Sri Ramakrishna as they saw Him
[Selections from the book by Swami Chetanananda with translation by]
SCROLL NAAR BENEDEN VOOR DE NEDERLANDSE VERSIE
Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902) met Sri Ramakrishna in 1881 when he was a student at the university, and during that time had very close contact with the Master for the next five years. As the Master’s principal disciple, his life was closely linked to the later part of the Master’s life. Thus, Swami Vivekananda’s memories are scattered throughout his biography. In 1893 he brought the message of Vedanta to the West, and in 1897 he founded the Ramakrishna Mission.
THE EXPERIENCE OF COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS
Knowing Naren’s inner nature, Sri Ramakrishna instructed him in the monostic Vedanta, which teaches that the individual soul and Brahman are identical. One day Naren Hazra told about the Vedantic non-duality, and his reluctance to accept it. “Could it be, he said, that the water pot is God, that the water jug is God, that all we see and we are all God?” Naren laughed scornfully at the idea and Hazra joined in. While they were laughing, Ramakrishna approached them. “What are you talking about?” He asked naren lovingly; then without waiting for the answer, he touched Naren and entered samadhi. Naren related the effect of the touch:
After the Master’s formidable touch, my thoughts underwent a complete revolution. I was baffled to realize that there was really nothing in the entire universe but God. I remained silent, wondering how long this state of mind would last. It did not pass all day long. I went back home and I felt exactly the same, all I saw was God. I sat down to eat, and I saw all of that —- the plate, the food, my mother serving it, and myself — everything was God and none other than God. I swallowed a few bites and then sat still without speaking. My mother lovingly asked me, “Why are you so quiet? Why aren’t you eating?” This brought me back to everyday consciousness, and I started eating again. But from then on, I continued to have the same experience no matter what I did – eating, drinking, sitting, lying down, going to college, or strolling the street. It was kind of an intoxication; I can’t describe it. When I crossed the street and saw a carriage approaching me, I didn’t have the drive, as I normally would, to avoid it, for fear of being run over. For I see to myself, “I am that carriage. During that time I had no feeling in my hands and feet. When I ate food, I felt no satisfaction from it. It was like someone else was eating. Sometimes I went in the middle of a meal, and then I got up again and continued to eat. So it happened that on those days I ate a lot more than usual, but that never upset me. My mother got worried, she thought I was having a terrible sickness, “He won’t live long,” she said.
When the first intoxication lost some of its power, I began to see the world as if it were a dream. When I went out for a walk around Cornwallis Square (now Azadhind Bag) I tapped my head against an iron railing to find out if they were just dream railings or real ones. The loss of feeling in my hands and feet made me feel paralyzed. When I finally returned to normal consciousness, I was palpably convinced that the state I was in was a revelation of a non-dual experience. So then I knew that what is written in the scriptures about these experiences is all true.
DE ERVARING VAN COSMISCH BEWUSTZIJN
DAGEN VAN EXSTASE IN DAKSHINESWAR
is a Vedantist since three decades. Her life is 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.