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God And Universe Meaning - The Metaphor Of Bel Fruit - Sri Ramakrishna

Sri Ramakrishna sums up with a simple illustration the truth of the unified ultimate Reality and the multiplicity of the manifest universe: ‘…he who has attained God knows that it is God who has become all this. Then he sees that God, Maya, living beings and the universe form one whole. God includes the universe and its living beings.’

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa goes on to give the illustration of a bel fruit:

Suppose you have separated the shell, flesh, and a seed of a bel-fruit and someone asks you the weight of the fruit. Will you leave aside the shell and the seeds, and weigh only the flesh? Not at all. To know the real weight of the fruit, you must weigh the whole of it—the shell, the flesh and the seeds. Only then can you tell its real weight.

Sri Ramakrishna explains this metaphor: The shell may be likened to the universe, and the seeds to living beings. While one is engaged in discrimination one says to oneself that the universe and living beings are non-Self and unsubstantial. At that time one thinks of the flesh alone as the substance, and the shell and seeds as unsubstantial.

But after discrimination is over, one feels that all the three parts of the fruit together form a unity. Then one further realizes that the stuff that has produced the flesh of the fruit has also produced the shell and seeds. To know the real nature of the bel fruit one must know all three.



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