A DAY AT DAKSHINESWAR
Saturday, April 5,
IT WAS ABOUT EIGHT
O'CLOCK in the morning when M. arrived at the temple garden and
found Sri Ramakrishna seated on the small couch in his room. A few
devotees were sitting on the floor. The Master was talking to
them. Prankrishna Mukherji was there.
to an aristocratic family and lived in the northern part of Calcutta.
He held a high post in an English business firm. He was very much
devoted to Sri Ramakrishna and, though a householder, derived great
pleasure from the study of Vedānta philosophy. He was a frequent
visitor at the temple garden. Once he invited the Master to his
house in Calcutta and held a religious festival. Every day, early
in the morning, he bathed in the holy water of the Ganges.
Whenever it was convenient, he would come to Dakshineswar in a hired
That morning he had
hired a boat and invited M. to accompany him to Dakshineswar.
The boat had hardly left shore when the river became choppy. M.
had become frightened and begged Prankrishna to put him back on
land. In spite of assurances, M. had kept saying: "You must
put me ashore. I shall walk to Dakshineswar." And so M. came
on foot and found Sri Ramakrishna talking to Prankrishna and the others.
How the Lord Himself is deluded by His own māyā
Prankrishna): "But there is a greater manifestation of God in man.
You may ask, 'How is it possible for God to be incarnated as a man who
suffers from hunger, thirst, and the other traits of an embodied being,
and perhaps also from disease and grief?' The reply is, 'Even Brahman
weeps, entrapped in the snare of the five elements.'
"Don't you know how
Rāma had to weep, stricken with grief for Sita? Further, it is said that
the Lord incarnated Himself as a sow in order to kill the demon
Hiranyaksha. Hiranyaksha was eventually killed, but God would not
go back to His abode in heaven. He enjoyed His sow's life.
He had given birth to several young ones and was rather happy with them.
The gods said among themselves: 'What does this mean? The Lord doesn't
care to return to heaven!' They all went to Shiva and laid the matter
before him. Shiva came down and urged the Lord to leave the sow
body and return to heaven. But the sow only suckled her young
ones. (Laughter.) Then Shiva destroyed the sow body with his
trident, and the Lord came out laughing aloud and went back to His own
The Anāhata sound
PRANKRISHNA (to the
Master): "Sir, what is the Anāhata
MASTER: "It is a
spontaneous sound constantly going on by itself. It is the sound
of the Pranava, Om. It originates in the Supreme Brahman and is
heard by yogis. People immersed in worldliness do not hear it.
A yogi alone knows that this sound originates both from his navel and
from the Supreme Brahman resting on the Ocean of Milk."
what is the nature of the life after death?"
MASTER: "Keshab Sen
also asked that question. As long as a man remains ignorant, that
is to say, as long as he has not realized God, so long will, he be born.
But after attaining Knowledge he will not have to come back to this
earth or to any other plane of existence.
"The potter puts his
pots in the sun to dry. Haven't you noticed that among them there
are both baked and unbaked ones? When a cow happens to walk over them,
some of the pots get broken to pieces. The broken pots that are
already baked, the potter throws away, since they are of no more use to
him. But the soft ones, though broken, he gathers up. He
makes them into a lump and out of this forms new pots. In the same
way, so long as a man has not realized God, he will have to come back to
the Potter's hand, that is, he will have to be born again and again.
"What is the use of
sowing a boiled paddy grain? It will never bring forth a shoot.
Likewise, if a man is boiled in the fire of Knowledge, he will not be
used for new creation. He is liberated.
The "ego of Devotion"
"According to the
Puranas, the bhakta and the Bhagavan are two separate entities.
'I' am one and 'You' are another. The body is a plate, as it were,
containing the water of mind, intelligence, and ego. Brahman is
like the sun. It is reflected in the water. Therefore the
devotee sees the divine form.
The "ego of Knowledge"
"According to the
Vedānta, Brahman alone is real and all else is māyā, dreamlike and
unsubstantial. The ego, like a stick, lies across the Ocean of
Satchidananda. (To M.) Listen to what I am saying. When this
ego is taken away, there remains only one undivided Ocean of
Satchidananda. But as long as the stick of ego remains, there is
an appearance of two: here is one part of the water and there another
part. Attaining the Knowledge of Brahman one is established in
samādhi. Then the ego is effaced.
"But Sankaracharya retained the 'ego of Knowledge' in order to teach men.
The signs of a Jnāni
(To Prankrishna) But
there are signs that distinguish the man of Knowledge. Some people
think they have Knowledge. What are the characteristics of
Knowledge? A Jnāni cannot injure anybody. He becomes like a child.
If a steel sword touches the philosopher's stone, it is transformed into
gold. Gold can never cut. It may seem from the outside that
a Jnāni also has anger or egotism, but in reality he has no such thing.
The ego of a Jnāni
"From a distance a
burnt string lying on the ground may look like a real one; but if you
come near and blow at it, it disappears altogether. The anger and
egotism of a Jnāni are mere appearances; they are not real.
"A child has no
attachment. He makes a play house, and if anyone touches it, he
will jump about and cry. The next moment he himself will break it.
This moment he may be very attached to his cloth. He says: 'My
daddy has given it to me. I won't part with it.' But the next
moment you can cajole him away from it with a toy. He will go away
with you, leaving the cloth behind.
"These are the
characteristics of a Jnāni. Perhaps he has many luxuries at
home―couch, chairs, paintings, and equipage. But any day he may
leave all these and go off to Benares.
Jnāni looks on the world as illusory
Vedānta the waking state, too, is unreal. Once a wood-cutter lay
dreaming, when someone woke him up. Greatly annoyed, he said: 'Why
have you disturbed my sleep? I was dreaming that I was a king and
the father of seven children. The princes were becoming well
versed in letters and military arts. I was secure on my throne and
ruled over my subjects. Why have you demolished my world of joy?'
'But that was a mere dream', said the other man. 'Why should that
bother you?' 'Fool!' said the wood-cutter. 'You don't understand.
My becoming a king in the dream was just as real as is my being a
wood-cutter. If being a wood-cutter is real, then being a king in
a dream is real also.' "
The state of a vijnāni
talked about jnāna. Was this why the Master described the state of
the Jnāni? Now he proceeded to describe the state of the vijnāni.
MASTER: "Jnāna is
the realization of Self through the process of 'Neti, neti', 'Not this,
not this'. One goes into samādhi through this process of
elimination and realizes the Ātman.
"But vijnāna means
Knowledge with a greater fullness. Some have heard of milk, some
have seen milk, and some have drunk milk. He who has merely heard
of it is 'ignorant'. He who has seen it is a Jnāni. But he
who has drunk it has vijnāna, that is to say, a fuller knowledge of it.
After having the vision of God one talks to Him as if He were an
intimate relative. That is vijnāna.
"First of all you
must discriminate, following the method of 'Neti, neti': 'He is not the
five elements, nor the sense-organs, nor the mind, nor the intelligence,
nor the ego. He is beyond all these cosmic principles.' You want
to climb to the roof; then you must eliminate and leave behind all the
steps one by one. The steps are by no means the roof. But
after reaching the roof you find that the steps are made of the same
materials―brick, lime, and brick-dust―as the roof. It is the
Supreme Brahman that has become the universe and its living beings and
the twenty-four cosmic principles. That which is Ātman has become
the five elements. You may ask why the earth is so hard, if it has
come out of Ātman? All is possible through the will of God. Don't
you see that bone and flesh are made from blood and semen? How hard
vijnāna one can live in the world as well. Then one clearly
realizes that God Himself has become the universe and all living
beings, that He is not outside the world.
"The fact is that one must have the 'spiritual eye'. You will
develop that eye as soon as your mind becomes pure. Take for
instance the Kumari Puja. I worshipped a virgin. The girl,
to be sure, had all her human imperfections; still I regarded her as the
Divine Mother Herself.
"On one side is the
wife and on the other the son. Love is bestowed on both, but in
different ways. Therefore it comes to this, that everything
depends upon the mind. The pure mind acquires a new attitude.
Through that mind one sees God in this world. Therefore one needs
discipline is necessary. You should know that a man becomes easily
attached to a woman. A woman naturally loves a man, and a man also
naturally loves a woman. Therefore both fall speedily from their
spiritual ideal. But it also must be said that there is a great
advantage in leading the life of a householder. In case of urgent
necessity a man may live with his wife.
(Smiling) "Well, M.,
why are you smiling?"
himself): "The Master makes this much allowance for house-holders since
they cannot renounce everything. Is complete and absolute
continence impossible for a householder?"
The hathayogi who
had been living in the Panchavati entered the room. He was in the
habit of taking milk and opium. He did not eat rice or other food
and had no money to buy the milk and opium. The Master had talked
with him in the Panchavati. The hathayogi had told Rākhāl to
ask the Master to make some provision for him, and Sri Ramakrishna had
promised to speak about it to the visitors from Calcutta.
HATHAYOGI (to the
Master): "What did you say to Rākhāl about me?"
MASTER: "I said that
I would ask some rich visitors to help you. But (to Prankrishna)
you, perhaps, do not like these yogis?"
silent. The hathayogi left the room and the conversation went on.
Master's adherence to truth
Prankrishna and the others): "If a man leads a householder's life he
must have unflagging devotion to truth. God can be realized
through truth alone. Formerly I was very particular about telling
the truth, though now my zeal has abated a little. If I said, 'I
shall bathe', then I would get into the water of the Ganges, recite the
mantra, and sprinkle a little water over my head. But still there
would remain some doubt in me as to whether my bath was complete.
Once I went to Ram's house in Calcutta. I happened to say, 'I
shall not take any luchi.' When I sat down for the meal I felt hungry.
But I had said I would not eat the luchi; so I had to fill my stomach
with sweets. (All laugh.)
"But my zeal for
truthfulness has abated a little now. Once I said I would go to
the pine-grove, but then I felt I had no particular urge to go.
What was to be done? I asked Ram about it. He said I didn't have
to go. Then I reasoned to myself: 'Well, everyone is Narayana.
So Ram, too, is Narayana. Why shouldn't I listen to him? The
elephant is Narayana no doubt; but the mahut is Narayana too.
Since the mahut asked me not to go near the elephant, then why shouldn't
I obey him?' Through reasoning like this my zeal for truthfulness is
slightly less strong now than before.
"I find a change,
coming over me. Years ago Vaishnavcharan said to me, 'One attains
Perfect Knowledge when one sees God in man.' Now I see that it is God
alone who is moving about in various forms: as a holy man, as a cheat,
as a villain. Therefore I say, 'Narayana in the guise of the
Sādhu, Narayana in the guise of the cheat, Narayana in the guise of
the villain, Narayana in the guise of the lecher.'
"Now my problem is
how I can feed all of you. I want to feed everyone. So
I keep one at a time with me and feed him."
at M. and smiling): "A fine man, indeed! (To the Master) He would
not let us go till we put him ashore."
"Why? What happened?"
PRANKRISHNA: "He was
in our boat. Seeing that the river was slightly rough, he insisted
on being put ashore. (To M.) 'How did you come?"
PRANKRISHNA (to the
Master): "Sir, I am thinking now of giving up my work. One who is
involved in activity cannot accomplish anything. (Pointing to his
companion) I am training him to do my work. After I resign, he
will relieve me. Work has become intolerable."
MASTER: "Yes, work
is very troublesome. It is now good for you to meditate on God for
a few days in solitude. No doubt you say that you would like to
give up your work. Captain said the same thing. Worldly
people talk that way; but they don't succeed in carrying out their
"There are many
pundits who speak words of wisdom. But they merely talk; they
don't live up to them. They are like vultures, which soar very
high but keep their gaze fixed on the charnel-pit. What I mean is
that these pundits are attached to the world, to 'woman and gold'.
If I hear that pundits are practising discrimination and dispassion,
then I fear them. Otherwise I look upon them as mere goats and
the Master and took his leave. He said to M., "Will you come with
M: "No, sir! Catch
me going with you again! Good-bye."
and said, "I see you won't come in the boat."
a little stroll near the Panchavati and bathed in the river. Then
he went to the temples of Radhakanta and Kāli and prostrated
himself before the images. He said to himself: "I have heard
that God has no form. Then why do I bow before these images? Is it
because Sri Ramakrishna believes in gods and goddesses with form? I
don't know anything about God, nor do I understand Him. The Master
believes in images; then why shouldn't I too, who am so insignificant a
creature, accept them?"
at the image of Kāli. He saw that the Divine Mother holds in
Her two left hands a man's severed head and a sword. With Her two
right hands She offers boons and reassurance to Her devotees. In
one aspect She is terrible, and in another She is the ever affectionate
Mother of Her devotees. The two ideals are harmonized in Her.
She is compassionate and affectionate to Her devotees: to those who are
submissive and helpless. It is also true that She is terrible, the
"Consort of Death". She alone knows why She assumes two aspects at
the same time.
this interpretation of Kāli given by the Master. He said to
himself, "I have heard that Keshab accepted Kāli in Sri Ramakrishna's
presence. Is this, as Keshab used to say, the Goddess, all Spirit
and Consciousness; manifesting Herself through a clay image?"
M. returned to
the Master's room and sat on the floor. Sri Ramakrishna offered
him some fruit and sweets to eat. On account of trouble in the
family, M. had recently rented a house in another section of
Calcutta near his school, his father and brothers continuing to live in
the ancestral home. But Sri Ramakrishna wanted him to return to
his own home, since a joint family affords many advantages to one
leading a religious life. Once or twice the Master had spoken to
M. to this effect, but unfortunately he had not yet returned to
his family. Sri Ramakrishna referred to the matter again.
MASTER: "Tell me
that you are going to your ancestral home."
M: "I can never
persuade myself to enter that place."
MASTER: "Why? Your
father is making over the whole house."
M: "I have suffered
too much there. I can by no means make up my mind to go there."
MASTER: "Whom do you
M: "All of them."
"Isn't that like your being afraid to get into the boat?"
The midday worship
and the offering of food in the temples were over. The bells,
gongs, and symbals of the Ārati
were being played, and the temple garden was filled with joyful activity.
Beggars, Sādhus, and guests hurried to the guest-house for the
noonday meal, carrying leaf or metal plates in their hands. M.
also took some of the Prasad from the Kāli temple.
Sri Ramakrishna had
been resting awhile after his meal when several devotees, including Ram
and Girindra, arrived. They sat down after saluting the Master.
The conversation turned to the New Dispensation Church of Keshab Chandra
RAM (to the Master):
"Sir, I don't think the Navavidhan has done people any good. If
Keshab Babu himself was a genuine man, why are his disciples left in
such a plight? I don't think there is anything at all in the New
Dispensation. It is like rattling some potsherds in a room and
then locking it up. People may take it to be the jingling of
coins, but inside there is nothing but potsherds. Outsiders don't
know what is inside."
MASTER: "There must
be some substance in it. Otherwise, why should so many people
respect Keshab? Why isn't Shivanath honoured as much as Keshab? Such a
thing cannot happen without the will of God.
A teacher must renounce the world
"But a man cannot
act as an Āchārya without renouncing the world. People won't
respect him. They will say: 'Oh, he is a worldly man. He
secretly enjoys "woman and gold" himself but tells us that God alone is
real and the world unsubstantial, like a dream. ' Unless a man
renounces everything his teachings cannot be accepted by all. Some
worldly people may follow him. Keshab led the life of a
householder; hence his mind was directed to the world also. He had
to safeguard his family interests. That is why he left his affairs
in such good order though he delivered so many religious lectures.
What an aristocratic man he married his daughter to! Inside Keshab's
inner apartments I saw many big bedsteads. All these things
gradually come to one who leads a householder's life. The world is
indeed a place for enjoyment."
RAM: "Keshab Sen
inherited those bedsteads when his ancestral property was divided.
And for Keshab to take part in the division of property! Whatever you
may say, sir, Vijay Babu told me that Keshab had said to him, 'I am a
partial manifestation of Christ and Gaurānga. I suggest that you
declare yourself as Advaita.' Do you know what else he said? He said
that you too were a follower of the New Dispensation." (All laugh.)
"Who knows? But as for myself, I don't even know what the term 'New
Dispensation' means." (Laughter.)
disciples say that he was the first to harmonize jnāna and bhakti."
Synthesis of jnāna and bhakti
surprise): "How is that? What then of the Adhyātma Rāmāyana? It is
written there that, while praying to Rāma, Nārada said: 'O Rāma, Thou
art the Supreme Brahman described in the Vedas. Thou dwellest with
us as a man; Thou appearest as a man. In reality Thou art not a
man; Thou art that Supreme Brahman.' Rāma said: 'Nārada, I am very much
pleased with you. Accept a boon from Me.' Nārada replied: 'What
boon shall I ask of Thee? Grant me pure love for Thy Lotus Feet, and may
I never be deluded by Thy world-bewitching māyā!' The Adhyātma Rāmāyana
is full of such statements regarding jnāna and bhakti."
turned to Amrita, a disciple of Keshab.
RAM: "Amrita Babu
seems to be in very bad shape."
MASTER: "Yes, he
looked very ill when I saw him the other day."
RAM: "Sir, let me
tell you about the lectures of the New Dispensation. While the
drum is being played, the members cry out, 'Victory unto Keshab!' You
say that 'dal' grows only in a stagnant pool. So Amrita said one
day in the course of his sermon: 'The holy man has no doubt said that
'dal' grows in a stagnant pool. But, brothers, we want 'dal', we
want a sect. Really and truly, I tell you that we want a sect.' "
nonsense! Shame on him! What kind of sermon is that?"
drifted to the desire of some people for praise.
MASTER: "They took
me to Keshab's house to see a performance of the Nimai-sannyās. I
heard, that day, someone speaking of Keshab and Pratap as Chaitanya and
Nityananda. Prasanna asked me, 'Who are you then?' Keshab looked
at me to see what I would say. I said to him, 'I am the servant of
your servant, the dust of the dust of your feet.' Keshab said with a
smile, 'You can't catch him!'"
Keshab used to say you were John the Baptist."
A DEVOTEE: "But
Keshab also said you were the Chaitanya of the nineteenth century [said
MASTER: "What does
Chaitanya has been incarnated again in the present century of the
Christian era, and that you are he."
(absent-mindedly): "What of it? Can you tell me now how my arm can be
cured? This arm is worrying me so much."
They talked about
Trailokya's music. Trailokya sang devotional songs in Keshab's
MASTER: "Ah! How
nice his songs are!"
RAM: "Do you think
they are genuine?"
MASTER: "Yes, they
are. Otherwise, why should I be so drawn to them?"
RAM: "He has composed his songs by borrowing your
ideas. While conducting the worship, Keshab Sen described your
feelings and realizations, and Trailokya Babu composed songs
accordingly. Take this song, for instance:
an overflow of Joy in the market-place of Love;
See how the Lord sports with His own in the ecstasy of Bliss!
He saw you enjoying
divine bliss in the company of devotees and wrote songs like this."
MASTER (with a
smile) : "Stop! Don't torment me any more. Why should I be
involved in all this?" (All laugh.)
Brahmos say that the Paramahamsa Deva has no faculty for organization
[said in English]."
MASTER: "What does that mean?"
M: "That you don't
know how to lead a sect; that your intellect is rather dull. They
say things like that." (All laugh.)
MASTER (to Ram):
"Now tell me why my arm was hurt. Stand up and deliver a lecture
on that. (Laughter.)
"The Brahmos insist
that God is formless. Suppose they do. It is enough to call
on Him with sincerity of heart. If the devotee is sincere, then
God, who is the Inner Guide of all, will certainly reveal to the devotee
His true nature.
Friction between different religious sects
"But it is not good
to say that what we ourselves think of God is the only truth and what
others think is false; that because we think of God asformless,
therefore He is formless and cannot have any form; that because we think
of God as having form, therefore He has form and cannot be formless.
Can a man really fathom God's nature?
"This kind of
friction exists between the Vaishnavas and the Shaktas. The
Vaishnava says, 'My Kesava is the only Saviour', whereas the Shakta
insists, 'My Bhagavati is the only Saviour.'
"Once I took
Vaishnavcharan to Mathur Babu. Now, Vaishnavcharan was a very
learned Vaishnava and an orthodox devotee of his sect. Mathur, on
the other hand, was a devotee of the Divine Mother. They were
engaged in a friendly discussion when suddenly Vaishnavcharan said,
'Kesava is the only Saviour.' No sooner did Mathur hear this than his
face became red with anger and he blurted out, 'You rascal!' (All
laugh.) He was a Shakta. Wasn't it natural for him to say
that? I gave Vaishnavcharan a nudge.
Harmony of religions
"I see people who
talk about religion constantly quarrelling with one another.
Hindus, Mussalmans, Brahmos, Shaktas, Vaishnavas, Saivas, all
quarrel with one another. They haven't the intelligence to
understand that He who is called Krishna is also Shiva and the Primal
Śakti, and that it is He, again, who is called Jesus and Allah.
There is only one Rāma and He has a thousand names.'
"Truth is one; only
It is called by different names. All people are seeking the same
Truth; the variance is due to climate, temperament, and name. A
lake has many ghats. From one Ghat the Hindus take water in
jars and call it 'jal'. From another Ghat the Mussalmans
take water in leather bags and call it 'pani'. From a third the
Christians take the same thing and call it 'water'. (All laugh.)
Suppose someone says that the thing is not 'jal' but 'pani', or that it
is not 'pani' but 'water', or that it is not 'water' but 'jal'. It
would indeed be ridiculous. But this very thing is at the root of
the friction among sects, their misunderstandings and quarrels.
This is why people injure and kill one another, and shed blood, in the
name of religion. But this is not good. Everyone is going
toward God. They will all realize Him if they have sincerity and
longing of heart.
(To M.) "This is for
you. All scriptures-the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras-seek Him alone
and no one else, only that one Satchidananda. That which is called
Satchidananda Brahman in the Vedas is called Satchidananda Shiva in the
Tantra. Again it is He alone who is called Satchidananda Krishna
in the Puranas."
The Master was told
that now and then Ram cooked his own food at home.
MASTER (to M.): "Do
you too cook your own meals?"
M: "No, sir."
MASTER: "You may try
it. With your meals take a little clarified butter made from cow's
milk. That will purify your body and mind."
A long conversation
ensued about Ram's household affairs. Ram's father was a devout
Vaishnava and worshipped Krishna daily at home. He had married a
second time when Ram was quite young. Both the father and the
stepmother lived with Ram at Ram's house. But Ram was never happy
with his stepmother, and this sometimes created a misunderstanding
between himself and his father.
They were talking
about this when Ram said, "My father has gone to the dogs!"
MASTER (to the
devotees): "Did you hear that? The father has gone to the dogs and the
son is all right!"
RAM: "There is no
peace when my stepmother comes home. There is always some trouble
or other. Our family is about to break up. So I say, let her
live with her father."
GIRINDRA (to Ram):
"Why don't you too keep your wife at her father's home?" (Laughter.)
"Are husband and wife like earthen pots or jars, that you may keep the
pot in one place and the lid in another? Shiva in one place and Śakti in
RAM: "Sir, we are
quite happy. But when she comes the family is broken up. If
such is the case-"
Our duties to father and mother
MASTER: "Then build
them a separate home. That will be a different thing. You
will defray their monthly expenses. How worthy of worship one's
parents are! Rākhāl asked me if he could take the food left
on his father's plate. 'What do you mean?' I said. 'What
have you become that you cannot?' But it is also true that good people
won't give anyone, even a dog, the food from their plates."
suppose one's parents are guilty of a terrible crime, a heinous sin?"
MASTER: "What if
they are? You must not renounce your mother even if she commits
adultery. The woman guru of a certain family became corrupt.
The members of the family said that they would like to make the son of
the guru their spiritual guide. But I said: 'How is that? Will you
accept the shoot and give up the yam? Suppose she is corrupt; still you
must regard her as your Ishta. ‘Though my guru visits the tavern,
still to me he is the holy Nityānanda.’ "
"Are father and
mother mere trifles? No spiritual practice will bear fruit unless they
are pleased. Chaitanya was intoxicated with the love of God.
Still, before taking to the monastic life, for how many days did he try
to persuade his mother to give him her permission to become a monk! He
said to her: 'Mother, don't worry. I shall visit you every now and
reproachfully) "And let me say this to you. Your father and mother
brought you up. You yourself are the father of several children.
Yet you have left home with your wife. You have cheated your
parents. You have come away with your wife and children, and you
feel you have become a holy man. Your father doesn't need any
money from you; otherwise I should have cried, 'Shame on you!'"
Everybody in the
room became grave and remained silent.
MASTER: "A man has
certain debts to pay: his debts to the gods and rishis, and his debts to
mother, father, and wife. He cannot achieve anything without
paying the debt he owes to his parents. A man is indebted to his
wife as well. Harish has renounced his wife and is living here.
If he had left her unprovided for, then I should have called him an
Knowledge you will regard that very wife as the manifestation of the
Divine Mother Herself. It is written in the Chandi, 'The Goddess
dwells in all beings as the Mother.' It is She who has become your
"All the women you
see are only She, the Divine Mother. That is why I cannot rebuke
even Brinde, the maidservant. There are people who spout verses
from the scriptures and talk big, but in their conduct they are quite
different. Ramprasanna is constantly busy procuring opium and milk
for the hathayogi. He says that Manu enjoins it upon man to serve
the Sādhu. But his old mother hasn't enough to eat.
She walks to the market to buy her own groceries. It makes me very
Through divine love man transcends his worldly duties
"But here you have
to consider another thing. When a man is intoxicated with ecstatic
love of God, then who is his father or mother or wife? His love of God
is so intense that he becomes mad with it. Then he has no duty to
perform. He is free from all debts. What is this divine
intoxication? In this state a man forgets the world. He also
forgets his own body, which is so dear to all. Chaitanya had this
intoxication. He plunged into the ocean not knowing that it was
the ocean. He dashed himself again and again on the ground.
He was not aware of hunger, of thirst, or of sleep. He was not at
all conscious of any such thing as his body."
All at once Sri
Ramakrishna exclaimed, "Ah, Chaitanya!" and stood up.
MASTER (to the
devotees): "Chaitanya means 'Undivided Consciousness'.
to say that Gaurānga was like a bubble in the Ocean of Undivided
(To the elder Gopal)
"Do you intend to go on a pilgrimage now?"
GOPAL: "Yes, sir.
I should like to wander about a little."
RAM (to Gopal): "He
[meaning the Master] says that one becomes a kutichaka after being a
vahudaka. The Sādhu that visits many holy places is called
a vahudaka. He whose craving for travel has been satiated and who
sits down in one place is called a kutichaka.
"He also tells us a
parable. Once a bird sat on the mast of a ship. When the
ship sailed through the mouth of the Ganges into the 'black waters' of
the ocean, the bird failed to notice the fact. When it finally
became aware of the ocean, it left the mast and flew north in search of
land. But it found no limit to the water and so returned.
After resting awhile it flew south. There too it found no limit to
the water. Panting for breath the bird returned to the mast.
Again, after resting awhile, it flew east and then west. Finding
no limit to the Water in any direction, at last it settled down on the
mast of the ship."
MASTER (to the elder
Gopal and the other devotees): "As long as a man feels that God is
'there', he is ignorant. But he attains Knowledge when he feels
that God is 'here'.
"A man wanted a
smoke. He went to a neighbour's house to light his charcoal.
It was the dead of night and the household was asleep. After he
had knocked a great deal, someone came down to open the door. At
sight of the man he asked, 'Hello! What's the matter?' The man replied:
'Can't you guess? You know how fond I am of smoking. I have come
here to light my charcoal.' The neighbour said: 'Ha! Ha! You are a fine
man indeed! You took the trouble to come and do all this knocking at the
door! Why, you have a lighted lantern in your hand!' (All laugh.)
"What a man seeks is
very near him. Still he wanders about from place to place."
RAM: "Sir, I now
realize why a guru asks some of his disciples to visit the four
principal holy places of the country. Once having wandered about,
the disciple discovers that it is the same here as there. Then he
returns to the guru. All this wandering is only to create faith in
the guru's words."
conversation had come to an end, Sri Ramakrishna extolled Ram's virtues.
MASTER (to the
devotees): "How many fine qualities Ram possesses! How many devotees he
serves and looks after! (To Ram) Adhar told me that you showed him great
Adhar, a beloved
householder devotee of the Master, had recently arranged some religious
music at his house. The Master and many devotees had been present.
But Adhar had forgotten to invite Ram, who was a very proud man and had
complained about it to his friends. So Adhar had gone to Ram's
house to express his regret for the mistake.
RAM: "It wasn't
really Adhar's mistake. I have come to know that Rākhāl is
to blame. Rākhāl was given charge-"
MASTER: "You mustn't
find fault with Rākhāl . He's a mere child. Even now you can
bring out his mother's milk by squeezing his throat."
RAM: "Sir, why
should you speak that way? It was such an occasion!"
(interrupting): "Adhar simply didn't remember to invite you. He is
absent-minded. The other day he went with me to Jadu Mallick's
house. As we took our leave, I said to him, 'You haven't offered
anything to the Goddess in the chapel' 'Sir,' he said, 'I didn't know
(To Ram) "Suppose he
didn't invite you to his house. Why such a fuss about going to a
place where the name of the Lord was sung? One may go unasked to
participate in religious music. One doesn't have to be invited."