Sri Ramakrishna with Devotees in Cossipore Garden House
Rakhal, Sashi, M., Narendra, Bhavanath, Surendra, Rajendra and Dr. Sarkar
Cossipore garden. Rakhal, Sashi and M. are walking on the garden path in the evening. Sri Ramakrishna is ill. He has come to the garden house for treatment. He is in a second story room. The devotees nurse him there. It is Thursday, 22 April, 1886, the day before Good Friday.
M. — He is a like child – beyond the three gunas.
Sashi and Rakhal — Thakur has said that this is his natural state.
Rakhal — It is as though he were in a tower from where he can see everything and know everything, but others can’t go there.
M. — He said, ‘In this state one constantly has the Lord’s vision.’ One’s mind in this state is like dry wood which catches fire immediately because there is no sap of worldliness.
Sashi — He said to Charu that there are many kinds of intelligence. The intelligence that leads to Bhagavan is the right intelligence. The intelligence that enables one to make money, build a house, or become a Deputy [Magistrate] or an attorney is chirebeja intelligence. It is unsubstantial, like thin and watery curd which only soaks roasted rice in watery curd. It is not superior, well-set thick curd. The intelligence that leads to the attainment of Bhagavan is superior, like well-set and thick curd.
M. — Ah, how wonderful!
Rakhal — He said, ‘What! Is the bliss of Brahman the same as sense pleasure? Ordinary beings lead lives of worldly pleasure. But unless one is completely rid of the attachment to the senses, one cannot attain the bliss of Brahman. On the one hand, you have the joy of money, the joy of the senses, and on the other, there is the bliss of God-realization. Can these two ever be the same? The rishis enjoyed the bliss of Brahman.’
M. — Kali nowadays meditates on the Buddha. So he talks of that which is beyond all joy.
Rakhal — The topic of Buddha was also mentioned to Thakur. He said, ‘Buddha was an avatar. What comparison can be made with him? Nothing but greatness can come out of the great.’ Kali replied, ‘But it is His power that manifests in everything. Both the bliss of Brahman and worldly pleasures are manifestations of His power.’
M. — And what did he [Thakur] say?
Rakhal — He said, ‘What are you saying? Is the power to beget a child the same as the power through which one attains the Lord?’
Sri Ramakrishna in company of devotees – ‘lust and greed’ are great obstacles
Thakur is seated with the devotees in the hall of the second story of the garden house. His condition is getting worse. Dr. Mahendra Sarkar and Dr. Rajendra Dutta have come to examine him and try to help him with their treatments. Narendra, Rakhal, Sashi, Surendra, M., Bhavanath and many other devotees are in the room.
The garden house belongs to the gentlemen of Pikepara. Its rent is sixty to sixty-five rupees. The younger men have been living in the garden house and nursing Thakur night and day. The householder devotees come there regularly and also sometimes stay at night. They are also keen to serve him both day and night but they have duties – they have to attend to one work or another. They cannot stay there all the time to nurse him. Each one contributes as much as he can for the expenses of the garden house, but most of the expenses are borne by Surendra. Actually, the rental agreement of the garden house has been drawn in his name. A brahmin cook and a maidservant have been engaged permanently.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Dr. Sarkar and others) — There are a lot of expenses here.
The Doctor (pointing toward the devotees) — They are all prepared to pay. They don’t have a problem bearing the expenses.
(To Sri Ramakrishna) — Now see, ‘gold’ is essential.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Narendra) — Why don’t you reply to him?
Thakur has asked Narendra to answer, but Narendra remains silent. The Doctor continues to speak.
Doctor — You need ‘gold’. And ‘woman’ is also needed.
Dr. Rajendra — His wife cooks for him.
Dr. Sarkar (to Thakur) — Don’t you see?
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling) — It’s big trouble!
Dr. Sarkar — If there are no troubles, everybody can be a paramahamsa.
Sri Ramakrishna — When a woman touches my body, I feel hurt. The spot she touches twinges, as if a horned fish has stung it.
Doctor — I can believe it! But can one do without it?
Sri Ramakrishna — When I touch money, my hand twists and my breathing stops. There is no harm in using money to lead a spiritual life, to serve deities, and to spend on sadhus and devotees.
“But one forgets the Lord if one leads a worldly life of maya in the company of a woman. A woman is none other than a form of the maya of the Mother of the Universe. When you have understood this correctly, you no longer wish to lead a worldly life. It is only when you have realized that all women are forms of the Mother that you can lead a spiritual life in the world. And without God-realization, you cannot know what a woman is.”
Thakur has been feeling a little better under homeopathic treatment.
Dr. Rajendra — When you get well, you must practice medicine as a homeopath. Otherwise, what use is your getting well? (All laugh.)
Narendra — Nothing like leather! (He means to say that for a cobbler there is nothing in the world as good as leather.) (All laugh.)
The doctors leave after some time.
Why has Sri Ramakrishna renounced ‘lust and gold’?
Thakur is talking with M. about his state of mind with regard to women.
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.) — They [the doctors] say that I can’t get along without ‘lust and gold’. They don’t understand my state of mind.
“As soon as my hand touches the body of a girl, it twists and gives a trembling sensation.
“If I sit close to them and talk amicably, some sort of veil appears in the middle which is impossible to cross.
“If I am alone and a young woman comes in, I immediately fall into the state of a child and regard her as mother.”
M., seated close to Thakur’s bed, listens to all his words with wonder. A little distance from the bed, Narendra is talking with Bhavanath. Bhavanath is married; he is looking for a job. He cannot come to the Cossipore garden house to see Thakur often. Sri Ramakrishna worries about his having entered family life. Bhavanath must be twenty-three or twenty-four years old.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Narendra) — Give him enough courage.
Narendra and Bhavanath glance at Thakur and smile softly. Thakur points at Bhavanath and says again, “Be a brave man! Don’t be deceived by her crying behind the veil, weeping as she blows her nose!” (Narendra, Bhavanath and M. laugh.)
“Keep your mind fixed on Bhagavan. He is a brave man indeed who, while living with his wife, does not have physical relations with her. Talk only about spiritual matters with your wife.”
After awhile, Thakur again beckons Bhavanath and says, “Take your meal here today.”
Bhavanath — As you please. Don’t worry about me. I am quite all right.
Surendra comes in and sits down. It is the month of Vaishakh. The devotees bring garlands of flowers to Thakur every day in the evening. He wears them all around his neck, one on top of the other. Surendra is seated and is silent. Thakur is pleased with him and gives him a two-stranded garland. Surendra bows to Thakur, brings it to touch his forehead, and puts it around his neck.
Everyone gazes at Thakur without speaking a word. Surendra then salutes Thakur and rises to take his leave. When going out, he calls to Bhavanath, “Please hang the straw curtain. It’s very hot.” Surendra has brought a curtain of straw because of the heat in Thakur’s hall on the second level during the day.
Sri Ramakrishna in the Cossipore garden with Hirananda and other devotees
Thakur instructs: ‘All that exists is none but You’ – character of Narendra and Hirananda
Cossipore garden house. Sri Ramakrishna is sitting in the hall on the upper floor. Hirananda, M. and one or two other devotees are seated in front of him. Hirananda had come with two friends. He is from Sindh, where he has been living since finishing college in Calcutta. Coming to know that Sri Ramakrishna was ill, he has come to see him. The Sindh province is about twenty-two hundred miles from Calcutta. Thakur has been very anxious to see Hirananda.
Pointing to Hirananda, Thakur perhaps means to tell M. with signs that the young man is indeed very good.
Sri Ramakrishna — Do you know him?
M. — Yes sir.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Hirananda and M.) — Both of you, please talk. Let me hear you.
Seeing that M. is silent, he says to him, “Is Narendra here? Please call him in.”
Narendra comes upstairs and sits down near Thakur.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Narendra and Hirananda) — Both of you, do talk for awhile.
Hirananda is silent but, after some hesitation, he begins to talk.
Hirananda (to Narendra) — Well, why does a devotee suffer?
Hirananda’s words are honey sweet. Whoever has heard him has realized that his heart is full of love.
Narendra — The scheme of the universe is devilish! I could have created a better world!
Hirananda — Can you appreciate happiness if there is no sorrow?
Narendra — I am not giving a scheme for the universe. It is simply my opinion of the present scheme.
“But nothing remains to be done if you believe that our only refuge is in pantheism. Everything is God. Putting one’s faith in this resolves everything. God alone is the doer.”
Hirananda — It is so easy to say all this.
Narendra chants the six stanzas on Nirvana.
Om, I am not the mind, the intellect, the ego, or the chitta. Nor I am the ear, the tongue, the nostrils, nor the eyes. I am not the sky, nor land, nor light, nor air. I am pure Knowledge and Bliss, the image of Shiva, the all-good.
I am neither prana, nor pancha vayu (the five vital airs), nor the seven elements, nor pancha kosha (the five sheaths). Nor speech, nor hands, nor feet, nor genitals, nor anus. I am pure Knowledge and Bliss, the image of Shiva, the all-good.
I have neither attachment, nor antipathy. Neither have I greed nor infatuation. I have neither vanity nor pride. I am not dharma (righteous works), artha (wealth), kama (desires) and moksha (salvation). I am pure Knowledge and Bliss, the image of Shiva, the all-good.
Neither am I virtue or vice, neither happiness or sorrow. I am not mantra, nor place of pilgrimage, not Veda or yajna. I am not food or an edible article, neither am I the eater. I am pure Knowledge and Bliss, the image of Shiva, the all-good.
Neither have I death, nor doubt, nor distinction of caste. I have neither father nor mother. I have no birth. I have neither friend nor relation, neither master nor disciple. I am pure Knowledge and Bliss, the image of Shiva, the all-good.
I am changeless, formless, and present in all the senses as the all-pervading power. I am beyond a companion, beyond salvation. I am pure Knowledge and Bliss, the image of Shiva, the all-good.
Sri Ramakrishna says to Hirananda by a sign to reply.
Hirananda — It is the same room, whether you see it from a corner or by standing in the middle. One experiences the same God, whether one says, ‘Oh God, I am your servant!’ or, ‘I am He, Soham!’ You can enter a room from one door – and you can enter it, too, by many others.
Everyone is silent. Hirananda says to Narendra, “Please sing a song.”
Narendra hums the tune and then sings the five stanzas of kaupin.
He who is always engaged in the words of Vedanta, he who is content with the grains of holy begging, he who roams about with a griefless conscience; such a person, clad in a loincloth, is the only blessed one.
He who sits under the shelter of a tree, he who uses his palms as a plate, and he who considers wealth to be as insignificant as the beggar’s patched wrapper; such a person, clad in a loincloth, is the only blessed one.
He who is content with inner bliss, he who controls the cravings of his senses, he who delights night and day in the bliss of Brahman; such a person, clad in a loincloth, is the only blessed one.
As soon as Thakur hears, “He who delights night and day in the bliss of Brahman,” he exclaims in a whisper, “Ah!” and makes a sign as if to say, “This, indeed, is a mark of a yogi.”
Narendra completes the five stanzas of kaupin:
He who witnesses the moods of the body and the rest, he who witnesses his own real Self as the Atman, he who does not care to remember the within, the middle or the without; such a person, clad in a loincloth, is the only blessed one.
He who chants the holy word Om, who feels that he himself is Brahman, he who lives on alms and wanders everywhere; such a person, clad in a loincloth, is the only blessed one.
Narendra sings again –
Remember Him who is full of bliss, the support of this universe and the Formless one.
He is the Ear of the ear, the Mind of the mind and the Speech of speech.
He who is beyond speech, Life of life, Him you must adore.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Narendra) — And that one, ‘All that exists is none but You.’
Narendra sings this song –
We have given our hearts to You. All that exists is none but You.
We have found You alone as our own. You are all that exists.
You are the abode, the assurance of our hearts. Is there a heart where You do not dwell?
You are in every heart. You are all that exists.
Whether sages or humans, whether Hindus or Muslims, you have created them all. All that exists is none but You.
In Kaaba or temple, You are worshipped everywhere. All bow to You. All that exists is only You.
From heaven to earth and from earth to high heaven, wherever I cast my glance, I find You there. You are all there is.
I thought and I pondered, I looked all around, nowhere did I find anybody like You. Jafar then realized that You are all there is.
Hearing the words, “You are in every heart,” Thakur says by a sign that God exists in every heart, that He is antaryami. “Wherever I cast my glance, I find You. You are all there is.” Hearing this, Hirananda says to Narendra, “You are all. Now only You, You alone. Not me, but You.”
Narendra — Give me one and I will give you a million (by putting ‘0s’ (zeros) after the figure one). You are indeed me, I am indeed You, there is nothing else besides me.
Saying this, Narendra recites some verses from Ashtavakra Samhita. Everybody present sits silently.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Hirananda, pointing to Narendra) — He seems to be walking with an unsheathed sword in his hand.
(To M., pointing at Hirananda) “What serenity! Like a king cobra with its hood down, seated quietly before a snake charmer.”
Thakur worships himself – secret talk – present M. and Hirananda
Sri Ramakrishna is in an introspective mood. Hirananda and M. are sitting close to him. There is complete silence in the room. Thakur’s body is racked with terrible pain. Watching him, the hearts of the devotees are pierced. But he himself is seated with a smile on his face, making everyone forget his suffering.
Devotees have brought flowers and garlands as their offerings. Narayana (God) dwells in Thakur’s heart. The devotees are, as it were, worshipping Him. Thakur takes a flower and places it on his head, then on his throat, heart and navel – as if a child is playing with flowers.
When he is overtaken by a divine mood, he says that the mahavayu rises within him. He says that one experiences the Lord when the spiritual current rises. He now talks to M.
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.) — I didn’t notice the current ascend my body.
“Now I am in the mood of a child. That is why I am playing with the flowers this way. Do you know what I see? I feel as if this body is a frame made of splints of bamboo and covered with a piece of cloth. The frame moves. Somebody dwells within who makes it move.
“The inside is hollow, like the shell of a pumpkin when its pulp and seeds are scooped out. There are no passions like lust etc. inside my body. Within, it is all very clean and …”
Thakur finds it painful to speak. He is very weak. M. anticipates what Thakur wants to say and speaks it for him, “You see Bhagavan within your body.”
Sri Ramakrishna — I see Him both within and without as Indivisible Sachchidananda. Indeed, it is Sachchidananda who dwells both within, taking the cover [of the body] as its support, and without. This is what I perceive.
M. and Hirananda listen to this account of the vision of Brahman. After awhile, Thakur looks at them and speaks.
Sri Ramakrishna (to M. and Hirananda) — I feel that you are all my very own. No one appears to me as a stranger.
Sri Ramakrishna and state of yoga – vision of Indivisible Absolute
“I see that everyone is moving his head as if covered by a sheath [referring to their bodies].
“I see that when the mind unites with God, all physical pain is cast aside.
“Now I see that the Indivisible Absolute is only covered with skin and this sore in the throat is outside it.”
Thakur is silent again, but after awhile he says, “Consciousness takes on the nature of matter and matter takes on the nature of Consciousness.” When the body is diseased, you begin to feel as if you, yourself, have taken ill.
Hirananda requests further explanation. M. says, “When the hand gets scalded by hot water, you say that your hand has been burned by water. But that is not the case. It is the heat that has scalded your hand.”
Hirananda (to Thakur) — Please tell us why the devotee suffers.
Sri Ramakrishna — Do you mean bodily?
Both of them wait for what Thakur will say.
Thakur says, “Do you understand?”
M. whispers to Hirananda.
M. — It is to teach mankind. Here is an illustration. Though he is suffering so much bodily, his mind is one-hundred percent united with the Lord.
Hirananda — Yes, this is like Christ at the time of his crucifixion. Even so, it is a mystery why he is suffering so much.
M. — As Thakur says: It is the will of the Divine Mother. She is sporting in this manner. ‘Wherein established he is not shaken even by the heaviest affliction.’ (Gita 6:22).
Both Hirananda and M. talk in whispers. Thakur again makes a sign asking what they are talking about. Hirananda does not understand what Thakur means. Thakur, therefore, again makes the sign to ask what he has to say.
Hirananda — He is saying that your illness is for the instruction of humanity.
Sri Ramakrishna — This is nothing more than his guess. (To M. and Hirananda) My state is changing. I am asking myself not to say this to everyone: ‘May you be illumined!’ During the age of Kali, people are so sinful! I have to take the burden of their sins upon myself.
M. (to Hirananda) — He will not say it until the time is ripe. He will say it only to those whose time is ripe for enlightenment.
Hirananda is gently stroking Thakur’s feet with his hand. M. is seated close by. Latu and one or two other devotees are going in and out of the room. Today is Friday, 23 April, 1886, Good Friday. The time is about 1 p.m. Hirananda has had his meal here today. Thakur has been very keen that Hirananda stays on.
Hirananda talks to Thakur as he strokes his feet. A smile plays on his face and his words are as sweet as before, as if he is consoling a child. Thakur is unwell. He is under the regular treatment of a physician.
Hirananda — Why do you worry so much? Have faith in the doctor and rest assured. You are just a child.
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.) — How can one believe the doctor? He [Dr. Sarkar] said that I can’t recover.
Hirananda — Then why worry so much? Let be what may.
M. (to Hirananda, aside) — He is not worrying about himself. It is for the good of the devotees that his body must be saved.
It is very hot, especially so as it is noon. A straw curtain has been hung. Hirananda rises and adjusts the position of the curtain. Thakur looks on.
Thakur (to Hirananda) — Do please send a pajama.
Thakur is reminding him to send a pajama because Hirananda has said that the pajamas worn in his region would be very comfortable for Thakur.
Hirananda has not eaten well. The rice was not well cooked. Hearing about it, Thakur is very sad and says repeatedly to Hirananda, “Would you like a snack?” Though he himself is suffering so much and cannot talk comfortably, he asks him again and again.
And then he asks Latu, “Did you eat the same rice?”
Thakur cannot keep his dhoti on his body. He remains almost naked like a child. Hirananda is accompanied by two Brahmo devotees so Thakur pulls the dhoti over his waist again and again.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Hirananda) — Do you people consider me uncivilized when my dhoti falls off?
Hirananda — This is not your concern. You are a child.
Sri Ramakrishna (pointing with his finger at Priyanath, a Brahmo devotee) — He says otherwise.
Hirananda will take his leave to depart. After a stay of one or two days in Calcutta, Hirananda is preparing to return to his place of work in Sindh. He has worked as the editor of two newspapers, the Sindh Times and the Sindh Sudhar, for four years, since 1884. A native of Sindh, he completed his B.A. in 1883. He was in Calcutta for his education. While in Calcutta, he visited Keshab Sen regularly and talked with him. From time to time he used to visit Sri Ramakrishna and stay with him at the Kali Temple.
Hirananda is tested – worldliness or non-worldliness
Sri Ramakrishna (to Hirananda) — Suppose you don’t go back?
Hirananda (smiling) — Oh no, there is nobody there to do my work! I have taken service there.
Sri Ramakrishna — What is your salary per month?
Hirananda (smiling) — There is not much money in these jobs.
Sri Ramakrishna — But how much?
Hirananda laughs but Thakur insists.
Sri Ramakrishna — Do stay on here.
Hirananda doesn’t reply.
Sri Ramakrishna — What use is work?
Hirananda keeps silent.
After talking awhile longer, Hirananda prepares to leave.
Sri Ramakrishna — When will you return?
Hirananda — I will return home day after tomorrow, on Monday. I shall come to see you on Monday morning.
M., Narendra, Sarat and others
M. is seated close to Thakur. Hirananda has just left.
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.) — A very fine man, isn’t he?
M. — Yes, sir. He has a sweet nature.
Sri Ramakrishna — He says that he lives about twenty-two hundred miles from here. He has come to see me from so very far away!
M. — Yes, sir. Unless one has real love, one doesn’t do that.
Sri Ramakrishna — He wants very much to take me there.
M. — The journey is very tiring. The train takes four or five days.
Sri Ramakrishna — He has three university degrees!
M. — Yes, sir.
Thakur is rather tired. He wishes to rest now.
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.) — Please open the window blinds and spread the mat.
Since it is so very hot, Thakur has asked M. to open the window blinds. He has also asked him to spread a thin mat over the bedding.
M. is fanning him. Thakur dozes off.
Sri Ramakrishna (after a short sleep, to M.) — Did I sleep?
M. — Yes, for awhile.
Narendra, Sarat and M. are talking with each other. They are seated toward the east of the hall below.
Narendra — It is amazing that one learns so little, even after studying for so many years! But people complain that they have not attained Bhagavan after practicing spiritual disciples for just a few days! Is attaining Bhagavan so easy? (To Sarat) You have attained peace and so has Master Mahashay [M.], but I have attained nothing.
M. — You may then prepare the cattle feed and I will go to the palace. Or, I go to the palace and you may prepare the cattle feed. (They all laugh.)
Sri Ramakrishna in the assembly of Narendra and other bhaktas
It is dusk. A number of devotees assemble in the hall upstairs: Narendra, Sarat, Sashi, Latu, Nityagopal, Kedar, Ram, M., Suresh and others.
Nityagopal is first to arrive. As soon as he sees Thakur, he bows his head to touch his feet as a mark of adoration. Having taken a seat, Nityagopal says in a childlike manner, “Kedar Babu has arrived.”
Kedar has come to see Thakur after a long time. He had gone to Dhaka on official work. Hearing of Thakur’s illness, he has come to see him. As soon as Kedar enters, he sees Thakur greeting the devotees.
Kedar takes the dust of Thakur’s feet, brings it to touch his forehead and distributes it joyfully among all the others. The devotees bow as they accept the dust.
He is going to give it to Sarat when the latter rises and takes the dust of Thakur’s feet himself. M. smiles. Thakur also smiles as he looks at M. The devotees sit silent. They see Thakur in a divine mood. At times he exhales, as if to control his bhava. At last he says to Kedar by a sign, “You must hold a discussion with Girish Ghosh.” Girish rubs his nose and ears and says, “Sir, I rub my nose and ears. When I didn’t know who you were, I used to argue with them. But now it is quite different.” (Thakur smiles.)
Pointing his finger at Narendra, Sri Ramakrishna draws Kedar’s attention to him and says, “He has renounced everything!” (To the devotees) Kedar once said to Narendra, “You may argue and reason now, but in the end you will roll on the ground chanting the name of Lord Hari.” (To Narendra) “Take the dust of Kedar’s feet.”
Kedar (to Narendra) — Take the dust of his [Sri Ramakrishna’s] feet. That will do.
Surendra is seated behind the devotees. Sri Ramakrishna smiles a little as he looks at him. He says to Kedar, ‘Oh, what a fine nature he has!” Kedar, understanding what Thakur means, moves toward Surendra and sits beside him.
Surendra is a somewhat proud man. Some of the devotees have been trying to collect donations from the less intimate devotees to meet the expenses of the garden house. Surendra’s pride is hurt at this. He bears most of the expenses of the garden house.
Surendra (to Kedar) — Can I sit near so many holy men? One of them [referring to Narendra] went to Bodh Gaya for a few days in the garb of a monk to meet great sadhus.
Sri Ramakrishna tries to pacify Surendra, “Yes, yes. They are mere children. They can’t understand what is good.”
Surendra (to Kedar) — Doesn’t Gurudeva [referring to Sri Ramakrishna] know the inner feeling of all of us? He is not pleased with money, he is satisfied only with right feeling.
Thakur nods to indicate his agreement with Surendra. Hearing that Sri Ramakrishna only cares for right feeling, Kedar also expresses his happiness.
The devotees bring food and place it before Thakur. Thakur tastes it lightly with his tongue and asks for the prasad to be given to Surendra in the palm of his hand and then to others.
Surendra goes downstairs. The prasad will be distributed there.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Kedar) — Go downstairs and make him [Surendra] understand. Go immediately and ask them not to argue.
Mani is fanning Thakur. Thakur says, “Won’t you eat prasad?” He sends Mani downstairs to take prasad.
It is nearing dusk. Girish and M. stroll on the bank of the reservoir.
Girish — Are you writing something about Thakur?
M. — Who told you?
Girish — I heard it. Will you let me read it?
M. — No, I won’t give it to anybody until I have understood it myself. I have written it for myself, not for others.
Girish — What do you mean?
M. — You may have it after my death.
Thakur is ocean of motiveless grace – Amrita, a Brahmo devotee
A light is lit in Thakur’s room after dusk. Amrita Basu, a Brahmo devotee, has come to meet him. Thakur is very eager to see him. M. and a few devotees are there. There is a garland of bel and jasmine flowers placed over a plantain leaf in front of Thakur. It is silence in the room, as though a great yogi is sitting absorbed in communion with God. Thakur lifts the garland again and again, as if he wants to wear it.
Amrita (affectionately) — Shall I put it around your neck?
Thakur now has the garland around his neck. He has a long conversation with Amrita. Amrita is about to leave.
Sri Ramakrishna — Do come again.
Amrita — Sir, I wish very much to visit you, but I have to come a long distance. I can’t make it often.
Sri Ramakrishna — Do come. The carriage fare can be given from here.
Everybody is speechless to see Thakur’s motiveless grace for Amrita.
Sri Ramakrishna and a devotee’s wife and son
The next day, Saturday, 24 April. A devotee has arrived with his wife and seven-year-old son. A year ago he had lost an eight-year-old child. His wife had almost gone insane from grief, so Sri Ramakrishna had asked her to visit him now and then.
In the evening the Holy Mother comes to the hall upstairs with Thakur’s dinner. The devotee’s wife has accompanied her with a light.
While eating his dinner, Thakur enquires about her family affairs and asks her to come to the garden house and stay with the Holy Mother for a few days. This will alleviate her sorrow, he says. She also has an infant daughter, whom the Holy Mother later called Manmayi. Thakur asks her by a sign to bring the infant with her.
After dinner, the devotee’s wife cleans the place where Thakur has eaten. After the Holy Mother goes downstairs, she speaks a few words with him, then salutes him and then follows the Holy Mother. It is about 9 p.m. Thakur is seated in the same room with the devotee. He has a garland around his neck. Mani is fanning him.
Thakur takes the garland off and holds it in his hand. He mutters a few words to himself and joyfully gives the garland to Mani.
Thakur has asked the sorrow-stricken devotee’s wife [M.’s wife] to come and stay for a few days with the Holy Mother in the garden house. Mani has heard him say this.
 Qualities. Three gunas constitute a man. These are sattva, rajas and tamas.
 Later Swami Abhedananda
 A savage tribe of India
 Now a province in Pakistan
 The doctrine that the universe, taken or conceived of as a whole, is God; or that all things are simply modes or manifestations of God
 The consciousness
 The vital breath
 Annamaya kosha, pranamaya kosha, manomaya kosha, vijnanamaya kosha and anandamaya kosha.
 The loin cloth of a sannyasin
 Inner controller
 Spiritual current
 And having gained which, he thinks that there is no greater gain than that, wherein established he is not shaken by the heaviest affliction. Gita 6:22
 This story is taken from the life of Prahlada. Prahlada’s father had invited two gurus, Shanda and Amarka, to come see him. The king wished to ask them why they taught Prahlada to repeat the name of Hari. The two gurus were afraid of going in the presence of the king. It is then that Shanda had said these words to Amarka, “I prepare the feed of cattle and you go to the palace, or you go to the palace and I prepare the feed of cattle.”
 A tree whose flowers are sacred to Shiva