Chandrashekhar (Mullick)/Part3/Chapter 1



IN a monastery at Monghyr a monk was passing a few days. His name was Ramananda Swami. The ascetic we have alluded to before, was deferentially talking to him. Many believed Rarnananda Swami to be emancipated. Certainly he was second to none in wisdom. It was said that he alone knew the extinct philosophy and sciences of India. He said :-

“Listen, my son Chandrashekhar. Use the knowledge you have gained with caution. Let not misery find place in your heart, as there is no such thing as absolute pain. Pleasure and pain are equal, or rather the wise consider them to be equal. If you make any distinction, then those who are known as virtuous or happy will be found miserable all their lives."

In illustration, he slightly adverted to the cases of Jajati, Harish Chandra, Dasarath and other ancient kings of India. He briefly referred to Ramchandra, Yudhisthira, Nala and others. He pointed out that even very pious kings, ruling over extensive empires, were miserable all their lives and seldom happy. Then he slightly mentioned Vashistha, Vishwamitra, and other sages, and showed that they too were miserable. He cited Indra and other gods oppressed by the demons and lying under a curse, and shewed that even heaven itself was full of misery. And lastly, in a ravishing language of inspiration, he began to search into the workings of the Eternal, Unknowable, Creative Mind. He shewed how the Omniscient is bound to feel eternal sympathy for the endless sorrows of this limitless universe. He who is all-merciful, can he remain impervious to this mass of suffering? If so, then how all-merciful? There is a permanent bond between mercy and misery——without misery how can mercy he? He who is full of infinite mercy, must feel everlasting sorrow for the immeasurable misery of this boundless universe, otherwise he is not all-merciful. If you ask, that God is beyond all passion-how can He feel sorrow? The answer will be, that if God is beyond passion, if He is unconcerned in the creation, its preservation, and its destruction, He cannot be called the Creator and Ruler. If there be a creator and ruler, he cannot be without passion—he must be full of sorrow. But that is not possible, as God is all-blissful. Therefore there is no such thing as misery.”

"If the existence of misery is admitted,” continued Ramananda Swami, “then is there no remedy for this all-pervading evil? No, there is none; but then if everyone should try to remove one another’s misery, certainly it could be alleviated. You see Providence Himself is active day and night in removing the sufferings of His creatures. With the alleviation of the misery of this Universe is the alleviation of the Divine Sorrow. The gods are busy in removing the sufferings of the created beings and therein is their only godly happiness, else the gods who are beyond all passion and sensuous feelings would have no other happiness.” Then after praising the philanthropy of the Sages, he dilated on the benevolence of heroes such as Bhishma and others. He explained how only the benevolent are happy and others are not. Then he began to eulogise in a hundred ways the superior merit of altruism. He ransacked the entire range of religious books, the Vedas, History both sacred and profane, and other branches of knowledge, and freely cited illustration after illustration. He strung into a garland hundreds of mellifluous words pregnant with deep meaning after churning the ocean of his extensive vocabulary; he pillaged the whole store-house of literature and flung out verse after verse of succulent poetry, full of meaning and pure imagery; and over all he spread a halo instinct with an over-powering glow of his own unfeigned spiritual fervour. The strange words coming out of his musical throat, uttered in a faultless accent, sounded in the ears of Chandrashekhar like a trumpet-blast. Now they swelled into the deep rumblings of clouds and anon they melted into the sweet strains of the lute. The ascetic was amazed and charmed; a thrill passed across his frame; he stood up and reverentially touching Ramananda Swami’s feet said, “ Lord teacher! from this day I take my initiation from you.”

Ramananda Swami embraced Chandrashekhar.