What Is the Way?

Master: “God alone is real, and all else illusory—the garden and its owner, God and His splendor. But people look at the garden only. How few seek out the owner!”

A Devotee: “Sir, what is the way?”

Master: “Discrimination between the Real and the unreal. One should always discriminate to the effect that God alone is real and the world unreal. And one should pray with sincere longing.”

Devotee: “But, sir, where is our leisure for these things?”

Master: “Those who have the time must meditate and worship. But those who cannot possibly do so must bow down wholeheartedly to God twice a day. He abides in the hearts of all; He knows that worldly people have many things to do. What else is possible for them? You don’t have time to pray to God; therefore give Him the power of attorney. But all is in vain unless you attain God and see Him.”

Another Devotee: “Sir, to see you is the same as to see God.”

Master: “Don’t ever say that again. The waves belong to the Ganges, not the Ganges to the waves. A man cannot get rid of all such egotistic ideas as ‘I am such an important man’ or ‘I am so and so.’ Level the mound of ‘I’ to the ground by dissolving it with tears of devotion.”

Devotee: “Why has God put us in the world?”

Master: “To perpetuate His creation. It is His will, His maya. He has deluded man with lust and greed.”

Devotee: “Why has he deluded us? Why has He so willed?”

Master: “If but once He should give man a taste of divine joy, then man would not care to lead a worldly life. The creation would come to an end.”

– The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna