Superphysics Superphysics
Chapter 1b

Second visit

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M.’s second visit to Sri Ramakrishna took place on the southeast verandah at 8PM.

The Master was about to be shaved, the barber having just arrived. As the cold season still lingered he had put on a moleskin shawl bordered with red.

(to M. smiling) So you have come. Where do you live?
In Calcutta, sir, at Baranagore at my older sister’s-Ishan Kaviraj’s house

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: “Oh, at Ishan’s? Well, how is Keshab now? He was very ill.”

M: “I have heard so too, but I believe he is well now.”

Master’s love for Keshab

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: “I made a vow to worship the Mother with green coconut and sugar on Keshab’s recovery. Sometimes, in the early hours of the morning, I would wake up and cry before Her: ‘Mother, please make Keshab well again. If Keshab doesn’t live, whom shall I talk with when I go to Calcutta?’ And so it was that I resolved to offer Her the green coconut and sugar.

“Tell me, do you know of a certain Mr. Cook who has come to Calcutta? Is it true that he is giving lectures? Once Keshab took me on a steamer, and this Mr. Cook, too was in the party.”

M: “Yes, sir, I have heard something like that; but I have never been to his lectures. I don’t know much about him.”

Sri Ramakrishna on M.’s marriage

SRI RAMAKRISHNA: “Pratap’s brother came here. He stayed a few days. He had nothing to do and said he wanted to live here. I came to know that he had left his wife and children with his father-in-law. He has a whole brood of them! So I took him to task. Just fancy! He is the father of so many children! Will people from the neighbourhood feed them and bring them up? He isn’t even ashamed that someone else 86is feeding his wife and children, and that they have been left at his father-in-law’s house. I scolded him very hard and asked him to look for a job.

Then he was willing to leave here. “Are you married?” M: “Yes, sir.”

SRI RAMAKRISHNA (with a shudder): “Oh, Ramlal! Alas, he is married!” Like one guilty of a terrible offence, M. sat motionless, his eyes fixed on the ground. He thought, “Is it such a wicked thing to get married?”

The Master continued, “Have you any children?”

M. this time could hear the beating of his own heart. He whispered in a trembling voice, “Yes, sir, I have children.” Very sadly Sri Ramakrishna said, “Ah me! He even has children!”

Thus rebuked M. sat speechless. His pride had received a blow. After a few minutes Sri Ramakrishna looked at him kindly and said affectionately:

You have certain good signs. I know them by looking at a person’s forehead, his eyes, and so on. What kind of person is your wife? Has she spiritual attributes, or is she under the power of avidya?
She is all right. But I am afraid she is ignorant.
(with evident displeasure): “You are a man of knowledge!”

M. had yet to learn the distinction between knowledge and ignorance. Up to this time, he thought that one got knowledge from books and schools. Later on, he gave up this false conception. He was taught that to know God is knowledge, and not to know Him, ignorance.

M.’s ego was badly shocked by Sri Ramakrishna’s remark.

God with and without form

Do you believe in God with form or without form?
Sir, I like to think of God as formless.
Very good. It is enough to have faith in either aspect. You believe in God without form. That is quite all right. But never for a moment think that this alone is true and all else false. Remember that God with form is just as true as God without form. But hold fast to your own conviction.

The assertion that both are equally true amazed M. He had never learnt this from his books. Thus his ego received a third blow; but since it was not yet completely crushed, he came forward to argue with the Master a little more.

Sir, suppose one believes in God with form. Certainly He is not the clay image!
But why clay? It is an image of Spirit.
But sir, one should explain to those who worship the clay image that it is not God. While worshipping it, they should have God in view and not the clay image. One should not worship clay.

(sharply): “That’s the one hobby of you Calcutta people - giving lectures and bringing others to the light! Nobody ever stops to consider how to get the light himself. Who are you to teach others?

“He who is the Lord of the Universe will teach everyone. He alone teaches us, who has created this universe; who has made the sun and moon, men and beasts, and all other beings; who has provided means for their sustenance; who has given children parents and endowed them with love to bring them up. The Lord has done so many things - will He not show people the way to worship Him? If they need teaching, then He will be the Teacher. He is our Inner Guide.

Suppose there is an error in worshipping the clay image; doesn’t God know that through it He alone is being invoked? He will he pleased with that very worship. Why should you get a headache over it? You had better try for knowledge and devotion yourself.

This time M. felt that his ego was completely crushed. He now said to himself: “Yes, he has spoken the truth. What need is there for me to teach others? Have I known God? Do I really love Him? ‘I haven’t room enough for myself in my bed, and I am inviting my friend to share it with me!’ I know nothing about God, yet I am trying to teach others. What a shame! How foolish I am! This is not mathematics or history or literature, that one can teach it to others. No, this is the deep mystery of God. What he says appeals to me.”

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