Sri Ramakrishna added a new dimension to spiritual life. Never before had any spiritual master or Guru emphasized so much on longing or Vyakulata as a spiritual discipline. He would often say that the surest way to realize God is to call on Him with intense longing. He had demonstrated this in his own life. During the early part of his Sadhana, when he was a teenager, he came to stay in the precincts of the Kali Temple of Dakshineshwar in Kolkata. He would weep and pray with such intensity and such longing expressing unbearable signs of agony and pain, the onlookers would mistake him to be a serious patient. He virtually gave up food and sleep. He was hardly aware whether it was day or night. So intense was his spiritual struggle. But, finally his power of longing achieved victory. He had the vision of the Divine Mother. He would explain the idea or concept of longing in his own simple inimitable style.
“A disciple asked his teacher ‘Sir, please tell me how I can see God.’ ‘Come with me and I shall show you’, said the teacher. He took the disciple to a lake and both of them entered the water. Suddenly, the teacher thrust the disciple’s head into the water. After a few minutes he released him. The disciple stood up immediately. The Guru then asked him how he felt when his head was held immersed in the water. The disciple said, ‘Oh, I thought I would die. I was panting for my breath.’ The teacher said, ‘When you feel for God with that same intensity and longing then know that you will not have to wait long for His vision’.”
Thus Sri Ramakrishna emphasized the power of longing for succeeding in spiritual pursuit of the Ultimate.