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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Divine ecstasy

MN Kundu, Hindustan Times

“An image of God is an embodiment of divine consciousness of the Omnipresent", explained Sri Ramakrishna, and added, "Stick to the concept of formless Spirit, if you so incline; but never think that this alone is true. God is very much conceivable in images as in formlessness. It is inconvenient to think of the Absolute without form and attributes as you can't think of fire without its colour or burning power." Ramakrishna reconciled to diverse concepts of God and silenced all debates with his direct experience of the Divine. He said, "Truly speaking, God is not even one, as our sense of oneness is dependent on the pluralities of existence which entirely disappear with realisation of the Absolute."

Although God is unknown and unknowable to the finite mind, purified soul free from all earthly attachments can swim in the ocean of infinite Spirit. Best course, therefore, is to give up idle debates and plunge deeper to live in divine ecstasy.

By virtue of unbearable yearning, Ramakrishna experienced the Absolute in temple-goddess Kali, the cosmic principle of prana or life-force through which the Absolute manifests. Subsequently, he experimented God-realisation through all major religions and found all of them lead to identical destination through different routes. So he proclaimed that God is infinite, and innumerable are the ways to attain Him. It is extremely foolish to be fanatic and claim superiority of one over the other.

One's aim of life is God-realisation, for which one must develop intense aspiration and unconditional love for God, manifested in all creatures, along with non-attachment to the gravitational pull of sex and wealth.

Constant prayers for divine grace and surrender to the Almighty enable one to surrender the sense-bound ego, the nucleus of bonded self in delusive reality.

He made the profound spiritual path simple and devoid of dogmatism to become universally acceptable. The essential unity in apparently diverse spiritual teachings offered in various forms from various perspectives constituted the keynote of his cosmic symphony.

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