Sri Ramakrishna with Rakhal, M., Pundit Shyamapada, and Other Devotees at the Dakshineswar Temple
In samadhi – showers his grace on Pundit Shyamapada
Sri Ramakrishna is sitting in his room with one or two devotees. It is 5 p.m., Thursday, 27 August 1885; 12th of Bhadra, the second day of the dark fortnight of the month of Shravana.
Thakur’s illness is in the beginning stage. Even so, he doesn’t think of his body when his devotees visit. Sometimes he talks with them the whole day, sometimes even singing.
Doctor Madhu has come by boat. The devotees are very worried about the illness. They would like the doctor to come daily to examine him. M. says to the Master, “He is very competent. It would be nice if he would see you every day.”
Pundit Shyamapada Bhattacharya comes to see Thakur. His home is in the village of Antpur. It is now almost evening. Noticing it, the pundit says that he must go for his evening worship and he goes to the chandni on the bank of the Ganges, where he has an amazing vision while performing his worship. Afterward he returns to Thakur’s room and sits on the floor. After repeating the name of the Divine Mother and meditating on Her, Thakur sits on his bed. M. is sitting on the foot rug. Rakhal, Latu, and others come in and go out of the room.
Sri Ramakrishna (pointing to the pundit while speaking to M.): “He is a very nice person.” (To the pundit) “God is where you find peace after discriminating by the process of ‘Not this, not this.’”
Signs of God-realization and Pundit Shyamapada – Thakur in samadhi
“The king lives beyond the seven gates. When you go to the first gate, you see a rich man sitting with many people. There is a lot of splendour there. Wanting to see the king, if you ask your companion, ‘Is this the king?’ the companion smiles a little and says, ‘No.’ He says the same thing at the second gate and the other gates. You notice that the farther you go, the more splendour you see. There is greater and greater show of pomp. But when you pass the seventh gate, you no longer need to ask your companion. You stand there amazed, dumb-founded at the sight of the matchless riches of the king. Now you know that this indeed is the king. There is no doubt in your mind about it.”
God, maya, living beings and the world – Adhyatma Ramayana – hymn by Yamalarjuna
Pundit: “Only when one leaves behind the kingdom of maya does one see Him.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “After attaining God-realization, you see that God Himself has become maya, the world and its living beings. If you reason, ‘Not this, not this,’ you realize that this world is a very deceptive place. It’s like a dream. When you attain the realization of God, this world becomes a mart of joy.
“What’s the use of only reading scriptures? Pundits only reason.”
Pundit: “I hate it when someone calls me a pundit.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “It is His grace. Pundits spend their time reasoning. But some have heard of milk and others have tasted it. After you have realized God, you will see everything as Narayana. It is Narayana who has become all this.”
The pundit chants a verse on Narayana. Thakur is full of joy.
sarvabhütastham ätmänaà sarvabhütäni cätmani |
ékñate yogayuktätmä sarvatra samadarçanaù ||
[His mind being harmonized by yoga, he sees himself in all beings and all beings in himself; he sees the same in all.]
– Bhagavad Gita 6:29
Sri Ramakrishna: “Have you read the Adhyatma (Ramayana)?”
Pundit: “Yes, sir. I’ve read some of it.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “It is full of spiritual knowledge and love for God. The Shavari story and Ahalya’s hymn are all full of love for God.
“But this is a fact. God is far beyond worldliness.”
Pundit: “God is very far from worldly intelligence. And where it is not, He is near. I saw a landlord of Uttarpara named Mukhujaya, who was quite old. But he only listened to stories from novels.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “There is one more thing mentioned in the Adhyatma: that God Himself is the world and its living beings.”
The Pundit delightedly recites some verses of Yamalarjuna pertaining to this; they are from the tenth chapter of the Srimad Bhagavata:
O Krishna, Krishna, great yogin! You are the supreme, primordial being. The wise know Your form as this universe, manifest and unmanifest.
You are the one ruler over the senses, the ego, the vital force, and the bodies of all creatures. You are truly time, the blessed Lord Vishnu, the all-pervading ruler.
You are the great Prakriti, subtle and consisting of sattva, rajas, and tamas; truly You are Purusha, the witness of change in all spheres of action.
Sri Ramakrishna in samadhi – one will have to come here who sincerely practices meditation and japa
Listening to the hymn, he stands in samadhi. The pundit remains seated. Placing one foot on the pundit’s lap and chest, Thakur smiles.
Holding the foot, the pundit says, “Oh Guru, illumine me!” Thakur is standing near the smaller cot, facing east.
After the pundit has left, Thakur says to M., “My words are coming true. Those who have practiced meditation and japa sincerely will have to come here.”
It is already 10 p.m. After taking a small, simple meal of farina pudding, Thakur lies on his bed. He says to Mani, “Stroke my feet a little.”
After a while, he asks M. to stroke his body and chest.
Taking a short nap, he says to Mani, “You may go to sleep now. Let me see if I can fall asleep alone.” In a little while, he says to Ramlal, “He (Mani) and Rakhal can sleep in the room.”
Sri Ramakrishna and Jesus Christ
It is daybreak. Thakur rises and meditates on the Divine Mother. Because of his illness, the devotees are not able to hear the sweet chanting of God’s name. After his morning ablutions, Thakur comes in the room and sits down. He says to Mani, “Well, why am I suffering this illness?”
Mani: “Sir, people won’t have the courage to go through all these things unless you do. A person sees that you are suffering so much physically, but even then you know nothing but God.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “Balaram also said, ‘If you suffer like this, how can we be spared?’
“When Rama couldn’t lift the bow because of his pain of separation from Sita, Lakshmana was astonished. ‘Bound by the five elements, even Brahman laments.’”
Mani: “Jesus Christ also wept like an ordinary man to see the suffering of his devotees.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “How did it happen?”
Mani: “Martha and Mary, two sisters, and their brother Lazarus were devotees of Jesus. Lazarus died. Jesus was going to their house. On the way, one sister (Mary) went up to him and fell at his feet. Weeping bitterly, she said, ‘Lord, if only you had come earlier, he would not have died.’ Seeing her cry, Jesus also began to weep.”
Sri Ramakrishna and miracles
“Then Jesus went to his grave and called him by name. Immediately Lazarus came back to life and arose.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “But I don’t do such things.”
Mani: “That is because you don’t want to. Those are occult powers, so you don’t practice them. If you did, people’s minds would turn to their bodies, and not to pure love for God. That’s why you don’t do them.
“There are many similarities between you and Jesus Christ.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “What similarities?”
Mani: “You don’t ask devotees to keep fasts or take to severe practices, You have no strict restrictions about food. Jesus Christ’s disciples ate on the Sabbath which was against the rules. That’s why the people who strictly followed the scriptural rules showed their displeasure. Jesus said, ‘They have done well to eat. As long as they are with the bridegroom, they must enjoy themselves.’”
Sri Ramakrishna: “What does it mean?”
Mani: “That his disciples will only enjoy themselves as long as they are with the incarnation of God. Why should they be in sorrow? It is only when the incarnation returns to his abode in heaven that they will face the suffering and sorrows of life.”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “And is there any more similarity?”
Mani: “Sir, as you say that ‘lust and greed’ has not entered into the youngsters, they will be able to internalize religious instructions. For instance, that you can keep milk in a new pot, but if it’s put in a pot used for making curds, it will turn sour. He said things like that.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “What did he say?”
Mani: “If you put new wine in an old wineskin, it can burst. And if you patch an old cloth with a new piece, it will tear quickly.
“Also, just as you say, ‘The Divine Mother and I are one,’ he used to say, ‘I and my Father are one.’”
Sri Ramakrishna (smiling): “Anything else?”
Mani: “Well, you say, ‘If you call on Him with a yearning heart, He is sure to listen to you.’ Jesus also said, ‘Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Well, if God incarnates as a human being, is He a full manifestation, or a portion or a fraction? Some people say it is full.”
Mani: “Sir, whether He incarnates as a full manifestation or a portion or a fraction, I don’t completely understand. But what you said, I have understood fully – a round hole in a wall.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Tell me about it.”
Mani: “There is a round hole in a wall. You can see a little bit of the field beyond the wall through this hole. Similarly, you can have a little glimpse of the infinite God through you.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “Yes, you can very clearly see five or six miles beyond.”
After a dip in the Ganges at the chandni, Mani returns to Thakur’s room. It is eight o’clock in the morning.
Mani asks Latu for some rice prasad of Jagannath.
Coming close to Mani, Sri Ramakrishna says, “Eat prasad regularly. A real devotee cannot take his meals without some prasad.”
Mani: “Sir, I brought some prasad of Jagannath from Balaram’s house yesterday. I eat a grain or two of it every day.”
. Srimad Bhagavata, X:10:29 to 31.
. 28 August 1885.
. Matthew 9:15.
. Mark 2:22.
. John 10:30.
. Matthew 7:7.
. Two or three kosas.
. The month of Bhadra.
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