The one theme which used to dominate Sri Ramakrishna’s thoughts, words and deeds was spiritual evolution. In fact, that was the only theme with which he was concerned. He would explain great transcendental truths using simple analogies from daily life. He was a keen observer and was a person endowed with extraordinary wisdom, although he didn’t have any formal education. While explaining about the intricacies of spiritual life, he would warn the devotees about the pitfalls in the path of a yogi, a serious spiritual aspirant. He would explain this using the following example from daily life.
He would say, “At Kamarpukur I have seen a mongoose living in a hole up in a wall. It feels snug. Unfortunately, sometimes its tail would be left hanging outside the hole. Mischievous youngsters would tie a brick to its tail. Because of the weight of the brick and the consequent pull, the mongoose is made to come out of its hole. But, the mongoose loves the security of its hole. It will again try to wend its way back into the hole. But, every time it tries to be comfortable inside the hole, it has to come down because of the pull of the brick.” This is a very commonplace example of daily occurrence, but using this Sri Ramakrishna would drive home a great spiritual truth. He would compare the mongoose to a yogi trying to find security and comfort in contemplation and meditation i.e. in Sadhana. But, if he is weighed down by the brick of worldly associations, he is bound to come down resulting in a fall from grace. Sri Ramakrishna would say that the effect of brooding on worldly objects makes a yogi stray from the path of yoga. Thus he would emphasize that there is no shortcut to spiritual evolution and that one has to assiduously cleanse oneself of all worldly pulls and attractions.