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 Bhakti and Karma Yoga
 The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
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Posted - Jan 06 2017 :  6:22:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
I've been reading this book and was blown away by it's explanation of Sri Ramakrishna's spitituality and how beautifully it explains the purpose of worshiping the various Hindu gods. I chose to place this thread here rather then under the book section strickly for the benifit of your Bhakti.

Here is a quote from the book that can be found in it's entirety on-line:
"The innumerable gods and goddesses of the Hindu religion are the human aspects of the indescribable and incomprehensible Spirit, as conceived by the finite human mind. They understand and appreciate human love and emotion, help men to realize their secular and spiritual ideals, and ultimately enable men to attain liberation from the miseries of phenomenal life. The Source of light, intelligence, wisdom, and strength is the One alone from whom comes the fulfilment of desire. Yet, as long as a man is bound by his human limitations, he cannot but worship God through human forms. He must use human symbols. Therefore Hinduism asks the devotees to look on God as the ideal father, the ideal mother, the ideal husband, the ideal son, or the ideal friend. But the name ultimately leads to the Nameless, the form to the Formless, the word to the Silence, the emotion to the serene realization of Peace in Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. The gods gradually merge in the one God. But until that realization is achieved, the devotee cannot dissociate human factors from his worship. Therefore the Deity is bathed and clothed and decked with ornaments. He is fed and put to sleep. He is propitiated with hymns, songs, and prayers. And there are appropriate rites connected with all these functions. For instance, to secure for himself external purity, the priest bathes himself in holy water and puts on a holy cloth. He purifies the mind and the sense organs by appropriate meditations. He fortifies the place of worship against evil forces by drawing around it circles of fire and water. He awakens the different spiritual centres of the body and invokes the Supreme Spirit in his heart. Then he transfers the Supreme Spirit to the image before him and worships the image, regarding it no longer as clay or stone, but as the embodiment of Spirit, throbbing with Life and Consciousness. After the worship the Supreme Spirit is recalled from the image to Its true sanctuary, the heart of the priest. The real devotee knows the absurdity of worshipping the Transcendental Reality with material articles - clothing That which pervades the whole universe and the beyond, putting on a pedestal That which cannot be limited by space, feeding That which is disembodied and incorporeal, singing before That whose glory the music of the spheres tries vainly to proclaim. But through these rites the devotee aspires to go ultimately beyond rites and rituals, forms and names, words and praise, and to realize God as the All-pervading Consciousness."

Here are two links to the on line book:

Enjoy, Herb

Edited by - Herb on Jan 07 2017 10:08:11 AM


1234 Posts

Posted - Jan 08 2017 :  9:04:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you,Herb for sharing.

I feel you will really enjoy " The Radiance Sutras" by Lorin Roche. It's his translation of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra. Every word is infused with Esctatic bliss. I've been savoring it.

Edited by - sunyata on Jan 08 2017 9:57:05 PM
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Posted - Jan 09 2017 :  01:36:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted - Jan 11 2017 :  02:28:09 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I will look into that Sunyata. I'm reading The Way to God by Gandhi, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, and just today started The Yoga of The Bhagavad Gita. I have learned so much here that helps me understand that Gandhi was a Karma Yogi, Sri Ramakrisha a Bhakti Yogi and am just starting to understand what Jnana Yoga is.

What's really neat is how related all the above material is. Coming from a Christian background and not wishing to lose but rather enhance my Christian faith, this is a lot to take in, but it is all working together well for me. I will check out what you suggested. If it's a book that I can't view on line I will have to put it on my wish list. I still have all Swami Vivekananda's books coming and my next book order will be Yogani's Deep Meditation.

All this reading and meditating is starting to develop a deep longing in my heart to experience God again. It feels almost as magical as how it felt as I was going into the rich spiritual life I experienced when God first manifested to me back in 2012. And for me this is the best possible feeling right now. I just read Yogananda's definition of Yoga, "Union of the individual consciosness or soul with the Universal Consciousness or Spirit."

Thank you so much for your help and support. I send you great love from the depths of my soul

Edited by - Herb on Jan 11 2017 02:32:09 AM
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Posted - Jan 11 2017 :  09:54:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Herb,

My soul is touched by your kind words and love. Even after all these years, I'm still a God intoxicated yogini so I can relate. Yogananda is one of my Isthas and can feel him gently guiding me on this path along with few others. Continue practices along with the reading.

Here is Sat Shree's interpretation of Bhagavad Gita ( all chapters included). He is a western teacher and ties in Gita with the spiritual journey beautifully. One of the best in my opinion. Enjoy!
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