Personalities like Sri Ramakrishna come once in a while, once in an age. They are the embodiments of spirituality, they are the Incarnations, the path-finders. What and who they are exactly is beyond any man's mind to assess. They can be understood in a small measure only through the disciples, who reveal some aspects of his life through their own. Are we then to wait till another Incarnation comes? No. Though Incarnations and saints of a high order may not always be present amidst us, there are, at all times sincere and earnest people treading the path of spirituality or exclusively devoted to God, in smaller or greater number. Even in the worst spiritual crisis they are present, as can be inferred from the words of the Gita, which says that the Lord incarnates for the protection of the good and chastisement of the evil.
It is the company of these virtuous, holy men that one should seek. Sri Ramakrishna declares- 'One cannot know the truth about God through science. Science gives us information only about things perceived by the senses, of things material. For this reason, a man cannot comprehend spiritual things with his ordinary intelligence. To understand them he must live in the company of holy persons.'
Then he gives a familiar example to illustrate this idea: 'You learn to feel the pulse by living with a physician.' Sri Ramakrishna's one favourite phrase which explains the usefulness of holy company is "Come here now and then". This he advised all those who had good parts in them who were spiritually inclined, though they themselves did not know of it. He was a diviner of souls. At the very first sight he could find out the propensities and possibilities of a person. So, whenever he would come across a person who had a taste for spiritual life, he would repeat this invitation of his; and in some cases where he was sure that a little effort would do immense good to the persons, he kept constant watch over them and had them brought to him; and if they failed to come for any long time due to any reason he would himself seek them out.
(Activity : Try to find out three people devoted to God around you.
Is there somebody to whom we can tell 'Come here now and then'?)