[2nd President and Spiritual Head: the Ramakrishna Centre of South Africa]
[now a Centre of the international Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission]
The youth must watch when you come to institutions like this [the Ramakrishna Centre of SA ashram] – all these sadhanas [spiritual practices] are there. Get up at four o'clock in the morning, Brahmamuhurta, do some vigorous exercise, go and admire nature, repeat God's name [japa], watch your mind and then direct it toward God. It's only words today. That is why in the olden days they did not read books. Today we take pride in reading books but the prescription remains in the book. There's nobody who is that sick that they will take the prescription out of the book and apply it to their own life. That is one of the reasons that in the olden days the secret of spirituality was so guarded that as your curiosity grew, your curiosity itself made you humble - made you pure. By the time you went to the guru [spiritual Preceptor/teacher], you were so thirsty for spirituality that the tiniest drop sent you into an ecstatic mood – gave you certain experiences.
Today, we read about spirituality. Every house has several books on spirituality. Whether it's the Bible, the Qur'an, or the Ramakrishna book [the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna] or the [Swami] Sivananda Saraswati of the Divine Life Society] book or the Hare Krishna [ISKCON] book. But that is lying on the shelf. You want people to come and see what a holy man you are. It's on the shelf. Even if you take it and did read it, the motive in reading it is, 'Let's see how I can converse with others. They will know how clever I am'. Or, 'I am going to do certain work at his house, so I should know some holy things to impress him, so that he'll give me the work.' I know this.
Collection [fund-raising] has become like that now. When you find people coming to your house to collect, they'll do 'Hare Rama, Hare Krishna' first. Then slowly they'll open the discussion about the real reason for being there. It's all becoming chaos. You must become thirsty for God. Don't sell God's name like the Pandits [priests, scholars and religious teachers] do. Do not do that. Think carefully. It is an ambrosia [nectar] to drink and get immortality. Not to get worldly prosperity. Worldly prosperity will come out of hard work. Because God has given his grace for you to get worldly prosperity by giving you a healthy body, a healthy mind. Put it to use and you will get that.
1) Care should be taken by the reader to understand and take Swamiji's words in these postings, in context. Every teaching or instruction that he gave was specific to the people who were with Swamiji at the time.
2) Mouse-over the words highlighted in red in the posting for further explanation or links.
There are currently available, 150 different CDs or DVDs with mp3 files, of Swamiji speaking. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to order.
For more about the Holy Trinity, and also the founding Swamis of the Ramakrishna Centre of South Africa, please mouse over their names below:
The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna - read online
Reference websites - please mouse over the name and click to connect: