III. Ramakrishna

Mad! That’s the word. One must become mad with Love in order to realise God. But that Love is not possible if the mind dwells on ‘woman and gold.’ Sex-life with a woman! What happiness is there in that? The realisation of God gives ten million times more happiness. Gauri used to say that when a man attains ecstatic Love of God all the pores of the skin, even the roots of the hair, become like so many sexual organs, and in every pore the aspirant enjoys the happiness of communion with the Atman.

One must call on God with a longing heart. One must learn from the Guru how God can be realised. Only if the Guru Himself has attained Perfect Knowledge can He show the way. A man gets rid of all desires when he has Perfect Knowledge. He becomes like a child five years old. Sages like Dattatreya and Jadabharata had the nature of a child.

From: ‘The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna,’
(Swami Nikhilananda, trans),
New York: 1942, p. 346.


To be able to realise God, one must practise absolute continence. Sages like Sukadeva are examples of an urdhareta [a man of unbroken and complete continence]. Their chastity was absolutely unbroken. There is another class, who previously have had discharges of semen but who later on have controlled them. A man controlling the seminal fluid for twelve years develops a special power. He grows a new Inner Nerve called the nerve of memory. Through that nerve he remembers all, he understands all.

Ibid., p. 411


Ramakrishna (to Mahima):

What I said about aspirants practising continence is true. Without chastity one cannot assimilate these teachings.

Once a man said to Chaitanya:

You give the devotees so much instruction. Why don’t they make much progress?

Chaitanya said:

They dissipate their powers in the company of women. That is why they cannot assimilate Spiritual Instruction. If one keeps water in a leaky jar, the water escapes little by little through the leak.

Mahima and the other devotees remained silent. After a time Mahima said,

Please pray to God for us that we may acquire the necessary strength.


Be on your guard even now. It is difficult, no doubt, to check the torrent in the rainy season. But a great deal of water has gone out. If you build the embankment now it will stand.

Ibid., p. 414