Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa was on his way to visit one of his household disciples. A devoted disciple accompanied him. When they were moving through a lane, a fisher woman crossed the road in front of them, carrying a basketful of fish on her head.
Once, there were two friends. By profession, one was a fisherwoman and the other was a gardener who raised flowers. One day, the gardener friend invited the fisherwoman to stay as a guest at her place.
They had a wonderful evening, chatting and sharing their experiences. At night, both slept in a room where flowers were kept.
The fisherwoman said," Friend, the fragrance of these flowers is making me uncomfortable. Can you please get me my fish-basket here?'
Whereas, the fragrance of spirituality discomforts them and they express a repulsive attitude towards experiencing God and dwelling in His blissful divinity.
Devotee A: Thakur, this world is like the whirlpool. Once you are trapped in it, it doesn't spare you. It is like a thorny bush; we are hardly able to free ourselves from one set of thorns, that the other is found waiting to trap us.
How we are supposed to live in the world?
Shri Ramakrishna: A tortoise can be seen moving about in water. But, can you guess where it keeps its thoughts focused? Its thoughts always remain fixed on its eggs lying on the bank of the river where it lays them. You have to follow the similar way. Carry out all your duties, serve your family, look after your work, but keep your mind focused on god alone.
By this time, several disciples had assembled there on knowing that Thakur has come.
Devotee C: But, Master, is it really possible for us to attain our ultimate goal i.e. God while living the life of a householder?
Shri Ramakrishna: Whether you are a householder or a sanyasi, that doesn't matter;the whole play is that of the mind! While living in the world as a householder, if you keep your mind always immersed in the remembrance of God, you will be considered as a liberated soul.
Disciple D: Thakur, when the question of surrender comes, ego steps in. Please guide us on how to get rid of ego?
Shri Ramakrishna: If you keep reminding yourself in every breath that- 'God alone is the Doer and you are only the instrument in His hands', then ego will never step in.
To know more about the hidden messages narrated by Sri Ramakrishna read the complete article in August 2013 edition of English Akhand Gyan monthly magazine