Conversation Holy Mother II – Place of work in spiritual life

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25th June, 1912

It was morning. The Mother was seated near the bedstead in the room adjacent to the shrine. We were engaged in conversation.

Place of work in spiritual life : justification of the activities of the Ramakrishna Order

Disciple: Some say that it is not good for the Sadhus (of the Ramakrishna Order) to work in the Sevashrams (Homes of Service) and dispensaries or to be preoccupied with selling books, accounting and so forth. Did the Master ever undertake such activities? Works of this kind are thrust upon the seekers who enter the Order with a yearning for the realization of God. If anyone must do some work, it must be worship in the shrine, meditation, Japa and devotional music. Activities other than these entangle one in desires and turn one away from God.

Mother: You must not listen to those who talk in that manner. What will you do day and night if you are not engaged in work ? Can one practise meditation and Japa for twenty-four hours ? You referred to the Master. His case was different. Mathur used to supply him with proper diet. You are able to get your food because you are doing some work. Otherwise you would have to roam from door to door begging for a morsel of food. Perhaps you would fall ill. Besides, where are people today to give alms to the Sadhus ? Never pay any heed to such words. Things will go on as the Master directs. The Math will be run on these lines. Those who cannot adjust themselves will go away. One day Mani Mullik visited a Sadhu and reported to the Master. ” Well,” said the Master, ” how did you like him?” “Yes,” said Mani, “I saw the Sadhu
but – .” The Master asked, “But – what?” “All want money,” Mani Mullik replied. The Master said, ” How much does a holy man want ? Perhaps a pice for tobacco or Ganja. That’s all. You need your cups of ghee and milk, a mattress and such things ; and the sadhus want a pice for their smoke. Should they not have it ? “

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