Consciousness is a fleeting occurrence

Consciousness is a fleeting occurrence

By SWAMI SHANTATMANANDA | 23 January, 2016

The conversations of Sri Ramakrishna with devotees would often turn to complicated spiritual subjects like Samadhi or the state of supreme consciousness.  Devotees would want to know how to identify supremely realized souls since even the Sadhakas who reach the highest Samadhi seem to stay there for a very short period of time. Sri Ramakrishna would explain the phenomenon using a beautiful example.  Once, a concert of flute was going on. The artist was a very renowned musician and was playing different Ragas or tunes beautifully. But, most of the time he was playing at the relatively lower levels of the notes.  Now and then he would ascend to very high levels of notes, but would immediately come down even as the audience were wishing that he could stay a little longer at that level. Sri Ramakrishna would explain that it is not possible to stay at the high level of the note Ni for long. One can just go there or touch that level but has to come back quickly. In the same way, he would explain that Sadhakas, as they go forward in their spiritual journey, can reach higher and higher states of consciousness. But, when they reach the highest level of Samadhi, they have to come down immediately as otherwise their body would disintegrate or be destroyed immediately. Sri Ramakrishna had himself experienced the highest level of Nirvikalpa Samadhi several times. During one phase of his intense Sadhana he would immerse deeply into Samadhi with hardly any trace of life lingering in the body. It was somehow preserved due to the efforts of a wandering monk who would beat him with a small stick to bring some idea of body consciousness and force one or two morsels of food into his mouth. But, he was an extraordinary spiritual giant who had incarnated on earth for the regeneration of mankind. That is why he was divinely commanded by the Divine Mother to stay on this earth and spiritually illumine Sadhakas.

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