Sri Ramakrishna would explain to his devotees how one’s spiritual powers get awakened. He would say that the awakening would generally correspond to one’s own spiritual tendencies. But, in case of special and exceptional aspirants, it is also possible to reach a higher level of spiritual consciousness. He would explain this idea using a beautiful story.
Once there was a man who was a specialist in dyeing cloth. He used to maintain a tub which would contain a dye. But it was a tub with very special qualities. It was capable of producing different colours. First a customer would approach the man and ask his cloth to be dyed red. Immediately the gentleman would dip the cloth in the solution in the tub and when he took it out the customer would find that his cloth had been dyed red.
Perhaps the next customer would come and request that his cloth be dyed blue. Once again the man would dip the cloth in the solution in the tub and the cloth would come out blue.
Similarly, whatever the customer desired, whether it was red or blue or green or yellow, the owner of the tub had to simply dip the cloth in the solution of the tub and the cloth would assume the desired colour. People would observe with amazement this strange phenomenon.
Finally, a very smart customer came. He said that he wanted his cloth to be dyed in the very colour of the dye.
Through this story Sri Ramakrishna would hint that normally when people go to great spiritual saints or spiritually elevated souls, awakening happens as per the apparent spiritual tendency of the seeker. But in the case of special aspirants who surrender themselves completely to spiritual masters, it is possible that their spiritual lives may be moulded on the same lines as that of their spiritual teachers.
-by Swami Shantatmananda, Sunday Guardian, 9th Aug 2014
(Photo courtesy: Egyptomaniac the Shopping Maniac)