Householder devotees would often ask Sri Ramakrishna as to how to live in the world. Sri Ramakrishna would advise them using simple parables or examples from daily life. He would draw their attention to a particular kind of fish called mudfish and say that although it is found in mud, its body is always clean and shining. In the same way he would say that one should learn how to live in this world in a detached fashion. For a householder there are numerous duties and responsibilities. But, if he or she can perform them keeping in view certain attitudes, then it is possible to live peacefully in this world. Sri Ramakrishna would describe how he himself lived. He would say that he was a child of the Divine Mother totally dependent on Her for everything. Quite often he would repeat, “O Mother, I am the machine and You are the operator. I do as directed by You.” He would also recommend another attitude namely assuming oneself to be a servant of God and performing all one’s duties as directed or instructed by the Master namely God. Such an attitude takes away a huge load of responsibilities from the shoulders of the devotee. Such a devotee is not deeply affected by the results of any action. He or she often feels that it is God alone who is directing everyone to perform various actions and hence the results truly belong to Him. Neither do they feel overjoyed or lose themselves in excessive elation when something favourable happens, nor are they deeply saddened when anything negative or unfavourable happens, since such a person would have learnt how to dedicate the fruits of actions to God and not to appropriate to oneself. Hence, the real secret lies in one’s own mental attitude or inner orientation. It is not possible to change the external world, but by cultivating the right attitude it is possible to live a life of peace and joy in this world.