Sri Ramakrishna at Dakshineswar –Phalaharini Puja and the Vidyasundar Musical Theatrical Performance
Sri Ramakrishna is sitting in his room. It is eleven o’clock. Rakhal, M. and some other devotees are present. The Phalaharini Kali Puja was celebrated last night. A musical theatrical performance of Vidyasundar played in the natmandir late at night. Sri Ramakrishna had watched a little of it when he went to visit the Mother in the temple in the morning. After the actors took their baths, they came to see Sri Ramakrishna.
It is Saturday, 24 May 1884, 12th of Jaishtha, a new moon day.
The fair-skinned young man who had played the role of Vidya had acted his part really well. Sri Ramakrishna happily talks to him about spiritual things. The devotees listen intently to the conversation.
Sri Ramakrishna (to the actor who played Vidya): “Your acting was beautiful. Anybody who is good at singing or playing musical instruments or dancing, or good at any art, can realize God quickly if he makes the effort.
Advice to the people associated with the play and the soldiers of Chanak – the yoga of practice – remember death
“You should practice concentrating the mind on God as hard as you practice singing, playing musical instruments and dance. You have to practice worship, japa and meditation regularly.
“Are you married? Do you have children?”
Vidya: “Sir, I lost a daughter. I have another child.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “You had her and already lost her. You’re so young! As the saying goes, ‘The husband died in the evening. How long shall I cry into the night?’ (All laugh.)
“You have experienced worldly happiness. It’s like a hog-plum, only pit and skin. If you eat it, you’ll get an upset stomach.
“It’s fine that you work with a troupe. But there is trouble in that too. You are very young now, so you have a round face. After a time, it will wrinkle. People connected with the theatre are all like that: with hollows in their cheeks and big bellies and a band of strings on their arms.
“Why did I watch the Vidyasundar play? I noticed that the beat, the rhythm and the music were beautiful. Then the Divine Mother showed me that Narayana had assumed the forms of the actors.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Lust is like the root of a tree and desires are like its branches and leaves.
“These six enemies – lust, anger, greed and the rest – will not go away entirely. That’s why you have to turn them towards God. If you have to nurse a desire, if you have to be greedy, then desire love for God and be greedy for Him. If you have to be ego-centered, if you have to be proud, be intoxicated with the idea and proud of the fact that you are a servant of God, a child of God.
“Unless you give your whole mind to Him, you can’t reach Him.”
Union with God comes when desire for worldly enjoyment is over – brotherly love and the world
“The mind’s energies are wasted on ‘lust and greed’. Look, you have a son and a daughter. You’re an actor in the theatre. A person can’t achieve union with God in the middle of all these activities.
“When you have desire for worldly enjoyment, desire for union with God is diluted. There is suffering as long as there is desire for worldly enjoyment. The Srimad Bhagavata says, ‘The Avadhuta chose a kite to be one of his twenty-four gurus. The kite had a fish in its beak, so thousands of crows surrounded it. Whichever way the kite went with the fish in its beak, the crows followed, cawing all the time. When the fish suddenly dropped from the kite’s mouth, all the crows flew toward the fish, leaving the kite alone.
“The fish stands for objects of enjoyment and the crows are worries and anxieties. Wherever there is desire for worldly enjoyment, there are worries and anxieties. You can attain peace only when you give up worldly enjoyment.
“And look, money itself becomes a reason for trouble. Brothers are good to each other, but when property is divided, problems arise between them. Dogs lick each other and have good feelings toward each other – but when a householder throws a little rice, they begin to fight.
“Do come here now and then. (Then pointing to M. and the others) They visit on Sundays or on other holidays.”
Vidya: “Our Sunday lasts for three months with the month of Shravana, Bhadra and Paush – the rainy season and when the paddy is harvested. We are lucky to be able to visit you. Just before I came to Dakshineswar I heard about two people – you and Jnanarnava.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Be a friend to your brothers, live in harmony. Everything is nice to hear and see if there is harmony. Have you seen it in a play? If four or five people sing a different tune, the performance is destroyed.”
Vidya: “A bunch of birds get caught in a net. If they fly together to take the net in one direction, they are saved. But if they all fly in different directions, that doesn’t happen.
“But in a play you also see a person dancing and at the same time balancing a brass pitcher on his head.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Live in the world, but balance the pitcher properly – in other words, keep your mind on God.
“I said to the soldiers at Chanak, ‘Do your duties in the world, but bear in mind that the pestle of death can fall on you.’
“In Kamarpukur the women of carpenter families use a husking machine to flatten rice. One woman presses one end of the wooden beam with her foot and the other woman spreads the paddy into a mortar with her hand. She is careful that the pestle doesn’t fall on her hand. At the same time, she nurses her baby. And with all this, she talks to a buyer: ‘You owe us so much. Please come and pay us.’
“Keep your mind on God and at the same time attend to your many duties of the world. But you have to practice, and you have to be careful. Only then can you take care of both things.”
Way to realize the Self, or God: holy company, not science
Vidya: “Sir, what is the proof that the soul [the Atman] is separate from the body?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Proof? God can be seen. If you practice austerities, you can see Him, through His grace. The rishis had the direct perception of the Atman. You can’t understand the essence of God from science. In science there is only this: Mix this with that and such and such a thing will happen. Mixing that with this, it does happen, and in this way, you get information about all things connected with sense objects.
“That’s why you can’t understand spiritual things with the help of this kind of intellect. You need to keep the company of holy people. Associating with a physician, you learn how to feel the pulse.”
Vidya: “I understand it now.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “You have to practice spiritual disciplines. Only then can you attain your objective. It doesn’t help to memorize verses of the scriptures. By repeating ‘Hemp, hemp,’ you don’t get intoxicated. You have to swallow the hemp.
“It’s not possible to explain to people the experience of God. You can’t explain to a five-year-old child the joy that a husband and a wife share.”
Vidya (to Sri Ramakrishna): “Sir, how do you realize the Atman?”
Sri Ramakrishna’s motherly attitude toward Rakhal
Just then Rakhal is about to sit down to eat but because there are so many people in the room, he hesitates. These days Thakur is treating Rakhal just like a mother treats her child, just like Mother Yashoda and Gopala.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Rakhal): “Oh, do eat. These people will stand aside. (To a devotee) Keep some ice for Rakhal. (To Rakhal) Do you want to go to Vanhooghly? Don’t go in this hot sun.”
Rakhal sits down to eat. Thakur again talks to the young man who acted the part of Vidya in the musical.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Vidya): “Why didn’t you all take prasad from the temple? You could have eaten here.”
Vidya: “Sir, not everybody feels the same way. So they cook food in a separate kitchen. Not everybody wants to eat at the guesthouse.”
Rakhal sits down to eat. Thakur talks with the devotees on the verandah.
The actor in the play and spiritual practice in the household – way to realize God
Sri Ramakrishna (to the actor Vidya): “The means to God-realization is deep longing. Make the effort with your body, with your mind, with your speech. When there is too much bile in the body, a person suffers from jaundice. Everything looks yellow. Yellow is the only colour you see – in everything.
“Among you actors, a person who only plays the role of a woman develops a feminine nature. In the same way, if you meditate on God day and night, you acquire the nature of God.
“Dip your mind in any colour and it will take on that colour. The mind is like a freshly laundered cloth.”
Vidya: “So you have to send it to be washed once.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Yes. At first you have to purify the heart. Then if you keep it occupied with thoughts of God, it will take that colour. But if you live a householder’s life and only keep it on acting, the mind will be coloured by that.”
Sri Ramakrishna with Hari (Swami Turiyananda), Narayan, and other devotees
Before Sri Ramakrishna could rest more than a few minutes, Hari, Narayan, and Narendra Bannerji, the son of Rajkrishan Bannerji and a Sanskrit teacher at Presidency College, arrive from Calcutta. Because of problems at home, Narendra Bannerji lives in a separate house in Shyampukur with his wife and son. He is a very simple man, twenty-nine or thirty years old. When he meditates, he hears the sound of bells and other temple instruments. He had traveled in Bhutan, the northwest, and several other places. He comes to visit Thakur now and then. (He spent his last days in Allahabad and passed away at the age of fifty-eight.)
Hari (Swami Turiyananda) lives with his brothers at their Baghbazar house. Having studied for the matriculation examination at the General Assembly School, he now spends his time in contemplation of God, studying the scriptures and in practicing yoga. He comes to Dakshineswar to see Sri Ramakrishna now and then. When Thakur goes to Balaram’s house in Baghbazar, he often sends for him.
On Buddhism – Brahman is the nature of knowledge – Totapuri’s instruction to Thakur
Sri Ramakrishna (to the devotees): “I’ve heard a lot about Buddha Deva. He’s one of the ten incarnations of God. Brahman is immovable, changeless, inactive and the nature of knowledge. When the intellect merges into the awareness of knowledge, a person attains Brahmajnana – then he becomes buddha, enlightened.
“The Naked One used to say, ‘The mind merges into the intellect and the intellect into the nature of knowledge.’
“As long as I-ness persists, a person doesn’t attain the knowledge of Brahman. Only after gaining the knowledge of Brahman and having the vision of God can you get I-ness under control. Otherwise, you can’t control it. It’s difficult to catch your shadow, but when the sun is overhead, your shadow is no farther away than half a cubit.”
Instruction to Bannerji – God’s vision – company of the holy is the way
A Devotee: “What is the vision of God like?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Haven’t you seen a theatrical performance? People are talking with each other – but as soon as the curtain is raised, everybody’s mind turns completely to the play on the stage – it doesn’t wander away. This is called being absorbed in samadhi.
“When the curtain drops again, the attention turns to external things. When the curtain of maya drops, the mind of a man again turns outward.”
(To Narendra Bannerji): “You’ve traveled to many places. Tell us something about the sadhus.”
Bannerji had seen two yogis in Bhutan who used to drink a pound of bitter neem juice every day. This is the kind of thing he talked about. Also, he had gone to the ashram of a holy man on the bank of the Narmada. Seeing a Bengali gentleman dressed in trousers, the sadhu had said, “He’s carrying a dagger next to his belly.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Listen. You should keep pictures of holy men in your room. They will inspire you.”
Bannerji: “I have a picture of you in my room, and one of a sadhu on a hill. He’s holding a pipe with burning hemp in it.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Yes, a person is inspired by seeing pictures of sadhus. A custard apple carved out of soft wood brings to mind a real custard apple. It’s the same as being aroused by the sight of a young woman.
“That’s why I say to you, you need the company of sadhus constantly.
(To Bannerji) “You’re already seeing the fire of the world. A fire blazes whenever you indulge in enjoyment. As long as the kite kept the fish in its beak, one flock of crows after another tormented it.
“A person finds peace in the company of sadhus. A crocodile stays under water a long time. It comes up to the surface from time to time to breathe deeply. Then it is at peace.”
Actor and God, the wish-fulfilling tree – the danger of prayer with a motive
Actor: “Sir, you’ve talked about enjoyment. What you say is right. If you pray to God for enjoyment, you will get into trouble. How many wishes and desires are in the mind! But not all of them bring happiness. God is the wish-fulfilling tree. Whatever you pray for, you will get. But thinking that God is the wish-fulfilling tree, you might wish to test whether or not a tiger will come at your asking. As soon as the idea of a tiger comes to mind, it comes and devours you.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “You must understand that the tiger does come.
“What more can I say? Turn your mind to God. Do not forget God. If you call upon Him sincerely, He will reveal Himself.
“There is another thing. At the end of your performance, you must chant the name of Lord Hari. In this way, those who listen will return home thinking of God.”
The actors offer their salutations and leave.
Sri Ramakrishna and advice to devotees on the household ashram
The wives of two devotees enter and salute Thakur. They have fasted in preparation for seeing him. They are the wives of two brothers, sisters-in-law. They are wearing veils. They are twenty-two or twenty-three years old and each has a son.
Sri Ramakrishna (to the wives): “Look, worship Shiva. There is a book on how to worship him called Nityakarma. Study it. Then you will be able to engage your minds for a long time preparing for the worship: picking flowers, making sandalpaste, cleaning the utensils of worship, arranging offerings. By doing all this, your mind will be directed. You will get rid of meanness, attachment, anger and so on. When you two sisters-in-law talk, talk only about God.”
Sri Ramakrishna and the value of image worship
“You have to unite your mind with God in whatever way you can. See that you don’t forget Him even once – it should be like an unbroken flow of oil – no break in it. Even if you worship a brick or a stone as God, with a spirit of love and devotion, you can see Him by His grace.
“As I said before, you should worship Shiva the way I told you. When you become established in that, you don’t have to continue formal worship. Then the mind will always be united with Him. Then you always remember Him and think of Him.”
Elder sister-in-law (to Sri Ramakrishna): “Will you give us some instruction?”
Sri Ramakrishna (affectionately): “I don’t initiate with a mantra. When you initiate a person, you have to take on yourself the sins of the disciple. The Mother of the Universe has kept me in the state of a child. I told you about Shiva Puja. Just perform that. And come here now and then. We will see what His will is later on. Try to come again on the day of Snanyatra.
“I asked you to chant the name of Hari. Are you doing that?”
Sister-in-law (to Sri Ramakrishna): “Yes, sir.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Why did you fast before coming here? You should have eaten something before you came. Women are the image of my Mother, so I can’t bear to see them suffer. Each of you is a different image of the Mother of the Universe. Come here after you have eaten and you will be happy.”
Saying this, Thakur asks Ramlal to give the ladies seats and offer them refreshments. They are served the prasad of the Phalaharini Puja – luchis, different kinds of fruit, sweets and a glass of sweetened water.
Thakur says, “You have had something to eat. Now my mind is at peace. I can’t bear to see women fast.”
Secret conversation with devotees – Keshab Sen
Sri Ramakrishna is sitting on a step of the Shiva temples. It is 5 p.m. Adhar, Dr. Nitai, M. and a couple of other devotees are sitting near him.
Sri Ramakrishna (to the devotees): “You see, my nature is changing.”
As if he is going to talk about something secret, he comes down a step and sits beside the devotees. Then he talks to them.
The human being is the highest creation of God – the secret of divine incarnation
“You are devotees. I’m not afraid to tell you. These days I don’t see the spirit-form of God. Now I only see Him in the concrete form of a human being. It’s my nature to see, touch and embrace Him. But now He says to me, ‘You have assumed a body. Enjoy me in human forms, in a concrete form.’
“God certainly resides in all beings, but there is greater manifestation of Him in man.
“Is man something insignificant, brother? Man can think of God, he can meditate on the Infinite. Other living beings can’t do this.
“He is present in other beings – in plants and trees, in all elements – but there is greater manifestation of God in a human being.
“The essence of fire is in all beings, in all things – but there is greater manifestation in wood.
“Rama said to Lakshmana, ‘Look brother, an elephant is such a big animal – but it can’t think of God.’
“Then again, there is a greater manifestation of Him in an incarnation of God. Rama said to Lakshmana, ‘Brother, when you see deep ecstasy in a man – laughing, weeping, dancing and singing – know for certain that I am there.’”
Thakur is now quiet. After a few minutes, he speaks again.
Sri Ramakrishna’s influence on Keshab Sen
Sri Ramakrishna: “Keshab Sen used to come here quite frequently. Since he first came he’s changed a lot. Now he’s quite a remarkable man. He’s brought his group here several times. But he also wanted to see me alone. Before, Keshab never had the opportunity of holy company.
“I met him in his Colootola house. Hriday was with me. We were taken to the room where Keshab was sitting. He was at a table writing something. After a long time, he put down his pen and came down from his chair to sit with us. He didn’t salute us or give any other kind of greeting.
“He used to visit me here now and then. One day in a spiritual mood I said to him, ‘You shouldn’t sit with one leg on the other before a holy man. It increases rajas in a person. Whenever he came, I saluted him and his friends. They gradually learned to salute, bending their foreheads toward the ground.”
Repeating the name of Hari and the Divine Mother’s name in the Brahmo Samaj – vision of God in the heart of a devotee
“And I said to Keshab, ‘Chant the name of Hari. You should sing His glories in the Kaliyuga.’ They began to do it with the accompaniment of drums and cymbals.
“How did my faith in the name of Hari grow? Sadhus visit this temple from time to time. One of them from Multan came. He was waiting for pilgrims going to Gangasagar. (Pointing to M.) About the same age as he is. It was he who said, ‘There is a way: the path of devotion taught by the rishi Narada.’”
Advice to Keshab – ‘lust and greed’ is the basket smelling of fish – company of the holy, fragrance of flowers – practicing spiritual disciplines in solitude now and then
“Keshab came here one day and stayed till ten at night. Pratap and some others said, ‘Let’s stay the night.’ They were sitting under the banyan tree (in the Panchavati). Keshab said, ‘No. I have some work to do. We have to leave.’
“At that, I laughed and said, ‘So you won’t be able to sleep without the smell of your fish basket? A fishwife was a guest in a gardener’s house. She had come back from selling fish with her basket in hand. She was given the flower room to sleep in. But she couldn’t get to sleep until late at night because of the fragrance of the flowers. Seeing her plight, the mistress of the house asked her, ‘Why are you so restless?’ The fishwife answered, ‘I don’t know, sister. Maybe I can’t sleep because of the fragrance of the flowers. Could you bring me my fish basket? Maybe, I can sleep then.’ When the basket was brought to her, she sprinkled some water on it and put it close to her nose. Then she fell sound asleep, snoring loudly.
“Hearing the story, Keshab’s group burst out laughing.
“At dusk Keshab conducted worship at the river ghat. After the worship, I said to Keshab, ‘Look here, in one way, God has become the Bhagavata, so you should worship the Vedas, the Puranas, and the Tantras. He has also become a devotee. The heart of a devotee is His living room. You can easily find the owner of the house in his living room.’ So by worshipping a devotee, you worship God.
“Keshab and his followers listened with great concentration. A full moon flooded the area with its light. They were all sitting just above the stairs leading to the Ganges. I said, ‘Let’s all chant Bhagavata-Bhakta-Bhagavan.’
“Everyone chanted together, ‘Bhagavata-Bhakta-Bhagavan.’ Then I said, ‘Brahman is Primal Power and Primal Power is Brahman.’ Those people again repeated in one voice, ‘Brahman is Primal Power, Primal Power is Brahman.’ I said to them, ‘Whom you call Brahman, I call Mother. Mother is a very sweet name.’
“Then I said to them, ‘Say this too: Guru-Krishna-Vaishnava.’ At this, Keshab said, ‘Not that far, sir. Then people will think of us as orthodox Vaishnavas.’
“Sometimes I’d say to Keshab, ‘Whom you call Brahman, I call Shakti, the Primal Power.’ What is beyond mind and speech, attributeless and inactive, the Vedas call Brahman. When I see creation, preservation and destruction, I call it Shakti, the Primal Power.
“I said to Keshab, ‘It’s very difficult to succeed leading a worldly life. How can a person recover delirium if he’s put in a room where there is pickle, tamarind and a water pitcher? So from time to time it’s necessary to go into solitude to practice spiritual disciplines. When the trunk of a tree grows thick, you can tie even an elephant to it. But when it’s just a sapling, a goat or a cow can eat it up. That’s why Keshab said in a lecture, ‘Get established strongly in spiritual life – and then live in the world.’”
Advice to Adhar, M., Nitai and others – go forward
(To the devotees): “You see, Keshab was a very learned man. He lectured in English and many people respected him. Queen Victoria herself talked to him. But when he came here, he would be bare-bodied. When you go to meet a holy man, you should take something for him – so he used to bring me some fruit in his hand. He had no pride at all.
(To Adhar) “Look, you are so learned and you are a Deputy Magistrate. But you are under the power of a snub-nosed woman. Go forward. Beyond the sandalwood are better things: silver mines, gold mines, and then diamonds and precious gems. A woodcutter was chopping wood when a brahmachari said to him, ‘Go forward.’”
Coming down the steps of the Shiva Temples, Sri Ramakrishna goes toward his room through the courtyard. Adhar, M. and some other devotees are with him. Just then, Ram Chatterji, the priest of the Vishnu Temple, comes and gives news that the attendant [maidservant] of Holy Mother has contracted cholera.
Ram Chatterji (to Sri Ramakrishna): “I told you about this at ten o’clock but you didn’t listen.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “What could I do?”
Ram Chatterji: “What could you do? Rakhal, Ramlal, all of them, were there. But they did nothing.”
M.: “Kishori (Gupta) has gone to Alambazar to get medicine.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “What, has he gone alone? Where is he getting it?”
M.: “Nobody went with him. He’ll get it in Alambazar.”
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.): “Please tell whoever’s nursing the patient what they have to do in case she gets worse and what she should eat when she gets better.”
M.: “Yes, sir.”
The devotee’s sisters-in-law come again and offer their salutations. They ask for permission to leave. Sri Ramakrishna says to them again, “Please perform worship the way I told you. And come here after eating something. Otherwise, I feel bad. Try to come again on the Snanyatra day.”
Instruction to Bannerji – wife is the reason for worldly life – take refuge in God
Sri Ramakrishna is now sitting on the western semi-circular verandah. Bannerji, Hari, M. and some others are sitting with him. Thakur knows that Bannerji has some family problems.
Sri Ramakrishna: “Look, all problems that exist are just ‘for a loin-cloth.’ You are married and have children, so you have to have a job. A sadhu is worried about his loin-cloth and a householder about his wife. On top of that, you don’t get along well with everyone at home so you have to live separately. (Smiling) Chaitanya Deva said to Nitai, ‘Listen, brother Nityananda. A man caught in the world is never free.’”
Sri Ramakrishna (pointing to M. and smiling): “He is also living in a separate house. ‘Who are you, sir?’ ‘I am an expatriate.’ ‘And who are you, Sir?’ ‘I am separated from my beloved.’ (All laugh.) You will get along well.
“But there’s no danger if you take refuge in God. He will save you Himself.”
Hari and others: “Well, why does it take so many people so long to find Him?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “You know what the reason is? A person doesn’t feel yearning for God until all work and desire for enjoyment are over. A physician says, ‘Let a few days pass. Then the ordinary medicine will do him good.’
“Narada said to Rama, ‘Rama, how can Ravana be killed if you stay in Ayodhya? You have come down to earth for that purpose.’ Rama said, ‘Narada, let the right time come. Let Ravana’s past actions begin to bear fruit. Then the ground will be prepared for killing him.’”
The problem of evil and Hari (Swami Turiyananda), Thakur’s the state of vijnani
Hari: “Well, why is there so much suffering in the world?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “This world is like play. In this game there is sorrow and happiness, virtue and vice, knowledge and ignorance, good and bad – everything. If there were no sorrow, no sin, the play couldn’t go on.
“In the game of blind man’s buff you have to touch the granddame. If you touch her in the beginning of the game, she is not pleased. God [the granddame] wills that the play continue for some time. After that:
Among a hundred thousand kites only one or two break free.
And then, O Mother, how you laugh and clap your hands!
“In other words, after practicing a lot of austerities, one or two attain the vision of God and are liberated by His grace. The Divine Mother then claps in joy: ‘There! It’s cut free!’”
Hari: “This game is death to us.”
“‘I bite becoming a snake and cure becoming a doctor.’ He has become both knowledge and ignorance and dwells in the world. He dwells as ignorance in the maya of delusion, and He cures in the form of the maya of knowledge, in the guru.
“There are ignorance, knowledge and supreme knowledge. A man of knowledge sees that He alone exists, that He is the doer, creating, preserving and dissolving. The man of supreme knowledge sees that He exists and dwells in the world as all.
“When you attain ecstatic love for God, you see that there is nothing besides Him.
“Compared to ecstasy, devotion is very weak. And then ecstasy matures into ecstatic love for God.
(To Bannerji) “Do you still hear the sound of a bell when you meditate?”
Bannerji: “I do hear the same sound, every day. And I have visions of His form as well. Once the mind has experienced this, does it ever stop?”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “Yes, when once firewood catches fire, it doesn’t cool down. (To the devotees) He knows a lot about faith.”
Bando [Bannerji]: “My faith is very deep.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Why not talk about it?”
Bannerji: “Once a guru gave a mantra of the ram to someone. He told the man that the ram was his ideal. The fellow attained perfection by repeating that mantra of the ram.
“And a grass cutter crossed the Ganges by repeating the name of Rama.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Bring the women of your family to meet the women of Balaram’s.”
Bannerji: “Which Balaram?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Don’t you know Balaram? He lives in Bosepara.”
Sri Ramakrishna is filled with joy to meet a guileless man. Bannerji is very simple. Sri Ramakrishna is also very fond of Niranjan because he is so guileless.
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.): “Why did I ask you to see Niranjan? I told you to find out if it’s true that he’s a man of guileless heart.”
. Later Swami Brahmananda.
. Later Swami Turiyananda.
. abhyäsayogena tato mämicchäptuà dhanaïjaya
[…then by abhyasa-yoga, you seek to reach Me, O Dhananjaya.]
. Amulets or armlets.
. sämiñaà kuraraà jaghnurbalino’nye nirämiñäù,
tadämiñaà parityajya sa sukhaà samavindata|
. The Bathing Festival.
. striyaù samastäù sakalä jagatsu
[O Devi,] all the women in the world are your aspects.]
. Urjita bhakti.
. Adhyatma Ramayana, Ayodhyakanda.
. tvaà stré tvaà pumänasi tvaà kumära uta vä kumäré |
tvaà jérëo daëòena vaïcasi tvaà jäto bhavasi viçvatomukhaù ||
çvetäçvatara upaniñat 4-3
[You are the woman, You are the man, You are the boy, (and) You are the girl too. You are the old man tottering with a stick. Taking birth, You have Your faces everywhere.]
. Mahabhava and prema.
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