Austerities and Divine Grace
A certain Sannyasin of the Ramakrishna Order Austerities and had been practising hard austerities at the Manikarnika Ghat at Banaras. When a disciple of the Mother was going to Calcutta, the monk told him, ” Please ask the Mother when the grace of God will descend on me.” When the disciple communicated this to the Mother, she said in a serious tone, ” Please write to him that there is no such rule that the grace of God will fall on one simply because one is practising austerities. In olden days the Rishis practised austerities for thousands of years with their feet up and head down and a lighted fire burning under them. Even then, only some of them received the grace of God.”
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God cannot be purchased
A disciple said to the Mother, ” Mother, I have God cannot be practised austerities and Japa so much, but I have not achieved anything’ In reply the Mother said, ” God is not like fish or vegetables that you can buy Him for a price.”
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Slow operation of Divine Grace
One day a disciple said to the Mother with great earnestness : ” Mother, I am& coming to you so frequently, and I have received your grace. But why have I not achieved anything ? I feel that I am as I was before.” In reply she said, ” My child, suppose you are asleep on a bed, and some one removes you with the bed to another place. In that case will you know, immediately on waking, that you have come to a new place ? Not at all. Only after your drowsiness clears away completely, you will know that you have come to a new place.”
One day a disciple asked the Mother at Jayrambati, Mother, how does one realize God ? Worship, Japa, meditation, – do these help one ? “
Mother : None of these can help.
Disciple: Then how does one get the vision of God ?
Mother: It is only through His grace. But one must practise meditation and Japa.That removes impurities of mind.
One must practise spiritual disciplines such as worship and so forth. As one gets the fragrance of a flower by handling it, or as one gets the smell of sandalwood by rubbing it against a stone, in the same way one gets spiritual awakening by constantly thinking of God. But you can realize Him right now, if you become desireless.
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Meditation,work and Divine Grace
One day in 1901, the Holy Mother said to a monastic disciple, referring to spiritual
disciplines, sit for meditation in the morning and the evening. Keep your head cool and practise meditation and prayer. It is very difficult to do so. It is rather easy to dig the earth with a spade.” Looking at the picture of the Master, she said, You will achieve nothing without his grace.” The disciple told her that he could not practise meditation and prayer regularly on account of his being busy with the duties of the Ashrama. The Mother said in reply, Whose works are these? They all belong to Him.” Continuing, the Mother said to him, You will find later on that the mind will become your Guru and give you instruction.”
One day the Holy Mother said, ” We have practised so much Japa, we have observed so many spiritual disciplines, but nothing whatsoever is of any avail. How can anyone get liberation unless Maha-maya leaves the path open ? O man, take refuge in God ! Take refuge in Him ! Then alone Mahamaya will be gracious and pave the way for liberation.” Then she narrated the following story from the Master’s life at Kamarpukur: It was the month of Jaishtha. There came a heavy shower of rain in the evening and the fields got flooded. The Master was going to the woods wading through water. Many catfish were found there and people were killing them with stones. One fish moved round and round the feet of the Master. At this he said to the people : Please do not kill it. See how it has taken shelter at my feet! If any of you can, please put it in the tank Haldarpukur.’ Then he himself took the fish to the pond and left it there. Coming home, he narrated the incident to us and said, It is only if one thus takes shelter in God, that one is saved.’ “
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Divine grace at death
A sannyasin disciple wrote to the Mother a letter full of despair. After hearing the contents of the letter she said seriously and forcibly : ” How is that possible ? Is the name of the Master a mere trifle ? Those who have come here and think of the Master,will certainly see their Chosen Ideal one day. If they are not able to do so during their lifetime, they will at least have His vision at the moment before their death.”