Devotees of Sri Ramakrishna would come and lament before him their inability to get over their tendencies or Samaskaras. They would plead that in spite of their best efforts they seem to fail again and again. Sri Ramakrishna would compassionately assure them not to worry about such tendencies, but to strive harder. He would explain to them why their minds are behaving in that fashion giving a beautiful example from rural Bengal. It is customary to castrate bulls if they are to be used for ploughing and other purposes. Normally, this is done when they are quite young or just when youth blossoms. But, if the farmer takes the decision to castrate a bull after it has come of age or it is fairly older, then such animals would no doubt perform the functions expected of them, but they roam amidst the herd of cows reminded of their old Samaskaras.
Similarly, Sri Ramakrishna would say that one should begin spiritual practices quite young. If the youth is spent in Bhoga or enjoyment, man acquires Samaskaras relating to enjoyment. Even if one takes to spiritual life afterwards, he is unable to devote himself totally to such pursuits, quite often digressing into old ways.
But, Sri Ramakrishna would assure that nothing is lost in spiritual life and that it is never too late to strive for God realization. Not only because of what one does in this life, quite often because of one’s actions in past lives too one suffers from tendencies of Bhoga or enjoyment. Hence, the only way is to strive sincerely and diligently for the true goal of life from the time one awakens to the dire necessity of such a pursuit in life. He would assure the devotees that over a period of time with God’s grace it is possible to overcome one’s past tendencies either due to actions performed in this life or even as a result of past lives’ karmas.