A question that is commonly asked is: ‘If God exists, why we cannot see him?’ For this, Sri Ramakrishna’s reply is simple: ‘You cannot see God during the days of your ignorance, just as you cannot see the stars in the sky during day-time, even though they do exist.’ Not only does he exist he is the only truth that exists!
Does that mean that the world in which we live, move and have our being is unreal?
It is unreal if satya or reality is defined as something which never changes, unaffected by three aspects of time past, present and future. Compared to that, this world is ephemeral, constantly changing, and hence unreal.
Good God! Then, how can we, or how should we, live?
Sri Ramakrishna says: ‘Live like the maid-servant in her master’s house. Though she apparently treats the children of her master as her own, she knows in her heart of hearts, that they are not. Her own children live in her ancestral village’.
Another example he gives is: ‘The boat can be in the water, but, water should not be in the boat!’ Live in the world in a detached manner, never allowing worldliness emotional attachment to overwhelm you.
Perform all your duties as best as you can, but leave the results to God.