Sri Ramakrishna with Devotees
Sri Ramakrishna dances with devotees in the joy of ecstatic love at Balaram’s house
It is about 8 or 9 p.m., seven days after the Dolayatra. Thakur is surrounded by Ram, Manomohan, Rakhal, Nityagopal and other devotees. They are all inebriated with chanting the name of God. Some of the devotees are in a state of ecstasy. In such a state, Nityagopal’s chest has turned red. When they all sit down, M. salutes Thakur. He sees that Rakhal is lying down overwhelmed with ecstasy and unaware of the outside world. Thakur, putting his hand on Rakhal’s chest, says, “Peace, peace.” It is the second time Rakhal has experienced ecstasy. He lives with his father in Calcutta and goes to Dakshineswar from time to time to visit Thakur. At the present time he is a student in Vidyasagar’s school in Shyampukur.
Thakur had said to M. in Dakshineswar, “I will visit Balaram’s house in Calcutta. Please go there.” That is why M. has come to see him.
It is Saturday, 11 March 1882, 28th of Falgun, the seventh day of the dark fortnight of Chaitra. Thakur has come to Balaram’s house at his invitation.
The devotees sit for prasad on the verandah while Balaram stands humbly to serve them. He doesn’t act like the master of the house.
M. has only recently begun to visit Sri Ramakrishna. He has not yet talked to the devotees, only with Narendra at Dakshineswar.
Harmony of religions
A few days later, Sri Ramakrishna had been sitting absorbed on the steps of the Shiva temples. It was about four or five o’clock. M. was seated near him.
A short while ago, Thakur had rested on his bedspread on the floor in his room. Nobody was yet living there to attend to his needs and he has been greatly inconvenienced since Hriday’s departure. When M. came from Calcutta to see him, he talked to him while he walked to the Shiva temples. Sitting on a step of the Shiva temple opposite the temple of Sri Radhakanta, Thakur suddenly went into ecstasy at the sight of the temple.
He begins to talk to the Mother of the Universe. He says, “Mother, everybody says his watch gives the correct time. Christians, Brahmos, Hindus, Muslims, all of them say, ‘Only our religion is true.’ But Mother, nobody’s watch is right. Who can really know You? But if someone calls on You with a longing heart, You can be reached, by Your grace, by any path. Mother, how do Christians call on You in church? Please show me once. But Mother, what will people say if I enter a Church? Maybe it will result in a hullabaloo; maybe I won’t be allowed to enter the Kali temple again. So please let me see from the door of the church.”
Thakur enjoys devotional music with devotees – love of Rakhal – ‘the wine of divine love’
On another day [in March 1882] Thakur is sitting on the smaller cot in his room. He is a picture of joy with a smiling face. M. comes in with Kalikrishna.
Kalikrishna did not know where he was being taken by his friend. The friend [M.] had only said to him, “Come with me if you want to go to a grog shop. There’s a huge pitcher of wine there.” When they reached Thakur and M. had saluted him, he told Thakur everything he had said to his friend. Thakur laughs.
He says, “The bliss of devotional music and the bliss of Brahman are wine indeed – the wine of love for God. The aim of life is to develop intense love of God. Indeed, love for God is the essence. It is extremely difficult to know God through knowledge and reasoning.” Saying this, Thakur begins to sing:
Who can know what Kali is? Even the six philosophies cannot reveal Her.
The yogi meditates on Her from the Muladhara to the Sahasrara,
As She sports with Kala – two swans amid a wilderness of lotuses.
Like Om, the source of all, Kali is the inner self of the yogi who delights in the Self.
She dwells in every living creature, of Her own will and just as She pleases.
Kala, eternity – he alone knows the meaning of Kali, time; who else but he can know Her as She truly is?
The universe and all living beings rest in the Mother’s womb, and you presume to know Her vastness?
Says Prasad, to think that you can know Her is as laughable as trying to swim across the sea.
My mind understands, but alas my heart does not! Though but a dwarf, it aspires to catch the moon.
Sri Ramakrishna says again, “The aim of life is to love God – the way the cowherd boys and milkmaids of Vrindavan loved Sri Krishna. When Sri Krishna went to Mathura, the cowherd boys wandered around weeping in sorrow at being separated from him.”
Saying this, Thakur gazes upward and sings:
I have just seen a new cowherd boy. He holds the branch of a young tree and in his arms he holds a new-born calf.
Says he, where is brother Kanai?
But he only mutters ‘K’ – unable to utter the complete word, Kanai.
And his eyes are filled with tears.
Hearing this song full of love from Thakur, M.’s eyes become filled with tears.
Sri Ramakrishna at a devotee’s house – at Prankrishna’s home
Today Sri Ramakrishna has come to Calcutta. He is sitting with devotees in the parlour on the first floor of Prankrishna Mukherji’s Shyampukur house, having just eaten a meal with the devotees. It is Sunday, 2 April 1882, the 14th day of the bright fortnight of Chaitra, the time between 1 and 2 in the afternoon. Captain lives in the same neighborhood and Thakur wants to go to his house after resting at Prankrishna’s. Then he wants to visit Keshab Sen in his house called the Lily Cottage., Prankrishna is sitting in his parlour. Ram, Manomohan, Kedar, Surendra, Girindra (Surendra’s brother), Rakhal, Balaram, M. and other devotees are present.
Some gentlemen of the neighborhood and other invited guests are also there. They are all anxious to hear what Thakur has to say.
Thakur: “God and His glory. This world is certainly His glory. But seeing His splendour and glory, people forget everything else. They don’t look for Him who is the master of all these riches. Everybody wants to enjoy ‘lust and gold’ – but there are more problems than enjoyment. The world is like a whirlpool of Vishalakshi. Once a boat is caught in it, nothing can save it. Or it’s like a thorny bush. You pull yourself out of one thorn and get entangled with another. Once you enter a labyrinth, it’s difficult to find the way out of it. A man becomes scorched in the world of lust and gold.”
A Devotee: “So what’s the way out?”
The way: holy company and prayer
Sri Ramakrishna: “There is a way: holy company and prayer.
“Unless you go to a doctor, you can’t be cured. One day of holy company is not enough. It is always necessary, because the disease is chronic. Without going to a doctor, you don’t know how to diagnose the problem. You have to be with the doctor, here there and everywhere. Only then can you understand if it is phlegm or bile.”
The Devotee: “How is holy company useful?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Association with the holy develops fondness for God, it generates love for Him. Unless you can develop yearning for God, you won’t achieve anything. By keeping the company of holy people, the heart becomes restless for God. It’s like feeling constantly worried when somebody at home is ill, worrying how the patient can be cured. This yearning should be like a person out of work who is running around from one office to another in the search of a job. If he’s told there’s no vacancy in the office, he goes again the next day to ask if one has occurred.
“There is another way: praying with a sincere heart. He is your own. You have to say to Him, ‘Please reveal yourself to me, grant me Your vision. Why have you given birth to me?’ Sikh devotees said to me that God is kind. I said to them, ‘Why should I call Him kind? He has created us. What wonder is there that He is kind to us?’ What kindness is there in parents’ bringing up their children? He has to do it, so we should make demands on Him. He is our own father, our own mother. If the son wants his inheritance and begins to fast for it, his parents release it three years early. Again, when a boy entreats his mother for money, ‘Mother, I fall at your feet. Please give me money,’ the mother has to comply with his wishes. Seeing his insistence, she tosses a few coins at him.
“There is another benefit of holy company: only the thought of what is Real comes to mind – what is Real, what is eternal, that is, God. What is unreal is transitory: the mind should discriminate. No sooner does an elephant raise its trunk to eat the plantain tree of a stranger but the mahout goads it.”
A Neighbour: “Sir, why is there sin?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “There are all kinds of people in this world. He has created good people and He has also created the wicked. It is He who gives good as well as bad tendencies.”
Responsibility of a sinner and results of actions
The Neighbour: “So a sinner isn’t responsible for his sins.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “It’s God’s law that you have to bear the consequence of sin. Won’t chili be hot if you eat it? Mathur Babu did a lot of bad things in his youth. That’s why he suffered from a number of diseases before he died. You don’t notice early on. There’s a lot of wood fuel for cooking in the Kali temple. The wet wood burns nicely in the beginning and you don’t notice water in it. But when the wood is burnt, all the water collects and it puts out the fire in the oven. That’s why you should beware of lust, anger, greed and so on. Just see how Hanuman burnt Lanka in anger. Later, he realized that Sita was in the Ashoka grove. Then he was frantic that she might come to harm.”
The Neighbour: “Why did God create wicked people?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “It is His will, His sport. Both knowledge and ignorance are in His maya. Darkness is necessary to show the glory of light. If lust, anger and greed are bad, why has he made them? Because he wants to create saintly people. A person becomes high-minded when his senses are subdued. What is impossible for a person who has overcome his senses? By His grace, he can even realize God. And look at it from this point of view. It’s through desire that His creation continues.
“Wicked people are needed too. When the tenants of a landlord rebelled the landlord sent Golok Choudhury. He was so cruel that the tenants trembled at his name. Everything is necessary. Sita said, ‘Rama, if there were only palatial buildings in Ayodhya, it would be so nice, but I see so many old shanties.’ Rama replied, ‘Sita, if all the houses were well built, what would the masons do?’ (All laugh.) God has created everything – good trees, poisonous trees, even weeds. Among animals also, there are good and bad – tigers, lions, snakes, all these and more.”
It is possible to realize God even in household life – everybody will attain liberation
The Neighbour: “Sir, is it possible to attain God while living a householder’s life?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Certainly you can. But, as I said earlier, you have to keep the company of holy people and constantly pray to Him. You have to weep before Him. When the mind is washed of all impurities, God is seen. The mind is like a needle covered with mud – God is a magnet. Until all the dirt is cleaned off, it cannot join the magnet. When you weep, all the dirt of the needle is washed off. The dirt of the needle is lust, anger, greed, bad tendencies and worldly calculation. As soon as the dirt is washed off, the magnet will pull the needle to itself. In other words, you will have the vision of God. When the mind is purified, a person attains God. Say a person has a fever – a lot of poison in the body is causing the illness – how can quinine help in such a condition?
“Why isn’t it possible to realize Him while living as a householder? The same thing – keep the company of the holy, weep and pray to Him, and live in solitude now and then. If plants on a roadside aren’t fenced, cows and goats will eat them up.”
The Neighbour: “So people who lead a householder’s life can also realize God?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Everybody will attain liberation. However, a person should follow the instructions of his religious preceptor. If you take a crooked path, it will be difficult to return. Then liberation will take a long time. It’s possible that you won’t attain it in this life, it may take more births. Janaka and others lived and worked as householders – they worked, keeping God on their minds – the same way a dancing girl dances with a pot on her head. And think of the western (Indian) women. They walk along talking and laughing while they’re carrying water pots on their heads.”
The Neighbour: “You said that you should follow the instructions of the religious teacher. But how can we find a religious teacher?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Not just any kind of person can be a guru. A big log floats and can carry a number of birds and animals on it. But if someone climbs on a light piece of wood, it not only sinks, but drowns whoever is on it. That’s why God incarnates in every age as a guru. Sat-chit-ananda himself is the guru.
“What is knowledge and who am I? God alone is the doer and everything else is only an instrument – this is called jnana, or spiritual knowledge. I am not a doer, I am only an instrument in His hands. That’s why I say to the Divine Mother: Mother, You are the operator, I am an instrument; You are the resident, I am the house; You are the driver, I am the carriage. I move at Your will; I do what You make me do. I speak only as You make me speak. Not I, not I, only You, only You.”
Sri Ramakrishna and Keshab Sen at the Lily Cottage
From Captain’s home, Thakur goes to Keshab Sen’s house, the Lily Cottage. Many devotees are with him, including Ram, Manomohan, Surendra, and M. They are all seated in the hall on the second story. Pratap Majumdar, Trailokya and other devotees are also present.
Thakur has great affection for Keshab Sen. It was when Keshab was practicing spiritual disciplines with his disciples in Belgharia – in 1875 after the festival of Magha – Thakur went to the garden to meet him. He was accompanied by Hriday, his nephew. It was in this Belgharia garden that Thakur said to Keshab, “You have cast off your tail. In other words, after renouncing everything you are able to live inside or outside the household – like a tadpole that’s lost its tail and can live both in water and on land.” He advised Keshab on many occasions later at Dakshineswar, the Lily Cottage, Brahmo Samaj and other places: God can be realized by different paths and by different religions. A person can live in the world after practicing spiritual disciplines in solitude and developing love for God. Janaka and others lived a worldly life after attaining the knowledge of Brahman. You must call on Him with a heart full of yearning, only then will He grant His vision. Worship God without form; this is very good. Attaining the knowledge of Brahman, you will have the correct understanding that God is real and all else is transitory. Brahman is real, the world unreal. The Eternal Religion believes both in God with form and God without form; God is worshipped with different attitudes – the attitude of peacefulness, as servant, as friend, as parent, and as one’s beloved. During a symphony of sanai and other instruments a musician plays one single note though he has seven holes in his pipe – while at the same time there is another musician who also has seven holes in his flute but plays different notes.
“You don’t believe in God with form. There is no harm in that. It’s enough to have single-minded devotion to the formless God. Even so, you should cultivate the longing that the believers in God with form have. When you call upon Him as Mother, your love and devotion increase. At one time you may have the attitude of a servant, at another of a friend, then of a parent, again as one’s beloved. I have no desire, I only love Him. It’s a nice attitude. It’s called motiveless devotion. I have asked for nothing – not money, not fame, nor respect. All I ask for is love and devotion to Your lotus feet. The Vedas, the Puranas and the Tantras talk of only one God and of His sport. This attitude contains both spiritual knowledge and love of God. You should live in the world like a maidservant. A maid attends to all the household work, but her mind is tied to her native village. She brings up the children of her master. She even addresses them as ‘My Hari’, ‘My Rama,’ but she knows they’re not hers. It’s necessary to practice spiritual disciplines in solitude. You will receive His grace. How many spiritual disciplines King Janaka practiced! It is only by practicing spiritual disciplines that a person can live unattached in the world.
“You deliver lectures for the good of all. But good ensues to others only if you have realized God, have had His vision. Without His command, advice has no effect. And unless you’ve realized God, you don’t receive His command. The signs of God-realization are that the person becomes like a child, like an inanimate object, like a crazy person, a demon – like Sukadeva and others. Chaitanya Deva used to dance, sometimes like a child, at other times like a madman – he would laugh, then weep, then dance and then sing. While living in holy Puri, he remained in jada samadhi (like an inanimate object) for a long time.”
Keshab gradually develops reverence for Hinduism
Sri Ramakrishna instructed Keshab Sen during casual conversations in different places. Keshab Sen mentioned meeting him in Belgharia for the first time in the Sunday edition of the Indian Mirror, 28 March, 1875.
The Magha festival again fell in January in 1876. The title of Keshab Sen’s lecture in the Town hall was: “Brahmo Religion and What We Have learnt From it (Our Faith and Experiences).” In the discourse, he mentioned a great deal about the beauty of the Hindu Religion.
If Sri Ramakrishna loved Keshab Sen, the latter showed love and devotion to him no less. Almost every year during the Brahmo festival and on other occasions Keshab would go to Dakshineswar to bring him to the Lily Cottage. Sometimes he would take him alone, as one of his very own, with great love and devotion to the worship room on the first floor. He would worship God in seclusion there.
Keshab invited and brought him to the Bhadra festival in 1879 and again in the tapovan of Belgharia. Again, he brought him to the festival at the Lily Cottage on 21st September. It was on this day that he was photographed with the Brahmo devotees while in samadhi. In this photograph Thakur is standing in samadhi, held by Hriday. On 22nd October, the 6th day of Kartik, the festival of Mahalakshmi, on the 9th day of the lunar month, Keshab went to see him in Dakshineswar.
On 29 October, 1879, Wednesday, 13th day of Kartik, 1286 (B.Y.), at one in the afternoon on the day of Kojagar Purnima, Keshab went again with some devotees to Dakshineswar to visit Sri Ramakrishna. Along with his steamer, there were a barge, six boats and two small boats with about eighty devotees. They carried their pennant, flowers and leaves, and musical instruments such as khol, kartal and berry. Hriday welcomed Keshab and brought him from the steamer singing, “Who is chanting the name of Hari on the bank of the Ganges? It seems to be Nitai who is coming, inebriated with ecstatic love.” The Brahmo devotees also accompanied them, singing kirtan from the Panchavati: “The image of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, beauty and bliss in body.” Thakur goes into samadhi every now and then in their midst. On this day Keshab carried out the divine service after twilight in the light of the full moon on the Bandhaghat.
After the service Thakur had said, “Please say, ‘Brahman-Atman-Bhagavan. Brahman-maya-jiva-jagat. Bhagavata-Bhakta-Bhagavan.’ (Brahman, Atman and Bhagavan are one. Brahman, His maya, the world and the embodied beings are all He. God, His devotee and his word are one).”
The Brahmo devotees and Keshab repeated these mantras with Sri Ramakrishna in the moonlight on the bank of the Ganges, their hearts full of love for God. And when Sri Ramakrishna said, “Now repeat Guru-Krishna-Vaishnava (the Guru, Krishna and the worshipper are one and the same),” Keshab smiled and said, “Sir, not that far yet. If we say, Guru-Krishna-Vaishnava, people will call us too orthodox.” Sri Ramakrishna also laughed and said, “Yes indeed, you people should only go as far as you can.”
Some days later after the worship of Kali, on 13 November 1879 on 28th Kartik, Ram, Manomohan and Gopal Mitra met Sri Ramakrishna in Dakshineswar for the first time.
One summer day in 1880 Ram and Manomohan came to the Lily Cottage to see Keshab. They were very interested to know what Keshab thought of Sri Ramakrishna. They said that when asked, Keshab told them, “The Paramahamsa of Dakshineswar is no ordinary man. There is no one as great as he on earth. He is so beautiful, so extraordinary, he must be preserved with the greatest care. If this is not done he will not survive – he must be preserved the way a beautiful and valuable article is kept in a glass case.”
A few days later, during the festival of Magha, in January, 1881, Keshab Sen went to see Sri Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar. Ram, Manomohan, Jaygopal Sen and many others were there.
On Friday, 15 July 1881, the first day of Shravana, 1288 (B.Y.), 1803 Shaka Samvat, Keshab again took Sri Ramakrishna on a steamer from Dakshineswar.
In 1881, when Thakur visited Manomohan and they celebrated the occasion, Keshab was also invited. He took part in the festivity. Trailokya and others sang.
Sri Ramakrishna went by invitation to the house of Rajendra Mitra in December, 1881. Keshab was also there. This house is situated on Becchu Chatterji Street in Thanthania. Rajendra, Ram and Manomohan’s uncle were also there. Ram, Manomohan, the Brahmo devotee Raja Mohan and Rajendra sent word to Keshab and invited him.
When Keshab received the message, he was mourning the death of his brother Aghornath. Brother Aghor, the preacher, breathed his last in Lucknow on Thursday, 8 December, the 24th day of Agrahayana. Everybody thought that Keshab would not be able to make it. However, when he received the message, Keshab said, “How is it possible? The Paramahamsa is coming and I shall not be able to see him! I will certainly go. Since I am in mourning I will sit separately for my meal.”
The mother of Manomohan, Shyamsundari Devi, a great devotee, had served the meal for Thakur. Ram was there. The day Sri Ramakrishna graced Rajendra’s house with this visit, Surendra took him to the Chinna Bazaar in the afternoon and had him photographed. Thakur was standing in samadhi.
On the day of this festival, Mahendra Goswami read out from the Bhagavata.
The festival was celebrated in the Shimulia Brahmo Samaj on the day of Maghotsava in January, 1882. The service and kirtan were performed in the open space and courtyard of Jnana Chaudhury’s house. Both Sri Ramakrishna and Keshab had been invited. It was here that Thakur heard Narendra sing for the first time and asked him to visit Dakshineswar.
On Thursday, 23 February, 1882, 12th day of Falgun, Keshab, accompanied by his devotees, visited Sri Ramakrishna again at Dakshineswar. Miss Pigot and Joseph Cook, the American clergyman, were with them. Keshab took Sri Ramakrishna for a cruise with the Brahmo devotees. Mr. Cook saw Sri Ramakrishna in samadhi. Nagendra was also in the boat. Hearing about Thakur from him, M. met Sri Ramakrishna in Dakshineswar for the first time within the next three days.
Two months later, in April, Sri Ramakrishna went to see Keshab at the Lily Cottage. A short account of this visit has been given in this section.
Sri Ramakrishna’s affection for Keshab; he vows to offer a green coconut and sugar to the Mother of the Universe
Today Sri Ramakrishna is sitting in the parlour of the Lily Cottage with the devotees – Sunday, 2 April 1882, 21st Chaitra, 1288 (B.Y.), 5 p.m. A message is sent to Keshab who is in an inside room. He dresses himself in a shirt and cloth and comes to salute Sri Ramakrishna. He was going to see his friend, Kalinath Basu, who was ill. But he cannot go since Sri Ramakrishna has arrived. Thakur says, “You’re a very busy man. Besides, you have to write for a newspaper. You don’t have time to come to Dakshineswar, so I’ve come here to see you. Because of your illness I vowed to offer green coconut and sugar to the Divine Mother. I said, ‘Mother, if anything happens to Keshab, whom shall I talk to in Calcutta?’”
Sri Ramakrishna has a long conversation with Pratap and other Brahmo devotees. Noticing M. sitting close by, he [Thakur] says to Keshab, “Why doesn’t he come to Dakshineswar? Ask him, my dear. He’s said many times that his mind is not attached to his wife and children.” It has only been a month and a few days that M. has started to visit Sri Ramakrishna. For the last few days, he has not done so. That’s why Thakur is saying this. Thakur had told him that if his visit was delayed, he should write him a letter.
Introducing Samadhyayi, the Brahmo devotees say to Thakur, “He is a learned man, well-versed in the Vedas and other holy books.” Thakur says, “Yes, I can see inside him by looking through his eyes, just as the inside of a room is visible through a glass door.”
Trailokya sings. Evening lamps are lighted while he sings. The singing continues. Listening to the song, Thakur suddenly stands up and, chanting the name of the Divine Mother, goes into samadhi.
Returning somewhat to normal consciousness, he begins to dance and sing to himself:
I drink no ordinary wine, but the nectar of everlasting bliss, as I repeat “Jai Kali – to Kali, victory!”
Seeing me drunk on this wine of the mind, by drunkards am I taken for a drunk.
But my mind is drunk on drops of wine by knowledge distilled from the molasses of the mantra, the guru’s gift, and by the ferment of my own determination.
Filled full with the Mother’s nectar is the vessel of this body, which I purify by uttering Tara’s name.
Drink of this wine, says Prasad, and the four fruits of life shall be yours.
Thakur looks at Keshab with eyes full of affection, as if he is his very own, fearing that he may lose him; in other words, he might become entangled in worldly life. He looks at him and sings:
Afraid am I to speak the word to you; equally afraid am I not to speak it.
The fear that arises in my mind is that I may lose you, yes, be robbed of you, my wealth, my treasure!
Knowing well your mind, we shall teach you the mantra (holy name) that is to bring you to the Beloved.
Now ready yourself to receive that mantra which enabled us on many occasions to steer the ship safely to land.
“’Knowing well your mind, we shall teach you the mantra (holy name) that is to bring you to the Beloved.’ In other words, call on God, renouncing all else. Only God is Real, all else is ephemeral. If you haven’t attained Him, nothing has been achieved. This is the great secret.”
Thakur sits down again and talks to the devotees.
They prepare to serve him refreshments. A Brahmo devotee is playing the piano on one side of the hall. Sri Ramakrishna smiles and goes to stand near the piano. Like a child, he looks at it. After awhile, he is taken to the inner apartments for refreshments. The ladies will salute him there.
After refreshments he boards a carriage. All the Brahmo devotees stand near the carriage. It leaves Lily Cottage for the Dakshineswar Temple.
. Kalikrishna later became the main professor of Sanskrit and history at Vidyasagar’s College.
. Vidya and avidya.
. Sanatana Dharma.
. Roshan Chowki.
. Ahetuki bhakti.
. We met Paramahamsa of Dakshineswar not long ago and were charmed by the depth, penetration and simplicity of his spirit. The never ceasing metaphors and analogies in which he indulged are most of them as apt as they are beautiful. The characteristics of his mind are very opposite to those of Pandit Dayananda Saraswati, the former being too gentle, tender and contemplative, as the latter is sturdy, masculine and polemical.
– Indian Mirror, 28th March, 1875
Hinduism must have in it a deep source of beauty, truth and goodness to inspire such men as these.
– Sunday Mirror, 28th March, 1875
. If the ancient Vedic Aryan is gratefully honoured today for having taught us the deep truth of the Nirakar, or the bodiless Spirit, the same homage is due to the later Puranic Hindu for having taught us religious feelings in all their breadth and depth.
In the days of the Vedas and the Vedanta, India was all Communion (Yoga). In the days of the Puranas, India was all emotion (Bhakti). The highest and best feelings of religion have been cultivated under the guardianship of specific divinities.
– “Our Faith and Experiences”, Lectures delivered in January, 1876
. Sri Ramakrishna came a second time to the Baelghar garden on 14 May, 1875, the first of Jaishtha. The Bharata Ashram libel suit ended on 30 April, 1875, 14th day of Vaishakha, 1282 (B.Y). Keshab was still there in this garden. Sri Ramakrishna had been in Kamarpukur for four months in 1880 – from Wednesday, 3 March, 21st day of Falgun to 10 October, 1880, 25th of Ashwin. During these days, they enjoyed kirtan while reading the holy books. In Seohar Shyambazar while returning, he witnessed the arati of the puja of the 7th day in the homes of the gentlemen of Koutulpur. On the way, he met some Brahmo devotees sent by Keshab. Keshab was worried as he had not seen Thakur for several months.
. Jnana, knowledge of God.
. Dharma (righteousness), artha (material comfort), kama (enjoyment), and moksha (liberation).