Sometimes at the holy time of dusk, I am blessed to sit at the feet of my Guru. It is very intoxicating. As candles are being lit, He is very inwardly absorbed and He speaks to us of God. He tells us He does not have much use for “religion”. He simply encourages us to have the direct experience of God.
He sometimes says religion is just the cultural clothes that men have put over God and it sometimes veils God.
As Yogiraj Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya used to say-
"Exchange unprofitable religious speculations for actual God-contact. Clear your mind of dogmatic theological debris; let in the fresh, healing waters of direct perception."
My Guruji also has showed us how the great Sufi mystic Bulleh Shah had sung-
When I acquired the knowledge of love,
I dreaded the mosque.
I fled to my Lords dwelling,
Where a thousand sounds reverberate.
When love revealed its mystery to me,
The parroted words vanished.
Inside and out, I was cleansed.
I saw my Beloved wherever I looked.
I am tired of reading the Vedas and the Koran!
Obeisance has only abraded my forehead.
God was not in Mecca, nor any holy place.
But whoever finds Him becomes brightly illuminated.
Burn the prayer rug, break the clay pot,
Divest yourself of rosary, bowl and staff.
The blossoming of love is strange and wonderful.
From the Song of Solomon:
By night on my bed I sought Him
whom my soul loveth; I sought Him,
but I found Him not.
I will rise now and go about the city
in the streets, and in the broad ways.
I will seek Him whom my soul
loveth; I sought Him but I found
Him not.
The watchmen that go about the city
found me; to whom I said "Saw ye
Him whom my soul loveth?"
It was but a little that I passed from
them, but I found Him whom my
soul loveth; I held Him, and would
not let Him go, until I had brought
Him into my mother's house, and
into the chamber of Her
that conceived me.
Mirabai Sang
Without Krishna I cannot sleep.
Tortured by longing I cannot sleep,
And the fire of love
Drives me to wander hither and thither.
Without the light of the Beloved
My house is dark,
And the lamps do not please me.
What shall I do? Where shall I go?
Manomohan (Krishna), The Charmer of hearts,
Fills me with delight, When, my Lord
Will you come to laugh and talk with me?
From the Gospeal of Shri Ramakrishna:
M, being at leisure on Sundays, had gone with his friend Sidhu to visit several gardens in Baranagore. As they were walking in Prasanna Bannerji’s garden, Sidhu said:”There is a charming place on the bank of the Ganges where a paramahansa lives. Should you like to go there?” M. assented and they started immediately for the Dakshineswar temple garden. They arrived at the main gate at dusk and went straight in to Sro Ramakrishna’s room. And there they found him seated on a wooden couch, facing the east. With a smile on his face he was talking of God. The room was full of people, all seated on the floor, drinking in his words in deep silence.
M looked around him with wonder and said to himself “What a beautiful place! What a charming man! How beautiful his words are! I have no wish to move from this spot.” After a few minutes he thought “Let me see the place first; then I'll come back here and sit down.”
On the way back to Sri Ramakrishna’s room the two friends talked. When they reached Sri Ramakrishna’s door again they found it shut, and Brinde, the maid, standing outside. M, who had been trained in English manners would not enter a room without permission, asked her, “Is the holy man in?”
Brinde replied “Yes, he’s in the room.”
M: “How long has he lived here?”
Brinde: “Oh, he’s been here a long time”
M: “Does he read many books?”
Brinde:”Books? Oh, dear no! They’re all on his tongue.”
M. had just finished his studies in college. It amazed him to hear that Sri Ramakrishna read no books.
M: “Perhaps it is time for his evening worship. May we go into the room? Will you have to tell him we are anxious to see him?”
Brinde: “Go right in, children. Go in and sit down.”
Entering the room, they found Sri Ramakrishna alone, seated on the wooden couch. Incense had just been burnt and all the doors were shut. He entered, M, with folded hands saluted the Master. Then, at the Master’s bidding, he and Sidhu sat on the floor. Sri Ramakrishna asked them: “Where do you live? What is your occupation? Why have you come to Barranagore?” M answered the questions but noticed that now and then the Master seemed to become absent minded. Later he learned that this mood is called bhava, ecstacy. It is like the state of the angler who has been sitting with his rod: the fish comes and swallows the bait, and the float begins to tremble; and the angler is on the alert; he grips the rod and watches the float steadily and eagerly; he will not speak to anyone. Such was the state of Sri Ramakrishna’s mind. Later M. heard, and himself noticed, that Sri Ramakrishna would often go into this mood after dusk, sometimes becoming totally unconscious of the outer world.
M: “Perhaps you want to perform your evening worship? In that case may we take our leave?”
Sri Ramakrishna: (still in ecstacy) “No----evening worship? No, it is not exactly that.”
After a little conversation, M. saluted the Master and took his leave.
“Come again”, Sri Ramakrishna said.