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Chapter 7: PART-I

Thursday, December 14, 1882
IT WAS AFTERNOON.  Sri Ramakrishna was sitting on his bed after a short
Sri Ramakrishna's Bed 
noonday rest.  Vijay, Balaram, M., and a few other devotees were sitting on the floor with their faces toward the Master.  They could see the sacred river Ganges through the door.  Since it was winter all were wrapped up in warm clothes.  Vijay had been suffering from colic and had brought some medicine with him.

Vijay, the Brahmo preacher
Vijay was a paid preacher in the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, but there were many things about which he could not agree with the Samaj authorities.  He came from a very noble family of Bengal noted
Vijay Krishna Goswami
for its piety and other spiritual qualities.  Advaita Goswami, one of his remote ancestors, had been an intimate companion of Sri Chaitanya.  Thus the blood of a great lover of God flowed in Vijay's veins.  As an adherent of the Brahmo Samaj, Vijay no doubt meditated on the formless Brahman; but his innate love of God, inherited from his distinguished ancestors, had merely been waiting for the proper time to manifest itself in all its sweetness.  Thus Vijay was irresistibly attracted by the God-intoxicated state of Sri Ramakrishna and often sought his company.  He would listen to the Master's words with great respect, and they would dance together in an ecstasy of divine love.

It was a week-day.  Generally devotees came to the Master in large numbers on Sundays; hence those who wanted to have intimate talks with him visited him on week-days.

Tendencies from previous births
A boy named Vishnu, living in Ariadaha, had recently committed suicide by cutting his throat with a razor.  The talk turned to him.

MASTER: "I felt very badly when I heard of the boy's passing away.  He was a pupil in a school and he used to come here.  He would often say to me that he couldn't enjoy worldly life.  He had lived with some relatives in the western provinces and at that time used to meditate in solitude, in the meadows, hills, and forests.  He told me he had visions of many divine forms.

"Perhaps this was his last birth.  He must have finished most of his duties in his previous birth.  The little that had been left undone was perhaps finished in this one.

"One must admit the existence of tendencies inherited from previous births.  There is a story about a man who practised the sava-sadhana.l He worshipped the Divine Mother in a deep forest.  First he saw many terrible visions.  Finally a tiger attacked and killed him.  Another man, happening to pass and seeing the approach of the tiger, had climbed a tree.  Afterwards he got down and found all the arrangements for worship at hand.  He performed some purifying ceremonies and seated himself on the corpse.  No sooner had he done a little japa than the Divine Mother appeared before him and said: 'My child, I am very much pleased with you.  Accept a boon from Me.' He bowed low at the Lotus Feet of the Goddess and said: 'May I ask You one question, Mother? I am speechless with amazement at Your action.  The other man worked so hard to get the ingredients for Your worship and tried to propitiate You for such a long time, but You didn't condescend to show him Your favour.  And I, who don't know anything of worship, who have done nothing, who have neither devotion nor knowledge nor love, and who haven't practised any austerities, am receiving so much of Your grace.' The Divine Mother said with a laugh: 'My child, you don't remember your previous births.  For many births you tried to propitiate Me through austerities.  As a result of those austerities all these things have come to hand, and you have been blessed with My Vision.  Now ask Me your boon.' "

Suicide after the vision of God:
A DEVOTEE: "I am frightened to hear of the suicide."

MASTER: "Suicide is a heinous sin, undoubtedly.  A man who kills himself must return again and again to this world and suffer its agony.

"But I don't call it suicide if a person leaves his body after having the vision of God.  There is no harm in giving up one's body that way.  After attaining Knowledge some people give up their bodies.  After the gold image has been cast in the clay mould, you may either preserve the mould or break it.

"Many years ago a young man of about twenty used to come to the temple garden from Baranagore; his name was Gopal Sen.  In my presence he used to experience such intense ecstasy that Hriday had to support him for fear he might fall to the ground and break his limbs.  That young man touched my feet one day and said: 'Sir, I shall not be able to see you any more.  Let me bid you good-bye.' A few days later I learnt that he had given up his body.

Four classes of men:
"It is said that there are four classes of human beings: the bound, those aspiring after liberation, the liberated, and the ever-perfect.

Parable of the fish and the net:
"This world is like a fishing-net.  Men are the fish, and God, whose maya has created this world, is the fisherman.  When the fish are entangled in the net, some of them try to tear through its meshes in order to get their liberation.  They are like the men striving after liberation.  But by no means all of them escape.  Only a few jump out of the net with a loud splash, and then people say, 'Ah! There goes a big one!' In like manner, three or four men attain liberation.  Again, some fish are so careful by nature that they are never caught in the net; some beings of the ever-perfect class, like Narada, are never entangled in the meshes of worldliness.  Most of the fish are trapped; but they are not conscious of the net and of their imminent death.  No sooner are they entangled than they run headlong, net and all, trying to hide themselves in the mud.  They don't make the least effort to get free.  On the contrary, they go deeper and deeper into the mud.  These fish are like the bound men.  They are still inside the net, but they think they are quite safe there.  A bound creature is immersed in worldliness, in 'woman and gold', having gone deep into the mire of degradation.  But still he believes he is quite happy and secure.  The liberated, and the seekers after liberation, look on the world as a deep well.  They do not enjoy it.  Therefore, after the attainment of Knowledge, the realization of God, some give up their bodies.  But such a thing is rare indeed.

Worldly-minded forget their lessons:
"The bound creatures, entangled in worldliness, will not come to their senses at all.  They suffer so much misery and agony, they face so many dangers, and yet they will not wake up.
"The camel loves to eat thorny bushes.  The more it eats the thorns, the more the blood gushes from its mouth.  Still it must eat thorny plants and will never give them up.  The man of worldly nature suffers so much sorrow and affliction, but he forgets it all in a few days and begins his old life over again.  Suppose a man has lost his wife or she has turned unfaithful.  Lo! He marries again.
"Or take the instance of a mother: her son dies and she suffers bitter grief; but after a few days she forgets all about it.  The mother, so overwhelmed with sorrow a few days before, now attends to her toilet and puts on her jewelry.  A father becomes bankrupt through the marriage of his daughters, yet he goes on having children year after year.  People are ruined by litigation, yet they go to court all the same.  There are men who cannot feed the children they have, who cannot clothe them or provide decent shelter for them; yet they have more children every year.
"Again, the worldly man is like a snake trying to swallow a mole.  The snake can neither swallow the mole nor give it up.  The bound soul may have realized that there is no substance to the world-that the world is like a hog plum, only stone and skin-but still he cannot give it up and turn his mind to God.
"I once met a relative of Keshab Sen, fifty years old.  He was playing cards.  As if the time had not yet come for him to think of God!
"There is another characteristic of the bound soul.  If you remove him from his worldly surroundings to a spiritual environment, he will pine away.  The worm that grows in filth feels very happy there.  It thrives in filth.  It will die if you put it in a pot of rice."

All remained silent.

SOURCE: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna



Hinduism gives paramount importance to spiritual gurus. Guru is equated with God and always regarded as a link between the aspirant and the Almighty.
Sage Veda Vyasa

What is Guru Purnima?
The full moon day in the Hindu month of Ashad (July-August) is observed as the auspicious day of Guru Purnima, a day sacred to the memory of the great sage Vyasa. All Hindus are indebted to this ancient saint who classified the four Vedas, wrote the 18 Puranas, the Mahabharata, the Srimad Bhagavata and Brahma Sutras.

On this day, all spiritual aspirants and devotees worship Vyasa in honor of his divine personage and all disciples perform a 'puja' of their respective spiritual preceptor or 'Gurudevs'.

Significance of Guru Purnima:

This day is of deep significance to the farmers, for it heralds the setting in of the much-needed rains, as the advent of cool showers usher in fresh life in the fields. It is a good time to begin your spiritual lessons. Traditionally, spiritual seekers commence to intensify their spiritual 'sadhana' from this day.

The period 'Chaturmas' ("four months") begins from this day. In the past, wandering spiritual masters and their disciples used to settle down at a place to study and discourse on the Brahma Sutras composed by Vyasa, and engage themselves in Vedantic discussions.

Adi Shankara, Sri Ramanuja Acharya and Sri Madhvacharya are some of the noteworthy Gurus in Hinduism.

At present time Sri Ramakrishna, who is known as Guru Maharaj among his devotees and followers, is worshiped as Universal Guru all over the world. Guru Purnima is celebrated in Ramakrishna order centres in all over the world.
Below are some of the scenes seen today at Belur Math .
Sangha Guru Srimat Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj giving darshan to devotees

Devotees waiting for Guru Pranam

Male Devotees waiting for Guru Pranam

Devotees standing in long queue for Guru Darshan

Devotees waiting for offering pranam to Guru
Guru Purnima is also celebrated by Buddhists in the honor of Gautama Buddha to commemorate the day when Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh, India.

COURTESY: hinduism.about.com, drikpanchang.com




To day is Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra or car festival. It is one of the largest religious ceremonies of India. Puri Rath yatra commemorates the journey of Lord Krishna from Gokul to Mathura. This annual festival is celebrated on Ashad Shukla Dwitiya (second day in bright fortnight of Ashad month).

As part of Rath Yatra, the idols of Lord Puri Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra
and Subhadra are taken out in a procession to Gundicha Temple and remain there for nine days. Then the idols or Rath Yatra returns to Puri Jagannath temple. The return journey of Puri Jagannath Rath Yatra is known as Bahuda Yatra.

Below are the links for live Telecasts from Puri:

Link 1.Click here          Link 2. click here



December 1882
Sri Ramakrishna
In the afternoon Sri Ramakrishna was seated on the west porch of his room in the temple garden at Dakshineswar.  Among others, Baburam, Ramdayal, and M. were present.  These three were going to spend the night with the Master.  M. intended to stay the following day also, for he was having his Christmas holidays.  Baburam had only recently begun to visit the Master.

MASTER (to the devotees): "A man becomes liberated even in this life when he knows that God is the Doer of all things.  Once Keshab came here with Sambhu Mallick.  I said to him, 'Not even a leaf moves except by the will of God.' Where is man's free will? All are under the will of God.  Nangta was a man of great knowledge, yet even he was about to drown himself in the Ganges.  He stayed here eleven months.  At one time he suffered from stomach trouble.  The excruciating pain made him lose control over himself, and he wanted to drown himself in the river.  There was a long shoal near the bathing-ghat.  However far he went into the river, he couldn't find water above his knees.  Then he understood everything and came back.  At one time I was very ill and was about to cut my throat with a knife.  Therefore I say: 'O Mother, I am the machine and Thou art the Operator; I am the chariot and Thou art the Driver.  I move as Thou movest me; I do as Thou makest me do.' "

The devotees sing kirtan in the Master's room:
Dwell, O Lord, O Lover of bhakti,
In the Vrindāvan of my heart,
And my devotion unto Thee
Will be Thy Radha, dearly loved;
My body will be Nanda's home,
My tenderness will be Yaśoda,
My longing for deliverance
Will be Thy gentle gopi maids.
Lift the Govardhan of my sin
And slay my six unyielding passions,
Fierce as the demons sent by Kamsa!
Sweetly play the flute of Thy grace,
Charming the milch cow of my mind;
Abide in the pasture of my soul.
Dwell by the Jamuna of my yearning,
Under the banyan of my hope,
For ever gracious to Thy servant;
And, if naught but the cowherds' love
Can hold Thee in Vrindāvan's vale,
Then, Lord, let Dasarathi, too,
Become Thy cowherd and Thy slave.

Again they sang:
Sing, O bird that nestles deep within my heart!
Sing, O bird that sits on the Kalpa-Tree of Brahman!
Sing God's everlasting praise.
Taste, O bird, of the four fruits of the Kalpa-Tree,
Dharma, artha, kama, moksha.
Sing, O bird, "He alone is the Comfort of my soul!"
Sing, O bird, "He alone is my life's enduring Joy!"
O thou wondrous bird of my life,
Sing aloud in my heart! Unceasingly sing, O bird!
Sing for evermore, even as the thirsty chatak
Sings for the raindrop from the cloud.

A devotee from Nandanbagan entered the room with his friends.  The Master looked at him and said, "Everything inside him can be seen through his eyes, as one sees the objects in a room through a glass door." This devotee and his brothers always celebrated the anniversary of the Brahmo Samaj at their house in Nandanbagan.  Sri Ramakrishna had taken part in these festivals.

The evening worship began in the temples.  The Master was seated on the small couch in his room, absorbed in meditation.  He went into an ecstatic mood and said a little later: "Mother, please draw him to Thee.  He is so modest and humble! He has been visiting Thee." Was the Master referring to Baburam, who later became one of his foremost disciples?

Why so much suffering in God's creation?
The Master explained the different kinds of samādhi to the devotees.  The conversation then turned to the joy and suffering of life.  Why did God create so much suffering?

M: "Once Vidyasagar said in a mood of pique: 'What is the use of calling on God? Just think of this incident: At one time Chenghiz Khan plundered a
country and imprisoned many people.  The number of prisoners rose to about a hundred thousand.  The commander of his army said to him: "Your Majesty, who will feed them? It is risky to keep them with us.  It will be equally dangerous to release them.  What shall I do?" Chenghiz Khan said: "That's true.  What can be done? Well, have them killed." The order was accordingly given to cut them to pieces.  Now, God saw this slaughter, didn't He? But He didn't stop it in any way.  Therefore I don't need God, whether He exists or not.  I don't derive any good from Him.'"

MASTER: "Is it possible to understand God's action and His motive? He creates, He preserves, and He destroys.  Can we ever understand why He destroys? I say to the Divine Mother: 'O Mother, I do not need to understand.  Please give me love for Thy Lotus Feet.' The aim of human life is to attain bhakti.  As for other things, the Mother knows best.  I have come to the garden to eat mangoes.  What is the use of my calculating the number of trees, branches, and leaves? I only eat the mangoes; I don't need to know the number of trees and leaves."

Baburam, M., and Ramdayal slept that night on the floor of the Master's room.
It was an early hour of the morning, about two or three o'clock.  The room was dark.  Sri Ramakrishna was seated on his bed and now and then conversed with the devotees.

Compassion and attachment:
MASTER: "Remember that daya, compassion, and maya, attachment, are two different things.  Attachment means the feeling of 'my-ness' toward one's relatives.  It is the love one feels for one's parents, one's brother, one's sister, one's wife and children.  Compassion is the love one feels for all beings of the world.  It is an attitude of equality.  If you see anywhere an instance of compassion, as in Vidyasagar, know that it is due to the grace of God.  Through compassion one serves all beings.  Maya also comes from God.  Through maya God makes one serve one's relatives.  But one thing should be remembered: maya keeps us in ignorance and entangles us in the world, whereas daya makes our hearts pure and gradually unties our bonds.

"God cannot be realized without purity of heart.  One receives the grace of God by subduing the passions-lust, anger, and greed.  Then one sees God.  I tried many things in order to conquer lust.

"When I was ten or eleven years old and lived at Kamarpukur, I first experienced samādhi.  As I was passing through a paddy-field, I saw something and was overwhelmed.  There are certain characteristics of God-vision.  One sees light, feels joy, and experiences the upsurge of a great current in one's chest, like the bursting of a rocket."

The next day Baburam and Ramdayal returned to Calcutta.  M. spent the day and the night with the Master.

December 1882
It was afternoon.  The Master was sitting in his room at Dakshineswar with M. and one or two other devotees.  Several Marwari devotees arrived and saluted the Master.  They requested Sri Ramakrishna to give them spiritual instruction.  He smiled.

MASTER (to the Marwari devotees): "You see, the feeling of 'I' and 'mine' is the result of ignorance.  But to say, 'O God, Thou art the Doer; all these belong to Thee' is the sign of Knowledge.  How can you say such a thing as 'mine'? The superintendent of the garden says, 'This is my garden.' But if he is dismissed because of some misconduct, then he does not have the courage to take away even such a worthless thing as his mango-wood box.  Anger and lust cannot be destroyed.  Turn them toward God.  If you must feel desire and temptation, then desire to realize God, feel tempted by Him.  Discriminate and turn the passions away from worldly objects.  When the elephant is about to devour a plaintain-tree in someone's garden, the mahut strikes it with his iron-tipped goad.

"You are merchants.  You know how to improve your business gradually.  Some of you start with a castor-oil factory.  After making some money at that, you open a cloth shop.  In the same way, one makes progress toward God.  It may be that you go into solitude, now and then, and devote more time to prayer.

"But you must remember that nothing can be achieved except in its proper time.  Some persons must pass through many experiences and perform many worldly duties before they can turn their attention to God; so they have to wait a long time.  If an abscess is lanced before it is soft, the result is not good; the surgeon makes the opening when it is soft and has come to a head.  Once a child said to its mother: 'Mother, I am going to sleep now.  Please wake me up when I feel the call of nature.' 'My child,' said the mother, 'when it is time for that, you will wake up yourself.  I shan't have to wake you.' "

The Marwari devotees generally brought offerings of fruit, candy, and other sweets for the Master.  But Sri Ramakrishna could hardly eat them.  He would say: "They earn their money by falsehood.  I can't eat their offerings." He said to the Marwaris: "You see, one can't strictly adhere to truth in business.  There are ups and downs in business.  Nanak once said, 'I was about to eat the food of unholy people, when I found it stained with blood.' A man should offer only pure things to holy men.  He shouldn't give them food earned by dishonest means.  God is realized by following the path of truth.  One should always chant His name.  Even while one is performing one's duties, the mind should be left with God.  Suppose I have a carbuncle on my back.  I perform my duties, but the mind is drawn to the carbuncle.  It is good to repeat the name of Rama.  'The same Rama who was the son of King Dasaratha has created this world.  Again, as Spirit, He pervades all beings.  He is very near us; He is both within and without.' "
SOURCE: The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.