Sri Ramakrishna with Devotees at Balaram’s House on the Day of the Return Car Festival
Sri Ramakrishna and the harmony of religions
Sri Ramakrishna is a picture of bliss, sitting with an assembly of devotees in Balaram’s parlour, talking with them.
Today is the day of the Return Car Festival, Thursday, 3 July 1884, the tenth day of the bright fortnight of Ashada. Balaram maintains a shrine for Sri Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe, in his home, where he performs daily worship. He also has a small cart. That is why he has invited Thakur on the occasion of the Return Car Festival. The small cart will be drawn on the second storey quadrangular verandah of the outer house. On 25 June, last Wednesday, the day of the Car Festival, Sri Ramakrishna had been invited to the home of Ishan Mukherji in Thanthania. That same evening, at the home of Bhudhar on College Street, he had met pundit Shashadhar for the first time. Three days ago, last Monday, Shashadhar had met him for a second time at the Kali Temple at Dakshineswar.
At Thakur’s behest, Balaram has invited Shashadhar to his house today. The pundit explains Hindu religious ideas to people. Is this why Sri Ramakrishna is so eager to transmit power to him?
Thakur is talking with the devotees. Sitting close to him are Ram, M., Balaram, Manomohan, some young devotees, and Balaram’s father. Balaram’s father is an extremely devout Vaishnava who lives most of the time alone in Vrindavan in a garden house he built himself. There he supervises the worship of Krishna. He spends all his time in Vrindavan in the service of the deity. Sometimes he studies devotional literature like Chaitanya Charitamrita. Other times he takes a devotional book and copies it. Yet at other times he sits and makes garlands of roses or invites Vaishnavas and serves them. Balaram has written his father a number of letters, inviting him to Calcutta to visit Thakur. The topic of conversation that Thakur is having with the devotees is that all religions have something sectarian in them, particularly the Vaishnavas – people of different sects fight among themselves and don’t know how to harmonize.
Thakur talks about religious harmony with Balaram – the Bhaktamala, the Bhagavata – his earlier story – fanaticism of Vaishnavcharan and denouncing Shaktas before Mathur
Sri Ramakrishna (to Balaram’s father and other devotees): “One holy book of the Vaishnavas is the Bhaktamala. It is a beautiful book. It contains nothing but stories about devotees. But it is one-sided. It goes so far in one place as to make the Divine Mother adopt a Vishnu mantra.
“Once I praised Vaishnavcharan a lot and asked Mathur Babu to invite him to his house. Mathur was very hospitable to him – silver plates for the refreshments. And what did Vaishnavcharan say to Mathur Babu but that without a Krishna mantra nothing would help! Now Mathur Babu is a devout worshiper of the Divine Mother of the Universe. His face reddened. I nudged Vaishnavcharan.
“I think you can find such things in the Srimad Bhagavata also. Such as that without a Krishna mantra it is as difficult to cross the ocean of the world as it is to try to cross a mighty ocean by holding a dog’s tail. All sects talk highly of their own sects alone.
“Shaktas also try to disparage Vaishnavas when they say, ‘Sri Krishna is the pilot of the river of the world; he alone can take one across.’ To this Shaktas reply, ‘Of course this is true. Will the supreme Mother, empress of the universe, row one across Herself? She has engaged this Krishna to do the job.’” (All laugh.)
His earlier story – Thakur’s visit to his birthplace in 1880 – arrogance of Vaishnava weavers of Phului Shyambazar – Thakur’s advice on harmony
“What arrogance people show because of their beliefs! There are weavers in my village and in Shyambazar and other places, most of them Vaishnavas. They talk very big. They say, ‘Which Vishnu do they worship? The Vishnu who preserves! We don’t touch him.’ Or ‘Which Shiva? We accept Atmarama Shiva, the Atmarameshwar Shiva.’ One of them says, ‘Tell me which Hari you worship.’ Thereupon another says, ‘No, why should we? Let someone else answer.’ They work at weaving and talk so big.”
Dogmatism of Rati’s mother, the attendant of Rani Katyayani
“Rati’s mother – the attendant of Rani Katyayani, a member of Vaishnavcharan’s group – was a bigoted Vaishnava. She used to visit here frequently. Her devotion for God was unusual. But as soon as she saw me eating Mother Kali’s prasad she ran away.
“He alone is a real person who has harmonized. Most people are single-minded. But I see all these as one. Shaktas, Vaishnavas, and Vedantists worship the same one Reality. He who is formless also has forms. All are only His different forms.
Brahman without attributes is my father, and God with form is my mother.
Whom shall I blame? Whom shall I worship? The pans of the scale are of equal weight.
“The Tantra also speaks of the same Being as the Vedas. The Puranas also speak of the same Being – Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute. The Absolute belongs to the same as the phenomenal belongs.
“The Veda says, ‘Om Sat-chit-ananda Brahman.’ The Tantra says, ‘Om Sat-chit-ananda Shiva – Shiva only, only Shiva.’ The Purana says, ‘Om Sat-chit-ananda Krishna.’ The Vedas, the Puranas, and the Tantras talk of the same Sat-chit-ananda. And the Vaishnava scriptures also say that Krishna Himself has become Kali.”
Sri Ramakrishna in the state of a paramahamsa – like a child and like a madman
Thakur goes to the verandah for a while and then returns to his room. As he was going out, he was saluted by Vishwambar’s daughter, who is six or seven years old. When he returns to his room, she talks to him. She is with some boys and girls her own age.
Vishwambar’s daughter (to Sri Ramakrishna): “I saluted you, but you didn’t pay any attention.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “What? I didn’t notice.”
The girl: “Then wait. Let me salute you again. Please stop. I want to salute your other foot too.”
Thakur sits down laughing and, bending his head to the ground, salutes the girl. He asks her to sing a song, but she replies, “I swear, I do not know how to sing.” When Thakur insists again, she says, “Should one be pressed after swearing?” Thakur enjoys the little girl’s company and sings a song to her. First he sings a light song, and then he sings:
Come, let me braid your hair. What will your husband say when he visits you?
The children and the devotees laugh when they hear the song.
Thakur’s earlier story – visit to his birth place – character of the child Shivaram – Durga Puja at Hriday’s house in Sihore – Thakur worships his own phallus in a state of divine intoxication
Sri Ramakrishna (to the devotees): “The nature of a paramahamsa is just like that of a five year old child. He sees everything full of consciousness.
“Once when I was in the countryside (in Kamarpukur), Ramlal’s brother, Shivaram, was four or five years old. He was chasing a grasshopper on the bank of a pond. The leaves were moving. Lest they rustle, he said to them, ‘Hush! I want to catch a grasshopper.’ One day during a windstorm with torrential rain and flashes of lighting, he would try to open the door and go out. When I scolded him he didn’t go out, but he kept peeping out at the flashes of lighting and saying, ‘Uncle, they’re striking flints again!’
“A paramahamsa is like a child. He doesn’t see the difference between a relative and a stranger. He doesn’t have ties of worldly relationships. One day he asked me, ‘Are you my father’s younger brother, or the husband of my father’s sister?’
“Like a child, a paramahamsa isn’t aware of his whereabouts. He sees everything as Brahman. He doesn’t know where he is going or on what path he is proceeding. Ramlal’s brother (Shivaram) went to Hriday’s house to see the Durga Puja. From Hriday’s house he wandered away all by himself. Seeing a four-year old child, a passer-by asked him, ‘Where have you come from?’ He couldn’t say. He only said, ‘Hut.’ That is to say, from a house where the worship of the image was being performed. When he was questioned further, ‘From which home did you come?’ he could only say, ‘Elder brother.’
“And then sometimes a paramahamsa gets into a state of divine madness. When I was in that state, I would worship my own phallus as the Shiva lingam. It was worship of the living lingam. I would fasten a pearl around it! I can’t do that now.”
Sri Ramakrishna meets a madman of perfect knowledge after the dedication of Dakshineswar temple in 1855
“A little while after the dedication of the Dakshineswar Temple a mad fellow came. He was a man of perfect knowledge. His shoes were torn and he was holding a potted mango sapling. After a dip in the Ganges, he performed no worship or devotions but ate whatever he had tied in the corner of his cloth. Next he went to the Kali Temple and began to chant holy verses of praise. The temple reverberated with them. Haladhari was in the shrine at the time. The madman wasn’t given food to eat at the guest-house, but it didn’t upset him. He gathered up the discarded leaf plates and ate the remnants of food on them. This was where the dogs came to eat. He pushed away the dogs and helped himself to the food. The dogs didn’t seem to mind. Haladhari followed him and asked who he was and if he was a man of perfect knowledge. His reply was, ‘Yes, I am a perfect jnani. Now keep quiet!’
“When I heard all this from Haladhari my heart trembled in my chest. I held tightly to Hriday. I said to the Divine Mother, ‘Mother! Will I also be put in this state?’ We went to see him. He spoke words of wisdom, but when others came, he acted crazy. When he left, Haladhari accompanied him for quite some distance. When they passed the gate, he said to Haladhari, ‘What more can I tell you? When you see no difference between the water in this gutter and the water in the Ganges, know that you have reached perfect knowledge.’ Saying this, he walked away quickly.”
Practicing spiritual disciplines is more essential than learning
With the devotees seated close by, Sri Ramakrishna is talking with M.
Sri Ramakrishna (to M.): “What do you think of Shashadhar?”
M.: “Sir, he is a good man.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “He’s intelligent, isn’t he?”
M.: “Yes, Sir. He’s a real scholar.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “According to the Gita, one who is respected and accepted by many has the power of God within. But there’s a little work he has yet to do.
“What use is mere scholarship? Some austerity is necessary. One has to practice some spiritual disciplines.”
His earlier story – spiritual practices of Pundit Gauri and Narayan Shastri – meeting with Keshab at the Belgharia garden in 1875 – arrival of Captain in 1876-77
“Gauri Pundit practiced spiritual disciplines. When he chanted a hymn to the Divine Mother, scholars would seem to be no more than earthworms.
“Narayan Shastri also was not just a pundit; he also practiced spiritual disciplines.
“Narayan Shastri studied continuously for twenty-five years. For seven years he studied the Nyaya system of philosophy. Even then he would go into ecstasy repeating, ‘Hara, Hara.’ The king of Jaipur wanted to make him his court pundit, but he didn’t accept the position. He often came and stayed at Dakshineswar. He had a great desire to go to the Vasishtha Ashrama to practice austerities. He would often tell me about wanting to go there. I forbade him. He said, ‘Who knows when I may die? When will I perform spiritual practices? The pot may crack at any time.’ When he persisted, I let him go.
“I hear from some that Narayan Shastri has quit his body. Perhaps he received a slap from Bhairava while practicing austerities. And there are others who say, ‘He is alive. We have just seen him off in a train.’
“Before meeting Keshab Sen, I asked Narayan Shastri, ‘Please go once and see what kind of person he is.’ After visiting Keshab, he returned and said, ‘That fellow is perfect in japa.’ He knew astrology and said, ‘Keshab Sen has a good destiny. I spoke to him in Sanskrit and he talked in Bengali.’
“Then I went with Hriday and met him in the Belgharia garden house. As soon I saw him, I said, ‘He has cast off his tail. He can now live in water as well as on dry land.’
“Keshab sent three Brahmos to the temple to examine me. Prasanna was one of them. They were to watch me day and night and then report to Keshab. They were with me at night in my room. They constantly repeated, ‘Compassionate One’ and said to me, ‘You should follow Keshab Babu. It will benefit you.’ I told them, ‘I believe in God with form.’ Even then they kept on repeating, ‘Compassionate One, Compassionate One!’ Then a mood came over me. I said, ‘Leave this place.’ I didn’t let them stay in my room at all. They went out and slept on the verandah.
“When Captain saw me for the first time, he also stayed the night.”
Michael Madhusudana and conversation with Narayan Shastri
“Michael visited here when Narayan Shastri was present. Dwarika Babu, Mathur’s eldest son, had brought him. A lawsuit was in the offing with the owners of the magazine next door so the proprietors of the temple had brought Michael to the garden to seek his advice.
“There is a big room next to the [temple] office. I saw Michael there. I asked Narayan Shastri to talk to him. Michael couldn’t speak well in Sanskrit and kept making mistakes. So they talked in the vernacular (Bengali).
“Narayan Shastri asked, ‘Why did you give up your religion?’ Pointing to his belly, Michael said, ‘I had to give up because of this.’
“Narayan Shastri said, ‘What conversation can I have with one who gives up his faith for the sake of the stomach?’ Madhusudana then said to me, ‘Please tell me something.’
“I said, ‘I don’t know why, but I don’t feel like saying anything. It is like somebody is shutting my mouth.’”
‘Lust and greed’ can deprive a pundit of his intelligence – worship and rituals of a worldly person
Choudhury Babu was expected to pay a visit to Thakur.
Manomohan: “Choudhury won’t be coming. He said he was expecting a Bengali (Shashadhar) from Faridpur, so had dropped the idea of coming.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “How mean! He has the arrogance of learning. On top of that, he has married a second time. He considers the world an insignificant earthen bowl.”
Choudhury holds an M.A. He developed great dispassion on the death of his first wife, when he would visit Thakur often at Dakshineswar. He has married a second time and is now earning three to four hundred rupees a month.
Sri Ramakrishna (to the devotees): “Attachment to ‘lust and greed’ robs a person of understanding. When Haramohan came to see me for the first time, he had good signs. I would long to see him. He must have been seventeen or eighteen then. These days when I invite him, he doesn’t turn up. He is living in a separate house now with his wife. He used to live with his maternal uncle and was fine. He had no problems of running a household then. Now, having established a new home, he has to go daily to the market for his wife. (All laugh.) The other day he came to Dakshineswar. I said to him, ‘Go away. Leave this place. I don’t feel like touching you.’”
Kartabhaja Chandra (Chatterji) has arrived. He is sixty or sixty-five years old. He recites verses of the Kartabhaja sect quite fluently. He goes to gently stroke Thakur’s feet, but Thakur doesn’t let him touch his feet. He says laughingly, “Now you are acting prudently.”
Sri Ramakrishna goes to Balaram’s inner apartments to see Lord Jagannath. The women of the family are anxious to see him in their quarters.
Now Thakur returns to the parlour, smiling. He says, “I changed my clothes that I used in the toilet and then went for the darshan of Jagannath. I offered some flowers.
“The worship, japa, and austerities of worldly people are only for the moment. Those who know nothing but God repeat His name with every breath. Some unceasingly chant the name of Rama, or Om Rama mentally. People who follow the path of knowledge also repeat ‘So ’ham’ (I am He). The tongues of some people are always moving.
“Indeed there must be constant remembrance and contemplation of God.”
Balaram’s house – Shashadhar and other devotees – Thakur in samadhi
Shashadhar enters the room with one or two friends. They salute Thakur and sit down.
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “Like friends of the bride, after arranging the bridal bed, we are awake and awaiting the bridegroom’s arrival.”
The pundit laughs. The devotees have gathered together. Balaram’s father is there, as well as Dr. Pratap. Thakur talks about various things.
Sri Ramakrishna (to Shashadhar): “There are signs of spiritual knowledge. The first is a serene nature. The second is absence of pride. You have both these signs.
“There are other signs in a man of knowledge, too. In the company of a sadhu, he is a man of renunciation; when at work, he’s like a lion – for example, while lecturing. He’s full of humour in the company of his wife, witty as a pundit. (The pundit and others laugh.)
“The vijnani has a different disposition. For example, Chaitanya Deva acted like a child, or like a madman, or an inert object, or a ghoul.
“There are, again, in the state of a child, adolescent as well as youthful moods. In the state of an adolescent, he is full of fun, but when he teaches others, he has the strength of a young man.”
Pundit: “What kind of love is necessary to realize God?”
Shashadhar and talk on the principles of love and devotion – burning faith is needed – humility of the Vaishnavas
Sri Ramakrishna: “There are three kinds of bhakti, depending on one’s nature: the sattva of bhakti, the rajas of bhakti and the tamas of bhakti.
“In sattvic bhakti, only God knows about it. Such a devotee loves God secretly, perhaps meditating under his mosquito net without anyone knowing about it. When one develops the purest sattva, – sattva of sattva – the vision of God is very near, just as at dawn one knows that there will be no more delay for the sun to rise.
“Those who have rajasic bhakti have a desire for people to see that they are devotees. They perform the worship with sixteen items. They go into the temple wearing pure silk. They wear a rudraksha rosary round their necks. The rosary has pearls and here and there gold rudrakshas.
“The tamas of bhakti is devotion like an attack of dacoits. Dacoits are armed with weapons while committing dacoity and have no fear even of eight police officers. They shout, ‘Kill, rob!’ Like mad people they shout, ‘Hara, Hara, Hara; Vyom, Vyom! Victory to Kali!’ They have immense strength of mind, and burning faith.
“Shaktas have this kind of faith. ‘Why, I have once chanted the name of Kali, the name of Durga. I have once chanted the name of Rama. How can I be touched by sin?’
“Vaishnavas have a very meek and humble disposition. They only tell the rosary (Thakur looks at Balaram’s father) and weep and sob, ‘O Krishna, Be merciful to me! I am pitiable, I am a sinner.’
“One should have such burning faith as to be able to say, ‘I have taken God’s name, how can there be any sin in me?’ Imagine a person repeating the name of God day and night, yet calling himself a sinner!
“While talking, Thakur becomes intoxicated with ecstatic love and sings:
Mother, can I but die with Durga’s name upon my lips,
I shall see, O Shankari, how in the end you cannot refuse to rescue me.
Should I have killed a brahmin or a cow, or destroyed a child in the womb, or indulged in drink, or slain a woman,
For all those heinous deeds I care not in the least; still may I aspire to Brahman.
Shashadhar begins to weep listening to the song. Thakur sings another song:
In Shiva’s company the Mother is ever lost in ecstasy;
Though drunk with the wine of bliss, She reels but does not fall.
Now Vaishnavcharan, Adhar’s professional mus-ician, sings:
Who else can save you from danger but She?
O Mother, You are the heaven, the earth, and the nether world.
From You have sprung Hari, Brahma, and the twelve Gopalas.
This time You must take me across!
You are the moving and the unmoving, the gross and the subtle.
You are creation, preservation, and dissolution;
You are the source of the universe.
You are the Mother of the three worlds and their saviour.
You are the Power of all and You are Your own Power too.
Hearing these few lines of song, Thakur goes into ecstasy. When the song ends, he himself begins to sing:
O Mother Shyama! Yashoda would make You dance when she called You her precious blue jewel!
Where have You hidden that form, O terrible Shyama?
Vaishnavcharan now sings devotional songs about the meeting with Subol.
When the musician adds his own line, ‘I say, one cannot pronounce Dha without Ra,’ Thakur goes into samadhi.
Shashadhar sheds tears of love.
The Return Car Festival – Thakur and the devotees sing devotional songs and dance in front of the chariot
Thakur comes out of samadhi. The song is over. Shashadhar, Pratap, Ramdayal, Ram, Manomohan, some young boy devotees, and others are also present. Sri Ramakrishna says to M., “Please poke him.” That is, he wants someone to ask something of Shashadhar.
Ramdayal (to Shashadhar): “The scriptures speak of the form of Brahman as an imagination. Who does the imagining?”
Pundit: “Brahman Himself. It is not the ima-ginings of a human being.”
Dr. Pratap: “But why? Why does Brahman imagine?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Why not? He doesn’t consult anybody before He does anything. It is His pleasure. He is self-willed. Why should we care to know the reason why God does it? You’ve come to the orchard to eat mangoes, so eat them. If you begin to count the trees, how many thousands of branches and how many hundreds of thousands of leaves – what use are all these calculations? Futile reasoning and discussions do not yield the truth.”
Dr. Pratap: “So should we not reason anymore?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “You must not argue or reason for no purpose. However, you must reason about what is Real and what is unreal, what is permanent and what is impermanent. You must reason in times of passion, anger, or grief.”
Pundit: “That’s different. It’s called reasoning by discrimination.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Yes, discriminating between what is Real and what is unreal.” (All are silent.)
(To the Pundit) “Formerly, great men used to visit.”
Pundit: “Do you mean rich people?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “No, great scholars.”
Meanwhile the little chariot is brought to the outer verandah of the second storey. Lord Jagannath, Subhadra, and Balaram are adorned with flowers and garlands of different kinds. They are also bedecked with jewelry and clad in new yellow apparel. Balaram worships in the sattvic way, without any pomp or show. People outside don’t even know that the Car Festival is being celebrated in the house.
Thakur and the devotees go to the front of the cart. It will be pulled down this very verandah. Holding the string of the cart, Thakur pulls it for a while and then begins to sing:
Behold, the whole of Nadia trembles under the waves of Gauranga’s love!
Again he sings:
Behold, the brothers have come! The two who shed tears while chanting Hari’s name.
Sri Ramakrishna dances, and the devotees dance with him, singing. Vaishnavcharan, the musician, joins the group in dance and music.
In no time the verandah is filled with people. The women view this ecstatic celebration from a nearby room. It looks as if Sri Gauranga Himself, intoxicated with the love of Hari, is dancing in Srivas’s home with his devotees. The pundit and his friends also watch the song and dance in front of the chariot.
It is not yet evening. Thakur returns to the sitting room and sits down with the devotees.
Sri Ramakrishna (to the pundit): “This is called the joy of devotional song. Worldly people are engrossed in the joy of the senses, the joy of ‘lust and greed.’ Through worship, His grace descends. One attains God’s vision and then enjoys the bliss of Brahman.”
Shashadhar and the devotees listen to Thakur without uttering a word.
Pundit (humbly): “Sir, what kind of yearning for God is needed for such a blissful state of mind?”
Sri Ramakrishna: “When your heart pants for His vision. The guru said to the disciple, ‘Come here. Let me show you what kind of yearning is needed to attain God.’ Saying this, the guru took him to a pond. He pushed his head under water and held him there. When he let him up, he asked the disciple, ‘How did your heart feel?’ The disciple said, ‘My heart was panting for breath.’”
Pundit: “Yes, yes. That’s it! Now I understand!”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Love of God – that is the essence. Love and devotion for God. Narada said to Rama, ‘May I have pure love for Your lotus feet. And may I never be enchanted by Your world-bewitching maya.’ Ramachandra said, ‘Ask for another boon.’ Narada said, ‘I want nothing else. I only want to have love and devotion for Your lotus feet.’”
The pundit is about to leave, and Thakur asks a devotee, “Please bring a carriage for him.”
Pundit: “No, sir. I’ll just walk.”
Sri Ramakrishna (laughing): “How can that be? You, even Brahma fails to find in meditation.”
Pundit: “I had no particular reason to leave. But I have to perform my evening devotions.”
Sri Ramakrishna in the state of a paramahamsa – renunciation of duties – sweet chanting of God’s name
Sri Ramakrishna: “The Divine Mother has taken away from me sandhya and such ritualistic worship. They purify the body and the mind. I am not in that state now.”
Saying this, Thakur hums the lines of a song:
When will you lie down happily between your wives, Purity and Defilement? When you see no difference between these two, then shall you see the Divine Mother Kali.
Shashadhar salutes Thakur and departs.
Ram: “I went to see Shashadhar yesterday, as you asked me to.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “When did I ask you to do that? But it’s good that you went.”
Ram: “The editor of a newspaper (The Indian Empire) has run you down.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “What does it matter?”
Ram: “Listen what else. After hearing me, he wouldn’t let me go. He wanted to hear more about you.”
Dr. Pratap is still sitting there. Thakur says to him, “Come to Dakshineswar. Bhuvan (the wet-nurse) says she’ll pay the carriage fare.”
It is evening. Thakur is chanting the name of the Mother of the Universe. And he repeats the names of Rama, Krishna, and Hari. The devotees listen without uttering a word. His chanting of the name is sweet, as if raining honey. Today Balaram’s house seems to have become Navadvip – Navadvip outside and Vrindavan inside.
Thakur will go back to Dakshineswar tonight. Balaram takes him to the inner apartments to serve him refreshments. This gives the ladies an opportunity to see him.
Seated in the sitting room, the devotees await him as they sing devotional songs together. Thakur returns and joins in the singing. The singing goes on:
My Gaur is dancing,
Dancing with the devotees to the kirtan in Srivas’s courtyard.
His lips repeating “Haribol,”
He glances at Gadadhar.
From reddened eyes, Gaur’s tears stream incessantly onto his golden body.
Thakur adds his own lines:
Brother, the darling of Shachi is dancing to the kirtan.
My Gaur is dancing;
This Gaur, my life-breath, is dancing.
. Ratha yatra.
. See Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita, Volume I, Section XI.
. See Sri Sri Ramakrishna Kathamrita, Volume III, Section IX.
. Sri Ramakrishna visited his birthplace for the last time in 1880. During this journey he, together with Hriday, paid a gracious visit to Phului Shyambazar and performed kirtan there with the devotees Natwar Goswami, Ishan Mallick, Saday Babaji, and others.
. Ramakrishna’s nephew, Ramlal’s younger brother. He was born on 30 March 1866, 18th Chaitra, 1272 (B.Y.), the full moon day of Holi. Thakur visited his birthplace when he was three or four years old, in 1869-70.
. Referring to Shivaram, Ramlal’s younger brother.
. Purna jnani.
. Ho re re niralamba lambodara.
. Madhusudan 1824-1873: A poet born at Sagardari who lived in England from 1862 to 1867 and was a convert to Christianity. He met Thakur sometime after 1868.
. Ordnance storehouse.
. Vishuddha sattva.
. For the complete song refer to Volume I, Section XIV, Chapter III.
. The ten Mahavidyas, or aspects of Shakti, personified as Kali, Tara, Tripurasundari, Bhuvanesvari, Chinnamasta, Bhairavi, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi, and Kamala.
. The ten incarnations of Vishnu.
. For complete song refer to Volume II, Section XVIII, Chapter II.
. Subol Milan, one of Krishna’s companions.
. For the complete song refer to Section VI, Chapter I.
. For the complete song refer to Volume I, Section II, Chapter VI.