Thakur at the Dakshineswar Temple with Rakhal, M., Mahimacharan, and Other Devotees
Dwija, Dwija’s father, and Sri Ramakrishna – debt owed to one’s mother and father
Sri Ramakrishna is in his room at the Dakshineswar temple with Rakhal, M., and other devotees. It is about three or four o’clock.
It is the beginning stage of Sri Ramakrishna’s sore throat, yet he thinks the whole day only of the good of the devotees – how they might not get bound to the world, how they can gain knowledge and love of God, and how they may realize God.
Ten or twelve days ago, on Tuesday, 28 July 1885, he visited the home of Nandalal Bose at Calcutta to see the pictures of gods. He then graciously visited the homes of Balaram and other devotees.
Having returned from Vrindavan, Rakhal has stayed at home for some days. At present he, Latu, Harish, and Ramlal are staying with Thakur.
A few months ago, the Holy Mother came from the countryside to nurse Thakur at Dakshineswar. She is staying in the nahabat. The grief-stricken Brahmani has been living with her for some days.
Dwija, Dwija’s father and brother, M., and others are sitting beside Thakur. Today is 9 August, 1885.
Dwija is about sixteen years old. After the death of his mother, his father married a second time. Dwija often comes to see Thakur with M., though this displeases his father.
Some time ago Dwija’s father spoke about coming to visit Thakur. Today he has come. He is the manager of a Calcutta business. He was a student of D.L. Richardson at the Hindu College and has passed examinations for lawyer of the High Court.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Dwija’s father): “Please don’t worry about your son’s visits here.
“I tell you, go live a householder’s life after attaining spiritual awakening. If someone finds gold after hard labour, he can keep it underground or in a box or in water. It doesn’t affect the gold.
“I tell you, live a householder’s life without attachment. Break a jackfruit after rubbing your hands with oil. Then its juice won’t stick to your hand.
“If an immature mind is put in worldly life, it gets dirty. You should only live a householder’s life after you’ve attained spiritual knowledge.
“If you put milk in water, it gets ruined. But if you first churn butter out of the milk and then put it in water, you can keep the butter in water.”
Dwija’s Father: “True, sir.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “I understand why you scold him. You only threaten. The brahmachari said to the snake, ‘You are a real fool. I only asked you not to bite. I never asked you not to hiss. If you’d hissed, your enemies wouldn’t have been able to beat you.’ When you rebuke the boy, it’s only hissing.”
Dwija’s father laughs.
“If a father has a good son, it’s a mark of his father’s spiritual nature. If water in a pond is clean, it’s a sign of the virtue of its owner.
“A son is said to be born of one’s self (atmaja). There is no difference between you and your son. You have become your son in another way. On the one hand, you’re a worldly man working in an office and enjoying family life. On the other hand, you’re a devotee of God in the form of your son. I heard that you were a very worldly person. But it’s not true. (Smiling) You know all this. But you are very tactful. You are saying yes, yes even to this.”
Dwija’s father smiles a little.
“If your boys come here, they know what you really are. How great is one’s father! A person who practices religion by deceiving his parents will get nowhere.”
His earlier story – Sri Ramakrishna’s worry about his mother in Vrindavan
“A man owes many debts. Debt to the father, debt to the gods, and debt to the rishis. And there is debt to the mother too. Furthermore, there is debt to the wife. She has to be taken care of. If she’s a faithful wife, a person even has to arrange for her maintenance after death.
“I couldn’t stay in Vrindavan because of my mother. As soon as I remembered that she was at the Kali temple at Dakshineswar, I couldn’t keep my mind in Vrindavan.
“I tell them to live in the family and also keep their minds on God. I don’t ask them to renounce the world. Do this and do that too.”
Dwija’s Father: “I tell the boys to study. I don’t tell them not to visit you. But I don’t want them to waste time frivolously with the other boys.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “He (Dwija) surely has good tendencies from past births. Why aren’t his two brothers the same? Why is only he inclined this way?
“Can you forcibly stop him? A person acts according to tendencies of past births.”
The father: “Yes, that is certainly true.”
Thakur comes down and sits on the mat close to Dwjia’s father. He touches him now and then while he talks.
It is almost twilight. Thakur says to M. and the others, “Please take him for darshan of the deities. If I were well, I would go with him.”
He asks for sandesh for the boys. He says to Dwija’s father, “Let them eat a little. They should have some sweets.”
Dwija’s father strolls in the garden after visiting the deities in the temples. Sri Ramakrishna is talking happily with Bhupen, Dwija, M., and others on the southeastern verandah of his room. He slaps the backs of Bhupen and M. in fun and says to Dwija with a smile, “How I talked to your father!”
After twilight Dwija’s father comes again to Thakur’s room. He is going to leave soon. He is feeling the heat. Thakur himself fans him.
As Dwija’s father leaves, Thakur stands up.
Thakur talks freely – what is Sri Ramakrishna, a perfect man or an incarnation of God?
It is 8 p.m. Thakur is talking with Mahima-charan while Rakhal, M., and a few of Mahimacharan’s companions are also in the room.
Mahimacharan is going to spend the night here.
Sri Ramakrishna: “Well, how do you find Kedar? Has he ‘drunk milk’ or only ‘seen it?’
Mahima: “Yes, he is enjoying bliss.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “And Nityagopal?”
Mahima: “Good. He’s in a very nice state.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Alright. So tell me, has Girish Ghosh changed?”
Mahima: “Very nicely – but he belongs to a separate class.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Narendra?”
Mahima: “He is what I was fifteen years ago.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “And the younger Naren? Isn’t he guileless?”
Mahima: “Yes. He is very simple-hearted.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “That’s true. (Thinking some more) Who else?
“It’s enough if all the youngsters who come here know just two things. When they do, they won’t have to practice much spiritual discipline. First, who I am – and then who they are. Many of these youngsters belong to the inner circle.
“Those who belong to the inner circle won’t attain liberation. I will take up a body again (in the northwest).
“I feel great peace when I see these youngsters. How can I feel happy when I see those who father sons, engage in law-suits, and are busy with ‘lust and greed?’ How can I live without seeing pure souls?”
Mahimacharan chants verses from the scriptures for Thakur and talks of different yogic postures such as bhuchari, khechari, sambhavi, and so forth, mentioned in the Tantra.
Thakur experiences five kinds of samadhi – piercing the six spiritual centres – basic truth of yoga – kundalini
Sri Ramakrishna: “Well, some people say that in samadhi the atman flies around like a bird in the Great Space.
“Once a sadhu came here from Hrishikesh. He said, ‘Samadhi is of five kinds. And you experience them all. I have seen this. Like an ant, a fish, a monkey, a bird, and a serpent.’
“At times, the spiritual current rises up like an ant’s movement. Sometimes, in the state of samadhi, the atman swims joyfully in an ocean of ecstasy, like a fish.
“Sometimes, when I’m lying on my side, the great spiritual current pushes me, like a monkey playing with me. I stay quiet. Then this great current suddenly jumps around like a monkey and climbs up to the thousand-petalled centre. That’s why I jump up with a start.
“And sometimes, the great current rises up like a bird, hopping from one branch to another. The place where it rests feels like fire. Perhaps it rises from muladhara to the svadhisthana, from the svadhishtana to the heart, and in this way rises right up to the head.
“Sometimes, the spiritual current rises like the zigzag movement of a snake. When it rises to the head, I experience samadhi.”
His earlier story – first ecstasy at the age of 22 or 23, in 1858 – piercing the six spiritual centres
“Spiritual consciousness is not awakened until the kundalini has awakened.
“The kundalini lies in the muladhara. When it is awakened, it passes though the centre of the sushumna spiritual nerve, to pierce the svadhisthana, manipura, and the other spiritual centres, until it finally reaches the head. This is known as the movement of the great spiritual current. Thus finally one enters samadhi.
“You can’t gain spiritual awareness by just reading books. You have to call upon Him. The kundalini wakes up when you yearn for God. Listening and reading about spiritual knowledge in books – of what use is that?
“Just before I reached this state, I was shown how the power of the kundalini is awakened. How all the lotuses of the spiritual centres begin to open out one by one – and finally I was in samadhi. This is very secret. I saw that a young man about twenty-two or twenty-three years old, just like me, entered my sushumna nerve and began to play intimately with the lotuses, touching them with his tongue. First at the rectum, then at the organ of reproduction, and then the navel. These lotuses with four petals, six petals, and ten petals, all looking downward, began to look up.
“When it reached the heart, I still remember it very clearly. The twelve-petalled lotus, which looked downward, turned upward and opened out when he touched it with his tongue. Then the sixteen-petalled lotus in the throat and then the two-petalled lotus in the forehead opened up. Last of all, the thousand-petalled lotus, the sahasrara, opened out. Since then I have been in this state.”
His earlier story – Thakur talks openly – is he a perfect human being or an incarnation of God?
(Talks with God – view of maya – sees devotees before their actual coming – sees Keshab Sen in ecstasy – vision of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute – and Narendra – and Kedar – illumined body in his first ecstasy – his father’s dream – the Naked One and samadhi in three days – Mathur’s service from 1858 to 1871, fourteen years – yearns for devotees on the roof of the kuthi – in continuous samadhi – practices all spiritual disciplines)
While he is talking of these things, Thakur comes down from his cot and sits close to Mahimacharan on the floor. M. and one or two other devotees are there. Rakhal is also present.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Mahima): “I have been wanting to tell you this for many days, but I couldn’t. I feel like telling you today.
“You say that my state can be attained just by practicing spiritual disciplines. This is not true. There is something special here.”
M., Rakhal, and the other devotees listen eagerly and in amazement to what Thakur has to say.
Sri Ramakrishna: “God talked to me. It’s not only that you can see God – you can talk with Him. Under the banyan tree, I saw Him coming up from the Ganges. O, how much we laughed after that! He twisted my fingers playfully. And then He talked. He actually talked to me.
“I wept for three days, and He showed me what the Vedas, the Puranas, the Tantras, and other holy books contain. He showed it all to me.
“One day He also revealed to me what the maya of Mahamaya is. A small light in the room gradually became bigger and bigger until it spread out over the whole world and enveloped it.
“And then He showed me a big lake totally covered with sedge. When a breeze parted it a little, I saw water. But in no time at all, the sedge came dancing from all sides and again covered it completely. I was shown that the water was Sat-chit-ananda and the sedge was maya. Because of maya, you can’t see Sat-chit-ananda. But some-times, though you can get a momentary glimpse, maya again covers it up.
“I am shown what kind of devotees will come before they arrive. Under the banyan tree, I was shown the singing party of Chaitanya Deva stretching to the bakul tree. I saw Balaram in that party. If he had not been there, who would supply me with sugar candy and such things? And I saw him (M.) too.”
Sri Ramakrishna – Keshab Sen introducing the name of Hari and the Divine Mother into his Samaj
“Before I met Keshab Sen, I saw him in a vision. While in the state of samadhi, I saw him and his group. There was a room full of people sitting in front of me. I saw Keshab – like a peacock with its tail spread out. The tail meant his group. And I saw a red jewel on Keshab’s forehead. This is a sign of rajas. Keshab was saying to his devotees, ‘Please listen to everything he says.’ I said to the Divine Mother, ‘Mother, they hold the views of English people. Why should I talk to them?’ The Divine Mother made me understand that this is how it is in the Kaliyuga. Then Keshab and his followers carried the names of Hari and the Divine Mother from here. That’s why the Divine Mother took Vijay from Keshab’s group. But he didn’t join the Adi Brahmo Samaj.
(Pointing to himself) “There is something special within [me]. A boy named Gopal Sen used to visit me, quite a long time ago. He who is within me placed his foot on Gopal’s chest. Gopal said in a state of ecstasy, ‘You will have to wait a long time. I can’t get along with worldly people. I have to leave now.’ Saying this, he left. I heard later that he had quit his body after that. Maybe he has now been born as Nityagopal.
“I have had many wonderful visions. I had the vision of the Indivisible Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. I saw two groups divided by a fence in the middle. On one side, I saw Kedar, Chuni, and many other believers in God with form. On the other side of the fence was a shining heap of red brick dust – illumined. In the middle of it, I saw Narendra sitting in samadhi.
“Seeing him absorbed in meditation, I called out, ‘Oh, Narendra.’ He opened his eyes a little. I understood that he had been born in one form in Simla as the son of a kayastha. I then said to the Divine Mother, ‘Mother, please bind him with Your maya. Otherwise, he’ll quit his body absorbed in samadhi.’ Kedar, who was a believer in God with form, peeped in and ran away with a shudder.
“So I say to myself that the Divine Mother Herself resides in this [body] and plays with the devotees. When I first had this state, the body would shine with light and the chest would become red. Then I said, ‘Mother, don’t manifest Yourself externally. Go within, go within.’ So now I have this dull body. If it were not so, people would trouble me a lot. They would gather in crowds if I still had that luminous body. There is no outer manifestation now. This drives away useless fellows. Only those who are pure devotees will stay. Why do I have this illness? It has the same meaning. Those who have devotion for some selfish reasons will flee on seeing me ill.
“I had this desire. I said to the Divine Mother, ‘May I become king of the devotees.’
“And then the thought came, ‘Those who sincerely call upon God will have to come here. They will surely have to come.’ Now see, this is exactly what is happening. Only those people are coming.
“My mother and my father knew what is here within. My father had a dream in Gaya in which Raghuvir said, ‘I will be born as your son.’
“It is He who resides here within. As for such renunciation of ‘lust and greed,’ could I have brought it about myself? I haven’t cohabited with a woman even in dream!
“The Naked One taught me the Vedanta. I attained samadhi in three days. Seeing me in samadhi under the madhavi creeper, he was perplexed and exclaimed, ‘Oh, what is this?’ Later he realized what dwelt within this. Then he said to me, ‘Please let me go.’ Hearing these words I went into a state of ecstasy and said to him, ‘You can’t leave till I have realized the truth of Vedanta.’
“I was with him day and night. There was only Vedanta. Brahmani would say, ‘Son, don’t listen to Vedanta. Your love for God will suffer.’
“I said to the Divine Mother, ‘Mother, how will I be able to sustain this body? How can I live in the company of sadhus and devotees? Please send a rich man to me.’ That’s why Mathur Babu served me for fourteen years.
“He who dwells within tells me in advance what kind of devotees will come to me. As soon as I see the form of Gauranga before my eyes, I immediately know that the devotees of Gaur will be coming. And if a Shakta comes, I have the vision of Divine Energy, Kali, before my eyes.
“I used to shout from the roof of the kuthi at the time of the evening service, ‘O all of you, where are you? Please come!’ See, now they all are gathering one by one.
“God Himself dwells within this. As if He Himself is working with the devotees.
“How wonderful is the state of mind of some of the devotees! The younger Naren automatically experiences kumbhaka without effort. And then goes into samadhi time and again. Sometimes for two-and-half hours at a stretch! Sometimes longer. How wonderful!
“All kinds of disciplines have been practiced here: jnana yoga, bhakti yoga, and karma yoga. Even hatha yoga, to add years to the life. A person dwells within this. How else could I have love for God and live with devotees after samadhi? Koar Singh said, ‘I have never seen a person returning [to life] after samadhi. You are none other than Nanak.’”
His earlier story – in the steamboat with Keshab, Pratap, and Mr. Cook – 1881
“There are worldly people everywhere – everywhere ‘lust and greed.’ And yet I live in this state surrounded by them, constantly experiencing samadhi or ecstasy. That’s why Pratap (Pratap Chandra Majumdar of the Brahmo Samaj), when he came with Mr. Cook and noticed my samadhi in the steamer, said, ‘Dear sir, you seem to be possessed by a ghost.’”
Rakhal, M. and the others listen wonderstruck to all these amazing words issuing from the mouth of Sri Ramakrishna.
Has Mahimacharan been able to understand what Thakur is hinting at? Even after hearing it all, he says, “Sir, all this has happened as ordained by your destiny.” His feeling is that Thakur is just a holy man, a devotee. Consenting to his remark, Thakur says, “Yes, actions of my past lives are showing their effect now. It is like a gentleman possessing a number of houses. Here you have a special parlour. The devotee is His parlour.”
Mahimacharan’s brahmachakra – his earlier story – instructions by Totapuri
Is it a small thing to have a vision in dream? Narendra sees divine forms
It is nine o’clock at night. Thakur is sitting on the smaller cot. Mahimacharan wants to form a brahmachakra in the same room that Thakur is in. He forms a circle with Rakhal, M., Kishori, and one or two other devotees. Then he asks them all to meditate. Rakhal goes into ecstasy. Thakur comes down from the bed and, placing his hand on Rakhal’s chest, begins to chant the name of the Divine Mother. Rakhal comes out of the ecstasy.
It must be one o’clock in the morning. It is the fourteenth lunar day of the dark fortnight, pitch dark everywhere. One or two devotees are pacing alone on the masonry embankment of the Ganges. Thakur gets up. He also comes out and says to the devotees, “The Naked One used to say that at such an hour, in the depth of night, one can hear the anahata sound.”
In the later part of the night, Mahimacharan and M. lie down on the floor of Thakur’s room. Rakhal is sleeping on the camp cot. Thakur at times paces the room stark-naked like a five-year-old boy.
It is morning. Thakur repeats the name of the Divine Mother. Going to the western verandah, he has a view of the Ganges. He then goes near all the pictures of the gods and goddesses in the room and salutes them. The devotees rise from their beds, salute him, and then attend to their morning ablutions.
Thakur talks to a devotee in the panchavati. The devotee had seen Chaitanya Deva in a dream.
Sri Ramakrishna (in ecstasy): “Ah! Ah!”
The devotee: “Sir, it was but a dream.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Is a dream a small matter?”
Thakur has tears in his eyes and his voice full of emotion.
Hearing that a devotee had a divine vision while awake, he says, “What is there to marvel at? Narendra also sees divine forms these days.”
Finishing his morning ablutions, Mahimacharan goes to the Shiva temple west of the courtyard and alone chants verses from the Vedas.
It is eight o’clock in the morning. Mani comes to Thakur after a dip in the Ganges. The grief-stricken brahmin woman has also come to see Thakur.
Sri Ramakrishna (to the brahmin woman): “Please give him some prasad to eat. There are some luchis and the like in the recess of the wall.”
Brahmin woman: “You must eat first. Later, he will be served.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “First eat the prasad of Jagannath.”
After having prasad, Mani goes to the Shiva temples. Then he returns to Thakur. Saluting him, he takes leave.
Sri Ramakrishna (affectionately): “You may go now. You have to attend to your work.”
. The section of Calcutta in which Narendra was born.
. Sakama bhakti.
 Bhairavi Brahmani.
. Prarabdha karma, that karma which has already been set in motion, the result of past actions being experienced in the present.
. A mystic circle prescribed in Tantra.
back to Kathamrita Main Page