Vital Sunday: Sri Ramakrishna and the Holy Mother

Sri Ramakrishna said:

“When unavoidably entering into places where there may be temptation, carry always with thee the thought of thy Divine Mother. She will protect thee from the many evils that may be lurking even in thy heart. Cannot the presence of thy mother shame thee away from evil deeds and evil thoughts?
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“As the same sugar is made into various figures of birds and beasts, so one sweet Mother Divine is worshipped in various climes and ages under various names and forms. Different creeds are but different paths to reach the Almighty.
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“As with one gold various ornaments are made, having different forms and names, so one God is worshipped in different countries and ages, and hs=as different forms and names. Though He may be worshipped variously, some loving to call him Father, others Mother, etc., yet it is one God that is being worshipped in all these various relations and modes.”

Holy Mother said:

“The aim of life is to realize God and remain immersed in contemplation of Him. God alone is real and everything else is false. God is one’s very own, and this is the eternal relationship between God and creatures. One realizes God in proportion to the intensity of one’s feeling for Him. He who is really eager to cross the ocean of the world will somehow break his bonds. No one can entangle him.
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“All perform this or that discipline because they think it their duty to do so. But how many seek God? No doubt you must do your duties. It keeps one’s mind in good condition. But it is also very necessary to practice Japa, meditation and prayer. One must practice these disciplines at least in the morning and in the evening. Such practice is like the rudder of a boat. When one sits in the evening for prayer, one can discriminate whether he has done good or bad things in the course of the day. Then one should compare the mental state of that day with that of the previous one. Next, while performing Japa, one should meditate on one’s Chosen ideal. In meditation one first sees the face of one’s Chosen Deity, but one should try to meditate on the entire body from the feet upward. Unless you practice meditation, side by side with your work, how will you know whether you are doing the desirable or the undesirable thing?
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A devotee entered the room and asked the Mother about meditation and Japa. She said, “Repeating the Name of God a fixed number of times, telling the rosary or counting on fingers, is calculated to direct the mind to God. The natural tendency of the mind is to run this way and that way. Through these means it is attracted to God. While repeating the Name of God, one sees His form and becomes absorbed in Him, one’s Japa stops. One gets everything when one succeeds in meditation.”
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“The moon in the sky is covered by a cloud. The cloud has to be removed by the wind by degrees; then only one can see the moon. Does it pass all of a sudden? Similarly with spiritual perfection. The effects of past work are exhausted slowly. When one realizes God, He grants knowledge and illumination from within – one knows it oneself.”