Sri Ramakrishna used to say that the rules for a monk are extremely hard and that he cannot have the least contact with lust and lucre (the terminologies used by Sri Ramakrishna were “women” and “gold”). He further said that a monk should not accept money not only with his own hands; he should not even allow that to be accepted by someone else on his behalf. He illustrated this idea with an incident from his own life.
Sri Lakshminarayan Marwari, a devotee, used to visit him often. During one of his visits, he saw that the bedcover of Sri Ramakrishna was dirty and he said that, “I shall invest Rs. 10,000/- in your name. The interest will help you defray your expenses.” The moment he uttered these words, Sri Ramakrishna fell unconscious as if he had been struck a heavy blow on the head. When he regained consciousness, he said to Lakshminarayan, “If you utter such words again, you better don’t come here. It is impossible for me to touch money or even keep it near me”. But, Lakshminarayan was very clever. He said, “Then you too have the idea of acceptance and rejection. In that case, you have not attained perfect knowledge.” But, Sri Ramakrishna told him, “My dear sir, I have not gone that far”. Then Lakshminarayan wanted to leave the money with Sri Hriday, the attendant of Sri Ramakrishna. But, the latter told him that it would not be proper because he would then instruct Hriday to spend as he (Sri Ramakrishna) wished and in case he didn’t comply, he would get angry. He said that the very contact of money is bad.
Sri Ramakrishna set very high standards for a monk. He was emphatic that a monk is not allowed to make even the least of compromises. Unless he is perfectly established in renunciation of the highest order, he cannot be called a monk in the true sense of the word.