Sri Ramakrishna on classes of Devotees
Sri Ramakrishna : "There are two classes of devotees. One
class has the nature of the kitten. The kitten depends completely on its
mother. It accepts whatever its mother does for it. The kitten only cries,
'Mew, mew!' It doesn't know what to do or where to go. Sometimes the mother
puts the kitten near the hearth, sometimes on the bed.
Devotees of this class give God the power of attorney and thus become free
of all worry. The Sikhs said to me that God was kind. I said to them: 'How
is that? He is our Father and our Mother. Shouldn't parents bring up their
children after begetting them? Do you mean to say that the neighbours will
look after them?' Devotees of this class have an unwavering conviction that
God is our Mother and our Father.
"There is another class of devotees. They have the nature of the young
monkey. The young monkey clings to its mother with might and main. The
devotees who behave like the young monkey have a slight idea of being the
doer. They feel: 'We must go to the sacred places; we must practise japa and
austerity; we must perform worship with sixteen articles as prescribed by
the sastras. Only then shall we be able to realize God.' Such is their
"The aspirants of both classes are devotees of God. The farther you advance,
the more you will realize that God alone has become everything. He alone
does everything. He alone is the Guru and He alone is the Ishta. He alone
gives us knowledge and devotion.
"The farther you advance, the more you will see that there are other things
even beyond the sandal-wood forest — mines of silver and gold and precious
gems. Therefore go forward.
"But how can I ask people to go forward? If worldly people go too far, then
the bottom will drop out of their world. One day Keshab was conducting a
religious service. He said, 'O God, may we all sink and disappear in the
river of bhakti!' When the worship was over I said to him: 'Look here. How
can you disappear altogether in the river of bhakti? If you do, what will'
happen to those seated behind the screen? (The Master referred to the
ladies.) But do one thing: sink now and then, and come back again to dry