Parable of the two friends

Sri Ramakrishna: ” ‘As is a man’s feeling of love, so is his gain.’ Once two friends were going along the street, when they saw some people listening to a reading of the Bhagavata. ‘Come, friend’, said the one to the other. ‘Let us hear the sacred book.’ So saying he went in and sat down. The second man peeped in and went away. He entered a house of ill fame. But very soon he felt disgusted with the place. 

‘Shame on me!’ he said to himself. ‘My friend has been listening to the sacred word of Hari; and see where I am!’ But the friend who had been listening to the Bhagavata also became disgusted. ‘What a fool I am!’ he said. ‘I have been listening to this fellow’s blahblah, and my friend is having a grand time.’ In course of time they both died.

The messenger of Death came for the soul of the one who had listened to the Bhagavata and dragged it off to hell. The messenger of God came for the soul of the one who had been to the house of prostitution and led it up to heaven. “Verily, the Lord looks into a man’s heart and does not judge him by what he does or where he lives.

‘Krishna accepts a devotee’s inner feeling of love.’ “In the Kartabhaja sect, the teacher, while giving initiation, says to the disciple, ‘Now everything depends on your mind.’ According to this sect, ‘He who has the right mind find the right way and also achieves the right end.’ 

It was through the power of his mind that Hanuman leapt over the sea. ‘I am the servant of Rama; I have repeated the holy name of Rama. Is there anything impossible for me?’—that was Hanuman’s faith. “Ignorance lasts as long as one has ego. There can be no liberation so long as the ego remains. ‘O God, Thou art the Doer and not I’—that is knowledge.

“By being lowly one can rise high. The chatak bird makes its nest on low ground, but it soars very high in the sky. Cultivation is not possible on high land; in low land water accumulates and makes cultivation possible. “One must take the trouble to seek the company of holy persons. In his own home a man hears only worldly talk; the disease of worldliness has become chronic with him. 

The caged parrot sitting on its perch repeats, ‘Rama! Rama!’ But let it fly to the forest and it will squawk in its usual way. “Mere possession of money doesn’t make a nobleman. One sign of the mansion of a nobleman is that all the rooms are lighted. The poor cannot afford much oil, and consequently cannot have so many lights. This shrine of the body should not be left dark; one should illumine it with the lamp of Wisdom. 

Source: from book “Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna” 

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