Devotees would often seek the company of Sri Ramakrishna for spiritual elevation. Whenever they were in his company they would experience an exalted state of spiritual uplift. However, when they used to return home, they would feel overwhelmed by worldly afflictions. Baffled, they would feel that there was no hope for their spiritual redemption. As they were genuinely worried, they sought Sri Ramakrishna’s guidance. But, Sri Ramakrishna, who could read the minds of people like the palm of his hand, would often caution them about the precautions to be taken for holy company. He would say, “You are listening to my words. Try to assimilate them. When worldly people sit before a Sādhu, for the time being they completely hide all worldly thoughts and ideas. But once away from the holy man they let them out again. Have you seen a pigeon eating dried peas? You think he has digested them, but he keeps them in his crop. You can feel them there.” Thus, he would say that unless the worldly thoughts are completely wiped out by intense Sadhana, it is not possible to derive the full benefit of Satsang or the company of the holy. He would advise the devotees, “At dusk put aside all duties and pray to God. One is reminded of Him by darkness. At the approach of darkness one thinks: ‘I could see everything a moment ago. Who has brought about this change?’” In this connection he would praise the followers of Islam who put aside all activities and say their prayers at appointed times. Thus, spiritual practices need to be done with tremendous Nishtha or focus. It is not easy to feel that one is progressing spiritually in the initial stages of Sadhana. Again and again due to padt samskaras worldly attractions distract the mind and try to wean it away from spiritual striving. But, persistent and consistent efforts would slowly bring about transformation and lead one forward in one’s Godward journey.