Sri Ramakrishna is one of the most well known religious figures in modern India. His life and teachings have inspired a renewal of spiritual life in India and world-wide.
To be able to realize God, one must practice absolute continence. Sages like Sukadeva are examples of an “urdhvareta” (a person of unbroken and complete continence). Their chastity was absolutely unbroken. A man practicing unbroken brahmacharya for twelve years develops a special power. He grows a new inner nerve called the nerve of memory. Through that nerve he remembers all, he understands all.When a man succeeds in the conservation of his sexual energy, his intellect reflects the image of Brahman. The man who carries this image of Brahman in his heart is able to accomplish everything–he will succeed wonderfully in whatever action he engages himself.
The loss of reproductive elements dissipates a person’s strength. But there is no harm in nocturnal emission. That reproductive element is from food. After nocturnal emission, a man retains enough to succeed. But he must not lose it voluntarily. What remains after nocturnal emission is very refined. The Lahas [a family known to Sri Ramakrishna in his childhood] stored pots of molasses with holes in the bottom. After a year it was found that the molasses had turned into crystals, like sugar candy. Whatever liquid there was had come out through the holes.
One cannot hold these spiritual teachings without practicing brahmacharya. Someone said to Chaitanya Deva, ‘“You give the devotees so much instruction. Why aren’t they able to make much progress?” He replied, “They squander it all by breaking brahmacharya. That’s why they’re not able to hold on to spiritual instruction.” If you fill a leaky pail with water, the water trickles out little by little.
Maya is only “lust and greed.” By living in the midst of them for a few days, one loses spiritual awareness but feels that all is well. A scavenger carries a pot of excreta and in course of time, doesn’t feel any repulsion for it.
If you want to realize God, you will have to be a brahmachari. Without practicing brahmacharya, one cannot concentrate steadily on God. From brahmacharya comes intellectual conviction and then comes faith in the power of Brahman. Without this faith, one cannot feel that he is living in Brahman. Practice japa and meditation day and night. This is the way one can get rid of attachment to lust and gold.
When a man succeeds in the conservation of his sexual energy, his intellect reflects the image of Brahman, even as a mirror gives a perfect image when its back is painted with mercury solution. The man who carries this image of Brahman in his heart is able to accomplish everything–he will succeed wonderfully in whatever action he engages himself.
God is not visible to this mind, but to the purified mind! Then this mind disappears. Even one who has the least trace of attachment to sense objects does not succeed. When the mind is purified, you may call it the pure mind, or the pure Atman.