GSR | CH 8 | THE OCEAN & THE ICE

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GOSPEL OF SRI RAMAKRISHNA | CHAPTER 8

|| ILLUSTRATION OF THE OCEAN & THE ICE ||

MASTER : How can you say that the only truth about GOD is that GOD has form ?

It is undoubtedly true that GOD comes down to earth in a human form , as in the case of Krishna . And it is true as well that GOD reveals ITSELF to devotees in various forms .

But it is also true that GOD is formless ; GOD is the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute .

GOD has been described in the Vedas both as formless and as endowed with form ; and is also described there both as attributeless and as endowed with attributes .

Do you know what I mean ?

Satchidananda is like an infinite ocean . Intense cold freezes the water into ice , which floats on the ocean in blocks of various forms .

Likewise , through the cooling influence of bhakti , one sees forms of GOD in the Ocean of the Absolute . These forms are meant for the bhaktas , the lovers of GOD .

But when the Sun of Knowledge rises , the ice melts ; it becomes the same water it was before . Water above and water below , everywhere nothing but water .

Therefore a prayer in the Bhagavata says :

" O Lord , Thou hast form , and Thou art also formless . Thou walkest before us , O Lord , in the shape of a human ; again , Thou hast been described in the Vedas as beyond words and thought . "

But you may say that for certain devotees GOD assumes eternal forms . There are places in the ocean where the ice does not melt at all . It assumes the form of quartz .

KEDAR : It is said in the Bhagavata that Vyasa asked GOD's forgiveness for three transgressions :

" O Lord , Thou art formless , but I have thought of Thee in my meditation as endowed with form ; Thou art beyond speech , but I have sung Thee hymns ; Thou art the All-pervading Spirit , but I have made pilgrimages to sacred places . Be gracious , O Lord , and forgive these three transgressions of mine . "

MASTER : Yes , GOD has form and GOD is formless too . Further , GOD is beyond both form and formlessness . No one can limit GOD .


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