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November 2019

How Sri Ramakrishna Influenced Keshab  Chandra Sen

Max Muller

 

When the rose is blown, and sheds its fragrance all around, the bees come of themselves. The bees seek the full-blown rose, and not the rose the bees.’ This saying of Sri Ramakrishna has been verified often and often in his own life. Numbers of earnest men, of all sects and creeds, began to flock to him to receive instruction and to drink the waters of life. From day-dawn to night-fall he had no leisure to eat or drink, so engaged was he in teaching, exhorting, and ministering to the wants of these hungry and thirsty millions. Men possessed of wonderful Yoga powers and great learning came to learn from this illiterate Paramahamsa of Dakshineswara, and in their turn acknowledged him as their spiritual director (Guru), touched as they were by the wonderful purity, the childlike simplicity, the perfect unselfishness, and by the simple language in which he propounded the highest truths of religion and philosophy.

But the people of Calcutta knew him not till Babu Keshub Chunder Sen went to him and wrote about him. Ramakrishna’s interview with Keshub was brought about in this way. It was in the year 1866 that Keshub was leading a life of prayer and seclusion in a garden house at Belgharia, about two miles from the temple of Dakshineswara. Ramakrishna heard of him, and went to see him. Keshub was so much impressed with the simple words, full of the highest knowledge, the wonderful love of God, and the deep trances of Sri Ramakrishna, that he began to come often and often to him. He would sit for hours at the feet of Ramakrishna and listen with rapture to the wonderful sayings on religion of that wonderful man. From time to time Ramakrishna would be lost in a deep Samadhi, and Keshub would gently touch his feet that he might thereby be purified. Sometimes he would invite the Paramahamsa to his house, or would take him in a boat and proceed a few miles up and down the river. He then used to question him on some points of religion to clear away his own doubts. A strong and deep love grew up between the two, and Keshub’s whole life became changed, till, a few years later, he proclaimed his views of religion as the New Dispensation, which was nothing but a partial representation of the truths which Ramakrishna had taught for a long time..

[p.55]