Sri Ramakrishna had a unique way of conveying spiritual truths to earnest seekers. He would warn them again and again that the root of all the troubles which people face is an attitude of worldliness. To drive home the point he used to narrate a beautiful parable.
There was a large tank in which a number of fishermen were catching fish. Suddenly, a kite flew down and snatched a fish from the basket of one of the fishermen. Even before it could go up in the sky, crows got sight of the fish and very soon a large number of them started chasing the kite. They made a tremendous noise of cawing. In whichever way the kite flew with the fish, the crows followed it. The kite flew to the South and the crows followed it there. The kite flew to the North and still the crows chased it. Then the kite tried East and West directions, but with the same result. The kite became desperate and it really didn’t know where to go. In that confusion, the fish dropped from its mouth. The crows at once left the kite alone and flew after the fish. The kite was at last relieved of its worries. It sat on the branch of a tree and thought, “That wretched fish was the root of all my troubles. Now that I have got rid of it, I am no longer under any threat and therefore I am at peace”.
As long as Man has worldly desires and is consequently in pursuit of worldly things, he has to undergo various trials and tribulations and consequently suffer from worry, anxiety and restlessness. The moment he gives up or renounces the worldly desires, his restless activities come to an end and he enjoys peace and serenity of mind.