Sri Ramakrishna used to tell a very interesting story about the fall of yogis.

Virabhadra, the son of Nityananda Goswami, had 1,300 shaven headed disciples.  Through intense austerities these disciples had acquired great spiritual powers.  But, this also made them very egoistic and they were drawn to expression of anger at the slightest irritation.  Virabhadra thought that they might cause grievous harm to people offending them even unwittingly.  So, he called them one day and said, “See me after performing your daily devotions on the bank of Ganges.”  These disciples had such a high spiritual nature that they would meditate deeply absorbed unaware of the river waters flowing over their heads during the flood tide.  Then the ebb tide would come, but still they would remain absorbed in meditation.  One hundred of these disciples anticipated what their teacher would ask of them.  Since they didn’t want to disobey his injunctions, they quickly disappeared from the place before he could summon them.  When the remaining 1,200 disciples met Virabhadra, he told them, “These 1,300 nuns will serve you.  I ask you to marry them.”  But, the disciples told him that one hundred among them had already left the place without informing anyone.  The remaining disciples had to obey their teacher and enter into marriage.  Thenceforth each of the 1,200 disciples had a wife.  Because of their indulgence in sense pleasures they lost much of their spiritual powers.  Thus they could no longer pose any danger to the people.

Sri Ramakrishna used to tell the above story to drive home the point how indulgence in sense pleasures would deviate a Sadhaka from his spiritual path.  Further, he would be robbed of his spiritual powers and his search for Truth would become elusive.

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