Sri Ramakrishna used to say that God forgives all the faults and shortcomings of man, but not egotism. People who are egoistic have to suffer repeatedly and receive several blows till they give up their egoistic ways of behaviour and surrender themselves to the powers of the Almighty. Only then will they be spared. The Master had a unique way of teaching people using incidents of daily life. The following incident narrated by him beautifully brings out the above idea.
Normally how does a cow cry or call out. If you observe and listen carefully the sound would resemble the word “Hamba” which means ‘I’. This ‘I’ which is indicative of egoism is the reason for all the troubles and sufferings of man. The cow also suffers endlessly. It is yoked to the plough and made to work in rain and sun. Its problems do not end there. When it can no longer work, it is killed by the butcher. Even then its problems do not come to an end. From its hide shoes are made and also drums, which are mercilessly beaten. Still it does not escape suffering. At last strings are made out of its entrails. These are used for the bows which in turn are used for carding cotton. Then it no longer says, ‘Hamba! Hamba!’, ‘I! I!’, but ‘Tuhu! Tuhu!’, ‘Thou! Thou!’ Sri Ramakrishna who was a keen observer brought out a wonderful idea from the sound generated when the string of a bow is pulled and then released. If one carefully listens, the sound generated resembles very closely the word ‘Tuhu’ which means Thou.
When man surrenders to God with the prayers “O Lord, I am the servant; Thou art the Master. I am the child; Thou art the Mother”, only then he becomes free from all troubles.