On Physicians and Spiritual Teachers

 from Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita, by Mahendranath Gupta, vol 1, section 15.

Sri Ramakrishna ParamahansaSri Ramakrishna: There are three kinds of physicians: superior physicians, mediocre physicians and inferior physicians. The physician who comes, feels the pulse and goes away saying, "You must take the medicine," is an inferior physician. He doesnít care to know whether the patient has taken the medicine or not. And the physician who makes the patient understand in so many ways to take the medicine, talks to him nicely, saying, "Brother, how can you get well unless you take the medicine? Dear brother, do take it. I will myself put it in your mouth," is a mediocre physician. And the physician who puts his knees on the chest of the patient and forces the medicine down his throat when he sees that the patient refuses to take it is the superior physician.

Doctor: And there are medicines for which you donít have to put your knees on the patientís chest. For example, homeopathic medicines.

Sri Ramakrishna: There is no danger if the superior physician puts his knees on the patientís chest.

Like physicians, there are also three kinds of acharyas [religious teachers]. They who donít keep contact with their disciples after imparting instructions to them are the inferior ones. They who convince their disciples again and again for their good so that they can assimilate their instructions, they who implore and assist them lovingly are mediocre ones. And they who even use force, finding that the disciple doesnít listen to them by any other means, are known as superior acharyas.


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