There’s an interesting book called God Lived With Them, authored by Swami Chetanananda. It describes the lives and ways of select disciples of the late spiritual master Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.
While there can be so many takeaways from the book, one thing struck me as very relevant for practical worldly life. And that is the need to integrate sensibility with spirituality. We have touched on this aspect several times here at FHN. But reading about it as applied by Sri Ramakrishna himself, is quite an eye opener.
The Master is often considered as the greatest Goddess Kali devotee that ever lived. He used to lovingly refer to her as his Divine Mother, and the relationship they shared was surreal. He would very often go into deep states of meditation (called samadhi), and be lost in divinity for hours on end. In this god-intoxicated state, Ramakrishna would be totally unaware of his physical body and surroundings. Even so, he would always instruct some disciples around him to protect his physical body. Why should he do that? Because the Guru’s body is key to benefitting the rest of humanity. And hence the disciples are dutybound to protect their Guru.
We can argue that Ramakrishna was spiritually realized and hence could have taken care of his own body, perhaps through some ‘magic’. But he did not. He was practical and sensible. Just as we should be too, all the more if we have not reached the upper echelons of spirituality.