Stories as Scripture

The Avatar’s Unique Way of Teaching

by Babaji Bob Kindler

In order to make the truths of existence known to embodied beings in need of relief from suffering, who are searching for fulfillment or seeking eternal life, the great beings who have blessed this earth have often taken recourse to stories based upon incidents of everyday life. Such was the case with Jesus, Lord Buddha, Mohammed, Sri Krishna and others of divine descent and it is no different in this day and time with regard to the advent of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. From the flowers of the field to castles in the air, from the ancient Aswattha tree to the famous lamp unto thyself, stories, anecdotes, parables, allegories, metaphors, analogies and other means of expression have attended and graced the language of the enlightened from time out of mind. Thus does the sometimes abstruse and often obscure nature of Truth get rendered in such a fashion as to become comprehensible to collective consciousness.

Contrary to popular opinion and conventional wisdom, Truth is not simple. It would be more in keeping with its rarified atmosphere to call it simply profound. It rings with an inner vibration that is undeniable even to spiritually unawakened individuals, yet its hoary heights, difficult of ascent, are left unscaled and remain unreachable to most. With regards to Its attainment, people of today are more likely to react to It rather than realize It, reject It rather than respond to It, for Truth is the most acidic substance known to mankind. If perceived in Its nondual form and adhered to as an eternal principle, the whole of one’s life will change radically and human nature will never be the same again. But most people seek security, not spirituality, and desire prosperity, not peace, and they get what they want.

To those multitudes who prefer their lives laced with pleasure and profit, lined with comfort and compromise and laden with worldliness and worry, the search for Truth will necessarily and unfortunately take minor precedence. But for they who desire to penetrate the malaise of Maya, searching for the reason for and essence of their existence, a healthy resolve and firm commitment to Truth is indispensible. In the following six selections from an unpublished book in progress, the nature of Reality along with some of Its essential facets is explored in stories from Sri Ramakrishna’s vast collection, complete with commentaries that reveal beneficial and often hidden meanings.

In the first, “The Deceptively Easy Ascent,” both the approach to and attainment of Nondual Reality is illustrated by the fact that, though the rooftop is easy to gaze upon, it is another matter to climb up and abide there. The second selection, “The Commotion of Devotion,” demonstrates the transformation of human nature which occurs when the steamship of divine love sails up the river of the spiritually awakened and internally sensitive mind. In “The Untouchable Untouchable,” we are reminded that God is both taintless and easy to forget, even for great luminaries, emphasizing the need to remain aware of the all-pervasiveness of Reality and be sensitive to Its expressions here on earth. One never knows when one will be tested. Then, how vast is Ultimate Reality? Really unfathomable, as “Sounding the Depths of Brahman” illustrates, a story about a day at the beach and all the subtle and profound implications of getting there. In the last two offerings, we are reminded to live in the world but keep our minds focused upon Reality, and if that be too difficult, to rely upon God with form to guide us.