The company of Sri Ramakrishna was always an elevating one. Quite often in his room at Dakshineswar when devotees used to gather, he would talk to them about extraordinary spiritual truths. But, many devotees would lament that although they feel so happy to hear such words of wisdom from him, they are unable to tangibly experience the Truth. Sri Ramakrishna would point out where the problem lies using a beautiful analogy. He would say that a bullock toils all day long bringing various goods to the market from the seller’s place. Quite often it carries a huge load of delicious sweets, but the poor animal never gets to eat them. In the same way, worldly people are busy performing various tasks related to the household. But, unfortunately, although their real nature is one of Sat Chit Ananda i.e. Existence, Knowledge, Bliss, they are never aware of this. The Self or the Atman has to be realized within, but only a few great Sadhakas through intense struggle are able to access it. The majority of people don’t even know of its existence. The reason is, just as the bullock is busy only in shipping the goods, the worldly people are also busy with innumerable activities which divert and distract their mind.
The bullock might once in a way get a smell of the sweets that it is carrying. The ignorant people too might have a momentary experience of peace, contentment or a rare occasion of poise and balance. Just as the bullock gets back to the job of carrying the goods, the worldly people also get back to the drudgery of everyday life. The weight of worldly activities weighs heavily on the minds of people mired in Samsara. Unless one makes a determined effort to free oneself from the shackles of Samsara, it is not possible to progress in spiritual life. Only by sustained and relentless struggle it is possible to get even a glimpse of the Ultimate.