Faith in the guru’s words. One attains God by following the guru’s instructions step by step. It is like reaching an object by following the trail of a thread. He is unknowable by the mind engrossed in worldliness. One cannot attain God if one has even a trace of attachment to ‘woman and gold’. But He is knowable by the pure mind and the pure intelligence – the mind and intelligence that have not the slightest trace of attachment. Pure mind, Pure Intelligence, Pure Atman are one and the same thing. One cannot understand the meaning of the scriptures without practicing spiritual discipline.
(p.524, Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Ramakrishna’s advice to a Sadhaka on 14th September 1884)
Once in a while one should go out and live the life of an itinerant monk, depending solely on the Lord. That is how genuine resignation is acquired. Without this resignation to God, nothing can be accomplished. All the spiritual practices and disciplines have one aim, to develop resignation. He who seeks refuge at the feet of the Lord with undivided mind is fully taken care of and protected by Him…Be sincerely resigned to see the Lord. He will give you all knowledge. In time everything will be revealed through His grace.
(p.16-7, For Seekers Of God, Swami Shivananda’s instruction to a monk on 14 September 1923)