Self-Revelation of the Incarnation
The devotees silently watched the figure of Sri Ramakrishna motionless in samadhi. A few minutes before there had been so much laughter in the room; now there was deep silence, as if no one were there. The Master sat with folded hands as in his photograph.
After a short while his mind began to come down to the relative plane. He heaved a long sigh and became aware of the outer world. He looked at the devotees and began to talk with them of their spiritual progress.
MASTER (to the younger Naren): “I have been eager to see you. You will succeed. Come here once in a while. Well, which do you prefer — jnana or bhakti?”
THE YOUNGER NAREN: “Pure bhakti.”
MASTER: “But how can you love someone unless you know him? (Pointing to M., with a smile) How can you love him unless you know him? (To M.) Since a pure-souled person has asked for pure bhakti, it must have some meaning.
“One does not seek bhakti of one’s own accord without inborn tendencies. This is the characteristic of prema-bhakti. There is another kind of bhakti, called jnana-bhakti, which is love of God based on reasoning.’
MASTER (to Paltu): “You will succeed, too, but it will take a little time.”
(To Baburam) “Why don’t I attract you to me? It is just to avoid trouble.”
(To Mohinimohan) “As for you, you are all right. There is a little yet to be done. When that is achieved, nothing will remain — neither duty nor work nor the world itself. Is it good to get rid of everything?”
As Sri Ramakrishna spoke these words he looked at Mohini affectionately, as if scanning his inmost feelings. Was Mohini really wondering whether it would be wise to renounce all for God? After a while Sri Ramakrishna said, “God binds the Bhagavata pundit to the world with one tie; otherwise, who would remain to explain the sacred book? He keeps the pundit bound for the good of men. That is why the Divine Mother has kept you in the world.”
Now Sri Ramakrishna spoke to the young brahmin.
MASTER: “Give up knowledge and reasoning; accept bhakti. Bhakti alone is the essence. Is this the third day of your stay here?”
BRAHMIN (with folded hands): “Yes, sir.”
MASTER: “Have faith. Depend on God. Then you will not have to do anything yourself. Mother Kali will do everything for you.
“Jnana goes as far as the outer court, but bhakti can enter the inner court. The Pure Self is unattached. Both vidya and avidya are in It, but It is unattached. Sometimes there is a good and sometimes a bad smell in the air, but the air itself is unaffected.
“Once Vyasadeva was about to cross the Jamuna. The gopis also were there. They wanted to go to the other side of the river to sell curd, milk, and cream. But there was no ferry at that time. They were all worried about how to cross the river, when Vyasa said to them, ‘I am very hungry.’ The milkmaids fed him with milk and cream. He finished almost all their food. Then Vyasa said to the river, ‘O Jamuna, if I have not eaten anything, then your waters will part and we shall walk through.’ It so happened. The river parted and a pathway was formed between the waters. Following that path, the gopis and Vyasa crossed the river. Vyasa had said, ‘If I have not eaten anything’. That means, the real man is Pure Atman. Atman is unattached and beyond Prakriti. It has neither hunger nor thirst; It knows neither birth nor death; It does not age, nor does It die. It is immutable as Mount Sumeru.
“He who has attained this Knowledge of Brahman is a jivanmukta, liberated while living in the body. He rightly understands that the Atman and the body are two separate things. After realizing God one does not identify the Atman with the body. These two are separate, like the kernel and the shell of the coconut when its milk dries up. The Atman moves, as it were, within the body. When the ‘milk’ of worldly-mindedness has dried up, one gets Self-Knowledge. Then one feels that Atman and body are two separate things. The kernel of a green almond or betel-nut cannot be separated from the shell; but when they are ripe the juice dries up and the kernel separates from the shell. After the attainment of the Knowledge of Brahman, the ‘milk’ of worldly-mindedness dries up.
“But it is extremely difficult to attain the Knowledge of Brahman. One doesn’t get it by merely talking about it. Some people feign it. (Smiling) There was a man who was a great liar; but, on the other hand, he used to say he had the Knowledge of Brahman. When someone took him to task for telling lies, he said: ‘Why, this world is truly like a dream. If everything is unreal, then can truth itself be rea1? Truth is as unreal as falsehood.'” (All laugh.)
Sri Ramakrishna sat with the devotees on the mat on the floor. He was smiling. He said to the devotees, “Please stroke my feet gently.” They carried out his request. He said to M:, “There is great significance in this.” (The stroking of his feet) Placing his hand on his heart, the Master said, “If there is anything here, then through this service the ignorance and illusion of the devotees will be completely destroyed.”
Suddenly Sri Ramakrishna became serious, as if about to reveal a secret.
MASTER (to M.): “There is no outsider here. The other day, when Harish was with me, I saw Satchidananda come out of this sheath. (Sri Ramakrishna’s body.) It said ‘I incarnate Myself in every age.’ I thought that I myself was saying these words out of mere fancy. I kept quiet and watched. Again Satchidananda Itself spoke, saying, ‘Chaitanya, too, worshipped Sakti.'”
The devotees listened to these words in amazement. Some wondered whether God Himself was seated before them in the form of Sri Ramakrishna. The Master paused a moment. Then he said, addressing M., “I saw that it is the fullest manifestation of Satchidananda; but this time the Divine Power is manifested through the glory of sattva.”
The devotees sat spellbound.
MASTER (to M.): “Just now I was saying to the Mother, ‘I cannot talk much.’ I also said to Her, ‘May people’s inner consciousness be awakened by only one touch!’ You see, such is the power of Yogamaya that She can cast a spell. She did so at Vrindavan. That is why Subol (One of the companions of Sri Krishna.) was able to unite Sri Krishna and Radhika. Yogamaya, the Primal Power, has a power of attraction. I applied that power myself.