Master : “one cannot see God if one has even the slightest of worldliness. Match sticks, if damp, won’t strike fire though you rub a thousand of them against the match-box,
You only waste a heap of sticks. The mind soaked in worldliness is such a damp match- box. Once Sri Radha said to her friends that she saw Krishna every where- both within
and without. The friends answered: ‘Why, we don’t see Him at all.
Are you delirious?’ Radha said, “friends paint your eyes with collyrium of divine love, and then you will see HIM’
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna Vol I Page 173
After a long time I met my friend in our evening walks. We had driven to Maruthamalai. As the climate was pleasant we decided to walk the hill via the road. As we started walking my friend asked me the question with which he had left the other day.
He: You haven’t yet explained me about Bakthi.
Me: Yes Bakthi is a wonderful tool to reach God. Here there is a lot of stress on a personal God. Image worship is a focal point in this tool. Usually poojas to deities, pilgrimages,
kerthans, satsang and jebas are all included in this.
However a clear knowledge to why we are doing this is a prerequisite. Otherwise the whole process becomes useless and the person doing them doesn’t move up on the spiritual. In fact such practices (without pre knowledge) will make a person skeptical.
He: What is this knowledge you’re talking about?
Me: We all know that before going into a lab we should have a theoretical knowledge on what we are going to do. Without that we may end up confused. This theoretical knowledge is the accumulation of experiments done by several scientists, verified and accepted ones. That knowledge is handed over to us so that we go into the lab and verify it. The same is the case with Bakthi. The knowledge is handed over to us via Guru Parambara i.e., lineage of masters. We need not go on experimenting, like inventing a wheel when it already exists. We can follow the dictums of Gurus and move forward. Of course you are free to question and verify them.
He: What are these dictums?
Me: The first thing one has to know in Bakthi is that, we are what we are, by how we are inside our minds. The world you see around is the play of your mind. Do you agree with me?
He: Yes. A person sees a rope in the shallow light and takes it to be a snake and reacts to it frightened, when actually there isn’t one.
Me: Exactly that. The world is solid and real. But it differs as one perceives it inside. You know that if a person perceives beautiful women in a statue.. it’s so to him. If one takes it to be stone, so it is for him. It is all in the mental architecture of the person. And you will agree that all human beings are unique, in their physical and mental set up, as they are born with it. So there are many worlds in this real world.
He: Your logic is right.
Me: So mind is central to our” experiencing “of this world. Isn’t it?
He: Quite so.
Me: So in Bakthi, it should be understood that the physical body, the logical part our existence- the Brain, and the other something which is called “I” are all connected to one another t through MIND.
Me: So the study of mind is necessary. As I said earlier we are all born with different mental architecture. The environment in which we are born conditions it and our present personalities are formed. Even if two persons are in the same environment their personalities are different. This is because they are born different. So with the different congenital mind, different persons are formed with the conditioning of the exactly same environment.
He: Why is there difference in congenital minds?
Me: Oh yhea it is already our time to bid bye.. let us talk on it in our next walk.
He : Lets go down and sip tea and go back.Author: Sankara Raman Narayanan on August 1, 2017