Turiyananda and Sri Ramakrishna

Days in Dakshineswar

Swami Turiyananda

Ah, those days in Dakshineswar were as heaven itself! From morning until one o’clock in the afternoon everyone was busy picking flowers and making other preparations for worship, until the poor were fed. In the meantime, Sri Ramakrishna would discuss spiritual topics and the devotees listened to him attentively. Even his fun and jokes were related to God. pp 190/191There was no other subject. Everything culminated in his samadhi (transcendental state of consciousness). After lunch, Sri Ramakrishna would rest for a short period and speak again on spiritual matters. By the time he would go to Mother Kali’s temple and fan her a little to cool down. He would be so intoxicated and return to his room in ecstasy. He used to ask those of us who practiced spiritual disciplines under his guidance,

“Tell me, do you feel divine intoxication when you meditate in the morning and in the evening?”

At night Sri Ramakrishna slept very little. He got up and woke those who slept, saying

“Don’t sleep too much! Wake up and meditate!” Again he lay down for a while, then rose before dawn and called out the name of God, in his inimitable sweet voice. The disciples would sit down and meditate in their own way. From time to time the Master went to them and corrected their attitude.

Sri Ramakrishna used to say, “I can’t stand anyone calling me guru. It irritates me. Who is the guru? Only Satchidananda (God) is the guru.”

The external guru shows the path; the inner guru awakens the mind.

Ordinary men posing as gurus do not know this and ruin themselves by feeding their ego.

An hour of congregational spiritual singing together in the company of the Master would fill us with such exuberant joy that we felt transported, as it were, into an ethereal realm.

But now, not even meditation can evoke that heavenly bliss, or even a semblance of it. That happiness would stay with us continuously for a week. We used to feel drunk, although we didn’t know why or how. Who would believe us? It’s hard to convince anyone. Still, I must speak up. The common man seeks nirvana because he has suffered. But he does not know the immense joy in divine communion.

One day I arrived in Dakshineswar when the Master was eating. A number of bowls of various cooked puddings were placed in front of him. Someone would have considered this an unseemly luxury, fit only for a Rajastic (worldly) life. The Master directly said, “Well, the inclination of my mind is always towards the Infinite. It is by such rajastic means that I keep it down to the lower realms. Otherwise I could not talk to you.”

“How strange!” I said to myself when I heard him. “Others tried to attain sattva by overcoming rajas through strict discipline, or diet, while he has forcibly prevented his mind from rising to the sattvic (spiritual) level!”

Another day when I went to visit Sri Ramakrishna there were many other visitors. Among them was a great Vedantic scholar. The Master said to him, “Let us hear some Vedanta from you.” The scholar explained about Vedanta with great reverence for more than an hour. Sri Ramakrishna was very pleased. The people around were amazed at this, but after praising the scholar, the Master said: “As for me, I don’t like all those details. There is nothing but my Mother and I. For you, knowledge, knower, and known—-the meditator, meditation, and the object of meditation—–this kind of threefold division is very good But to me, “Mother and I—–that’s all and nothing otherwise.” This words. ‘Mother and I,’ were said in such a way that it made a very deep impression on those present. At that moment all ideas of Vedanta faded into insignificance. The Master’s “Mother and I” seemed easier, simpler, and more pleasing to the mind than the three divisions of Vedanta. I then realized that “Mother and me” was the ideal attitude to adopt.

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.