The Important Thing
M.: “Oh, now I understand. As you say, the important thing is to climb to the roof. Our goal will be achieved if we can accomplish it by following any of the means—a rope or a pole.”
Master: “It is through the grace of God that you have understood that. Without his grace doubt is never cleared up.
The important thing is somehow to cultivate devotion to God and love for him. What is the use of knowing many things? It is enough to cultivate love of God by following any of the paths. When you have this love, you are sure to attain God. Afterwards, if it is necessary, God will explain everything to you and tell you about the other paths as well. It is enough for you to develop love of God. You have no need of many opinions and discussions. You have come to the orchard to eat mangoes. Enjoy them to your heart’s content. You don’t need to count the branches and leaves on the trees. It is wise to follow the attitude of Hanuman: ‘I do not know the day of the week, the phase of the moon, or the position of the stars; I only contemplate Rama. . . .’
Master: “Tell me, what is the meaning of renunciation?”
M.: “Renunciation does not mean simply dispassion for the world. It means dispassion for the world and also longing for God.”
Master: “You are right. You no doubt need money for your worldly life; but don’t worry too much about it. The wise course is to accept what comes of its own accord. Don’t take too much trouble to save money. Those who surrender their hearts and souls to God, those who are devoted to him and have taken refuge in him, do not worry much about money. As they earn, so they spend. The money comes in one way and goes out the other. This is what the Gita describes as ‘accepting what comes of its own accord.’”
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna