Photo: Hindu Sadhus, 1800s.
Thou didst contrive this ‘I’ and ‘we’ in order that Thou mightst play the game of worship with Thyself,
That all ‘I’s’ and ‘thou’s’ should become one soul and at last should be submerged in the Beloved.
Brahma’s creative activity is not undertaken by way of any need on his part, but simply by way of sport, in the common sense of the word.
(Brahma Sûtra, II. i. 32, 33)
God has created the world in play.
What is willing in the Godhead? It is the Father watching the play of his own nature. What is this play? It is his eternal Son. There has always been this play going on in the Father-nature. Play and audience are the same ...As it is written in the Book of Wisdom, ‘Prior to creatures, in the eternal now, I have played before the Father in his eternal stillness.’ The Son has eternally been playing before the Father as the Father has before his Son. The playing of the twain is the Holy Ghost in whom they both disport themselves and he disports himself in both. Sport and players are the same. Their nature proceeding in itself. ‘God is a fountain flowing
into itself,’ as St Dionysius says.
'The Gospel Of Ramakrishna'
By Sri Ramakrishna (Author), Swami Nikhilananda (Translator)
Ramakrishna was a Bengali mystic who had a huge impact on the development of modern Hinduism. His chief disciple, Swami Vivekananda, not only helped revive Hinduism in India, but also introduced Hinduism to the West. Ramakrishna was a non-dualist worshippper of the Goddess Kali. However, he also experimented with Christianity and Islam, and repeatedly preached the diversity of paths to God. This is the story of Ramakrishna told first-hand as a series of days and nights spent with his disciples and lay followers.