Sri Ramakrishna would often tell his devotees about the power of faith. He would say that the person, who is endowed with faith, will accept no limitations in the powers of God. To illustrate this idea he used to narrate a story.

Once there lived two yogis, who were practicing intense austerities to realize God. One day, Narada the divine sage, was passing by their hermitage. One of them asked him from where he was coming. Narada replied that he was coming from heaven. Then the yogi asked him as to whether he could tell what the Lord was doing in heaven. Narada replied that he saw the Lord in a playful mood and that he saw him passing camels and elephants through an eye of a needle. On hearing this, the yogi observed that there was nothing in the incident to marvel at and that nothing was impossible for God. But the other yogi observed that it was sheer nonsense and that it was impossible. He added that it only showed that the sage Narada had never been to the abode of the Lord. The first yogi was a devotee and had the unsuspecting faith of a child. According to him nothing was impossible for God and no one could know His nature completely. Nobody can set any limit to God’s powers.

Sri Ramakrishna used to tell the above story to inculcate in the devotees shraddha or faith in God. Such a quality is very necessary for spiritual aspirants, particularly during the initial years of their sadhana. People believe and take for granted so many things in the existential world. Only when it comes to the matter of spirit, they start questioning. Of course, spiritual life is not illogical or without any basis of reason, but one has to perform intense tapasya or austerities and only one who is established in sadhana is capable of questioning spiritual truths.

By Swami Shantatmananda

Published in the ‘Sacred Books of the East’ column, Sunday Guardian, 13th Apr 2013

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