Sri Ramakrishna in Deoghar
In 1868 , Mathur Nath Biswas and his wife arranged for a pilgrimage to Northern India and wanted Sri Ramakrishna to accompany them. At their earnest request the Master consented to be one of the party. They started on 27 January, and halted for a few days at Deoghar to visit the shrine of Vaidyanath. Here an interesting thing happened.
One day while passing through a neighbouring village Sri Ramakrishna was greatly distressed to see the wretched condition of its people. Moved with sympathy for them, he said to Mathur, ‘You are the steward of the Mother. Feed these poor people and give every one a piece of cloth’. Mathur at first hesitated saying, ‘This pilgrimage will cost a lot of money, and these people are very numerous. We may be short of funds on the journey if we try to feed and clothe them. So what do you say to this, father?’
But Sri Ramakrishna was inexorable. He shed tears at the sight of such abject misery and said in anguish: ‘Fie upon you! I am not going to Varanasi. I prefer to remain with these helpless people.’ Like a petulant child he left Mathur’s company and sat with the poor villagers. At the sight of his compassion, Mathur was much moved; and he ordered bales of cloth from Calcutta to distribute among them, and fed them as well.
Sri Ramakrishna then cheerfully started for Varanasi. As he approached Varanasi by boat across the Ganga, the City of Shiva appeared to him to be made of gold-‘a condensed mass of spirituality.’
It seemed as if the precious thoughts of countless monks and devotees had accumulated there, making the place an abode of the gods. Sri
Ramakrishna used to visit the shrine of Vishwanatha, the presiding Deity of the place, almost daily. He would fall into a trance even on the way, as well as in the presence of the Deity. He also went to visit the noted monks of Varanasi.
One day he paid a visit to the famous Trailanga Swami, who was then under a vow of silence. The Swami beckoned him to take seat and held out his snuff-box to him as a
mark of welcome. Sri Ramakrishna asked him some questions, which the Swami replied by gestures.
Trailanga Swami was then constructing a bathing ghat. At the instance of Sri Ramakrishna, one of his attendants dug a few spadefuls of earth for the work, which pleased the Swami greatly. The Master invited him one day to the home of Mathur and entertained him with great respect. After about a week’s stay at Varanasi the party moved on to Allahabad, where all bathed in the sacred confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna. After three days the party returned to Varanasi. At the end of a fortnight the Master and his party went to Vrindaban.
During his stay there Sri Ramakrishna was always in high spirits. This sacred place, rich in the countless sweet memories of Sri Krishna, constantly filled his heart with unspeakable emotion. Even the slightest suggestion was enough to plunge him into an ecstasy of delight. It was with great difficulty that he could manage to keep his feelings under control. Sometimes they would break all barriers and throw him into deep and prolonged trances.
The life and teaching of an avatara are non-different. Every single, simple incident in the lives of the incarnations are messages for the world–they are the standards which humanity shall follow. Incidents in the lives of great masters have deep meaning and significance. Even after thousands of years, every Hindu home respectfully studies the lives of Sri Rama and Mother Sita, the life of Sri Krishna, and so on.
The Holy Trio, Sri Ramakrishna, Mother and Swamiji, have come for the good of the whole world for all time. Simple incidents from their lives are pathfinders.
Mrs Devika Sharma shall bring us an incident to enrich our lives every month.
Mrs Devika Sharma
is the Contributing Editor of this Page