Sri Ramakrishna on Importance of Sadhana
Devotee : "Now the question is how to become acquainted with
the master." (Laughter.)
Sri Ramakrishna : "That is why I say that work is necessary. It will not do
to say that God exists and then idle away your time. You must reach God
somehow or other. Call on Him in solitude and pray to Him, 'O Lord! reveal
Thyself to me.' Weep for Him with a longing heart. You roam about in search
of 'woman and gold' like a madman; now be a little mad for God. Let people
say, 'This man has lost his head for God.' Why not renounce everything for a
few days and call on God in solitude?
"What will you achieve by simply saying that God exists and doing nothing
about it? There are big fish in the Haldarpukur; but can you catch them by
merely sitting idly on the bank? Prepare some spiced bait and throw it into
the lake. Then the fish will come from the deep water and you will see
ripples. That will make you happy. Perhaps a fish will jump with a splash
and you will get a glimpse of it. Then you will be so glad!
"Milk must be turned to curd and the curd must be churned. Only then will
you get butter. (To Mahima) What a nuisance! Someone must show God to a man,
while he himself sits idly by all the while! Someone must extract the butter
and hold it in front of his mouth! (All laugh.) What a bother! Someone else
must catch the fish and give it to him!
"A man wanted to see the king. The king lived in the inner court of the
palace, beyond seven gates. No sooner did the man pass the first gate than
he exclaimed, 'Oh, where is the king?' But there were seven gates, and he
must pass them one after another before he could see the king."