Sri Ramakrishna would explain to his devotees the nature of Divine Bliss and would state that once a person gets the taste of that bliss it is impossible to give it up. To illustrate the idea he used to narrate a story.

There was a young man who was given to drinking. His parents became worried because he seemed to go from bad to worse. His father called him one day and said that he should give up drinking and mend his ways. But the son was so deep-rooted in his bad habit that he was not ready to give up drinking easily.

Although he was given to drinking, he knew how he was trapped into this habit.

So he said to his father, “Father, you please taste a little wine and after that if you ask me to give up drinking, I shall do so.” The father, who had deep faith in his control of mind, agreed to this challenge.

That evening the father and the son sat together to drink. Since the son was adept in drinking, he could retain control of himself even after drinking quite a bit. But from the corner of his eyes he saw that his father was slowly losing control.

After both of them had drunk quite a bit, the son asked the father as to what he should do. The father replied, “Son, you may give it up, I have no objection. But I am certainly not going to give it up.”

Thus, Sri Ramakrishna would say that Divine Inebriation is contagious. Once a person gets the taste of it, his whole personality changes.

A new world of experience opens up before him. All that had attracted him till then in the world slowly lose their binding power. He longs again and again for the experience of Divine Bliss and can never rest content or satisfied till he again gets that experience.

– by Swami Shantatmananda, published in the ‘Sacred Books of the East’ column, Sunday Guardian, 16th Nov 2013

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