Sri Ramakrishna arrived at Govinda Mukherji's house at Belgharia, near Calcutta. Besides Narendra, Ram, and other devotees, some of Govinda's neighbours were present. The Master first sang and danced with the devotees. After the kirtan they sat down. Many saluted the Master. Now and then he would say, "Bow before God."
"It is God alone", he said, "who has become all this. But in certain places - for instance, in a holy man - there is a greater manifestation than in others. You may say, there are wicked men also. That is true, even as there are tigers and lions; but one need not hug the 'tiger God'. One should keep away from him and salute him from a distance. Take water, for instance. Some water may be drunk, some may he used for worship, some for bathing, and some only for washing dishes."
A neighbour: "Revered sir, what are the doctrines of Vedanta?"
Sri Ramakrishna: 'The Vedantist says, 'I am He.' Brahman is real and the world illusory. Even the 'I' is illusory. Only the Supreme Brahman exists.
"But the 'I' cannot be got rid of. Therefore it is good to have the feeling, 'I' am the servant of God, His son, His devotee.'
"For the Kaliyuga the path of bhakti is especially good. One can realize God through bhakti too. As long as one is conscious of the body, one is also conscious of objects. Form, taste, smell, sound, and touch - these are the objects. It is extremely difficult to get rid of the consciousness of objects. And one cannot realize 'I am He' as long as one is aware of objects.
"The sannyasi is very little conscious of worldly objects. But the house-holder is always engrossed in them. Therefore it is good for him to feel, 'I am the servant of God.'"
Source: Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna