Sri Ramakrishna Observing Silence and Vision of Maya
Sri Ramakrishna’s disease has manifested. Has he come to know that he will soon be quitting this world to sit again in the lap of the Divine Mother? Is it because of this that he is observing silence? The Holy Mother weeps to see that he doesn’t speak. Rakhal and Latu also weep. The brahmini woman of Baghbazar has arrived and is also crying.
The devotees ask him every now and then, “Will you remain silent always?”
Sri Ramakrishna by a sign says, “No.”
Narayan comes at three o’clock. Thakur says to him, “Mother will bless you.”
Narayan happily gives the news, “Thakur is speaking now.” It is as if a heavy stone has been removed from the chest of Rakhal and the other devotees. They all come and sit near Thakur.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Rakhal and the other devotees): “The Divine Mother has shown me that everything is maya. Only She is real and everything else is the manifestation of Her maya.
“And She showed me something else: how much every devotee has progressed.”
Narayan and other devotees: “Well, how far has each of us advanced?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “I saw everything about them: Nityagopal, Rakhal, Narayan, Purna, Mahima Chakravarti and others.”
Sri Ramakrishna with Girish, Pundit Shashadhar and other devotees
The devotees in Calcutta have come to know of Thakur’s illness. They understand that his epiglottis is diseased.
Today is Sunday, 16 August 1885; the first of Bhadrapada. A number of devotees have come to visit him – Girish, Ram, Nityagopal, Mahima Chakravarti, Kishori (Gupta), Pundit Shashadhar, Tarka Chudamani.
Thakur is full of joy as usual and talks to the devotees.
Sri Ramakrishna: “I can’t talk about my disease with the Divine Mother. I feel ashamed to mention it.”
Girish: “My Narayana will heal you.”
Ram: “You’ll be all right.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “Yes, please bless me like that.” (All laugh.)
Girish has started coming just recently. Thakur says to him, “You have to live in the middle of a lot of problems. You have so many things to do. Come here three times more.” Now he talks to Shashadhar.
Advice to Pundit Shashadhar – Brahman and the Primal Power are the same
Sri Ramakrishna (to Shashadhar): “Say something about the Primal Power.”
Shashadhar: “What do I know?”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “A person was very respectful of another. The latter asked him to bring some fire to light a smoke for him. He said, ‘Am I fit to bring fire for you?’ And he didn’t bring it!” (All laugh.)
Shashadhar: “Sir, the Divine Mother Herself is the cause and the material of the universe. It is She who creates it and its creatures. Then She Herself dwells as the universe and as its creatures. Just like a spider that makes a web (instrumental cause), drawing the web out of itself (material cause).”
Sri Ramakrishna: “And this is also true. He who is Purusha is also Prakriti; He who is the Absolute is also the Primal Power. When He is not active, when He is not creating, preserving or dissolving, I call Him Brahman or Purusha. And when He is active doing all these things, I call Him Shakti, Prakriti. But He who is Brahman is also the Primal Power. He who is Purusha has become Prakriti. Water is water whether it is still or moving. A snake remains a snake whether it moves in its zigzag way or lies coiled up quietly.
Sri Ramakrishna goes into samadhi talking about the knowledge of Brahman – desire for sense enjoyment and duty
“What Brahman is cannot be expressed in words. Speech stops. At the end of the song, ‘Nitai is my mad elephant!’ nothing remains to be said. First the singer repeats, ‘Elephant, elephant.’ Then, after saying ‘Elephant,’ he now can only say, ‘Ele.’ In the end, he can’t even utter this. He loses all outer consciousness.
Saying this, Thakur goes into samadhi. He is standing.
Everyone is silent. Thakur continues: “As long as the desire for sense enjoyment is not fulfilled and duties remain unfinished, a person cannot attain samadhi.
(To Shashadhar) “God is making you work now, giving lectures and so on. You have to do all that now. “When this work is finished, there will be no more duties. A housewife who has finished the chores of the household and goes for a bath does not return however much you call her.”
Sri Ramakrishna ill – Doctor Rakhal – dancing with the devotees
Sri Ramakrishna is sitting in his room at Dakshineswar with the devotees. Today is Sunday, 20 September 1885, 5th of Aswin, the 11th day of the bright fortnight. Navagopal, Haralal (a teacher in the Hindu School), Rakhal, Latu, the kirtan singer Goswami and several others are present.
M. has brought Doctor Rakhal from Bowbazar to examine Thakur’s sore throat. The doctor is stout and has thick fingers.
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling, to the doctor): “Wrestlers have fingers like yours. When Mahendra Sarkar examined my throat, he pressed my tongue so hard I felt great pain. He did it like he was pressing a cow’s tongue.”
Doctor Rakhal: “Let me examine you. You won’t feel any pain.”
Why is Sri Ramakrishna suffering?
After the Doctor examined him and made a prescription, Sri Ramakrishna begins to talk.
Sri Ramakrishna (to the devotees): “Well, people say that if he’s so holy, why is he suffering from disease?”
Tarak: “Bhagavan Das Babaji was confined to bed for a long time because of illness.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Doctor Madhu carries food to the house of his mistress. He’s sixty years old, but he’s not suffering from any disease.”
Goswami: “Your disease, sir, is because of others. You take upon yourself the transgressions of those who visit you. That’s why you’re suffering.”
A Devotee: “If you say to the Divine Mother, ‘Mother, cure me of this disease,’ you will be cured quickly.’”
Attitude of master and servant is diminishing – even looking for ‘I-ness,’ it can’t be traced
Sri Ramakrishna: “I can’t ask the Divine Mother to cure me. And the attitude of master and servant is diminishing. Sometimes I say, ‘Mother, please repair the scabbard of the sword a little.’ But I can make such a prayer less and less now. These days even when I’m looking for ‘I,’ it can’t be found. I see that She Herself is dwelling inside this scabbard.”
The Goswami has come for kirtan. A devotee asks whether there will be music. Sri Ramakrishna is not well and might become ecstatic if there is kirtan – this is what everyone is afraid of.
Sri Ramakrishna says, “Let’s have a little kirtan. They’re afraid I might go into ecstasy – it hurts that spot in my throat.”
Listening to the music, Thakur is unable to control his feelings. He stands up and begins to dance with the devotees.
Doctor Rakhal sees everything. His hired carriage is waiting for him. He and M. stand up to return to Calcutta. Both of them salute Sri Ramakrishna.
Sri Ramakrishna (affectionately, to M.): “Have you had your meal?”
Instructions to M. on self-realization – ‘the body is only a sheath’
It is Thursday, 24 September, the full moon day. Sri Ramakrishna is sitting on the smaller cot in his room. He is in agony with the disease in his throat. M. and the other devotees are sitting on the floor.
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.): “Every now and then I think this body is only a pillowcase. There’s nothing but the Indivisible (Sat-chit-ananda).
“When I go into ecstasy, the disease stays away from me. Now that mood is coming on me and I feel like laughing.”
Dwija’s sister and younger maternal grandmother have come to see Thakur since hearing of his illness. After saluting him, they sit on one side of the room. Seeing the maternal grandmother, Thakur asks, “Who is she? Is she the one who raised Dwija? Why has Dwija brought an ektara?”
M.: “Sir, it has two strings.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Dwija’s father doesn’t agree with his views. Besides, what will people say? It’s better for him to pray secretly.”
There is an extra picture of Gaur and Nitai on the wall of Sri Ramakrishna’s room. The picture is of Gaur and Nitai singing kirtan in Navadvip with their companions.
Ramlal (to Sri Ramakrishna): “Let me give this picture (to M.).”
Sri Ramakrishna: “That would be good.”
Sri Ramakrishna and Harish’s service
Thakur has been taking the medicine prescribed by Doctor Pratap for some time. He woke up deep at night feeling very restless. Harish, who was in the room, was nursing him. Rakhal was also there. Ramlal is sleeping on the verandah outside. Later, Thakur said, “When I was feeling so restless, I felt like embracing Harish. After being massaged with medicinal oil, I felt better and began to dance.”
. bhogaiçvaryaprasaktänäà tayäpahåtacetasäm,
vyavasäyätmikä buddhiù samädhau na vidhéyate |
[O Partha, no set determination is formed in the minds of those that
are deeply attached to pleasure and power, and whose discrimination is stole.]
. A single-stringed musical instrument.
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