International Forum for NeoVedantins
Immediate Previous Articles:
Story of Buddha
Samkhya and Vedanta
More About Guru
Life of Ramakrishna and Its Relevance
Advaita Vedanta as the Quest for Knowledge
Related to Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda: Short Biography
At The Parliament of Religions: Chicago 1893
Swami Vivekananda and Madame Calve
Nature of India's Contribution
Related to Ramakrishna
Sri Ramakrishna: A Brief life sketch
The Game of Ladder
Glory of Sri Ramakrishna
Related to Hinduism
What is Hiduism?
Gita: An Introduction
Path of Devotion in Gita
Karma Yoga in the Gita
Introduction to Katha Upanishad
Introduction to Isha Upanishad
Religious Social Movements
Related to Vedanta
March Ahead to Advaita
Yoga: Part 1 | Yoga: Part 2
Story of Sri Ramakrishna: Part 13
Altered State of Consciousness and Evolution of a God Man
A Study based on the life of Sri Ramakrishna
A few souls with exceptionally perfected nervous system, like Sri Ramakrishna, Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, may be able to complete the task in a short period during their lifetime. They have to undergo tremendous austerity, suffering, and arduous physical and mental struggle:
To overcome the resistance of the older system to accept the change,
To replace the old system with the newer one and not to succumb in this process of transition, and,
To start leading a new life according to changed functions of the newer nervous system.
As Swami Saradananda puts it:
"Will you, O man, be able to comprehend the story of this wonderful heroism? In your gross eyes the weight and worth of a thing are determined by bulk or quantity. How can you even imagine that refinement of mind, which ends in total elimination of self-centeredness and egotism in a way that it becomes naturally impossible for the body and the mind of a person to indulge in any selfish effort, however small?"
"The hands of Sri Ramakrishna used to become stiff and benumbed on consciously or unconsciously touching any metal - to grab it was then out of question. He used lose his way, however familiar, if he happened to carry from any place even trifling things like flower and leaves without the owner's permission, until he returned to the place and abandoned the objects. If he tied a knot, his respiration remained suspended and outgoing breath would not come out in spite of much effort till he untied it: Sadhu does not amass! His organ of generation would shrink instantaneously, like the limb of tortoise, if any lewd woman touched his body. How can the ordinary human mind, entrenched in the pursuit of self-interest from the very birth, ever have the mental refinement to notice or appreciate those pure and subtle mental states of which the above-mentioned forms of behaviour are but external expressions? Can even our wildest flight of imagination enter into the sublime realm of those ideas?"
The Future Man
The conscious activity in course of time gets converted into a naturalized reflex phenomenon when it is very useful for the development and survival of the higher evolved organic system. For example, a tree cannot react by withdrawing itself away from an obnoxious stimulus, but an animal can do so. Therefore, animal life is a higher evolved organic system than the plant life. The attempt to run away is not only a conscious act, but a reflex to survive and minimize the damage also.
In the life of Sri Ramakrishna this development of reflex progression was applicable to the functions of the mind as well. This unique quality of reflex reaction of the mind to certain stimuli like concentration, will, and effort was natural to him. Therefore we see such a state of losing outward body consciousness and entering the 'realm of bliss' in his life.
We may by conscious strenuous efforts, to some extent, reach to that level of achievement, but not as naturally as the reflex development that we see in the life of Sri Ramakrishna. One can postulate that the constitution of Sri Ramakrishna on the ladder of evolution was such that it was not possible for him not to go into the states we have narrated. His crossing the bounds of narrow body-mind consciousness and entering the 'universal consciousness' was a natural phenomenon towards which the human evolution is destined to progress in the centuries to come.
This is a pointer to the course of the future evolution. Theories of evolution can be accepted as standard up to human stage, but we clearly see the glimpses of futuristic evolution in the realm of mind-psycho-spiritual phase - in the life of Sri Ramakrishna. The documentary evidence in the Books like Vedas, Upanishad, Gita, and of other Religions, is supplemented and confirmed in the sadhana period of Sri Ramakrishna.
It is worthwhile in this age of MRI, CT scan, and nuclear scans, to experiment on certain living sadhaka regarding these changes. Various imaging techniques as well as radio-nuclear scanning can study the blood flow pattern based on the temperature changes, etc. Similarly EEG [electroencephalography] may also be of value. Unless such experiments are undertaken, based on the present day developed scientific approach, these phenomena are difficult to understand and analyze.
It is said that ordinarily human beings at best use 10% of their brain prowess. A rare soul of Sri Ramakrishna's genius has shown how by intense sadhana is it possible to bring to surface the hidden powers of the brain and the mind for the welfare of the individual and the world. Mind is subtle matter in the form of thought waves. Modern physics is also incapable of solving the paradox of particle matter and the waveform. Sri Ramakrishna is a scientist par excellence who has bridged the gap between physics and metaphysics and cleared the path for Universal Unity.
Continued part 14... | Previous Part 12... | Index to all Parts...
c s shah
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