I never tell a devotee something without 'stamping it on top' [i.e. making an impression]. If I say, 'This is Devan,' I put a stamp that says, 'This is Devan'. If I say something which is not nice to a crowd then I'll stamp it on their minds. Each mind will know: 'I am this that Swamiji is talking about.' I stamp it. I don't leave it without a stamp. I just draw your notice to it: 'A spot is here, take it out.'
Do you see how thought can uplift and remove obstacles? Thought makes me think of a light-bulb. When it is bright it makes me think it is touching the battery. If it's not bright I think, 'Well, darkness! It's not touching the battery called God.' Sometimes I look at a battery and think, 'God is like this'. You can't separate the battery from its power.
God is Almighty. Try and take the "might" out! You can't do it. "Might" can be felt but the "might" is still there. The more it gives "might" the more it should be there. Generate it. Your generator is sadhana [spiritual practice]. If the generator is faulty, the battery is not charged - no contact with God. Don't think you are doing sadhana. Forget the word sadhana. Forget the word japa. Just do japa [repeating the mantra or God's names].
The greatest progress came to me when I did not know that I was doing japa and meditation for the sake of God-realisation. It was natural. My father used to do it, so I did it. My mother used to do it, so I did it. They just repeated God's name; I repeated God's name. I didn't ask the questions, 'Why repeat God's name? To become pure? To become impure? To become God-realised? To become protected?' Nothing! I just repeated because everyone was repeating. Later on, the evil, the maya [veil of illusion-delusion], came in: 'Oh, I must do meditation for God-realisation.' That was when the japa fell to the lowest! So just do for the sake of doing. Who cares? Isn't it better to repeat God's name than to repeat evil things, worldly things? So just repeat. Didn't Swami Vivekananda [pictured, lead disciple of Sri Ramakrishna] say to his brother disciples, 'Do you think that if I am not going to get milk to drink I am going to drink ditch water?' The pleasures of this world are ditch water. Milk is repeating God's name, thinking about God.
Householder devotee: But isn't a goal necessary?
Swamiji: A worldly man will look for a goal. But he shouldn't look for a goal. It is a lower stage. Just do good because it's good to do good. Don't do good because somebody will say, 'You are a good man,' or because you will have a place in the public eye, or so that God will come to you and pat you on the back and say, 'You did very good work.' No. You just do good because it is your nature. If you ask the sun, 'Why are you giving sunlight?' What is he going to say? 'Because it is my nature. I can't help but do it.' It has no motive. As a child did you think you were breathing to keep living? No, you just breathed. Later on the evil started: 'If I don't breathe I will die.' As a child you just breathe because it is natural to breathe. Who cares why you are breathing? So just do japa [repetition of a mantra or God's names] and meditation. Don't care for what reason you are doing it. Do it because that's the only right thing to do. Do it for the sake of doing it. If you do this your mind will be concentrated at once. Because before I say, 'Shiva', my mind just goes: 'Shiva, Shiva, Shiva'. I repeat 'Shiva, Shiva, Shiva.' I used to mock it, laugh it and play it. I'd do everything with it. Later on when divine and un-divine things came up then the trouble started. I'd think, 'Now I must concentrate it.' At that time the concentration was perfect without thinking it was concentration. Then the thought came in, 'To think is divine and to not think is un-divine.' Just be. Who cares? Just repeat God's name. That is the right thing to do. Just carry on.
Swami Vivekananda was telling the same story. When he was going to sleep he would see a light. Later on he realised, 'How is it that everyone doesn't see the light.' Then the trouble started. Then he had to see the light. The story is the same with all the sadhakas [devotees, spiritual aspirants, practitioners]. All people travelling the same path will see the same things. But certain people observe certain things and certain people observe other things. One will tell you, 'Going to 'Maritzburg [Pietermaritzburg, a city in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa] I have to pass a bridge.' Somebody else will say, 'Going to 'Maritzburg on the right hand side there is a shop.' One will stress [notice, focus on] on the shop and one will stress on the bridge. That's all it is. It is nothing else. All sadhakas will experience the same things but they will only observe certain things. Other things are not observed. So they actually stress those things that they observed. That's all. The other things that they didn't observe, they didn't observe, so they are not stressing it. It doesn't mean they are not there.