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from the letters of Swami Ramakrishnananda
from the letters of Swami Ramakrishnananda

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Published by: Paul Herman Lodewijk Verbert on Sep 17, 2012
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(from the letters of Swami Ramakrishnananda)Note: concerning the internet edition: The material quoted here is from a booklet composed of letters written by Swami Ramakrishnananda. His letters are of special value to the spiritualaspirant who is frustrated at his or her lack of spiritual progress, and the sorry state of theworld in which we all live. When life seems especially depressing. Give these writings achance to console the pain of your heart.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -YOU want me to advise you how to get rid of the entanglements of this world, in answer towhich let me remind you that what has been brought about by a myriad of births cannot bedone away within a day. Yes. You are right. We should escape the snare of samsara evenfrom this moment. For, who knows when death will snatch us away from the loving embraceof our family; but that does not mean we should make a sudden resolution in the course of ourlives. The best way to success is to remain pleased in whatever state Sri Krishna has beenpleased to place you, keeping your mind always turned towards Him, as a child always turnstowards his parent for help.Read good books. Let me suggest one. It is "The Imitation of Christ". It will give you greatcomfort. Engrave on your mind the words of consolation and true devotion which you aresure to find on every page of that valuable work of Thomas A. Kempis, who was a truedevotee of God and Christ.The difference between a man and a brute mainly lies in this: a brute never wants to have hisplace changed as long as he gets food and shelter, while a man, a true man, is alwaysattempting to get higher and higher. Incessant yearning for higher ideals is the characteristic
of a true man. It should be the primary aim of all who want to be good and great to follow theprecept:Sarva-Dharman Parityajya Maam Ekam Sharanam Braja-
 Every one of us is trying hard to go to Him, but the of every one of us is different. Each mustmake his own way and undertake his journey with the help of those conveyances which Godhas allowed him to have.We should all "strike off our fetters"; but have you ever seen a fetter stricken off with a singleand sudden blow? It you want to break through your fetters, you must be patient enough toapply a series of successive blows. Nothing sudden has brought about good. When the spiritof renunciation is uppermost in you, when all other bonds are too weak to bind you to the treeof samsara, then you will drop down upon the lap of Hari, even as a fruit when fully ripe.You say that samsara is a place of great temptation...that indeed is true! But, do you knowthat strong adverse winds serve but to confirm the roots of a weak tree? The good moralprinciples which are now not so strong in you are sure to get firmly rooted by an incessantstruggle with temptations. Constant exercise and struggle improve one's physical health. Andour mental health, too, is not above this law.Of course, the ground is too slippery to allow man to walk on without a fall, but he is sure topass over the 'slough' if he pushes on boldly without caring much for any fall in his onwardmarch. He should always look forward and march on boldly, falling and raising but neversuccumbing, till he is sure of having reached a place where the ground is clear of dirt andwhere he meets the one thing of his desire-the Divine One for whom he has been laboring solong.Do not care if you slip occasionally. To err is human. Do not lose heart. Walk firmlyonward. No man can hope to get through the slimy of the world, unscathed. And it is rank foolishness to sit down in the midst of the mire for fear of falling in the attempt to get across.Do not forget the golden precept, "Try, try, try again". Remember Bruce of Scotland, whothough defeated six times, conquered at last, seventh time.Be contented with whatever comes to you knowing that all things proceed from Sri Krishnadirectly. Do not forget to pray to Him incessantly. His Grace can give you whatever can reallydo you good. Always confide yourselves to His care. Be calm and quiet. Restlessness is adisease in itself. Know that religion means charity and satisfaction in self-surrender to theWill of the Most High.quot;Act, act in the living present, Heart within the God overhead." Pleasure and pain are theinevitable companions of every human being. When one comes, the other departs, but neithercan remain long. Knowing this we must not be sent out of our wits under their influence.Depend upon God entirely and do your duty. Always abide by the Will of God and takeeverything in the best light. You should not be anxious of the future. Whatever takes placehere, on this earth, is for your good, for all things are disposed by God. In the meantime, itshould be our duty to be dutiful.
Try to be dutiful to yourself, dutiful towards your wife and dutiful to your children, if youhave any. Be dutiful to your relations, your friends and neighbors. Be charitable, honest, plainand truthful. Above all, have an intense devotion and love for God, the Author of your being.Lead this life, until it becomes one with your nature. For, you should know it for a fact, thatunless a man is physically and mentally pure, he has no right to enter the holy shrine of Yoga.For, Yoga does not consist of merely holding the breath and making pranayama and variouspostures. It means getting rid of all Chitta-vrittis or desires. The pure alone can get rid of theevil effect of evil desires. So, try to be pure by ever striving to be dutiful to your parents, yourwife and children, relatives and friends and your neighbors. Be an ideal householder first, forthen alone will you be able to be a real Yogi.You will be glad to hear that I am starting for Puri to bring our President (SwamiBrahmananda) here. Whatever a good man like touches becomes not only pure but also getsthe purifying power. He is not coming to deliver lectures here but to give religion to thosewho need. There is not much work done in public lectures. What is there in hollow talk?Everyone can talk religion but where is he who can give it? here is the man who can showerblessings on an afflicted heart, who can give religion and lead man to God. You need not bereminded of the absolute hollowness of the so-called wisdom of the modern age. Man doesnot become really wise by reading books written by men whose earthbound minds have notthe power to soar in the infinite firmament to Truth, whose speculations end in agnosticism,skepticism or atheism, whose moral principles wanting the basis of Eternity, are little betterthan jargon, and whose ignorance keeps them confined in the limited span of a precariouslive, bounded on both sides by birth and death...The enthusiasm which you have been showing for the noble cause of the Sri RamakrishnaMission should increase in a thousandfold now, as the living embodiment of that Mission, HisMost Serene Holiness, is on the eve of coming to the South.Never remain idle, for idleness is the progenitor of all evil thought. Be always vigilant incarrying out your duties. Shake off all dullness from within you. Laziness is the worst of allsins. There is no royal road to perfection. Sentimentalism is of no avail. You must labor hardand be always pleased with the place where God has been pleased to keep you. You are,indeed, a very bad lover of God if you cannot bear some worldly troubles for His sake!Those affairs which are displeasing to you now will all prove your great friends hereafter.God is more intelligent than any of us. He knows what is necessary for you and where to keepyou. If you resent His Dispensation, you really resent His infinite Love and Grace. Obedienceis divine: disobedience is satanic.It is through sheer ignorance that we bring on ourselves all sorts of groundless anxieties. Towork you have the right, but not the fruits thereof. The leader should be a man having not theleast egoism. Not "I" but "Though"--this should be his motto. Remember this and go onworking and you are sure to come out victorious. Talk sweetly to everything done all at once.There is no power in Heaven and Earth that can withstand the strong current of spiritualitywhich His Mission has already sent out with such success all over the world. Be happy thatyou are a chosen child of the Lord. Tell all members of the Vedanta Society that they are notonly destined to illumine themselves but everyone who will come in contact with them.

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