In a little while a number of elderly Brahmo devotees arrive from Calcutta. One of them is Thakurdas Sen. There is a big gathering of devotees in the room. Thakur is seated on the smaller cot. Facing north, with a smile on his face, he sits like a child, conversing happily with the Brahmo devotees.
Sri Ramakrishna (to the Brahmo devotees and others) — You people talk so much of prema. But is it such an ordinary thing? Chaitanya Deva was in the state of ecstatic love. There are two characteristics of ecstatic love. One is to forget the world, to become unaware of everything external in the love of God. Chaitanya Deva would think that it was Vrindavan when he was in any forest and it was the Jamuna river at the sight of the sea.
“The second characteristic is to have no attachment to the body one holds so dear. The conviction of the body as the self fully disappears.
“You cannot have prema till you have seen the Lord.
“There are some marks of God-realization. When the splendour of love manifests within, God-realization is not far away.
“What does the splendour of love mean? Discrimination, dispassion, compassion, service to the holy, company of the holy, chanting the name and glories of the Lord, truthfulness – all these.
“When one comes across these signs of love, one can know that the vision of God is not far away. By looking at the condition of the servant’s house, one can easily determine if a rich man has decided to visit it. First of all, all weeds are cleared, cobwebs are removed, and the floor of the house is cleaned. The rich man himself sends a cotton carpet, a hubble-bubble and other such things. Seeing all these things being carried to the house, everyone surmises that the visit of a gentleman is not far away.”
A Devotee — Sir, does one have to reason before being able to control the senses?
Sri Ramakrishna — That is a path – the path of discrimination. If you take to the path of devotion, the inner senses get controlled automatically. And it is easier. The more you develop love for the Lord, the less you care for the pleasures of the senses.
“When they lose their child, can the grief-stricken parents think of their bodily pleasures?
Source: Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita, Section III, Chapter 3