The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna-1

Chapter 52

AFTER THE PASSING AWAY

SRI RAMAKRISHNA passed away on Sunday, August 15, 1886, plunging his devotees and disciples into a sea of grief. They were like men in a shipwreck. But a strong bond of love held them together, and they found assurance and courage in each other’s company. They could not enjoy the friendship of worldly people and would talk only of their Master. “Shall we not behold him again?” -this was the one theme of their thought and the one dream of their sleep. Alone, they wept for him; walking in the streets of Calcutta, they were engrossed in the thought of him. The Master had once said to M., “It becomes difficult for me to give up the body, when I realize that after my death you will wander about weeping for me.” Some of them thought : “He is no longer in this world. How surprising that we still enjoy living! We could give up our bodies if we liked, but still we do not.” Time and again Sri Ramakrishna had told them that God reveals Himself to His devotees if they yearn for Him and call on Him with whole-souled devotion. He had assured them that God listens to the prayer of a sincere heart. 

The young unmarried disciples of the Master, who belonged to his inner circle, had attended on him day and night at the Cossipore garden house. After his passing away most of them returned to their families against their own wills. They had not yet formally renounced the world. For a short while they kept their family names. But Sri Ramakrishna had made them renounce the world mentally. He himself had initiated several of them into the monastic life, giving them the ochre cloths of sannyāsis.

Baranagore Monastery

Two or three of the Master’s attendants had no place to go. To them the large-hearted Surendra said: “Brothers, where will you go? Let us rent a house. You will live there and make it our Master’s shrine; and we house-holders shall come there for consolation. How can we pass all our days and nights with our wives and children in the world? I used to spend a sum of money for the Master at Cossipore. I shall gladly give it now for your expenses.” Accordingly he rented a house for them at Baranagore, in the suburbs of Calcutta, and this place became gradually transformed into  Math, or, monastery.

For the first few months Surendra contributed thirty rupees a month. As the other members joined the monastery one by one, he doubled his contribution, which he later increased to a hundred rupees. The monthly rent for the house was eleven rupees. The cook received six rupees a month. The rest was spent for food.

First members

The younger Gopal brought the Master’s bed and other articles of daily use from the garden house at Cossipore. The brahmin who had been a cook at Cossipore was engaged for the new monastery. The first permanent member was the elder Gopal. Sarat spent the nights there. In the beginning Sarat, Śaśi, Baburam, Niranjan, and Kāli used to visit the monastery every now and then, according to their convenience. Tārak, who had gone to Vrindāvan following the Master’s death, returned to Calcutta after a few months and soon became a permanent member of the monastery. Rākhāl , Jogin, Lātu, and Kāli were living at Vrindāvan with the Holy Mother when the monastery was started. Kāli returned to Calcutta within a month, Rākhāl  after a few months, and Jogin and Lātu after a year. The householder devotees frequently visited the monastic brothers and spent hours with them in meditation and study.

After a short time Narendra, Rākhāl , Niranjan, Sarat, Śaśi, Baburam, Jogin, Tārak, Kāli, and Lātu renounced the world for good. Sarada Prasanna and Subodh joined them some time later. Gangadhar, who was very much attached to Narendra, visited the Math regularly. It was he who taught the brothers the hymn sung at the evening service in the Śiva temple at Benares. He had gone to Tibet to practise austerity; now, having returned, he lived at the monastery. Hari and Tulasi, at first only visitors at the monastery, soon embraced the monastic life and thus completed the list of the Master’s sannyāsi disciples.

Om Namah Shivay

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To be Hindu is Not Communal-1

Hindu disunity has always been the delight of its enemies, and often, it would appear of itself. Our history has been cruel to us, but by and large, our failures and our defeats are directly attributable to the disunity and treachery within ourselves. Start from Alexander’s victory and King Ambhi, to Jaichand and Ghori, Jagat Seth and Clive, Rani Laxmi Bai and the Scindias. The list can go on. And judging from the discourse and debates that abound at ever so many think festivals and think tanks about where our country is heading, we do not seem to be even reflecting upon our historical failures, leave alone learning from them.

It is a fallacy and an error of law to proceed on the assumption; that the use of words Hindutva or Hinduism per se depicts an attitude hostile to all persons practising any religion other than the Hindu religion. And when we speak about “us” in our country, we refer to Hindus 80.5%, Muslims 13.4%, Christians 2.3%, Sikhs 1.9%, Buddhists, Jains and other religions at 0.8%, 0.4% and 0.6% (Census 2011). So whether the contemporary, cultivated brand of neo secularists (mostly those who get fellowships in foreign universities, and believe they iconise themselves by lambasting anything Hindu), like it or not, when we speak of “us”; in India, the statistics are clear. But the moment this fact that the land of India is inhabited by 80% Hindus is articulated in any national discourse as to how the future of our country should proceed, the Goebellesian metaphor branding them as “communal forces” is whipped out. No effective counter is made, and the metaphor becomes stronger. One of the most successful achievements of the decade long UPA government kept the Hindu majority of our country on a complete back foot, putting them on a silent guilt trip of being Hindus, and stripping them of public self esteem, dare they announce to anyone in public that they are Hindus, and that their interest should also be protected. Being a Hindu is something that should remain unstated, because stating it aloud is equivalent of being “communal”, is the unwritten script that the UPA government has been insidiously implanting in our population. And they seem to have succeeded. I am pained to say that a very eminent television personality, winced uncomfortably on a programme when asked what his religion was. He did not answer, more for lack of courage, I believe, rather than any conviction, even though his name not only stated his religion, but also his region. Obviously, this was a result of the fear psychosis that a tag of communalism would get stuck the minute there was a public admission of being a Hindu.

This has been a well orchestrated, concerted strategy of the UPA. Hindus as a group or race, or whatever you might want to call them, that inhabited the land beyond the Sindhu, still carry deep trauma and stigma of their defeat and failure of not being able to defend their homeland from the Muslim invaders who started descending in waves from the Hindukush, and from the sea in Sindh. They were defeated, lost their kingdoms, faced death, destruction and pillage, and finally became subjects of the foreign victors for about 500 years. And it must be remembered that it was not only political, but also religious domination that formed the foundation of Muslim rule in Hindustan. This burden of history is deeply rooted in our collective psyche, reminding us that Hindustan, as the foreign victors called us, was a country of losers. It remains buried and unspoken, even today, in any discourse on the subject. But it is at the back of everyone’s mind, tormenting us, and preventing us from developing really constructive, not just cosmetic relations, with the Muslims who chose to remain in independent India. This is something that Hindus must come to terms with, if they want to decide upon the future direction of our country in a harmonious, inclusive manner. And this can best be done through a frank, mature and responsible discussion of history that cannot be wished away or buried.

Yet, the greatest unsolved puzzle remains: Why did India, unlike other lands where Muslim conquest completely Islamised the conquered peoples, defy Islamisation? There was the intent and brute force of the conquerors, religious cleansing and genocide, conversions, jazya, but everything failed, and the bulk of the population remained unconverted. The 1901 census of undivided India records 194 million Hindus and 29.86 Muslims. There are many theories put forth regarding the jihad fatigue, but none really answers the core question. Obviously something about the medieval jihad strategy failed to click in our country, despite political domination.

Om Namah Shivay

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Meditation is letting go of anger

Q: Why are people today becoming spiritual and political also?

Guruji: If people are becoming more spiritual, then that is a good thing. When there are so many problems happening in the society today, then the good and spiritual people have to step in and take up political roles also. Both are needed.

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Meditation is letting go of anger from the past and all the planning for the future. Meditation is accepting this moment and living every moment totally with depth. Just this understanding, and a few days of continuous practice of meditation can change the quality of our life.

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Q: Even after meeting you why do people continue to behave rudely and in a jealous manner? What is the reason?

Guruji: I would advise you not to worry about others.

Just imagine if they wouldn’t have been on the path, how rude they would have been. I take them, accept them and give them enough time to improve. People do change with time. People improve.

You should not get stuck in watching and observing other. You watch yourself. Just quietly reflect and observe how much have you changed after coming on to the path. You see your own progress.

Some people are slow learners, some are quick learners. This happens in life.

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Can all spiritual organization get together and start a political party? I am sure this party can change the face of politics, and the plight of people in the country.

Guruji: Spiritual organizations are there to give solace to people of all political parties. Spiritual organizations cannot attach itself to one political party. They have to be neutral. Like the supreme court is for everyone. The court of justice is for everyone. Similarly, the entertainment industry is for everybody. It cannot belong to a party.

Spiritual organizations is where people go when they burn out, when they have problems. They come for advice, they come for solace, they come for rejuvenation. That is needed for all political parties.

Like in the games, an umpire is neutral, he is for everybody. Spiritual organizations have their own code of conduct, their own laws. They need to be neutral. They need to advice. Of course we will also advice people to go and vote 100 percent.
I have been advising all the people not to vote for the criminal and corrupt elements. This much we have to do. We have to point out. The trend in this country is so bad. There are very few bad elements but they have a vote bank for themselves. There is a corrupt man and he has bought a set of people around him and he buys votes and so he has a vote bank. So every political party gives them a ticket and makes them run for elections. For this trend to reverse, the people, who are apathetic, who just sit at home and don’t go to vote should become more proactive. And this is what we have been doing. It is changing now.

Om Namah Shivay

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प्रेम और शरणागति

अतएव हमलोगों को संसार के सारे पदार्थों को लात मारकर प्रभु की शरण में जाना चाहिए | ऋद्धि-सिद्धि, मान-बड़ाई और प्रतिष्ठा आदि से भी वृतियां हटा लेनी चाहिए | यह अपार संसार एक अथाह सागर है | इसके पार जाने के दो ही साधन हैं—नाव से जाना अथवा तैरकर जाना | नाव प्रभु का प्रेम है और तैरना है सांख्योग यानी ज्ञान | कहने की आवश्यकता नहीं कि तैरने की अपेक्षा नाव में जाना सुगम, निश्चित और सुरक्षित है |

प्रेमरूपी नौका की प्राप्ति के लिए प्रभु की शरण जाना चाहिए | तैरने के लिए तो हिम्मत और त्याग की आवश्यकता है | तैरने में हाथ और पैर से लहरें चीरते हुए आगे बढ़ा जाता है | संसार-सागर में विषयरूपी जल को हाथ और पैर से फेंकते हुए हम तैर जा सकते हैं—उस पार जाने का लक्ष्य न भूलें और लहरों में हाथ-पैर न रुकें | तैरने के समय शरीर पर कुछ भी बोझ न होना चाहिए | इसी प्रकार विषयों की लहरों को चीरकर आगे बढ़ने के लिए हमारे भीतर तीव्र और दृढ़ वैराग्यरूपी उत्साह का होना आवश्यक है | इसके बिना तो एक हाथ भी बढ़ना असम्भव है | हाथों से लहरें चीरता जाय, पैरों से जल फेंकता जाय |

सच्चे आत्मसमर्पण में तो विषयासक्ति का त्याग अनिवार्य है ही | विषयों में प्रेम भी हो और भगवदर्पण भी हो, यह सम्भव नहीं |

काँचन-कामिनी से भी अधिक मीठी छुरी मान-बड़ाई है | इसने तो बहुत ही बड़े-बड़े साधकों फँसा दिया, रोक दिया और अंततोगत्वा डुबा दिया | इससे सदा बचे रहना चाहिए |

इसमें तनिक भी संदेह नहीं कि ज्ञान से तैरने की अपेक्षा प्रेममयी नित्य-नवीन नौका में जाना सुखप्रद, सहज और आनन्ददायक है |

वह विशुद्ध प्रेम प्रभु की अनन्य शरण होने से ही प्राप्त होता है, अतएव अनन्य शरण होकर जाना ही नौका से जाना है | संसार-सागर को तो हर दशा में लाँघना ही पड़ेगा | ‘उस पार’ गये बिना तो प्राणवल्लभ की झाँकी होने की नहीं | फिर क्यों न उसी की शरण में जाकर उसी के हाथ का सहारा बनकर चल चलें | भगवान् ने स्वयं प्रतिज्ञा भी की है—
ये तू सर्वाणि कर्माणि मयि संयस्य मत्पराः |
अनन्येनैव योगेन मां ध्यायन्त उपासते ||
तेषामहं समुद्धर्ता मृत्युसंसारसागरात् |
भवामि नचिरात्पार्थ मय्यावेशितचेतसाम् ||
(गीता १२ | ६-७)
‘हे अर्जुन ! जो मेरे परायण हुए भक्तजन, सम्पूर्ण कर्मों को मेरे में अर्पण करके, मुझ सगुणरूप परमेश्वर को ही तैलधारा के सदृश अनन्य ध्यानयोग से निरन्तर चिंतन करते हुए भजते हैं, उन मेरे में चित्त को लगानेवाले प्रेमी भक्तों का मैं शीघ्र ही मृत्युरूप संसार-समुद्र से उद्धार करनेवाला होता हूँ |’ यह संसार-समुद्र बड़ा ही दुस्तर है, इससे तरने का सहज उपाय भगवान् की शरण ही है | भगवान् ने कहा है कि—
दैवी ह्येषा गुणमयी मम माया दुरत्यया |
मामेव ये प्रपद्यन्ते मायामेतां तरन्ति ते |
(गीता ७ | १४)
‘यह अलौकिक अर्थात् अति अद्भुत त्रिगुणमयी मेरी योगमाया बड़ी दुस्तर है; परन्तु जो पुरुष मुझको ही निरन्तर भजते हैं, वे इस माया को उल्लंघन कर जाते हैं अर्थात् संसार से तर जाते हैं |’

अतएव हमलोगों को प्रेम और प्रेममय भगवान् की प्राप्ति के लिए मनसा, वाचा, कर्मणा सब प्रकार भगवान् की अनन्य शरण* होना चाहिए |
· अनन्ययोग से उपासना, अव्यभिचारिणी भक्ति एवं अनन्यशरण—यह तीनों एक ही हैं |

Om Namah Shivay

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AMAZING SCIENTIFIC REASONS BEHIND HINDU TRADITIONS-4

16. Ear Piercing in Children:

Piercing the ears has a great importance in Indian ethos. Indian physicians and philosophers believe that piercing the ears helps in the development of intellect, power of thinking and decision making faculties. Talkativeness fritters away life energy. Ear piercing helps in speech-restraint. It helps to reduce impertinent behaviour and the ear-channels become free from disorders. This idea appeals to the Western world as well, and so they are getting their ears pierced to wear fancy earrings as a mark of fashion.

17. Application of Sindoor or Vermillion:

It is interesting to note that that the application of sindoor by married women carries a physiological significance. This is so because Sindoor is prepared by mixing turmeric-lime and the metal mercury. Due to its intrinsic properties, mercury, besides controlling blood pressure also activates sexual drive. This also explains why Sindoor is prohibited for the widows. For best results, Sindoor should be applied right upto the pituitary gland where all our feelings are centered. Mercury is also known for removing stress and strain.

18. The scientific explanation of touching Feet(charan sparsh):

Usually, the person of whose feet you are touching is either old or pious. When they accept your respect which came from your reduced ego (and is called your shraddha) their hearts emit positive thoughts and energy (which is called their karuna) which reaches you through their hands and toes. In essence, the completed circuit enables flow of energy and increases cosmic energy, switching on a quick connect between two minds and hearts. To an extent, the same is achieved through handshakes and hugs. The nerves that start from our brain spread across all your body. These nerves or wires end in the fingertips of your hand and feet. When you join the fingertips of your hand to those of their opposite feet, a circuit is immediately formed and the energies of two bodies are connected. Your fingers and palms become the ‘receptor’ of energy and the feet of other person become the ‘giver’ of energy.

19. Why do we Fast:

The underlying principle behind fasting is to be found in Ayurveda. This ancient Indian medical system sees the basic cause of many diseases as the accumulation of toxic materials in the digestive system. Regular cleansing of toxic materials keeps one healthy. By fasting, the digestive organs get rest and all body mechanisms are cleansed and corrected. A complete fast is good for heath, and the occasional intake of warm lemon juice during the period of fasting prevents the flatulence. Since the human body, as explained by Ayurveda, is composed of 80% liquid and 20% solid, like the earth, the gravitational force of the moon affects the fluid contents of the body. It causes emotional imbalances in the body, making some people tense, irritable and violent. Fasting acts as antidote, for it lowers the acid content in the body which helps people to retain their sanity. Research suggests there are major health benefits to caloric restriction like reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, immune disorders etc.

20. Why Idol Worship:

Hinduism propagates idol worship more than any other religion. Researchers say that this was initiated for the purpose of increasing concentration during prayers. According to psychiatrists, a man will shape his thoughts as per what he sees. If you have 3 different objects in front of you, your thinking will change according to the object you are viewing. Similarly, in ancient India, idol worship was established so that when people view idols it is easy for them to concentrate to gain spiritual energy and meditate without mental diversion.

21. Why do Indian Women wear Bangles:

Normally the wrist portion is in constant activation on any human. Also the pulse beat in this portion is mostly checked for all sorts of ailments. The Bangles used by women are normally in the wrist part of ones hand and its constant friction increases the blood circulation level. Further more the electricity passing out through outer skin is again reverted to one’s own body because of the ring shaped bangles, which has no ends to pass the energy outside but to send it back to the body.

Om Namah Shivay

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Do You Know I Have No Mercy?

Mercy indicates lack of intimacy. Indicates a distance; a lack of belongingness. You don’t have mercy on your near and dear ones. You don’t hear parents say, “l have mercy on my children.” You have mercy on those who you think are not yours. Mercy indicates anger, judgment and authority. When you ask for mercy, you are self- centered. You want to be excused from the law of cause and effect. It also indicates lack of courage and valor.

At times mercy is an impediment to growth. Mercy, of course, brings some comfort and relief; but can impair the process of transformation. If the leaves were to ask for mercy from falling, they would not be transformed.

If someone is driving and is tired, they will stop at the rest area. But if they start living there, they will be arrested. Then the spot has not served its purpose.

Patti and Victoria, high on bliss, did not stop at the stop sign and the police mercilessly gave them a ticket (in India-memo). Do you know what? Victoria said, “Thank you.” But the police woman told her to go to court and ask for mercy!

When you know and trust the process of creation, you will simply rejoice. It is the small mind which superimposes its nature on the Divine mind. Only when you made a mistake and you think God is angry and judging you do you ever ask for mercy. The Divine is all knowing and all loving; there is no chance for mercy.

Do you know I have no mercy? When there is intimacy there is no place for mercy.

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A sign of success is confidence. Even if you lose everything, if you have confidence, then you can recreate everything again, and that is success.

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The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.

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Q: In a world that is changing so fast you still seem to be the same, unchanged and so beautiful and so adorable. How is that Guruji?

Guruji: Some questions are to be wondered about, so this too is not a question but something you need to wonder about.

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Love is offered to you as a child but when you grow up, somewhere you lose it, and then you try to catch it. You have to climb up to get it. Climb up from the smaller things. That is where real love is. So, when you climb up, get over all the cravings and aversions, and when you catch it, nature rejoices.

Om Namah Shivay

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Is it okay to mix different yoga techniques? Or should we find one way

Q: Guruji, is it okay to mix different yoga techniques? Or should we find one way.

Guruji : No, don’t mix them, it becomes a hotch-potch. You have on your platter, such a wonderful program. All based on a single line of thought, a philosophy which is ancient yet profound, and still modern. So just follow one way. That’s the best.

I’m saying this after many years, otherwise I usually say, do whatever you like. Do you know why? I have got many people coming to me after going here and there and making a big mess of their mind. So now I have started putting my foot down and so I am telling you, don’t do it.

Several people went here and there, and were told to do this japa or that technique, and later on they were uncontrollably shivering. These people had problems and had to go to the hospital. Several such cases have happened over the past few years.

People had to be given higher medication. And some of them had become so difficult to heal.

Why do you want to do other different techniques, what is the point? You have something very good on your platter. But if you’re not at all getting benefited, you tell me that this is not helping you at all. Then I will show you where to go, which would help you.

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If you are hurting anybody, you are hurting God. If you love God, then you should not hurt anybody

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“No one notices your tears, no one notices your sadness, no one notices your pains, but they all notices your mistakes.”

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“Laughing is the best medicine, unless you’re laughing for no reason then you need medicine.”

Om Namah Shivay

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