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Quotes And Parables of Shree Ramakrishna Paramahansa

Vanita is an engineer-researcher-consultant-artist: an accomplished singer-poetess. She loves to write on Indian Culture and Life.


Shree Ramakrishna Paramahansa ....

Shree Ramakrishna Paramahansa (18 February 1836 – 16 August 1886) was the great Indian mystic of the nineteenth century.

He was popularly and fondly known as Thakur Shree Ramakrishna Deva, having been established as divine incarnation and worshipped across the world.

He is the Guru of the great Swami Vivekananda and the divine inspiration and energy that brought The Ramakrishna Math, The Ramakrishana Mission and allied organizations / institutions of the Ramakrishna Order into existence.

Thakur Shree Ramakrishna had a light, witty, subtle, catchy and convincing way of imparting knowledge to spiritual aspirants and devotees.

Shree Mahendranath Gupta, also known as Shree M. and Master Mahashay, was an ardent devotee of Shree Ramakrishna Paramahansa. He had noted down the accounts of his visits to see his Guru, Thakur Shree Ramakrishna, including, the interactions, experiences and reflections, in a personal diary, which later got published as Shree Ramakrishna Kathamrita (translated to English as The Gospel of Shree Ramakrishna).

The Parables that Shree Ramakrishna used to narrate are a source of inspiration, insight, realization and knowledge to millions of devotees, aspirants and readers.

These parables highlighted messages, visions, insights and knowledge from very simple everyday life situations / incidents, which Thakur narrated in his witty, humour-flavoured style. He conveyed with spontaneous ease, in the lightness of laughter and the joy of pure intelligence, much awed and too-difficult-to-understand Spirituality / Religion, covering its fundamentals, conceptual elaborations and subtleness of applicability in everyday life.

Here are some parables that Thakur Shree Ramakrishna narrated and were recorded by Shree Mahendranath Gupta ....


The Story of "Elephant Naaraayan"

The Story of "Elephant Naaraayan" - One Who Sees Naaraayan In Elephant Should Also Listen To "Mahaavat Naaraayan" ....

God dwells in every form of life. But, being in good company helps and is advisable, whereas one should stay away from bad company.

As such, Naaraayan (The Omnipresent God) dwells in a tiger. But does that mean one can go and greet the tiger with a hug ??!! If someone says, "There is Naaraayan in the tiger, so, why run away from the tiger ?", the reply is that the one who says, "Run away from the tiger" - is also Naaraayan. Why not listen to him ?

Here is a story -

There was a Sage living in a forest. He had many disciples. One day, he preached his disciples on the omnipresence of the Almighty saying, "Naaraayan is omnipresent, in every particle of existence. Knowing this, offer Namaskaar (respect / salutation) to everyone."

One day, a disciple went deep into the forest to collect firewood for worship. As he was collecting the wood logs, he heard someone calling out, "Please make way !! Vacate the pathway !! Run, Run for life !! A mad elephant is on his way ...."

Everyone around fled for life, except this disciple. He thought, "The elephant is Naaraayan. Why run away ?" Thinking thus, he stood where he was, folded his hands to offer Namaskaar and started praying.

Not far away, the Mahaavat (caretaker) of the elephant kept shouting, "Run away, run away !!" Still the disciple did not move. Finally, the mad elephant seized him in his trunk, threw him away towards one side and moved ahead. The disciple lay there, injured, bleeding and unconscious.

Upon hearing this news, the Guru and his other disciples brought him to the Aashram (Hermitage) and started his treatment immediately.

After some time, when he came back to senses, one of his friends asked him, "Why did you not run away for life when you heard about the elephant coming your way ?"

He replied, "Gurudev had told us that Naaraayan only is dwelling in every man, animal, creature .... everywhere in the creation. So, seeing the Elephant-Naaraayan approach, I did not move from there."

The Guru said, "It is true that Elephant-Naaraayan was coming, but had the Mahaavat Naaraayan not asked to flee ? When all are Naaraayan, why did you not listen to Mahaavat Naaraayan ? Should you not listen to him ?"


Speaking About Brahma - The Ultimate Reality Of Existence .... The Parable of Salt Doll

In the Vedas, the Almighty is described as Blissful - embodiment of Truth, Consciousness and Bliss. Shukadev and others like Him had reached and just beheld and touched the shores of That Infinite Ocean of Bliss. There is a prevalent view that they had not immersed themselves in that Ocean of Bliss. One who gets in cannot come out.

In the highest, deepest state of meditation - Samaadhi - one attains the knowledge of, the vision of Brahma. It is a state beyond the domain of thoughts. There are no thoughts anywhere in that state. Man becomes quiet .... What is Brahma - is beyond thoughts and beyond the words a mouth can utter - it is beyond the capacity of spoken words ....

Here is a parable ....

A salt doll went to find out the depth of the sea. She wanted to know how deep was the water in the sea. But, there were no news about her. The moment she went in, she dissolved. Then, who would come to the shore to tell what she found out ??!!

So it is with the knowledge of Brahma ....


Infinite "I" Or No "I"

Shankaraachaarya had a disciple who was serving him without gaining any knowledge from his master.

One day, Shankaraachaarya heard footsteps behind him and asked, "Who is there ?"

The disciple replied, "I am here ...."

The master said, "If this 'I' is so dear to you, then either stretch it infinite or get rid of it."


Unprecedented Faith ....

A milkmaid used to cross a river to deliver milk to a Brahmin who was staying there. She used to often get late, as getting a boat to reach the other bank was very difficult. On hearing complains about delays, one day she said, "What can I do ? I start in time, but on the river bank, the boatman has to wait for his other passengers and I have to keep waiting ...."

The Brahmin said, "Lady, people cross oceans chanting God's name and you are unable to cross this little river ?"

The simple milkmaid was overjoyed to hear that crossing a river can be so easy !! From the next day onwards, the Brahmin started getting milk early in the morning and in time.

One day he asked the milkmaid, "How is it that you don't get late now ?"

She replied, "As per what you told the other day, I no more wait for the boatman. I chant God's name and cross the river." The Brahmin found it difficult to believe and puzzled, he asked the milkmaid to show him how she crossed the river.

The milkmaid took him to the river bank and started walking on the river water. After walking a little way, she looked behind to see the sorry Brahmin struggling behind.

She called out, "Maharaj, how is it that you chant the name of God from your mouth and bother about your clothes getting wet ? Don't you have faith in God ?"

Complete surrender and immense faith in God are at the root of all miraculous deeds and happenings.

Further reading .... Tales and Parables of Sri Ramakrishna