Unique in spiritual literature, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna—over 1,000 pages in length—is an up-close portrayal of one of the modern era’s great holy beings and his close-in devotees. Here is a sampling of the raw, passionate, inspiring song lyrics that are sprinkled throughout this one-of-a-kind book.
Oh, when will dawn for me
that day of blessedness
When He who is all Good, all Beauty, and all Truth,
Will light the inmost shrine
of my heart?
We know not
whence we come,
nor where we float away.
Time and again
we tread this round
of smiles and tears.
In vain we pine to know
whither our pathway leads,
and why we play
this empty play.
How are you trying,
O my mind,
to know the nature of God?
You are groping like a madman
locked in a dark room.
He is grasped through ecstatic love;
How can you fathom Him without it?
He dwells in Everlasting Joy.
When love awakes,
the Lord, like a magnet,
draws to Him the soul.
Fasten your mind, O man,
On the Primal Purusha
Who is the Cause of all causes,
… the Beginningless Truth.
He pervades the infinite universe.
He shines in the cave of the heart.
Light up, O mind, light up true wisdom’s shining lamp,
And let it burn with steady flame
Unceasingly within your heart…
Dive deep, O mind, dive deep in the Ocean of God’s Beauty.
If you descend to the uttermost depths,
There you will find the gem of Love.
I shall become a yogi and dwell in Love’s mountain cave.
I shall be lost in yoga beside the Fountain-head of Bliss.
I shall draw the waters of Peace into the jar of my soul.
I shall laugh and dance and weep and sing on the heights of Joy.
Thou (art) the Spring of my boundless bliss,
Thou the Helmsman who dost steer my craft
Across the sea of life.
I have made Thee, O Lord, the Pole-star of my life.
No more shall I lose my way on the world’s trackless sea.
In my heart’s inmost shrine Thy face forever beams.
In Wisdom’s firmament the moon of Love is rising full,
And Love’s flood-tide, in surging waves, is flowing everywhere.
Om, I bow to You, the Everlasting Cause of the world.
I bow to You, Pure Consciousness,
The Soul that sustains the whole universe.
These are excerpted from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, tr. Swami Nikhilananda (New York, Ramakrishna-Vivekenananda Center, 1942).
Read The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna online.
Sri Ramakrishna lived in Southern India in the later 1800s. He would fly into spiritual ecstasy at the slightest provocation. The soaring notes of a heartfelt hymn at dusk, the sight of a flock of white birds superimposed on dark grey storm clouds, or the sight of his beloved Divine Mother in any of her innumerable forms—all would cause Ramakrishna to become immersed in the joy of union with the Divine Beloved.
Read about Sri Ramakrishna on Tumblr.
The page number for each of the above song excerpts is:
(1) p. 276
(2) p. 927
(3) p. 107
(4) p. 153
(5) p. 153 and p. 574
(6) p. 409
(7) p. 207
(8) p, 808
(9) p. 122
(10) p. 517