The Goal

The goal is to reach the flat roof of the house, which affords an unobstructed view of the entire countryside. You can reach this highest point by climbing stone stairs, wooden steps, bamboo slats, or rope ladders. You can even scale a nearby tree and somehow clamber onto the roof along a large limb. Just get there! Then you will see clearly that the unimaginable variety of prayerful or meditative methods all lead to the same goal, to the same panoramic vision, to the same timeless awareness.

One certainly perceives errors of understanding and superstitious behavior in the various religious traditions as they are imperfectly practiced. So what? Every human approach inevitably contains error or partial understanding. Such distortions are, of course, most difficult to notice in your own approach, because each person stubbornly believes that his own clock tells the correct time. There is no way to purge your personal, social, or religious context from every error, but if you persevere in sheer yearning for God, sheer love of Truth, these unavoidable limitations will gradually be dissolved. It will be sufficient simply to love for love’s sake.

     — Paramahansa Ramakrishna