Tuesday, November 4, 2008

22. Sri Ramakrishna (SR) , continued ( fourth installment )......( afnta, afnta-questforallah, Allah, God, love for God, quest)

.He had to give up his sacred thread and the tuft of hair on his head. To avoid hurting the feeling of his mother, it was done in private. He performed the preliminary ceremonies.

Totapuri built a sacred fire on the auspicious day. Totapuri and SR sat before it. He sang the holy and profound mantras. Both performed the holy rites. SR took the vow of utter renunciation for God, a vow that has come unbroken from guru to disciple, from the beginning of time. His desire for enjoyment, here and hereafter, was the last to be burnt in that fire. SR received the ochre robe and loincloth from his guru (spiritual teacher). Totapuri began to teach:

"Brahman is the only Reality, ever pure, ever illumined, and ever free, beyond the limits of time, space or causation. Though apparently endowed with names and forms, through the inscrutable power of maya (illusion, created by Brahman), ……………, Brahman is really one and undivided……………………………."

Totapuri, then, asked SR to withdraw his mind inwards, and concentrate on the Absolute/Atman ; (Atman is the Self or Soul. According to Advaita Vedanta philosophy the Supreme Soul is one with the individual soul )

But the task was not easy even for SR. He found it impossible to take his mind beyond Kali, the Divine Mother. In his own words: " But in spite of all my attempts, I could not altogether cross the realm of name and form………I had no trouble in taking my mind from all the objects of the world. But the radiant and all too familiar figure of Blissful Mother would appear. She stood in my way. I said to Nangta (the naked one. Totapuri would often not wear his loincloth)’ it is hopeless’………".

How was this difficulty overcome?

"Totapuri cast his eyes around. Finding a piece of glass he took it up and stuck it between my eyebrows. 'Concentrate the mind on the point!' he thundered!

"I again sat to meditate. ……….this time I clove Her in two with the sword of discrimination. The last barrier fell. My spirit at once soared beyond the relative plane. I lost myself in Samadhi"

SR remained completely absorbed in Nirbikalpa Samadhi ( see footnote on 19 )for three days! Totapuri would come and go, and every time would find SR , motionless, like a statue.

"Is it true," Totapuri cried in astonishment." That he achieved in one day, what it took me forty years to attain?"

Totapuri , who never stayed in a place for more than three days, stayed in Dakshineswar for eleven month. During his stay, even he discovered a profound, new truth, about the mysteries of Absolute and its relationship with Kali. For fear of digression, this mote, will not discuss the lesson which Totapuri was taught by God.

To be continued.

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