Chapter 2

IN THE COMPANY OF DEVOTEES
Master at Balaram's house — Devotees in trance — Bigotry condemned — The mind's inability to comprehend God — Master's visit to Keshab — God and His glory — Dangers of worldly life — Prayer and holy company — Earnest longing — Explanation of evil — Washing away the heart's impurities with tears — Need of a guru. March 11, 1882 Master at Balaram's house ABOUT EIGHT O'CLOCK in the morning Sri Ramakrishna went as planned to Balaram Bose's house in Calcutta. It was the day of the Dolayatra. Ram, Manomohan, Rakhal, Nityagopal, and other devotees were with him. M., too, came, as bidden by the Master. Devotees in trance The devotees and the Master sang and danced in a state of divine fervour. Several of them were in an ecstatic mood. Nityagopal's chest glowed with the upsurge of emotion, and Rakhal lay on the floor in ecstasy, completely unconscious of the world. The Master put his hand on Rakhal's chest and said: "Peace. Be quiet." This was Rakhal's first experience of ecstasy. He lived with his father in Calcutta and now and then visited the Master at Dakshineswar. About this time he had studied a short while in Vidyasagar's school

'My religion alone is true. Since his nephew Hriday's dismissal from the temple. having met only Narendra at Dakshineswar. show me some time how the Christians pray to Thee in their churches. across the courtyard. the devotees sat down for their meal. like a servant. A few days later M. Mother. what will people say if I go in? Suppose they make a fuss! Suppose they don't allow me to enter the Kāli temple again! Well then. the Master went into an ecstatic mood. Who can truly understand Thee? But if a man prays to Thee with a yearning heart. the Brahmos. Looking at the temple of Radhakanta. show me the Christian worship from the door of the church. Balaram stood there humbly. On account of his frequent spiritual moods he could hardly take care of himself. 'My watch alone is right. When the music was over. Mother. Sri Ramakrishna had been living without an attendant. Bigotry condemned Sri Ramakrishna was talking to Kāli.' But. through Thy grace. the fact is that nobody's watch is right. was still a stranger to the devotees. by any path. M. He said: "Mother." . It was between four and five o'clock in the afternoon. the Hindus. all say.' The Christians. visited the Master at Dakshineswar. But Mother. he can reach Thee. the Divine Mother of the Universe. Nobody would have taken him for the master of the house. everyone says. the Mussalmans. The Master and he were sitting on the steps of the Śiva temples.at Syampukur. The lack of an attendant caused him great inconvenience.

The Master said. and the cowherd boys of Vrindāvan felt for Krishna.. with his usual beaming countenance. with his eyes turned upward: Just now I saw a youthful cowherd With a young calf in his arms.. again: "The one goal of life is to cultivate love for God. the cowherds roamed about weeping bitterly because of their separation from Him. You will see a huge jar of wine there. M. arrived with Kalikrishna. then come with me. "Ka" was as much as he could say.The mind's inability to comprehend God Another day the Master was seated on the small couch in his room. the milkmen. The goal of human life is to love God. .. But "Kanai" scarcely could he utter." Then the Master sang: Who is there that can understand what Mother Kāli is? Even the six darsanas are powerless to reveal Her. who laughed about it. Bhakti is the one essential thing. When Krishna went away to Mathura. by one hand holding The branch of a young tree. There he stood. The Master said: "The bliss of worship and communion with God is the true wine. was taking him. who did not know where his friend M." M. the love that the milkmaids." Saying this the Master sang. To know God through jnāna and reasoning is extremely difficult. He had only been told: "If you want to see a grog-shop. the wine of ecstatic love. related this to Sri Ramakrishna. Brother Kanai?" he cried. "Where are You.

to write to him. as one can see the objects in a room through the . The Brahmo devotees introduced him to Sri Ramakrishna as a scholar well versed in the Vedas and the other scriptures. you have to edit a newspaper. When Keshab was told of his arrival. I can see inside him through his eyes. Besides. he came to the drawing-room dressed to go out. his absence for a time from Dakshineswar called forth this remark. When M. I said to Her. was seated near by. Pointing to him. You have no time to come to Dakshineswar. if his coming were delayed. The Master said. so I have come to see you. Pundit Samadhyayi was present. his eyes were moist with tears." M. 1882 Master's visit to Keshab Sri Ramakrishna was sitting in the drawing-room of Keshab Chandra Sen's house in Calcutta. had been paying visits to the Master for about a month. M.He cried. April 2. with whom shall I talk in Calcutta?' " Sri Ramakrishna spoke to Pratap and the other Brahmo devotees. When I heard of your illness I vowed green coconut and sugar to the Divine Mother for your recovery. Now he cancelled his plan. Brother?" And his eyes were filled with tears. for he was about to call on a sick friend. if something happens to Keshab. "Where are You. "Yes. it was five o'clock in the afternoon. The Master said to him: "You have so many things to attend to. Sri Ramakrishna had asked M. 'Mother. laden with love. heard this song of the Master's. the Master said to Keshab: "Will you please ask him why he doesn't come to Dakshineswar any more? He repeatedly tells me he is not attached to his wife and children.

and yet we are afraid to keep still. and the four fruits of life are yours. He seemed to fear that Keshab might belong to someone else. but Wine of Everlasting Bliss. Suddenly the Master stood up and went into samādhi. says Ramprasad. the Master sang again: We are afraid to speak. prepares it for me then. Our minds. that is to say. Drink of this Wine. Taking the Mother's name to make it pure. Knowledge. he danced and sang: I drink no ordinary wine. And when it is done. The Master looked at Keshab tenderly. My longing is the ferment to transform it. my mind imbibes it from the bottle of the mantra. As I repeat my Mother Kāli's name. Looking at him. the maker of the Wine.glass door. half believe that we are about to lose you! We tell you the secret that we know - . O Radha. that he might become a worldly person." Trailokya sang. Coming down a little to the plane of sense consciousness. as if Keshab were his very own. repeating the Mother's name. It so intoxicates my mind that people take me to be drunk! First my guru gives molasses for the making of the Wine.

The secret whereby we ourselves. Then he was taken to the inner apartments. Without the realization of God everything is futile. This world is like the whirlpool of the ." The Master sat down again and began to converse with the devotees. People see His glory and forget everything. As the Master was leaving Keshab's house. A number of neighbours and other friends of Prankrishna had been invited to meet Sri Ramakrishna. Quoting the last part of the song. Have passed through many a time of peril. This universe is His glory. whose glory is this world. But there is too much misery and worry in that. He alone is real. all else is illusory. They do not seek God. For a while he listened to a piano recital. the Brahmo devotees accompanied him respectfully to his carriage. This is the great secret. enjoying it like a child. where he was served with refreshments and the ladies saluted him. 1882 Sri Ramakrishna was seated with his devotees in the drawing-room of Prankrishna Mukherji's house in Calcutta. Since Colonel Viswanath4 lived in that neighbourhood. with our help. renounce everything and call on God. Now it all depends on you. and others. All seek to enjoy 'woman and gold'. Sunday. he said to Keshab: "That is to say. They were all eager to hear his words. April 9. God and His glory & Dangers of worldly life MASTER: "God and His glory. the Master intended to visit him before going to see Keshab at the Lily Cottage. it was between one and two o'clock in the afternoon.

Or again. 'Is there an vacancy today?' "There is another way: earnestly praying to God. Once a boat gets into it there is no hope of its rescue. the soul becomes restless for God. This yearning is like the state of mind of a man who has someone ill in the family. the world is like a thorny bush: you have hardly freed yourself from one set of thorns before you find yourself entangled in another. sir?" Prayer and holy company & Earnest longing MASTER: "Prayer and the company of holy men.Viśālākśi. But it is not enough to be in the company of religious people only for a day." DEVOTEE: "What is the good of holy company?" MASTER: "It begets yearning for God. Once you enter a labyrinth you find it very difficult to get out." A DEVOTEE: "Then what is the way. Nothing whatsoever is achieved in spiritual life without yearning. for the disease has become chronic. one should feel a yearning for God like the yearning of a man who has lost his job and is wandering from one office to another in search of work. If he is rejected at a certain place which has no vacancy. Living in the world. you learn to distinguish between the pulse of phlegm and the pulse of bile. you can't understand the pulse rightly unless you live with a physician. You cannot get rid of an ailment without the help of a physician. as it were. Again. You should constantly seek it. a man becomes seared. His mind is in a state of perpetual restlessness. he goes there again the next day and inquires. God is our very . By constant living in the company of holy men. thinking how the sick person may be cured. Again. Moving with him constantly. It begets love of God.

Or when the child demands some pice from his mother. give me a couple of pice.own. I beg you on my knees!' . Do you call that an act of kindness? They must act that way. He has . then the parents hand his share over to him three years before the legal time. We should say to Him: 'O God. and unable to bear it any more. The moment an elephant stretches out its trunk to eat a plantain-tree in a neighbour's garden. he should apply discrimination. seeing his earnestness. God alone is the Real. what is Thy nature? Reveal Thyself to me. it gets a blow from the iron goad of the driver. What is there to be wondered at if He is kind to us? Parents bring up their children. the Eternal Substance. isn't He? If the son demands his patrimony and gives up food and drink in order to enforce his demand. As soon as a man finds his mind wandering away to the unreal." Explanation of evil A NEIGHBOUR: "Why does a man have sinful tendencies?" MASTER: "In God's creation there are all sorts of things. "There is another benefit from holy company. and the world is unreal. He is our Father and Mother. that is to say.' I said: 'But why should we call Him compassionate? He is our Creator. and says over and over again: 'Mother. for why else hast Thou created me?' Some Sikh devotees once said to me. 'God is full of compassion. Thou must show Thyself to me.' Therefore we should force our demands on God. It helps one cultivate discrimination between the Real and the unreal. transitory. that is to say. tosses the money to him.then the mother.

Won't you burn our tongue if you chew a chilli? In his youth Mathur6 led a rather fast life. for instance. A man becomes a saint by conquering the senses. This is God's law. Then he began to tremble lest the fire should injure her. has God created them? In order to create saints. Take. the case of Hanuman. "So one should be careful about anger. But when the wood is sufficiently burnt. all the moisture runs back to one end. There is no doubt that anger. "Wicked people are needed too. His play. At last he remembered that Sita was living in the aśoka grove. through His grace. In His maya there exists avidyā as well as vidyā." NEIGHHBOUR: "Why has God created wicked people?" MASTER: "That is His will. see how His whole play of creation is perpetuated through lust. Is there anything impossible for a man who has subdued his passions? He can even realize God. I have looked into the hearth in the kitchen of the Kāli temple when logs are being burnt. Darkness is needed too. and it is He again who gives us evil tendencies. and greed. and greed are evils. so he suffered from various diseases before his death. then. It is He who gives us good tendencies. At one time the tenants of an estate . are we?" MASTER: "Sin begets its own result. It doesn't seem then that it contains much moisture. lust.created bad men as well as good men. Again. At first the wet wood burns rather well. passion." NEIGHBOUR: "In that case we aren't responsible for our sinful actions. Why. At last water squirts from the fuel and puts out the fire. "One may not realize this in youth. In a fit of anger he burnt Ceylon. It reveals all the more the glory of light.

Among the animals there are good. Only the pure in heart see God. He was such a harsh administrator that the tenants trembled at the very mention of his name. Tears wash away the mud. The landlord had to send Golak Choudhury. and God is like a magnet. lions.' said Rama.became unruly. 'if all the houses were beautiful ones. snakes. and all kinds of creatures . what would the masons do?' (Laughter. One should weep for God. A fever patient has an excess of the watery element in his system. greed. is it ever possible to realize God while leading the life of a householder?" MASTER: "Certainly. When the impurities of the mind are thus washed away. and the inclination to worldly enjoyments as well. that is to say.) God has created all kinds of things." Washing away the heart's impurities with tears NEIGHTBOUR: "Sir. bad.' 'But. one must live in holy company and pray unceasingly. man realizes God. and poisonous plants and weeds as well. my dear. one realizes God. "There is need of everything.tigers. What can quinine do for him unless that is removed? "Why shouldn't one realize God while living in the world? But. The needle cannot be united with the magnet unless it is free from mud. The mind is like a needle covered with mud. and other evil tendencies. Once Sita said to her Husband: 'Rama. who was a ruffian. which is nothing but lust. as I . But as I said just now. As soon as the mud is washed away. He has created good trees. anger. and so on. it would be grand if every house in Ayhodhya were a mansion! I find many houses old and dilapidated. the magnet attracts the needle.

and none else' . A man may fail to obtain it in this life. one must live in holy company. How shall we find him?" MASTER: "Anyone and everyone cannot be a guru. Therefore in every age God incarnates Himself as the guru. But one should follow the instructions of the guru. Haven't you seen how the women in northwest India walk. Therefore I say: 'O Mother." Need of a guru NEIGHBOUR: "Then householders. I am not the doer. as a dancing-girl dances. But a piece of worthless wood sinks. if one follows a devious path. "What is knowledge? And what is the nature of this ego? 'God alone is the Doer. they are destroyed by cattle. Sages like Janaka performed worldly duties.that is knowledge. They performed them. and now and then go into solitude. Thou . will have the vision of God.said. Unless the plants on a foot-path are protected at first by fences. Satchidananda alone is the guru. talking and laughing while carrying water-pitchers on their beads?" NEIGHBOUR: "You just referred to the instructions of the guru. and drowns him. to teach humanity. won't they?" MASTER: "Everybody will surely be liberated. Perhaps he will realize God only after many births. weeping for His grace. bearing God in their minds. keeping jars or trays on her head. if a man sits on it. I am a mere instrument in His hand. too. It takes a long time to achieve liberation. one will suffer in trying to retrace one's steps. pray to God. A huge timber floats on the water and can carry animals as well.

' " From Prankrishna's house the Master went to Colonel Viswanath's and from there to the Lily Cottage. but Thou. I do as Thou makest me do. I speak as Thou makest me speak. I move as Thou movest me. Thou art the Indweller and I am the house. not I.art the Operator and I am the machine. -------------------- . Thou art the Driver and I am the carriage. Not I. but Thou.

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