Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s stories on renunciation

1.  The advice on diet

[Sri Ramakrishna: “Renunciation of the world is needful for those whom God wants to be teachers of men. One who is an Acharya should give up kamini-kanchana (woman and gold); otherwise people will not take his advice. It is not enough for him to renounce only mentally; he should also renounce outwardly. Only then his teachings will bear fruit. Otherwise, people will think: ‘Though he asks us to give up ‘woman and gold’, he enjoys them himself in secret’.]

Once a physician prescribed medicines of a patient and said to him, “Come another day and I’ll give you directions about the diet”, The physician had several jars of molasses in his room that day. The patient lived very far away. He visited the physician another day.

The physician said to him, “Be careful about your food. It is not good for you to eat molasses”.

After the patient left, another person who was there with the physician asked, “Why did you give him all the trouble of coming here again? You could very well have given him the instructions the first day”.

The physician replied with a smile: “There is a reason. I had several jars of molasses in my room that day. If I had asked the patient then to give up molasses, he would not have had faith in my words; he would have thought: ‘He has so many jars of molasses in his room; he must eat some of it. Then molasses can’t be so bad’. Today I have hidden the jars. Now he will have faith in my words”.

(Source: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna Ch.30 p.579)



Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s stories on Faith and Surrender to God

1.  By Rama’s Will – The Story of the Weaver

Once there lived a weaver in a village who was a devotee of lord Rama. He was a very simple, guileless and honest man. He weaved dhotis and used take them to the weekly market to sell them. When people ask him about the price, he would say “By Rama’s will the fabric cost is 6 annas, the weaving charge is 4 annas, the selling profit is 2 annas and thus by Rama’s will, the price is 12 Annas”.

People , appreciating his honesty, would buy from him without bargaining.

One night, after dinner, he was sitting and smoking in the village in the temple mandapam, contemplating on Lord Rama.

A group of thieves passed by. They had planned to steal a rich man’s house that night and they needed a porter to carry the booty. They caught hold of the weaver and forcibly took him along with them.

They stole many things that night, made a huge bundle of the booty and forced the weaver to carry it on his head.

Policemen in night patrol noticed this gang and tried to stop them for questioning. All the thieves sensing danger, started running away and as the weaver could not run with the heavy head load, he was caught.

The policemen presented the weaver to the magistrate the next day. Upon inquiry, the weaver said, “By Rama’s will I was sitting, smoking and thinking about my lord Ram in the mandapam . By Rama’s will, these thieves forcefully took me with them. By Rama’s will they did the stealing in the richman’s house. By Rama’s will, they made me carry the stolen booty. By Rama’s will the police appeared; by Rama’s will, the thieves escaped and I was caught. By Rama’s will I have been brought before you”.

By this time the villagers came to know that the weaver had been arrested. They came rushing to the court. They pleaded to the magistrate saying that the weaver was a very honest and pious man who could never think of stealing. The magistrate set the weaver free.

The weaver returned to his village. To whomsoever asked him what happened, he narrated the whole thing and added, “By Rama’s will , the magistrate set me free!”.

2.   Bird in a ship

Once a Bird was sitting in the mast of a ship anchored in a port.  When the bird was resting and sleeping, the ship departed the port and moved in to the sea.

When the bird woke up, it was shocked to see only the sea all around and no land was in sight.  The bird got frightened. It wanted to return to the land. The bird left the ship and flew towards the east for a long time. It could not find any land. It returned to the ship and then started flying towards the west for a long time. Again there was no land at sight. Dejected, the bird flew back to the ship. After taking rest for a while, it flew towards south. Even after flying for long it could not locate and shore.  Then it flew towards north and got disappointed once again. The bird flew back to the ship.

It sat on the ship mast and rested. It dropped any more idea of flying in search of the shore.  It was resting and waiting peacefully. The ship journeyed further and within a couple of days, the ship returned to the port. Joyfully, the bird left the ship and flew to the land.