Devotees would often ask Sri Ramakrishna how to progress in spiritual life.  They would say that despite striving so much, they don’t seem to make any progress.  In reply, Sri Ramakrishna would say that one might try in ever so many ways, but nothing can be achieved without the grace of God. 

God can be seen only with His grace. But, receiving the grace of God is also not so easy. The reason is human beings cannot renounce their ego and as long as one feels “I am the doer”, one cannot receive the grace of God.  He would substantiate the idea using a beautiful example. 

In rural Bengal, a police sergeant goes on his rounds at night when it is dark. He keeps a lantern in his hand for finding his way. He moves about everywhere following the light, but they do not see the sergeant. However, with the help of the light, the sergeant sees everyone’s face and the people, too, can see each other because of that light. However, if someone wants to see the sergeant, he has to request him: “Sir, please turn the light on your face.  Let me see you.” 

In the same way, God is the creator, preserver and destroyer of the universe. Everything in this universe functions because of Him and He is the controller of all that happens. 

He is all pervading and is all powerful. Nothing escapes his knowledge. Ignorant people don’t even recognise or feel that everything is happening due to His will.  

Ordinary devotees can recognise or infer that all is His play. But, even they cannot easily have the vision of God. It is through intense “Sadhana” that one can slowly progress in spiritual life. 

One should pray to God, “O Lord, be gracious and turn the light of knowledge on Thyself, that I may see Thy face”, if one wants to have His vision.

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