See crud with Open Eyes
In the galaxy of world spirituality, Bengali mystic Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (1836-1886) was a supernova. On fire with devotion for the great Hindu goddess Kali, he nevertheless demonstrated in his own actions that ultimately all religious faiths lead to the Divine-a radical concept in the 19th century. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, a compendium of many of the Master's sayings, is widely considered one of the greatest spiritual masterpieces of the modern era. In 1893 Ramakrishna's disciple Swami Vivekananda delivered his teachings to Europe and America, igniting the yoga movement in the West.
In See God with Open Eyes, Swami Chetanananda has collected gems of wisdom from the great Master in a work specifically designed to galvanize our own spiritual experience. Meditation and visualization: what is the difference and is one more valuable than the other? Should meditators focus on the eyebrow center or the heart? Why do yogis chant the syllable Om? Which life style is more conducive to spiritual growth: living with one's family or withdrawn from worldly life? Is there a God or is the ultimate reality distant and impersonal? How should we pray and what should we pray for if we aspire to feel the living presence of the Divine as powerfully as Ramakrishna did? What practices did the great Master himself perform to attain realization of the Divine? In this book Ramakrishna becomes our spiritual advisor, guiding us in his unfailingly charming and down-to-earth manner.
When we focus intently on specific spiritual qualities consistently over a period of time, we acquire those characteristics. Here we discover how we can meditate on Ramakrishna's image, his inspiring words, deeds, divine qualities, and even on the sites where Ramakrishna lived and worshiped, to connect with the great saint's wisdom and grace. As Swami Chetanananda points out, the great Master's mind was extraordinarily pure and God-centered. By meditating on the Master, we invoke that purity and devotion in ourselves.
It goes without saying that today we are living in a time of world crisis. Now more than ever the men and women of this beleaguered planet need to awaken spiritually so that we can realize our fundamental unity. Ramakrishna called on all of us to set aside our religious and cultural differences in order to come together in celebration and service, in mystical enlightenment.
Swami Chetanananda is one of the world's foremost authorities on Ramakrishna and his tradition. He has authored, edited, and translated a host of inspiring yet comprehensive books, among them Ramakrishna as We Saw Him, They Lived with God, God Lived with Them, How to Live with God: In the Company of Ramakrishna, and Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play.
In his own time Ramakrishna was an uneducated temple priest who earned barely five rupees a month. Today he ranks with Rumi, St. Francis of Assisi, and Kabir as a master whose words and living example continue to inspire millions. For readers new to Ramakrishna, this book is an inviting entry point to his amazing life story. For those who have already loved the Master for years, whether your eyes are open in daily activity or closed in meditation, See God with Open Eyes will accelerate your spiritual journey.
See God with Open Eyes: Meditation on Ramakrishna" - this title raises several questions: Does God have a form? Can we see God as we see other objects and beings in this world? Can we hear or touch God? Ramakrishna answered these questions with his words and through his life - and many of those answers are collected in this book.
Apart from the mystics and illumined souls, many people doubt the existence of God and think that it is impossible to see God with their eyes open. The doubters' misgivings will be dispelled only if they practise spiritual disciplines according to the guidance of an illumined teacher. Many mystics of different religions have testified that they have seen God and heard God's command. Moses heard the voice of God from within a burning bush, "I am that I am." Later he received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai. Saint Teresa of Avila saw Jesus and talked to Him.
God watches every being. A disciple of a Sufi saint experienced this. The saint wanted to test his disciples' spiritual progress. In the morning, he gave a chicken to each one of them and asked them to slash its throat in a secluded place where no one could see this. Most of the disciples returned after following their teacher's order, but one disciple did not return. In the evening, he finally returned with the live chicken and told the teacher: "I saw that God was watching me, so I could not find any secluded place in which to kill the chicken."
•See God with Open Eyes: Meditation on Ramakrishna is based on the author's Bengali book Dhyanaloke Sri Ramakrishna.
Shortly after Ramakrishna passed away, he appeared to Holy Mother. On 16 August 1886, the Master's body was cremated and his ashes were brought in an urn to the Cossipore garden house. That evening Holy Mother began to remove her jewellery, following the custom of Hindu widows. As she was about to take off her bracelets Ramakrishna appeared before her, looking as he did before he was stricken with cancer. Holding her hand, he said: "Am I dead, that you are acting like a widow? I have just moved from one room to another." She did not take off the bracelets, and instead wore them as long as she lived.
Swami Vivekananda wrote in the Rule Book of Belur Monastery: "The Lord has not yet given up the Ramakrishna form. Some see Him in that form even now and receive instructions from Him, and all can see Him if they so desire. This form will last until He comes again in another gross body. Though He is not visible to all, that He is in this Order and guiding it is a fact of everybody's experience." In fact, if one sees an Incarnation of God it is the same as seeing God. Jesus also said: "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father" (John, 14:9).
Someone once asked Swami Brahmananda, "Can one see Ramakrishna even now?"
The swami replied: "Yes, Swamiji saw the Master many times. We also see him from time to time."
It is mentioned in the life of Swami Vivekananda that in 1894 at a dinner in Detroit, some vindictive people added poison to his coffee. When Swamiji was about to drink it, he saw Ramakrishna standing by his side, saying, "Don't drink. That is poison."
The Vedanta scriptures such as the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita emphasize that Brahman or the Atman cannot be perceived through our eyes or through any of the other senses. The Shvetashvatara Upanishad says: "His form is not an object of vision; no one beholds Him with the eyes. They who, through pure intellect and the Knowledge of Unity based upon reflection, realize Him as abiding in the heart become immortal" (4:20). The Mundaka Upanishad says: "Brahman is not grasped by the eye, nor by speech, nor by the other senses, nor by penance or good works. A man becomes pure through serenity of intellect; thereupon, in meditation, he beholds Him who is without parts" (3:1:8). In the Gita, 'before showing Arjuna his Universal Form, Krishna said to him: "With these eyes of yours you cannot see Me. I give you a divine eye; behold, now, My sovereign yoga-power" (11:8).
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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