-palm fall off, but leave still their marks behind on the trunk. Similarly, so long as one has this body, there will remain the mark of egoism, how high soever a man may advance in spirituality. But these traces of egoism do not bind such men to the world nor cause their re-birth.

164. The sun can give heat and light to the whole world, but it can do nothing when the clouds are in the sky and shut out its rays, Similarly, so long as egoism is in the soul, God cannot shine upon the heart.

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165. Vanity is like a heap of rubbish or ashes on which the water, as soon as it falls, dries away. Prayers and contemplations produce no effect upon the heart puffed up with vanity.

166. Of all the birds of the air the crow is considered to be the wisest, and he thinks himself so too. He never falls into a snare. He flies off at the slightest approach of danger, and steals the food with the greatest dexterity. But all this wisdom can supply him with no better living than filth and foul matter. This is the result of his having the wisdom of the pettifogger.

167. Once upon a time conceit entered the heart of the Divine Sage Nârada, and he thought there was no greater devotee than himself. Reading his heart, the Lord Srî Vishnu said, 'Nârada, go to such and such a place, there is a great Bhakta of mine there, and cultivate his acquaintance.' Nârada went there and found an agriculturist, who rose early in the morning, pronounced the name of Hari only once, and taking his plough went out to till the ground all day long. At night he went to bed after pronouncing the name of Hari once more. Nârada said within himself, 'How can this rustic be called a lover of God? I see him busily engaged in worldly duties, and he has no signs of a pious man in him.' Nârada then went back to the Lord and said all he thought of his new acquaintance. The Lord said, 'Nârada, take this cup full of oil, go round this city and come back with it, but beware lest a drop of it fall to the ground.' Nârada did as he was told, and on his

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return he was asked, 'Well, Nârada, how often did you remember me in your walk?' 'Not once, my Lord,' replied Nârada, 'and how could I when I had to watch this cup brimming over with oil?' The Lord then said, 'This one cup of oil did so divert your attention that even you did forget me altogether, but look to that rustic who, carrying the heavy load of a family, still remembers me twice every day.'

168. There are three kinds of love, selfish, mutual, and unselfish. The selfish love is the lowest. It only looks towards its own happiness, no matter whether the beloved suffers weal or woe. In mutual love the lover not only wants the happiness of his or her beloved, but has an eye towards his or her own happiness also. The unselfish love is of the highest kind. The lover only minds the welfare of the beloved.

169. A true lover sees his God as his nearest and dearest relative, just as the shepherd women of Vrindâvana saw in Srî Krishna, not the Lord of the Universe (Gagannâtha), but their own beloved (Gopînâtha).

170. 'I must attain perfection in this life, yea, in three days I must find God; nay, with a single utterance of His name I will draw Him to me.' With such a violent love the Lord is attracted soon. The lukewarm lovers take ages to go to Him, if at all.

171. A lover and a knower of God were once passing through a forest. On their way they saw a tiger at a distance. The Gñânin or knower of God said, 'There

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is no reason why we should flee; the Almighty God will certainly protect us.' At this the lover said, 'No, brother, come let us run away. Why should we trouble the Lord for what can be accomplished by our own exertions?'

172. The Knowledge of God may be likened to a man, while the Love of God is like a woman. Knowledge has entry only up to the outer rooms of God, but no one can enter into the inner mysteries of God save a lover, for a woman has access even into the harem of the Almighty.

173. Knowledge and love of God are ultimately one and the same. There is no difference between pure knowledge and pure love.

174. A group of fisherwomen on their way home from a distant market held on an afternoon, were overtaken by a heavy hailstorm at nightfall in the middle of their way, and so were compelled to take shelter in a florist's house near at hand. Through the kindness of the florist they were allowed to sleep that night in one of his rooms, where some baskets of sweet-smelling flowers had been kept for supplying his customers. The atmosphere of the room was too good for the fisherwomen, and they could not, owing to it, get even a wink of sleep, till one of them suggested a remedy by saying, 'Let each of us keep her empty basket of fish close to her nose, and thus prevent this troublesome smell of flowers from attacking our nostrils and killing our sleep.' Every one gladly agreed to the proposal, and did accordingly; and soon all began to snore. Such, indeed, is

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the power and influence of bad habits over all those who are addicted to them.

175. A tame mungoose had its home high up on the wall of a house. One end of a rope was tied to its neck, while the other end was fastened to a weight. The mungoose with the appendage runs and plays in the parlour or in the yard of the house, but no sooner does it get frightened than it at once runs up and hides itself in its home on the wall. But it cannot stay there long, as the weight at the other end of the rope draws it down, and it is constrained to leave its home. Similarly, a man has his home high up at the feet of the Almighty. Whenever he is frightened by adversity and misfortune he goes up to his God, his true home; but in a short time he is constrained to come down into the world by its irresistible attractions.

176. As Helonchâ (Hingcha repens) should not be counted among pot-herbs, or sugar-candy among common sweets, because even a sick man can use them without injuring his health; or as the pranava ( ) is not to be counted as a word, but as Divinity itself; so the desires of holiness, devotion, and love are not to be reckoned as desires at all.

177. When the fruit grows the petals drop off of themselves. So when the Divinity in thee increases, the weakness of humanity in thee will vanish.

178. The new-born calf falls and tumbles down scores of times before it learns to stand steady. So in the path of devotion, the slips are many before success is achieved.

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179. Some get tipsy with even a small glass of wine. Others require two or three bottles to make them intoxicated. But both get equal and full pleasure of intoxication. Similarly, some devotees get intoxicated with celestial bliss by coming in direct contact with the Lord of the Universe, while others become full of ecstasy even by a glimpse of the Divine Glory. But both are equally fortunate, since both are deluged with Divine bliss.

180. The snake is very venomous. It bites when any one approaches to catch it. But the person who has learnt the snake-charm can not only catch a snake, but carries about several of them like so many ornaments. Similarly, he who has acquired spiritual knowledge can never be polluted by lust and greed.

181. When a man realises one of the following states he becomes perfect:--(1) All this am I; (2) All this art thou; (3) Thou the Master, and I the servant.

182. Thou shouldst sacrifice thy body, mind, and riches, to find God.

183. Humanity must die before Divinity manifests itself. But this Divinity must, in turn, die before the higher manifestation of the Blissful Mother takes place. It is on the bosom of dead Divinity (Siva) that the Blissful Mother dances Her dance celestial.

184. He finds God the quickest whose yearning and concentration are the greatest.

185. Samâdhi is the state of bliss which is experienced

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by a live fish which, being kept out of water for some time, is again put into it.

186. There are hills and mountains, dales and valleys, under the sea, but they are not visible from the surface. So in the state of Samâdhi, when one floats upon the ocean of Sat-kit-ânanda, all human consciousness lies latent in him.

187. If you fill an earthen vessel with water, and set it apart upon a shelf, the water in it will dry up in a few days; but if you place the same pot into water it will remain filled as long as it is kept there. Even such is the case with your love to the Lord God. Fill and enrich your bosom with the love of God for a time, and then employ yourself in other affairs, forgetting Him all the while, and then you are sure to find within a short time that your heart has become poor and vacant and devoid of that precious love. But if you keep your heart immersed always in the depth of that holy love, your heart is sure to remain ever full to overflowing with the Divine fervour of sacred love.

188. He who at the time of contemplation is entirely unconscious of everything outside, has acquired the perfection of contemplation.

189. A jar kept in water is full of water inside and outside. Similarly the soul immersed in God sees the all-pervading spirit within and without.

190. When the grace of the Almighty descends, every

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one will understand his mistakes; knowing this you should not dispute.

191. The darkness of centuries is dispersed at once as soon as a light is brought into the room. The accumulated ignorances and misdoings of innumerable births vanish before the single glance of the Almighty's gracious look.

192. When the Malaya breeze blows, all trees, having stamina in them, become converted into sandal-trees; but those which have no stamina remain unchanged as before, like bamboo, plantain, palm-tree, &c. So when Divine Grace descends, men having the germs of piety and goodness in them are changed at once into holy beings and are filled with Divinity, but worthless and worldly men remain as before.

193. As the dawn heralds in the rising sun, so unselfishness, purity, righteousness, &c., precede the advent of the Lord.

194. As a king, before going to the house of his servant, sends from his own stores the necessary seats, ornaments, food, &c., to his servant, so that the latter may properly receive him; so before the Lord cometh, He sends love, reverence, faith, yearning, &c., into the heart of the devotee.

195. Shallow water in an open field will in time be dried up though no one may lessen it by using it. So a sinner is sometimes purified by simply resigning himself totally and absolutely to the mercy and grace of God.

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196. A policeman can see with a dark lantern (bull's-eye) every one upon whom he throws the rays, but no one can see him so long as he does not turn the light towards himself. So does God see every one, but no one seeth Him until the Lord revealeth Himself to him in His mercy.

197. There are some fish which have many sets of bones, and others have one; but as the eater cleans all the bones and eats the fish, so some men have many sins and others have few; but the grace of God purifies them all in time.

198. The breeze of His grace is blowing night and day over thy head. Unfurl the sails of thy boat (mind) if thou wantest to make rapid progress through the ocean of life.

199. Fans should be discarded when the wind blows. Prayers and penances should be discarded when the grace of God descends.


126:1 A trap for catching small fish.

Next: The Sayings of Râmakrishna: 200-299