What will you achieve by mere reasoning? Be restless for God and learn to love Him. Reason, mere intellectual knowledge, is like a man who can go only as far as the outer court of the house. But Bhakti is like a woman who goes into the inner court. One must take up a definite attitude toward God. Then alone can one realize Him. Rishis like Sanaka cherished the attitude of shanta; Hanuman the attitude of a servant; the cowherd boys of Vrindavan, like Sridama and Sudama, the attitude of a friend; Yasoda the attitude of a mother; and Radha the attitude of a sweetheart. O God, Thou art the Lord and I am Thy servant’- that is the servant’s attitude, a very good one for aspirants.
(p, 610, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Thakur’s words to the devotees on 11 Oct,1884 in His room in Dakshineswar.)
I have all along been like a hero — I want my work to be quick like lightning, and firm as adamant. Likewise, shall I die also. Therefore kindly do my work for me — no question of success or defeat enters here at all. I have never retreated in a fight – shall I now…? There is success and failure in every work. But I am inclined to believe that one who is a coward will be born after death as an insect or a worm, that there is no salvation for a coward even after millions of years of penance. Well, shall I after all be born as a worm?… In my eyes this world is mere play – and it will always remain a such…. When I fight, I fight with girded loins – that much I fully understand; and I also understand that man, that hero, that god, who says, “Don’t care, be fearless. O brave one, here I am by your side!” To such a man-god I offer a million salutations. Their presence purifies the world, they are the saviours of the world. And the others who always wail, “Oh, don’t go forward, there is this danger, there is that danger” – those dyspeptics – they always tremble with fear. But through the grace of the Divine Mother my mind is so strong that even the most terrible dyspepsia shall not make me a coward. To cowards what advice shall I offer? – nothing whatsoever have I to say. But this I desire, that I should find shelter at the feet of those brave souls who dared to do great deeds even though failed to succeed, of those heroes who never quailed not shirked, of those fighters who never disobeyed orders through fear or pride. I am the child of the Divine Mother, the source of all power and strength. To me, cringing, fawning, whining, degrading inertia and hell are one and the same thing. O Mother of the Universe, O my Gurudeva, who would constantly say, “This is a hero!” – I pray that I may not have to die a coward. This is my prayer, O brother. Certainly, there is, or there will be born one equal to me; someone or other will certainly arise from these thousands of devotees of Shri Ramakrishna who will be like me, and who will be able to understand me.
(p.430-2, Vol.8, Swamiji’s letter to Rakhal (Swami Brahmananda) from Murree on 11 Oct, 1897.)