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The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna : 21.

ISLAM :


Toward the end of 1866 he began to practise the disciplines of Islam. Under the direction of his Mussalman guru he abandoned himself to his new sadhana. He dressed as a Mussalman and repeated the name of Allah. 


His prayers took the form of the Islamic devotions. He forgot the Hindu gods and goddesses — even Kali — and gave up visiting the temples. He took up his residence outside the temple precincts. 

After three days he saw the vision of a radiant figure, perhaps Mohammed. This figure gently approached him and finally lost himself in Sri Rarnakrishna. Thus he realized the Mussalman God. 

Thence he passed into communion with Brahman. The mighty river of Islam also led him back to the Ocean of the Absolute.



CHRISTIANITY :



Eight years later, some time in November 1874, Sri Ramakrishna was seized with an irresistible desire to learn the truth of the Christian religion.

 He began to listen to readings from the Bible, by Sambhu Charan Mallick, a gentleman of Calcutta and a devotee of th…

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna :20. :

COMPANY OF HOLY MEN AND DEVOTEES :



From now on Sri Ramakrishna began to seek the company of devotees and holy men. He had gone through the storm and stress of spiritual disciplines and visions. Now he realized an inner calmness and appeared to others as a normal person. But he could not bear the company of worldly people or listen to their talk. Fortunately the holy atmosphere of Dakshineswar and the liberality of Mathur attracted monks and holy men from all parts of the country. Sadhus of all denominations — monists and dualists, Vaishnavas and Vedantists, Saktas and worshippers of Rama — flocked there in ever increasing numbers. Ascetics and visionaries came to seek Sri Ramakrishna's advice. Vaishnavas had come during the period of his Vaishnava sadhana, and Tantriks when he practised the disciplines of Tantra. Vedantists began to arrive after the departure of Totapuri. In the room of Sri Ramakrishna, who was then in bed with dysentery, the Vedantists engaged in scriptural discus…

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna :19.

TOTAPURI'S LESSON




From Sri Ramakrishna Totapuri had to learn the significance of Kali, the Great Fact of the relative world, and of maya, Her indescribable Power.




One day, when guru and disciple were engaged in an animated discussion about Vedanta, a servant of the temple garden came there and took a coal from the sacred fire that had been lighted by the great ascetic. He wanted it to light his tobacco. Totapuri flew into a rage and was about to beat the man. Sri Ramakrishna rocked with laughter. "What a shame!" he cried. "You are explaining to me the reality of Brahman and the illusoriness of the world; yet now you have so far forgotten yourself as to be about to beat a man in a fit of passion. The power of maya is indeed inscrutable!" Totapuri was embarrassed.




About this time Totapuri was suddenly laid up with a severe attack of dysentery. On account of this miserable illness he found it impossible to meditate. One night the pain became excruciating. He could no…

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna :18.

KALI AND MAYA


Sri Ramakrishna, on the other hand, though fully aware, like his guru, that the world is an illusory appearance, instead of slighting maya, like an orthodox monist, acknowledged its power in the relative life. He was all love and reverence for maya, perceiving in it a mysterious and majestic expression of Divinity. To him maya itself was God, for everything was God. It was one of the faces of Brahman. What he had realized on the heights of the transcendental plane, he also found here below, everywhere about him, under the mysterious garb of names and forms. And this garb was a perfectly transparent sheath, through which he recognized the glory of the Divine Immanence. Maya, the mighty weaver of the garb, is none other than Kali, the Divine Mother. She is the primordial Divine Energy, Sakti, and She can no more be distinguished from the Supreme Brahman than can the power of burning be distinguished from fire. She projects the world and again withdraws it. She spins it as t…

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna : 17.

TOTAPURI


Totapuri arrived at the Dakshineswar temple garden toward the end of 1864. Perhaps born in the Punjab, he was the head of a monastery in that province of India and claimed leadership of seven hundred sannyasis. Trained from early youth in the disciplines of the Advaita Vedanta, he looked upon the world as an illusion. The gods and goddesses of the dualistic worship were to him mere fantasies of the deluded mind. Prayers, ceremonies, rites, and rituals had nothing to do with true religion, and about these he was utterly indifferent. Exercising self-exertion and unshakable will-power, he had liberated himself from attachment to the sense-objects of the relative universe. For forty years he had practised austere discipline on the bank of the sacred Narmada and had finally realized his identity with the Absolute. Thenceforward he roamed in the world as an unfettered soul, a lion free from the cage. Clad in a loin-cloth, he spent his days under the canopy of the sky alike in storm …

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna : 16.

VEDANTA :



The Brahmani was the enthusiastic teacher and astonished beholder of Sri Ramakrishna in his spiritual progress. She became proud of the achievements of her unique pupil. But the pupil himself was not permitted to rest; his destiny beckoned him forward. His Divine Mother would allow him no respite till he had left behind the entire realm of duality with its visions, experiences, and ecstatic dreams. But for the new ascent the old tender guides would not suffice. The Brahmani, on whom he had depended for, three years, saw her son escape from her to follow the command of a teacher with masculine strength, a sterner mien, a gnarled physique, and a virile voice. The new guru was a wandering monk, the sturdy Totapuri, whom Sri Ramakrishna learnt to address affectionately as Nangta, the "Naked One", because of his total renunciation of all earthly objects and attachments, including even a piece of wearing cloth.



 Totapuri was the bearer of a philosophy new to Sri Ramakrishn…

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna : 15. :

IN COMMUNION WITH THE DIVINE BELOVED :



Sri Ramakrishna now devoted himself to scaling the most inaccessible and dizzy heights of dualistic worship, namely, the complete union with Sri Krishna as the Beloved of the heart. He regarded himself as one of the gopis of Vrindavan, mad with longing for her divine Sweetheart. At his request Mathur provided him with woman's dress and jewelry. In this love-pursuit, food and drink were forgotten. Day and night he wept bitterly. The yearning turned into a mad frenzy; for the divine Krishna began to play with him the old tricks He had played with the gopis. He would tease and taunt, now and then revealing Himself, but always keeping at a distance. Sri Ramakrishna's anguish brought on a return of the old physical symptoms: the burning sensation, an oozing of blood through the pores, a loosening of the joints, and the stopping of physiological functions.


 The Vaishnava scriptures advise one to propitiate Radha and obtain her grace in order to r…