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Some Glimpses of Ramakrishna-Part III
Courtesy: The Vedanta Kesary, English monthly from R K Math, Chennai
Continued From The Second Part
Those who have never visited Kamarpukur, the birthplace of the Master, are curious to know where Ramakrishna lived. Swami Saradananda described in detail the parental home of the Master in 'Sri Ramakrishna and His Divine Play'. In Kamarpukur the Master's room is 12'10" x 8'10"; it has one door and one window. It is a thatched hut, and the floor and walls are made of mud. It has been preserved as it was during the time of the Master.
The Master would generally leave Dakshineswar and go to Kamarpukur during the rainy season, because at that time the Ganges water was salty and not good for his stomach. Mathur would send money to meet the Master's expenses. Every day the Master would sit on the veranda of the Yogi Shiva temple and meet the villagers. He would inquire about their families and inspire them by talking about God. He was very fond of jilipis, which he would eat with puffed rice for breakfast.
Holy Mother finished her housework and then went to the bedroom, but she found no one in bed. Instead of the Master, she saw a blazing light....
Swami Subodhananda recalled:
'The Master married when he was twenty-four. Most of the time he was in a God-intoxicated mood and people considered him to be mad. One day he went to his father-in-law's house in Jayrambati. It is said that he went close to the house and then sat down outside of it. A passing villager thought he was insane. Later, the Holy Mother and others brought him into the house. After dinner the Master went to bed. Holy Mother finished her housework and then went to the bedroom, but she found no one in bed. Instead of the Master, she saw a blazing light. Holy Mother stood there with folded hands. When the sun rose, the Master emerged from that light and said to the Holy Mother, "You have appeared in this form—very good." Saying this, the Master bowed down to her. When she was eighteen, the Master worshipped her as the goddess Shodashi.'
The Master in Calcutta
In 1850 Ramkumar, Ramakrishna's elder brother, opened a Sanskrit school in the Jhamapukur area of Calcutta. He rented a cheap room with a tiled roof in a slum on Bechu Chatterjee Street and brought the Master there in 1852. The Master lived there for three years. As the Master was averse to a bread-winning education, Ramkumar engaged him in performing rituals in the homes of some of his clients. After performing worship, the Master would get some fruits and sweets, which he tied in a thin towel.
On the way home he would sit in the shop of Nakur Bostom, a neighbour from his village. Nakur was a devout Vaishnava and was very fond of the Master. This shop was located close to M.'s house. Nakur later told M.:
'Whenever the local people requested the young Master to sing some devotional songs, he would sing forgetting everything. Meanwhile, some young kids would unfold the Master's towel and eat those offered articles. But the Master would not get upset at all. He would smile and carry the towel home.'
This slum does not exist anymore. Every afternoon the Master would sit in front of the Thanthania Kali temple, which still exists as it was.
The human mind is the fastest vehicle in the world. One can visit any place one likes through the mind. M. described an incident that took place one day when he was with the Master:
'One day a man was showing pictures through a magic lantern on a sidewalk in Calcutta. He was shouting, "Come, see Haridwar; see Badrika"—two famous holy places in the Himalayas. The Master was curious to see that show. He peeped into the box and seeing Badri Narayan, the deity of the Badri temple, he went into samadhi. After a while when he regained outer consciousness, he asked a devotee, "Please give this man something." The devotee paid six pice to that man. When the Master heard the amount the devotee had given, he said: "What! This man showed us Badri Narayan, and you have given so little! He should be given one rupee."
The Master was not a human being. Wherever his mind was focussed he would experience God. His mind was like a dry matchstick, which could ignite by the slightest friction. Minds soaked in worldliness are like damp matchsticks. One may rub them a thousand times against the matchbox, but still they won't ignite.'
To be continued