Spirit of Inquiry

Spirit of Inquiry

The word Philo-Sofia means lovers of wisdom. This page is a passion project with no commercial agend

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Sri Ramakrishna: The inferior devotee says, 'God exists, but He is very far off, up there in heaven.'

The mediocre devotee says, 'God exists in all beings as life and consciousness.'

The superior devotee says: 'It is God Himself who has become everything; whatever I see is only a form of God. It is He alone who has become maya, the universe, and all living beings. Nothing exists but God.'

A devotee of God accepts everything. He accepts the universe and its created beings as well as the indivisible Satchidananda.

But the yogi's path is different. He does not come back after reaching the Paramatman, the Supreme Soul [the Supreme Consciousness]. He becomes united with It.

The 'partial knower' limits God to one object only. He thinks that God cannot exist in anything beyond that.

Sri Ramakrishna, in another discussion with his devotees, repeats the same statements as above, but it is phrased differently and expressed in a more elaborate manner there.

He says in that discussion: "There are three classes of devotees. The lowest one says, 'God is up there.' That is, he points to heaven. The mediocre devotee says that God dwells in the heart as the 'Inner Controller' [Antaryami]. But the highest devotee says: 'God alone has become everything. All that we perceive is so many forms of God.'

Narendra used to make fun of me and say: 'Yes, God has become all! Then a pot is God, a cup is God!' (Laughter)

All doubts disappear when one sees God. It is one thing to hear of God, but quite a different thing to see Him. A man cannot have one hundred per cent conviction through mere hearing [listening to sermons]. But if he beholds God face to face, then he is wholly convinced.

Formal worship drops away after the vision of God. It was thus that my worship in the temple came to an end. I used to worship the Deity in the Kali temple. It was suddenly revealed to me that everything is Pure Spirit. The utensils of worship, the altar, the door-frame—all Pure Spirit. Men, animals, and other living beings—all Pure Spirit. Then like a madman I began to shower flowers in all directions. Whatever I saw I worshipped.

One day, while worshipping Siva, I was about to offer a bel-leaf on the head of the image, when it was revealed to me that this Virat, this Universe, itself is Siva. After that my worship of Siva through the image came to an end. Another day I had been plucking flowers, when it was revealed to me that the flowering plants were so many bouquets.

[God's creation] was revealed to me in a flash. I didn't calculate about it. It was shown to me that each plant was a bouquet adorning the Universal Form of God. That was the end of my plucking flowers. I look on man in just the same way. When I see a man, I see that it is God Himself who walks on earth, as it were, rocking to and fro, like a pillow floating on the waves. The pillow moves with the waves. It bobs up and down.

The body has, indeed, only a momentary existence. God alone is real. Now the body exists, and now it does not. Years ago, when I had been suffering terribly from indigestion, Hriday said to me, 'Do ask the Divine Mother to cure you.'

I felt ashamed to speak to Her about my illness. I said to Her: 'Mother, I saw a skeleton in the Asiatic Society Museum. It was pieced together with wires into a human form. O Mother, please keep my body together a little, like that, so that I may sing Thy name and glories.'

Why this desire to live? After Ravana's death Rama and Lakshmana entered his capital and saw Nikasha, his old mother, running away. Lakshmana was surprised at this and said to Rama, 'All her children are dead, but still life attracts her so much!' Rama called Nikasha to His side and said: 'Don't be afraid. Why are you running away?'

She replied: 'Rama, it was not fear that made me flee from You. I have been able to see all these wondrous actions of Yours simply because I am alive. I shall see many more things like these if I continue to live. Hence I desire to live.'

Without desires the body cannot live. (Smiling) I had one or two desires. I prayed to the Mother, 'O Mother, give me the company of those who have renounced 'woman and gold' [i.e. lust and greed].'

I said further: 'I should like to enjoy the society of Thy jnanis and bhaktas. So give me a little strength that I may walk hither and thither and visit those people.'
But She did not give me the strength to walk."

A devotee at this point smiles and asks Ramakrishna: 'Have all the desires been fulfilled?'

Ramakrishna (smiling): 'No, there are still a few left. (All gathered there laugh).

Ramakrishna adds: The body is really impermanent. When my arm was broken I said to the Mother, 'Mother, it hurts me very much.'

At once She revealed to me a carriage and its driver. Here and there a few screws were loose. The carriage moved as the driver directed it. It had no power of its own.

Why then do I take care of the body? It is to enjoy God, to sing His name and glories, and to go about visiting His jnanis and bhaktas.

Source: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna


Sarva-bhūta-stham ātmānaṁ sarva-bhūtāni chātmani
īkṣhate yoga-yuktātmā sarvatra sama-darśhanaḥ (BG 6.29)

"One who has his mind absorbed in the Self through Yoga, and who has the vision of sameness everywhere, sees this Self existing in everything, and everything in his Self."

- Bhagavad Gita 6.29 (translation by Swami Gambhirananda)


Ashtavakra Gita is an ancient Vedic text that describes the dialogue between Sage Ashtavakra and King Janaka.

Here are a few verses from the Bhagavad Gita that supplement the message of Ashtavakra.

In Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 5, Verses 8, 9 and 10, it reads: "The man who is united with the Divine and knows the Truth understands that 'I do nothing at all' for in seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting, walking, sleeping, breathing; in speaking, emitting, grasping, opening and closing the eyes, he holds that only the senses are occupied with the object of senses. He who acts, having given up attachment, and resigning his actions to God, is untouched by sin, just as a lotus leaf is untouched by water.'

In the Third Chapter of the Bhagvad Gita, Verse 27, it is written: "All actions are being performed by the modes (gunas) of Prakrti (manifested nature), but the ignorant one whose mind is bewildered by the self-sense (ahamkara or I-sense), thinks ‘I am the doer’."

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