Devotees would often ask Sri Ramakrishna as to how to bring about spiritual awakening in their lives. They would complain that they are feeling dry and incapable of progressing in spiritual life. Sri Ramakrishna would console them and assure them that it is possible to be spiritually awakened through certain simple disciplines. He would explain this idea using a beautiful analogy. He would say that God is like a magnet and the devotee’s heart is like a needle. But, if the needle is covered with dirt, it does not get attracted to the magnet. Similarly, if our hearts are full of impurities, it is not possible to feel any attraction for God. But, the solution or remedy is not difficult to find. Just as the needle which is washed and cleaned of impurities will easily get attracted to the magnet, in the same way the devotees’ own tears would wash the impurities of their hearts and make them feel attraction for God. Every word used by Sri Ramakrishna in this example is worth a closer look or scrutiny. First and foremost is the assurance that the impurities in the hearts of devotees are not permanent or incapable of being cleansed. A simple solvent like water can clean these impurities. Furthermore, one need not look for a solvent elsewhere. The tears shed of intense longing or love for God well up from the depths of the devotee’s personality. Since the impurities are not made of any hard or difficult to dissolve substance, they get washed away easily. Further, through this example Sri Ramakrishna assures that devotees need not feel disheartened. On the contrary they can feel confident and assured that by their own self-effort they can progress in spiritual life. Thus Sri Ramakrishna would say that what is required is intense longing or Vyakulata for God. This in turn would make the devotees weep shedding tears in the process. This would lead to a deep attraction for God and ensure spiritual progress.

 

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