Be within as you are without

Be within as you are without

By SWAMI SHANTATMANANDA | 16 July, 2016

Sri Ramakrishna would often caution the devotees about the dangers of the life of enjoyment.  He would tell them that the inner and the outer life should be in perfect harmony. Many might outwardly exhibit a sense of devotion, etc, but in reality lead a life of indulgence in sense pleasures. He would explain the idea using a beautiful analogy.  The elephant has beautiful tusks which are worthy of admiration.  They are ornamental or showpieces and are not used by the elephant to enjoy food.  But, actually the elephant has inner teeth or grinders with which it chews and consumes plenty of food.  Similarly, many supposedly learned people give discourses, public lectures, etc.  Apparently, they exhibit a tremendous depth of knowledge, but inwardly they lead a different life.  They are busy with the enjoyments through the senses.  Sri Ramakrishna would compare such people to a vulture which soars high, but its eyes are fixed on the dead bodies of animals, etc on the earth.  The rocket (fire crackers) undoubtedly shoots up in the sky, but the next moment it falls on to the ground.  Sri Ramakrishna would say that he who has renounced his attachment to worldly enjoyments remembers nothing but God in the hour of death. Otherwise, he will think only of worldly things: wife, children, house, wealth, name and fame. Therefore one should constantly practise the singing of God’s name and glories, and meditation and contemplation as well. And further, one should always pray that one’s attachment to the world may disappear and one’s love for God’s Lotus Feet may grow.  Mere outward exhibition of devotion, etc counts for nothing.  One should practice in all earnestness what one professes. Thus Sri Ramakrishna would say that our inner and outer life should be in perfect harmony with each other if we want to progress in the path of spiritual redemption.

 

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