About half past ten Narendra and his Brahmo friends were meditating in the Panchavati. After a while Sri Ramakrishna came to them. M., too, was present.
Sri Ramakrishna said to the Brahmo devotees: "In meditation one must be absorbed in God. By merely floating on the surface of the water, can you reach the gems lying at the bottom of the sea?"
Then he sang:
Narendra and his friends came down from their seats on the raised platform of the Panchavati and stood near the Master. He returned to his room with them.
Sri Ramakrishna continued: "When you plunge in the water of the ocean, you may be attacked by alligators. But they won't touch you if your body is smeared with turmeric. There are no doubt six alligators — lust, anger, avarice, and so on — within you, in the 'heart's fathomless depths'. But protect yourself with the turmeric of discrimination and renunciation, and they won't touch you.
Source: Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna