"Remember these few points:
1. -We are Sannyasins, who have given up everything-Bhakti, and Mukti, and enjoyment, and all.
2. -To do the highest good to the world, everyone down to the lowest - this is our vow. Welcome Mukti or hell, whichever comes of it.
3. -Ramakrishna paramahamsa came for the good of the world. Call him a man, or God, or an Incarnation, just as you please. Accept him each in your own light.
4. -He who will bow before him will be converted into purest gold that very moment. Go with this message from door to door, if you can, my boy, and all your disquietude will be at an end. Never fear - where is the room for fear? -Caring for nothing whatsoever is a part of your life...The Lord is with you. Take heart!
(p.266, V.6, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to his brother disciples in 1894)
(p.433, V.6, Complete Works Of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Nivedita dt. 2nd July 1900)
"Here is a peculiarity: When you serve a Jiva, it is Daya (compassion) and not Prema (love); but when you serve him with the idea that he is the Self, that is Prema. That the Atman is the one objective of love is known from Shruti, Smriti, and direct perception. Bhagavan Chaitanya was right, therefore, when he said, "Love to God and compassion to the Jivas". This conclusion of the Bhagavan, intimating differentiation between Jiva and Isvara, was right, as He was a dualist. But for us, Advaitins, this notion of Jiva as distinct from God is the cause of bondage. Our principle, therefore, should be love, and not compassion. The application of the word compassion even to Jiva sees to me to be rash and vain. For us, it is not to pity but to serve. Ours is not the feeling of compassion but of love, and the feeling of Self in all.
(p.133, V.5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Sarat Chandra Chakravarthy dt. 3rd July 1897)
"Brahman doesn't act in consultation with others. It is Brahman's pleasure. Brahman is self-willed. Why should we try to know the reason for Brahman's acting this way or that? You have come to the orchard to eat mangoes. Eat the mangoes. What is the good of calculating how many trees there are in the orchard, how many thousands of branches, and how many millions of leaves? One cannot realize Truth by futile arguments and reasoning. I am asking you not to indulge in futile reasoning. But (p.496, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Srai Ramakrishna's advice to Pratap on 3rd July, 1884)
Descending the stairs of the shrine, he walked back and forth in the courtyard of the monastery, his mind withdrawn. Suddenly the tenseness of his thought expressed itself in a whisper loud enough to be heard by Swami Premananda who was nearby. The Swami was saying to himself, "If there were another Vivekananda, he would have understood what Vivekananda has done! And yet, how many Vivekanandas shall be born in time!!" This remark startled his brother-disciple, for never did the Swami speak thus, save when the flood-gates of his soul were thrown open and the living waters of the highest Consciousness rushed forth.
Another unusual incident took place, when the Swami, who was not in the habit of taking his food with his brother-monks and disciples, dined with them in the refectory. Still more strange was his relish of food. He had never felt better, he said.
At 1 p.m., a quarter of an hour after the midday repast, the Swami entered the Brahmacharis' room and called them to attend the class on Sanskrit grammar.
Some time later the Swami, accompanied by Swami Premananda, went out for a long walk, as far as the Belur Bazaar, and spoke with his brother-disciple on many interesting subjects, particularly on his proposed scheme of founding a Vedic college in the monastery. In order to have a clearer understanding of what the Swami felt on the matter, Swami Premananda asked, "What will be the good of studying the Vedas, Swamiji?" To this the Swami replied, "It will kill out superstitions!"
After meditating and telling his beads for about an hour, he laid himself down on his bed on the floor, and calling the disciple, who was waiting outside, asked him to fan his head a little. He had the rosary still in his hand. The disciple thought the Swami was perhaps having a light sleep. About an hour later, his hand shook a little. Then came two deep breaths. The disciple thought he fell into Samadhi. He then went downstairs and called a sannyasi, who came and found on examination that there was neither respiration nor pulse. Meanwhile, another sannyasi came and, thinking him to be in Samadhi, began to chant aloud the Master's name continually, but in no way was the Samadhi broken! That night an eminent physician was called in. He examined the body for a long time and afterwards said that life was extinct. The next morning it was found that the eyes were bloodshot and that there was a
little bleeding through the mouth and nostrils. Other doctors remarked that it was due to the rupture of a blood-vessel in the brain. This clearly leads to the conclusion that, in the process of Japa and meditation, his Brahmarandhra [aperture in the crown of the head] must have been pierced when he left the body!
(p.652-656, V.2, Life of Swami Vivekananda)
"Continue remembering the Master as you are doing now. Try to keep yourself busy woshipping him, repeating his name, meditating on him, reading books about him, and so on. He will surely be gracious enough to grant you peace of mind. Pray to him like a child, and pray with greater fervor, asking for love, devotion, and faith. If you pray with great yearning, he will surely respond...With this belief in your mind, worship the Master, repeat his name, and meditate on him. Continue with this and you will get peace of mind"
(p.198-9, Letters for Spiritual Seekers, Letter of Swami Shivananda dated 5th July 1922)
"You will be pleased to know that I am also learning my lessons every day in patience and, above all, in sympathy. I think I am slowly approaching to that state when I should be able to love the very "Devil" himself, if there were any.
At twenty years of age I was the most unsympathetic, uncompromising fanatic; I would not walk on the footpath on the theatre side of the streets in Calcutta. At thirty - three, I can live in the same house with prostitutes and never would think of saying a word of reproach to them. Is it degenerate? Or is it that I am broadening out into the Universal Love which is the Lord Himself? Again I have heard that if one does not see the evil round him he cannot do good work -- he lapses into a sort of fatalism. I do not see that. On the other hand, my power of work is immensely increasing and becoming immensely effective. Some days I get into a sort of ecstasy. I feel that I must bless every one, everything, love and embrace everything, and I do see that evil is a delusion. I bless the day I was born. I have had so much of kindness and love here, and that Love Infinite that brought me into being has guarded every one of my actions, good or bad, (don't be frightened), for what am I, what was I ever, but a tool in His hands, for whose service I have given up everything, my beloved ones, my joys, my life? He is my playful darling, I am His playfellow. There is neither rhyme nor reason in the universe! What reason binds Him? He the playful one is playing these tears and laughters over all parts of the play! Great fun, great fun, as Joe says.
It is a funny world, and the funniest chap you ever saw is He -- the Beloved Infinite! Fun, is it not? Brotherhood or playmatehood -- a school of romping children let out to play in this playground of the world! Isn't it? Whom to praise, whom to blame, it is all His play. They want explanations, but how can you explain Him? He is brainless, nor has He any reason. He is fooling us with little brains and reason, but this time He won't find me napping.
I have learnt a thing or two: Beyond, beyond reason and learning and talking is the feeling, the "Love", the "Beloved". Ay, sake, fill up the cup and we will be mad.
Yours ever in madness,
"Karma alone is responsible for our misery and happiness. The result of karma is inevitable. But by repeating the name of God, you can lessen its intensity. If you were destined to have a wound as wide as a ploughshare, you will get a pinprick at least. The effect of Karma can be counteracted to a great extent by Japa and austerities.
(p.133, The Gospel of the Holy Mother, from Holy Mother's conversation on 7 July1912)
"Pray to Sri Guru Maharaj wherever you be; only through his grace you can gain peace; you need not travel here and there. Do not give up work; try to combine it with prayer and meditation. Idleness in the name of meditation and Japam, I do not like. For your salvation, cannot you depend on Him? How can you become Him unless you surrender yourself entirely to Him. What work you do is equally efficacious as the Japam and meditation."
(p.174, Mahapurush Maharaj As We Saw Him, Swami Shivananda's letter to Swami Ranganathananda dt. 7th July 1930)
"Why do you consider yourself so worthless. Please shun this negative feeling completely. Knowing your strong relationship with God, you have to move towards him. Never forget that you are his child. Human relationships are casual and momentary, but the relationship with the Lord is eternal. "The ever-free Atman takes a human birth in order to taste the bliss of liberation-in-life and not for the fulfillment of any worldly desires". I can hardly convey to you what a wonderful joy and light dawned on me when I first read this verse of Shankara (actually Narahari). Then the purpose of life shined forth before me, and all problems were solved automatically. Truly there is no reason for the ever-free Atman to assume a human body, except that It likes to enjoy freedom while in the body."
(p.156-7, Spiritual Treasures, Swami Turiyananda’s letter dt. 8th July 1916)
"I am quite satisfied with my work. I never planned anything. I have taken things as they came. Only one idea was burning in my brain-to start the machine for elevating the Indian masses- and that I have succeeded in doing to a certain extent...He is with me, the Beloved, He was when I was in America, in England, when I was roaming about unknown from place to place in India.I feel my task is done -- at most three or four years more of life are left. I have lost all wish for my salvation. I never wanted earthly enjoyments. I must see my machine in strong working order, and then knowing sure that I have put in a lever for the good of humanity, in India at least, which no power can drive back, I will sleep, without caring what will be next; and may I be born again and again, and suffer thousands of miseries so that I may worship the only God that exists, the only God I believe in, the sum total of all souls -- and above all, my God the wicked, my God the miserable, my God the poor of all races, of all species, is the special object of my worship.
My time is short. I have got to unbreast whatever I have to say, without caring if it smarts some or irritates others. Therefore, my dear Mary, do not be frightened at whatever drops from my lips, for the power behind me is not Vivekananda but He the Lord, and He knows best. If I have to please the world, that will be injuring the world; the voice of the majority is wrong, seeing that they govern and make the sad state of the world. Every new thought must create opposition -- in the civilised a polite sneer, in the vulgar savage howls and filthy scandals.
Even these earthworms must stand erect, even children must see light. The Americans are drunk with new wine. A hundred waves of prosperity have come and gone over my country. We have learned the lesson which no child can yet understand. It is vanity. This hideous world is Maya. Renounce and be happy. Give up the idea of sex and possessions. There is no other bond. Marriage and sex and money are the only living devils. All earthly love proceeds from the body. No sex, no possessions; as these fall off, the eyes open to spiritual vision. The soul regains its own infinite power.
(p.135-8, V.5, Complete Works of swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Mary Hale dt. 9th July 1897)
"Praying to Sri Guru Maharaj to increase your hankering to know Him and to have a pure and holy life...We are all human; temptations and bad thoughts come. Shall we have to weep for them? Let them come, we shall have to pray with double the energy to the Lord. They come, as it is the will of the Lord; and when it will be His will again, they won't come. Know you to be his children-so you cannot be impure and unholy. Knowing this pray to Him. Never indulge in these bad thoughts and evil deeds. Throw them away as soon as they come.
(p.172-3, Mahapurush Maharaj As We Saw Him, Swami Shivananda's letter to Swami Ranganathananda dt.10th July 1928)
"Come, be men! Kick out the priests who are always against progress, because they would never mend, their hearts would never become big. They are the offspring of centuries of superstition and tyranny. Root out priestcraft first. Come, be men! Come out of your narrow holes and have a look abroad. See how nations are on the march! Do you love man? Do you love your country? Then come, let us struggle for higher and better things; look not back, no, not even if you see the dearest and nearest cry. Look not back, but forward!. India wants the sacrifice of at least a thousand of her young men -- men, mind, and not brutes."
(p.10-1, V.5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to his Madras Disciples dt. 10th July 1893)
"The sheer power of the will do everything. . . . You must organise a society which should regularly meet, and write to me about it as often as you can. In fact, get up as much enthusiasm as you can. Only, beware of falsehood. Go to work, my boys, the fire will come to you! The faculty of organisation is entirely absent in our nature, but this has to be infused. The great secret is -- absence of jealousy. Be always ready to concede to the opinions of your brethren, and try always to conciliate. That is the whole secret. Fight on bravely! Life is short! Give it up to a great cause."
(p.37, V.5, Completer Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga dt. 11th July 1894)
"I am happy to hear that you are keeping well. Why should you be otherwise, seeing that you are under his protective care? He is an incarnation of God born for this age. He is living, transparent, watchful. He assumed a human form to lead mankind to salvation in this kali yuga. Look around. You can see his power as a saviour working everywhere in the world. But this is only the beginning. There is no way of telling how much ,ore is yet to happen! Those who have taken refuge in him will certainly prosper. This is only the beginning of the golden age."
(p.68, Letters For Spiritual Seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter dt 12th July 1913)
"If a man gathers his whole mind and fixes it on me, then, indeed, he achieves everything. But what am I? It is all he. I am the machine and He is its operator. It is God alone who exists in this (meaning his body). That is why so many people are feeling more and more attracted to it. A mere touch is enough to awaken their spirituality. This attraction, this pull, is the attraction of God and of none else."
( p.798, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna to M. on 13th July 1885)
It was winter when the Master arrived at the Cossipore Garden House. Once, in the middle of a cold night, Shashi left the Master's room to clean the commode; he wore only a thin cloth. On his return he saw that sri Ramakrishna, who was very sick, had somehow crawled across the room and was reaching up for a shawl that was haging on a clotheshorse. At this painful sight Shashi thought to himself:Alas! In my hurry I forgot to cover him sufficiently, so perhaps he is cold and is trying to get a shawl. "What are you doing, sir?" Shashi asked him in a scolding tone. "The air is very chilly, and you should not be up. Why did you not ask me for the shawl?" Filled with love and concern, the Master held out his shawl, and then said in a feeble voice:"I felt cold as you went out almost barebodied on such a cold night, so I picked up this shawl for you. Please take this." Shashi was overwhelmed.
(p.271, God lived with Them; Shashi Maharaj, i.e. Swami Ramaskrishnananda was born on 13th July 1893)
"As long as a man analyses with the mind, he cannot reach the Absolute. As long as you reason with your mind, you have no way of getting rid of the universe and the
objects of the senses - form, taste, smell, touch, and sound. When reasoning stops, you attain the knowledge of Brahman. Atman cannot be realized through this mind; Atman is realized through Atman alone. Pure Mind, Pure Buddhi, Pure Atman - all these are one and the same. When the mind is annihilated, when it stops deliberating pro and con, then one goes into Samadhi, one attains the knowledge of Brahman."
(p.802, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna to Hari on 14th July 1885) "The mind is rendered pure as a result of many austerities. God who is purity itself cannot be attained without spiritual practices. What else does a man obtain by the realization of God? Does he grow two horns? No, his mind becomes pure, and through such a pure mind one attains knowledge and spiritual awakening."
(p.172-3, The Gospel of The Holy Mother, Mother instruction on 14th July 1913)
"One can see God's form. One sees God when all upadhis disappear and reasoning stops. Then a man becomes speechless and goes into samadhi...Perfect Jnana and perfect bhakti are one and the same thing. A man reasons, saying, 'Not this, not this'; he rejects the unreal. When his reasoning comes to an end, he attains the knowledge of Brahman. Then he accepts what he rejected before. A man carefully climbs to the roof, rejecting the steps one by one. After reaching the roof he realizes that the steps are made of the same materials as the roof, namely, brick, lime and lime dust.
(p. 810-1, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna's advice on 15th July 1885)
"What is the use of man's receiving basketfuls of instruction? He must understand it and act accordingly. Otherwise nothing will avail. They go on repeating, "The mind is very restless." Yet, they will not act upto my advice. Can restlessness be removed thus? You may associate with holy men and study the scriptures; but unless you practise spiritual disciplines, nothing will avail...Stick to the Master and follow him in your own way; and you will get everything in time...It does not all come in a day. It needs introspection, and along with that regular practice. One need have no worry if one but does regular spiritual practice; peace is bound to come."
(p.245-6, For Seekers of God, Swami Shivananda's instruction to a devotee on 15th July 1930)
"The body does not remain the same all through life. If one does not have discrimination, dispassion, and intense love for sadhana, one feels uncomfortable living on alms; and his mind rushes towards physical comforts. Then one seeks good food, gathers devotees, and contemplates saving money. Thus he slackens his sadhana, and gradually his scattered mind ruins his meditation. During this time, it is very beneficial to have the association of a great soul who has self-control and renunciation....try to engage yourself constantly in spiritual disciplines, have the company of the holy, and study the holy scriptures. If you can continue this way for some days, you will get peace by his grace and your mind will taste the joy of sadhana again."
(p.200-1, Spiritual Treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter dt 16th July 1919)
"Struggle alone does not lead to peace; one must surrender and submit. Through the grace of the Lord everything will gradually be resolved...One should continue spiritual practices on a regular basis. It is important to follow a routine. But one must try to maintain the spiritual current within constantly."
(p.223, Spiritual treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter to Swami Madhavananda dt. 17th July 1920)
"What you need is to dive deep into God. If you need something more, the all powerful Mother will provide it at the right moment. A devotee has no one to depend upon but the Mother. By Her grace the devotee gets all he needs. The scriptures are all in the Mother's mind, alive, afresh, and ready for use. If he has Her feet always clearly in his mind, what has he to worry about? She is the embodiment of all knowledge. She is all the scriptures."
(p.155, Letters For Spiritual seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter dt. 17th July 1919)
"Continue your spiritual practices as you are doing at the present. Don't relax your efforts and concentration. The mind normally passes through good and bad conditions; don't let that keep you from performing your spiritual disciplines. As you go on with your spiritual practices, the condition of the mind will improve. No need to worry. Always cultivate holy thoughts and try to have uplifting conversations. Don't allow your mind to harbor impure thoughts. Practice humility. You should neither jump with elation nor give in to depression. In short, try to have constant recollected ness of God and spend your days in humble submission to His will."
(p.49, Spiritual Treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter dt. 18th July 1912)
"Discrimination about the right or wrong food is for beginners in spiritual life. Those whose minds are absorbed in God are not affected by anything. The main thing is to fix the mind on Him...Try to focus your whole mind on God, and everything else will come afterwards. All rules, regulations, and spiritual practices are meant for God-relaization. All these mechanical rules and routines are meaningless if one's mind is not focused on God. In whatever circumstances w find ourselves, if we can live a God-centred life, no miseries can touch us. Even in the great calamities of life if one can feel God's presence in the heart one experiences infinte joy. So we need Him. Once we attain Him, we have everything; we require nothing else.
(p.158-9, Spiritual Treasures, sami Turiyananda's letter dt. 19th July 1916)
"You have renounced everything. Come! Now is the turn for you to banish the desire for peace, and that for Mukti too! Don't worry in the least; heaven or hell, or Bhakti or Mukti - don't care for anything, but go, my boy, and spread the name of the Lord from door to door! It is only by doing good to others that one attains to one's own good, and it is by leading others to Bhakti and mukti that one attains them oneself.
Take that up, forget your own self for it, be mad over the idea. As Sri Ramakrishna used to love you, as I love you, come, love the world like that. Bring all together." (p.266, V.6,Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to his brother disciples)
Holy Mother attains Maha Samadhi on 21st July 1920
A woman devotee known as Annapurna's mother came to see the Mother. She stood at the doorway. Just then the Mother turned over to a side and noticed her there, beckoned her to enter... Mother told her slowly and softly, "But one thing I tell you -if you want peace, my daughter, don't find fault with others, but find fault rather with yourself. Learn to make the world your own. Nobody is a stranger, my dear; the world is yours." These were the last words of the Mother of the Universe to those afflicted souls for lightening whose burden She incarnated Herself out of Her infinite compassion undergoing all these ordeals of life on earth. For three days preceding the departure, she hardly spoke, but remained merged in her Self; she felt disgusted at any attempt to drag down the mind to the physical plane. At last at 1.30 am on July 21, 1920, she drew a few heavy breaths and then entered into Mahasamadhi. The long disease had made her frame skeletal, the eyes sunken, and complexion dark. But in the peace and silence of the final departure her face became free from all signs of affliction and regaining its usual fullness shone with eternal lustre which lasted even the body became cold.
(p.519, Holy mother Sharada Devi)
Swami Turiyananda throws away his body on 21st July 1922
The night before his death, he said to his attendants, "tomorrow is the last day." Towards the end he chanted, "Om Ramakrishna, Om Ramakrishna." Then he asked an attendant to help him sit up. With folded hands he saluted the Master, and then drank a little holy water. He then summed up his life's experience: "Everything is real. Brahman is real. The world is real. The world is Brahman. The life force is established in Truth. Hail Ramakrishna! Hail Ramakrishna! Say that he is the embodiment of Truth, and embodiment of Knowledge." He then recited an Upananisadic mantram along with Akhandananda "Satyam jnananm anantam Brahma" (Brahman is Truth, Knowledge, and Infinity.) Slowly he closed his eyes, as if merging into Brahman. Sri Ramakrishna had once remarked about Turiyananda, "He comes of that transcendent region whence name and form are manufactured."
(p.392, God Lived With Them)
"Sri Ramakrishna was a perfect soul. Certainly one can be free from sin by confessing it to one like him. And one thing more, if at a certain place people talk of virtue and vice, those present there must take a share of those qualities...imagine a man confessed to you his virtue or vice. Whenever you think of that man you will remember his virtous or sinful acts. And they will thus leave an impression upon your mind."
(p.37, The Gospel of The Holy Mother, Holy Mother's conversation with Nalini dt. 22nd July 1918)
"Those who sincerely wish to realize him, do so. In fact, he, the Truth, attracts them to himself. They may not reach him by the same path, however. This Truth, The lord, is the inmost Self of all. He is born in this age as the saviour of humanity. He is born with his disciples in order to preach love, faith, and devotion. He has drawn you to the true path. There is no reason for you to worry."
(p.255, Letters For Spiritual Seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter dt.22nd July 1926)
"Oh, to live even for a day in the full light of freedom, to breathe the free air of simplicity! Is not that the highest purity? In this world we work through fear of others, we talk through fear, we think through fear, alas! We are born in a land of enemies. Who is there who has been able to get rid of this feeling of fear, as if everyone is a spy set specially to watch him? And woe unto the man who pushes himself forward! Will it ever be a land of friends? Who knows? We can only try." (p.509-10, V.7, complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Nivedita dt 23rd July 1897)
"The sun = Knowledge. The stormy water=Work. The lotus = Love. The serpent=Yoga. The swan=the Self. The Motto=May the swan (the Supreme Self) send us that. It is the mind-lake. How do you like it? May the Swan fill you with all these anyway." (p.528, V. 8, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Miss Macleod explaining the design of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission seal, dt.24th July 1900)
"One needs faith (shraddha). By God's grace, when faith dawns in the heart one becomes fearless...It does not matter what other people say-one realizes this peace oneself; one feels it within...The Power of Brahman is our Mother. What fear could we have? Why should we be weak? He who thinks himself weak becomes weak. You are Mother's child. How can you be weak? You are all-powerful. By her grace, what can you not accomplish? How long does it take to get rid of the sense of "I and mine"? Mother, out of mercy, can illumine the heart in a moment - and truly she does."."
(p.102-4, Spiritual Treasures, Swami turiyananda's letter dt. 24th July 1915)
"He who is alone is happy. Do good to all, like everyone, but do not love anyone. It is a bondage, and bondage brings only misery. Live alone in your mind-that is happiness. To have nobody to care for and never minding who cares for one is the way to be free."
(p.414, V.8, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Marie Halboister dt 25th July 1897)
"You know, when pots that are together are moved, friction is inevitable. Do not take it seriously. Misunderstandings are bound to occur sometimes and they are straightened out eventually. It takes two hands to clap. Let him say whatever he wishes. Just endure it all quietly. That will prevent misunderstandings. You will have to be a little humble. You will have to sacrifice a little. You have dedicated your body, mind and soul to the Master's work. You have renounced everything for his sake. You will have to do this much also for his work. You should practice forbearance, you should sacrifice-for his work. The Lord will bless you abundantly...you have come here renouncing everything for his sake. There is nothing that he will withhold from you. How will his work go on if you all do not live at peace in one place? Temporary misunderstandings are inevitable when several work together. They aren't something to be blamed for.; it is quite natural. Such misunderstandings come and go; they cannot touch your inner Self, because the main objective of your life is the realization of God. Such petty matters as attachment and aversion cannot deeply affect you. This is what we feel"
(p.80-1, For Seekers of God, Swami Shivananda's instruction to a Sadhu)
"Weep before the Master, call on him; all will be granted in time. My son, does peace come to the mind without any effort? Call on him and weep with all sincerity. Just see how finely the boat glides upstream with the help of southern breeze. Do you understand that? The guru's blessings help one in one's spiritual endeavor. Now dive deep into prayer and meditation etc...Call on him with heart and soul. Perform your duties, but keep your mind fixed at the lotus feet of Hari."
(p.290-1, For Seekers Of God, Swami Shivananda's instruction on 27th July 1932)
"If you really feel sad for not having God-realization, rest assured that your auspicious moment is at hand. The more intensely you feel like that, know that the Lord's grace is approaching. But if any other desire lurking in the mind creates this sort of depressed mood, try to remove it immediately. Do not neglect this, because such as mood is the greatest obstacle in the path of spiritual life. Always try to become competent for your spiritual journey, then the Lord will be pleased and make you the recipient of all bliss...Try to love God with all your heart and soul. Why do you care so much about joy and sorrow? Surrender to him, and know that wherever he keeps you is good for you. Pray wholeheartedly that the attitude of self-surrender may be firmly established in your mind. Then everything will be fine." (p.105-6,Spiritual Treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter to sw. Yatiswarananda on 27th July 1915)
"He is the Lord of all. He can do everything. He who has made the law can also change it. There is a view that a man's inner spirit is not awakened unless he is through with enjoyment. But what is there to enjoy? The pleasures of 'woman and gold'? This moment they exist and the next moment they disappear. It is all momentary. And what is there in 'woman and gold'? It is like the hog plum - all stone and skin. If one eats it, one suffers from colic. Or like a sweetmeat. Once you swallow it, it is gone."
(p.817, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna's instruction to Nanda Lal Basu on 28th July 1885)
"The Lord has come. There is no doubt that this time is a great blessing for the world. In one way or another, the world is bound to reap the benefit of his coming." (p.96, Letters For spiritual Seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter dt 28th July1915)
"Friendship with many is best at a distance, and everything goes well with the person who stands on his own feet."
(p.512, V.7, Complete Works of swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Miss Noble on 29th July 1897)
"There will be enough men to carry on the work here after this winter if the Lord is kind. Each work has to pass through these stages -- ridicule, opposition, and then acceptance. Each man who thinks ahead of his time is sure to be misunderstood. So opposition and persecution are welcome, only I have to be steady and pure and must have immense faith in God, and all these will vanish...."
(p.91, V.5, Complete Works of swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to the Maharaja of Khetri dt 9th July 1895)
"Go on working at top speed. Never fear! I, too, have determined to work. The body must go, no mistake about that. Why then let it go in idleness? It is better to wear out than rust out. Don't be anxious even when I die, my very bones will work miracles. We must spread over the whole of India in ten years, short of this it is no good. To work like an athlete! Victory to the Guru! Money and all will come of themselves, we want men, not money. It is man that makes everything, what can money do?-- men we want, the more you get, the better. . ."
(p.405, V.6, Complete Works of SwamiVivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Sw Akhandananda dt 30th July 1897)
When Saradananda came from Udbodhan, Premananda said to him, "You know, I have a great desire to put on a cloth of pure yellow and to eat rice white as jasmine." Saradananda understood. That is the symbolic description of Radha - the aspect of God of which Sri Ramakrishna had said he was a part. The next day Premananda asked for his attendant to call Brahmachari Jnana (a disciple of Swamiji) from Belur Math, who was then supervising the monastery. In a feeble voice, Premananda asked, "Jnana, could you do one thing for me?" "Anything sir." "Will you be able to serve the devotees?" "Yes, sir, I promise I shall do it." "Remember, let there be no negligence towards the devotees!" Premananda entreated....after a while Brahmananda returned again and said loudly, " Brother Baburam, Brother Baburam, do you remember the Master?" Premananda opened his eyes, looked with a smile at the oil painting of the Master hanging on the wall, and saluted him with folded hands. He uttered feebly "grace, grace, grace", and then passed away. Brahmananda told the devotees, "Belur math has lost its mother" (p.218, God Lived With Them, Swami Premananda passed away on 30 July 1918)
"However spiritual a man may be, he must pay the tax for the use of the body to the last farthing. But the difference between a great soul and an ordinary man is this:
"Stick to God! Who cares what comes to the body or to anything else! Through the terrors of evil, say -- my God, my love! Through the pangs of death, say -- my God, my love! Through all the evils under the sun, say -- my God, my love! Thou art here, I see Thee. Thou art with me, I feel Thee. I am Thine, take me. Do not go for glass beads leaving the mine of diamonds! This life is a great chance. What, seekest thou the pleasures of the world?-- he is the fountain of all bliss. Seek for the highest, aim at that highest, and you shall reach the highest."
(p.262, V.6, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Hale sisters dt. 31st July 1894)
Birth of Swami Niranjananandaji
Sri Ramakrishna recognized Niranjan as one of his inner circle, an ishwarakoti - a godlike soul who is perfect from his very birth and is never trapped by maya. Once in a vision Ramakrishna saw the luminous form of Niranjan playing with a bow and arrows. Later he remarked that Niranjan had been born as apartial incarnation of Sri Ramachandra.
God lived with Them, p.245 (Swami Niranjananandaji was born probably in August,1862-exact date is unknown)
If one takes the name of the Lord and starts on a journey, one will not come to grief. By the strength of His name even distress is transformed into a blessing.
For Seekers of God,p.84, Mahapurush Maharaj's words to Swami Yatiswarananda in Belur on this date in 1929.
The important thing is somehow to cultivate devotion to God and love for him. What is the use of knowing many things? It is enough to cultivate love of God by following any of the paths. When you have this love, you are sure to attain God. After wards, if it is necessary, God will explain everything to you and tell you about the other paths as well. It is enough for you to develop love of God. You have no need of many opinions and discussions. You have come to the orchard to eat mangoes. Enjoy them to your heart's content. You don't need to count the branches and leaves on the trees.
p.506, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna p.7, The Gospel of the Holy Mother
This toy world would not be here, this play could not go on, if we were knowing players. We must play blind-folded. Some of us have taken the part of the rogue of the play, some heroic - never mind, it is all play. This is the only consolation. There are demons and lions and tigers and what not on the stage, but they are all muzzled. They snap but cannot bite. The world cannot touch our souls. If you want, even if the body be torn and bleeding, you may enjoy the greatest peace in your mind. p.467, CW.Vol.8, , Swamiji's letter to Miss Marie Halboister
In the Kaliyuga,, man, being totally dependent on food for life, cannot altogether shake off the idea that he is the body. In this state of mind it is not proper for him to say, 'I am He.' When a man does all sorts of worldly things, he should not say, 'I am Brahman.' Those who cannot give up attachment to worldly things, and who find no means to shake off the feeling of 'I', should rather cherish the idea, 'I am God's servant; I am His devotee.' One can also realize God by following the path of devotion.
p.103, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,. During the Master's visit to Vidyasagar.
"Be you holy and, above all, sincere; and thee not for a moment give up your trust in the Lord, and you will see the light. Whatever is truth will remain forever; whatever is not, none can preserve. We are helped in being born in a time when everything is quickly searched out. Whatever others think or do, lower not your standard of purity, morality, and love of God;..Holiness is the highest and divinest power in earth and in heaven...Do not care for a moment who joins hands with you or not, be sure that you touch the hand of the Lord, That is enough..." p.381-2, C.W Vol.8, Swamiji's letter to Kripananda.
Everything depends upon the will of the Master. One can do only as much as the master graciously permits one to do. Blessed is the person whom the master selects as an instrument for his work. The Master is God Himself born as a world teacher for the establishment of religion in this age. Is it an ordinary privilege to be an instrument for his work?
p.85. For Seekers of God, Mahapurush Maharaj's words to Swami Sharvananda in Belur on this date in 1929.
Great work requires great and persistent effort for a long time. Neither need we trouble ourselves if a few fail. It is in the nature of things that many should fall, that troubles should come, that tremendous difficulties should arise, that selfishness and all the other devils in the human heart should struggle hard when they are about to
be driven out by the fire of spirituality. The road to the Good is the roughest and steepest in the universe. It is a wonder that so many succeed, no wonder that so many fail.
p.383, C.W.Vol.8, Swamiji's letter to J.J Goodwin on 8th August, 1896.
In this struggle for life there will always be hope and fear. Life without struggle is no life at all. If man has a continuous flow of happiness and sense-enjoyment, then he will never think of higher things - about God, soul, etc. And how does such a life differ from that of the brutes? But if there are only fear and misery, they dwarf the growth - they do not allow him to progress.
p. 336, Spiritual Talks, Swami Shivananda
Combine spiritual practices with social service. Do both with equal enthusiasm. Both should go on simultaneously. Service is also a kind of spiritual practice. You have to be convinced of this. It is wrong to think they are contradictory...Beware that none among you make the mistake of thinking that selfless service and spiritual practices are two different paths. You reach Sri Ramakrishna's realm if you continue these two paths.
p..205-6, Letters for Spiritual Seekers, Letters of Swami Shivananda,
One's spiritual consciousness is not awakened by the mere reading of books. One should also pray to God. The Kundalini is aroused if the aspirant feels restless for God. To talk of Knowledge from mere study and hearsay! What will that accomplish? p.830, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
I want work, I want vigour - no matter who lives or dies. What are death or life to a Sannyasin?
p.469, C.W. Vol.8, Swamiji's letter to Swami Brahmananda on 10th August, 1899.
Hold on, boys, no cowards among my children...Are great things ever done smoothly? Time, patience, and indomitable will must show. I want iron wills and hearts that do not know how to quake. Hold on. The Lord bless you. p.93, CW.Vol.5, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga.
There is no other way than remembering him always. Repeat his name - that alone is the way. Call on him. Call on him with love, with devotion. Concentrate on this. He will surely bestow his love on you. Believe me, there is no doubt about this.
p.184, Letters for Spiritual Seekers, Letters of Swami Shivananda,
You may say that there are many errors and superstitions in another religion. I should reply: Suppose there are. Every religion has errors. Every one thinks that his watch alone gives the correct time. It is enough to have yearning for God. It is enough to love Him and feel attracted to Him. Don't you know that God is the Inner Guide? He sees the longing of our heart and the yearning of our soul. Suppose a man has several sons. The older boys address him distinctly as 'Baba' or 'Papa', but he babies can at best call him 'Ba' or 'Pa'. Now, will the father be angry with those who address him in this indistinct way? The father knows that they too are calling him, only they cannot pronounce his name well. All children are the same to the father. Likewise, the devotees call on God alone, though by different names. They call on one Person only. God is one, but His names are many.
p.112, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Without His grace one becomes averse to His name, finds no taste for it, and all talk about God becomes unbearable. The Lord's grace is already on him in whose mind thoughts about God arise spontaneously. There is nothing like higher or lower as between God without form and with form. Everything is He. p.338, Spiritual Talks, Swami Shivananda
What is this body? It is nothing but three pounds of ashes when it is cremated. Why so much vanity about it? However strong or beautiful this body may be, its culmination is in those three pounds of ashes. And still people are so attached to it. Glory be to God!
p.49, The Gospel of the Holy Mother
The realization of God depends on his grace and not on my spiritual practices - one should have this strong conviction in his mind. Practicing spiritual disciplines is only to 'make the wings tired.' When the wings of the bird are tired, it wants to rest somewhere. If it finds no other resting place, it is forced to perch on the mast of the boat. Until one is deeply convinced that there is no other resting place but God, one cannot wholly surrender oneself to him. p.164, Spiritual Treasures, Letters of Swami Turiyananda
The Master is the crystallized embodiment of all gods and goddesses. All the divine manifestations that have been in the past and will be in the future are within the master. Therefore, if you mediate upon Sri Ramakrishna it is as good as meditating on all divine forms. p.88, For Seekers of God
SRI RAMAKRISHNA'S MAHASAMADHI. (1886)
During the Master's last day at Cossipore, we all thought he was better because he ate so much more supper than usual, and he said nothing of going. In the afternoon, he had asked Yogin (Swami Yogananda) to look in the almanac and see whether it was an auspicious day. Also he had been telling us for some time that the vessel which was floating in the ocean was already two-thirds full of water, and soon the rest would fill up and plunge into the ocean. But we did not believe that he was really going. He never seemed to mind the pain. He never lost his cheerfulness. He used to say that he was all well and happy, only there was a little something here (pointing to the throat). "Within me are two persons," he would declare. "One is the Divine Mother, and the other is her devotee. It is the devotee that has been taken ill."
When Sri Ramakrishna gave up his body I think it was the most blissful moment of his life. A thrill of joy ran through him. I myself saw it. I remember every incident of that last day. Our Master seemed very well and cheerful. In the afternoon he talked for fully two hours to a gentleman who had come to put some questions to him about yoga.
On that night Ramakrishna was talking with us to the very last. For supper he had drunk half glass of payasam (pudding) and seemed to relish it. There was, no doubt, a little heat in the body, so he asked us to fan him, and some ten of us were all fanning at once. He was sitting up against five or six pillows which were supported by my body and at the same time I too was fanning. This made a slight motion and twice he asked me, "Why are you shaking?" It was as if his mind was so fixed and steady that he could perceive the least motion. Narendra took his feet and began to rub them and Sri Ramakrishna was talking to him, telling him what he must do. "Take care of these boys," he repeated again and again as if he were putting them in Naren's charge. Then he asked to lie down.
Suddenly at one o'clock (in the morning) he fell towards one side. There was a low sound in his throat, and I saw all the hairs of his body stand on end. Narendra quickly laid his feet on a quilt and ran downstairs as if he could not bear it. A doctor, who was a great devotee and who was feeling his pulse, saw that it had stopped and began top weep aloud." What are you doing?" I asked, impatient with him for acting as if the Master had really left us.
We all believed that it was only samadhi, so Naren came back and we sat down, some twenty of us, and began repeating all together: "Hari Om! Hari Om!" In this way we waited until between one and two the next day. Still the body had some heat in it, especially around the back, but the doctor insisted that the soul had left it. About five o'clock the body had grown cold, so we placed it on a cot. Covered it with garlands, and carried it to the burning ghat.
p.157-8, Ramakrishna as we saw Him, Reminiscences of Swami Ramakrishnananda
Every night, just before going to bed, the Master would say, " Hari Om Tat Sat [Verily the Lord is the only Reality]. " That last night [at Cossipore Garden House] he uttered this as I was fanning him. It was nearly eleven o' clock at night. Then he heaved a sigh and seemed to go into samadhi. Brother Loren (Swami Vivekananda) asked us to chant "Hari Om Tat Sat." We continued to chant until one o'clock, when the Master came down from samadhi. Then he ate a little farina pudding which Sashi (Swami Ramakrishnananda) fed him. Suddenly he went into samadhi again. Seeing this Loren grew worried. He called Gopal dada ( Swami Advaitananda) and asked him to get Ramlal Dada.
Gopal Dada and I left immediately for Dakshineswar, and Ramlal Dada came back with us. He examined the Master and said: "The crown of his head is still warm. Please call Captain [Vishwanath Upadhyay]."
Shortly after that Captain arrived. He asked us to rub the Master's body with ghee. Shashi rubbed his body and Vaikuntha massaged his feet, but it was to no avail. Later that morning Doctor Mahendra [Doctor Mahendralal Sarkar] came to examine the Master and said, "He has given up the body."
Holy Mother was unable to restrain herself. When she came to the Master's room, she cried, "O Mother Kali, what have I done that you have left me?" Seeing the Mother weeping, Baburam (Swami Premananda) and Yogin [Swami Yogananda] went up to her, and Golap-ma took her to her room.
In the meantime the Calcutta devotees had received the news, and one after another they began to arrive. A photograph (actually two) was taken of the Master with the devotees. By that time it was afternoon.
The Master's body remained on a cot, beautifully decorated, until it was carried to the cremation ground at Cossipore. Ram Babu told me to stay at the garden house until Akshay Babu returned from the cremation ground. So I stayed there while the others went. Only once did I hear Holy Mother weeping. After that she was silent. Never have I seen a woman with such strength.
That night I went to the cremation ground. I saw many people sitting quietly on the bank of the Ganga. Shashi was near the funeral pyre with a fan in his hand, and Sharat [Swami Saradananda] was with him. Both Sharat and Loren sought to console Shashi.I took him by the hand and tried to lift his spirits a little, but he remained motionless with grief. Then Shashi collected the ashes and bones of the Master and put them in an urn. He placed the urn on his head and carried it to the garden house, where it was kept on the Master's bed.
p.96-7, Ramakrishna as we saw Him, Reminiscences of Swami Adbhutananda.
Whenever you talk to other people, never speak ill of others. You should avoid even hearing criticism of other people. If you have to hear criticism of others, quietly hear it but never join in. Take special note of this. If you criticize others or hear others being criticized, your mind will be polluted and it will go down. It will then be difficult for you to love God.
p.208, Letters for Spiritual Seekers, Letters of Swami Shivananda
In this age, whoever will take the name of Sri Ramakrishna and try to advance spiritually, modeling his life after that of the Master, will find it easier to make progress.
p. 90, For Seekers of God
Swami Saradanandaj's Mahasamadhi.(1927)
A devotee asked Swami Saradananda, 'Swami, why do you love us so much?
Swami Saradananda did not say anything. After a few days when that devotee came to Udbodhan, the Swami said, ' A few days ago I went to Belur Math and prostrated before Sri Ramakrishna. The Master appeared before me and said, "You love all because you find me in all." That is the answer I would give today.'" p.355, God lived with Them
To feel that one is a free soul is very good. By constantly repeating, 'I am free, I am free', a man verily becomes free. On the other hand, by constantly repeating, 'I am bound, I am bound', he certainly becomes bound to worldliness. The fool who says only, 'I am a sinner, I am a sinner', verily drowns himself in worldliness. One should rather say: 'I have chanted the name of God. How can I be a sinner? How can I be bound?'
p.274, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
If you start doing some work, it is very likely that you will get attached to it, and so on. But this world of Sri Ramakrishna, Swamiji, and Holy Mother is a different matter altogether. Here the work you do is work that will contribute to the mission of ushering in a new era. The world is not exclusively a world of practicing austerities, meditation, japam, renunciation, and hardship. Here you have to combine selfless service with spiritual practices. If you do something because we, the direct disciples wanted you to do it, there is no question of you getting attached to it. The Lord himself is responsible for such people. They will never get attached. p.229, Letters for Spiritual Seekers, Letters of Swami Shivananda
Do your duties in the world, and also fix your mind on the Lotus Feet of the Lord. Read books of devotion like the Bhagavata or the life of Chaitanya when you are alone and have nothing else to do. p.281, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
We are the sons of Light and children of God. Glory unto the Lord, we will succeed. Hundreds will fall in the struggle; hundreds will be ready to take it up. ...Life is nothing, death is nothing, hunger nothing, cold nothing. Do not look back to see who falls - forward - onward! Thus and thus we shall go on, brethren. One falls, and another takes up the work.
CW, Vol.5, p.17, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga on 20 August, 1893
Swami Ramakrishnanandaji's Mahasamadhi.(1911)
"What Saint Paul declared in his Epistle to the Galatians, 'Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me,' perfectly described Swami Ramakrishnananda's attitude towards himself and towards that one whom he called guru. He was wholly dead to himself and alive only in Sri Ramakrishna." p.308, God lived with Them
Everything is His. What are we? Is He dead? Is He sleeping? He, without whose command a leaf does not fall, a heart does not beat, who is nearer to me than my own self. It is bosh and nonsense - to do good or do bad or do fuzz. We do nothing. We are not. The world is not. He is. He is. Only He is. None else is. He is.
CW. Vol.9, p.35, Swamil's letter to Mrs. G.W hale on 23 August, 1894.
Always remember, "I have at least a Mother, if none else." p.55, The Gospel of the Holy Mother
One need not fear anything if one has received the grace of God. It is rather easy for a child to stumble if he holds his father's hand; but there can be no such fear if the father holds the child's hand. A man does not have to suffer any more if God, in His grace, removes his doubts and reveals Himself to Him. But this grace descends upon him only after he has prayed to God with intense yearning of heart and practised spiritual discipline. The Mother feels compassion for her child when she sees him running about breathlessly. She has been hiding herself; now she appears before the child.
p.116, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
Do not work yourself out. It is no use; always remember - "Duty is the midday sun whose fierce rays are burning the very vitals of humanity." It is necessary for a time as a discipline; beyond that, it is a morbid dream. Things go on all right whether we lend them our helping hands or not. We in delusion only break ourselves. p.417, CW.Vol.6, Swamiji's letter to Margot (Nivedita) on 25 August, 1898.
My children must plunge into the breach, must renounce the world - then the firm foundation will be laid. Go on bravely - never mind about designs and other details at present - "With the horse will come the reins." Work unto death - I am with you, and when I am gone, my spirit will work with you. This life comes and goes - wealth, fame, enjoyments are only of a few days. It is better, far better to die on the field of duty, preaching the truth, than to die like a worldly worm. Advance!" p.114-5, CW, Vol. V, Swamiji's letter to Nanjunda Rao dt. 26th August 1896
Well, now great things are to be done! Who cares for great things? Why not do small things as well? One is as good as the other....We play our parts here - good or bad. When the dream is finished and we have left the stage, we will have a hearty laugh at all this - of this only I am sure.
p.436, CW.Vol.6, Swamiji's letter to Nivedita on 28 August, 1900
Never expect anything from anyone. But always give. Otherwise a sense of dryness will overtake you...But you must not give your mind to anyone. That you must give only to God.
p.115-6, Spiritual Talks, Swami Turiyananda
Seek in the inner chamber of your heart. That is the essence of all teachings. Be resigned to the Mother. Pray to Her earnestly, crying like a child, and you will discover the light. p.95, For Seekers of God
Advance towards God, my child; the more you go towards Him, the more peace you will get. There is no peace in anything in this world. At the feet of God alone does one find the abode of peace. p.99, For Seekers of God
Are you sincere? Unselfish even unto death? And loving? Then fear not, not even
death. Onward, my lads! The whole world requires Light____ Now the time has come.
Have faith that you are all, my brave lads, born to do great things! let not the barks of puppies frighten you - no, not even the thunderbolts of heaven - but stand up and work!
p.43, CW.Vol.5, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga on 31 August, 1894
Pray to him with all heart, asking him to tell you how you can live in the world without being attached to it. Keep praying like this for some time, and then it will occur to you what to do. Do whatever strikes you as the right thing to do. If you follow this, you will never go astray.
p.262, Letters for Spiritual Seekers, Letters of Swami Shivananda
I have come to this conclusion that there is only one country in the world which understands religion -- it is India; that with all their faults the Hindus are head and shoulders above all other nations in morality and spirituality; and that with proper care and attempt and struggle of all her disinterested sons, by combining some of the active and heroic elements of the West with the calm virtues of the Hindus, there will come a type of men far superior to any that have ever been in this world.
(p. 322, V.8, Complete Works of swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Haridas Viharidas Desai in Sept. 1894)
What if you don't get Mukti? What childish prattle! Lord! They say even the venom of a snake loses its power by firmly denying it. Isn't it true? What queer humility is this to say, "I know nothing!" "I am nothing!" This is pseudo - renunciation and mock -modesty, I tell you. Off with such a self - debasing spirit! "If I do not know, who on earth does!" What have you been doing so long if you now plead ignorance? These are the words of an atheist -- the humility of a vagabond wretch. We can do everything, and will do everything! He who is fortunate enough will heroically join us, letting the worthless mew like cats from their corner. A saint writes, "Well, you have had enough of blazoning. Now come back home." I would have called him a man if he could build a house and call me. Ten years' experience of such things has made me wiser. I am no more to be duped by words. Let him who has courage in his mind and love in his heart come with me. I want none else. Through Mother's grace, single - handed I am worth a hundred thousand now and will be worth two millions. . . . There is no certainty about my going back to India. I shall have to lead a wandering life there also, as I am dong here. But here one lives in the company of scholars, and there one must live among fools -- there is this difference as of the poles. People of this country organise and work, while our undertakings all come to dust clashing against laziness -- miscalled "renunciation"-- and jealousy, etc.
"...Life is a series of fights and disillusionments. . . . The secret of life is not enjoyment, but education through experience. But, alas, we are called off the moment we begin really to learn. That seems to be a potent argument for a future existence. . . . Everywhere it is better to have a whirlwind come over the work. That clears the atmosphere and gives us a true insight into the nature of things. It is begun anew, but on adamantine foundations. . ."
(p. 150, V.5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter dated 2nd Sept. 1899)
"A monk is like a bleached cloth, and the householder is like a black one. One does not notice the spots in a black cloth so much, but even a drop of ink looks so prominent on white linen. The monk's life is always beset with dangers. The whole world is engrossed in lust and gold. The monk must always practice renunciation and dispassion. Therefore Sri Ramakrishna used to say, 'A monk must be always alert and careful.'"
(p.57, The Gospel of Holy Mother, Holy Mother's advice on 3rd dt. September 1918)
"My child, if you cannot perform spiritual practice, you can at least think of him and sing his glory. The world has not bound you day and night. If you cannot do even this much, how can you expect any result? In any event, one should feel drawn towards God; somehow or other one should be devoted to Him. Without some longing for god spiritual progress is impossible. So long as you are attached to this world, you will not see Him. It will be most unfortunate if you do not avail yourself of the blessed privilege of being born a human being."
(p.46, For Seekers Of God, Swami Shivananda's instruction to a devotee on 3rd September 1927)
"My child, you have been extremely fortunate in getting this human birth. Have intense devotion to God. One must work hard. How can one achieve anything without effort? One must devote some time for prayer even in the midst of one's household duties...In the fullness of spiritual realization, one will find that He who resides in one's heart, resides in the hearts of others as well-the oppressed, the persecuted, the untouchable and the outcast. This realization makes one truly humble. .My child, this mind is just like a wild elephant. It races with the wind. Therefore one should discriminate all the time. One should work hard for the realization of God."
(p.60-1, The Gospel of Holy Mother, Holy Mother's advice to a devotee on 4th September 1918)
First, devotees do not bother about this question whether this is the first, second, or third birth. A good devotee is only concerned with the question of how he can love God, how he can have true devotion to God, how he be pure at heart. This is all that worries him. He also completely surrenders to the will of God. Life or death makes no difference to him. He thinks what God wills must happen.
Second, this is what I understand by the coming of the devotee to Sri Ramakrishna in his last birth: He who believes with all his heart and soul that Sri Ramakrishna is an Incarnation of God will come to him, and he alone will not be born again."
(p.157-8, Letters For Spiritual Seekers, Sami Turiyananda's letter dt. 5th September 1919)
The only sign of life is going outward and forward and expansion. Contraction is death. Why should you do good to others? Because that is the only condition of life; thereby you expand beyond your little Self; you live and grow. All narrowness, all contraction, all selfishness is simply slow suicide, and when a nation commits the fatal mistake of contracting itself and of thus cutting off all expansion and life, it must die.
(p.476, V.7, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Manmathanath Bhattacharya dt. 5th Sept 1894)
What I mean by mentioning all this is that there were many good things in the ancient times, but there were bad things too. The good things are to be retained, but the India that is to be, the future India, must be much greater than ancient India. From the day Sri Ramakrishna was born dates the growth of modern India and of the Golden Age. And you are the agents to bring about this Golden Age. To work, with this conviction of heart!
...In you all there is tremendous power. The atheist has nothing but rubbish in him. Those who are believers are heroes. They will manifest tremendous power. The world will be swept before them. "Sympathy and help to the poor"; "Man is God, he is Narayana"; "In Atman there is no distinction of male or female, of Brahmin or Kshatriya, and the like"; "All is Narayana from the Creator down to a clump of grass." The worm is less manifested, the Creator more manifested. Every action that helps a being manifest its divine nature more and more is good, every action that retards it is evil. The only way of getting our divine nature manifested is by helping others to do the same...Beware! All expansion is life, all contraction is death. All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. Therefore love for love's sake, because it is the only law of life, just as you breathe to live. This is the secret of selfless love, selfless action and the rest...in the Ramakrishna Incarnation there is knowledge, devotion and love -- infinite knowledge, infinite love, infinite work, infinite compassion for all beings. You have not yet been able to understand him. "[(Sanskrit)] -- even after hearing about Him, most people do not understand Him." What the whole Hindu race has thought in ages, he lived in one life. His life is the living commentary to the Vedas of all nations. People will come to know him by degrees. My old watchword -- struggle, struggle up to light! Onward!
(p.318-320, V.6, Swamiji's letter to Swami Brahmananda dt. Septeber 1895)
You must stick to one path with all your strength. A man can reach the roof of a house by stone stairs or a ladder or a rope ladder or a ropeway or even by a bamboo pole. But he cannot reach the roof if he sets foot now on one and now on another. He should firmly follow one path. Likewise, in order to realize God a man must follow one path with all his strength. But you must regard other views as so many paths leading to God. You should not feel that your path is the only right path and that other paths are wrong. You must not bear malice toward others...The aim of spiritual discipline, of chanting God's name and glories, is to realize just that. A man attains everything when he discovers his true Self in himself. The object of sadhana is to realize that. That also is the purpose of assuming a human body. One needs the clay mould as long as the gold image has not been cast; but when the image is made, the mould is thrown away. The body may be given up after the realization of God.
(p.514-521, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna's advice to devotees on 7th September 1884)
You are, by the Lord's grace, his devotee, and surrender to him is the chief concern in your religious life. Among your duties are constantly remembering the Lord and devoting every free minute you have to meditation, repetition of his name, prayer, and singing songs of praise to him. In due time he will transform you into a man of full knowledge and at the same time, a man of full devotion.
(p.136, Letters For Spiritual Seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter on 7th September 1917)
SWAMI ABHEDANANDA LEAVES HIS BODY
On his seventy-third birthday he said to one of his disciples: 'I am only an instrument in the blissful sportive play of the Master, and the moment my life's mission is over, I shall not wait even for a second longer. Abhedananda had played his part in the divine drama of Sri Ramakrishna. Gradually the great yogi made himself ready to return to his beloved guru. One day he said to a disciple, "My body belongs to the Master." Towards the end he indicated that his body should be cremated at the Cossipore cremation ground after his death. In the morning of the 8th September 1939 he felt a little better, and asked his attendant to give him a glass of water. He sat on his bed and lay down after drinking the water. Swami Abhedananda passed away shortly after, at 8:16 a.m. on Friday, 8 September 1939.
(p.482, God Lived With Them)
Whenever a religious organization fell, the root cause was the absence of spiritual practices, renunciation, austerity, and so forth. In this organization also, we have nothing to fear and it will all run smoothly so long as detachment and dispassion shine bright; and so long as each member of the organization believes that God-realization is the only goal of life and accordingly engages himself in spiritual practices and austerity...The monk should remain detached under all circumstances and keep the attitude of austerity flaming within for ever. One need have no fear so long as the ideal remains unadulterated. It is only the inner consecration to ideal that counts.. When one performs work as service to Him, one gets rid of the impurities of the mind; there can be no doubt about that. Of course, you have to undertake other forms of spiritual practice along with this, and that intensely.
(p.170-1, For Seekers of God, Swami Shivananda's advice to a monk on 8th September 1923)
I have worked hard and sent all the money I got to Calcutta and Madras, and then after doing all this, stand their silly dictation! Are you not ashamed? What do I owe to them? Do I care a fig for their praise or fear their blame? I am a singular man, my son, not even you can understand me yet. Do your work; if you cannot, stop; but do not try to "boss" me with your nonsense. I see a greater Power than man, or God, or devil at my back. I require nobody's help. I have been all my life helping others. . . . They cannot raise a few rupees to help the work of the greatest man their country every produced -- Ramakrishna Paramahamsa; and they talk nonsense and want to dictate to the man for whom they did nothing, and who did everything he could for them! Such is the ungrateful world! Do you mean to say I am born to live and die one of those caste - ridden, superstitious, merciless, hypocritical, atheistic cowards that you find only amongst the educated Hindus? I hate cowardice; I will have nothing to do with cowards or political nonsense. I do not believe in any politics. God and truth are the only politics in the world, everything else is trash.
(p.595, Vol. 5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga dt. 9th Sept. 1895)
"Hold this idea constantly in your mind: 'Within me art thou; outside me art thou. I am the machine; thou art the operator. I act according to thy bidding.' What more is needed? Can it be achieved by one stroke? Practice is necessary and through repeated practice comes success. God will then truly be the operator of the body. This is a fact. She is doing everything. Incapable of understanding this, we think we are the doers and thus get bound by action...If you reflect a little you will understand: when a person does not have any ego sense or think "I am the doer," there cannot be any bondage. It is the sense of "I" that binds. "When shall I be free? When I will cease to be." If there is no "I", where is the bondage? "Not I, not I, but thou, thou." He who has no ego-sense sees God only. So he is not bound."
(p.78-9, Spiritual Treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter dt. 10th Sept 1914)
The present convention, which is one of the most august assemblies ever held, is in itself a vindication, a declaration to the world of the wonderful doctrine preached in the Gita: "Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to me." Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilisation and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now. But their time is come; and I fervently hope that the bell that tolled this morning in honour of this convention may be the death - knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.
(p.4, V.1, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's reply to the welcome address at the World's Parliament of Religions)
"Practice japam, meditation, and worship.; doing whatever you are doing to the best of your ability; doing all other duties to the family as you are expected to do; and praying to the Lord for faith, devotion, love, knowledge, discrimination, and purity -in other words, self-control. You have to fight against your mind. Keep fighting. You will surely win in the end by his grace. Don't worry."
(p.264-5, Letters for Spiritual Seekers, Swami Sahivananda's letter dt. 11 Sept. 1926)
Your idea is grand but our nation is totally lacking in the faculty of organisation. It is this one drawback which produces all sorts of evil. We are altogether averse to making a common cause for anything. The first requisite for organisation is obedience. I do a little bit of work when I feel so disposed, and then let it go to the dogs -- this kind of work is of no avail. We must have plodding industry and perseverance...By degrees we must spread the world over. The first thing needed is obedience. You must be ready to plunge into fire -- then will work be done. . . .
(p.321-2, V.6, Swamij's letter to Sw. Akhandananda dt Sept 1895)
Only that kind of work which develops our spirituality is work. Whatever fosters materiality is no - work. Therefore work and no - work must be regulated by a person's aptitude, his country, and his age. Works such as sacrifices were suited to the olden times but are not for the modern times. From the date that the Ramakrishna Incarnation was born, has sprung the Satya - yuga (Golden Age). . . .In this Incarnation atheistic ideas . . . will be destroyed by the sword of Jnana (knowledge), and the whole world will be unified by means of Bhakti (devotion) and Prema (Divine Love). Moreover, in this Incarnation, Rajas, or the desire for name and fame etc., is altogether absent. In other words, blessed is he who acts up to His teachings; whether he accepts Him or not, does not matter.
No great work can be achieved by humbug. It is through love, a passion for truth, and tremendous energy, that all undertakings are accomplished. [(Sanskrit)]--
therefore, manifest your manhood......Combine seriousness with childlike naivete.
Live in harmony with all. Give up all idea of egoism, and entertain no sectarian views. Useless wrangling is a great sin... Whatever the Vedas, the Vedanta, and all other incarnations have done in the past, Shri Ramakrishna lived to practise in the course of a single life.
One cannot understand the Vedas, the Vedanta, the Incarnations, and so forth, without understanding his life. For he was the explanation.From the very date that he was born, has sprung the Satya - yuga (Golden Age). Henceforth there is an end to all sorts of distinctions, and everyone down to the Chandala will be a sharer in the Divine Love. The distinction between man and woman, between the rich and the poor, the literate and illiterate, Brahmins and Chandalas -- he lived to root out all. And he was the harbinger of Peace -- the separation between Hindus and Mohammedans, between Hindus and Christians, all are now things of the past. That fight about distinctions that there was, belonged to another era. In this Satya - yuga the tidal wave of Shri Ramakrishna's Love has unified all.
(p.326-336, Vol.6, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Swami Ramakrishnananda in Sept 1895)
"Let me write down something for you all:
1. -Know partiality to be the chief cause of all evil. That is to say, if you show towards any one more love than towards somebody else, rest assured, you will be sowing the seeds of future troubles.
2. -If anybody comes to you to speak ill of any of his brothers, refuse to listen to him in toto. It is a great sin to listen even. In that lies the germ of future troubles.
3. -Moreover, bear with everyone's shortcomings. Forgive offences by the million. And if you love all unselfishly, all will by degrees come to love one another. As soon as they fully understand that the interests of one depend upon those of others, everyone of them will give up jealousy. To do something conjointly is not in our very national character. Therefore you must try to inaugurate that spirit with the utmost care, and wait patiently. To tell you the truth, I do not find among you any distinction of great or small: everyone has the capacity to manifest, in times of need, the highest energy. I see it.
If you still entertain any doubt as to Shri Ramakrishna's being a jewel - expert, what then is the difference between you and a madman! Behold, hundreds of men and women of this country are beginning to worship our Lord as the greatest of all Avataras! Steady! Every great work is done slowly. . . .
He is at the helm, what fear! You are all of infinite strength -- how long does it take you to keep off petty jealousy or egoistic ideas! The moment such propensity comes, resign yourselves to the Lord! Just make over your body and mind to His work, and all troubles will be at an end for ever."
Faith in the guru's words. One attains God by following the guru's instructions step by step. It is like reaching an object by following the trail of a thread. He is unknowable by the mind engrossed in worldliness. One cannot attain God if one has even a trace of attachment to 'woman and gold'. But He is knowable by the pure mind and the pure intelligence - the mind and intelligence that have not the slightest trace of attachment. Pure mind, Pure Intelligence, Pure Atman are one and the same thing. One cannot understand the meaning of the scriptures without practicing spiritual discipline.
(p.524, Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna's advice to a Sadhaka on 14th September 1884)
Once in a while one should go out and live the life of an itinerant monk, depending solely on the Lord. That is how genuine resignation is acquired. Without this resignation to God, nothing can be accomplished. All the spiritual practices and disciplines have one aim, to develop resignation. He who seeks refuge at the feet of the Lord with undivided mind is fully taken care of and protected by Him...Be sincerely resigned to see the Lord. He will give you all knowledge. In time everything will be revealed through His grace.
(p.16-7, For Seekers Of God, Swami Shivananda's instruction to a monk on 14 September 1923)
I have never preached personalities. My own life is guided by the enthusiasm of this great soul; but others will decide for themselves how far they share in this attitude. Inspiration is not filtered out to the world through one channel, however great. Each generation should be inspired afresh. Are we not all God?"
Our method is very easily described. It simply consists in reasserting the national life. Buddha preached renunciation. India heard, and yet in six centuries she reached her greatest height. The secret lies there. The national ideals of India are RENUNCIATION and SERVICE. Intensify her in those channels, and the rest will take care of itself. The banner of the spiritual cannot be raised too high in this country. In it alone is salvation.
(p.227-8, V. 5, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji in an interview with the representative of Prabuddha Bharata September 1898)
The Lord is at the helm of the affairs of this world. We have all manner of experiences in this world, but they are all for our education. We are the wiser for these experiences. Finally we learn to depend upon ourselves. When this happens, (p266, Letters for Spiritual seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter to a devotee dt. 16 September 1926)
I will tell you a great lesson I have learnt in this life. It is this: "The higher is your ideal, the more miserable you are"; for such a thing as an ideal cannot be attained in the world, or in this life even. He who wants perfection in the world is a madman, for it cannot be...There are two sorts of persons in the world. The one -- strong - nerved, quiet, yielding to nature, not given to much imagination, yet good, kind, sweet, etc. For such is this world; they alone are born to be happy. There are others again with high - strong nerves, tremendously imaginative, with intense feeling, always going high one moment and coming down the next. For them there is no happiness. The first class will have almost an even tenor of happiness; the last will have to run between ecstasy and misery. But of these alone what we call geniuses are made. There is some truth in the recent theory that "genius is a sort madness". Now, persons of this class if they want to be great, they must fight to finish -- clear out the deck for battle. No encumbrance -- no marriage, no children, no undue attachment to anything except the one idea, and live and die for that. I am a person of this sort. I have taken up the one idea of "Vedanta" and I have "cleared the deck for action".
(p.389-91, V.8, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Mary Hale dt 17 September 1896)
One must do some work. Through work alone can one remove the bondage of work, not by avoiding work. Total detachment comes later on. One should not be without work even for a moment.
(p.14-5, The Gospel Of Holy Mother, Mother's advice to a devotee on 18 September 1912)
Once When Sri Ramakrishna was lying ill at Cossipore, a few devotees brought some offerings for Mother Kali of Dakshineshwar Temple. On hearing that the Master was at Cossipore, they offered all the things they had brought before a picture of the Master, and then partook of the prasada. On hearing about this Sri Ramakrishna remarked, "All these things were brought for the great Mother of the universe. And they have offered them all here (meaning himself)!" The Master was referring to this incident again and again. Afterwards at a late hour in the night he said to me, "You will see how in course of time I will be worshipped in every house. You will see everyone accepting this (meaning himself). This is surely going to happen."
(p.62, The Gospel of the Holy Mother, Mother's words on 19 September 1918)
One should learn the essence of the scriptures from the guru and then practice sadhana. If one rightly follows spiritual discipline, then one directly sees God. The discipline is said to be rightly followed only when one plunges in. What will a man gain by merely reasoning about the words of the scriptures? They reason themselves into death over information about the path. They never take the plunge. What a pity!
(p.543, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, The Master's advice to devotees on 19 September 1884)
You must get rid of these obstructions to preach your doctrines. Through the mercy of the Divine Mother everything is possible. But in my opinion if Brother Tarak goes on starting some societies in the Punjab and Madras, and you become organized, it will be the best thing. It is indeed a great thing to discover a new path, but it is as difficult a task to cleanse that path and make it spacious and nice. If you live for some time in places where I have sown the seeds of our Master's ideals and succeed in developing the seeds into plants, you will be doing much greater work than I did. What will they who cannot manage some ready - made thing do with regard to things that are yet to come? If you cannot add a little salt to a dish almost done, how am I to believe that you will collect all the ingredients? However, I have nothing to say against any particular course which any one may be led to adopt; on the contrary, God - speed --"[(Sanskrit)]-- may your journey be prosperous"...Tell Chuni Babu in private that he has nothing to fear, that those who are protected by the Lord must be above fear. I am a puny man, but the glories of the Lord are infinite. [(Sanskrit)]-- discard fear. Let not your faith be shaken. . . . Has danger any power over one whom the Lord has taken into His fold?
(p.340-2, V.6, Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Swami Brahmananda dt 1895)
Subtle are the ways of dharma. One cannot realize God if one has even the least trace of desire. A thread cannot pass through the eye of a needle if it has the smallest fibre sticking out...During the twilight hour of the dusk you should give up all other activities and remember God...One cannot realize God without sincerity and simplicity. God is far, far away from the crooked heart.
(p.545-56, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, The Master's advice on 21 September 1884)
He is the in-dwelling spirit of us all. In this age, He alone is our saviour. He will show you the way, if you surrender to Him. We are His slaves, and our place is at His feet. This is why those who have received His holy name from us will always be under His care and protection. There is no doubt about this.
(p.267, Letters For Spiritual Seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter to a devotee on 21 September 1926)
What will one achieve by renouncing only these things? The one thing needful is the renunciation of 'woman and gold'. That renunciation is the real and supreme renunciation. Householders should go into solitude now and then, to practice spiritual discipline in order to cultivate devotion to God; they should renounce mentally. But the Sannyasi should renounce both mentally and physically...It is Satchidananda that comes to us in the form of the guru. If a man is initiated by a human guru, he will not achieve anything if he regards his guru as a mere man. The guru should be regarded as the direct manifestation of God. Only then can the disciple have faith in the mantra given by the Guru. Once a man has faith he achieves all.
(p.289-93, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, The Master's advice to devotees on 22nd September 1883)
The mother's heart, the hero's will,
The softest flower's sweetest feel;
The charm and force that ever sway The altar fire's flaming play;
The strength that leads, in love obeys;
Far - reaching dreams, and patient ways,
Eternal faith in Self, in all
The sight Divine in great in small;
All these, and more than I could see Today may "Mother" grant to thee.
(p.526, V.7, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's poem written to Miss Alberta Sturges on her 23rd Birthday on 22nd September 1900)
Why worry? Sri Ramakrishna will surely attract your mind and keep it fixed on his feet. But practice it every day. Pour out all love of your heart at his feet. Everyone has in his heart some special love for something or other. No one is an exception to this. You also have that love in you. Keep that love reserved for him, and pour it out only on him. You are in a class by yourself. You are not like an ordinary individual. Your life has a special meaning. The special status that you have is the outcome of his grace and of the good work you have done in past lives. What other purpose do you think your life is meant for except what has been already ordained by the Lord?
Worship of the Divine mother will bring nothing but good. When she awakens herself in our hearts, we become free from troubles; it is very difficult to achieve anything by self-effort. Her grace does not flow unless a person offers his body and mind to her. Once you realize her, this world and its wiles can do you no harm. Then you can see her presence even in this world. You will realize perfectly that she has become everything, and nothing exists but her. Then all troubles cease.
(p.80, Spiritual Treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter to a devotee dt 23 September 1914)
To be spiritual is not an easy thing. Unless one gets purified through the fire of struggle, he is not fit for spiritual progress. So such struggles will come - we need not be at all afraid for that. You are a child of Ramakrishna. Be always conscious of it and brave the struggle. Through His grace I am sure you shall succeed. You are thinking of Sri Ramakrishna - the personification of purity. All impurities will have no hold on you. May you have peace and happiness, purity, viveka, and vairagyam...
(p.175, Mahapurush Maharaj As We Saw Him, Swami Shivananda's letter to Swami Ranganathananda on 24th September 1930)
Have the conviction that you are working for the Lord, and then don't worry anymore. Why do you allow your mind to become disturbed? He is in everything and he is everything - reflecting and meditating thus one attains realization. Imagination will become reality - that is how it happens. At first one has to imagine; afterwards it becomes real.
(p.172, Spiritual treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter to a devotee on 24 September 1916)
Nothing can happen without the will of God. Not even a blade of grass can move. When a man passes into a favorable time, he gets the desire to contemplate on God. But when the time is unfavorable, he gets all the facilities for doing evil actions. Everything happens in time according to the will of God. The Master has predetermined what he is going to accomplish. If anyone surrenders himself totally at his feet, then the Master will see that everything is set right. One must bear with everything, because everything is determined by actions (karmas). Past sins can be counteracted by meditation, japa and spiritual thought.
(p.92-3, The Gospel of The Holy Mother, Mother's words on 25 September 1910)
They are not eight bonds, but eight fetters. But what if they are? These fetters fall off in a moment, by the grace of God. Do you know what it is like? Suppose a room has been kept dark a thousand years. The moment a man brings a light into it, the darkness vanishes. Not little by little. All the knots of ignorance come undone in the twinkling of an eye, through the guru's grace.
(p.298, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, The Master's advice to M on 26 September 1883)
Whatever may be the position of philosophy, whatever may be the position of metaphysics, so long as there is such a thing as death in the world, so long as there is such a thing as weakness in the human heart, so long as there is a cry going out of the heart of man in his very weakness, there shall be a faith in God.
(p.22, V.1, The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's lecture on 26 September 1893)
Self-surrender means: To practice contentment by thinking that wherever the Lord keeps me is for my good; to unify one's will with the will of God; and to practice even-mindedness in happiness and misery, gain and loss, and so on. In other words, one can surrender oneself completely only after liberation. Before that one will have to practice yoga repeatedly. Real resignation to God is liberation. If a person practices this attitude of resignation sincerely and wholeheartedly, he attains liberation by God's grace.
(p.67, Spiritual Treasures, Swami Turiyananda's letter dt 27 September 1913)
Prayer is immensely helpful. Prayer leads to the realization of his presence. It also enables you to remember him all the time. Sri Ramakrishna will be pleased to help you in many ways. Take me seriously: never lose heart. You have taken refuge in one who is an ocean of love. This love comes naturally, and not because of anything on your part. He has assumed a human form for the good of humanity - not merely for their spiritual well being, but also for their well being in relation to animals and to the elements.
(p.276-7, Letters For Spiritual seekers, Swami Shivananda's letter dt 28 September 1928)
There are various paths to reach God. Each view is a path. It is like reaching the Kali Temple by different roads. No one else is here, and you are my own people. Let me tell you something. I have come to the final realization that God is the Whole and I am a part of Him, that God is the Master and I am His servant. Furthermore, I think every now and then that He is I and I am He.
The present Hindu society is organized only for spiritual men, and hopelessly crushes out everybody else. Why? Where shall they go who want to enjoy the world a little with its frivolities? Just as our religion takes in all, so should our society. This is to be worked out by first understanding the true principles of our religion and then applying them to society. This is the slow but sure work to be done.
(p.48, V.5, The Complete Works of swami Vivekananda, Swamiji's letter to Alasinga dt. 29th Sept. 1894)
Swami Akhandananda's Birthday 30 September 1864
One morning Sri Ramakrishna took me to the Kali Temple. Whenever I went there alone I stood outside the threshold, but on this occasion the Master took me into the Sanctum sanctorum and showed me the face of Lord Shiva, who was of course lying on his back while Kali stood over Him. His face was not visible from outside the shrine, where one could only see the top of His head. The Master said, "Look, here is the living Shiva." I felt that Lord Shiva was conscious and breathing. I was astonished. How potent were the Master's words! Up to that time I had thought that this image was just like all the other Shiva images I had seen.
(p.563, God Lived With Them, Swami Akhandananda's account of the experience)