Ramakrishna Paramahansa description of the Brahman

This is an unique description of the absolute or the Brahman by Ramakrishna Parmahansa.

The Absolute Brahman is beyond the reach of Vidyâ (knowledge) as well as of Avidyâ (ignorance), which keeps one away from the realization of the Absolute.

The absolute Brahman is beyond the reach of Mâyâ, while Mâyâ is either Vidyâ or Avidyâ.]Vidyâ-Mâyâ and Avidyâ-Mâyâ both exist in this world. As there are knowledge (Jnâna) and Devotion (Bhakti), so also there are lust and greed for wealth. Good and evil, virtue and vice, are to be found in this world of relativity; but Brahman is unaffected by them. They exist in relation to Jiva (individual ego), but cannot touch the Absolute Brahman.

An ant went to a mount of sugar. The ant did not realize how high was the mountain, but ate a small particle of sugar and was satisfied. It carried home another mount of particle in its mouth. On its way it thought: "Next time I will carry the whole mountain." Such, alas, is the thought of small minds.They think that they have known the Absolute, not realizing that Brahman is beyond the reach of mind and thought. However great the mind may be it cannot fully comprehend the Absolute Brahman. Sukadeva and other great spiritual teachers may be compared to large ants. They could carry in their mouth at utmost eight or ten grains from the mountain of sugar. It is as absurd to say that Brahman has been fully comprehended by a great man as it is absurd to say that the whole mountain of sugar was carried away by a large ant.

The Brahman or God
The Brahman

What the Vedas and other Scriptures have said about the Absolute is like the description of the ocean given by a man who saw the vast ocean. When asked what the ocean was like, he exclaimed in utter amazement: "Oh! what I have seen; how vast is the expanse! How big are the waves! What a thundering roar!"

Like unto this is the talk about the Absolute Brahman. The Vedas declare that Brahman is the ocean of the Absolute Existence, Intelligence and Bliss. Sukadeva and other great spiritual teachers stood on the shore of that Infinite Ocean, saw it and touched its waters.Some believe that even those great souls did not go into the Ocean, for whoever enters into that ocean of Brahman does not return to this mundane existence.

A doll made of salt once went to the ocean to measure its depth. It had a desire to tell others how deep was the ocean. Alas! Its desire was never satisfied. No sooner had it plunged into the ocean than it melted away and became one with the ocean. Who would bring the news regarding the depth? Similar is the condition of the Jiva (individual ego) who enters into the Infinite Ocean of the Absolute Brahman.

Source The Gospel of Ramakrishna, by Swami Abhedananda


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