Renunciation as dealt in the previous part will have to be practised and not just reading about it in the scriptures. Similarly dwelling in consciousness is the sure sign of wisdom.
Sri Ramakrishna said that a shallow man, having read a few books, thought that he has understood Brahman fully. If asked about the nature of Brahman he would immediately begin to explain by reciting various texts from the Vedas. He was like a man who just stood on the shore of the ocean and said, 'What a sight! What tremendous waves and sounds!" But a man who had taken a plunge into the ocean of Satchidananda became silent. His 'I" would completely disappear when he went into samadhi after attaining the Knowledge of Brahman. His mind would merge completely in the Great Cause. How could he describe how he felt in that state about the real nature of Brahman? Like the salt doll that went to measure the depth of the ocean but melted as soon as it entered the water!
After realizing God in all the moods, Sri Ramakrishna then decided to dwell in the ocean of Absolute Unity. He was on the point of merging himself in the bodiless state of Absolute Bliss, but the Divine Mother commanded him to remain in bhavamukha, on the threshold of relative consciousness. It happened thus. Haladhari, a cousin of Sri Ramakrishna was devoted to the rites and practices ordained in the religious scriptures. An orthodox Brahmin, he disapproved the unorthodox ways of Sri Ramakrishna, like his lack of regard for his dress and sacred thread at the time of ecstasy.
Haladhari was well versed in the scriptures but was hardly aware of their spirit. Little realizing that Ramakrishna Paramahamsa had experienced all those states of which he only read in the scriptures he ridiculed Ramakrishna Paramahamsa's spiritual visions and ecstatic states as due to derangement of the brain. One day, he proceeded to prove, with the help of the scriptures, that God was beyond existence and non-existence and that the experiences of the Master were all untrue. Confused by Haladhari"s scholarship, the childlike Sri Ramakrishna wondered if the divine forms he saw were all an illusion. He cried anxiously and said to the Mother, 'Should"st Thou, O Mother deceive me, because I am unlettered and ignorant?' Then the Mother appeared to him assuming a beautiful living face of golden complexion, and commanded him to remain in bhavamukha of relative consciousness.
To be continued
About the author
Sudesh, a devotee from Ambala, regularly contributes inspiring articles to 'The Vedanta Kesari'. He speaks about going beyond just intellectually equipping one with religious scriptures and not only grasping the essence but also living it. In this article he speaks about spiritually being in consciousness than just understanding consciousness intellectually from religious scriptures.