The Gospel of Râmakrishna/Chapter 12

CHAPTER XII

AT THE HOUSE OF BALARAM,[1] A DISCIPLE

i

Sri Ramakrishna arrived from Dakshines-wara at the house of His disciple Balaram about ten in the morning and had His breakfast there. It was this house which the Bhagavan chose to make His chief "vineyard" on that day. Here He had bound devotee after devotee by the tie of Divine Love. It was here that He had so often sung the Name of the Lord and danced at the head of His disciples. It seemed as if another Gouranga [2] had set up in the house of His disciple Srivash a fair for the "buying and selling of Divine Love." How great was the Master's love for His dis-ciples! There in the Temple of Kali alone by Himself He often cried like a child, He so longed to see them. Sleepless at night He would say to the Divine Mother: "O Mother! Deign to draw them into the fold! They are so devoted to Thee! Oh, how I long to see them! Mother, bring them to me or take me to them." Was this the secret of His coming to Balaram's house so frequently? He declared, indeed, to everyone: "Balaram is a true Bhakta, he daily worships the Lord of the universe. His offer-ings are therefore always acceptable." But whenever He came to His house, He would say: "Go and invite my Narendra and other dis-ciples. Offering food to them is the same as offering it to God Himself. These, indeed, are not ordinary men. They are parts of Divinity manifest in the flesh." And many a time had the devotees met there "at the Durbar of God's love." Mahendra,[3] who taught in a neighboring school, had heard that Sri Ramakrishna was visiting at Balaram's house, so having a little leisure he came about noon to see Him. The mid-day dinner was over and the Bhagavan was in the drawing-room resting. His young disciples were seated round Him. From time to time He was taking out spices from a small pouch. Mahendra, entering, bowed down and saluted His feet. Sri Ramakrishna (affectionately) : Mahendra ! You here! Is there no school to-day ? Mahendra: I have come directly from school. I had just now nothing of importance to attend to there. A devotee: No, Revered Sir, he is playing the truant. Mahendra (to himself): Ah me ! It is as if some Invisible Force had drawn me to this place. The Bhagavan then grew more serious and bade them take their seats. He said: For some time past I have not been able to touch any metal. Can you tell me why it is? Once when I put my hand on a metal cup, it was hurt as if stung by a horned fish and the pain lasted for a long while. I had to use a metal pitcher and I thought that I should be able to carry it by covering it with a towel; but no sooner did I touch it than I had excruciating pain in my hand. Then I prayed to my Divine Mother: "O Mother! I shall never touch metal again. Do Thou forgive me this time." ii

In the afternoon Sri Ramakrishna was still seated in Balaram's drawing-room. On His face was a sweet smile, the reflection of which was caught by the faces of the disciples. Girish Ghosh,[4] Suresh Mittra,[5] Balaram, Latoo,[6] Chunilall [7] and many other disciples were present. Ramakrishna (to Girish) : You would better argue the point with Narendra (Vivekananda) and see what he has to say. Girish: Narendra says: "God is Infinite. We cannot even say that all that we hear or see — be it an object or a person — is a part of God. Infinity is one; how can it have parts? It cannot be divided." Ramakrishna: God may be Infinite or even greater than Infinite; but by His omnipotent Divine incarnation. will He can manifest His essence through human form and incarnate Himself among us. Indeed He does incarnate Himself as a human being. How He incarnates we cannot explain by words. One must feel it and realize it. By analogy we can get only a faint idea of it. For instance, if you have touched the horn, leg or udder of a cow, have you not touched the whole cow? But for us human beings the milk is the most important thing and that you can get only from the udder, not from any other part of the body. The In- carnation of God is like the udder, through which flows the milk of Divine Love. In order to give mankind His essence of Divine Love and Bhakti the Lord incarnates from time to time in a human form. Girish: Narendra says: "Is it possible to fully comprehend God? He is Infinite." Ramakrishna: That is true. Who can fully comprehend God or even any of His attributes, great or small? Why is it necessary for us to know all His attributes ? It is enough if we can see Him and realize Him. Moreover, he who has seen His Divine Incarnation has seen God. Suppose a man goes to the banks of the holy river Ganges and touches the water. He will say: "I have seen and touched the holy river." It will not be necessary for him to touch the whole river from its source to its mouth. If I touch your feet, then I have touched you. If you go to the ocean and touch the water, you have touched the whole ocean. As fire is all- pervading but is more manifest in burning wood, so God, although He is all-pervading, is more manifest in His Incarnation. Girish (smiling): I, for my part, am searching after fire. I am eagerly looking for the place where I shall find it. Ramakrishna (smiling): The element fire is more manifest in the wood. If you seek the Seek God in Man. Divine element, you must seek it in man, for Divinity is more manifest in a human being than elsewhere. Again, if you see a man who is overflowing with Divine Love, who is mad after God, who is intoxicated by the wine of Divine Love, in that man you must know, I assure you, that the Lord has manifested Himself. It is true that God dwells everywhere, but His Divine power (Sakti) is more manifest in some places than in others. In the Avatara (God-Incarnate) the manifestation of Sakti is very great. Sometimes the mani- festation of this Divine power is complete and perfect. In fact Avatara means the incarna- tion of Sakti, the Divine Power. Girish: Narendra says: "He is beyond the reach of mind, words and senses." Ramakrishna: No, He is beyond the reach of impure mind only, but not of the purified mind (Manas). He cannot be apprehended by or- dinary intellect, but purified intellect (Buddhi) can comprehend Him. Mind and intellect be- come purified when they are absolutely free from attachment to lust and wealth (Kamini and Kanchan). Then purified mind and puri- fied intellect become one. Indeed God can be realized by the purified mind. Is it not true that the sages and saints have realized Him? They realized the Supreme Spirit in the Self by their true Self. Girish (smiling) : Narendra has been defeated by me in the discussion ! Ramakrishna: Oh no! On the contrary he says: "Girish has such firm faith in the Avatara in a human form that I feel that I should say nothing against it."

The Bhagavan then expressed a desire to listen to the chanting of hymns. Balaram's drawing-room was filled with visitors. Everyone watched the Bhagavan, eager to hear what fell from His lips and to mark what He would do next. Tarapada was invited to sing, and sang a song describing the sports of the Shepherd of men, Sri Krishna.

Suresh Mittra, another disciple, was seated at some distance from the Bhagavan. Sri Ramakrishna smiled on him affectionately and pointing to Girish, said to him: Do you talk of the wild life that you did live at one time? Here is one very much more than your match.

Suresh (laughing): That is indeed true, Revered Sir. He is my Dada (respected elder brother) in this regard.

Girish (to the Bhagavan): I never paid attention to my studies in my boyhood. How is it, Revered Sir, that people insist on calling me learned?

Ramakrishna: Do you know what I think about learning and the reading of the Scriptures? Books and Sacred Scriptures all point the way to God. Once you know the way, what is the use of books ? Now the time comes for Scriptures and realiza-tion. devotional practices in solitude. A person had received a letter in which he was asked to send certain articles to his kinsmen. He was about to order the purchase of those things, when, looking for the letter, he found it was missing. He searched for a long time. His people also joined him in his search. At last the letter was found and his joy knew no bounds. With great eagerness he took it up and went through its contents. But after knowing what things were wanted, he threw the letter aside and set forth to collect the desired articles. How long does one care for such a letter? So long as one does not know its contents. The next step is to put forth one's effort to procure the things. Similarly the Sacred Books only tell us the means for the realization of God. Having once known them, you should struggle hard to acquire them and reach the goal. What is the use of mere book- learning? A pandit may know many sacred texts and sciences, but if his mind is attached to the world, if he enjoys the pleasures of the senses, he has not realized the spirit of the Scriptures; he has studied them in vain. Ramakrishna then said to Girish: Narendra is a young man of very high order. He is inter- ested in everything, —singing, playing on mu- sical instruments, on the one hand, and in the study of the various branches of knowledge on the other. He possesses the virtues of self- mastery, right discrimination, dispassion and many other qualities. (Aside to a disciple) Just look at Girish's devotion to the Lord and his faith in Him, Naran,[8] to the Bhagavan: Revered Sir, shall we not have the pleasure of hearing Thee sing? Upon this the Bhagavan chanted the Name of the Divine Mother of the universe.

Song

The Beloved Mother of the Universe

1. O my soul, do thou clasp to thy heart my beloved Mother, Let thee and me alone have the pleasure of looking on Her; Let Her be seen by none else, by none else!

2. Desires — Oh, get out of their way, my soul; let us enjoy Her presence alone. Only let us have the tongue for our sole com-panion to cry out to Her, saying, " Mother, Mother!" 3. There are evil desires, there are those which point to us the path leading to worldliness; Oh! Do not let them come near us! Let the eye of wisdom that leads Godward keep watch, and guard us from evil.

The Bhagavan then sang another song in which He placed Himself in the position of the weary and heavy-laden men of the world, bend- ing under the weight of their trials and suffer- ings:

Song

The Mother and Her Weary Children

1. O Mother! Thou art made of Bliss Ever- lasting, why then is it denied unto me?

2. My soul, O Good Mother, knows not any- thing but the Lotus of Thy Hallowed Feet. Why then does the Ruler of Death, the King of Justice, find fault with me? Tell me what answer to make to that dreaded King.

3. It was my heart's wish, O Mother, to repeat Thy Sacred Name and cross the ocean of death. Not even in my dream had I the least idea that I should be drowned by Thee in the shoreless ocean. 4. Day and night, O Mother, Thou Consort of Eternity, have I been repeating Thy Sacred Name, which brings salvation unto Thy weary children. But alas! my end- less troubles will never leave me. I only regret that if I am not saved, no one else will ever repeat Thy Name.

The Bhagavan next sang about the joy of the Divine Mother:

Song

The Great Mystery

With Shiva the Mother plays always, absorbed in blissful joy.

Deep drunk She is, but falls not.

She dances on the breast of Her consort, The world quakes under the weight of Her feet. Both have reached the climax of madness; Both are fearless and free.

The disciples listened to the songs in deep silence. What struck them was the change that had come over the Bhagavan. He was beside Himself with the joy of the Lord — in- toxicated with that unbounded Bliss. Twilight had fallen. The disciples would not leave their seats. With heads upraised and eager ears they listened to the sweet Name of the Lord chanted by the Bhagavan, sweeter as repeated by Him than by any whom they had ever heard before. Yes, they had never heard another child calling out so sweetly to its mother, saying, "Mother, Mother!" It seemed as if drops of nectar fell from the lips of the Bhagavan. The infinite sky, the heaven-kiss- ing mountain, the deep blue ocean, the bound- less expanse, the deep dense wilderness — what was the use now of going to them in quest of the Divine Father and Mother of the universe? What was the use of fixing one's attention on the "cow's horn" or her feet or any other part of her body? The Master had spoken to-day of the udder of the cow from which to draw the milk of Divine Love. Was it indeed given to those present to behold the vision of God-In-carnate in that very room? What else could have brought into the hearts of the disciples — of those that were weary and heavy-laden — the perfect peace and the joy that are of the Lord? What else could have made this vale of tears overflow with joy? Was it possible that the Man before them was God-Incarnate? Whether He was or not ; their minds and hearts and souls were His own to deal with just as He pleased! He was already to them the Pole- star of this enigmatical life. It was for them now to watch how in His great Soul the Su- preme Being, the Cause of causes, was reflected. Thus did some of the disciples think within themselves. They felt that they were truly blessed as they heard the Bhagavan chant the Name of the Divine Mother and of Hari, the Lord God who taketh away all trouble, all sin and iniquity. The chanting of the Names being over, the Bhagavan prayed to the Mother. It seemed as if the God of Love had taken a human form in order to teach man how to pray. He said: Mother, I throw myself upon Thy mercy. May the Lotus of Thy Feet ever keep me from Prayer to the Divine Mother. whatever leadeth Thy children away from Thee! I seek not, good Mother, the pleasures of the senses; I seek not fame. Nor do I long for those Siddhis (Yoga powers) which enable one to perform miracles. What I pray for, O Good Mother, is pure love for Thee, love untainted by desires, love without alloy, love which seeketh not the things of this world, love for Thee that welleth up unbidden from the depths of the immortal soul. Grant likewise, O Mother, that Thy child, bewitched by the fascinations of Thy enchanting powers (Maya) may not forget Thee; yes, forget Thee, entangled in the charming net of Samsara that Thou hast woven. O, grant that he may never be charmed into loving these! O Good Mother, seest Thou not that Thy child hath none else in the world but Thee? I know not how to chant Thy Name out of deep devotion. Devoid am I of knowledge that leadeth to Thee — devoid of genuine love (Bhakti) for Thee! O, vouchsafe unto me that love out of Thine Infinite Mercy! This evening prayer — was it called for in the case of this God-Man, for Him who chanted the Name of the Lord day and night, for Him out of whose hallowed mouth there flowed a never- ceasing stream of prayers unto the Most High? Was it then that the Master observed these forms in order to teach mankind how to live and pray?

iii

Girish had invited Sri Ramakrishna to his house. He must come that very night. The Bhagavan said to him: Do you not think it will be too late ? Girish: No, Revered Sir; Thou shalt come away as early as Thou pleasest. It was about nine in the evening. Balaram had made his offerings ready for Sri Rama- krishna's supper. The gracious Bhagavan would not wound his feelings. He said to Balaram: "Send over to Girish's house the food that you have prepared for me." Saying this, He set out, followed by His disciples. Go- ing downstairs from the first floor, He became like another being; He looked as if He was lost in the thought of God — as if He had drunk deep! It seemed as if sense-consciousness was beginning to leave Him. A disciple went for- ward to hold Him by the hand, lest He should miss His footing. The Bhagavan said to him with great tenderness: " If you hold me by the hand, people will say, 'He is a drunkard.' Let me walk alone without any help." He crossed the next turning just a little way from Girish's house. What made Him walk so fast? The disciples were left behind. No one knew what Divine idea had found its way into His heart. What made Him walk like a madman? Was it because He was thinking of that Being who in the Vedanta is said to be beyond the reach of word and thought ? Here was Narendra coming! Many a day had the Bhagavan cried, calling "Narendra, Narendra,"like one gone mad. But now Naren- Ramakrishna's ecstasy. dra was there before Him and yet He exchanged no word with him. Was this what people called Bhava (ecstasy), a state into which Chaitanya is said to have been constantly thrown? Who was there to penetrate the mystery of this Divine ecstasy? Sri Ramakrishna had come to the end of the lane leading to Girish's house. The disciples were all following. He now spoke to Narendra, saying: "Is it well with you, my child? I had not the power then to talk to you." Every word that fell from His lips was marked by tenderness. He had not as yet come to the door of the house, but all at once He stopped short. He looked at Narendra and said: "This is one of the two, — the human soul, and the other is the cosmos." Was He indeed looking at the soul and the world? If so, in what light? He was gazing on Indescribable Brahman! One or two words had dropped from His hal-lowed lips, like some solemn texts from in-spired Scriptures. Or was it that He had gone to the edge of the Infinite Ocean and stood there speechless, looking on the Boundless Ex-panse, and had heard one or two echoes reverberating from the never-ceasing voice that comes up from the Eternal Deep ?

iv

Girish stood at the door of his house. He had come to receive the Bhagavan. Sri Rama-krishna came up with His disciples. At the blessed sight Girish fell at His feet prostrate. The sight was indeed a blessed one and the dis-ciples looked on with awe and admiration. Girish received on his head the dust of His hallowed feet and rose at the Master's bidding. He led the way to the drawing-room, where the Bhagavan and His disciples took their seats. They longed to drink the nectar of His words which brought everlasting life. He was about to take His seat when He found a newspaper lying by His side. As newspapers had to do with worldly-minded men, with worldly matters, with gossip and scandal, they were unholy objects in His eyes. He made a sign and the paper was put away. Thereupon He took His seat. Nityagopal [9] bowed down and saluted His feet. Bhagavan (to Nitya): Well! and why did you not go there ? Nitya: Revered Sir, I was unable to go to Dakshineswara. I was out of sorts. There were pains all over my body. Bhagavan: Are you keeping well now ? Nitya: Not very well, I am sorry to say. Bhagavan: You would better remain one or two notes below the highest in the scale. Nitya: Company does not suit me. They say all manner of things of me. That puts me into a fright. At times I am quite free from fear and I feel the spirit within me. Bhagavan: That is only natural. Who is your constant companion ? Nitya: Tarak. At times he does not suit the state of my mind. Bhagavan: Nangta [10] (Tot a Puri) used to say

that they had at their Math a Siddha who had acquired some miraculous powers. He used to go about with his eyes fixed on the sky, not caring for his companion Ganesh Gorgy, yet when he left him, he became disconsolate. By this time a change had come over the Bhagavan. He remained speechless for a while. Returning to consciousness, he said: "You have come, have you? Well, I am here too." Who was there to fathom the mystery of these divine words !

v

Among the disciples who sat at the feet of Ramakrishna, Narendra did not believe in the Incarnation of God, while Girish had a burning faith that God incarnated Himself from age to age in this world of ours. The Bhagavan wished them to discuss the matter before Him. Sri Ramakrishna (to Girish) : I should like to hear you both talk over the matter in English. The discussion was commenced. It was, however, carried on not in English but in Ben-gali, with here and there an English word. Narendra: God is Infinite; it is beyond our power to conceive Him by means of our poor intellect. God is in every human God manifest. being, but He is not manifest in one particular individual. The Bhagavan (affectionately): I quite con-cur. He is in every object, in every human being; only there is a difference in the mani-festation of Divine Energy in those objects. The Divine Energy manifest in some objects leads one away from God and is then called Avidya (ignorance). When it leads Godward it is called Vidya. Again, the manifested energy is greater in some vessels and less in others. Thus it is that all men are not equal. A disciple: What is the use of all this idle talk? Bhagavan: There is a great deal of use in it. Girish (to Narendra) : How do you know that God does not take a human body, does not in-carnate Himself? Narendra: Oh! God is surely beyond the reach of words and the finite mind! Ramakrishna: Quite so; beyond the finite impure mind. But He can be realized by the God realized by purified soul. purified intellect (Buddhi). Purified intellect and purified soul are one The holy sages (Rishis) realized the pure universal Spirit by their purified intellect and purified soul. Girish (to Narendra): If God does not incar-nate Himself in a human form, who will ex-plain these difficult problems? He assumes human form to teach mankind Divine Wisdom and Divine Love. Who else has the power to teach in the same manner? Narendra: Why, He will certainly teach me wihin the heart. Bhagavan (affectionately): That is indeed so. He will teach as internal Ruler of the heart (Antaryamin). The discussion grew warm. It turned on matters too high for ordinary comprehension: Was Infinity indivisible? What did Hamilton say as to the limit of human knowledge; and Herbert Spencer, Tyndall and Huxley? Ramakrishna: I for my part do not like these things. God is beyond the power of reasoning; He is something more. I see that whatever is, is God. What then is the necessity of reason-ing about Him? I do actually see that what-ever is, is God. It is He who has become all these things. This is a stage at which the mind and the intellect (Buddhi) are lost in the Ab-solute and Indivisible Being. At the sight of Narendra my mind becomes merged in the In-divisible Absolute. What, pray, do you say to this? Girish (smiling): Surely, Revered Sir, we do not pretend that we understand everything except this. Ramakrishna: Thereupon at the end of Samadhi I must come down two notes at least below the highest note in the scale before I can utter a word. Vedanta has been explained by Sankara.[11] Another point of view is that of Ramanuja, [12] who has put forward the doctrine of qualified non-dualism. Narendra (to the Bhagavan): Sir, may I ask what is meant by Visishtadvaitavada (qualified non-dualism) ? Ramakrishna: There is a doctrine called Visishtadvaitavada, the view of Ramanuja; Qualified non-dualism. that is, the Absolute (Brahman) must not be considered apart from the world and the soul. The three form one: three in one and one in three. Let us take a Bel-fruit. Let the shell, the seeds and the ker- nel be kept separate. Now suppose some one wished to know the weight of the fruit. Surely it would not do to weigh the kernel alone. The shell, the seeds and the kernel are all weighed with a view to knowing the real weight of the fruit. No doubt we reason at the outset that the all-important thing is the kernel — not either the shell or the seeds. In the next place, we go on reasoning that the shell and the seeds belong to the same substance to which the kernel be-longs. At the first stage of the reasoning we say, "Not this, not this." Thus the Absolute (Brahman) is not the individual soul. Again, it is not the phenomenal world. The Absolute (Brahman) is the only Reality, all else is unreal. At the next stage we go a little farther. We see that the kernel belongs to the same sub-stance as that to which the shell and the seeds belong; hence the Substance from which we derive our negative conception of the Absolute Brahman is the identical Substance from which we derive our negative conceptions of the finite soul and the phenomenal world. Our relative phenomena (Lila) must be traced to that eternal Being which is also called the Absolute Hence, says Ramanuja, the Absolute (Brahman) is qualified by the finite soul and the phenomenal world. This is the doctrine of the qualified non-dualistic Vedanta. I see that Being as a Reality before my very eyes! Why should I reason? I do actually see that the Absolute has become all Spiritual awakening necessary to see the Reality. things about us. It appears as the individual soul and the phenomenal world. One must have an awaken- ing of the spirit within to see the Reality. How long must one reason and discriminate, saying, "Not this, not this"? So long as one has not realized the Absolute Reality. It is not in mere words such as "I see that God has become everything"; mere saying is not enough. By the Lord's Grace the spirit must be quickened. Spiritual awakening is followed by Samadhi. In this state one forgets that one has a body; one loses all attachment to things of this world; one likes no other words than those relating to God; one is sorely troubled if called upon to listen to worldly matters. The spirit within being awakened, the next step is the realization of the Universal Spirit. It is the spirit that can realize the Spirit. After the discussion was over the Bhagavan said: I have observed that discrimination brings only intellectual apprehension of the Ab- solute, which is far from true realization. The latter can be acquired by meditation in solitude (Dhyana); but it is very different from realiza-tion through His Grace. If He, out Intellectual apprehension and realiza-tion. of His Grace, makes us realize what is God-Incarnate and how He manifests through a human form, then it is no longer necessary to reason or ex-plain. Do you know how it is? As in a dark room someone rubs a match on the side of the box and all at once a light is struck. So, if the Lord is gracious enough to strike the light for us, the darkness of ignorance will be dis-pelled and all doubts will cease forever. Can He be realized by such discussions? The Bhagavan then invited Narendra to be seated by His side. He made many loving inquiries about him and caressed him. Narendra: Why, Revered Sir, I have medi-tated in solitude on the Divine Mother for three and four days together, but nothing has come of it. Bhagavan: All in time; do not be impatient. Mother is no other than Brahman the Absolute. Divine Mother is the primeval energy, when that is without activity I call it Brahman. But when it creates, preserves and destroys the phenomenal world I call it Sakti (energy), or Divine Mother. That which you call Brah- man is the same as my Divine Mother. (To Girish) It is getting late. Girish: I am afraid I shall have to leave Thee, Revered Sir, and go to my work, unfor- tunate that I am! Bhagavan: No, you must serve both parties. Janaka served God unattached to the world and thus looked to the interests of both this world and the next; he drank the cup of milk but did not forget the soul. Girish: I am thinking, Revered Sir, of giving up my profession. Bhagavan: No, no; you need not do any such thing. It is all right as it is. You are doing good to many. Narendra (softly): Just a moment ago he was addressing Him as Lord, God-Incarnate, yet he still has such strong attachment to his professional work. The Bhagavan had Narendra seated by his side. He fixed His eyes on him. He moved down to sit closer to him. Narendra did not believe that God incarnated Himself, but what did that signify? His love for him was still as great as ever. Touching his person the Bha- gavan said to him: Are your feelings wounded? Never mind; we, too, are of the same mind with you and feel for you. Bhagavan continued: So long as one reasons and argues about God, one has not realized Him. Disputations prevent reali-zation of God. You both were engaged in discussion. I did not like it. How long does the noise continue at a feast to which many are bidden? So long as the guests have not begun to eat. As soon as the viands are served and they begin to partake of them, three-fourths of the noise is gone. Then the more the sweetmeats are passed around, the more the noise subsides. The nearer you come to God, the less you are disposed to argue. When you come up to Him, when you behold Him as the Reality, then all noise, all disputa- tions are at an end. Then is the time for the enjoyment which comes in Samddhi. Saying this, the Bhagavan gently moved His hand over Narendra's sweet face and caressed him, repeating, "Hari Om, Hari Om, Hari Om." Then what a miracle passed before the eyes of the disciples! Looking at the Bhagavan, they saw His sense-consciousness beginning to leave Him. Looking again, they saw that it had left Him altogether. In this half-conscious state the hand of the Incarnation of Divine Love continued to rest on Narendra's body. Was He breathing into him the inspiration, the power that comes from above ? Then yet other changes came over the Bhagavan. He said to Narendra, with folded hands: A song do sing, then I shall get well; how else shall I be able to stand on my feet. "My Nitai! Oh! He is deep drunk, intoxicated with the wine of Divine Love, the love for Gouranga (God- Incarnate)." A short while and He was speechless again, speechless like a figure cut in marble. Drunk with the joy of the Lord, the Bhagavan went on, saying: "Take care of Radha, lest thou fall into the Jamuna. O thou, mad with ecstatic love for Him who incarnated Himself at Brin- davan, the Lord Sri Krishna!" Once more He was in deep Samdhdi! Coming back into sense- consciousness he repeated portions of a well- known song: "O my friend, how far is that blessed woodland, the land where is to be seen my own Beloved One? Look! Here comes the fragrance from the blessed person of my Beloved! I am unable to take a step forward, O my friend!" Now the Bhagavan had lost all consciousness of the world. He was not mindful of anything or any person in this state. Narendra was seated before Him, but apparently He did not see him. He had lost all sense of time and place. The mind, the heart and the soul had all become absorbed in God. Suddenly He stood up, saying: "Deep drunk with the wine of Divine Love, with love for Gour (God-Incar- nate)." A few moments after He took His seat and said: "Yonder is a light coming this way, but I cannot even now say from which way the light comes." It was then that Naren- dra began to sing:

God-Vision

1. O Lord! Thou hast blessed me with Thy vision and Thou hast driven all my troubles away. A charm Thou hast thrown over my soul.

2. Beholding Thee as the Reality, the seven worlds have forgotten their grief! Not to speak of my poor self, so worthy of Thy pity and Thy loving-kindness!

Listening to the song the Bhagavan had once more lost all consciousness of the outer world. His eyes were closed. His body and limbs moved not He was in deep Samddhi. When the Samadhi was over he asked: "Who will take me home to the temple? " A child looking for a companion! Left alone, he saw nothing but darkness about. It was getting late and it was the night of the tenth day of the dark fort- night. Sri Ramakrishna wished to go back to the Temple at Dakshineswara. He seated Him- self in the carriage which was to take Him there. The disciples stood on either side of the carriage to see Him off. Even now was He deep drunk with the joy of the Lord! The carriage rolled away. The disciples looked after it for a few moments, then dispersed each to his own home.

    the order. Occasionally he used to come to Sri Rama- krishna to pay his respects and regarded Him as the Incarna- tion of Krishna.

    after practising for forty years. He used to travel from place to place in India, never spending more than three days in one spot. When he came to Dakshineswara he lived under the trees at the Panchavati and wore no clothes. After seeing Ramakrishna he desired to instruct Him in Advaita Vedanta. Ramakrishna like a child replied: "I shall ask my Divine Mother, and if She gives me Her permission I shall learn of you." The sage Tota Puri was pleased with His answer. He then stayed with Ramakrishna for eleven months, which was quite unusual for him to do. He gave Him instructions on the oneness of the Jiva with Brahman, and within three days Ramakrishna realized that supreme oneness by reaching the Nirvikalpa Samddhi. Seeing this state Tota Puri de- clared in utter amazement: "How wonderful is the Divine mystery! Thou hast acquired in three days what I ac- complished after forty years of hard struggle." Since then he regarded Ramakrishna as his Spiritual Brother.

  1. See note p. 140.
  2. See note p. 7.
  3. See note page 33.
  4. Girish Chunder Ghosh, the greatest Hindu poet, drama- tist and actor of modern India. He is the founder and manager of many theatres in Calcutta. He is regarded as the Garrick of India. He translated Shakespeare's Macbeth into Bengali and played the part of the hero with wonderful ability and originality. He is a genius and the most devoted householder disciple of Ramakrishna.
  5. See note p. 177.
  6. Latoo, the devoted servant of Ramakrishna. Although he is illiterate he has reached the height of spiritual ecstasy through his whole-hearted service and devotion for his Divine Master. He is now one of the Sannyasin disciples of Rama- krishna.
  7. Babu Chunilall Bose is a gentle householder disciple of Ramakrishna.
  8. Naran was a young householder disciple of Ramakrishna.
  9. Nityagopal was a devoted Bhakta who reached a very high state of spiritual ecstasy (Bhava). He was a young man who lived like a Sannyasin, although he did not join
  10. Nangta was the name by which Sri Ramakrishna called his spiritual teacher in the Advaita Vedanta. The word literally means, "One who does not cover his body with any clothes." Tota Puri was his real name. He was a Sannyasin monk of Sankara's school and was a great Vedanta scholar. He reached the highest state of Nirvikalpa Samddhi
  11. Sankara, see note p. 279.
  12. Ramanuja was the founder of the Visishtadvaita, or Qualified Non-dualistic School of Vedanta. He was born about 1017 A.D. at Sri Parambattur, a town near Madras in Southern India. He is regarded by His followers as the incarnation of Sesha or Ananta. He wrote Sanskrit Com- mentaries on the Upanishads, Vedanta Sutras and the Bhagavat Gita, and preached His doctrines all over India. He is said to have lived for one hundred and twenty years and died in 1137 A.D. His doctrines were distinct from the Absolute Monistic philosophy of Sankaracharya. He has now millions of followers among all classes of Hindus in India.