Sunday, November 9, 2008

23 Sri Ramakrishna, continued (fifth installment).....( afnta, afnta-questforallah, Allah, God, love for God, quest)

Now SR wanted to be in nirvikalpa samadhi , all the time, and who would blame him. After the departure of Totapuri, nobody was there to distract him,SR went into nirvipalkpa Samadhi and stayed continuously in that state for six months. In his own words:” I was in that state for six months from which ordinary mortals never return: because for the body of one attaining to that state lives for twenty-one days only, and then the body falls like a dry leaf from tree.”……….Flies would enter his mouth and nostrils , like they do in a dead body.

A holy man took care of him during that time. To feed him ,he would arouse him by beating him with a stick. Then he became sick from dysentery. Constant abdominal pain brought his mind down to earth.

After his recovery, an inner calmness returned to him. He appeared normal and sought the company of holy men and scholars. He acquired great knowledge by listening to learned people. He did not and could not read books.

He had acquired closeness to God during Samadhi. He realized that since God is only one, other religions must believe the same God, though, through different names. He wanted to explore other religions. He practiced Islam under a Muslim guru, Govinda Roy, and, in 1866, realized God through Islam. He wanted to learn Christianity. In 1874, he began listening to the teaching of Bible. Soon he had a spiritual experience through a picture of Madonna with Child. Three days later he had the following experience:

He saw a man of fair complexion coming towards him. He knew that he was a foreigner. He saw that his long eyes gave wonderful beauty to his serene face. Tip of his nose was flat. He wondered who he was. A voice rang in his soul; " Behold Jesus Christ! The great Yogi, the loving Son of God, one with the Father, who gave his heart’s blood……to deliver man from sorrow and misery". Then Jesus embraced him and merged in him. Years later, he told his disciples, that the nose of Jesus, that he met, was not aquiline.

SR used to say," Let each man follow his own path. If he sincerely and ardently wishes to know God,…….he will surely realize Him."

His fame spread. When a lamp is lit, moths come, uninvited. People started to visit him. Articles about him appeared in the Calcutta press. Visitors would be struck by his holiness, his simple life style, his love for God, his profound spirituality, his encyclopedic knowledge of Hindu religion, and his samadhis. Many learned people declared him 'an incarnation of God’, just as Brahmini had done years ago.

Long time ago, he had come to know, through his supernatural powers, that one day he will have his own disciples. In his own word ," …. I would climb to the roof of the kuthi (house) in the garden, and writhing with anguish of heart, cry at the top of my voice ’ come my children! Oh where are you all’…”

To be continued

No comments: