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The Great Crossing

The Buddha said: A man beginning a long journey sees ahead a vast body of water. There is neither boat nor bridge. To escape the dangers of his present location, he constructs a raft of grass and branches. When he reaches the other side he realizes how useful the raft was and wonders if he should hoist it on his back and carry it with him forever. Now if he did this, would he be wise? Or, having crossed to safety, should he place the raft in a high dry location for someone else to use? This is the way I have taught the dharma, the doctrine — for crossing, not for keeping. Cast aside every proper state of mind, O monks — much less wrong ones — and remember well to leave the raft behind!


The goal can be reached by following different ways, according to one’s temperament. Do not imitate others but follow the path suited to your temperament properly, holding on to your principles.


A lover of God goes to the rose garden not with the primary aim of plucking flowers but out of love for God. The communion with God, which is already taking place within, makes the devotee pluck flowers and string them into garlands.


Anything you do without the awareness of Reality, your Atman, is not bhakti. Puja will be real puja, kirtana will be real kirtana only if there is awareness of the Atman.


Almost all men in the world have usurped the throne where God should sit. On that throne where God should be, a most worthless slave has been given place. This is the ego. When you know this, then drive out the ego. When you do this and become the slave or servant of God instead, you will realize your eternal nature. — Swami Ramakrishnananda