DIALOG BETWEEN STUDENT AND HIS SPIRITUAL MASTER
These 11 Q&A are presented to new monks and spiritual aspirants.
Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is a well-known Hindu saint who passed away in 1886. He suffered from throat cancer but did not let the disease to limit him. He led a very productive life and his many sayings have been captured in a book called the “Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna”. He had 18 close disciples, the most famous being Swami Vivekananda.
Swami Vivekananda came to United States in 1893 to give a speech on Vedanta to the World Council of Religion and he was very well received. That is when the seeds of meditation, yoga and Vedantic studies were established in USA.
There are Ramakrishna missions all over the world including Toronto and Montreal.
The dialog below took place when he was a lay student around 1950’s
Question : I can’t find free time. Life has become too hectic.
Answer : Activity gets you busy. However, productivity gets you free.
Question Swami: Why has our life become complicated now?
Answer : Stop analyzing life… It makes it complicated. Just live it.
Question: Why are we then constantly so unhappy?
Answer: Worrying has become your habit. That’s why you are not happy.
Question: Why do good people always suffer?
Answer: Diamond cannot be polished without friction. Gold cannot be purified and refined without fire. Good people go through trials, but don’t suffer. With that experience, their life becomes better, not bitter.
Question : You mean to say such experience is useful?
Answer : Yes. In every term of the word, Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first and the lessons later.
Question : Because of so many problems, we don’t know where we are heading…
Answer : If you look outside, you will not know where you are heading. Look inside. Eyes provide sight. Heart provides the way.
Question: Does failure hurt more than moving in the right direction?
Answer: Success is a measure as decided by others. Satisfaction is a measure, as decided by you.
Question: In tough times, how do you stay motivated?
Answer: Always look at how far you have come, rather than how far you have to go. Always count your blessing, not what you are missing.
Question : What surprises you about people?
Answer: When they suffer they ask, “why me?” When they prosper, they never ask “Why me?”
Question : How can I get the best out of life?
Answer : Face your PAST without regret. Handle your PRESENT with confidence. Prepare for the FUTURE, without fear.
Question : One last question. Sometimes I feel, my prayers are not answered.
There are no unanswered prayers Keep the faith and drop the fear, Life is a mystery to solve, not a problem to resolve. Trust me. Life is wonderful if you know how to live.
Stay Happy Always! In conclusion, even though the questions and answers are very simple, they are very profound and applicable to all spiritual seekers to reduce their worldly cravings. The spiritual process is to first listen/read these answers, then meditate on it. If it makes sense then internalize it and PRACTICE it daily to start your spiritual