Sri Ramakrishna with Baburam, Nilkantha, M., Manomohan, and Other Devotees at the Dakshineswar Temple
Hazra Mahashay – spontaneous love for God
Sri Ramakrishna is seated in his room at the Dakshineswar Temple with devotees after the midday meal. Near him are M., Hazra, the elder Kali, Baburam, Ramlal, and Hari, who is related to the Mukherjis. Some devotees are seated on the floor, others are standing. In response to the invitation of Keshab’s mother, Thakur visited the Sen’s Calcutta house the previous day and made everyone happy with his devotional songs.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Hazra): “Yesterday I had a very good meal at Nabin Sen’s house. It was served with great devotion.”
Hazra and the knowledge of Ultimate Reality – Hazra and his tendency to reason
Hazra has been living with Thakur for quite some time. He has a streak of pride, thinking that he is a jnani. He even criticizes Thakur in the presence of other people. On the other hand, he sits on an asana in the verandah and tells his beads with full concentration. He thinks of Chaitanya Deva as a modern incarnation of God, but not one of great significance. He says, “It is not that God only grants pure love and devotion. He has no dearth of riches. He also grants wealth. When one attains Him, one also gets the eight occult powers.” Hazra has incurred a debt on his house, about a thousand rupees, and is worried about paying it.
The elder Kali works in an office and receives a small salary. He has a family with children. He is greatly devoted to Sri Ramakrishna and often visits him, sometimes absenting himself from the office.
The elder Kali (to Hazra): “You go about testing people, like a touchstone, to find out which is pure gold and which is impure. Why do you run others down?”
Hazra: “Whatever remarks I make, I say in front of him.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “That’s true.”
Hazra explains the meaning of the knowledge of the Ultimate Reality.
Hazra: “Knowledge of the Ultimate Reality means the knowledge of the twenty-four cosmic principles.”
A devotee: “What are the twenty-four cosmic principles?”
Hazra: “The five gross elements, the six enemies [or passions], the five organs of perception, the five organs of action, and so on.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “Just see what he says about the knowledge of the Ultimate Reality, or tattvajnana. Notice that. Knowledge of the Ultimate Reality means knowledge of the Self. Tat means the Supreme self, tvam means the individual self. The embodied soul and the Supreme Self are one and the same. Knowing this is the knowledge of the Ultimate Reality, or tattvajnana.”
After a while, Hazra rises and goes out of the room to sit on the verandah.
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.): “He only argues. For a moment he understands it very well, but in no time he becomes as ignorant as before.
“When I see a big fish pulling the line hard, I release it. If I didn’t do that, the fish would break it. And the person holding the cord would fall into the water. That’s why I don’t say anything more.”
Hazra, salvation, and the six divine glories – selfish devotion versus motiveless love for God
(To M.) “Hazra says that you can attain liberation only if you are born a brahmin. I said, ‘What do you mean? Liberation can be achieved by love for God alone.’ Shavari was the daughter of a hunter. She, Ruhidas, and others, at whose meal time bells rang, were shudras. They attained liberation through love for God alone. Hazra says, ‘But still…’
“He recognizes Dhruva. But not as much as Prahlada. When Latu said, ‘How great a love for God Dhruva had during his childhood!’ he remained silent.
“I say there is nothing higher than love for God untainted by desire. He contradicts this. A rich man is annoyed when a person comes to him asking for things. Irritated, he says, ‘Here he comes!’ When he comes in, the rich man says to him with irritation, ‘Sit down.’ He shows his annoyance. He doesn’t take anybody in his carriage who demands anything of him.
“Hazra says, ‘God isn’t a rich person like that. Does He lack wealth that He would suffer any hardship to give it away?’
“Hazra says something else, ‘When it rains, the Ganges and all the other big rivers and lakes swell with water; even pits and ponds are filled. When God’s grace dawns, He grants not only love and devotion, but also wealth.’
“But this is tainted devotion. There is no desire in pure love. You want nothing from here [me], you only like to hear my talk when you meet me. My mind is also drawn to you: How is he, why hasn’t he come? I have such anxiety about you.
“You want nothing, but still you love God. This is called motiveless love for God. This is pure love. Prahlada had it. He didn’t want the kingdom, he didn’t care for riches. He only wanted the Lord.”
M.: “Hazra chats away incessantly. He isn’t going to achieve anything unless he keeps his mouth shut.”
Hazra’s pride and fault-finding
Sri Ramakrishna: “Now and again he becomes very humble when he comes near me. But such are his stars that he soon begins to argue again. It is very difficult to get rid of pride. Cut down an ashwattha tree, and tomorrow you will see a shoot sprouting from it. As long as it has roots, the tree will sprout again and again.
“I say to Hazra, ‘Don’t find fault with people.’
“It is Narayana (God) who dwells in all these different forms. Even evil-doers can be worshiped.
“Just consider the worship of the Divine Mother in the form of a young unmarried girl. Why worship a girl who has physical limitations and a runny nose? You do so because she also is a form of the Mother of the Universe.
“God dwells in His devotee in a special way. A devotee is the living room of God.
“The bigger the gourd, the better the tanpura you can make. It sounds better. (Smiling, to Ramlal) Oh, Ramlal, how did Hazra say that in Sanskrit, ‘Antis bahis yadi Haris!’ It is like someone saying, ‘Matram khatram. (The mother is eating).’ (Everyone laughs.)
Ramlal (smiling): “What is the use of austerity if God is seen inside as well as out?”
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.): “Practice this, and repeat it to me often.”
Thakur’s plate is missing from his room. Ramlal and Brinde, the maid, are asking about it, “Do you know anything about the plate?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Where? I don’t see it anywhere. It was here before. I saw it.”
Sri Ramakrishna with two sadhus – Thakur’s paramahamsa state
Two sadhu guests arrived today at the panchavati. They are studying the Gita, Vedanta, and some other scriptures. After their midday meal, they have come to see Thakur. He is sitting on his smaller cot. Bowing to him, the sadhus sit on a mat on the floor. M. and other devotees are also there. Thakur talks to them in Hindi.
Sri Ramakrishna: “Have you eaten?”
Sadhu: “Yes, sir.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “What did you eat?”
Sadhu: “Chapattis and lentils. Would you like some?”
The sadhu and work without expectation of reward – desire for love of God – Vedanta – So ’ham and the householder
Sri Ramakrishna: “No, I only eat a little rice. So, you repeat God’s name and meditate. You do it without expecting any reward, don’t you?”
Sadhu: “Yes, sir.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “That’s good. Besides that, you should offer the results to God. Don’t you agree?”
Sadhu (to the other sadhu) –
yat karoñi yad açnäsi yaj juhoñi dadäsi yat |
yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kuruñva madarpaëam ||
[Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer in sacrifice, whatever you give away, whatever austerity you practice, O son of Kunti, do it as an offering to Me.]
– Bhagavad Gita 9:27
Sri Ramakrishna: “If you offer God something, you receive it back a thousandfold. So after performing all your duties, offer them to Him with water in your cupped palm, surrendering the fruit of the actions to Krishna.
“When Yudhisthira was about to offer all his sins to Krishna, someone (Bhima) warned him, ‘Please don’t do such a thing. What you offer to Krishna, you will receive back a thousand times.’ Well, one should work without expectation of any reward – renouncing all desires. Isn’t it so?”
Sadhu: “Yes, sir.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Well, I have the desire to love God. That’s not bad – actually it’s good. Eating sweets isn’t good – they bring indigestion – but sugar candy is beneficial.”
Sadhu: “Yes, sir!”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Well my dear, what is Vedanta?”
Sadhu: “The six systems of philosophy comprise Vedanta.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “But the essence of Vedanta is that Brahman is real and the world an illusion. I am not separate from anything, I am that same Brahman. What do you think?”
Sadhu: “Yes, sir.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “But for those who live a worldly life and think they are the body, the attitude of So ’ham – I am That – is not right. The Vedanta or the Yogavasishtha is not for householders. They can indeed be harmful. The householder should live in the attitude of the master and the servant: ‘O God! You are the Lord, the Master; I am Your slave, Your servant.’ It’s not good for those who consider themselves the body to cherish the attitude ‘I am He.’”
Everyone remains silent. Thakur smiles a little, as though to himself – he rejoices in the Self.
One sadhu whispers to the other, “Look, look at this. This is called the state of a paramahamsa.”
Sri Ramakrishna (to M., looking at him): “I feel like laughing.”
Thakur laughs a little to himself, like a child.
Sri Ramakrishna and women – hard rules for sannyasins
His earlier story – desire to visit his father-in-law’s house – meeting with Vamandas of Ulo
The sadhus leave.
Thakur, Baburam, M., Hari of the Mukherjis, and other devotees are strolling in the room and on the verandah outside.
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.): “Did you go to Nabin Sen’s house?”
M.: “Yes, sir. I did go. I sat downstairs and heard the songs.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Good that you went. Your wife went too. Wasn’t Keshab Sen her uncle’s son?”
M.: “A distant relative.”
Nabin Sen and his family are related to the in-laws of a devotee.
Thakur talks to Mani privately as they stroll around.
Sri Ramakrishna: “People visit their father-in-law’s house. I thought so often: I shall also marry, fulfill my desire [of going to father-in-law’s home], and enjoy myself. But what has happened?”
Mani: “Sir, ‘If the son holds his father’s hand, he can fall down. But if the father holds his hand, he cannot fall.’ You yourself said so. This is exactly your state: the Divine Mother is holding your hand.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “I met Vamandas of Ulo at Vishwas’s house. I said, ‘I have come to see you.’ When I left, I heard him say, ‘Good gracious, the Lord is holding him the way a tiger seizes his prey.’ I was young then, rather stout, and always in divine ecstasy.
“I am very afraid of women. I feel as if a tigress is coming to devour me. I see their bodies, limbs, and even pores are very big, like those of an ogress.
“Earlier I was very frightened. I wouldn’t let anybody come near me. But now, having assured myself in various ways, I see each one of them as different forms of the All-Blissful Mother.
“They are the parts of the Mother of the Universe. But they have to be renounced by a man who is a sadhu or a devotee.
“However great a devotee a woman may be, I don’t let her sit near me for long. I say to her after a while, ‘Go see the deity.’ If she doesn’t rise even after this, I go out of the room on the pretext of having a smoke.
“I find that some people don’t have the least interest in women. Niranjan says, ‘My mind isn’t drawn to a woman in the least.’”
Hari Babu, Niranjan, Pande, a brahmin from western India, and Jaynarayan
“I asked Hari (the brother of Doctor Upen) about women. He also said, ‘No, I don’t feel drawn to them.’
“The mind which should have been given to the Lord – seventy-five percent of it is taken away by women. And after a son is born, almost the whole of the mind goes to the family. Then what can you give to God?
“And some get thoroughly exhausted in guarding their wives. There is an aged gate-keeper brahmin from western India, Pande. He had a fourteen year old wife. She had to live with this old man. They lived in a thatched house. People made holes in the dry leaves to peep inside. Now she has run away.
“Another man couldn’t decide where to keep his wife. There was a lot of trouble at home. He was so worried. It is better not to talk about it.
“If you live with a woman, you come under her control. Worldly people stand up when asked by their wives and sit down at their bidding. They speak highly of the wife.
“I wanted to go to a certain place. When I asked Ramlal’s aunt, she forbade me and I couldn’t go. In a little while, I said to myself, ‘Oh, I don’t live a householder’s life. I have renounced “lust and greed,” and yet this happens.’ How very much worldly people must be under the control of their wives.”
Mani: “If you live amidst ‘lust and greed,’ you can’t escape being scorched a little by them. You told us about a big pundit named Jaynarayan. You went to see him when he was old. Even he was putting pillows and other things out to dry in the sun.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “But he had no pride of his scholarship. And, just as he had said he would, he lived his last days in Kashi, following the injunctions of the scriptures.
“I saw his sons. They were English-educated and wore English boots on their feet.”
Different states of Thakur in divine intoxication
Thakur is explaining to Mani about his own state by means of putting questions to him.
Sri Ramakrishna: “I used to have a great madness for God. Why is it diminished now? But I get in that state now at times.”
Mani: “You are not always in the same mood. As you said, sometimes you are childlike, sometimes like a mad man, sometimes like an inanimate object, and sometimes like a ghoul. You have all these states at times. And now and then you are in a natural state.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Yes, like a child. And sometimes I have moods of boyhood and also of youth – I have all these states. When I give instruction, I feel like a young man.
“And in a boyish mood, I feel like playing and having fun like a boy of twelve or thirteen. That’s why I joke and banter with the youngsters.”
Qualities of Narayan – renunciation of ‘lust and greed’ is the difficult austerity of the sannyasin
“Well, what do you think of Narayan?”
Mani: “He has good signs, sir.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “A good gourd shell makes a good tanpura.
“He says to me, ‘You are everything (that is, an incarnation of God).’ He says that from his own comprehension. Others say, ‘He is just a sadhu, a devotee of God.’
“He grasps very well what I forbid him to do. But when I told him to roll up the curtain, he didn’t do it. I forbade him to do these: tie a knot, sew, roll up curtains, lock a door or a box with a key. He understood them well. All such disciplines are necessary for one who wishes to renounce. All these disciplines are for sannyasins.
“In the stage of spiritual practices, one should think of a woman as a forest fire! Or a black cobra! In the state of perfection, after God-realization, one sees woman as the All-Blissful Mother. One then looks at each as a different aspect of the Divine Mother.”
Many days ago, Thakur had warned Narayan very seriously about women. He said, “Do not let the breeze from a woman’s body touch you. Cover yourself with a thick sheet so the air will not touch you. And except for your mother, keep a distance of eight cubits, or two cubits, or at least one cubit away from women.”
Sri Ramakrishna (to Mani): “Narayan’s mother said to him about me, ‘We are so charmed by the sight of him, not to speak of you, just a child.’ You cannot realize God without being guileless. How guileless Niranjan is!”
Mani: “Yes, sir.”
Are Niranjan and Narendra guileless?
Sri Ramakrishna: “Didn’t you notice him that day in the carriage going to Calcutta? He is always the same – guileless. Usually people show one side of themselves at home and quite another outside. Narendra is worried about his family (since the death of his father). He has a somewhat calculating mind. Are all youngsters like them?”
Sri Ramakrishna in Nabin Niyogi’s house – musical performance of Nilkantha
“I went today to Dakshineswar to see the musical performance of Nilkantha in Nabin Niyogi’s house. The boys there are very bad. Always finding fault. First with this person, then another. At such a place, one’s spiritual moods are checked.
“That day I saw Doctor Madhu shedding tears during the play. I couldn’t turn my eyes away from him.”
Sri Ramakrishna, Keshab and the Brahmo Samaj – instructions on harmony – universal, catholic church of Sri Ramakrishna
Sri Ramakrishna (to Mani): “Well, so many people are attracted here. What does it mean?”
Mani: “I am reminded of Sri Krishna’s divine sport in Vraja. When he turned himself into the cowherd boys and the calves, the gopis were drawn more strongly to the cowherd boys, the cows felt more attracted to the calves.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “It is the attraction of God. You know how? The Divine Mother casts a spell that attracts people.
“You see, many people used to visit Keshab Sen. Not so many come here. What great respect people have for Keshab! He is known even in the West. The queen [Victoria] talked to him. The Gita also says that there is more divine power in a person who is respected by many. That many people do not visit here.”
Mani: “Worldly people visited Keshab Sen.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Yes, that is true. The worldly-minded went to him.”
Mani: “Will the work done by Keshab Sen last?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Why, he has written a samhita. It contains many rules of conduct.”
Mani: “It is quite different from the work of an incarnation of God – for example, Chaitanya Deva.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Yes, yes. Right.”
Mani: “You have told us that Chaitanya Deva said, ‘The seed I have broadcast will one day bear fruit.’ A seed was placed on the cornice of a house. The house fell and that seed produced a tree.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Shivanath and his friends have also founded a samaj. Many people go there too.”
Mani: “Sir, that sort of man goes there.”
Sri Ramakrishna (laughing): “Yes, yes. Only worldly people go there. But not many of those who yearn for God and are trying to renounce ‘lust and greed.’”
Mani: “It will really be nice if a current flows from here. Everyone will be liberated by the force of that current. What comes from here will never be one-sided.”
Sri Ramakrishna and Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Vaishnavas, and Brahmos
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “I accept the ideal that anyone may have. I ask Vaishnavas to preserve Vaishnava inclinations; I ask Shaktas to preserve theirs. But I tell them, ‘Don’t think that only your faith is true and all else are false or wrong.’ Hindus, Muslims, Christians – they are all going to the same goal by different paths. Preserving your own inclination and calling upon God earnestly, you will realize Him.
“Vijay’s mother-in-law said, ‘Why don’t you tell Balaram and the others that it is not necessary to worship God with form, that you can succeed by calling on the formless Sat-chit-ananda only?’
“I said, ‘Why should I say such a thing to them? Besides why would they listen to me?’
“A mother has cooked fish. For one of the sons, she has made pulao. For one who can’t digest well, she has prepared fish curry. One should make different forms of the same thing according to the tastes and capabilities of others.”
Mani: “Yes, sir. There are different paths for different times, places, and people. But whatever path one may chose, He can be reached by calling upon Him sincerely with a pure mind. This is what you have been saying.”
Hari of the Mukherji family – Sri Ramakrishna on meditation and charity
Thakur is sitting in his room. Hari, the Mukherjis’ relative, M., and others are seated on the floor. An unknown person comes in and bows to Thakur, then takes a seat. Talking of him later, Thakur said, “His eyes were not good. They were yellow, like a cat’s.”
Hari prepares a smoke for Thakur and brings it to him.
Sri Ramakrishna (holding the hubble-bubble in his hand, to Hari): “Let me see your palm. All these lines are very good signs.
“Now relax your hand and let me examine it. (He holds Hari’s hand in his own, as if he is weighing it). You are still childlike. Nothing has gone wrong yet. (To the devotees) By seeing a person’s hand, I can tell whether he is crooked or guileless. (To Hari) Why, go to your in-laws’ house and talk to your wife. Have a little fun with her if you like.
(To M.) “What do you say to that, my dear?” (M. and others laugh.)
M.: “Sir, if a new pot goes bad, you can’t keep milk in it.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “How do you know that it has not already gone bad?”
Mahendra and Priyanath are the two Mukherji brothers. They do not work in an office; they have their own flour mill. Priyanath had been an engineer. Thakur talks to Hari about the Mukherji brothers.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Hari): “The elder brother [Mahendra] is nice, isn’t he? He’s guileless.”
Hari: “Yes, sir.”
Sri Ramakrishna (to the devotees): “The younger one [Priyanath] is very miserly. He has, though, improved a lot since coming here. Once he said to me, ‘I didn’t know anything before.’ (To Hari) Do they give in charity?”
Hari: “I don’t see them doing anything like that. They had an elder brother – he’s dead now – who was a very good man. He was engaged in charity as well as meditation.”
Sri Ramakrishna and signs of the body – the student of Mahesh Nyaya Rattan
Sri Ramakrishna (to M. and others): “You can know a lot by signs on the body – whether a person will succeed or not. Crooked people have heavy hands.
“A snub nose is not good. Sambhu had a snub nose. That’s why he was not totally guileless in spite of his great knowledge.
“A weak rib cage, hard bones, thick elbow joints, thin hands, and yellowish eyes like a cat’s – these are not good signs.
“Thick lips like those of a dome indicate low intelligence. A brahmin was here acting as priest for the Vishnu Temple. I couldn’t eat the food he had touched. One day I exclaimed, ‘Oh, a dome!’ Later he told me, ‘I live in the dome quarters. I know how to weave baskets and utensils just like the domes.’
“And there are other bad signs – a man with one eye or with a squint. But it’s better to be one-eyed than to have a squint. Squint-eyed people are cruel and deceitful.
“A student of Mahesh (the late Mahesh Nyaya Rattan) said, ‘I am an atheist.’ He said to Hriday, ‘Let’s have a discussion. I am an atheist and you consider yourself a theist.’ I had a good look at him then. He had eyes like a cat.
“Whether someone is good or bad is shown by the way he walks.
“If a man’s foreskin has been cut, as Muslims do, it is a particularly bad sign. (M. and others laugh.) (To M., smiling) You must see that it is a bad sign.” (All laugh.)
Thakur is pacing the verandah. M. and Baburam are with him.
(To Hazra) “A person came here. I noticed that he had eyes like a cat. He asked me, ‘Do you know astrology? I am in some trouble.’ I replied, ‘No. Go to Baranagore. You will find an astrologer there.’”
Baburam and M. are talking about Nilkantha’s theatrical performance. Baburam had returned from Nabin Sen’s house to Dakshineswar and spent last night here. In the morning he had seen the Nilkantha play at Nabin Niyogi’s house in Dakshineswar.
Sri Ramakrishna, Mani, and contemplation in solitude – God’s will – longing for Narayan
Sri Ramakrishna (to M. and Baburam): “What are you talking about?”
M. and Baburam: “Sir, we are talking about Nilkantha’s musical and the song: ‘Living on the bank of the river with hope at the feet of Mother Shyama.’”
While pacing the verandah, Thakur suddenly takes Mani aside and says to him, “The less people know about your meditation on God the better for you.” Saying this, Thakur suddenly leaves.
He is now talking to Hazra.
Hazra: “Nilkantha told you that he would come visit you. We should send for him.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “No. He didn’t sleep last night. It would be different if he came by God’s will.”
Thakur is proceeding toward the jhautala, accompanied by M. and Baburam. He asks Baburam to go and visit Narayan in his house. He thinks of Narayan as the very manifestation of God, so he is yearning to see him. He says to Baburam, “When you go, take an English textbook with you.”
Dakshineswar – Thakur with Nilkantha and other devotees, enjoying devotional singing
Sri Ramakrishna is seated in his room. At about three o’clock Nilkantha arrives with six or seven companions. Thakur, who is facing east, gets up and goes toward the door to welcome them. They enter through the eastern door and salute him by prostrating.
Thakur goes into samadhi. Baburam is behind him; M., Nilkantha, Haran, and others belonging to the theatrical performance are in front of him. Dinanath, the treasurer of the temple, looks at Thakur from the north side of the bed. Soon the room is filled with employees of the temple garden. After some time Thakur’s ecstatic mood diminishes and he sits on a mat spread on the floor. Nilkantha sits in front of him and the other devotees around.
Sri Ramakrishna (in an ecstatic mood): “I’m all right.”
Nilkantha (with folded hands): “Please make me all right also.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “But you are already all right. If you add a to k it becomes ka. What use is there in adding another a to it – it will still remain ka. (Everybody laughs.)
Nilkantha: “I am entangled in worldly life.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “You have been kept in the world for the sake of others.
“There are the eight bonds. You can’t get rid of them all. God keeps you bound by one or two for teaching others. You are performing this musical play. How many people benefit by seeing your love and devotion for God! If you were to give up all this, what would happen to the other performers?
“He is getting His work done through you. When you have finished it, you will not return. A housewife finishes all her domestic chores – feeds everybody, even the maids and servants – and then goes for her bath. Then even if you shout for her, she doesn’t return.”
Nilkantha: “Please bless me.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Going mad at separation from Krishna, Yashoda went to see Radha, who was meditating. In ecstasy, she said to Yashoda, ‘I am that Primeval Power, the fundamental Prakriti. Ask me for a boon.’ Yashoda said, ‘What boon shall I ask? Just grant that I be able to serve Him and meditate on Him in body, mind, and speech. That my ears may hear of His name and glories, that my hands may serve Him and His devotees, and that my eyes may see His form and His devotees.’
“Your eyes fill with tears when you recite His name. What remains for you to worry about? You have already developed love for Him.
“Knowing many things is ignorance. Knowing only One is knowledge. In other words, God alone is real and dwells in all. Talking to Him is vijnana – attaining Him and loving Him in various ways is vijnana.
“Besides, He is beyond one or two – beyond speech and mind. To go from the phenomenal to the Absolute and then return to the relative from the Absolute is called mature love for God.
“That song of yours is beautiful: ‘Living on the bank of the river with hope at the feet of Mother Shyama.’
“You succeed if this happens. It all depends on God’s grace.
“So you have to pray to Him. Simply sitting quietly will not do. After pleading the whole case, the lawyer says to the judge, ‘This is all I have to say.’ It is now all in your hands.”
After a while Thakur says, “You sang so much in the morning and now you have taken the trouble of coming here. But it is all honorary – free – here.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “I understand what you mean.”
Nilkantha: “I shall carry away a priceless jewel from here!”
Sri Ramakrishna: “That precious jewel is already with you. What is the use of adding another a to k? If you didn’t already have it, why should I have liked your songs so much? Ramprasad was a realized soul.
“An ordinary being is called manushya, or man. One whose consciousness is awakened is called manhosha, or an awakened mind. You are manhosha.
“I had already planned to go to the play when I heard that you were going to sing. Just then Niyogi came to invite me.”
Thakur goes to the smaller cot and sits down. He says to Nilkantha, “I would like to hear a song or two about the Divine Mother.”
Nilkantha sings with his companions:
Living on the bank of the river with hope at the feet of Mother Shyama.
Next they sing:
Listening to this song, Thakur stands up and goes into samadhi.
Nilkantha says, “He from whose locks the Ganges is flowing has Rajarajeshvari (the Supreme Goddess) residing in his heart.”
Thakur dances in ecstatic love. Nilkantha and the devotees sing, encircling him, and also dance.
Thakur dances with devotees during this song as well.
The song ends. Thakur says to Nilkantha, “I want to hear the song I heard you sing in Calcutta.”
M.: “Like Krishna’s, the complexion of the handsome Sri Gauranga, the dancing lover of God, is of golden hue.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Yes, yes.”
Like Krishna’s, the complexion of the handsome Sri Gauranga, the dancing lover of God, is of golden hue.
When he sings, ‘Drowning in the flood of ecstatic love,’ Thakur again dances with the devotees. Whoever sees this superb dance will never forget it. The room is full of people, all filled with divine emotion. It has become like Srivasa’s own courtyard.
Manomohan goes into an ecstatic mood. A devotee of Thakur, he is related to Rakhal. A number of ladies of Manomohan’s family have come with him and are watching the wonderful dance and kirtan from the northern verandah. One of the ladies there also goes into ecstasy.
Thakur sings another song:
Behold, the brothers have come! The two who shed tears while chanting Hari’s name.
Thakur dances with Nilkantha and other devotees. He improvises the following line:
The two brothers have come intoxicated with Radha’s love.
Hearing the loud music, people gather. They stand all around – on the south, on the north, and on the western semi-circular verandah. People in boats going by are also attracted by the sound of the sweet kirtan.
The singing ends. Thakur chants the name of the Mother of the Universe and says, “Bhagavata Bhakta Bhagavan [His word, His devotee, and the Lord are one]. My salutations to jnanis, salutations to yogis, and salutations to devotees.”
Now Thakur goes to the western semi-circular verandah with Nilkantha and some other devotees. He sits there. It is evening, the day after the full moon of Kojagar. All quarters are lit up by the light of the moon. Thakur talks happily with Nilkantha.
What Sri Ramakrishna is – ‘I’ cannot be found by searching – I shall bring Chandi home
Nilkantha: “You yourself are indeed Gauranga.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “What is all this? I am the servant of the servant of all. The wave belongs to the Ganges. Does the Ganges ever belong to the wave?”
Nilkantha: “Whatever you may say, we see you as that [Gauranga].”
Sri Ramakrishna (going into an ecstatic mood, sweetly): “Brother, I search for my ‘I,’ but I cannot find it.
“Hanuman said to Rama, ‘O Rama, sometimes I say to myself that You are the whole and I a part of you, sometimes that you are the Lord and I your servant. But when I have the knowledge of Reality I see that You are I and I am You.’”
Nilkantha: “What shall I say? Please grant us your grace.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “So many people are being taken across by you! How many people feel inspired by hearing your music!”
Nilkantha: “You are saying that I am taking them across. But please bless me that I myself may not be drowned.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “If you must drown yourself, do so in the lake of nectar.”
Thakur is delighted to be in Nilkantha’s company. He says to him again, “For you to come here! A person can meet you only after practicing great spiritual disciplines. But please listen to this song.”
O Giriraja, King of Mountains, my dear Ganesha is the harbinger of all blessedness.
O King of Mountains, please bring the brightly shining Parvati to me.
In worship I shall invoke her under the vilva tree. And Gauri will descend here for the welfare of Ganesha.
And saints and hermits and ascetics with matted locks will gather there.
“As soon as Chandi [the Divine Mother] graces the house, saints, ascetics with matted hair, and hermits will flock there.”
Thakur laughs. After a while he says to M., Baburam and other devotees, “I feel like laughing and laughing. Just imagine that I should be singing for them (the musicians of the theater)!”
Nilkantha: “We have received today our reward for touring about singing.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “When a shopkeeper sells something, he sometimes offers a little extra. You sang at Nabin’s and have given the little extra here.” (All laugh.)
. Accordingly, today is 5 October 1884.
. Meaning Sri Ramakrishna.
. Lust, anger, greed, delusion, pride and envy.
. Wisdom (jnana), power (shakti), strength (bala), lordship (aishvarya), valor (virya), and splendour (tejas).
. Kumari puja.
. He quoted ungrammatically.
. Ramakrishna made fun of the quote with his own outrageous Sanskrit composition.
. antarbahiryadi haris tapasä tataù kim.
 Reference to ritualistic worship.
. The son of her father’s younger brother.
. Holy Mother, Sri Ramakrishna’s wife.
. In Bengali, dan (giving) and dhyan (meditation).
. People of a specific low caste.
. There is pun on the word manhosha and manushya.
. For the complete song refer to Section VIII, Chapter I.
. Srivasa Pundit was a close companion of Sri Chaitanya. It was at his house that Chaitanya and his associates would have sankirtan all night long.
. For the complete song refer to Section VI, Chapter I.
. The goddess Parvati.
. A name of the Divine Mother.
. The Devimahatmya or Sri Durga Saptasati.
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