One day a Vaishnava Goswami who had come to visit Sri Ramakrishna was discussing with him about spiritual matters. When Sri Ramakrishna asked him as to what the way was, the Goswami replied that the chanting of God’s name was enough. While accepting his view, Sri Ramakrishna added that although there was no doubt about the sanctity of God’s name, but nothing can be achieved without a yearning love for God. He said that one should feel tremendous restlessness for the vision of God. Suppose a man repeats the name of God mechanically while his mind is absorbed in lust and lucre, could such a person achieve anything? But the Goswami argued stating that Ajamila who was a great sinner was liberated because he uttered the name of Narayana on his deathbed. Actually he was calling his son whose name was also Narayana. But, Sri Ramakrishna clarified that, perhaps Ajamila had done intense Sadhana in his past births and that it had also been stated that Ajamila once practiced austerities. Further, he uttered the name of Narayana during the last moments of his life. Sri Ramakrishna gave a beautiful example to explain the idea. He said “what is the use of giving an elephant a bath? It will cover itself with dirt and dust again and become its former self. But if someone removes the dust from its body and gives it a bath just before it enters the stable, then the elephant remains clean.” Sri Ramakrishna said that supposing a man becomes pure by chanting the holy name of God, but immediately afterwards commits many sins. The person has no strength of mind and he doesn’t take a vow not to repeat his sins. Such weak or loose lukewarm attempts will not lead to liberation. Thus Sri Ramakrishna said that one should chant the name of God and along with it pray to Him with great intensity and longing that one may develop love for God.

 

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