Sri Ramakrishna would often advise his devotees that spiritual life is very simple and that one has to be very careful not to get caught in a maze of useless pursuits. To illustrate this idea he would use a beautiful analogy. Once, a boy entered a beautiful mango grove. There were numerous mango trees in the garden. It was the season of mangos. There were ripe fruits of various varieties hanging from the branches of almost all the trees. The boy was awestruck. He kept looking at the mangos. Strangely, he started counting the leaves, the number of mangos, etc. An elderly gardener was there. He called the boy near him very affectionately and told him, “My dear boy, please don’t waste your time counting the leaves, etc. Please pluck and eat as many mangos as you desire”. Thus Sri Ramakrishna would say that quite often spiritual aspirants waste their time trying to acquire bookish knowledge. He would say that spiritual life is extremely simple i.e. to love God dearly and strive with intense longing to realize Him. In fact, once he asked one of his admirers whether he was reading books such as Panchadashi, a well-known advanced scriptural text of Vedanta. The gentleman in return asked him, what Sri Ramakrishna was asking about. Sri Ramakrishna heaved a sigh of relief and said that he was saved. He himself literally had no formal education and thus hadn’t read any book. But, once a person realizes God or the Ultimate Truth, he becomes illumined. Such a person is blessed with immense knowledge and wisdom. His knowledge, which would be based on experience, would be far deeper and real than the knowledge acquired through books. This is not to discourage the practice or the discipline of study or Swadhyay. But, whatever one does in spiritual life should be real and be directly connected to one’s Sadhana or spiritual striving. Then alone such efforts would help one to progress in spiritual life.