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Flashes from

SRI RAMAKRISHNA

First gain God, and then gain wealth; but do not try to do the contrary. If, after acquiring
spirituality, you lead a worldly life, you will never lose your peace of mind. –
The digit one may be raised to a figure of any value by adding zeros after it;
but if that one is omitted, zeros by themselves have no value.
Similarly so long as man does not cling to God, who is the One, he has no value,
for all things here get their value from their connection with God. –
On two occasions God smiles. First when the doctor comes to the bedside of a patient who
is seriously ill and is about to die, and says to his mother, “Why madam, there is no cause
for anxiety at all. I take upon myself the responsibility of saving your son’s life.”
Next He smiles when two brothers, who are busy partitioning their land, take a measuring
tape, put it across the land and say, “This side is mine, that side is yours.” –
If you feel proud, let it be in the thought that you are the servant of God, the Child of God. –
As a piece of rope, when burnt, retains its form, but cannot serve to bind,
so is the ego which is burnt by the fire of supreme Knowledge. –
That knowledge which purifies the mind and heart alone is true Knowledge. –
To explain God after merely reading the scriptures is like explaining to a person the city
of Banares after seeing it only in a map. –
The nearer you come to God, the less you are disposed to questioning and reasoning. –
The sacred books tell us only the way to God, i.e. of the means for the realization of God.
That way being known, the next step is to work one’s way to the goal.
Realization is the goal. –
To him who is free, hundreds of people come from all sides anxious to be taught.
When a rose blossoms, bees come from all sides uninvited. –

O 1 O

The holy teachings that come from the mouths of godly men seem to be uttered
by those men themselves, while in reality they proceed from God. –
The soul that has tasted the sweetness of Divine bliss finds no happiness
in the vulgar pleasures of the world. –
The spiritually-minded belong to a caste of their own, beyond all social conventions. –
A boat may stay in water, but water should not stay in the boat.
An aspirant may live in the world, butthe world should not live within him. –
The magnetic needle always points to the North, and hence it is that the sailing
vessel does not lose her direction. So long as the heart of man is directed towards God,
he cannot be lost in the ocean of worldliness. –
Forgiveness is the true nature of the ascetic. –
As a toy fruit or a toy elephant reminds one of the real fruit and the living animal,
so do the images that are worshipped remind one of Him who is formless and eternal. –
The companionship of the holy and the wise is one of the main elements
of spiritual progress. –
Knowingly or unknowingly, consciously orunconsciously, in whatever state of mind a man
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utters God’s ‘name’ he acquires the merit of such utterance.–
Sing with devotion the hallowed ‘name’ of the Lord, and the mountain of your sins will
vanish, just as a mountain of cotton will burn to ashes and disappear
if but a spark of fire falls on it. –
Be not like the frog in the well. The frog in the well knows nothing bigger and grander than
its well. So are all bigots. They do not see anything better than their own creed. –
Eat to your satisfaction in the day, but let your meal at night
be light and small in quantity. –
That food alone should be taken by the devotee
which does not heat the system or unsettle the mind. –
Disease is the tax which the soul pays for the use of the body, as the tenant pays
house-rent for the use of the house. –
The tree laden with fruits always bends low. If you wish to be great, be lowly and meek. –
Till one becomes simple like a child, one cannot get divine illumination.–
All women are parts of the Divine Mother, and therefore
they should be looked upon as mother by all. –
Be not a traitor to your thoughts. Be sincere; act according to your thoughts; and you shall
surely succeed. Pray with a sincere and simple heart and your prayers will be heard. –

O 2 O

As one and the same water is called by different names by different people,
some calling it ‘water’, some ‘Vari’, some ‘Aqua’ and some ‘Pani’,
so the one Satchidananda, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss-Absolute, is invoked
by some as God, by some as Allah, by some as Hari and by others as Brahman.–
Many are the names of God and infinite are the forms through which He may be approached.
In whatever name and form you worship Him, through that you will realize Him. –
One can ascend to the top of a house by means of a ladder or a bamboo or a staircase
or a rope; so too, diverse are the ways of approaching God and each religion
in the world shows one of the ways. –
As a mother, in nursing her sick children, gives rice and curry to one, sago and arrow
root to another, and bread and butter to a third, so God has laid out for different men
different paths suitable to their natures. –
He alone enters the Kingdom of Heaven who is not a thief of his own thought.
In other words, guilelessness and simple faith are the roads to that Kingdom. –
He who has faith has all, and he who lacks it lacks all. –
As one thinks, so does one become. –
Truthfulness is the Tapasya (austerity) for this dark age.–
Dive deep into the ocean of the Absolute Existence-Knowledge-Bliss.
Fear not those deep sea monsters—avarice and anger. Paint yourself thickly
with the turmeric of discrimination and dispassion and these alligators will not
approach you, for the scent of this turmeric is too much for them. –
The fire made by burning bamboo is soon extinguished unless kept alive by constant blowing.
Uninterrupted devotion is necessary to keep alive the fire of spirituality. –
Meditate on God either in an obscure corner, or in the solitude of forests,
or within the silent sanctuary of your own heart. –
If you must be mad, be it not for the things of the world.
Be mad with the love of God. –
Do you know how intense our love of God should be? The love that a devoted wife
possesses for her beloved husband, the attachment that a miser feels for his hoarded wealth,
and the clinging desire that the worldly-minded people foster for the things of the world—
when the intensity of your heart’s longing for God is equal to the sum of these three,
then you will attain Him. –
The breeze of His grace is blowing day and night over your head. Unfurl the sails of your
boat (mind), if you want to make rapid progress through the ocean of life. –
Knowledge leads to unity; ignorance to diversity. –
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Whatever you offer to God will return to you a thousand fold. –

O 3 O

After a well is dug, some throw away all the spades and baskets, but others
preserve them with the idea that they may be of some use to any of their neighbours.
Such great souls are moved with pity at the sight of the sufferings of the world.
They are not so selfish, as to care only for the attainment of Knowledge for themselves.–
He is born in vain, who having attained the human birth, so difficult to get,
does not attempt to realize God in this very life.–
As a lamp does not burn without oil, so a man cannot live without God.–
Long must you struggle in the water before you learn to swim; similarly, many a struggle must
you pass through before you can hope to swim on the ocean of Divine Bliss. –
Pray to Him in any way you will. He is sure to hear you,
for He hears even the footfall of an ant. –
Remain always strong and steadfast in your own faith,
but eschew all bigotry and intolerence. –
As water flows under a bridge without stagnation, so money passes through the hands
of the free but is never hoarded by them. He is a true man to whom money is a servant.
Those who have it and do not know how to use it, do not deserve to be called men. –
When the fruit grows out of the flower, the petals drop off themselves.
So, when the divinity in you increases, the weaknesses of your human nature
will all vanish of their own accord. –
God is in all men, but all men are not in God, that is the reason why they suffer. –
As the dawn heralds the rising sun, so sincerity, unselfishness, purity,
and righteousness precede the advent of God. –
A truly religious man should think that other religions also are paths leading to truth.
We should always maintain an attitude of respect towards other religions. –
Indulgence in futile talks and criticism concerning others only distract
the mind and make one forgetful of the contemplation of the Self or God. –
God looks at the working of one’s mind. He does not take into account what in particular
a person is doing, or where he is lying. He recognises the motive alone. –
It is Maya which reveals Brahman. Without Maya, who could have known Brahman? Without
knowing Sakti, the manifested power of God, there is no means of knowing Him. –
The snake itself is not affected by the poison in its fangs; but when it bites,
the posion kills the creature bitten. Likewise Maya is in the Lord but does not affect Him,
while the same Maya deludes the whole world. –
Be as devoid of vanity as the cast-away leaf carried by the high wind. –

O 4 O