Devotees would often ask Sri Ramakrishna as to how to have the vision of God. In spite of their intense spiritual struggles they seemed to be incapable of seeing God. Sri Ramakrishna would assure them and advise them to continue their Sadhana. He would explain to them about God’s power to attract devotees in his own inimitable style. He would say that God is like a magnet and the devotee’s heart is like a needle. When the needle is covered with dirt or mud, it cannot be attracted by the magnet however powerful the magnet might be. In the same way people are attached to lust and lucre, as a result of which their minds become stained and covered with impurity or dirt as it were. They indulge in Bhoga or enjoyment. They believe that the fleeting pleasures of the world are the things to be sought after.
The world appears very real to them. Sadhana or the spiritual striving of such devotees will be fruitless. The magnet of God cannot attract the hearts of such devotees. But, the solution is very simple. If one prays to God with intense longing and cries shedding tears of anguish, the dirt covering the needle gets slowly wiped out. Once the needle becomes pure, the magnet can attract it very easily. So, the devotee need not go anywhere searching for a solvent to clean the needle of his heart. The solution lies within him.
The impurity or dirt is also not something impossible to be removed. A simple solvent like water can remove it. Through sincere prayers the devotee attains purity of heart. He develops more and more interest in Sadhana and starts realizing the impermanent nature of the world. He develops true longing for God and God shines in such hearts. Thus a devotee with a pure heart easily feels the presence of God or has His divine vision.