Sri Ramakrishna’s love for Narendra

In telling the story of Naren (Swami Vivekananda) who first came to him, the Master said, “When I saw this boy enter the room, I thought, ‘Can such a boy come from Calcutta where everything is rajasic? ( extremely active )?’

I could see that three quarters of his mind was turned inward and he was doing all these outer things with only the other quarter.

(During Naren’s second visit to Dakshineswar)

When Naren had sat down, Sri Ramakrishna bowed and touched his heart. Naren told me afterwards: “The walls of the room began to recede and disappear. Then the river and all of Calcutta disappeared. The floor of the room seemed to sink into the earth, until at last I seemed to be in a solid vacuum where there was nothing but this brahmin (Sri Ramakrishna) standing before me.”  This is how he told it.   But the Master, speaking of it later, said that when he felt that all this was happening. Naren exclaimed, “What are you doing? I have my mother, my brothers to take care of.’

One time Keshab staged a drama and Naren was assigned the role of sannyasin (monk). The Master expressed his great satisfaction when he heard of it and insisted that he be taken to the drama. Naren performed his task most creditably, and after the play was over the Master caused him to be brought out into the hall so that he might see him again in the orange robe (gerua). It seemed to give him the greatest pleasure to see him dressed like a sannyasin.

From the beginning, Sri Ramakrishna’s love for Narendra was boundless.

When Naren did not come to the temple for a while, the Master became so restless that he even cried.  Once he kept running to the Ganga side of his room, then to the side of the road, to see if Naren was coming. Finally he told me to arrange a carriage. I ran two miles to get one, and together we drove to the house. from Naren. We found him in his dingy room on the ground floor. “Why have you come?” he asked with obvious annoyance upon seeing the Master. “What will my family think if they see a sadhu coming towards me like that?”
In reality, however, he was annoyed that the Master paid him so much honor.
Sri Ramakrishna used to explain that among his disciples there were some who were his antaranga—that is, his inner circle—that they would always go with him when he incarnated. These were Narendra, Rakhal, Baburam and Niranjan. He always predicted that Niranjan wouldn’t outlive him for long, and he didn’t. Of this antaranga he said that Naren would understand him most fully.
However, this insight did not come all at once. Doubts of the Master arose again and again, and Naren would shed bitter tears over his lack of faith. Instead of reproaching him, Sri Ramakrishna wept along with him and tried to comfort him. Even at the end, just a short time before the Master left his physical body, it reappeared, but found no expression. However, the Master caught his thoughts and he repeated three times with great emphasis: ‘He who was Rama, he who was Krishna, is now Ramakrishna.
While Naren was still studying, he studied all day, and spent the night in meditation. This constant use of the brain caused severe pain in his head, causing him to roll over and over on his bed for days. When he heard about it, the Master came to the house of a devotee nearby and sent for him. “But he can’t get up from his bed,” one explained. “Tell. him. He will come,” He will come,” answered the Master. Naren came, and as he sat down with the Master, he stroked his head lovingly through his hair and said, “Why, my boy, what’s going on? You have a headache, don’t you?” Naren said that immediately all the pain left him.

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.