Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sri Ramakrishna on God with form and formless Brahman Satchidananda

Sri Ramakrishna went with the devotees to the northeast verandah of his room. Among them was a householder from the village of Dakshineswar, who studied Vedanta philosophy at home. He had been discussing Om with Kedar before the Master. He said, "This Eternal Word, the Anahata Sabda, is ever present both within and outside."

Sri Ramakrishna: "But the Word is not enough. There must be something indicated by the Word. Can your name alone make me happy? Complete happiness is not possible for me unless I see you."

Devotee: "That Eternal Word itself is Brahman."

Sri Ramakrishna (to Kedar): "Oh, don't you understand? He upholds the doctrine of the rishis of olden times. They once said to Rama: 'O Rama, we know You only as the son of Dasaratha. Let sages like Bharadvaja worship You as God Incarnate. We want to realize Brahman, the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute.' At these words Rama smiled and went away." 

Kedar: "Those rishis could not recognize Rama as an Incarnation of God. They must have been fools."

Sri Ramakrishna (seriously): "Please don't say such a thing. People worship God according to their tastes and temperaments. The mother cooks the same fish differently for her children, that each one may have what suits his stomach. For some she cooks the rich dish of pilau. But not all the children can digest it. For those with weak stomachs she prepares soup. Some, again, like fried fish or pickled fish. It depends on one's taste.

"The rishis followed the path of jnana. Therefore they sought to realize Brahman, the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. But those who follow the path of devotion seek an Incarnation of God, to enjoy the sweetness of bhakti. The darkness of the mind disappears when God is realized. In the Purana it is said that it was as if a hundred suns were shining when Rama entered the court. Why, then, weren't the courtiers burnt up? It was because the brilliance of Rama was not like that of a material object. As the lotus blooms when the sun rises, so the lotus of the heart of the people assembled in the court burst into blossom."

As Sri Ramakrishna uttered these words, standing before the devotees, he suddenly fell into an ecstatic mood. His mind was withdrawn from external objects. No sooner did he say, "the lotus of the heart burst into blossom", than he went into deep samadhi. He stood motionless, his countenance beaming and his lips parted in a smile.

After a long time he returned to the normal consciousness of the world. He drew a long breath and repeatedly chanted the name of Rama, every word showering nectar into the hearts of the devotees. Sri Ramakrishna sat down, the others seating themselves around him.

Sri Ramakrishna (to the devotees): "Ordinary people do not recognize the advent of an Incarnation of God. He comes in secret. Only a few of His intimate disciples can recognize Him. That Rama was both Brahman Absolute and a perfect Incarnation of God in human form was known only to twelve rishis. The other sages said to Him, 'Rama, we know You only as Dasaratha's son.' 

"Can everyone comprehend Brahman, the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute? He alone has attained perfect love of God who, having reached the Absolute, keeps himself in the realm of the Relative in order to enjoy the divine lila. A man can describe the ways and activities of the Queen (Queen Victoria.) if he has previously visited her in England. Only then will his description of the Queen be correct. Sages like Bharadvaja adored Rama and said: 'O Rama, You are nothing but the Indivisible Satchidananda. You have appeared before us as a human being, but You look like a man because You have shrouded Yourself with Your own maya.' These rishis were great devotees of Rama and had supreme love for God."

Source: Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

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