Sri Ramakrishna     131 posts


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Jnana and Bhakti

400. The Knowledge of God may be likened to a man, while the Love of God is like a woman. Knowledge has entry only to the outer rooms of God, and none can enter into His mysteries save only a lover, for none but a woman has access to the inner chambers.

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Jnana and Bhakti

398. The Knowledge and Love of God are ultimately one. There is no difference between pure Knowledge and pure Love.

399. Pure Knowledge and pure Love are both one and the same. Pure Knowledge leads to the same goal which is reached by pure Devotion.(Bhakti)

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All waters are brooded over by Nârâyana, but every kind of water is not fit for drink. Similarly, though it is true that the Almighty dwells in every place, yet every place is not fit to be visited by man. As one kind of water may be used for washing our feet, another may serve the purpose of ablution, and others may be drunk, and others again may not be touched at all; so there are different kinds of places. We may approach some, we can enter into the inside of others, others we must avoid, even at a distance.

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716. Souls are said to be of four different classes: (1) the bound, (2) those aspiring to freedom, (3) the freed, and (4) those who are eternally free. When fish are caught in a net some try to make good their escape. These may be compared to the aspirants after Truth. Those that succeed in getting out of the net are the freed souls. Some are too careful to fall a victim to the tactics of the fisherman. These are the eternally free. But there are some that fall into the net without realizing their fatal situation. These swim within, settling down in the sediment at the bottom and thinking themselves quiet safe. Such are those worldly-minded men who, though immersed in the illusion of the pursuit of pleasure, feel themselves to be quiet at home. To liberated souls and aspirants after Truth, this life seems like a dark and noisome well.

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717. Toy figures are of three kinds - the first are made of salt, the second of cloth, and the third of stone. Now if these dolls be immersed in water, the first will dissolve and lose their form, the second will absorb a large quantity of water, but retain their form; while the third will prove quiet impervious. The first figures represent the man who has merged himself in the Universal and All-pervading Self and become one with it. This is the Muktapurusha (free soul). The second represent the true lover or Bhakta who is full of Divine Bliss and Knowledge. And the third are those worldly men whose minds will not allow even the smallest drop of the Supreme Knowledge to enter.

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THE TWO GREAT BONDAGES


294. Women and gold, remember, keep men immersed in worldliness and away from God. It is remarkable that no one has anything but praise for his own wife, be she good, bad, or indifferent.

295. The mind steeped in affection for woman and wealth is like the green betel-nut. So long as the nut is green, it remains adherent to its shell, but when it dries, shell and nut become separated; and on being shaken, the kernel moves within. So when the affection for women and wealth dries up from- within, the soul is perceived as quiet different from the body.

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171. Gurus can be had by hundreds of thousands. Everybody is anxious to be a master. How many are there who would care to be disciples ?

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DIFFERENT CLASSES OF GURUS


168. The highest teachers are those who say that God is with Form as well as Formless and that He manifests Himself to His devotees as a Being with Forms.
Have you seen a water-passage running over with the water of the river with which it is joined? The passage has sometimes no trace left, being entirely one with the river-water. But very often there may be noticed a slight movement in its water which proves its separateness from the river-water.
Pretty much the same is the case with the teacher whose soul has become one with the Universal Soul, but in whom there is still this ego of knowledge kept on - a slight trace of individuality to mark his separate existence from the Deity.

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THE WORLDLY-MINDED


THEIR NATURE

210. The worldly-minded never come to their senses, even though they suffer and have terrible experiences. Camels are very fond of thorny shrubs. The more they eat of them, the more their mouths bleed, yet they do not refrain from making them their food.


~ From" Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna" , Advaita Ashrama publication.

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DEGREES OF JNANA

346. Jnana varies in degree and kind. There is first the Jnana or insight of ordinary mortals, men of the world. This knowledge is not sufficiently powerful. It may be compared to the flame of a lamp which can only illuminate the interior of a room. The Jnana of a Bhakta is a stronger light, like that of the moon, causing things to be visible outside the chamber, as well as within it. But the Jnana of the Avatara, the Incarnation of God, is vastly beyond even this, and may rather be compared to the light of the sun. He is indeed the sun of Divine Knowledge, whose light dispels the accumulated darkness and ignorance of ages.

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What is prema (Love)? He who feels it, this intense and ecstatic love of God, not only forgets the world but forgets even the body, which is so dear to all.

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Brahman and Shakti are identical, like fire and its power to burn.
When we talk of fire we automatically mean also its power to burn.
Again, the fire's power to burn implies the fire itself.
If you accept the one you must accept the other

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SELF-KNOWLEDGE

734. Once a Sannyasini 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.

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STATES OF KNOWLEDGE AND IGNORANCE

725. On the rolling plain, seeing the lowly grass and the mighty tree, one says, " How large is the tree and how tiny is the grass! " But when he ascends the mountain and looks from it's high peak to the plains below, the mighty tree and the lowly grass blend into one distinct mass of green. So, in the sight of worldly men, there are differences of rank and position, but when the Divine Sight is opened there remains no distinction of the high and the low.

~ From "Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna" by Advaita Ashrama publishing

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ALL FAITHS LEAD TO GOD.

686. As one and the same water is called by different names in different languages, one calling it "water" , another "Vari", a third "aqua" , and a fourth "Pani", so the one Sachchidananda, Absolute Being-Intelligence-Bliss, is invoked by some as God, by some as Allah, by some as Hari, and by others as Brahman.

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BODY TRANSIENT

544. Q: How can we conquer the love of the body ?

A: The human frame is made up of decaying matter. It is a collection of flesh, bone, marrow, blood, and other unclean substances, subject to purification. By practicing such analysis of the body constantly, our love for it vanishes.

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GURU

159. The Guru is the mediator. He takes man to God.

160. If you are in right earnest to be good and pure, God will send you the Sat Guru, the right teacher. Earnestness is the one thing necessary.

~ From book " Teachings of Sri Ramakrishna " , by Advaita Ashrama.

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On every side shine devotees, like stars around the moon;
Their Friend, the Lord All-merciful, joyously plays with them.
Behold! the gates of paradise today are open wide.

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It is not good to reason too much. First comes God, and then the world. Realize God first; then you will know all about His world. The thing is that one must love God. Through intense love one attains the vision of Him.

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He who is formless is also endowed with form. To His bhaktas He reveals Himself as having a form. It is like a great ocean, an infinite expanse of water, without any trace of shore. Here and there some of the water has been frozen. Intense cold has turned it into ice. Just so, under the cooling influence, so to speak, of the bhakta's love, the Infinite appears to take a form. Again, the ice melts when the sun rises; it becomes water as before. Just so, one who follows the path of knowledge -the path of discrimination-does not see the form of God any more. To him everything is formless. The ice melts into formless water with the rise of the Sun of Knowledge. But mark this: form and formlessness belong to one and the same Reality.

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The Master's nephew Ramlal told the following story:
A young Ramait monk in Ayodhya had a vision that Lord Rama had again incarnated on earth, somwhere in the East. In order to see him, the monk started on foot eastward from Ayodhya. When he reached Bengal he heard that there was a great saint named Sri Ramakrishna near Calcutta. He finally found Dakshineswar after a long search and asked someone, "Where is Ramakrishna Paramahamsa?" The people of the Kali temple told him that the Master had just passed away a few days before. Hearing this heartbreaking news, the monk exclaimed: "What He passed away? I have come from Ayodhya on foot (nearly 1000 miles) just to see Him. I went through so much hardship to get here and He has left the body!" The young monk began to sob.
The manager of the Kali temple offered him some food from the temple store, but he refused it. He went to the Panchavati and stayed there for two or three days without eating. One night Sri Ramakrishna appeared before him and said: "You have not eaten anything for several days. I have brought this pudding for you. Please eat it." He fed the monk and disappeared.
The next morning I (Ramlal) went to the Panchavati and found the monk full of joy. I asked: "What happened?" The he told me everything. He even showed me the clay bowl in which the Master had brought the pudding. (Ramlal preserved the bowl for a long time, but later on it was somehow destroyed.)

- from HOW TO LIVE WITH GOD by Swami Chetanananda

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The Primal Power dwells in all bodies in the form of Kundalini. It is like a sleeping snake coiled up. ‘You have been fast asleep, coiled up in Your abode of muladhara.’ In the path of Bhakti Yoga, the kundalini awakens rapidly. One cannot realize God unless the kundalini wakes up. Sing with full concentration, in solitude, without the knowledge of others.

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One cannot tell what Brahman is from words. Everything has become polluted through human speech. No one has been able to say what Brahman is. Thus It has not been polluted. The knowledge of Brahman cannot be attained when there is the least trace of worldliness. It is only possible when the mind is completely rid of ‘lust and greed.’

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Sometimes peace reigns in the heart, but why does it not always last long? The fire made by the burning of the bamboo is soon extinguished unless kept alive by constant blowing. Continual devotion is necessary to keep alive the fire of spirituality.

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You ask me why you don't feel stern renunciation. There is a reason for it. You have desires and tendencies within you. The same is true of Hazra. In our part of the country I have seen peasants bringing water into their paddy-fields. The fields have low ridges on all sides to prevent the water from leaking out; but these are made of mud and often have holes here and there. The peasants work themselves to death to bring the water, which, however, leaks out through the holes. Desires are the holes. You practise japa and austerities, no doubt, but they all leak out through the holes of your desires.... If there are no desires, the mind naturally looks up toward God.

from "The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna", chapter 31

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MASTER [Sri Ramakrishna]: "That which is Syama [Lit., 'The Dark One'; a name of Kāli, the Divine Mother] is also Brahman. That which has form, again, is without form. That which has attributes, again, has no attributes. Brahman is Śakti; Śakti is Brahman. They are not two. These are only two aspects, male and female, of the same Reality, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute."

GOVINDA: "What is the meaning of 'yogamaya'?"

MASTER: "It signifies the yoga, or union, of Purusha [the male aspect of Reality; the Soul, or Absolute] and Prakriti [the female aspect of Reality; Primordial Nature, or Power]. Whatever you perceive in the universe is the outcome of this union. Take the image of Śiva and Kāli. Kāli stands on the bosom of Śiva; Śiva lies under Her feet like a corpse; Kāli looks at Śiva. All this denotes the union of Purusha and Prakriti. Purusha is inactive; therefore Śiva lies on the ground like a corpse. Prakriti performs all Her activities in conjunction with Purusha. Thus She creates, preserves, and destroys. That is also the meaning of the conjoined images of Radha and Krishna. On account of that union, again, the images are slightly inclined toward each other. To denote this union, Sri Krishna wears a pearl in His nose, Radha a blue stone in hers. Radha has a fair complexion, bright as the pearl. Sri Krishna's is blue. For this reason Radha wears the blue stone. Further, Krishna's apparel is yellow, and Radha's blue. "

~ from "The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna", chapter 12 - 'The Festival at Panihati"' -> http://www.rkmhq.org/gospel/chapter12.htm

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