sri ramakrishna, spirituality personified

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Sri Ramakrishna taught that religions may be different paths but faith and devotion with service leads to self realization.

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  • 1. Sri Ramakrishna andVivekanandaSERVICE TO HUMANITY SEE GOD IN ALL`

2. 2 3. Kli Temple at Dakshinewar3 4. LIVING IN KALIYUGAEven those engaged inworldly activities, such asoffice work or business,should hold to the truth.Truthfulness alone is thespiritual discipline in theKaliyuga4 5. Unless one always speaks the truth, onecannot find God Who is the soul of truth.One must be very particular about telling thetruth. Through truth one can realize God.5 6. WE ARE ONLY SERVANTS OF GODOne cannot completely get rid of the sixpassions: lust, anger, greed, and the like.Therefore one should direct them to God. If youmust have desire and greed, then you shoulddesire love of God and be greedy to attain Him.If you must be conceited and egotistic, thenfeel conceited and egotistic thinking that youare the servant of God, the child of God. 6 7. 7 8. 8 9. 9 10. 10 11. Different stages of spiritual progress "The first stage is that of the beginner. He studiesand hears. Second is the stage of the struggling aspirant. Heprays to God, meditates on Him, and sings Hisname and glories. The third stage is that of the perfect soul. He hasseen God, realized Him directly and immediately inhis inner Consciousness. 11 12. Last is the stage of thesupremely perfect, likeChaitanya. Such a devoteeestablishes a definiterelationship with God,looking on Him as his Sonor Beloved."12 13. 13 14. 14 15. Sri Ramakrishna:To that end one must always sing forth the HolyName of God and talk How to fix mind on Him; without ceasing to sing of His glory and attributes.Then one must seek the company of holy men.One must from time to time visit the Lordsdevotees or those who have given up attachment tothe things of the world for the sake of the Lord.15 16. SEEK THE COMPANY OF HOLY MEN 16 17. ATTITUDES TOWARD GOD "But a devotee must assume toward God, aparticular attitude. God in His Incarnation as Rma demonstratednta, Dsya, Vtsalya, and sakhya. But Krishnademonstrated Madhur, besides all these. "Radha cherished the attitude of Madhur towardKrishna. Her love was romantic. But in the case ofSita it was the pure love of a chaste wife for herhusband. There was no romance in her love. "But all this is the lila of God. He demonstratesdifferent ideals to suit different times." 18. To develop the devotees love for God, God is to beregarded as the devotees Parent, Master, Friend,Child, Husband, or Sweetheart, each succeedingrelationship representing an intensification of love.These bhavas, or attitudes toward God, are known assanta, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, and madhur. Therishis of the Vedas, Hanuman, the cow-herd boys ofVrindavan, Ramas mother Kausalya, and Radhika,Krishnas sweetheart, exhibited, respectively, themost perfect examples of these forms. 18 19. In the ascending scale the-glories of God aregradually forgotten and the devotee realizes moreand more the intimacy of divine communion.Finally he regards himself as the mistress of hisBeloved, and no artificial barrier remains toseparate him from his Ideal.No social or moral obligation can bind to the earthhis soaring spirit. He experiences perfect union withthe Godhead.19 20. Different moods of aspirantsSeeing the Lord through human relationships"But in order to realize God, one must assume one of theseattitudes: nta, Dsya, Sakhya, Vtsalya, or Madhur."nta, the serene attitude. The rishis of olden times had thisattitude toward God. They did not desire any worldly enjoyment.It is like the single-minded devotion of a wife to her husband.She knows that her husband is the embodiment of beauty andlove, a veritable Madan.20 21. "Dsya, the attitude of a servant toward his master.Hanuman had this attitude toward Rama. He feltthe strength of a lion when he worked for Rama. Awife feels this mood also. She serves her husbandwith all her heart and soul. A mother also has alittle of this attitude, as Yaoda had toward Krishna. 21 22. "Once Rama asked Hanuman, How do you look on Me?And Hanuman replied: O Rama, as long as I have thefeeling of "I", I see that Thou art the whole and I am a part;Thou art the Master and I am Thy servant. But when, ORama, I have the knowledge of Truth, then I realize thatThou art I and I am Thou."The relationship of master and servant is the proper one.Since this I must remain, let the rascal be Gods servant. 22 23. "Sakhya, the attitude of friendship. Sridm and otherfriends sometimes fed Krishna with fruit, part of whichthey had already eaten. Sakhya bhava springs from therealization that God is ones best and mostintimate friend. Arjunas relationship towardsKrishna is regarded as an excellent example forthis bhava. Arjuna used to sit, eat, walk, talk with andembrace Krishna as anintimate friend. 23 24. "Vtsalya, the attitude of a mother toward herchild. This was Yaodas attitude toward Krishna.The wife, too, has a little of this. She feeds herhusband with her very life-blood, as it were. Themother feels happy only when the child has eatento his hearts content. Yaoda would roam aboutwith butter in her hand, in order to feed Krishna. 24 25. "Madhur, the attitude of a woman toward her paramour.Radha had this attitude toward Krishna. The wife also feels itfor her husband. This attitude includes all the other four.Dwell, O Lord, O Lover of bhakti,In the Vrindvan of my heart,And my devotion unto TheeWill be Thy Radha, dearly loved. . . . 25 26. A beautiful expression of the Vaishnava worship of Godthrough love is to be found in the Vrindavan episode of theBhagavata. The gopis, or milk-maids, of Vrindavan regardedthe six-year-old Krishna as their Beloved. They sought nopersonal gain or happiness from this love. They surrenderedto Krishna their bodies, minds, and souls. Of all the gopis,Radhika, or Radha, because of her intense love for Him, wasthe closest to Krishna. She manifested mahabhava and wasunited with her Beloved. This union represents, throughsensuous language, a supersensuous experience. 26 27. FETTERS OF THE SOULGod-consciousness does not come so long as thereare three things in the heart, _Shame, hatred and fear.These three and caste pride are the fetters of thesoul. When these are broken, freedom is attained.Bound by these fetters is Jiva (the ego), free fromfetters is Siva (God),27 28. One can attain the Knowledge of Brahman, too, byfollowing the path of bhakti. God is all-powerful. Hemay give His devotee Brahmajnna also, if He sowills.But the devotee generally doesnt seek theKnowledge of the Absolute.He would rather have the consciousness that Godis the Master and he the servant, or that God is theDivine Mother and he the child." Path of bhakti isbest for the people of the Kaliyuga. God is the Divine Mother28 29. Master on caste-systemSri Ramakrishna said: "The caste-system can be removed byone means only, and that is the love of God. Lovers of God donot belong to any caste. The mind, body, and soul of a manbecome purified through divine love. Chaitanya and Nityanandascattered the name of Hari to everyone, including the pariah, andembraced them all. A brahmin without this love is no longer abrahmin. And a pariah with the love of God is no longer a pariah.Through bhakti an untouchable becomes pure and elevated."29 30. How to live in the world: be unattached!A DEVOTEE: "Sir, how should one live in the world?"MASTER: "Live in the world as the mud fish lives in the mud.One develops love of God by going away from the world intosolitude, now and then, and meditating on God. After that onecan live in the world unattached. The mud is there, and thefish has to live in it, but its body is not stained by the mud.Such a man can lead the life of a householder in a spirit ofdetachment"fish30 31. "Then should householders lead a worldly life?"MASTER: "Yes, they should try to perform their duties in adetached way. Before you break the jack-fruit open, rub yourhands with oil, so that the sticky milk will not smear them.The maidservant in a rich mans house performs all her duties,but her mind dwells on her home in the country. This is anexample of doing duty in a detached way. You shouldrenounce the world only in mind.But a sannyasi should renounce the worldboth inwardly and outwardly." 31 32. Once a man realizes God through intense dispassion,he is no longer attached to woman. Even if he mustlead the life of a householder, he is free from fear ofand attachment to woman. "He who has realized Goddoes not look upon a woman with the eye of lust; sohe is not afraid of her. He perceives clearly thatwomen are but so many aspects of the Divine Mother.He worships them all as the Mother Herself.32 33. The ideal of a spiritual family" A wife endowed with spiritual wisdom is a real partner in life.She greatly helps her husband to follow the religious path.After the birth of one or two children they live like brother andsister. Both of them are devotees of God-His servant and Hishandmaid. Their family is a spiritual family. They are alwayshappy with God and His devotees.They know that God alone is their own,from everlasting to everlasting. They arelike the Pandava brothers; they do notforget God in happiness or in sorrow.33 34. " Longing is the means of realizing tman. A man must strive toattain God with all his body, with all his mind, and with all hisspeech. Because of an excess of bile one gets jaundice. Thenone sees everything as yellow. Among actors, those who takeonly the roles of women acquire the nature of a woman; bythinking of woman your ways and thoughts become womanly.Just so, by thinking day and night of Godone acquires the nature of God."34 35. SENSE OF I The sense of I in us is the greatest obstacle inthe path of God vision. It covers the truth. WhenI is dead, all troubles cease. If by the mercy ofthe lord one realizes I am a non-doer, instantlythat man becomes emancipated in this life. Thissense of I is like a thick cloud. As a smallcloud can hide the glorious sun, so this cloud o