Sri Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar Temple with Devotees
Sannyasins should not hoard – Thakur is ‘intoxicated with divine love, full to the brim’
Sri Ramakrishna is at the Dakshineswar Kali Temple. He is sitting on the smaller cot in his room, facing east. Devotees are seated on the floor. It is 9 November 1884, 25th of Kartik, the 7th day of the dark fortnight.
It is about midday when M. arrives. He watches the other devotees gather. Vijaykrishna Goswami is accompanied by a number of Brahmo devotees. Ram Chakravarty, the priest, is also there. A little later Mahimacharan, Narayan, and Kishori arrive. They are followed by many other devotees.
It is early winter. Thakur had been in need of a shirt and had asked M. for one. M. has brought one shirt of broadcloth and another of a heavier cloth. Thakur had not asked him to bring the thicker shirt.
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.) — You had better take that one back and wear it yourself. There is no harm in it. Tell me, what kind of shirt did I ask you to bring?
M. — You asked me to bring an ordinary shirt. You didn’t ask me to bring the heavier one.
Sri Ramakrishna — Then please take it back.
(To Vijay and others) “You see, Dwarika Babu gave me a shawl. Later, some Hindustanis [from northwest India] also brought one. I could not accept it.”
Thakur was going to say something more when Vijay began to talk.
Vijay — That is right, sir. One should only accept what is needed. And there must be a man to give it. Who but a man will give?
Sri Ramakrishna — It’s only the Lord who gives. A mother-in-law said to her daughter-in-law, ‘Oh, my child, everybody has an attendant to serve him. It would be nice if there were someone to massage your feet.’ Her daughter-in-law answered, ‘Lord Hari will massage my feet. I do not need anyone else.’ She said this in a spirit of devotion and love for God.
“A fakir went to Emperor Akbar to ask him for money. The Emperor was offering prayers saying, ‘Oh Allah, give me wealth and riches.’ Hearing this, the fakir started to leave, but the Emperor beckoned him to sit down. After he had finished his prayers, he asked the fakir why he had been going to leave. He replied, ‘You were praying for wealth and riches. I thought that if I have to beg, why ask a beggar, why not Allah?’ ”
Vijay — I saw a sadhu in Gaya who never made any effort to obtain food for himself. One day he wanted to feed some devotees. Special wheat flour and clarified butter arrived from somewhere. There were fruits and other foods, too.
Storing for future and three classes of holy men
Sri Ramakrishna (to Vijay and others) — There are three classes of sadhus: superior, mediocre and inferior. The superior class makes no effort to obtain food. The mediocre and the inferior kinds of holy men – among them dandis – beg for alms, saying, ‘Namo Narayana,’ and stand patiently waiting. The inferior sadhus kick up a row if they are not given alms. (All laugh.)
“The superior sadhu has the nature of a python. It does not move – it sits at one place and food comes to it. A young sadhu, who had been a brahmachari from boyhood, went to beg alms. A girl came up to give him some food. Seeing her prominent breasts, the sadhu thought she had abscesses on her chest. He asked about them. The ladies of the family explained to him that the Lord would provide milk through her breasts for an infant to be born to her. The Lord had provided for all this beforehand. Hearing this, the young sadhu was amazed. He said, ‘So there is no need for me to beg for alms. I, too, will have food provided without asking.’ ”
Some devotees think to themselves, “It will be all right if we, too, make no effort.”
Sri Ramakrishna — He who feels the need for effort will have to make it.
Vijay — There is a beautiful story in the Bhaktamala.
Sri Ramakrishna — Please tell it.
Vijay — Would you please tell it yourself?
Sri Ramakrishna — No, you should tell it. I don’t remember it well. In the beginning, one should hear these things, so earlier I used to hear all this.
Thakur’s state of mind – contemplation on Rama – signs of highest spiritual knowledge and ecstatic love
Sri Ramakrishna — I am in a different state of mind now. Hanuman said, ‘I don’t know the lunar date, nor the position of the stars. I only contemplate Rama.’
“The chatak bird wants only pure water. It may be dying of thirst, but it must fly high in the sky and drink there. The Ganges, the Jamuna and the seven seas are all full of water, but it will not drink the water of the earth.
“Rama and Lakshmana visited Pampa lake. Lakshmana saw a crow trying again and again to drink water, but it did not actually drink. When asked about it, Rama said, ‘Brother, this crow is a great devotee of God. It repeats the name of Rama night and day. It is dying of thirst, yet it is not drinking because it thinks that if it drinks, its repetition of the Name will be interrupted. On a full moon night, I asked Haladhari, ‘Brother, is it the night of the new moon?’ (All laugh.)
(Smiling) “Yes, it is true. I had heard that a characteristic of perfect spiritual knowledge is that one does not distinguish the nights of the full moon and the new moon. How could Haladhari believe it? He said, ‘This is the age of Kali. He cannot distinguish between the new moon and full moon. And people still respect him!’ ”
While Thakur is talking, Mahimacharan enters.
Sri Ramakrishna (respectfully) — Come in. Please come in. Take a seat.
(To Vijay and the other devotees) “In such a state of mind, one doesn’t remember dates. The other day there was a religious festival at Beni Pal’s garden. I forgot the date. I don’t remember the last day of the month, when I am going to repeat the Lord’s Name with great earnestness. (After reflecting for a few minutes) But I do remember that a certain person is coming to see me.”
Where does Sri Ramakrishna’s mind dwell – God-realization and inspiration
“Such a state comes when one’s mind is fixed one hundred percent on the Lord. Rama said to Hanuman, ‘You have brought a report about Sita. How did you find her? Please tell me.’ Hanuman said, ‘Rama, I saw that it was only Sita’s body lying there – no mind or soul in it. She has surrendered her whole mind and soul at your feet, so it was only her body lying there. The God of death was hovering around, but he was helpless. It was just her body lying there; there was no mind or soul in it.’
“One acquires the nature of the ideal one meditates upon. By meditating on the Lord night and day, one attains His nature. A salt doll went to fathom the ocean; it became one with it.
“What is the purpose of studying holy books or scriptures? It is the realization of God. Somebody opened a sadhu’s book to see what was in it. There was nothing written but the name of Rama – on every page. Nothing else.
“When one develops love for God, one feels spiritually inspired by small things. One reaps the fruit of millions of sandhyas, by just pronouncing the name of Rama once.
“A peacock is inspired to see clouds – it spreads its wings and dances full of joy. Radha also used to become inspired when she saw a cloud. The memory of Krishna would awaken in her mind.
“Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was passing close to the village of Mera. He heard that drums were made of the clay from that village. He was completely overwhelmed with divine emotion because drums are played at the time of the devotional singing of the Lord’s name.
“Who gets such divine inspiration? One who is rid of worldly wisdom. When the sap of attachment is completely dried up, one attains the inspiration of God in no time. A wet match stick will not strike fire, even if you rub it a thousand times. But when it is dry, it at once strikes fire when rubbed just a little.”
After God-realization, self-surrender comes, and a steady wisdom in sorrow and death
“The body, of course, is subject to happiness and sorrow. He who has realized God surrenders his mind, body, prana and soul, all these, to Him. Before taking a dip in Pampa lake, Rama and Lakshmana thrust their bows into the earth near the lake. After his bath Lakshmana saw that his bow was smeared with blood. Seeing it, Rama said, ‘Look, brother, some living being seems to have been injured.’ Lakshmana dug in the earth and saw a big frog half dead. Full of compassion, Rama said, ‘Why didn’t you make a noise? We would have tried to save you! When a snake seizes you, you croak loudly!’ The frog said, ‘Rama, when I am seized by a snake, I croak loudly, ‘Rama save me, save me! Oh Rama!’ Now when I see that Rama himself is killing me, I don’t say anything.’ ”
How to remain in one’s real Self? Why is the path of union with God through knowledge difficult?
Thakur is silent for awhile and is looking at Mahima and the other devotees.
Thakur has heard that Mahimacharan does not believe in the idea of the guru, so he changes the topic of conversation.
Sri Ramakrishna — One should have faith in the words of the guru. There is no need to consider the guru’s character. A saying goes, ‘Though my guru visits a tavern, he is yet my ever blissful guru.’
“A person was reading the Chandi Bhagavata. He read, ‘The broom is no doubt dirty, yet it cleans.’ ”
Mahimacharan often discusses the Vedanta. His goal is to attain the knowledge of Brahman. He follows the path of jnana, so he discriminates continuously.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Mahima) — The goal of the jnani is to know the nature of his own real Self. This is jnana. And it is this that is also called liberation. One’s own real Self is Parabrahman. Parabrahman and ‘I’ are one. But one does not know this because of the veil of maya.
“I said to Harish, ‘One does not have to do more than this: some basketfuls of earth are lying over gold; all you have to do is remove the earth. That is all.’
“Devotees retain their I-consciousness, but not jnanis. The Naked One (Totapuri) used to teach how to live in one’s own real Self: merge the mind in the intellect and the intellect in the Atman. Then you will be established in the real nature of the Atman.
“But one’s ‘I’ continues to persist, it does not leave. For instance, think of a limitless sheet of water. There is water all around – above, below, in front, behind, right and left. Within this sheet of water is a pot full of water. Though there is water outside and inside, the pot still remains – one’s ‘I’ is like this pot.”
His earlier story – thunderbolt in the Kali Temple – body and character of the knower of Brahman
“A jnani’s body does not undergo any change after attaining Knowledge. The fire of spiritual knowledge, however, does burn up enemies like lust and the other passions. Long ago a thunderbolt struck the Kali Temple in a rainstorm. I went out and saw that the doors were not affected, but the heads of the screws were broken. The body can be likened to the doors, and such attachments as lust to the screws.
“A jnani only likes spiritual talk. He is greatly troubled to hear about worldly things. A man of the world is in a different class. His turban of ignorance never disappears. He resumes the same worldly talk after having taken a detour for awhile.
“The Vedas talk of the seven spiritual planes. When the mind of the jnani rises to the fifth plane, he likes to hear nothing but talk on God. He cannot talk of anything else – only words of knowledge come as instruction from his mouth.”
Is Sri Ramakrishna describing his own state? He adds, “The Vedas talk of Sat-chit-ananda Brahman. That Brahman is neither one nor two. It is between one and two. One can neither say, ‘It exists’ nor ‘It does not exist’. It is between ‘existence’ and ‘non-existence’.”
Sri Ramakrishna and union with God by the path of love and devotion – loving devotion brings God-realization
Sri Ramakrishna — One attains God by developing an intense attachment, or by cultivating love for Him. Devotion acquired through ritualistic worship goes as easily as it comes. What is ritualistic worship? It consists of repeating the Name so many times a day, meditating for a certain period of time, performing so many sacrifices and homa for a certain duration, worshipping with so many articles, and repeating a certain mantra during puja – it is as easy to lose as to get. So many people say, ‘Oh brother, I have eaten nothing but havishya for so long; I have worshipped the Deity so many times at my home – but to what avail?’
“But intense devotion is never lost. Who gains such passionate devotion? He who has performed many austerities in an earlier life, or he who is ever-perfect. It is like, while clearing weeds and rubbish in a dilapidated house, one comes across a fountain fitted with a pipe. It was lying covered by earth and red dust but as soon as they are removed, water begins to gush out.
“They who have intense devotion do not say, ‘Brother, I have lived on havishya for so long, but what have I gained?’ They who take up farming for the first time, give up their land if they fail to get a crop. But a hereditary farmer will persist in farming, whether there is a crop or not. Their ancestors have practiced farming, so they know that farming will bring them food.
“They who have intense devotion have real and sincere love for God. He takes their burden on Himself. When you are admitted to a hospital, the physician does not discharge you until you are cured.
“They who are held by the Lord need have no fear. A boy who holds his father’s hand while walking on the balk of a field may fall if he loosens his grip for lack of caution. But if the father is holding the hand of his son, he does not fall.”
One talks only of God when one develops loving devotion – renunciation of the world and living as a householder
“What is not possible when one has faith in God? He who has genuine faith believes in God with form and the Formless One – Rama, Krishna, and Bhagavati (Mother of the Universe) – in all of them.
“When I was going to my village (Kamarpukur), a hailstorm began. There was also the danger of dacoits lurking in the fields. I began to utter the names of all the deities: Rama, Krishna and Bhagavati. And then I called out, ‘Hanuman!’ I called out the names of all the gods and goddesses. What does that mean?
“Do you know what it is like? When a servant or a maid goes to the market to buy supplies, he counts money taken from the master, saying, ‘Here is money for potatoes, here is money for brinjals and this money is for fish.’ The money for all the articles is taken separately – and then mixed up.
“When one develops love for God, one likes to talk only of Him. One begins to speak and to hear only of one’s beloved.
“A worldly person’s mouth begins to water if somebody praises his son. The father immediately says, ‘I say, bring some water for your uncle to wash his feet.’
“They who like guavas are very happy to hear good things about them. If, however, someone talks disparagingly of them, he might suddenly say, ‘Oh! Has anybody in your fourteen ancestral generations ever grown guavas?’ ”
Thakur is saying the following to Mahimacharan since the latter is a householder.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Mahima) — Why renounce the world altogether? It is enough if one gets rid of attachment. But you need to practice spiritual disciplines. You have to fight with your senses.
“Besides, it is more convenient to fight a battle from within the fort. One receives a lot of help from the fort. The world is a place for enjoyment. One should enjoy it, and then quickly give up one article of enjoyment after the other. Once I had a desire to wear a golden chain around my waist. I even got one and put it on – but I took it off immediately.
“I ate some onion and began to discriminate in this way – my mind, this is what is called onion. I moved it around in my mouth for awhile, first on one side and then on the other. I spat it out after making it touch the mouth on all sides.”
In the joy of devotional songs
A musician is coming today for community singing of hymns.
Thakur asks the devotees every now and then, “Where is the musician?”
Mahima — We are quite all right as we are.
Sri Ramakrishna — But why, my dear sir? We get this all year long.
Somebody from outside the room says, “The singing party has come! The musician has arrived!”
Full of joy, Sri Ramakrishna asks, “Where is he?”
A mat is spread on the long southeastern verandah of the room. Sri Ramakrishna says, “Sprinkle a little Ganges water. So many worldly people have walked this verandah.”
The wife and daughters of Pyari Babu, a resident of Bali, arrive after visiting the Kali Temple. They wish to hear the kirtan when they see the preparations being made for it. Someone says to Thakur, “They are asking if there is enough space for them in the room. Can they sit here?” Listening to the devotional songs, Thakur says, “No, no.” He means that there is not enough room.
Just at this moment Narayan arrives. He salutes Thakur.
Thakur says to him, “Why have you come? You had such a beating from the members of your family.” Narayan goes toward Thakur’s room. Seeing this, Thakur beckons Baburam to give him something to eat.
Narayan enters the room. Suddenly Thakur rises and follows. He wants to feed Narayan with his own hands. After doing so, he comes back and sits on the verandah where the devotional songs are being sung.
Thakur enjoys devotional songs in the company of devotees
A number of devotees have arrived: Vijay Goswami, Mahimacharan, Narayan, Adhar, M., the Younger Gopal, and some others. Rakhal and Balaram are still in holy Vrindavan.
It is between three and four o’clock. Sri Ramakrishna is listening to the songs on the verandah. Narayan comes and sits close to him. Other devotees surround them.
At this moment Adhar enters. Thakur seems excited to see him. When Adhar sits down, after having paid his obeisance, Thakur beckons him to come nearer.
The musicians finish singing and the session comes to a close. The devotees stroll in the garden. Some of them go toward the temples of Mother Kali and Radhakanta to see the evening services.
When evening worship is over, the devotees return to Thakur’s room.
They again arrange for the singing of hymns in Thakur’s room. Thakur is full of enthusiasm. He says, “Bring a lamp.” Two lamps light the room brightly.
Thakur says to Vijay, “Why are you sitting there? Move over here.”
The tempo of the kirtan rises in crescendo. Thakur becomes intoxicated and begins to dance. The devotees surround him and also dance. Vijay’s cloth drops off while he is dancing. He is not conscious of it.
When the song ends, Vijay looks for his key, which he had dropped somewhere. Thakur says, “A special divine sound resounds here.” Saying this, he laughs and then says to Vijay, “Why bother about it?” (In other words, Vijay has nothing to do with keys anymore.)
Kishori salutes Thakur and takes his leave. Thakur, full of affection for him, touches his chest with his hand and says, “Do come again.” His words are full of tenderness. After awhile Mani and Gopal come and salute him – they are also preparing to leave. Thakur speaks to them with the same affection, as if his words were dripping honey. He says, “Leave tomorrow morning. You may catch cold at night.”
In the company of devotees
Mani and Gopal do not leave, but decide to stay the night. They sit on the floor with a couple of other devotees. After awhile, Sri Ramakrishna says to Ram Chakravarty, “Ram, where is the other foot mat that was here?”
Thakur has not had time to rest the whole day. Where could he go, leaving the devotees behind? Now he goes out for awhile. Returning to his room, he sees Mani writing down the words of a song being spoken by Ramlal.
Redeem me, O Redeeming Mother!
I am so afraid of Yama, the god of death.
Thakur asks Mani what he is writing. Being told that it is a particular song, he says, “This is a very long song.”
Thakur takes a little farina pudding with one or two luchis at night. He asks Ramlal, “Do you have any more farina pudding?”
Having written a line or two, Mani does not write any more of the words of the song.
Thakur, sitting on a small carpet on the floor, eats the pudding.
Then he returns to the smaller cot and sits there, while M. sits down on the foot mat lying near the cot and talks to him. When he talks about Narayan, Thakur becomes absorbed in divine emotion.
Sri Ramakrishna — Did you see Narayan today?
M. — Yes sir. His eyes were full of tears. I felt like weeping when I saw his face.
Sri Ramakrishna — I feel the love a parent feels for his child when I see him. They thrash him at home for coming here. He has nobody to defend him. [A song goes –]
O Kubja, there is none who can make you understand.
There is nobody to defend Radha.
M. (smiling) — The other day he left his books at Haripada’s house and came here.
Sri Ramakrishna — It was not right for him to do that.
Thakur is silent. After awhile he talks again.
Sri Ramakrishna — You see, he has much substance in him. Otherwise, how could I have been drawn to him even though I was listening to the singing of hymns? I left the devotional singing to come to the room to see him – such a thing has never happened before.
Thakur is silent. After awhile he speaks again.
Sri Ramakrishna — In a state of ecstasy, I asked him how he was. He just said, ‘I am very happy.’ (To M.) Buy something for him to eat from time to time – feed him lovingly, as a son.
Sri Ramakrishna now talks about Tejchandra.
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.) — Ask him what he thinks of me – does he think of me as a jnani? I heard that Tejchandra is very reserved. (To Gopal) Look, tell Tejchandra to come here on Saturdays and Tuesdays.
Thakur is sitting on the floor, eating farina pudding. A lamp is burning on a lamp-stand close to him. M. is sitting close by. Thakur says, “Are there any sweets?” M. had brought sandesh made of fresh raw sugar. He says to Ramlal, “Some sandesh is lying on the shelf.”
Sri Ramakrishna — Where is the sandesh? Bring it here.
M. looks on the shelf for the sandesh, rather confused. He does not find it there. It all seems to have been served to the devotees. Embarrassed, he comes back and sits again near Thakur. Thakur speaks.
Sri Ramakrishna — Well, I may visit your school once.
M. guesses that Thakur wants to visit the school to see Narayan. So, he says, “It would be all right for you to visit our home.”
Sri Ramakrishna — No, I am thinking of something else. Do you know what? I want to see if there are other worthy boys in your school.
M. — You must certainly visit the school. Others visit, so you can also visit the school.
Having finished his meal, Thakur sits on the smaller cot. A devotee prepares a smoke for him. Thakur smokes. In the meantime M. and Gopal, still on the verandah, eat chapattis, lentils and other refreshments. They decide to sleep in the nahabat.
After the meal M. sits on the foot mat near the cot.
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.) — If there are pots and pans in the nahabat, you may sleep in this room.
M. — Very well, sir.
With the attendant
It is ten or eleven at night. Thakur is resting on the smaller cot, leaning against a pillow. Mani is sitting on the floor while Thakur talks to him. A lamp is burning near the wall of the room on the lamp-stand mentioned before.
Thakur is the ocean of motiveless grace. He allows Mani to serve him.
Sri Ramakrishna — Look, my feet are aching. Can you massage them a little?
Mani sits next to Thakur’s feet on the smaller cot and, taking his two feet on his lap, strokes them gently. Thakur talks to him every now and then.
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling) — How did you like the conversation today?
Mani — Sir, it was very good.
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling) — Did you like the story about Emperor Akbar?
Mani — Yes, sir. It was very good.
Sri Ramakrishna — Tell me what you liked about it.
Mani — A fakir went to see Emperor Akbar while Akbar was offering Namaz. In his prayers he was asking the Lord for wealth and riches. Hearing this, the fakir tried to leave the room quietly. When asked by Akbar why he was leaving, he said, ‘If I have to beg, why should I beg of a beggar?’
Sri Ramakrishna — And what else did we talk about?
Mani — We talked a lot about saving for the future.
Sri Ramakrishna — What did we say about saving for the future?
Mani — As long as one feels he should make an effort, he should make the effort. How nicely you told us about hoarding in Sinti!
Sri Ramakrishna — Tell me about it.
Mani — God takes upon himself the burden of one who depends on Him – like a guardian taking the whole burden of a minor. And this we heard: a young boy cannot find for himself a place to sit at a feast. Somebody else shows him a seat to partake of the feast.
Sri Ramakrishna — No, that isn’t correct. When a father holds the hand of his son and leads him, the son does not fall.
Mani — And today you talked of three types of sadhus. A superior sadhu is one who does not move about seeking his food. You also talked of a young sadhu who, when he saw the breasts of a girl, said, ‘Why does she have sores on her chest?’ You also said many other wonderful things – these were the last things you talked about.
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling) — What were they?
Mani — One was the fable of the crow of Pampa lake. It repeated the name of Rama night and day, so when it went to the lake to quench its thirst, it couldn’t drink the water. And about the book of a particular sadhu – only ‘Om, Rama’ was written on every page of the book. And also what Hanuman said to Rama.
Sri Ramakrishna — What did he say?
Mani — He said that he had come there after seeing Sita. But only her body was lying there; her mind and soul were both surrendered at Rama’s feet.
“And you also told the story of the chatak bird. It does not drink any water but pure water [of rain that falls at a particular conjunction of stars].
“And about Jnana Yoga and Bhakti Yoga.”
Sri Ramakrishna — What was that?
Mani — As long as one is conscious of ‘the pot,’ the idea that ‘I am a pot’ persists. As long as one is conscious of one’s ‘I,’ one cherishes the idea, ‘I am a devotee, You are Bhagavan.’
Sri Ramakrishna — No. Whether you are conscious of ‘the pot’ or not, ‘the pot’ continues to exist. The ‘I’ doesn’t leave you. Reason it out a thousand times, one’s ‘ego’ does not vanish.
Mani is silent for awhile. He again talks.
Mani — You had a conversation with Ishan Mukherji in the Kali Temple. I was very fortunate to be present to hear it.
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling) — Yes. Let me hear what we talked about.
Mani — You said that work is only the first chapter of human life. You asked Sambhu Mallick, ‘Suppose the Lord appears before you, will you ask Him to provide hospitals and dispensaries?’
“And you said something else that was special – God doesn’t reveal Himself as long as one is attached to work. You said this to Keshab Sen.”
Sri Ramakrishna — What?
Mani — As long as a child sucks on a pacifier, forgetful of its mother, the latter finishes her cooking. But when the child throws the pacifier away and begins to cry, the mother takes the rice pot off the fire and goes to the child.
“And you talked about something else, too, that day. Lakshmana asked, ‘Where can one see God?’ After explaining in many ways, Rama said, ‘Brother, when you see burning love and devotion in a man – when he laughs, cries, dances and sings, intoxicated with ecstatic love – know that I dwell there.’ ”
Sri Ramakrishna — Ah! How beautiful!
Thakur is silent for awhile.
Mani — You talked to Ishan only about turning away from worldliness. Since then many people have gained some awareness and are inclined to reduce their duties. You said, ‘Ravana died in Lanka while Behula cried her heart out.’
Thakur laughs loudly.
Mani (very humbly) — Well, sir, isn’t it right to reduce one’s duties and the hustle and bustle of life?
Sri Ramakrishna — But it is a different matter if you come across a sadhu or a poor man. You must serve him.
Mani — And that day you spoke rightly to Ishan about his flatterers – that they are like vultures falling on a carcass. You once said this to Pundit Padmalochan too.
Sri Ramakrishna — No, I said this to Vamandas of Ulo.
After awhile, Mani sits on the foot mat near the smaller cot.
Thakur feels sleepy. He says to Mani, “You may go and rest now. Where is Gopal? Please shut the door.”
The next day is Monday. Sri Ramakrishna has left his bed very early in the morning to chant the holy names of the deities. Now and then he glances at the Ganges. The morning arati is being performed in the temples of Kali and Radhakanta. Mani has slept on the floor in Thakur’s room. He, too, has left his bed to watch and hear the worships.
After his morning oblutions, he comes and sits near Thakur.
Thakur has finished his bath. He goes to the Kali Temple with Mani. Thakur asks him to lock the door of his room.
Reaching the Kali Temple, Thakur takes a seat. He offers flowers, sometimes on his own head, sometimes at the lotus feet of Mother Kali. He fans the Mother with the chamara. Then he returns to his room and asks Mani to unlock the door. He enters the room and sits down on the smaller cot. He is absorbed in divine ecstasy and repeats the holy name of the deity. Mani sits alone on the floor.
Now Thakur begins to sing. Intoxicated with divine emotion, is he trying to teach Mani, through the song, that Kali is none other than Brahman? And that Kali is both with attributes and without attributes? And She is without form and She is also with infinite forms?
Song — O Kali, who can know You? You have infinite forms.
You are Supreme Knowledge, You are timeless and primeval; You are the breaker of the bonds of the world.
You are Shiva’s consort. You enthrall the mind of Govinda. You are the bestower of divine knowledge and of salvation. You fulfill the desires of the mind.
You are Sri Radha who resides in the heart of Sri Krishna. You are the daughter of the mountains. O Sarada, grant us a boon.
Song – O Mother, the Redeemer, take me across quickly this time.
I am dying in fear of the God of Death.
O, Mother of the Universe, preserver and enchantress of the world, and its begetter.
You took birth from Yashoda’s womb and participated in the Lord’s divine sport.
As Radha You sported and enjoyed Yourself in Vrindavan with Krishna, the beloved of Vraja.
Full of sweetness, You took delight in the rasa and participated in the divine sport.
You are Shiva’s consort; You are the Mother, the heartthrob of Govinda. You dwell in the heart and give spiritual salvation.
You are eternal. You are Ishani, ever full of bliss; You assume all forms; You have attributes and yet You are attributeless. You are ever the beloved of Shiva. Who can know Your greatness?
Mani thinks to himself: If Thakur would only sing this song –
O Mother, I have seen Your crimson feet.
I shall now never forget You, even though You may try to trick me.
How wonderful! As soon as the idea of the song comes to M.’s mind, Thakur sings it. After some time Thakur asks M., “Well, what do you think of my present state of mind?”
Mani (smiling) — You are in your natural and simple state of mind.
Thakur sings the refrain of a song –
Till one is simple at heart, one cannot reach God, the Simple One.
 A sect of sannyasins who always carry a staff with them
 Purna jnana
 It is auspicious to repeat the Name of God on the last day of the month
 Kala; Yama
 Worship and meditation performed at dawn, noon and sunset by orthodox Hindus
 Vital breath
 Jnana yoga
 The Supreme Brahman
 Bhakti Yoga
 Raga Bhakti
 Vaidhi bhakti
 A holy food consisting of boiled rice with clarified butter
 Raga Bhakti
 Fried bread
 The hunchback woman
 Urjita bhakti
 Behula was unrelated to Ravana and lived many years later. This saying shows how man gives way to totally irrelevant matters.
 A fan made of the white hair from the tail of the chamari yak, used in Hindu ritual worship
 The Spirit of Eternity
 For complete song, see Section I, Chapter V of this volume
 For complete song, see Section XX, Chapter II of Volume II