The devotees would often approach Sri Ramakrishna with their problems of life. They would complain about their inability to perceive the events of life in the right perspective. Sri Ramakrishna could clearly see that they were baffled and totally confused by the trials and tribulations which they faced in life. Being deeply involved and extremely attached, the people of the world were unable to have the right perspective with regard to their struggles in life. Sri Ramakrishna would patiently explain to them how to get over the difficulties and what was the way out. To highlight the idea, he would narrate a beautiful example.
Two players were engaged in a game of chess. Both of them were no doubt very good and accomplished players. They were seriously engaged in the game and were deeply concentrating on every move. But, in spite of being accomplished players, both of them overlooked very simple moves. However, the onlookers, who were not actually engaged in the game but were watching it from outside, exclaimed in anguish when they saw the blunders committed by the accomplished players. They could easily identify the errors and point out the correct moves.
In the same way, Sri Ramakrishna would say, as long as one is deeply involved and is participating in the world with a sense of attachment and a sense of belonging; it is not possible to have an objective view of life’s happenings. The solutions to the problems of life can be worked out through the Guru or the spiritual guide. An enlightened Guru, who has developed a tremendous sense of discrimination and detachment, can look at life with all its incongruities and inconsistencies in an objective manner. With a calm mind he is able to discern the right from the wrong and advise the disciple the best course of action. He guides him how to steer clear of all the hurdles and slowly progress on the path of spiritual redemption.
-by Swami Shantatmananda, Sunday Guardian, 31st Jan 2015