Bhagavadgita Pages, Chapters 1 to 18


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Ramakrishna Paramahamsa: Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna . Excerpt on Divine Realization.

Veeraswamy Krishnaraj: Tolerance with love is to speak in tongues of all faiths, hold in the heart the Truth of all faiths and see

all faiths in the face of humanity.







Sayings of Sri Ramakrishna CHAPTER XIX




Varieties of perfect men--At the advent of the Divine in the heart--Some characteristics of spiritual perfection--Non-attachment of the perfect man--Perfect man transcends good and evil--Perfect man and work


Varieties of Perfect Men


931. People do not see that science deals only with conditioned knowledge. It brings no message from the land of the Unconditioned. Such a message has been brought by holy men who have seen and realised God, like the Rishis of old. It is they alone that are competent to say, "God is of this nature."


932. There are five kinds of Siddhas (perfect men) found in the world. They are: (1) The Svapna-siddhas, or those who attain perfection by means of dream-inspiration. (2) The Mantra-siddhas, or those who attain perfection by means of a Mantra or sacred 'name' of God. (3) The Hathat-siddhas, or those who attain perfection suddenly, like a poor man who all on a sudden becomes rich  by finding a hidden treasure or by marrying a rich woman. Similarly, many who are sinful somehow become pure all on a sudden and enter the Kingdom of Heaven. (4) The Kripa-siddhas, or those who attain perfection through the grace of God. As a man in clearing a forest may discover some ancient tank or house, and so need not himself construct one with all the pain and the trouble natural to it, so  some fortunate ones become perfect with very little effort on their part. (5) The Nitya-siddhas, or those who are ever perfect. As the vine of a gourd or pumpkin brings forth first the fruit and then the flower, so the ever-perfect  soul is born a Siddha, and all his seeming exertions after perfection are merely for the sake of setting an example to humanity.


933. The perfect man among the Saktas is called Kaula; among the Vedantins, Paramahamsa; among the Vaishnavas of the Baul sect, Sayin.


934. There are some who wipe their lips clean after eating a mango, lest others should come to know of it; but there are also those who, if they get a mango, call others and share it with them. So too there are some who, having realized the Divine bliss themselves, cannot rest without helping others also realize it.


At the Advent of the Divine in the Heart


935. He who has seen the Lord is a changed being.

936. Some are already awake. These have certain marks. They do not care to hear or speak of anything but what relates to God, just as the bird called Chataka cries only for rain-water, though there are the seven seas and the Ganges and the Yamuna and all the other rivers full of water. Though its throat might be parched with thirst, it would drink no water other than rain-water.


937. What are the indications of God's advent into the human heart? As the glow of dawn heralds the rising sun,  unselfishness, purity and righteousness announce the advent of the Lord.


938. Before visiting a servant's house to receive his hospitality, a king sends there the necessary articles like seats, ornaments and food from his own stores so that the servant may be enabled to receive his master properly and show  him due honour. In the same manner the Lord sends love, reverence and faith into the yearning hearts of the devotees before He makes His advent in them.


939. Ananda, or perfect bliss within, is one of the signs of God-vision. The waves roll on the surface of the ocean, but the deep expanse of water lies unruffled beneath.


940. When Divine bliss is attained, a person becomes quite intoxicated with it; even without drinking wine, he looks like one fully drunk. When I see the feet of my Divine Mother, I feel as intoxicated as if I have drunk five bottles of wine. In this state one cannot take food indiscriminately.

Some Characteristics of Spiritual Perfection


941. What is the state which a Siddha (perfect man) attains? As a potato or brinjal becomes soft and pulpy when it gets Siddha, so a man, when he becomes a Siddha1, is seen to be all humility and tenderness.

Siddha1 There is a pun on the word Siddha, which means both a perfect man, and 'well-cooked',  


He is truly an Atma-jnani, knower of the Self, who is dead even in this life; that is, whose passions and desires have been destroyed as in a dead body.


943. Sri Ramakrishna once said to Keshab Chandra Sen: "If you advance further, and preach higher and higher things, your 'sect' will fall to pieces. In the state of Jnana, forming sects becomes meaningless-false as a dream."


944. When man attains true Jnana, he does not perceive God as a far-off being. He is no more felt thereafter as 'He', but as 'This,' 'here within'--as within one's own soul. He is within all; whoever seeks Him, meets Him there.


945. A jar kept in water is full of water inside and outside. Thus the soul immersed in God sees the all-pervading Spirit within and without. 


Spiritual Perfection


946. After the attainment of God-realisation, one sees Him everywhere, in everything. But greater is His manifestation in man; and greatest of all, is He manifest in devotees full of Sattva-guna--in those who have not the slightest passion for 'woman and gold'.


947. It is, true, however, that when the devotee has realised God, he wishes to witness His sport (Lila). When Ramachandra entered the city of the Rakshasas (demons) after the destruction of Ravana, the old Nikasha1 (The mother of Ravana)  began to run away. Lakshmana said, "How is this, Rama? This Nikasha is so very aged and has suffered so much from the  loss of her sons, and yet she is afraid of losing her life, and is running away!" Rama bade her have no fear, and called her near him to learn why she was fleeing. Nikasha replied,  "O Rama, it is because I have lived so long that I have witnessed so much of your 'sport'. I, therefore, desire to live longer so that I shall see more of your 'sport'."


948. Can there be Maya in the emancipated soul? Ornaments cannot be made of pure gold; some alloy must be mixed with it. As long as man has a body he must have some Maya, at least to carry on the functions of the body; human totally devoid of Maya will not survive more than twenty-one days.


949. When the head of a goat is severed from its body, the trunk struggles for some time, still showing signs of life. similarly, though Ahamkara (egotism) is slain in the perfect man, yet enough of its vitality is left to make him carry on the functions of physical life; but it is not sufficient to bind him again to the world.


950. The body is born, and it will have to die. But there is no death to the soul. When the betel-nut is ripe, the nut separates from the outer case, but it is very difficult to separate it while the nut is green. When God is attained, there dawns the consciousness that the soul is separate from the body .


951. When they nailed Jesus to the cross, how was it that he could, in spite of so much pain and suffering, pray that they should be forgiven? When an ordinary coconut is pierced through the shell, the nail enters the kernel of the nut. But in the case of the dry nut the kernel becomes separate from the shell; and when the shell is pierced, the kernel is not touched. Jesus was like the dry nut; his inner soul was separate from his physical shell. Consequently the sufferings of the body did not affect him. Though the nails were driven through and through, he could pray with calm tranquillity for the good of his enemies.


Non-attachment of the Perfect Man


952. When a leaf of the coconut tree drops off, it leaves a mark on the trunk. This helps us to understand that there was once a leaf there. In the same way he who has attained God keeps only the marks, the withered scars, of anger and passion. His nature is just like that of a child. Having none of the consistency of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, it is as quick to attach itself to a thing as to leave it. You can persuade a little boy to hand over to you clothing worth several rupees in exchange for a toy worth a single pie, though at first he may have told you, "No, I won't give it to you; my father bought it for me." To the child all are equal; he sees no difference between the high and the low, and he has no idea of caste. If his mother says, "So and so is your brother," he will take rice from the same plate with him even if the other is a carpenter's son (i.e., one of low caste). Nor has he any hatred, nor any idea of cleanliness and pollution (Suchi and Asuchi).


953. How does the emancipated soul live in the world?


He lives in the world like the diver-bird. It dives into water, but the water does not wet its plumage; the few drops of water which may possibly stick to its body are easily shaken off when it once flaps its wings.


954. The snake is very venomous; it bites when anyone tries to catch it. But the person who has learnt the art of snake-charming can not only catch snakes but also carry several of them hanging about his neck and arms like so many ornaments. Similarly he who has acquired spiritual Knowledge can be never poisoned by the venom of lust and greed.


955. When the tail of the tadpole drops off, it can live both in water and on land. When the tail of delusive ignorance drops off from man, he becomes free. He can then  Iive in God and in the world equally well.


956. The wind carries both the fragrance of the sandal and the smell of the rotten carcass, but it does not get mixed with any of these. In the same way the emancipated  soul lives in the world but does not get mixed with it.


957. Iron, after it is converted into gold by the touch of 'philosopher's stone', may be kept under the earth or thrown into a rubbish heap. It will always remain gold and will not return to its former condition. Similar is the state of the man whose soul has touched, even once, the feet of the Almighty Lord. Whether he dwells in the bustle the world, or in the solitude of the forest, nothing ever contaminates him.


958. Milk poured into water mixes readily with it: when converted into butter it no longer gets mixed with water  but floats in it. So having attained to the state of God, one can live in constant contact with innumerable unregenerate  souls; one will not at all be affected then by such evil  association.



959. Good and evil cannot bind him who has realized the oneness of Nature and his own self with Brahman.


Perfect Man Transcends Good and Evil


960. When a man is on the plains, he sees the lowly grass and the mighty pine tree and says, "How big is the tree and how small is the grass!" But when he ascends the mountain and looks down from its high peak the grass and the tree blend into one indistinguishable mass of verdure. So, in the sight of worldly men, there are differences of rank and one is a king and another is a cobbler; one is a father and another is a son; and so on. But when the divine vision is attained, all appear equal; and there remains no distinction of good and bad, or of high and low.


961. Once a God-intoxicated Sadhu came to Rani Rasmani's Kali temple where the Master was living. One day he did not get any food; and even though feeling hungry, he did not ask anybody for it; but seeing a dog eating the remnants of food thrown away in a corner after a feast, he went there and embracing the dog, said, "Brother, how is it that you eat alone without giving me a share?" So saying, he began to eat along with the dog. Having finished his meal in this strange company, the sage entered the temple of Mother Kali, and prayed with such earnestness of devotion as sent a thrill through the temple. When, after finishing his prayers, he was going away, the Master asked his nephew, Hriday, to follow that man, and talk with him. When Hriday followed him for some distance, the sage turned round and said, "Why do you follow me?" Hriday replied, "Sir, give me some instruction." The sage said, "When the water of this dirty ditch and the holy Ganges yonder will appear as one in your sight, and when the sound of the flageolet and the noise of the crowd will have no distinction to your ear, then you will reach the state of true Knowledge." When Hriday returned and told this to the Master, he said, "That man has reached the true state of ecstasy and of Knowledge. A Siddha roams about in various disguises--as a child, as an unclean spirit, or even as a mad man."


962. The state of a Paramahamsa (a perfect man) is just like that of a child. Like a child of five years, he feels no difference between man and woman. Yet, to set an example to the world, he should be on his guard against the other sex.


963. Once a Sannyasini (a nun) came to the royal court of Janaka. To her the king bowed, without looking at her face. Seeing this, the Sannyasini said: "How strange it is, O Janaka, that you have still so much fear of woman!" When one attains to full Jnana, one's nature becomes like that of a little child,--one sees no distinction between male and female.


964. But these slight spots that cling to the Jnani in this world do not matter much. The moon has spots but that never interferes with its giving light.


965. The steel sword turns into a gold one at the touch of the 'philosopher's stone'; and though it retains its former shape, it is incapable of causing injury like the steel sword. Similarly, the outward form of the man who succeeds in touching the feet of God is not changed, but he can no longer do any evil.


966. With the divine Knowledge of Advaita (nonduality) in you, do whatever you wish; for then no evil can ever come out of you.


967. Once a holy man, while passing through a crowded street, accidentally trod upon the toe of a wicked person. The latter, furious with rage, mercilessly beat the Sadhu until he fell down unconscious. With much concern and care, his disciples tried various measures to revive him. When they saw that he was regaining consciousness a little, one of them asked, "Sir, do you recognise who is now serving  you?" The Sadhu replied, "Assuredly he who beat me!" A true Sadhu finds no distinction between a friend and a foe.


The Perfect Man and Work


968. He who has seen God roams about, sometimes like a mad man, sometimes like an unclean spirit, feeling no distinction between cleanliness and its opposite. Sometimes he remains like an inanimate object, being struck dumb by seeing God within and without. Sometimes, like a child, he attaches his mind to nothing, and goes about with his clothes bundled in his arms. But when he works for the good of others, he is as brave as a lion.


969. After the attainment of Samadhi, all Karma drops away--Karma such as external worship, the telling of beads, and worldly activities. In the beginning there is a great fuss of work. But the more one proceeds towards God, the less becomes the bustle until even prayer and the singing of the Lord's glorious 'name' are eventually given up. (Addressing Sivanath Sastri of the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj): So long as you do not come to the meeting, much talk about your name, attainments, qualities, etc., passes round but the moment you come in, all that talk ceases. Everybody feels joyous at your sight, and they simply cry out, "Here comes Sivanath Babu"--and there ceases all further talk about you.


970. A newly married young woman remains deeply absorbed in the performance of domestic duties so long as no child has been born to her. But as soon as she has a child she begins to neglect the minor details of household work, and does not find much pleasure in them. Instead, she fondles the new-born baby all the day and kisses it with intense joy. Thus a man in his state of ignorance is ever busy in the performance of all sorts of work  but as soon as he sees in his heart the presence of God, he finds no pleasure in such work. On the contrary, his happiness consists now only in serving God and doing His will. He no longer finds happiness in any other occupation, and he cannot withdraw himself from the ecstasy of that holy communion.


971. When God is realised, the world never appears empty. He who has attained Him sees that the Lord Himself has become all these--the universe and its creatures. When he feeds his children, he feels as if he is feeding Gopala Himself; he looks upon his parents as God, and serves them , in the same manner. If one happens to be in the world, and leads a family life after the reaslisation of God, it is sure that he cannot keep any physical connection with his wife.  Both become devotees of God and spend their lives in prayer and devotion. They serve all creatures. As God is in all beings they worship Him in all.