Thakur with Narendra and Other Devotees at Adhar’s House
Thakur in the joy of devotional singing with Narendra and other devotees – in samadhi
Sri Ramakrishna is sitting with devotees in the parlour on the second storey of Adhar’s home. Narendra, the two Mukherji brothers, Bhavanath, M., Chunilal, Hazra, and other devotees are seated near Thakur. It is about three o’clock, Saturday, 6 September 1884, 22nd day of Bhadra, 1291 B.Y., the first day of the dark fortnight.
The devotees salute Sri Ramakrishna. After M. has saluted him, Thakur says to Adhar, “Isn’t Doctor Nitai coming?”
Preparations are being made for Narendra to sing. A tanpura string snaps as it is being tuned, and Thakur says, “My, what you have done!” Now Narendra tunes the banyas. Thakur says, “Your banya tuning is like a slap on the cheek.”
They talk about different kirtans. Narendra says, “There is no regular beat or rhythm in kirtan songs. That’s why they’re so popular. People love them.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “What are you saying! There is such feeling of compassion in them – that’s why people like them.”
Sweet is Your name, O refuge of the lowly.
He sings another song:
Will my days just pass in vain, O Lord?
Day and night my eyes are on the path of hope.
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling, to Hazra): “He sang the same song when he visited me for the first time.”
After Narendra sings a couple of songs more, Vaishnavcharan sings:
O Hari, how shall I know You now?
O Bankura, living in Mathura, clad in royal splendour and riding elephants,
Have you forgotten the grazing of cows? Have you forgotten us?
Do you remember how you stole butter in Vraja?
Sri Ramakrishna: “Sing this song: ‘O my vina, play Hari, Hari.’”
O my vina, sing Hari, Hari!
Without Hari’s holy feet, you will not gain the Supreme Truth.
The name of Hari destroys all sorrows. Chant ‘Hare Krishna, Hare.’
By Hari’s grace, I shall have no worldly distress.
O Vina, sing but once the name of Hari. There is no haven but His name.
The servant, Govinda, says, ‘In vain my days have passed. May I no longer drift on the world’s shoreless ocean.’
Thakur occasionally goes into samadhi – he dances
Listening to the song, Sri Ramakrishna becomes absorbed in ecstasy and exclaims, “Ah, ah! Chant Hari, Hari.”
While saying this, he passes into samadhi, surrounded by devotees who watch him. The room is full of people.
The kirtan singer stops this song and begins a new one.
The beautiful and youthful Gauranga of golden hue dances best.
When he sings the line, “Drifting away in the flood of intense love for Hari,” Thakur stands up and begins to dance. Then he sits down and, stretching his arms out, improvises: “O, utter the name of Hari once.”
Thakur becomes overwhelmed with emotion as he improvises. Bending his head, he goes into samadhi. In front of him is a bolster on which he rests his head. The musician sings another song:
What other wealth is there in the world except the name of Hari?
Sweetly sing, “Madhai.”
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.
Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare.
Another song follows:
My Gaur dances singing Hari’s name,
My Gauranga dances amid a mountain of gold.
Gold anklets sweetly jingle on his red feet.
Dear Narahari, remain beside Gauranga.
His body made of Radha’s love lies in dust.
To his left Advaitananda, to his right Nityananda,
And in the middle dances my Lord Chaitanya.
Thakur rises and dances while he improvises: “Oh, let us become intoxicated with intense love for God.”
Watching the wonderful dance, Narendra and the other devotees cannot remain still. They all join Thakur in the dance.
Thakur now and then goes into samadhi while dancing. Then he becomes completely withdrawn and does not utter a word; his whole body is still. The devotees dance in a circle around him.
After a while, Thakur regains partial consciousness, like Chaitanya Deva used to do. And then he dances with the strength of a lion. But even then there is no word on his tongue – he is nearly mad with love for God!
Whenever he returns to partial consciousness, he continues to improvise lines for the song.
Today Adhar’s parlour has become Srivasa’s courtyard. Many people gather on the road when they hear the chant of Hari’s names.
After dancing with the devotees for a long time, Thakur again sits down. Still in an ecstatic mood, he asks Narendra, “Please sing that song: ‘O Mother, make me mad with Your love.’”
At Thakur’s behest, Narendra sings:
O Mother, make me mad with Your love.
Sri Ramakrishna: “And also: ‘In the sea of the bliss of consciousness.’”
The waves of ecstatic love for God rise on the sea of the bliss of consciousness.
The sweet play of intense bliss has overwhelmed me.
All has become one in the great union.
All divides and distinctions of time and space have disappeared.
Now raising your arms in the inebriation of bliss, with the mind sing Hari’s name.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Narendra): “And that song: ‘In the firmament of my soul.’ No, it’s too long, isn’t it? Well, please sing a little slowly.”
In the firmament of wisdom, the moon of divine love rises full.
Sri Ramakrishna: “And that one: ‘The wine of the name of Hari.’”
O my mind, be drunk with the wine of divine love;
Rolling on the ground, weep and chant the name of Hari…
Thakur improvises, adding lines to the song:
Be drunk O my mind, with intense love for God, and weep, chanting, ‘Hari, Hari.’
Drunk with ecstasy, weep and chant Hari’s name.
Thakur and the devotees rest for a while. Narendra whispers to Thakur, “Will you please sing that song once?”
Sri Ramakrishna says, “My throat is a little sore.”
After a while, he asks Narendra, “Which one?”
Narendra: “‘Your world-enchanting beauty.’”
Thakur slowly sings:
Who has brought Gaur to Nadia,
Gaur whose beauty enchants the world?
His face, hidden by tresses of hair,
Shines like lightning amidst the clouds.
Bring him near that I may glimpse the Lord.
He sings another song:
How can I find any joy at home?
Could Shyama but be the tresses of my hair,
I would lovingly braid it with bakul flowers.
I would carefully braid my Keshava-hair.
Shyama is black, and black is my hair; black would be one with black.
Could Shyama but be my nose ring, He would ever grace my face,
And know the tender touch of my lips.
But why, O friend, should I dream of what never can be?
Why should Shyama be away from me?
Could Shyama be my bracelets, He would ever adorn my arms.
I would walk shaking my arms and jingling my bracelets.
Wearing the bracelets of Shyama, O friend, I would walk down the royal road.
Insight in the state of ecstasy – invitation to Narendra and others
The singing has ended. Thakur talks with Narendra, Bhavanath, and other devotees. Smiling, he says, “Hazra danced.”
Narendra (smiling): “Yes, sir. A little.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “A little?”
Narendra (smiling): “His paunch danced and also another thing.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “It dances by itself. You don’t have to move it; it moves on its own.” (All laugh.)
The conversation now turns to the invitation to Thakur by the man in whose home Shashadhar now resides.
Narendra: “Will the master of the house provide food?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “I hear he doesn’t have a good character, that he’s a scoundrel.”
Narendra: “That’s why, when you met Shashadhar for the first time, you didn’t drink water from the glass touched by his host. How did you know he had a bad character?”
His earlier story – at Sihore in Hriday’s house with Hazra and a Vaishnava
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “Hazra knows of another instance. It was at Hriday’s house in Sihore.”
Hazra: “He was a Vaishnava. He went with me to visit him [Sri Ramakrishna]. As soon as he came in and sat down, he [Sri Ramakrishna] turned his back on him.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “We heard afterwards that he acted lewdly toward his maternal aunt. (To Narendra) At first you used to say that my states were only hallucinations.”
Narendra: “What can I say? Now I have seen so much. It all tallies.”
Narendra means to say that when Thakur is in ecstasy, he can see the inside and outside of a person. He has confirmed this a number of times.
Sri Ramakrishna on caste of devotees
Adhar has made great preparations for serving Thakur and the devotees. He now invites them to eat.
Thakur says to Mahendra and Priyanath, the two Mukherji brothers, “Aren’t you coming to eat?”
They humbly ask to be excused.
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “They are doing everything else. But now hesitating about eating?
“A woman’s father-in-law was named Hari and her husband’s elder brother, Krishna. Now the name of Hari had to be chanted, but she wouldn’t say Hare Krishna. Instead, she repeated:
Phare Phrishta phare Phrishta, Phrishta, Phrishta Phare Phare.
Phare Rama, Phare Rama, Rama Rama Phare Phare.
Adhar is a goldsmith by caste. That is why some brahmin devotees are initially hesitant to eat in his house. But later, when they see that Sri Ramakrishna himself eats there, they give up this wrong notion.
It is about 9 p.m. Thakur has joyfully eaten his meal with Narendra, Bhavanath, and other devotees.
Now he comes to the parlour to rest. Preparations are being made for his return to Dakshineswar.
The Mukherji brothers have arranged for a kirtan at Dakshineswar tomorrow, Sunday, for Thakur’s enjoyment. Shyamdas, a professional musician, will sing. Ram studies devotional music from him at his home.
Thakur asks Narendra to come to Dakshineswar the next day.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Narendra): “Will you come tomorrow?”
Narendra: “I’ll try.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “You can eat there if you like.
“M. can also eat there. (To M.) Are you over your illness? Are you on a diet?”
M.: “No, sir. I shall be there.”
Nityagopal is in Vrindavan. Some days ago Chunilal returned from there. Thakur gets news of Nityagopal from him.
Thakur is ready to return to Dakshineswar. M. salutes him, touching Thakur’s feet with his forehead.
Thakur says to him affectionately, “Do come.”
(To Narendra and others, affectionately): “Narendra, Bhavanath – please come.”
Narendra, Bhavanath, and other devotees salute him by prostrating. They all return home, their minds recalling Thakur’s wonderful singing and dancing with the devotees during the kirtan.
It is the first day of the dark fortnight of the month of Bhadra. The moon shines brightly in the night, as if laughing. Sri Ramakrishna proceeds towards Dakshineswar in a carriage with Bhavanath, Hazra, and other devotees.
. For the complete song refer to Section XIX, Chapter III.
. For the complete song refer to Volume III, Appendix, Chapter I.
. A stringed instrument.
. Srivasa Pundit was a close companion of Sri Chaitanya Deva. It was at his house that Sri Chaitanya and his associates used to have sankirtan all night long.
. For the complete song refer to Section XIX, Chapter III.
. For the complete song refer to Volume II, Section I, Chapter II.
 “The Dark One,” a name of Krishna.
 Keshava: a name of Krishna.
back to Kathamrita Main Page