(b. May 29, 1893. d July 12, 1975)
He was a sannyasin- of the Ramakrishna Order and served at Calcutta, Madras and Deogarh Vidyapeeth.
In his youth, he spent several years with Mahendra Nath Gupta (M). During that period, he recorded the talks of M. not entirely unlike M had recorded the talks of Sri Ramakrisna in his 'Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.'
M. himself heard readings from Nityatmananda's diary in Bengali and made corrections at places. The diary came to be compiled and was published as SRI MA DARSHAN, which comprises 16 volumes.
We have a few excerpts from Volume 2
M. - The Apostle and the Evangelist:
recorded by Swami Nityatmananda
By the grace of Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna Deva, the first edition of volume I of 'M, the Apostle & the Evangelist appeared in print in 1967 in spite of many an obstacle & difficulty.
In this book are recorded-in the form of a diary-the conversations of 'M' (Professor Mahendranath Gupta), an erudite scholar and direct and intimate house-holder-disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, with the devotees of Thakur and with the author himself.
These conversations and teachings were originally penned in more than seven thousand pages of the Bengali work entitled 'Sri Ma Darshan', by the spiritual child and sevak of 'M', Swami Nityatmananda.
About 2500 pages of this work have already appeared in print-some even in reprint-in seven volumes in Bengali.
The publication of the entire series of Sri Ma Darshan is being undertaken initially in three languages-Bengali, Hindi and English.
The main theme of this work is: How to make it possible to live the divine life of joy and peace, described in the Vedas though living in household. the home of pleasure and pain.
Srimati Ishwar Devi Gupta discovered the fountain of this divine joy and peace in the holy conversation of 'M' recorded in Sri Ma Darshan. Inspired by this long cherished discovery. she at once began to translate it as a prayerful offering in Hindi for her own sake and also for the Hindi knowing brothers and sisters.
Subsequently it was translated into English at the wish of the English knowing bhaktas and others educated in the western way. The English language which is the meeting ground of the eastern and western cultures is the finest medium for carrying Sri Ramakrishna's word of hope and cheer far and wide into the world. This is how 'M, the Apostle and the Evangelist' came into being. by the grace of Swamiji Maharaj and the love and blessing of other bhaktas and tyagis.
This very love and blessing helped to popularize the first volume so much that its second edition became necessary in a very short time. Along with it grew a demand for the other volumes of this work.
It is to meet this demand that the present volume II is seeing the light of print.
The Revered Swami Nityatmanandaji has graciously given his consent to Sri Ma Trust to undertake the publishing of the entire series of 'Sri Ma Darshan' and has blessed the project, in deference to the wishes of his bhaktas.
The bhaktas in general and the Trust in particular are grateful to him.
The Trust also offers its sincere thanks to all those friends who have helped-and are helping-in any way, in the production, publication and distribution of 'Sri Ma Darshan'.
It is the heartfelt prayer of these humble sevaks at the lotus feet of the Omniscient Lord that all brothers and sisters may gain faith in and devotion to Bhagavan and attain supreme bliss and peace through a deep and reverent study, along with practice, of this scriptural record.
ISHWAR DEVI GUPTA
Sri Ma Trust - Sri Ramakrishna Sri Ma Prakashan Trust
Birth-Day of the Holy Mother, 1970.
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By the grace of Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna Deva, the second part of Sri Ma Darshan is being published. Like the first part, the second part also contains some new talks of Paramahansa Deva and the Holy Mother and also those of Swami Vivekananda and other intimate disciples of the Master, and, it is a commentary of the ' Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna" by the writer of the Gospel. Besides, it is a commentary of the Upanishad, the Gita, the Bhagavata, the Purana, the Bible and other scriptures in the light of the life of Sri Ramakrishna.
The scene of the First Part is laid in the Forest of Mihijam. Like the lion in a forest, free from all obstacles - it is the picture of M there. Full of joy, he roams freely in the regions of his noble and lofty ideas. Sometimes even while coming down to the world}y plain, he engages his intellect and mind to commenting upon the Gita, the Upanishad and other holy books.
Establishing the life of the sadhus and brahmacharis on a firm footing formed also another function of M at Mihijam. That is why M's image in Mihijam is that of a teacher-full of bliss, vigour and robust holy optimism.
On the other hand, the stage of action of Part II is the great city of Calcutta. Here M is surrounded by all kinds of devotees. The mind of the devotees is restless due to the undulations of pleasures and pains. Identifying himself with their feelings, M is self-surrendering and prayerful-like the maid in a big house-hold. By showering the 'Kathamrita'-the Nectar of the Gospel, day and night, he is infusing life into the minds of the lifeless devotees. Breaking the fiery nest of despair, he is leading them on to the happy abode of joy and peace.
ii. M says. "Sri Ramakrishna is God incarnated in a human body.' Assuring fearlessness to the devotees fallen into the burning fire of the world, Sri Ramakrishna says, "Hold on to me. meditate on me and me alone and that will do." And again he declares in a loud voice his promise, "Verily, verily, I swear unto you, whosoever will think on me shall inherit my wealth even as a son does inherit his father's wealth, and my wealth consists of , jnana-bhakti, viveka-vairajya, shanti-sukha, prema-snadhi, (knowledge and devotion, discrimination and dispassion, peace and happiness, deep love and realisation of God.)
M shows the path to the bhaktas and promising hope says: Sri Bhagavan came down in a human body only the other day. What fear ? Establish a relationship of love with Him and live in the world. Decide by imagination one suitable relationship-such as father, mother, friend, the lord and the like - and begin the work. Later on this very relationship of imagination will assume the form of reality which will take possession of the mind and the heart of the devotee. Then the devotee will have two personalities-one the worldly man and the other the illumined man of God. When this man of the world, falling into the various whirlpools of pleasure and pain, will get drowned, his divine counterpart, the illumined man in him being awakened will transform this drowning weakling into a mighty hero.
In spite of the repeated entreaties of M, Sri Ramakrishna, the avatara of this age at the instance of the Mother of the Universe, had commanded M to live in the household and teach the 'Bhagavata' to the humanity, afflicted with the fire of the world. Like Prahlada, Janak and others having attained perfect sannyasa within, M distributed day and night the Bhagavata, the nectar of the words of Sri Ramakrishna. the dispeller of worldly troubles and tribulations. for a long time, close upon half a century.
For God' s work, even though unable to embrace the Vedantic Sannyasa, M was blessed with the Tantric Sannyasa by Sri Ramakrishna. M said, "Thakur endowed Baburam and myself with Tantric Sannyasa on the same day."
The desire for Vedantic Sannyasa kept itself awake in the mind of M throughout his life. Thus we see that M. four or five times during his active life, having renounced all work, like a sannyasi, spent time in practising tapasya now in Kamarpukur and Jayrambati, now in Puri and Kashi and now in Haridwar and Rishikesh. The forest-stay of M in Mihijam is also the result of his secret inner urge for the Vedantic Sannyasa .
It is Sri Ramakrishna as God who has dispensed sorrow and pain in the world. It is again He as God incarnate who shows the path to the Life Eternal. Reading this book and accepting the dispensation of Sri Ramakrishna, may the Humanity, broken down by worldly pains, attain the illumined state-the children of Immortal Bliss-is the prayer of the author of this book.
May Sri Sri Thakur bless those whose help has made it possible for the book to be published-this too is the hearty prayer of the author.
Sri Ramakrishna Math,
(Tulsi Math), Rishikesh.
Akshay Tritiya 1370 (Bengali Year) 1962 A.D.
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Morton School, 50 Amherst Street; room near the staircase of the first floor. M. is seated on a mat on the floor facing the east; the bhaktas are in front. By living at a health resort for several months the health of M. has undergone sufficient improvement. Wearing a shirt of long-cloth and a smiling face he is discoursing upon matters spiritual with Dr. Bakshi, Advocate Lalit, Lalit of Bhatpara, the younger Jiten and others. Arrive in turn the elder Amulya, Ramani and Manoranjan. The room is packed with many other devotees. Vinay has gone to the Math.
This morning, M. has returned from Mihijam after seven or eight months. Throughout the day, sadhus and bhaktas have been paying visits. Endless is the joy of the bhaktas at the holy darshan of the beloved. The residence of M. has, as it were changed today into Triveni [Conjunction of the three holy rivers - Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswati]-- by the meeting of M., sadhus and bhaktas.
Now the evening sets in. Shukalal, Brahmachari Ramesh and Mohan enter the room. Having exchanged how-do-you-do with Shukalal M. says, Well, where is he? Not being able to notice Mohan in darkness he has made this enquiry. Coming forward, Mohan answers humbly, Here I am, Sir, here.
M. (to Mohan, pointing at Lalit) -- Just see. He practises law. There is no harm in the study of laws but for the sake of money it is not right to turn truth into lies. Study is all right but not its practice. If you say that law is untruth, what use studying it? The answer to it: Is non-studying of it truth? This too is false. Brahman is truth, the world false -- this pertains to a stage -- the last word. Till that stage is reached one should live with these things. There are comparatives and superlatives. Studies and the like are helpful. When God is realised all these are no longer needed. Till then holding on to all these is worthwhile.
M. (with a smile) -- To Hari Maharaj came a person to embrace sannyasa. On enquiry, it was found that he had a wife, son, daughter -- all. Hari Maharaj said, `Why do you want to come here leaving them in difficulties?' The person replied, `Sir, all these, wife and son, are false.' And many long talks did he indulge in. Hearing all this, said he, `Well, this too is false -- you have married, you have children, coming here leaving them behind! What do you say, is it truth not to look after them? It is different with those who have not married. Even so, as long as the parents are alive one should serve them.'
The evening-lamp is brought in. M. salutes with folded hands. And with soft clapping of hands he repeats the mantra, Hari bol, Hari bol (chant Lord's name). Then all meditate for a while.
Now, the elder Jiten arrives accompanied by Kaviraj Virinchi. The elder Jiten has passed law and is a bench-clerk in the High Court -- a very devoted and noble soul. The usual welfare enquiries with M. being over, the younger Jiten asks the elder Jiten, Brother Jit, have you changed residence? The elder Jiten replies, Yes brother. Twenty years have gone by in Brindaban Mullick lane but I feel it was just the other day. Hearing this M. immediately turns the topic of the conversation and says, It's no credit to you. He kept you, so you lived. Your brother has passed away. But then God himself will make an alternative provision.
M. (to the bhaktas) -- Various are the temperaments. Some live in the world like the leech and sink lower and lower. Sattva, rajas, tamas, mixture of these three qualities has given rise to so many different natures. To conquer this nature is the problem of life.
The stream of nature flows in one direction. Another stream coming from the opposite direction can alone overcome it. The opposite stream flows in when one takes refuge in Him. Poison and its antidote, both He has created. The antidote is the company of sadhus, living in solitude, pilgrimage, prayer to Him and all that.
M. (to Kartik) -- Yes Doctor, which verse of the Gita?
(Gita VII : 14)
M. also began to repeat with him. The Doctor knows the whole Gita by heart.
M (to the bhaktas) -- Just see. The Lord says: My maya is uncrossable, that is, it is almost impossible to cross over. But then by taking refuge in Me alone it is possible to go beyond maya, that is to conquer the world, to subjugate nature. This is only possible by His grace. Impossible otherwise. Entrapped by the five elements, Brahman weeps and laments.
Taking up a body, the internal lust, anger and greed, and external grief, suffering and poverty -- all are inevitable. Prakriti must play its role. Thakur suffered from cancer for ten months. Ah! what a tribulation! Why this suffering? To teach humanity; to take a body is to entail all this. Once, under the bakul tree he felt the sex urge. So he said to the Mother, `If this happens Ma, I shall pass the knife over my throat.' Just see, even such an avatara, even he feels lustful, suffers from disease. One day, Thakur said, `I saw the flower of pumpkin in a dream.' A bhakta said, `May I bring it for you to eat?' He answered, `No. So much worthless trash do I see in dream.' Just see, taking up a body, even the avatara does everything just like a human-being -- sees pumpkin and gourd in dream. This is what is called: `Entrapped by the five elements, Brahman weeps and laments.' But even then God has to be sought after.
``Human nature He has created and it is He who helps conquer it. Sattva, rajas and tamas -- these three gunas are the constituents of prakriti. Their function is to bind man to the world. The way to freedom from their clutches has also been shown by Him. Says He, `O man! surrender thyself to Me. Then only wilt thou be able to set thyself free from the clutches of the uncrossable maya.' No other path, this is the only path, to surrender.
``Tapasya, what does it mean? -- The effort to overcome prakriti is called tapasya -- the company of sadhus, living in solitude, praying to Him, weeping secretly in solitude while doing all this, if His grace dawns, prakriti is overcome. To overcome prakriti is to realize God.
M -- It's good to retire into solitude at times. That's why Thakur prescribed it. Living in solitude is better than the hustle and bustle of the towns. He used to say, `In that country (meaning Kamarpukur) a hole is made in the earthen pot containing molasses and an earthen basin is below it. After six months, the molasses in the pot are turned into sugar-candy.' The whole of the liquid is drained off. Let there be nocturnal discharge as happens with many. But that does not mean that cohabitation has to be indulged in. No it wouldn't matter. That which is left after that (natural) discharge will turn into candy.
``That is why, withdrawing the mind from this phenomenal world -- sight, taste, smell, speech and touch, one has to retire into solitude for sometime. Living amidst them day and night one sinks low. Sights and scenery give rise to all sorts of desires for enjoyment. Thakur used to say, `There are two pits in the open. The water of one of them has dried up, that of the other remains.' Why, what does it mean? -- simply this : where water remains there flows perhaps a stream close by. From it water percolates -- one of them has a feeder, some stream or the like; the other hasn't. That is why water has dried up. Living amidst sense objects is just like this. Sense objects are the feeders. The mind gets drowned in them. Sense objects are called maya. That's why he advised solitude. Living away from sense objects, the inside dries up -- all dross falls off, the mind gets crystallized and in the crystallized mind He is seen.
``Thakur used to say: `A sadhu, a sannyasi shall not even look at the picture of a woman. He shall not live with householders.' Sights and scenery provoke a desire for creature comfort in the mind -- this is the reason. He who desires God, such a sadhu lives alone, not with anybody.
``Sitting on the same bed with a house-holder, sleeping under the same mosquito-net is not proper. This drags the mind down. The sadhus of the western India do not let householders sit on the same asana, lest as a result of their company, the mind should get polluted; that's why. In this they are not at fault. This rule is for the good of both.
``They who are beginners have to live with great discrimination. One has to live through everything saying, `not this, not this.' In the beginning total renunciation. After God has been realized, one may enjoy. But at first complete renunciation. For beginners, uncompromising renunciation. Nachiketa did not accept anything. Yama said, `Have a kingdom.' -- `No, sir,' -- `wife, son, long life?' Even to this the same reply, `No sir. I want nothing. Only the knowledge of the Self, just this I want.'
``Shreya and preya are two things. Shreya alone is to be sought. Shreya means God; preya, sense enjoyments. That is why Nachiketa asked for shreya, not preya.
``Who can enjoy? He who has completely renounced all, and who has seen God. Before this, all has to be renounced. In the `Yoga-Vasishtha' it is said: Kach was plunged into the nirvikalpa samadhi for a long time. Then he brought his mind down. He was asked, `What do you see?' -- `He resides in everything like warp and woof,' this was his reply. All is He. Thakur also said: `After this stage there is no harm in enjoyment. Then enjoyment is no longer enjoyment.'
``In the Panchavati, a dog came to Thakur. Immediately he thought: Mother might speak something through its mouth. Mother in all.
``After a lot of trouble if one climbs up the terrace one can then tell what is going on below. At first one has to take the trouble. After samadhi, all is He -- this knowledge dawns.
M (to the bhaktas) -- According to the Hegelian philosophy it is He who pervades all. This is certainly borrowed from the translations of our Veda and Vedanta. It has exponents in America too. They take it to mean: Since God pervades all, enjoy the world as much as you can. (Everybody laughs). They, of course, do not know how this truth was discovered. To them all this is a borrowed idea. In the beginning how much of renunciation had to be practised. It was only then that the rishis of this country said this after realising God. -- through renunciation alone God, the Image of the Life Everlasting can be realised. If renunciation is not complete He cannot be attained. Sadhus and beginners have to renounce all. Complete renunciation and surrender unto Him.
``Thakur used to say: There are three kinds of men in this world. One type, those who ask for nothing at all -- only God they want, only yoga. They are first class -- for example Shukadeva. The other type, those who want yoga and bhoga both. They are also good. Many great bhaktas belong to this class, for example, the Pandavas. There is yet another group wanting bhoga only. They do not want God. This group predominates. There (at Mihijam), during my stay of a few months I noticed that animals have but one desire, that of enjoyment. Cow and buffalo, dog and cat -- all these are busy with food day and night. Their only activity is eating, sleeping and procreation. Between this group of men and animals there is but little difference. In human body only can one meditate on God if one chooses -- there is this little difference only.
``Under a canister, lives a frog. No sooner do I lift the tin than one of its two young ones escapes. Lest I should kill the other, the mother frog jumped over it. (Stretching his hand) In this, it is His hand I noticed. It is He who protects them stretching His hand. One day, I lift the kid of a goat up in my lap. The mother comes bewailing, and stands close by. At any other time make a sound and she would run away. Today, she stands close by -- neither moving nor fearing. All these precious things I saw there this time. Unless one goes to such places, these things cannot be understood. These Vedas and Shastras, have they been written sitting in a place like this? No, they were written in solitary plains and forests like that (Mihijam). Aushadhi, banaspati -- herbs and trees and the like that find mention in the holy books do not grow in cities. His hand is there on all -- this I have seen this time. Those who yearn for God live in solitude in those places. They are a different class by themselves -- just like the honey-bee which sits only on flowers. The common-fly sits on festering wounds, excreta and so on. Those who only want Him are honey-bees.
``Thakur used to say, `Even when gram falls on excreta, only a gram-plant grows from that and its gram is used in the worship of God.' It means that a man acts only according to his nature. A devotee, whatever his birth, will engage himself in the service of God. In the realisation of God, birth and good conduct are of no account. There is no distinction between the rich and the poor, the ruler and the ruled, the learned and the ignorant, the brahmin and the chandala -- no such distinctions. No high or low there. Thakur used to say, `As the moon is the common uncle of all children, just so God is our very own. He who wants gets.' ''
10th May, 1923 A.D., 27th Vaishakha, 1330 (Bengali Year),
Thursday, the 10th day of the Dark Fortnight.
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Vol. 2 - Chapter 14
The Means : Company and Service of Sadhus and Prayer
M. is seated in the room on the first floor. It is seven in the evening. Bhaktas surround him: Shukalal, Doctor, Vinay and Jagabandhu. In the meanwhile, enter the elder Jiten, Virinchi, the younger Jiten and Sukhendu. Within a few moments, Rakhal, Yogen, Manoranjana, the younger Nalini and others also reach. The two brothers of Doctor Indu Madhava Mullick of Bhavanipur also come. One of them is the father-in-law of M.'s son, Prabhas Babu. After the initial greetings and welcome, M. talks with them about God.
M. (to Mullick Mahashay) -- The Paramahansa Deva used to say: If by listening and meditating upon the name of God, the hair of a person stand on end and he begins to shed tears of love, one should infer that he is about to shed off his karmas. In other words, he has already attained nearness to God. Just as after the dawn there is not much delay in sunrise, similarly at the appearance of these sattvic signs in the body upon the mention of God's name, one should know that He is soon going to reveal Himself. The rishis said during the yajna of Bali, in Dwarpar age: `Well, why does the hair stand on end on the body in this way? Does it mean the coming of the Yajnaeshwara (Master of the yajna) Himself?' Coming of the Yajnaeshwara means close contact with God, we should so understand it. God was present at the place of the yajna in the form of Vamana. But this was not known to all. The rishis could guess from the physical changes on their bodies that God was very near.
``The scriptures sanction initiation from the mother who has given birth. You are very fortunate. You have received all these instructions from your mother. Now have faith and take to work.''
Mullick Mahashay -- What cannot be achieved by faith? I have heard that at Manikarnika Ghat of Kashi, Mother Annapurna in the guise of a prostitute, requested everybody for help for cremating her dead son. There was but one condition: Only he who is sinless will touch the dead body. And lo! nobody came forward. A drunkard used to come daily for a bath in the Ganga. This day also he had taken his bath. Seeing the dead body, he came forward to perform the funeral rites. The goddess said: `You are a drunkard. Your breathing emits foul smell of the wine. Don't touch the body.' He replied: `What are you saying, mother? I have just had a dip in the Ganga. All my sins have been washed away. I am purified.'
M. -- Thakur also used to tell a story. There was a bhakta called Krishna Kishore in Dakshineshwar - full of faith, belonging to a high Brahmin family. He went to Vrindaban. One day he felt very thirsty. People were drawing water out of a deep well. He asked for water. One of them said, `Pundit ji, how can we give you water, we the cobblers?' Krishan Kishore said, `So, do one thing. Say: Shiva, Shiva.' The fellow repeating the name of Shiva, gave water and he drank. Such a faith! If one has faith, know that much has been achieved.
``And there is another. A sadhu has come to the ghat of Endedaha. Everybody goes to pay him a visit. Haladhari, an elder cousin of Thakur, used to practise the path of knowledge. Says he, `A cage of bones and flesh! What do you go to see, you people?' Thakur told how angry Krishna Kishore was on hearing it. He said, `What! The body by which God is worshipped, the body of him who has renounced his all for the sake of God, you call that body a cage of bones and flesh? The body of a bhakta is the symbol of divinity.' What an anger! He stopped talking to Haladhari. He would come to the Kali Bari to pluck flowers but he would not even turn to Haladhari to look at him. Such a faith, such a belief!
`` `I, a sinner,' `I, a mean fellow' - this sentiment of the Vaishnavas Thakur did not like. He used to say: If they say so what is the power of the Divine name? A little fire on a big heap of cotton burns it out completely. The same with the Name. Repeat the Name but once, all sins are destroyed. To Vijay Krishan Goswami also he said the same, one day, in the Brahmo Samaj: `Why do you people say so much, `I am a sinner, I am a sinner.' Rather say, `I have uttered His name. How can I have sin then?' ''
Mullick Mahashay -- The prayer that is read in the Christian Church does not, however, mention anything like sin.
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil For Thine is the kingdom, And the power, and the glory, forever. (St. Matthew 6: 9 to 13)
M. -- ``Yes, it does not mention that. Paramahansa Deva also taught us a Lord's prayer:
I don't wish for body-comfort, Ma.
I don't wish for name and fame, Ma.
I don't wish for the eight siddhis *, Ma.
I don't wish for a hundred siddhis Ma.
Give me pure devotion at Your lotus feet.
And do this much that I may not be charmed
By Your world-bewitching maya.'
``Worldly fame - a little of which makes one's mouth water; the eight occult powers - wading the river on foot, curing diseases and so on. Sri Krishna said to Arjuna: `With these you can rise high in the world but you will not realize God.' Arjuna, therefore, did not accept occult powers. Thakur said something else too:
Ma, I am the instrument, You are the engineer.
I am the dwelling, You are the dweller.
I am the body, You are the occupier.
I am the chariot, You are its charioteer.
As you make me move, so I move.
As you make me speak, so I speak.
As you make me do, so I do.
Ma! My refuge! My refuge! My refuge!
Mullick Mahashay -- Well, is it possible without His grace?
M. -- But does grace come by itself? There has to be a channel - dhyana, japa, tapasya. Grace dawns even by repeating His name. Christian devotees recite: Paternoster, Maria, these holy names on the rosary.
Mullick Mahashay -- Well, if all the people were to pray in this way, how will the world go on?
M. -- No, why so? It is not for everybody. In the school, there are first, second, third, so many different classes. Does everybody study in the first class? Those who want God are a class apart. Thakur used to say: Men are of three classes - the yogi who is like the bee. It would not sit except on a flower. For example Narada, Shukadeva. Second, yogi cum bhogi - this also is a class as that of the Pandavas. On the one hand they marry the daughters of Devas and Nagas, on the other God accompanies them always. And the last - those who are in bhoga alone.
Mullick Mahashay -- Everybody will have to go to the first class, one day.
M. -- Yes, the Gita says: (6 : 45) (Perfected through many births reaches then the Supreme Goal). It may not happen in one birth alone. Why, should one therefore give up spiritual practices? Like a true farmer he will go on trying whether he succeeds or not.
Mullick Mahashay bade good-bye.
Yogen tells the Doctor about his personal problems in a soft voice. The Doctor advises him to bring it to the knowledge of M.
Yogen (humbly to M) -- Sir, do me a little favour. Even now, my mind becomes restless on seeing women. Outwardly, I may be shedding tears but the inside is dry. I have no tears for Thakur. Through your kindness, the problem of board and lodging at Dakshineshwar is solved. A little more of your kindness will take me through.
M. (laughing loudly after a momentary silence) -- That's why Thakur used to say: `The disease is there, always.' If that is so, we shall have to take his prescription. He said: Always keep the company of the holy. That's what we should do. And we should sit with those who weep sincerely (for God). Then one would also feel like weeping. What have we done sincerely for Him? Nothing anywhere. Could one succeed just like that? One may read a thousand books, pass the law, all this in vain. If you wish to be a good lawyer you have to be articled to a top class lawyer. You will have to serve this lawyer. Thakur used to say: Just as by looking at a lawyer one is reminded of a judge and his court, similarly by looking at a sadhu one is reminded of God. Keeping the company of the holy, serving them, living in solitude - all these should be practised. You have done nothing, you have been nowhere near it. Will it happen in a trice? No, that's not possible.
M. began to narrate how he served sadhus in the Panchavati.
``One day, a number of sadhus arrived. I was asked to arrange for flour, clarified butter and so on. And he said: `It is good to serve sadhus. What do you say?' Then he began to recount a tale. `A sadhu was taking his bath. His loin-cloth was swept away by the current. Draupadi noticed it and tearing half a piece of her own cloth gave it to the sadhu. In the court of the Kauravas, when Draupadi was being stripped of her clothes, she wept and wept and prayed: Lord! save my modesty. Bhagavan appeared and asked her: `Did you ever give away any cloth to a sadhu?' Draupadi then narrated the above incident. Consoling her, Bhagavan said: `No fear then.' The more her cloth was pulled the longer it became - His maya.
``After narrating this story, he said: `Do say what I told you.' Thus, he impressed its import at once on my mind. And he made me repeat it too.
``When flour and clarified butter had been fetched, the sadhus themselves cooked their meals. They ate, so did Thakur in their company. A little was kept for me too.''
M. (to Yogen) -- This is the disease. We do everything but while giving something to a sadhu all calculations come in. After weighing fully a little is spared. For the sake of their wives, sons, sons-in-law, men spend with both hands. Whatever the expense, there is no `no'. This time in Mihijam I had a talk with a Brahmin cook. An old individual, he had served in several big homes. He told a story about an England-returned fellow. His sons and daughters had each a car. Each one had half a dozen servants and maids. And their meals were cooked in different kitchens. In one, Bengali meals - sukta-tukta; in another pulao and kalia and in a third English style meals. Besides, there was preserved meat - a slice of it would be served to each. The ladies would take only this. As for marketing, all purchases are being made to one's fancy. Piles of clothes, each one is purchasing to his own choice. In this way, thousands of rupees are being spent. But not a mention of service to God, service to sadhus. I come to know that when in mourning they would roll on the ground and beat and shriek just like our women. Then there is no aristocratic style. I have heard of so many `M'ams'. They also roll on the ground in extreme grief. This is what Thakur called the world of avidya. No service to sadhus, bhaktas or the poor, only service to one's own kith and kin. Fie! it will not do to call this love or affection. The love that leads to the path of God, I call that only true love. What is this? Earning money by the sweat of one's brow and spending it all on eating! What kind of living is this? Animals do the same. What is the difference?
M. (to the bhaktas) -- In the home of the bhakta, there is daily talk of God. If the head of the family cannot do it himself he engages a pundit to recite scriptures: the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata, the Padma Purana, the Brahmavaivart Purana - all these. Always His name. Festivals, such as the Durga Puja, should be celebrated if one can afford. And service of the sadhus and the poor - the head of the family should try to do all these. The responsibility of the members of the family becoming a different sort rests on his head. He himself had given the latitude. Now he himself has to make an effort to uplift them. If even after the effort one fails to turn the household Godwards, one should stand aside at a distance. What else to do? Should one stick like a leech to them throughout the life? Why? No obligation whatsoever. The clan of the Yadus is going to destruction and Sri Krishna stands unmoved like a statue. Who can check human nature? Irresistible!
M. (to Shukalal) -- A fellow asked Thakur in Sinthi: How long should one look after one's children? He replied, `Till they are fit to earn, and girls, till they are married. Thereafter, let them work and eat.' Thakur was beyond the three gunas. Grieved at the sorrows of the jiva, he was always thinking of their welfare, always thinking how they can get leisure and call upon Him. These are his dicta, not ours. What do we know, what can we say? Just make an effort. If you cannot make a vidya-sansara (spiritually based family), there is nothing else you can do. Making provision for the family, you should stand apart at a distance. Then meditate on God.
M. (to a bhakta) -- By serving sadhus lust is automatically suppressed. And how easy Thakur has made it! There you have all renouncing sadhus and the steamer to reach them. His sadhus live there in the Belur Math. Where else will you find such as these? He has not only taught to seek the company of sadhus, he has created them too, excellent sadhus all. One must daily keep the company of the holy. But beware! Let there be no trouble to the ashrama. One should go there only with the idea to carry out tapasya - to serve and not to be served. Even when scolded, not a word to be uttered. One should stand with folded hands. What a great ashrama it is! isn't it the sannyasa ashrama? Being oneself in the department of bhoga, one has to be patient with all this.
Shukalal -- Should not one complain even when scolded? Doesn't one feel hurt?
M. -- Let it be. You will have to put up with it. We have given ourselves up to bhoga. This is the reason. Can we afford to judge? He for whom they have renounced everything will do it. What a great ashrama! Chaitanya Deva, seeing the ochre clothes on the back of a donkey, lay prostrate before it. And here, you have all the sadhus in flesh and blood. What facilities the Math has provided! Daily, I get information. If one is meditating, the other is in the library, in deep study and yet another in the store cutting vegetables or praying. All this is service to Thakur. What noble persons you find there! And so many of them are B.A.'s and M.A.'s.
``The Gita says that one should minutely observe the behaviour of the Sthita-prajna (a man of steady wisdom). Then only one will try to emulate him. Are they not ideal? Knowing that one can compare oneself with them, `I am down below,' with this awareness, one would feel the desire to raise oneself. I am an old man. I cannot go there. Sitting here, I get all information. What they do and what I do - this should be compared daily. Then alone one would wake up. Those who are educated and well informed, by living for only two years in the Math are rising so quickly. On seeing them I feel so happy. And why should they not rise? On the one hand, they are observing brahmacharya, on the other they are trying to call on Him with their heart and soul. And they have sufficient leisure.
``And what do worldly people do? Entangled in different worldly matters, they have no time to call. Even if one sits (for meditation) for a while, one dozes off in no time. The body is tired. One sits down to melt gold, it is about to reach its melting point. Suddenly, orders are received from home: there is no rice in the house. He gets up to bring it. He sits down again and there is a message: the daughter is ill. He immediately starts for the doctor. So the gold never gets melted, the fire burns out. If one leads a worldly life after melting gold, one does not feel so much of pain and misery. Melting gold, that is to say, to gain jnana and bhakti. The sadhus are always attempting it, all the twenty four hours.
M. (to the householder bhaktas) -- Thakur would sometimes say: You are married, let it be. It is better to discharge a seer or two of semen, but let there be no children. With children, how would you get leisure - with the upbringing, education and illness of the son and the marriage of the daughter? Prahlad said to the Daitya children: Look here, don't marry. If you do, you will not get any leisure. You will have to think of your daughter's family. There was a certain Mahendra Mukherjee. He had many occupations. He would often visit Thakur, and say: I am now thinking of leaving everything to my son and retire. He would bring two of his sons with him. Thakur would listen and say: `Yes, but how is it coming about?' People get always entangled with one thing or the other. They think: Let me put this matter on firmer grounds. And the days pass off in this manner. The Captain also said the same but could not do it. One should live in solitude for sometime, then one realizes what is the duty and what is not. Not world first God next, but God first world next.''
It is evening now. M. is meditating in the company of the bhaktas. After the meditation one of the bhaktas sings: `Mother I am so frightened.' Now the Bhagavata is being read. Engaged in tapasya Shukadeva listens to a divine voice: `I exist becoming everything.'
M. (to the bhaktas) -- This is a great mantra. If one were to live just with this, one would perfect oneself. Thakur also used to recite a mantra daily after the sunset: `Brahman, maya, jiva, jagat.' Taking up this for japa, one can also perfect oneself, that is to say, realize God. He used to say: These are highly esoteric mantras, that is to say they are all in the books and can be read there. But if they have to be spoken it should only be to bhaktas, not to others. `Brahman, maya, jiva, jagat' - this oft-repeated great saying has, as if, assumed a new living form today.
30th May, 1923 A.D.,
16th Jaishtha, 1330 (Bengali Year),
Wednesday, the 1st day of the Dark Fortnight.
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1. The office room of the Morton School. M. is seated on a chair, close to him is a devotee-teacher. It is 9.45. There is nobody else in the room. Yesterday was the Naga-Panchami day. On this date was born M. The bhaktas celebrated it in the house of the Doctor in Cossipore. M. asked, `Who has spent on yesterday's festivities? Was it Doctor Babu? And who were the workers?' Before the bhakta had replied, other teachers came in. M. asked the bhakta to take a chair very close to him, and began to talk in a soft voice.
M. (to the teacher) -- Thakur used to say: The ritualistic path is very difficult -- it throws one in difficulties. The mind remains engaged in rituals day and night. That's why he dissuaded one from taking this path. Some people do like this -- they give money in the Math or buy offerings and give them there. What a useful purpose is served thereby! At first these are offered to Thakur and then all the sadhus share the prasad. If the bhaktas also take it along with them it is still better. Many people do this on Thakur's birthday celebrations, I have seen. In this way, there is no botheration to oneself. They themselves do everything. Some people go by themselves to assist them. Somebody goes and brings prasad for the bhaktas. Bhaktas, that is, those who live in the house. Thus they can cope with all this work. They have many men and an organisation. But for those who do not have these facilities, it is very difficult indeed. They themselves have to do all. Just take Doctor Babu. He works hard the whole day. First of all a body (showing a finger) like this, on the top of it, so much of work. Having offered it to Thakur, the sadhus take prasad, how nice it is! What do you say? Offer money in the Math, for the service of Thakur, that's all. It is being done every day; let it be a little more today. And what is the need of mentioning the purpose of the offering and all that? If it is used in the service of Thakur or sadhus, the object is achieved.
Now it is half past three. Handing out a big bottle of high grade cow's ghee to a bhakta-teacher, M. says, ``Hemant Babu is not well. Please deliver this to him.'' This ghee was the gift of Shukalal to M. He says again as the bhakta is about to leave, ``God-in-the-poor is served in the Math. Please deliver it to the same God-in-the-poor.'' Previously too, he had sent dal, rice, sago, sugar- candy and such other things, one day. Hemant is a teacher of the Morton School.
At half past five, M. is repairing with his own hands a crack in the roof on the 3rd floor with cement. Seeing ants coming out of the crack in the roof, M. says to a bhakta, ``No, we shall not apply it here. If we do so the ants will not be able to come out.'' Is it seeing God in every created thing?
It is evening now. The daily-visiting bhaktas are all there. There are some new bhaktas too -- Doctor's uncle, Lalit the musician and Nayab have also come. Meditation over, one of the new bhaktas asks --
The new bhakta (to M.) -- Sir, what are the signs that one is attaining belief in God?
M. -- The company of sadhus. Such a man will seek the company of sadhus. This is the beginning of the religious life. Jesus said to a rich man: If you want my company you will have to give up all -- `Give (your all) to the poor, . . . and follow me.' But he could not do so. He who sincerely seeks the company of sadhus, it is to be understood, has taken God as the essence. A man is known by the company he keeps and the ideal he worships. If the ideal of a person is some congressman, it is to be understood, that there is patriotism in him, that he likes politics. If a person keeps the company of Vidya Sagar Mahashaya, you will know that a little of philanthropy is in him, he has compassion. And if a person comes to a sadhu, you are to understand that he is not interested in any of these. He has understood that God is real and the world is transitory. That is why he pines for the Eternal Life, and how to attain it.
The new bhakta -- What is the difference between the markat renunciation and the real one?
M. -- In the markat vairagya -- say, having been burnt by the fire of the world and adopting the gerua, one goes to live in Kashi. After two months, he wires home, `I have found a job. I am returning home soon.' He had no work, so he renounced. In the real renunciation, the world looks like a death-well, and the kith and kin like venomous serpents, Thakur used to say this. A person, having lived at Kashi for eight years, threw away the gerua and returned home. Food was served late so he was angry with his wife and had renounced. Such a renunciation cannot stand the test. But when one loves God sincerely, one feels a distaste for the world.
The second bhakta -- Sir, why do people tell a lie unnecessarily?
M. -- We shall talk about it some other day.
By this time Shukalal, Doctor, Vinay, Manoranjan and the elder Jiten have arrived. Also the younger Amulya, Viren, Sudhir, Suren Ganguli, Gadai and others.
M. (to the bhaktas) -- Such is also heard as with Nag Mahashay. Having married he has a young wife at home but he would not accept her. They live in the same house but he does not take her. Such things happen with perfected men, great men. He married for the first time -- the wife was sixteen, and he did not live with her. A second time he would not marry. The mother is dead; the father is keen on the marriage of the son. On coming to know of this he says to the father that he will marry. He marries, but the same as before -- there is no physical relationship. Except for the great, who can get rid of the temptation in this way? That is why Jesus said: Who are married, let them live as if they were not married. There is wife in the house but they don't accept her -- what a strength of mind!
M. (to Viren) -- A rishi came to Dashratha. He said, `Sire, you have, no doubt, conquered many kingdoms but there is one which still remains.' Dashratha said, `Which is that?' The rishi said, `Have you conquered lust?' Dashratha replied, `No.' The rishi said, `If that remains, what is your achievement? Of what avail your conquering so many kingdoms? He who has subdued lust is a real conqueror.'
M. (to Mohan) -- Napoleon said the same in St. Helena during his last days: `Caesar, Alexander and I, what have we achieved? These conquests lasted but two days, but the conquest of Jesus will last forever. He said, `Our kingdom breaks even while we are living, but his (Christ's) kingdom begins at his death, and extends forever. Behold the destiny of him who has been called the great Napoleon? What an abyss between my deep misery and eternal religion of Christ?' And he also said: `There exists an Infinite Being. Compared with Him, I, Napoleon, with all my genius, am truly nothing, a pure nothing.'
M. (to the bhaktas) -- Christ had fully conquered lust, anger and the rest. Only after this one attains eternal joy and peace. That's why his gospel is true for all times to come. There is no end to his spiritual kingdom.
``What does a worldly man live with? His environments are a different type. He has adapted himself to them. That's why he says, `I am all right.' The avatara comes only to break this inertia. It is only when he comes and infuses strength that this inertia breaks up. The source of strength is the avatara. But even so, do people wake up? He came just a short while ago. How many people are waking up? That's why Chaitanya Deva said to his mother, `You ask me to stay at home, that I shall do. But the body cannot survive in this fire.' The mother heard this and said, `Go where you can preserve your body.' So he embraced sannyasa. `The world, a burning fire,' said Thakur. Thakur also said crying to the Mother of the Universe: `Mother, I am burning in the fire of `woman and gold'. The body will not last'.''
M. (to the Doctor) -- How easy these days! How near is the Math! And then Thakur has provided steamers. So many good men are there in the Math! So many of them are B.A.'s and M.A.'s. How to realize God, this is what they pine for. They do whatever they are asked, now they meditate, now they are shopping. And then, when there are floods, they go to render help. They are anxious like `Brahma-jnani' mothers. These `Brahma-jnani' mothers do not believe in gods and goddesses. They say `I kick gods and goddesses.' They may not physically kick but at least they say so. But no sooner does the son fall ill, and the doctor, the kaviraja, feels helpless, than the old women of the neighbourhood suggest to take a vow in the Taraknath Temple. What else can she do? At last, she takes a vow, now that she is anxious for the son. So are the sadhus of the Math for God. Are the sadhus of the Math equipped only with learning? They have unbroken brahmacharya also. That is why their knowledge is so great. Whatever they read or hear, sticks in their mind -- they observe brahmacharya, you see. They have encyclopaedic knowledge. Thakur used to say, `Pour as much water as you like in a pot with a hole, it will not stay there.' Similarly, if there is no brahmacharya, nothing is retained. Having read a few pages, one may pass an examination but soon every thing is forgotten. Reason? There is no brahmacharya. Chaitanya Deva is sitting with bhaktas in Puri. Some person asks: `Why is it that spiritual matters do not stay in the mind of the worldly people?' Chaitanya Deva replies, `Because they have contact with woman.' Thakur also used to say the same.
Now Lalit sings three songs at the behest of M. He has a very sweet voice and has not married. Lastly he sings --
Will such a day come, O Mother Tara!
When two streams of tears
Will flow down from both eyes
As I repeat: Tara, Tara!
The lotus of the heart will open
And the darkness of the mind dispelled,
I shall roll on the ground and
Shouting `Tara', become perfect.
The song is over. Everybody is charmed. Is it therefore that M. is presenting him with the best of gifts? M. says, ``Do you understand, Lalit Babu? Seeing all this in the world, some do not want to take a wife at all. Why should they get entangled in this labyrinth?'' It is 9.30 in the evening. August 2, 1923.
Class six in the verandah of the second floor of the Morton School. Entering this class, M. says to the students,
``Look here, now I am myself going to apply plaster of lime and brick-dust to the roof on the 3rd floor, where there is a leakage.''
On hearing this, some boys gaze in wonder at M. Some say in spite of themselves,
``What, you yourself, Mr. Rector?''
M. says, ``Yes, my dear boys, I myself.''
Some again begin to laugh. The school is over. M. is himself repairing the roof of the 3rd floor. A bhakta is helping him. M. says to the bhakta, The boys began laughing on hearing that I would do the work myself. But now they will remember this all their life. If one does not do one's own work, who else will?''
In the afternoon, he sent a bhakta to the Vedanta Society of Swami Abhedananda. The Vedanta Society has recently been started in the Central Avenue but today there has been no lecture. At the return of the bhakta he says, `Vedanta, that is revelation. God speaks through so many mouths. Does He only speak through the mouth of the avataras? A dog entered the Panchavati. What did Thakur say, `Let me go. Perhaps Ma will say something through the mouth of this dog.'
3rd August, 1923.
Today, from 7.00 to 8.30 in the morning M. was in the Satprasanga Sabha. It was the Sunday assembly of the students and teachers of the Morton School, started by M. It starts with a prayer followed by the opening song. Then reading from the Gita and the Bhagavata. Thereafter religious discussion -- generally it is a discussion on the life story of some great man. The subject of discussion is decided upon beforehand. When the meeting is over M. sends Antevasi to Dakshineshwar. He returns in the evening at 7 o' clock. M. asks him all about Dakshineshwar -- the Panchavati, the Bel-tree spot, the shrine of Thakur, the Hanspukur (pond of swans), Nahabat (the drum-room), the Bakul spot, Mother Kali, Radha-Kanta, the twelve temples of Shiva, the courtyard (chandani), the ghat under the Bakul, the Nat Mandir and so on -- about all these he makes enquiries as devotedly as one does about a most respected living being. Today, it is Sunday. How many persons visited it? How many boats were anchored at the ghat -- all these he asked. It appeared as if he was enquiring about his Guru, Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna -- with the same reverence and lively thoughts. Having heard all M. says, ``A good day's work. At that place, Thakur lived for full thirty years. The whole atmosphere of the place is surcharged with spirituality.''
M. is seated in the room to the left of the staircase of the first floor. The evening dhyan et. al. are over. On the floor of the room are seated the bhaktas. Both the Jitens, the Doctor, Vinay and the younger Amulya have arrived. Durgapada of the Healing-Balm fame has also come after many days. Shachi, Amrit, Viren, Gadai, Manoranjan and the younger Nalini are also there, besides some others.
M. (to Mohan) -- What was talked about in the Vedanta Samiti?
Mohan -- Abhedananda Maharaj said, `The soul is not subject to pleasure or pain, nor to gain or loss. Religion has two parts: One the essential, the other the non-essential.' And he said, `To unite the partial consciousness of the jiva with the universal consciousness, this is the problem of life.'
M. -- But Thakur used to say, tapasya is needed. One may read a thousand books, one may do anything, till one takes to tapasya in solitude, one can understand nothing. The people of India are blessed for having been born here. For them, mere learning does not serve any purpose. That (mere learning) is in that country (the West). For this country the maxim is `perform tapasya'. Keshab Sen used to deliver beautiful speeches. I was then at school in class II.  I could not understand English well. Even so, when the lecture was to be delivered in the evening, I would go and take my seat at three in the afternoon. What a flow of English! On his way back everybody would talk about it: `We have not understood a word but how well he spoke!' (Everybody laughs). The speech was all dry stuff. O Ma! when later on I went to Thakur, I saw that every word of his was steeped in syrup -- on hearing it, a refreshed feeling would descend on every nerve.
M. (to the bhaktas) -- The study of the scriptures has its own dangers too. Thakur used to say: The holy books have sugar mixed with sand. Who is going to sift sugar for you? If you take it whole, it will result in disease. The avataras come to interpret the scriptures. Study them by comparing with what they say. Accept what tallies and leave out what doesn't. But those who have to teach man had better know a little of everything. All this would serve as a shield and sword, to be used for `killing' others. For oneself, even one great saying of Thakur is sufficient.
M. (to Durgapada) -- The unripe mind is beset with many dangers. Taking to unselfish work, one meets with a number of obstacles. The path of action is difficult. I hear that many persons in the Math crave for the moment when they will find leisure to call upon Him. So busy they are. Many a time, he who goes to arrange a marriage ends up by marrying himself. Arranging somebody's marriage, that is doing good to others. In doing this one gets bound. How great the danger from an unripe mind! That's why I see that those in the Math, the moment they get some leisure, free themselves and escape. One person has gone towards Dehradun to call upon Him in solitude.
`` `Only by going into solitude,' said Thakur, `one's mind remains healthy.' And he also said, `His grace dawning the Veda, the Vedanta are automatically understood. Ma has shown them all to me.' If there is no facility at all one should call upon Him, remaining in the state in which he finds himself. A person is working in an office. He thinks that his job is to keep the family members satisfied and that on their being satisfied he would get the time to call on Him with his whole heart -- doing with this idea is also karma yoga. The aim should be God-realisation. As soon as one gets an opportunity one should go into solitude and call upon Him. If there is work in one's nature will one like to go? The guru wants that you attain Him by that path. How very eligible was Arjuna! Even he had to perform work. He was given the clue: `Act for Me. In this way, you will not be bound.' But tapasya is needed. It is proper to retire to a solitary place in-between.''
All the bhaktas bade good-bye. Only the Doctor, Viren and some others are left behind. It is 9.30 p.m. Standing in the verandah, M. says to the Doctor, ``While living in the household, one should consider the pet animals as one's own children. The horse has died tragically. Thereby the sin is attached to his master. Is householder's life so easy? How can one afford to be unsystematic? One had better give up the household life.''
Viren -- Are we fit for a worldly life?
M. -- You are right. `When you have become an expert, you may live the worldly life,' used to say Thakur. He saw a circus show, in the Calcutta-Maidan, seated with the bhaktas on an eight anna seat. On coming out he said: Just see, the lady was able to stand on one leg on a running horse only after so much of practice. If one is such an expert one may live in the world. Without it one will be shattered into pieces.
5th August, 1923.
M. is talking to the bhaktas in the room on the first floor. The evening is past now. With a plan in his hand, a bhakta enters the room. It is the plan of a house. They discuss adopting it for the Morton School. The bhakta had prepared the plan at M.'s desire. M. says --
M. (to the bhaktas) -- Thakur used to say, `Ma had kept me in such a state that unless some persons had offered me worship I felt uneasy.' He used to see Ma within himself, isn't it? That's why such was his condition. And he used to say, `Sometimes She kept (me) in such a state that I might start cleaning privies.'
M. (to the elder Jiten) -- Ma had kept Nag Mahashaya as an example of an ideal householder. Those who are kept for teaching man do not have to engage themselves in multifarious activities, sometimes picking up this, sometimes giving up that. One gets crystallised in one thing. Nag Mahashaya has shown by his life what is service. Guests have arrived. He looks upon them as God personified. He would feed them and refresh them with a smoke, arrange for their rest and then take meals himself. He looked at all living beings with an equal eye. He would see God in all, so he worshipped all. This is not compassion. Charity, compassion, service -- each greater in succession. In compassion, one has the pride that one is great. Service destroys it. He would always see God and serve Him. He would humble himself before Him. That is why those who serve are the greatest of all for Him. The Chandi says the same. Those who are small before the Lord are the refuge of the world, the best of all .How one can attain perfect sannyasa while living in the household is illustrated by Nag Mahashaya. Were they small men? Thakur is an avatara -- those with him are but his own parts. Nag Mahashaya got crystallised through service. You see, God comes sometimes to carry out an inspection, together with his intimate ones. We then call Him an avatara.
M. (to the bhaktas) -- Chaitanya Deva, having embraced sannyasa, himself took his abode in Puri. He sent away Nitai so that he may marry and live as a householder. What a renunciation! A sannyasi since childhood became a householder. The reason? For the teaching of householders; to demonstrate how to call on God while living in the household. Nityananda became a householder. Thakur used to call the household `the house of soot'. When one lives here, one becomes a bit different. There is a world of difference between the free life of a sannyasi and the life of a householder. Once Nitai went to Puri but he did not call on Chaitanya Deva -- he was feeling ashamed. All the bhaktas met him. Not seeing Nitai he said, `Where is my Nitai?' The bhaktas said, `He is on the bank of the Narendra Sarovar.' He himself immediately ran to meet him and said to everybody, `He who takes the Charanamrita of Nitai will realise God.' Why this honour? Such a great renunciation for the good of the world! He had given up sannyasa at the bidding of the Lord. He humbled himself before Him, but became great before the world. Nitai is the refuge of the bhaktas.
The elder Jiten -- Has this way of showing honour any other significance?
M. -- Why not? The Lord cannot forsake anybody. He equally loves all. Even if we are oblivious of Him, He looks after us just the same. That is how the worldly people will muster courage. This being so they will not completely drown themselves into worldliness. They will feel, the Lord does not forsake us even when we forget Him -- just as He did not forsake Nitai. That's why Christ said: `. . . for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good,' (St. Matthew 5: 45).
M. (to the bhaktas) -- Sri Ramachandra is seated in his royal court. Narada comes in. Rama and Sita quickly descend from the throne and prostrate themselves before him. Having adored him they speak thus: `O Master, you are the world-teacher sannyasi. You give darshan to householders for teaching them.' Narada replied, `Rama, you can't hide from me. I know who you are. You are Brahman Absolute, Brahman the Saviour. You have come now in a human body -- to destroy Ravana.' Rama began to smile. Why did Mahaprabhu show that respect to Nitai and why did Rama also prostrate himself before Narada? The reason-- since they did so, others will do it too. When others do it they will be redeemed. `Himself following the path of dharma, He teaches humanity.' That is why it is proper for us to act on what He says and does. He thinks more for us -- we are in His hands.
Ramani begins to sing,
O the easily pleased One,
O Shiva Shankar, O Bhola!
With the half-moon in Thy crest,
The skull as Thy earring, poison in the throat, The king of snakes
swinging over Thee!
The ash your ornament,
The best bull Thy mount,
The hide of the tiger round Thy waist
And playing on the damaru!
Is swelling forth incessantly
And the Ganga flowing kal-kal, khal-khal.
August 6, 1923 A.D.,
21st Shravana, 1330 (Bengali Year),
Monday, Shukla Dashami.
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Vol. 2 - Chapter 24
Sri Ramakrishna's Catholic Words --
The Holy Formula for World-Unity
Morton School. The western room on the first floor. Autumn. M. is seated with the bhaktas, in a chair, facing the east. The bhaktas are on the benches. It is 8.15 p.m. Shukalal, the younger Jiten, Mani, Manindra, Yogen and the child Khoka are seated. The Doctor, Vinay, Viren, Ramani and Manoranjan have also come. There are many other bhaktas too. Shachi and Jagabandhu have returned from the Vedanta Society. Manindra is singing one or two snatches of songs. The idea: Without subjugating lust and anger it is impossible to realize God. Moreover, without realizing God, it is not possible to completely overcome them. If you wish to realize Him, seek refuge in Him.
The elder Jiten and Virinchi Kaviraj enter.
M. (to the elder Jiten) -- But Thakur spoke about this lust to a bhakta: `On taking up a body, a little bit of lust remains. No harm in it.' The bhakta submitted to him, `No Sir, I want that by which it goes off completely.' Thakur replied, `Is that possible? Even so, it is possible when God has been seen.' One's own effort is also necessary. One should practise as he has advised. As for example he has said, `On marrying when a child or two have been born one should not sleep in the same bed with the wife, nor should the body touch her body. And those who have not married should not marry at all. One should try to give the whole of the mind to Him. Nothing is possible in a day. Keep on trying.' Making Him your refuge it comes about. He wants us to make effort. When He sees us making effort His grace dawns. He comes personally and lifts, holding one's hand, just as the mother lifts when the child has fallen down and is crying. This is what He likes to see -- that the bhaktas are making effort. Say to Him weeping, `Father, I am unable to do any more. Please hold my hand.' When you ask Him with a yearning in your heart, He does it. Sometimes He does so even unasked. Such is a very exceptional case. Ordinarily, He wants effort. Hence it is said in the Gita, go on practising. Practice and dispassion. Dispassion, that is love for God, seeking refuge in Him, weeping and praying. This is the positive meaning of dispassion. He most surely does it when He is asked with a yearning heart. He did it in the case of that bhakta.
Now the notes from the lecture of Abhedananda are being read. Jagabandhu is reading -- Kali Maharaj (Swami Abhedananda) said today:
A famous western professor of psychology has said, `Every sensation keeps an impression in the mind in sub-conscious regions.' The same is the belief of Sir Walter Hamilton. The yogis say that our desires are a reflection of those accumulated impressions. These impressions acted upon produce an action. Each desire for worldly pleasure leaves an impression on the mind stuff. Together they form sanskaras. A desire rises, it is satisfied. This brings peace for a while. Then arises another desire, it is also satisfied and then again comes peace. This process goes on uninterrupted from birth to birth. After God, the Image of Peace, has been seen this process comes to an end. Then there is nothing but peace. The peace that is found in the fulfillment of desires has its reverse as tension. In the eyes of the yogis, therefore, both are tensions. To them God is the only substratum of peace. The yogi, that is one who has attained self-control, whose mind is his slave. The worldly is he who has not achieved this, he who is the slave of his mind. Sadhana, that is to repeatedly fix the mind on one thing. By practice, gradually the mind is subjugated.
Some persons have their minds drawn towards God from their very childhood -- for example, the Paramahansa Deva, Vivekananda, we. We are born with the good sanskaras of our previous births, that is the reason. You yourself and your father and mother, all of you have been thinking since your childhood: We shall get married, have children, run a home, win name and fame. You have grown with these sentiments. Even now you are thinking the same; in the next life you will do the same. Give up this thinking. Learn to think differently from now. Start practice -- in this very life or in the next you will succeed. Always think over this: Every enjoyment leaves an impression in the mind. The collection of such impressions is called sanskara. This sanskara repeats itself again and again and at last forms our habits. These habits again will go with us after death and are the cause of our cycles of deaths and births. This goes on increasing, it never ends. If you think over this daily, the mind will become alert. This done you will no longer be able to do the work which brings bondage.
The westerners do not accept this. They do not believe in previous births -- that is why they don't accept the fruit of action. The Sufis accept it, also the Theosophists. The Neo-science has also started accepting it. A father has five sons -- one of them is a sadhu. How can this be explained without accepting the theory of transmigration? If you say, it is God's will then why did it not happen in the case of another. His will, His grace, these are like the light of the sun -- it falls equally, both on the sadhu and the murderer. By accepting the fruit of action, you get its explanation. The Englishmen say, Luther also says so: `Man is a beast of burden. Sometimes God drives him, sometimes Satan. They explain errors, sin and the rest through Satan.' Our doctrine is more rational and scientific than this one. Many Englishmen and Americans have now started accepting our theory. As Christianity is unable to explain all these basic problems, many are giving up this faith. They say: `Good was created by God, evil by Satan.'
Sin, illusion, the snare of fascination -- they are all due to previous practice. These faults are self-made -- think over this. Don't lay the blame on mother, father or God. By taking them upon oneself the effort to get rid of them soon begins. The Shastra says this -- You yourself are responsible for yourself. Take the responsibility of sin and virtue upon your own self.
Some again argue to explain the varieties of nature of men -- good and evil, by heredity or environments or both. But the same objection comes again. If it is true, then why do the five sons of the same parents born, brought up and educated under the same conditions and environments differ in their characters? So this explanation is unsatisfactory. Therefore, the law of karma is the best instrument to explain it.
There is a theory, it goes to explain the varieties of the good and evil human character with reference to heredity and environments. Then the old objection rises -- that if the good and bad qualities of family and environment have such a power why then the five children of the same parents are so different from each other. They have all had their birth, bringing up and education through the same parents, under the same conditions and environment. That is why their theory is not tenable, and so the theory of karma or that of transmigration is acceptable. The doctrine of sanskaras is capable of dispelling this doubt easily.
If suffering is to be got rid of, birth and death will have to be done away with. If that is to be achieved, self-restraint and character-building are necessary. For that, sense enjoyment has to be given up. You may derive satisfaction from bhoga -- from the external objects -- but it is short-lived. After a while pain will reappear. The peace derived from sense enjoyment is called tamasic. The rishis, the yogis say for these very reasons that there is no cessation to bhoga. The more ghee you pour on the fire the more it will burn.
If you want peace, make an effort and call on Him, you will surely get it. Without his own effort, nobody gets peace. Deliberate and act. We are always discriminating -- God is real, world unreal, sense enjoyment unreal. Sitting in the solitude of the forest and again sitting in the midst of people we are thinking the same. This is the only path to peace. Vivekananda, the Paramahansa Deva, Gauranga, Jesus, Buddha, all deliberated over this. They all arrived at the same conclusion.
The education you are getting, who gives that? Those who have never been in the vicinity of peace. If you do not wish to marry, the doctor would advise marriage. The parents would insist too. They only know this ashrama, have no idea of the higher ones. Even a eunuch would say, `Marry'. Marrying, producing children, earning money -- there is no peace in these. You see their result before your very eyes.
Whatever you do, friend, do it taking refuge in the Lord. Otherwise there is no peace of mind. Wife, son or daughter, wealth and possessions, name and fame, nothing can give you peace. The wealthy has no peace. Wealth increases sense enjoyments. The ideal is God -- holding fast to Him live in the world, earn money, you will not be bound by it. The poison that kills will bestow life. Gradually you will be able to gain supreme peace.
The Paramahansa Deva was called mad by the people as he had married but never had sex relation with his wife. Vivekananda was advised by the doctor, `Marry or you will lose your head.' They called us mad too. The doctors say, `Without marriage there will be disease and the life will be spent all alone in silence and go waste.' Such are these doctors! These people are your advisers. They are incapable of seeing beyond this body. This body will not last -- this they have forgotten. The yogis, on the other hand, see two more bodies within this outer one -- the subtle and the causal. By following the advice of such advisers what will be the condition, do you know?
(the blind leading the blind and both falling into the well) -- this will be the condition. The blind man and his leader will both lose their lives by falling into a well. The university, too, cannot impart the right education. Gathering some information is not called education. This does not build the character. The education for building up character will be practical. The head and hand will work together. Then only education will be life-giving.
Say such spiritual matters to an unrestrained, lustful, pleasure-hungry individual, he would say, you have gone mad. He has no idea that above sense enjoyment also there is something good. He has never heard of the eternal peace and the supreme bliss. So he says, `mad.' The thirst for pleasure leads to lust, anger, greed, brings about a desire for name and fame, gives birth to honour and dishonour, jealousy for others' fortune, envy and hatred. Analyse the mind and see, which feelings are uppermost. Sitting in solitude try to subjugate them, practise. Worldly people can also attain jnana by this sort of deliberation and practice and turn this world into a house of happiness. Is the world without God? Fix your mind on God and do your worldly duties.
I have seen -- whether you are sitting in a cave, in a jungle, in a forest or again you are in a kingly palace, there is peace everywhere. Going to Tibet I noticed the same peace, the same by living in America, Canada and Europe. Everywhere there is peace. So the Paramahansa Deva said: `He who has it here has it also there. He who has not here has not there.' He said: `Going to Vrindaban I saw the same tamarind trees, the same everything, so my Dakshineshwar is preferable.' Thereafter he did not go anywhere. When peace is established within, there is peace wherever you may live. That I have come here and living now in this country after such a long time, there is peace in it too. I have gone round the whole world and seen the same peace everywhere.
You will also get the same peace. Try to conquer your mind. Engage yourself in work. Gradually special instruction will be given. Let me see, you practise half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening. At bed-time at night, think over all these matters and sleep. The mind is so restless. To subjugate it you have to labour hard. Sri Krishna said this to Arjuna: Subjugate the mind by practice and renunciation. Doing a little every day, you will see at the end that much has been done. Persevere -- don't talk, and take to work -- practice and prayer. Go into solitude at times and sit alone. Daily, at the time of practice, sit alone. Sitting in the company of persons you will be coloured by them. The Hindus in the past used to impart this education of practice from the very childhood. The small boy used to be initiated to the gayatri -- a child of five or seven. They would make him sit and practise thrice a day. Now they have forgotten it; who would get it done? The father does not know, he has given up the practice. The school and college do not give this instruction either. So you should sit down and start practice again. Company is colour. Sadhu, thief, drunkard, in whichever company you live, all the tendencies will penetrate into you. The Paramahansa Deva used to say: The mind is, as it were, a laundered cloth -- red, black, white, yellow, in whichever colour you dye it, it will be that. Sleep alone, then try to subjugate the mind. Mend your mind. Do not be a cheat. Let your mouth and mind be one. You want self-rule, it will also come. Attainment of self-rule is the last thing. First prepare your mind. Character is the fundamental thing. Only this will go with you from life to life. Name and fame, wife and son, money and wealth will be left behind. Build character -- this precious thing.
2. Question -- Why did God create vice and virtue?
Answer -- He did not. We have done it. We Hindus are the creators of vice and virtue. This is my personal belief. It is by one's own sanskaras, good and bad that vice and virtue come into being. The work done in ignorance, that which keeps away from God, is sin. That which brings God near is virtue.
According to the Evolution Theory, the first stage is that of minerals, then of trees, animals, men, successively. The man has first ignorance, thereafter he gets knowledge. Ultimately divinity, man-God. What was the Buddha in his previous births, all this is found in the Jataka tales. Animal, bird and any number of other states he went through before he became the Enlightened one. Sri Krishna has said,' I am born many a time.' Similarly, as one goes on birth after birth, in the end one becomes a paramahansa deva. On becoming a paramahansa one has touched `the target in the game of hide and seek'. His play can no longer go on. His work is finished, now he is god himself. Dog, cat, all living beings will have to attain godhood one day in this way. This is called mukti, this is what is named attainment of self-rule."
M. -- In today's talk, he has nicely dwelt upon practice. Practice means to think of the same one thing again and again. This very thing is called tapasya. The mind is drawn towards worldly pleasures and enjoyments like a restless child. To bring it back home and settle it down, sometimes by love, sometimes by teaching, sometimes by beating, the way mothers do to the children. Home, that means His lotus feet. This is beautiful indeed! And prayer too. Both of these are also high concepts. By practising them, one will be saved. One should pray: God, grant me right thinking, keep the mind at Thy lotus feet. Thakur used to say, `Don't enchant me with your world-bewitching maya.' And the company of the holy too. Practice, prayer and holy company -- these are priceless words. Company colours the man, so the need of holy company. By bad company, how low Bharat had gone down! It is rising again.
M. (to all) -- Before the coming of Thakur how `lower' our ideal had become! Everybody had begun to think that to be westernized was the aim of life. What a great man was Vidyasagar! Even he fell into bad company. But then it was not his fault. Company must have its effect -- the company, the environment he lived in, it was its fault. The Europeans had then newly arrived in India. Everybody presumed that their everything was good. Well, what a downfall the country had! Now again it is rising. The `Charitavali' and the `Akhyanamanjari' of Vidyasagar are full of these very ideas. Lives of the Englishmen have been translated into Bengali in that book. What does it contain? This, isn't it, so and so was very poor. He studied with great hardships, then he became famous and was remembered by all. There is the Rover's life. He was very poor. He had no money for his education. He went to the forest and began killing squirrels. So much bloodshed, then taking the hide of these squirrels, selling them in the bazaar, he began to pay for his education with that money. Pooh! What an ideal these stories hold, these extremely relentless stories! And what did Thakur say? `I beat the worldly honours with a broom.' They are after name and fame -- this, their ideal. But he beats them with a broom. `Mean things they are all', said he. The ideal is God-realization.
``What else have the westerners to give by way of an ideal? The ambition of their lives is socialism or politics. Cinema, theatre, novel, dinner, dress, toilet -- they are living with these things. And sitting with girls, singing and playing -- the girls whose contact turns a person worldly, conversing, singing and playing with such girls. This is what is their ideal. The lads of our country have also begun doing the same. Seeing and hearing such things result in whetting the desire for worldly life. The higher ambition -- that is God-realization they are forgetting. The science of their country, it is good, but not knowing its application it is turning them into bhogis. And by its use they exploit other people, the weaker ones. But the aim of knowledge gradually and ultimately is to realize God, the Essence of knowledge. But where is it being practised? We are going in the opposite direction. If a blind man leads a blind man, it is the ruin of both. The rishis knew that God-realization is the aim of life. That is why, they have built this country with that aim in view. India had fallen, it is rising again. None will be able to stop it. It will win an unrivaled place in the world. Thakur has come just for this. That's why he said: Faith in the word of the guru. Guru, that is God, avatara, rishi -- his word. On listening to the word of the guru, this fall will also cease, fear will also vanish.
M. is silent. After sometime he resumes.
M. (to Viren) -- What are the worldly living with? `Feeders', objects of enjoyment all around. Even if the mind is quieted for a while with difficulty, it is immediately assailed by stimuli from all sides. Thakur therefore said: That which contains water, near to it must be flowing a stream or the like. From there, water keeps oozing into it. Of the two pits in the field one contains water, the other does not. Seeing this, he had said this. This is the condition of the worldly. Immediately, it dries a little, worldly desires flow in. And they (the senses) have their feed along with it. So one should first `make butter', by going into solitude. By performing tapasya, by understanding the aim -- the aim of life is God-realization -- live in the household. Thus, it will not entail much harm.
M. (to Virinchi) -- Do we have an easy awakening? Just see, what a catastrophe has befallen Japan. Five lacs of people have lost their lives outright. Why does He get these things done? For our teaching. How much does the worldly man sorrow for a son, but here so many persons have died together. It is much bigger a catastrophe than that of the orphanage. There forty three children lost their lives. In Japan, what a big calamity compared to this! He is warning us that there is a volcano below. People do not accept, so destruction takes place. How many times has it happened in Japan in the same manner! Even so, do people listen? Do they ever realize? Adhar Sen was warned against riding a horse by Thakur, when for the first time he fell from the horse, but he did not listen. He fell a second time and died. Thakur said then: `Mother does not say again and again.' At times she warns. Unless one wakes up, death is sure.
Calcutta, 5th September, 1923 A.D.,
19th of Bhadra, 1330 (Bengali Year),
3. The Morton School. The western room of the first floor. Autumn, 7.30 in the evening. M. is seated with the bhaktas. The evening meditation followed by songs is over. M. is now reading out the picturesque account of the lila of Thakur from the Kathamrita to the devotees.
M. reads --
Sri Ramakrishna, after the mid-day meals, is resting in the room with the bhaktas in Dakshineshwar. Then comes Gian Babu. He is an M.A., employed in Government service. He is thinking whether to marry a second time or not, his first wife is dead.
``Ramakrishna (seeing Gian) -- Hello, what a sudden awakening of jnana . . . ! (Laughing) you being Jnana, how is it that you are ajnana (ignorant)? O, I understand, where there is jnana, there is also ajnana. Vashishtha Deva, though such a jnani, also wept at the death of his son. You go beyond jnana and ajnana . . . I saw (Pandit Shashadhar) -- dogmatic, only dry intellectual knowledge he had . . . Only dry knowledge -- It is like the fountain of fireworks, rising up with a sudden hiss sparkling for a moment and dropping down in the twinkling of an eye.''
M. (to the bhaktas) -- This is the fourth picture. The other three have gone before this. Thakur says, You being Jnana, how is it that you are ajnana? That is, on marrying once you have seen that there is more pain in it than pleasure. You are sad at the passing away of your first wife, yet knowingly you are trying to enter it (household) again. That is why Thakur said this, suggesting indirectly that he should not marry again. The mind which is to be given to His lotus feet will be spent on other matters. He is encouraging him, at the same time he is exposing his defects. His encouragement was -- he has good sanskaras, otherwise he could not have Thakur's darshan. So, he is saying: You are Jnana. And also `ajnana' -- meaning thereby that he is entering the household again by remarrying. Sanskaras are very powerful, dragging him. And bookish knowledge, intellectual knowledge -- this is weak; this also he is telling referring to Shashadhar. The fountain of fireworks with a sudden hiss means that there is not much strength within. The flow of knowledge is not uniform. Reason? This knowledge is derived from books. The knowledge which comes from God is that which He Himself supplies constantly. That's why it is not dry -- unending. It is, as if it were, a long sparkling fountain -- it does not hiss or die down -- it does not go off the beat in talks or in behaviour. It is well reinforced. That is why it is continuous jnana. This is called the state of a vijnani -- it is attained after the supreme realization of Brahman. Chaitanya Deva and Thakur had this very state.
M. (to a bhakta) -- Describe briefly the first three scenes please.
The bhakta -- The first scene: The shrine of Thakur in Dakshineshwar. After the evening prayers, he says, he who thinks constantly on God does not need any prayer. In Rishikesh, a sadhu would stand near a spring and repeat the whole day, `Ah, well done!'
``The second picture: Thakur is returning to his room from the Panchavati. New clouds rising in the sky behind Thakur -- their reflection falling in the Ganga -- the clouds are, as if, the background.
``The third: The sitting room of Balaram. He is saying to Balaram's father, `He who has brought about a synthesis is the real man'.
M. (to the bhaktas) -- There are three types of meditations -- concentrating over the form, on the lila and on a great saying. These scenes constitute concentration on the lila accompanied by form as well as saying. It is easy this way. (Laughing) The Vaishnavas, they say, are dogmatic. So he says to Balaram Babu's father, `Most people are dogmatic'. Thakur did not like it. He has come to unite the people of the world. How then could he like dogmatism? Unlettered and yet how large-hearted! Hindus, Muslims, Christians -- men of different faiths come to him. He accepts them all. His practising of different religions was to this very purpose -- he knew the world will become like one family. Due to the influence of science, communication is becoming easy. Now there is no place for dogmatism. How long before he could foresee the world coming together. This broadmindedness of his is going to unite all. Already it is being noticed how many people are accepting his way of thinking.
After a few moments, reading from the Bhagavata starts; Jagabandhu is reading --
Sri Krishna says to Arjuna: `O the son of Kunti, kill the wretched brahmin who murders the sleeping innocent children at night. To pardon such a person is not lawful. He who knows the rules of war will never kill the dead-drunk, the uncautious, those frenzied due to natural calamity, asleep, children, women, the unprepared, the surrendering, the mountless and the frightened enemy. Those who are cruel, wily, who by taking away the life of others fortify their own life -- punishing them by death will be to their own benefit. The reason -- if wrongs are not checked by punishment or expiation, the downfall of the sinner continues. Therefore, kill this sinful relative--murderer.
M. -- Formerly, all these rules of war were observed. Now it is not so. Even a hospital may be bombed. They are observed in a society which has God-realization as its ideal. Bharatvarsh is such a country. It has fallen and is rising again. It will rise very high. Thakur's advent, just for this reason.
The reader --
Ashwatthama was bound and brought before Dropadi. Seeing his condition, Dropadi said, `Free him at once . . . The guru's family to which all reverence is due, will be drowned in the ocean of sorrow -- this will be wrong. I am crying, shedding incessant tears all the time at the shocking loss of my sons. Let not his mother Gautami also have to shed tears in the same way.'
M. -- Just see. She lost five sons, so much sorrow for her, but even then she did not give up her duty. This is possible only in India. She has lost everything herself -- but she doesn't pay much heed to that, her object of attention is Gautami. Lest she should have to fall in this fire of grief, this is her only thought. This is what is called divine disposition. What a heroism in spite of her being a woman. Where others' interest comes first and one's own interest comes later, there resides this divine disposition. In other words, the abode of God. When the opposite is the case it is animal disposition, human disposition. Sri Krishna was with them, you see. That is why such a high ideal. Such a thing is rare in the world. Hearing these great words of Dropadi, Sri Krishna said, `Yes, the guru's son cannot be killed.' The murderer can be killed but as the guru's son he cannot be. Even so, to save both sides the guilty should be punished and yet his life saved. On Sri Krishna's advice Arjuna, having pierced a hole in the jewel of his fore-head, exiled Ashwatthama. May be the jewel was tied to his top tuft of hair that was cut. This is a death like insult. It is for this reason, I believe, that the people of the west (to the west of Bengal) don't let anybody touch the top tuft of hair.
M. (to Amrit) -- Ahalya, Dropadi, Kunti, Tara, Mandodari -- they all had more than one husband, even so they deserve to be remembered every morning. Why so? I have asked a sadhu who told me, `For the reason that they are bhaktas.'
Jagabandhu -- Were there no other bhaktas that only they should be remembered? Were they bhaktas and polyandrous at the same time or did they become bhaktas later on?
M. -- There is no other case like theirs, you see -- a bhakta as well as polyandrous. Only she is a sati (chaste) who has one husband. They had bhakti and attraction for more than one man simultaneously. It is said that Dropadi also desired Karana secretly. Mary, the disciple of Jesus, was a prostitute. She was turned into a saint by his contact. After the crucifixion, she was the first to whom Jesus gave darshan. Mary had cried a potful of tears for God. God judges the mind. They who cry for Him a potful of tears, them He lifts in His lap. Genuine tears for Him are needed.
M. -- The War of Kurukshetra was over. Dhritarashtra, Kunti and the Pandavas are sitting together. Gandhari is smitten by grief. Sri Krishna consoling her, says, `Devi give up your grief. Death will carry away all, sooner or later. Engage your mind in the meditation of the Self.'
In Kurukshetra, perhaps some twenty lakhs of people were killed. It happened in the distant past, so it does not touch the mind so much. But very recently, five lakhs of people died in Japan. In one stroke five lakhs! What a terrible thing for that country! Such a catastrophe had no parallel in the world. They know they have a volcano below. If they still choose to live there, they have to die.
If we had the sight to see from here, if we could see all, what a terrible shock it would have been. That He has not given. Man while living in this world giving his mind to enjoyments has grown powerless. To add to it, if he could see all this external distress, he would have no way out. `Uncle look after yourself.' That is why God did not grant us the sight to see distant things. But He can do anything. What would have been our condition, just imagine, on seeing the people of the earth smitten by grief at the loss of their children? Besides, there is grief of many kinds. Seeing them all what would have been our condition? Think only of your own affairs. They are quite enough.
``Thakur had said, `One day, I saw in dhyan a Himalayan high tower of dead bodies, and I was sitting in the midst of them.' In other words, the whole world is a cremation ground. Everybody has the impress of death fixed on his face. So the tower of death. If somebody were to think on just this picture and perform japa, he would attain perfection. But who has the awakening?
September 6, 1923 (A.D.),
20th of Bhadra, 1330 (Bengali Year),
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