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> Repeating God's name and singing His glories
Repeating God's name and singing His glories
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
February 1882: M.'s second visit to the Master
1. Repeat God's name and sing His glories:
M. (humbly): Yes, sir. How, sir, may we fix our minds on God?
MASTER: Repeat God's name and sing His glories, and keep holy company; and now and then visit God's devotees and holy men. The mind cannot dwell on God if it is immersed day and night in worldliness, in worldly duties and responsibilities; it is most necessary to go into solitude now and then and think of God. To fix the mind on God is very difficult, in the beginning, unless one practises meditation in solitude. When a tree is young it should be fenced all around; otherwise it may be destroyed by cattle. To meditate, you should withdraw within yourself or retire to a secluded corner or to the forest. And you should always discriminate between the Real and the unreal. God alone is real, the Eternal Substance; all else is unreal, that is, impermanent. By discriminating thus, one should shake off impermanent objects from the mind.
2. Repeating God's name and singing His glories as a means to see God:
M: Is it possible to see God?
MASTER: Yes, certainly. Living in solitude now and then, repeating God's name and singing His glories, and discriminating between the Real and the unreal – these are the means to employ to see Him.
February 1882: M.'s third visit to the Master
Meditate, o my mind, on the Lord Hari:
After a while he returned to the Master's room. There, on the small north verandah, he witnessed an amazing sight.
Sri Ramakrishna was standing still, surrounded by a few devotees, and Narendra was singing. M. had never heard anyone except the Master sing so sweetly. When he looked at Sri Ramakrishna he was struck with wonder; for the Master stood motionless, with eyes transfixed. He seemed not even to breathe. A devotee told M. that the Master was in samadhi. M. had never before seen or heard of such a thing. Silent with wonder, he thought: Is it possible for a man to be so oblivious of the outer world in the consciousness of God? How deep his faith and devotion must be to bring about such a state!
Narendra was singing:
Meditate, O my mind, on the Lord Hari,
The Stainless One, Pure Spirit through and through.
How peerless is the Light that in Him shines!
How soul-bewitching is His wondrous form!
How dear is He to all His devotees!
Ever more beauteous in fresh-blossoming love
That shames the splendour of a million moons,
Like lightning gleams the glory of His form,
Raising erect the hair for very joy.
The Master shuddered when this last line was sung. His hair stood on end, and tears of joy streamed down his cheeks. Now and then his lips parted in a smile. Was he seeing the peerless beauty of God, "that shames the splendour of a million moons"? Was this the vision of God, the Essence of Spirit? How much austerity and discipline, how much faith and devotion, must be necessary for such a vision!
The song went on:
Worship His feet in the lotus of your heart;
With mind serene and eyes made radiant
With heavenly love, behold that matchless sight.
Again that bewitching smile. The body motionless as before, the eyes half shut, as if beholding a strange inner vision. The song drew to a close. Narendra sang the last lines:
Caught in the spell of His love's ecstasy,
Immerse yourself for evermore, O mind
In Him who is Pure Knowledge and Pure Bliss.
The sight of the samadhi, and the divine bliss he had witnessed, left an indelible impression on M.'s mind. He returned home deeply moved. Now and then he could hear within himself the echo of those soul-intoxicating lines:
Immerse yourself for evermore, O mind,
In Him who is Pure Knowledge and Pure Bliss.
Nature of God:
- Getting overwhelmed with the sorrows of the world
- Goal of human life is to love God
- God alone is real, all else is illusory
Nature of Guru:
- God is with and without form
- God is our inner guide
- Communion with God is full of bliss
- God is our very own
- God creates both good and bad
- God gives the results of our actions
- God is like a magnet which attracts a pure mind
- In every age God incarnates Himself to teach humanity
Nature of Man:
- Satchidananda alone is the guru
Path to God:
- Four classes of men
- Nature of the ever-free
Things to avoid:
- Repeating God's name and singing His glories
- Keeping holy company
- Going into solitude and meditating on God
- Discriminating between the Real and the unreal
- Remembering God while performing worldly duties
- Crying to God with an intensely yearning heart
- Keeping away from the evil-minded
- Having tremendous faith in God
- Cultivating inner strength
- Earnestly praying to God
- Purifying the mind of impurities
- Following the instructions of the Guru
Signs of Spiritual Progress:
- Sin begets its own result
- One should avoid anger
- Hearing the name of God you shed tears
- Feeling that God alone is the doer and I am a mere instrument
- With deep yearning God may be realised by any path