BEWARE OF THE TOUCH OF THE WORLDLINGS

(With regard to the priestly class, Sri Ramakrishna used to tell an incident from the life of Gauranga.)

WHEN Sri Gauranga, being wholly absorbed in Bhava-Samadhi, fell into the ocean, he was hauled up in a net by fishermen;' but as they came into contact with his sacred person through the net they too were thrown into a trance. Abandoning all their work, they roamed about like maniacs simply chanting the sacred name of Hari. Their relatives could not cure the malady by any means, and finding no other remedy, they came at last to Sri Gauranga and told him about their sorrow. Sri Gauranga then said to them, "Get some rice from a priest's house and put it into their mouth and you will see them cured.'' They did accordingly and the fishermen lost their blissful ecstasy.

Such is the contaminating influence of worldliness and impurity on spiritual growth. (179)