Such was my Master

    Turiyananda on His Master

    These are Swami Turiyanandaji’s words about his Master, Sri Ramakrishna.

    Can God be reached by a little cursory study or meditation? One must have an intense desire for the Lord. Life must seem unbearable without seeing him. Sri Ramakrishna told us, “Because I had that desire, the Divine Mother took care of all my needs and provided for the Kali temple and Mathur Babu . Mathur Babu [Mathur Nath Biswas] was Rani Rasmani’s son-in-law. He was a great devotee who provided for Sri Ramakrishna’s needs and served the Master.] The heart must burst with the longing for God. Then everything is achieved.

    The practice of excessive bodily mortification and harming the body in any way stems from tamas (illusion). People may point out that Sri Ramakrishna rubbed his face against the ground, humiliating the body, but he was in an ecstatic state at that time. His longing for God was so intense that he completely forgot about the world and his ego.

    When I meditated in the presence of the Master, I felt a sensation in my spine and energy rising. The body was like a desert.  Then the Master gave me the holy name of God, and by the power the desert turned into a beautiful flower garden. My life had been aimless before, but after receiving the Guru’s touch (Satsanga) I reached my life’s ideal.

    Sri Ramakrishna used to say, “Mother, may these children of mine surpass me in spirituality.” There is a saying, “Welcome defeat at the hands of the son or disciple.”

    I have meditated much on the teachings of the Gita, which contains the essence of all scriptures. Sri Ramakrishna said that I was a monk according to the precepts of the Gita. Sri Ramakrishna said that a person’s physiognomy was the index of his character. He examined us thoroughly, with the proportion of our limbs and weighed our hands. He could easily deduce a person’s nature from his physical characteristics. He had a way of grading aspirants, but there was room for everyone.

    Sri Ramakrishna used to say, “A fingerprint is clear when the ink is right, but if the ink is bad, the impression is also bad. Spiritual instructions make a lasting impression on the mind that has discernment and renunciation, but when it lacks is , the impression produced is comparatively small.”

    The Master did not like a fake happy attitude. He used to say of Swamiji, “See what a heroic temper he has! Once he sets his mind to something, he puts his heart and soul into it.”  Conditions may or may not be favorable, but who cares? We must exert all the nervous forces to achieve what we want to do. If one is determined to do it at any cost, one will find that great obstacles, which seemed overwhelming, turn out to be a great help in the end. But one must be honest in one’s struggle.

    We will have to apply our mind ourselves. Others cannot do it for us. Sri Ramakrishna said over and over again, “You have to try a little. Only then will the guru reveal the Truth.” Let me tell you from our experience that if someone takes a single step towards God, God takes ten steps towards him. This is our personal experience. If we don’t make an effort, no one can do anything for us.

    collected and presented by

    Mary Saaleman

    Mary Saaleman

    is a Vedantist since three decades. She dedicates herself to Mother, Ramakrishna and Swamiji. She is a student of the lives of the Master,  Mother and Swamiji and the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna.

    is een vedantist sinds drie decennia. Haar leven is Moeder, Ramakrishna en Swamiji. Ze bestudeert de levens van de Meester, Moeder en Swamiji en het evangelie van Sri Ramakrishna.