In his Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna class (12/16/2014, Tuesday) class, Swamiji emphatically said, “We are more fortunate than the people around Sri Ramakrishna.” I cannot fathom the import of that statement. With great difficulty I imagine the form of Sri Ramakrishna in meditation. Many times this imagination may not be stable and attempts have to be made repeatedly to focus well so that the act of “seeing” Him becomes natural and uninterrupted. I wonder sometimes, when will this imagination be alive (i.e., the deity meditated upon responds to you continuously as any other person around you would do in your daily activity)? When will it happen? Some of you may imagine of His being alive much more concretely than I could do (as some of my fellow class-students revealed to me), nevertheless it is only a stronger imagination (although commendable).
In the midst of these struggles, if someone told me, all I have to do is to open my eyes and I will see Him, what more could I ask for? And the more wonderful surprise if I am told that I can not only see Him, but also talk to Him and even listen to Him! And furthermore, I am told that I can actually even serve Him by offering food or other essentials (if He accepts them)! After you have been told all that, you are also then told curtly, “You know what? You are actually more fortunate now by imagining Him. So forget this notion of actually seeing, listening to, talking to, serving Him.” How would that go with you?
The goal of some devotional schools in India who regard God with personal attributes (say, Vaishnava) is: sālokya (living in the same realm of God), sāmīpya (being near to God), sārūpya (having the same form of God), and sāyujya (merging with God). These four goals of spiritual life of a devotee have been mentioned above in the hierarchy of a better state of mind with the sālokya being the lowest while sāyujya being the highest state of all. Now someone can make great efforts to enter these different states of mind with no incarnation around, but by actually living with God who is in flesh and blood (incarnation), the first two states of sālokya and sāmīpya are automatically obtained with no effort! So aren’t the conditions more favorable if God is available in flesh and blood and thereby those physically around Him being more fortunate?
After Sri Ramakrishna’s passing away, Sri Sarada Devi along with many other disciples and devotees felt great pain and misery. At that point, if someone tells them that they are actually better off with Sri Ramakrishna being not in body anymore, would they agree? Would you agree?