Devotees would often express their sufferings to Sri Ramakrishna. Many of them would narrate to him their tales of sorrow due to death of someone near and dear. Sri Ramakrishna would patiently explain to them how difficult it is to free oneself from such attachments. He would say that even powerful people suffer from this malady. To clarify the idea he would narrate an incident from the Ramayana. Sri Ramachandra ultimately killed Ravana which brought to end the war in Ramayana. Ravana had also suffered severe injuries. His body was lying in the battlefield with some of the bones exposed. When Lakshmana came near the body, he was surprised to see that the bones were full of holes. He thought that Ramachandra’s arrows had pierced them resulting in holes. But, Rama told him that it was not his arrows but the grief of the loss of his sons that had brought about this damage. The grief had penetrated his very bones.
Sri Ramakrishna would explain that Ravana was a great and powerful king. But inspite of having fought many battles and had destroyed all his enemies, he was not free from the bondage of attachment to his dear and near ones. When his sons were killed in the battlefield, he was so disturbed and overcome with sorrow that holes were created in his bones. This is the nature of life in the world or Samsara. Unless one uses the powers of discrimination to cut asunder the bonds of attachment, it is impossible to overcome sorrow and suffering. That is why it is important to surrender to a higher spiritual power and perform intense Sadhana. Every now and then there would occur incidents producing grief and suffering.
But, if one is alert and uses the powers of discrimination, it is possible to remain steady and ultimately overcome such effects and march ahead in spiritual life.