sri ramakrishna parables

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  • 1. ParablesFrom Gospel ofSri Ramakrishna

2. "That which supports, that which holds together thepeoples (of the universe), that is Dharma. 3. principles of true lifeDharma is not merely a set of beliefs having nonecessary connection with the daily life ofhumanity, but it is the very principles of ahealthy and beneficent life.Therefore to know those principles and act uponthem is to be a true follower of Vaidika Dharma,and to tread the sure road to happiness,individual as well as general. 4. Knowledge - action - unattached" Cows are many- coloured ; but the milk (of all) has butone colour. Look on knowledge as the milk, and on theteachers as the cows. Therefore, without attachment, constantly perform actionwhich is duty, for in performing action without attachment,man verily reaches the Supreme. "" As the ignorant act from attachment to action,O Bharata, so should the wise act without attachment,desiring the maintenance of mankind." 5. [Sat, Chit, Ananda] - Maya" The Rishis, their sins destroyed, their doubts removed,their selves controlled, intent upon the welfare of allbeings, obtain the Brahma-Nirvana. Sat, Chit and Ananda" Therefore He should be worshipped as thatConsciousness, whose nature is Sat, Chit and Ananda,Lord of Maya, the Divine, with Maya, the Supreme Lady.Being thus seen as the illusion-producing Power of theLord, She is known as the cause of bondageand also as the path to liberation. As Avidya shedeludes ; as Vidya she leads to Her Lord, and asShe vanishes in Him as the Atma knows itself as free. 6. world [water] mind [butter]"The world is water and the mind milk. If youpour milk into water they become one; youcannot find the pure milk any more. But turnthe milk into curd and churn it into butter.Then, when that butter is placed in water,it will float. So, practise spiritual discipline insolitude and obtain the butter of knowledgeand love. Even if you keep that butter in thewater of the world the two will not mix. Thebutter will float. 7. practise disciplineMASTER: "A little spiritual discipline is necessary in order to knowwhat lies within."M: "Is it necessary to practise discipline all through life?"MASTER: "No. But one must be up and doing in the beginning. Afterthat one need not work hard. The helmsman stands up and clutchesthe rudder firmly as long as the boat is passing through waves,storms, high wind, or around the curves of a river; but he relaxesafter steering through them. As soon as the boat passes the curvesand the helmsman feels a favourable wind, he sits comfortably andjust touches the rudder. Next he prepares to unfurl the sail and getsready for a smoke. Likewise, the aspirant enjoys peace and calmafter passing the waves and storms of woman and gold. 8. different forms of worshipMASTER: "You were talking of worshipping theclay image. Even if the image is made of clay,there is need for that sort of worship. GodHimself has provided different forms of worship.He who is the Lord of the Universe has arrangedall these forms to suit different men in differentstages of knowledge. "The mother cooksdifferent dishes to suit the stomachs of herdifferent children. Suppose she has five children.If there is a fish to cook, she prepares variousdishes from it - pilau, pickled fish, fried fish, and so on - to suit theirdifferent tastes and powers of digestion. 9. Parable of the chameleon"Listen to a story. Once a man entered a wood and saw a small animal on a tree. He cameback and told another man that he had seen a creature of a beautiful red colour on a certain tree.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 andinsisted that it was yellow. Presently others arrived andcontended that it was grey, violet, blue, and so forth and soon. At last they started quarrelling among themselves. Tosettle the dispute they all went to the tree.continued 10. Parable of the chameleonThey saw a man sitting under it. On beingasked, he replied: Yes, I live under this treeand I know the animal very well.All your descriptions are true. Sometimes itappears 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 canknow His real nature; he alone knows that God revealsHimself to seekers in various forms and aspects. God hasattributes; then again He has none. Only the man wholives under the tree knows that the chameleon can appearin various colours, and he knows, further, that the animalat times has no colour at all. It is the others who sufferfrom the agony of futile argument. 11. secure the oil of divine love"If you enter the world without first cultivating love forGod, you will be entangled more and more. You will beoverwhelmed with its danger, its grief, its sorrows. Andthe more you think of worldly things, the more you will beattached to them."First rub your hands with oil and then break open thejack-fruit; otherwise they will be smeared with its stickymilk. First secure the oil of divine love,and then set your handsto the duties of the world." 12. attain divine loveBut one must go into solitude and meditate toattain this divine love. To get butter from milkyou must let it set into curd in a secluded spot;if it is too much disturbed, milk wont turn intocurd. Next, you must put aside all other duties,sit in a quiet spot, and churn the curd. Onlythen do you get butter. 13. realize God by.MASTER: "Truthfulness in speech is the tapasyaof the Kaliyuga. It is difficult to practise otherausterities in this cycle. By adhering to truth oneattains God. Tulsidas said: Truthfulness,obedience to God, and the regarding of otherswives as ones mother, are thegreatest virtues. If one does notrealize God by practising them,then Tulsi is a liar. 14. pray longingly"It is necessary to pray to Him with a longingheart. The kitten knows only how to call itsmother, crying, Mew, mew! It remains satisfiedwherever its mother puts it. The mother cat putsthe kitten sometimes in the kitchen, sometimes onthe floor, and sometimes on the bed. When itsuffers it cries only, Mew, mew! Thats all itknows. As the mother hears this cry, wherevershe may be; she comes to the kitten." 15. see God in all bow low before them!In a forest there lived a holy The mahut of the elephantman and his disciples. Hewas shouting: Run away!taught them to see God in allbeings and, knowing this, to Run away! But thebow low before them all. A disciple didnt move. Thedisciple went to gather wood animal seized him with itsfor the sacrificial fire. Suddenly trunk, cast him to onehe heard an outcry: Get out ofside, and went on its way.the way! A mad elephant iscoming! The disciple Hurt and bruised, thereasoned that the elephant disciple lay unconsciouswas also God in another form.on the ground.Then why should he run away ..continuedfrom it? He stood still, bowedbefore the animal, and beganto sing its praises. 16. see God in allHearing what had happened, his teacher and his brotherdisciples came to him and carried him to the hermitage.With the help of some medicine he soon regainedconsciousness. Someone asked him, You knew theelephant was coming - why didnt you leave the place?But, he said, our teacher has told us that God Himselfhas taken all these forms, of animals as well as men.Therefore, thinking it was only the elephant God that wascoming, I didnt run away. At this the teacher said: Yes,my child, it is true that the elephant God was coming; butthe mahut God forbade you to stay there. Since all aremanifestations of God, why didntyou trust the mahuts words?You should haveheeded the words of the mahut God.(Laughter) 17. Jiva suffers, Love Siva"One man may read the Bhagavata by thelight of a lamp, and another may commita forgery by that very light; but the lamp isunaffected. The sun sheds its light on the wickedas well as on the virtuous."You may ask, How, then, can one explain misery and sinand unhappiness?The answer is that these apply only to the jiva; seek Siva.Brahman is unaffected by them. There is poison in a snake;but though others may die if bitten by it, the snake itself isnot affected by the poison. 18. Brahman is beyond"Men often think they have understood Brahman fully.Once an ant went to a hill of sugar. One grain filled itsstomach. Taking another grain in its mouthit started homeward. On its way it thought,Next time I shall carry home the whole hill. That is theway shallow minds think. They dont know that Brahman isbeyond ones words and thought. However great a manmay be, how much can he know of Brahman? Sukadevaand sages like him may have been big ants; but even theycould carry at the utmost eight or ten grains of sugar! 19. - 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 theocean, and somebody asks him, Well, what is the oceanlike? The first man opens his mouth as wide as he canand says: What a sight! What tremendous waves andsounds!The description of Brahman in the sacred books is likethat. It is said in the Vedas that Brahman is of the nature ofBliss - It is Satchidananda."Suka and other sages stood on the shore of this Ocean ofBrahman and saw and touched the water. According toone school of thought they never plunged into it. Thosewho do, cannot come back to the world again. 20. Ishvara, mulaprakritiFrom these two triangles is formed the symbol ofIshvara and His universe, often seen in Temples,the two interlaced, and a point in the centre, thesymbol of the ONE, the whole giving the GreatSeptenary, the Supreme Brahman and theUniverse. Maya 21. Ishvara, mulaprakritiAs the triple nature of Ishvara, Sat Chit -Ananda, was symbolically represented by atriangle pointing upwards, like a flame, so is thetriple nature of Mulaprakriti symbolised as atriangle, but now