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Stories about Sri Ramakrishna

Stories by Sri Chinmoy about Sri Ramakrishna

God comes first in my life

Vivekananda showed the sincerity of his inner cry for Truth, for God, for Light. It happened once that Vivekananda, who was then called Naren, was offered a significant gift by his spiritual Master, Sri Ramakrishna. Sri Ramakrishna said to him, “Naren, you know I have gone through the most austere spiritual disciplines. I constantly pray to Mother Kali and worship God. I have done everything necessary and now I am blessed with occult power. But you know that I don’t care for any outer achievements. I pay no attention even to wearing clothes. I am in my own world most of the time. So I wish to tell Mother Kali that I would like to offer you all my occult power. You will be able to use it when you have to work for the world at large.”

Naren immediately replied, “Master, please tell me whether this power will be of any help to me in my God-realisation.”

Sri Ramakrishna said, “No, no! You know that occult power has nothing to do with God-realisation. But when you realise God, if you want to work for the world, if you want to manifest God on earth, then this power can be of great help to you.”

Naren’s immediate response was, “First things first. First I want to realise God. Then if you and God want to give me occult power to use for mankind, I will take it. But right now I want only God. God comes first in my life.”

Ramakrishna was extremely pleased with his dearest disciple. He said to the other disciples, “Look at my Naren. Look at the example he has set for you. You have to pay all attention to God first, only to God. That is the only way you can realise God. Occult power is of very secondary importance.”

Most genuine spiritual Masters have advised their disciples not to care for the hidden powers of the kundalini. If a disciple cares only for Truth, only for Light, then he will make real progress in his inner life.

We practise kundalini yoga in order to get power of one kind or another. But if we meditate on God and please God, the Creator, He will give us His entire creation if He wants to. If we want the Creator first and foremost, and not His creation, then we will get the Creator. And once we have the Creator, His entire creation will also be at our disposal. If we cry for one tiny part of the creation, we may get it with comparative ease; but the infinite Wealth of the Creator will be withheld from us, and we will have to be satisfied with the tiny portion which we asked for. 1

The Master's impossible request

Some people took Nag Mahashay to be a lunatic of the first degree, but his devotion to Sri Ramakrishna was most exemplary. He felt that if Sri Ramakrishna said something, it would definitely prove to be true.

Only five or six days before Sri Ramakrishna left the body, he wanted to eat a particular fruit called 'amalaki'. Indian doctors give utmost importance to that fruit. It is almost like a cure-all. It is quite small in size. I used to like it so much; it quenches your thirst.

When Sri Ramakrishna expressed his desire to eat amalaki, the fruit was out of season. The disciples who were present told Sri Ramakrishna that it was useless to even look for it because it was out of season. But Nag Mahashay said, "Since Master has said it, definitely somewhere it will be available. Whatever he says cannot be false."

So, without informing anybody, Nag Mahashay left the room and for three days he was wandering here and there without any food or sleep searching for amalaki. At last he did find the fruit and he brought it to Sri Ramakrishna. Sri Ramakrishna was so delighted and excited. He took the fruit personally from Nag Mahashay and said, "What a beautiful amalaki it is!" 2

Give me your power of attorney

One day Sri Ramakrishna said to Girish, "I see what kind of life you are leading, but do not worry. You just give me your power of attorney."

"What is this?" asked Girish. "What do you mean by 'power of attorney'?"

Sri Ramakrishna said to him, "Whatever you are doing, you can continue doing, only say that I am responsible."

"How can I do that?" cried Girish.

"I am telling you to do it," said Sri Ramakrishna. "I am ready to take all your so-called sins."

So Girish gave Sri Ramakrishna his power of attorney. Then Girish found that he could no longer lead his old life. He was trying desperately to continue drinking, mixing with women and so forth, but he was unable to fully enter into those activities because he could not bear to bring Sri Ramakrishna into those situations. He was hesitating and hesitating with regard to his old habits because he did not want to cause Sri Ramakrishna any suffering.

Sri Ramakrishna had assured him, "I will not suffer. You do whatever you want to do. Do not give up anything."

This is how Girish came to accept Sri Ramakrishna and develop such faith in him. Eventually, it came to the point where Girish was so devoted and surrendered to Sri Ramakrishna that he would challenge anybody who dared to say that Sri Ramakrishna was not God-realised.

They say that Girish was the first to declare that Sri Ramakrishna was an Avatar. The pandits were arguing and he presented such strong proof in favour of his Master. 3

Drink, drink in front of me

Although Girish was now always for Sri Ramakrishna and he had developed most sincere devotion to his Master, still he was not fully able to give up drinking and a few other bad habits. As a result, a few times it happened that he arrived at Dakshineshwar in a carriage and left his bottle of wine inside the carriage.

Once when Sri Ramakrishna noticed that Girish had come without his wine bottle, he said, "Now that Girish is here with me, the carriage may go away at any moment and then he may become thirsty." So Sri Ramakrishna sent a disciple to bring Girish's wine bottle.

Then Sri Ramakrishna said to Girish, "Please drink it in front of me. Drink, drink in front of me."

In this way, with utmost compassion and affection, Sri Ramakrishna conquered the heart of Girish Ghosh and Girish surrendered to him completely. After a few years, Vivekananda commented that he had seen many, many devotees, but he had not seen anybody who was the parallel of Girish Ghosh. Vivekananda said that Girish was unparalleled in self-surrender to his Master. 4

"I am not dead!"

On the day of Sri Ramakrishna's passing, after Sri Ramakrishna had left his earthly body, all his disciples and dear ones were swimming in the sea of tears. Sarada Devi's grief knew no bounds. She became her heart's heart-rending cries.

In the evening, in accordance with the custom of Hindu widows in India, she was removing all the ornaments from her body one by one. She had discarded everything except one gold bracelet. As she was removing this last ornament, Sri Ramakrishna appeared in front of her and said, "What are you doing? I am not dead, I am immortal. I am now in my Heavenly body, my golden body. Therefore, I want you to keep wearing your gold bracelet."

Sarada Devi continued wearing that bracelet as long as she lived. 5

  1. Sri Chinmoy, Vivekananda: an ancient silence-heart and a modern dynamism-life, Agni Press, 1993.↩︎

  2. Sri Chinmoy, A God-intoxicated man: Nag Mahashay, Agni Press, 1997.↩︎

  3. Sri Chinmoy, From the undivine tree to the divine fruit: Girish Chandra Ghosh, Agni Press, 1999.↩︎

  4. Sri Chinmoy, From the undivine tree to the divine fruit: Girish Chandra Ghosh, Agni Press, 1999.↩︎

  5. Sri Chinmoy, Transfiguration and other stories, Agni Press, 2007.↩︎