God Lived with Them
- Swami Chetanananda, Advaita Ashrama, 1998
- Sir, please do not write anything about me. I am an insignificant person. If you wish to write anything, then write about Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. That will benefit humanity. (p.395)
- When Sharat Chandra Chakrabarty, a disciple fo Vivekananda asked Adbhutananda for permission to write his biography.
- Keep a picture of Sri Ramakrishna with you. Whenever lustful feelings arise, you should look at the picture intently. You will find that the senses will gradually be gathered in and the mind will be free from lust. (p.428)
- Reply when a devotee asked, "How can one overcome lust?"
- What are you ashamed of, my son? The Lord has seen everything you have done. You cannot hide anything from Him. Since He knows all of it, why should you still be so melancholy? Instead, engage yourself in harder spiritual disciplines, keep the company of holy men, and come here now and then. (p.429)
- Only if you admit the existence of god does everything become meaningful. When we bring God into our lives, distinctions lessen and we feel that all people are our own. On the physical plane there is a difference between myself and others, but on the spiritual plane we are the same Satchidananda (Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute). From that standpoint no one can help another—one is only helping oneself. The key to our philanthropy is this: In doing good to others, we try to forget the apparent distinctions between ourselves and other people. The welfare of others is my welfare—that is our attitude. Who does not want his own good? If you believe in God and serve society, you can never feel any resentment....People may get social merit through philanthropic activities, but if their egos are involved in those activities, they will not get any spiritual merit. Even the result of a good action turns into a bondage if it is done with ego. On the other hand, unselfish actions destroys the bondage of action and bring literation to humanity. (p.430)
- In reply to western ladies who said that one should give higher place to philanthropy than to God.
- Do you think that a monk is your sweeper who will keep sweeping your mind for you day after day? He may clean your mind once; after that it is up to you to keep it clean. If you don't have any motivation, what can a monk do? Can a holy man erase your past impressions, or do you think he will carry you to the Lord on his shoulders? He will show you the path, but you will have to walk it yourself. That is the only way to reach God. (p.432)
- Some men abuse women, but you should never raise your hand against them. You do not know how much they bear—they are forbearance itself. If you abuse them, where shall they turn? They are aspects of the Divine Mother, and if the Mother is insulted, the Lord is displeased. Thus your well-being lies in making them happy. (p.433)
- Listen, can anyone deviate from his real nature? If he does, it cannot be called his real nature; for it is changeable. Man's real nature is covered by a dense cloud of ignorance, and consequently he appears to be something different, but that does not mean he has deviated from his real nature....Haven't you seen those polishing shops at Mechuabazar in Calcutta where they have glass jars filled with colored liquids? The metal worker takes a tarnished brass pot and dips it into a jar, and instantly all the tarnish goes away and the pot starts to glitter. Then he dips it into another jar and it turns a golden color. Similarly, dip your mind in the jar of the Lord's name, and all the unclean stuff will be washed away. Then dip it in the jar of the Lord's grace. You will see how beautifully your real nature will shine forth.(p.434)
- Do you know what worship is? Everything belongs to the Lord, so what is there to offer to Him? But the Master used to tell us: 'Once a rich man went to visit his orchard. He saw the gardeners busy with their work. The caretaker approached him and presented him with a ripe papaya, saying: "Sir, I picked this ripe fruit for you yesterday. Please accept it." Now the owner knows that the garden, the trees, the fruit all belong to him; but won't he appreciate the love and thoughtfulness of the caretaker? Worship is like this.' (p.436)
- There are three possible relationships one can have with God:"My God", "I am God", "I am God's". The last one is best, because it does not tempt pride. (p.437)
- In order to test Hanuman's devotion, Rama once asked him, "How do you think of me?" Hanuman replied: "Lord, while I identify myself with the body, I am Thy servant. When I consider myself as an individual soul, I am a part of Thee. And when I look upon myself as the Atman, I am one with Thee—this is my firm conviction." (p.437)
The Apostles of Sri Ramakrishna
- Swami Gambhirananda, Advaita Ashrama, 1967
- Who is more blessed than he who had dedicated his life to the service of others, who has obliterated all distinctions between mine and yours, and whose heart bleeds for others sufferings? So hopelessly selfish we have become that we do not feel for people in difficulty, are busy with finding others' weak points, and spreading rumours, and are envious of others' happiness and prosperity. With such traits what else but misery can we expect to befall us? God is mighty pleased with those who engage themselves in serving others without an ulterior motive.
- He who fears and doubts cannot make any progress either in the spiritual or worldly sphere. The mind is cramped. He alone is a hero, he alone attains greatness, who moves forward to realise the truth without caring whether the world is real or not.
- Never talk ill of anybody, be he a devotee, a monk, or an ordinary householder, nor despise any for a wrong act. After all, everyone is a child of the Lord. Who knows today's sinning will not make him a saint tomorrow? Other acts do not count so much as a moment's of love for the Lord. Blessed is he who has loved Him even for a moment. Saint or sinner, the Lord loves all.