Sri Ramakrishna rarely slept for more than an hour or so at night. He would pass the night sometimes in Samadhi, sometimes singing devotional songs, and sometimes chanting the Lord's name.
I often saw him in Samadhi for an hour or more. In that state he could not talk in spite of repeated efforts. Regaining outer consciousness, he would say: “'Look, when I am in Samadhi, I want to tell you my experiences, but at that time I lose my power of speech.”
After Samadhi, he used to mutter something. It seemed to me, that he was talking with somebody. I heard that in earlier years the Master stayed in Samadhi most of the time.
The Master would go into different kinds of Samadhi at different times. Sometimes his whole body would become stiff like a log. Coming down from this state, he could easily regain normal consciousness. At other times, however, when he was absorbed in deep Samadhi, it would take a longer period for him to return to consciousness of the outer world. On such occasions he would take a deep breath after gasping for a while, like a drowning man coming up out of water. Even after he had composed himself, he would talk like a drunkard for some time, and not all of his speech was intelligible. At that time he would often express some small desire: “I shall eat sukta (a bitter squash curry)”, or ”'I shall smoke tobacco”, and so on. And sometimes he would rub his face, moving his hands up and down.
On one occasion Sri Ramakrishna said:
One day as I was meditating in the Kali temple, I saw in a vision the veils of Maya disappearing one after another. In another vision the Divine Mother showed me the Light of Brahman, which surpassed the light of even millions of suns together. I then saw that a luminous form emerged from that Infinite Light and again merged back into its source. I experienced that the formless Brahman took a form and again became formless.
Oh, what superhuman power the Master had! At that time we thought it was merely a peculiar power with him, and we could not understand the nature of it. Now we realize what a wonderful power it was!
The Master could seldom sleep at night. He did not allow the boys who lived with him to sleep either. When others had gone to bed he would wake up his disciples, saying: “'What is this? Have you come here to sleep?”
Then he would instruct each disciple and send him for meditation to the Panchavati, or the Kali or Shiva temples, according to his inclination. After practising japa and meditation as directed, each would return to the room and sleep. Thus the Master made his disciples work hard. Often he would say: “Three classes of people stay awake at night: the yogi, the enjoyer, and the sick person. You are all yogis, so sleeping at night is not meant for you.”
Sri Ramakrishna used to say: “Eat as much as you like during the day but eat sparingly at night.”
The idea is that the full meal taken at noon will be easily digested, and if you eat lightly at night, your body will remain light and you can easily concentrate the mind. A heavy meal at night produces laziness and sleep.
Sri Ramakrishna used to encourage everybody to practice meditation. A person falls from spiritual life if he does not practice meditation regularly.
The Master used to say: “The sign of true meditation is that one forgets one's surroundings and body. One will not feel even a crow sitting on one's head.”
Sri Ramakrishna attained that state. Once while he was meditating in the natmandir, a crow sat on his head and he did not know it.
A monk saved ten thousand rupees in a bank. Hearing this, the Master said: “He who calculates pros and cons and plans for the future will ruin his spiritual life.”
Usually the Master would not allow anyone to stay with him for more than two or three days, but once a young man stayed with him for several days. This annoyed some devotees, and they complained to the Master that he was teaching the young man the path of renunciation.
The Master answered: “Let him take up a worldly life. Am I dissuading him from it? Let him first attain knowledge and then enter the world. Do I teach everybody to renounce lust and gold? I talk about renunciation to the ones who need only a little encouragement.”
He used to say to the rest: “Go and enjoy hog-plum pickle, and come here for medicine when you have colic.”
The Master used to say: “Wherever there is extreme longing, God reveals Himself more."
He also said to some people, while pointing to himself: “Have love for this. That will do.” Oh! Such a wonderful play is over!
Another time he said: “Do you know what type of love is necessary for God-realization? As a dog with a wound in its head becomes frantic and jumps around, so one should desperately seek God.”
The Master used to say, that there should not be any theft (that is, hypocrisy) in the inner chamber of the heart. He had great affection for the simple-hearted. He used to say: “I don't care for flattery. I love the person, who calls on God sincerely.”
The Master also said, that all impurities of the mind disappear by calling on God with a sincere heart.