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August 13, 1882 THE MASTER WAS CONVERSING with Kedar and some other devotees in his room in the temple garden. Kedar was a government official and had spent several years at Dacca, in East Bengal, where he had become a friend of Vijay Goswami. The two would spend a great part of their time together, talking about Sri Ramakrishna and his spiritual experiences. Kedar had once been a member of the Brahmo Samaj. He followed the path of bhakti. Spiritual talk always brought tears to his eyes. It was five o'clock in the afternoon. Kedar was very happy that day, having arranged a religious festival for Sri Ramakrishna. A singer had been hired by Ram, and the whole day passed in joy. The Master explained to the devotees the secret of communion with God. MASTER: "With the realization of Satchidananda one goes into samadhi. Then duties drop away. Suppose I have been talking about the ostad and he arrives. What need is there of talking about him then? How long does the bee buzz around? So long as it isn't sitting on a flower. But it will not do for the sadhaka to renounce duties. He should perform his duties, such as worship, japa, meditation, prayer, and pilgrimage. "If you see someone engaged in reasoning even after he has realized God, you may liken him to a bee, which also buzzes a little even while sipping honey from a flower." The Master was highly pleased with the ostad's music. He said to the musician, "There is a special manifestation of God's power in a man who has any outstanding gift, such as proficiency in music." MUSICIAN: "Sir, what is the way to realize God?" MASTER: "Bhakti is the one essential thing. To be sure. God exists in all beings. Who, then, is a devotee? He whose mind dwells on God. But this is not possible as long as one has egotism and vanity. The water of God's grace cannot collect on the high mound of egotism. It runs down. I am a mere machine. (To Kedar and the other devotees) "God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. The important thing is to reach the roof. You can reach it by stone stairs or by wooden stairs or by bamboo steps or by a rope. You can also climb up by a bamboo pole. "You may say that there are many errors and superstitions in another religion. I should reply: Suppose there are. Every religion has errors. Everyone thinks that his watch alone gives the correct time. It is enough to have yearning for God. It is enough to love Him and feel attracted to Him. Don't you know that God is the Inner Guide? He sees the longing of our heart and the yearning of our soul. Suppose a man has several sons. The older boys address him distinctly as 'Baba' or 'Papa', but the babies can at best call him 'Ba' or 'Pa'. Now, will the father be angry with those who address him in this indistinct way? The father knows that they too are calling him, only they cannot pronounce his name well. All children are the same to the father. Likewise, the devotees call on God alone, though by different names. They call on one Person only. God is one, but His names are many."

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1 Enakshi Ganguly = "Bhakti means devotion. The path of bhakti is to give one's life, body and soul to the devotion of God."
2 Enakshi Ganguly = "Ustad is an honorific Urdu word usually meaning teacher, master or guru. In this context, ustad is what you would call a professional musician."
3 Enakshi Ganguly = "Japa is when you chant and meditate with a mala, or necklace with 108 beads, chanting each time you roll one bead between your fingers."
4 Cary W = "It is impossible to be immeshed in any ego or small mindedness and at the same time have our mind dwell on God.  Turning to God, by definition, is surrendering all such stories and pettiness of self."