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From The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

 (pp. 191-192)

It is the unwavering conviction of the jnani that Brahman alone is real
and the world illusory.
     All these names and forms are illusory, like a dream. What Brahman
is cannot be described.
     One cannot even say that Brahman is a Person. This is the opinion
of the jnanis, the followers of Vedanta philosophy.

     But the bhaktas accept all the states of consciousness. They take
the waking state to be real
     also. They don't think the world to be illusory, like a dream. They
say that the universe is a
     manifestation of God's power and glory. God has created all these
-- sky, stars, moon, sun,
     mountains, ocean, men, animals. They constitute His golory. He is
within us, in our hearts.
     Again, He is outside. The most advanced devotees say that He
Himself has become all this --
     the twenty-four cosmic principles, the universe, and all living
beings. The devotee of God
     wants to eat the sugar, and not to become the sugar.

     The yogi seeks to realize the Paramatman, the Supreme Soul. His
ideal is the union of the
     embodied soul and the Supreme Soul. He withdraws his mind from
sense-objects and tried
     to concentrate on the Paramatman...

     But the Reality is one and the same; the difference is only in
name. He who is Brahman is
     verily Atman, and again, He is the Bhagavan. He is Brahman to the
followers of the path of
     knowledge, Paramatman to the yogis, and the Bhagavan to the lovers
of God.

posted on the Donmeh List - 26 Dec 1998

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