Sri Ramakrishna (to Ram and the other devotees): "Devotees like Rakhal, Narendra, and Bhavanath may be called nityasiddha. Their spiritual consciousness has been awake since their very birth. They assume human bodies only to impart spiritual illumination to others.
"There is another class of devotees, known as kripasiddha, that is to say, those on whom the grace of God descends all of a sudden and who at once attain His vision and Knowledge. Such people may be likened to a room that has been dark a thousand years, which, when a lamp is brought into it, becomes light immediately, not little by little.
"Those who lead a householder's life should practise spiritual discipline; they should pray eagerly to God in solitude. (To Mr. Choudhury) God cannot be realized through scholarship. Who, indeed, can understand the things of the Spirit through reason? No, all should strive for devotion to the Lotus Feet of God.
"Infinite are the glories of God! How little can you fathom them! Can you ever find out the meaning of God's ways?
"Bhishma was none other than one of the eight Vasus, but even he shed tears on his bed of arrows. He said: 'How astonishing! God Himself is the companion of the Pandava brothers, and still there is no end to their troubles and sorrows!' Who can ever understand the ways of God?
"A man thinks, 'I have practised a little prayer and austerity; so I have gained a victory over others.' But victory and defeat lie with God. I have seen a prostitute dying in the Ganges and retaining consciousness* to the end."
Mr. Choudhary: "How can one see God?"
(Note: Mr. Choudhary was inclined to Jnana Marg or path of Self Enquiry)
Sri Ramakrishna: "Not with these eyes. God gives one divine eyes; and only then can one behold Him. God gave Arjuna divine eves so that he might see His Universal Form. (An allusion to the eleventh chapter of the Bhagavad Gita).
"Your philosophy is mere speculation. It only reasons. God cannot be realized that way.
"God cannot remain unmoved if you have raga-bhakti, that is, love of God with passionate attachment to Him. Do you know how fond God is of His devotees' love? It is like the cow's fondness for fodder mixed with oil-cake. The cow gobbles it down greedily.
"Raga-bhakti is pure love of God, a love that seeks God alone and not any worldly end. Prahlada had it. Suppose you go to a wealthy man every day, but you seek no favour of him; you simply love to see him. If he wants to show you favour, you say: 'No, sir. I don't need anything. I came just to see you.' Such is love of God for its own sake. You simply love God and don't want anything from Him in return."
Saying this, the Sri Ramakrishna sang:
Though I am never loath to grant salvation,
I hesitate indeed to grant pure love.
Whoever wins pure love surpasses all;
He is adored by men;
He triumphs over the three worlds. . . .
He continued, "The gist of the whole thing is that one must develop passionate yearning for God and practise discrimination and renunciation."
Mr. Choudhary: "Thakur ji (Sri Ramakrishna), is it not possible to have the vision of God without the help of a guru?"
Sri Ramakrishna: "Satchidananda Himself is the Guru. At the end of the sava-sadhana, just when the vision of the Ishta is about to take place, the guru appears before the aspirant and says to him, 'Behold! There is your Ishta.' Saying this, the guru merges in the Ishta. He who is the guru is also the Ishta. The guru is the thread that leads to God. Women perform a ritualistic worship known as the 'Ananta-vrata', the object of worship being the Infinite. But actually the Deity worshipped is Vishnu. In Him are the 'infinite' forms of God.
(To Ram and the other devotees) "If you ask me which form of God you should meditate upon, I should say: Fix your attention on that form which appeals to you most; but know for certain that all forms are the forms of one God alone.
"Never harbour malice toward anyone. Siva, Kali, and Hari are but different forms of that One. He is blessed indeed who has known all as one.
Sri Ramakrishna sings a couplet:
Outwardly he appears as Siva's devotee,
But in his heart he worships Kali, the Blissful Mother,
And with his tongue he chants aloud Lord Hari's name.
"The body does not endure without a trace of lust, anger, and the like. You should try to reduce them to a minimum."
Looking at Kedar, the Master said: "He is very nice. He accepts both the Absolute and the Relative. He believes in Brahman, but he also accepts the gods and Divine Incarnations in human form."
Source: Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna